Re: [dsg] Re: death and listening.
- Hi Howard, Eric, Azita, Christine,
op 31-07-2004 20:38 schreef upasaka@... op upasaka@...:
>> N: By listening, as I said, in that way intellectual understanding grows.N: Inspired by Azita's and Christine's good posts, I shall give an example.
>> This is the stage of pariyatti and this forms up the condition for practice,
> Okay, it's clear what the pariyatti is. But what, Nina, and all
> others, of course, in your understanding, is the patipatti - the practice -
> that the
> pariyatti "forms up the condition for"?
Yesterday while hiking, we saw the corpse of a yound wild boar. I had
attachment to its beauty (the stripes on its back were so cute), and
aversion because of the flies on it. I then remembered suttas. especially
Theragatha,: "As is that body, so this body will be." This brings us back to
reality now. What are we? Only citta, cetasika and rupa arising and falling
away. There is actually life and death at each moment, also now. If there
are enough conditions accumulated such happenings can be a reminder for sati
and pañña to consider dhamma now and be aware of it, so that there can be
direct understanding. But I must add that its development is a long process
and that we cannot expect a quick result of the development. But anyway it
is beneficial to reflect on and contemplate nama and rupa as they appear
now, and also to develop the "Perfections".
It all begins with listening, and so I was glad with Rob K's quote. A good
reminder that sati is also anatta, non-self. it cannot be manipulated.
When we listen, and this also includes reading suttas, we come to understand
that citta, cetasika and rupa occur now, in daily life. We come to
understand more what kusala is, what akusala. How we need the Abhidhamma and
also the consideration of these realities when they occur. When looking at a
corpse there are so many types of cittas, akusala and some kusala, but
kusala is very rare. A concurrence of many conditions are necessary for the
arising of kusala citta with understanding. Howard, you will always stress:
training is necessary. As I see it: all the moments of listening,
considering, practising dana, sila and mental development, and these include
the ten bases of kusala, in our life are the training. They are conditions
that are accumulated so that direct understanding of dhammas can arise and
lead to enlightenment.
Howard, you have been discussing samatha with Jon. I would like to add
something. The subjects of samatha such as mindfulness of death, maranasati,
have the word sati. This, as I see it, has everything to do with
satipatthana, the development of right understanding of nama and rupa. As I
showed above: maranasati brings us back to awareness of reality now. Also
before the Buddha's time people practised samatha, but the Buddha gave a new
dimension to all those meditation subjects. Whatever he taught, the goal was
always: eradication of wrong view of self and other defilements through the
development of understanding now. Thus, whenever we read about samatha or
meditation subjects we should not forget this goal. Also for those who could
attain jhana the goal was the same. They should not take their development
of samatha and jhanacitta for self.
I shall write more to Joop R about the social aspects of the Dhamma. This is
nothing else but practice with satipatthana inspired by the whole Tipitaka,
including Abhidhamma! But when I say, satipatthana, I know that direct
awareness and understanding are difficult, still being far from it. But,
even intellectual understanding helps in our life, to understand ourselves
and others, to see the benefit of kusala, the danger of akusala. Those are
conditions for the growth of pañña, and, as I said, we should not wish for
it to grow fast, that slows down the process.
Lodewijk understands your concern that just listening may lead to passivity,
sliding down to laziness, not doing anything. But, he says, it is listening
with the purpose of considering, understanding and applying what one heard
in the circumstances of daily life.
The above example shows that there are all the time confrontations desirable
or undesirable, events and our reactions to it with kusala citta or akusala
citta. During a walk, when we visit my father, there are always things
happening. We can learn to live by the Dhamma, we do not have to go far,
Dhamma is everywhere.
- Hi Swee Boon,
I had meant to get back to your comments a little sooner....We were
discussing the sutta from SN35: 153 (8) Is there a Method? [B.Bodhi
--- nidive <nidive@...> wrote:
SA:> > I'd be genuinely interested to know whether you read the following
> > sutta as stressing anything other than `momentary sati' or directSB: > We are constantly seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching and
> > momentary understanding of namas and rupas when they appear.
> thinking. Taking that sutta literally, it could not be talking about.....
> "momentary sati". It is talking about sustained and continuous sati.
> An arahant has perfect sati. An arahant's sati is not "momentary". An
> arahant is mindful at all moments.
SA: To say that any sati or other mental state (even in an arahant) is not
momentary, one would have to be ignoring any suttas which stress the speed
of the mind and the shortness of wholesome states, not to mention ignoring
the commentaries and the Abhidhamma. The same issue (of lasting
consciousness) is given in the Katthavatthu.
Indeed the truth about anicca, dukkha and anatta surely is that every
conditioned citta, cetasika and rupa begins to fall away as soon as it has
arisen, is thereby inherently unsatisfactory and cannot be controlled by
I gave a couple of quotes on the speed of the mind here:
SB: > How does one train to make sati sustained and continuous? By taking
> one of the mindfulness immersed in the body practices.....
> When one takes up one of those practices taught by the Buddha, one
> trains sati to be sustained and continuous. When sati is sustained and
> continuous, whether one sees, hears, smells, tastes, touches or
> thinks, if lust is present, he knows that lust is present; if lust is
> absent, he knows that lust is absent; if hatred is present, he knows
> that hatred is present; if hatred is absent, he knows that hatred is
> absent; if delusion is present, he knows that delusion is present; if
> delusion is absent, he knows that delusion is absent.
SA: Rather than training sati to be sustained and continuous, I would
say that the development of satipatthana is training sati to repeatedly
arise and be aware of many different realities such as seeing hearing.
lust, aversion and so on. I think its important to understand that sati,
like all other mental phenomena has to arise and fall with the cittas it
accompanies and doesnt last for an instant. Otherwise, its bound to be
an idea of sati that stays or continues, rather than being directly aware
of different phenomena, one at a time. When there is seeing or hearing
consciousness, there cannot be sati at these times (not for an arahant
either), but the characteristics of these namas can be known immediately
afterwards, when sati and panna arise in the javana process.
SB: > Seeing thus, one understands with genuine wisdom.
SA: Right, wisdom understands one reality momentarily and is then gone. of
course, as wisdom develops, it will arise more frequently and penetrate
deeper and deeper, but still its nature is to fall away instantly and
never to last.
Id like to continue this discussion if we can. Btw, I liked your post on
Sariputta. As you wrote:
Even if we could accumulate as much wisdom through pondering as
Sariputta over many aeons of rebirths, the chance of meeting an arahant
who could expound the Dhamma exquisitely to each of us personally is
I also agree that No control and no self doesnt mean that nothing could
be done. The Buddha did not teach us to be sitting ducks. You then went
on to say that He did teach us to be sitting meditators though. I would
say that he taught us to be sitting, standing. walking and lying down
meditators, using meditators here in the sense of those developing bhavana
(samatha and vipassana) and without any idea of a self doing such
Ill be glad to hear your further comments, Swee Boon.
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