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Re: [dsg] Re: death and listening.

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  • nina van gorkom
    Hi Howard, Eric, Azita, Christine, ... N: Inspired by Azita s and Christine s good posts, I shall give an example. Yesterday while hiking, we saw the corpse of
    Message 1 of 57 , Aug 1, 2004
      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.
      >> This is the stage of pariyatti and this forms up the condition for practice,
      >> patipatti.
      > ============================
      > 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"?
      N: Inspired by Azita's and Christine's good posts, I shall give an example.
      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.
    • sarah abbott
      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 transl]
      Message 57 of 57 , Aug 9, 2004
        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 direct
        > > momentary understanding of namas and rupas when they appear.
        SB: > We are constantly seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching and
        > 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
        any ‘self’.

        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 it’s important to understand that sati,
        like all other mental phenomena has to arise and fall with the cittas it
        accompanies and doesn’t last for an instant. Otherwise, it’s 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.

        I’d 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
        virtually nil.’

        I also agree that ‘No control and no self doesn’t 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

        I’ll be glad to hear your further comments, Swee Boon.



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