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Re: [dsg] Sunrises and Sunsets - Input 2

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  • plnao
    Hello J, and all ... Ph: Ah, sounds good. Simplicity appeals to me as well. I have a feeling some discussions at this group would lead one to conclude that
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 1, 2004
      Hello J, and all

      > My response is personal and not intended to cause
      > reaction. My current path includes "sitting" at
      > sunrise and sunset in the outdoors. This is my
      > Buddhist Altar these days and in a very urban setting.
      > My goal is simplicity. I don't count breaths, I don't
      > focus on any topic, just waiting with the sunrise and
      > sunset.

      Ph: Ah, sounds good.

      Simplicity appeals to me as well. I have a feeling some discussions at this
      group would lead one to conclude that abhidhamma is not about simplicity,
      but it really is if one doesn't hold on to any need to over-analyze. When
      I was talking with one of our members, Robert K, we agreed that
      ironically enough, abhidhamma has a certain affinity with zen. They are
      both about direct experience, a freedom from language. We give names
      to the paramattha dhammas that are catalogued and categorized in abhidhamma,
      but this is not an end in itself. When we come to consider them in daily
      life, it is
      as essences, momentary realities, not as Pali words, though there surely is
      some clinging to the terms. It doesn't have to stay that way.

      > I have had a variety of experiences and realizations
      > as a result with no hooks. As a personal challenge I
      > have been dealing with anger reactions most of my life
      > and in this current activity a new sense of peace and
      > serenity has emerged and the angry reactions are
      > disappearing. (I wish I could say it was perfect
      > but...).

      Ph: As I've often posted here, one of my two big hindrances
      is anger. Since coming across abhidhamma and with its help
      seeing through to a better understanding of anatta, the anger
      has been very, very rare, though there is no vowing not to
      speak angry words, like I used to, in vain. Through abhidhamma
      I have come to see people as they are in absolute terms, rupa and
      nama, and there is nothing to get angry at there. And we can
      hold on to an appreciation of people in conventiional terms. I feel
      more affection towards people than ever thanks to better understanding
      the way we are all in the same boat, at the mercy of conditions but
      doing whatever we can to deal with the hardship of being human.
      Abhidhamma helps me to better understand obstructions to
      >> Now having shared all that I am aware that there are
      > many paths to enlightenment and to each his own. One
      > might consider me an elder now in my 70s and I have
      > learned finally not to go where things make my brain
      > hurt. Mostly I am letting go of many things, that is
      > just my path these days.

      Ph: Abhidhamma is very liberating in the sense of "letting go."
      Yes, at times, there can be this clinging to terminology, but
      for someone like yourself who is fond of letting go, letting
      go will not be a problem. I'm pretty good at letting go here,
      if I say so myself. When there is a post that threatens to
      give me a headache, and there are many, I let go of it
      in a hurry and move on to.....reading my past posts! (haha)

      May I recommend that you let go of this group for awhile,
      but don't let go of abhidhamma just yet?
      When I first came here and was absolutely flabbergasted by
      the heavy discussions it was reading Nina's books that really grabbed
      me. I think I made a very wise decision by reading her "Perfections"
      along with her more well-known and, for the neophyte, a wee bit heavier
      going "Abhidhamma in
      Daily Life." Alternating a chapter at a time.
      And when I was into them, I came back to the group, and asked
      Nina some questions. She was (and still is) so kind and supportive.
      Certainly didn't (doesn't) make my brain hurt.
      Here is a contents page that contains links to the two books I mentioned.
      Reading them,
      getting into the flavour of abhidhamma through them - I have faith that
      you'll see that abhidhamma doesn't have to make the brain hurt.
      It's very liberating, very beautiful, very gentle.

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