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Re: Dead friend

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  • Theresa
    Hello Amara, I hope you don t mind my asking.. What do you mean in your P.S. note.. What you wrote sounds beautiful, but I don t understand what you mean.. My
    Message 1 of 14 , May 31, 2000
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      Hello Amara,

      I hope you don't mind my asking.. What do you mean in your P.S.
      note.. What you wrote sounds beautiful, but I don't understand what
      you mean.. My English problem ?? hehehe.. If it's not important, you
      don't need to explain.. :-))

      Which one is the slow moving river ?
      Which one is the roller coaster ride ?
      Did I write something not useful but harmful to someone ??

      > P.S. I think your writings counterpoints those of Theresa's
      > beautifully, like a wide, deep, slow moving river next to a wild
      > roller coaster ride!
      > =^_^=

      Theresa.
    • amara chay
      ... Theresa, It just means I am enjoying the messages immensely and look forward to more!!! I don t think anyone here finds your English a problem, in fact
      Message 2 of 14 , Jun 1, 2000
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        >I hope you don't mind my asking.. What do you mean in your P.S.
        >note.. What you wrote sounds beautiful, but I don't understand what
        >you mean.. My English problem ?? hehehe.. If it's not important, you
        >don't need to explain.. :-))
        >
        >Which one is the slow moving river ?
        >Which one is the roller coaster ride ?
        >Did I write something not useful but harmful to someone ??
        >
        > > P.S. I think your writings counterpoints those of Theresa's
        > > beautifully, like a wide, deep, slow moving river next to a wild
        > > roller coaster ride!
        > > =^_^=
        >
        >Theresa.


        Theresa,

        It just means I am enjoying the messages immensely and look forward to
        more!!! I don't think anyone here finds your English a problem, in fact
        it's rather fun to read, although the content sometimes leaves one
        breathless- hence the emotional roller coaster allusion- at least to me. In
        a way you seem to take the ups and downs so well, as a part of life- but
        what I really will really enjoy is the discussion you will be having with
        Robert (another wonderful writer), about views on the dhamma, so please
        continue, for all our sakes!

        Amara

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      • Theresa
        Hello Amara,
        Message 3 of 14 , Jun 1, 2000
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          Hello Amara,

          << ----
          It just means I am enjoying the messages immensely and look forward
          to more!!! I don't think anyone here finds your English a problem,
          in fact it's rather fun to read, ...
          ------- >>

          so far so good...

          << ----
          ... although the content sometimes leaves one breathless- hence the
          emotional roller coaster allusion- at least to me.
          ------- >>

          Oooops!! Why do you have the emotional roller coaster ??
          Every time I hear or read something on Dhamma from anyone but don't
          understand or am confused, I simply sit down, cross my legs, and put
          what I heard to work.. After a while, I know for certain and by
          experience whether or not what I heard works for me, or whether or
          not the topic is simply over my head, or whether or not it's useful
          to me.. I guess if you test what I wrote by your own practice, you
          would not have any "emotional roller coaster allusion" at all.. Is
          that right ??

          << -----
          In a way you seem to take the ups and downs so well, as a part of
          life-
          -------- >>

          To walk the Noble Path, we must experience and understand Dukkha in
          many forms at many levels.. Whenever we understand Dukkha (a set of
          defilements), we can then let go of the defilements and thus, no
          longer experience the defilement-related Dukkha.. Experiencing and
          Understanding is "Insight".. :-))

          << -----
          but what I really will really enjoy is the discussion you will be
          having with Robert (another wonderful writer), about views on the
          dhamma, so please continue, for all our sakes!
          -------- >>

          In my opinion, Robert is a very good writer..

          I can only write what I know, and I have a challenging time
          explaining my practice and experience.. Whenever I don't know, I will
          share that I don't know..

          The possible benefits of dhamma friends on this list are the reasons
          for me to write and post my messages.. I do hope someone will find my
          writings useful in some way to his/her practice..

          With metta,

          Theresa.
        • amara chay
          ... put ... Theresa, My allusion was not about your writings about the dhamma, or the methods you write about, but I just can t help, with my own accumulations
          Message 4 of 14 , Jun 1, 2000
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            > Oooops!! Why do you have the emotional roller coaster ??
            > Every time I hear or read something on Dhamma from anyone but don't
            > understand or am confused, I simply sit down, cross my legs, and
            put
            > what I heard to work.. After a while, I know for certain and by
            > experience whether or not what I heard works for me, or whether or
            > not the topic is simply over my head, or whether or not it's useful
            > to me.. I guess if you test what I wrote by your own practice, you
            > would not have any "emotional roller coaster allusion" at all.. Is
            > that right ??


            Theresa,

            My allusion was not about your writings about the dhamma, or the
            methods you write about, but I just can't help, with my own
            accumulations of kilesa, help having certain emotions when you write:

            Time is the only thing I have now.. My misfortune is your luck...
            hehehe.. I have been buried in misfortune for the last 12 years.. If
            Mindfulness is not around, my mind is a goner, too.. hehehe.. My life
            is about to close another chapter (a divorce), and I can't even find
            a job to claim my independence.. I have tried to return to my old
            career as a programming, after 9 years being away from it; I have no
            luck yet.. I will have to take computer classes and will see from
            there.. By the way, please don't feel sorry for me about the
            divorce.. It's a blessing in disguise.. I now have a much lighter
            load and live peacefully and happily each day, having not much to
            gain or loose..

            Of course this is just what appears through the eyes, but the mind
            connotes such concepts to them that it appears as stories and events,
            good and bad, from friends and new friends, when in fact they are
            just
            colors and forms. Our attachments to concepts are overpowering
            indeed, which is why sati is so vital in the understanding of things
            as they really are, it puts things in the proper perspective so
            sharply, as well as accumulate knowledge for future enlightenment.
            It
            is a wonder indeed that anything can be the object of sati, whether
            dead friends or new ones or the concepts of all the world, as well as
            what appears through the sense doors. Thoughts do rule our lives,
            and
            the vast majority are not even conscious of this. All this is
            measuring my accumulations and presenting a multitude of things to
            study! To think that the Buddha taught us this unique path of
            vipassana, since before his time there were already samatha as well
            as
            dana and sila, leaves me in ever increasing awe of his omniscience.

            Amara
          • Sarah Procter Abbott
            Dear Jonothan, Amara and friends, I also find any reflections on death very helful and sobering. Thus we are reminded to reflect on death many, many times a
            Message 5 of 14 , Jun 1, 2000
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              Dear Jonothan, Amara and friends,

              I also find any reflections on death very helful and sobering. Thus we are
              reminded to reflect on death many, many times a day..'like fire on our
              heads' to remind us of precious opportunites to develop kusala of all kinds
              now. I remember when Kh Sujin's sister lost her husband, Kh Sujin reminded
              her that he'd been just like a 'wind' blowing in and out of her life....what
              we grieve for is ourselves, not for the other person.

              Nanda's mother can be an inspiration to us and yet as you say, we need to be
              realistic and not afraid of our kilesa. It's better to know them and be
              honest with ourselves.

              In the same way, I used to be reminded by Kh Sujin to be 'realistic' and not
              'optimistic' or 'pessimistic' when thinking about others. I used to think
              people were really good at heart and lots of people had lots of
              understanding. I was not being realistic.

              I agree w/ Amara that we need to be honest about our cetana, intention, when
              we speak about others (so often w/ lobha or dosa) but I also agree that it's
              usually better to reflect on the good qualities of someone who has passed
              away to avoid misunerstandings for one thing. This is usually more helpful
              to us too. We all have such complex accumulations and it's so easy to
              mistakenly take them for something, for a self, for a personality or even
              many personalities that YOU or I should be mindful of!

              Best regards

              Sarah


              >
              > >I just happend to come across reference to the sutta about Nanda's mother
              > >(Gradual Sayings IV, Book of the Sevens). She witnessed her son being
              > >taken by force and slain. But she had attained to a level of
              >enlightenment
              > >where all attachment to sensuous objects had been eradicated and,
              > >amazingly, she had no conditions for aversion, no "disquietness of
              >heart".
              > >
              > >The corollary of this, of course, is that we ordinary folk are bound to
              >be
              > >disturbed by the death of someone whom we knew well. this simply
              >reflects
              > >our attachment and other akusala tendencies. So it is an opportunity to
              > >know these tendencies more clearly.
              > >
              > >Like Robert, i find the death of someone I know a condition for
              >reflection
              > >about Dhamma generally, and a reminder of the wisdom of not putting off
              >the
              > >study of the present reality.
              > >
              > >Jonothan
              >
              >
              >Jonothan,
              >
              >As another person prone to every accumulated kilesa, I must confess my own
              >'obituary syndrome' when someone's death makes me forget any negative
              >memories about them. I realize of course that my memory is one of the
              >worst
              >where people are concerned, but I find that I have to think really hard to
              >remember anything wrong with a dead friend. My father was not the best of
              >family men, although he was a sort of genius and had a very successful
              >career; but since he passed away I find that I even make excuses for the
              >more obvious faults: 'at least he didn't...' etc. I really hate to hear
              >anything bad said about anyone not there to defend themselves under any
              >circumstances. (I know, dosa!) The same with good friends. It must be my
              >progressive accumulation of lobha, I generally remember the better parts
              >and
              >find it difficult to dig up unpleasantness, another of the enumerable
              >realities to be studied there!
              >
              >I really believe that if he knows about our work somehow, wherever he is,
              >he
              >would be very pleased and enthusiastic about our efforts in the service of
              >the Buddha's teachings in these hi-tech times!
              >
              >Amara
              >

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            • Theresa
              Hello Amara and all, I thank you, Amara, for clarify my confusion.. :-))
              Message 6 of 14 , Jun 1, 2000
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                Hello Amara and all,

                I thank you, Amara, for clarify my confusion.. :-))

                << -----
                ... Our attachments to concepts are overpowering indeed, which is why
                sati is so vital in the understanding of things as they really are,
                it puts things in the proper perspective so sharply, as well as
                accumulate knowledge for future enlightenment. . . . Thoughts do
                rule our lives. . . All this is measuring my accumulations and
                presenting a multitude of things to study! . . .
                -------- >>

                Wow !!! :-))

                Please allow me to share with you some things (lessons ?) I have
                gathered from my own suffering and my own mistakes.. They are like
                little attitudes or vows to help increase my inner strength.. I share
                because I hope that you can add or subtract some from your own set of
                attitudes and vows so that it works best for you.. Whatever works for
                me might not work for others.. Eucalyptus is healthy and stable diet
                for Koala bears but poison to us.. Interesting, isn't it ??.. If
                certain attitudes seem to be worthless, meaningless and useless to
                you, please simply ignore them as such.. :-))

                Please share your lessons with me and others, because we don't have
                time to make all mistakes ourselves.. hehehe..

                I have tons of "attitudes" about life, and my list changes as I walk
                the Noble Path further with Mindfulness.. Here are some :

                (1) I vow to change me, not the world.

                (2) I vow to find out the core reasons which allow "me" to see, feel
                and view things different from others.. This reason, as I believe, is
                the cause of all my suffering (( Suffering is what I can "feel" as
                emotions, something humanly natural )).. Emotions/suffering, as I
                believe, is only temporary and changeable states of my life or my
                health or my mind or my body.. If I am with it, things rung smooth;
                if not, I'm not ok (suffering).. :-))

                [[ I have this vow, because I notice that when I cried miserably
                under the sun, there was a child running about on the same lawn
                laughing where I was, and there was an old person strolling on with
                mixed possible emotions : (a) appreciating the cheer and the health
                of the child, (b) feeling pity for the crying person (me) with some
                unknown (silly? silly because it's unknown to him/her) reason, and
                (c) working hard and carefully which each step he/she took to make
                sure that the balance was there for the new step.. Under the same
                conditions, the sun and the lawn, people can have different
                emotions.. This fact triggered a vow that I can have a different
                emotion.. In short, the change of emotion has nothing to do with
                anything else.. I love this discovery.. hehehe..]]

                (3) I vow that I will keep Mindfulness going as continuous as I can,
                thus I must be aware of "this living THING" (me) , and that my goal
                to have Mindfulness as "the" reaction to all states of my mind..

                (4) I have to remind myself over and over again that the imperfection
                of the so-called "I", and that I should not protect "it" ("I", "me")
                from the judgment from others and mine.. It ("I") should be
                dissected, examined, judged, tested with all sorts of mental and
                physical pain in order for "it" to understand "itself".. Honesty and
                facing the truths and facts are my vows.. Any tears, any sadness, any
                laughter, any joy, any numbness are "big signs" that "I" control (?)
                the situation and twists emotions unreasonably..

                (5) Pain and hurt are healthy and needed to help me grow
                spiritually.. Without them, I tend to forget Mindfulness and think
                too proud of myself.. [[ By the way, we must know the first Noble
                Truth (suffering) before we can understand the other four Noble
                Truths.. Suffering is a pre-requisite to Nibbana.. Interesting, isn't
                it ??.. hehehe.. ]]

                (6) Whenever I feel hurt or happy or numb, I must find out what (!!)
                bothers me or what my secret expectation(s) are.. Expectations
                (Lobha) and Bothers (Dosa) are, of course, the Second Noble Truths..
                hehehe.. Do you see how I appreciate the moment Mindfulness ?? :-))

                (7) Must try and try to be in others' shoes.. Must try to have more
                than one viewpoints.. If there is a new viewpoint which I have never
                heard of before, it must be my ignorance, and so, I must learn and
                accept it as another possibility to life, which I have been blind
                to.. This task is challenging and continues to be.. :-))

                (8) Whatever I have or own is my burden and yet, my blessing in an
                unseparable mixture..

                Ex: because I have an arm, I must take care of it (responsibility is
                a burden), and if it gets injured, it hurts (another burden) "me"
                (another burden).. Yet, I must fully appreciate its values, and all
                the wonderful things "I" can do with it.. Such inseparable mixture !!

                Ex: Love and hate are the same in that they are "changeable"; which
                emotion (Lobha/Dosa) I get in each moment depends on what I want or
                don't want to get or loose.. When I change my mind about what I want
                or don't want, my feeling/emotion (love/hate, like/dislike,
                lobha/dosa) change accordingly.. Such inseparable mixture !!

                Therefore, my job, as a Vipassana meditator, is to find out what I
                want or don't want in each moment of living.. Mindfulness is the only
                tool I have to let me know what I want or don't want in the current
                moment, and so, I must try to remember to be mindful.. Dukkha shall
                be the best reminder for me of my Mindfulness job.. :-))

                (9) I must catch "me" on time, in the current moment of the "me"
                existence.. I must try to know "me" from moment to moment in order to
                know what to do with "me" and in order to catch "me" with its
                confusion (term ?) on time..

                I can sit in meditation a thousand hours, for years after years, and
                gain many levels of Insights, but all that is useless when I loose to
                Dosa/Lobha in one blip of the mind when Mindfulness is not around and
                when the conditions are ripe for Dosa/Lobha.. What the use of
                meditating if I can't end my emotions right in the moment of living
                and experiencing Dosa/Lobha ??.. And so, I must try to keep
                Mindfulness going as continuous as I can..

                (10) I "fear" living within Dosa/Lobha and without Mindfulness..
                Suffering is "quite OK" if Mindfulness is around, because Mindfulness
                is my best friend and it can end suffering in the current moment..
                Without MIndfulness, "I" can burn everything with Dosa/Lobha.. :-))

                (11) Whatever my belief is, if it is the "cause" to Suffering (Lobha
                or Dosa, or any type of attachments), then that belief must be
                abolished.. Why ??.. Because my belief is unrealistic (ie.,different
                from the reality), and because it is another aspect of "I"..

                etc. etc.

                That's all I can remember for now..

                The more I turn my attention inward, the better I feel, and the
                stronger I am mentally.. The lesser I have as "mine", the lighter,
                the happier, the calmer I feel "unconditionally".. I guess, as long
                as I keep myself on my toes and don't settle for anything, I am doing
                fine, but once I believe in anything firmly, "I" will hurt myself and
                others sooner or later.. Pardon for using "I" with and without
                quotes.. The "I" with quote refers to the "Self" (Ego).. The "I"
                without quote is whatever I must put in a sentence to meet the
                English format.. (( my English style [?] is another question..
                hehehe))

                I should end this message, 'cauz I guess you have got more than
                enough with my rambling thoughts.. hehehe..

                With metta,

                Theresa.
              • amara chay
                ... Theresa, I finally found a moment to go through your letter again, and will now try to show you some of your misunderstandings, according to the Tipitaka;
                Message 7 of 14 , Jun 4, 2000
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                  --- In dhammastudygroup@egroups.com, "Theresa " <PlayByEar@h...>
                  wrote:

                  > (1) I vow to change me, not the world.


                  Theresa,

                  I finally found a moment to go through your letter again, and will
                  now try to show you some of your misunderstandings, according to the
                  Tipitaka; I hope your attitude of trying to change yourself will not
                  be too tested. =^_^=


                  > (5) Pain and hurt are healthy and needed to help me grow
                  > spiritually.. Without them, I tend to forget Mindfulness and think
                  > too proud of myself.. [[ By the way, we must know the first Noble
                  > Truth (suffering) before we can understand the other four Noble
                  > Truths.. Suffering is a pre-requisite to Nibbana.. Interesting,
                  isn't
                  > it ??.. hehehe.. ]]


                  In the Tipitaka, there are two kinds of dukkha: 'dukkha' which is
                  Pali for impermanence, while bodily and mental suffering are 'dukkha
                  dukkha'. The first ariya sacca is therefore not suffering but
                  impermanence. Neither impermanence nor suffering are prerequisites
                  to Nibbana as you claim, but wisdom (panna) is. (We are talking
                  about
                  Buddhism here, so if you refer to your own theories and not the
                  Tipitaka, I would begin to wonder if our religion is the same one and
                  therefore perhaps our discussions should end here).

                  In the tipitaka, the devas came to listen to the teachings and many
                  attained high levels of panna, as did many happy and healthy people,
                  therefore bodily and mental sufferings are not necessary in the
                  least: devas are of the happy plane, without any suffering until they
                  leave that life. Yet even for them impermanence rules, dukkha is
                  present in the form of change, although most of the time it is hard
                  to
                  see for all the happiness. You should look up the Pali terms in the
                  Tipitaka sometimes to help your understanding of the teachings.

                  > (6) Whenever I feel hurt or happy or numb, I must find out what (!!)
                  > bothers me or what my secret expectation(s) are.. Expectations
                  > (Lobha) and Bothers (Dosa) are, of course, the Second Noble
                  Truths..
                  > hehehe.. Do you see how I appreciate the moment Mindfulness ?? :-))

                  Samudaya is the second ariya sacca, and it does not translate as
                  'expectation or bother' but something much deeper: the origin or
                  cause of impermanence, of arisings and fallings away, of births and
                  rebirths. You must try to look deeper than the level of your own
                  emotions here, the Buddha was not teaching just people with petty
                  pains but all beings with panna, even 'happy' ones who still can
                  develop panna to become ariyans.


                  > (7) Must try and try to be in others' shoes.. Must try to have more
                  > than one viewpoints.. If there is a new viewpoint which I have
                  never
                  > heard of before, it must be my ignorance, and so, I must learn and
                  > accept it as another possibility to life, which I have been blind
                  > to.. This task is challenging and continues to be.. :-))


                  I am glad you also have as you call in Robert's case, a 'healthy
                  attitude', so let's procede.


                  > Ex: Love and hate are the same in that they are "changeable"; which
                  > emotion (Lobha/Dosa) I get in each moment depends on what I want or
                  > don't want to get or loose.. When I change my mind about what I
                  want
                  > or don't want, my feeling/emotion (love/hate, like/dislike,
                  > lobha/dosa) change accordingly.. Such inseparable mixture !!


                  This is again not correct. Each reality arises and falls away so
                  rapidly that not even the Buddha can change them, he can only know
                  and eradicate them. Lobha and dosa can arise alternately in you but
                  you cannot change one to the other, though with enough wisdom (panna)
                  you might be able to eradicate them one day.

                  Maybe you will need time to check some of the things above in the
                  Tipitaka, so I will leave it at this, if I find the time I will try
                  to point out more misunderstandings in your writings, I hope this
                  helps you clarify some things,

                  Amara
                • Theresa
                  Hello Amara, First, I would like to thank you to take the time to point out my misunderstandings.. I guess that I can understand what you write better than you
                  Message 8 of 14 , Jun 4, 2000
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                    Hello Amara,

                    First, I would like to thank you to take the time to point out my
                    misunderstandings.. I guess that I can understand what you write
                    better than you can understand what I wrote.. My terminology is
                    something I always have to watch out for but still don't know how
                    to.. :-))

                    << -----
                    T: (5) Pain and hurt are healthy and needed to help me grow
                    spiritually.. Without them, I tend to forget Mindfulness and think
                    too proud of myself.. [[ By the way, we must know the first Noble
                    Truth (suffering) before we can understand the other four Noble
                    Truths.. Suffering is a pre-requisite to Nibbana.. Interesting,
                    isn't it ??.. hehehe.. ]]

                    A: In the Tipitaka, there are two kinds of dukkha: 'dukkha' which is
                    Pali for impermanence, while bodily and mental suffering are 'dukkha
                    dukkha'. The first ariya sacca is therefore not suffering but
                    impermanence. Neither impermanence nor suffering are prerequisites
                    to Nibbana as you claim, but wisdom (panna) is. (We are talking
                    about Buddhism here, so if you refer to your own theories and not the
                    Tipitaka, I would begin to wonder if our religion is the same one and
                    therefore perhaps our discussions should end here).
                    ------- >>

                    About the kinds of Dukkha, what you explained sounds like what my
                    teacher said..

                    You wrote : << Neither impermanence nor suffering are prerequisites
                    to Nibbana as you claim... >>

                    Direct experience into this matter is the only way to prove..
                    Whenever you reach Magga/Phala/Nibbana yourself, you will be the best
                    judge of my claim.. :-)) Please set my words aside, and continue
                    practicing as you have been doing..

                    You wrote : << The first ariya sacca is therefore not suffering but
                    impermanence.>>

                    I don't know a better way to explain what I experience.. I can only
                    say that *WHENEVER* Impermanence is understood continuously, from
                    moment to moment, THEN the knowledge about Dukkha springs from the
                    knowledge of Impermanence.. It seems like two sides of the same
                    coins.. This is how Lakkhana I understand "so far" through direct
                    experience..

                    Another point as I understand, the knowledge or understanding about
                    Lakkhanas continue to change as we walk further on the Noble Path.. I
                    can not explain more than that..

                    It is best that you put aside what I shared with you, continue
                    practicing what you have been doing, and allow yourself to know the
                    truths from your own practice/experience.. :-))

                    You and I are trying to discuss about the TRUTHS.. Being right or
                    wrong on discussions is not important, because TRUTHS shall forever
                    be TRUTHS for us to know and learn from..

                    We meditate because we want to understand the truths.. We post
                    messages because we wish to share what we learn to dhamma friends.. I
                    find that each dhamma friend have taught me Dhamma and something
                    about myself, which I have yet to learn.. :-))

                    Your wrote : << We are talking about Buddhism here, so if you refer
                    to your own theories and not the Tipitaka, I would begin to wonder if
                    our religion is the same one and therefore perhaps our discussions
                    should end here. >>

                    I don't know any "religion".. I only know how to pracitice Vipassana
                    in all four postures.. A dhamma friend teased me : "Shame on you !
                    You are a Theravadan Buddhist.. Because you practice Vipassana, you
                    are a Therevadan.. Don't you know that??.." I learned to observe my
                    tummy (my breath) and be mindful during walking, before my teacher
                    gave me the terms, "Nama, Rupa" and said that they are "Buddhist
                    terms" for the experience I had had and explained in my own layman
                    terms during my progress report.. Couple months after first
                    practicing, my teacher told me that what he taught me and I had
                    practiced was called "Vipassana".. Therefore, I continue to claim
                    that I know nothing about "Buddhism" and that I am still very blind
                    to everything.. :-))

                    << -----
                    In the tipitaka, the devas came to listen to the teachings and many
                    attained high levels of panna, as did many happy and healthy people,
                    therefore bodily and mental sufferings are not necessary in the
                    least: devas are of the happy plane, without any suffering until they
                    leave that life. Yet even for them impermanence rules, dukkha is
                    present in the form of change, although most of the time it is hard
                    to see for all the happiness. You should look up the Pali terms in
                    the Tipitaka sometimes to help your understanding of the teachings.
                    -------- >>

                    I appreciate your repeating the story told in the Tipitaka.. I do
                    need to hear more stories.. :-))

                    You wrote : << devas are of the happy plane, without any suffering
                    until they leave that life. >>

                    Amara, with respect, I understand what you tried to explain, and yet,
                    don't know how to better explain what I understand/experience..
                    Please continue to meditate as you have been doing.. I am confident
                    that what you will experience/understand can not be different from
                    what I have experienced, off and on, depending on the current
                    meditation level(s) in the current moment.. After all, Buddha gaves
                    us the same tool, which the four Foundations of Mindfulness, and so,
                    we ought to see the same Four Noble Truths, so I strongly believe..

                    With respect and honesty, I would like to share another strong belief
                    of mine : << "Dukkha" as the First Noble Truths MUST exist in all
                    planes (happy planes, human planes, lower planes, or whatever planes
                    there are but I don't know), because, being the "ultimate" truths,
                    Dukkha MUST exist in realms, all conditions, all times, without
                    exceptions.. Meaning, Buddha's Dhamma, especially the Four Noble
                    Truths, are unconditional and must remain unchanged forever, even
                    though our understanding of the truths can be gradual and at
                    different levels as we grow spiritually over time.. >>

                    So far, I have seen "Dukkha" right in the happy moment (when I win,
                    when I feel succesful, when I feel being loved, etc.), and also in
                    the sad/angry/dosa moments, too.. I don't have terms and am not
                    qualified to explain the term "Dukkha"..

                    I am not sure if Robert and I referred to same thing when we
                    mentioned the same terms, and I like to blame my poor terminology..
                    However, Robert seems to understand/experience "Dukkha" from moment
                    to moment as I have been.. For me, "Dukkha" changes its meaning, from
                    gross to finer, with practice, experience, and Insight..

                    << -----
                    T:
                    (6) Whenever I feel hurt or happy or numb, I must find out what (!!)
                    bothers me or what my secret expectation(s) are.. Expectations
                    (Lobha) and Bothers (Dosa) are, of course, the Second Noble Truths..
                    hehehe.. Do you see how I appreciate the moment Mindfulness ?? :-))

                    A:
                    Samudaya is the second ariya sacca, and it does not translate as
                    'expectation or bother' but something much deeper: the origin or
                    cause of impermanence, of arisings and fallings away, of births and
                    rebirths. You must try to look deeper than the level of your own
                    emotions here, the Buddha was not teaching just people with petty
                    pains but all beings with panna, even 'happy' ones who still can
                    develop panna to become ariyans.
                    ---------- >>

                    With respect and honest, I can not explain more than what I already
                    did.. When I asked my teacher on similar topics you raised, he did
                    not answer me but simply told me : "Go home.. Continue practice what
                    you have been doing.. You will understand everything yourself.." and
                    he also said : "Paramitta.. Paramitta.. Paramitta.." ( or is
                    it, "Parami" ?? I'm not sure of the term )..

                    As I understand, in order to understand the Ariyas, we must develop
                    Insight to the point that the Four Noble Truths are directly
                    understood and experienced from moment to moment, without any time
                    for reasoning, comparing, or pondering on the meanings..

                    The terms, 'expectation or bother', are my own clumsy layman terms..
                    For this, I am sorry and ask that you could help me learn more..

                    << -----
                    T:
                    Ex: Love and hate are the same in that they are "changeable"; which
                    emotion (Lobha/Dosa) I get in each moment depends on what I want or
                    don't want to get or loose.. When I change my mind about what I want
                    or don't want, my feeling/emotion (love/hate, like/dislike,
                    lobha/dosa) change accordingly.. Such inseparable mixture !!

                    A:
                    This is again not correct. Each reality arises and falls away so
                    rapidly that not even the Buddha can change them, he can only know
                    and eradicate them. Lobha and dosa can arise alternately in you but
                    you cannot change one to the other, though with enough wisdom (panna)
                    you might be able to eradicate them one day.
                    -------- >>

                    I am pretty sure that we use the same terms to discuss two different
                    ideas.. I referred to Lobha/Dosa as two sides of the same coin, and
                    the difference is the "attachment" (what we want or do not want),
                    when "Self" leads.. You referred to Lobha/Dosa occured in ONE instant
                    (one moment) of experience, when there is no room to change Lobha to
                    Dosa or vice versa and when there is "No Self".. What you said is
                    very true, when Mindfulness is present.. What I said is useful
                    whenever Mindfulness is not present, and it is helpful to
                    remind "Self" to get back to Mindfulness.. :-))

                    If I can keep Mindfulness and experience "Selfless" continuously 24
                    hours a day for the rest of my life, I would not need
                    reminders/reasonings..

                    YOu wrote : <<Each reality arises and falls away so rapidly that not
                    even the Buddha can change them, he can only know and eradicate
                    them.>>

                    I am happy if you have been continuously seeing "each reality arises
                    and falls away so rapidly".. This is my goal.. :-)).. You said
                    that "not even the Buddha can change them [Dosa/Lobha]".. Yet, He
                    taught us how to CONVERT a Sankhara/kamma into a Dhamma.. This
                    conversion is done by Mindfulness plus Insight..

                    << -----
                    Maybe you will need time to check some of the things above in the
                    Tipitaka, so I will leave it at this, if I find the time I will try
                    to point out more misunderstandings in your writings, I hope this
                    helps you clarify some things,
                    -------- >>

                    Thank you, Amara.. :-)) You are right about the fact that I need to
                    learn from the Tipitaka..

                    With metta,

                    Theresa.
                  • Robert Kirkpatrick
                    Dear Jonathan ... You commented on Theresa s words where she said ,Theresa: the decay of my body, the ... Jonathan: Useful reflection on death, such as when
                    Message 9 of 14 , Jun 6, 2000
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                      Dear Jonathan
                      ---
                      You commented on Theresa's words where she said
                      ,Theresa: "the decay of my body, the
                      > disappearance of so-
                      > >called "I", and the knowledge.. The more I remember
                      > those Truths, the
                      > >more I can just live, and the more I can accept
                      > loosing anything and
                      > >anyone I have.. Thinking like
                      > that helps me detach
                      > >in the current moment.."
                      >
                      >You said that:
                      Jonathan: "Useful reflection on death, such as when
                      someone we
                      > know dies, can have a
                      > calming effect. But only a temporary effect. It
                      > does not, cannot,
                      > eradicate any of our accumulations of lobha."

                      This is true, only vipassana can gradually elimate
                      lobha and at first it only eliminates the type of
                      lobha that is associated with miccha-ditthi (wrong
                      view).

                      However, any kusala is worth developing provided we
                      understand its limitations - (as you do). The
                      reflections on death that Theresa mentions are very
                      valuable and they can be a support as well for
                      intellectual right understanding; at the same time
                      right understanding supports those kusala thoughts.

                      Also reflecting on death (maranasati)very naturally
                      conditions viriya to arise - one realizes that the
                      very next citta could be cuti-citta, death moment. One
                      sees that the only right thing to do is to develop the
                      Buddha's path.

                      To be truly succesful reflecting on death has to go
                      hand in hand with an acceptance of anatta. Otherwise
                      it will be "me" who is going to die. And if there are
                      times when we are afraid of death this can be like a
                      warning that we are clinging to self - it shows our
                      deep-rooted attachment.
                      However, even if one is not yet ready to understand
                      anatta refecting on death still has great benefits.
                      Once the bodhisatta was a farmer. He had a wife, a
                      son, and a daughter. One day he was out on the farm
                      with his son when the son was bitten by a snake and
                      died. The farmer (our bodhisatta) considered that
                      nothing could be done and so calmly continued working.
                      When he came home alone that evening his wife realized
                      that the son must have died and so calmly went about
                      prepering for his cremation. Later the family were
                      burning the body when Sakka, king of the devas, asked
                      them if they were burning some rubbish. He said that
                      they looked so relaxed that he couldn't believe it was
                      someone they cared for. But all of them said how much
                      they loved the son and what a wonderful son, brother
                      he was. Their calmness came about because of their
                      wise refections on death.

                      Thus we see that reflecting on death in daily life is
                      a cause for calmness. It is indeed a most useful type
                      of samattha meditation. Those who develop it correctly
                      can become courageous in many areas. It can be like
                      our best friend. It can go hand in hand with the
                      development of vipassana.
                      Robert

                      >
                      >

                      __________________________________________________
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                    • Jonothan Abbott
                      Robert wrote- ... Yes, kusala of any degree is extremely valuable and is to be encouraged. But visualising one s own death and bodily decay and living the
                      Message 10 of 14 , Jun 7, 2000
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                        Robert wrote-

                        > However, any kusala is worth developing provided we
                        > understand its limitations - (as you do). The
                        > reflections on death that Theresa mentions are very
                        > valuable and they can be a support as well for
                        > intellectual right understanding; at the same time
                        > right understanding supports those kusala thoughts.


                        Yes, kusala of any degree is extremely valuable and is to be
                        encouraged. But visualising one's own death and bodily decay and
                        "living" the pain of death, as a kind of meditation exercise,
                        is not maranasati in any shape or form.

                        By contrast, the sober reflection that arises naturally when someone
                        we know dies is likely to be so – but is there awareness of it as
                        such?

                        Jonothan
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