Re: [dsg] Botanical Gardens - Conventional Sila and Solitude
- Hi Herman,
--- Herman Hofman <hhofmeister@...> wrote:
> Jon gently probed re my frequent writing about solitude.....
> (It has been some time, the recollection will no longer be accurate.
> Please edit as you see fit, Jon & Sarah).
> I remarked that the requirements of conventional sila are nothing but
> mental agitation, whether known or not. The constant attention to how
> others react to you and how you believe you should react to others
> prevents any awareness of reality. In physical solitude, such
> requirements vanish.
S: This is a good summary of your comments.
I think our point in response in summary was that while it's true that
there may be all sorts of agitations or other defilements arising whilst
we are interacting with others, such dhammas are just as real as dhammas
arising at any other time. To state the obvious, sometimes there are
conditions to be interacting and sometimes not. However, either way, there
is only the present moment and the various present dhammas that can ever
For example, we may decide not to read the mail here, but read it anyway.
Or we may decide we won't get distressed, but read a few words and feel
distressed anyway. This is all normal daily life and any idea that there
would be more awareness of reality if we were not reading mail,
interacting or getting distressed is wishful thinking. It is wishful
thinking about another situation, about other dhammas we'd prefer to be
arising and about a fantasy we have or more awareness at such a time.
Whilst thinking like this, as Sukin was stressing, there can be awareness
of such thinking. Having an idea that less thinking or less intereaction
or less frustration will help awareness is not the Middle Path at all as I
> I'm hoping I said the following. The mind is a social product. Do the...
> obvious. Look, over there is a tree, an empty opera house (the next
> performance isn't until tonight :-)
S: ;-) And you know what? The show of the mind will continue relentlessly,
ever changing, nonetheless. There is no escaping it. 'Consciousness also
is like an illusion in the sense of being insubstantial.....And an
illusion deceives the many and makes them grasp anything at all as gold,
silver or pearl; consciousness too deceives the many and makes them take
it as though there were coming and going and standing and sitting with the
same consciousness. but there is one consciousness at the time of coming
and anther at the time of going and so on...."
> J & S made sure I understood they rather like their unprompted, out of...
> the blue, bolts of sati.
S: This doesn't ring any bells or bolts:-/ Perhaps the point was that
whilst we follow all our usual daily activities (including choices and
decisions and various paths which Howard was referring to), sati can arise
anytime if there is the understanding of just what present namas and rupas
really are. This is the point that KenH has been making clearly in his
various posts as I see it.
In other words, sit quietly under the tree or in the opera house or in
your kuti as you like, but you'll find the dhammas arising are just as
conditioned and ultimately worthless as those when socialising. And in the
end, it's not Herman who decides which course of action to follow, but
many different conditions and factors which affect the various dhammas at
> It is dawning on me, yet again, that my posts are causing all sorts of...
> problems for others.
S: It's nice that you are concerned, but we'll all handle the occasional
'problem' in our own ways.
I'd like to personally thank you for all the truly excellent posts and
discussions you've initiated in and participated in during the last couple
of months. You were really a great help and support to us while we were
away for over a month too.
> I think I'll concentrate on being autistic for a while, like Sangamaji
> (Udana 1.8). Unlike him, I won't be autistic in public.
S: Sangamaji was an arahant, with all jhanas and abhinnas. If this is
autistic, it sounds pretty good. Before he ordained, he became a sotapanna
by listening to the Buddha talking about the Dhamma, but comprehending the
I think Vicki will always give you good advice and support.
> There is ego, but not a self who has it....
> (Hofman H. 2005)
S: ;-) I like it.
If you ever need a break from being autistic in private, there's always
the Botanical Gardens! We won't be getting to Australia again for a while,
but there are Botanical Gardens in Hong Kong or the concrete Foundation in
Bangkok where some of us will be meeting in the New Year....
Perhaps Vicki would like a trip to Asia too....
I hope you continue your good thread with AndrewT after as much of a break
as either of you need for reinforcements and all those commentary
p.s And Herman doesn't sound Dutch ....pure Aussie with just an occasional
give-away Dutch exclamation. Yah!
(When Jon visits my family in England, he sounds Australian to