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Re: [DhammaStudyGroup] Re: 'Vajrayana'

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  • Jonothan Abbott
    ... all) - ... Howard Thanks for these useful comments. Something can sound appealing when expressed in poetic or metaphorical terms, but sometimes one needs
    Message 1 of 111 , Apr 30, 2001
      --- upasaka@... wrote: > Hi, Jon (and Erik, and
      all) -
      > ==================================
      > It seems to me that in the material of Erik's
      > which I quote below, the
      > intention is metaphorical, so that it is not that
      > the black deeds themselves
      > are literally transformed into wisdom and
      > liberation, but that a powerful mix
      > of right mindfulness, concentration, and effort
      > serves to uproot defilements
      > which are the kammic traces of akusala intentions
      > and actions (the black
      > deeds), leading to diamond-like wisdom and
      > liberation. Incidentally, when
      > Goenka describes the progress of vipassana
      > meditation, he describes it as a
      > process of uprooting layers and layers of reactive
      > dispositions/inclinations
      > (sankhara), of kammic traces, leading to the
      > uprooting of the very deepest
      > ones, followed by the attainment of insight and
      > liberation - not so very
      > different, I think, except for the use of
      > metaphorical, poetic language vs
      > more straightforward language, so that the
      > "consuming" of akusala kamma by a
      > purificatory alchemical fire becomes, in more
      > pedestrian speech, the
      > uprooting of kammic traces and the destruction of
      > defilements in the oven of
      > mindfulness (and other insight factors). What Erik
      > wrote was:
      >
      > > ... tossed into a purificatory alchemical fire
      > where
      > > akusala kamma is
      > > consumed, and black deeds are transformed by panna
      > > into the purest
      > > and most indestructible substance known to man.
      >
      > With metta,
      > Howard

      Howard

      Thanks for these useful comments. Something can sound
      appealing when expressed in poetic or metaphorical
      terms, but sometimes one needs to consider it in
      suttanta or abhidhamma terms in order to properly
      evaluate it.

      Certainly, panna of the satipatthana kind when
      developed will lead to the uprooting of defilements.
      But the panna arising with samatha can never do more
      than temproarily subdue kilesa. There is much
      textual/commentarial support for the latter
      proposition, i believe. So it is necessary to
      understand exactly what is supposed to be going on in
      Erik's model. [Hasty disclaimer here: I have nothing
      against samatha!! Or any other kind of kusala!]

      Jon



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    • Sarah
      Hi Erik, Hope you’re still there...;-) It’s always good to ‘hear’ you. ... Nina is discussing anapansati in detail with Rob Ep and Larry and Rob K also
      Message 111 of 111 , Aug 9, 2002
        Hi Erik,

        Hope you’re still there...;-) It’s always good to ‘hear’ you.

        --- rikpa21 <rikpa21@...> wrote: >

        Nina is discussing anapansati in detail with Rob Ep and Larry and Rob K
        also got back to part of your well-written post. You ended with this
        paragraph:

        > Perhaps one helpful question to answer for oneself is, "how long can
        > it is possible to maintain unbroken mindfulness, even while
        > sitting?" If the answer is "for a few seconds" or even "for a few
        > minutes," then I submit there is a lot of bhavana needed before
        > mindfulness and concentration are well-enough established to arise
        > amidst daily activities, consistently, to the point they yield the
        > fruits of the Holy Path. I realize this is one opinion only, but it
        > is entirely consistent with what I've been taught and most
        > importantly, in experience (not pretending to have mindfulness in
        > all daily life situations though! Much bhavana needed for that
        > yet! :).
        .....
        A few brief comments only:

        1. When you came to Thailand, I remember you intended to study the
        Abhidhamma carefully. How does this idea of maintaining ‘unbroken
        mindfulness’ fit in with these studies?
        Please also look at comments on this in the following post:
        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dhammastudygroup/message/10681

        2. In the suttas we read about the value of a ‘finger-snap’ of awareness
        and wholesome states. Isn’t it better to accept conditioned dhammas
        --whether kusala, akusala, vipaka or kiriya -- with equanimity rather than
        striving or trying to maintain ‘unbroken mindfulness’ with an idea of self
        and attachment for it?

        3. When there is any concern or wishing for ‘fruits of the Holy Path’ it
        seems there isn’t any minfulness now. Life is very short -- just this
        moment. As you suggest, there is little mindfulness. There is also little
        understanding of mindfulness or the objects of mindfulness most the time.
        As we know, right understanding of namas and rupas is essential and it can
        only ever arise at the present moment. In what way are these realities any
        more real and any more likely to be objects of mindfulness at other
        specific times. It’s true there is a lot of ignorance, forgetfulness and
        other kilesa now. It takes courage (and good cheer) to face up to and
        accept what is conditioned already and to understand these dhammas as
        anatta.

        4. What is the role of concentration? Is there an idea that self has to
        concentrate on an object such as breath? In what way is this wholesome and
        different from concentrating on any other object? Is there concentration
        now? Is there the idea that there should be more concentration? What is
        the present mind-state when we think like this?
        *****
        Erik, meanwhile we look forward to seeing you very soon and hope that at
        an appropriate time you will give DSG an update on how you’re getting on
        and any happy news to share as you have many friends here;-)

        Sarah
        =====


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