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RE: Please don't....

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  • Dan D.
    Hi Sukin, When you say: Good to be discussing with you. I say, Right back at you! ... like to ... for now ... burdening ... O, Sukin! You needn t worry
    Message 1 of 60 , May 22, 2006
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      Hi Sukin,
      When you say: "Good to be discussing with you." I say, "Right back at
      you!"

      > However I see that I am having to speculate a lot here. So I would
      like to
      > leave it to your own judgement, whether or not we should drop this,
      for now
      > at least. Besides I feel uncomfortable at the thought that I am
      burdening
      > you and others with my long posts, to read them, more so to respond.

      O, Sukin! You needn't worry about me or others here. We are entirely
      free to read and/or respond as we wish.

      > Comments interspersed...

      > Suk:> Not know destination, but *must* have heard about the path.
      > This time let us consider the Buddha himself.
      > You are saying that the Mundane Path arose in him prior to
      enlightenment.
      ...
      > No satipatthana was involved...
      > Furthermore, he went straight and got involved in "wrong practices"
      for 6
      > years. I doubt he would have been driven to go through all that had
      > satipatthana arisen in between.

      Wouldn't anyone who has not shattered the fetter of silabbataparamasa
      be susceptible to "wrong practices"? Aren't "wrong practices" bound
      to be a part of our repertoire until sotapattimagga? Satipatthana
      must develop for a long, long time before there is immunity to "wrong
      practices," and dedication to "wrong practices" should not be used to
      conclude "No satipatthana for this person!"
      ...
      >Sukin: Dan, I understand you to be saying that those outside of the
      sasana who saw
      > through the 'self' to the extent that they have, that this was
      because of
      > the experience of satipatthana. However, they did not insight or
      understand
      > the 'satipatthana' itself to know the causes and conditions for its
      arising.

      The depth of the understanding was not sufficient to know in detail
      the causes and conditions. The depth of understanding was only deep
      enough to realize that the understanding was not caused or
      conditioned by the Self. In fact, just the opposite. Only when the
      Self (or the dedication to "Self" or the idea of Self) retreats can
      the understanding arise.
      .....
      > Dan: I don't think it makes any sense to say satipatthana is a much
      higher
      > level of panya than conceptual understanding (based on hearing,
      > reading, or cogitating). Satipatthana and conceptual knowing are
      > completely different modes of knowing. ...

      > Sukin:> I don't think so. Obviously there is a difference between
      one who
      > understands and accepts the Dhamma in principle and one who
      doesn't,
      .....
      Yes, in the world of concepts there is a difference. One calls
      himself "Buddhist". The other does not. But the label that one gives
      himself tells nothing about his level of understanding.

      > Sukin:...between who understands correctly and one who does so
      wrongly. Or do you
      > think that it is a matter of the way it is 'thought about', perhaps
      the
      > ability to think logically about the subject?

      I do think that what you are saying is that the differences in the
      way people conceptualize their understanding ("one who...accepts the
      Dhamma in principle and one who doesn't") are very important. I am
      discounting stories and concept more than you'd like while
      emphasizing understanding. I'm saying that the stories are only
      stories; the realities that are understood are an entirely different
      matter.

      > At this very moment there are dhammas arising and falling away and
      obviously
      > there is no satipatthana arisen. However there can be an
      acknowledgement of
      > the fact of present moment dhammas, including that there *is no
      sati*.
      > Besides with this, there can also be some acknowledgement of the
      fact of
      > conditionality and anatta. And surely, this would be only
      intellectual, but
      > is it wrong? I don't think so. Is it a 'level' of understanding? I
      think it
      > is.

      If there is no understanding of "anatta" or "conditionality"
      or "sati" or "satipatthana" really are, then I'd say that the
      intellectualizing is mere speculation and is not "understanding".
      .....
      > Dan:
      > And according to such a model, it would appear that genuine insight
      > springs from the thoroughly conventional practice of conceptual
      > speculation about doctrine.
      >
      > S:> I would say that "thinking about and speculation" is inevitable
      for most
      > of us, and this may not even always be bad. But yes, speculation is
      most
      > definitely *not* the precursor to insight. But neither is 'thinking
      about' a
      > hindrance. :-)

      Right. Whether our "thinking about" is "bad" or not has nothing to do
      with how often we do it or how much ability we have to
      abstain. "Thinking about" may either be bad or good depending on
      whether there is lobha or dosa or moha at a particular moment. Ditto
      for "speculation", although "speculation" is more likely to be a
      detriment because there are such strong tendencies for lobha ("I want
      to figure this out, to really grasp it") and moha ("This is the way
      it is. My description is reality. Your description is wrong view.").

      > Pariyatti (also suttamaya panna and cintamaya panna) is reference
      to a level
      > of understanding got from hearing, and so by necessity
      has "concepts" as
      > object. It appears that according to you, there is no panna of this
      level at
      > all. Are you saying that panna (of vipassana) starts with
      satipatthana? Is
      > there no basic level than this?

      I still don't know what pariyatti, sutamayapanya, and cintamayapanya
      are. But, the definitions of "panya" shift, depending on context.
      When I talk about "understanding" it is usually as panya cetasika as
      samma-ditthi of the path (mundane unless otherwise noted). And that
      is satipatthana.

      [I think a useful thread for me would be one on the notions of
      pariyatti, sutamayapanya, and cintamayapanya. Perhaps in a few months
      when I may pop in for another thread or two...]

      > Dan:
      > But just as the notion that genuine insight arises from the
      thoroughly
      > conventional practice of formal meditation is a fetter to be broken
      > (silabbataparamasa), the notion that insight arises from the
      thoroughly
      > conventional practice of conceptual speculation about doctrine is
      also a
      > fetter to be broken (ditthi).
      >
      > S:> I don't think it is about acquiring more knowledge in terms of
      lists of
      > concepts and any ability to think logically about them. But the
      opportunity
      > for the level of panna to arise and accumulate from "considering"
      the Dhamma
      > from whatever angle it has been presented, without expectations. In
      other
      > words panna will never say "no" to hearing and reading dhamma
      whenever the
      > opportunity arises. But I understand that most of the objection
      comes from
      > translating the above as the 'need to acquire more extensive
      knowledge of
      > ideas'. This latter would be a case of holding the snake by the
      wrong end,
      > imo.

      I think we are in agreement here. The difference might be that I
      think that "pure" concepts that are far beyond our understanding are
      not particularly useful--nor particularly "pure" for that matter.

      > Dan:
      > How would you describe the difference between ditthi and samma-
      ditthi?
      >
      > S:> One is wrong understanding of the way things are, the other is
      right.

      It's tough to argue with that!

      But "right" in what sense? And "wrong" in what sense? Wrong concept
      or wrong view? [The two are different...]
      ...

      > > What would have stopped any "right" concepts from issuing
      forth...?

      Concepts are non-existent and do not arise. Dhammically speaking,
      there are no "right" concepts because the concepts are not the
      understanding. Only the understanding is the understanding; any
      description of reality or understanding has flaws. Confusing the
      concept with the understanding is called "ditthi", a fetter to be
      broken.
      ...
      > Dan:
      > I agree that this conceptualization of the understanding must be
      > relinquished if enlightenment is to be achieved, but the diminution
      > in the attachment to "Self" (ditthi) is real and beneficial--beyond
      > what any purely conceptual understanding of anatta might bring,
      > whether outside the dispensation or not. The measure of
      understanding
      > is the degree of detachment from Self, not skill in intellectual
      > games.
      >
      > S:> Your line of reasoning could lead to the belief that the Buddha
      taught
      > about all being only khandha, dhatu, nama/rupa, is just one of
      several ways
      > of getting the point across, and that he might just as well have
      taught an
      > imaginary "cause", God at the beginning.

      No. Not at all. What distinguishes Buddha's teaching is that it
      reflects an enlightened understanding. But Buddha's teaching model
      did include lots about devas and titans and Brahma and divine
      messengers. He did so because such concepts are helpful to some
      people. Surely there are no devas (or Selves of any kind,
      including "You" and "Me"). These are teaching models that point to
      certain aspects of reality. Perfect, flawless, correct concepts? No,
      of course not. But none are. Not devas, bhikkhus, and precepts; not
      dhammas, dhatus, and ayatanas; not God, sinners, and commandments;
      not Jesus, Sin, and Gospel.
      .....
      > Whatever the case may be, it seems unlikely to me, that such a view
      about
      > the 'world' could at anytime condition the perception of a
      paramattha
      > dhamma. Impersonality, yes, but not anatta.
      >
      > Having some idea about 'conditions' in relation to one's experience
      is
      > possible. But if it is still in terms of 'self', it wouldn't be the
      > understanding of paccaya as the Buddha taught. Any appeal to
      conditions
      > would still be in terms of 'self view'.
      .....
      Any "appeal" is concept and not view. Is there clinging to the
      concept? Dosa? Confusing the concept for reality?
      .....
      > The above said, I must say that it has long been part of my belief,
      that
      > there are folks outside of the sasana, who have better
      accumulations than I
      > have, and here I don't mean other forms of kusala which is obvious,
      but also
      > 'right understanding'. Some of them have either simply not got the
      chance to
      > hear the Teachings presented in the correct way, or else because of
      > 'attachment to kusala' they have subsequently grown strongly
      attached to
      > their own religion.
      >
      > The panna of these people may also manifest as conventional wisdom
      to an
      > extent more apparent than any that comes from me. And as the Buddha
      did with
      > the Devine Messengers, these folks would learn much from their own
      > experiences than I would have without Dhamma.
      >
      > And this is why I sometimes think that it might be more fruitful to
      discuss
      > Dhamma with these people, than would it with many so called
      Buddhists. Some
      > of the latter have made up their minds about the particular
      interpretation,
      > while those other folks may be more receptive to any correct one. ;-
      )
      >
      > But no Dan, no satipatthana possible for them, I think.

      We differ only in our understanding of satipatthana. You prefer to
      link it more strongly to concept and conceptual understanding and
      arising from a base of speculative intellectualing first. I think of
      it as much more loosely linked to concept. Belief in any particular
      concept doesn't help satipatthana arise, but some conceptual models
      (those that have approximately the same depth as the person's level
      of understanding) help the understanding go just a bit deeper when
      satipatthana arises the next time. Conceptual models that are outside
      the appropriate depth for a particular person at a particular time
      tend to not be helpful. But, that being said, these are only rough
      patterns. No rules, no expectations to the arising.

      Sukin, I really do appreciate your comments and the opportunity to
      discuss and consider these difficult issues in a civil and rational
      forum.

      With appreciation,

      Dan
    • sarah abbott
      Hi Ken O, ... .... S: We often select the same texts:-). I referred to this same one in my recent correspondence with Dan, but if you check back, you ll
      Message 60 of 60 , Jun 13, 2006
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        Hi Ken O,

        --- Ken O <ashkenn2k@...> wrote:

        > Hi All
        >
        > Recently I read in the mail that why should only Buddha's teaching
        > can help liberate beings and not others.
        >
        > from Numerical Discourses of the Buddhha - Anguttara Nikaya, Chapter
        > of the Tens, pg 263, Not Outside the Buddha Discipline
        >
        > <<Ten things monk do not have purity and clairty outside the
        > Discipline of the Sublime Master. What are the ten?
        <....>
        ....
        S: We often select the same texts:-). I referred to this same one in my
        recent correspondence with Dan, but if you check back, you'll see his
        spirited defence of why he considers it only applies to enlightenment.
        (Several posts back and forth).

        When he returns, you're most welcome to take it up again with him...

        Metta,

        Sarah
        =======
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