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Re: [dsg] My Understanding of Ajahn Sujin's Interpretation of the Dhamma/Nina...

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  • Dieter Möller
    Hi Howard, you wrote: (D: you mentioned before that A.S. s interpretation is downplaying volition.. I would add because its crucial importance is not seen. )
    Message 1 of 16 , Dec 1, 2007
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      Hi Howard,

      you wrote:

      (D: you mentioned before that A.S.'s interpretation is downplaying volition.. I would add because its crucial importance is not seen. )
      -------------------------------------------------------
      Howard: I see it to be less a matter of not seeing the importance of volition [Since volition is kamma, how could it not be seen as crucially important?] than a matter of understanding volition differently from most other people and also of being influenced by the fact that volition in worldlings and even lesser ariyans is contaminated by sense of self. (Of course, all the factors of
      the 12-linked D. O. are contaminated by ignorance. That is how we all begin, immersed in ignorance


      D: I am bit lost .. you mean A.S. is downplaing volition because of her understanding 'volition ' is different from most other people and also of being influenced by the fact that volition in worldlings and even lesser ariyans is contaminated by sense of self?
      ' The fact that volition in worldlings and even lesser ariyans is contaminated by sense of self' IS the problem and D.O. tells us the details . It is ignorance which conditions the will /volition leading to khanda attachment (this I am, this is mine..)
      That is how we begin and stand ...I think we agree .. (?)

      Howard: . If only ignorance-free actions could lead to freedom, then the goal could never be attained

      D: The goal is cessation of suffering. By application of the Noble Path , the full penetration into the 4 Noble Truth, ignorance is abolished , the condition for the mass of suffering.
      So attention to our action is highly important but prority is the replacement of ignorance by wisdom ... is that what you mean ?


      H: (D: When all attention is given to the present moment, this 6 senses contact, the path development , especially the medition part of the training is neglected.
      -------------------------------------------------------
      Howard: That doesn't follow, as I see it. Meditation as taught by the Buddha pertains exactly to what is occurring "right now". More likely, meditation training is neglected, because it is an intentional activity.

      D:you are right , meditation is exactly about 'right now' ..
      what I meant is , that A.S. ' aim is developing of precise understanding of dhammas (the realities of the present moment), but due to a lack of medition it is attention to the day-by-day nama rupa consciousness, not looking behind as in the 8.th step, the Jhanas, thus missing insights when there is an emptying of sense impression....
      The argument about intentional activity is the most controversial one . Even in the Jhanas intention is necessary to follow the direction of the guidelines. It is only valid at the temporary moment of bliss/grace ( see quotation) .. I suppose we agree .. ?
      I
      H: Volition, kamma forces , cetana , sankhara all seen as synonym to will, makes above very 'theravadish' , does it not? Ignorance (avijja) arises/conditions again and again , bcause insight in what is behind is missing ..i.e. the 8th step , the Jhanas .
      ------------------------------------------------------
      Howard:
      Well, mindfulness does lead to jhanas. The following material in MN 118 suggests the 1st four jhanas:
      - - - - - - - - - -
      D: thanks for quoting.. hopefully not only read by us .. ;-)

      with Metta Dieter




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    • upasaka@aol.com
      Hi, Dieter - In a message dated 12/1/2007 12:55:39 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, moellerdieter@gmx.net writes: Hi Howard, you wrote: (D: you mentioned before
      Message 2 of 16 , Dec 1, 2007
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        Hi, Dieter -

        In a message dated 12/1/2007 12:55:39 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
        moellerdieter@... writes:

        Hi Howard,

        you wrote:

        (D: you mentioned before that A.S.'s interpretation is downplaying
        volition.. I would add because its crucial importance is not seen. )
        -------------------------------------------------------
        Howard: I see it to be less a matter of not seeing the importance of
        volition [Since volition is kamma, how could it not be seen as crucially important?]
        than a matter of understanding volition differently from most other people
        and also of being influenced by the fact that volition in worldlings and even
        lesser ariyans is contaminated by sense of self. (Of course, all the factors
        of
        the 12-linked D. O. are contaminated by ignorance. That is how we all begin,
        immersed in ignorance


        D: I am bit lost .. you mean A.S. is downplaing volition because of her
        understanding 'volition ' is different from most other people and also of being
        influenced by the fact that volition in worldlings and even lesser ariyans is
        contaminated by sense of self?
        ------------------------------------------------
        Howard:
        Yes, that's what I think (and what I said ;-)
        ------------------------------------------------


        ' The fact that volition in worldlings and even lesser ariyans is
        contaminated by sense of self' IS the problem and D.O. tells us the details . It is
        ignorance which conditions the will /volition leading to khanda
        attachment (this I am, this is mine..)
        That is how we begin and stand ...I think we agree .. (?)
        ------------------------------------------------
        Howard:
        Certainly. all the factors of D. O. are so contaminated - as I indicated.
        -----------------------------------------------




        Howard: . If only ignorance-free actions could lead to freedom, then the
        goal could never be attained

        D: The goal is cessation of suffering. By application of the Noble Path ,
        the full penetration into the 4 Noble Truth, ignorance is abolished , the
        condition for the mass of suffering.
        So attention to our action is highly important but prority is the
        replacement of ignorance by wisdom ... is that what you mean ?
        --------------------------------------------------
        Howard:
        I think everyone here accepts that. There is differing on the role that
        intention plays in that.
        In any case, what I meant by "If only ignorance-free actions could lead
        to freedom, then the goal could never be attained" is that because we begin
        mired in ignorance, a requirement of volition that it be free of sense of self
        in order for it to bear anything but bitter fruit would make awakening an
        impossibility. As I've said ad nauseum, though not ad nauseum to Phil: We begin
        where we are, not where we wish to be.
        -------------------------------------------------






        H: (D: When all attention is given to the present moment, this 6 senses
        contact, the path development , especially the medition part of the training is
        neglected.
        -------------------------------------------------------
        Howard: That doesn't follow, as I see it. Meditation as taught by the Buddha
        pertains exactly to what is occurring "right now". More likely, meditation
        training is neglected, because it is an intentional activity.

        D:you are right , meditation is exactly about 'right now' ..
        what I meant is , that A.S. ' aim is developing of precise understanding of
        dhammas (the realities of the present moment), but due to a lack of medition
        it is attention to the day-by-day nama rupa consciousness, not looking behind
        as in the 8.th step, the Jhanas, thus missing insights when there is an
        emptying of sense impression....
        ---------------------------------------------------
        Howard:
        Well, my impression is not that the ajahn rejects jhanas but intentional
        attempts to attain & master them, and she believes that they will arise when
        and if "conditions allow", and that the main condition is hearing and
        contemplating the Dhamma.
        --------------------------------------------------


        The argument about intentional activity is the most controversial one .
        Even in the Jhanas intention is necessary to follow the direction of the
        guidelines. It is only valid at the temporary moment of bliss/grace ( see
        quotation) .. I suppose we agree .. ?
        --------------------------------------------------
        Howard:
        Yes. :-)
        ---------------------------------------------------


        I
        H: Volition, kamma forces , cetana , sankhara all seen as synonym to will,
        makes above very 'theravadish' , does it not? Ignorance (avijja)
        arises/conditions again and again , bcause insight in what is behind is missing ..i.e. the
        8th step , the Jhanas .
        ------------------------------------------------------
        Howard:
        Well, mindfulness does lead to jhanas. The following material in MN 118
        suggests the 1st four jhanas:
        - - - - - - - - - -
        D: thanks for quoting.. hopefully not only read by us .. ;-)
        --------------------------------------------------------
        Howard:
        ;-)
        -------------------------------------------------------



        with Metta Dieter

        ===========================
        With metta,
        Howard



        /Thus is how ye shall see all this fleeting world: A star at dawn, a bubble
        in a stream, a flash of lightning in a summer cloud, a flickering lamp, a
        phantom, and a dream/

        (From the Diamond Sutra)




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        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Phil
        Hi Dieter and Howard I enjoy reading your exchanges. Are you still having your offline discussion on abhidhamma? I think Howard (not sure about Dieter) has the
        Message 3 of 16 , Dec 2, 2007
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          Hi Dieter and Howard

          I enjoy reading your exchanges. Are you still having your offline
          discussion on abhidhamma? I think Howard (not sure about Dieter) has
          the same feeling as me, that while the suttanta is foremost, the
          abhidhamma is still of great interest and value, so I'd like to read
          what you guys are saying about it. It's hard to find people who feel
          the suttanta should come first but are still interested in
          abhidhamma...maybe you send it to me off-list if you're not keen on
          doing it here?

          Thanks

          Metta,

          Phil


          > D: thanks for quoting.. hopefully not only read by us .. ;-)
          >
          > with Metta Dieter
          >
        • Nina van Gorkom
          Hi Howard, I have nothing to add since we think along the same lines, at least as to the points brought up here. Not (yet?) with regard to meditation. Nina.
          Message 4 of 16 , Dec 2, 2007
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            Hi Howard,
            I have nothing to add since we think along the same lines, at least
            as to the points brought up here. Not (yet?) with regard to meditation.
            Nina.
            Op 30-nov-2007, om 14:45 heeft upasaka@... het volgende geschreven:

            > True, the idea of self comes in all the time, but understanding can
            > realize this as a conditioned dhamma. Everything is dhamma, she
            > stresses all the time. Effort is a dhamma, will is a dhamma. Let us
            > not forget this.
            > ----------------------------------------------------------
            > Howard:
            > I certainly do not forget it. In fact I emphasize it frequently.



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          • Dieter Möller
            Hi Phil .. Howard , Nina.. you wrote : I enjoy reading your exchanges. D: thanks , Phil .. I have enjoyed reading many of your contributions too Phil: Are you
            Message 5 of 16 , Dec 2, 2007
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              Hi Phil .. Howard , Nina..

              you wrote :

              I enjoy reading your exchanges.

              D: thanks , Phil .. I have enjoyed reading many of your contributions too


              Phil: Are you still having your offline discussion on abhidhamma?

              D: I fully agree with Howard's comment ' It has rather much fizzled out as a private, two-person process. As you know, Dieter has been on DSG for while now, and I think that the two of us being "here" has largely supplanted the other effortit fizzled out ..'


              Phil: I think Howard (not sure about Dieter) has the same feeling as me, that while the suttanta is foremost, the abhidhamma is still of great interest and value,

              D: you are a good observer : I am not yet sure whether the abhidhamma is of great interest and value to me .. there is still the state of critical examination , not to talk about
              my impression that the Sutta Pitaka includes all what I need to know.
              But as ignorance/not knowing is still my companion , I try my best to be open minded

              Phil: so I'd like to read what you guys are saying about it. It's hard to find people who feel the suttanta should come first but are still interested in abhidhamma...maybe you send it to me off-list if you're not keen on doing it here?

              D: let me jump to Nina's comment to Howard:
              'why keep it secret?
              The last I heard from Dieter was: why nibbaana one of the four paramattha dhammas, and then it stranded. Can't you continue?'

              Howard probably refered to off list talk because among other reasons misunderstandings are easier solved than in front of the whole forum ..but no secret at all.
              ' We began with the Abhidhammata Sangaha, going *very* slowly, and then pretty much stopped..' ..it stranded not only 'why nibbaana one of the four paramattha dhammas' ( Nina, you have a very good memory ;-) ) but also about the issue of concept , having Ven. Narada's translation/interpretation as common source.

              I for my part have no objection to continue/restart with these topics on-list , anybody interested to participate at convenience as usual ..but not taking a role of a leading panelist..

              with Metta Dieter






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            • Nina van Gorkom
              Dear Dieter, thanks for your sympathetic post. ... N: With these words you show that you are openminded. Critical examination is good at all times. How well
              Message 6 of 16 , Dec 2, 2007
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                Dear Dieter,
                thanks for your sympathetic post.
                Op 2-dec-2007, om 19:01 heeft Dieter Möller het volgende geschreven:

                > D: you are a good observer : I am not yet sure whether the
                > abhidhamma is of great interest and value to me .. there is still
                > the state of critical examination , not to talk about
                > my impression that the Sutta Pitaka includes all what I need to know.
                > But as ignorance/not knowing is still my companion , I try my best
                > to be open minded
                -------
                N: With these words you show that you are openminded. Critical
                examination is good at all times. How well said: ignorance is our
                companion. I could add: lobha as well.
                ------
                D: anybody interested to participate at convenience as usual
                ------
                N: good idea.
                Nina.

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