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Pre-cursor to mindfulness - Dhamma Wheel

Pre-cursor to mindfulness

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
rowyourboat
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Pre-cursor to mindfulness

Postby rowyourboat » Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:07 pm

It has struck me the Right effort is the pre-cursor to minduflness- ie the 'desire' to remove our defilements and develop wholesome (kusala) mindstates. Right mindfulness follows this step (6th and 7th steps of the Noble eightfold path). I felt that effort at reducing one's defilements necessarily included the roots of mindfulness, as we have to be mindful to do that.

What do you think?
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

meindzai
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Re: Pre-cursor to mindfulness

Postby meindzai » Mon Mar 07, 2011 4:10 pm

I think it's a good observation. The eightfold path factors fit together in so many interesting ways. I believe they can be thought of simultaneously in a lot of ways, but I also see a logical set of "steps" there as well.

You can also view the two factors as complimentary, because knowing which states of mind are wholesome or not takes some kind of mindfulness.

-M

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Dmytro
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Re: Pre-cursor to mindfulness

Postby Dmytro » Mon Mar 07, 2011 5:41 pm



rowyourboat
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Re: Pre-cursor to mindfulness

Postby rowyourboat » Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:30 pm

Hi Dymtro,

Noble eightfold path
Right Effort--> Right Mindfulness

5 spiritual faculties/powers
Effort--> Mindfulness

BUT..

7 factors of enlightenment (saptha- bojjhanga)
Mindfulness-->Investigation/discrimination (dhamma-viccaya)--> Effort (viriya)

THEN AGAIN..

Right View+Right Effort+Right Mindfulness
turns Wrong Effort into Right Effort
turns Wrong/hidden mindfulness into Right mindfulness

..my conclusion is that it does not matter what comes first but they do all work pretty much at the same time in the same mind, in a complex manner, to deliver you unto nibbana.

More to the question, how are we to understand Right effort giving rise to Right Mindfulness, in the Noble Eightfold Path formulation?

with metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

lojong1
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Re: Pre-cursor to mindfulness

Postby lojong1 » Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:57 pm

MN 117, The Great Forty: "One tries to abandon wrong view & to enter into right view: This is one's right effort. One is mindful to abandon wrong view & to enter & remain in right view: This is one's right mindfulness. Thus these three qualities — right view, right effort, & right mindfulness — run & circle around right view..."

N8P right effort = sammavayama;
7FE effort = viriya

Lots of floating eggs in my fridge.

meindzai
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Re: Pre-cursor to mindfulness

Postby meindzai » Mon Mar 07, 2011 8:35 pm

As I mentioned elsewhere, I like Thanissaro Bhikkhu's description in "Wings to Awakening" that when it comes to "lists" whether it be the eightfold path, seven factors of awakening, or whatever, the teachings are "holographic" in the sense that you can get the same whole picture by just looking at a part of it. Sequence isn't really the biggest issue.

I also tend to think that these lists were created for us to teach us, but for the Buddha himself there was no "sequence." Which list was he following when he awakened? Perhaps I'm being a little zen here. It happens now and zen.

-M

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bodom
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Re: Pre-cursor to mindfulness

Postby bodom » Mon Mar 07, 2011 8:46 pm

To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

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Ben
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Re: Pre-cursor to mindfulness

Postby Ben » Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:05 pm

Greetings Matheesha

I tend to see the path factors as mutually supportive and condition each other. A valuable image, for me, is to see them as the planks of a barrel (an eight-sided barrel). If you develop one path factor, you also develop the conditions to strengthen, support and for the growth of the other path factors.
kind regards

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

rowyourboat
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Re: Pre-cursor to mindfulness

Postby rowyourboat » Tue Mar 08, 2011 5:10 pm

I know it is often a pain - all these lists and their interaction- but I feel it does help clarify where we are, how we got there and what we need to get to the next bit/level.

I think finding motivation to be mindful is quite difficult, especially in lay life (unlike in retreats). I therefore think that Right Effort has something to offer us that we are missing- a key to Right mindfulness, dare I say? :)
Therefore I think there is something very interesting in right effort:

"And what, monks, is right effort?

[i] "There is the case where a monk generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the non-arising of evil, unskillful qualities that have not yet arisen.

[ii] "He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the abandonment of evil, unskillful qualities that have arisen.

[iii] "He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the arising of skillful qualities that have not yet arisen.

[iv] "He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the maintenance, non-confusion, increase, plenitude, development, & culmination of skillful qualities that have arisen: This, monks, is called right effort."

— SN 45.8

with metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

starter
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Re: Pre-cursor to mindfulness

Postby starter » Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:29 pm


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Dmytro
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Re: Pre-cursor to mindfulness

Postby Dmytro » Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:14 am



starter
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Re: Pre-cursor to mindfulness

Postby starter » Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:22 am

Hi Dmytro,

Many thanks for the helpful quotes. It doesn't hurt to interpret viriya into both spiritual and physical energy, but indeed the interpretation of persistence is more helpful for our practice. Nevertheless, the generation of strong physical energy preceding piti and sukha could probably be considered as a kind of mark of right meditation. I know some forest monks who have meditated hard for over 20 years but still haven't gotten the energy yet, let alone sukha or jhana. I don't know how they did their practice, but probably the way of meditating plays some role ...

Metta to all,

Starter

rowyourboat
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Re: Pre-cursor to mindfulness

Postby rowyourboat » Thu Mar 17, 2011 1:01 pm

I wonder if 'viriya' is best translated as 'motivation'. Otherwise it gets confused with some kind of energy. 'Effort' is also a good one.

Viriya comes before Sati, suggesting their connection- about the effort being put in to be mindful. I am suggesting an intermediate step: effort at removing defilements AND develop wholesome qualities leads to/requires mindfulness. This is seen in the 'anupubbiya sikkha' gradual training, where the Bikkhu prepares his mind for mindfulness practice by 'cleansing his mind of impurities'. If the impurities are too strong (at the Hindrance level) then it would be difficult to establish an effective degree of mindfulness.

With metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha


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