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Wisdom for uprooting greed and hatred - Page 2 - Dhamma Wheel

Wisdom for uprooting greed and hatred

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
starter
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Re: Wisdom for uprooting greed and hatred

Postby starter » Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:35 am

Hello Bhante,

Many thanks for sharing your invaluable experience with us and giving us the very helpful advice. I'll read the books you recommended when I get a bit more time -- this month I'm overloaded with work ...

Just would like to also share with you my gut feeling concerning:

"... contemplation of the body leads you to sotapanna, sakadagami and anagami."
-- As I asked in the post "Realizing anatta in body/forms alone led to stream entry?", I wonder if contemplating body alone (without contemplating the other 4 mental aggregates) can lead one to sotapanna ... Will people with stronger attachments to mind (than to body) also be able to break self-identity view by only contemplating asubha?

"He further said, as a forest monk, there is no need to develop metta. Metta is an intrinsic attribute of the citta, that does not need to be developed, because it is there, we just fail to see it."
-- Does he mean we don't need to "develop" metta but only need to "use" it? Another monk once told me I don't need to practice metta but I realized the importance and usefulness of metta for overcoming selfishness and aversion (which every human being has), after reading the Buddha's teachings.

And one more realization (learned from Ajaan Chah and his disciples) to share with you and other friends, which is about the wisdom for uprooting greed and conceit for fruit status:

When we think “I am a sotāpanna”, we should ask "ourselves":

"who is this 'I' and who is this 'sotāpanna'?"

-- Whatever sotāpanna, sakadāgāmi, anàgàmi ..., they are all just anicca, dukkha and anatta – there isn’t a “self” there at all.

Metta,

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A_Martin
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Re: Wisdom for uprooting greed and hatred

Postby A_Martin » Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:58 pm

Hello Starter
You ask so many question at once. Now a short simile for asubha practice, why it works. When we look at greed and hate, it is rooted in the body and of course the 6 senses that come with the body. Now all our life we were running after pleasant sensations, and avoiding unpleasant. Visualize a scale where one side is pleasant, another unpleasant. You must agree it is way out of balance. Now asubha practice, also mentioned in the text, but hardly practiced in the west, for it can be really unpleasant and upsetting. Now in short, doing a lot of asubha practice, e.g. dealing with unpleasant feelings brings more later than sooner our scale of greed and hate in balance. Once they are equally balanced, one walks through the middle and that is the end of greed and hate.
Now notice, when you contemplate the body feeling are coming up, that means, you have to investigate bodily feelings as well. But the rest of the mind khandhas you actually do not have to investigate to reach anagami.
Now remember delusion is hidden in the mind khandhas. Two of them are specifically troublesome, sanna and sankhara. They work extremely fast together! Just for short, it took Than Acharn Maha Bua 8 months for investigation of the body (after 5 years of extreme samadhi), but then it took him 2 and a half years to crack down delusion and another 3 months to tackle avijja.
People in the west love to investigate the mind khandhas, because it is not so upsetting, but what do you think: If you have to big heaps greed and hate, that cover up delusion(delusion pulls the strings for greed and hate to come into action) would you think that you can investigate and rid yourself of delusion first? My answer is no way!
Anicca , anatta, and dukkha are three attributes we must use for any kind of investigation, for each one has a favorite one, that doesn't mean one should not use the others as well. You will destroy avijja by one of these characteristics. Than Acharn Maha Bua used anicca.
If you understand what I said, you will know by now, that using anatta for body contemplation will not be enough. You have to see the loathsomeness of the body to get disenchanted from the body. Just like opening your favorite soft and warm pillow you rest your head on, once you open it and see that it is full of shit, there is no way, even if you seal it that you would ever put your head again on this pillow.
About anatta in the next post
Hope it is helpful to you
Metta Martin

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Re: Wisdom for uprooting greed and hatred

Postby A_Martin » Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:21 pm


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Re: Wisdom for uprooting greed and hatred

Postby A_Martin » Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:28 pm


starter
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Re: Wisdom for uprooting greed and hatred

Postby starter » Sat Feb 19, 2011 4:57 pm

Hello Bhante,

Your very prompt and helpful comments/advice have been most appreciated. Here are some more questions:

1. "Phu ruu, the one who knows, is the one who knows of the five khandhas, but it is not the khandhas".

-- I agree completely. I take it as the "luminous pure mind" or "heart" or "the deathless". It's like a luminous moon covered by the dark clouds (the assavas/defilements/hindrances). When "the dark clouds" are temporarily dispelled, we see its true face -- true knowledge (insight), and experience its true nature -- serenity and tranquility. When "the dark clouds" are permanently dispelled, we are liberated and enter nibbana -- peace.

2. "And it is the one who sees avijja, sees anicca anatta or dukkha in it to dispel once and forever avijja, then the phu ru is gone as well, for it is nothing else than avijja."

-- Hm ... I'd think the phu ru is not gone -- would the arahants still have this "phu ru"? I also don't consider it as avijja, but as the luminous mind "as it actually is present" (taught by the Buddha):

"Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is defiled by incoming defilements. The uninstructed run-of-the-mill person doesn't discern that as it actually is present, which is why I tell you that — for the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person — there is no development of the mind."

"Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is freed from incoming defilements. The well-instructed disciple of the noble ones discerns that as it actually is present, which is why I tell you that — for the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones — there is development of the mind." [AN 1]

3. "Anatta: this is not me, this does not belong to me this is not myself, as declared by the Lord Buddha. Now what does it mean. ... Self in form of the one who knows, and the will, are two things that help us on the way to arahantship. Its part of the raft, and without it you won't make it."

-- I don't take "self in form of the one who knows" as anatta, but only five aggregates as anatta. Did the Buddha teach us only the five aggregates are anatta, not the luminous mind? We need the "Self in form of the one who knows" (the luminous mind), not the "self in five aggregates", to help us on the way to liberation.

4. "Phu ru knows that it has entered the stream, or is an anagami, and once avijja is destroyed, how can you not know it?"
-- But we don't take it as: "'I' am an anagami". we know that's NOT "I", but only five aggregates, only conventional terminologies. If we take it as "I" ("self"), then the self identity view has not yet been broken.

Metta,

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Re: Wisdom for uprooting greed and hatred

Postby A_Martin » Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:22 pm


starter
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Re: Wisdom for uprooting greed and hatred

Postby starter » Mon Feb 21, 2011 4:17 pm

Hello Bhante,

Many thanks for your very helpful advice. I've been trying to restrain reading and thinking, and will surely put more effort into practice and internalize the Dhamma. I sent you a private message and hope you don't mind. Metta,

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Re: Wisdom for uprooting greed and hatred

Postby Nibbida » Mon Feb 21, 2011 4:36 pm

Thanks for posting that Starter. I downloaded Nyanaponika Thera's entire book on the topic and I'm looking it over.

I learned from a Goldstein/Salzberg book to do a mindfulness meditation on the hindrances themselves (which is originally from the fourth foundation of mindfulness). I find this practice helpful at times for translating theory into practice. Basically you sit there in meditation and whenever you detect a hindrance, you name it. It helps to catch the hindrance in action. But readings such as N.T.'s certainly help us understand and identify those tricky buggers.

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Re: Wisdom for uprooting greed and hatred

Postby starter » Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:55 pm

Hello Teachers/Friends,

I've been amazed by the sublime wisdom of the Buddha for uprooting greed and aversion:

"Now from the remainderless fading & cessation of that very ignorance comes the cessation of fabrications. From the cessation of fabrications comes the cessation of consciousness. From the cessation of consciousness comes the cessation of name-&-form. From the cessation of name-&-form comes the cessation of the six sense media. From the cessation of the six sense media comes the cessation of contact. From the cessation of contact comes the cessation of feeling. From the cessation of feeling comes the cessation of craving. From the cessation of craving comes the cessation of clinging/sustenance. From the cessation of clinging/sustenance comes the cessation of becoming. From the cessation of becoming comes the cessation of birth. From the cessation of birth, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair all cease. Such is the cessation of this entire mass of stress & suffering." -- SN 12.15

With "the remainderless fading & cessation of that very ignorance" -- the ignorance of the pure mind (like "the clean cloth") as it originally is (with none of the above-mentioned DO elements) and the delusion of the conditioned phenomena (in the DO chain) caused by incoming defilements as "ATTA". When this ignorance ceases, all the rest of the DO chain ceases. Then not only the five aggregates are empty, but all conditioned dhammas in the entire DO chain are empty because they are all ANATTA; the defiled mind is like "the soiled dirty cloth". [This is only my personal understanding which could be wrong].

I know the Buddha taught different approach to nibbana to different people, but I don't know if the Buddha did teach the contemplation of the pure/defiled mind and the Contemplation of anatta of all DO elements. I'd appreciate the relevant suttas from the Buddha, if any.

At this stage of my practice, I'm considering to try the following contemplations:
1) Contemplate the DO chain and anatta of all DO elements
2) Contemplate the pure/defiled mind:
Pure is the mind. And it is defiled by incoming defilements. When one doesn't discern that as it actually is present, there is no development of the
mind.
Pure is the mind. And it is freed from incoming defilements. When one discerns that as it actually is present, there is development of the mind.
3) Contemplate abandoning of defilements [it's better to treat conceit, desire/greed, aversion/ill will, ... all unwholesome states as defilements
instead of "my" thoughts, vollitions and inclinations],
4) Contemplate disenchantment/dispassion [fading away of defilements]
5) Contemplate detachment/cessation [of defilements]
6) Contemplate letting-go [of defilements]
7) Contemplate nibbana.

Your helpful advice and comments would be most appreciated. My thanks and metta to all,

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Re: Wisdom for uprooting greed and hatred

Postby daverupa » Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:58 pm

Anapanasati doesn't suit you?
:heart:

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Re: Wisdom for uprooting greed and hatred

Postby starter » Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:50 am

Hello daverupa,

Many thanks for your kind concern and advice. You are right about my intention of trying the new contemplations instead of anapanasati. To my current understanding, anapanasati is not for beginners who haven't obtained or stabilized the 1st jhana yet, and it's based upon the approach of anicca/dukkha/anatta contemplation of the five aggregates (anatta derived from anicca and dukkha) which leads to disenchantment -- dispassion -- letting go. The above-mentioned contemplations are mainly based upon the contemplations of DO and pure mind, which also lead to anatta (a broader sense of anatta including not only the five aggregates) and subsequently disenchantment -- dispassion -- letting go, but such contemplations can be done during daily life (all possible time), instead of during only sitting after entering jhana (anapanasati). Actually I'm contemplating not only pure mind and anatta of DO but also anicca/dukkha/anatta of the five aggregates. I'd like to try this approach to abandon the defilements (at least to some degree) first, which could help with both tranquility and insight. But I appreciate and welcome your and other friends' comments and advice.

Metta to all,

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Re: Wisdom for uprooting greed and hatred

Postby daverupa » Thu Mar 17, 2011 1:33 am


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Re: Wisdom for uprooting greed and hatred

Postby Kenshou » Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:10 am


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Re: Wisdom for uprooting greed and hatred

Postby daverupa » Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:25 am

Those are good links, but examine that last one:

SN 45.8 and AN 9.36 mention only jhana, and in fact SN 45.8 expressly defines sammasamadhi as the four jhanas. AN 9.36 says the ending of mental fermentations requires jhana.

AN 4.41 mentions jhana as one of four developments of concentration, for pleasant abiding here and now. The other developments of concentration would be interesting to investigate, but SN 45.8 isn't thereby superceded, nor is AN 9.36.

MN 117 simply mentions that the previous seven steps of the Noble Eightfold Path are requisites and conditions of sammasamadhi, the eighth step. This goes to my main point, that sammasati must be practiced before sammasamadhi - therefore, explaining sammasati as requiring sammasamadhi is incorrect.

Therefore, I don't see an exaggeration at all.

As an aside, the Dipa Sutta, which you linked first, exemplifies my point: someone desiring to attain jhana should practice anapanasati, which is to say all 16 steps. It doesn't say someone wishing to attain jhana should practice the first tetrad, and then after jhana practice the remaining tetrads. All four tetrads are practiced before jhana. The Sutta says so.

:focus:

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Re: Wisdom for uprooting greed and hatred

Postby Kenshou » Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:55 am

I'm not trying to say that anything should supercede anything, nor that jhana is not (eventually) necessary. Just that it may not make sense to take those suttas to be completely exhaustive, considering that looking at the wider picture there's a little more to the story, with sammasamadhi.

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Re: Wisdom for uprooting greed and hatred

Postby pegembara » Thu Mar 17, 2011 5:59 am

And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

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Re: Wisdom for uprooting greed and hatred

Postby starter » Fri Mar 18, 2011 8:53 pm

Hello pegembara,

Thanks for your helpful advice and link. To my understanding, the Buddha's teaching to Bahiya is suitable for those who have reached high level of mind development -- who are able to control their minds without unwanted proliferations/fabrications. Bahiya considered himself as an arahant before seeing the Buddha, and the only breakthrough he probably needed to make was the abandoning of conceit. I'm still far away from being able to control my mind.

I read the link and would like to share with you my view of Buddhadasa Bikkhu's approach to nibbana. Although it has nothing to do with my practice, I'm concerned with its influence on the Dhamma practice of our friends, so I spend the time to write the whole thing again (my first submission somehow went wrong) while I'm actually quite short of time.

As I understand, THE WAY TO PRACTISE IN ORDER TO ABIDE WITH EMPTINESS that he taught is abiding with the self -awareness of the feeling of not having and not being (nothing anywhere is worth having or being); he especially taught what to do at the moment of death to "leap from the ladder of falling" to "attain nibbana":

"So what path will be taken by the mind of a person without hope? It won't take any path at all because it sees that nothing is worth wishing for. Thus it lays the way for its own death. There being no desire to have or be anything, it dissolves into emptiness. This is the skillful means to cheat nature a little. When the time of death has truly arrived, we give rise to the feeling that nothing anywhere is worth having or being. If that feeling is present in the mind at the moment of death then one will inevitably reach Nibbana through the act of dying itself. It's a really good deal-putting down a tiny amount of capital certain of great results!"

I personally doubt this is the way to nibbana. It appears to me that 1) there’s still the conceit of “self”, the owner or “I” not to have or become instead of real anatta, 2) there’s still the desire/craving to generate such a feeling of not having/not becoming (craving for non-being), 3) there’s still the desire to ATTAIN nibbana, by “leaping from the ladder of falling”, and 4) there’s still strong craving for gain: “It's a really good deal - putting down a tiny amount of capital certain of great results”. How can such a practice really lead to nibbana – the pure emptiness of “self” and “cravings” (including the craving for nibbana)? Furthermore, if this is a real short cut to nibbana, the Buddha would have taught his dying disciples including his father to enter nibbana directly at death, instead of becoming only a non-returner or stream winner.

My sincere thanks to Kenshou and other friends for all the good stuff. Metta to all,

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pegembara
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Re: Wisdom for uprooting greed and hatred

Postby pegembara » Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:59 am

And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

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Re: Wisdom for uprooting greed and hatred

Postby pegembara » Sat Mar 19, 2011 4:25 am

And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

starter
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Re: Wisdom for uprooting greed and hatred

Postby starter » Sat Mar 19, 2011 2:44 pm

Hello pegembara,

"This easier than done. The automatic default tendency is to cling to continued existence[bhava tanha]. It is extremely unlikely to do what he says."

-- I suspect even if one does what he says one still can't reach nibbana that way, because of the attachments to the thought/feeling/desire. Please note that Ven. Sariputta's teaching is not only about the practice of freeing one from clinging to the six sense sets (and the All), but one should not attach his thoughts to them".

As to "Life without a story", I tend to think that lady has seen the unchanged (what she called "eternal life") behind the changed (the arisen and passing away).

Metta,

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