Some years ago I embarked on some Dhamma study to satisfy my own hunger for an intellectual understanding of the Dhamma to complement my own practice-based understanding. In my opinion, bhavana-maya-panna, the wisdom that arises from the direct penetration of the nature of mind and matter through mental cultivation is pre-eminent in importance, but as my teacher says, patipatti (practice) and pariyatti (study) should go hand-in-hand. One's practice is more effective when combined with study. As part of my study and with the recommendation of Ajahn Dhammanando, I read 'A comrehensive manual of the Abhidhamma' edited by Bhikkhu Bodhi and I continue to refer to it. It was brilliant as it illuminated so many things about the Dhamma for me. Has it directly effected my practice? Probably not directly, but indirectly - definitely. I should also point out that the ACM is not Abhidhamma Pitaka proper, as it is a commentary based on the ancient commentary Abhidhammatthasangaha attrubuted to Acariya Anuruddha. But as Ajahn mentioned to me, it is an excellent gateway to the Abhidhamma Pitaka.
I also recommend ACM to anyone serious about the Dhamma. Even if one feels that the Abhidhamma is 'surplus to needs', I still feel it would be a beneficial exercise for you to at least develop a rudimentary understanding of concepts and theories contained within the Abhidhamma Pitaka.
“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) • •
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