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Many lifetimes of paramita development needed to be aryan? - Page 15 - Dhamma Wheel

Many lifetimes of paramita development needed to be aryan?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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tiltbillings
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Re: Many lifetimes of paramita development needed to be aryan?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:56 am


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retrofuturist
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Re: Many lifetimes of paramita development needed to be aryan?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Mar 04, 2010 7:07 am

Greetings bhante,

Thanks for the spice.

As far as I'm aware, in the sutta-based teachings to bhikkhus, there is no talk of practice in future lives for bhikkhus. If future lives were going to play a prominent feature in one's epic spiritual journey, it is odd that the Buddha would not mention it, or that no one would enquire about it to him. Odd that no one would say, "Blessed one, my faculties are weak. How should I best prepare for the countless eons of samsara that lie ahead so that one day I might attain stream-entry?" It sounds a ridiculous question to one who had read the suttas, but if uncalculable whatzits were accepted to be the order of the day, it would be a valid question.

I know there are some Buddhist traditions where people do undertake certain preparations in order to ready themselves for subsequent practice in subsequent lives. To the best of my knowledge, any explicit post-this-life activity is not mentioned at all in the Pali Canon for bhikkhus in training and is therefore very conspicuous by its absence. The underlying assumption that may be drawn from this is that they're to do their best now, and what will be will be, and that the goal can be experienced here and now by the wise. All presentations to bhikkhus relate to this life and the pursuit of arahantship (as opposed to other fancy alternative destinations), so by the scales used in the suttas, there is no basis I see for believing that "long and short" are referring to anything other than time periods in this very life... assuming there is Right View and Right Effort and so on. If there's no following of the N8P, that's when the talk of long periods in samsara comes up.

The extracts from the essay I provided a couple of hours ago demonstrate the lateness of these epic-timescales as applied to preparatory aspects of the spiritual path and back Bhikkhu Bodhi's earlier comments in relation to borrowings from Mahayana. These timescales are certainly anomalous and alien with respect to the Sutta teachings to bhikkhus.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Ben
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Re: Many lifetimes of paramita development needed to be aryan?

Postby Ben » Thu Mar 04, 2010 9:55 am

“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]..




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retrofuturist
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Re: Many lifetimes of paramita development needed to be aryan?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:58 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine


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retrofuturist
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Re: Many lifetimes of paramita development needed to be aryan?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:41 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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robertk
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Re: Many lifetimes of paramita development needed to be aryan?

Postby robertk » Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:56 am

Yes as you well point out people read a line about say focusing on feelings in the satipatthana sutta and think that when they concentrate on a feeling or point in the body that is satipatthana. They do not even realise that the feeling has fallen away a billion cittas ago by the time they think they are focussing on it.

The actual way of satipatthana is different:
As the Commentary to the section you quote explains:
http://www.abhidhamma.org/CommentaryFeelings.htm#*
Certainly, while they experience a pleasant feeling, in sucking the breast and on similar occasions, even infants lying on their backs know that they experience pleasure. But this meditator's knowledge is different. Knowledge of pleasure possessed by infants lying on their backs and other similar kinds of knowledge of pleasure do not cast out the belief in a being, do not root out the perception of a being, do not become a subject of meditation and do not become the cultivation of the Arousing of Mindfulness. But the knowledge of this bhikkhu casts out the belief in a being, uproots the perception of a being, is a subject of meditation and is the cultivation of the Arousing of Mindfulness. Indeed, the knowledge meant here is concerned with experience that is wisely understood through inquiry. Who feels? No being or person. Whose is the feeling? Not of a being or person. Owing to what is there the feeling? Feeling can arise with (certain) things -- forms, sounds, smells and so forth -- as objects. That bhikkhu knows, therefore, that there is a mere experiencing of feeling after the objectifying of a particular pleasurable or painful physical basis or of one of indifference. (There is no ego that experiences) because there is no doer or agent [kattu] besides a bare process [dhamma]. The word "bare" indicates that the process is impersonal. The words of the Discourse, "I experience (or feel)", form a conventional expression, indeed, for that process of impersonal feeling. It should be understood that the bhikkhu knows that with the objectification of a property or basis he experiences a feeling.

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Re: Many lifetimes of paramita development needed to be aryan?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Mar 04, 2010 12:19 pm

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Many lifetimes of paramita development needed to be aryan?

Postby nathan » Thu Mar 04, 2010 12:53 pm

It is difficult to understand how this contemplation could warrant 292 posts. What benefit could come of it either way. What can be done about lives past. What can be done about lives to come? 292 posts about should be sufficient to demonstrate that it can be quite difficult to focus on the life that is at present. A valuable conclusion to draw from all this could be to turn to other much more beneficial contemplations of the conditions of this present life, the qualities of the present moment and the ongoing immanence of certain death.
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}

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Re: Many lifetimes of paramita development needed to be aryan?

Postby appicchato » Thu Mar 04, 2010 1:12 pm

Kudos Paul... :smile:

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Re: Many lifetimes of paramita development needed to be aryan?

Postby meindzai » Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:53 pm


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Guy
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Re: Many lifetimes of paramita development needed to be aryan?

Postby Guy » Thu Mar 04, 2010 9:46 pm

Four types of letting go:

1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
4) "Teflon Mind"; having a mind which doesn't accumulate things

- Ajahn Brahm

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Re: Many lifetimes of paramita development needed to be aryan?

Postby nathan » Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:54 pm

But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}

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Re: Many lifetimes of paramita development needed to be aryan?

Postby adosa » Fri Mar 05, 2010 2:36 am

"To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas" - Dhammapada 183

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Re: Many lifetimes of paramita development needed to be aryan?

Postby pt1 » Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:41 am


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Re: Many lifetimes of paramita development needed to be aryan?

Postby pt1 » Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:50 am


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Re: Many lifetimes of paramita development needed to be aryan?

Postby pt1 » Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:56 am



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