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 [Dittha-Dhamma Loka-Dhamma]


 

Welcome Friend!

2020

newWhat's New?

The content of this site is available in two locations:
buddhadust.net and obo.genaud.net


Download the Latest Zip Version of the Site:
http://obo.genaud.net/resources/download/bulk.htm
or clone the git repo;
https://github.com/alexgenaud/buddhadust


Individual articles on this page can be linked-to by appending '#' sign plus the abridged form of the entry date [e.g. #O.2.21.19]
to the end of the url in the address bar.
For example: ~/dhammatalk/dhammatalk_forum/whats.new.htm#O.2.21.19

Disposition of BuddhaDust
The site is intended to be adopted by those interested in making the Dhamma their theme for meditation and for Dhamma researchers of all stripes. It is intended as a pattern, to be used as a basis for a personal desktop work environment or as a basis for promoting some view on the web, and should be seen as incomplete, needing correction, revision and improvement in all departments.

 


 

Oblog: [O.10.24.20] Saturday, October 24, 2020 6:02 AM

NOTICE: I have got myself into a pickle here and need to take off some of the pressure. I have recently begun to proofread the PTS Pali English Dictionary against the 2015 reprint corrected by K.R. Norman, William Pruitt and Peter Jackson. As of now at page 279 of 660; ETA about April '21. In the process I am discovering that it is in much worse of a mess than I had thought. It is also going much more slowly than I had anticpated (and it should be done without haste or pressure). It is also apparent to me that this is an extremely important work to have in reasonable shape for people to use. This warning is to alert readers to be careful when using the file in its current shape and to somewhat relieve the time pressure.

Proofing is being done on the .txt file version. (It is recommended you use the .txt version[1] until proofreading is completed when it will be converted to .htm.) Progress in proofing to date is shown there. Watch especially for words with "sing" which will be found as "singular"; "past participle" for "opposite"; "Kās" for "Kṣ"; "kāsa" for "kesa", "kusa" and "kosa"; and the "°" symbol used to indicate the entry term is always "-" past the point where proofreading has ended. There are other regularly-found errors that cannot be corrected with a regex (the problem in the first place, that is, multiple abridgings using the same letters and mishandling — previously existing, accidental and based on ignorance — of the power of the regex). Still this file is largely correct and is easier to use than the Chicago version and will be more up-to-date when proofing is complete.

Of related interest is the fact that as I go along I am importing relevant entries to the sections on Flora and Fauna and Weights and Measures.

 


[1] Click on the link and save the file with the .txt extension. Ignore the html coding which will be used for the .htm edition. To use it in a text editor, use the search tool, regex on: "^[ENTRY]"; otherwise most browsers now come with a "Find" tool.
PS: in the Google search tool, you can search the whole of the Buddhadust site using the following:
"site:buddhadust.net [space] [SEARCH TERM]. You can do this from any browser where you have Google set as your default search tool.

 


 

Oblog: [O.10.21.20] Wednesday, October 21, 2020 5:35 AM

The Middle Way, the Way Down the Middle is not moderation! So hard to get rid of this misconception. But SN 56.11:

And what, beggars, is that way to go down the middle awakened to by the Tathāgata; eye-opening, instructive, smoothing the way to higher knowledge, self-awakening, Nibbāna? It is this aristocratic multi-dimensional high way: High view, high principles, high talk, high works, high lifestyle, high reign, high mindedness, and high get'n high.

Ask yourself: Is High View describing a theory of moderate pursuit of either desire for pleasure or self-torment?

Is renunciation, non-harm and non-cruelty (i.e., high principles) a way or going (moderately!) toward self-indulgence or self-torment?

Is abstention from intentional untrue, cruel, harsh, slanderous or useless talk a way or going (moderately!) toward self-indulgence or self-torment?

Is abstention from intentional working harm, taking what has not been given, or straying from the path for pleasure's sake in your magic charms, works (deeds), or occupation a way or going (moderately!) toward self-indulgence or self-torment?

Is exercise of self-control, making effort, exerting energy to restrain low unskillful conditions that have arisen in the here and now; refrain from low unskillful conditions that have not yet arisen; obtain high, skillful conditions that have not yet arisen; retain high, skillful conditions that have arisen a way or going (moderately!) toward self-indulgence or self-torment?

Is living, while you live in a body, in sensation, in the heart, and in the word understanding body, sensation, the heart and the word, seeing them as they really are seeing how they arise seeing how they end, being watchful and dilligent (APPAMADA) (not-careless) satisfied reviewing and calming down overcoming any hungar/thirst that may appear releasing it all, above it all, downbound to nothing at all in the world a way or going (moderately!) toward self-indulgence or self-torment?

Is achieving a state with no objectives, no indications of lust, anger, or blindness, and empty of lust, anger, and blindness, whether walking, standing still, sitting down, or lying down a way or going (moderately!) toward self-indulgence or self-torment?

Is seeing the Paticca Samuppada, downbound confounded rebounding conjuration, dependent self-arising, the relationship of this to that (this being, that becomes, this not being that becomes not) a way or going (moderately!) toward self-indulgence or self-torment?

Is achieving thoroughly detached freedom and in freedom recognizing freedom and, recognizing that birth has been left behind, duty's doing done, no more this side or that, no more being any kind of 'it' at any place of 'atness' a way or going (moderately!) toward self-indulgence or self-torment?

Not one hint of this being a going to self indulgence or self-torment (moderately or otherwise!) can be found in the Magga. Yet people will insist that the Middle Way is a path of Moderation.


A Cause-free Paticca Samuppada

"Look what it took
to bring that out!"

It takes blindness
to bring out own-making;

It takes own-making
to bring out sense-consciousness;

It takes sense-consciousness
to bring out named-forms;

It takes named-forms
to bring out the realms of the senses;

It takes the realms of the senses
to bring out contact;

It takes contact
to bring out sense-experience;

It takes sense-experience
to bring out hunger and thirst;

It takes hunger and thirst
to bring out plans to get or get away from;

It takes plans
to bring out becoming;

It takes becoming
to bring out birth;

It takes birth
to bring out aging, sickness and death,
grief and lamentation,
pain and misery,
and despair.

This is the Paṭicca Samuppada and is the equivalent of the Four Truths and when it is applied in reverse order (by cutting down blindness, etc.) is another form of The Middle Way. But is it moderate or suggesting moderation? No. Actually it is an extreme method; it results in the elimination of existence for the individual that follows it.

There is a place for moderation in the Dhamma: Moderation in Eating. Leave it at that.

 


 

Oblog: [O.10.20.20] Tuesday, October 20, 2020 12:44 PM

[MN 75] To Māgaṇḍiya, The Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Lord Chalmers translation, the Horner translation, the Ñanamoli Thera/Bhikkhu Bodhi translation, the Sister Upalavanna translation, and the Olds translation.
The Wanderer Magandiya is raised from a view based on faith that health is the greatest good and that this is Nibbana to an understanding of the satisfactions, the dangers and he escape from pleasures of the senses.
This translation replaces the previous excerpt.
[MN 55] To Jīvaka, The Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Lord Chalmers translation, the Horner translation, and the Sister Upalavanna translation.
The Buddha refutes the accusation that he allows the eating of the flesh of animals killed specifically for him and he explains the peramaters that allow the eating of meat.
A sutta to consult when the endless debate over vegetarianism comes up. Let me have another shot at clarifying the situation. There is kamma, and there are the rules for the bhikkhus, and there is doing good deeds. As far as kamma goes, the operant factor, the efficient cause of a kammic consequence, is intent. Where there is no intent to cause harm, there is no (harmful) kammic consequences. The rules for the bhikkhus are based on the law of kamma. There being no intent to harm in connection with eating meat that was not killed by one's self, killed upon request by one's self, or suspected to have been killed specifically for one, there is no (harmful) kammic consequence and there is no rule against eating meat of such a sort. Where some individual decides that he wishes to reduce the demand for meat that is the motive for the butchering of animals, that is an intentional good deed and is to be praised. When an individual blames a person who does not have any intent to harm living creatures, but who eats meat as per the factors that make it kammically blameless, then that person is blind to the nature of kamma and is making bad kamma by holding a wrong mental position. And the louder and more forcefully they do that, the worse is the bad kamma they make. Finally, the bhikkhus are beggars. Beggars should not be choosers. They are in the right refusing meat that is not allowable because in the refusal is a lesson given to the doner of what is allowable. But in the ordinary course of the begging round for a beggar to refuse meat lawfully given is to deprive the doner of good kamma and that is bad kamma. There are countries which are primarily vegetarian and situations where the bhikkhu may have a choice. In the case where the doner of a food gift gives the bhikkhu a choice, there is no problem with his requesting to be given vegetarian food only. The layman, of course, can choose to be a vegetarian or not according as he wishes with no adverse consequences.

 


 

Oblog: [O.10.18.20] Sunday, October 18, 2020 8:43 AM

Miscellaneous fact: Here and there in translations and in the PED you will come across the term 'corn' for translations of kiṭṭha and khala which perplexes USAmericans who know that corn is native to the Americas and was not brought to India before 1492. Maybe: 'Corn', British English for grain and more specifically a grain, kernel, seed of one of the cereals: wheat, rye, barley, etc. and applied to both the grain and the whole plant. More specifically still it applies to "the chief cereal of a district" (New /Shorter Oxford English Disctionary). So oats are the corn of Scotland, and wheat is the corn of England. So if you see a reference to a corn market in England, it means a market for wheat. To the British, USAmerican English 'corn' is maize, Indian corn, Zea Mays. Though history tells us maize was only brought to India after the 'discovery' of the new world there are stories of the Chinese doing trade with Mexico as early as 300 BC and doing trade with Jambudipa at that time could well have introduced it then. Both kiṭṭha and khala apparently refer to wheat which was cultivated there as early as 3000 BC.

 


 

Oblog: [O.10.16.20] Friday, October 16, 2020 7:51 AM

PED: Citta2

You see that phrase there "denotes both the agent and that which is enacted"? You find that a lot in very important places in Pali. Kamma; Saṅkhāra; etc. I suggest this is a sign of a previous state of the languag or languages from which the Pali we know was drawn: that is a time when the language very closely mirrored the phenomena it was describing.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

(neuter) [Sanskrit citta, originally past participle of cinteti, cit, cf. yutta > yuñjati, mutta > muñcati. On etymology from cit, see cinteti]. I. Meaning: the heart (psychologically), i.e. the centre and focus of man's emotional nature as well as that intellectual element which inheres in and accompanies its manifestations; i.e. thought. In this wise citta denotes both the agent and that which is enacted (see kamma II introduction), for in Indian psychology citta is the seat and organ of thought (cetasā cinteti; cf. Greek ϕρήν, although on the whole it corresponds more to the Homeric θυμός). As in the verb (cinteti) there are two stems closely allied and almost inseparable in meaning (see §III ), viz. cit and cet (citta and cetas); cf. ye should restrain, curb, subdue citta by ceto, M I 120, 242 (cf. attanā coday'attānaɱ Dhp 379f.); cetasā cittaɱ samannesati S I 194. In their general use there is no distinction to be made between the two (see §III). — The meaning of citta is best understood when explaining it by expressions familiar to us, as: with all my heart; heart and soul; I have no heart to do it; blessed are the pure in heart; singleness of heart (cf. ekagga); all of which emphasize the emotional and conative side or "thought" more than its mental and rational side (for which see manas and viññāṇa). It may therefore be rendered by intention, impulse, design; mood, disposition, state of mind, reaction to impressions. It is only in later scholastic language that we are justified in applying the term "thought" in its technical sense. It needs to be pointed out, as complementary to this view, that citta nearly always occurs in the singular (= heart), and out of 150 cases in the Nikāyas only 3 times in the plural (= thoughts). The substantiality of citta (cetas) is also evident from its connection with kamma (heart as source of action), kāma and the senses in general.

Two ideas make the understanding of "Heart" difficult for the Western mind: The idea that this 'faculty' is located in the chest; and the idea that it deals primarily with the emotions (this reflected in the above definition).

The more utilitarian way of understanding this concept is that it is the center of one's being, and that thought arises to and is comprehended by this heart.


[MN 77] The Greater Discourse to Sakuludāyin, The Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Lord Chalmers translation, the Horner translation, the Ñanamoli Thera/Bhikkhu Bodhi translation and the Sister Upalavanna translation.
In a discourse which amounts to a full course in Awakening the Buddha teaches Sakuludayi and his followers the reasons his disciples admire and follow him.
A comprehensive exposition of the Buddha's system with all the very helpful similes for the jhānas, magic powers, seeing past lives, seeing the outcome of deeds and having got rid of the corrupting influences.
[see also for these: AN 5.28, DN 2, MN 39] The final stage, getting rid of the corrupting influences [āsavas], (or the stage describing attainment of arahantship) is an abridged version. It is so abridged in the Pali, and it looks as though it were abridged because those wanderers that were in the audience did not get that far at this time.

 


 

Oblog: [O.10.13.20] Tuesday, October 13, 2020 7:25 AM

Viññāṇā as Discrimination

"'Viññāṇaɱ viññāṇan' ti āvuso vuccati.|| ||
Kittāvatā nu kho āvuso 'viññāṇan' ti vuccatī" ti?|| ||
"'Vijānāti vijānātī' ti kho āvuso,||
tasmā 'viññāṇan' ti vuccati.|| ||[1]

I am just starting Robert Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.[2] I have always put this book off as a fad thing or because I pretty much detest philosophy, but I finally decided to read it and I find it quite enjoyable and not heavy at all. Pirsig makes a really strong effort to make himself understood by us 'common people'. Right away (pg 82) there is an idea that seems important, so here is a short note on his understanding of the process involved in becoming conscious of our personal world and particularly the idea of discrimination.

By the way, just in case, this is not 'discrimination' in the sense of holding irrational derogatory opinions about things; this is distinguishing, singling out for awareness.

I have never understood the Sutta definition which, in translation, is that it is called discrimination because it discriminates.

Pirsig comes at it this way: Awareness is an individual's general awareness of the world. Something we cannot manage, or rather is not useful, because of its overwhelming detail, so what we do is take a sample: we discriminate (his term)(re: his term: it is uncertain (to me as yet) how much actual Buddhism Pirsig has under his belt, he may himself have picked this term up from a teacher or book (viññāṇā is translated this way by the translator for Ajhan Dtun, and Ajhan Dtun may have had it from his teachers, it may be the common understanding in some schools), he is obviously aware of Buddhism to some degree).

Well that is not a Dhamma description, but it helps. Re-cast, I describe it this way: The five lower sense organs come into contact with their objects and the resulting information is picked up by the mind-sense as its sense-object. It is here that the mind composes from that raw data (= Pirsig's 'Awareness'), our perception of the world: i.e., it discriminates between the valuable and the chaotic. Here 'mind' or even 'mind minding (recalling, remembering, recognizing; sati) mind' would then seem to take the place of our 'consciousness'.

This avoids much of the confusion raised by the fact that the Arahant has (or does) viññāṇā (e.g., viññāṇā-anidassana). So 'discrimination' is, in this description, a preliminary to 'consciousness' which idea is not even mentioned, or rather is taken for granted or as just suggested is to be understood in some other term like 'sati' or 'mano'.

I do not think my "re-knowing-knowing-knowledge" (or, for short: re-knowing-knowing) is invalidated by this understanding but is made much clearer; translating viññāṇā as 'consciousness' may need revisiting.

How is discrimination a 'dhatu' (element; characteristic; data)? We might say: upon the conjunction of nama/rupa and viññāṇā what results is a discriminated thing (a thing carrying its own identification of itself); the result of that is the possibility of making it conscious against the larger chaotic background; discriminatability, then, is a characteristic that accompanies that which becomes and which allows it to be distinguished from its background by whatever it is that is conscious (i.e., sati, memory (for what is consciousness really other than memory?), mano, mind (for what is mind really other than consciousness?) ...).

This also makes the note in DN 15 much more comprehensible: It is only in so far as there is discrimination of named/forms that there is that which is called an existing thing.

Persig illustrates his idea by picking up a handful of sand from a sandy landscape; we can use this illustration by thinking of drawing out from the uncreate our own personal world. And from that we can now much more easily see that Nibbana is the dumping back into that landscape of that handful of sand. Just that is Nibbāna.

So the message is: Forget about consciousness here, that just complicates things, what is important is the way we create and become aware of the personal world.

In short this translation of viññāṇā simplifies/clarifies the whole story.

 


[1]MN 43: Mahā Vedalla Suttaɱ

[2] R.M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values, Harper Perennial: Modern Classics, 1974, page 82

 


 

Oblog: [O.10.11.20] Sunday, October 11, 2020 5:18 AM

gandhabba

The Gandhabba devas are described as birds and also as presiding over conception. Do we have here the origin of the Stork that delivers babies? Do we have here a straight-up myth? Something to tell the children? One part of the myth that does not hold up is the fact that we know that the third party to conception is the individual to be born. To put a deva there would make it four factors required for conception.

The academics have a numbr of theories all of which seem to come down to a debate over which real bird (heron, stork, pellican, crane) the bird in the myth is supposed to represent. The myth in its various forms appears to be world-wide.


[MN 69] About Golissāni, The Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Lord Chalmers translation, the Horner translation, and the Sister Upalavanna translation.
Sariputta delivers a discourse on the proper training for one who lives alone in the forest.

 


 

Oblog: [O.10.09.20] Friday, October 09, 2020 5:34 PM

Accentuate the Positive

Keeping at it goes well sometimes, and sometimes it does not go so well. If you will turn your mind to the times you have had good energy and attitude and have done your Dhamma Research and even got enthusiastic about your sitting, you will see that these things have modified your behavior in such a way as to reduce to one degree or another, the grief you undergo in this ... umm ... place. The good going works to cut down the heavy going. So when the going is good you should make every attempt to get the most out of it. But however it goes it pays to keep at it.

 


 

Oblog: [O.10.06.20] Tuesday, October 06, 2020 5:30 AM

[MN 67] Near Cātumā, The Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Lord Chalmers translation, the Horner translation, and the Sister Upalavanna translation.
The Buddha instructs a number of bhikkhus about the various pitfalls facing the bhikkhu. He provides four similes: one for anger, one for gluttony, one for the five cords of sense pleasures and one for sexual lust.


The distinction between pīti and sukhaɱ: Sukhaɱ is pleasure, Pīti is appreciation.

Pleasure arises to the individual, is the experience of pleasant sensation consequent upon contact of sense organ with sense-object, and is a result of past kamma. Appreciation covers the spectrum from mild appreciation through liking, enthusiasm, affecion, delight, zest, exuberance, love and rapture and is an emotional reaction in the present. Pīti is classed under saŋkhāra-k-khandha, not vedanā-k-khandha." In other words it is own-made, constructed; new kamma.


Among the recent slew of insane attitudes of the day is one in which a white academic (an academic is a person in the position of teacher, a person who claims to be a good example, someone to follow) pronounced that "Being white in America is by definition racest."

By definition?

Actually this is a true statement. Any person identifying themselves by race, is a racest by definition. And I would go farther and say any person that identified themselves with a race likely did that out of preference for the things they identified as being attributes of that race and that that would make racests of just about everyone in the world.

Think: "I am about to be reborn. I want to be liked; I want to be popular; I want to live the good life that I see is possible in this world; let my hair color be such, my eye-color be such, my skin color be such, let me be born in a wealthy privilaged family, let me be not too tall, not too short, not to fat, not to thin ... complete in every faculty." Are you a racest?

Related to this is the madness of Buddhist Bhikkhus and Bhikkhuni's and laymen and lay women Buddhists thinking of joining the order getting worked up about sexual orientation. The opportunity to become a bhikkhu is the opportunity to rise above sexuality! How on earth is a person identifying as 'homosexual, or bisexual, or trans-sexual' rising above sexuality?

"What's the ugliest part of your body? Some say it's your nose, some say it's your toes; I say it's your mind."
— Frank Zappa, The Mothers of Invention.

 


 

Oblog: [O.10.05.20] Monday, October 05, 2020 8:06 AM

"I want my life back!"
Māra: "Gotcha!"

Have a look at how much you miss life pre-Covid. Ask yourself if this might not be a good indication of how you are going to feel when dead and faced with the possibility of rebirth.

One definition of kusala, skill, is the ability to change direction on a dime. Smooth transition from one state to another. Any yearing for things to be a certain way, nor not be a certain way is hesitation ... and he who hesitates is lost.

 


 

Oblog: [O.10.03.20] Saturday, October 03, 2020 7:39 AM

And how will it help other people for someone to become arahant? By way of it being a good example. Would you go pay money to some lifestyle guru who promised to teach you how to stop smoking if he had not himself stopped smoking? "Oh that. It's not important, I can quit any time."

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

Given the widespread misperception that arahantship is a selfish goal,
it's important to take note ...
that part of the motivation to become an arahant
is how it will benefit other people.

— Bhikkhu Thanissaro, from a footnote in MN 40

[MN 40] The Shorter Discourse at Assapura, the Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Lord Chalmers translation, the Horner translation, and the Sister Upalavanna translation.
The Buddha explains the unreasonableness of such superficial practices as the wearing of robes, going naked, living in filth, ceremonial bathing, living at the root of a tree, eating according to a set regimin, chanting, or wearing matted hair in the hope of ridding one's self of malevolence, wrath, grudge-bearing, hypocrisy, spite, jealousy, stingyness, treachery, craftyness, evil desires and wrong views. Then he explains the manner in which practicing friendliness, sympathy, empathy and detachment rids one of those bad characteristics and leads on to attaining arahantship.

 


 

Oblog: [O.9.17.20] Thursday, September 17, 2020 8:50 AM

Another meaning for 'bhikkhu'?: "having completed the lower life"; "having mastered what one's teacher (guru) (of the Vedas, etc.) had to teach". One sent out from the teacher's abode to hunt up (beg for) the teacher's fee. Which teacher's fee would be reintrpreted in the Buddhist system as putting the Dhamma into practice. So we can say a person is worthy to be called a beggar who has rejected the doctrines of other beliefs and taken up the Dhamma.

This definition is not ment to supplant but to augment the idea that the beggar is symbolic of God come down in the disguise of the lowest of the low in order to ascertain the true behavior of the people and to guide them to higher things than material concerns.

 


I have just finished reading The Razor's Edge by W. Somerset Maugham. An interesting novel in the style where fictional characters are made to debate philosophical points. (This work, well written and constructed, is more or less painless in this regard. And Maugham is an interesting person to follow for us as Buddhists because he was instrumental in influencing the career of H. E. Musson aka Bhk. Nanavira.) Here we follow the character Larry in his search for the meaning of life which culminates in his mastering to his satisfaction, the techniques of an Indian guru and going out into the world to live life accordingly. By the time I reached highschool this sort of thing had been worked to death and was rightly called 'sophomoric'. One line, spoken by the character Larry, paraphrased by me, sticks in mind:

If I did not have certainty about kamma and rebirth I would go mad trying to make sense of the injustice and cruelty of this world.

It is the only explanation of why bad things happen to aparently 'good' people that my mind is able to think of as rational. True, it goes against the grain of everything believed by the good-hearted to think that a rape victim, or an assault victim or the person with birth defects, or victims generally (living in poverty, being ugly, having many illnesses, etc.) are in fact experiencing the consequences of earlier (especially including previous births) badly done kamma. And for sure the fact that a person experiences some bad luck should not be seen as justifying another person inflicting pain on people — that is a separate thing and will have its consequences in its own time. But at the same time to claim, with no more evidence than that required for a belief in kamma and rebirth, that these things are the work of some God, or are just a matter of chance does not inspire effort at elevating one's behavior. If for no other reason than that, it would be well if everyone at least acted in ways that indicated a belief in kamma and rebirth: suffering the consequences of badly done deeds without complaint and endeavoring to conform to the ethical standards that are derived from the theory of kamma. It certainly beats blaming someone else for what happens to one which just perpetuates the cycle, leaves one in a state of anger and gives no one satisfaction.

 


 

Oblog: [O.9.15.20] Tuesday, September 15, 2020 12:12 PM

Appamāda
or
Citta-Ekodi-Bhava

Non-Carelessness
or
Developing Excellence of Heart

dickens-copperfield

"I have been very fortunate in worldly matters; many men have worked much harder, and not succeeded half so well; but I never could have done what I have done, without the habits of punctuality, order, and diligence, without the determination to concentrate myself on one object at a time, no matter how quickly its successor should come upon its heels, which I then formed. Heaven knows I write this, in no spirit of self-laudation. The man who reviews his own life, as I do mine, in going on here, from page to page, had need to have been a good man indeed, if he would be spared the sharp consciousness of many talents neglected, many opportunities wasted, many erratic and perverted feelings constantly at war within his breast, and defeating him. I do not hold one natural gift, I dare say, that I have not abused. My meaning simply is, that whatever I have tried to do in life, I have tried with all my heart to do well; that whatever I have devoted myself to, I have devoted myself to completely; that in great aims and in small, I have always been thoroughly in earnest. I have never believed it possible that any natural or improved ability can claim immunity from the companionship of the steady, plain, hard-working qualities, and hope to gain its end. There is no such thing as such fulfilment on this earth. Some happy talent, and some fortunate opportunity, may form the two sides of the ladder on which some men mount, but the rounds of that ladder must be made of stuff to stand wear and tear; and there is no substitute for thorough-going, ardent, and sincere earnestness. Never to put one hand to anything on which I could throw my whole self; and never to affect depreciation of my work, whatever it was; I find, now, to have been my golden rules."

— David Copperfield in Charles Dickens, David Copperfield, 1850, The Franklin Library, Limited Edition with the original drawings of Phiz (Hablot Knight Browne), 1976.

 


 

Oblog: [O.9.14.20] Monday, September 14, 2020 8:58 AM

[MN 64] The Longer Exhortation to Māluṅkya the Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Lord Chalmers translation, the Horner translation, the Ñanamoli Thera/Bhikkhu Bodhi translation, and the Sister Upalavanna translation.
A detailed discussion of the five fetters to lower rebirths and the practice by way of which these five fetters are eliminated so as to result in arahantship or non-returning.
This is certainly the clearest translation of this sutta to date. Note that this is another sutta which states that arahantship can be attained from the first jhāna.

 


 

Oblog: [O.09.09.20] Wednesday, September 09, 2020 2:17 PM

Flare-Up II

Sunny California Sunny California

The All Is In Flames!

What all is in flames?

The eye is in flames!
The ear is in flames!
The nose is in flames!
The tongue and the body and the mind are all in flames!

Visible objects are in flames!
Sounds are in flames!
Scents are in flames!
Tastes, touches and mental objects are all in flames!

Inflammed with what?

Inflammed with the flames of lust!
Inflammed with the flames of anger!
Inflammed with the flames of blindness!
Inflammed with the flames of aging, sickness and death,
grief and lamentation,
pain and misery
and despair!

 


 

Oblog: [O.9.06.20] Sunday, September 06, 2020 6:16 AM

Flare-Up

Several years ago (3.3.12) I had an interaction with a Daniel Ingram, MD MSPH, Arahat. As what I wrote was a fairly thorough scouring, and as Daniel did in fact remove his claim to be an Arahant from his website, I removed the dialog and proceeded to forget about this fellow. At present there is again a flare-up concerning Daniel, this time over on Discuss Sutta Central concerning an article by a Bhikkhu Analayo covering the same territory.

As Daniel's position has apparently not changed in the slightest, and I find Bhk. Anallayo's article totally inadequate to the issue, I am now re-posting the dialogue with Daniel, this time without any intent to influence Daniel, but with the hope that the way I dealt with the case will make the issues clear and show the direction responses to this individual should be focused.

Conversations With Daniel Ingram MD MSPH, Arahat (1)
Conversations With Daniel Ingram MD MSPH, Arahat (2)

 


 

Oblog: [O.9.05.20] Saturday, September 05, 2020 9:41 AM

In Bhikkhu Thanissaro's translations of MN 107 and MN 125, (see just below) he footnotes his translation of sati-parimukhaɱ ["brings mindfulness to the fore"]:

To the fore (parimukhaṁ): An Abhidhamma text, Vibhaṅga 12:1, when discussing mindfulness of breathing, defines this term as meaning “the tip of the nose or the sign of the mouth.” However, the term appears as part of a stock phrase describing a person engaged in meditation, even for themes that have nothing to do with the body at all, such as sublime-attitude (brahma-vihāra) meditation (AN 3:64). Thus it seems more likely that the term is used in an idiomatic sense, indicating either that mindfulness is placed face-to-face with its object, or that it is made prominent, which is how I have translated it here.

Dismissing entirely what the Abhidhamma says as being an opinion, not a translation, there are a couple of things that are problematic about this statement. First is that though the purpose of this little procedure is not always explicitly connected to the body, the process itself is in no case in the Suttas separated from the body: if you want to practice the brahma-viharas, you do it with the body. When you bring the mind foreward it is foreward relative to the body.

Second is that this translation does not explain the 'pari' = 'around'. OK, you could say that this was a sloppy instruction "somewhere around the forefront of your thinking'.

This is the beginning point of the meditation process and is the instruction as to where to 'base' (not 'place') your attention. I say this is your base of operations. It is not that the mind, once placed, is never to move away again, it is that this is the place when the mind has ventured out into the exploration of some thing or another it returns (it is trained to return); it's function is as a base of operations and also as the point of departure when it comet to the letting go of the body.

Then, finally, the effort in meditation is not to mind minding (which is what is implied by the instruction to make it the important thing — at this point (where we are using sati, it is already trained)), it is to use minding to see things as they are. To make minding the foremost object of one's meditation is certainly important for the beginner in the development of centering as a habit, but beyond that point: well-trained go unrestrained.

 


 

Oblog: [O.9.04.20] Friday, September 04, 2020 5:01 AM

[MN 25] Poison-grass, The Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Lord Chalmers translation, the Horner translation, the Ñanamoli/Bodhi translation, and the Sister Upalavanna translation.
The Buddha provides a complex simile illustrating by way of a herd of deer and a crop of corn set up to trap it the relationship of the arahant to the realm of the senses.
This is a mind-bending sutta, intended I believe, by way of its convoluted repetitions, to exercise and create in the mind of the listener a depth and objectivity of perception (so and so many removes from 'one-to-one') that closely resembles the perception of the arahant. A really valuable sutta in the way it describes the relationship of the arahant to this world, that is, that the Arahant still feeds off this world, but because of his habitat is invisible to Mara, Death, the Evil One.
[MN 107] To Gaṇaka Moggallāna, The Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Lord Chalmers translation, the Horner translation, the Madawela Punnaji Maha Thera translation, and the Sister Upalavanna translation.
The Buddha teaches a brahman his Gradual Course of instruction and answers his question as to why some attain Nibbana this way and why some do not.
[MN 125] The Level of the Tamed, The Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Lord Chalmers translation, the Horner translation, the Madawela Punnaji Maha Thera translation, and the Sister Upalavanna translation.
The Buddha describes the course of training for a bhikkhu.
This sutta has in it the simile of two friends, one of whom climbs a mountain and describes what he can see from the summit. The other friend doubts such as is described. So then the first climbs down the mountain again and leads his friend by the hand to the top where he realizes that he could not see the sights because his view was obscured by the mountain. The mountain = blindness.

 


 

Oblog: [O.9.03.20] Thursday, September 03, 2020 5:56 AM

As of September 2, 2020, Nic K, who hosted the BuddhaDust.net domain,[1] has taken upasampada and is now Bhikkhu Ādicco.

Bhikkhu Ādicco's upasampada

Bhikkhu Ādicco's upasampada

[1] I need to word this carefully so as not to slight Alex who has sponsored/sys admin'd obo.genaud.net for many years. First came the Yahoo Group: The Pali Line, then came BuddhaDust.org (hyjacked by a porno site) then Alex came to the rescue with obo.genaud.net. BuddhaDust.net began as a mirror of obo.genaud.net and was gifted to me by Nic when he decided to become a bhikkhu.


 

Oblog: [O.9.01.20] Tuesday, September 01, 2020 6:11 AM

"If you can keep your head while those about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you ..."[1]

This world has become liar's Hell. A sea of lies. A flood of lies. An avalanch of lies. A tsunami of lies. I do not see how anyone that is not grounded in the sanity of the Dhamma and the practice of detachment will be able to get through this and keep find sanity.

[1] R. Kipling, IF.

 


 

Oblog: [O.8.29.20] Saturday, August 29, 2020 12:40 PM

It seems to me that there is a significant difference between the way the Chinese responded to the Covid-19 virus (locking down the specific areas where there were outbreaks) and the way the rest of the world reacted (locking down whole countries/states/counties ... exceptions being a few places where there was no lockdown at all. It's just as though in reaction to a wildfire in the countryside a whole nation was to shut down or just let the fire go unchecked. The Chinese way, there was containment while at the same time great chunks of the economy were able to carry on more or less normally and consequently the whole of that country should be expected to recover much more quickly.

 


 

Oblog: [O.8.27.20] Thursday, August 27, 2020 8:32 AM

The Old Man For the second time I am restoring this little essay for the possible help (knowing you are not alone!) it may be to the many who have followed this site for so long that they are now themselves facing this last among the great challenges of life: getting old.

 


 

Oblog: [O.8.18.20] Tuesday, August 18, 2020 5:25 AM

[MN 7] The Simile of the Cloth, the Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Lord Chalmers translation, the Horner translation, the Ñanamoli/Bodhi translation, and the Sister Upalavanna translation.
The Buddha likens a dirty cloth incapable of taking dye to the mind corrupted by greed and covetousness, malevolence, anger, malice, hypocrisy, spite, envy, stinginess, deceit, treachery, obstinacy, impetuosity, arrogance, price and conceit — incapable of attaining a good rebirth. He then likens the cleansing of a dirty piece of cloth that renders it capable of taking dye to the process of cleansing the mind of these corruptions, and he describes this cleansing process.
[AN 3.93] [DTO #96] Assemblies, the Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation.
Linked to the Pali and the Woodward translation.
The Buddha describes three sorts of groups of companions: one marked by dedication to practice, one marked by discord, and one marked by harmony. Great praise is put on the group marked by harmony.
[AN 5.26] [DTO #96] Release, the Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Hare translation, the Bhk. Bodhi translation and the Olds translation.
Five detailed descriptions of situations that result in freedom.
There is confusion throughout the translations and within the translations of individual translators between the translations of 'vimutti' and 'vimokkha'. The distinction is that 'vimokkha' is a temporary state, 'vimutti' is a synonym of Nibbāna.' I suggest 'Release' is better for 'Vimokkha' and 'Freedom' be used for 'Vimutti.'

 


 

Oblog: [O.8.16.20] Sunday, August 16, 2020 6:39 AM

PED: Atta1 [ā + d + ta; Sanskrit ātta] that which has been taken up, assumed. ... Attañjaha, rejecting what had been assumed... . Attaɱ pahāya ... The opposite is niratta, that which has not been assumed, has been thrown off, rejected. The Arahant has neither atta nor niratta, neither assumption nor rejection, he keeps an open mind on all speculative theories.

(Snp 787; For by him there is nothing grasped or rejected, he has in this world shaken off every (philosophical) view;
858; For him there are no sons, cattle, fields, wealth, nothing grasped or rejected is to be found in him;
919;) Let the Bhikkhu be appeased inwardly, let him not seek peace from any other (quarter); for him who is inwardly appeased there is nothing grasped or rejected.
[920] 'As in the middle of the sea no wave is born, (but as it) remains still, so let the Bhikkhu be still, without desire, let him not desire anything whatever.'

 


 

Oblog: [O.8.10.20] Monday, August 10, 2020 2:00 PM

Crossing the Stream

or

Seyyathā pi — "Its just as if ...".

"This Middle Way, what is it like?"

"It's just as if you were attempting to cross a swiftly flowing stream, you do not fight the flow and you do not go with the flow.

How do you manage that?

If you enter the stream and face the flow you present the maximum target with a weak stance and even if you can maintain your balance you are heading straight up-stream, not across the stream. This is fighting the flow and you will lose.

If you enter the stream and try to go straight across your stance is weak (you get no advantage from the strength in your legs and feet because they are exerting their energies in one direction while the pressure of the flow is from another direction) and you will get knocked down when you lift a foot to move ahead. This too is fighting the flow; in this case by not respecting its power. And you will lose.

If you go with the flow you are collaborating with the flow and it will carry you away to be done with as it wishes and you will accomplish nothing. You lose.

Would that be
an aṭṭhaŋgle,
or a bojjhaŋgle?

But if you enter the stream, and respecting the power of the stream, you enter it in a way that neither fights it nor collaborates with it but cuts through the middle: facing it, but at an angle that utilizes all your strengths,

you present a smaller target than face-on;

you are presenting an oblique target which deflects much of the pressure of the flow,

you get all the benefit from the strength and agility of your feet and legs and your stance becomes very strong,

you learn the dangers because they are ever present to your consciousness,

and if you are not careless, (appamāda) or come to a halt mid-stream,

you will be able to make your way across.

Act this one out in your mind when you sit. It will help you to understand what we are about with this Middle Way thing. You should not just do this visually in your mind's eye, but you should also 'feel it'. Imagine the pressure of the flow on your legs; the insecurity of your stance, the way to firm up your stance.

 


 

In a united society, as with fresh milk straight from the cow,
the cream rises to the top,
but in a disunited society, as in a melting pot,
the scum rises to the top.

What is needed, to suggest the obvious, is a leader that strives not to enhance only his own or his own side's position and to destroy any on the other side, but one who strives to unite all the people he is leading.

Decisions should be made by concensus. There is time. Certainly there is more time than that used up making decisions that fail because they do not serve the purpose of the whole and then going back to make corrections that just throw the balance off in the other direction.

In unity there is strength.
Distunited a fall is to be looked for as each side works at destroying the others and by that wastes and destroys what internal strengths there are.
Going more slowly because of concensus decision making will at least avoid the blame of being careless and wrong and the progress that is made will have a strong united base supporting it.

 


 

Oblog: [O.8.06.20] Thursday, August 06, 2020 9:51 AM

[SN 5.56.11] The Tok-Pisin Sutta Long Stat Long Tanim Wil Bilong Tok Tru,
Linked to the Pali and the Woodward translation.
The first sutta delivered by the Buddha after his awakening.


For PC with a smile: Use 'em' for both males and females and for subjects and objects in Tok Pisin.


Friday, August 07, 2020

What is the point of this? Aside from putting a smile on your face? Pidgin and Creole are sort of between languages. They make communication possible between two peoples whose native languages are diverse using the absolute minimum of the most used and useful words in both languages. The result is the use of terms that are early and basic and cover a very large territory.

So what we have here in front of us is a strong hint at what we should be looking for in a language which was intended to be timeless, understood easily by an ear capable of intuiting precise meaning from broad general terms.

In other words, an accurate translation of the Pali will not reflect subtle shades of meaning by abstract terms. And the corrolary is that when subtle abstract terms are used in a translation of Pali it should be read as a translation aimed at a specific strata of individuals, i.e., it is not timeless.

 


 

Oblog: [O.8.04.20] Tuesday, August 04, 2020 5:36 AM

[MN 74] Longnail, the Naked Ascetic, The M. Olds translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Lord Chalmers translation, the Horner translation, the Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation and the Sister Upalavanna translation.
Dighanakha is given an instruction in the abandoning of points of view, then in detachment from body and sensation.
Judging from the situation, a very early sutta. It is by listening to this sutta that Sariputta becomes arahant. Dighanakha becomes a Streamwinner.

 


 

Oblog: [O.8.03.20] Monday, August 03, 2020 12:14 PM

Having Crossed the Flood

... a beggar thus freed-in-heart,
does not voice agreement with anyone,
does not voice disagreement with anyone,
but when speaking,
uses the expressions of the world
without investing in them."

— MN 74-Olds and see below.

 


 

Oblog: [O.7.31.20] Friday, July 31, 2020 4:21 PM

The Ants and the Grasshopper

The Ants & the Grasshopper

One bright day in late autumn a family of Ants were bustling about in the warm sunshine, drying out the grain they had stored up during the summer, when a starving Grasshopper, his fiddle under his arm, came up and humbly begged for a bite to eat.

"What!" cried the Ants in surprise, "haven't you stored anything away for the winter? What in the world were you doing all last summer?"

"I didn't have time to store up any food," whined the Grasshopper; "I was so busy making music that before I knew it the summer was gone."

The Ants shrugged their shoulders in disgust.

"Making music, were you?" they cried. "Very well; now dance!" And they turned their backs on the Grasshopper and went on with their work.

— From the Library of Congress version of Aesop's Fables.

 


 

Oblog: [O.7.28.20] Tuesday, July 28, 2020 8:34 AM

Put a smile on your mask

Mask your emotions, put a smile on your mask.

One of the unintended consequences of everyone wearing a mask is the information we are missing that we usually get from people's facial expressions. Whether or not this is contributing to the palpable anger we see in people today, it might make a difference if people drew smiles on their masks.

 


 

Oblog: [O.7.26.20] Sunday, July 26, 2020 2:02 PM

Exercise: You are programming the ethics of the computer that will take over the world. You can make rules that cannot be broken by the computer ... unless you have worded it imprecisely. What rules do you propose?

Example: Do you write: "You may not kill.
Or do you write: "You may not knowingly injure or be the driving force that results in injury to living breathing things."


Not doing. Next time you sit and sense a fart approaching the exit: Do not push and do not hold it back. Allow the force of the gas to do what it will do without your intervention. That is the meaning of 'The Middle Way,' the method for crossing the flood.

A certain EM maintains that observing one's farts is the real meaning of minding the breaths. I don't agree, but this is certainly a very clear way to 'see' the meaning of 'not-doing'. Either action, pushing or holding back, is intentional involvement and makes it your act not just a function of body, i.e., it produces kamma. Otherwise you generate no kamma from the event. I would not use this argument in the case of that long ago lost practice of eating out with friends.

 


 

Oblog: [O.7.23.20] Thursday, July 23, 2020 6:42 AM

Crossing the Flood

Just below, in the context of how to handle a situation where for some reason someone is attempting to force one to do something one does not want to do, I have suggested that the best course is to neither comply nor resist. Elsewhere I have used 'neither resist not collaborate', but both 'comply' and 'collaborate' are a little vague and can be misunderstood.

To attempt to clarify this ambiguity and since this represents a method frequently cited in the suttas I am here presenting the idea in several contexts. In the end, however, push coming to shove, this is a case that can easily result in a life-on-the-line situation.

Neither Collaborate nor Resist

Anurodha and virodha

Pliantly following and dis- or un-compliance

Hare: Compliance and hostility;
Bhk. Bodhi: attraction and repulsion.

Neither Approve nor Disparage

anumodām: approve of, find satisfying;
paṭikkosat: crush, scorn

Woodward: commendation, blame;
Bhk. Thanissaro: agree, criticize
Bhk. Bodhi: approval, rejection

Crossing the Flood

"Kathaɱ nu tvaɱ mārisa, ogham atarī" ti?|| ||

"Appatiṭṭhaɱ khv'āhaɱ āvuso anāyūhaɱ ogham atarin" ti.|| ||

A-p-patiṭṭha: a + patiṭṭha no-stand;
anāyūha: > an + āyūhati not-pushing

'How is it then Eminence,
that you crossed the flood?'

"Without stands, friend,
without pushes,
I have crossed the flood."

"Whenever I took a stand, friend, I slipped;
Whenever I pushed, friend, I was pushed around."

Mrs. Rhys-Davids: Unstayed, unstriving — sank, whirled about;
Bhk. Thanissaro: without pushing forward, without staying in place (or: unestablished) — whirled about, sank;
Bhk. Bodhi: not halting, not straining — sank, swept away;
Str. Upalavanna: not taking a footing, not exerting — sank, led astray.

— SN 1.1.1

By the pleasant not stirred up in heart,
nor by unpleasantries repulsed,
Tranquilized, gone past all that,
neither collaborating nor resisting,
Walking the path free of lust, sorrowless,
knowing the highest knowing
passed beyond.

— AN 8.5

The different terms used in these examples are variations of an underlying theme: how to respond or not-respond in a situation where to react either favorably or antagonistically where it is possible to do neither would be to create kamma for the self.

I think of this in terms of the occupation of a country by enemy forces where in order to remain neutral one should neither join a resistance movement nor collaborate with the enemy.

The problem with both 'resistance' and 'compliance' is that they are involvements with the world. We are after not being involved with the world. This position could rightly be said to be at the heart of every aspect of the Dhamma.

But how does one handle this when it is up close and personal?

There is a case [SN 1.10.12] where the Buddha had entered the lair of a Yakkha who then ordered him to get out. His response? "Very good, friend." And he left. The yakka then ordered him to enter, and the Buddha's response was the same and he entered again. The yakkha repeated this a second and a third time with the same results. At the fourth iteration, the Buddha got fed up and said: "No, friend, do whatever you must do."

Taking this example as our paradigm, the proper way to handle the situation would be to follow the order to the letter and not more ... provided the order did not involve a requirement that we ourselves act unethically or subject ourselves to unreasonable arbitrary demeaning demands. I believe this does not fall under the heading of 'compliance' or 'collaboration' (though outside thinking in terms of kamma it might well be thought of in this way) and would not carry any kammic consequences in that it can be seen that it is simply not making the yakkha's life difficult. In other words, it is not collaborating, it is not resisting.

In that way we do not cause problems for the yakkha giving us orders — we must maintain compassion for him! and, after all, we are being asked to do something insignificant and harmless!

In the case where one is being ordered to perform an act that would result in harm to the self or another and where one refused to act, one has got one's self into a righteous pickle, and this might be a case where one has put one's life on the line for one's beliefs and one must just think self-asuring thoughts like: "At least I can live with myself in this matter!" or "It is not because of this that I would find myself in deep kammic du-dukkha!" or "Some people go around looking for someone to help them commit suicide, here we have found one without looking."

 


 

Oblog: [O.7.18.20] Saturday, July 18, 2020 5:00 AM

A suggested translation of 'hetu': impetus.
OED: A moving force; impulse; stimulus.
PED: Vedic hetu, from hi to impel. In the older use paccaya and hetu are almost identical as synonyms, e.g. n'atthi hetu n'atthi paccayo D I.53.
This nicely avoids "cause", but for a clear picture I stick with 'driving force'.

Oblog: [O.7.17.20] Friday, July 17, 2020 5:23 AM

In further support of translating (and, more importantly, understanding) 'jhāna' as 'knowing':

PED: Ajānana (°-) (neuter) [a + jānana] not knowing, ignorance (of) J V.199 (°bhāva); VI.177 (°kāla).
See also: O.6.27.20

 

Oblog: [O.7.16.20] Thursday, July 16, 2020 5:55 AM

As a practicing Buddhist, the task facing you is not 'minding' mindfulness; or living in the present moment!

You live in the present moment, not attending to the past or the future, in order to supervise the task in front of you which is escape from this existence, kamma, pain, the present moment.

You set up minding in order to understand other things, e.g., body, sense-experience, mental states, the Dhamma; the things that are holding you back or down or the things that are helpful to release.

In the case of this case we have the issue, not of 'where to place the minding', but of where to establish a base, or center of operations from which we can monitor the various aspects of individuality (body, sense-experience, mental states, The Dhamma) such that we can quickly detach when we have accurately seen these things as they are: un-stable, painful, and not one's own.

For that purpose what is wanted is something that is connected to this body and therefore this world or existence because what we are about is escape from that and you do not escape from that by wishing, or daydreaming of freedom, or by minding minding, but by seeing it as it really is. The idea is that if you have a base, you can be free to let go of everything else, so you will be connected until you have managed to disconnect, but that connection needs to be the absolute minimum connection possible.

Remember this from the refrains in the Satipaṭṭhana Sutta:

Or thinking:
'This is body'
he sets up minding
just enough to get a measure of knowledge,
a measure of recollectedness.

It is this need to pay attention to the thing we are trying to escape that is being mistaken for the job of 'living in the here and now' 'living in the moment'. We do not pay attention to our center of operations as a goal. We pay attention to our center of operations in this visible state because that avoids drifting off into the past or dreaming about the future both of which are antagonistic to the understanding of what is going on in the present that keeps us tied to this business of revolving lives.

And what is going on in this business of revolving lives?

Well one thing that should cause one some serious reconsideration of the situation here is to see that at the end, at death, they take everything away. Everything. Your wealth, your possessions, your house, your loved ones. Your body. Your dreams. Your individuality. Stripped away. Again and again at a predictable point in every life.

So what are you going to do?

You will just have to start over. Build the whole thing up again from scratch. Even though you know it will end up the same way as in the past.

What is going on here?

Well, if you have any remnant of some past life connected to the real world, you might recall that there is an industry called farming. In that business The Farmer[1] cultivates the soil and plants his seeds and attends to their care so that the result is a healthy crop.

Then he harvests the crop.

You are being raised and harvestd with your own eager ... eager? ... no, greedy for it, enthusiastic persuit toot toot participation!

In your own-making (saŋ = own; khāra = make) you are a co-maker (saŋ = with; khāra = make) of your own exploitation.

So you should quit.

That is the meaning of 'not-doing'. That is the point and explanation of that term.

This world belongs to Māra: "Mine is earth, water, firelight and wind!" Join with him and be dwarfed. A thing to be done with as he pleases.

Or stop this co-dependency.

Go 'on strike'.

Not-do.

Think: "That Māra takes back whatever I have created with his substance is like being in debt. I will no longer allow myself to be in debt.

Tied to existence in Māra's realm is like having a fatal disease. I will no longer suffer this disease willingly.

This world is like being in prison, in bondage, unsafe and insecure with nothing of one's own (and being made to pay for it to boot.) I will no longer be a prisoner who is being made to pay for his own imprisonment.

Being Māra's crop is like being a slave, not one's own man, subject to others, not free to do what one wants. I will no longer willingly cooperate in my own enslavement.

Being prosperous in Māra's world is like being a rich merchant, traveling on the highway through a wilderness filled with robbers, murderers, and kidnappers! I will no longer, for the sake of wealth I cannot keep, put myself in such danger.

So, after finding some place to be alone, sitting down, sitting up straight, and taking the mind and placing it on the task of setting up mindfulness and keeping it there to the point where concentration (whole-hearted single-mindedness) has been strongly established, and after minding the interface between the personal and the external world in terms of body, sense-experience, mental states and The Dhamma; and after focusing down on the personal through minding the body and the sense-reactions at the face, and after coming to the conclusion that existence identified with 'this' own-made, co-dependent thing is the problem and resolving to let it go, the need is to set up a base of operations for that job of letting go that is as minimally connected to this world as can be managed. That would conveniently be made directed at the area around the mouth — 'area around' rather than 'the mouth' in order to avoid making 'minding' the minding of minding which would be the result of fixing the mind at a certain point and keeping it there forever and ever and ever.

Sati pari-mukhaɱ. Mind around the mouth.

DN 6, MN 39

Exercise: sit. At this point plus about ten seconds, you will have moved your arm, or your foot or some other part of your body. So this time pay attention. This time intentionally do not-do any intentional movement. What happens next is that what would otherwise result in you moving some part of your body is frustrated. Frustrated it is made manifest. Made manifest it can be seen. Seen it has been made conscious. By not-doing, you have forced the motive for your 'doing' into consciousness. Conscious you can evaluate. Evaluated it will be seen as thirst taṇhā. So seen it can be let go.

 


[1] A name for Māra.

 

Oblog: [O.7.11.20.2] Saturday, July 11, 2020 7:20 PM

The Mask

No copyright information came with this
image. If the owner objects to its use here
it will be removed immediately.

The Mask

This problem of whether or not one should mask, is deeper than it looks. The solution in the current reality is simple: you wear a mask when those in authority tell you to.

But what about the ethics? For a person concerned with their kamma, what is the best thing to do? It gets complicated very quickly. Take a look:

Wear a mask.

Why should I?

It isn't just a matter of your freedom, or bravery or self interest; my safety is involved here too. It is a symptom of mental derangement not to be able to see things from any point of view but that of one's own self-interest. What we have here is a situation where a person may be able to infect other people for several days before showing any symptoms. A person can be infecting others without knowing it. Therefore it must be assumed that everyone is a possible transmitter. So everyone needs to wear a mask.

No. You are dictating the limits of my freedom based on irrational fears. If masks work, then wear a mask and you are safe. If masks don't work what good is it going to do you for me to wear a mask?

It's not that. It's that the mask reduces the volume of pathogens both of the sender and receiver, so the chances of infection are lowered.

Perspective

World-wide:
Sunday, July 12, 2020 5:27 AM
Cases: 12,872,655
dead: 568,314
recovered: 7,502,218

Cardovascular diseases — 17.79 million
Cancers — 9.56 million
Respiratory diseases — 3.91 million
Lower respiratory infections — 2.56 million
Dementia — 2.51 million
Digestivediseases — 2.38 million
Neonatal disoders — 1.78 million
Diarrheal diseases — 1.57 million
Diabetes — 1.37 million
Liver diseases — 1.32 million
Road injuries — 1.24 million
Kidney disease — 1.23 million
Tuberculosis — 1.18 million
HIV/AIDS — 954,492
Suicide — 793,823
Malaria — 619,827
>>>>[Coronavirus]<<<<
Homicide — 405,346
Nutritional deficiencies — 269,997
Protein-energy malnutrition — 231,771
Maternal disorders — 193,639
Alcohol use disorders — 184,934
Drug use disorders — 166,613
Conflict (?) — 129,720
Hepatitis — 126,391
Fire — 120,632
Poisonings — 72,371
Heat (hot and cold exposure) — 53,350
Terrorism — 26,445
Natural disasters — 9,603

https://ourworldindata.org/causes-of-death

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

I see. So this is a matter of relative danger. So given the fact that this virus has been around for more than half a year now and is pulling a rating something around the mortality range of malaria, who is it gets to decide the 'rational' freedom vs. danger ratio? Right now, its out of wack.

Well in the end, it is everyone for himself. The world is a predatory place and the number of dangers are countless. We all make a decision (or we just follow along with what some gang has decided) as to our odds tolerance.

But that is just my point! The logic being used to push the must mask position does not level off at the general concensus odds level. We do not quarantine the world for the flu. We do not quarantine the world for respiratory diseases amounting to 3.91 million deaths/year.

The sanity meter clearly points to the anti-maskers here as occupying the rational position.

Except that they don't.

Suppose it goes in a bad way?

That brings us back to the real world and is the real issue: at this point in the history of this virus, as individuals, we just simply do not have enough information and the information we do have is full of lies and insanity. Self-protection, in terms of kamma, suggests the prudent course is to obey the law or the health authorities right or wrong. That way the kamma is theirs.

And what is the ethical position to be taken by the authorities?

They should do pretty much what they are doing: throw at it whatever seems reasonable to them and see what sticks. The lesser authorities, if in doubt, can follow the authorities higher up. What seems reasonable can go either way. The decision as to which way is up to them. One way or another they have been placed in the position of authority and if they are incompetent, that falls on those who put them into their positions. USAmericans, for example, have never demanded that competence be a qualification for public office. A huge percentage of the voter-age population abstains from participation in the vote in protest against the way the system is set up, but they are silent and demand no voice. So the country is lead by the winners of popularity contests. In a democracy the people get the leaders they deserve. Where authorities go wrong is in not fully weighing collateral damage of their decisions: e.g. the number of deaths that will result from prolonged economic slow-down/stand-still.

And personally, I think there should be transparency. It could hardly be worse than the confusion we have at this point. Say straight up: "We still havn't a clue! We are throwing everything we think is reasonable at this and we just need to be patient until we find out what is what. We are open to suggestions."

Fat chance.

There will come a point where the knowledge of the morbidity of this virus and its likely mutation pathways will be known. At that point there should be an adjustment made relative to the other known diseases of mass destruction as to the degree of freedom people should have relative to public safety. If there is an imbalance at that point there is more going on than mere health concerns.

Then there is:

Vaccination

The case here is exactly the opposite as for masking. Again the question is: If a vaccine works, then what is the concern over people who do not wish to get vaccinated? You are safe. Your kids are safe from unvaccinated kids.[1] If I want to put myself in danger, or if I see no danger, that is my problem. If it doesn't work then what is the reason for anyone to get vacinated? The 'relative danger' notion does not apply in the case of vaccines.

There is a huge difference between being told that one must wear a mask to enter a store or join a group activity and being told that one must submit to having a sharp object pierce the skin and load one with a substance one knows nothing about. We can choose to not go out. We can choose: "Give me liberty or give me death!" This is the same problem as with the individual mandate for health insurance. The right to refuse to 'do' is similar to the right to remain silent. As Buddhists we should be allowed to not-do.

If we are not allowed this much, we have a case where one must behave very carefully. One may refuse to 'do' without kammic consequences. If physical force is used in an attempt to make one comply, one must neither resist nor comply. The authorities must be made to take all the action. That done carefully, there will be no kammic consequences for the self. Getting angry in a case such as this is counter-productive; dangerous in itself. Destiny has intervened in your life and given you no choice but to risk death for your beliefs. It would come to this one way or another in any case, so just relax and do the rational thing.

 


[1] The case of children under the age of reason is more complicated, but in terms of the law it has already been decided. The State has declared that it has a vested interest in the welfare of children because that is the supply of future workers who will support the economy and it has for a long time shown that it is ready to use force to attempt to make parents act in accordance with its dictates. The rational thing for a Buddhist concerned with his kamma is to neither resist nor comply. You are not responsible for your children's kamma.


Oblog: [O.7.11.20] Saturday, July 11, 2020 2:17 PM

[AN 2.179-278] Anger, (Suttas 179-278) The M. Olds Translation.
Linked to the Pali and the Woodward translation.
A simple Wheel playing off 2 sets of five terms (one set negative, one set positive) against two sets of five categories (one set negative, one set positive).

 


 

Oblog: [O.7.10.20] Friday, July 10, 2020 7:47 AM

[AN 2.129-139] Resolutions, The M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali and the Woodward translation.
Role-models for the bhikkhu, the bhikkhuni, the male and female lay followers; the dangers of speaking without forethought, the advantages of speaking with forethought; four where a bad attitude is dangerous a good attitude beneficial; three pairs of things that are patterns of behavior.

 


 

Oblog: [O.7.09.20] Thursday, July 09, 2020 4:10 AM

[SN 3.23.35] Māra, The M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, and the Bhk. Bodhi translation.
[SN 3.23.36] Māra's Thing, The M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, and the Bhk. Bodhi translation. [At this point Bhk. Bodhi abridges the entire vagga, so the links hereafter are to the Index.]
[SN 3.23.37] Unstable, The M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, and the Bhk. Bodhi translation.
[SN 3.23.38] An Unstable Thing, The M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, and the Bhk. Bodhi translation.
[SN 3.23.39] Pain, The M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, and the Bhk. Bodhi translation.
[SN 3.23.40] A Painful Thing, The M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, and the Bhk. Bodhi translation.
[SN 3.23.41] Not-Self, The M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, and the Bhk. Bodhi translation.
[SN 3.23.42] A Not-Self Thing, The M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, and the Bhk. Bodhi translation.
[SN 3.23.43] A Waning Thing, The M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, and the Bhk. Bodhi translation.
[SN 3.23.44] An Aging Thing, The M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, and the Bhk. Bodhi translation.
[SN 3.23.45] A Self-Arising Thing, The M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, and the Bhk. Bodhi translation.
[SN 3.23.46] An Ending Thing, The M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, and the Bhk. Bodhi translation.
The thirty-fifth through fourty-sixth suttas of a large, coherant group of suttas taught to Rādha centering on the five stockpiles (khandha), the desire that arises concerning them and the need to put them away.

 


 

Oblog: [O.7.08.20] Wednesday, July 08, 2020 6:52 AM

[SN 3.23.23] Māra, The M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, and the Bhk. Bodhi translation.
[SN 3.23.24] Māra's Thing, The M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, and the Bhk. Bodhi translation.
[SN 3.23.25] Unstable, The M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, and the Bhk. Bodhi translation. [At this point Bhk. Bodhi abridges the entire vagga, so the links hereafter are to the Index.]
[SN 3.23.26] An Unstable Thing, The M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, and the Bhk. Bodhi translation.
[SN 3.23.27] Pain, The M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, and the Bhk. Bodhi translation.
[SN 3.23.28] A Painful Thing, The M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, and the Bhk. Bodhi translation.
[SN 3.23.29] Not-Self, The M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, and the Bhk. Bodhi translation.
[SN 3.23.30] A Not-Self Thing, The M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, and the Bhk. Bodhi translation.
[SN 3.23.31] A Waning Thing, The M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, and the Bhk. Bodhi translation.
[SN 3.23.32] An Aging Thing, The M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, and the Bhk. Bodhi translation.
[SN 3.23.33] A Self-Arising Thing, The M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, and the Bhk. Bodhi translation.
[SN 3.23.34] An Ending Thing, The M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, and the Bhk. Bodhi translation.
The twenty-third through thirty-fourth suttas of a large, coherant group of suttas taught to Rādha centering on the five stockpiles (khandha), the desire that arises concerning them and the need to put them away.

 


 

Oblog: [O.7.07.20] Tuesday, July 07, 2020 4:10 AM

[SN 3.23.13] Unstable, The M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, and the Bhk. Bodhi translation.
[SN 3.23.14] An Unstable Thing, The M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, and the Bhk. Bodhi translation.
[SN 3.23.15] Pain, The M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, and the Bhk. Bodhi translation.
[SN 3.23.16] A Painful Thing, The M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, and the Bhk. Bodhi translation.
[SN 3.23.17] Not-Self, The M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, and the Bhk. Bodhi translation.
[SN 3.23.18] A Not-Self Thing, The M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, and the Bhk. Bodhi translation.
[SN 3.23.19] A Waning Thing, The M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, and the Bhk. Bodhi translation.
[SN 3.23.20] An Aging Thing, The M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, and the Bhk. Bodhi translation.
[SN 3.23.21] A Self-Arising Thing, The M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, and the Bhk. Bodhi translation.
[SN 3.23.22] An Ending Thing, The M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, and the Bhk. Bodhi translation.
The thirteenth through twenty-second suttas of a large, coherant group of suttas taught to Rādha centering on the five stockpiles (khandha), the desire that arises concerning them and the need to put them away.

 


 

Oblog: [O.7.06.20] Monday, July 06, 2020 5:52 AM

[SN 3.23.8] Arahant, The M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, and the Bhk. Bodhi translation.
[SN 3.23.9] Lustful Desire (1), The M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, and the Bhk. Bodhi translation.
[SN 3.23.10] Lustful Desire (2), The M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, and the Bhk. Bodhi translation.
[SN 3.23.11] Māra, The M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, and the Bhk. Bodhi translation.
[SN 3.23.12] Māra's Thing, The M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, and the Bhk. Bodhi translation.
The eighth, nineth, tenth, eleventh and twelfth suttas of a large, coherant group of suttas taught to Rādha centering on the five stockpiles (khandha), the desire that arises concerning them and the need to put them away.

 


 

Oblog: [O.7.05.20] Sunday, July 05, 2020 6:19 AM

[SN 3.23.5] Shaman (1), The M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, and the Bhk. Bodhi translation.
[SN 3.23.6] Shaman (2), The M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, and the Bhk. Bodhi translation.
[SN 3.23.7] Stream-Winner, The M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, and the Bhk. Bodhi translation.
The fifth, sixth and seventh suttas of a large, coherant group of suttas taught to Rādha centering on the five stockpiles (khandha), the desire that arises concerning them and the need to put them away.

 


 

Oblog: [O.7.04.20] Saturday, July 04, 2020 7:15 AM

[SN 3.23.3] A Causeway to Becoming, The M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, and the Bhk. Bodhi translation.
[SN 3.23.4] Thorough Knowing, The M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, and the Bhk. Bodhi translation.
The third and fourth of a large, coherant group of suttas taught to Rādha centering on the five stockpiles (khandha), the desire that arises concerning them and the need to put them away.

 


 

Oblog: [O.7.03.20] Friday, July 03, 2020 9:05 AM

[SN 3.23.2] A Being, The M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, and the Bhk. Bodhi translation.
The second of a large, coherant group of suttas taught to Rādha centering on the five stockpiles (khandha), the desire that arises concerning them and the need to put them away.

 


 

Oblog: [O.7.02.20] Thursday, July 02, 2020 8:19 AM

[MN 117] The Great Fourty, The M. Olds translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Chalmers translation, the Horner translation, the Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation, the Ñanamoli Thera/Bhikkhu Bodhi translation and the Sister Upalavanna translation.
In this sutta the Buddha teaches that there is a misguided way and a high way and that the high way may be undertaken in a low way and a high way depending upon one's point of view, the direction of one's effort and the set of one's mind.
Each factor of the Magga is, in this description of how to undertake the Dhamma, to be guided by high view, high effort and high mindfulness. These are defined. The Way in this sutta is described as having High knowledge (ñāṇa) and High Freedom (vimutti) as dimensions nine and ten.
Note in this sutta the definition of 'Sammā Diṭṭhi' High View. It is on this sutta that a certain school of Buddhism holds that any effort at accomplishment is mundane practice and that there is nothing to do to attain the super-mundane practice. If they have any logic to their reasoning it is because this so-called supermundane practice is made up entirely of letting go. But letting go is still kamma, action, something to be done and often requires great effort just to get to the point where letting go is possible. I am of the belief that the intent in this sutta was not to suggest two separate paths, but to create awareness that if a practice is pursued with grasping the result will not be the liberation one saught. In practice one will tread both paths, first with grasping and then upon becoming aware of the grasping, with letting go.

 


 

Oblog: [O.6.29.20.2] Monday, June 29, 2020 3:55 PM

[MN 11] The Shorter Lion's Roar Discourse, The Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Chalmers translation, the Horner translation, the Sister Upalavanna translation, and the Ñanamoli Thera/Bhikkhu Bodhi translation.
The Buddha explains the logic behind the difference between the Buddhist proclaiming faith in the Buddha, Dhamma and Saŋgha and those of other beliefs proclaiming faith in their teacher, teachings and fellow-believers.

 


 

Oblog: [O.6.29.20] Monday, June 29, 2020 5:38 AM

[AN 9.51] Nibbāna in this Seen Thing, The M. Olds translation.
Linked to the Pali and the E.M. Hare translation.
Ānanda explains the extent of what the Buddha meant by the idea of Nibbāna in this seen thing. It is explained as advancing through the stages to arahantship in each case living in contact with the body and understanding with wisdom.

Here we have a sutta which deals with a phenomena that is important to understand: the fact that Nibbāna can be experienced in this seen thing on a temporary basis prior to arahantship. In the same way as just a finger-snap of not-doing in the face of temptation yields a taste of Nibbāna, so here the achievement of each of the four jhānas and four higher attainments individually yields a temporary taste of Nibbāna. Final achievement of arahantship is had subsequent to the experience of the ending of perception and sense-experience. This is what is meant when the Buddha states that he teaches Nibbāna in this seen thing.

The important term to understand here is Pariyāyena. I have used 'circumstantial' because of its closeness to the etymology of pariyāya, in its meaning of 'turning about'.
Hare: "in one particular" "no further particular";
Bhk. Bodhi: "in a provisional sense" "in a non-provisional sense".
I say: "To the extent that what is experienced is seen as a result of letting go and not doing rather than as a thing that has been got, there is the experience of a taste of Nibbāna in this seen thing."

 


 

Oblog: [O.6.27.20] Saturday, June 27, 2020 5:09 AM

[DN 34] Ten by Ten by Ten, The M. Olds translation.
Linked to the Pali and the T.W. and C.A.F. Rhys Davids translation.
This sutta is very similar to DN 33 in that it is a catalog of various units of the Dhamma organized by way of the number of items in the unit. It becomes a form of mental gymnastics by imposing on the structure that it be limited to ten sets fitted within 10 specific concepts: — so that section 1 is 10 units of one item each, each dealing with concepts 1-10; the second is 10 units of 2 items each, each dealing with concepts 1-10; on up to 10 units of 10 items each, each dealing with concepts 1-10; 550 units in total.


A Note on Sammā Samādhi
Relating to Points Made in DN 34,
Ten by Ten by Ten

There are "The Four Types (characteristics of) samādhi, [DN 34.5.7] which includes a samādhi that 'partakes of decline' which I bring up just to push the point that the term 'samādhi' is broad and flexible (officially, it encompasses the entire Dhamma, from giving (dana) to detachment (upekkha). And further it is understood to be a thing which is attained by non-Buddhists, in the same way as serenity is not the exclusive property of Buddhists. In other words, it can be worldly and lead to the worldly.

Further on there is "The Five knowings of sammā-samādhi." [DN 34.5.8] Firstly this supports my translation of jhāna as 'knowing' (also 'kenning' and 'gnosis'), and looking at the details we find:

The five things known in consummate serenity.

[1] Thinking:

'This serenity arises as happiness in the present and will have pleasant results in the future,' such knowledge arises as personal experience.

[2] Thinking:

'This serenity is Aristocratic, not carnal,' such knowledge arises as personal experience.

[3] Thinking:

'This serenity is not given flight by a bad person,' such knowledge arises as personal experience.

[4] Thinking:

'This serenity is tranquil, exalted, has gained repose, reached the development of concentration, and is not own-made — deprecated — objectionable,' such knowledge arises as personal experience.

[5] Thinking:

'Additionally then, this "I", minding, enters upon this serenity; minding, emerges,' such knowledge arises as personal experience.

These five things should be produced.

There are a couple of things in this to note: First is the last where the statement is being made that there is minding in both entering and emerging from jhāna. That is "Samāpajjati" "entering into" and there is no reason to think that this should be understood as 'once entering into the minding stops.' In fact as I read it the idea is that the minding is unbroken from entry to exit.

Secondly, there is the statement that 'this samādhi' is not own-made (saŋkhāra). This is easily mistaken for the statement that the jhāna is not own-made (where we know that right up to the ending of sense-experience and perception the jhānas are own-made, but that is not what it is saying, it is saying that the samādhi that results from jhāna is not own-made. This then describes what I have claimed to be the case with regard to the unseen consciousness (vinnana anidassana) that is equal to Nibbāna: that it IS conditioned (paccaya) by following the Magga, but that it is a secondary product arising from the conditioning, it has arisen without intentional input (sankhara). ... and it has arisen, it is not something that was there that is arrived at.

Another thing. Really important. The instructions for attaining the Akincanna Realm, there is an instruction: Thinking: 'N'atthi kiñcī' ti "There is nothing there". This is to be taken literally! You are to think the thought: "There is nothing there." Over and over and eventually there will arise the perception that there is nothing there. The power of the word! This is not an instruction to intellectually analyze the physics of Nothingness. And this thinking which is word-thought, is described in all cases as occurring after the fourth jhāna.

 


 

Oblog: Friday, June 26, 2020 5:24 AM

The Nine dimensions of Striving after Purification

An interesting list of the stages in one's journey to Awakening. Placed with two other lists of a similar nature below.

 


 

Oblog: [O.6.25.20] Thursday, June 25, 2020 8:47 AM

Two Opportunities for Setting Up Get-up-and-Go

Here a beggar is experiencing some slight sickness.

In this case he thinks:

'Some slight sickness has arisen in me
and I know if it gets established
it might get worse.

Well then! Let me energize get-up-and-go
for the attainment of the unattained,
the accomplishment of what should be accomplished,
the seeing with my own eyes
what can be seen with one's own eyes!'

So he energizes get-up-and-go
for the attainment of the unattained,
the accomplishment of what should be accomplished,
the seeing with his own eyes
what can be seen with one's own eyes.

This is one opportunity for setting up get-up-and-Go

Again, additionally friends,
a beggar has recovered from sickness,
has been recovered from that sickness for a while.

In this case he thinks:

'I have recovered from sickness,
have recovered from sickness recently,
and I know this sickness might return.

Well then! Let me energize get-up-and-go
for the attainment of the unattained,
the accomplishment of what should be accomplished,
the seeing with my own eyes
what can be seen with one's own eyes!'

So he energizes get-up-and-go
for the attainment of the unattained,
the accomplishment of what should be accomplished,
the seeing with his own eyes
what can be seen with one's own eyes.

This is another opportunity for setting up get-up-and-Go

DN 33.8.5.7-8 - Olds

 


 

Oblog: [O.6.23.20] Tuesday, June 23, 2020 7:35 AM

Tinker Toys
Tinker Toys

The various groups of instructions (e.g., the Way, the Seven Dimensions of Self-Awakening, the lists, numerous individual suttas including the various repetition series, etc. etc.) are called 'Dhammas'. These units of The Dhamma, are like Tinker Toys, or an Erector Set. You put them together to constuct a path (Dhamma Lesson) to the goal suitable for the teaching opportunity. They are mostly constructed so as to encompass each other or equal each other and are spun out or elaborated upon by adding units to deal with the particular orientation of the audience. There are endless combinations. There are suttas where Gotama was teaching enhanced worldly living and attaining such rebirth as ordinary folk yearned for, but these goals were all considered failures relative to the real goal. Gotama appears to have answered almost any question asked of him about almost anything, but when we speak of 'The Dhamma' it is his Teachings that lead to the goal of ending Pain or ending kamma or realizing Nibbana that is intended. A sutta aspiring to be a Dhamma of The Dhamma should always begin, (after setting the scene of the occasion) with the immediate issue that provoked the lesson (that is, at the beginning, or the lowest level) and end at Upekkha, detachment leaving the listener only one step to go: Realizing that the freedom of detachment is the freedom one is seeking.

You can get an approximation of how this works by playing around with The Method.

You can go straight down that page for one construction of the Dhamma that goes from the very beginning of practice to the final goal, or you can take off sideways from any of the links throughout that page and go back and forth for a 'sutta' that will reflect your interest. The sideways links take you to a page that defines the linked term. It isn't an explanation, it is a definition, and it is from the suttas, and is itself a Dhamma, one of the tinker toys. In turn that definition will frequently have in it links to the terms used in the definition, and so on. These dhammas are generally constructed as heierarchies, so it is possible for someone to construct a sutta to the goal taking these links round and round but higher and higher until you end up at Samma Upekkha on the original front page. "The Method" is by no means complete or constructed consistantly. It would be interesting to see something like this that was. It, like much else on this site, should be seen as a suggestion for some future development.

 


 

Oblog: [O.6.21.20] Sunday, June 21, 2020 5:22 PM

 

Start Here

> <

Where do I start?

Start from the beginning
and read straight through
to the End without skipping
any except the Pali
which you can skip
up to the time you ask yourself
What is being translated
as what
by who?

Then, when you click on the
Pali and start your search
in the text for your word
we welcome you
to the world
of
Dhamma-Vicaya
Dhamma Research.

 

 


 

Oblog: [O.6.16.20] Tuesday, June 16, 2020 1:19 PM

A Table of Pāḷi Cardinal and Ordinal Numbers. This table is being added as a separate page in the Weights and Measures Section.

 


 

Oblog: [O.6.15.20] Monday, June 15, 2020 9:45 AM

[AN 10.29] Set-backs and Reversals, the M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, the Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation, and the Bhikkhu Bodhi translation.
The Buddha describes how even the most enduring of phenomena and the most lofty of doctrines are burdened with change and should be regarded with revulsion; he then declares of certain doctrines that if their goals are attained they will provide refuge.

 


 

Oblog: [O.6.12.20] Friday, June 12, 2020 8:26 AM

The Thousand-fold World

As far, beggars, as the moon and sun revolve in their orbits,
their radiance illuminating the ten directions
so far extends the thousand-fold world.

Yāvatā bhikkhave candima-suriyā pariharanti,||
disā bhanti virocanā,||
tāva sahassadhā loko.
|| ||

Does this confine the 'Thousand-fold World' to the solar system, implying an overlap or parallel worlds of which we perceive only ours? Perception of the Thousand-fold World is described as like holding a sparkling gem in the palm of one's hand. Multiple-thousand-fold Worlds are described as like holding several such gems. So conceivably the idea was of multiple solar systems each of which was itself a thousand-fold parallel world. This is certainly something that must be seen with the clairvoiant eye and should not be made to fit into, but rather fit around our modern scientific "knowledge." — Just wondering.

 


 

Oblog: [O.6.11.20] Wednesday, June 10, 2020 8:49 AM

[AN 10.7] Serenity, by Sāriputta, The M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, the Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation and the Bhikkhu Bodhi translation.
In response to a question by Ānanda, Sāriputta confirms that there is perception beyond existence.

With this sutta we can say that the statement:

"The ending of becoming is Nibānna"

equals the statement made in the previous sutta [AN 10.6]:

"This is the resolution,
this is the conclusion,
that is:
the calming of all own-making,
the release of all that has arisen,
dispassion,
ending,
Nibbāna."

In other words, the perception is the idea: "The ending of becoming is Nibānna."

 


 

Oblog: [O.6.10.20] Wednesday, June 10, 2020 8:49 AM

[AN 5.28] Five-Dimensional Serenity, The M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Hare translation, the Bhk. Thanissaro translation and the Bhk. Bodhi translation.
Consummate Samadhi described as consisting of five dimensions (the four usual jhanas and observation of the signs) and yielding skill in the higher knowledges.
This description of the jhānas has with it the similes which are very helpful in visualizing the progression of the jhānas. [see also for these: DN 2, MN 39,MN 77] However Hare's translation reflects neither vision nor a close adherence to the Pali and messes up the imagry to the point of uselessness. Hare has especially botched up the simile for the fourth jhāna, and to complicate that, either he has translated it backwards or there was an editorial error which reverses the meaning. The descriptions of the jhānas and the similes that accompany them are not simply descriptions or recipes, they are also hypnotic suggestions which draw one into the jhāna. All their magic is lost if the repeated phrases are not repeated exactly and if the ordering of the words does not reflect the progressive deepening of the experience. See 'The First Burning' and my version.
In this sutta the fifth item (observing the signs) is one that is not seen elsewhere connected with sammā samādhi or the mastery of higher powers and it's meaning here is subject to question. There is no support in the sutta itself for the idea that this is paying attention to a concentration device, or the so called 'reflex image,' or to the subject of one's meditation. I believe the key is in the simile which is of a man observing another man while standing, observing while standing another man who is sitting, and sitting observing another man who is lying down. I believe what is being observed is the body and it's state of serenity and that there is, in the idea of 'a man', a symbolic imagry for mnemonic purposes which is humorous. Note that the final, always the highest state, is supine.

 


 

Oblog: [O.6.08.20] Monday, June 08, 2020 12:04 PM

 

Something for those whose parents never read to them when they were children ... or to remind them of a good lesson they may have forgotten.

The Shepherd Boy & the Wolf

Cry Wolf

A Shepherd Boy tended his master's Sheep near a dark forest not far from the village. Soon he found life in the pasture very dull. All he could do to amuse himself was to talk to his dog or play on his shepherd's pipe.

One day as he sat watching the Sheep and the quiet forest, and thinking what he would do should he see a Wolf, he thought of a plan to amuse himself.

His Master had told him to call for help should a Wolf attack the flock, and the Villagers would drive it away. So now, though he had not seen anything that even looked like a Wolf, he ran toward the village shouting at the top of his voice, "Wolf! Wolf!"

As he expected, the Villagers who heard the cry dropped their work and ran in great excitement to the pasture. But when they got there they found the Boy doubled up with laughter at the trick he had played on them.

A few days later the Shepherd Boy again shouted, "Wolf! Wolf!" Again the Villagers ran to help him, only to be laughed at again.

Then one evening as the sun was setting behind the forest and the shadows were creeping out over the pasture, a Wolf really did spring from the underbrush and fall upon the Sheep.

In terror the Boy ran toward the village shouting "Wolf! Wolf!" But though the Villagers heard the cry, they did not run to help him as they had before. "He cannot fool us again," they said.

The Wolf killed a great many of the Boy's sheep and then slipped away into the forest.

Liars are not believed even when they speak the truth.

— From the Library of Congress version of Aesop's Fables.

 


 

Oblog: [O.6.07.20] Sunday, June 07, 2020 8:41 AM

Milly's Spell

I first saw Milly (aka Mary by the good old Irish cops) after buying a loaf of Black bread at the tiny Russian bakery opposite the police station on 52nd Street between 8th and 9th.

She was standing in the middle of the intersection of 52nd and 8th Avenue. Police hat, overcoat (in mid-summer N.Y.), waving the traffic on with one arm while swigging booze from a bottle in the other.

I saw her again as she migrated up 8th Avenue to 57th Street.

Saw her again during a winter when she resided in the stairwell to the basement of Gristedes (high end grocery store at this time located in the middle of the block, north side).

And again at 57th and 9th.

And again at 56th and 9th.

And again as she turned East into 55th off 9th and took root in the stairwell to the basement of the building across the street opposite my window. Her day job: directing traffic from the middle of the intersection of 55th and 9th.

I was already deeply into Buddhism and my thinking was that I should try to live as closely as I could to what I imagined to be the life of the Buddhist Beggar and I found Milly fascinating and a great source of information.

One time I was walking past her she was crouching between two parked cars. I was staring. What is she doing there? "What the fuck are you looking at asshole! Can't you see I'm taking a piss." The value of the overcoat (outer robe) as apartment, closet and toilet.

One time I saw her being robbed by another street-lady. No fighting, she just calmly stood there and watched as the other lady made off with her possessions. "You shouldn't do that" was all she said.

Twice I saw cultivated people who should have known better get into screaming matches with her because she made some remark they found offensive. They couldn't see that they lowered themselves to what they thought of as her level by that.

She never lacked for food or booze or money or cloths. People would give her things all the time. Periodically she would disappear for a few days and come back with new second hand clothes from the thrift shop on the corner. I used to bring her my left overs. Lenny would say I was giving her my garbage. He was not quite right. I always separated off what I was to give her before I began to eat, so you could say I shared my meals with her. Occasionally I bought her a whole meal from the Chinese fast-food place next to the A&P. Bought her coffee every morning. But I shied away from taking charge. It was beyond my scope.

One truly freezing cold morning when I handed her coffee as she stood in the entry-way to the five and dime on the corner she was so cold the cup slipped right through her fingers. Bobby, the deli-man owner of Pembroke Deli on the corner was so pissed at the refusal of the cops to take her in that he made a complaint so as to get her arrested to get her in from the cold. It was at a time when all the nuts in New York had been removed from the nut-houses and the law stated that they could not be arrested simply for vagrancy.

I was later to see for myself that when you are really down and out some people you thought of as hardasses become kindly and generous. One of the advantages of being a beggar is that you can see the picture in a way that can never be seen by anyone occupying a higher economic level. I noted that the Greeks especially were of this sort: gruf and unpleasant to almost everyone until they perceived you were down and out at which point they seemed like they would give you everything they owned.

So one day I have an inspiration. I will save Milly by a spell that will work on her mind and reform her from within! I gave her this carefully hand written with a bic ball-point pen on an old scrap of paper:

On a One-Way Avenue downtown
They drive themselves into the ground
Though I be drunk on a spiritual brew
With angry downbound ways I'm threw
Round and round and round and round
They drive themselves into the ground

Milly spent hours scratching. Itch itch scratch scratch. I told her that this problem was solved by Buddhist Beggars by shaving their heads. She shaved her head. But then she immediately let her hair grow back. Clinging to femininity I suppose. More important than comfort.

One day as she was washing her hair with water from some bottles, I beconed her over to my window and gave her another bottle.

Later that night as I was sitting in my fly-free chamber (a box covered in photographic rubber matting that allowed in no light in which I used to meditate free of flys and flying free) she approached my window and gave a two-finger whistle.

Something took over and I went absolutely still. She knew I was there and I knew she knew and I did not move a muscle.

She whistled twice more, then went back to her homestead.

Later still I heard a whistle from across the street. And a little later again. And again. And again and again throughout the night.

The next morning she was gone. She returned a couple of days later dressed entirely in pink. Pink hat, pink overcoat, pink shirt, pink pants, pink sneekers with pink socks. The ladies at the thrift shop had had a great time.

At that I went around to all my neighbors that I knew and told them: "If you want to see Milly for the last time, you had better go see her now."

A short while later she was gone for good.

I saw her a few weeks later walking between two nuns, well dressed.

Bobby at the deli said she was actually rich and had been taken in by the Nuns.

A while later I had been rescued from my own poverty and was living here in California. Watching television one day I see a news program about the homelessness in San Francisco and there is Milly, standing in the middle of the intersection of 55th and 9th, holding up her bottle and waving at me.

 


 

Oblog: [O.6.06.20] Saturday, June 06, 2020 11:27 AM

[SN 5.46.52] Curriculum, The M. Olds translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Woodward translation, the Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation, and the Bhikkhu Bodhi translation.
The exact similarity in the outward form of the practices of a group of ascetics with one method of instruction used by The Buddha leads to the question of what is the difference between the two sects. The Buddha reveals an interpretation of the doctrine unique to the understanding of the awakened mind, inaccesable through any other source.
A very rich, complex sutta. A lesson in how a complete path to the goal can be constructed in unlimited ways by the fitting together of various individual components of the Dhamma: in this sutta the Diversions [nivāraṇa] and the Dimensions of Awakening [sambojjhangā]. Then the further flexibility of the system is shown by splitting in two the individual components of these Dhammas in various instructive ways.

 


 

Oblog: [O.6.04.20] Thursday, June 04, 2020 5:50 AM

Three sensations are spoken of by the Sammā SamBuddha:
[1] pleasant sensation,
[2] painful sensation,
[3] not-painful-but-not-pleasant sensation.

But then this was also said by the Sammā SamBuddha:

"Whatsoever is experienced, that is simply pain."

Before you look at the sutta, see if you can reconcile the two statements.

 


 

[SN 4.36.11] Being Alone, The M. Olds, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Warren translation, the Woodward translation, the Nyanaponika Thera translation, the Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation and the Bhikkhu Bodhi translation.
The Buddha explains in detail the meaning of the statement that all that which is experienced is joined with pain.

Here is a sutta which speaks of a gradual, step-wise progression to Arahantship focused on the gradual reduction and final elimination of own-making (saŋkhāra). It also shows that all four jhānas and the arupa attainments are possible to get in a partial (reduced) state and temporarily.

Seeing this I was curious as to how Bhk. Sujato handled his translation of vitakka and vicara ("placing of the mind and keeping it connected") which is not a thing particularly suited to being done partially (in a reduced form) or to being pacified.

I continue to wonder why one would go to all the trouble of placing the mind in the first jhāna and then having to get rid of it again for the second jhāna. Such a back-and-forth is not a characteristic of Gotama's style (he prefers "round and round").

Further, a characteristic that is Gotama's style is the explanation of terms he uses when doubt is possible: nowhere in the suttas is there an explanation of why what is in every other context clearly properly translated "thinking and pondering" (or some such idea related to thinking) is suddenly to be understood in a completely different way just for the jhānas.

I also wonder what happened to the thinking and wandering thoughts that one had while still engaged in the unskillful, just prior to entering the first jhāna.

Bhk. Sujato is an intelligent man, he is aware that he is wrong here but stubbornly refuses to admit he can make a mistake. He does not see that he is playing a role that supports a (probably brahmin) conspiracy or Buddhaghosa's ignorance (hardly likely when we learn that he burned the originals of the commentaries he was "copying"[1]Buddhaghosuppatti, Pali Text Society, Oxford, 2001, pg 7 and 29) which makes attaining the jhānas impossible (Ok, they say 1 in a million may attain the jhānas, whereas in the suttas the jhānas are to be attained 'easily and without trouble' by ordinary folk including laymen).

Bhk. Sujato also is maintaining a hypocritical stance in that while he advocates following only the Early Buddhist Texts, in this case he is following commentary only. There is no sutta support for his position.

There is another inconsistancy in Bhk. Sujato's translation here of saŋkhāra as "conditions" where he has elsewhere vigorously defended his translation as 'choices'. It is clear why he has changed his translation here; 'choices' just simply does not work.

Does he think nobody is watching? That there is no consequence for misrepresenting what the Buddha taught? Especially in such a way as to preclude the attaining of Sammā Samādhi (which he also insists is a prerequisite to attainment of Arahantship).

I have provided the Bhk. Sujato translation for those who would like to check this out for themselves.

 


[1] I have spoken in my mind with Buddhaghosa and he earnestly pleads his innocence and I tend to believe him. So he was duped. Maybe his work is even a true copy of the original commentaries. Who knows? We will never know unless some copies escaped the fire. Maybe he had nothing to do with the fire. Maybe it really was an act of blind reverence for Buddhaghosa's work. But somewhere back there somebody did not read that the way to determine the compatability of an idea with the Buddha's Dhamma is to compare that idea with the Buddha's Dhamma. Those who have access to both and have read both and still opt to put faith in the idea that disagrees with the Dhamma have another problem altogether.

 


 

Oblog: [O.6.03.20] Wednesday, June 03, 2020 7:49 AM

"Above it all, all knowing, wise
By all things unpolluted,
All rejecting, thirst destroyed, free —
Of such a hero I speak of as 'living alone'."

 

[SN 2.21.10] In Name, 'Elder', The M. Olds translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Mrs. Rhys Davids translation, the Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation and the Bhikkhu Bodhi translation.
A bhikkhu who was fond of solitude is summoned before the Buddha who then gives him insruction as to perfecting his practice.

 


 

Oblog: [O.6.02.20] Tuesday, June 02, 2020 7:29 AM

[SN 2.12.3] The Walk to Walk, The M. Olds translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Mrs. Rhys Davids translation, and the Bhikkhu Bodhi translation.
This sutta presents the Paticca Samuppada as a Path or Course rather than the usual understanding of this doctrine as a description of how kamma works.

 


 

Oblog: [O.6.01.20] Monday, June 01, 2020 11:53 AM

[SN 2.12.15] Kaccāyana, The Maurice O'Connell Walshe, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Warren translation, the Mrs. Rhys Davids translation, the Bhikkhu Bodhi translation, the Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation, and the new M. Olds translation:
The Ancient of the Clan Kaccāyana. [revised: Tuesday, June 02, 2020 7:17 AM]
The Buddha explains the reasoning behind the consummate view of things and the result in the attitude of one of such views.


If an object is seen or experienced through the senses by an individual, that object has been own-made (saŋkhāra), and will come to an end. That is not the result of the Middle Way. The Middle way is for the ending of the own-making.


Iddhi

I was expecting a call from Dave
when Dave called.

I answered:

"Hello Dave!"

He was very impressed with my psychic powers.

 


 

Oblog: [O.5.20.20] Wednesday, May 20, 2020 9:35 AM

Thinking in Ethical Terms

When I was growing up here in the US, teachers explained the limits of freedom this way:

"Your freedom to extend your fist ends with the beginning of my nose."

As applied to breaking lock-down of course this is complicated by the piles of mis-information confronting individuals on this subject. I think, however, in the case we have here where an individual can apparently infect others while being symptom-free, the responsibility lies with the individual to determine that he is not infectious. This being nearly impossible for most, the safe bet that covers one's bases is to abide by the rules set out by those in authority; however much one may distrust those authorities and doubt their qualifications to rule, and however much one distrusts the rules themselves even down to near certainty (there is no way of knowing for certain) that they are misguided (maybe they are not). That way the blame falls on them whichever way it works out. If they wasted your time, that falls on them; if they allowed you to break out early and you get infected or infect others, that too falls on them.

We're talking about kamma here; what to do or not do to keep from creating a bad kammic result for yourself by what would be intentionally risking the lives of others by not respecting the rules; and the creation of good kamma by the good intent associated with following the rules.

 


 

Oblog: [O.5.18.20] Monday, May 18, 2020 5:42 AM

What is the difference between the Satipaṭṭhana practice and the Anapanasati practice?

Sati-patthana is Sati + paṭṭhana: Mind + its setting up or establishment.
Anapana-sati is minding the aspirations (in and out breaths).

That is two different things:
1. setting up the mind, and
2. using it once set up.

Set up, Mind is: A mind that, abiding in a body, sense experience, mental states, or the Dhamma, sees them as they really are (transient, painful and not self) sees how they come to be (as a consequence of thirst), sees how they pass away, and which, so seeing, lives above it all, watchful and dilligent, reviewing and calming down, overcoming any taṇhā that may appear, downbound to nothing at all in the world.

Minding the breaths (a shortcut for saying 'minding the body, sense-experience, mental states and the Dhammma) is abiding in a mind that sees body, sense experience, mental states, and the Dhamma as they really are, sees how they come to be, sees how they pass away, and which, so seeing, lives above it all, watchful and dilligent, reviewing and calming down, overcoming any taṇhā that may appear, downbound to nothing at all in the world.

 


 

Oblog: [O.5.17.20] Sunday, May 17, 2020 5:01 PM

A beggar whizzes by on an Electric Bike.

What do you know?

He is Deeply Bound Up
in
Taṇhā
Thirst.

You do not need to know more than what you just saw.

He is going to wherever he is going at a speed exceeding that of a man running with all his heart.

That shows a mighty thirst for where he wants to go.

EDIT Sunday, October 04, 2020 5:43 AM: This is possibly wrong. This beggar might be responding with compassion to a time-critical situation. (I don't know, it still looks to me like there is 'hurry' there and that would indicate desire of some sort; even when responding to a request for a compassionate visit to someone, the Buddha always did so (so we hear) in a very cool, calm, and collected way (finishing his meal, putting his site into order, waiting until the end of the afternoon meditation, etc.). Generally we (I) should not be speculating about other people's attainments though I think there is room for this in the case of doubtful claims to arahantship and when choosing a teacher. In such a case the effort should not be to determine the status of a person, but only to determine if he is not what he claims or is not himself at a level which might be of benefit to oneself. This post was a result of contemplating the purchase of an electric bike for myself to deal with mobility issues and I had concluded that it would reflect grasping as described.


The World considers what is well said to be well said when what is said agrees with the highest principles of the one who is saying it.

What is considered well said amongst The Followers of Gotama's Dhamma is what comports with Sammā Diṭṭhi, Highest Point of View.

And what would that be?

The view that sees this as dukkha, painful, ugly ukky du-du k-kha.

The view that sees this dukkha as originating in taṇhā, thirst, hunger/thirst, wanting, desire, craving.

The view that sees that to end the k-kha, you need to end the hunger/thirst.

The view that sees that the way to do that is this Aristocratic Multi-Dimensional High Way,
that is:

High View, High Principles, High Talk, High Works, High Lifestyle, High Reign, Self Control, High Mind, Memory, Minding, High Get'n High, Serenity, Composure High Vision, "Seeing" and High Detachment.

 


 

Oblog: [O.5.16.20] Saturday, May 16, 2020 6:23 PM

Cetaso Ekodi-Bhāvaɱ
Center One-Fixated Being

Becoming whole-heartedly single minded

One of the factors of the second jhāna, kenning, knowing, brilliant burning gnosis.

PED: concentration, fixing one's mind on one point
But being single-minded is not a matter of concentration or fixing the mind on one point, it is a matter of being without any second thoughts about what one is about. This isn't speaking about having doubts, but that is what it is contrasted with, that is being in a state of doubt. This is a matter of positive interest in a single thing.

 


 

Oblog: [O.5.15.20] Friday, May 15, 2020 11:55 AM


All is Vaṇṇati

Vaṇṇa = color; most frequently translated 'caste' it means 'color' in the same way as we use the word color when we say "He revealed his true colors", meaning 'character' or 'nature' or 'disposition' or 'bent'. In reference to 'grade', it never meant skin color.[1]

The Four Colors of Man

Thinkers [brāhmaṇa]. Includes religious students and teachers, scientists, academics, theoreticians, etc.

Politicians [khattiya]. Kings and aristocrats, presidents, dictators, tyrants, warriors, mafia bosses and politicians, etc.

Merchants [vessā]. All those engaged (traders, self-employed or heads of businesses, speculators) in trade for money, etc.

Workers [suddā]. All those engaged in work for hire, etc.

The rest are not People of Color.

Today the boundries are not clear. What seems to be clear is that at this time in the world the evolution in terms of dominance and power has been a devolution in terms of color.

 


[1] I am incorrect in this: PED: Kolaputti at A I 38 is composition form of kulaputta, and is to be combined with the following -vaṇṇa-pokkharatā, i.e. light colour as becoming a man of good family. A similar passage at Nidd I 80 = Nidd II §505 reads kolaputtikena vā vaṇṇapokkharatāya vā, thus taking kolaputtikaɱ as neuter, meaning a man of good virtue.

PED: Khattiya [derivation from khatta = kṣatra "having possessions"; Sanskrit kṣatriya] plural nominative also khattiyāse Ja III 441. A shortened form is khatya Ja VI 397. — feminine khattiyā A III 226-229, khattī D. I 193, and khattiyī. A member of one of the clans or tribes recognised as of Aryan descent. To be such was to belong to the highest social rank. The question of such social divisions in the Buddha's time is discussed in D.B. I 97-107; and it is there shown that whenever they are referred to in lists the khattiyas always come first. Khattiyo seṭṭho jane tasmiɱ D I 199 = II 97 = M I 358 = S I 153, II 284. This favourite verse is put into the mouth of a god; and he adds that whoever is perfect in wisdom and righteousness is the best of all. On the social prestige of the khattiyas see further M II 150-157; III 169; A II 86; S I 71, 93; Vin IV 6-10. On the religious side of the question D III 82; 93; M I 149, 177; II 84; S I 98. Wealth does not come into consideration at all. Only a very small percentage of the khattiyas were wealthy in the opinion of that time and place. Such are referred to at S I 15. All kings and chieftains were khattiyas D I 69, 136; III 44, 46, 61; A I 106; III 299; IV 259. Khattiyas are called rājāno Dhp 294, quoted Netti 165.
-kaññā a maid of khattiya birth Ja I 60; III 394;
-kula a khattiya clan, a princely house, Vin II 161 (with reference to Gotama's descent); III 80;
-māyā "the magic of the noble" Dhp-a I 166;
-vaɱsa aristocratic descent Sv I 267...


This Goal

[1] This goal is one [ekā],
not manifold.

[2] This goal is for one without passion [rāga],
not for one who is passionate.

[3] This goal is for one without anger [dosa],
not for one who is angry.

[4] This goal is for one without confusion [moha],
not for one who is confused.

[5] This goal is for one without thirst [taṇha],
not for one who has thirst.

[6] This goal is for one without plans [upādāna],
not for one who has plans.

[7] This goal is for one who knows [viddasu],
not for one who knows not.

[8] This goal is for one who is disengaged, not obstructed [anuruddha-paṭiviruddha],
not for one who is engaged, obstructed.

[9] This goal is for one who puts down enjoyment of difuseness [ni-papañca-rati],
not for one who enjoys difusenses.

MN 11

 


 

Oblog: [O.5.10.20] Sunday, May 10, 2020 5:55 AM

A quick note on The Once-Returner. This is not a case where the individual has only one more life to experience before Arahantship. That may be the case (the usual description is that such a one 'returns to this world but one more time and there makes an end'), but careful reading shows that this description allows for the case described in AN 10.75 where the Once Returner is first reborn in the Tusita realm. So apparently there may be one or more rebirths in realms other than the manusa realm before one's last rebirth upon returning here.

While I am at it I should repeat here what I have mentioned previously concerning the Non-Returner: that is that non-returning is not just a matter of going from death here to one of the Pure Abodes, but the wording: 'going upstream to the Akinittha Realm' can also mean a series (presumably of less than 7) of upwardly situated rebirths culminating in the Akanittha Realm. Non-returning = no turning back.


New translations from Bhikkhu Thanissaro:

[SN 1.1.2] Freedom, The Bhikkhu Thanissaro, translation.
Linked to the Pali,the Mrs. Rhys Davids translation, the Sister Upalavanna translation, and the Bhikkhu Bodhi translation.
The Buddha explains to a Devata how he is able to know he is free.
An interesting sutta! Bhk. Thanissaro translates "saññā-viññāṇa-saŋkhayā" "ending of perception and consciousness". This is literally: perception-consciousnes-'self-withering' or 'withering on its own'. The literal reading has the advantage of limiting the withering to perception-consciousnes or consciousness dependent on perception, leaving us free to continue on with consciousness without perception as its object (viññāṇa-anidassana).

[SN 1.1.56] Engendered (2) The Bhikkhu Thanissaro, translation.
Linked to the Pali,the Mrs. Rhys Davids translation, and the Bhikkhu Bodhi translation.
Engendered by thirst the mind wanders around, the individual sucked into the round and round, not released from pain.

[SN 1.1.57] Engendered (3) The Bhikkhu Thanissaro, translation.
Linked to the Pali,the Mrs. Rhys Davids translation, and the Bhikkhu Bodhi translation.
Engendered by thirst the mind wanders around, the individual sucked into the round and round, in this kamma is one's purpose (parāyanan).
Bhk. Thanissaro translates "parāyana" as "support". This could also be read as intending that which involves one in this wandering round; 'Here in samsara one's purpose is the creation of deeds.' The Deva here and in the previous does not look like she is interested in what would bring about escape.

[SN 1.2.2] Kassapa the Deva's Son The Bhikkhu Thanissaro, translation.
Linked to the Pali, and the Mrs. Rhys Davids translation,
A Deva states what he believes are the requirements for Arahantship.

[SN 1.2.17] Subrahma the Deva's Son The Bhikkhu Thanissaro, translation.
Linked to the Pali, and the Mrs. Rhys Davids translation,
A Deva asks the Buddha if there is any place of safety. The Buddha responds that apart from serious pursuit of the Seven Dimensions of Awakening, guarding of the senses and letting it all go, he sees no safety for living beings.

[SN 1.2.22] Khema the Deva's Son The Bhikkhu Thanissaro, translation.
Linked to the Pali, and the Mrs. Rhys Davids translation,
A Deva likens the person regretting the consequences of his poorly done deeds to that of the teamster who has taken his cart onto rough terrain and broken it.

 


 

Oblog: [O.5.9.20.02] Saturday, May 09, 2020 6:07 AM

More and more I am being driven to the conclusion that seeking to find a single term for the important concepts in translation of the Pali is not only misguided, but also destructive of the information conveyed by the original.

Not in every case, but in a great number of cases (see just below) digging into the meaning of a Pali term will show that it actually encompasses more than one of the shades of meaning supplied by the various possible translations. To choose one narrows the interpretation and in that way legislates against the others to the disadvantage of anyone trying to understand the full scope.

Translation of the Pali is a sort of arrogance, not just in the assumption the translator makes in thinking he has understood the meaning, but in thinking that (as translators must) one term will do when multiple meanings are actually indicated and helpful (again, as per the example just below) — it is, essentially the statement "our language is superior in its refinement of meaning" wheras it just might be that our language is destructive of thinking in depth.

In what is not an elegant solution, the best way around this is probably the very-hard-on-understanding practice of using multiple terms according to context. The danger in that is still the elimination of multiple meanings possible in a single context and the just mentioned difficulty of keeping the various meanings in mind as one reads and puts one's mind to, and thinks about and re-evaluates and reconsiders and ponders and analyzes and keeps at it ... suggesting an alternative that is not pretty:

Find yourself a place to be alone,
sit down, sitting up straight,
legs crossed lapwise,
and mind, remember to periodically attend to, the mug, or the mouth, or face, or front, or interface, or your minding ...

Still a third work-around would be to leave the Pali term untranslated — that is not just difficult-to-translate terms like 'Dhamma', but every term with multiple possible good translations. A solution useful to the truly dedicated only!

Find yourself a place to be alone,
sit down, sitting up straight,
legs crossed lapwise, and
sati around the mukkham ...

Another solution was proposed by Alex for sites which, unlike this one, allow running scripts: drop down lists of the alternative translations for important terms. Something like the pop up definitions of words now found on several sites, this would have not just one preferred translation, but all the alternatives. A sort of 'make your own translation' tool.

There is nothing really one can do about this problem that would yield readable results without completely remaking virtually every sutta we have, but what, as readers we can/should do is keep an open mind about the possibility of an expanded scope versus an alternative meaning.


Nekkhamma:

The first principle (sankappa), the highest purpose, aim, intention, resolve, thought, goal visualization:

When, comparing it to the Magga,
you have seen for yourself
that a thing is detrimental
to your progress towards ultimate freedom,
dump it,
give it up,
leave it go,
renounce it,
put down commerse, (kammanta),
put down sensual indulgences, (kama),
put down intentional action, (kamma),
in a word, put down works and
leave the home-life for homelessness.

 


 

Oblog: [O.5.8.20.02] Friday, May 08, 2020 4:08 PM

The instruction is: sati-parimukham, or parimukham-sati.
This means: "Mind-around-mouth."
It also means: "Mind-around-face."
It also means: "Mind around the front."
It also means: "Mind around the interface" [between the personal and the external].
It also has been interpreted as meaning: "Mind the business at which you are about" (that is minding).

This instruction is found in cases where a formula for meditation is being set forth, not exclusive to minding the in and out breaths.

There is no instruction that reads: 'focus where the breath is felt' or 'at the nose' or at any specific place. Try to focus on the point where the breath passes the nostrils you will quickly see that you cannot find that place. It moves around at light-speed!

That is why the instruction reads "around" (pari). The point is the focus, not the locus.

This is also important as a preventive measure: our job here is not to maintain a state of concentration on any one object. We are trying to develop concentration (or better, focus) as a skill, a tool to be used in understanding other things. You are not going to Nibbana with your mind focused on your nose!

Follow the instructions without trying to pick it apart and you will see the advantages of minding around the mouth as a starting point, minding the face as a matter of minding the sense-reactions, minding the front as minding the whole body, minding the interface as minding the inter-relations of the body and the external world, and minding your business as keeping you focused on the task. Round and round, up and down, back and forth.

 


 

Oblog: [O.5.8.20] Friday, May 08, 2020 4:03 AM

Monks, it is on the conjunction of three things that there is conception. ...
if, monks, there is here a coitus of the parents
and it is the mother's season
and the gandhabba is present,
it is on the conjunction of these three things
that there is conception.

MN 38 - Horner

There is uncertainty and confusion concerning the meaning of the term 'Gandhabba'. I suggest that without knowing the origin of the term or even it's meaning, a place to look to understand the idea is within: the gandhabba is the individuality, the personality of the being seeking to be born upon the conjunction of the male and female: that's you Bub! For me this is a clear statement that there is a state, at least for some forms of rebirth, between death and rebirth.


Khīṇā: Ahind, ahint, behind, hind, athind OE: æt-hindan.
PED: [past participle of khīyati, Pass. to khayati] destroyed, exhausted, removed, wasted, gone; in compounds -- often to be translated "without."
Khīyati [Sanskrit kṣīyate, passive to khayati] to be exhausted, to waste away, to become dejected, to fall away from
He knows: Khīṇā jāti: Ahind is birth. Left behind.


The Speed of Light: 299,792,458 miles/second. I wonder if anyone has tried to measure the speed of consciousness. I wonder if science is not missing something by not considering consciousness as an element when they speak of the speed of light being the upper limit for the speed at which conventional matter and information can travel. Leaving aside the idea that they are speaking of the speed at which 'conventinal matter' can travel, I see the situation where an Arahant could (and as reported in the suttas, does) switch awareness of one state of sense-consciousness identified with a certain individuality in one location to awareness of another state of sense-consciousness identified with the same individuality in another location or multiple locations at the speed of thought and without loss of memory. So though conventional matter may not be able to travel at this speed, the illusion of matter may. "From being one, he becomes many, from being many he becomes one." "Dissapearing from here, he re-appears there." The trick, it seems, is letting go of the idea that there is any material reality to 'conventional matter'.

 


 

Oblog: [O.5.1.20] Friday, May 01, 2020 8:27 AM

[MN 123] Amazing and Astounding Qualities, The Bhkkhu Thanissaro, translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Horner translation, the Lord Chalmers translation, and the Sister Upalavanna translation.
Ānanda relates what he has heard about certain wonderous events that accompanied the birth of the Buddha.

 


 

Oblog: [O.4.28.20] Tuesday, April 28, 2020 6:52 AM

ṭ â Ā ā Ē ē Ī ī Ō ō Ū ū Ḍ ḍ Ḥ ḥ Ḷ ḷ ɱ Ṃ ṃ Ṁ ṁ ŋ Ṅ ṅ Ṇ ṇ ṛ Ñ ñ Ṭ ṭ ../ Ś ṣ ś ° > < § √

TEXTPAD USERS. A Clip-book for the insertion of Unicode diacritical characters for the Pali Language is now available for download here:
pali-diacritics.zip
Download > Extract to SAMPLES subfolder of your TextPad installation folder > then
1. From the View menu, choose Clip Library;
2. Click the down arrow on the Clip Library, to display the list of clip-books;
3. Select "pali-diacritics.TCL" from the drop-down list.

The clip-book contains all the diacriticals used for writing the Pali language in Roman characters (see above). All the alternative forms and a few often-used special characters are included, and the Clip book can be edited to add new clips as needed.

Translators/Editors, future and present, The unique Clip-book feature of TextPad allows the saving of any amount of text as a macro for insertion at a later time. This means it is possible that a collection of 'stock phrases' either of translation fragments or the original Pali, can be stored for repeated use and inserted with a click where needed.

I receive no compensation in any form for this hearty endorcement of this uniquely valuable text editor.


[AN 5.191] The Dog Discourse, The Bhikkhu Thanissaro, translation,
Linked to the Pali, and to the Hare translation.
The Buddha describes five noble behaviors that in the old days characterized both Brahmans and dogs but at a later time were to be found only in dogs.

 


 

Oblog: [O.4.23.20] Thursday, April 23, 2020 6:00 AM

Meditators at Work, by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

In this essay Bhante Thanissaro argues that it is a mistake to conceptualize the method as being one where there is no need for taking action, that is, that it requires only 'doing nothing'. The idea that there is nothing one needs to do and that Arahantship arrives on its own in its own good time is approximately the 'theory of non-action' and is a wrong method and is highly criticized by the Buddha.

Seeing the possibility of mistaking this wrong stand as the one suggested here, I hasten to clarify that 'doing nothing' is not the method suggested here.

The method suggested here strongly emphasizes the idea of 'intentional not-doing' the kamma that ends kamma, in combination with 'letting go', (nekkhamma). The difference is critical.

I have put together a response to this essay. It can be found at: On "Meditators at Work" in the Forum.

 


 

Oblog: [O.4.22.20] Wednesday, April 22, 2020 1:46 PM

pdfSkill in Questions, by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
This is a book about discernment in action, centered on the Buddha’s strategic use of discernment in framing and responding to questions.

 


 

Oblog: [O.4.19.20] Sunday, April 19, 2020 9:03 AM

[MN 5] Unblemished, the Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation.
Linked to the pali, the Lord Chalmers translation, the Horner translation, and the Sister Upalavanna translation.
Sāriputta and Maha Moggallāna engage in a dialogue which points out the advantages of self awareness when it comes to character faults.

 


 

Oblog: [O.4.15.20] Wednesday, April 15, 2020 7:52 AM

At this time the sutta citations in the footnotes of the Pali Text Society translations of the four main Nikāyas [DN, MN, SN and AN] and to the available books of the Kuddhaka Nikāya [KD] have been linked to their respective suttas or verses.

I have not linked citations to the Vinaya as the version here is not yet truly integrated into the site.
Citations to the Pali text, where the citation points to a sutta rather than to a page, or where it points to a page that is the beginning of a sutta have been linked to the Index (as opposed to the individual sutta) thus allowing the reader to choose translation or the Pali text.
At this point almost all the PTS sutta translations and most, but not all the Pali text, have been fully rolled out.
At this point all the PTS sutta translations and Pali text have page numbers (indicating the page in the hard-copy) which can be linked-to by appending "#pg000" to the end of the file's url.
Citations to the J.P.T.S are linked to a PDF file for the year; the reader will need to open the file to find the page cited.
Citations to the Jātaka stories are linked to the Jātaka and again the reader will need to find the page cited.

There will be errors! I have tried to keep alert during this project, but it was, of all the projects taken on for this site, the most boring. Reporting errors is encouraged!

This linking project was begun on April 13, 2019 and completed April 15, 2020.
The PTS released these works for free distribution in May 2013. Seven years.

 


 

Oblog: [O.4.14.20] Tuesday, April 14, 2020 1:19 PM

The Crossroads
Cātu-m-Mahā-Pathe

Here and there throughout the suttas you will come across this business of a crossroads.

What does this stand for?

It stands for the point where the Four Great Elements (paṭhavi/earth/solidity, āpo/water/liquidity, tejo/firelight/combustion, and vayo/wind/motion) meet.

And that stands for this living being made up from the four.

One term of the four is most helpful for 'seeing' this: tejo: combustion.

Sitting, sitting up straight and bringing the mind to the mouth and then, when still, calm and tranquil, looking down at the body in the mind's eye, you will see the body as faint (usually) quavering outline in light (or, if you have developed a 'center' as suggested, you may just see a line, or a smudge, or even, possibly just a point of light. Look again and you will see that it bears every resemblance to a fire whose flames are formed creations. Creations appear to be 'spewing' out from that light. The more active you get, the greater the breadth and visibility of the flames to the point where it is this efflouresence of forms that is what one takes for 'my body'.

This is more than an interesting illusion. One of the more difficult problems we face in attaining freedom is attaining freedom from the body. While it is not easy to see the solidity, liquidity and motion of the body in this detached way (as opposed to the normal composit view of a 'whole' body that is seen as 'my body') but what is happening with the element of combustion is much easier to see objectively (or you might say 'down to its point of origin') and because of that is very helpful to the effort to detach.

 


 

Oblog: [O.3.29.20] Sunday, March 29, 2020

Arahantship from the First Gnosis (Jhāna)

I hear tell at one time
the householder Dasama of Aṭṭhaka
asked Ānanda about attaining arahantship:

"Is there, bhante Ānanda,
any one practice
pointed out by that Lucky Man who knows,
who sees,
arahant,
the #1 perfectly Self-Awakened One,
whereby if a beggar lives without carelessness,
ardent,
determined,
his not yet freed mind,
is freed;
or the not yet completely eradicated corrupting influences,
are completely eradicated;
or the not yet attained
unsurpassed freedom from bondage
is attained?"

"As to this, householder, a beggar,
separated from
sensuality
separated from
unskillful things,
still re-thinking,
still re-evaluating,
appreciating the pleasure born of separation,
enters
and makes a habitat of
the First Gnosis.

Concerning this, he says to himself:

'This first gnosis
is just the product
of a higher sort of own-making,
a higher sort of intent.

Whatever is a product
of own-making,
of intent,
is transient,
subject to ending.'

Taking this as his stand
he attains the eradication
of the corrupting influences.

But if he does not attain the complete eradication
of the corrupting influences,
by his devotion to Dhamma,
by his delight in Dhamma,
by the elimination
of the five yokes to the lower,
he gets spontaneous upward promotion,
attaining nibbāna that way,
not subject to turning back.

MN 52 adapted from Ms. Horner's translation.

 


 

Oblog: [O.3.24.20] Tuesday, March 24, 2020 2:36 PM

"It Can't Happen
without It

Cause"

The Paṭicca Samuppada is not a theory
about how cause and effect works to bring about birth and death;
it is a formula showing the causal associations
that lead to birth and death
that are visible to the ordinary individual
and which can and must be eliminated
in order to eliminate birth and death.

 

If you must think in terms of 'cause', think:

Causal Association, or,
Proximate cause or,
Economic cause.

This way you leave 'cause' as a mystery
and focus on what you are actually able to see for yourself
and do something about,
that is:

Whatever may be the actual cause for our subjective experience of
aging sickness and death,
grief and lamentation,
pain and misery,
and despair,
we can see that without birth,
there would be no aging sickness and death,
grief and lamentation,
pain and misery,
and despair for us.

We can see that:

Birth is causally associated with
aging sickness and death,
grief and lamentation,
pain and misery,
and despair.

and then we can ask:

Without what would we not come to birth?

We can see that:

Whatever may be the actual cause of our birth,
without existence,
there would be no birth for us.

We can see that:

Existence is causally associated
with birth.

and then we can ask:

Without what would we not come into existence?

We can see that:

Whatever may be the actual cause of our existence,
without fuel in support thereof,
(wishes, wantings, planning and taking action,
intended to create the experience of existence,)
there would be no existence for us.

We can see that:

Fuel in support of existence,
is causally associated
with existence.

and then we can ask:

Without what would there be no fuel and support for our existence?

We can see that:

Whatever may be the actual cause of our fueling and supporting existence,
without thirst for pleasure,
thirst for existence
and thirst for non-existence,
there would be no fuel and support for existence.

Thirst,
is causally associated
with existence.

and then we can ask:

Without what would we have no
thirst for pleasure,
thirst for existence, or
thirst for non-existence?

We can see that:

Whatever may be the actual cause of our thirst,
without sense-experience,
we would have no
thirst for pleasure,
thirst for existence, or
thirst for non-existence.

Sense-experience,
is causally associated
with thirst.

and then we can ask:

Without what would we have no sense experience?

We can see that:

Whatever may be the actual cause of our sense experience,
without contact,
we would have no sense experience.

Contact
is causally associated,
with sense experience.

and then we can ask:

Without what would we have no contact?

We can see that:

Whatever may be the actual cause of contact,
without the six realms of sense
we would have no contact.

The six realms of sense
are causally associated
with contact.

and then we can ask:

Without what would we have no contact with the six realms of sense?

We can see that:

Whatever may be the actual cause of our contact with the six realms of sense,
without named-forms,
we would have no contact with the six realms of sense.

Named-forms
are causally associated
with contact with the six realms of sense.

and then we can ask:

Without what would we have no contact with named-forms?

We can see that:

Whatever may be the actual cause of our contact with named-forms,
without sense-consciousness,
there would be no contact with named forms.

Sense-consciousness
is causally associated
with named forms.

and then we can ask:

Without what would we have no sense-consciousness?

We can see that:

Whatever may be the actual cause of our sense-consciousness,
without named-forms,
we would have no sense-consciousness.

Named-forms
are causally associated
with sense-consciousness.

and then we can ask:

Without what would we have no
sense-consciousness associated with named forms,
and named-forms associated with consciousness?

and see that:

Whatever may be the actual cause of our having
sense-consciousness of named forms,
and named-forms associated with sense-consciousness,
without identification with the intent
to create experience for the self
by way of thoughts, words and deeds,
(own-making for short),
there would be no sense-consciousness associated with named forms,
and named-forms associated with sense-consciousness for us.

Own-making
is causally associated
with sense-consciousness associated with named forms,
and named-forms associated with sense-consciousness.

and then we can ask:

Without what would we do no own-making?

and see that:

Whatever may be the actual cause of our own-making
without blindness to the consequences
in aging, sickness and death,
grief and lamantation,
pain and misery,
and despair,
we would do no own-making.

Blindness
is causually associated,
with own-making.

At which point we will be able to see that:

By eliminating the factors
causually associated with it,
we can reasonably assume that
aging sickness and death,
grief and lamentation,
pain and misery,
and despair
will not come into existence for us.

That by abstaining
from identification with the intent
to create experience for the self
by way of thoughts, words and deeds,
(own-making for short),
we will eliminate the subjective sense-consciousness
causally associated with named forms;

by eliminating the subjective sense-consciousness
causally associated with named forms
we will eliminate the subjective experience of named forms;

by eliminating the subjective experience of named forms,
we will eliminate
the subjecive experience of named forms associated with consciousness

by eliminating the subjective experience of named forms associated with sense-consciousness,
we will eliminate the subjective experience of the six realms of sense

by eliminating the the subjective experience of six realms of sense,
we will eliminate the subjective experience of contact;

by eliminating the subjective experience of contact,
we will eliminate the subjective experience of sense experience;

by eliminating the subjective experience of sense experience,
we will eliminate the subjective experience of thirst,

by eliminating the subjective experience of thirst,
we will eliminate personally fueling the subjective experience of existence in the realms of existence;

by eliminating personally fueling the subjective experience of existence in the realms of existence,
we will eliminate the subjective experience of existence;

by eliminating the subjective experience of existence,
we will eliminate the subjective experience of birth;

by eliminting the subjective experience of birth,
we will eliminate the subjective experience of
aging sickness and death,
grief and lamentation,
pain and misery,
and despair.

And seeing that that was what we set out to do,
we can know:

"Left behind is rebirth
lived is the Godly life
done is what we set out to do,
no more is there for us,
this side or that side,
no more being any sort of 'it'
in any place of 'atness'."

 


 

Oblog: [O.3.22.20] Sunday, March 22, 2020 9:11 AM

"Beggars, The Sower does not sow a crop
for herds of animals,
thinking:

'Let the herds,
enjoying this crop sown by me,
flourish in good condition
for many a long day.'

Beggars, The Sower sows the crop
for herds of animals
thinking:

'The herds will eat fodder
partaking entranced
of this crop sown by me;
partaking entranced
and eating the fodder,
they will get elated;
being elated
they will get careless;
being careless
they will become those
to be dealt with
according to my will.'

Adapted from Horner's translation of MN 25.

 


 

Oblog: [O.3.19.20] Thursday, March 19, 2020 7:19 AM

There are several variations on the formula for the First Jhāna to be found on this site; today I would translate the formula as follows:

Separated from
sensuality
separated from
unskillful things,
still re-thinking,
still re-evaluating,
appreciating the pleasure born of separation,
enter
and make a habitat of
the First Gnosis.

Vivicca: 'Separated from', 'divorced from', 'aloof from', 'having put away', 'secluded from'. All these are good. What is not good is any word indicating suppression. Suppression requires continued contact and what we are after here is no contact at all.

Kāmehi: Sensual desires; sensuality; thinking erotic thoughts, but also any thoughts of a similar nature implying indulgence in sense pleasures as in fantasizing about lunch. Unless you have practiced that it be otherwise you resort to lustful thoughts about every 29 seconds all day every day. Not a skillful use of Time.

Akusalehi dhammehi: unskillful things. At the very moment when you sit down, your intent goes from indulgence in the unskillful to attention to the skillful. That, along with an appreciation of the advantages of solitude, is, in essence, the entry to the First Jhāna. But do not make the mistake of thinking that you have 'got' the First Jhāna or that that is all there is to it. The First Jhāna is not 'got', what you have got is a good example of the method: progress is made in this system by abandoning (nekkhamma) — the first principle: saŋkappa. The First Jhāna is what you have left after abandoning unskillful things. It is here, in this state that one does ones Dhamma Vicaya; research into the way things really are; yoniso manasikara: tracing things back to their point of origin; Dhamma re-evaluation; re-evaluation of your ethical standards and all the other problems associated with the discrepancy between your self subject to pain and freedom of mind. Attend to these things before you even think about 'getting' the second jhāna.

There are those who say there is no 'thinking' in the jhānas. So they condemn those who follow this notion to doing all their Dhamma Vicaya in the unskillful state of worldly consciousness. That this could result in clear thinking is not reasonable.

Sa-vitakka: Sa = 'with'; takka = thinking. Push it a little and I think that 'still' could be found in 'sa'; but the point is that 'with' means that while prior to sitting you were thinking, now in this first jhāna you are still thinking. The only difference being that the thinking now is skillful where previously it was unskillful.

On re-thinking: thoughts arise from the outside as incomplete fragments; when you string them together in mind to make a coherant thought, it is re-thinking. But because we USAmericans have not, as a people placed much value on our minds, we do not have words that as precisely as this describe what is really happening, that is, that the process of thinking is a matter of repeatedly bringing to mind and arranging and re-arranging perceptions or fragmentary thoughts to form coherant (at least to some) thoughts and (all too often) subsequent speech.

Sa-vicāraɱ With Re-Evaluation. Pondering. 'Cāra' has the sense of lifting up and moving around with setting down implied but not in the word. Once a re-thought thought has been coherantly formed, it is then reviewed and evaluated and altered to fit the inquiry. 'Turning over in the mind' is another way of saying the same thing. What was wanted here was a word that had in it the idea that this too was a thing that was done and redone again and again in the mind. Otherwise 'pondering' would also do. [I note that 'evaluation' is Bhk. Thanissaro's translation. No doubt I unconsciously picked this up from him ... but this is one of our objectives, no? To arrive at a vocabulary that those knowledgable in the Dhamma all agree on.

Viveka-jaɱ pīti-sukhaɱ This is the appreciation of the peace and quiet that comes from being alone for a good spell. Viveka-jam: separation-born; pīti: appreciation; sukhaɱ: pleasure.

Upasampajja: Rise up into; vihārati: abide in, live in, inhabit, make a habit of.

Paṭhamaɱ: the first; jhānaɱ: knowing, gnosis.

Vivicca||
kāmehi||
vivicca||
akusalehi dhammehi||
sa-vitakkaɱ||
sa-vicāraɱ||
viveka-jaɱ pīti-sukhaɱ||
paṭhamaɱ jhānaɱ upasampajja vihārati.
|| ||


Bhk. Thanissaro, in his translation of MN 14, note 5, says, in reference to the statement in that sutta:

"Nigaṇṭha Nāṭaputta ... has told us, "Nigaṇṭhas, there are evil actions that you have done in the past.

Exhaust them with these painful austerities.

When in the present you are restrained in body, restrained in speech, and restrained in mind, that is the non-doing of evil action for the future.

Thus, with the destruction of old actions through asceticism, and with the non-doing of new actions, there will be no flow into the future.

With no flow into the future, there is the ending of action.

With the ending of action, the ending of stress.

With the ending of stress, the ending of feeling.

With the ending of feeling, all suffering and stress will be exhausted."

"One of the great ironies in the history of Buddhism is the extent to which teachings that the Buddha clearly disapproved of, such as this one, have later been taught as quintessentially Buddhist. In some circles, a teaching similar to this one — that non-reactivity to pain burns away the impurity of past kamma and creates no new kamma for the future — is still taught as Buddhist to this day."

First of all the statement that "non-reactivity to pain burns away the impurity of past kamma and creates no new kamma for the future" is not even what Nigaṇṭha Nāṭaputta is saying.

Then Bhk. Thanissaro does not give us the exact wording of the "teaching similar to this one" so we have no basis for comparison.

Now here on this site the statement that could, for a careless ear, be heard as 'similar to this' is made thus:

"Practice non-reaction to the thirst (taṇhā) that results from sense experience created by past kamma."

Practice 'response' in its place.

What response?

Intentionally not reacting.

When in the present you are
restrained in body,
restrained in speech,
and restrained in mind,
that is the non-doing of evil action for the future.

Thus, with the destruction of old actions through non-reaction,
and with the non-doing of new unskillful (unrestrained) actions,
there will be no kammic flow into the future.

No kammic flow into the future is the ending of kamma.

With the ending of kamma,
the ending of pain.

It is not certain that Bhk. Thanissaro had this site in mind, but it comes close enough that an ... um ... response seemed advisable for the sake of clarity.

 


 

Oblog: [O.3.16.20] Monday, March 16, 2020 6:55 AM

What happens to this and all the other digital libraries if the worst happens and the electrical grid goes down?

Or, as my father used to say:

"Where would you be without your Mother?"

Just saying! You might want to consider printing out hard copies of your favoret suttas and their translations. Order hard copies from the Pali Text Society.


"Whatever are, bhante, those variously-composed views appearing in the world
reflecting a self yoked to experience of self or
reflecting a self yoked to experience of the world —
is it possible to let go such views,
is it possible to reject such views,
at the very start of a beggars making of mind?"

"Whatever are, Cunda, those variously-composed views appearing in the world
reflecting a self yoked to experience of self or
reflecting a self yoked to experience of the world —
wherever these views appear, and
wherever they lead in consequence, and
wherever they are in use,
thinking:

'This is not mine,'
'This is not me,'
'This is not my self,'
seeing whatever it is
as it is
with consummate wisdom,
it is possible to let go such views,
it is possible to reject such views."

MN 8

To think etaɱ mama, 'this is mine', is to be in the grip of craving.

To think eso aham asmi, 'I am this', is to be in the grip of pride.

To think eso me attā, 'this is my self', is to be in the grip of wrong view.

MA. i. 183. Quoted from footnotes in the Horner translation.

 


 

Oblog: [O.3.13.20] Friday, March 13, 2020 6:50 PM

What the Dhamma is telling us that we should hear,
when you hear
"Appamāda means 'Non-Carelessness', or
'without carelessness'"
is not "Be Careful", or
"Dilligence", or
"Heedfulness",
but "Be on the watch-out for Carelessness."

Its a matter of the direction of your focus. If you saw the world as it really is, you would know that being careful is the natural state and that it is corrupted from without by and as a result of carelessness. So you don't want to be worrying about being careful where you are already being careful which is what you would be doing if you understood Appamāda to be telling you to be careful; you want to be paying attention to those signs that indicate that you might be slipping into carelessness. That is why this word is given so much importance in the Suttas.


Now I have a good one for you. Give Ear!:

Remourse and self-recrimination
over some past deed poorly done
is itself bad kamma.

How so?

Its the difference between
passively experiencing and active doing:
self-recrimination is an active doing.

Punishing yourself by self-recrimination is taking on a role somewhat beyond your standing in the matter. ... and it isn't going to let you off.

Active doing is kamma.

Sucha one is making himself feel bad
about an anticipated unpleasant sensation, or
about having experienced an unpleasant sensation, or
about experiencing an unpleasant sensation
thus capitalizing on the old kamma to create new experience.

That is the whole of the Paticca Samuppada right there.

In the same way as two persons
who act in the same shameful way
intending to cause pain;
both will experience painful experience
in proportion to the intent.

The one experiences the unpleasant sensatins
and "feels guilty"
is ashamed,
heaps abuse upon himself,
etc., etc., etc.;
the other understands kamma
experiences the unpleasant sensations,
and sees:

"This is the consequence
of a former deed
not well done."

And sets out to learn
as much as possible
about doing
the well done.

 


 

Oblog: [O.3.7.20] Saturday, March 07, 2020 6:43 AM

Translating Pali Negative Opposites

Translating Negative Opposites

In the case of the translation of Pali negative opposites, we need to remember that a fundamental principle in this system is intentional not-doing. With this in mind you will see that translating the literal not-something to some word implying doing something would be both a mistranslation and a perversion of the Dhamma.

In this system we go from that which is
to that which no longer is;
not to some other thing that is.

We take a misleading liberty with our translations of negatives into positive opposites, and we short-change English by not making much instuctive use of the negative opposite as we could.

This note will be placed in the 'Give Ear' section of the Forum. Please also note that I have translated the term in the illustration as "Be Careful". That is not-good and will be changed throughout as I find cases.

 


 

Oblog: [O.3.6.20] Friday, March 06, 2020 8:20 AM

Moggallāna's Big Toe
or
Silver Lining Department

Whatever the reality of the Covid-19 virus outbreak turns out to be, what we can see is that it has given a good scare to virtually everyone on the Planet that has access to news. For the first time, for many, this will be an up-close look at how they feel about Death. A true 'wake up' call. There is the possibility that for some who would not have done so naturally, this scare may turn them to an examination of their beliefs and readyness for the world beyond.


While I am dealing with a worldly matter, let me also put foreward a thought on the business much in discussion today of income inequality.

Naturally today the focus is on exactly the wrong aspect of this question.

For me this needs to be seen from two aspects: The righteousness of earning huge amounts of money, and the righteousness of the playing field.

As far as Buddhist doctrines are concerned they are based on the idea of kamma. There is no fault in an individual based strictly on the amount of money they amass or how rapidly they amass it, as long as it is done honestly. Wealth in this system is a result of generosity in the past. To say that earning huge amounts of money was in some way immoral is to point to a morality that is not based on the Buddhist understanding of kamma.

On the other hand, we need to ask: How is the capitalist system any different than the feudal one? In stead of kings of states; we have CEOs. In stead of Lords, we have VPs and Department Heads. Such an organization is not based on kamma or on the reality of the situation, but on privilage and arbitrary favoritism.

Now I have personally heard multi-centi-millionairs state that they earned it all themselves and owe their success strictly to their own efforts. But this is an absurd opinion. I suggest that the expression "ideas are a dime a dozen" points to the reality: ideas, (the basis for the boss justifying his disproportinately large salary) without support from the infrastructure paid for by the people in the past, financing, and competant co-workers, nothing new would get off the ground. It is to the organization of the playing field: the rules set up by the government and the structure of the distribution of earned income within the corporation that needs to be the focus of the concern for equitable income distribution.

It is because the idea of kamma has not been introduced into this dialog that the same battle has been faught since the world began: back and forth, round and round. The terminology of the debate needs to be upgraded.

My say.

 


 

Oblog: [O.2.27.20] Thursday, February 27, 2020 8:01 AM

Tao Te Ching
by Lao-tzu
Translated by J. Legge
Sacred Books of the East, Vol 39 — 1891

This is a work which every educated person should have read. It's relevance here is that it is cited by Rhys Davids in DN 26. But thank goodness for that as this work is full of wise advice. It is also crazy in spots and surely meets the description: There are those of other beliefs who were not supremely enlightened, teaching a doctrine sometimes correct and sometimes not, imparted by one who was not supremely enlightened. The influence of this work on Chinese culture is evident in its rulers even today after the Comunist revolution. Essentially Lao Tsu is describing the way the governer of a state should use intentional not-doing or Wu wei 無爲, which is a basic principle of the Dhamma. There is much for a Buddhist practitioner to learn from this work. Another case of a man born in the wrong time who but for contact with the Dhamma would most certainly have prospered within it. This file will be permanently listed on the Files and Downloads page.

 


 

Oblog: [O.2.21.20] Friday, February 21, 2020 1:01 PM

[SN 2.16.2] Without Compunction, The Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation.
Linked to the Pali, the Rhys Davids translation, and the Bhikkhu Bodhi translation.
Maha Kassapa explains the Four Consummate Efforts in detail.

 


 

Oblog: [O.2.16.20] Sunday, February 16, 2020 9:44 AM

"Which of you gentlemen now is able successfully to divide this mighty land so broad on the north end, and so pointy-faced on the south, into seven equal portions?"

—DN 19

Divide Jambudipa into 7 equal parts

Well, ok, maybe not exactly equal in my drawing, but you get the idea.

First: this solves the problem only for a triangle of this shape. A solution to the question more compatable with the Dhamma would be:

To divide this Rose-Apple-Land into seven equal parts, place Mind (sati) in the center portion; on the right place Energy (viriya), Dhamma Research (Dhamma-Vicaya), and Enthusiasm (pīti); on the left place Impassivity (passadhi), Serenity (samādhi) and Detachment (upekkha).

 


 

Oblog: [O.2.14.20] Friday, February 14, 2020 7:09 AM

Buddhism, Its History and Literature, by T.W. Rhys Davids, G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1907


On Saŋkhāra
and
Saɱkhata

Excerpted from: Journal of the Pali Text Society, 1909, "Pali words beginning with 's'," by Dr. Sten Konow, edited and revised by Professor Dines Andersen.

Saŋkhāra (saŋkhāra, saɱskāra), m., confection, composition, compound, combination, complex, synthesis, aggregate, -ion:

(1) All things which have been brought together, made up, by pre-existing causes, forms, the world of phenomena, S. ii. 193; Dhp. 255, 278.

(2) Aggregate of the conditions or essential properties for a given process or result — e.g.
(i.) the sum of the conditions or properties making up or resulting in life or existence: ayu-saŋkhāra, D. ii. 106; S. ii. 266; bhava-saŋkhāra, jīvita-saŋkhāra, D. ii. 99, 107.
(ii.) Essential conditions, antecedents or synergy (co-ordinated activity), requisite for act, speech, thought: kāyas., [28] vacīs., cittas., or mānos., described respectively as 'respiration,' 'attention and consideration,' 'percepts and feelings,' 'because these are (respectively) bound up with,' or 'precede' those, M. i. 301 (cf. 56); S. iv. 293.

(3) One of the five khandhas, or aggregates of the constituents of organic life (see khandha), comprising all the citta-sampayutta-cetasika dhamma — i.e., the mental concomitants, or adjuncts, which come, or tend to come, into consciousness at the uprising of a citta, or unit of cognition, Dhs. 1 (cf. M. iii. 25); Abh.S. ch. ii. As thus classified, the saŋkhāra's form the mental factor corresponding to the bodily aggregate, or rūpa-k-khandha, and are in contrast to the three khandhas representing a single mental function only. But just as kāya stands for both body and action, so do the concrete mental syntheses called saŋkhārā tend to take on the implication of synergies, of purposive intellection, connoted by the term abhisaŋkhāra, q.v. — e.g., M. iii. 99 f., where saŋkhārā are a purposive, aspiring state of mind to induce a specific rebirth; S. ii. 82, where puññaɱ, apuññaɱ, āṇeñjaɱ saŋkhāra abhi-saŋkharoti, is, in Vibh. 135, catalogued as the three classes of abhisaŋkhāra; S. ii. 39, 360; A. ii. 157, where saŋkhāra is tantamount to sañcetanā; Mil. 61, where saŋkhāra, as khandha, is replaced by cetana (purposive conception). Thus, too, the saŋkhāras in the Paṭicca-samuppāda formula are considered as the aggregate of mental conditions which, under the law of kamma, bring about the inception of the paṭi-sandhi-viññāṇa, or first stirring of mental life in a newly begun individual. Lists of the psychologically, or logically distinguishable factors making up the composite saŋkhāra-k-khandha, with constants and variants, are given for each class of citta in Dh.S. 62, etc. (N.B. — Read cetanā for vedanā, § 338.) Phassa and cetana are the two constant factors in the saŋkhāra-k-khandha. These lists may be compared with the later elaboration of the saŋkhāra-elements given in Vis. Mag., ch. xiv. (J.P.T.S., 1891-93, 131).

Saɱkhata (p.p.p. of saɱkharoti), put together, compound, created, produced from conditions — i.e., by the influence of actions in former births — S. ii. 26; iii. 56; Dh.S. 1085; It. 37; 88; Nett. 14; V. ii. 284; J.A. ii. 387; Asl. 47; cooked, dressed, Mah. xxxii. 39; embellished, Mah. xxii. 29;
saɱkhata, n., that which is produced from a cause, the Saɱkharas, A. i. 83; 152; S. i. 112; Nett. 22;
asaɱkhata, not put together, uncompounded, not proceeding from a cause, Dh.S. 1086; epithet of Nibbāna, Dh.S. 583; 1439; Mil. 270; A. i. 152; S. iv. 359 ff. (Asaɱkhata-saɱyutta), K.V. 317 ff.; discernment of higher Jhāna states as Sankhata a preliminary to the detachment of Arahatship, M. iii. 244.

To be added to the article on Saŋkhāra in the Glossology section.

 


 

Oblog: [O.2.12.20] Wednesday, February 12, 2020 8:50 AM

Sources Consulted for the PTS Pali Nikāya Texts

Dīgha Nikāya

Edited by
Vol. 1, 1890: T.W. Rhys Davids and J.E. Carpenter
Vol. 2, 1903: T.W. Rhys Davids and J.E. Carpenter
Vol. 3, 1911: J.E. Carpenter

Ph = M = B - the Phayre MS. of the India Office Library (Burm. ch)
Bm Burmese ms, royal Mandalay Collection, India Office, No. 40
Br Printed Burmese text, Rangoon
Sm A ms in Sinhalese characters in the possession of Professor Rhys Davids
Sc Sinhalese manuscript belonging to J.E. Carpenter
Sd Sinhalese ms. belonging to T.W. Rhys Davids
St Sinhalese ms, Turnour Collection, India Office
Si = K Printed Siamese text, King of Siam's edition 1893 (Siamese ch)
RhDt Rhys Davids' transcript

Majjhima Nikāya

Edited by
Vol. 1, 1888, V. Trenckner
Vol. 2, 1896, R. Chalmers
Vol. 3, 1899, R. Chalmers

A = - Sk the Copenhagen MS. No. VI (Singh. ch)
Ph = M = B - the Phayre MS. of the India Office Library (Burm. ch)
St Sinhalese ms, Turnour Collection, India Office
Bm Burmese ms, royal Mandalay Collection, India Office, No. 40
Si = K Printed Siamese text, King of Siam's edition 1893 (Siamese ch)

Anguttara Nikāya

Edited by
Vol. 1, 1885, R. Morris, 2nd Ed.: A.K. Wrder
Vol. 2, 1888, R. Morris
Vol. 3, 1897, E. Hardy
Vol. 4, 1899, E. Hardy
Vol. 5, 1900, E. Hardy

T = St Sinhalese ms, Turnour Collection, India Office
Ba No. 2276 (in Sinhalese) of the Oriental Mss. in the Library of the British Museum
Bb No. 2412 (in Sinhalese ch) of the Oriental Mss. in the Library of the British Museum
Ph = M = B - the Phayre MS. of the India Office Library (Burm. ch)
Bm #122, #123 Burmese ms, royal Mandalay Collection, India Office, No. 40
S.M. (Sinhalese ch) Morris collection
B.K. Burmese texts
M. #s 125, 130 of the Mandalay collection (Burmese ch), India Office Lib.
M6 Morris Ms. (Sinhalese ch)
M7 Morris Ms. (Sinhalese ch)
M 8 Morris Ms. (Burmese)
S = Si = K Printed Siamese text, King of Siam's edition 1893 (Siamese ch)

2nd Ed:
Ke Siamese editionof the text
Ce Sinhalese edition of the text
ChS Chaṭṭha Sangīti Piṭakaɱ

Saɱyutta Nikāya

Edited by
Vol. 1, 1884, M.L. Feer
Vol. 2, 1888, M.L. Feer
Vol. 3, 1890, M.L. Feer
Vol. 4, 1898, M.L. Feer
Vol. 5, 1890, M.L. Feer

B (Burmese ch) ms of the Bibliotheque nationale in Paris
S1 Copenhagen ms
S2 British Museum ms
S3 Morris ms

Addition to On the Importance of the Pali Text Society Translations

 


 

Oblog: [O.2.13.20] Thursday, February 13, 2020 8:50 AM

pdfTexts from The Buddhist Canon, commonly known as Dhammapada with Accompanying Narratives, translated from the Chinese by Samuel Beal, Professor of Chinese, University College, London, Trubner & Co., 1878.
Cited by Rhys-Davids in his translation of DN. Possibly interesting perspectives from this translation from the Pali (?Buddhist Sanskrit?) to the Chinese to English.

pdfManual of Budhism, in its Modern Development, translated from Singhalese mss. by R. Spence Hardy, Partridge and Oakey, 1853
Another work frequently cited by RD.

 


 

Oblog: [O.2.11.20] Tuesday, February 11, 2020 4:59 AM

The Four Great Authorities

And
The Buddha's Method for Judging Authenticity

On hearing:

[1] "From the mouth of the Exalted One himself have I heard,
from his own mouth have I received it.

This is the Dhamma,
this the Vinaya,
this the teaching of the Buddha."

[2] "In such and such a dwelling-place there is a company of the brethren with their elders and leaders.

From the mouth of that company have I heard, face to face have I received it.

This is the Dhamma,
this the Vinaya,
this the teaching of the Buddha."

[3] "In such and such a dwelling-place
there are dwelling many elders of the Order,
deeply read,
holding the faith as handed down by tradition,
versed in the truths,
versed in the regulations of the Order,
versed in the summaries of the doctrines and the law.

From the mouth of those elders have I heard, from their mouth have I received it.

This is the Dhamma,
this the Vinaya,
this the teaching of the Buddha."

[4] "In such and such a dwelling-place there is a brother,
deeply read,
holding the faith as handed down by tradition,
versed in the truths,
versed in the regulations of the Order,
versed in the summaries of the doctrines and the law.

From the mouth of that brother have I heard, from their mouth have I received it.

This is the Dhamma,
this the Vinaya,
this the teaching of the Buddha."

The word spoken
should neither be received with praise
nor treated with scorn.

Without praise and without scorn
every word and syllable
should be carefully understood
and then put beside the Suttas
and compared with the Vinaya

If when so compared
they do not harmonize with the Suttas,
and do not fit in with the rules of the Order,
then you may come to the conclusion:

"Verily, this is not the word of the Exalted One,
and has been wrongly grasped."

Therefore you should reject it.

But if they harmonize with the Suttas
and fit in with the rules of the Order,
then you may come to the conclusion:

'Verily, this is the word of the Exalted One,
and has been well grasped.'

—Being an Excerpt from Dīgha Nikāya 16
The Book of the Great Decease
adapted from the translation of
T.W. Rhys Davids
intended to supplement the article:

By His Translations You May Know the Man

 


 

Oblog: [O.2.07.20] Friday, February 07, 2020 4:15 AM

In the Beginning
was also
The Word*

In DN 15, we are told that
named-forms depend on consciousness
and that consciousness depends on named-forms.

There are implications.

[1] The logical inference is,
that in this ever-revolving evolving devolving world
the occasion of
the appearance of formed objects (rūpa)
occurs symultaneously with
the origin of consciousness (viññāṇā) of their identity (nāma).

If we bend the theorizing of our modern scientists, we might say that every entry of a new existing thing is a mini- big bang. So this is saying that as well as the material universe as it re-evolves being created by a big bang, so is consciouosness.

To see this you need to divorce yourself from the notion that consciousness is something unique to your brain, or a thing that arises and evolves only within the already existing being or world. In this system consciousness is like an element. A property that naturally arises at the time of the formation of existing beings.

[2] As the world of objects evolves,
so also does the scope of consciousness.

From raw consciousness of elementary forms, consciousness evolves — consciousness of consciousness building on itself forming ideas and opinions into a mind that experiences (vedana) and reacts (upadāna).

Here one might say that individuality was a product of consciousness building on consciousness to such an extent that it has lost consciousness of (has forgotten) it's origins as element and has become fooled into belief that it has a unique existence as a being. We can call this 'Original Blindness'.

[3] Now it may be that someone here, having become aware of the disadvantages of existing, sits down to work out some escape from this world of pain and so works his concentration that he tracks his consciousness back to the point where the process itself is visible. If this is a real phenomena, it is visible. Why would it not be visible?

What does he see?

He sees things appearing in his world simultaneously with his consciousness of them.

As things do not pop into existence wholly formed from zip nada, but individually evolve into existence, there is at this point the perception that things are 'thought into existence.'

And who is the thinker?

Without seeing and understanding the Buddha's doctrine that there is no thing there that is the self of you, the appearance of things will force the conclusion that you are the Creator of the Created (i.e., Pajapati, i.e., God).

This perception — that one is one's self thinking things into existence has implications.

The Creator is also responsible for the conclusion:

That which comes into existence will also pass from existence.

The problem faced by the Creator of the Created is the dilemma: "Do I continue to exist and enjoy the pleasures of the senses but also create this massive bad kamma, or do I not create the world and end up being the only real person in the universe?"

What are you going to do?

The solution is to get rid of this blind view by replacing it with a higher view, that is, seeing that:
consciousness of named-forms is transient,
that which is transient is painful,
that which is painful
is not well seen as
'this is me',
'this is my self',
'this is a part of me', or
'I am a part of this.'

In bringing your mind to perception (seeing) at this level the evolutionary process that resulted in the original experience of individuality is turned onto itself and set to the task of perceiving the real state of affairs and the escape therefrom in dropping the blind point of view which is causing the problem.

From perception of the problem and the solution there follows the process of detachment (upekkha). This process consists of two methods: the letting go and not-doing described in the Magga.

Letting go and not doing being the mechanism of action used to effect detachment, the result is not something made by identification with the intent to create personal experience through acts of thought, word, and deed (i.e., saŋkhāra-ɱ-ming); the result is not a mind that already existed — though it looks like a sort of reversion to the original state of the mind, it is not that, it has evolved — it evolves from the state of identified-with existence (individuality) to a state where there is no identification with the existing. But it is consciousness. It is consciousness of not being identified with consciousness of named forms. It is the beam of sunshine that passing through the window of the West wall and not finding an East wall or a floor or the ground or the turtle, rests on and is fed by nothing but it's own freedom from attachment.

Such a one, so seeing,
recognizing in this freedom the freedom from pain one has been seeking, can see:

"Left behind is rebirth,
the life of being God,
done is duty's doing,
no more for me is there a hither and further,
no more is there for me this it'n-'n-at'n."

Say I.


*I say: "In the beginning is the A" You want to see this for yourself as opposed to reading this here and forgetting about it in the next minute, give the Sabba-Dhamma Mūla Pariyāya Sutta some serious thought (I mean weeks, months, years of concentrated study!). This sutta, if you allow it to transport you there, will show you the origin and end of the world. Paṭhavi, Apo, Tejo, Vayo, the path of eve's apple, will light your way out.


Of Related Interest:
What is Two?
Pajapati's Problem
Pajāpati A Name for Māra

 


 

Oblog: [O.2.02.20] Sunday, February 02, 2020 5:10 AM

pdf Buddhist Birth Stories the T.W. Rhys Davids translation. An early translation of the Fausböll edition of the Pali. The title page of this work indicates 'Volume 1' but there is apparently no Volume 2. This is a work frequently cited in DN.


The Sects of the Buddhists, T.W. Rhys Davids
An article reprinted from The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society 1891, which will complement the paper: The Eighteen Schools of Buddhism

 


 

Oblog: [O.1.31.20] Friday, January 31, 2020 6:27 AM

pdf Jātakamāla: Garland of Birth Stories. translated by J. S. Speyer.
I have not read this book. It is included here because referenced by T.W. Rhys Davids in his Introduction to his translation of DN 13: Tevijja Sutta: On knowledge of the Vedas:
"The Jātaka commentary in numerous passages states that the four Brahma vihāras were practised, long before the time of the rise of Buddhism, by the sages of old. I have not found such a statement in the Nikāyas; and it is most probable therefore that the Jātaka commentator is ante-dating the particular meditations in question. However this may be, they remained, throughout the long history of Buddhism, an essential part of Buddhist practice. They are even mentioned in the Jātaka Mālā, a work usually supposed to be Mahāyānist, and dated about a thousand years later than the Buddha."


Plato, Phædo, translated by Benjamin Jowett.
Included here because referenced by T.W. Rhys Davids in his Introduction to his translation of DN 13: Tevijja Sutta: On knowledge of the Vedas.


[DN 13] On Experiential Knowledge, The M. Olds, translation/adaptation of the T.W. Rhys Davids' translation.)
Linked to the Pali, the Buddhist Suttas' Rhys Davids translation, and the PTS Rhys Davids translation.
This Suttanta leads up only to the four states of mind held to result, after death, in a rebirth in the heavenly worlds of Brahma. If you want union with Brahma — which is not the Buddhist goal — this is the way to attain to it.
This is an adaptation! It took all of half a day to re-work Rhys Davids' translation such that it comports with the preferred vocabulary used here. It seems to me that if a uniform-vocabulary translation of the suttas turns out to be a desirable thing (I have my doubts, and have abandoned my previous position in favor of such a thing) it would be relatively simple to construct in this way.

In any case I have a stubborn friend who will not listen to anything that contradicts his notion that

concerning the true path
and the false Various Brahmans,
teach various paths
and all those paths are saving paths.

Just as near a village or a town
there are many and various paths,
yet they all meet together in the village —
just in that way
all the various paths
taught by various Brahmans —
will lead him who acts according to them,
into a state of union with Brahmā

and I thought this sutta might help him see the light.

 


 

Oblog: [O.1.21.20] Tuesday, January 21, 2020 8:41 AM

Quicky Review:

Future Shock,
Alvin Toffler, Random House, N.Y., 1970.

Relevance: Transience. I thought this would throw some light on anicca. It does, but, of course what he is dealing with is worldly transience. His proposition is that the new technoligies emerging in the world speed up transience and this will result in mass disorientation. The first half of the book is very informative in its discussion of the areas where technology will cause disruption. The book was 50 years ahead of its time and is required reading for anyone who has the feeling that the insanity here today is more than the usual older generation viewing the younger generation as more corrupt than they were and who wishes to understand what happened/is happening. The second half of the book is useless predictions and methods for counter-acting the damage of transience. Interesting because most of the predictions and methods suggested for coping were tried and failed.

This review will be located in the Book Review Quicky section.

 


 

Oblog: [O.1.18.20] Saturday, January 18, 2020 9:35 AM

"Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor,
he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard."

Proverbs 21:13, K.J.V. Relative to DN 5 - R.D., note 7

 


 

Oblog: [O.1.12.20] Sunday, January 12, 2020 6:48 AM

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms;
And then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

—Jaques in Shakespeare's As You Like It, Act II, vii; The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, The Cambridge Edition Text, as edited by William Aldis Wright, Including the Temple Notes, Illustrated by Rockwell Kent, Doubleday, Doran & Company, Inc, Garden City and New York, 1936.

 


Oblog: [O.6.26.20] Friday, June 26, 2020 5:24 AM

The Nine dimensions of Striving after Purification

[1] The ethics dimension of striving after purification,
[2] the mental state dimention of striving after purification,
[3] the views dimension of striving after purification,
[4] the working through doubt dimension of striving after purification,
[5] the knowing and seeing the Way and the not-way dimension of striving after purification,
[6] the knowing and seeing the walk-to-walk dimension of striving after purification,
[7] the knowing and seeing dimension of striving after purification,
[8] the wisdom dimension of striving after purification,
[9] the freedom dimension of striving after purification.


 

Eight Stages in the Life of a Man

MN 76, ascribed to Pakudha Kaccāyana at MA. iii. 230-231

Babyhood,
playtime,
stage of investigation,
standing erect,
learning time,
recluseship,
victory
time of knowing
and prostrate time.

 


 

Possible translation for Āsava? = Miasma

 


 

Oblog: [O.1.7.20] Tuesday, January 07, 2020 7:09 AM

[SN 5.55.55] Four Fruitful Things: Stream-Winning The M. Olds translation.
Linked to the Pali and the Woodward translation.
[SN 5.55.56] Four Fruitful Things: Once-Returning The M. Olds translation.
Linked to the Pali and the Woodward translation.
[SN 5.55.57] Four Fruitful Things: Non-Returning The M. Olds translation.
Linked to the Pali and the Woodward translation.
[SN 5.55.58] Four Fruitful Things: Arahantship The M. Olds translation.
Linked to the Pali and the Woodward translation.
[SN 5.55.59] Four Fruitful Things: Gaining Wisdom The M. Olds translation.
Linked to the Pali and the Woodward translation.
[SN 5.55.60] Four Fruitful Things: Having Sown Wisdom The M. Olds translation.
Linked to the Pali and the Woodward translation.
[SN 5.55.61] Four Fruitful Things: Bountiful Wisdom The M. Olds translation.
Linked to the Pali and the Woodward translation.

In addition to these, there are 13 others (translated by Woodward who translates 'pañña' as 'insight' - 'wisdom' was more generally acknowledge a better translation at a later point): Comprehensive wisdom; Manifold wisdom; Extensive wisdom; Profound wisdom; Unbounded wisdom; Abundant wisdom; Many-sided wisdom; Swift wisdom; Buoyant wisdom; Joyous wisdom; Instant wisdom; Sharp wisdom; Fastidious wisdom.

The Four Things in All Cases:

[1] Association with good men
[2] Hearing True Dhamma
[3] Tracing things to their point of origin,
[4] Conducting one's self in accodance with the Lessons in the Teachings.

 


 

Oblog: [O.1.4.20] Saturday, January 04, 2020 5:55 AM

OK. But for the rule beyond price use:

"Let me abstain
from doing
to others
what me
wouldna
have others
do unto me."

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

Do Unto Others as Ye Would Be Done By
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

—The Golden Rule

A Profitable Lesson in Dhamma

Here the student of the Aristocrat ponders:

"Here am I,
fond of my life,
not wanting to die,
fond of pleasure
and averse from pain.

Suppose someone should rob me of my life,
it would not be a thing
pleasing or delightful to me.

If I, in my turn,
should rob of his life
one fond of his life,
not wanting to die,
one fond of pleasure
and averse from pain,
it would not be a thing
pleasing or delightful to him.

For a state that is not pleasant or delightful to me
must be so to him also:
and a state that is not pleasing or delightful to me, -
how could I inflict that upon another?

As a result of such reflection
he himself abstains
from taking the life of creatures
and he encourages others so to abstain,
and speaks in praise of so abstaining.

If someone should take
with thievish intent
what I have not given him,

If someone should have intercourse with my wives,

If someone should spoil my fortune
by lying speech,

If someone should estrange me from my friends by slander,

If someone should treat me with harsh speech

If someone should treat me with pointless, frivolous talk,
it would not be a thing pleasant or delightful to me.

If I in my turn should so treat him,
it would not be pleasant or delightful to him.

For a state that is unpleasant,
not delightful to me
must be so to him also,
and a state that is not pleasant,
not delightful to me, -
how could I inflict that upon another?

—Adapted from Woodward's translation of SN 5.55.7.

The Mirror of Dhamma

This the 'Mirror of Dhamma,'
possessed of which the student of the Aristocrat,
if he please, may himself proclaim of himself:

"Cut off for me is rebirth in Hell,
cut off is rebirth in an animal womb,
cut off is the realm of ghosts,
the Woeful Way and the Downfall
Stream-winner am I
one bound for Awakening!"

Here the student of the Aristocrat has unwavering faith in the Buddha,
thus:

'He is the Lucky Man,
Arahant,
#1 Self-Awakened One,
perfect in knowledge and practice,
a Happy One,
world-knower,
unsurpassed charioteer
of men to be tamed,
teacher of devas and mankind,
a Buddha,
an Exalted One.'

He has unwavering faith in the Dhamma:

'Well taught by the Lucky Man
is the Dhamma,
to be seen in this visible state,
a thing not involving time,
a 'come see' thing,
leading onward,
to be known for themselves
by the wise.'

He has unwavering faith in the Order:

'Walking the walk is the Lucky Man's Order,
walking rightly,
walking according to the method,
walking consummately
is the Exalted One's Order of Disciples:
namely,
the four pairs of men,
the eight sorts of men.

That is the Exalted One's Order of Disciples.

Worthy of honour are they,
worthy of reverence,
worthy of offerings,
worthy of salutations with clasped hands, -
a field of merit unsurpassed for the world.'

And he has the virtues
dear to the Aristocrat,
virtues unbroken,
whole,
unspotted,
untarnished,
giving freedom,
praised by the wise:
virtues untainted,
which lead to serenity.'

This is that
'Mirror of the Dhamma,'
possessed of which the student of the Aristocrat,
if he please, may himself proclaim of himself:

"Cut off for me is rebirth in Hell,
cut off is rebirth in an animal womb,
cut off is the realm of ghosts,
the Woeful Way and the Downfall
Stream-winner am I
one bound for Awakening!"

—Adapted from Woodward's translation of SN 5.55.8.

 


 

Oblog: [O.1.3.20] Friday, January 03, 2020 6:31 AM

Tip: When working on letting go relative to the body, remember that the job is not to relax, but to let go of tensions. Tension is a muscle contraction which has past its point of usefulness. You want to let go of all tensions; if you tried to relax all flexed muscles in the body (which is impossible), you would end up like a plate of spaghetti. The danger here is that you can spend considerable time relaxing this muscle, then that, only after a time noticing that you have been going round and round in a circle, not relieving tensions at all.

Tip: If you are going to use the Dhamma to inform your practice (as opposed to simply following some teacher's guidance), then it becomes very helpful to do your own translations. This does not have to be polished work. The point is the bearing down on, concentration on the Dhamma (the lesson) within the Dhamma (the instruction). You may not be aware of it, but things change extremely rapidly in our world today and our minds have (or are attempting to) adopt by speeding up and cutting corners, especially when we read. In this is the danger of mentally editing what you are reading such as to form an impression of the lesson which agrees with your pre-conceived notions. If your pre-conceived notions were worth their salt, you would not be in the mess you are in. So you need to open yourself to the possibility that you may have to think through a statement that contradicts a long-cherished belief. That opening to the possibility of new understanding is greatly facilitated by the pondering one must do in translation.

 


 

Oblog: [O.1.1.20] Wednesday, January 01, 2020 5:18 AM

DN cover image MN cover image AN cover image SN cover image

E-Book Editions
of the Pali Text Society Translations
of
The Four Nikāyas
E-pub, Azw, Mobi, and PDF formats

Free downloads of the PTS translations of the Four Nikāyas have just been announced by Bhante Bhikkhu Subhuti on his website: americanmonk.org

Please note that this is not a project of BuddhaDust and these publications are not being hosted on this site. These books have been compiled and re-formatted from our as yet [Monday, December 30, 2019 8:15 AM] incompletely proofed html source files by Bhante Bhikkhu Subhuti and Stephen J. Torrence. Some additional editing for spelling has been done by them. Although there remain errors related to the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) of the original scanned books as well as errors made by me in the haste to get 'something' on line, it was felt by Bhante Subhuti that these files were good enough for release in their current state. There are plans to periodically update these books as editing of the source files continues.

Meanwhile this will be, for many people, a more convenient and pleasurable way to read the suttas.

To insure that you are downloading the latest version, please downlad from americanmonk.org

I see the release of these e-books, however much they can be improved, as a small miracle. The Dhamma as propagated itself! This is exactly what I would have hoped would happen with the digitization of these suttas. Here is a quick list of some other projects people might find interesting to compile into e-book formats:

Healthcare and the Medical Professions;
Politics;
Managing Business and Money Management;
The story of Rahula;
The story of Migara's Mother;
The story of Angulimala;
The story of King Pasanadi;
The story of Gotama through the suttas;
The important topics of the Samyutta Nikaya could be made into separate books including suttas on the same subject from all the other Nikayas.
a collection of all the similes plus their explanations;
a listing/index (linked), in chronological order, of all the suttas (I believe this information can be gathered from the commentaries),
and whatever other subjects that are of interest to narow groups.

 


 

Welcome Friend!
CONTINUED: The listings for:

What's New? 2019What's New? 2018What's New? 2017What's New? 2016
What's New? 2015What's New? 2014What's New? 2010-2013

 



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