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Dāna/Sīla/Bhavana II

Dāna/Sīla/Bhavana II
Answer
8/27/20 8:44 AM
Greetings, Friends/kalyanamitta-
Thank you for commenting on the original post (Dāna/Sīla/Bhavana seen in the Morality thread.), the one that asks each of us what is balance in a meditative life and what is its importance for the integration of insight to become how we live. I began by asking if dāna (generosity) and sīla (virtue) are as important to the overall realization the Buddha promises as bhavana (mental development), and if so how? In consequence of asking the question an interesting thread seems to be arising.

It appears a notion is being explored which may be at the root of why I asked the question(s) for discussion in the first place.

Our belief in our own understanding of what is Path and what is not Path may have the same limitations as how we view and think we understand dāna and sīla. These types of territory can get a bit murky due to the tendencies of mind to be ignorant of our own ignorances. Therefore, in order to make sense of this discussion we must begin from the notion that in order to see clearly, to understand what the Buddha taught and what meditation promises us, we need to have a trained mind/heart sufficiently in all areas of practice to have an informed point of view. (One of the many reasons why having kalyanamitta/teachers are so important and why attainments by themselves may be misleading unless supported by balance in all areas of the practice.)

The way I’ve come to understand the practice is that the teachings are not about beliefs, or what does or does not feel good (pleasant/unpleasant/neither), it is instead about accessing the Wisdom that comes if/when the mind/heart experiences the various types of ‘absolutes’ that come with non-conceptual, non-self referencing intuitive understanding…and then training oneself in all activities of our lives that arise from those intuitive understandings. In order for these understandings to take root and become second nature they must be practiced and tested in everyday life over and over again for the new neuropathways they open to mature. With maturity of these insights the liberated mind affects our intentions before thinking arises. Just spontaneous wisdom and compassion. This is when realization meets maturity in action.

Whether I believe something or not makes very little difference in the reality of whether or not it is true and/or accurate. One’s ignorance seems pretty darn often to get in the way of truly seeing into the nature of ‘absolute’ proactive harmlessness or universal compassion or what is and what is not anattā (non or not self). Yet the Buddha teaches us, and for us to discover, that there are 5 Immutable human virtues; (paraphrase): Proactive non-harming, respect and generosity with the material world, sexual propriety and care, speech that is useful, kind, and timely, and that clouding the mind with intoxicants intoxicates the mind and leads to headlessness. A few other ‘absolutes’ the Buddha offers us to discover on intuitive levels are that the training the mind…trains the mind, that the qualities of the Brahma Viharas when fully realized are universal and beyond self, that in nibbana/phala (states of enlightened non-reactivity) there is no self-referencing and is therefore free from suffering, among other benefits. These examples of ‘absolutes’ are plenty enough for the points we are exploring in this discussion.

So, now I ask again. Do we realize something on the cushion and that’s the end of that? Job done, nothing more to do? Are we exempt from testing sour realizations and possibly changing how we live in order to support congruency or is not important? How firm do these first intuitive glimpses of what I’m calling ‘absolute’ truths stick once realized and how important and valuable is it to exercise these realizations in everyday life?

Thank you for reading and thank you for considering these thoughts and seeing if they have an impact on how you practice. Look forward to your comments.

allan cooper
Author: A Householder’s Vinaya With Home and Saṅgha Retreat Guides
householdersvinaya.com

RE: Dāna/Sīla/Bhavana II
Answer
8/27/20 12:40 PM as a reply to Allan Cooper.
Ugh. I don't think I have _ever_ heard anyone say practice ends when you get off the cushion... Seems like you are creating straw dog arguments. 

Are you just trying to find ways to advertise your website?

RE: Dāna/Sīla/Bhavana II
Answer
8/27/20 12:01 PM as a reply to shargrol.
Are you just trying to find ways to advertise your website?

My impression too!

RE: Dāna/Sīla/Bhavana II
Answer
8/27/20 12:27 PM as a reply to shargrol.
Yes, and no. Yes, I would like for those who think they may benefit from finding a way to get a free download of the book to learn how to do it, and, no, the notions explored are very deep converns I've had for many years.

It is my experience that many do think that attainments are the end all of practice, or can't see that is the way they are practicing. Practicing with this type of imbalance creates fissures in the Wisdom. We see this in the many 'teachers' who obviously have attainments but fail themselves and their students when scandal errupts due to their inability to practice the Precepts and Right Livilihood.

So, yes, I offer the website as opportunities for anyone to assess if what is being offered is valuable or not.


Your point is well taken that some may see it as only opportunistic. Future posts will not include the information about the site or the book.


Thank you.

allan

RE: Dāna/Sīla/Bhavana II
Answer
8/27/20 12:38 PM as a reply to Allan Cooper.
It is opportunistic, and maybe not aligning with the precepts and right livelihood  emoticon

RE: Dāna/Sīla/Bhavana II
Answer
8/27/20 12:43 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
These two posts I offered were the first I've ever placed on a blog.

It appears what I was trying to offer at least to those who have responded today says I haven't the skills or the training to post skillfully.

I'll cease.

Thank you.

allan cooper