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3 years ago  ::  Apr 13, 2012 - 5:45PM #1
dio
Posts: 5,211

Who if anyone is thinking correctly?


 Wrong thinking causes suffering.


Avoiding wrong thinking is, if you will, like walking down a horse path and not stepping in the manure.


 


 

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3 years ago  ::  Apr 13, 2012 - 8:18PM #2
koala972
Posts: 866

Apr 13, 2012 -- 5:45PM, dio wrote:


Who if anyone is thinking correctly?


 Wrong thinking causes suffering.


Avoiding wrong thinking is, if you will, like walking down a horse path and not stepping in the manure.


 


 




aside from the fact that I might not personally like my feet to be covered in manure, is there any reason this is a bad thing?


from an objective viewpoint suffering seems a part of reality... and I'm not vain enough to think I can learn all about reality while avoiding parts I don't like.  On the other hand I recognize I may not want to learn that either...  but then the question becomes if I am deliberaty going to not learn about some things then why exactly do I have to spend my energy learning about buddhism?


But from a more practical viewpoint, I've noticed people spend a LOT of time trying to make me suffer.  I beg them to stop but they won't.  Often, they say take responsibility for your own stuff as if it is all my own fault and they had nothing to do with it.   And pile all sorts of other insults on me for objecting.  So if you are correct when you assert suffering is a defect,  why exactly is it that I necessarily have to spend my own energy to correct for the defects others are placing in my path?  I tell you truly I have spent much time doing just that because I was told to and I like to do what I'm told, but now I realize I can't dig myself out, all I get for my effort is more of the same.  And the more effort I go to the worse it gets.



but now, you'll probably insult me and tell me it is my own fault for going to effort, as if I had a choice in THAT...

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3 years ago  ::  Apr 14, 2012 - 1:32AM #3
Ferretling
Posts: 254

Apr 13, 2012 -- 5:45PM, dio wrote:


Who if anyone is thinking correctly?


 Wrong thinking causes suffering.


Avoiding wrong thinking is, if you will, like walking down a horse path and not stepping in the manure.


 


 





I;m not sure how this applies to Buddhism, though thanks for taking my metaphor (which was a real life experience) and using it in a way that has nothing to do with the intent of the metaphor.


There is nothing in Buddhism called "wrong thinking".
There is nothing in Buddhism called "thinking correctly".


There IS a concept in Buddhism called "right intention", which also goes by the name of "right thought". Is this what you're talking about?


Because really it isn't anything like what you're describing.


Please clarify? Thanks.

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3 years ago  ::  Apr 14, 2012 - 4:00AM #4
Ferretling
Posts: 254

Apr 13, 2012 -- 8:18PM, koala972 wrote:

aside from the fact that I might not personally like my feet to be covered in manure, is there any reason this is a bad thing?



Stepping in manure is not, objectively speaking, a bad thing. Nor is it a good thing. It is just a thing, and this thing has consequences that may or may not be considered unpleasant.


Apr 13, 2012 -- 8:18PM, koala972 wrote:

from an objective viewpoint suffering seems a part of reality... and I'm not vain enough to think I can learn all about reality while avoiding parts I don't like.  On the other hand I recognize I may not want to learn that either...  but then the question becomes if I am deliberaty going to not learn about some things then why exactly do I have to spend my energy learning about buddhism?



Buddhism isn't about avoidance of things or events. What Buddhism teaches is that, while what we describe as bad things will still happen, suffering itself is caused by attachment. I admit I am not the best person to explain this concept; the collective Bobs do a better job than I do. But I'll try to explain it by an example. I played ice hockey and I injured my knees. Now, I have persistent knee pain that is pretty much a constant thing, plus the kneecaps often pop out of place and there are many days it is difficult to walk. Now, while this causes me pain, it does not cause me suffering. It could, but I have learned to not hold attachments for days I could walk and skate with ease and be pain-freThe pain is still there, however. That remains. So I am not avoiding a thing. I am just not suffering.


Apr 13, 2012 -- 8:18PM, koala972 wrote:

But from a more practical viewpoint, I've noticed people spend a LOT of time trying to make me suffer.  I beg them to stop but they won't.  Often, they say take responsibility for your own stuff as if it is all my own fault and they had nothing to do with it.   And pile all sorts of other insults on me for objecting.  So if you are correct when you assert suffering is a defect,  why exactly is it that I necessarily have to spend my own energy to correct for the defects others are placing in my path?  I tell you truly I have spent much time doing just that because I was told to and I like to do what I'm told, but now I realize I can't dig myself out, all I get for my effort is more of the same.  And the more effort I go to the worse it gets.



How to address this...


Suffering isn't a "defect". Suffering just is. You're not defective if you suffer. You're just not enlightened. Neither are most of us, even Buddhists.


First off, I'll say that no one can make you suffer. People can do and say really horrible things, yes. They can be cruel, nasty, vindictive, downright evil. And yes, this can lead to suffering. However, suffering, as I have shown above, is distinctly internal. It is what arises internally as a reaction to internal and/or external stimuli. So, strictly speaking, you make yourself suffer. Again, this isn't a defect. This is how things are. It's pretty darn normal.


I don't know what other people do or say to you, but they are the ones responsible for that. As a practical note, I've found that begging people to stop rarely works as a strategy. The only thing you are responsible for is how you choose to react to what people do or say.


Again, I do better explaining by example.


There's someone I've known since 1982. Once upon a time we were "best friends", but now we're more like sisters. That's sisters with the good and the bad. I love this girl but she drives me nuts and if she didn't seem like family I wouldn't put up with some of the stuff she pulls. So, last month, I had asked her to go to something very important to me. She texted me the night before saying she wasn't going to come.... or at least would only show up for half of it. And this was because of her own discomfort. Now, last year, her father died and I was there for her at every step of the way, including going with her to the hospital several times, and I get freaked out by hospitals. So, you know, I figured, right, she'd be there for me. Because of these expectations, initially I did suffer when she decided not to be there for me. But then I told myself, hey, you know how she is. You know she's like this in general. So she won't be there, so what? The day will still be special. Why be attached to your desires for her behavior? Just accepot it for what it is and let it go. So then, yeah, that wasn't easy, but when I was able to let my attachment go I stopped suffering. That doesn't mean there wasn't a fleeting feeling of wistfulness, but the attachment was gone. The suffering was gone.


Why should you spend your energy? Well I can think of two reasons. One is because not-suffering is generally more pleasant than suffering. Secondly, because others aren't going to do it, so it's up to you. Can you avoid the people who are so toxic? That's really the only other viable alternative. Or you can just keep suffering. Avoidance is often difficult if not impossible, and suffering kinda sucks. So... that's why.


Apr 13, 2012 -- 8:18PM, koala972 wrote:

but now, you'll probably insult me and tell me it is my own fault for going to effort, as if I had a choice in THAT...



Wow, why the hostility?


Another cause for suffering is attachment to preconceived ideas, the delusions of preconception. So, when you say someone is going to probably do X or likely do Y and you have that expectation, you often put yourself into the mindset of it being so, whether it is reality or not. If you have that mindset and that attachment and any emotional reaction to it, by your own preconceptions you might cause yourself suffering.


Again, this is something that happens. It is normal. But the good thing is, you DO have a choice. It just takes hard work.

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3 years ago  ::  Apr 14, 2012 - 8:32PM #5
dio
Posts: 5,211

Apr 14, 2012 -- 1:32AM, Ferretling wrote:


Apr 13, 2012 -- 5:45PM, dio wrote:


Who if anyone is thinking correctly?


 Wrong thinking causes suffering.


Avoiding wrong thinking is, if you will, like walking down a horse path and not stepping in the manure.


 


 





I;m not sure how this applies to Buddhism, though thanks for taking my metaphor (which was a real life experience) and using it in a way that has nothing to do with the intent of the metaphor.


There is nothing in Buddhism called "wrong thinking".
There is nothing in Buddhism called "thinking correctly".


There IS a concept in Buddhism called "right intention", which also goes by the name of "right thought". Is this what you're talking about?


Because really it isn't anything like what you're describing.


Please clarify? Thanks.




I'm sorry; I thought wrong thinking was something Buddhists were concerned with. I guess right thinking is the positive spin. Unfortunately I am thinking most thinking is wrong thinking. Since you ask, what I think, observation is something else, more an unbiased consideration maybe even appreciation of stimulus.

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3 years ago  ::  Apr 15, 2012 - 4:39AM #6
Bhakta_glenn
Posts: 906

Apr 13, 2012 -- 5:45PM, dio wrote:


Who if anyone is thinking correctly?


 Wrong thinking causes suffering.


Avoiding wrong thinking is, if you will, like walking down a horse path and not stepping in the manure.




Dio,


Theravada Buddhism


The ability to understand the difference between Right and Wrong Thought is fundamental to Theravadin Buddhist Mental Development.


Volition is Kamma


The Dhammapada Teaches that there are basically two kinds of Volition known to Theravada Buddhism:




www.tipitaka.net/tipitaka/dhp/verseload....
The Dhammapada: Verses and Stories

Translated by Daw Mya Tin, M.A.

Edited by Editorial Committee, Burma Tipitaka Association Rangoon, Burma, 1986

Courtesy of Nibbana.com
For free distribution only, as a gift of dhamma.

Verse 1: All mental phenomena have mind as their forerunner; they have mind as their chief; they are mind-made. If one speaks or acts with an evil mind, 'dukkha' 3 follows him just as the wheel follows the hoofprint of the ox that draws the cart.

Verse 2: All mental phenomena have mind as their forerunner; they have mind as their chief; they are mind-made. If one speaks or acts with a pure mind, happiness (sukha) follows him like a shadow that never leaves him.



'Mind is the chief, the forerunner' refers to both Wrong Thought and Right Thought, repsectively in these two verses.


The Eightfold Noble Path [Magga]


www.wisdomlib.org/definition/magga/index...


The Wrong Eightfold Path [Miccha Magga]


www.wisdomlib.org/definition/micch%C4%81...


The student is taught how to discriminate between Right and Wrong Thought for the purposes of that mental development which takes Enlightenment as its fruit.



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3 years ago  ::  Apr 15, 2012 - 7:16AM #7
Bhakta_glenn
Posts: 906


From an objective viewpoint suffering seems a part of reality... and I'm not vain enough to think I can learn all about reality while avoiding parts I don't like. 




Theravada Buddhism


One does not have to learn all about reality to overcome suffering. One does not require a towering intellect, or the ability to post online and remain on topic because none of that has anything remotely to do with the Dhamma, which is what the Buddha taught:



The Dhammapada: Verses and Stories

Translated by Daw Mya Tin, M.A.

Edited by Editorial Committee, Burma Tipitaka Association Rangoon, Burma, 1986

Courtesy of Nibbana.com
For free distribution only, as a gift of dhamma.


Verse 183:


Not to do evil, to cultivate merit,


to purify one's mind


- this is the Teaching of the Buddhas.





Neither does Theravada Buddhist practice begin with a discussion about The Four Noble Truths, or Enlightenment. It begins with the needs of the student.


If the Teaching of the Buddha does  not address the needs of a student, then it is nothing more than a complete waste of everyone's time, Teacher and student alike.


Furthermore, it is not for the Teacher to try and convert a person to Buddhism. It is for the student to recognise that he or she would like to be trained in the Dhamma. Then, he or she should approach a qualified Theravadin Buddhist Teacher, usually found in a Vihara [Temple], and to request the Dhamma.


When I arrived at the door of the local Tibetan Buddhist Shrine, I was given a very cordial welcome and made to feel at my ease. Whilst I was given access to a small library and free to borrow books, there was no pressure to read anything. I was just asked to try and sit in meditation for five mnutes every day. This was to establish the habit of daily meditation.


I had grown up in a very hateful society and had been bullied at home and in society for a very long time. I think that my Buddhist Teacher was aware of this, because this is what I was given to read:


www.bodhicitta.net/Metta%20Sutra.htm


This link is for the Buddha's Discourse on Loving Kindness and was given to  me to help calm my mind down, which had been dissipated by mental health drugs with severe side effects, and a toal lack of any sense of self-confidence.


I was assessed for Buddhist Practice by a Senior Buddhist Meditation Master, a Tibetan Lama from India. He adivsed me that I would need to meditate under very close supervision. A short while later I transferred to the Theravada School where I was assigned to a Guru.


She told me that if a person has only ever known tragedy in his life, then the last thing he needs to hear is that life is full of suffering and then you die, unless enlightened. She told me that we had to prepare the Ground [Heart-Mind] so that we can sew the seeds for Good Kamma [Right Thoughts] from which positive life experiences may arise. In this way, with development and the passing of Time, those seeds arising from Kamma, which had been sewn from Wrong Thoughts, would eventually pass away and bother me no more.


Then she referred me to only One Discourse from the Buddha and said that this should be my Training Manual until further notice:


www.thisismyanmar.com/nibbana/singala8.h...


We used this as a base upon which to 'rebuild' my mind, to reconstitute it. She gave me the image of an unruly privet bush to represent the mind. Then she enhanced this vision with herslef as a topiarist forming the bush into a beautiful bird, by way of Teaching me Bhavana, Buddhist Mental Development.


The mind formed from wrong thoughts was represented by the unruly bush. The mind formed from right thoughts was represneted by the beautiful bird. The Topiarist represented the Skilful Guru as an Artist.





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3 years ago  ::  Apr 15, 2012 - 7:15PM #8
dio
Posts: 5,211

So desire for right thought should lead to happiness, and only desire for bad thought leads to suffering.


Can desire sometimes be a good thing?

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3 years ago  ::  Apr 16, 2012 - 4:53AM #9
Bhakta_glenn
Posts: 906

Apr 15, 2012 -- 7:15PM, dio wrote:


So desire for right thought should lead to happiness, and only desire for bad thought leads to suffering.


Can desire sometimes be a good thing?




Dio


Theravada Buddhism


The simple answer is that both good and bad things in this world are entirely negative, because life is impermanent, and rebirth is inevitable.


But, the Dhamma taught by the Buddha shows the student how to take control of his life and how to live righteously. The process is gradual and not instant.


Whilst the Theory of this is very simple to grasp, the actual development of it is not simple, it is complex.


Whilst Theravada Buddhism does not make the claim to be from God, it is, however, a Holy Dhamma and not a worldly Dhamma. But, they do not refer to the Holy Ones as Divine, they call them Supramundane, above the world.


Some Buddhists refer to the Buddha as a normal, worldly human being, a worldly man. If one reads about the Buddha's Supernormal Powers, then all that I can say is that he must have been the most peculiar worldly man that one could have ever laid eyes upon:



THE SIX SUPERNATURAL POWERS OF BUDDHA

Ma Tin Hla, M. A

Vol. III, Nos. 4 & 6, 1958


In the Akankheyya Sutta of the Majjhima-Nikaya, a detailed explanation for each of them is given by the Buddha Himself in the form of instruction as to how they may be acquired.

        1. IDDHIVIDHA - THE POWER OF TRANSFORMATION.
        2. DIBBASOTA - CELESTIAL HEARING.
        3. CETOPARIYA. - THE POWER OF DISCERNMENT OF THE MIND OF OTHERS.
        4. PUBBENIVASA - POWER OF KNOWING PREVIOUS EXISTENCE.
        5. DIBBA-CAKKHU - CELESTIAL VISION.
        6. ASAVAKKHAYA - SUPRA-MUNDANE KNOWLEDGE OR POWER RELATING TO DESTRUCTIONOF ASAVAS AND THE RECOGNITION OF THE FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS.




The Buddha who founded the Theravada was an Arahant. It is worth noting the Sixth Supernormal Power, namely the Supra-Mundane Wisdom or Power relating to the Destruction of Asavas [Cankers] and the Recognition of the Four Noble Truths.


One cannot merely read about the Four Noble Truths and claim to understand them. This is because if one did really understand them, then in the moment of cognition, one would enter into Stasis, and remain in Stasis for seven days, and arise from Stasis as an Arahant. By the mere understanding of the Four Noble Truths, one is transformed. There are Seven Stages of Holiness to reach before one is even in a position to understand the Four Noble Truths. The Ego is Destroyed at the Realisation of the Second Stage of Holiness.


Whilst there are Eight Kinds of Holy Person, only the Arahant is qualified to Teach the Sacred Dhamma, on the ground that he or she has been that way before, which terminates in the realisation of Nibbana. Having totally annihilated the Ego, they teach without any personally motivated desire. They are moved by selfless compassion.


In this negative world undermined by death and rebirth, there are positive and negative desires. They all lead to Rebirth. However, this word is important: Nibbana.


It means 'No-Craving'. It refers to a Plane of Reality that is Unborn, Uncreated, and Deathless. But, it also refers to the entire Tipitaka, which exists as the Word of the Buddha which is Stainless and without Craving.


When one begins to 'Walk the Eightfold Noble Path", then the quibbles of this world become meaningless pulp. The only thing that matters is that one is focussed upon the Goal. Desire for the Dhamma is not contaminated with Dukkha, it is realised as Sukha, Happiness, Bliss.


So, to answer you question, Desire for positive, worldly things is not worth the candle. Desire for the Dhamma is thoroughly worthwhile.


 


 



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3 years ago  ::  Apr 25, 2012 - 11:01AM #10
dio
Posts: 5,211

And Dhamma is?

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