April 10, 2018 at 7:56 am #15013
Understand the need to be mindful at all times on our bodily actions, speech, and thoughts. One who is serious in practising Satipatthana will see many flaws within oneself. You know what constitutes a defiled thought, but no matter what you do, your mind wants to think about it. Bad gathi mode kicks in! So, we keep resetting ourselves, telling ourself that “well, this is not mine, this I am not, this is not myself. I am going to do better the next time.” We even try to ignore these defiled thoughts. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. We even resort to using brute force to suppress them. Essentially, the mind crushing the mind. Sometimes the mind is well-behaved in the sense that it will cooperate with our practice. I’m not sure about other practitioners. But myself experience at times when I quite mindful, could detect a defiled thought that is about to surface. It has not come to the forefront of my mind and become a vivid imagery yet. And I could keep it at bay if my mind is strong at that time. This defiled thought is like lying deep in my consciousness, lurking in deep dark corners waiting for me to latch onto it. To give a simile, it is like a child calling out to this dad from a few rooms away while dad is meditating. The voice of the child is very soft when reaching the dad’s ears and dad could make out what the child is saying but does not want to acknowledge. So, my question is, how can we improve things further from here and tame our mind? Our mind is a very cunning entity and requires us to be skilful in destroying our defilements. I notice relying on one method does not always work. We need to be creative and yet disciplined to dictate terms with our mind.
April 10, 2018 at 8:22 am #15014
Yes we need to be creative and not follow stuff dogmatically whatever the stuff is.But at once one should have a solid background / infrastructure which i’m convinced Pure Dhamma is…
It might not be the best strategy to always shut down unfavorable thoughts “by force”. Sometimes one should let it surface and discard it after a brief moment of observation. It also happens that if you say to yourself something like “you want to think about that ? Ok think then…” the thoughts in question simply vanish which is about “mind tricking the mind”… imo.
This is somehow related too to my previous post, that i’m going to reformulate asap.
One should be at once relaxed and aware of everything here and now : body, mind and environment. There’s more then one way of doing it .
Also one thing to avoid is tiredness – the more tired one is, the less defenses one has to conveniently manage “Mara” and alike.
April 10, 2018 at 9:45 am #15016
Yes, sometimes it works for me to just let the defiled thought manifest itself. The more I try to go against it, the more it counters me back. No 2 persons have the same mind. To address the issue of how to improve our mindfulness, in my opinion, apart from the guidelines as stated in the Satipatthana, it boils down to the type of defilement one is facing and the seriousness of the defilement and then aptly applying the most suitable strategy to counter the defilement. For example, to counter lust for the opposite sex, one could view him or her as a waste bag. No different from a lavatory waste truck carrying urine and excrement all day long. They just come in a nice packaging that’s all! Then, apply Tilakkhana to further enhance the will power to give up worldly desires. Self-admonishment is another tactic I like to use if cravings are too intense.
April 10, 2018 at 12:07 pm #15019
“The more I try to go against it, the more it counters me back.” Exactly, certain beasts can’t be tamed by force, one has to make use of tricks.
Now let’s talk about the sex thing openly, for nowadays it’s quite different from Siddhartha the Gotama epoch; nowadays we’re much more environment-aggressed, we live in a completely different society,etc (no need for details i suppose…). Which leads me to raise some quests, maybe naive, but still :
– Can a Sotapanna be married OR if not married have sex now and then as much as he / she finds a suitable partner?
Anyways Buddhist or not sexuality can never be a priority in ones life.
On other hand if one doesn’t choose to become a monk (who lives in a more favorable environment for asceticism – in principle…) then the process gets tougher.
Corpse or body decay/filth contemplation are effective but only to some degree.
As much as one doesn’t indulge in Kāmēsu miccācāra everything is fine…?
April 11, 2018 at 7:27 am #15025
“Corpse or body decay/filth contemplation are effective but only to some degree.”
That’s true. The mind is strong but the skin is weak. Even a forensic pathologist who dissects dead bodies everyday will still have sexual desires. A medical practitioner who knows the dangers of smoking cannot kick the habit. Interestingly, someone who has been burnt by fire would never play with fire anymore. They have no doubt the damage a fire can bring. But why is it that these professionals who are dealing with filth, know filth, and see filth, do not practise what they know? Of course we know the answer – ignorant to Tilakkhana. When we are burned by fire, it makes no sense to voluntarily get burned twice. A normal person will never do that unless he is really crazy. But the fire of rebirth is much more intense and damaging than a physical fire (think about the suffering a hell being has to undergo). We are tormented by the fire of passion uncountable times and yet we still never learn our lesson.
April 11, 2018 at 1:33 am #15021Tobias GParticipant
A Sotapanna still has kama raga, sex is a part of it. It should be appropriate (not outside the marriage or often changing partners if not married).
Anyway the Sotapanna can see with the Dhamma eye and follows the path, starting with samma ditthi. Sooner or later he/she will see the dangers even in kama raga and also lose interest in more and more sense pleasures … Sakadagami stage follows inevitably. This is at least my experience.
April 11, 2018 at 2:45 am #15022
“…Will see the dangers in kama raga… ” interesting.
Can you pls elaborate a bit on this ?
April 11, 2018 at 3:33 am #15023Tobias GParticipant
Kama raga will keep one bound to kama loka, that is to say with a heavy body, sickness, aging, physical ailments, the need to work … A gathi suitable for kama loka or lower realms can be cultivated or newly established. As long as a being acts without good comprehension of the tilakkhana, avijja and tanha are strong. Thus the lifestream is still in danger to fall down to the apayas.
Also with kama raga one is “closer to the apayas” compared to a brahma. One will make “mistakes” and accumulate more akusala kamma, just to have sense pleasures. It is not easy to figure out which kamma one accumulates while doing “normal” deeds in kama loka. Just maintaining of enjoyments can prepare e.g. a peta bhava.
The coarseness of the rupa for sense pleasure is also an indicator what type of gathi is cultivated. We are here in kamaloka realm #5 to experience coarse rupa. The other side of the coin is a heavy body, sickness, etc. Getting rid of kama rage will send one to higher realms with less dense bodies and more refined experiences.
April 11, 2018 at 10:09 am #15029
“Kama raga will keep one bound to kama loka, that is to say with a heavy body, sickness, aging, physical ailments, the need to work …” This is in terms of rebirth, of course ? Next rebirth ?
April 11, 2018 at 9:05 am #15026
- ‘Kama raga will keep one bound to kama loka, that is to say with a heavy body, sickness, aging, physical ailments, the need to work-‘
But the kama loka realms above the human one are free from all these discomforts. These go only for the human and lower kama lokas.( I know Tobias knows this and said it only inadvertently.) A Sakadagami still has kama raga in the form of klesha kama and enjoys pleasures, though not of a coarse and selfish kind. It is more of an emotional oneness, freed from the fires of selfish lust so dominant in relationships here.
And klesha is not the correct qualification for this type of kama either,rather it is a longing for that which you know you already have.
-‘ Sooner or later he/she will see the dangers even in kama raga and also lose interest in more and more sense pleasures … Sakadagami stage follows inevitably. This is at least my experience’.-
One will have to get to the Anagami stage for that. A Sakadagami is not free from sense pleasures, though the ones he craves are of higher, finer type. ‘When he sees the danger even in (this type of) kama raga and also lose interest in more and more sense pleasures(of this type too)’ … Anagami stage follows inevitably. And the big leap is between Sakadagami and Anagami. This is my experience.
April 11, 2018 at 10:05 am #15028
Ok so now i know : you’re an Anagami.
April 11, 2018 at 11:41 am #15031
No, Embodied. Read into it better. Taking the leap you let go of things
you are not quite willing to yet.
April 11, 2018 at 12:46 pm #15032
If you take the leap despite not being quite willing to let go, such means that you still didn’t completely “incorporate”/integrate the corresponding Dhamma truths?
April 11, 2018 at 1:26 pm #15034
In that case you will not be ABLE to take the leap.Do you get me now? And incorporating/integrating the corresponding Dhamma truths (into your gati, you mean)comes as a matter of course once you have seen the inevitability of those truths. You do not even make the effort to ‘drive them home’,as it were.
The important thing is to know that progress has been made. As to how far and to what Stage, there will be many indications but the Stage reached, as a title or a tag is of no importance, to yourself or to others, unless, in the latter case, one is intent on teaching.
April 11, 2018 at 3:31 pm #15037
” And incorporating/integrating the corresponding Dhamma truths (into your gati, you mean)comes as a matter of course once you have seen the inevitability of those truths” Indeed. As for my gati i think i can say that i know what i’m doing…
When you wrote “Taking the leap you let go of things
you are not quite willing to yet.” – i thought you were referring to your own process.
“a title or a tag is of no importance, to yourself or to others, unless, in the latter case, one is intent on teaching.” – totally agree.
All these posts were extremely enlightening.
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