WISDOM & DISCERNMENT EFFECT THE FUTURE OF LAYPERSONS by Ryan Burton

01 OCTOBER 2020, THE DAILY CUSHION

WISDOM & DISCERNMENT EFFECT THE FUTURE OF LAYPERSONS by Ryan Burton

And what is accomplishment in wisdom?
Katamā ca, byagghapajja, paññāsampadā?

It’s when a gentleman is wise. They have the wisdom of arising and passing away which is noble, penetrative, and leads to the complete ending of suffering.
Idha, byagghapajja, kulaputto paññavā hoti, udayatthagāminiyā paññāya samannāgato ariyāya nibbedhikāya sammā dukkhakkhayagāminiyā.

This is called accomplishment in wisdom.
Ayaṃ vuccati, byagghapajja, paññāsampadā. (4: 8 )

https://suttacentral.net/an8.54/en/sujato

INSIGHTS

1. Things lead to welfare in this life for the householder. They are accomplishment in initiative, protection, good friendship and balanced finances. Initiative is reference to the specificity of organizing and completing work in one’s trade. Protecting is safeguarding accumulated wealth. He or she associates with persons accomplished in faith, ethics, generosity and wisdom. Balanced finances are the final accomplishment, living in such a way where expenditures do not exceed income.

2. What does it mean to be accomplished in faith, ethics, generosity and wisdom? In this context faith refers to faith in the Buddha’s enlightenment. For ethics, upholding the 5 precepts. For generosity, to be committed to charity, to love letting go, to be free of stinginess. For wisdom, the sutta refers to be a wise person through seeing the arising and passing of phenomena which leads to the end of suffering.

3. What is the arising and passing? This term refers to seeing things as they are – impermanent and inconstant. It is also the name of a specific insight knowledge in the progress of insight.“

Purification by Knowledge and Vision of the Course of Practice

“After noticing these manifestations of brilliant light and the others, or after leaving them unheeded, he goes on continuously as before with the act of noticing the bodily and mental processes as they become evident at the six sense doors. While thus engaged in noticing, he gets over the corruptions relating to brilliant light, rapture, tranquillity, happiness, attachment, etc., and his knowledge remains concerned exclusively with the arising and passing away of the processes noticed. For then, at each act of noticing, he sees: “The noticed object, having arisen, disappears instantly.” It also becomes clear to him that each object disappears just where it arises; it does not move on to another place.

In that way he understands by direct experience how bodily and mental processes arise and break up from moment to moment. It is such knowledge and understanding resulting from the continuous noticing of bodily and mental processes as they arise and dissolve moment after moment, and the discernment, in separate sections, of the arising and passing away of each of them, while being free from the corruptions, that is called “final knowledge of contemplation of arising and passing away.” This is the beginning of “purification by knowledge and vision of the course of practice,” which starts from this insight and extends to adaptation knowledge (No.13).” – Mahasi SayadawMind

TRAINING

1 . For householders peace of mind is essential to the practice of meditation. Where are we deficient in the four accomplishments in our present life? Would more discipline in balancing finances, in skill related to our trade, in safeguarding our profits and in good companionship be beneficial for us? If so how can we apply this teaching? What is one thing we can do now? Whether it’s re-evaluating our budget or reassessing friendships.

2 . In what ways are we deficient in the four accomplishments in faith, ethics, generosity and wisdom? In accurately assessing ourselves, are we applying enough wise attention to these accomplishments?

3 . How can we practice, see and know the arising and passing of phenomena? With a purified mind we direct attention at the aggregates.

MEDITATION TIPS

1. Observe the effect of increased faith on your meditation. Take time to re-connect with the reason you’re on the path. Contemplate the qualities of the Buddha.

2. Observe the effect of increasing ethic, observing the 5 or 8 precepts scrupulously and see how this effects meditation.

3. Observe the effect of being more generous financially and with your time as well. See how open heartedness changes your practice.

4. Observe the effect of being more wise by observing the arising and passing of phenomena, this is most easily done by observing sensations or the aggregates as done in the both the Goenka and Mmahasi Sayadaw vipassana traditions.

Self-Guided Meditation on Repulsiveness

Let’s us begin with paying Homage

Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammasambuddhasa

Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammasambuddhasa

Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammasambuddhasa

Phase 1 – (10-20 minutes) After having looked at an image of skeleton, sitting upright legs crossed in meditation, begin to use your imagination, imagining the bones of your feet. As you had the divine eye and were able to see through your own skin.

Phase 2 – (10-20 minutes) “See” the foot bones, shin bones, thigh bones, hip bones, back bone(spine), ribs, breast bone, shoulder bones, neck bone, jaw bone, teeth, and skull.” And meditate on the full body of the skeleton. Allow the feeling and understanding of repulsiveness to grow.

Phase 3 – (10-20 minutes) Continuing with repulsion move to the final stage of the meditation. Dissolve the visualization by seeing your “bones whitened, somewhat like the color of shells… piled up, more than a year old… decomposed into a powder.” See the bones of the body reduced to dust and take repulsiveness alone as object. Continue into access concentration and Jhana.

Phase 4 – (10-20 minutes) Emerge from deep concentration. Direct the mind at the arising and passing away of phenomena. This can be done by noting/being aware of anything that is arising and passing in any of the sense doors or mind. It can also be done by being attentive of 1 aggregate to the exclusion of everything else, for example, observing the changing nature of physical sensations as the abdomen rises and falls.

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