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Thread: Wisdom

  1. #11
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    Interesting how the difference between understanding and experiencing is dealt with. You can understand that the eyes can play tricks on you, but you have to try out some optical illusions for yourself to experience how we can misunderstand our perceptions, our qualia, or what they are for us. So too with our assumptions about the world and how it is seen by others. As Buddhist we need to not only learn about Buddhism but to work on having the kind of experiences that allow us to understand better what we learn.

  2. #12
    Forums Member Lifeform's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aloka View Post
    The following is from an article : "Prajna or Panna in Buddhism" by Barbara O'Brien .



    The article continues with definitions of wisdom in Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism.

    https://www.learnreligions.com/prajna-or-panna-449852

    "In Buddhism, "wisdom" is realizing or perceiving the true nature of reality; seeing things as they are, not as they appear".

    You can see an object and think that is how it is.
    You can also try to look at it from different angles.

    What does it look like from the front, behind, underneath, above, or from the sides?

    To discover any different angles of appearance is a way to try to see things as they are and not how they appear.
    To try to see with as many different eyes as possible.

    Like gathering information from multiple witnesses is a way to try to get closer to a truth.


  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Lifeform View Post
    "In Buddhism, "wisdom" is realizing or perceiving the true nature of reality; seeing things as they are, not as they appear".


    You can see an object and think that is how it is.
    You can also try to look at it from different angles.

    What does it look like from the front, behind, underneath, above, or from the sides?

    To discover any different angles of appearance is a way to try to see things as they are and not how they appear.
    To try to see with as many different eyes as possible.

    Like gathering information from multiple witnesses is a way to try to get closer to a truth.

    "Seeing" in the development of Dharma/Dhamma practice can mean understanding something intuitively, rather than in the literal way of seeing with one's actual eyes.

  4. #14
    Forums Member Lifeform's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aloka View Post
    "Seeing" in the development of Dharma/Dhamma practice can mean understanding something intuitively, rather than in the literal way of seeing with one's actual eyes.
    Yes you are right. Insight.

    The same thing applies. Or how would you know your insight can be trusted.


  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Lifeform View Post
    .... Or how would you know your insight can be trusted.
    In general, rather than just guessing about anything, or reading random stuff on the internet, I've always found its best to seek advice from recognised Buddhist teachers in the outside world, as well as checking with the teachings of the historical Buddha in the suttas.

    Returning to the topic of wisdom in a Buddhist context, here are some words from the Buddha in sutta sn 55.62:


    Great Wisdom

    “Mendicants, when four things are developed and cultivated they lead to great wisdom. What four? Associating with good people, listening to the true teaching, proper attention, and practicing in line with the teaching. When these four things are developed and cultivated they lead to great wisdom.”

    https://suttacentral.net/sn55.62/en/sujato



  6. #16
    Forums Member justusryans's Avatar
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    Lifeform, Exactly, those four sutta teachings do lead to great Wisdom. You can read lots of stuff on the web, it doesn’t mean it’s relevant in any way. The Sutta’s won’t let you down. Find a good teacher or join a good Sangha. Be choosy. You will also find a wealth of information on this site! Good luck

    Mike.

  7. #17
    I'm so sorry Lifeform, I accidentally deleted your post! Here is the reply I wrote:


    Quote Originally Posted by Lifeform

    Sorting through the many different interpretions of Suttas can let me down
    Here are some tips on "Befriending the Suttas"

    https://www.accesstoinsight.org/befriending.html

    Quote Originally Posted by Lifeform

    So how does a teacher become recognised?
    It can depend on which of the Buddhist traditions one is interested in, and its a subject for a different topic, thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lifeform

    Characteristics of Attention and Wisdom:
    "Examination is the distinguishing characteristic of attention, and severing is the distinguishing characteristic of wisdom."

    Characteristic of Wisdom:
    "Previously, your majesty, I said 'severing is the distinguishing characteristic of wisdom,' and now furthermore illuminating is the distinguishing characteristic of wisdom."

    https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipi...ml#miln-2-1-14
    I'm not quite sure why you have chosen to quote from "The Questions of King Milinda" which I think originally might have been a separate text from the other Pali suttas. I haven't read it myself.

    https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipi...ntro.kell.html


  8. #18
    Forums Member Lifeform's Avatar
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    Associating with wrong people, listening to the wrong teaching, wrong attention, and practicing in line with the wrong teaching. These things do not lead to great wisdom.

    Examination is the characteristic of attention. It is the severing of the wrong and the illuminating of the right that leads to great wisdom.

    That is why I quoted "The questions of King Melinda".


  9. #19
    To conclude this topic which I started more than a year ago at the beginning of 2018, (doesn't time fly!) here is an excerpt from page 77 of an excellent book by Ajahn Sucitto called "Parami -Ways to Cross Life's floods." (I was lucky enough to get a free paper copy of it when visiting a Theravada Thai Forest Tradition monastery.)



    Wisdom Develops a Path Out of Suffering

    Practice-wisdom grows especially well through meditation. Meditation in the Buddhist sense means the cultivation of calm and insight (samatha-vipassanā), and the development of mindfulness (sati) and concentration (samādhi) to bring those about. Mindfulness is the faculty that bears a feeling, idea, process or sensation in mind. Sustained, it counteracts scattered attention and impulsiveness.

    Concentration is the deepening into the steadiness that mindfulness brings, a deepening that becomes pleasurable. These two support calm. And when the mind is calm we can look into it and bring wisdom to bear on the roots of mental action. This penetrative inward looking, or insight, is needed because it’s often the case that we don’t really know or aren’t clear about the causes, motivations and effects of what we’re doing. The basis of action gets buried beneath the sheer quantity of action our minds get involved with.

    (More at the link below.)

    https://cdn.amaravati.org/wp-content...hn-Sucitto.pdf




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