Friday, November 29, 2013

Lust, desire, and craving (video)

Dhr. Seven and Amber Larson, CC Liu, Wisdom Quarterly; Wikipedia edit raga
"Greed" lust as lobha in "Mondo Amore" (Williams/
Young Buddhist Lisa Simpson fails to comprehend wanting stuff. While craving (tanha) is a source of disappointment (dukkha), it is typical of living beings, particularly beings like us living in a Sense Sphere (kama loka) world. Not ALL wanting is unskillful. The wish or desire, for example, for enlightenment (bodhi), complete-liberation (nirvana), wisdom (paññā), or compassion (karuna) is wholesome. Such a wish leads one to strive and eventually find them, even if one must let go even of that beneficial-wish rather than grasping at it to actually attain it. Letting go too soon is a big mistake. In the Parable of the Raft, one fashions a floating device for "crossing over" from enslavement to freedom. The time to let go is once meditation is something one looks forward to and the goal is at hand. Until then, keep doing it until you want to.
GREED (Pali lobha or raga, Tibetan 'dod chags) is usually translated as "attachment," "passion," "lust," or "desire." But this is far too kind. It actually refers to craving, clinging, grasping, or hankering.

It is craving things within the three spheres of existence, which produces immediate frustration and eventual disappointment.
We crave for what is lasting, pleasurable, and personal in worlds that are radically impermanent, unsatisfactory, and impersonal

Indian words have a broad range of meaning, and this is true of lobha, which runs the gamut from bias or preference to agonizing lust and hoarding behavior. It is easy to see how hoarding and being unable to let go is harmful, but it is almost impossible for an ordinary person to perceive how the very arising of a preference sets one up for disappointment and dissatisfaction.*
Greed is identified as a factor in the following contexts:
I lust you. - I love you.
The Theravada commentarial text the Path of Purification (XIV, 162), which is analogous to the Path of Freedom preserved by Mahayana sources (although likely simply an early draft by the very same author), gives the following definition of "greed" (lobha):
...[G]reed has the characteristic of grasping an object like a monkey trap [a device where a monkey sticks its hand in a hole to get salt but can't get it out because of its grasped fist, which it never thinks to let go of even as it is captured by approaching hunters]. Its function is sticking, like flesh put on a hot grill. It is manifested as not letting go, like the dye of lamp-soot. Its proximate cause is seeing enjoyment [but not danger] in things that lead to bondage. Swelling with the current of craving, it should be regarded as sweeping (beings) with it to states of loss, just as a swift-flowing river sweeps to the great ocean.

Lust, lust, lust
I'm just saying, Tone it down. I was once young, too. - Mom, shaddup. You don't even know!!!
"Why is lust talked about so much in religion? We have to have desire to survive." It is not that lust is the only problem we face on the road to freedom and happiness. Most of us think lust is happiness, or a desperate emptiness that gives us something to fill, which feels good doing.

The Buddha talked a great deal about sensuality, and sex is promoted to the rank of poster child for the class of sense pleasures. But "greed" includes them all. What is usually translated as sexual misconduct (kamesu micchacara) actually, more broadly, refers to kāma or sensual misconduct.
Go on, take it; it makes me feel like a man. - OMG, my mom warned me about this!!!
What is sensual in this sense? Everything related to the five senses is sensual as is abuse of the sixth sense thinking about again and again enjoying the other five: (1) sights, (2) sounds, (3) tactile sensations [sex would be mostly here but can, of course, encompass all of the senses], (4) tastes, (5) fragrances, and (6) thoughts (or mind/heart as a sense that perceives or stands in for the other senses or takes in its own unique objects not accessible to the other five).
  • Most people think we only have five senses, but we have far more than that. The Buddha talked about six, but that is not a limit, just a handy convention. This is true of other numbers in Buddhism: If one looks carefully, the Five Aggregates of Clinging are not limited to five; those five groupings are pedagogical and can be extended to as many groupings or heaps as one wishes to define. More heaps will not change the fact that there is no being behind them experiencing the process; there is only the process. What are our other senses? According to Vsauce they include, proprioception or kinesthesia, balance, acceleration, temperature, pain reception, time lapse, pulmonary stretch, peripheral chemo reception, distension, esophageal reception, pharynx mucosal reception... If we were, or become, sea mammals we'll gain echolocation (which some humans already enjoy), thermal reception and/or broadened light reception to see in the dark, and so on, and if and when we become devas we will gain refined senses and psychic faculties, and so on, which some people and hybrids (like some Chinese children) already possess. What do chimeras possess?
What is "sexual misconduct" anyway?
As ordinary living beings, even as good Buddhists, we will enjoy and delight in the world (whether it be this one or the many superior worlds above it). In moderation and harming no one, this is fine. Lisa, it's okay! In the Sigalovada Sutra ("Advice to Householders," DN 31) the Buddha advises young Sigala the householder to make use of money earned by partitioning it into four parts: one to enjoy, one to pay expenses, one to restock shelves/promote one's livelihood, and one to save for times of need. This is enlightened self-interest: Enjoy now, and make sure there is something to enjoy in the future.

But in ultimate terms, this will never do. When one wishes to transcend the world (cyclical wandering through birth, death, rebirth, redeath, misery unutterable, and the uncountable lives already lived in worlds of staggering diversity, one must overcome bondage. One must break free of ALL "suffering" (disappointment, dissatisfaction, woe, ill, misery, tragedy, lack of fulfillment, loss, crying, pain, unhappiness...). That means putting away the toys for a minute, so to speak. One cannot attain enlightenment in the thick of one's mental defilements, defilements of the heart (broadly speaking, one's greed, hate/fear, delusion in their various manifestations).
The Buddha taught us to see what he saw.
One can, however, enjoy sensual pleasures after stream entry, the first stage of enlightenment. Having uprooted the main bonds and weakened others ensures that one will reach full enlightenment and final nirvana within seven lives. Even a once-returner can enjoy all these things and do so without grossly harming others. A non-returner can look forward to rebirth in the Pure Abodes, exclusive enlightened worlds where life is long and things are good yet the beings strive for final knowledge and liberation from rebirth. The Buddha spoke of these rarefied worlds, which should never be confounded with ordinary conceptions of heaven (sagga). They likely led to the devotional extremes of Pure Land Buddhism, a prominent bhakti tradition in Mahayana Buddhism which is an awful lot like the Brahminical conception of the World of Brahma in Hinduism.

Black Friday madness (video)

Crazed American shoppers pushed to a frenzy of greed by US propaganda (
Violent and chaotic scenes at a Walmart store after reduced price flat-screen televisions (with enhanced monitoring devices built in to facilitate homeland spying even when off and unplugged by the NSA and other agencies) go on sale (
The sky gods must not want us to shop in Los Angeles because it's raining. Ominous clouds, egged on by lots of chemtrails (aerosol sky-seeding with toxic heavy metal particulates), were hanging around all week. It's supposed to be Buy Nothing Friday or Shop Small Business Saturday. But as Grey Thursday turned into Black Friday greed overwhelmed us -- craving for senseless bargains and "door busters," which means a few come leader items that will have run out by the time we arrive. If anyone is planning on getting them, bring gloves, regulation boxing gloves or jousting rods and protective vests, because "bargain shopping" means WAR. Think not? According to the British Daily Mail:
  • The rush for Black Friday bargains has resulted in outbreaks of violence as shoppers clash over reduced prices.
  • Police in Virginia are reporting a stabbing incident after two men got into a fight in the parking lot over a space.
  • In Las Vegas, an alleged thief shot a shopper in the leg and stole his TV.
  • Cops in Chicago shoot a man as he scuffles trying to escape another cop.
  • Shoppers cutting in line sparked a Black Friday Brawl at another Walmart.
  • Several clips have already appeared on YouTube of the carnage at various Walmarts, [the biggest and most notorious shopping outlet and employee abuser].
  • Some retailers opened their doors as early as 6:00 am on Thanksgiving Day...
The Black Friday Myth
Outta my way, I'm shopping! (The Simpsons)
We c­an always expect to deal with jam-packed stores, long lines, and frenzied shoppers in search of "Black Friday" deals. And as far as the number of bodies that walk in and out of stores, Black Friday hauls them in. That heavy Black Friday foot traffic translates to high dollar profits, accounting for 4.5 to 5 percent of all holiday sales [source: Credeur and Riddell]. In 2007, retail sales on Black Friday and Saturday netted $16.4 billion [ShopperTrak]. That's an undeniably large number. But it isn't the largest of the season. In fact, Black Friday isn't the busiest shopping day of the year normally, despite what popular opinion holds [National Retail Federation]. Instead, the holiday shopping procrastinators win out: The highest sales day of the year usually strikes the Saturday before Christmas [International Council of Shopping Centers]. How is that possible if shoppers line up in front of stores at the crack of dawn on Black Friday? More

Cyber Monday?
I could care less, mom! (HSW)
The latest buzzword for holiday shopping is "Cyber" Monday. In 2005, online retailers created this reference for the Monday after Thanksgiving. The Web merchants figured that this day would see a substantial sales bump since a majority of online shoppers make their purchases at work. Following an intense marketing effort to get Cyber Monday into the mainstream lexicon (and thereby drive customers online), sales figures revealed that the day generally doesn't rank in the Top 10 busiest online shopping days. [Oops! That's propaganda for ya.]

Ebony and Ivy: University Slavery (video)

Ashley Wells, Wisdom Quarterly; Amy Goodman,
This shocking conversation with Prof. Wilder continues in Part II. The extended interview with the MIT American history professor examines slaves in the nation’s elite schools.

Elite universities in America were built on slaves? An MIT professor and author of a new book, which has been 10 years in the making, examines how many major U.S. universities -- Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Brown, Dartmouth, Rutgers, Williams, and UNC, among others -- are drenched in the blood and sweat of Africans forcibly brought to the United States as slaves.

In Ebony & Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities," Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) American history Professor Craig Steven Wilder reveals how the slave economy and higher education grew up together. 
"When you think about the colonial world, until the American Revolution, there is only one college in the South, William & Mary... The other eight colleges were all Northern schools. And they’re actually located in key sites, for the most part, of the merchant economy where the slave traders had come to power and rose as the financial and intellectual backers of new culture of the colonies," Wilder says. More

Continuing the conversation on slavery, Democracy Now! is joined by a woman who uncovered that her ancestors were the largest slave-trading family in U.S. history. Katrina Browne documented her roots in the film, "Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North."

It reveals how her family, the DeWolfs based in Rhode Island, was once the largest slave-trading family in U.S. history. And it continued even after slavery was abolished by furnishing human slaves offshore, where it remained legal.

After the film aired on PBS in 2008, Browne went on to found the Tracing Center on Histories and Legacies of Slavery. More

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The First Thanksgiving (cartoon and dinner)

Ashley Wells and Editorial Team (confessions) Wisdom Quarterly; dinner organizers Dave, Adam, Allyson, Justin, Kristina, Lisa, Prabhat, Tony (L.A.V.G.) HAPPY THANKSGIVUKKAH!
(JM) Instructions on how to prepare a proper cruelty-free Thanksgiving meal are given below.
Hungry Alicia Silverstone was raised to love ALL kinds of living beings like these:
Kind food tastes good (WQ)
A few years after coming onto the human plane, my mother said to me, "You know you were an accident?" "Thanks," I shot back. That was the first time I gave thanks. Been saying it ever since. How about you, Ash?

I was born just outside of wedlock to parents too caught up fighting about waspy matters to take much notice of me. I, apparently, led to their marriage and therefore their unhappiness, which didn't keep me from being a bastard. (Is that the feminine form of the word, or is it the other B-word?) We were Christian back then, obviously, through no fault of my own. Other than choosing it, pre-birth, all part of my divine plan to graduate to a more sublime teaching.
(Simpsons) Lisa became a Buddhist on Xmas.  Bart ruins Thanksgiving.

Thank you. That's nothing. My dad used to yell, "You kids are going to drive me to the insane asylum!" I always wanted to go out and start the car, to make a statement. I would have been punished. We didn't have nice, neat "groundings" like everyone else. We had punishments. Wow. You're dark. Next? That's not all! He also used to say, "You don't s--t from Shinola!" And I would ask, What's Shinola, dad?" "I'll show you what it is!" he would threaten. He drank a lot. How about you, Sands?

I was asked once, seriously, if "my people" celebrated Thanksgiving. Like we're not American enough to celebrate the same holidays. (It's like the time Joseph got asked on "King of the Hill"! Did you guys used to celebrate it?) Not really, not because we never did, but because it was too much trouble for my mom. I used to go over my girlfriend's house. Hey, just like Joseph. *Laughter*

I was raised without parents. So I guess that would technically make me an orphan. Worst thing about it was they were there. Physically. They were "checked out" in every other way. One drinking, the other spacing out. One emotionally distant, the other smothering. One aggressive, the other passive. One yelling like a lunatic, the other too brow beaten to speak up. So, essentially, we can agree, We were all raised by a Homer and a Marge?

What if the Griffins were America's first family, the Simpsons?
Native American Joseph is cheating with the asker's blond wife.

So is everyone going to a Vegan Thanksgiving ( this year? Unless you guys are planning to harass and hurt animals with paint balls? *Laughter* No, we'll be there, and I'm making California guacamole, which everyone loves all year long.
Everyone welcome to the potluck!
FREE Vegan Potluck Picnic on Thanksgiving
Vegan pizza (Animal Advocacy Museum)
When: Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, 11:00 am-4:00 pm. Where: Rancho Park, 2551 Motor Ave., L.A., CA 90064. (Enter at the first entrance south of Pico on Motor Avenue or see this nice map). 
What: Veggie feast attended by hundreds because it is promoted all over the county, and most people do not RSVP. See Facebook.
There may be similar events all over the country, but this is the annual Vegan Thanksgiving Day Potluck Picnic. It continues for its third decade at the same Rancho Park location. Invite friends. Non-vegans are more than welcome, they are encouraged to attend. This is LA's longest-running single day vegan tradition.

It's a potluck to look forward to every year with hundreds in attendance. Join a peaceful, turkey-friendly Thanksgiving. Share delicious food, desserts, and drinks. Connect with beautiful people. Enjoy the outdoor environment with music, live performances, and an open mic! So feel free to bring drums or other musical instruments, a Frisbee or a ball to toss. It's a great place for children. Well behaved animal companions like dogs (on leashes) are welcome. More

Buddhism's "Mind Only" School (video)

(Vsauce) How can we know anything? Epistemology is the serious study of this question.
Aggregates (heaps) are not-self!
The Mahayana philosophy of Yogacara (Sanskrit, "application of yoga") teaches that the reality we think we perceive does not exist except as as a process of knowing. 
Phenomena [dharmas], anything that can be experienced, have no reality in themselves. At the same time, there is no "experiencer" who experiences except as a process of mind.
If there is no experiencer and nothing to experience, how can anything seem to be? What is it that knows? This "knowing" is explained by alaya-vijnana, "store consciousness," which is a function of the fifth aggregate (skandha) of clinging [namely, "consciousness" or viññāna]. 
Very briefly, it is in this "storehouse" that mental phenomena are tied together to create the deception of external existence.
  • [Hinduism was worked into Mahayana Buddhism to maintain that somewhere, somehow there really is a timeless self (atman, atta), a "higher self," an eternal soul, something to identify with or cling to, such as consciousness itself. But consciousness is an impermanent process, not a self. Clinging to assumptions, to long held misperceptions, must be seen through and replaced with the "perfection of wisdom" (prajna-paramita), which means directly perceiving not-self (an-atta or shūnyatā, suchness, thusness, voidness, emptiness) as epitomized in the famous Heart Sutra.]
Yogacara emerged in India in the 2nd or 3d century and reached its zenith in the 4th to 6th centuries. Originally it was a rival to the philosophy of Madhyamika, but eventually the two philosophies merged.

Both philosophies were enormously influential in the development of Mahayana Buddhism. It is a school or tradition also known as Vijnanavada (Sanskrit, "The School That Teaches Knowing" [literally, "Teaching of Consciousness"]), Chittamatra (Sanskrit, "Mind Only")

The Platform Sutra (Red Pine)

Dhr. Seven, Wisdom Quarterly, Red Pine; Jeff Albrizze  MAHAYANA/HINDUISM
Tian Tan Buddha, statue of Buddha Amoghasiddhi, completed in 1993, located at Ngong Ping, Lantau Island, Hong Kong (Robert Montgomery/flickr)
Kwan Yin, Avalokitateshvara (wiki)
The Platform Sutra occupies a central place in Zen (Ch'an) Buddhist instruction for students and spiritual seekers worldwide. It is often linked with The Heart Sutra and The Diamond Sutra to form a trio of texts that have been revered and studied for centuries. 

However, unlike the other sutras, which [are said to] transcribe the teachings of the Buddha himself, The Platform Sutra presents the autobiography of Hui-neng, the controversial 6th Patriarch of Zen, and his understanding of the fundamentals of a spiritual and practical life

The [Great Perfection of Wisdom] Sutra of the Direct Teaching of the Southern School of the Supreme Mahayana ["Great Vehicle" School].

The Platform Sutra
Delivered at Tafan Temple in Shaochou by the Sixth Patriarch, Master Hui-neng, in one volume, [as] compiled and recorded by Fa-hai, recipient of the Formless Precepts and advocate of the Dharma.

1. Master Hui-neng took his seat in the lecture hall of Tafan Temple to expound the teaching of [Great Perfection of Wisdom] and to transmit the Formless Precepts. Seated below him on that occasion were more than ten thousand monks, nuns, and laypeople, along with Magistrate Wei Ch’u of Shaochou and more than thirty officials and thirty scholars. Together they asked the Master to explain the teaching of [the Great Perfection of Wisdom].

The magistrate then instructed the Master’s disciple Fa-hai to make a record to pass down to future generations so that students of the Way who carry on its guiding principle and who transmit it to others might have this testament as their authority.

2. ...“Good friends, purify your minds by reciting the teaching of [the Great Perfection of Wisdom].” Then the Master stopped speaking, while he purified his own mind.
After a long time, he spoke again, “Good friends, please listen. My kind-hearted father was originally from Fanyang. But he was dismissed from office and banished to Lingnan and lived in Hsinchou as a commoner. My father died when I was quite young. And my widowed and destitute mother moved to Nanhai, where I experienced hardship and poverty and sold firewood in the marketplace. Then one day a shopkeeper ordered a load of firewood brought to his store. After he took the delivery and paid me, I walked toward the door and met a customer reciting the Diamond Sutra out loud. As soon as I heard the words, my mind felt clear and awake, and I asked the man, ‘Where did you get this scripture you’re reciting?’ 

“He said, ‘On Huangmei County’s East Fengmao Mountain in Chichou Prefecture, when I was paying my respects to the Fifth Patriarch, Master Hung-jen. His congregation included more than a thousand disciples. And while I was there, I heard him tell the monks and laypeople that just by memorizing the Diamond Sutra they would see their natures and immediately become buddhas.’ As soon as I heard this, I felt drawn by something from a past life. I said goodbye to my mother and left for Huangmei’s Fengmao Mountain to pay my respects to the Fifth Patriarch, Master Hung-jen. More

Abbreviated version
Red Pine (excerpt)
Good friends, while I confer on you the Formless Precepts, you must all experience this for yourselves. Recite this together with me, and it will enable you to see the three-bodied buddha within you:

"I take refuge in the pure dharma-body buddha in my own material body. I take refuge in the myriad-fold transformation-body buddha in my own material body. I take refuge in the future and perfect realization-body buddha in my own material body."

This material body is an inn and not a fit refuge [place of security]. But the three bodies I just mentioned are your ever-present dharma nature. Everyone has them. But because people are deluded, they don't see them. They look for the three-bodied tathagata outside themselves and don't see the three-bodied buddha in their own material body.

Good friends, listen to this good friend of yours, and I will tell you how to see within your material body the three-bodied buddha that arises from this nature of yours.

What do we mean by the pure dharma-body buddha? Good friends, eveyrone's nature is fundamentally pure, and the ten thousand dharmas are present in this nature. If we think about doing something bad, we commit bad deeds. And if we think about doing something good, we perform good deeds. Thus, we know all dharmas are present in our nature.

But our nature itself remains pure. The sun and moon are always shining. It is only due to cloud cover that there is light above but darkness below, and we can't see the sun or moon or stars. Then suddenly the wind of wisdom comes along and blows the clouds and drives the fog away, and a panorama of ten thousand images appear[s] all at once.

Our nature is pure like the clear sky above, and our wisdom is like the sun and moon. Our wisdom is always shining, but if externally we become attached to objects, the clouds of delusion cover up our nature, and we can't see it. Then, because we meet a good friend who explains the true teaching, our delusions are blown away, and everything inside and outside becomes perfectly clear, and the ten tousnad dharmas in this nature of ours all appear. TO BE CONTINUED

White girl to be charged as black man (video)

Replace Megyn Kelly with Brooke Alvarez?
A court rules that a white teen, Hannah Stevenson, who stabbed a classmate to death will face the jury as a 300-pound black man. Onion News Network, Fridays at 10/9c on IFC. Given all the gaffes and alarmist right wing propaganda, should FOX News' Megyn Kelly be replaced by ONN's Brooke Alvarez? The mainstream media, its corporate sponsors, and the CIA (who run the US version of CNN) will have to decide.

(TheAlyonaShow) FOX Nation posts the Onion's satire as fact.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Toward American Buddhism (Robert Thurman)

Wisdom Quarterly; Prof. Robert Thurman (
(SoundsTrue) Prof. Robert Thurmans is one of TIME's 25 Most Influential Americans

Comedy: Monty Python to reunite! (video)

Wisdom Quarterly; Monty Python's Flying Circus ("Life of Brian"); Mox News (MOX News)
Brilliant satirical look at Western Judeo-Christian religio-cultural foundations ("Life of Brian")

The remaining members of the troupe announce a reunion on the GMT (, and the legend will continue for world-famous British comedians. Full (

Brian is mistaken for a messiah, runs to hide with yogi hermit
"Loretta" skit, "Life of Brian" as feminist radicals in-fight

On the extreme edge of satire: Hitler and Nazis in England

Monday, November 25, 2013

Explaining "Right View" (sutra)

Amber Larson, Dhr. Seven, Wisdom Quarterly; John Bullitt (Access to Insight), "Right View"
The Buddha overlooking Thailand (theskamantues'dayglory/ NOTE: There is preliminary right view as distinguished from final knowledge or liberating right view.
Right view is the first of the eight factors in the Noble Eightfold Path, and belongs to the wisdom division of the path.

"And what is right view? Knowledge with regard to disappointment, knowledge with regard to the origin of disappointment, knowledge with regard to the cessation of disappointment, knowledge with regard to the path of practice leading to the cessation of disappointment -- this is called right view" (DN 22).

Right view's relation to the path
"And how is right view the forerunner? One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view. What is wrong view? 'There is nothing given, nothing offered, nothing sacrificed. There is no fruit or result of good or bad actions. There is no this world, no next world, no [special significance to things done to] mother, no father, no spontaneously reborn beings; no Brahmins or wandering ascetics who, faring and practicing rightly, proclaim this world and the next after having directly known and realized it for themselves.' This is wrong view...
"One abandons wrong view to enter into right view: This is one's right effort. One is mindful to abandon wrong view to enter and remain in right view: This is one's right mindfulness. Therefore, these three qualities -- right view, right effort, right mindfulness -- run and circle around right view" (MN 117).

Buddhist novices practicing in Lamayuru monastery, Ladakh, India (Dietmar Temps/flickr)
Consequences of wrong view
"In a person of wrong view, wrong intention comes into being. In a person of wrong intention, wrong speech. In a person of wrong speech, wrong action. In a person of wrong action, wrong livelihood. In a person of wrong livelihood, wrong effort. In a person of wrong effort, wrong mindfulness. In a person of wrong mindfulness, wrong concentration. In a person of wrong concentration, wrong wisdom. In a person of wrong wisdom, wrong liberation. This is how from wrongness comes failure, not success" (AN 10.103).

Results of right view
Borobudur, Java, Indonesia (TrevThompson/flickr)
"When a person has right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration, right wisdom, and right liberation, whatever bodily deeds one undertakes in line with that view, whatever verbal deeds... whatever mental deeds one undertakes in line with that view, whatever intentions, whatever vows, whatever determinations, whatever formations all lead to what is welcome, agreeable, charming, profitable, and pleasing. Why is that? It is because the view is auspicious.

"Just as when a sugar cane seed, a rice grain, or a grape seed is placed in moist soil, whatever nutriment it takes from the soil and water, all conduces to its sweetness, tastiness, and unalloyed delectability.
Why is that? It is because the seed is auspicious. In the same way, when a person has right view... right liberation, whatever bodily deeds one undertakes in line with that view, whatever verbal deeds... whatever mental deeds one undertakes in line with that view, whatever intentions, whatever vows, whatever determinations, whatever formations -- all of them lead to what is welcome, agreeable, charming, profitable, and pleasing. Why is that? It is because the view is auspicious" (AN 10.104).
A thicket of wrong views
Bamboo thicket (Maxwell Holden/flickr)
"There is the case where an uninstructed, ignorant worldling... does not discern what ideas are fit for attention and what ideas are unfit for attention. This being so, one does not attend to ideas fit for attention, and instead one attends to ideas unfit for attention... This is how one gives attention unprofitably:
  • 'Was I in the past? Was I not in the past?
  • What was I in the past? How was I in the past?
  • Having been what, what was I in the past?
  • Shall I be in the future? Shall I not be in the future?
  • What shall I be in the future? How shall I be in the future?
  • Having been what, what shall I be in the future?'
Or one is perplexed about the present: 'Am I? Am I not? What am I? How am I? Where has this being come from? Where is it bound?'
"As one attends unprofitably in this way, one of six kinds of view arises: 
  • the view I have a self arises in one as true and established, or the view I have no self... or the view It is precisely by means of self that I perceive self... or
  • the view It is precisely by means of self that I perceive not-self... or the view It is precisely by means of not-self that I perceive self arises as true and established, or
  • the view: This very self of mine -- the knower who is sensitive here and there to the ripening of good and bad actions -- is the self of mine who is constant, everlasting, eternal, not subject to change, and will endure as long as eternity.'
Meditation (
"This is called a thicket of views, a wilderness of views, a contortion of views, a writhing of views, a fetter of views. Bound by a fetter of views, the uninstructed, ignorant worldling is not freed from birth, aging, and death, from sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, and despair. One is not freed, I tell you, from suffering and disappointment.
"The well-instructed disciple of the noble ones... discerns what ideas are fit for attention, and what ideas are unfit for attention. This being the case, one does not attend to ideas unfit for attention, and instead gives attention to ideas fit for attention... One attends profitably, This is disappointment... This is the origin of disappointment... This is the cessation of disappointment... This is the way leading to the cessation of disappointment. As one attends appropriately in this way, three fetters [obstacles to enlightenment and liberation from suffering] are abandoned: identity-view, doubt, and clinging to rites and rituals [as if they had the power to lead to enlightenment]" (MN 2).
Knowing and seeing for oneself
Novice meditating (
[Kaccayana:] "'Right view, right view,' it is said, venerable sir. To what extent is there right view?"
[The Buddha:] "By and large, Kaccayana, this world is supported by (a false dichotomy) a polarity -- that of existence and non-existence (being and nonbeing, the twin wrong views of eternalism and annihalationism).

"But when one sees the origin of the world as it actually is with right view, 'non-existence' with reference to the world does not occur to one. When one sees the cessation of the world as it actually is with right view, 'existence' with reference to the world does not occur to one.
Meditation (SeekingHeartwood/flickr)
"By and large, Kaccayana, this world is in bondage to attachments, clingings, and biases. But one such as this does not get involved with or cling to these attachments, clingings, fixations of mind, biases, or obsessions, nor is one resolved on 'my self.' One has no doubt or uncertainty that, when there is arising (origination, becoming, being), only unsatisfactoriness is arising. And when there is passing away, only unsatisfactoriness is passing away. In this, one's knowledge is independent of others. It is to this extent, Kaccayana, that there is right view" (SN 12.15).

Abandoning the unskillful
                                  ...Cultivating the skillful
Meditation superhero (
"Do not go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scriptures, by logical speculations, by inferences, by analogies, by agreement through pondering, by probability, or by the thought, 'This monastic is our teacher.'

"[Instead,] when you know for yourselves that, 'These qualities are unskillful; these qualities are blameworthy; these qualities are criticized by the wise; these qualities, when adopted and carried out, they lead to harm and to suffering' -- then abandon them...
"When you know for yourselves that, 'These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted and carried out, lead to welfare and to happiness' -- then enter and remain in them" (AN 3.65).