How to get Right View?

How does one go about getting or obtaining “Right View” according to The Buddha? With so many different beliefs, opinions, teachings, teachers, books, etc, it seems like a monumental task!

Read the word of the Buddha (suttas) and listen regularly to teachers whose teachings are in accordance with this. :slight_smile:

I’m sure others will quote the relevant sutta passages on this topic as well.

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Mendicants, it’s totally impossible that a mendicant who enjoys company and groups, who loves them and likes to enjoy them, should take pleasure in being alone in seclusion. Without taking pleasure in being alone in seclusion, it’s impossible to learn the patterns of the mind. Without learning the patterns of the mind, it’s impossible to fulfill right view. Without fulfilling right view, it’s impossible to fulfill right immersion. Without fulfilling right immersion, it’s impossible to give up the fetters. -AN 6.68

There are two conditions for the arising of right view: the words of another and proper attention. These are the two conditions for the arising of right view.” -MN 43

The suttas do have much to say, but it is the non-essential focus that over complicates the matter of right view. The lifestyle must change. You don’t just need to have the right view. You must have it repeatedly for however long it takes for the view to set up rightly:

Now, Ānanda, take the case of the person here who refrained from killing living creatures … and had right view, and who is reborn in hell. They must have done a bad deed to be experienced as painful either previously or later, or else at the time of death they undertook wrong view. And that’s why, when their body breaks up, after death, they’re reborn in a place of loss, a bad place, the underworld, hell. But anyone here who refrains from killing living creatures … and has right view experiences the result of that in the present life, or in the next life, or in some subsequent period.

So, Ānanda, there are deeds that are ineffective and appear ineffective. There are deeds that are ineffective but appear effective. There are deeds that are effective and appear effective. And there are deeds that are effective but appear ineffective.” -MN 136

So, it isn’t just enough to have the right view, because it won’t be confirmed as right until it sets the view rightly to the extent that it cannot flip back to wrong view.

Suppose a carpenter or their apprentice sees the marks of his fingers and thumb on the handle of his adze. They don’t know how much of the handle was worn away today, how much yesterday, and how much previously. They just know what has been worn away. In the same way, when a mendicant is committed to development, they don’t know how much of the defilements were worn away today, how much yesterday, and how much previously. They just know what has been worn away.

Suppose there was a sea-faring ship bound together with ropes. For six months they deteriorated in the water. Then in the cold season it was hauled up on dry land, where the ropes were weathered by wind and sun. When the clouds soaked it with rain, the ropes would readily collapse and rot away. In the same way, when a mendicant is committed to development their fetters readily collapse and rot away.” -AN 7.71

The reason I’m stressing the lifestyle change is because this is not just a matter of picking the view, but setting upon it day and day out, to invert that wrong order of view (AN 4.49). Of course, there were those remarkable cases in the suttas of this happening immediately, but that was ancient India and the Buddha was doing the talking. We cannot know the extent to which the defilements are etched into the experience, so we must be diligent to apply ourselves wholly until we know for sure that it has solidified, and gone beyond faith and reached that confirmed confidence of a sotappana.

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Bhikkhu Bodhi’s “In the Buddha’s Words” course is a good place to start!

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You may read the following book, pp. 53, 60-2, 91, 192-5, 207-8, 210-1, on Right View (Sammādiṭṭhi):

Choong Mun-keat, The Fundamental Teachings of Early Buddhism: A Comparative Study Based on the Sūtrāṅga portion of the Pāli Saṃyutta-Nikāya and the Chinese Saṃyuktāgama (Series: Beitrage zur Indologie Band 32; Harrassowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden, 2000).

PDF:

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See also pp. 120-1 on sammaddasa ‘rightly seeing’.

Based on what I currently understand, right view means knowing something as a whole, like seeing a car from all sides (from above, below, left, right, front, back, outside and inside). So to have right view one has to find and learn from someone who has seen the car from all sides. If one finds and learns from someone who only sees a car in a certain way, one may be right but not understand it thoroughly, and so become mistaken and have wrong views.

A person with wrong view will never realize he has wrong view, until one day he listens to and learns from someone with right view. Practice what you hear, and get results from what you practice. His right view will slowly grow.

The enlightened one is a real existence about this. As he practices a life of self-torture to reach enlightment, he doesn’t realize that is wrong view. Until, finally by his own efforts, he realized that the practice of self-mortification was useless, and practiced the middle way. After obtaining the results he practiced, he understood that this was the path to enlightenment.

The Buddha’s five chief disciple monks, unable to attain enlightenment on their own, practiced self-mortification with wrong views. Until he hears and learns from what is being taught by the enlightment one. Practicing and receiving results from being practiced. Right understanding slowly develops.

Likewise others, who initially see the car only from certain parts, in the end can see the car from all sides.

in addition to,

sometimes we feel we already have the right view. Understands suffering, impermanence, and insubstantiality. but we get this view by secondary experience (learn from something that we hear, we never see and have direct experience about it. Although we have direct experience about it, we never contemplate about it), he who is enlightened and his wise disciples, has right understanding gained by his first experience (through high concentration, directing it and seeing the life of every being that is impermanent, insubstantial, and suffering). And everytime contemplate about that.

Sorry if my grammar and diction are not quite right

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I would say that there are steps.

  1. First learn how to discriminate between what is Dhamma and what is not. There are suttas dealing with this topic. What you need to understand is that our actions by body, speech and mind are conditioned by every single view we aquire. Never trust your ability to choose right actions if you have wrong view, because this body with its conciousness is here because of greed, hatered and delusion. So let right view be the carrot for choosing right actions. Compare the view a) expecting life after death and fruits from actions, and b) expecting extinction by death and no fruits from actions. View a is right view because it reduces greed, hatred and delusion and view b is wrong view because it gives fuel to them. View a reduces the fires because you become afraid of falling after death and you rather want a higher world as your next, so you uphold morals, develop generosity and restrain yourself from sensual pleasures. You have to use right view to trick yourself onto the right path, even though the nature of this body with its conciousness is the opposite.

  2. When you know how to discriminate between what is Dhamma and what is not, you contemplate the Dhamma. I always recommend Upajjhatthanasutta (AN 5.57) which summarize the complete practice. Mindfulness is to always have Dhamma in your mind, in every situation, that you are getting old, sick, will die and get separated from everything you hold dear, and that you own your actions. Then look at your life and your actions, do they conform to the Truth? Are you heading to a higher world, or are you going downwards? Don’t think that this is a simple worldy form of buddhism. When Nanda, a cousin of the Buddha, was about to give up the training because he was enchanted by a Sakyan girl, the Buddha took him to Tavatimsa heaven and showed him the girls in heaven. There he asked Nanda if not the Sakyan girl, compared to the heavenly girls, looked like “a cauterized monkey with its ears & nose cut off”. He even granted Nanda 500 heavenly girls if he would continue with the training. Nanda did, of course, and somewhere on the path he slipped into the final spiritual goal, because he continued the practice described by Upajjhatthanasutta and contemplated the Truth that whatever sankhara (I-ness) there is, it will always belong to death and suffering, even heavenly life.

If you would ask me, I wouldn’t advice you to practice the usual meditation techniques, practiced in buddhist countries and now also in the west. The Path is not a technique, it’s a lifestyle and a constant work with yourself and attuning your bodily actions, speech and thoughts to right view so that the fires are lessened and lessened, until they completly go out. The fires must go out by right view in it self, not by a meditation technique that just steer your attention away from the fires. Jhana is a state when the fires of sensuality, greed, anger and delusion have gone out, but there is still a glow. When the glow gets completly cold, there is the goal of the spiritual life, and the fires will never arise again.

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“And what, monks, is right view? Knowledge with regard to stress, knowledge with regard to the origination of stress, knowledge with regard to the stopping of stress, knowledge with regard to the way of practice leading to the stopping of stress: This, monks, is called right view.”

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…… which is the same meaning as by reaching and realising the 4NT. …… the purification of the N8FP. ……

When one comes to realise the 4NT in their entirety: the dhammachakka develops as ones heart-mind.

What is the meaning behind usage of so many dots?

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Right view in the noble eightfold path is knowledge (ñāṇa) of suffering (dukkha), knowledge of the arising of suffering, knowledge of the ceasing of suffering, and knowledge of way leading to the ceasing of suffering.

It also in the Saṃyutta-nikāya/Saṃyukta-āgama refers to fully knowing (jānāti) and seeing (passati) phenomena (the five aggregates/sense objects) as:

(1) impermanent (anicca), suffering (dukkha), not-self (anatta) (or anicca, dukkha, suñña (empty), anatta)

and

(2) the middle way (P. majjhima-paṭipadā, Skt. madhyama-pratipad).

The middle way is empty of two extremes: existence (eternalism) and non-existence (nihilism), or the happiness of sense-pleasures and the suffering of self-mortification.

There is absolutely nothing worth grasping on to …… not even dots …… let alone text.

You’re taking emptiness as an extreme view. Emptiness is just a beginning. Not an end.

Maybe both :thinking: More of a circle than a line