Refuge in the triple gem. A lot of training, information, and opportunities to practice. I began studying buddhism, spirituality, and psychology over 25 years ago. Covid introduced me to online sanghas, different teachers, schools, and views. It’s a lot to take in an process. And many views to consider.
a. Is investigation and understanding of the dharma limited to insights already shared 2500 years ago? Or does it support expanding on these insights? How so?
b. How does this impact, support, and/or limit modern day practice?
c. Are there any subjects that are off-limits to investigation?
d. Are phenomena and forms that lead to suffering and the removal of suffering the only objects of investigation that are profitable?
I am also looking at investigation and insight into more than just the mind, but how the dharma and these insights are applied?
The ethics extend on this focus, altho one can reason that leading an ethical life reduces suffering. The focus of ethics seems to expand the discussion. In practice, sometimes beyond the boundaries of suffering itself. Rules pertaining to the conduct in the sangha encounter similar reasoning, and constraints.
What do you mean by limited to insights already shared 2500 years ago? Are you wondering if the practice is limited to contemplating what the Buddha has already discussed?
From my understanding key to the practice is developing careful attention (yoniso manasikara) towards all phenomena to develop clear comprehension. Paying close attention to the arising and cessation of suffering. The hope is we can develop an intuition towards how our mind works which automatically prevents us from engaging in actions of body speech and mind which create suffering. This makes us happier, our mind clearer, allowing us to see and develop intuition towards even subtler levels of suffering.
From my view there is nothing we experience that does not have the mind as its basis, this is echoed by the Buddha in the first two verses of the Dhammapada. Everything is mind, there is nothing in our reality that we can point to that mind does not touch. Even what we feel is an external reality is also just something that is dreamed out of our senses. My only thoughts here are to not view the mind as something limited but to view investigating the mind as something limitless, wide open, exciting and fruitful. This is the very basis of our existence.
insightful. Investigation of experience within the context of what is touched by the mind. Investigation is possible beyond these limitations, but the mind influences what is perceived and not perceived, understood and not understood, held and not held.