Limitations of the EBTs


Respectfully, It’s out there. Living in a digital age, we are lucky; it’s out there to be found. There are myriad Dhamma talks on youtube, and many essays on this subject, with specifics and detail. The BSWA talks focus on these issues routinely, and monastics from other monasteries often host talks that focus on this issue. As has been perfectly pointed out in this thread, the Suttas take a bit of work to consolidate and distill. Ajahn Brahmali’s essay was terrific, IMO, in achieving this task…making difficult Sutta concepts, and their relationship to each other, easily understandable.

Later add: I should mention that @dougsmith 's is a terrific resource for EBT courses and videos that explain, in very knowledgeable yet user friendly ways, the EBT Dhamma. Many of Doug’s excellent talks are available on youtube, as well. I often plug in via bluetooth in my vehicle on drives, and listen to Doug’s youtube talks. YouTube


Is AN10.176 With Chunda the best reference for The Ten ?


Yes, I think so…

Just discovered…

It’s when a certain person is content. They don’t covet the wealth and belongings of others: ‘Oh, if only their belongings were mine!’ They have a kind heart and loving intentions: ‘May these sentient beings live free of enmity and ill will, untroubled and happy!’ AN10.176

Also mundane Right view…

They have right view, an undistorted perspective: ‘There is meaning in giving, sacrifice, and offerings. There are fruits and results of good and bad deeds. There is an afterlife. There is obligation to mother and father. There are beings reborn spontaneously. And there are ascetics and brahmins who are well attained and practiced, and who describe the afterlife after realizing it with their own insight.’


Yes, that’s a good one. It’s a standard set found in few places around the Nikāyas. Another example is MN 41.


Yes, the entire path is basically:

  • Right View leading to Virtue
  • Virtue leading to Concentration (Jhanas)
  • Jhanas leading to Discernment: Seeing 3 characteristics (dependent originated phenomena) of 5 aggregates (dependent origination) in Jhanas.

Or in short: Being good is better than being bad (mundane), and ceasing/fading is better than being good (supermundane).


MN41 out of topic but…

“If, householders, one who observes conduct in accordance with the Dhamma, righteous conduct, should wish: ‘Oh, that on the dissolution of the body, after death, I might reappear in the company of the gods of the heaven of the Four Great Kings!…in the company of the gods of the heaven of the Thirty-three…the Yāma gods…the gods of the Tusita heaven…the gods who delight in creating…the gods who wield power over others’ creations…the gods of Brahmā’ s retinue…the gods of Radiance …the gods of Limited Radiance…the gods of Immeasurable Radiance…the gods of Streaming Radiance…the gods of Glory…the gods of Limited Glory…the gods of Immeasurable Glory…the gods of Refulgent Glory…the gods of Great Fruit…the Aviha gods…the Atappa gods…the Sudassa gods…the Sudassī gods…the Akaniṭṭha gods…the gods of the base of infinite space…the gods of the base of infinite consciousness…the gods of the base of nothingness…the gods of the base of neither-perception-nor-non-perception!’ it is possible that on the dissolution of the body, after death, he will reappear in the company of the gods of the base of neither-perception-nor-non-perception. MN 41: The Brahmins of Sālā (English) - Majjhima Nikāya - SuttaCentral

Mundane right view (and the mundane path) leads to heavenly rebirth (as an aside this doesn’t come to 31 planes of existence…)

that by realising for myself with direct knowledge I might here and now enter upon and abide in the deliverance of mind and deliverance by wisdom that are taintless with the destruction of the taints!’ it is possible that, by realising for himself with direct knowledge, he will here and now enter upon and abide in the deliverance of mind and deliverance by wisdom that are taintless with the destruction of the taints. Why is that? Because he observes conduct in accordance with the Dhamma, righteous conduct.”

The mundane ‘path’ only works for enlightenment if you follow the ‘supramundane path’!

with metta


I’ve been digging around a bit looking for specific instructions.
I like the advice in AN1.11-20 on giving up the hindrances.

And here are suggestions for doing death meditations that aren’t too ghoulish for modern sensibilities.


The power of proper attention, just knowing how to utilize attention is half the battle, imho.


right view is one of the last (if not the last) thing that gets perfected.


Can you please provide a source for that claim. This seems to contradict this:

"Of those, right view is the forerunner. And how is right view the forerunner? In one of right view, wrong view is abolished. The many evil, unskillful qualities that come into play with wrong view as their condition are also abolished, while the many skillful qualities that have right view as their condition go to the culmination of their development. In one of right resolve, wrong resolve is abolished… In one of right speech, wrong speech is abolished… In one of right action, wrong action is abolished… In one of right livelihood, wrong livelihood is abolished… In one of right effort, wrong effort is abolished… In one of right mindfulness, wrong mindfulness is abolished… In one of right concentration, wrong concentration is abolished… In one of right knowledge, wrong knowledge is abolished… In one of right release, wrong release is abolished. The many evil, unskillful qualities that come into play with wrong release as their condition are also abolished, while the many skillful qualities that have right release as their condition go to the culmination of their development.

MN 117

and it’s AN parallel

“In one who has right view, wrong view is purged away, and the many evil, unskillful mental qualities that come into play in dependence on wrong view are purged away as well, while the many skillful mental qualities that depend on right view go to the culmination of their development.

Right Knowledge is not Right View, and the two should not be confused.

Furthermore a Stream Winner has arrived at the perfection of Right View, they have perfect Right View.

Right View simply means belief. For example, take two tobacco smokers, one believes smoking is healthy, the other believes smoking is unhealthy. So a Stream-enterer is one who believes smoking is unhealthy (dukkha), recognizes his addiction, and is working on quitting smoking. A once returner has cut down his addiction but has not fully eradicated it yet.


“right view” is something that is slowly straightened through out the path as one progresses. You seem to be explaining it as a linear thing, first you get right view, then that, then that, then that, etc. In practice, they don’t fall in sequential order that black and white; the factors support and feed back and eventually come together when they arrive at “right gnosis” as mentioned in some suttas.

I suppose we disagree on a fundamental level. I wouldn’t describe right view as a belief. I would describe it as a changing of your entire paradigm, and it keeps getting adjusted and refined. It deals with how you relate/value/see phenomenon/actions which then allows the other factors to do their work.

The right view of someone who thinks “maybe it’ll be more beneficial to meditate than to go out drinking”, is not the same right view of someone on the verge of arahantship who has developed his right view to be able to discern interaction of consciousness and the cause of birth.

Perhaps you didn’t mean to give that impression, but your comment made it sound as if you were telling others that first you get right view at the start and that initial “right view” (or belief as you call it) is the same right view that carries you through path. Right view isn’t faith, or a belief, that’s another strength that helps develop factors.

I don’t wish to argue or spend an hour looking through suttas for a couple sentences. I can see this quickly slipping into semantics. What I commented on jumped out at me, and I wanted to point out right view is deeper and much more complex than how it appeared was being described. If we disagree past this point, it’s fine.


JuanG, this isn’t something to argue about, here are three suttas which already confirm it.

Stream enterers have wholly accomplished view:

“Mendicants, all those who have come to a conclusion about me are accomplished in view. Of those who are accomplished in view, five conclude their path in this realm, and five conclude their path after leaving this realm behind. Which five conclude their path in this realm? The one who has seven rebirths at most, the one who goes from family to family, the one-seeder, the once returner, and the one who is perfected in the present life.

  • AN 10.63

“In the same way, monks, for a disciple of the noble ones who is consummate in view, an individual who has broken through [to stream-entry], the suffering & stress that is totally ended & extinguished is far greater. That which remains in the state of having at most seven remaining lifetimes is next to nothing: it’s not a hundredth, a thousandth, a one hundred-thousandth, when compared with the previous mass of suffering. That’s how great the benefit is of breaking through to the Dhamma, monks. That’s how great the benefit is of obtaining the Dhamma eye.”

  • SN 13.1

"If one were to feed one person consummate in view, that would be more fruitful than the gift, the great gift, that Velāma the brahman gave.

"If one were to feed one once-returner, that would be more fruitful than the gift, the great gift, that Velāma the brahman gave, and if [in addition to that] one were to feed one person consummate in view, and to feed 100 people consummate in view.

(Sutta then progresseses to non-returners, arahants, paccekka buddha, samma sambuddha, etc…)

  • AN 9.20

Furthermore there are suttas that show the difference between Identity view (Wrong view) and Conceit (a habituation/subtle addiction). It’s important not to confuse views (beliefs) with knowledge (which arises from progressing towards cessation).


Yes, appropriate attention is pivotal.


For me, I guess the main limitation of the EBTs is their very historical situated-ness in ancient India. Of course, this is also the case for many ancient religious texts, but the fact remains that many things have changed since that time.

Most people live in cities now, factory farming exists and is hundreds of times more horrible than ancient farming, global anthropogenic climate change is upon us, nuclear weapons exist, etc. The Buddha and the sangha did not have to deal with these issues, but we do, and its not obvious how to deal with them, as Buddhists, from the EBTs. They can help and provide guiding principles, but we have to figure it out ourselves…should we be vegetarians now? should we become more politically engaged to help stem climate change, the destruction of forests, etc? The answers are not obvious from the EBTs…


@Javier, I’m not being critical of your question, because it’s a great question. I do think that the Dhamma gives us most, if not all, of the tools needed to make these ethical and pragmatic decisions. To your question, we likely should be more inclined to eat much less, or no, animal meat. These factory farmed animals suffer greatly ( at least they do in the US) and it might be the most ethical position to take to avoid being part of that chain of commerce. If one chooses to eat animal meat, for dietary or other reasons, it seems that we assess this the way we must assess all kamma: is our intention wise and skillful, and if not, what is the dark kammic weight of choosing this course of action? Are there ways we can minimize the harm, even if we can’t eliminate it completely?

As with climate change and the harm being done to people, animals and habitats, it seems rational to contribute as little as we can to climate damage, and at the same time, work to engage others on as large a scale as possible to effectuate some mitigation of environmental damage. It seems to me that the 4NT give us a decision tree to work with issues about climate damage, such as cultivating right views, right intention, right action, etc.

It seems to me that if we really take this Dhamma to heart, it gives us the guidelines and inspiration to live wise, happy, minimalist, altruistic, and harm-free lives. It’s a template we can apply to almost any situation, time, or culture. That’s my two baht anyway.


IMHO No-one knowingly puts their Psychological well-being on the line. Such cases are very very rare.

I think Psychological well-being should always be an outcome of successful completion of a meditation session. Nobody should put anyone’s psychological well-being on the line for the mere purpose of completing meditation courses. Do it when you feel you’re ready.

As my teacher says, meditation should not be done out of greed, personal gain (feeling better or curing diseases) but with the pure thought of eradication of suffering in a calmed mind before starting.


I agree, but its a matter of practical application.

The suttas give us basic principles and teachings and they show how they can be applied by communities and persons, but they show this in the ancient Indian situation.

They do not tell us how to apply and adapt those principles for today. That’s main my point.


That is correct. I’m speaking in the context of two or three decades of practice. Eventually it is necessary to face the hindrances in their full strength, there is no escaping that. The practice involves going from wrong view to right view, so a complete psychological revolution is necessary. Those who don’t accept that are proponents of denial of the defilements, unable to accept the mind is not pure. But the path is gradual, it cannot be accomplished on the retreat circuit. As is illustrated in the example of Ven. Channa, it is possible to achieve awakening without a teacher (Vinaya). It is necessary to face the defilements fully in a measured way to experience the power of the path.


@Javier, I hear you. My response was my attempt to frame this through my own perspective, maybe as a suggested approach. I’ve often felt that so much of these teachings are timeless.

Having said that, I have a headache, so I’ll be taking some fermented cow’s urine ( pūti-mutta-bhesajja) , and resting a bit. :slight_smile:


The only limitations I have found in the EBTs are my own.