SuttaCentral

The Path of Practice and dangers of feeding the conceptual mind

This morning I read a quote of Ajahn Brahm in a newsletter that I would really like to share. :pray:

“The conceptual mind might say: “I can’t do it, it’s too hard for me”.
But that’s the talk of the ego getting scared, the talk of Mara, who is on the defensive, rattled by our progress on the path to Nibbana.
Instead of believing in the conceptual mind, the mind of Mara, one trusts the word of the Buddha and the advice of the Noble Disciples. One puts aside those conceptional doubts, lets them go, and pushes them away. One goes beyond them, and finds that the Buddha was wise and enlightened: he did teach the Dhamma, and that Dhamma works. This is especially clear when the mind becomes peaceful.

Push out the conceptual mind and arouse the mind of faith. Let go. Let go of the ordering, the assessing of the situation, and the thinking of what to do next.
Let the Dhamma take over; and let natural course of the practise take over.
If you have been practicing virtue, sense restraint, and mindfulness, you have the basis for concentration; so let go and let concentration (stillness of the mind) happen. Allow the mind just to concentrate, to revert to what we might call its natural state – stillness of the mind – the seeking of satisfaction and comfort within itself rather than outside.

The mind then becomes self sufficient, self comforting, and self sustaining, so that the door from the mind to the five external sense is cut off, and the mind does not go out to the five senses. Instead it remains immersed in itself, in a radiant joy. One experiences this, one delights in it, and it is wise and good to delight in it. One has faith in the Buddha, who said that this is a delight has no underlying tendencies of craving and lust.

Source: In The Presence of Nibbana"- Ajahn Brahm

Ajahn Chah had the same message.

I received a ‘like’ on an old post this morning as well, which is also directly relevant here

So please press the pause button on proliferation and over intellectualising the Path. It is a Path of Practice not of Thinking.

I would certainly recommend to spend 100 times more time and effort doing The Practice, than focusing on what one thinks about it.

Sila, and Samadhi are what leads to wisdom, not intellectualisation.

Don’t throw away the opportunity we have in this life for moving along the path, to remain snared in the conceptual, conditioned Mind.

With much Metta, and may all beings find the path to reduce suffering :pray: :dharmawheel: :thaibuddha:

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The EBTs tells us of the power of patisankhara , reflection, for those who learn, bahussutā.

Reason is the power of the astute.
Reflection is the power of the learned.
Patience is the power of ascetics and brahmins.

To me it’s from careful reflection and friendly discourse with Dhamma friends on what I read in EBTs that the roots of my faith go strong.

:anjal:

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Beautiful post. @Viveka :hibiscus:
So very wise, nourishing and supportive.
I love this journey of exploration. Thank you :green_heart:
And thank you, Ajahn Brahm. :yellow_heart:

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Lol there’s always proliferation on the forum! I thought that was what it was for! :joy:

An important thing to remember is that people should never leave their critical thinking faculties aside when it comes to spiritual practice. Thinking, pondering, talking things through, questioning, and even debate are an integral part of the spiritual path and are vehicles for learning and development, as we frequently see in the suttas. So many cults and scary religious movements tell people not to think, or question, “get out of your mind” etc which will just lead people deeper into ignorance.

Maybe proliferation is something we are all a little bit guilty of from time to time in our spiritual journey? Figuring out stuff. Wanting to understand.

Perhaps one person’s view of proliferation is another person’s important process or stimulating conversation?! :thinking::smiley:

Good bad who knows as Ajahn Brahm would say.

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I’d also lean in this direction. The main forum area is for discussing the EBT’s, so we are obligated to leave out most details of our own personal practice. But my presumption is that everyone is practicing as well.

Ideally there is a virtuous cycle that connects study and practice, with frequent comparisons, and new ideas and insights from one side feeding into the other.

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Apologies if my post came across as criticism :pray:

I should have left out the sentence that Ven Akaliko highlighted , as it diminished from the intent of drawing attention to the importance of balance of approach and sharing the quote by Ajahn Brahm.

… just some of my own proliferations :slightly_smiling_face:

As these posts remain to be read into the future, I will delete the un-useful sentence.

with much metta and thanks to kalyanamittas :pray: :slight_smile: :sunflower:

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Its when Vipassana turns into Vichikiccha that one is heading for trouble… :rofl:

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Thanks so very much for putting a word to it. :slight_smile: :pray:

https://www.wisdomlib.org/definition/vicikiccha

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

[«previous (V) next»] — Vicikiccha in Theravada glossary

Source: Dhamma Dana: Pali English Glossary

F (Doubt).

Source: Journey to Nibbana: Patthana Dhama

Suspicion;

There is another akusala cetasika in these 14 akusala cetasikas. It is vicikiccha cetasika. It is undecisiveness. It is suspicion. It is suspicion on dhamma, sangha, the Buddha, paticcasamuppada or dependent origination and the practice.

Source: Pali Kanon: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines

‘sceptical doubt’, is one of the 5 mental hindrances (nīvarana) and one of the 3 fetters (samyojana), which disappear for ever at Stream-entry, the first stage of holiness (s. ariya-puggala).

As a fetter, it refers to sceptical doubt about the Master (the Buddha), the Teaching, the Sangha, and the training; about things past and future, and conditionality (Dhs.1004; cf. A.X.71).

It also applies to uncertainty whether things are wholesome or not, to be practiced or not, of high or low value, etc.

According to Vis.M. XIV, 177, vicikicchā is the lack of desire to think (things out i.e. to come to a conclusion; vigata-cikicchā, desiderative to Ö cit, to think); it has the nature of wavering, and its manifestation is indecision and a divided attitude; its proximate cause is unwise attention to matters of doubt.

It is associated with one of the 2 classes of unwholesome consciousness rooted in delusion (Tab. I, No. 32). -

See also kankhā.

Source: Dhamma Study: Cetasikas

Vicikiccha or doubt is another akusala cetasika.

  1. Doubt is another akusala dhamma which is a hindrance. Doubt about the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha, doubt about realities, all these kinds of doubt are a hindrance to the development of kusala, a hindrance to the development of right understanding. We need courage to continue to develop satipatthana, so that doubt can eventually be eradicated.
  2. Vicikiccha is not the same as what we mean by doubt in conventional language. Vicikiccha is not doubt about someone’s name or about the weather. Vicikiccha is doubt about realities, about nama and rupa, about cause and result, about the four noble Truths, about the “Dependant Origination”.

One of the six Kamacchandas;

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Hi, I just watched a beautiful and clear talk by Ajahn Sumedho on value of silence and investigation, so a balanced approach. I feel it is relevant to this thread so I trust it is OK to share the link here:

metta, Dana

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