Questions on the selected Subject, selected Topic:

What are the details and can you say more?

Other Topics Under selected SUBJECT:

1. Unsub-divided General Information
2. Merit and Goodness in Society
3. Kamma (and Merit)
5. Meditation
6. More perspective and perspectives
7. Stages on the Path to Enlightenment
8. Requisites of Enlightenment & Concepts Overview

SUBJECT: II. Comprehensive Intro. to Buddhism (from the Buddha and B. Bodhi)


Topic: 4. Developing along Path, Details & Elaborations

The currently selected QUESTION:

What are the details and can you say more?


Developing along the Path -- Details and Elaborations

Nibbana (transcends conditioned world): unconditioned state that can be obtained
within conditioned existence (experienced as the extinction of suffering).
Reached via Enlightenment (purification and liberation of the mind).

This information occurs in several places in the Numerical Discourses:
Virtuous behavior leads to/allows for the emergence of & development of right
concentration, [then that to ... ] knowledge and vision (of things as they are),
[then that to ... ] disenchantment and dispassion, [then that to ... ]
knowledge and vision of liberation.

(from: Numerical Discourses of the Buddha, translation by B. Bodhi (2012))

The Buddha :

"... Ānanda, (1)–(2) the purpose and benefit of wholesome virtuous behavior is non-regret;
(3) the purpose and benefit of non-regret is joy; (4) the purpose and benefit of joy is
rapture; (5) the purpose and benefit of rapture is tranquility; (6) the purpose and benefit
of tranquility is pleasure; (7) the purpose and benefit of pleasure is concentration;
(8) the purpose and benefit of concentration is the knowledge and vision of things
as they really are; (9) the purpose and benefit of the knowledge and vision of things as
they really are is disenchantment and dispassion; and (10) the purpose and benefit of
disenchantment and dispassion is the knowledge and vision of liberation. Thus, Ānanda,
wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost.”

Numerical Discourses, Book of Elevens, #1

"When there is no virtuous behavior, for one deficient in virtuous behavior, (3) right
concentration lacks its proximate cause. When there is no right concentration, for one
deficient in right concentration, (4) the knowledge and vision of things as they really
are lacks its proximate cause. When there is no knowledge and vision of things as they
really are, for one deficient in the knowledge and vision of things as they really are,
(5) disenchantment and dispassion lack their proximate cause. When there is no disenchantment
and dispassion, (6) the knowledge and vision of liberation lacks its proximate cause."

Numerical Discourses, Book of Sixes, #50

“I say, bhikkhus, that (1) true knowledge and liberation have a nutriment; they are not
without nutriment. And what is the nutriment for true knowledge and liberation? It should
be said: (2) the seven factors of enlightenment. The seven factors of enlightenment *, too,
I say, have a nutriment; they are not without nutriment. And what is the nutriment for the
seven factors of enlightenment? It should be said: (3) the four establishments of mindfulness.*
The four establishments of mindfulness, too, I say, have a nutriment; they are not without
nutriment. And what is the nutriment for the four establishments of mindfulness? It should
be said: (4) the three kinds of good conduct. [115] The three kinds of good conduct, too,
I say, have a nutriment; they are not without nutriment. And what is the nutriment for the
three kinds of good conduct? It should be said: (5) restraint of the sense faculties. Restraint
of the sense faculties, too, I say, has a nutriment; it is not without nutriment. And what is
the nutriment for restraint of the sense faculties? It should be said: (6) mindfulness and
clear comprehension. Mindfulness and clear comprehension, too, I say, have a nutriment; they
are not without nutriment. And what is the nutriment for mindfulness and clear comprehension?
It should be said: (7) careful attention. Careful attention, too, I say, has a nutriment; it
is not without nutriment. And what is the nutriment for careful attention? It should be said:
(8) faith. Faith, too, I say, has a nutriment; it is not without nutriment. And what is the
nutriment for faith? It should be said: (9) hearing the good Dhamma. Hearing the good Dhamma,
too, I say, has a nutriment; it is not without nutriment. And what is the nutriment for hearing
the good Dhamma? It should be said: (10) associating with good persons."

Numerical Discourses, Book of Tens, #61
(* both 4 Establishments of Mindfulness and 7 Factors of Enlightenment are described in Topic 5)

(all 3 quotes above from: Numerical Discourses of the Buddha, translation by B. Bodhi (2012))


Buddha expounds first on giving and moral discipline, and generosity, honesty,
harmlessness, self-restraint (such meritorious deeds).
Then Buddha expounds: the 4 Noble Truths. Goal: to awaken audience to the
“vision of the Dhamma” -- the first direct realization of transcendent truth that
sets disciple on the irreversible path.

3 standpoints from which to appraise values and move strategically toward higher
knowledge: gratification -- danger -- escape (3 “moments” or steps for
evaluating [things in] the world)
Pervasive danger : impermanence

First acknowledge gratification then probe deeper (in pleasures, joy -- are they
entirely satisfactory??)
Escape is the sanest, most rational, judicious course of action, dropping

* Three major objects of attachment:
sensual pleasure
bodily form
[ Note, though: Disgust with existence binds the adherent to the same existence they
loathe. ]

* 4 wonderful things:
Dhamma of non-attachment
abolishment of conceit
peace (calming)
abolition of ignorance

* What is gratification in sensual pleasures (forms that are desired, agreeable/likeable,
connected to sensual desire, provocative of lust)?

Danger is simply sensual pleasures and leads to misconduct
Escape is removal of desire and lust and abandonment of those w/r to
sensual pleasures .
[Note: There is talk of divine sensual pleasures beyond the ordinary.]
With regard to sensual pleasure: go from equanimity which is diversified
to that which is united. And: Goal via wisdom: clinging to carnal
things of the world utterly ceases, without remainder.

What is gratification in Form as pleasure and joy dependent on beauty? ...
Escape is removal of desire and lust and abandonment of those w/r to

What is gratification in feelings?
First jhana : Gratification of feeling free from affliction is the highest
gratification of feeling, BUT there is danger.
Second jhana: stilling of thought and examination.
Third jhana: fading away of rapture
Fourth jhana: abandoning of pleasure and pain.
With regard to feelings, danger still is impermanence. Escape is removal of
desire and lust and abandonment of those with regard to feelings.

[Jhanas are stages on the path to enlightenment beyond non-returner.]


4 “summaries” of the Dhamma:
world is unstable and “swept away”
life in world (any world) has no shelter or protection
life in any world has nothing of its own
life in any world is incomplete, insatiate, the slave of craving

The Danger in Views

Wrong view: unarisen unwholesome qualities of mind arise and arisen
unwholesome qualities of mind increase and expand. AND:
wholesome qualities do not arise or diminish.
Action of one with wrong view, whatever volition, aspiration, wish,
and volitional formations, all lead to undesirable, unwanted,
disagreeable, and to harm and suffering.
Those with vision see what has come to be, practice disenchantment,
and dispassion for the cessation of what has come to be.

Liberated from taints by non-clinging, disenchanted with all formations,
enough to be dispassionate, liberated.

Path to liberation:

Buddha does not answer questions not relevant to the practical resolution of problems.
These are based on underlying assumption of self and “a world”.
The Buddha rejects such questions and some questions are also unanswerable.

* Beyond gain and honor and beyond concentration and insight and knowledge and
vision is: unshakeable liberation of mind.

* While Buddhism depends entirely on personal effort, spiritual friendship is necessary

8-fold Noble Path

This path is more like components than steps, though there is some degree of

8-Fold Noble Path (8 factors, in three groups):

moral discipline: right speech, right action, right livelihood
concentration: right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration
wisdom: right view and right intention

These 2 factors of wisdom are placed at the beginning because they
are required at the outset of the path. [(obviously, all factors
are to be developed)]

Right view is necessary for conceptual understanding of Buddhist
Right intention is required for proper motivation and direction.

Buddha says that lay followers accomplished in the Dhamma could attain the first
three of 4 stages of “awakening”, up to non-returning. And the 4th stage
could be reached on the verge of death or, after attainment: immediately seek
going forth.

Monks want to (must) devote themselves fully to the Dhamma, unhindered by
household life.

* For higher knowledge, the following is needed:
exposition of the Dhamma, by the Buddha
faith and following the teacher
right livelihood, then: contentment, restraint of sense faculties and
mindfulness and clear comprehension (the last three bridge the
transition from moral discipline to concentration).
[ (After (with) concentration come knowledge and vision THEN perpetual
liberation.) ]

* 5 Hindrances in preliminary training in concentration:
sensual desire
dullness and drowsiness
restlessness and remorse

These are the principle obstacles to meditative development.

* Jhanas: profound states of concentration in which the mind is fully absorbed in
its object. Jhanas contribute to intrinsic perfection of the path and
concentration-induced basis for the arising of insight.
Wisdom is what is the critical factor in attainment of enlightenment.

After 4th (final) jhana:
There is continued mental unification and refinement of concentration.
Beyond jhanas: transcendence of subtle mental image that serves as the object
in the jhana.
One key knowledge: of the destruction of taints.

Jhanas silence the defilements but do not eradicate them. To do this one must engage
in contemplation of “things as they really are”. This culminates in arahantship.

* Again, views not declared (questions not answered): that which is not beneficial
and does not lead to: disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, peace, direct
knowledge or enlightenment.

* What is declared, of course, are the 4 Noble Truths: nature of suffering, origin of
suffering, cessation of suffering, and way to the cessation.


Right Effort: desiring for non-arising of unwholesome states. One makes an effort,
applies mind, strives.
Similarly he does this for the arising of unarisen wholesome states and
generates desire for continuation of arisen wholesome states.

body in body
feelings in feelings
mind in mind
phenomenon in phenomenon

Right concentration: “dwelling” in the jhanas:
Secluded from sensual pleasures and unwholesome states, monk enters
first jhana (accompanied by thought and examination, with
rapture and happiness born of seclusion).
With subsiding of thought and examination, one enters 2nd jhana and one has
internal confidence and unification of mine and is “without thought
and examination”. And, one has the rapture born of concentration.
With fading away of rapture, one enters the 3rd jhana and dwells
equanimous and mindful and clearly understanding and happy.
With the abandoning of pleasure and pain, comes the 4th jhana. This also
shows the passing away of joy and dejection and achieves right
concentration (which includes the purification of mindfulness by

Still note: Good friendship is still all of spiritual life.

* Possessing monk's training and way of life:
abandoning destruction of life
compassionate to all living beings
taking only what is given
abandoning sexual relations
abandoning false and malicious speech (and gossip)

He also reunites those who are divided (promotes friendship, enjoys concord, and
speaks words that promote concord). He also abandons idle chatter and speaks at
the right time and words that are worth recording, reasonable, moderate, and beneficial.
Restraint guards the mind faculty and he has noble restraint of sense faculties (and
experiences, in himself, unsullied bliss). He acts with clear comprehension.
Abandoning longing for the world and abandoning ill-will and hatred, he is
compassionate for all living beings.

He directs knowledge to the destruction of taints. Eventually, when his mind is liberated,
there comes knowledge which includes the knowledge of the destruction of taints.

The noble disciple concludes: the Buddha is perfectly enlightened, Dhamma is
well-expounded, and the Sangha is practicing in the good way.

Again, types of concentration are the 4 jhanas (right concentration of the 8-fold path)

Beyond jhanas lie “formless attainments” which carry mental unification to still
subtler levels. There is direct insight into the true nature of things. Serenity leads
to concentration and liberation of the mind. Insight leads to the higher wisdom of
insight which leads to the true nature of phenomenon.

[( Mastering mind: serenity and insight. May be insight first and then serenity or v.v.
Usually serenity comes first. )]
In any case (& especially if one develops insight first), one must use concentration
as the basis for establishing real insight. And, one must also return to the task of
unifying the mind before resuming the work of insight. In any case both insight and serenity are required:

Serenity requires skill composing, unifying, and concentrating the mind.
Cultivation of insight requires skill in observing, investigating, and discerning
conditioned phenomenon.

Serenity and insight join to issue knowledge and vision (in particular, of the 4 Noble
Truths). This knowledge and vision (world transcending wisdom) occurs in 4 distinct
installments. In sequence, they permanently destroy ignorance, along with the
affiliated defilements.

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Added by Brad on Sat 24th January 2015 5.12PM

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