Advanced Classes

A 7 week course on Sutta studies will recommence on
18 August 2022 at 7 pm.
The class will be conducted by Bhante Dedunupitiye Upananda Thero at the London Buddhist Vihara premises.
Those who are unable to be present can join the Zoom meeting.    
 

A THEMATIC STUDY IN THE PALI SUTTA PITAKA
Theme: Missteps of Perception
Teacher: Bhantee Upananda
Class dates: August 18, 25; September 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
Based on excerpts from the Pali Sutta Pitata, this 7-week course will focus on the Buddhist psychology of perception (saññā) and how we missteps therein. A handout containing excerpts with translations, and key Pali terms and their English translations will be provided for each class.
Scroll down for the handout

To join the Zoom Meeting, prior Registration is required.

Please click the link below for the registration form.

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Hi there,

You are invited to a Zoom meeting.
When: Aug 18, 2022 07:00 PM London

Register in advance for this meeting:

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYvdemurTwtE9cS-Q-fqA7DZ5Zqhi2QIOJE

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

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Handout for week1 class on 18 Aug 2022

LBV ADVANCED BUDDHISM SERIES

2022 Thursday Series: Aug. 18 – Sep. 29: 7.00 PM-8.30 PM
Instructor: Bhantee Upananda

Theme: MISSTEPS OF PERCEPTION

Dear participant:

Please note that this Thursday course is intended for advanced learners willing to learn the Dhamma with reference to key Pali canonical/scriptural terms and phrases that are incorporated into a single these. Therefore, questions asked must pertain to the these.

  1. 1. Definition of saññā:

Session #1: August 18, 2022

The term is derived from the verbal root ñā [to know]. Sam+ñā =saññā literally means
‘assimilation of sensations.

  1. 2. Term ‘missteps of perception’ is the literal translation of VIPALLĀSA ,alternatively VIPARIYESA, which is derived from vi+pari+as (throw) = to pervert. SAÑÑĀ-VIPALLĀSA/SAÑÑĀ-VIPARIYESA is a term used by Buddha and fully enlightened ones like arhats to describe the pattern of perception of unenlightened on Oftentimes, this term is to be understood with another term which is PUTHUJJANA.
  2. 3. PUTHUJJANA [PUTHU+JANA] is one who often takes missteps in their perception. According to both Vedic (Sanskrit) and Pali ‘PUTHU’ means ‘various.’ Strictly in a Pali Buddhist sense, it means various ways of looking at.’ JANA is people.
  3. 4. ‘ASSUTAVĀ PUTHUJJANŌ -SUTAVĀ ARIYASĀVAKŌ’: This Pali phrase which occurs in different places of the Pali scripture explains what puthujjanas ought to do if they want to avoid missteps

– to be a listener (=sutavā). Otherwise, a puthujjana will not become an ariyasāvaka or noble disciple. Elsewhere we come across a term sāvaka-buddha or suta-buddha meaning one who becomes enlightened by listening.

  1. 5. The risk of missteps of perception prevails until one becomes an arhat. (Arhat which comes from the Pali word arahanta entered the English dictionary in 1809. It means one who has reached enlightenment.

The story of the guru monk with jhāna tamed by his student is an ample example of SAÑÑĀ- VIPARIYESA.

Download Handout 1

Handout for Week 2 class on 25 Aug 2022

LBV ADVANCED BUDDHISM SERIES

2022 Thursday Series: Aug. 18 – Sep. 29: 7.00 PM-8.30 PM

Instructor: Bhantee Upananda

Theme: MISSTEPS OF PERCEPTION

Dear participant:

Please note that this Thursday course is intended for advanced learners willing to learn the Dhamma with reference to key Pali canonical/scriptural terms and phrases that are incorporated into a single theme. Therefore, questions asked must pertain to the theme.

Session #2: August 25, 2022

  1. Warning sign of saññā vipallāsa/vipariyesa:
  2. Buddha warns against saññā as being like mirage (marīci’kūpamā saññā – Phēna Sutra).
  3. Those who see the miragelike nature of saññā avoid the trap of māra (Dhammapada
  4. Our entire existence is māra-oriented, and our actions can temp us to run into the shelter of māra. We, therefore, need to be mindful of five types of māra: 1.Māra the Deity (deva māra), 2.selfhood māra (khandha māra), 3.defilement māra (kilēsa māra), 4.māra the karma, 5.māra the death (maccu māra)
  5. Kāma-rāga (lust) seems to be what makes us take one of the most disastrous missteps of saññā. The Ānanda Sutra of the Samyutta Nikāya gives a clear account of how rāga can put even the life of a highly spiritual person in jeopardy. This sutra is based on a confession a monk, Vangīsa made before Venerable Ananada. The term ‘saññā-vipallāsa/vipariyesa occurs in this sutra. Vangīsa gives a clear account of his missteps of rāga.
  6. Vangīsa; “When lust attacks me, my mind is on fire (kāmarāgēna dayhāmi-cittam me paridayhati). Tell me how to put it out (nibbāpana= means of extinguishing). [There is no fire like lust – Dhammapada #202].
  7. Ananda; “From missteps of perception (saññā-vipariyesa) your mind is on fire.
  8. Shun the prognostication/enchantment of beauty which is accompanied by kāma-rāga (nimittam parivajjēhi – subham rāgūpasanhitam), and do focus your mind on the foulness of what you sense (asubhāya cittam bhāvēhi).
  9. Ananda: Look at sankhāra from non-subjective approach (sankhārē paratœ passa). You must see sankhāra as not-self. Do not put yourself on fire again and again (mā dayihitthō punappunam).

[Etymology of sankhāra: from sam+kr to prepare and gather, coefficients, fabrications. There are three types of fabrications: 1.mental (manō), 2.verbal (vacī), 3.bodily (kaya)]

  1. Pursue/cultivate disenchantment (animittam ca bhāvēhi).
  2. Then, through ‘insight (abhisamaya) into the scourging nature of measuring (māna)’ you will go on your way at peace. [māna or measuring (comparing) is typical of puthujjanas].

Download Handout 2

Handout for Week 3 class on 01 Sept 2022

LBV ADVANCED BUDDHISM SERIES

2022 Thursday Series: Aug. 18 – Sep. 29: 7.00 PM-8.30 PM

Instructor: Bhantee Upananda

Theme: MISSTEPS OF PERCEPTION

Dear participant:

Session #3: September 01, 2022

The 7 shrewd agents of missteps:

  1. The making of self/I-am-ness (ahamkāra) and the process thereof (mamamkāra) describe how we become a different I/me at any given moment. Since this process is incessant, Buddha calls it attabhāva instead of atta (=atman). Attabhāva, therefore, is the canonical term for self/selfhood/I-am-ness.
  2. As a puthujjanas, we may easily tend to create a different ‘ourselves/myself’ due to 7 shrewd agents of attabhāva that remain beyond us. Such ability of those agents is due to their being latent or dormant in our consciousness. Those agents are therefore known as anusaya, which literally means ‘lie down with.’
  3. The 7 agents are kāmarāga (sensual passion), patigha (resistance), ditthi ([wrong] view), vicikicchā (doubt), māna (conceit/measuring), bhavarāga (passion of becoming/rebecoming), and avijjā (ignorance) - Anusaya Sutta: Sattaka Nipāta: Anguttara Nikāya.
  4. The 7 agents in detail:
  5. kāmarāga (excitement of sensual pleasure)
  6. patigha (desire to injure/harm)
  7. ditthi (belief that one’s own view is always right)
  8. vicikicchā (wavering in decision-making/dis-reflecting/vacillating irresolutely between choices. Strictly in a Buddhist spiritual sense, vicikicchā is generally regarding 8 factors. See footnote).
  9. māna (derived from ‘man’ meaning ‘high opinion’ [of self]. The term ‘man’ is connected to root ‘mā’ meaning to ‘measure,’ or ‘build.’ We tend to measure ourselves as higher [seyya/superior], equal [sadisa] or hīna (inferior]). Building can go wrong.
  10. bhavarāga (excitement of becoming anew the moment or in the future due to frustration caused by the unsatisfactory nature of the current being/self. There are different factors contributing to bhavarāga, such as aging, illness, wrong company, loss of desired company, etc.).
  11. avijjā (derived from a+vid meaning ‘not knowing,’ ‘requiring clarification.’ This is all about one’s identity).

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d.4

Avijjā regarding 8 factors: 1. Buddha, 2. Dhamma, 3. Sangha, 4. training of mind, body and speech by precepts, 5. Past life, 6. Future rebirth/afterlife, 7. Past life and future rebirth/afterlife, 8. Cause and effect/interdependent origination [From the Mahā Satipatthāna Sutra in the description of dhammānupassanā]

Download Handout 3

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Passcode: 1*4Rr=Tb

 

Handout for Week 4 class on 8 Sept 2022

LBV ADVANCED BUDDHISM SERIES

2022 Thursday Series: Aug. 18 – Sep. 29: 7.00 PM-8.30 PM

Instructor: Bhantee Upananda

Theme: MISSTEPS OF PERCEPTION

 

Session 4: September 8, 2022

Missteps of innocence

We puthujjnanas at times make some decisions in good faith, and end up getting victimized due to our own unilateral decisions or due to irresponsible, opportunistic, predator-like actions by those who are on the receiving end of our love, affection, and/or help. Such decisions we make are our missteps of innocence since we, at the time of making such decisions, are innocent and unsuspected. Sadly, we can fall victim to predators, cheaters, etc. We can be predators or cheaters too. Such missteps can be easily understood in light of what is known in the Buddha-Dhamma as ‘masquerading tendencies’ (Pali: vancanika-dhamma). Since the list is too long, a selection has been made for today’s discussion.

  • rāga (lust) masquerading as karuna (compassion)
  • raga (lust) masquerading as saddhā (spiritual devotion)
  • dōsa (anger) masquerading as mitabhānitā (speaking a little, moderation in speech)
  • issā (jealousy) masquerading as dayā (philanthropy)
  • issā (jealousy) masquerading as patikkūla-saññā (wisdom that certain things are meaningless, and therefore are to be considered disgusting in spiritual practice)
  • thīna-middha (mental inactivity [more of mind] and drowsiness [more of body]) masquerading as appicchatā (contentment/being easily satisfied)
  • kukkucca (misconduct, such as not helping parents) masquerading as dayā (sympathy, kindness)

Download Handout 4

Zoom recording

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Handout for week 5, 18 Sept 2022

LBV ADVANCED BUDDHISM SERIES

2022 Thursday Series: Aug. 18 – Sep. 29: 7.00 PM-8.30 PM

Instructor: Bhantee Upananda

Theme: MISSTEPS OF PERCEPTION

Session 5: September 15, 2022

Missteps due to wishful thinking

  • The Saccavibhanga Sutra of the Majjhima Nikāya encourages us to avoid missteps that we take due to wishful thinking (na icchāya patthabbam) in the following situations in life:
  1. jāti (birth), jarā (aging), vyādhi (illness), marana (death), sōka (sorrow), paridēva (lamentation), dukkha (bodily pain), dōmanassa (mental pain), upāyāsa (distress)
  • The Arañña Sutra of the Samyutta Nikāya encourages us for self-acceptance by living in the present. Advice thereof is described in the following manner:

“The wise do not sorrow over the past. Nor do they hanker for the future. They maintain themselves with what is present. Their complexion, therefore, is serene.”[1]

“Through hankering for the future, through sorrowing over the past, the unwise dry up and wither away like a green reed cut down.”[2]

  • In the Bodhirājakumāra Sutra of the Majjhima Nikāya, Buddha warns Prince Bodhiraja against the latter’s belief that pleasure is to be gained through pain. Buddha explains how his practice showed Him the fallacy of that belief. Pain is negative and blocks us from progressing.

[1] Atītam nā’nusōcanti – nappajappanti nā’gatam

Paccuppannēna yāpenti – tēna vannō pasīdati.

[2] Anāgatappajappāya – atītā’nānusōcanā

Etēna bālā sussanti – nalō’va raritō luto.

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Zoom recording

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Session 6: September 22, 2022

The ten saññā of therapeutic value

Ananda, if you go to the monk Girimananda and tell him ten perceptions, it is possible that when he hears the ten perceptions his disease may be allayed. Which ten? the perception of inconstancy (anicca-saññā),

the perception of not-self (anatta-saññā),

the perception of unattractiveness (asubha-saññā),

the perception of drawbacks (ādīnava-saññā),

the perception of abandoning (pahāna-saññā),

the perception of dispassion (virāga-saññā),

the perception of cessation (nirōdha-saññā),

the perception of distaste for every world (sabba-lōkē-anabhirata-saññā),

the perception of the undesirability of all fabrications (sabba-sankhārēsu-anicca-saññā), and

mindfulness of in-and-out breathing (ānāpānasati).

(The Girimānanda Sutra: Anguttara Nikāya)

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 Zoom recording

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Passcode: pUn?5T5N

Dear participant:

Please note that this Thursday course is intended for advanced learners willing to learn the Dhamma with reference to key Pali canonical/scriptural terms and phrases that are incorporated into a single theme. Therefore, questions asked must pertain to the theme.

Session 7: September 29, 2022

Role of saññā in the making of papaña

  1. saññā plays an unsurpassed role in the constant making of self (attabhāva).
  2. pattern thereof is called ‘papañca-saññā-sankhā (papañcas are born out of saññā).
  3. papañca (pa+pañca) expands selfhood limitlessly.
  4. Why papañcas are called ‘conceptual proliferations’

‘papañcā’bhiratā pajā, nippapañcā tathāgatā (Dhammapada: 254)

  1. Importance of understanding the two levels of Buddha-Dhamma
  2. Neyyattha dēsanā (based on sammuti sacca or conceptual realities)
  3. Nītattha dēsanā (based on paramattha sacca or absolute realities)
  4. In the eyes of the enlightened, sammuti continually traps puthujjanas.

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