Stephen Batchelor - Awakening isnt perfection

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Stephen Batchelor - Awakening isnt perfection

Postby clw_uk » Fri Jun 26, 2009 5:57 pm

Hey


Was listening to a very interesting Dhamma talk by Stephen Batchelor today. In it he discusses how the Buddha didnt mean "there is no self", how awakening doesnt mean perfection or a getting rid of greed hatred and delusion and puts forward a case that the Buddha still exp. these things, in a sense Buddha never defeated Mara

He also discusses the Buddhas vision of society, the meaning of Sangha and the institution of Buddhism as not a set but changing thing. He also makes a good point about the danger of the "two truths" doctrine

He also breifly mentions engaged buddhism and rebirth doctrine


Its a really good talk with some interesting points i would recommend it


N.B. The bit about mara and nibbana not being perfection is at 22:00 and the bit about, the two truths being dangerous is at 49:00 onwards and engaged buddhism and rebirth at 55:44 but i would say the whole talk is worth a listen


would love to know what your thoughts are

http://www.dharmaseed.org/talks/wimpy/w ... y/2306.xml


Metta :namaste:
“Happy is the man who has broken the chains which hurt the mind, and has given up worrying once and for all.” Ovid
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Re: Stephen Batchelor - Awakening isnt perfection

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Jun 26, 2009 7:13 pm

Awakening isnt perfection


Always depends upon what is meant by perfection. As for Mara, Batchelor is pretty much stating the obvious.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Stephen Batchelor - Awakening isnt perfection

Postby Kare » Fri Jun 26, 2009 8:39 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Awakening isnt perfection


Always depends upon what is meant by perfection. As for Mara, Batchelor is pretty much stating the obvious.


Isn't that what Buddhism is all about? Stating the obvious, I mean? Sometimes the obvious can be extremely hard to see, and we need having it stated for us again and again ...
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Re: Stephen Batchelor - Awakening isnt perfection

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:20 pm

Kare wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Awakening isnt perfection


Always depends upon what is meant by perfection. As for Mara, Batchelor is pretty much stating the obvious.


Isn't that what Buddhism is all about? Stating the obvious, I mean? Sometimes the obvious can be extremely hard to see, and we need having it stated for us again and again ...


Certainly. I like Batchelor's stuff even when I do not agree with it. The question about Mara is very instructive and it is a point that often gets missed as we tend want to make even more holy our ideals of what is possible.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Stephen Batchelor - Awakening isnt perfection

Postby kc2dpt » Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:22 pm

I think I see where Batchelor is going in a different direction than traditional Buddhist teachings. He says lust will arise from "out there" but will find no purchase. That makes no sense to me. What makes sense to me is that a pleasant sight will arise "out there" but will not give rise to lust "in here".

In terms of D.O., Batchelor apparently is one of those folks who thinks craving still arises but does not give rise to clinging. I understand the teachings as saying feeling still arises but does not give rise to craving. He criticizes the traditional teachings by calling them unrealistic. I criticise his teachings by saying they excuse/pardon/accept taints as impossible to eradicate.

I think developing one's practice to the point that when lust arises one is mindful enough to not indulge it... I think that is admirable, but I do not think that represents the pinnacle of what the Buddha says we can develop. This seems to me yet another example of where Batchelor lets his own shortcomings color his understand of the teachings. Instead of seeing that lust (hate, etc.) still arise and conclude that he has more work to do, he concludes that everyone else misunderstands Buddhism. This seems to me just another example of letting the ego take the reins.

I think it is valuable to teach your students about seeing defilements arise and to be mindful of them and to let them pass. I think it's valuable to teach your students that just because defilements still arise is no reason to get down on oneself. After all it is a normal part of every unawakened person's path. But I think he goes too far and degrades the Buddha and the Dhamma and the Sangha and ultimately sells his students short.
- Peter

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Re: Stephen Batchelor - Awakening isnt perfection

Postby kc2dpt » Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:26 pm

I think since Mara is presented as an external entity we must conclude he represents that which tempts one to lust, not the lust itself. The story makes much more sense to imagine Mara like a succubus, trying to tempt. But when he sees the Buddha no longer has lust he realizes his attempts to tempt are fruitless.

attempt to tempt? :lol:
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Re: Stephen Batchelor - Awakening isnt perfection

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:42 pm

Peter wrote:I think since Mara is presented as an external entity we must conclude he represents that which tempts one to lust, not the lust itself. The story makes much more sense to imagine Mara like a succubus, trying to tempt. But when he sees the Buddha no longer has lust he realizes his attempts to tempt are fruitless.

attempt to tempt? :lol:


No need to take it as some sort of nasty being out there. Given that the body is old kamma, it is not out of reason to assume that the body (brain) continues to produce stuff based upon its needs. The difference is that with an arahant, such an individual has the insight into this, is free of its hooks. Always, the arahants easily recognize Mara, can easily recognize the physical and emotional impulses the the body/brain produces as a result of past kamma, for exactly what it is. Of course Mara is defeated.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Stephen Batchelor - Awakening isnt perfection

Postby kc2dpt » Sat Jun 27, 2009 3:10 am

tiltbillings wrote:...the physical and emotional impulses the the body/brain produces as a result of past kamma...

In my opinion, these impulses are feelings of pleasure and pain, not lust, anger, etc.
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