2 Buddhisms? Ajahn Brahm and Thanisarro Bhikkhu

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.

Re: 2 Buddhisms? Ajahn Brahm and Thanisarro Bhikkhu

Postby Dan74 » Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:03 pm

I think treachers and students inevitably bring their personalities to the way they impart and learn the Dhamma. This can also change with age as it was noted above Ajahn Brahm used to be quite different.
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Re: 2 Buddhisms? Ajahn Brahm and Thanisarro Bhikkhu

Postby SarathW » Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:48 am

Two football match commentators may give two completely different commentaries.
What important is how you perceive the match. :popcorn:
They all depend on your vantage point.
Even Buddha taught differently to different people.
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Re: 2 Buddhisms? Ajahn Brahm and Thanisarro Bhikkhu

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:33 am

SarathW wrote:Two football match commentators may give two completely different commentaries.
What important is how you perceive the match. :popcorn:


I'd be inclined to listen to both commentaries. ;)
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Re: 2 Buddhisms? Ajahn Brahm and Thanisarro Bhikkhu

Postby soapy3 » Sat Nov 22, 2014 2:27 am

Dan74 wrote:I think treachers and students inevitably bring their personalities to the way they impart and learn the Dhamma. This can also change with age as it was noted above Ajahn Brahm used to be quite different.



I think both Ajahn Brahm and Thanisarro Bhikkhu are about the same age.
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Re: 2 Buddhisms? Ajahn Brahm and Thanisarro Bhikkhu

Postby SarathW » Sat Nov 22, 2014 2:52 am

I have seen many teachers give emphasis to different aspects of Noble Eightfold Path.
Many Sri Lankan monks, I know give emphasis to giving (Dana) and Virtues (Sela).
It appears to me Ajahan Braham stress on Jhana or Samadhi.
Ven. Thannisaro is a must if you want to understand Sutta and develop Panna (wisdom)
They all lead to the same goal Nibbana.
:)
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Re: 2 Buddhisms? Ajahn Brahm and Thanisarro Bhikkhu

Postby soapy3 » Sat Nov 22, 2014 4:47 pm

Good morning SarathW,

I wasn't referring to the topics those men focus on, but the way they choose to focus on those topics, the words they pick, the way they frame those topics and life.

If it wasn't for Ajahn Brahm, I would be done with Theravada Buddhism aside from using it as a support for meditation.

I've found that the way TB, BB, and some others frame things to be gloomy, negative.......negatively inspiring.

That point was brought home to me even more in the past few months trying to deal with the death and other losses I experienced. I kept thinking about how other people had inspiring stories or beliefs to tell themselves. I did not. All I had were my echoes of TB & BB's writings on Buddhism. Not much in the way of emotional comfort in hard times.

Luckily, I knew about Ajahn Brahm. On the many nights were I couldn't sleep, couldn't sit still, and had to go out walking at all hours listening to his talks on my phone was a comfort.
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Re: 2 Buddhisms? Ajahn Brahm and Thanisarro Bhikkhu

Postby culaavuso » Sat Nov 22, 2014 8:27 pm

soapy3 wrote:I've found that the way TB, BB, and some others frame things to be gloomy, negative.......negatively inspiring.


Here are some passages that might seem more bright and positive that may provide some useful context for Ven. Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu's other teachings:

Life Isn't Just Suffering by Ven. Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu wrote:"He showed me the brightness of the world."

That's how my teacher, Ajaan Fuang, once characterized his debt to his teacher, Ajaan Lee. His words took me by surprise.
...
Yet for a long time I couldn't shake the sense of paradox I felt over how the pessimism of the Buddhist texts could find embodiment in such a solidly happy person.

Only when I began to look directly at the early texts did I realize that what I thought was a paradox was actually an irony — the irony of how Buddhism, which gives such a positive view of a human being's potential for finding true happiness, could be branded in the West as negative and pessimistic.
...
If we negotiate life armed with all four noble truths, realizing that life contains both suffering and an end to suffering, there's hope: hope that we'll be able to sort out which parts of life belong to which truth; hope that someday, in this life, we'll discover the brightness at the point where we can agree with the Buddha, "Oh. Yes. This is the end of suffering and stress."


Trading Candy for Gold by Ven. Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu wrote:Buddhism takes a familiar American principle — the pursuit of happiness — and inserts two important qualifiers. The happiness it aims at is true: ultimate, unchanging, and undeceitful. Its pursuit of that happiness is serious, not in a grim sense, but dedicated, disciplined, and willing to make intelligent sacrifices.


The Karma of Happiness by Ven. Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu wrote:From a Buddhist point of view, optimism is simply one of a series of useful attitudes to have toward the future. Sometimes confidence is called for, sometimes caution, sometimes obsessive care. What we need is skill in discerning which attitude is most appropriate for which situation and then putting it into use.
...
And the Buddha found ... that when the mind stops fabricating a self, everything opens to a happiness totally independent of conditions—the one happiness that doesn’t depend on actions, doesn’t have a price, one so total that no questions have to be asked.
This sort of happiness doesn’t lend itself to being tested by the experimental methods of positive psychology or any other branch of psychology. But if psychologists could remain open to the possibility that there’s an unadulterated happiness that doesn’t fit into their framework of a full or meaningful life, it would serve as a sign that they had become genuinely wise.
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