SarathW wrote:Two football match commentators may give two completely different commentaries.
What important is how you perceive the match.
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.
soapy3 wrote:I've found that the way TB, BB, and some others frame things to be gloomy, negative.......negatively inspiring.
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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