Dhammakaya meditation technique / organisation

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.

Dhammakaya meditation technique / organisation

Postby Darren_86 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 6:58 am

Dear All,

Recently, I've came across this organisation (Dharmakaya), that teaches the a combination of breathing, mantra and crystal ball as an meditation object.

Then, according to this website, http://www.buddhismaustralia.org/cults.htm

it seems that Dharmakaya was a branch of Buddhist Cults.

Anyone has any idea on this? They have a large following internationally as well
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Re: Dhammakaya meditation technique / organisation

Postby jcsuperstar » Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:10 am

some people don't like them. most here would try to steer you away from them. however they are a part of the mahanikaya branch of thai theravada buddhism, so although their meditation technique is unorthodox from a theravada standpoint (although it's not odd at all from a mahayana/tantric POV) they are not so much a cult as an "odd" strain of mainstream Buddhism.

and from wikipedia

This meditation school formally belongs to the ancient Maha Nikaya tradition of Thai Theravada Buddhism., being correctly regarded as revivalist rather than a new movement or fundamentalist. It supposedly has many doctrinal elements to distinguish it from conventional Theravāda Buddhism[citation needed] and in some respects resembles schools of Mahāyāna Buddhism, has not been taken as heterodox by most Buddhists in the country. The Dhammakāya school of meditation is marked by its literal interpretation of Buddhist technical terms, (including the term dhammakāya) in their physical meaning, as described by Phramongkolthepmuni. Many sermons of Phramongkolthepmuni himself can be traced back to some schools of meditation in Southeast Asia preserved only in ancient meditation manuals.

The Dhammakāya Foundation has been subject to its share of controversy. In 1999 and again in 2002, leaders of the organization were accused of charges ranging from fraud and embezzlement to corruption. At that time social critic Sulak Sivaraksa has criticized the Dhammakaya Movement for promoting greed by emphasizing donations to the temple as a way to make merit. Widespread negative media coverage a this time was symptomatic of the movement being made the scapegoat for commercial malpractice in the Thai Buddhist temple community in the wake of the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis.

In 2006 The Thai National Office for Buddhism cleared the Dhammakaya Foundation and Phrarajbhavanavisudh of all accusations when Phrarajbhavanavisudh agreed to return all the allegedly embezzled funds to name of his temple. Phrarajbhavanavisudh was subsequently restored to the position of abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya.
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Re: Dhammakaya meditation technique / organisation

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:24 am

Never had any contact with them myself but from what I have seen they do seam like the black sheep of the family so to speak, there are some threads on them here and JC's assessment does seam fair.
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Re: Dhammakaya meditation technique / organisation

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:27 am

http://www.dhammawheel.com/search.php
here is a search for them
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With Metta
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Dhammakaya meditation technique / organisation

Postby Ben » Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:49 am

I remember when we were both posting on e-sangha, Ajahn had some words to say about Dhammakaya. From what Ajahn was saying it seemed like a dodgy organisation. One of the things that i remember him saying is that Dhammakaya organisation was very good in establishing itself in communities outside of Thailand and drawing on the financial and other support of ex-patriot Thais who don't have an alternative as a focus for cultural and spiritual activities.
kind regards

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Re: Dhammakaya meditation technique / organisation

Postby Goofaholix » Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:56 am

In Thailand they are generally considered to be a cult, most Thais I've spoken to don't like them at all, they've accumulated an incredible amount of wealth and seem to have a lot of control over their followers.

Their leader was in the courts a couple of years ago, I can't remember why or what the result was.

I heard from someone who had been on one of their retreats they were promising enlightenment within 7 days.
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Re: Dhammakaya meditation technique / organisation

Postby Darren_86 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:20 am

Yeap, thanks guys.

I went there few days ago, and dont think I want to visit them for a second time.

The whole thing of promoting and salesmaning Buddhism, the number of ppl you get to convert, the merits and these doesnt really sound like the Buddhism I am used to, eventhough they doesnt seem to do any harm.

However, the impression and teachings doesnt seem to be in accord with both Theravada and Mahayana teachings as well.

But anyway, thanks for this. At least now, I'm more convinced that what I thought might be right. :thanks:

Darren
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Re: Dhammakaya meditation technique / organisation

Postby acinteyyo » Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:05 am

I read on theravadablog.de a report of Ajahn Martin Piyadhammo. A german bhikkhu living in Thailand for 15 years.
He said that Dhammakai (Dhammakaya) is a group whose mainpurpose is to sell the Dhamma. The thai-word kai among other things means "to sell". By the way it seems to me like a "camouflage-name". Dhammakai can have the meaning Dhamma-Body or Dhamma-Group but also Dhamma-for-sale. He further wrote they press money from the laity not unlikely the Scientology Church and that there would be witnesses. Some years ago the abbot of the Dhammakai has been charged of evasion of funds and misgovernment or mismanagement (I don't know the right english translation). The book "Nirvana for Sale" is about the Dhammakaya. According to the book the abbot had been sent into prison but later has been released on bail for 2 million bath.
I would be careful.
best wishes, acinteyyo
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