Was Buddha a spoil sport?

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.

Re: Was Buddha a spoil sport?

Postby bodom » Mon Feb 08, 2010 3:20 pm

Then Anathapindika the householder went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there the Blessed One said to him: "There are these four kinds of bliss that can be attained in the proper season, on the proper occasions, by a householder partaking of sensuality. Which four? The bliss of having, the bliss of [making use of] wealth, the bliss of debtlessness, the bliss of blamelessness.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

No spoil sport here. Again, i think it is important to realise that the Buddha did not advise his lay disciples to renounce the world. There were teachings given scrictly for monks/nuns and there were teachings given to lay disciples. It is is important not to confuse the two. Of course the buddha did give profound and deep discourses to the laity but only when he recognised the potential for awakening in them. Not everyone is ready to recieve the teachings on renunciation.

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Was Buddha a spoil sport?

Postby Annapurna » Mon Feb 08, 2010 7:53 pm

Hello, all,

thank you for the good replies and quotes, I read them all carefully, skipped only a little bit from the long suttha, but got the most.

Thanks.

Sanghamitta, you said:

Sanghamitta wrote:I find the basic premise implied in the thread title lacking in any kind of subtlety. I think it probably stems from a current crisis in saddha on the part of the questioner. Which is quite ok in fact it can be a good thing if we stay with it.


On the contrary. My faith is strong.

I am posting a topic with a flashy title and am asking what I'm asking for a certain reason.
It is thought provoking, and that is never wrong. Lazy eye got my drift.

There comes a point for most practitioners of the Dhamma when they have to decide their priorities. Are they going to go all out in this lifetime?

In which case what is needful is clear. The cost is everything pretty much that is seen as normative in our culture. Or are they going to go for punya and a favourable rebirth as you say. Or is there is third position. What you have described as the gradual position. I would say that this possibilty exists, and will take us so far, and that this situation will be far more advantageous than simply living a conventional life.
However it needs to be seen clearly that if we choose that option for whatever reason, what we can achieve in this present life will have a built in limitation. We cant as the expression says have our cake and eat it. It may be however that with skill and instruction we can have more of our cake than seems currently possible. But it is a matter of great mindfulness and great perserverance.


:goodpost:
Last edited by Annapurna on Mon Feb 08, 2010 10:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Was Buddha a spoil sport?

Postby cooran » Mon Feb 08, 2010 8:45 pm

bodom said:There were teachings given scrictly for monks/nuns and there were teachings given to lay disciples. It is is important not to confuse the two.


This is not strictly correct. The Vinaya is ostensibly for the Ordained Sangha, but the Suttas apply as well to the layperson. Do not be confused by the etiquette of the time whereby the Sutta is addressed to the most important person/s present - but is meant to apply to all who are hearing.

Bhikkhave = "Bhikkhus." This is a term for addressing persons who accept the teaching.
Bhikkhuis a term to indicate a person who earnestly endeavors to accomplish the practice of the teaching. Others, gods and men, too, certainly strive earnestly to accomplish the practice of the teaching, but because of the excellence of the bhikkhu-state by way of practice, the Master said: "Bhikkhu." For amongst those who accept the teaching of the Buddha, the bhikkhu is the highest owing to fitness for receiving manifold instruction. Further, when that highest kind of person, the bhikkhu, is reckoned, the rest too are reckoned, as in regard to a royal procession and the like, when the king is reckoned, by the reckoning of the king, the retinue is reckoned. Also the word "bhikkhu" was used by the Buddha to point out the bhikkhu-state through practice of the teaching in this way: "He who practices this practice of the Arousing of Mindfulness is called a bhikkhu." He who follows the teaching, be he a shining one [deva] or a human, is indeed called a bhikkhu. Accordingly it is said:

"Well-dressed one may be, but if one is calm,
Tamed, humble, pure, a man who does no harm
To aught that lives, that one's a brahman true.
An ascetic and mendicant too."16 .
Dhammapada verse 142.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... wayof.html

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Re: Was Buddha a spoil sport?

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Feb 09, 2010 12:14 am

hi Chris,
There is also this from Mahasi Sayadaw.

http://www.buddhanet.net/budsas/ebud/ebsut049.htm#02 wrote:02. Two kinds of bhikkhus

The Ariyaavaasa-sutta is addressed to bhikkhus. There are two kinds of bhikkhus, viz., the sutta-bhikkhu and the vinaya-bhikkhu. The sutta-bhikkhu is, according to the commentaries, any person who practises the Dhamma to get liberated from the cycle of life (sa"msaara). He is not necessarily a member of the Sangha, for he may be a deva or a layman.

The practice of the Dhamma enables the yogi to overcome defilements. Through the practice of morality, the yogi seeks to overcome active defilements (vitikkama kilesaa) such as greed, hatred, etc. that lead to killing, stealing and other misdeeds. The yogi who develops concentration (samaadhibhaavanaa) overcomes the arousal of greed, hatred, etc. that always lie in our consciousness (pariyutthaana kiilesa). Finally the yogi overcomes potential or dormant defilments (anusaya kilesaa) through the development of insight-knowledge and wisdom. Every moment of mindfulness means the gradual destruction of latent defilements. It is somewhat like cutting away a piece of wood with a small axe, every stroke helping to get rid of the unwanted fragments of wood. Whenever the yogi focuses on the psycho-physical phenomena arising from sense-contact with the external world, the defilements become weak and impotent. Such a yogi is the bhikkhu of sutta pitaka.

The vinaya-bhikkhu is the monk who leads a good life based on vinaya rules. In the time of the Buddha the Lord himself ordained some of them by saying, "Come hither, bhikkhus." Most of them, however, were ordained by the Sangha in accordance with vinaya rules.

The bhikkhu referred to in Ariyaavaasa sutta is the sutta-bhikkhu, a term that applies to any human being, deva or Brahmaa who practises the Dhamma.

The Buddha preached the Ariyaavaasa sutta in order that we might live in the abode of Ariyas, safe, secure and protected from the perils of sa"msaara. The perils of sa"msaara (round of rebirth) are more terrifying than those that beset a man who does not live in a well-protected house. They follow us from one existence to another. One may land in the lower world as a peta or an animal and suffer for many years or one may be reborn as a poor, wretched man who has to face many hardships for a living as well as the universal evils of life viz, old age, sickness and death. These are the perils of sa"msaara that repeatedly engulf those who do not live in the abode of Ariyas or in other words, who do not practice Ariyaavaasa dhamma. [^]


Although not every case of bhikkhus being addressed would mean both.

cooran wrote:
bodom said:There were teachings given scrictly for monks/nuns and there were teachings given to lay disciples. It is is important not to confuse the two.


This is not strictly correct. The Vinaya is ostensibly for the Ordained Sangha, but the Suttas apply as well to the layperson. Do not be confused by the etiquette of the time whereby the Sutta is addressed to the most important person/s present - but is meant to apply to all who are hearing.

Bhikkhave = "Bhikkhus." This is a term for addressing persons who accept the teaching.
Bhikkhuis a term to indicate a person who earnestly endeavors to accomplish the practice of the teaching. Others, gods and men, too, certainly strive earnestly to accomplish the practice of the teaching, but because of the excellence of the bhikkhu-state by way of practice, the Master said: "Bhikkhu." For amongst those who accept the teaching of the Buddha, the bhikkhu is the highest owing to fitness for receiving manifold instruction. Further, when that highest kind of person, the bhikkhu, is reckoned, the rest too are reckoned, as in regard to a royal procession and the like, when the king is reckoned, by the reckoning of the king, the retinue is reckoned. Also the word "bhikkhu" was used by the Buddha to point out the bhikkhu-state through practice of the teaching in this way: "He who practices this practice of the Arousing of Mindfulness is called a bhikkhu." He who follows the teaching, be he a shining one [deva] or a human, is indeed called a bhikkhu. Accordingly it is said:

"Well-dressed one may be, but if one is calm,
Tamed, humble, pure, a man who does no harm
To aught that lives, that one's a brahman true.
An ascetic and mendicant too."16 .
Dhammapada verse 142.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... wayof.html

with metta
Chris
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Re: Was Buddha a spoil sport?

Postby pt1 » Tue Feb 09, 2010 3:49 am

Annabel wrote:So....when we do indulge in what is pleasant, is it that we need to relax at times, or...what is it?

SN 36.6 goes to the heart of this problem imo:
SN 36.6 translated by Bhikkhu Bodhi wrote:Being contacted by that same painful feeling, he harbours aversion towards it. When he harbours aversion towards painful feeling, the underlying tendency to aversion towards painful feeling lies behind this. Being contacted by painful feeling, he seeks delight in sensual pleasure. For what reason? Because the uninstructed worldling does not know of any escape from painful feeling other than sensual pleasure. When he seeks delight in in sensual pleasure, the underlying tendency to lust for pleasant feeling lies behind this. He does not understand as it really is the origin and the passing away, the gratification, the danger, and the escape in the case of these feelings. When he does not understand these things, the underlying tendency to ignorance in regard to neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling lies behind this.


In my understanding, as long as there's no practical understanding of dispassion and the noble 8-fold path as the means of escape from suffering, then the only other way one knows how to escape from painful feeling (like when bored, depressed, in pain, etc) is to seek indulgence in pleasant feeling, or basically an activity associated with pleasant feeing.

The whole SN 36.6 sutta is really great in explaining the difference between how a worldling and a noble disciple handle various types of feeling - here is the translation of almost the whole sutta by Nyanaponika Thera.

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Re: Was Buddha a spoil sport?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:36 am

Good points from Cooran and Manapa above.

Although there are social distinctions between ordained and lay communities, in terms of their precepts and so on, it is important to keep in mind that the Buddha often used otherwise social terms in a moral and ethical sense. eg. his use of "brahmin", and his use of "arahant". These were, before the Buddha, rather like types of social terms or distinctions in society. But the Buddha taught that their true meaning is as Cooran and Manapa describe.

On one hand, yes, we do have clear distinctions between "ordained" and "lay", and their social obligations wrt their precepts is important. But that does not mean that merely living up to the social obligation aspect of the precept is sufficient to fulfill the Buddha's instruction. Whoever we are, as Buddhist practitioners, we should do our best to live out the Dhamma to its fullest.

Then, whether in robes saffron or white, one can be a true pabbajika, a true brahmin, a true sramana, a true bhikkhu.

:soap:
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Re: Was Buddha a spoil sport?

Postby bodom » Tue Feb 09, 2010 6:08 am

Yes Cooran thank you I am aware of the ambiguity of the term bhikkhu. My point is that there are some people who are new to buddhism and the suttas who may interpret the Buddhas teaching as pessimistic and world denying. This causes doubt and confusion in practice where one is struggling to find balance between householder responsibility's and the Buddhas message of non attachment and renunciation. When this happens its good to reflect on the suttas he gave to householders such as the Sigalovada sutta and Dighajanu Sutta where he gave specific advice on how to live the lay life.

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Was Buddha a spoil sport?

Postby Annapurna » Tue Feb 09, 2010 8:24 am

Lazy_eye wrote:
Annabel wrote:So....when we do indulge in what is pleasant, is it that we need to relax at times, or...what is it?


People have been responding vigorously to the thread title, but what about the question which Annabel posed above? I gather that not everyone here has given up their worldly pursuits. I see occasional posts here about chess, movies, sex and the Super Bowl. Is that a case of "riding the horse of the Dhamma at the same time as the horse of conventional pleasures", or does one temporarily switch horses?


Lazy eye has nailed it here. I asked:

"when we do indulge " (implying that at other times we don't)

"is it that we need to relax at times?" (implying that although we practice, we do take "time off" and indulge in what Lazy eye noticed:

I gather that not everyone here has given up their worldly pursuits. I see occasional posts here about chess, movies, sex and the Super Bowl.


Yes, that was a part of the reason why I asked the topic questions.

I don't mind movies so much, as they can be very inspirational and educative and appeal to the best in us, to virtues.

I don't mind chess so much, I guess, because I think it helps to further concentration and endurance. Those qualities are not a hindrance on the Buddhist path.

But I have more issues with American football, for one, because it is a violent sport, much more than golf or tennis, and players don't care if they hurt another while pursuing their goal.

The audience gets all passionate and partial as well, and I see both as something that flies in the face of the Buddha's teachings.

I don't see how somebody who wants to practice seriously can defend seeking pleasure and distraction and passion in this way.

And so I am asking: Why is this?

Is it asking too much of us lay people to always stay mindful and renounce the above distractions?

Do we need breaks to get a rest, because no doubt cultivating the virtues is a hard task?

So, why do we at times take this break?

What do you think?

And, does it help? Or does it pose a danger?

Which ?

PS: I think Ven. Paññāsikhara already answered this...
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Re: Was Buddha a spoil sport?

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Feb 09, 2010 10:08 am

Thanks Venerable for the extra info,

P.S., if you or anyone knows the source of the Sutta/Vinaya-bhikkhus please let me know the commentary/page number/author/translator.

Paññāsikhara wrote:Good points from Cooran and Manapa above.

Although there are social distinctions between ordained and lay communities, in terms of their precepts and so on, it is important to keep in mind that the Buddha often used otherwise social terms in a moral and ethical sense. eg. his use of "brahmin", and his use of "arahant". These were, before the Buddha, rather like types of social terms or distinctions in society. But the Buddha taught that their true meaning is as Cooran and Manapa describe.

On one hand, yes, we do have clear distinctions between "ordained" and "lay", and their social obligations wrt their precepts is important. But that does not mean that merely living up to the social obligation aspect of the precept is sufficient to fulfill the Buddha's instruction. Whoever we are, as Buddhist practitioners, we should do our best to live out the Dhamma to its fullest.

Then, whether in robes saffron or white, one can be a true pabbajika, a true brahmin, a true sramana, a true bhikkhu.

:soap:
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Re: Was Buddha a spoil sport?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Tue Feb 09, 2010 11:37 am

Manapa wrote:Thanks Venerable for the extra info,

P.S., if you or anyone knows the source of the Sutta/Vinaya-bhikkhus please let me know the commentary/page number/author/translator.



Seems to be a few sources, eg.

Vin i 169: "Idha pana, bhikkhave, aññatarasmiṃ āvāse tadahu pavāraṇāya bhikkhūhi dhammaṃ bhaṇantehi…pe… suttantikehi suttantaṃ saṅgāyantehi… vinayadharehi vinayaṃ vinicchinantehi… dhammakathikehi dhammaṃ sākacchantehi… bhikkhūhi kalahaṃ karontehi yebhuyyena ratti khepitā hoti."
MA ii 393: "Dve kira bhikkhū ekasmiṃ āvāse vasanti vinayadharo ca suttantiko ca."
Same at VA v 1148. And for the Tika of the VA: "Vinayaṃ pāḷito ca, tadatthato ca dhāretīti vinayadharo, tathā suttantaṃ dhāretīti suttantiko. Tesūti dvīsu bhikkhūsu."

There are similar statements elsewhere, and sometimes this two-fold system may be a simplified version of other ones, which include abhidhammadhara, tepitakadhara, yogavacara (?), etc.
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Re: Was Buddha a spoil sport?

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Feb 09, 2010 12:41 pm

Paññāsikhara wrote:
Seems to be a few sources, eg.

Vin i 169: "Idha pana, bhikkhave, aññatarasmiṃ āvāse tadahu pavāraṇāya bhikkhūhi dhammaṃ bhaṇantehi…pe… suttantikehi suttantaṃ saṅgāyantehi… vinayadharehi vinayaṃ vinicchinantehi… dhammakathikehi dhammaṃ sākacchantehi… bhikkhūhi kalahaṃ karontehi yebhuyyena ratti khepitā hoti."
MA ii 393: "Dve kira bhikkhū ekasmiṃ āvāse vasanti vinayadharo ca suttantiko ca."
Same at VA v 1148. And for the Tika of the VA: "Vinayaṃ pāḷito ca, tadatthato ca dhāretīti vinayadharo, tathā suttantaṃ dhāretīti suttantiko. Tesūti dvīsu bhikkhūsu."

There are similar statements elsewhere, and sometimes this two-fold system may be a simplified version of other ones, which include abhidhammadhara, tepitakadhara, yogavacara (?), etc.


There does seam to be a few sources within the Tipitaka, although I was referring to the commentary source of Mahasi's commentary quote more.
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Re: Was Buddha a spoil sport?

Postby baratgab » Tue Feb 09, 2010 12:46 pm

Annabel wrote:Do we need breaks to get a rest, because no doubt cultivating the virtues is a hard task?


If one puts a lot of hard work into getting virtues as dhamma practice, and then relax and make peace with a kind movie as a worldly activity, then I think he or she mistook the dhamma practice for the worldly activity, and mistook the worldly activity for the dhamma practice. :o
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Re: Was Buddha a spoil sport?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Tue Feb 09, 2010 1:01 pm

Manapa wrote:
Paññāsikhara wrote:
Seems to be a few sources, eg.

Vin i 169: "Idha pana, bhikkhave, aññatarasmiṃ āvāse tadahu pavāraṇāya bhikkhūhi dhammaṃ bhaṇantehi…pe… suttantikehi suttantaṃ saṅgāyantehi… vinayadharehi vinayaṃ vinicchinantehi… dhammakathikehi dhammaṃ sākacchantehi… bhikkhūhi kalahaṃ karontehi yebhuyyena ratti khepitā hoti."
MA ii 393: "Dve kira bhikkhū ekasmiṃ āvāse vasanti vinayadharo ca suttantiko ca."
Same at VA v 1148. And for the Tika of the VA: "Vinayaṃ pāḷito ca, tadatthato ca dhāretīti vinayadharo, tathā suttantaṃ dhāretīti suttantiko. Tesūti dvīsu bhikkhūsu."

There are similar statements elsewhere, and sometimes this two-fold system may be a simplified version of other ones, which include abhidhammadhara, tepitakadhara, yogavacara (?), etc.


There does seam to be a few sources within the Tipitaka, although I was referring to the commentary source of Mahasi's commentary quote more.


Commentary other than MA and VinA?

MA ii 393: "Dve kira bhikkhū ekasmiṃ āvāse vasanti vinayadharo ca suttantiko ca."
Same at VA v 1148.
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Re: Was Buddha a spoil sport?

Postby Annapurna » Tue Feb 09, 2010 1:18 pm

baratgab wrote:
Annabel wrote:Do we need breaks to get a rest, because no doubt cultivating the virtues is a hard task?


If one puts a lot of hard work into getting virtues as dhamma practice, and then relax and make peace with a kind movie as a worldly activity, then I think he or she mistook the dhamma practice for the worldly activity, and mistook the worldly activity for the dhamma practice. :o


Aha...I don't understand what you mean with the bolded, please elaborate. :anjali:

I'm just trying to think of possible reasons.

Any ideas yourself?
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Re: Was Buddha a spoil sport?

Postby bodom » Tue Feb 09, 2010 2:19 pm

Annabel wrote:But I have more issues with American football, for one, because it is a violent sport, much more than golf or tennis, and players don't care if they hurt another while pursuing their goal.The audience gets all passionate and partial as well, and I see both as something that flies in the face of the Buddha's teachings.I don't see how somebody who wants to practice seriously can defend seeking pleasure and distraction and passion in this way.


Thats a cheap shot. Excuse me Annabel for having interests that fall outside of Buddhism. I guess i should completely give up my practice because of my violent interests. Anabel you dont have interests that fall outside the Buddhas teachings? Tell me, what did the Buddha have to say about aromatherapy, or aninmals having thoughts? You took an interest in those threads that have absolutely no talk conducive to enlightenment. Please dont be a hypocrite or holy roller. If its an issue then its your issue and needs to be let go.

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Was Buddha a spoil sport?

Postby baratgab » Tue Feb 09, 2010 3:15 pm

Annabel wrote:Aha...I don't understand what you mean with the bolded, please elaborate. :anjali:

I'm just trying to think of possible reasons.


Gladly. :smile:

My point was that dhamma practice is mainly about the mental attitude with which we do things, rather than about what things we do. Making effort to get things or to become something is an act of self, and it is a worldly act, no matter what is the goal of the effort. Even with the best goal, the outcome is not more than spiritual materialism. And one can feel the mistaken attitude directly, in the form of frustration, tiredness and craving to escape.

With the right attitude of making peace, calming and letting go (of controlling), relaxation happens, ease happens, satisfaction happens, and the ability and intention for being kind arise. If one attains these qualities by watching a peaceful movie, then this is much more of a dhamma practice than chasing goals on a meditation mat or doing deeds with the though of gain. So, the right dhamma practice is in itself relaxing, and there is no need for any counterbalancing measure in the form of sense-pleasures.

Of course you can't get liberated by movies and other worldly activities, and even if meditation is painful at the present moment due to the unskillful attitude, after finding the skillful attitude it can lead to liberation. Also, I don't mean that one can do anything as a dhamma practice, since the skillful attitude in itself narrows down the sphere of activities. This section was the "disclaimer". :smile:
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Re: Was Buddha a spoil sport?

Postby Annapurna » Tue Feb 09, 2010 8:47 pm

bodom wrote:
Annabel wrote:But I have more issues with American football, for one, because it is a violent sport, much more than golf or tennis, and players don't care if they hurt another while pursuing their goal.The audience gets all passionate and partial as well, and I see both as something that flies in the face of the Buddha's teachings.I don't see how somebody who wants to practice seriously can defend seeking pleasure and distraction and passion in this way.


Thats a cheap shot. Excuse me Annabel for having interests that fall outside of Buddhism. I guess i should completely give up my practice because of my violent interests. Anabel you dont have interests that fall outside the Buddhas teachings? Tell me, what did the Buddha have to say about aromatherapy, or animals having thoughts? You took an interest in those threads that have absolutely no talk conducive to enlightenment. Please don't be a hypocrite or holy roller. If it's an issue then its your issue and needs to be let go.

:anjali:


Dear Bodom,

please read my posts again to assure yourself, that you were not singled out,- please see that I am speaking of all of us and including myself.

We all seem to enjoy distraction from time to time, and I am seeking to explore the reasons.

I have a theory that I will share later.

If you find my thoughts and my quotes adhamma, please admonish me.

If you don't find me adhamma, there is no reason to scold me.

I'm sorry if you took offence.

No offence was intended, on the contrary.

Annabel
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Re: Was Buddha a spoil sport?

Postby Annapurna » Tue Feb 09, 2010 8:53 pm

baratgab wrote:
Annabel wrote:Aha...I don't understand what you mean with the bolded, please elaborate. :anjali:

I'm just trying to think of possible reasons.


Gladly. :smile:

My point was that dhamma practice is mainly about the mental attitude with which we do things, rather than about what things we do. Making effort to get things or to become something is an act of self, and it is a worldly act, no matter what is the goal of the effort. Even with the best goal, the outcome is not more than spiritual materialism. And one can feel the mistaken attitude directly, in the form of frustration, tiredness and craving to escape.

With the right attitude of making peace, calming and letting go (of controlling), relaxation happens, ease happens, satisfaction happens, and the ability and intention for being kind arise. If one attains these qualities by watching a peaceful movie, then this is much more of a dhamma practice than chasing goals on a meditation mat or doing deeds with the though of gain. So, the right dhamma practice is in itself relaxing, and there is no need for any counterbalancing measure in the form of sense-pleasures.

Of course you can't get liberated by movies and other worldly activities, and even if meditation is painful at the present moment due to the unskillful attitude, after finding the skillful attitude it can lead to liberation. Also, I don't mean that one can do anything as a dhamma practice, since the skillful attitude in itself narrows down the sphere of activities. This section was the "disclaimer". :smile:


Thank you, now it makes sense, and I agree, I think, with all or most of it. :anjali:

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Re: Was Buddha a spoil sport?

Postby seanpdx » Tue Feb 09, 2010 9:33 pm

Annabel wrote:I don't mind chess so much, I guess, because I think it helps to further concentration and endurance. Those qualities are not a hindrance on the Buddhist path.


Bodom already sort of addressed your football comment. I'll address your chess comment.

Chess is a violent game. It's a game of war. It teaches deception. It teaches how to take advantage of someone's weaknesses.

Of course, it only really teaches those things once one makes a concerted effort to learn how to play well. People who don't know a nimzo-indian from a french defense may not make the connection. Kinda like the difference between a friendly american touch football game versus a competitive american tackle football game.
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Re: Was Buddha a spoil sport?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Feb 09, 2010 10:04 pm

Greetings Sean,

seanpdx wrote:Chess is a violent game. It's a game of war. It teaches deception. It teaches how to take advantage of someone's weaknesses.


You could just see it as a dynamic "puzzle" though, without inferring selves and conflict into the equation.

Maybe not the best example going around, but defusing a bomb could be seen as a "puzzle" even though in the bomb has the potential to blow things and people up.

In other words... it's about the subjective frames of reference being applied, rather than an objective reality.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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