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if you could ask the Buddha one question - Page 3 - Dhamma Wheel

if you could ask the Buddha one question

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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David N. Snyder
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Re: if you could ask the Buddha one question

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Jul 08, 2009 7:56 pm

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retrofuturist
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Re: if you could ask the Buddha one question

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Jul 08, 2009 11:06 pm

Greetings TheDhamma,

Classic reference!

I agree that I too need more help than the Buddha would. :tongue:

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: if you could ask the Buddha one question

Postby jcsuperstar » Thu Jul 09, 2009 1:11 am

the buddha got people to wake up by simply teaching them to sweep the floor so i guess the right question wouldnt be the philosphical ones we think we should ask but rather the simple one we probably dont want to ask

"a little help please?"
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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Re: if you could ask the Buddha one question

Postby Jechbi » Thu Jul 09, 2009 4:26 am


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Re: if you could ask the Buddha one question

Postby kc2dpt » Thu Jul 09, 2009 5:23 am

- Peter


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Re: if you could ask the Buddha one question

Postby clw_uk » Thu Jul 09, 2009 7:09 am

I agree, asking the Buddha "how can i help" if you only have one question does seem a little bit of a waste
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Re: if you could ask the Buddha one question

Postby rowyourboat » Thu Jul 09, 2009 8:00 am

I agree with peter- (maybe the question was meant in jest)- but here is a man who spent extra aeons so that he could help other beings out of samasara, the greatest being to tame the untameable, to bring out the dhamma from people, a teacher to davas and men. One instruction from him after he has scanned your mind and you will be on your merry way to nibbana. All his hard work will be in vain otherwise.
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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Re: if you could ask the Buddha one question

Postby kc2dpt » Thu Jul 09, 2009 2:56 pm

Here's another thought...

Let's say the question "How may I help you?" was meant totally legit, mind full of generosity, putting the other first. The Buddha teaches this to indeed be wholesome, leading at best to rebirth in heaven. If this is what one values, then it is indeed a good question. :twothumbsup:

On the other hand, for one who understands the Buddha's teachings on the drawbacks of sensual pleasures, this then is seen to not be the best question one could ask. The Buddha also teaches us that to put others before ourselves is not as wise as to put oneself before others. Acting for the benefit of both oneself and others together is of course the best of all.
- Peter


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Re: if you could ask the Buddha one question

Postby Kare » Thu Jul 09, 2009 2:59 pm

Well, my first impulse was to kill him ... or rather to kill the hallucination of being able to put a question to a guy who has been dead for more than 2000 years. But then I thought that one should treat even one's hallucinations with some kind of metta ... so therefore I would just ask: "How can I help you, my friend?" ... hoping my Buddha-hallucination would be so surprised and taken off-guard that it would just vanish by itself.

If I ever should try to put questions, in full seriousness, to people long dead and gone, I hope someone will show me some metta and guide me to a hospital. :mrgreen:
Mettāya,
Kåre

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Re: if you could ask the Buddha one question

Postby kc2dpt » Thu Jul 09, 2009 3:06 pm

I see. So it was not in fact a serious answer to the question. Oh well. You sure did confuse a bunch of us. :rofl:
- Peter


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Re: if you could ask the Buddha one question

Postby Jechbi » Thu Jul 09, 2009 3:35 pm


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Re: if you could ask the Buddha one question

Postby Jechbi » Thu Jul 09, 2009 3:42 pm


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Re: if you could ask the Buddha one question

Postby Jechbi » Thu Jul 09, 2009 3:47 pm


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Re: if you could ask the Buddha one question

Postby clw_uk » Thu Jul 09, 2009 3:51 pm

Is it selfish to seek nibbana?
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Re: if you could ask the Buddha one question

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Thu Jul 09, 2009 3:56 pm

I have a question that I would phrase in one of two ways:

What is the one thing I need to be doing to work towards awakening? What one thing can I focus on most?
or
What is the one thing that is holding me back the most from awakening?

I don't mean the obvious answers like craving or clinging, but a personalized answer. Particular to my mind-habits, my history, and my current practice. If I got to ask two questions, first I would ask him what would be best to ask. The idea of meeting the Buddha is such a happy idea, thanks for the question :)

Best,
Drolma


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Re: if you could ask the Buddha one question

Postby kc2dpt » Thu Jul 09, 2009 5:26 pm

- Peter


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Re: if you could ask the Buddha one question

Postby kc2dpt » Thu Jul 09, 2009 7:45 pm

Jechbi, let me add: I am sorry my answers aren't clear to you and that they appear to be causing you distress. Hopefully in the future my answers will be better formed.
- Peter


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Kare
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Re: if you could ask the Buddha one question

Postby Kare » Thu Jul 09, 2009 10:28 pm

Friends, this is a futile and pointless exercize. Fantasizing about posing a question to a person we never are going to meet will only lead into a tangle and a thicket of views.

Let us put intelligent and penetrating questions to ourselves, to our teachers, to our kalyanamittas and to the Tipitaka. And let us listen attentively to whatever answers we get. But this discussion of putting questions to a person who died a long time ago, is a waste of time and energy.

:anjali:
Mettāya,
Kåre

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retrofuturist
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Re: if you could ask the Buddha one question

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Jul 09, 2009 11:06 pm

Greetings Kåre,

Well said... there is nothing to be gained from disputing a hypothetical situation like this.

:buddha2:

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: if you could ask the Buddha one question

Postby kc2dpt » Thu Jul 09, 2009 11:35 pm

It doesn't take much to turn the OP into a realistic question:

"What do you think is the single most important question you could ask a wise teacher?"

Far from being a useless question I have found it to be very relevant. When I get an opportunity to talk with Bhikkhu Bodhi I have time enough for one direct question. As much as I'd like to sit and chat with him for an hour or three I am simply not given that opportunity. Or if a monk is traveling giving lectures to a crowd I am lucky if I get called on during the question & answer period. Again, no chance for lots of back and forth or multiple questions. I have a single opportunity and I have to make it count.

In these situations, if I had asked "How may I help you?" I would have squandered a precious and rare opportunity to learn Dhamma from very wise people. On the other hand, when Bhikkhu Dhammaratana was visiting my town for a week I asked him if there was anything special he needed while he was travelling. He let me know of a few things and I happily got them. But when we were doing a meditation retreat I kept my questions focused on the path and practice.

That is how I roll. I guess others roll differently. :rofl:
- Peter



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