Bodhi Interview

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Bodhi Interview

Postby Reductor » Tue Aug 03, 2010 7:12 am

Has anyone seen this interview with Bodhi? Pretty interesting.

http://www.inquiringmind.com/Articles/Translator.html


...

IM: What are some of your favorite sutta passages?

BB: When I first began to read Buddhist texts while I was in graduate school, I was naturally impressed by the Buddha’s teachings on dependent origination, the five aggregates, nonself, etc., which take us to the heart of the Dhamma. But one of the suttas that made the strongest impressions on me is not to be found among these deep texts on meditation and realization. When I read the suttas on dependent origination and nonself, I thought: the Buddha is certainly enlightened, but maybe not perfectly so. However, when I came to the Sigalaka Sutta (Digha Nikaya 31) my doubts were dispelled. When I read this sutta, particularly the section on “worshipping the six directions” (In the Buddha’s Words, pp. 116–18), and saw how one who had fathomed the deepest truths of existence could also teach in detail parents how to bring up their children, a husband and a wife how to love and respect each other, and an employer how to care for his workers, I then knew: This teacher is indeed perfectly enlightened. To my mind, this sutta showed that the Buddha possessed not only the “ascendant wisdom” that rises up to the highest truth, but the “descending wisdom” embraced by compassion that drops down again to the level of the world and, in the light of the fullest realization, teaches and guides others in the way that suits them best.

One of the features of the suttas that impressed me the most, when I first read them and even now, are the similes. It seems that the Buddha was capable of picking up any natural phenomenon or any object from everyday life and turning it into a striking simile that conveys an important point about his teaching. The sun, moon and stars; flowers and trees, rivers, lakes and oceans; the changes of the seasons; lions, monkeys, elephants and horses; kings, ministers and warriors; craftsman, surgeons and thieves—the list of things that enter into his similes becomes almost endless. Sometimes you might be reading a series of suttas that seem as dry as dust, and suddenly you come across a simile so fresh and vivid that the image never fades from your mind even after decades.

...

Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: Bodhi Interview

Postby Ben » Tue Aug 03, 2010 9:24 am

Thanks mate!
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Re: Bodhi Interview

Postby T3G » Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:47 pm

The Reducter,

Thank you so much for this post, and to whomever wrote the original post you quoted (might it have been "Ben"). I am a novice with the suttas and am still learning the basics of Buddhism, but I read Sigalaka Sutta because of your post and found it very helpful. There is so much to Buddhism that I am learning and so much contained in the suttas that I'm afraid I've neglected to spend enough time with them. I intend to spend more time reading them, starting with tonight.

Thanks again.
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Re: Bodhi Interview

Postby adeh » Wed Aug 04, 2010 12:42 am

Great interview...thanks for posting it. Adeh.
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Re: Bodhi Interview

Postby plwk » Wed Aug 04, 2010 1:22 am

Delightful
Bhikkhus, if you develop and make much this one thing,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.
What is it? It is recollecting the Enlightened One.
If this single thing is recollected and made much,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.

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Re: Bodhi Interview

Postby Ben » Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:04 am

Hi T3G

It was our friend thereductor who posted a snippet from an interview with Bhikkhu Bodhi that was published by Inquiring Mind. I remember reading the article some years ago and I may have discussed it either here or on e-sangha, but I can't claim any credit.
Click on the link it thereductor's post and you will be taken to the full-text article. As with all of Bhikkhu Bodhi's writings, it is very inspiring. If you are a novice with regards to the suttas,then take Bhikkhu Bodhi's advice in the article.
Metta

Ben

T3G wrote:The Reducter,

Thank you so much for this post, and to whomever wrote the original post you quoted (might it have been "Ben"). I am a novice with the suttas and am still learning the basics of Buddhism, but I read Sigalaka Sutta because of your post and found it very helpful. There is so much to Buddhism that I am learning and so much contained in the suttas that I'm afraid I've neglected to spend enough time with them. I intend to spend more time reading them, starting with tonight.

Thanks again.
T3G
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
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Re: Bodhi Interview

Postby Reductor » Wed Aug 04, 2010 6:46 am

T3G wrote:I intend to spend more time reading them, starting with tonight.

Thanks again.
T3G


I am glad that this article is of use to you T3G, and to others here. I certainly enjoyed the interview, as it reminds me of another thread where a poster said something to the effect of "he [bodhi] doesn't seem to believe in idle chatter. Lol"

Even in this interview he's teaching in detail things I ought to know.

As to that sutta mentioned, which you read, it is a very neat one. I think it was among the very first that I ever read, and it struck me as very balanced and applicable to everyone. So, it is a good one for you to start with.

Keep reading the sutta-s. They are a wonderful source of understanding for us, and we are lucky that the likes of Bodhi, Thanissaro and many other fine minds have taken the time to translate them for us. Where in the heck would we be without these people?
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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