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Wat Dhammakaya - Page 3 - Dhamma Wheel

Wat Dhammakaya

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
alan
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby alan » Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:05 am

I would not have used the references, but have to agree with tilt on his general assessment.
Huge groups of people wearing identical outfits standing in large columns just freaks me out. Maybe it is just my individualist tendencies speaking here, but I don't trust any mass movement.

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GrahamR
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Wat Dhammakaya

Postby GrahamR » Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:09 am

With metta :bow:
Graham

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tiltbillings
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:13 am


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GrahamR
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Wat Dhammakaya

Postby GrahamR » Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:19 am

With metta :bow:
Graham

EmptyShadow
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby EmptyShadow » Tue Feb 08, 2011 5:06 pm

Graham, just to let you know that your avatar is little too big and it cuts off the beginning of the sentences on your posts.

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cooran
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby cooran » Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:39 pm

Hello EmptyShadow,

Unusual first post. :tongue:

...... Graham's avatar doesn't cut off the beginnings of sentences for me - maybe your browser needs a little tinkering?

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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GrahamR
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby GrahamR » Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:44 am

With metta :bow:
Graham

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Khemadhammo Bhikkhu
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby Khemadhammo Bhikkhu » Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:52 pm

He stopped and called out to the Blessed One: "Stop, recluse! Stop, recluse!"
"I have stopped, Angulimāla, you stop too."
(M ii.100)

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exonesion
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby exonesion » Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:37 am

“Meditate, Ānanda, do not delay, or else you will regret it later.”
The Buddha - MN 152

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Phra Chuntawongso
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby Phra Chuntawongso » Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:59 am

And crawling on the planets face,some insects called the human race.
Lost in time
Lost in space
And meaning

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Khemadhammo Bhikkhu
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby Khemadhammo Bhikkhu » Wed Feb 16, 2011 2:12 pm

He stopped and called out to the Blessed One: "Stop, recluse! Stop, recluse!"
"I have stopped, Angulimāla, you stop too."
(M ii.100)

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exonesion
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby exonesion » Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:52 pm

Thank you Luang Phi Greg and Luang Phi Sander :) :anjali:
“Meditate, Ānanda, do not delay, or else you will regret it later.”
The Buddha - MN 152

A_Martin
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby A_Martin » Sun Feb 20, 2011 4:42 am

Very interesting, comparing it to the Forest tradition of Ajahn Mun
daily practice of meditation of 14 to 18 hours a day. Than Acharn Maha Bua says, that real meditation practice starts only after 3 hours in a stretch. Be it walking meditation or sitting meditation. He himself sat quite often 12hours during the night, not getting up or moving during this time.
Chanting long suttas is often recommended in this tradition for people who's concentration is weak, e.g. they cannot stay on the breath or Buddho. Once one remembers a chant one is to chant it very fast, so that one is not able to think outside the chant.
Metta Martin

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Khemadhammo Bhikkhu
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby Khemadhammo Bhikkhu » Sun Feb 20, 2011 4:16 pm

He stopped and called out to the Blessed One: "Stop, recluse! Stop, recluse!"
"I have stopped, Angulimāla, you stop too."
(M ii.100)

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Halemalu
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby Halemalu » Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:22 am

Halemalu
The Place of Peace

helparcfun
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby helparcfun » Sun Oct 07, 2012 1:55 pm

Hi there,

I am new to this forum and have been searching the net for information and advice concerning Dhammakaya. I should begin by letting you know a bit about myself and my reasons for trying to find out more about Dhammakaya (or 'DMC' for short as this is the name of their TV channel, and it's easier to type!).

I have been studying religions generally for some years now, sometimes academically (with the OU in the UK) but mostly out of curriosity. Personally, I have no religious inclinations at all. That's not to say that I haven't in the past. I think I sort of did once believe in some kind of all-powerful being who created everything etc etc. I was brought up by non-religious parents where religion/God wasn't really mentioned. In my teens I became interested in Buddhism because, among many things, Buddhists do not worship any God or other deity. I did not join a particular Buddhist group at that time but some years later I attended a Buddhist meditation group local to where I live. I meditated with this group just once or twice a week for 45 minutes each session, as well as practicing at home. The techniques taught were the mindfulness of breathing and Metta Bahavna (sorry if I haven't spelt that correctly). I found these techniques really relaxing and helpful and continued for some years. A friend came with me to one one their retreat houses for a weekend of quiet meditation in a beautiful part of the Sussex countryside. All this was great and then I had an opportunity to travel to a country where Buddhism is their main religion - Thailand - I thought this would be fantastic and I wasn't disapointed. I loved it there so much that six months later I returned with a friend, who at the time had a Thai girlfriend. It was through her that I also found a Thai girlfriend (not your usual bar girl I hasten to add. She ran her own business in Chiang Mai and only 7 months younger than me). It was a match 'made in heaven' so to speak.

Everything was going wonderfully, and before anyone gets the idea that this story is going to end in tears, that's not the case......at least not yet anyway!!

To cut an even longer story short, we married in 2007 and we're now living happily together in the UK. After having been here in the UK for a few years she was introduced to DMC through a mutual friend. It wasn't long before she became heavily involved with them. At first, I too was quite impressed with the local temple and the monks there. We visited the temple occasionally for meditation sessions (although I never really got to grips with their type of meditation) and one of the monks would give a Dhamma talk (useless to me unfortunately because it was all in Thai Language). Nevertheless I sat through it quietly. Some time later I discovered by accident that my wife had been donating money to the temple. Okay nothing unusual about that you may say but what I discovered was that she had been donating large sums of money (hundreds mostly and sometimes thousands of pounds). I was a little shocked to say the least at the time. She tried to placate me by telling me it was for our future together. I assume she meant that by doing this 'so called' good deed she would in return get rewards later, or in the next life etc etc. That all happened a couple of years ago. I have since lost interest in Buddhism, particularly DMC's brand of Buddhism. 'Brand' is perhaps the operative word here because, as others have said, they do seem to me, to be as much interested in promoting themselves like a company may promote it's products, as they are in promoting Buddhism. The truth is, as I said at the begining of this post, now I have no religious inclinations whatsoever. This is mainly due to my personal studies of religion and probably also due to having a sceptical mind. I would say that I have been persuaded more by non-theistic arguments and am wholly not convinced by any of the arguments in favour of any religion. The late Christopher Hitchens opinions are essentially the same as mine, having read his book, "God is not great (how religion poisons everything)."

Sorry if this seems all a bit too long-winded but I think it is necessary to know where one is coming from in order to fully understand why one feels and thinks they way the do about a subject.

My wife, in my opinion, has been almost completely 'brainwashed' by DMC and their particular brand of Buddhism. She constantly listens to DMC TV whenever she can and has no end of religious idols, pictures and other ornamental things all over the house. It's just too much sometimes for me to bear. But I am extremely understanding, or maybe tolerant because of my feelings for her as a person. DMC hasn't really changed her as a person but she can sometimes get a little self-righteous about some things. From what I understand from some of DMC's literature anyone who drinks alcohol is going to Budhhist hell (I wasn't actually aware that there was anything such as Budhhist heaven and hell, I thought that was a theistic belief). I told her recently that according to Allah everyone who doesn't embrace Islam is also going to hell to which I did not get a reply. Just like all religions she believes hers is the only true religion.

The reasons for posting this are firstly to find out if there are many other like-minded people out there concerning DMC (and religion generally) and if anyone has any helpful advice on how I might persuade my wife that she should forget about DMC. I have looked on other religious/non-religous forums but have yet to find anyone writing specifically about DMC. It seems hopeless to me at the moment that she might be persuaded otherwise but I feel the need to try anything. I want to try and persuade her that she doesn't need religion to do her thinking for her and to know what is right and wrong, she can work that out for herself just as most decent people can. I know and understand that religion is often a part of one's culture and identity but DMC seems to me to have far too much control over its followers.

Ok I've gone on rather too much. I'm sorry again for making this look like a polemic on religion. I could have gone on a lot more but perhaps in another post.

Feel free to ask me any questions relating to my issues with DMC and other matters.

Regards,

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gavesako
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby gavesako » Sun Oct 07, 2012 8:27 pm

I think you should look at this thread about DMC first (and don't get too shocked):
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=13673

I would say that your wife is probably quite a typical case of Thai women who might have previously been going to their local temple but never received much instruction or education about the Buddhist teachings as such, so when they end up living in the West they tend to visit the nearest Wat Thai to seek some social connections with their compatriots and home culture. I wonder if it is the Dhammakaya temple in Woking where she went? If she went instead to a more "normal" Wat Thai, like the one in Wimbledon, she would probably continue pretty much as before; with Dhammakaya, however, she will receive lots of input from the missionary monks and DMC channel which can really get her hooked. This is a deliberate strategy and it is a great money making religious business, not much different from other such groups in Christianity. They use the same "marketing" approach which they learnt from other groups.
Some Thai women, especially from Isan, have had some strong connections with the forest monasteries in their home villages and that is the reason why they will come to a place like Amaravati or Chithurst even if they have to drive longer: they say they have faith in the Kruba Ajahns or the masters of this lineage. Dhammakaya, on the other hand, is a relatively new minority sect within Thai Buddhism which still remains a fringe group, but it has managed to gain a following of business people and politicians who actively promote it (such as the current Thai prime minister). They are better trained and organized than most other Thai Buddhist groups, and they keep a high standard of discipline which is inspired by their teachings on karmic retribution vividly portrayed in their video animations of hell realms. Normal Thai Buddhists will tend to be rather lax around drinking and so on, and accept it as normal that one breaks a few of the precepts regularly (which is not so good of course and has been criticized, but the Dhammakaya type of morality smacks of evangelical Christians with "fire and brimstone").
This excessive devotion to the Dhammakaya leader, to which Thai women are more prone than the men, can cause real problems with their family life and relationship to husbands who do not share such devotion. Thais are primarily "faith types" (saddha carita) whereas we are more critical and sceptical as Westerners. Some husbands manage to ignore their wife's strange behaviour and beliefs as long as it does not impact their life too much. But it would be hard for a Western man to convince his Thai wife that her ideas about Buddhism which she got from DMC are seriously distorted in some important respects: she will tend to just believe what the monk says. The best idea would probably be to physically move away from the temple, but even then the TV channel (DMC) will be available anywhere you go...
:shrug:

But one trick you could try is to make her watch or read the teachings of some other popular Thai monks, such as Ajahn W. Vajiramedhi: http://www.dhammatoday.com/index.php
He comes to England every year now and his teachings are simply standard Buddhism which he knows well, adapted to deal with modern themes that are relevant for modern people. Some people criticize him for his big media exposure, and predict that he will be corrupted by such publicity as other monks before, but the good side of this (and he does it deliberately) is that it acts as a counterweight to the DMC channel and reaches a lot of Thais through the internet, Facebook, Twitter, and so on. In this way, although it might seem a bit superficial "Dhamma Light", at least they get a wholesome and positive guidance with some Buddhist principles which they can apply in their lives. His titles such as Anger Management have been translated into English too:
http://www.dhammatoday.com/index.php?op ... 54&lang=th

Good luck! :smile:
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

- Theravada texts
- Translations and history of Pali texts
- Sutta translations

helparcfun
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Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:11 am

Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby helparcfun » Mon Oct 08, 2012 4:40 pm

Thanks for your input Gavesako. I'm not sure I can make my wife do anything she doesn't want to, especially about her Buddhism.

One quite big thing I have on my side is that her son in Thailand (in his twenties I think) doesn't like DMC. She wont talk about it with me other than to say that they do not agree about what 'true' Buddhism should be about (if indeed there is anything such as 'true' or 'pure' Buddhism). Only problem is of course that he is in Thailand and I guess his use of the English language may not be great, so for me to get him 'on my side' is not going to be easy. He is most likely not even aware that I feel similar to him about this.

It would be interesting if one of the Dhammakaya followers, or indeed one of their monks, who has posted on this forum, would answer some questions I have about their practices. Although I'm not hopeful that I would get any satisfactory answers.

As you say, Gavesako, their ways are not dissimilar to some Christian evangelical groups. To me, it is nothing short of control and brainwashing. My understanding of one of the things that Sidarta gautama said, is that yes, people should pass on the wisdom they have learnt from his teachings but they should not 'preach' to people. I understood that one of the core teachings of the Buddha is that people should be 'invited' to take a look at his teachings and then make up their own minds, not to have it forced upon them. Unfortunately, if this were true, it sadly is definitely not practiced today. Children are unfortunately very often 'born' into their religion and therefore do not get a choice, and even if they do get a choice, the options are few (depending on which part of the globe they are born in). If you are born in India you are likely to be a Hindu, If you are born is Pakistan you are likely to be a Muslim, if you are born in Italy you are likely to be a Catholic etc etc etc.

It would be great if I could at least find some like-minded people out there who share my worries and concerns about DMC and indeed about religion in general. I suppose that being that this is essentailly a Buddhist forum I am probably 'banging my head against a brick-wall'. Anyway, it was worth a try.

In the meantime I shall carry on being my tolerant self and endure the endless noise on DMC TV etc etc. :shrug:

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gavesako
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby gavesako » Mon Oct 08, 2012 9:22 pm

I think Buddhism is quite compatible with a healthy skepticism so you might find many similar-minded people on this forum. Also if you read some of the more standard expositions of Thai Theravada Buddhism "straight from the scriptures" you will find that it is certainly not alien to rational thinkers:

http://buddhistteachings.org/

You might like this article on choosing the right wife:
http://www.buddhistteachings.org/the-dh ... 2%A0part-2
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

- Theravada texts
- Translations and history of Pali texts
- Sutta translations

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GraemeR
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Location: Thailand

Wat Dhammakaya

Postby GraemeR » Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:29 am



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