Anyone can go to heaven, just be good

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom

Re: Anyone can go to heaven, just be good

Postby DarkDream » Wed Apr 08, 2009 6:23 am

I haven't looked at the web site in deapth but it appear fine to me. I guess that may surprise some of you who know how I am not really convinced at all in rebirth and obviously different realms.

But I did notice that it is does mention the other metaphorical aspect of it. For example, here it says:

What do we mean by HEAVEN?

Heaven can be said to be a place where we can reborn in after we die. It can also be a state of mind.


Even when it talks about the realms of existence the website says:

Whether these six realms of existence are actual or figurative doesn't really matter. What really matters is to maintain the practice so as to ensure a good rebirth. This is very important as it is only in either a Human realm or a Heavenly realm that we are able to learn and practice the Buddha's Teachings, and thus attain Nibbana.


It sort of contradicts itself a bit (if the six realms are figurative then it doesn't really make sense to practive ensure a good rebirth -- which obviously is in the realms), but at least the website seems fairly accomodating. I don't get the impression that it has a fundamentalist tinge to it where it says you must believe "A" "B" and "C" and this is the only way to interpret it.

As for "Anyone can go to heaven" slogan, I don't see it really that bad. It is just a grabber (convienent way to get people's intention) and I think the point is that it is what actions we do that "leads us to heaven" and not saying you are a member of a religion.

I agree with Venerable Appicchato, I do think they have their heart in the right place.

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Re: Anyone can go to heaven, just be good

Postby christopher::: » Wed Apr 08, 2009 7:28 am

DarkDream wrote:
As for "Anyone can go to heaven" slogan, I don't see it really that bad. It is just a grabber (convienent way to get people's intention) and I think the point is that it is what actions we do that "leads us to heaven" and not saying you are a member of a religion.

I agree with Venerable Appicchato, I do think they have their heart in the right place.

--DarkDream


I think so also. Looking at this page, they go into much deeper detail about the path of dharma. The slogan and idea "just be good" is the gateway.

To be honest, while not for everyone, I find this approach refreshing.

:heart:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: Anyone can go to heaven, just be good

Postby kc2dpt » Wed Apr 08, 2009 4:36 pm

There are some people this would be the best way to catch their attention and there are some people it would not be the best way. I am reminded of the Buddha teaching a householder the right way to worship the six directions (DN 31). I imagine if we saw an article titled "How to worship the six directions" many of us would assume this could have nothing to do with Buddhadhamma. :spy:
- Peter

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Re: Anyone can go to heaven, just be good

Postby clw_uk » Wed Apr 08, 2009 7:27 pm

christopher::: wrote:
DarkDream wrote:
As for "Anyone can go to heaven" slogan, I don't see it really that bad. It is just a grabber (convienent way to get people's intention) and I think the point is that it is what actions we do that "leads us to heaven" and not saying you are a member of a religion.

I agree with Venerable Appicchato, I do think they have their heart in the right place.

--DarkDream


I think so also. Looking at this page, they go into much deeper detail about the path of dharma. The slogan and idea "just be good" is the gateway.

To be honest, while not for everyone, I find this approach refreshing.

:heart:



That page still focuses on mundane teachings such as good kamma, bad kamma, good birth, bad birth

Doesnt really go into the core teachings of D.O., Voidness, three marks etc

Still its a good introduction to Buddhism with basic beginer points all covered quite well

Metta
Open your mind and see, open your mind and rise. Shine the light of wisdom and see, don't wait till the end of time.
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Re: Anyone can go to heaven, just be good

Postby appicchato » Wed Apr 08, 2009 10:07 pm

clw_uk wrote:That page still focuses on mundane teachings such as good kamma, bad kamma, good birth, bad birth

Doesnt really go into the core teachings of D.O., Voidness, three marks etc

Last night I sent a link to this thread to TY Lee (the website's author) and he responded that he thought, possibly, that people making comments such as this hadn't really taken the time to look at the website in it's entirety...I would agree...

For those interested check out these links...

http://www.justbegood.net/Blessings01Introduction.htm.
http://www.justbegood.net/Blessings16Conclusion.htm.

This man is a real gentleman and deserves praise more than criticism...if I were asked...

Be well folks...and Just Be Good too... :smile:
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Re: Anyone can go to heaven, just be good

Postby Ben » Wed Apr 08, 2009 10:41 pm

appicchato wrote:
clw_uk wrote:That page still focuses on mundane teachings such as good kamma, bad kamma, good birth, bad birth

Doesnt really go into the core teachings of D.O., Voidness, three marks etc

Last night I sent a link to this thread to TY Lee (the website's author) and he responded that he thought, possibly, that people making comments such as this hadn't really taken the time to look at the website in it's entirety...I would agree...

For those interested check out these links...

http://www.justbegood.net/Blessings01Introduction.htm.
http://www.justbegood.net/Blessings16Conclusion.htm.

This man is a real gentleman and deserves praise more than criticism...if I were asked...

Be well folks...and Just Be Good too... :smile:



Perhaps you are right, Venerable and i for one have been too quick to judge TY Lee's efforts.
Indeed, not everyone is ready for a spiritual life or to seek liberation as their aspiration.
Perhaps for such people, TY Lee's message hits the mark.
Metta

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Re: Anyone can go to heaven, just be good

Postby appicchato » Thu Apr 09, 2009 1:00 am

Ben wrote:Indeed, not everyone is ready for a spiritual life or to seek liberation as their aspiration.
Perhaps for such people, TY Lee's message hits the mark.

Hi Ben,

Check out, if you're interested, the link on what some folks think...http://www.justbegood.net/Comments.htm

This website (and Mr. Lee's other work) is one of the brighter spots in a world rapidly going mad...

Be well... :smile:
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Re: Anyone can go to heaven, just be good

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Apr 09, 2009 1:02 am

Greetings bhante,

I'd be interested to hear more about Mr. Lee's other works...

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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Re: Anyone can go to heaven, just be good

Postby salmon » Thu Apr 09, 2009 2:27 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings bhante,

I'd be interested to hear more about Mr. Lee's other works...

Metta,
Retro. :)


Hello Retro,

TY Lee's other book is here (as posted by Bhante Appichato):



As for "non-academic" work, he also does alot of humanitarian work in Burma, prints and distributes free Dhamma materials and assists Buddhist communities in the propogation of the Dhamma.


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Re: Anyone can go to heaven, just be good

Postby kc2dpt » Thu Apr 09, 2009 3:00 am

FWIW, I briefly scanned some of the website and it looks very orthodox and complete to me. The title definitely seems to just be a hook rather than representative of the website as a whole.
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.
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Re: Anyone can go to heaven, just be good

Postby christopher::: » Thu Apr 09, 2009 4:16 am

clw_uk wrote:
christopher::: wrote:
DarkDream wrote:
As for "Anyone can go to heaven" slogan, I don't see it really that bad. It is just a grabber (convienent way to get people's intention) and I think the point is that it is what actions we do that "leads us to heaven" and not saying you are a member of a religion.

I agree with Venerable Appicchato, I do think they have their heart in the right place.

--DarkDream


I think so also. Looking at this page, they go into much deeper detail about the path of dharma. The slogan and idea "just be good" is the gateway.

To be honest, while not for everyone, I find this approach refreshing.

:heart:



That page still focuses on mundane teachings such as good kamma, bad kamma, good birth, bad birth

Doesnt really go into the core teachings of D.O., Voidness, three marks etc

Still its a good introduction to Buddhism with basic beginer points all covered quite well

Metta


Hi clw. Could you or someone else please explain to me how practicing mindfulness, learning meditation and "doing good things" for other people is somehow mundane or "just for beginners" and of lesser importance than contemplating D.O., voidness, etc? I guess I'm a mundane and beginner Buddhist, still, cause it just seems to me like caring for others, being compassionate and kind, having an open heart, behaving unselfishly are at the core of Buddhist practice..

At least, these are what are core in my practice, and i'm less interested in why people behave kindly and help others as i am in appreciating people who encourage others to behave in ways that are in sync with the dharma and will reduce suffering on our planet...

I'm sorry if i sound confrontational, i don't mean to be.

The dharma is like a wheel, is it not? Many paths of practice leading to the center, all of them interconnected....

the Metta Sutra, as linked from the website...

The Buddha's Words on Loving-Kindness

This is what should be done
By one who is skilled in goodness,
And who seeks1 the path of peace:
Let them be able and upright,
Straightforward and gentle in speech.
Humble and not conceited,
Contented and easily satisfied.
Unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways.
Peaceful and calm, and wise and skillful,
Not proud and demanding in nature.
Let them not do the slightest thing
That the wise would later reprove.
Wishing: In gladness and in safety,
May all beings be at ease.
Whatever living beings there may be;
Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none,
The great or the mighty, medium, short or small,
The seen and the unseen,
Those living near and far away,
Those born and to-be-born,
May all beings be at ease!

Let none deceive another,
Or despise any being in any state.
Let none through anger or ill-will
Wish harm upon another.
Even as a mother protects with her life
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all living beings:
Radiating kindness over the entire world
Spreading upwards to the skies,
And downwards to the depths;
Outwards and unbounded,
Freed from hatred and ill-will.
Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down
Free from drowsiness,
One should sustain this recollection.
This is said to be the sublime abiding.
By not holding to fixed views,
The pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision,
Being freed from all sense desires,
Is not born again into this world.

Metta Sutta
Sutta Nipata I.8


:buddha1:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: Anyone can go to heaven, just be good

Postby clw_uk » Thu Apr 09, 2009 8:42 am

Hi Christopher


Hi clw. Could you or someone else please explain to me how practicing mindfulness, learning meditation and "doing good things" for other people is somehow mundane or "just for beginners" and of lesser importance than contemplating D.O., voidness, etc? I guess I'm a mundane and beginner Buddhist, still, cause it just seems to me like caring for others, being compassionate and kind, having an open heart, behaving unselfishly are at the core of Buddhist practice..

At least, these are what are core in my practice, and i'm less interested in why people behave kindly and help others as i am in appreciating people who encourage others to behave in ways that are in sync with the dharma and will reduce suffering on our planet...

I'm sorry if i sound confrontational, i don't mean to be.

The dharma is like a wheel, is it not? Many paths of practice leading to the center, all of them interconnected....

the Metta Sutra, as linked from the website...


Sorry i think what i said came across wrongly, all i meant was is that it covers the foundational practice (which is still a very important part throughout), as in the practice that people start with at begining (and carry on throughout) and doesnt go into detail about the other teachings. I didnt mean they were of lesser importance, sorry if it sounded that way

but as i said its an introduction for new people to Buddhism, its a very good introduction, there isnt anything wrong with it the person who made the site has done a very good job in my view :)


Metta
Open your mind and see, open your mind and rise. Shine the light of wisdom and see, don't wait till the end of time.
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Re: Anyone can go to heaven, just be good

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Apr 09, 2009 6:22 pm

retrofuturist wrote:I'd be interested to hear more about Mr. Lee's other works...

His other website is pretty cool too:

http://www.loveusnoteatus.com/

He sounds very well-rounded, highly knowledgeable, and he must be a vegetarian too. :popcorn:
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Re: Anyone can go to heaven, just be good

Postby cooran » Thu Apr 09, 2009 8:59 pm

Hello all,

An interesting coincidence ....

Not having read this thread, I was cleaning up my stock of unread books - I often get Dhamma books 'to read on a rainy day' - and I found a copy of this small booklet. I notice the reviews on the back cover include one from Ajahn Brahmavamso (who wrote the Foreward).

"Herein you will find the timeless wisdom of the Buddha presented with clarity, brevity and accuracy. Many often asked questions are directly and correctly answered. In all, this is a priceless little booklet to carry around or share with your friends." - Ajahn Brahm


metta
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Re: Anyone can go to heaven, just be good

Postby sukhamanveti » Sat Apr 11, 2009 8:05 am

salmon wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Salmon,

salmon wrote:I do not understand why people feel that this website (justbegood) is bad for Buddhism?


I do not think anyone has said it is.

Metta,
Retro. :)


Dear Retro,

Perhaps it is just my ignorant understanding of language, but when I read the following posts (quoted), it does ring out to me that some feel that the website will turn people away from the religion.

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Ed,

sukhamanveti wrote:For me it would have had the opposite effect (repulsion), if this had been my first exposure to Buddhism.


Mine too, on account of the reliance on sheer faith.



metta.


Hi salmon,

I think that there are people out there who will be drawn to Buddhism by this website. It won't appeal to skeptical, secular nonBuddhists, but there are books and speakers reaching out to that group already. I think that it will be a net gain, a good thing, and I agree with your posts. In the future I just hope that they add some of the empirical stuff, the teachings that touch on verification. I think that is important too.

Ed
Sīlaṃ balaṃ appaṭimaṃ.
Sīlaṃ āvudhamuttamaṃ.
Sīlamābharaṇaṃ seṭṭhaṃ.
Sīlaṃ kavacamabbhutaṃ.


Virtue is a matchless power.
Virtue is the greatest weapon.
Virtue is the best adornment.
Virtue is a wonderful armor.

Theragatha 614


Sabbapāpassa akaraṇaṃ,
kusalassa upasampadā,
Sacittapariyodapanaṃ,
etaṃ buddhāna sāsanaṃ.


Refraining from all wrong-doing,
Undertaking the good,
Purifying the mind,
This is the teaching of the buddhas.

Dhammapada v. 183/14.5
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Re: Anyone can go to heaven, just be good

Postby pink_trike » Sat Apr 11, 2009 8:19 am

I am as "skeptical, secular nonBuddhist" as it comes - even after 3 decades of dedicated Dharma practice - and still... dhammawheel.org feels comfortable. :anjali:
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.
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Re: Anyone can go to heaven, just be good

Postby sukhamanveti » Sat Apr 11, 2009 2:46 pm

Hi pink_trike,

In this thread "this website" means http://www.justbegood.net/ . The first thing one sees there is, "Anyone can go to heaven. Just be good." (However, there is much more to the website than first appears, it turns out.) One might call it a paraphrase of passages such as this, "...Again, one who is virtuous, possessed of virtue, on the breakup of the body, after death, reappears in a happy destiny, in the heavenly world..." (Visuddhimagga I.23, quoting Digha Nikaya 16.1.24 or D. ii.86 in the PTS version).

Ed
Sīlaṃ balaṃ appaṭimaṃ.
Sīlaṃ āvudhamuttamaṃ.
Sīlamābharaṇaṃ seṭṭhaṃ.
Sīlaṃ kavacamabbhutaṃ.


Virtue is a matchless power.
Virtue is the greatest weapon.
Virtue is the best adornment.
Virtue is a wonderful armor.

Theragatha 614


Sabbapāpassa akaraṇaṃ,
kusalassa upasampadā,
Sacittapariyodapanaṃ,
etaṃ buddhāna sāsanaṃ.


Refraining from all wrong-doing,
Undertaking the good,
Purifying the mind,
This is the teaching of the buddhas.

Dhammapada v. 183/14.5
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Re: Anyone can go to heaven, just be good

Postby kiss » Mon Apr 20, 2009 4:02 am

wow! i just join this forum and i saw this thread about my own personal favourite website and all these posts... well hahaha i'm impressed. i'm glad most of you can appreciate mr lee's effort in simplifying Buddhism to a practical manner for beginners. about the controversial tagline, i still stand on mr lee's side. there are a couple of my own views on this, and if i sound confronting, i'm sorry about it but please forgive me because i'm not very good with words.

1)like mr lee, we are both singaporeans. and singapore is a multi-racial country and thus a multi religious society too. the main ones we have here are Buddhism, Taosim, Christianity, Islam, Hindudism, Sikhism and etc. those who a basic idea of these religions will know most of them believes in a Higher Being, the Supreme One. Buddhism in singapore is misunderstood by many people, whether there are buddhists or not. (people here tend to mix Buddhism together with Taoism and culture beliefs) mr lee's tagline is quite useful in catching attention from these various religions to Buddhism and thus can promote Buddhism better to singaporeans. the website, i believe, can do the same too for the world out there.

2)i've read about a few posts in replying to this thread and they put off the idea of rebirth in heaven. it just makes me wonder where does their mis-placed confidence come from? the goal in Buddhism is clear-cut, to perfect oneself for the final attainment - Nibbana. but that does not mean all practicing buddhists will attain Nibbana in this very lifetime. it's a gradual training over many lifetimes. i believe alot of people here are lay buddhists, right? for lay buddhists following the theravada tradition in this forum here, may i ask what are your practices? do you incorporate your practices into your daily lives? if so, do you really have confidence that in this very lifetime, you can gain liberation from rebirth in samsara?
for myself, i've been practicing dana, sila and bhavana in my daily lives. i do some reading from time to time but those that i really try to put into practice from the suttas were those recommended for lay buddhists such as sigalovada sutta, mangala sutta etc. these were more practical and of relevance for me. i admit i'm a down to earth person. i do not have the over-confidence of seeing myself liberated in this lifetime, but i have the faith and vision of myself living more happily and freely with dana, sila and bhavana. my understanding is that if i continue my practice, my next destination after i pass away could be rebirth as a human or better still, in the realm of devas. is there anything wrong with that?
i'm more put off with people parroting the more subtle Higher Teachings of BuddhaDhamma without applying even one simple teaching in their real lives. i do hope learning buddhists can understand people have different spiritual capacity and their approach to Buddhism come from all walks of life. it's more helpful to show tolerance and encouragement for people on different paths then writing insensitive comments based on their own biased thinking.

ok.. guess i'm done. sorry for the nagging. above are just my own personal POV. i apologize again for any insolent remarks that i made. and thank you all for showing support to mr lee's effort. :thanks:

metta
keep it simple, stupid~ my lifehack

keeping it simply said: 'i'm learning from Buddha to be wise and kind'

Bhikkhu Tissa dispels some doubts - an invaluable piece of advice to learn from, time to time.
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Re: Anyone can go to heaven, just be good

Postby clw_uk » Mon Apr 20, 2009 3:09 pm

Greetings Kiss



i've read about a few posts in replying to this thread and they put off the idea of rebirth in heaven. it just makes me wonder where does their mis-placed confidence come from?


Its not nesicarily mis-placed confidence, just a different understanding of what Samsara and Rebirth actualy means (and so heaven and hell etc). Instead of being physical places, some see them as mind states. Even if rebirth and heaven were real and physical after death, it would be undesirable since becoming anything anywhere is bound with Dukkha


the goal in Buddhism is clear-cut, to perfect oneself for the final attainment - Nibbana. but that does not mean all practicing buddhists will attain Nibbana in this very lifetime. it's a gradual training over many lifetimes.


I havent read a sutta (in the pali canon) that states it will take many lifetimes for nibbana


i believe alot of people here are lay buddhists, right? for lay buddhists following the theravada tradition in this forum here, may i ask what are your practices? do you incorporate your practices into your daily lives? if so, do you really have confidence that in this very lifetime, you can gain liberation from rebirth in samsara?


I do incorporate the Buddhadhamma into every part of my daily life. For my practice I do meditation everyday (mostly mindfulness of Body but starting Foulness of the Body now as well) for roughly and hour, sometime hour and 45 and during weekends i sometimes fit in an extra 20-30min session as well. I make sure that everyday i keep my 5 precepts (as best as i can), i also recite my precepts and refuge in the tripple gem. I also study the suttas throughly, roughly about 5 days out of seven. I also try to incorporate mindfulness whilst i am at work and doing my everyday household duties. Im also starting to make an effort to follow strict celibacy and i also try to give Dana when i have enough funds to do so. Im also making an effort to deepen my practice by attending retreats now (have my first one in June :) ) and lastly i also listen to Dhamma talks (although i havent done this as much as of late)


In reguards to your last question, there is no "I" gaining liberation. We practice to remove all Dukkha in the here and now and not for some future life, so i dont see why nibbana cant "happen now", as long as one practices


my understanding is that if i continue my practice, my next destination after i pass away could be rebirth as a human or better still, in the realm of devas. is there anything wrong with that?


Nothing wrong with trying to better oneself, but that wont lead to nibbana since its bound up with self view, my answer would be why wait for some future life when there is Dukkha in the here and now that needs to be removed?


i'm more put off with people parroting the more subtle Higher Teachings of BuddhaDhamma without applying even one simple teaching in their real lives. i do hope learning buddhists can understand people have different spiritual capacity and their approach to Buddhism come from all walks of life.


I agree





it's more helpful to show tolerance and encouragement for people on different paths then writing insensitive comments based on their own biased thinking.


I dont think anyone here was trying to be insensitive


ok.. guess i'm done. sorry for the nagging. above are just my own personal POV. i apologize again for any insolent remarks that i made. and thank you all for showing support to mr lee's effort


I didnt see any insolent remarks :smile:

Metta

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Open your mind and see, open your mind and rise. Shine the light of wisdom and see, don't wait till the end of time.
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Re: Anyone can go to heaven, just be good

Postby Will » Mon Apr 20, 2009 3:54 pm

Since this verse is often used, without qualification or explanation, as expressing the heart of the Dhamma, I think it is just fine for the majority of mankind to know a good life will result in a good afterlife.

Verse 183: Not to do evil, to cultivate merit, to purify one's mind - this is the Teaching of the Buddhas.
This noble eightfold path is the ancient path traveled by all the Buddhas of eons past. Nagara Sutta
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