The Secular Buddhist

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom
User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 20081
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001

Re: The Secular Buddhist

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:17 pm

daverupa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
daverupa wrote:This is a false dichotomy.
Why?


An open mind can uncritically accept erroneous information; accepted and rejected bits may or may not coincide with what we like and dislike; various shades along this continuum can be described. Hence, a dichotomy here is false as the two extremes neither adequately nor accurately encompass the possible range.
I agree with this and it probably would helped had you said this in the first place.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

User avatar
Goofaholix
Posts: 2039
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 3:49 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: New Zealand

Re: The Secular Buddhist

Postby Goofaholix » Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:41 pm

Spiny O'Norman wrote:But in order to learn properly don't we need to approach the subject with an open mind? As opposed to rejecting the bits we don't like?


Yes, we neither believe nor disbelieve the bits we don't like, the bits we like too, this is the secular Buddhist approach.

As daverpa pointed out this is a false dichotomy, it's not based on whether like or dislike is present. As my prior post pointed out there are a whole range of factors that affect our learning besides like and dislike ie; whether it fits with prior learning, whether it's useful, whether worth further investigation, whether far fetched, abnd more.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 10802
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001
Location: New Zealand

Re: The Secular Buddhist

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:36 pm

Goofaholix wrote:As daverpa pointed out this is a false dichotomy, it's not based on whether like or dislike is present.

Yes, like and dislike is not necessarily a good term. Perhaps preconceptions, or, to use a less perjorative term: "background".

Most of us try to fit the Dhamma into some known framework. For example, Ven Nanavira described it in terms of a particular (now oldfashioned) school of Philosopy. Some see it in terms of (their vision of) science (which is often a parody of real science, if you ask me...). Some in terms of historical enquiry.

Clearly we all bring our own preconceptions...

:anjali:
Mike

User avatar
Goofaholix
Posts: 2039
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 3:49 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: New Zealand

Re: The Secular Buddhist

Postby Goofaholix » Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:08 am

mikenz66 wrote:Yes, like and dislike is not necessarily a good term. Perhaps preconceptions, or, to use a less perjorative term: "background".

Most of us try to fit the Dhamma into some known framework. For example, Ven Nanavira described it in terms of a particular (now oldfashioned) school of Philosopy. Some see it in terms of (their vision of) science (which is often a parody of real science, if you ask me...). Some in terms of historical enquiry.

Clearly we all bring our own preconceptions...


Yes, this is my point, this is normal.

Of course it can be problematic if we become rigid and attached to our preconceptions, so we should be aware of the framework of preconceptions we are starting with., but I think this is better than throwing out our preconceptions with the bathwater because we "found religion".

Over time our preconceptions will change as new learning is integrated, if we recognise that this is an evolving process I don't think the evolving ever need cease.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah

hermitwin
Posts: 172
Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2011 11:35 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1006

Re: The Secular Buddhist

Postby hermitwin » Thu Feb 23, 2012 3:46 am

More often than not, this kind of websites try to take the religion out
of Buddhism. To put it bluntly, to filter out the parts that I just cant stand.
While anyone is free to interpret Buddhism any way he wants too, including the wrong way, the danger of distorting the dhamma is real.
Stephen Batchelor became a monk and later disrobed and got married.
So, now he goes around preaching that celibacy is not necessary.
I listened to the interview with Tim Ward. I suspect Ward went to
wat pah nanachat with the motive of writing a book. I could be wrong of course.
So, off he goes to WPN and claims to have 'mastered' the 'vipassana' meditation
technique within a short time. Then of course he writes a bestseller exposing
the dirty little secrets of what really goes on at WPN. Since when did WPN taught
vipassana meditation. He ended by hoping that a western buddhism school will
emerge in the west. So, in the future we will have Theravada. Mahayana, Vajrayana and Amerikayana.
Of course, this is just an educated guess. Perhaps Stephen Batchelor and Tim Ward are sincere in their search for the truth and have no ulterior motives at all.

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 10802
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001
Location: New Zealand

Re: The Secular Buddhist

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:30 am

Goofaholix wrote:Over time our preconceptions will change as new learning is integrated, if we recognise that this is an evolving process I don't think the evolving ever need cease.

:group:

:anjali:
Mike

User avatar
Spiny O'Norman
Posts: 851
Joined: Sat May 23, 2009 8:46 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: Suffolk, England

Re: The Secular Buddhist

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:30 am

Goofaholix wrote:Of course it can be problematic if we become rigid and attached to our preconceptions, so we should be aware of the framework of preconceptions we are starting with.,


I agree.

Spiny

User avatar
Spiny O'Norman
Posts: 851
Joined: Sat May 23, 2009 8:46 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: Suffolk, England

Re: The Secular Buddhist

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:32 am

mikenz66 wrote:Yes, like and dislike is not necessarily a good term. Perhaps preconceptions, or, to use a less perjorative term: "background".



Point taken, though preconceptions can result in liking and disliking particular teachings.

Spiny

Sanghamitta
Posts: 1614
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:21 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: By the River Thames near London.

Re: The Secular Buddhist

Postby Sanghamitta » Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:19 pm

Liking or disliking particular teachings is only an issue in the absence of instruction.
With proper instruction one just gets on with it.
Its not about us. Either way.
Proceeding on the basis of what attracts or repels us is a recipe for endless circling.
The Great Physicians prescriptions are effective to the degree to which they are applied...liking or not liking them...even believing or not believing them are irrelevant.
They are talking about Insights way beyond discursive thought and likes and dislikes.
They can be experienced , but that does not depend on our analytic minds or adherence to belief.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

User avatar
kirk5a
Posts: 1826
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:51 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1006

Re: The Secular Buddhist

Postby kirk5a » Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:06 pm

Sanghamitta wrote:The Great Physicians prescriptions are effective to the degree to which they are applied...liking or not liking them...even believing or not believing them are irrelevant.

Nothing is irrelevant.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

Sanghamitta
Posts: 1614
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:21 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: By the River Thames near London.

Re: The Secular Buddhist

Postby Sanghamitta » Thu Feb 23, 2012 3:43 pm

I respectfully disagree....in this matter almost everything is.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

User avatar
kirk5a
Posts: 1826
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:51 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1006

Re: The Secular Buddhist

Postby kirk5a » Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:10 pm

Sanghamitta wrote:I respectfully disagree....in this matter almost everything is.

Everything except what? How one practices meditation?
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

Sanghamitta
Posts: 1614
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:21 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: By the River Thames near London.

Re: The Secular Buddhist

Postby Sanghamitta » Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:15 pm

Following instructions from ones teacher/s with diligence and observing Sila.
Beliefs come and go.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

User avatar
kirk5a
Posts: 1826
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:51 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1006

Re: The Secular Buddhist

Postby kirk5a » Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:53 pm

Sanghamitta wrote:Following instructions from ones teacher/s with diligence and observing Sila.
Beliefs come and go.

But when the Buddha spoke of wrong views, surely we have to check if we subscribe to them?
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

Sanghamitta
Posts: 1614
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:21 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: By the River Thames near London.

Re: The Secular Buddhist

Postby Sanghamitta » Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:17 pm

They will fall away on their own if not reinforced. What is essential is cultivating right view, which results from Insight arising..not from discursive thought.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

User avatar
LonesomeYogurt
Posts: 900
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:24 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1006
Location: America

Re: The Secular Buddhist

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:17 pm

As a Westerner, I don't have any negative feelings towards secular Buddhism at all. I've practiced meditation with many SBs and they've been incredibly diligent and very helpful. Believing in rebirth solely on another's authority is not in line with the Buddha's teaching of self-examination. However, it's also a little presumptuous to throw out such an important aspect of Buddhism just because it doesn't immediately jive with your cultural background. I think we need both skepticism and humility in this matter; we can't shut off our brains if something about the teachings is bothering us but neither can we expect to immediately understand every concept without a lot of study. I think secular Buddhism helps prevent the entrenchment of social and cultural forces into the pure Dhamma but it can also lead to a very...arrogant view where anything not immediately testable or visible is thrown out as a fairy tale. As always in Buddhism, I think a middle path is best :)
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.

User avatar
kirk5a
Posts: 1826
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:51 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1006

Re: The Secular Buddhist

Postby kirk5a » Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:35 pm

Sanghamitta wrote:They will fall away on their own if not reinforced. What is essential is cultivating right view, which results from Insight arising..not from discursive thought.

How about things like the following - does this reinforce anything?
I don’t quite agree with the Buddha at this point that the reason we have this fractured yet repetitive arising of feeling of self is from a tainted mind, one impure. According to neurologists, much of this arising of self is necessary to our survival, and with out it, you would not bother to feed yourself. Yet, I do see very clearly how we form false impressions around the arising of the feeling of self, how it creates more clinging, hence more suffering.This feeling of self is in essence the ego, a bloated one at that. That’s what I think the Buddha was onto.

But as all this observation proved the Buddha correct that there is no self, it also proved to me that there can be no such thing as rebirth, or reincarnation after death, for there is no one to be reborn.

http://secularbuddhistassociation.com/2 ... be-reborn/
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

Sanghamitta
Posts: 1614
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:21 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: By the River Thames near London.

Re: The Secular Buddhist

Postby Sanghamitta » Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:40 pm

Ask whoever wrote it.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

User avatar
kirk5a
Posts: 1826
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:51 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1006

Re: The Secular Buddhist

Postby kirk5a » Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:26 pm

Sanghamitta wrote:Ask whoever wrote it.

If, as you suggest, not reinforcing wrong views matters, if that's not "irrelevant" then it seems the "secular Buddhist" has something to consider.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

User avatar
ancientbuddhism
Posts: 687
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:53 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1006
Location: Cyberia

Re: The Secular Buddhist

Postby ancientbuddhism » Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:33 pm

kirk5a wrote:How about things like the following - does this reinforce anything?
I don’t quite agree with the Buddha at this point that the reason we have this fractured yet repetitive arising of feeling of self is from a tainted mind, one impure. According to neurologists, much of this arising of self is necessary to our survival, and with out it, you would not bother to feed yourself. Yet, I do see very clearly how we form false impressions around the arising of the feeling of self, how it creates more clinging, hence more suffering.This feeling of self is in essence the ego, a bloated one at that. That’s what I think the Buddha was onto.

But as all this observation proved the Buddha correct that there is no self, it also proved to me that there can be no such thing as rebirth, or reincarnation after death, for there is no one to be reborn.

http://secularbuddhistassociation.com/2 ... be-reborn/


This statement and what follows it dares to discuss the real elephant in the room of presumptive traditional Buddhism , that of the myth of rebirth.
Anuvicca papañca nāmarūpaṃ
ajjhattaṃ bahiddhā ca rogamūlaṃ,
sabbarogamūlabandhanā pamutto
anuvidito tādi pavuccate tathattā
.

“Having known the naming of objects,
With its proliferation, its root in illness – within and without;
One is released from bondage to the root of all illness.
And thus is called the Knowing One – the Such.

– Sn. 3.6 (Sabhiyasuttaṃ)

Secure your own mask before assisting others. – NORTHWEST AIRLINES (Pre-Flight Instruction)

A Handful of Leaves


Return to “Theravāda for the modern world”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests