Ajahn Sucitto: Fragmentation & Distancing from Experience

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

Re: Ajahn Sucitto: Fragmentation & Distancing from Experience

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Apr 23, 2010 5:22 am

Paññāsikhara wrote:I wonder how the transcriber of the talk knew that "Ground of Being" had a capital "G" and a capital "B"?
I am not sure it really matters. It is a sloppy use of language. Either way, it is suggestive of something not really taught by the Theravada. And even if this is an idiosyncratic way of talking about something such as the seven factors of awakening, it is still sloppy use of language.

Of interest:
How would you respond to those who say they get a sense of oneness with the universe when they meditate, that they're interconnected to all things, and that it relieves a lot of suffering?
How stable is that feeling of oneness? When you feel like you've come to the stable ground of being from which all things emanate, the suttas ask you to question whether you're simply reading that feeling into your experience. If the ground of being were really stable, how would it give rise to the unstable world we live in? So whatever it is you're experiencing-it may be one of the formless states-it's not the ultimate answer to suffering.
- Ven Thanissaro
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.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19391
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Ajahn Sucitto: Fragmentation & Distancing from Experience

Postby christopher::: » Fri Apr 23, 2010 8:30 am

tiltbillings wrote: I am not sure it really matters. It is a sloppy use of language. Either way, it is suggestive of something not really taught by the Theravada. And even if this is an idiosyncratic way of talking about something such as the seven factors of awakening, it is still sloppy use of language.


Well, definitely Ajahn Sucitto's dharma talks are not going to be your cup of tea then, Tilt. Which is one of the reasons i started this conversation in the "Theravada for the Modern World" forum.

Paññāsikhara wrote:I wonder how the transcriber of the talk knew that "Ground of Being" had a capital "G" and a capital "B"?


Apologies, Venerable... that was my transcription, there were no instructions for capitalization spoken in Ajahn's voice. He may have not meant for the term to be emphasized that way...

imagemarie wrote:
PeterB wrote:Ajahn Sucitto is of an age where he may well have witnessed the TV debate between a well known at the time Anglican Bishop John Robinson, who had published a book that year called Honest To God, which made extensive use of the term "Ground of Being"... and Sangharakshita.


More speculation, I know, but I notice Ven Sucitto had an interest in English Lit in his youth. Perhaps he read Huxley then, and "The Perennial Philosophy". The second chapter is called The Nature of The Ground, with quotes from Eckhart, the Upanishads, and references the Clear Light from The Tibetan Book of the Dead.
I enjoyed parts of the talk, whilst being a little confused by the emphasis upon having "something" to hold onto, before letting go is possible. A "resting place"?

"If anicca is the only truth, then we're looking at something quite terrifying"..

Still, I liked the idea of "You've been anicca-'d!"..which sounded to me a bit like Zen sickness.
I'll give it another listen - thanks Christopher :smile:



Thanks for checking his talk out, marie.

You could be right about Ajahn reading Huxley. The Vipassana teacher Joseph Goldstein is also a big reader and sometimes quotes from Non-Theravadan sources such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Zen & Dzogchen teachers and even (gasp) Advaita mystics...

:o

But Goldstein's a good teacher, respected by many (including Tilt). Why is that? Seems to me that it's hard to make judgments about teachers based on small snapshots (from a distance) of the language they use to present the dhamma.

:juggling:
"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
User avatar
christopher:::
 
Posts: 1319
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 12:56 am

Re: Ajahn Sucitto: Fragmentation & Distancing from Experience

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:13 am

christopher::: wrote:
You could be right about Ajahn reading Huxley. The Vipassana teacher Joseph Goldstein (who is more Tilt's cup of tea) is also a big reader and often quotes from Non-Theravadan sources such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Zen & Dzogchen teachers and even (gasp) Advaita mystics...

:o

But Goldstein's a good teacher, respected by many. Why is that? Seems to me that it's hard to make judgments about teachers based on small snapshots (from a distance) of the language they use to present the dhamma.
Goldstein does not muddy things up the way Ven Sucitto does. I have listened to a couple other talks Ven Sucitto a few years ago. Nothing that has not been said better by others was my opinion then and now.
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.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19391
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Ajahn Sucitto: Fragmentation & Distancing from Experience

Postby christopher::: » Fri Apr 23, 2010 12:22 pm

cooran wrote:Hello all,

The Translators' introduction by Thanissaro Bhikkhu to MN 1 Mulapariyaya Sutta: The Root Sequence might provide food for thought about "the ground of all being".
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

with metta
Chris


Thanks, Chris. Excellent food for thought. From your link...

"The Buddha taught that clinging to views is one of the four forms of clinging that tie the mind to the processes of suffering. He thus recommended that his followers relinquish their clinging, not only to views in their full-blown form as specific positions, but also in their rudimentary form as the categories & relationships that the mind reads into experience."


This also appears to be related to the point Ajahn Sucitto was making in the OP, imo, in regards to the fragmentation of experience, behavioral dualism and our clinging to opinions and views.

~*~

tiltbillings wrote:Goldstein does not muddy things up the way Ven Sucitto does. I have listened to a couple other talks Ven Sucitto a few years ago. Nothing that has not been said better by others was my opinion then and now.


Well, although we may disagree presently i appreciate your input, Tilt. I've benefited greatly from Goldstein and Thanissaro's dhamma talks and writing, so it's not like i'm trying to put Ajahn Sucitto up on a pedestal.

I shared these ideas from his dhamma talk because i think he has some excellent insights into the process of "self" making, how without a calm equanimous "center" of some sort our minds give rise to strong attitudes and opinions. How cultivation of a mindful compassionate awareness helps us to unravel our sense of self- undo fetters and hindrances.

Countless excellent Dhamma teachers (beginning with the Buddha) have described this, certainly, how we get mired in the muck of "views, ideas, opinions, standpoints" that.. tend to become aspects of "My Self." This is a kind of "muddiness" of mind that many of us are still prone to creating, imo.

It's something that happens to (or gives rise to?) fictional "me" anyway.

:toilet:
"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
User avatar
christopher:::
 
Posts: 1319
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 12:56 am

Re: Ajahn Sucitto: Fragmentation & Distancing from Experience

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Apr 23, 2010 7:34 pm

christopher wrote:I shared these ideas from his dhamma talk because i think he has some excellent insights into the process of "self" making, how without a calm equanimous "center" of some sort our minds give rise to strong attitudes and opinions. How cultivation of a mindful compassionate awareness helps us to unravel our sense of self- undo fetters and hindrances.

Countless excellent Dhamma teachers (beginning with the Buddha) have described this, certainly, how we get mired in the muck of "views, ideas, opinions, standpoints" that.. tend to become aspects of "My Self." This is a kind of "muddiness" of mind that many of us are still prone to creating, imo.
Where did the Buddha talk about "ground of being"? Why use a highly loaded set of expression that suggest something like an Atman? As I said other teachers have gotten to the point without the unskillful expressions of "ground of being" and the like with which Sucitto seem rather taken.
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.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19391
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Ajahn Sucitto: Fragmentation & Distancing from Experience

Postby bodom » Fri Apr 23, 2010 7:55 pm

There are much more skilful Ajahns out there to listen to and who explain these concepts in a much simpler and straightforward manner than Ajahn Succitto imo. Though If you happen to find his talks inspiring and do not get sidetracked by his unusual terminology, then by all means continue to listen. :smile:

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
User avatar
bodom
 
Posts: 4604
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:18 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: Ajahn Sucitto: Fragmentation & Distancing from Experience

Postby Goofaholix » Fri Apr 23, 2010 8:32 pm

tiltbillings wrote:Where did the Buddha talk about "ground of being"? Why use a highly loaded set of expression that suggest something like an Atman? As I said other teachers have gotten to the point without the unskillful expressions of "ground of being" and the like with which Sucitto seem rather taken.


I'm sorry to hear it suggests "Atman" to you, but it doesn't to me.

He is talking about a state of calm as a ground of being and contrasting that with views, ideas, opinions, standpoints that are not shining, luminous, immaculate, suffusive but that tend to become aspects of "My Self.", ie he is talking about it as the opposite of Atman.

One can be, and one can be in a state of calm, without having to be a self.

I can see that language like this may confuse some people who have a compulsion to define, categorise, and file away information under "understood", however that isn't the way that we approach practice.

Ajahn Chah always encouraged his disciples to not prepare their dhamma talks rather, to get out of the way and just let the dhamma through, and talk from the heart. The consequence is that you end up with dhamma talks that may be sloppy in places, may not be very technical, but they can be inspiring. That's good enough for me.

I think there are several plain english terms that he could have used to describe a state of calm that carries the same meaning without using Theravada jargonese on one hand nor fluffy new ageisms on the other. However if one is open minded, having an old truth expressed in a different way can open up new layers of meaning and new fodder for contemplation.
"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
Goofaholix
 
Posts: 1924
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 3:49 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Ajahn Sucitto: Fragmentation & Distancing from Experience

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:00 pm

Goofaholix wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Where did the Buddha talk about "ground of being"? Why use a highly loaded set of expression that suggest something like an Atman? As I said other teachers have gotten to the point without the unskillful expressions of "ground of being" and the like with which Sucitto seem rather taken.


I'm sorry to hear it suggests "Atman" to you, but it doesn't to me.
It is simply sloppy use of language on Ven Sucitto's part, and that is assuming his general thrust of understanding is in fact inline with the Buddha's teachings..

I think there are several plain english terms that he could have used to describe a state of calm that carries the same meaning without using Theravada jargonese on one hand nor fluffy new ageisms on the other. However if one is open minded, having an old truth expressed in a different way can open up new layers of meaning and new fodder for contemplation.
I am not open-minded because I find Sucitto's use of an expression - "ground of being" - qurestionable? I don't think so. Here are two links that illustrate the common usage of the expression of, and baggage carried by, the words "ground of being":

Ground of Being

One of the sophisticated concepts used by great Christian theologians is that of “The Ground of Being.” This concept indicates, not that God is the fact of things existing, but that God is the basis for the existence of all things. God is more fundamental to existing things than anything else. So fundamental to the existence of all things is God, that God can be thought of as the basis upon which things exist, the ground their being. To say that God is The ground of being or being itself, is to say that there is something we can sense that is so special about the nature of being that it hints at this fundamental reality upon which all else is based.


The Ground of Being

The ground of being is empty of everything. It is an objectless, spaceless, timeless, thoughtless void. But everything that exists has come from this no-place, including you and me. This empty ground that we all emerged from is the womb of the entire universe. When something came from nothing fourteen billion years ago, the nothing didn't disappear. That unborn, unmanifest dimension is the ever-present ground out of which everything is constantly arising.


There is no reason to introduce into Theravadin discourse this expression that carries baggage that from a Theravadin point of view is at very best highly problematic, if not simply wrong. It is very sloppy use of language. There are better teachers who are far more capable of expressing the Dhamma.
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.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19391
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Ajahn Sucitto: Fragmentation & Distancing from Experience

Postby christopher::: » Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:48 pm

Goofaholix wrote:He is talking about a state of calm as a ground of being and contrasting that with views, ideas, opinions, standpoints that are not shining, luminous, immaculate, suffusive but that tend to become aspects of "My Self.", ie he is talking about it as the opposite of Atman.

One can be, and one can be in a state of calm, without having to be a self.

I can see that language like this may confuse some people who have a compulsion to define, categorise, and file away information under "understood", however that isn't the way that we approach practice.

Ajahn Chah always encouraged his disciples to not prepare their dhamma talks rather, to get out of the way and just let the dhamma through, and talk from the heart. The consequence is that you end up with dhamma talks that may be sloppy in places, may not be very technical, but they can be inspiring. That's good enough for me.


I think there are several plain english terms that he could have used to describe a state of calm that carries the same meaning without using Theravada jargonese on one hand nor fluffy new ageisms on the other. However if one is open minded, having an old truth expressed in a different way can open up new layers of meaning and new fodder for contemplation.


Thank you Goofaholix. I was told the same thing (bolded) by another long-term practitioner yesterday, familiar with Ajahn Sucitto and the instructions of Ajahn Chah.

tiltbillings wrote:
There is no reason to introduce into Theravadin discourse this expression that carries baggage that from a Theravadin point of view is at very best highly problematic, if not simply wrong. It is very sloppy use of language. There are better teachers who are far more capable of expressing the Dhamma.


Better teachers? Far more capable? That's quite a judgement call. There may be students (past and present) of Ajahn Sucitto here, people who have done retreats with him, know him. I would think they'd be in a better position to make assessments like that.

Your concerns about the "sloppy" language have been noted, but teachers (and teachings) are much more than that. Have you met him in person, talked with his students?

The key point he was making (concerning the arising of dualistic views, opinions) is being ignored, though in a sense exemplified.

Nuf said.

:computerproblem:
"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
User avatar
christopher:::
 
Posts: 1319
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 12:56 am

Re: Ajahn Sucitto: Fragmentation & Distancing from Experience

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Apr 23, 2010 10:07 pm

christopher::: wrote:
Better teachers? Far more capable? That's quite a judgement call. There may be students (past and present) of Ajahn Sucitto here, people who have done retreats with him, know him. I would think they'd be in a better position to make assessments like that.
What does he mean by "ground of being?" I would prefer a teacher who better understands the language/concepts he is using, rather than trying to extract something out of a confused mishmash of concepts. There are teachers who are far better able to express the Dhamma than the quote you gave us.

Your concerns about the "sloppy" language have been noted, but teachers (and teachings) are much more than that. Have you met him in person, talked with his students?
You are the one who put out there this quotation by him that is at best confusing, using teminology that he himself seems to not understand. What he is like in other contexts is not the issue of the problem - the problem with which you have presented to us.

The key point of his talk that i raised here is being ignored, though in a sense exemplified. To pass judgments like this from a distance are...
Given that his use of non-Buddhist concepts is confused, what really is the point?
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.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19391
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Ajahn Sucitto: Fragmentation & Distancing from Experience

Postby Goofaholix » Fri Apr 23, 2010 10:32 pm

tiltbillings wrote:There is no reason to introduce into Theravadin discourse this expression that carries baggage that from a Theravadin point of view is at very best highly problematic, if not simply wrong. It is very sloppy use of language. There are better teachers who are far more capable of expressing the Dhamma.


You are focussing on a phrase that is used in other contexts to mean other things that he is not even talking about in this talk and thereby missing the central message of the talk, that's your loss.

Not being familiar with the term myself I didn't automatically assume he was introducing a new heresy, even if I did I figure a teacher of his longstanding deserves the benefit of a doubt.

So he starts off talking about calm and continues on to describe it as a ground of being, "ground" speaks to me of solidity and stableness and non airy-fairiness, "being" I suppose could refer to a living being but even so it makes no sense as a creation of a belief in Atman, to me in his usage here he is talking about be-ing as opposed to do-ing as this is a very important factor of a state of calm. So calm is a solid stable non airy-fairy state of letting go of doing and just be-ing.

The fact that he then contrasts this with the things we create in the mind that tend to become aspects of "My Self." means it makes no sense that he is using ground of being as a kind of "self". Now I could be jumping to my own conclusions but it makes more sense to me than assuming he is contrasting Atman with Atman as you appear to be doing.

Now it could well be that he is aware of the usage of "ground of being" outside of Buddhism and deliberately used it for those extra layers of meaning. The fact that we had to stop examine and think about the meaning that his talk is trying to bring across rather than just gloss over as we'd probably normally do is a good thing.

I wouldn't lose any sleep over it.
"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
Goofaholix
 
Posts: 1924
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 3:49 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Ajahn Sucitto: Fragmentation & Distancing from Experience

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:01 am

Goofaholix wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:There is no reason to introduce into Theravadin discourse this expression that carries baggage that from a Theravadin point of view is at very best highly problematic, if not simply wrong. It is very sloppy use of language. There are better teachers who are far more capable of expressing the Dhamma.


You are focussing on a phrase that is used in other contexts to mean other things that he is not even talking about in this talk and thereby missing the central message of the talk, that's your loss.
Not my loss. He is not saying anything I have not heard before and said a lot better by others. The problem is not one of you guys have even tried to make sense out of "ground og being." What does it mean?

Not being familiar with the term myself I didn't automatically assume he was introducing a new heresy, even if I did I figure a teacher of his longstanding deserves the benefit of a doubt.
The benefit of the doubt would be that he really has no clue as what it means by those who coined and shaped the expression such Huxley and Tillich.

So he starts off talking about calm and continues on to describe it as a ground of being, "ground" speaks to me of solidity and stableness and non airy-fairiness, "being" I suppose could refer to a living being but even so it makes no sense as a creation of a belief in Atman, to me in his usage here he is talking about be-ing as opposed to do-ing as this is a very important factor of a state of calm. So calm is a solid stable non airy-fairy state of letting go of doing and just be-ing.
This is a lot of conceptual contortion-ism to get at something that could have been stated very clearly and very simply.

Now it could well be that he is aware of the usage of "ground of being" outside of Buddhism and deliberately used it for those extra layers of meaning. The fact that we had to stop examine and think about the meaning that his talk is trying to bring across rather than just gloss over as we'd probably normally do is a good thing.
That might make sense if we were reading something written that was intended to be mulled over, but in a talk that moves from one point to another, not so much.

I am sure he is probably a fine teacher in other respects, but this quotation is not a good example of it.
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.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19391
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Ajahn Sucitto: Fragmentation & Distancing from Experience

Postby christopher::: » Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:18 am

Good thoughts, Goofaholix. I understood his talk in the same way.

A post from a longterm practitioner, on another forum...

Without playing down the unique style of Ajahn Sucitto Chris, I think in part it comes from when he and all that generation of Forest Monks were training with Ajahn Chah.. he forced them to find their own voices by making them extemporise at length without notes. The result was that were thrown back on their own store of knowledge and life experience. It resulted a whole raft of gifted and inspiring teachers.. like Ajahn Sucitto, Ajahn Munindo, Ajahn Brahm etc etc...


Without a doubt, sometimes meaning can get "lost in translation." But Ajahn Chah seemed to value teachers who could put the dhamma into their own words, finding new ways of expressing what the Buddha taught, unique to the everchanging contexts of history and culture.

tiltbillings wrote:I am sure he is probably a fine teacher in other respects, but this quotation is not a good example of it.


I understand your objections, Tilt. Here's another talk by Ajahn Sucitto. About 8 minutes in he addresses the "Ground of Being" issue directly, saying that Buddha definitely did *not* present us with a fixed answer about the Universe, God, Cosmic Unity, etc.

Unfortunately, you may uncover new "problems" with the language he uses and not appreciate the tunafish analogy. One person's breath of fresh air can sometimes be experienced by others as an uncomfortable wind...

Freedom is a Tunafish Sandwich

Image

:thumbsup:
"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
User avatar
christopher:::
 
Posts: 1319
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 12:56 am

Re: Ajahn Sucitto: Fragmentation & Distancing from Experience

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:33 am

christopher::: wrote:I understand your objections, Tilt. Here's another talk by Ajahn Sucitto. About 8 minutes in he addresses the "Ground of Being" issue directly, saying that Buddha definitely did *not* present us with a fixed answer about the Universe, God, Cosmic Unity, etc
Except the reality is that the Buddha has given us clear teachings on these subjects. Whatever other virtues he may have as a teacher, you are really not making a very good case for Sucitto.
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.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19391
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Ajahn Sucitto: Fragmentation & Distancing from Experience

Postby christopher::: » Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:38 am

tiltbillings wrote:
christopher::: wrote:I understand your objections, Tilt. Here's another talk by Ajahn Sucitto. About 8 minutes in he addresses the "Ground of Being" issue directly, saying that Buddha definitely did *not* present us with a fixed answer about the Universe, God, Cosmic Unity, etc


Except the reality is that the Buddha has given us clear teachings on these subjects. Whatever other virtues he may have as a teacher, you are really not making a very good case for Sucitto.


Well, don't listen to me. Just give the first 10 minutes or so a listen...

:tongue:
"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
User avatar
christopher:::
 
Posts: 1319
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 12:56 am

Re: Ajahn Sucitto: Fragmentation & Distancing from Experience

Postby Goofaholix » Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:46 am

tiltbillings wrote:Not my loss. He is not saying anything I have not heard before and said a lot better by others. The problem is not one of you guys have even tried to make sense out of "ground og being." What does it mean?


If you read my previous post you’ll see I did exactly that
“So he starts off talking about calm and continues on to describe it as a ground of being, "ground" speaks to me of solidity and stableness and non airy-fairiness, "being" I suppose could refer to a living being but even so it makes no sense as a creation of a belief in Atman, to me in his usage here he is talking about be-ing as opposed to do-ing as this is a very important factor of a state of calm. So calm is a solid stable non airy-fairy state of letting go of doing and just be-ing”

This makes a lot more sense to me than saying he is defining calm as Atman then contrasting it with Atman as you appear to be doing.

tiltbillings wrote:The benefit of the doubt would be that he really has no clue as what it means by those who coined and shaped the expression such Huxley and Tillich.


Could be so, but why is it necessary to defend the virtue of Huxley and Tillich?

tiltbillings wrote:This is a lot of conceptual contortion-ism to get at something that could have been stated very clearly and very simply.


Yes, true if one is primarily learning the dhamma on the conceptual level, however if one is primarily learning the dhamma on the conceptual level then I think this is the least of your worries.

tiltbillings wrote:That might make sense if we were reading something written that was intended to be mulled over, but in a talk that moves from one point to another, not so much.


Listening to dhamma talks is not like listening to a maths or science lecture, unless perhaps if your teachers are Burmese. A dhamma talk uses conceptual language to point to something beyond the conceptual level. I for one appreciate teachers who don’t just regurgitate tired old phraseology but speak from the heart finding new ways of expressing old truths and challenging my thinking and attachments.

You might not be into that, that’s fine, but I think setting yourself up as the phraseology police is not really a skilful way of listening or reading a dhamma talk and seems a bit of a baah humbug type attitude.
"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
Goofaholix
 
Posts: 1924
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 3:49 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Ajahn Sucitto: Fragmentation & Distancing from Experience

Postby christopher::: » Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:51 am

Which gets us back to the main point of the OP, of this dhamma talk and the quote i shared. Suffering comes from our clinging. Hold expectations of teachers to speak a fixed way, you suffer. Cling to the idea that a DW moderator should be uncritical of this teacher's language, i suffer. We create these ideas of self and other, cling to views and increase our suffering. There is a way to freedom, which Buddha taught and Ajahn Sucitto is speaking about in these dhamma talks. One has to open their mind a bit, open their heart, to hear that...

: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
User avatar
christopher:::
 
Posts: 1319
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 12:56 am

Re: Ajahn Sucitto: Fragmentation & Distancing from Experience

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Apr 24, 2010 1:12 am

christopher::: wrote:Which gets us back to the main point of the OP, of this dhamma talk and the quote i shared. Suffering comes from our clinging. Hold expectations of teachers to speak a fixed way, you suffer.
Now you are trying to make this kind of personal. Probably not a good idea.

We create these ideas of self and other, cling to views and increase our suffering. There is a way to freedom, which Buddha taught and Ajahn Sucitto is speaking about in these dhamma talks. One has to open their mind a bit, open their heart, to hear that...
All very nice; however, as I have stated, I have heard this stuff stated more clearly without the interjection of confused use of concepts such as "ground of being."
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.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19391
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Ajahn Sucitto: Fragmentation & Distancing from Experience

Postby jcsuperstar » Sat Apr 24, 2010 1:45 am

mu
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
User avatar
jcsuperstar
 
Posts: 1915
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 5:15 am
Location: alaska

Re: Ajahn Sucitto: Fragmentation & Distancing from Experience

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Apr 24, 2010 1:57 am

christopher::: wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
christopher::: wrote:I understand your objections, Tilt. Here's another talk by Ajahn Sucitto. About 8 minutes in he addresses the "Ground of Being" issue directly, saying that Buddha definitely did *not* present us with a fixed answer about the Universe, God, Cosmic Unity, etc


Except the reality is that the Buddha has given us clear teachings on these subjects. Whatever other virtues he may have as a teacher, you are really not making a very good case for Sucitto.


Well, don't listen to me. Just give the first 10 minutes or so a listen...
First you said "8 minutes in," which I would read to go to about 7 minutes and start listening. Then you say the first 10 mins. All I can say, Chris:::, is shame on you for misrepresenting poor Ven Sucitto. Universe, God, Cosmic Unity in your sentence -"About 8 minutes in he addresses the "Ground of Being" issue directly, saying that Buddha definitely did *not* present us with a fixed answer about the Universe, God, Cosmic Unity, etc" - are your words, not his. You have misrepresented him. Sucitto, 8:11 in, is say not saying that the Buddha is saying there is no fixed answer about these things - Universe, God, Cosmic Unity . He said, 7:17 in, that the Buddha was not definite in defining nibbana. Also, I did not hear "Ground of Being" used in those ten mins. What I would come away from that talk is that "ground of being" in the other talk is not a skillful use of the term and that the use of the expression is a bit unfortunately clumsy. And I come away from this latest talk is that it is okay and you are hearing things there that are not there.

I would expect from you, however, to at least accurately portray what Ven Sucitto is saying, which you really, really did not do.
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.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19391
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

PreviousNext

Return to Theravāda for the modern world

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests