retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Dan,Dan74 wrote:Which is natural - AB is a great populariser of Theravada which necessarily involves "dumbing it down" somewhat, making it sound easy to provoke engagement. I think this is what irks some people.
I don't think it's that so much... it's more the way he conflates "speculating about how existence, why we're here, the nature of the universe, other religions" (to quote greggorious) along with the actual Dhamma.
If Ajahn Brahm were to more clearly differentiate between the Buddha's teachings (or even Theravada's teachings) and his own speculative excursions, I think there would be less ire drawn... especially when you consider that the Dhamma of the Buddha actually contains plentiful warnings against pointless speculation on such matters (see MN 63 - Cula-Malunkyovada Sutta as one such example)
Obviously Ajahn Brahm gets a lot of criticism, but I have to say I'm rather surprised at this one. I've watched dozens of Ajahn Brahm's videos and I rarely hear metaphysical speculation from him. My impression of his talks is similar to what Dan74 said — a "dumbing down" of the Dhamma with a lot of emphasis on day-to-day compassion, kindness and equality. To me his public talks resemble the Dalai Lama in style. I often find myself wishing he'd get onto "serious" Dhamma topics, but I guess that's what his sutta classes and retreat talks are for.