Buddhism Fundamentalism?

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Dan74
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Buddhism Fundamentalism?

Postby Dan74 » Fri May 18, 2012 4:55 am

"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." http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/snp/snp.1.08.amar.html

Namo Tassa Bagawato Arahato Samma Sam Buddha Sa!

:bow: :bow: :bow:

It saddens me deeply to see people take up fundamentalist positions, fail to recognize that our positions at best are provisional, our understanding partial and possibly wrong. And yet each in our own way, we all do bump against life, don't we? Just like those of us who hold to views feel the need to denounce the other views, to proclaim their superior positions and thereby avail themselves inadvertently of the opportunity to come in contact with reality.

Sanghas can also develop fundamentalist positions, both on teachings and on doing things. I recall a long-term Zen meditator say once that without the formalism he is used to, he does not like to meditate and that really surprised me.

It seems to me that the Buddha does not deal in absolutes. There is guidance, skillful means, cure for the illness, not positions, not "my way or the highway". Even partial dhamma, dhamma that is mixed and diluted may actually be the best medicine for some, if they cannot swallow the pure full-strength, unsweetened undiluted stuff! Who am I to know? Don't I sweeten and dilute the Dhamma for myself every time given that I see it through the lens of my deluded self-serving?

I'd be very interested on how people feel about this and also how our attitudes have changed over the years of practice, encounters with other practitioners and teachers.

(edited for typos)
Last edited by Dan74 on Fri May 18, 2012 5:48 am, edited 2 times in total.
_/|\_

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Re: Buddhism Fundamentalism?

Postby retrofuturist » Fri May 18, 2012 5:02 am

Greetings,

Dan74 wrote:It saddens deeply me...

Don't be sad, Dan.

There's a sutta somewhere where the Buddha says do not feel elated when his teaching is praised, and do not feel dejected when it is denounced. I'll see if I can find it for you, when I get a chance...

http://www.thisismyanmar.com/nibbana/sammapa2.htm

"Bhikkhus, you must not feel disgruntled at the irrespectful attitude of people or elated by their respectful attitude."

I'm sure this attitude is transferable to one's own preferred teachers.

The Buddha's teaching behooves you to do what is required to put down this sadness...

SN 45.8 wrote:"And what, monks, is right effort?

[i] "There is the case where a monk generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the non-arising of evil, unskillful qualities that have not yet arisen.

[ii] "He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the abandonment of evil, unskillful qualities that have arisen.

[iii] "He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the arising of skillful qualities that have not yet arisen.

[iv] "He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the maintenance, non-confusion, increase, plenitude, development, & culmination of skillful qualities that have arisen: This, monks, is called right effort."

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: Buddhism Fundamentalism?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri May 18, 2012 5:14 am

Dan74 wrote:It saddens deeply me to see people take up fundamentalist positions, fail to recognize that our positions at best are provisional, our understanding partial and possibly wrong.
The wisdom insecurity is rather difficult. It is much easier to take the postion that we have the answers without question.
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

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Re: Buddhism Fundamentalism?

Postby mikenz66 » Fri May 18, 2012 6:27 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Dan74 wrote:It saddens deeply me to see people take up fundamentalist positions, fail to recognize that our positions at best are provisional, our understanding partial and possibly wrong.
The wisdom insecurity is rather difficult. It is much easier to take the postion that we have the answers without question.

Probably best to ignore fundamentalist positions. Difficult though...

I value the various opinions on the Dhamma I see here and elsewhere... :group:

:anjali:
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Re: Buddhism Fundamentalism?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri May 18, 2012 7:16 am

mikenz66 wrote:

I value the various opinions on the Dhamma I see here and elsewhere... :group:
But don't forget that some of them are correct and others really are not what the Buddha taught.
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

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Re: Buddhism Fundamentalism?

Postby mikenz66 » Fri May 18, 2012 7:42 am

tiltbillings wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:
I value the various opinions on the Dhamma I see here and elsewhere... :group:

But don't forget that some of them are correct and others really are not what the Buddha taught.

Sure. Obviously I have my opinions on what and what is and what is not Buddha-Dhamma... :reading:

:anjali:
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Re: Buddhism Fundamentalism?

Postby Mr Man » Fri May 18, 2012 7:44 am

tiltbillings wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:

I value the various opinions on the Dhamma I see here and elsewhere... :group:
But don't forget that some of them are correct and other really are not what the Buddha taught.

Surely you're missing an emoticon?

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Re: Buddhism Fundamentalism?

Postby mikenz66 » Fri May 18, 2012 7:49 am

Mr Man wrote:Surely you're missing an emoticon?

Tilt doesn't do emoticons... Image

:anjali:
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Re: Buddhism Fundamentalism?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri May 18, 2012 7:53 am

Mr Man wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:

I value the various opinions on the Dhamma I see here and elsewhere... :group:
But don't forget that some of them are correct and others really are not what the Buddha taught.

Surely you're missing an emoticon?
Actually not. Other than I think "emoticons" are gawdawful, I am, indeed, making a pointed point. No mitigation of it via cutesy imagery is needed.
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

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Re: Buddhism Fundamentalism?

Postby Mr Man » Fri May 18, 2012 8:36 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Mr Man wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
But don't forget that some of them are correct and other really are not what the Buddha taught.

Surely you're missing an emoticon?
Actually not. Other than I think "emoticons" are gawdawful, I am, indeed, making a pointed point.


You are taking a funamentalist position. :lol: :)

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Re: Buddhism Fundamentalism?

Postby retrofuturist » Fri May 18, 2012 9:00 am

Greetings,

It is not good to be allow oneself to be upset and rage at the ways of others. According to commentarial description of hatred (as quoted in Nyanaponika Thera's "The Roots Of Good And Evil")

Hatred has the characteristic of savageness, like a provoked
snake. Its function is to spread, like a drop of poison, or its function
is to burn up its own support, like a forest fire. It is manifested as
persecuting like an enemy that has got his chance. Its proximate
cause is the grounds for annoyance (āghāta-vatthu). It should be
regarded as being like stale urine mixed with poison.

If bringing the ways of others to mind gives rise to perceptions rooted in hatred, it is preferable to renounce such perceptions as they give rise to suffering.

One way I have found to do this is through mudita ~ appreciation. If I can find something to appreciate in someone, or in any given situation, then no matter how small that thing I appreciate is, the quality of mudita arises in the mind, and wholesome mindstates crowd out unwholesome ones. Knowing that all thoughts and fabrications are created by us, we really can start to take responsibility for our own thoughts and our own state of mind!

Dhp 1 wrote:Mind precedes all mental states. Mind is their chief; they are all mind-wrought. If with an impure mind a person speaks or acts suffering follows him like the wheel that follows the foot of the ox.

If we examine our own experiences honestly, we see this is true...

The Dhamma is to be used fundamentally as a means to relinquish dukkha, not as a means of politicking or as something that gives rise to hatred in us.

The Dhamma is cool. 8-)

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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)

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Re: Buddhism Fundamentalism?

Postby Doshin » Fri May 18, 2012 10:08 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Mr Man wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:...
Surely you're missing an emoticon?
Actually not. Other than I think "emoticons" are gawdawful, I am, indeed, making a pointed point. No mitigation of it via cutesy imagery is needed.

I fully agree.

If my writings is depending on smiley's being added, I either reformulate it or don't send it at all.
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Re: Buddhism Fundamentalism?

Postby plwk » Fri May 18, 2012 10:29 am

There's a sutta somewhere where the Buddha says do not feel elated when his teaching is praised, and do not feel dejected when it is denounced...

This?
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .bodh.html
"If, bhikkhus, others speak in dispraise of me, or in dispraise of the Dhamma, or in dispraise of the Sangha, you should not give way to resentment, displeasure, or animosity against them in your heart.

For if you were to become angry or upset in such a situation, you would only be creating an obstacle for yourselves.

If you were to become angry or upset when others speak in dispraise of us, would you be able to recognize whether their statements are rightly or wrongly spoken?"
"Certainly not, Lord."

"If, bhikkhus, others speak in dispraise of me, or in dispraise of the Dhamma, or in dispraise of the Sangha, you should unravel what is false and point it out as false, saying: 'For such and such a reason this is false, this is untrue, there is no such thing in us, this is not found among us.'

"And if, bhikkhus, others speak in praise of me, or in praise of the Dhamma, or in praise of the Sangha, you should not give way to jubilation, joy, and exultation in your heart.

For if you were to become jubilant, joyful, and exultant in such a situation, you would only be creating an obstacle for yourselves.

If others speak in praise of me, or in praise of the Dhamma, or in praise of the Sangha, you should acknowledge what is fact as fact, saying: 'For such and such a reason this is a fact, this is true, there is such a thing in us, this is found among us.'
Bhikkhus, if you develop and make much this one thing,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.
What is it? It is recollecting the Enlightened One.
If this single thing is recollected and made much,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.

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Re: Buddhism Fundamentalism?

Postby retrofuturist » Fri May 18, 2012 10:32 am

Greetings plwk,

Excellent, thank you. That's the one!

Let us not create obstacles for ourselves.

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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)

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Re: Buddhism Fundamentalism?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri May 18, 2012 10:57 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Mr Man wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
But don't forget that some of them are correct and others really are not what the Buddha taught.

Surely you're missing an emoticon?
Actually not. Other than I think "emoticons" are gawdawful, I am, indeed, making a pointed point.
Mr Man wrote:You are taking a funamentalist position. :lol: :)
Now. while you make my point about "emoticons, I have simply voiced an opinion, and as opinions are concerned, I share Seng-ts'an's opinion of opinions. Also, you completely missed the point I made in my original msg.
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

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Re: Buddhism Fundamentalism?

Postby Mr Man » Fri May 18, 2012 11:17 am

Tilt, I believe that emoticons are becoming a bit of a distraction here!

As I see it your original point "But don't forget that some of them are correct and other really are not what the Buddha taught" was either missing somthing or taken as it stands is a "Fundamentalist" view.

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Re: Buddhism Fundamentalism?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri May 18, 2012 11:24 am

Mr Man wrote:Tilt, I believe that emoticons are becoming a bit of a distraction here!

As I see it your original point "But don't forget that some of them are correct and others really are not what the Buddha taught" was either missing somthing or taken as it stands is a "Fundamentalist" view.
Or taken as it stands a bit of pointy sarcasm.
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

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Re: Buddhism Fundamentalism?

Postby retrofuturist » Fri May 18, 2012 11:24 am

Greetings,

I fundamentally agree with the following...

Sn 3.3 wrote:Speak only the speech
that neither torments self
nor does harm to others.
That speech is truly well spoken.

Speak only endearing speech,
speech that is welcomed.
Speech when it brings no evil
to others
is pleasant.

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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)

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Re: Buddhism Fundamentalism?

Postby Mr Man » Fri May 18, 2012 11:33 am

tiltbillings wrote:Or taken as it stands a bit of pointy sarcasm.

So it was sarcasim? Thanks for the clarification.

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Re: Buddhism Fundamentalism?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri May 18, 2012 11:35 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

I fundamentally agree with the following...

Sn 3.3 wrote:Speak only the speech
that neither torments self
nor does harm to others.
That speech is truly well spoken.

Speak only endearing speech,
speech that is welcomed.
Speech when it brings no evil
to others
is pleasant.

Metta,
Retro. :)

Then something such as this probably has no place:

I don't have any questions per se, but do feel free to respond to any of the comments that have been made by myself or others.

If you do decide to respond to my comments, I'll give you some context, so you know how best to pitch your points. I follow the Noble Eightfold Path of the Buddha, as opposed to any of the subsequent "paths" developed by subsequent commentators (e.g. Buddhaghosa) or meditation "masters" (e.g. Mahasi, Ingram). First and foremost, I am a Buddha-dhamma practitioner. If you can make your points with recourse to the Buddha's teaching, rather than the teachings/terminology/frameworks of later Buddhist sects/lineages/teachers/subcultures then I will be all ears. I have nothing inherently against those other paths and teachings, other than that they are not mine - they are not Buddhavacana, so they are not my path to follow.

I do express reservation however when alternate paths are:

1 - at odds with the Buddha's instruction and;
2 - are being taught as Buddha-dhamma (as claimed on your site - http://alohadharma.wordpress.com/genera ... -teaching/)

... and this reservation is in accordance with the Buddha's instructions on the "four great references" in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta.

Mahaparinibbana Sutta wrote:
And there the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Now, bhikkhus, I shall make known to you the four great references. Listen and pay heed to my words." And those bhikkhus answered, saying:

"So be it, Lord."

Then the Blessed One said: "In this fashion, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu might speak: 'Face to face with the Blessed One, brethren, I have heard and learned thus: This is the Dhamma and the Discipline, the Master's Dispensation'; or: 'In an abode of such and such a name lives a community with elders and a chief. Face to face with that community, I have heard and learned thus: This is the Dhamma and the Discipline, the Master's Dispensation'; or: 'In an abode of such and such a name live several bhikkhus who are elders, who are learned, who have accomplished their course, who are preservers of the Dhamma, the Discipline, and the Summaries. Face to face with those elders, I have heard and learned thus: This is the Dhamma and the Discipline, the Master's Dispensation'; or: 'In an abode of such and such a name lives a single bhikkhu who is an elder, who is learned, who has accomplished his course, who is a preserver of the Dhamma, the Discipline, and the Summaries. Face to face with that elder, I have heard and learned thus: This is the Dhamma and the Discipline, the Master's Dispensation.'

"In such a case, bhikkhus, the declaration of such a bhikkhu is neither to be received with approval nor with scorn. Without approval and without scorn, but carefully studying the sentences word by word, one should trace them in the Discourses and verify them by the Discipline. If they are neither traceable in the Discourses nor verifiable by the Discipline, one must conclude thus: 'Certainly, this is not the Blessed One's utterance; this has been misunderstood by that bhikkhu — or by that community, or by those elders, or by that elder.' In that way, bhikkhus, you should reject it. But if the sentences concerned are traceable in the Discourses and verifiable by the Discipline, then one must conclude thus: 'Certainly, this is the Blessed One's utterance; this has been well understood by that bhikkhu — or by that community, or by those elders, or by that elder.' And in that way, bhikkhus, you may accept it on the first, second, third, or fourth reference. These, bhikkhus, are the four great references for you to preserve."
So yeah, if you do wish to respond, you can at least see what I consider authorative, and can hopefully understand why I believe pushing post-Buddha paths as Buddha-dhamma is wrong, and (depending perhaps on your intention) slanderous to the Buddha.
I believe pushing post-Buddha paths as Buddha-dhamma is wrong, and (depending perhaps on your intention) slanderous to the Buddha. Maybe you would like to temper this less than endearing assessment of others' practices to bring it line with your above expressed sentiment.
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


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