Are Theravadins Simpler ?

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Re: Are Theravadins Simpler ?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Oct 29, 2013 3:59 am

Greetings,

alan wrote:It's not about discipline, it's about your desire to find truth.

Which can be done as a lay person, or as a monastic... I don't see the problem.

Personally, I think the Vinaya is supportive of that endeavour.

Again, no one is making anyone become a bhikkhu, and there are other organisational models within other traditions already.

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: Are Theravadins Simpler ?

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Oct 29, 2013 4:29 am

PeterB wrote:Not so actually. That's another latinisation.
The lad's name is Y'shua. :focus:


That is how you pronounce it, but this is how you spell it:

ישוע

Speaking of Jesus, I mean Y'shua, he is said to have spoken out against the domain of the priestly class, which was basically a caste system. The priests of ancient Israel were all from the Levi tribe. The Buddha, hundreds of years earlier also spoke out against the brahmin caste system and allowed access to the monastic life, regardless of your birth. This was a big break from the tradition of the Vedas / caste system. And the Buddha allowed and praised lay followers who were well advanced in the Dhamma and some of whom who even taught Dhamma, including Citta and Anathapindika.
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Re: Are Theravadins Simpler ?

Postby Dan74 » Tue Oct 29, 2013 4:55 am

retrofuturist wrote:... and in reading those texts, it all seemed perfectly reasonable and appropriate to the modern day. Much like reading the Suttas, you get the "flavour" of the Vinaya after while, and as mentioned above, the Four Great Standards can be applied to air transport, internet etc. and other goods and services that were non-existent back in the day.

Otherwise, if someone doesn't want to be subject to the discipline, why become a bhikkhu? Maybe it's just me who is simpler. :tongue:

Metta,
Retro. :)


Really? What about rules like Pacittiya 56 which forbids a monk from lighting a fire unless he is sick? Would you not use a gas heater in Canada in the middle of winter? Many other rules are similarly incidental.

I found the following passage from the thrice-damned Dhammika's Broken Buddha quite to the point:

I once shared a room with a young Australian monk who was very strict about Vinaya. One day I came back to the room and noticed that he was more morose than usual. ‘What’s wrong?’ I asked. ‘I have been impure for a whole year without confessing it’ he said. ‘Which rule have you broken?’ I asked. ‘Nissaggiya Pacittiya 18,’ he replied, the rule against touching gold or silver, i.e. money. His confession surprised me because I knew that he was extremely strict about this particular rule. ‘But I’ve never seen you break that rule.’ I said. He hung his head and said, ‘Iv been doing it ever since Iv been a monk.’ ‘How? When?’ I asked. He opened his mouth and pointed to a gold filling on one of his back teeth which he had apparently only just remembered. One rule states that a monk should not use Sangha property without putting a cover on it. This seems like a sensible rule but combine it with that obsessive tendency common to Theravadins and it can become a major problem. I knew a monk, again an Australian, who was con- stantly agonizing over this rule. He was a very restless sleeper and in the mornings he would inevitably wake up finding that his sheet had come loose during the night and his body was touching the bed, that is, touching Sangha property. Even when he woke up with no part touching the bed he would worry that he might have done so during the night. One morning he was so overwrought that he was literally on the verge of committing suicide and had I or another monk not been with him he may well have done so. As a brief aside, I have noticed two other things about Vinaya fundamentalists. The first is that they seem to have a higher rate of disrobing than the more ‘lax’ monks. Secondly, and this should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with psychology, when they do disrobe they often go wild and not uncommonly even give up Buddhism altogether. It is a case of first one extreme and then the other. The two monks mentioned above both soon disrobed, one turned against Buddhism with a vehemence and the other gradually drifted out of it.
_/|\_
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Re: Are Theravadins Simpler ?

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:06 am

Dan74 wrote:Really? What about rules like Pacittiya 56 which forbids a monk from lighting a fire unless he is sick? Would you not use a gas heater in Canada in the middle of winter? Many other rules are similarly incidental.


Well if you don't light a gas heater in the Yukon I am sure you would get very sick. I imagine prevention (of sickness) is fine.

Regarding the monk upset about his gold filling, that is just fanaticism. That would be following the letter and disregarding the spirit.
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Re: Are Theravadins Simpler ?

Postby alan » Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:54 am

Throw away the rules. Then make your own.
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Re: Are Theravadins Simpler ?

Postby dagon » Tue Oct 29, 2013 7:18 am

alan wrote:Throw away the rules. Then make your own.


There is a simpler solution - follow what rules you want but don't call yourselves Theravada Buddhist.

I have never noticed where the Buddha taught popularity - i read/heard that he was teaching the truth. Popularity and truth often do not go together.

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Re: Are Theravadins Simpler ?

Postby cooran » Tue Oct 29, 2013 7:22 am

Hello Alan, all,

Maybe that is what this prophetic Sutta is talking about?

False Dhamma
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .wlsh.html

With metta and karuna,
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Re: Are Theravadins Simpler ?

Postby Dan74 » Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:23 am

David N. Snyder wrote:
Dan74 wrote:Really? What about rules like Pacittiya 56 which forbids a monk from lighting a fire unless he is sick? Would you not use a gas heater in Canada in the middle of winter? Many other rules are similarly incidental.


Well if you don't light a gas heater in the Yukon I am sure you would get very sick. I imagine prevention (of sickness) is fine.

Regarding the monk upset about his gold filling, that is just fanaticism. That would be following the letter and disregarding the spirit.


"Following the letter and disregarding the spirit" is precisely the problem, it seems. Though I also appreciate that some bikkhus do it out of respect for the Buddha and the Sangha that came before them.
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Re: Are Theravadins Simpler ?

Postby Anagarika » Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:13 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

chownah wrote:If some monks want to do it then who will stop them?

What, follow the Vinaya? Well, when I had serious ordination intent in late 2012 I had every intention of following the Vinaya to the best of my ability, which included studying the following texts...

The Buddhist Monastic Code I: The Patimokkha Training Rules Translated and Explained by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... intro.html

The Buddhist Monastic Code II: The Khandhaka Rules Translated and Explained by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... intro.html

alan wrote:As for the Vinaya, I'm not too excited about that. Those rules were made in a different environment, some of which--but not all, of course, no longer apply.

... and in reading those texts, it all seemed perfectly reasonable and appropriate to the modern day. Much like reading the Suttas, you get the "flavour" of the Vinaya after while, and as mentioned above, the Four Great Standards can be applied to air transport, internet etc. and other goods and services that were non-existent back in the day.

Otherwise, if someone doesn't want to be subject to the discipline, why become a bhikkhu? Maybe it's just me who is simpler. :tongue:

Metta,
Retro. :)


I'm just curious, Retro, if you don't mind my asking. Are you on a path toward ordination still? You bring so much insight to this forum and always have a valuable comment, and it occurs to me you'd be a terrific Bhikkhu. You'd also be terrific at anything you do, but just thought I'd ask.
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Re: Are Theravadins Simpler ?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:22 am

Greetings,

BuddhaSoup wrote:I'm just curious, Retro, if you don't mind my asking. Are you on a path toward ordination still? You bring so much insight to this forum and always have a valuable comment, and it occurs to me you'd be a terrific Bhikkhu. You'd also be terrific at anything you do, but just thought I'd ask.

Thanks BuddhaSoup.

Not for another decade at least... and then, who knows?

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: Are Theravadins Simpler ?

Postby Anagarika » Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:25 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

BuddhaSoup wrote:I'm just curious, Retro, if you don't mind my asking. Are you on a path toward ordination still? You bring so much insight to this forum and always have a valuable comment, and it occurs to me you'd be a terrific Bhikkhu. You'd also be terrific at anything you do, but just thought I'd ask.

Thanks BuddhaSoup.

Not for another decade at least... and then, who knows?

Metta,
Retro. :)


Thanks, kalayana mitta Retro...I'm on the 5 year plan myself.....

M
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Re: Are Theravadins Simpler ?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:29 am

Greetings,

BuddhaSoup wrote:Thanks, kalayana mitta Retro...I'm on the 5 year plan myself.....

:thumbsup:

It's certainly a worthwhile ambition.

For me it depends on my circumstances in a decade's time (when I'll be 45 or so) - whether circumstances permit, and whether I think it's the best mode of living for me at that point in time. As I see it, there's no benefit in wishing it to be so right now, so I just get on with it, making the most of every day rather than wishing it away.

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: Are Theravadins Simpler ?

Postby Anagarika » Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:13 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

BuddhaSoup wrote:Thanks, kalayana mitta Retro...I'm on the 5 year plan myself.....

:thumbsup:

It's certainly a worthwhile ambition.

For me it depends on my circumstances in a decade's time (when I'll be 45 or so) - whether circumstances permit, and whether I think it's the best mode of living for me at that point in time. As I see it, there's no benefit in wishing it to be so right now, so I just get on with it, making the most of every day rather than wishing it away.

Metta,
Retro. :)


Ahh, you're a young man with a lot of mileage still on the tread. :) I'm a fair bit older, will be able to be a homeleaver to a great extent, and do wish to dig deeper into the Dhamma in the next years and progress toward ordination. As it is said, if wishes were wings, frogs could fly. :) So I'll keep your good advice in mind and just stay on the path and see where life takes me. Metta and wellbeing to you, Retro.
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Re: Are Theravadins Simpler ?

Postby arijitmitter » Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:14 am

To make my position clear (since I am half way out of Theravada and part of Buddhism with no lineage - just a simple Buddhist urban monk who follows 8 precepts dutifully)

I cannot, shall not, will not accept under any circumstances that a Buddhist monk travels in business class despite attempts by so many to put it under Dana. It is counter intuitive to what we understand. Monks do not have to walk and swim from Thailand to Bodh Gaya. They can travel economy class. That is all I said.

Having said this I have great respect for Ajahns Brahm, Sona, Sumedho, Bhikkhu Bodhi and others great teachers and Venerables from West. I will make special mention of Venerable Yuttadhammo since his YouTube videos were instrumental in inspiring me as a newbie.

Basically I am a believer in Western Theravada. What I do not believe in is Thai Buddhism (or large parts of it). Sitting on a golden throne and teaching Buddhism as the video in an earlier page (page 1) shows. Compare it to my reply showing an austere Ajahn Sona. Now tell me who is the real Buddhist there ? That is all that I said.

Reading Bhikkhu Samahita's The Broken Buddha has only confirmed it http://www.buddhistische-gesellschaft-b ... dhanew.pdf

However every one or two months I will be back to politely say Hi to everyone.

:anjali: Arijit

edit: Venerable Dhammika wrote The Broken Buddha. Typo is regretted.
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Re: Are Theravadins Simpler ?

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:38 am

arijitmitter wrote: just a simple Buddhist urban monk who follows 8 precepts dutifully)


Are you an ordained monk? If so, shouldn't it be 227 precepts?

Correction: It was Ven. Dhammika who wrote Broken Buddha.
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Re: Are Theravadins Simpler ?

Postby arijitmitter » Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:41 am

Sorry, Venerable Dhammika. My sincere apology.

Mr Snyder, I am a lay person who follows 8 precepts. Urban monk is a term I like to use (a lay person living a life of extreme austerity and spending all free time in study and practice of Dhamma). I cannot ordain right now because some duties are left incomplete.
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Re: Are Theravadins Simpler ?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Oct 30, 2013 5:58 am

arijitmitter wrote:Basically I am a believer in Western Theravada. What I do not believe in is Thai Buddhism (or large parts of it). Sitting on a golden throne and teaching Buddhism as the video in an earlier page (page 1) shows. Compare it to my reply showing an austere Ajahn Sona. Now tell me who is the real Buddhist there?

Both are real Buddhists. The fact is that you have no way to judge the inner purity of anyone from their sitting position, nor from what kind of vehicle they are travelling in, nor from what kind of food they are eating.

Buddhists Don't Need to Be Vegetarian (Ajahn Sona)

What comes out of your mouth is more important than what goes into it.
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Re: Are Theravadins Simpler ?

Postby Mr Man » Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:00 am

arijitmitter wrote:Compare it to my reply showing an austere Ajahn Sona.
Who is a product of a "Thai Buddhism".
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Re: Are Theravadins Simpler ?

Postby arijitmitter » Wed Oct 30, 2013 11:07 am

Ajahns Brahm, Sumedho, Thanissaro Bhikkhu and others began as disciples of Thai Buddhism. However I do not believe that the student cannot rise past their school.

When I say I am against Thai Buddhism do I mean I am against Ajahn Chah. Do I seem so foolish ? When I say I am not a Theravadin anymore do I mean I am rejecting the Pali Canon ? When I say I am not a Theravadin anymore do I mean I will not like a meditation retreat with Ajahn Brahm or any Western Ajahns who are Theravadins ?

Perhaps Ajahn Sona has advocated eating meat. I am not against it though I am not myself a meat eater. I strictly believe in eight precepts but elsewhere I have defended the right of single, beginner Buddhists to watch pornography http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=18929

Can a Buddhist Bhikkhu not watch a few minutes of marvelous skating on ice in Olympics ? It breaks the 7th precept. Bhikkhus in India accept cash as alms (for personal use). But they have to travel and they need money for local conveyance. It breaks the 10th precept (hopefully I am counting the precepts correctly). These are not wrong. They are changes that came with time and no one will say it is a deviation from life of a renunciate.

However there is a difference between that and travelling business class.

And I see no reason why I have to justify or defend my words at all anymore. Venerable Dhammika has done a wonderful job by writing The Broken Buddha the link to which is provided above and also in the Forum sticky. Now if your case is, none are so deaf than those who will not hear, no one and nothing can help you hear.

Spending words to a certain extent to convince someone is worth it. Beyond it, I walk my way and you walk yours. Neither I nor those opposing me will back down from their position. So we agree to disagree.
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Re: Are Theravadins Simpler ?

Postby dagon » Wed Oct 30, 2013 11:40 am

arijitmitter wrote: Do I seem so foolish ?


Yes

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