Love and Fear

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: Love and Fear

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:18 pm

Greetings,

binocular wrote:But why are you making that comparison? What do you try to accomplish by making it?

Are you just exploring possibilites, or is there more to it?

Now that I think about it further, I guess some of the underlying impetus behind this topic is that many Dhamma teachings seem to be about "fighting defilements" or patiently observing them, rather than eliminating them by substituting them with their opposite qualities or breaking bad habits through substitution (which is normally how you would break a bad habit).

So instead of being anti-badness, why not cultivate goodness? Instead of obsessing over the unskilful, cultivate the skilful. Instead of fearing fear, why not embrace love?.... if one casts out the other, aren't we missing a trick by obsessively watching and fighting negative traits, rather than mindfully transforming those imperfect traits through cultivating their positive opposites? Why not take the most direct path to breaking these tendencies/defilements etc.? i.e. flush them out with their positive opposite.

:?:

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: Love and Fear

Postby Dan74 » Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:22 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

Now that I think about it further, I guess some of the underlying impetus behind this topic is that many Dhamma teachings seem to be about "fighting defilements", rather than eliminating them by substituting them with their opposite qualities or breaking bad habits through substitution (which is normally how you would break a bad habit).

So instead of being anti-badness, why not cultivate goodness? Instead of obsessing over the unskilful, cultivate the skilful. Instead of fearing fear, why not embrace love?.... if one casts out the other, aren't we missing a trick by obsessively watching and fighting negative traits, rather than mindfully transforming those imperfect traits through cultivating their positive opposites? Why not take the most direct path?

:?:

Metta,
Retro. :)


To me this sounds like a much more joyful and fruitful practice than the futile and sad 'whack-a-mole' exercise. And I suspect that this is in fact how the vast majority of practitioners do practice. That said, noticing defilements as they arise is very important too.
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Re: Love and Fear

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:24 pm

Greetings Dan,

Dan74 wrote:That said, noticing defilements as they arise is very important too.

Agreed. It's the impetus behind the conscious choice to choose something better. To not be mindful would be to rob oneself of the opportunity of doing that...

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: Love and Fear

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:29 pm

retrofuturist wrote:
David N. Snyder wrote:Can a spouse or partner truly be free of all jealousy and possessiveness? What if the other partner strays?

Good question. What would be kusala and akusala in that circumstance?


Kusala would be to free of all jealousy and possessiveness, regardless. But in any [rāga]relationship, monogamy or otherwise, there is bound to be at least an implicit 'you're mine' thinking. Sure there may be trust, a contract, separate trips, some separate friends, but there is still that implicit 'mine' thinking that seems to only invoke the akusala in any intimate relationship.
edit:
Not to say that I am down on all intimate relationships, just that they can be works in progress toward the more wholesome metta and mudita where the partners can be best friends and kalyana-mittas too.

retrofuturist wrote:So instead of being anti-badness, why not cultivate goodness? Instead of obsessing over the unskilful, cultivate the skilful. Instead of fearing fear, why not embrace love?.... if one casts out the other, aren't we missing a trick by obsessively watching and fighting negative traits, rather than mindfully transforming those imperfect traits through cultivating their positive opposites? Why not take the most direct path to breaking these tendencies/defilements etc.? i.e. flush them out with their positive opposite.


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Re: Love and Fear

Postby culaavuso » Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:37 pm

retrofuturist wrote:So instead of being anti-badness, why not cultivate goodness?


The suttas seem to suggest doing both depending on what the circumstances require. Anti-badness is the first two of the four components of right effort, while cultivating goodness is the second two.

SN 45.8: Magga-vibhanga Sutta wrote: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


Similarly there are fermentations to be abandoned by destroying and fermentations to be abandoned by developing.

MN 2: Sabbasava Sutta wrote: And what are the fermentations to be abandoned by destroying? There is the case where a monk, reflecting appropriately, does not tolerate an arisen thought of sensuality. He abandons it, dispels it, & wipes it out of existence.
...
And what are the fermentations to be abandoned by developing? There is the case where a monk, reflecting appropriately, develops mindfulness as a factor for Awakening dependent on seclusion
...
When a monk's fermentations that should be abandoned by seeing have been abandoned by seeing, his fermentations that should be abandoned by restraining have been abandoned by restraining, his fermentations that should be abandoned by using have been abandoned by using, his fermentations that should be abandoned by tolerating have been abandoned by tolerating, his fermentations that should be abandoned by avoiding have been abandoned by avoiding, his fermentations that should be abandoned by dispelling have been abandoned by dispelling, his fermentations that should be abandoned by developing have been abandoned by developing, then he is called a monk who dwells restrained with the restraint of all the fermentations. He has severed craving, thrown off the fetters, and — through the right penetration of conceit — has made an end of suffering & stress.


Similarly replacing an unskillful thought with a skillful one is the first of the five methods of relaxing thoughts. It's interesting to note that MN 20 specifically mentions the other four approaches as something to do when the first approach of replacing unskillful with skillful doesn't work.

MN 20: Vitakkasanthana Sutta wrote:There is the case where evil, unskillful thoughts — imbued with desire, aversion, or delusion — arise in a monk while he is referring to and attending to a particular theme. He should attend to another theme, apart from that one, connected with what is skillful. When he is attending to this other theme, apart from that one, connected with what is skillful, then those evil, unskillful thoughts — imbued with desire, aversion, or delusion — are abandoned and subside.
...
If evil, unskillful thoughts — imbued with desire, aversion, or delusion — still arise in the monk while he is attending to this other theme, connected with what is skillful, he should scrutinize the drawbacks of those thoughts
...


retrofuturist wrote:Instead of obsessing over the unskilful, cultivate the skilful. Instead of fearing fear, why not embrace love?

Fearing fear seems to be a self-defeating strategy.

retrofuturist wrote:Why not take the most direct path to breaking these tendencies/defilements etc.? i.e. flush them out with their positive opposite.

When this works, it's a great approach. The fact that this is often a very useful approach is perhaps why it's the first suggested technique in MN 20. When this isn't sufficient on its own, however, it seems beneficial to have other tools in the tool box.
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Re: Love and Fear

Postby Dan74 » Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:00 pm

Dhammapada wrote:To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to purify one's mind—this is the teaching of the Buddhas
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Re: Love and Fear

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:04 pm

Greetings culaavaso,

Thanks for the excellent quotations. I'd like to specifically call these out....

- 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. (SN 45.8)
- He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the abandonment of evil, unskillful qualities that have arisen. (SN 45.8)
- And what are the fermentations to be abandoned by destroying? There is the case where a monk, reflecting appropriately, does not tolerate an arisen thought of sensuality. He abandons it, dispels it, & wipes it out of existence (MN 2)

.... and personally, I see no reason why the cultivation of kusala (or "love", defined as per the original post) isn't the best way to achieve what is bolded above. As you allude to, MN 20 suggests it's the first (and therefore best) place to start.

culaavaso wrote:Fearing fear seems to be a self-defeating strategy.

Indeed it is, as anyone who has experienced (or tried to support someone suffering from) anxiety knows all too well.

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: Love and Fear

Postby binocular » Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:04 am

retrofuturist wrote:Now that I think about it further, I guess some of the underlying impetus behind this topic is that many Dhamma teachings seem to be about "fighting defilements" or patiently observing them,

Which Dhamma teachings? Some popular ones?

rather than eliminating them by substituting them with their opposite qualities or breaking bad habits through substitution (which is normally how you would break a bad habit).

Which requires a very definitive morality, faith in the Buddha's teachings, commitment to them - which makes such an approach very specific, and which would explain why it may not be all that popular among those who want to appear politically correct and not "fanatic Buddhists."

So instead of being anti-badness, why not cultivate goodness?

There is even the soundbite "Abandon the bad/evil, develop the good."
Culaavuso and Dan have already provided some canonical references.


"Abandon what is unskillful, monks. It is possible to abandon what is unskillful. If it were not possible to abandon what is unskillful, I would not say to you, 'Abandon what is unskillful.' But because it is possible to abandon what is unskillful, I say to you, 'Abandon what is unskillful.' If this abandoning of what is unskillful were conducive to harm and pain, I would not say to you, 'Abandon what is unskillful.' But because this abandoning of what is unskillful is conducive to benefit and pleasure, I say to you, 'Abandon what is unskillful.'

"Develop what is skillful, monks. It is possible to develop what is skillful. If it were not possible to develop what is skillful, I would not say to you, 'Develop what is skillful.' But because it is possible to develop what is skillful, I say to you, 'Develop what is skillful.' If this development of what is skillful were conducive to harm and pain, I would not say to you, 'Develop what is skillful.' But because this development of what is skillful is conducive to benefit and pleasure, I say to you, 'Develop what is skillful.'"
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


Translated and edited by Nyanaponika Thera & Bhikkhu Bodhi
Abandon Evil
Abandon evil, O monks! One can abandon evil, monks. If it were impossible to abandon evil, I would not aks you to do so. But as it can be done, therefore I say, "Abandon evil!"
If this abandoning of evil would bring harm and suffering, I would not ask you to abandon it. But as the abandoning of evil brings well-being and happiness, therefore I say, "Abandon evil!"

Cultivate the good, O monks! One can cultivate the good, monks. If iut were impossibleto cultivate the good, I would not ask you to do so. But as it can be done, therefore I say, "Cultivate the good!"
If this cultivation of the good would bring harm and suffering, I would not ask you to cultivate it. But as the cultivation of the good brings well-being and happiness, therefore I say, "Cultivate the good!"1
(Anguttara Nikâya2, chapter 2, vagga 2, sutta 9)



Instead of obsessing over the unskilful, cultivate the skilful. Instead of fearing fear, why not embrace love?.... if one casts out the other, aren't we missing a trick by obsessively watching and fighting negative traits, rather than mindfully transforming those imperfect traits through cultivating their positive opposites? Why not take the most direct path to breaking these tendencies/defilements etc.? i.e. flush them out with their positive opposite.

I can think of some popular teachings which suggest what you take issue with.
But the suttas take a two-pronged approach on this to begin with. The dichotomy you bring up seems spurious.

Why not take the most direct path to breaking these tendencies/defilements etc.? i.e. flush them out with their positive opposite.

On a practical note: because it doesn't always work that way.


Instead of fearing fear, why not embrace love?

Huh? This formulation strikes me extremely abstract. I have no idea how that would translate into practice.
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Re: Love and Fear

Postby binocular » Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:32 am

retrofuturist wrote:Now that I think about it further, I guess some of the underlying impetus behind this topic is that many Dhamma teachings seem to be about "fighting defilements" or patiently observing them, rather than eliminating them by substituting them with their opposite qualities or breaking bad habits through substitution (which is normally how you would break a bad habit).

So instead of being anti-badness, why not cultivate goodness? Instead of obsessing over the unskilful, cultivate the skilful. Instead of fearing fear, why not embrace love?.... if one casts out the other, aren't we missing a trick by obsessively watching and fighting negative traits, rather than mindfully transforming those imperfect traits through cultivating their positive opposites? Why not take the most direct path to breaking these tendencies/defilements etc.? i.e. flush them out with their positive opposite.

I've been trying to figure out where you're coming from with this (because it's really foreign to me), and it sounds like old-school fire-and-brimstone Christian background with a lot of emphasis on sin and not sinning. Some Christians themselves then turn the other way and begin to emphasize focusing on love and goodness. Which is where you got your quote from in the OP.

Secondly, it seems that the way many people approach dealing with unwanted behavior in general is to condemn it and try to stop it with brute force. "Just say No," "Just get over it," and "Just quit" are popular sentiments. I guess some people, when they come to Buddhism, bring those sentiments along with them and interpret the Dhamma accordingly.
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Re: Love and Fear

Postby Sam Vara » Wed Mar 19, 2014 11:24 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

binocular wrote:But why are you making that comparison? What do you try to accomplish by making it?

Are you just exploring possibilites, or is there more to it?

Now that I think about it further, I guess some of the underlying impetus behind this topic is that many Dhamma teachings seem to be about "fighting defilements" or patiently observing them, rather than eliminating them by substituting them with their opposite qualities or breaking bad habits through substitution (which is normally how you would break a bad habit).

So instead of being anti-badness, why not cultivate goodness? Instead of obsessing over the unskilful, cultivate the skilful. Instead of fearing fear, why not embrace love?.... if one casts out the other, aren't we missing a trick by obsessively watching and fighting negative traits, rather than mindfully transforming those imperfect traits through cultivating their positive opposites? Why not take the most direct path to breaking these tendencies/defilements etc.? i.e. flush them out with their positive opposite.

:?:

Metta,
Retro. :)


You mean like this?

In the teaching of the Buddha the emphasis is on the cultivation
of good states. There’s nothing so surprising about that,
but we may still miss a vital point: we can conceive that the
practice is about getting rid of bad states when the cultivation
of good states is more fundamental. One should refrain from
picking up or acting on unwholesome states of mind, fully
cultivate the good and thus purify the mind by dispelling
residual bad habits. It’s important to acknowledge that the
Buddha’s teaching is based on the human capacity to refrain
from what is harmful and to cultivate that is good: on Original
Purity rather than Original Sinfulness. It’s only through reference
to that fundamental goodness (which we get drawn away
from through ignorance) that one can cultivate the good and
clean out the bad. We can’t clear out negative pyschological
or emotional habits through feeling negative about ourselves;
that doesn’t provide the will or capacity to dispel bad mental
habits. A more positive infl uence is required. And for that,
there has to be the presence of goodness, to give confi dence
and positive energy in relating to what is negative.
For example one should consider that spite or pride is
unworthy of oneself rather than an honest appraisal of ‘how I
really am.’ Otherwise, there is no dispelling of darkness from
the mind; when one comes across it, one just obsesses with it,
worries, punishes oneself or tries to distract or deny. These
reactions are also negative, even depressing, so their overall
effect is to increase the weight of negativity. Then negativity
can saturate the body, and people even become physically ill
with things like doubt, depression, worry or guilt. The subtle
body energy is affected by negative mind states; it dwindles
and the aspiration that should carry us along goes fl at.


From Ajahn Sucitto's book Kalyano. I hear him saying stuff like this most weeks, and so your point seems very well founded to me.
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Re: Love and Fear

Postby fig tree » Thu Mar 20, 2014 6:36 am

I also think culaavuso has made a good point here. My guess is that the writer referring to love and fear has the intention of implying that the whole spectrum of skillful mental qualities is essentially the same and using "love" in a sense that encompasses presumably things like "letting go", and similarly for unskillful and "fear" (although of course not using our terminology of "skillful" and "unskillful"). I think it has the potential to be misleading in just the way others have described. I've read it suggested for example that anger is always a kind of outgrowth of fear, but I'm not so fond any more of attempts to reduce one to the other. There are also a lot of more-or-less nice people around who are greedy but think that they aren't, because they don't see themselves as being obsessed with material wealth or with exploiting others, and don't realize that some of their "positive" feelings are misplaced.

All of this potential to mislead can be cleared up, but once we do, I think we see that there's not much left besides a pointing-out of the difference between skillful and unskillful.

When people try to measure personality, it seems they often wind up having an axis that correlates well with what they call "neuroticism". Neuroticism seems to be something like the axis between greedy and hating types as described in the Visuddhimagga. Nowadays in the U.S. there seems to be an emphasis on being positive or being low in neuroticism, which is something like recognizing fear and hostility as being unskillful without also recognizing greed and ignorance as being unskillful. I'm just speaking in terms of general trends here. I think the bias in this direction in my culture is strong enough that one should deliberately guard against it. Bearing in mind that all three of aversion, ignorance, and greed are unskillful (although they manifest with different emotions) and all three of the opposites are skillful even if sometimes not all equally exciting and fun.

Another way to look at it is that love usually brings to mind something like lovingkindness, but that when it does, it needs the other three brahmaviharas to balance it out.

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Re: Love and Fear

Postby Ben » Thu Mar 20, 2014 6:41 am

fig tree wrote:I also think culaavuso has made a good point here. My guess is that the writer referring to love and fear has the intention of implying that the whole spectrum of skillful mental qualities is essentially the same and using "love" in a sense that encompasses presumably things like "letting go", and similarly for unskillful and "fear" (although of course not using our terminology of "skillful" and "unskillful"). I think it has the potential to be misleading in just the way others have described. I've read it suggested for example that anger is always a kind of outgrowth of fear, but I'm not so fond any more of attempts to reduce one to the other. There are also a lot of more-or-less nice people around who are greedy but think that they aren't, because they don't see themselves as being obsessed with material wealth or with exploiting others, and don't realize that some of their "positive" feelings are misplaced.

All of this potential to mislead can be cleared up, but once we do, I think we see that there's not much left besides a pointing-out of the difference between skillful and unskillful.

When people try to measure personality, it seems they often wind up having an axis that correlates well with what they call "neuroticism". Neuroticism seems to be something like the axis between greedy and hating types as described in the Visuddhimagga. Nowadays in the U.S. there seems to be an emphasis on being positive or being low in neuroticism, which is something like recognizing fear and hostility as being unskillful without also recognizing greed and ignorance as being unskillful. I'm just speaking in terms of general trends here. I think the bias in this direction in my culture is strong enough that one should deliberately guard against it. Bearing in mind that all three of aversion, ignorance, and greed are unskillful (although they manifest with different emotions) and all three of the opposites are skillful even if sometimes not all equally exciting and fun.

Another way to look at it is that love usually brings to mind something like lovingkindness, but that when it does, it needs the other three brahmaviharas to balance it out.

Fig Tree


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Well said, fig tree.
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Re: Love and Fear

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:18 pm

Greetings,

Here is an example of a love-based teaching that I encountered yesterday that seems to be consistent with the sutta references provided previously by culaavuso... (though I am curious about precisely where in SN this quotation comes from, so I could check alternative translations).

Ivonne Delaflor - 'Mastering Life', p109 wrote:
Train yourself

This itself is the whole of the journey, opening your heart to that which is lovely.
Because of their feeling for the lovely, beings who are afraid of birth and death, aging and decaying, are freed from their fear.
This is the way you must train yourself: I will become your friend and an intimate of the lovely.
To do this I must closely observe and embrace all states of mind that are good.
- Samyutta Nikaya

Positive thinking is the power to choose to see the lovely, the divine, rather than the opposite. Why do we give power to negative expressions of life? Why do we often give power to past memories or grief? Why do we choose those things when we always have the choice to see the positive and lovely things happening here and now? Observe and embrace all states of mind that are good and also those which are not so good. Watch your thoughts in order to choose. Ask yourself: Do I really want to have this not-so-good thought? What are my options?

Be attentive as a constant witness to yourself as much as you can. Remember that you are already doing your best. Give your power to that which makes you love, share and be loved. Watch the negative aspects of your mind, but do not give them your power.

You have a choice - to be love, to see love, to feel love and to live through the power of Love.


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: Love and Fear

Postby waterchan » Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:52 pm

The proactive cultivation of love is advocated by a few teachers, notably including Ajahn Brahm who often says things like "love your sufferings", "have compassion towards yourself", "the cure for depression is to give yourself a hug", and "give yourself a hug before bed". Once, a novice monk at his monastery broke a precept by making himself a sandwich after midday. When the novice confessed to Ajahn Brahm, the novice wasn't willing to forgive himself without a punishment, so Ajahn Brahm gave him the punishment of finding a cat in the monastery and stroking it 50 times. There are teddy bears at his meditation center, and meditators with a lot of ill will are encouraged to meditate with a teddy bear in the lap.

I've always felt that this kind of teaching goes beyond the suttas, not that it's a bad thing at all. The suttas actively encourage refraining from causing harm, they fall short of encouraging the proactive cultivation of good will, love and compassion towards others. Some will point out Right Effort, but to me that one is rather vague and doesn't quite cut it.
quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur
(Anything in Latin sounds profound.)
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Re: Love and Fear

Postby culaavuso » Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:37 pm

Ivonne Delaflor - 'Mastering Life', p109 wrote:
Train yourself

This itself is the whole of the journey, opening your heart to that which is lovely.
Because of their feeling for the lovely, beings who are afraid of birth and death, aging and decaying, are freed from their fear.
This is the way you must train yourself: I will become your friend and an intimate of the lovely.
To do this I must closely observe and embrace all states of mind that are good.
- Samyutta Nikaya


This translation appears to be attributed to Anne Bancroft from her book The Buddha Speaks (page 14).

This seems like it could be a heavily paraphrased version of the quote from SN 45.2 which Bhikkhu Bodhi translated as:
SN 45.2: Upaḍḍha Sutta wrote:By the following method too, Ananda, it may be understood how the entire holy life is good friendship, good companionship, good comradeship: by relying upon me as a good friend, Ananda, beings subject to birth are freed from birth; beings subject to aging are freed from aging; beings subject to death are freed from death; beings subject to sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair are freed from sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair. By this method, Ananda, it may be understood how the entire holy life is good friendship, good companionship, good comradeship.


The translations of Anne Bancroft are discussed in multiple posts on Fake Buddha Quotes, for example:
Bodhipaksa on Fake Buddha Quotes wrote:And this turns out to be from Anne Bancroft’s “rendering” of the Dhammapada.
...
If you look at Buddharakkhita’s translation you can see Bancroft’s rendition is a wild paraphrase
...
I suspect that from time to time certain authors, for some reason, “translate” texts without knowing the languages in question. I And I suspect that Bancroft is one of those authors, and that Thomas Byrom (another “translator” of the Dhammapada) is too. In Bancroft’s version she’s credited not as “translator” but as “editor” and in Byrom’s version he’s described as the “renderer.”


Bodhipaksa on Fake Buddha Quotes wrote:Bancroft takes samadhi to mean "truth" when actually it means meditative concentration. In later Buddhism it can mean "wisdom" but this is the Dhamapada and not later Buddhism.
...
This also comes from Anne Bancroft’s Dhammapada, which now looks to be less a translation and more of an improvisation loosely based on a theme by the Buddha.
...
I don’t really know much about Bancroft. Incidentally she’s not the film actress, although the two have often been confused. She’s edited or written many books, and her "Zen: Direct Pointing at Reality" was one of the first Buddhist books I bought. Her understanding of Pali, frankly, seems non-existent.
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Re: Love and Fear

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:06 am

Greetings culaavuso,

Yes, the sutta "translation" seemed a little shady upon initial inspection, but I think you've probably identified the "source" - nice work!

:reading:

I am a little disappointed however that it contained no reference to subha - I was hoping that's what "the lovely" was pointing to!

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: Love and Fear

Postby binocular » Fri Mar 21, 2014 11:05 am

Ivonne Delaflor - 'Mastering Life', p109 wrote:
Train yourself

This itself is the whole of the journey, opening your heart to that which is lovely.
Because of their feeling for the lovely, beings who are afraid of birth and death, aging and decaying, are freed from their fear.
This is the way you must train yourself: I will become your friend and an intimate of the lovely.
To do this I must closely observe and embrace all states of mind that are good.
- Samyutta Nikaya

Positive thinking is the power to choose to see the lovely, the divine, rather than the opposite. Why do we give power to negative expressions of life? Why do we often give power to past memories or grief? Why do we choose those things when we always have the choice to see the positive and lovely things happening here and now? Observe and embrace all states of mind that are good and also those which are not so good. Watch your thoughts in order to choose. Ask yourself: Do I really want to have this not-so-good thought? What are my options?

Be attentive as a constant witness to yourself as much as you can. Remember that you are already doing your best. Give your power to that which makes you love, share and be loved. Watch the negative aspects of your mind, but do not give them your power.

You have a choice - to be love, to see love, to feel love and to live through the power of Love.


Compare to Philippians 4:8:
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.


and in context of the 4th chapter:
Closing Appeal for Steadfastness and Unity

1Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!

2I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. 3Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.

Final Exhortations

4Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Thanks for Their Gifts

10I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

14Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. 15Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; 16for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need. 17Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account. 18I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. 19And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

20To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
http://biblehub.com/niv/philippians/4.htm


Sounds quite similar.
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Re: Love and Fear

Postby binocular » Fri Mar 21, 2014 11:18 am

waterchan wrote:I've always felt that this kind of teaching goes beyond the suttas, not that it's a bad thing at all. The suttas actively encourage refraining from causing harm, they fall short of encouraging the proactive cultivation of good will, love and compassion towards others.


/.../
The true practice of Buddhism, though, has always been counter-cultural, even in nominally Buddhist societies. Society's main aim, no matter where, is its own perpetuation. Its cultural values are designed to keep its members useful and productive — either directly or indirectly — in the on-going economy. Most religions allow themselves to become domesticated to these values by stressing altruism as the highest religious impulse, and mainstream Buddhism is no different. Wherever it has spread, it has become domesticated to the extent that the vast majority of monastics as well as lay followers devote themselves to social services of one form or another, measuring their personal spiritual worth in terms of how well they have loved and served others.

However, the actual practice enjoined by the Buddha does not place such a high value on altruism at all. In fact, he gave higher praise to those who work exclusively for their own spiritual welfare than to those who sacrifice their spiritual welfare for the welfare of others (Anguttara Nikaya, Book of Fours, Sutta 95) — a teaching that the mainstream, especially in Mahayana traditions, has tended to suppress. The true path of practice pursues happiness through social withdrawal, the goal being an undying happiness found exclusively within, totally transcending the world, and not necessarily expressed in any social function. People who have attained the goal may teach the path of practice to others, or they may not. Those who do are considered superior to those who don't, but those who don't are in turn said to be superior to those who teach without having attained the goal themselves. Thus individual attainment, rather than social function, is the true measure of a person's worth.
/.../
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... namic.html


Altruism is sometimes listed as an ego defense mechanism (!).
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