Are we a bunch of sour, grim killjoys?

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Re: Are we a bunch of sour, grim killjoys?

Postby bodom » Mon May 03, 2010 2:46 pm

Dan74 wrote:WOW! Thanks for that, Bodom!!! :anjali:

I will give it a good read tomorrow. Now it's time for bed.

_/|\_


You are quite welcome Dan. This topic has been one that has long interested me.

: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
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Re: Are we a bunch of sour, grim killjoys?

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon May 03, 2010 3:11 pm

Kim O'Hara wrote:I'm not sure if David was thinking of 'the masses' as the majority of Westerners who come to Buddhism or as the majority of people in traditionally Buddhist countries.


Actually, both. I didn't mention it in my previous post, because I don't recall the exact source, but there is a scholarly, historical book where the author (perhaps Gombrich?) suggests that Buddhism may not have become this popular (as it is today) were it not for the Mahayana. This is because the masses in Asia 1,000 to 2,000 years ago needed a more devotional aspect to Buddhism and not one that is so analytical.

And today, in the West many are drawn to the Dalai Lama as you say and also the beautiful mandalas, the statues, the yab-yum images, the poetry, the arts, the infusion of the arts is more closely associated with Zen and Mahayana then it appears to be with Theravada. Also, for some, there is an attraction to the para-military type training of Zen with the Dharma combat, koans, the kyosaku (stick), etc.

And then in Theravada we have no drinking, no sex (at retreats), not much emphasis on the arts, no singing or dancing (at retreats), and lots of renunciation. But of course there is the happiness and joy that comes from non-attachment, but as I mentioned before, for those not advanced in the Dhamma / Dharma, this can be hard to see.
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Re: Are we a bunch of sour, grim killjoys?

Postby christopher::: » Mon May 03, 2010 3:56 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:And then in Theravada we have no drinking, no sex (at retreats), not much emphasis on the arts, no singing or dancing (at retreats), and lots of renunciation. But of course there is the happiness and joy that comes from non-attachment, but as I mentioned before, for those not advanced in the Dhamma / Dharma, this can be hard to see.


Also less sex-with-student scandals and stories of alcoholism in regards to prominent teachers.

I dunno. The neighbor's grass is often greener, in our minds.

: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
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Re: Are we a bunch of sour, grim killjoys?

Postby Guy » Mon May 03, 2010 4:47 pm

Sorry all for going off-topic but...

bodom wrote:Lets not forget there are Theravadins who are on the bodhisatta path practicing for Buddhahood. The bodhisatta path is by no means restricted to Mahayana and is open to Theravadins as one of three vehicles to enlightenment, as arahat, paccekabuddha and sammasambuddha.


..As an aside, does anyone know of anybody who is consciously striving to become a Pacceka Buddha?
Four types of letting go:

1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
4) "Teflon Mind"; having a mind which doesn't accumulate things

- Ajahn Brahm
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Re: Are we a bunch of sour, grim killjoys?

Postby Goofaholix » Mon May 03, 2010 8:18 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:Actually, both. I didn't mention it in my previous post, because I don't recall the exact source, but there is a scholarly, historical book where the author (perhaps Gombrich?) suggests that Buddhism may not have become this popular (as it is today) were it not for the Mahayana. This is because the masses in Asia 1,000 to 2,000 years ago needed a more devotional aspect to Buddhism and not one that is so analytical.


What might be of interest, I've read a little bit about the history of Burma, Thailand, and Cambodia (though it was a while ago and I may be mixing things up).

In all three countries Mahayana Buddhism and/or Hinduism came first, the reason Theravada Buddhism became the prevailing religion is that those who brought Theravada Buddhism from Sri Lanka targeted the rulers and the country converted from the top down.

Not sure what conclusions to draw from that. Even today though you see elements of Mahayana Buddhism, Hinduism, and Animism in the local practice.
"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
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Re: Are we a bunch of sour, grim killjoys?

Postby Goofaholix » Mon May 03, 2010 8:20 pm

Guy wrote:..As an aside, does anyone know of anybody who is consciously striving to become a Pacceka Buddha?


Isn't this an oxymoron? By definition they wouldn't be discussing the Buddha's teaching as they wouldn't have heard of it, or at least not be following 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
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Re: Are we a bunch of sour, grim killjoys?

Postby Nibbida » Mon May 03, 2010 9:27 pm

christopher::: wrote:I think sometimes "serious practitioners" forget to prioritize the brahmaviharas. When that happens, life is less joyful and loving, suffering is magnified, imo. Do Theravadins fall into this trap more then others? I haven't noticed that, at all, and as chiangmaigreg mentioned- if you know Thai folks, they're definitely not a bunch of sour, grim killjoys...

with the exception of some of the street protesters...


Yes, I believe this is true. How one develops oneself can vary greatly. Imagine someone whose practice consisted of a great deal of metta compared to one who did not practice it at all. Would there be a difference? I think so.
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Re: Are we a bunch of sour, grim killjoys?

Postby Dan74 » Tue May 04, 2010 5:50 am

christopher::: wrote:
David N. Snyder wrote:And then in Theravada we have no drinking, no sex (at retreats), not much emphasis on the arts, no singing or dancing (at retreats), and lots of renunciation. But of course there is the happiness and joy that comes from non-attachment, but as I mentioned before, for those not advanced in the Dhamma / Dharma, this can be hard to see.


Also less sex-with-student scandals and stories of alcoholism in regards to prominent teachers.

I dunno. The neighbor's grass is often greener, in our minds.

:heart:


Yeah, definitely true that about grass...

Have you read Ven Dhammica's Broken Buddha? Every tradition has its share of issues. It is not that Mahayana under-emphasized ethics, but perhaps that Westerners sick of Christian preaching sometimes go for certain aspects of Mahayana while neglecting others.

Both traditions are rich and balanced in terms of the Noble Eightfold Path, IMO. I think one should be wary of judging a tradition by exposure to a selection of books and online practitioners...

PS David, "sex at retreats", "drinking"? Which retreats are those? The retreats I have been to, have generally been silent, with no reading, no music, no computers, no mobile phones, work and lots of meditation. Also there haven't been any beatings, nor dharma combats which I only know of from one particular Korean teacher. Zen is a lot simpler than people like to imagine, I think. Listening to someone like Ajahn Sumedho or my teacher, I don't find very much difference. Both are about here and now.

_/|\_
_/|\_
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Re: Are we a bunch of sour, grim killjoys?

Postby christopher::: » Wed May 05, 2010 2:22 am

Dan74 wrote:Zen is a lot simpler than people like to imagine, I think. Listening to someone like Ajahn Sumedho or my teacher, I don't find very much difference. Both are about here and now.



:anjali:
"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
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Re: Are we a bunch of sour, grim killjoys?

Postby ground » Wed May 05, 2010 2:28 am

Dan74 wrote:Zen is a lot simpler than people like to imagine, I think. Listening to someone like Ajahn Sumedho or my teacher, I don't find very much difference. Both are about here and now.

_/|\_


I guess "here an now" comes under the same category as does "buddha nature" :tongue:
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Re: Are we a bunch of sour, grim killjoys?

Postby christopher::: » Wed May 05, 2010 2:35 am

TMingyur wrote:I guess "here an now" comes under the same category as does "buddha nature" :tongue:


Only when we put life into categories, in our heads.

:anjali:
"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
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Re: Are we a bunch of sour, grim killjoys?

Postby ground » Wed May 05, 2010 2:38 am

christopher::: wrote:
TMingyur wrote:I guess "here an now" comes under the same category as does "buddha nature" :tongue:


Only when we put life into categories, in our heads.

:anjali:


I do not understand "put life in". What do you mean?

Who do you refer to with "we"?

What I meant was: both constructs may be helpful for some people. As to my experience/view: I find both constructs self-imposed limitations.

If you seek for "here and now" or "buddha nature" you cannot find these. Period.

Kind regards
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Re: Are we a bunch of sour, grim killjoys?

Postby Guy » Wed May 05, 2010 3:13 am

A thought just occured to me: Sour Grim Killjoys might be a good name for a death metal band.
Four types of letting go:

1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
4) "Teflon Mind"; having a mind which doesn't accumulate things

- Ajahn Brahm
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Re: Are we a bunch of sour, grim killjoys?

Postby christopher::: » Wed May 05, 2010 3:48 am

TMingyur wrote:
christopher::: wrote:
TMingyur wrote:I guess "here an now" comes under the same category as does "buddha nature" :tongue:


Only when we put life into categories, in our heads.

:anjali:


I do not understand "put life in". What do you mean?

Who do you refer to with "we"?

What I meant was: both constructs may be helpful for some people. As to my experience/view: I find both constructs self-imposed limitations.



I meant that "buddha nature" and "here and now" only "come under the same category" when we (any person) think about them as being something real, impose conceptual limitations on our lives, categorize experiences, cling to mental constructs.

Similar to what you just said, in bold, imo.

Guy wrote:A thought just occured to me: Sour Grim Killjoys might be a good name for a death metal band.


:anjali:
"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
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Re: Are we a bunch of sour, grim killjoys?

Postby Dan74 » Wed May 05, 2010 4:48 am

TMingyur wrote:
christopher::: wrote:
TMingyur wrote:I guess "here an now" comes under the same category as does "buddha nature" :tongue:


Only when we put life into categories, in our heads.

:anjali:


I do not understand "put life in". What do you mean?

Who do you refer to with "we"?

What I meant was: both constructs may be helpful for some people. As to my experience/view: I find both constructs self-imposed limitations.

If you seek for "here and now" or "buddha nature" you cannot find these. Period.

Kind regards


Quite right! It is absurd to seek for either.

_/|\_
_/|\_
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Re: Are we a bunch of sour, grim killjoys?

Postby bodom » Wed May 05, 2010 1:26 pm

Guy wrote:A thought just occured to me: Sour Grim Killjoys might be a good name for a death metal band.


lol I would listen to them.

: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
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Re: Are we a bunch of sour, grim killjoys?

Postby Annapurna » Wed May 05, 2010 2:07 pm

TMingyur wrote:If you seek for "here and now" or "buddha nature" you cannot find these. Period.



Hm....I have trouble with this.

Perhaps explain this to me?

I can find "here and now" when I pinch myself. I feel it here and now, and not yesterday or tomorrow.

??

Metta,

anna
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Re: Are we a bunch of sour, grim killjoys?

Postby PeterB » Wed May 05, 2010 2:24 pm

As soon as you register the pinch Anna it is already in the past, even if the sensory nerves continue to fire for a while..
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Re: Are we a bunch of sour, grim killjoys?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed May 05, 2010 2:39 pm

PeterB wrote:As soon as you register the pinch Anna it is already in the past, even if the sensory nerves continue to fire for a while..

Depends upon what you mean by being aware of pinch.
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Re: Are we a bunch of sour, grim killjoys?

Postby PeterB » Wed May 05, 2010 3:24 pm

Depends what you mean by it depends what you mean Tilt.....

I was thinking of the fact that it takes a measurable amount of time for the physical act of putting pressure on the sensory nerves to register in the brain and for that signal to be relayed back to the source of the pressure, by which time " now " is "then"..
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