Adhamma

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Re: Adhamma

Postby Shonin » Fri May 14, 2010 10:00 am

Brizzy wrote:I think that the problem arises, because "meditation" is actually an advanced practice in Buddhism. Sotapanna can be achieved without formal sitting. The problem being that meditation is taught as if it was the start of the path. An ordained monk could teach metta(not the meditation) or genorosity or sila to those people not ready to be buddhists or just discovering Buddhism, but it seems strange that an advanced practice should be taught so readily. Personally I think it is the western attitude of wanting the "highest" straight away, and not wanting to put in the groundwork.

:smile:

p.s. I hope I don't have to contend with an ordained monk teaching me pilates!


We seem to be getting this problem again of a Theravada-based view being generalised to all of Buddhism.

Perhaps in Theravada, meditation is kept as something special or 'advanced' for monks and nuns. I respect that this may be the Theravada tradition. However, it is not matched by my experience practising with a Theravada-focussed group.

It is certainly not a view shared across Buddhism as a whole - Zen (which I'm very familiar with) being an obvious exception. It is also (as a near-qualified Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy teacher) certainly not my opinion or experience that meditation is 'too advanced' for lay people. I have seen many people's suffering diminish dramatically because of meditation. I would make mindfulness meditation and zazen as accessible as possible.
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Re: Adhamma

Postby mikenz66 » Fri May 14, 2010 10:49 am

Hi Brizzy,
Brizzy wrote: The problem being that meditation is taught as if it was the start of the path. An ordained monk could teach metta(not the meditation) or genorosity or sila to those people not ready to be buddhists or just discovering Buddhism, but it seems strange that an advanced practice should be taught so readily. Personally I think it is the western attitude of wanting the "highest" straight away, and not wanting to put in the groundwork.!

I certainly agree that a proper grounding is essential. And, personally, I would also add dissecting complex suttas to the advanced basket.

I hung out at my local Wat for over six months, learning by example about being part of a supportive community, before we had a monk with good enough English to give instruction to non-Thai speakers. It was another six months or so before I attempted any serious study. For me, it was extremely helpful that I had the opportunity to have competent instruction that I accepted and practised at face value, without filtering it through preconceptions of what the Dhamma was about. I recall seeing people with more background knowledge turning up and arguing with the monks about some technical point or other, and not really listening...

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Re: Adhamma

Postby Sanghamitta » Fri May 14, 2010 10:58 am

Shonin wrote:
Brizzy wrote:I think that the problem arises, because "meditation" is actually an advanced practice in Buddhism. Sotapanna can be achieved without formal sitting. The problem being that meditation is taught as if it was the start of the path. An ordained monk could teach metta(not the meditation) or genorosity or sila to those people not ready to be buddhists or just discovering Buddhism, but it seems strange that an advanced practice should be taught so readily. Personally I think it is the western attitude of wanting the "highest" straight away, and not wanting to put in the groundwork.

:smile:

p.s. I hope I don't have to contend with an ordained monk teaching me pilates!


We seem to be getting this problem again of a Theravada-based view being generalised to all of Buddhism.

Perhaps in Theravada, meditation is kept as something special or 'advanced' for monks and nuns. I respect that this may be the Theravada tradition. However, it is not matched by my experience practising with a Theravada-focussed group.

It is certainly not a view shared across Buddhism as a whole - Zen (which I'm very familiar with) being an obvious exception. It is also (as a near-qualified Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy teacher) certainly not my opinion or experience that meditation is 'too advanced' for lay people. I have seen many people's suffering diminish dramatically because of meditation. I would make mindfulness meditation and zazen as accessible as possible.

But you see there it is again Shonin. If you go back to the OP and check out the posters profile you will that he identifies with the Theravada,
He may for all I know have a wider perspective than that of the Theravada he may not.
He has asked on a Theravada Forum for a response to a particular situation he encountered. It is entirely to be expected that the replies he receives would be from a Theravada perspective ! But you insist on turning into a meta-discussion about the relationship between Buddhist schools.
Imagine if I came to Zen Forum International and everytime a Zen student asked something I replied that the problem was they werent seeing it in tems of the Theravada.. or some amorphous pan Buddhism..
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

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Re: Adhamma

Postby Shonin » Fri May 14, 2010 11:15 am

No, the equivalent would be asking a question about 'Buddhism' on a Zen forum and the Zen take on the matter being presented as the same as the Buddhist take. Zen is not synonymous with Buddhism, nor is Theravada. I actually have come across this 'Only (Soto) Zen is true Buddhism' attitude in some places and have criticised it accordingly. Naturally I would challenge it on a Theravada forum too or a Tibetan one.

I think this is the third time this has happened since I arrived here a few days ago. My words seem to be falling on deaf ears, so there seems little point in continuing to flog this dead horse.

Note to self: in Dhamma Wheel, 'Buddhism' means 'Theravada Buddhism'.
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Re: Adhamma

Postby Sanghamitta » Fri May 14, 2010 11:57 am

Shonin The forum heading says

" DHAMMA WHEEL "
" A Buddhist discussion forum on the dhamma of the Theravada ".....


Clearly this does not mean exclusively for the discussion of the Theravada.

However you must not be suprised if the default tone is that of the Theravada.
It does what it says on the tin.
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Re: Adhamma

Postby retrofuturist » Fri May 14, 2010 12:00 pm

Greetings Sanghamitta,

Sanghamitta wrote:It does what it says on the tin.


Indeed. So don't forget that the Dhammic Free For All tin is labelled like this....

No holds barred discussion on the Buddhadhamma. Argue about rebirth, kamma, commentarial interpretations etc. Be nice to each other.


And that its guidelines are as follows...

1. Be nice to each other

Basic interpersonal decency must be observed within this forum. Feel free to attack the ideas of others, but never attack them personally, either directly or by inference. This need for interpersonal decency extends also to those who may have originally conceived the ideas being debated (e.g. the Buddha, commentators, bhikkhus, scholars).

2. If you notice that Point 1 is not being observed...

Use the Report Post function and we will attend to your report as quickly as practicable, given our available staff. Please do not publicly quote and object to the content of a post, because this then embeds it within the flow of conversation and it becomes difficult for moderators to extract the offending material without disrupting the thread. Public complaints, regardless of how legitimate, tend to take threads off-topic and have a tendency to become a sideshow unto themselves.

3. The "Free-for-all" forum may not be suitable for everyone

The purpose of this sub-forum is to openly permit important and challenging discussion on the Dhamma. By establishing a particular forum as a Free-For-All, albeit one where members must still be nice to each other, we aim to keep other areas of the site free from vociferous debate. We have attempted to establish an appropriate time and place for everything, with well established boundaries that will be enforced. Therefore, if you deem that vociferous debate is not conducive to your practice, you have the opportunity to fine tune your experience at Dhamma Wheel by sticking to forums better aligned with your practice that will be protected from such intense debate.

A time and a place for everything...

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: Adhamma

Postby Dan74 » Mon May 17, 2010 5:48 am

Shonin wrote:[....] My words seem to be falling on deaf ears, so there seems little point in continuing to flog this dead horse.

Note to self: in Dhamma Wheel, 'Buddhism' means 'Theravada Buddhism'.


I guess there is a tendency to say :goodpost: to a post that agrees with one's view, or one's take on the Buddhadhamma.

Perhaps a better strategy would be to linger on a post that challenges one's view and try to understand where that view is coming from.

But realistically I don't think many people are interested in broadening their views of Dhamma as much as deepening them and this is a good thing. And after some depth, it may be time to broaden. I've seen this pattern with family and friends in other religions as well.

Still I find it good to put the "other" view out there "for the record". Let folks make of it what they will. Useful for some, useless for others. I try now to keep it within the Dhammic-Free-for-All not to upset people who don't want to be confused by these views or feel they are being proselytized to. Likewise I appreciate feedback on my views that challenges the way I approach Buddhadharma and makes me stop and try to understand where this view is coming from. Especially (but not only) when it is supported by good quotations!
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