Teachers

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Annapurna
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Teachers

Postby Annapurna » Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:16 am

My teacher is someone who encourages reading the Ultimate Teacher, the Buddha, and discourages reading interpretations (of interpretations) of his teachings, with a very few exceptions.

He hauntingly described the dangers a mind poses that has just a tiny thing of the truth down the wrong way . How mistakes, unclarities and compromising with "modern times" will cause 'ripples' in lineages, schools and most of all, in our minds.

It made sense, and I'm following this instruction to this day.

If I read about the Dhamma, then I read sutthas, the Dhammapada, as close as it can get to the Buddha.

On my bookshelf you won't find hundreds and thousands of interpretations and explanations of the Dhamma- Itruly think that the Buddha was the best teacher anyhow, uncompared, and I don't need all those books.

Why do you? (if you do)

Where does this need come from -to read interpretations?

Are the original teachings really so hard to understand?`Or not enough?

Why are they worth your time and money?

Wouldn't it be better invested in charity?

Thoughts?


With metta,

Annapurna
Last edited by Annapurna on Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Spiny Norman
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Re: Teachers

Postby Spiny Norman » Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:21 am

"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama

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retrofuturist
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Re: Teachers

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:25 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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mikenz66
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Re: Teachers

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Jul 29, 2010 11:07 am


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Claes
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Re: Teachers

Postby Claes » Thu Jul 29, 2010 11:54 am

Hi Anna!

When I first found my way to Buddhism I really didnt understand the wording and metaphors in the suttas and the Dhammapada.
But as the years has gone by these writing has become more and more valuable to me and now I read the suttas on a daily basis.
I still read interpretations of the Dhamma by teachers I respect like Ven. Ajahn Chah and Ven. Ajahn Sumedho. I find that their insight and experiance helps me to greater understanding of the Dhamma.

Metta
Claes
" Through effort, attention, restraint and self-control,
the wise person can become and island no flood will overwhelm -Dhammapada

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bodom
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Re: Teachers

Postby bodom » Thu Jul 29, 2010 1:15 pm

To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

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Annapurna
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Re: Teachers

Postby Annapurna » Thu Jul 29, 2010 1:48 pm

Last edited by Annapurna on Thu Jul 29, 2010 1:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.
http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/

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Annapurna
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Re: Teachers

Postby Annapurna » Thu Jul 29, 2010 1:50 pm

http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/

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Re: Teachers

Postby Annapurna » Thu Jul 29, 2010 1:54 pm

http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/

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Re: Teachers

Postby Annapurna » Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:00 pm

http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/

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altar
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Postby altar » Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:07 pm

I consider it like reading any other book or discussing here for instance. The difference is that these are often the words of very wise or knowledgaeable people... just as if you wanted to go down a thorny path, and someone might say, over here there are thorns, over there it is slippery, and so on, warning you about dangers they had traversed themselves, these people are knowledgeable about the dangers. The dangers must be... overcome.
So... another reason is that what is to worry about... Reading them taints your mind? Are you kidding? Your mind is getting tainted anyway!!! Have you stepped outside? Have you had a conversation recently? People and things are crazy... they are massively deluded... How are you going to get through samsara if you don't read these people? They are a part of the samsara we live in, dreadful though it may be...

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mikenz66
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Re: Teachers

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:45 pm


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Ben
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Re: Teachers

Postby Ben » Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:59 pm

I agree with Mike.
A teacher is absolutely crucial in assisting one with the practical application of the Dhamma - especially as a beginner. Likewise, a judicial selection of literature will support one's own cinta-maya-panna which is a basis for deepening one's own bhavana-maya-panna. My own teacher has a saying that pariyatti and patipatti should go 'hand in hand'.
My core Dhamma books include the suttas and the Vism. Some works by latter-day scholars such as Ledi Sayadaw and Venerable Analayo are also extremely important.
kind regards

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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octathlon
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Re: Teachers

Postby octathlon » Fri Jul 30, 2010 1:00 am


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Re: Teachers

Postby ground » Fri Jul 30, 2010 1:16 am


Hoo
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Re: Teachers

Postby Hoo » Fri Jul 30, 2010 1:50 am

Hi Anna,

Those who have the availability of teachers and Buddhist communities are fortunate. Without that availability, reading is the only source of knowlege that I had to start with. I tried to learn from the diversity that was found on that big now-defunct-forum, but was often left wondering where the Buddha was in the rude and critical remarks that seemed to abound there. So I turned to books as a better source. I figured if people couldn't act as the Buddha taught, why listen to them?

So I've acquired books by a dozen authors on as many schools or traditions to learn what I could about the breadth of Buddhism. But I keep returning to the Suttas, Ajhan Chah and Thai Forest, and some of the Chan patriarchs to study and practice. But overall, I no longer acquire books on different traditions or interpretations, and try to spend no time at all on debates over what is "right" correct or "true." Sharing understandings with an accepting audience = valuable. Arguing who is right = waste of time that could be better spent in practice.

Hoo

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Re: Teachers

Postby Reductor » Fri Jul 30, 2010 5:28 am

Compared to many on this forum I'm completely ignorant. This stems from being a slow reader :tongue: Oh, if only it weren't so true!

When I restarted into the practice I was not too sure where to start, so I began with the stuff on accesstoinsight. Since Thanissaro is the principal translator, I ended up reading some of his material out of respect for him, but soon ventured to the little from his teacher, and then to reading his teacher's teacher (Ajahn Lee). Other than Than's "Wings to awakening" and Lees meditation books, I have read next to zero commentary either traditional or modern.

What I did do was dig into the Nikaya's, which I found difficult at first. I believe this difficulty that people express in regard to the canon stems mainly from a few things: a) the canon is large, so the details are scattered, b) there are indeed a lot of details, c) there is a belief that one has to master all those details before they can practice properly and, d) people are impatient.

Modern writers shake the details out of the canon, organize them and then tell you which are the most important (in their view). The format is short and to the point, so the reader can get to practice quickly. The only sacrifice is that if the writer is wrong, the reader is wrong also. Not a big problem, so long as the reader doesn't neglect to studying the canon on their own, as a check against their other sources of information.

And now I stamp this post with a big ol' .

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mikenz66
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Re: Teachers

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Jul 30, 2010 5:39 am


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Annapurna
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Postby Annapurna » Fri Jul 30, 2010 5:44 am

http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/

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Annapurna
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Re: Teachers

Postby Annapurna » Fri Jul 30, 2010 5:53 am

http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/


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