New to all this

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New to all this

Postby Welshmatt » Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:07 pm

Hi guys

As per my previous posts , I am fairly new to this, still not sure which tradition is for me yet so I am researching and reading as much as I can. I have also joined dharmawheel as well as this forum( and noticed quite a few who are members of both). What is the main difference? I understand dharma and dhamma is a language difference, but if I could be helped to understand ?

Please excuse my ignorance, I'm trying my best :-)

Thanks and good day to you all

Matt
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Re: New to all this

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:02 pm

The 9 points unifiying Theravada and Mahayana:
http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?tit ... d_Mahayana

The Main difference:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodhisattva
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Re: New to all this

Postby daverupa » Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:27 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:The 9 points unifiying Theravada and Mahayana:
http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?tit ... d_Mahayana

The Main difference:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodhisattva


Point #8's second sentence is not true for non-Mahayana Buddhists ("...highest, noblest, most heroic...").
Point #1 is by & large not true for Mahayana Buddhists (other Buddhas, non-Buddhavacana texts, etc).

The essential difference is indeed the bodhisattva path (which is why point #8 is not one of unity, but of diversity) but this requires a slew of other differences: texts, practices, and the avoidance of attaining awakening as an arahant... which happens to be what the historical Buddha actually taught.

In my estimation, the differences are much larger and of greater import than modern attempts at Buddhist ecumenism tend to reflect.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: New to all this

Postby Crazy cloud » Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:41 pm

Hi and greetings :)

I like to recommend a serie of 9 superb dhammatalks from a meditation retreat with Ajhan Brahm (teravada, forest monk tradition) - to my opinion, some of the best I've seen and heard until now.

Best wishes for your journey and wellbeing

your name Mori means forest like the infinite fresh green distances of your blindness
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Re: New to all this

Postby Viscid » Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:26 pm

When comparing Theravada and Mahayana, I think it's more important to distinguish the difference in attitude than doctrine:

    The core attitudinal distinction of Theravada (at least, the West's adoption of Theravada) is its adherence to textual authority. If you make a statement which can't be referenced in the Pali canon, you'll be rebuked.

    Creativity is not encouraged-- you won't find much Theravadin poetry outside the Ther[i/a]gatha, as people who create anything are seen to be attached to those creations, preventing them from full enlightenment.

    The enlightenment process is viewed not as something sudden and unpredictable, but a gradual wearing-down of defilements, and a building-up of positive factors.

    Mahayana is seen as a corruption of the Buddha's teaching, part of the eventual degeneration of Buddhism as predicted by The Buddha.

"What holds attention determines action." - William James
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Re: New to all this

Postby culaavuso » Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:22 pm

A collection of essays that I've found useful on this subject are collected into a book published by the Buddhist Publication Society.
http://www.bps.lk/cover.php?id=bp625s

Many of these essays can be found online for free reading:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/bodhi/arahantsbodhisattvas.html
http://ccbs.ntu.edu.tw/FULLTEXT/JR-PHIL/jeffrey2.htm
http://archiv.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/ojs/index.php/jiabs/article/view/8534/2441
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Re: New to all this

Postby daverupa » Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:20 pm

A Few Good Men by Jan Nattier and Nagarjuna in Context by Joseph Walser go into some very good detail over these issues about Mahayana and its relationship with what went before.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: New to all this

Postby andyebarnes67 » Sat Jan 18, 2014 8:28 pm

One of the main things that struck me about the various Mahayana schools was the amount of secretion there seemed to be from the native traditions of the land in which they have developed. The Bon of Tibet or the Samori of Japan, for instance.
I don't see anything wrong per se about this and I don't believe that either Mahayana or Theravada hold an exclusive claim to the 'right' way.
However, as a westerner, I have found that Theravadan teachings speak best to me as they are on the whole free of cultural change.
Metta

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My comments are by nature, subjective interpretations from my mind. As such, they are never wrong, They are as they are. They are never right, They are as they are.
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Re: New to all this

Postby Welshmatt » Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:46 pm

Thanks all! Makes much more sense with a bit of help :-) Andy I quite agree thanks very much for your help
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