Refraining from serious study of the suttas

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Refraining from serious study of the suttas

Postby Craigyboy » Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:11 pm

I am aware that when one practises Theravada Buddhism there is a lot of focus on the study of the sutta when you compare it to other traditions of Buddhism. However if someone who followed theravada was to focus on his practice such as meditation and morality refraining from serious study of the suttas how would this affect it?
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Re: Refraining from serious study of the suttas

Postby Ben » Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:17 pm

Hi Craig
As someone who was exclusively practice oriented, I can assure you that there is benefit in balancing practice with study. Study will help you with an intellectual understanding of the Dhamma and provide inspiration. My teacher once said 'pariyatti and pattipati should go hand-in-hand'.
metta

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Re: Refraining from serious study of the suttas

Postby Kare » Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:33 pm

Craigyboy wrote:I am aware that when one practises Theravada Buddhism there is a lot of focus on the study of the sutta when you compare it to other traditions of Buddhism. However if someone who followed theravada was to focus on his practice such as meditation and morality refraining from serious study of the suttas how would this affect it?


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Re: Refraining from serious study of the suttas

Postby Craigyboy » Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:41 pm

When I say refrain from study of the suttas I mean serious study. I do intend to study the suttas as these are where all the original teachings are to base my practice on. However as a layperson with other commitments in life I have a limited time in which to commit a long length of time to their study. So I just wanted to know if this could affect my practice.
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Re: Refraining from serious study of the suttas

Postby BlackBird » Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:56 pm

Everyone moves at their own pace.
The important thing is that you keep moving (i.e. keep up a routine of study and meditation).
No need to worry about the length of time, let that increase on it's own accord.

Metta
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'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: Refraining from serious study of the suttas

Postby jcsuperstar » Sun Oct 18, 2009 10:07 pm

the 8fold path starts with right understanding not right practice or right meditation.. there may be a reason it has been handed down for 2500 years this way...
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: Refraining from serious study of the suttas

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Oct 18, 2009 11:41 pm

Greetings Craigyboy,

My view at present is that if you were to read through and understand (even conceptually) what is to be found in the Majjhima Nikaya and the Samyutta Nikaya, that you would have the bulk of the information you would need for a sincere attempt to follow the Buddhist path. Even then, there's a lot of repetition but often the repetition helps to identify the areas that are important enough to be repeated.

:reading:

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Re: Refraining from serious study of the suttas

Postby BlackBird » Sun Oct 18, 2009 11:54 pm

... Like the chorus of a song...

:anjali:
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: Refraining from serious study of the suttas

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Oct 19, 2009 12:07 am

Depends also on what you mean by "serious study". I think that as a foundation for practise reading and understanding the Suttas is very helpful, and in my opinion most of what you need is in;
In the Buddha's Words, by Bhikkhu Bodhi. http://wisdompubs.org/Pages/display.lasso?-KeyValue=104
If you read that, you'll find that many other Suttas you read are essentially elaborations of points covered in that collection. It's cheap too...

On the other hand, if you mean academic study of how the Tipitika relates to other Buddhist schools and so on, I don't personally find that particularly useful for practise, though it can be interesting and gives us something to talk about on these forums...

Mike
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Re: Refraining from serious study of the suttas

Postby Individual » Mon Oct 19, 2009 6:13 am

jcsuperstar wrote:the 8fold path starts with right understanding not right practice or right meditation.. there may be a reason it has been handed down for 2500 years this way...

It is a cycle. And that's an appeal to tradition.
The best things in life aren't things.

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Re: Refraining from serious study of the suttas

Postby jcsuperstar » Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:47 am

Code: Select all
Right view is the forerunner of the entire path, the guide for all the other factors. It enables us to understand our starting point, our destination, and the successive landmarks to pass as practice advances. To attempt to engage in the practice without a foundation of right view is to risk getting lost in the futility of undirected movement. Doing so might be compared to wanting to drive someplace without consulting a roadmap or listening to the suggestions of an experienced driver. One might get into the car and start to drive, but rather than approaching closer to one's destination, one is more likely to move farther away from it. To arrive at the desired place one has to have some idea of its general direction and of the roads leading to it. Analogous considerations apply to the practice of the path, which takes place in a framework of understanding established by right view.


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/bodhi/waytoend.html#ch2
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: Refraining from serious study of the suttas

Postby Sanghamitta » Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:00 am

I think a reasonable knowledge of the Suttas is of great benefit. The danger otherwise is spending lots of our too-brief lives wandering in our own speculations.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

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Re: Refraining from serious study of the suttas

Postby DontKnow » Fri Oct 23, 2009 3:42 am

Hi Craigyboy

I think below link may answer your question. This is Ajaan Sao's Teaching, the first sage who started thai forest tradition. here's the link. Couple snips from that page:
Phra Ajaan Sao was inclined to be, not a preacher or a speaker, but a doer. When he taught his students, he said very little. And those who studied directly under him are now elders who speak very little, who rarely preach, having picked up the habit from their teacher. Thus, as Phra Ajaan Sao was not a preacher, I would like to tell you a little of the way in which he taught meditation.


How did Phra Ajaan Sao teach? If it so happened that someone came to him, saying, "Ajaan, sir, I want to practice meditation. How should I go about it?" he would answer, "Meditate on the word 'Buddho.'"

If the person asked, "What does 'Buddho' mean?" Ajaan Sao would answer, "Don't ask."

"What will happen after I've meditated on 'Buddho'?"

"Don't ask. Your only duty is simply to repeat the word 'Buddho' over and over in your mind."


Metta
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