Refraining from serious study of the suttas

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Craigyboy
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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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Ben
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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

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

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Kare
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Re: Refraining from serious study of the suttas

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

Mettāya,
Kåre

Craigyboy
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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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BlackBird
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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
Jack
"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." -

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jcsuperstar
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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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retrofuturist
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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:

Metta,
Retro. :)
"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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BlackBird
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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." -

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mikenz66
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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

The best things in life aren't things.


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jcsuperstar
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Re: Refraining from serious study of the suttas

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

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.

Bhikku Bodhi.

DontKnow
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Re: Refraining from serious study of the suttas

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



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