Why Meditate?

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.

Re: Why Meditate?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue May 22, 2012 2:13 am

Greetings Tilt,

retrofuturist wrote:May your Tilt-fabricated-N8P cross you to the other shore!

tiltbillings wrote:My Tilt-fabricated-Buddha-Dhamma-N8P

Perhaps you could explain what you mean here.

Are you saying that you use the Buddha's Dhamma to construct your raft (exclusively? partially?) or are you claiming to be a.... :buddha2: ?

Why was it important to you, personally, to say that your path is Buddha-dhamma?

Speaking for myself, I'm perfectly comfortable to call my path a Retro-fabricated-N8P even though I regularly insist on building my path with Buddha-dhamma-brand materials. I wouldn't call my path itself Buddha-dhamma, unless I was a Buddha, which of course I'm not.

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: Why Meditate?

Postby manas » Tue May 22, 2012 2:53 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Speaking for myself, I'm perfectly comfortable to call my path a Retro-fabricated-N8P even though I regularly insist on building my path with Buddha-dhamma-brand materials. I wouldn't call my path itself Buddha-dhamma, unless I was a Buddha, which of course I'm not.



So it would appear that we all have to fabricate the Path for ourselves, out of five heaps, using an ancient instruction manual written in a foreign language...

:P
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Re: Why Meditate?

Postby Ron Crouch » Tue May 22, 2012 4:07 am

Buckwheat wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Mike,

I have no hesitation whatsoever in agreeing with all your four points.

I think they're on the money, and the reason being is that they're all good advice on how to construct your path. They are all instances of the proverbial "grass, twigs, branches, & leaves" that can be "bound ... together to make a raft".

Wonderful. No more talk of "additions". :woohoo:

:anjali:
Mike


Just because I agree with Newton's theory of gravity doesn't make it Buddha-dhamma. It would still be Newton-dhamma.

My only problem with the dark night is that somebody on this thread gave me the impression that it is an unavoidable part of the Buddhist path, and a reason to tell people not to meditate. Buddha never discouraged anybody from meditating that I know of. Instead he offered a treed to meditate under. The dark night may or may not be a part of the human condition, but we can't blame that on the Buddhist path. If psychiatric patients are running into problems with meditation, it is because they are not getting the right grounding from a good teacher. Again, just my opinion.



Hey Buckwheat - I sure hope that it wasn't me that gave you that impression! Please check out my response to the question of whether or not the DN is inevitable:

"@mikenz66- regarding the question of whether the path inevitably leads to a dark night, the answer is, unfortunately, "it depends." The issue rests on the kind of meditation a person is doing. In classical buddhism there is a distinction made between "wet" and "dry" insight, which is the difference between the insight knowledges (nanas) experienced directly after deep concentration ("wet" = jhana) or without deep concentration ("dry" = no jhana). If you are doing it wet, then the dukkha nanas (dark night stages) seem like a breeze, a mild bit of turbulence in an otherwise smooth flight. If you are doing it dry however, then the dukkha nanas can really rock your world - and not in a good way. In the old texts and commentaries they divide it up into these two types as if they were all or nothing, but in truth almost everyone mixes it up and so the ambiguous answer of "it depends." Essentially, it depends on how deep your concentration is and how well you use it to move through the insight stages. So, while everyone will go through the insights into suffering in one form or another, how you experience it depends a lot on your concentration. Stronger concentration equals less difficulty."

If you are getting confused by what I'm saying about the DN, then please check out the research that Dr. Britton is doing on it in her lab at Brown, or listen to podcast interview on Buddhist Geeks: http://www.cheetahhouse.org/

Also - please don't think that I'm blaming buddhism for the dark night - I use that phrase deliberately to point out how it is a universal situation and not limited to any particular path. It is an important issue in all contemplative traditions. I would very much like to dissuade from the notion that people that are experiencing problems are all psychiatric patients. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The people I work with are some of the most successful and high-functioning people out there. It's a privilege to have their time and help them out.
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Re: Why Meditate?

Postby manas » Tue May 22, 2012 4:25 am

Hi Ron,

I was wondering if you also train your students in the other aspects of the Noble Eightfold Path? Because afaik meditation isn't meant to be done in isolation, but rather as one (very important) part of a whole. Maybe alot of the inner drama experienced by some is the result of an imbalance, in the sense of too much meditation vs not enough dana, sila, noble companionship, and other things that provide the groundwork for later transformation?

:anjali:
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Re: Why Meditate?

Postby mikenz66 » Tue May 22, 2012 4:35 am

mikenz66 wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:Wonderful. No more talk of "additions". :woohoo:

They're the additions to Buddha Dhamma that can be used to construct the path.

They don't need Buddha-dhamma TM stamped on them to make a good raft.

But similarly, if they're leaves, they're not branches. If they're branches, they're not grass etc. We don't call "branches" "grass", simply because they can both be used to build a raft, do we?

Out of interest, why is "additions" so problematic for you?

It's not in itself.

It's the suggestion that anyone has a path that is free of additions that is "pure Buddha-Dhamma".

I disagree with statements such as:
1. Venerable X teaches "Buddha-Dhamma", Venerable Y teaches "something else"; or
2. Practitioner A practices "Buddha-Dhamma", Practioner B practices "something else".

:anjali:
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Re: Why Meditate?

Postby mikenz66 » Tue May 22, 2012 4:37 am

vinasp wrote: In AN Book of Fours, chapter XVII, there is a group of eight suttas which
explain the "four modes of progress".

1. The painful mode of progress with sluggish intuition.
2. The painful mode with swift intuition.
3. The pleasant mode of progress with sluggish intuition.
4. The pleasant mode with swift intuition. [AN 4.161]

Thanks Vincent. See:
http://www.metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pit ... ggo-e.html

:anjali:
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Re: Why Meditate?

Postby Ron Crouch » Tue May 22, 2012 4:57 am

manas wrote:Hi Ron,

I was wondering if you also train your students in the other aspects of the Noble Eightfold Path? Because afaik meditation isn't meant to be done in isolation, but rather as one (very important) part of a whole. Maybe alot of the inner drama experienced by some is the result of an imbalance, in the sense of too much meditation vs not enough dana, sila, noble companionship, and other things that provide the groundwork for later transformation?

:anjali:



Sometimes I do, but it really occurs on a case-by-case basis. If someone's sila is off track, then they typically are not meditating regularly enough to even reach out to a teacher and commit to a serious practice. However, every once in a while a sila issue will interfere with progress and I'll work on that with students. Overall, people who want to work with a teacher are pretty good about "getting their act together" as I call it.

Even more important in terms of prep work for insight though, is concentration. I see some students who have literally never done a concentration practice, and so they are woefully prepared for the insight work. When that happens, we back up a step and focus on concentration first before starting insight. I also encourage all students to weave concentration into their insight work all along the path.

I think I understood your question, but might have got it wrong - does that help clarify your concern?

Manas, I'm sure you didn't mean it this way but let me say to any reader who might misinterpret the "off-balance" comment that the experience of dukkha nanas do not happen because a person is "off balance" or somehow messing up in other ways. This is part of the path. It's laid out very clearly in the Visuddhimagga and the Progress of Insight: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... gress.html
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Re: Why Meditate?

Postby Ben » Tue May 22, 2012 5:21 am

Hi Ron,
As a matter of interest, what do you teach as a concentration practice, and how do you integrate it with vipassana?
Many thanks,

Ben
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Re: Why Meditate?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue May 22, 2012 6:19 am

Greetings Mike,

retrofuturist wrote:Out of interest, why is "additions" so problematic for you?

mikenz66 wrote:It's not in itself.

It's the suggestion that anyone has a path that is free of additions that is "pure Buddha-Dhamma".

I disagree with statements such as:
1. Venerable X teaches "Buddha-Dhamma", Venerable Y teaches "something else"; or
2. Practitioner A practices "Buddha-Dhamma", Practioner B practices "something else".

If that's what's problematic for you, then I'd suggest there's quite a simple way around what's troubling you...

In case 1, ask that Venerable X's so-called "Buddha-dhamma" be traced back in full to the discourses.
In case 2, remind Practitioner A that the Noble Eightfold Path is fabricated, so you can't practice "Buddha-dhamma" in isolation from personal fabrication. Thus, their path is "something else" too.

It's possible to do both those things without attachment and without inferring inferiority/superiority.

It's just using the Buddha's teachings to demonstrate the hypothetical speakers of case 1 & case 2 that their representations are not accurate vis-a-vis the Buddha's teachings.

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: Why Meditate?

Postby Dan74 » Tue May 22, 2012 6:25 am

So I guess we can call "Buddhism" only that which is traceable in full to the sutta and vinaya pitaka?

Some renaming may be in order, but it's not hard:

instead of Theravada Buddhism - Theravadism
instead of Mahayana Buddhism - Mahayanism
instead of Zen Buddhism - Zen Mahayanism

Frankly, this redefining wouldn't bother me in the least, but I kind of think we have enough isms already, don't you?
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Re: Why Meditate?

Postby polarbuddha101 » Tue May 22, 2012 6:30 am

Dan74 wrote:So I guess we can call "Buddhism" only that which is traceable in full to the sutta and vinaya pitaka?

Some renaming may be in order, but it's not hard:

instead of Theravada Buddhism - Theravadism
instead of Mahayana Buddhism - Mahayanism
instead of Zen Buddhism - Zen Mahayanism

Frankly, this redefining wouldn't bother me in the least, but I kind of think we have enough isms already, don't you?


I think he was saying something more like:

There is Buddhism and then there is Buddha-dhamma

Theravada, Mahayana, and Zen are all adjectives that indicate a modification/interpretation or additions to Buddha-dhamma that makes each of these schools Buddh- isms instead of Buddha-dhamma and names such as Theravada and Mahayana indicate the specific origination of these modifications/interpretations of Buddha-dhamma
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."
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Re: Why Meditate?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue May 22, 2012 6:33 am

Greetings Dan & Polarbuddha101,

Dan74 wrote:So I guess we can call "Buddhism" only that which is traceable in full to the sutta and vinaya pitaka?

Dan ~ No. The word "Buddhism" wasn't invented until centuries after the Buddha's parinibbana. He left no instructions for how this "Buddhism" should be regarded, nor even that such an "ism" be created.

Polarbuddha101 ~ :goodpost: . As Oscar Wilde wrote in, The Ideal Husband - "Let us call things by their proper names. It makes matters simpler."

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: Why Meditate?

Postby Dan74 » Tue May 22, 2012 6:36 am

OK, so then saying something is not Buddha-dhamma means it is not recorded as having been said in sutta / vinaya?

The point being...?

Unless the attribution to sutta / vinaya is given I assume that it doesn't come from it. Doesn't everyone else?

To my mind, the more meaningful question is whether or not it is in line with what is in sutta / vinaya? Does it lead to liberation or further into bondage?

If the former, then it is the Dhamma that liberates (Buddha-dhamma?, Bodhi-dhamma?, Bodhidharma? :) )
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Re: Why Meditate?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue May 22, 2012 6:40 am

manas wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:
Speaking for myself, I'm perfectly comfortable to call my path a Retro-fabricated-N8P even though I regularly insist on building my path with Buddha-dhamma-brand materials. I wouldn't call my path itself Buddha-dhamma, unless I was a Buddha, which of course I'm not.



So it would appear that we all have to fabricate the Path for ourselves, out of five heaps, using an ancient instruction manual written in a foreign language...
And in the context of a foreign culture long dead. And in addition to that the "instruction manual" shows signs of handling and editing reflecting at least four broad groups of monastics preserving the texts in question in somewhat differing emphasis. And add to that there are other versions of the "instruction manual" that also show handling and editing.

retrofuturist wrote:Why was it important to you, personally, to say that your path is Buddha-dhamma?
One of the ongoing problems here is the limited understanding of "Buddha-Dhamma." There is Buddha-Dhamma in terms of Buddha-sāsana (Buddha-Message) or Buddha-vācāna (Buddha-Speech/Words), which is the suttas, and there is Buddha-Dhamma, the Buddha-Truth, which ideally is what is contained within the suttas. As I said, it quite possible to speak about impermanence in ways that accord with the Buddha-Dhamma, the Truth the Buddha taught without quoting his words, the Buddha-sāsana/Buddha-vācāna.

It is quite possible to quote the Buddha-sāsana and explain the text without deviating from the Buddha-Dhamma, the Truth the Buddha taught, but, of course, who determines if the explanation does, in fact, deviate from the Truth of the Buddha, which, of course, suggests that one actually knows what that is. I don’t think Buddhaghosa, the Voice of the Buddha, ever characterized the Visuddhimagga as Buddha-Dhamma as understood as Buddha-vācāna (Buddha-Speech/Words), but I am sure he most sincerely felt that he was faithfully explicating the Buddha-vācāna (Buddha-Speech/Words), giving us Buddha-Dhamma, the Truth of the Buddha.

But as we have seen on this forum, even very basic sutta teachings can bring about significant disagreements. I have been amused to have been, at times, lectured on the correct understanding of the Pali of a text by someone who has not a clue about the language and how it works. And, as another example,we have seen noting as a practice severely criticized here as not being in accordance with the Buddha’s teachings because it is not mentioned in the suttas. Not mentioned in the suttas it is not in accord with the Buddha-Dhamma, so to hell with it. All too easy to get lost in an unquestioning adherence to the letter, completely missing the spirit.

The question is, who gets to determine (and how) what is and is not in accordance with the Buddha’s teachings?

So, “Why was it important to you, personally, to say that your path is Buddha-dhamma?” If it is not Buddha-Dhamma, what is it? (Of course, I am not advocating an “everything goes” version of the Dhamma.) What I do and understand is grounded in 40+ years of practice and study of the suttas with help along the way from Vens Buddhaghosa, Nyanaponika, Nananda, Joseph Goldstein, Munindraji and many others. While it is easy to point to sometimes significant variations among these teachers, I cannot get overly exercised over that given that some very fundamental things carry across the supposed differences. After all the study and practice I have come to one useful realization, which I do not have to have every bit of the Dhamma absolutely figured out, as if that were possible. I need enough to do the practice, and the Dhamma of the Buddha is resilient enough to accommodate the much of the differences. What I practice is Buddha-Dhamma as I understand it.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: Why Meditate?

Postby Ben » Tue May 22, 2012 6:45 am

Well said, Tilt!
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

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Re: Why Meditate?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue May 22, 2012 6:48 am

Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:So, “Why was it important to you, personally, to say that your path is Buddha-dhamma?” If it is not Buddha-Dhamma, what is it? (Of course, I am not advocating an “everything goes” version of the Dhamma.)

Either Dhamma (natural law), or not.

The way you find out is to put it in practice. If your path, constructed on the Dhamma of the Buddha, Buddhaghosa, Nyanaponika, Nanananda, Joseph Goldstein, Munindraji et.al is achieving results commensurate with the Dhamma, then it is Dhamma. If it is not, it is not. The path which provides fruit is inseparable from both the practice and the theory/instruction.

tiltbillings wrote:What I practice is Buddha-Dhamma as I understand it.

The "as I understand it" makes a significant difference to the context - it's a big improvement! The "as I understand it" you introduce here is an acknowledgement that this understanding is entirely fallible, and it incorporates and acknowledges the fabrication that is taking place in the fabrication of your path.

Even the great Sariputta taught things as an arahant that the Buddha rebuked him for. Now, see, I'm not an arahant, nor am I Sariputta... but if an arahant can teach that which deviates from the Buddha's satisfaction, how can anyone short of a Buddha themselves, claim to "teach Buddha-dhamma"?

Hence, unless one is a Buddha, "I believe pushing post-Buddha paths as Buddha-dhamma is wrong, and (depending perhaps on your intention) slanderous to the Buddha.". Or, if that's going to give rise to rage in those who find dissatisfaction in my words, how about we listen instead to the Blessed One's own words...

AN 6.13 wrote:"You shouldn't speak in that way. Don't misrepresent the Blessed One, for it's not right to misrepresent the Blessed One"

Does anyone wish to harangue the Buddha about his words and his preference for not being misrepresented?

:buddha2:

Alternatively, does anyone wish to harangue the Sangha for seeking to ensure the Buddha's teaching is not misrepresented?

AN 3.57 wrote:Now those who report this: Are they reporting the Master Gotama's actual words, are they not misrepresenting him with what is unfactual, are they answering in line with the Dhamma, so that no one whose thinking is in line with the Dhamma will have grounds for criticizing them? For we don't want to misrepresent the Master Gotama."

SN 12.25 wrote:In this case, friend Sariputta, what is the Blessed One's doctrine? What does he teach? Answering in what way will I speak in line with what the Blessed One has said, not misrepresent the Blessed One with what is unfactual, and answer in line with the Dhamma so that no one whose thinking is in line with the Dhamma will have grounds for criticism?"


But what if it is misrepresented? Must we sit idly by out of some notion of tolerance and acceptance, or out of some view that everyone is entitled to their own Buddha-dhamma so long as they wish it to be so? Let's see...

MN 136 wrote:"Not so, friend Potaliputta, do not say thus, do not misrepresent the Blessed One; it is not good to misrepresent the Blessed One; the Blessed One would not say so"

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: Why Meditate?

Postby manas » Tue May 22, 2012 7:52 am

Ron Crouch wrote:I think I understood your question, but might have got it wrong - does that help clarify your concern?


Yes, thank you.

Ron Crouch wrote:Manas, I'm sure you didn't mean it this way but let me say to any reader who might misinterpret the "off-balance" comment that the experience of dukkha nanas do not happen because a person is "off balance" or somehow messing up in other ways. This is part of the path. It's laid out very clearly in the Visuddhimagga and the Progress of Insight: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... gress.html


The term dukkha nyanas isn't one I was taught with, so thanks for the clarification according to your particular tradition.

:anjali:
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Re: Why Meditate?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue May 22, 2012 8:20 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:So, “Why was it important to you, personally, to say that your path is Buddha-dhamma?” If it is not Buddha-Dhamma, what is it? (Of course, I am not advocating an “everything goes” version of the Dhamma.)

Either Dhamma (natural law), or not.
"Natural law" as a translation of Dhamma always gives me the squeemies, given the usage of the expression "natural law" (having taken it over from the Greek) by the Catholics. It makes me sink into a dark sense of hopelessness.


The way you find out is to put it in practice. If your path, constructed on the Dhamma of the Buddha, Buddhaghosa, Nyanaponika, Nanananda, Joseph Goldstein, Munindraji et.al is achieving results commensurate with the Dhamma, then it is Dhamma. If it is not, it is not. The path which provides fruit is inseparable from both the practice and the theory/instruction.
I don't buy the Gelugpa sort of thing that one has to have the "theory" down absolutely exactly in order to practice. It is with the practice that there is an unfolding of insight, understanding. I have had to readjust my "theoretical" understanding many times over the years, as it should be as a result of my meditation and ethical practice.

tiltbillings wrote:What I practice is Buddha-Dhamma as I understand it.

The "as I understand it" makes a significant difference to the context - it's a big improvement! The "as I understand it" you introduce here is an acknowledgement that this understanding is entirely fallible, and it incorporates and acknowledges the fabrication that is taking place in the fabrication of your path.
I have never stated anything different, but one always need to be open to the possibility of being wrong, open to the emotional issues with which one is struggling, open to, as Zorba characterized it, the full catastrophe .

Even the great Sariputta taught things as an arahant that the Buddha rebuked him for. Now, see, I'm not an arahant, nor am I Sariputta... but if an arahant can teach that which deviates from the Buddha's satisfaction, how can anyone short of a Buddha themselves, claim to "teach Buddha-dhamma"?
Interestingly, if this is true then you are in no position to say what is and is not Buddha-Dhamma in relation to another's practice.

One may not teach perfect Buddha-Dhamma or understand it perfectly, but if one practices with an attentive, open mind and it leads to insight and a lessening of dukkha, it is Buddha-Dhamma.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Why Meditate?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue May 22, 2012 8:38 am

Greetings Tilt,

retrofuturist wrote:Even the great Sariputta taught things as an arahant that the Buddha rebuked him for. Now, see, I'm not an arahant, nor am I Sariputta... but if an arahant can teach that which deviates from the Buddha's satisfaction, how can anyone short of a Buddha themselves, claim to "teach Buddha-dhamma"?

tiltbillings wrote:Interestingly, if this is true then you are in no position to say what is and is not Buddha-Dhamma in relation to another's practice.

I never said I did... and in fact, I've said repeatedly that I have no basis for knowing the efficacy of other people's paths as I have not walked them. As I said earlier, Ron-Dhamma (for example) may well be the best thing since Buddha-dhamma - it's not for me to say. It is only out of faith and convinction in the Buddha that I regard him as an unsurpassable teacher.

But what I am in position to do, and what I will do is to fulfil the duty requested of us by the Buddha... so, let us listen and pay heed to his words.

the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Now, bhikkhus, I shall make known to you the four great references. Listen and pay heed to my words." And those bhikkhus answered, saying:

"So be it, Lord."

Then the Blessed One said: "In this fashion, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu might speak: 'Face to face with the Blessed One, brethren, I have heard and learned thus: This is the Dhamma and the Discipline, the Master's Dispensation'; or: 'In an abode of such and such a name lives a community with elders and a chief. Face to face with that community, I have heard and learned thus: This is the Dhamma and the Discipline, the Master's Dispensation'; or: 'In an abode of such and such a name live several bhikkhus who are elders, who are learned, who have accomplished their course, who are preservers of the Dhamma, the Discipline, and the Summaries. Face to face with those elders, I have heard and learned thus: This is the Dhamma and the Discipline, the Master's Dispensation'; or: 'In an abode of such and such a name lives a single bhikkhu who is an elder, who is learned, who has accomplished his course, who is a preserver of the Dhamma, the Discipline, and the Summaries. Face to face with that elder, I have heard and learned thus: This is the Dhamma and the Discipline, the Master's Dispensation.'

"In such a case, bhikkhus, the declaration of such a bhikkhu is neither to be received with approval nor with scorn. Without approval and without scorn, but carefully studying the sentences word by word, one should trace them in the Discourses and verify them by the Discipline. If they are neither traceable in the Discourses nor verifiable by the Discipline, one must conclude thus: 'Certainly, this is not the Blessed One's utterance; this has been misunderstood by that bhikkhu — or by that community, or by those elders, or by that elder.' In that way, bhikkhus, you should reject it. But if the sentences concerned are traceable in the Discourses and verifiable by the Discipline, then one must conclude thus: 'Certainly, this is the Blessed One's utterance; this has been well understood by that bhikkhu — or by that community, or by those elders, or by that elder.' And in that way, bhikkhus, you may accept it on the first, second, third, or fourth reference. These, bhikkhus, are the four great references for you to preserve."

Given that Ron claims to teach "mainly Buddha-dhamma" I've quite reasonably asked him if he can trace back those teachings to the Buddha. If he can't, it is entirely reasonable to request that he consider rephrasing what he claims to teach.

MN 136 wrote:"Not so, friend Potaliputta, do not say thus, do not misrepresent the Blessed One; it is not good to misrepresent the Blessed One; the Blessed One would not say so"

On the other hand, haranguing other people ad-nauseum for fulfilling their Teacher's dying requests isn't a very nice thing to do, and it's nonsensical when they too claim to take that very same teacher as their own.

:buddha2:

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: Why Meditate?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue May 22, 2012 9:05 am

retrofuturist wrote:Given that Ron claims to teach "mainly Buddha-dhamma" I've quite reasonably asked him if he can trace back those teachings to the Buddha. If he can't, it is entirely reasonable to request that he consider rephrasing what he claims to teach.
In other words until you hear back from him on this matter, it is too early to say "Ron-Dhamma" as of yet.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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