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 9:12 am

Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:In other words until you hear back from him on this matter, it is too early to say "Ron-Dhamma" as of yet.

Well, it's Ron-Dhamma because it's what Ron teaches, but it may well be other things too.

Back here... viewtopic.php?f=13&t=12455&start=140#p189238 ... he said...

"What I'm teaching is right down the middle Visuddhimagga and Mahasi Sayadaw style buddhism"

I responded by saying...

"Then that is what it would be best to call it."

At which point it becomes none of my business, because I take neither Mahasi Sayadaw nor Buddhaghosa as my teacher. Those who do take those particular elders as their teachers can then decide for themselves whether he is representing those teachers accurately or not, and I will sit and watch with interest.

:popcorn:

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 9:46 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:In other words until you hear back from him on this matter, it is too early to say "Ron-Dhamma" as of yet.

Well, it's Ron-Dhamma because it's what Ron teaches, but it may well be other things too.
Well, it is hard to know how to respond this. Whatever your intentions here may be, this "Ron-Dhamma" business comes across as more than a little demeaning. I think we need to be a bit better than that.
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 9:53 am

Greetings Tilt,

I don't see why that is so, when it's a syntax that Ron himself endorses...

“Dharma” is the sanskrit translation of the Pali word “Dhamma” which roughly means “law”. But this isn’t law in a legal sense but in a natural sense, like the “law of gravity.” The law referred to by “Dharma” is the natural process that leads to enlightenment, moksha, awakening or liberation (pick your favorite term). To learn the Dharma is to learn how to wake up and become enlightened.
There are many teachers who have taught people how to wake up and become enlightened. For this reason, it is customary to put the teacher’s name as a prefix. This helps the listener know which Dharma is being discussed. Most of what is taught on this site is “Buddha-Dharma”, though not all of it is. The Dharma taught by great teachers such as Lao Tzu, Ramana Maharshi, and Nisargadatta are examples of perfectly wonderful teachings from completely different traditions. If I were teaching you how to get to heaven through Christianity it would be perfectly acceptable (though a little weird) to call it “Jesus-Dharma.”

Source: http://alohadharma.wordpress.com/genera ... -teaching/

Just because some people might speak sarcastically and judgmentally when they use such prefixes, doesn't mean that I am falling foul of Wrong Speech in that same way.

Let us not be misanthropic towards kalyana-mittas.

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 mikenz66 » Tue May 22, 2012 9:54 am

retrofuturist wrote: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.

So Vens. Buddhaghosa, Mahasi, Chah, Buddhadassa, Bodhi, Mun, Brahm, Nananada, U Pandita, Thanissaro, Pa Auk, Sumedho, Gunaratana, Amaro, etc, didn't pay heed to his words and didn't/don't teach Buddha-Dhamma? Or perhaps some of them and not others? Did those who don't buy into some particular view of what "Buddha-Dhamma" means not pay heed to his words?

:anjali:
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Re: Why Meditate?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue May 22, 2012 9:57 am

Greetings Mike,

Since the supposition behind your question bears no congruence whatsoever to what I said, I will not answer it.

I am weary of responding to questions asked in such a fallacious way.

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 mikenz66 » Tue May 22, 2012 10:03 am

Sorry, Retro, I don't understand your response. Your posts appear to imply that certain teachers and practitioners follow Buddha-Dhamma and certain others don't. In my opinion that all of the teachers I mentioned above have teachings that are traceable to the Buddha and either all teach Buddha-Dhamma, or none do.

:anjali:
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Re: Why Meditate?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue May 22, 2012 10:10 am

Greetings Mike,

mikenz66 wrote:Sorry, Retro, I don't understand your response.

That is evident, and I accept the apology.

Along similar lines, I sincerely apologise in advance that I don't have another two or three years that I'm willing to spend in responding to these "your posts appear to imply" style of posts you churn out.

I've decided it's simply not worth it, because in effect, you're expecting me to defend negative implications of my speech that exist only in your mind. In the end, what profit can come of that? If anything, by responding to you I may be reinforcing your belief that your inferences and suppositions were accurate, when they were not.

Let us not be misanthropic towards our kalyana-mittas.

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 mikenz66 » Tue May 22, 2012 10:24 am

retrofuturist wrote:I've decided it's simply not worth it, because in effect, you're expecting me to defend negative implications of my speech that exist only in your mind.

Actually I was asking you to clarify whether it would be possible to separate the list of teachers I provided into those whose Dhamma is traceable to the suttas and those whose Dhamma is not.

:anjali:
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Re: Why Meditate?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue May 22, 2012 10:24 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Let us not be misanthropic towards kalyana-mittas.

Good advice for us all. I goes both ways.
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 10:25 am

Greetings Tilt,

It goes every way. Misanthropy is the antithesis of the brahma-viharas.

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 10:27 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,

It goes every way. Misanthropy is the antithesis of the brahma-viharas.

Metta,
Retro. :)
And your points is?
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 10:33 am

Greetings Mike,

mikenz66 wrote:Actually I was asking you to clarify whether it would be possible to separate the list of teachers I provided into those whose Dhamma is traceable to the suttas and those whose Dhamma is not.

If one could be bothered going through every single thing they ever taught possibly you could, but I don't really see the benefit in the exercise unless you're looking for a teacher who you wish to be some kind of proxy-Buddha for you... and I don't think you are.

It's not really a question I ask myself personally because I'm not looking towards monks, kalyana-mittas and such to fulfil the role of "the teacher". I just listen to what things such people say and decide for myself according the criteria I have adopted whether I wish to include their teachings in my raft.

If you are planning on doing such an exercise, it's best to ask them directly as you don't want to take teachings out of context, so it's going to be easier if they're alive and available to you.

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 retrofuturist » Tue May 22, 2012 10:37 am

Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:It goes every way. Misanthropy is the antithesis of the brahma-viharas.
And your points is?

That if one is misanthropic one cannot;

Cultivate metta, because one does not feel loving-kindness or good will towards others
Cultivate mudita, because one does not rejoice in the merits of others
Cultivate karuna, because one does not feel compassion or sympathy towards others
Cultivate uppekkha, because one is always looking to paint another as evil, as a reflection of their misanthropic mind

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 10:42 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:It goes every way. Misanthropy is the antithesis of the brahma-viharas.
And your points is?

That if one is misanthropic one cannot;

Cultivate metta, because one does not feel loving-kindness or good will towards others
Cultivate mudita, because one does not rejoice in the merits of others
Cultivate karuna, because one does not feel compassion or sympathy towards others
Cultivate uppekkha, because one is always looking to paint another as evil, as a reflection of their misanthropic mind

Metta,
Retro. :)
Well, I am sure glad I am not misanthropic.
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 10:44 am

Greetings,

tiltbillings wrote:Well, I am sure glad I am not misanthropic.

:twothumbsup:

Mudita,
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 10:52 am

Retro, sometimes these exchanges feel like trying to nail the jelly to the wall!

I guess there is a perception that you have been quick in the past to dismiss certain schools and teachers as not being the Dhamma as opposed to others who are AOK. Whereas now you seem to be redefining your stance as a simple matter of definition - Buddha-dhamma=Buddha-vacana, so unless it is completely traceable in the sutta/vinaya it is not, but possibly in line with Buddha-dhamma and useful.

I don't think if this was perceived as your position from the outset, so many words would have been needed, even though this definition (and the selective way in which it seems to have been applied in the past) may be somewhat problematic or less than kind.

I am not sure if others here would sign under this summary but I for one have no issues with different practitioners placing their emphasis differently and as you say building their raft from different sources. This is what we all do.
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Re: Why Meditate?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue May 22, 2012 10:59 am

Greetings Dan,

I think you're right that there has been such perceptions and as per my comment above to Mike, I am no longer going to respond to questions that contain false suppositions about what I think or believe.

I see now that by responding to those people and trying to demonstrate what I really believe, the actual fact of my engagement with them is being interpreted as validation of their false suppositions.

Dan74 wrote:I for one have no issues with different practitioners placing their emphasis differently and as you say building their raft from different sources. This is what we all do.

Well said.

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 11:29 am

retrofuturist wrote:I see now that by responding to those people and trying to demonstrate what I really believe, the actual fact of my engagement with them is being interpreted as validation of their false suppositions.
Please clarify what you mean here.
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 11:36 am

Greetings Tilt,

I mean this...

Loaded question
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loaded_question

A loaded question is a question which contains a controversial or unjustified assumption, e.g., a presumption of guilt.

Aside from being a logical fallacy, such questions may be used as a rhetorical tool: the question attempts to limit direct replies to be those that serve the questioner's agenda. The traditional example is the question "Have you stopped beating your wife?" Whether the respondent answers yes or no, he will admit to having a wife, and having beaten her at some time in the past. Thus, these facts are presupposed by the question, and in this case an entrapment, because it narrows the respondent to a single answer, and the fallacy of many questions has been committed. The fallacy relies upon context for its effect: the fact that a question presupposes something does not in itself make the question fallacious. Only when some of these presuppositions are not necessarily agreed to by the person who is asked the question does the argument containing them become fallacious. Hence the same question may be loaded in one context, but not in the other. For example the previous question would not be loaded if it was asked during a trial in which the defendant has already admitted to beating his wife.

This fallacy should be distinguished from that of begging the question, which offers a premise the plausibility of which depends on the truth of the proposition asked about, and which is often an implicit restatement of the proposition.
The term "loaded question" is sometimes used to refer to loaded language that is phrased as a question. This type of question does not necessarily contain a fallacious presupposition, but rather this usage refers to the question having an unspoken and often emotive implication. For example, "Are you a murderer?" would be such a loaded question, as "murder" has a very negative connotation. Such a question may be asked merely to harass or upset the respondent with no intention of listening to their reply, or asked with the full expectation that the respondent will predictably deny it.

A common way out of this argument is not to answer the question (e.g. with a simple 'yes' or 'no'), but to challenge the assumption behind the question.
To use an earlier example, a good response to the question "Do you still beat your wife?" would be "I have never beaten my wife". This removes the ambiguity of the expected response, therefore nullifying the tactic. However, the askers of said questions have learned to get around this tactic by accusing the one who answers of dodging the question.

Does this sound familiar to you, Tilt?

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 11:49 am

retrofuturist wrote:. . .
Is it supposed to sound familiar? Well, it is a good thing I don't do that.
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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