Different strokes....

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

Different strokes....

Postby Myotai » Sun May 04, 2014 6:44 am

Do you think that temperament should dictate what your practice is?

I know people who are quite maverick in their approach to life that fit in well with Zen. Others that are really very gentle folk that sit well in Theravada.

...or am I projecting? :thinking:

Tony...
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Re: Different strokes....

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sun May 04, 2014 8:43 am

There's quite a lot in the Visuddhimagga about choosing a teacher, residence, and practice to suit your temperament.

It does matter — though there is general advice that is beneficial for all types, such as “Be mindful,” “Be kind,” the Buddha taught individuals differently according to their abilities and temperaments.
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Re: Different strokes....

Postby Myotai » Sun May 04, 2014 9:23 am

Thanks, I ask because I wonder how much ego is involved in this choosing. I have toyed with the idea that for the more maverick types the Theravada would help calm that vigour down. Similarly for the more gentle contingents a more stiff Rinzai approach to wake up the kind from any potential for relaxing too much into the 'cave of empty ghosts' as I believe the Ch'an practitioners call it...
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Re: Different strokes....

Postby Dan74 » Sun May 04, 2014 10:16 am

Myotai wrote:Thanks, I ask because I wonder how much ego is involved in this choosing. I have toyed with the idea that for the more maverick types the Theravada would help calm that vigour down. Similarly for the more gentle contingents a more stiff Rinzai approach to wake up the kind from any potential for relaxing too much into the 'cave of empty ghosts' as I believe the Ch'an practitioners call it...


As a broad generalisation, this may make sense, but I would wager that many skillful teachers in all traditions, have more than one approach depending on the temperament. If you read http://www.amazon.com/Novice-Master-Ongoing-Lesson-Stupidity/dp/0861713931 you'll see that a good Rinzai teacher is not a one-trick pony.
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Re: Different strokes....

Postby Mkoll » Sun May 04, 2014 10:23 am

Temperament may influence what Buddhist tradition one is drawn to. But like Ven. Pesala said, there are general guidelines that are difficult enough to fulfill just by themselves. Even if they're "simple" in theory.
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