Controversial Theravada traditions?

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davcuts
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Controversial Theravada traditions?

Postby davcuts » Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:34 pm

I don't mean to break any rules of the TOS, so if I am moderators please close this thread. I am considering attending Theravada centers in my area. Are there any Theravada traditions that might be considered controversial, or even cults? I made this mistake with Tibetan Buddhism, and I don't want to get caught up with any tradition that might cause more harm than good.

Take care,
David

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mikenz66
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Re: Controversial Theravada traditions?

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:41 pm

Hi David,

There is Dhammakaya
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=339

Of course some would argue that certain Theravada teachers don't teach the "right" way, and that some of the lay teachers are not "Buddhist" enough, but that's not a "cult" thing, it's something you'd have to decide for yourself.

Metta
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retrofuturist
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Re: Controversial Theravada traditions?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:54 pm

Greetings Davcuts,

Generally I think it's difficult for anyone interested in establishing a cult to do it under the guise of Theravada Buddhism, because Theravada takes the Pali Canon as the primary source of authority. Buddhavacana (Buddha word) comes to the Theravada tradition via the Pali Canon, not via a Guru.

I could elaborate more but it's probably going to be off-topic.

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)

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Re: Controversial Theravada traditions?

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:54 pm

Fortunately, we don't have much of a problem there in Theravada as perhaps some of the other traditions do. One reason might be that we have no pope, no vatican, so no one to 'rebel' against and form a splinter group.

Another reason might be that most cult leaders are not too keen on celibacy, a required precept for bhikkhus and bhikkhinis.
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Re: Controversial Theravada traditions?

Postby Element » Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:29 pm

Last edited by retrofuturist on Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Mahavihara is not a cult.

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Cittasanto
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Re: Controversial Theravada traditions?

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:31 pm

I don't think there are any really besides the one mentioned, but that is a matter of opinion?
There is one group which I find suspect, but have no interest in disclosing the name publicly as I have no direct experiance of them outside of Internet forums and don't know if the place is like that there instead of internet group.

there will always be people who abuse the priviledge and it is just a case of being mindful of what the signs are.
have a look on Buddhist channel and do a search there as I know they have some info about a 2 or 3.


He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Re: Controversial Theravada traditions?

Postby Avery » Thu Mar 05, 2009 6:27 pm


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Dhammanando
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Re: Controversial Theravada traditions?

Postby Dhammanando » Fri Mar 06, 2009 12:48 am


mudra
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Re: Controversial Theravada traditions?

Postby mudra » Sat Mar 07, 2009 1:10 am

Bhante,
As non-celibate and celibate upasakas and upasikas are certainly not exclusive to Theravada, is the "clothed-in-white" a sub category?

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Re: Controversial Theravada traditions?

Postby Dhammanando » Sat Mar 07, 2009 1:38 am


green
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Re: Controversial Theravada traditions?

Postby green » Sat Mar 07, 2009 1:43 am


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clw_uk
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Re: Controversial Theravada traditions?

Postby clw_uk » Sat Mar 07, 2009 2:30 am

excellent advice from green there

you can also get the pali canon suttas at amazon.com if you want to buy them and of course there is this site which has a great wealth of information http://www.accesstoinsight.org

Here are some websites that may help you find a local Theravada centre or monastery

http://www.forestsangha.org/
http://www.buddhanet.info/wbd/country.php?country_id=50





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SeerObserver
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Re: Controversial Theravada traditions?

Postby SeerObserver » Thu Mar 12, 2009 6:25 pm


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gavesako
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Re: Controversial Theravada traditions?

Postby gavesako » Thu Mar 12, 2009 8:39 pm

Some good points here from SeerObserver. Of course there are political issues involved here, and it is not really so much the "unorthodox" teachings (not in line with Pali Canon) of groups like Dhammakaya or Santi Asok which give them the label "sect", but rather the way they are organized and their attempt to gain independence from the official ecclesiastical structures of the Thai Sangha (which are pretty similar to Catholic church, broadly speaking). There is a good book about New Buddhist Movements in Thailand which can be downloaded here:
http://buddhisttorrents.blogspot.com/20 ... -rory.html
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Re: Controversial Theravada traditions?

Postby jcsuperstar » Thu Mar 12, 2009 9:43 pm

santi asok is no longer theravada if i remember correctly, they dont wear the same robes, and have no theras to ordain theravada monks.

but theravada as a whole is more concered with orthopraxy than orthodoxy. as long as the monks keep the vinaya it is hard to expell them. say what you want about dhammakaya, but their monks seem to keep the vinaya well, now temple orgaziners may ask for large donations andtheir meditation style may be different from other temples but whats that got to do with them being orthadox theravada monks?

i was talking to one of my thai monk friends about dhammakaya and he had nothing but good things to say about them, he saw the critisisms and understood them, but he said that dhammakaya was probably the future of thai buddhism, when a young thai person sees the old temples he doesnt feel drawn to them, but when he sees the modern clean well run dhammakaya temples he can relate to them, he can feel at home there. he thinks the other temples definately have stuff to learn from dhammakaya, as they seem to know how to draw a crowd and manage a temple well. they seem to easily be able to muster large numbers and also get people interested in meditation. so the question i think this monk is urging us to ask is not what is wrong with dhammakaya but what can we learn from dhammakaya, as theyre obviously doing something right.
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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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Dhammanando
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Re: Controversial Theravada traditions?

Postby Dhammanando » Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:47 am


nathan
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Re: Controversial Theravada traditions?

Postby nathan » Fri Mar 13, 2009 1:39 am

If I may ask, is there any consensus of thought on these various movements among the western forest bhikkhus? Are some or all of these groups suspect for any given reasons or are there differences that are approved of as well? I'm not clear on this. The torrent site looks interesting. I am downloading some client software now but it will take awhile to see how well this will work under the conditions here. It looks like a large temptation to sit and read for another ten years so I will have to be more selective reading. :juggling: Thanks for the links and the book recommends Venerable Sirs. :anjali:
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}

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SeerObserver
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Re: Controversial Theravada traditions?

Postby SeerObserver » Fri Mar 13, 2009 3:05 am

Last edited by SeerObserver on Fri Mar 13, 2009 5:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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jcsuperstar
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Re: Controversial Theravada traditions?

Postby jcsuperstar » Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:19 am

i think it's just the money issue...

that and a "wierd" type of meditation..

dhammakaya are like the thai version of the american "mega-church" other christians dont deny that those churches are christian, but they might like like the way they do "business"

also about santi asok. i've talked to thai monks about this too. many at first thought SA had some good ideas, but then kinda took it too far, and here's where we are now, any meaniful change this movement could of had within the thai sangha is pretty much out now. it is also interesting that they seem to no longer be distancing themselves from buddhadasa (who they at first where inspired by then distanced themselves from), you'll see a lot of writings by Buddhadasa on SA pages (at least some english ones i've come across in the recent past)
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: Controversial Theravada traditions?

Postby SeerObserver » Fri Mar 13, 2009 7:04 am



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