too many paths & doors & bodies?

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too many paths & doors & bodies?

Postby delf7 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:52 pm

pardon me again, but i feel i have to ask another question which may or may not be stupid.
i am doing alot of reading - maybe juggling too many books at once, but the book which really got me interested in buddhism in the first place is starting to get a little repeditive. "the heart of the buddahs teaching" by thich nhat hanh has been a great starting point for me, and it has been pointed out to me here on this forum that he is a mahayana monk, so i'm wondering if maybe some of this stuff is stuff i don't need to be spending alot of time on.
after reading sections 1 & 2 which taught me about the 4 noble truths and the noble 8fold path, during which i could barely set the book down, section 3 of the book, (dealing with the 2 truths,3 dharma seals, 3 doors of liberation, 3 bodies of buddah, 3 jewels, 4 immeasurable minds, 5 aggregates, 5 powers, 6 paramitas, 7 factors of awakening and 12 links of co-arising) seems to be just kind of RE-telling in a different way what was told in the first 2 sections.
my question is, from a THERAVADA standpoint, should i be studying all these things i listed as being in section 3 of the book? or are they things taught only in the mahayana school?
thanx all.
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Re: too many paths & doors & bodies?

Postby Nyana » Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:16 pm

Thich Nhat Hanh's books have started many people on the path. But if you're interested in Theravāda practice you may like teachers such as Ajahn Chah and Ajahn Sumedho. The wonderful thing is that most of their translated teachings are available for free.

Teachings of Ajahn Chah

Teachings of Ajahn Sumedho

Forest Sangha Publications

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Re: too many paths & doors & bodies?

Postby delf7 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:21 pm

yes, i love the way he writes, and i love this book.
i'm still just wondering if the topics i mentioned to be in part 3 of his book are strickly "mahayana" topics or if they are true to theravada thinking as well, and therefor well worth my time to read. if not, i want to move on to my next book.
thanx again for dealing with this probably stupid question.
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Re: too many paths & doors & bodies?

Postby Kim OHara » Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:32 pm

delf7 wrote:...section 3 of the book, (dealing with the 2 truths,3 dharma seals, 3 doors of liberation, 3 bodies of buddah, 3 jewels, 4 immeasurable minds, 5 aggregates, 5 powers, 6 paramitas, 7 factors of awakening and 12 links of co-arising) seems to be just kind of RE-telling in a different way what was told in the first 2 sections.

The teachings were structured into lists like this to aid memorisation (as in, "I know there should be five powers and I have only thought of four ... now, what was the other one?'). The 4 noble truths and the noble 8fold path are, in fact, the heart of the teaching and all the rest are elaborations of them.
The other lists may not be worth spending too much time on, since you can always re-read them, but they are part of the Theravada teachings as well as the Mahayana.

:namaste:
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Re: too many paths & doors & bodies?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Oct 31, 2011 11:20 pm

Greetings,

delf7 wrote:section 3 of the book, (dealing with the 2 truths,3 dharma seals, 3 doors of liberation, 3 bodies of buddah, 3 jewels, 4 immeasurable minds, 5 aggregates, 5 powers, 6 paramitas, 7 factors of awakening and 12 links of co-arising)
...
are they things taught only in the mahayana school?

Some are, some aren't... but even those which do exist in Theravada will most likely be explained by TNH with Mahayana overtones.

If you're a Theravada Buddhist still trying to discern what Theravada consists of, I'd recommend moving to Theravada works and revisiting TNH (if you still have any desire to do so) afterwards once you have a firm grounding in the suttas. There's some good books/resources in this topic: viewtopic.php?f=24&t=148

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: too many paths & doors & bodies?

Postby chownah » Tue Nov 01, 2011 1:59 am

Delf7,
I recommend keeping your interest up......if the 4 noble truths and the 8 fold path are interesting to you and the other things are not then I suggest studying the 4ntrths and the 8fldpth in greater depth by reading some theravadin authors.....to those already suggested I would add Thanisaro Bhikkhu who seems to be very popular with beginners and his style is very understandable and a mostly pleasant read. I think you will find that as you get into the 4nbltrths and the 8fldpth in more depth as approached by whatever interests you about them then the other things which don't interest you so much will then become of interest and eventually you will learn about all or at least most of them........
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Re: too many paths & doors & bodies?

Postby DarwidHalim » Tue Nov 01, 2011 6:41 am

I think this things happen to many of us.

When we start Buddhism, particularly for Westerners I guess, we will have so many new alien concepts.

We may end up like what should we do with all thi knowledge.

I remember the life story of Ajahn Chah where he also had this kind of problems until finally he found Ajahn Mun.

In my opinion, all Buddha teachings are actually pointing to 1 direction, which is the realization of sunyata (emptiness of inherent existence).
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!
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Re: too many paths & doors & bodies?

Postby rowyourboat » Tue Nov 01, 2011 10:24 am

As far as practice is concerned I would say stick with four noble truths and the noble eightfold path (including the four immeseaurable minds)- more than enough there for practice. The 5 aggregates, and the two truths are important to know.

Of the lists you mentioned the 3 seals and buddha bodies are purely mahayana, as I understand it.

Having said all that, what it boils down to is- avoiding doing unwholesome things, be devoted to developing what is good in you, being mindful of phenomena arising and passing away and doing some concentration practice everyday ... and keep reading to develop your knowledge of the dhamma.

with metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha
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Re: too many paths & doors & bodies?

Postby delf7 » Tue Nov 01, 2011 1:07 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

delf7 wrote:section 3 of the book, (dealing with the 2 truths,3 dharma seals, 3 doors of liberation, 3 bodies of buddah, 3 jewels, 4 immeasurable minds, 5 aggregates, 5 powers, 6 paramitas, 7 factors of awakening and 12 links of co-arising)
...
are they things taught only in the mahayana school?

Some are, some aren't... but even those which do exist in Theravada will most likely be explained by TNH with Mahayana overtones.

If you're a Theravada Buddhist still trying to discern what Theravada consists of, I'd recommend moving to Theravada works and revisiting TNH (if you still have any desire to do so) afterwards once you have a firm grounding in the suttas. There's some good books/resources in this topic: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=148

Metta,
Retro. :)


thank you for your advice, all of you. you have hit the nail on the head regarding my somewhat akwardly phrased question.
after looking into this as much as i have, i find theravada is where my heart is taking me and i want to keep on this path and keep my reading and study to theravada works, as to not drift of course. i will check out the authors you have suggested. many thanks, again, for all your help.
metta,
delf
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Re: too many paths & doors & bodies?

Postby santa100 » Tue Nov 01, 2011 1:26 pm

Bhikkhu Bodhi's "In The Buddha's Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon" is a great read because it lays a solid foundation shared by different schools of Buddhism. Once equipped with this strong base, you could later on focus on the details of a specific school that is most suitable for you..
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Re: too many paths & doors & bodies?

Postby delf7 » Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:16 pm

santa100 wrote:Bhikkhu Bodhi's "In The Buddha's Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon" is a great read because it lays a solid foundation shared by different schools of Buddhism. Once equipped with this strong base, you could later on focus on the details of a specific school that is most suitable for you..

this is the very book i am getting ready to read next, (after i finish "mindfulness in plain english")
i am looking forward to it.
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Re: too many paths & doors & bodies?

Postby anjali » Thu Nov 03, 2011 8:30 pm

In the spirit of Therevada/Mahayana/Vajrayana dialog, you might like to read Ajahn Amaro's transcribed talks: Small Boat, Great Mountain: Theravadan Reflections on The Natural Great Perfection. You can find the pdf document here:http://www.amaravati.org/downloads/pdf/SmallBoat.pdf.

Dzogchen (trans. natural great perfection) is within the Tibetan vajrayana tradition. These talks are from a jointly taught retreat with Tsoknyi Rinpoche at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in California.

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