Go forth, o bhikkhus !

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Re: Go forth, o bhikkhus !

Postby manas » Sun Dec 11, 2011 2:45 am

chownah wrote:My goodness! What is the big deal about teaching the Dhama......if anyone should ask me if the Buddha taught everything that he knew I would say that in the scriptures there is a sutta that says that the Buddha only taught about the way to end suffering and that I have never seen anything that said he taught everything that he knew...and that I am not the last word in interpreting the Pali texts so of course someone might disagree with me on this....

And thus I would be teaching the Dhamma.......anyone can do this.....it does not take any sort of credential to teach anything anywhere anytime.....but to be a good teacher one must know ones limitations and point out the existence of other points of view and be sure to make that part of every lesson.

chownah


...and of course I agree with you. Of course if I am asked a question about Dhamma, I will answer it as best as I can, I would not hold back. But no one is disputing that. I think that what some of us have been discussing here, is more the idea of laypersons such as ourselves 'going forth to make converts to Buddhism'...That is the bone of contention here, rather than whether we should answer simple questions put ot us (to which the answer is, yes, of course we should!).

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Re: Go forth, o bhikkhus !

Postby chownah » Sun Dec 11, 2011 4:42 am

manasikara wrote:
chownah wrote:My goodness! What is the big deal about teaching the Dhama......if anyone should ask me if the Buddha taught everything that he knew I would say that in the scriptures there is a sutta that says that the Buddha only taught about the way to end suffering and that I have never seen anything that said he taught everything that he knew...and that I am not the last word in interpreting the Pali texts so of course someone might disagree with me on this....

And thus I would be teaching the Dhamma.......anyone can do this.....it does not take any sort of credential to teach anything anywhere anytime.....but to be a good teacher one must know ones limitations and point out the existence of other points of view and be sure to make that part of every lesson.

chownah


...and of course I agree with you. Of course if I am asked a question about Dhamma, I will answer it as best as I can, I would not hold back. But no one is disputing that. I think that what some of us have been discussing here, is more the idea of laypersons such as ourselves 'going forth to make converts to Buddhism'...That is the bone of contention here, rather than whether we should answer simple questions put ot us (to which the answer is, yes, of course we should!).

metta

Sorry for my misunderstanding....I thought this thead was about teaching the Dhamma....but I guess I was wrong.....it is not about teaching the Dhamma, it is about converting people.......
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Re: Go forth, o bhikkhus !

Postby pilgrim » Sun Dec 11, 2011 8:09 am

chownah wrote:Sorry for my misunderstanding....I thought this thead was about teaching the Dhamma....but I guess I was wrong.....it is not about teaching the Dhamma, it is about converting people.......
chownah


The word "convert" has been given bad connotations by Christian missionaries and their questionable objectives . But in Buddhism, converting one from adhamma to dhamma is about the greatest good one can do. The Buddha says the gift of Dhamma is the greatest gift and the only way one can repay the kindness of parents is to establish them in the Dhamma.
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Re: Go forth, o bhikkhus !

Postby chownah » Sun Dec 11, 2011 1:40 pm

pilgrim wrote:
chownah wrote:Sorry for my misunderstanding....I thought this thead was about teaching the Dhamma....but I guess I was wrong.....it is not about teaching the Dhamma, it is about converting people.......
chownah


The word "convert" has been given bad connotations by Christian missionaries and their questionable objectives . But in Buddhism, converting one from adhamma to dhamma is about the greatest good one can do. The Buddha says the gift of Dhamma is the greatest gift and the only way one can repay the kindness of parents is to establish them in the Dhamma.

Seems that what you describe as converting in buddhism is the exact same thing as converting in christian missionary work.....even the mind set that it is the "greatest good one can do" is the same.
Is the idea of "converting one from adhamma to dhamma" found in any scripture....I'm sort of wondering about the term "adhamma" as to whether it exists at all in the scriptures and if so was it used in the way you are describing as "converting" people.
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Re: Go forth, o bhikkhus !

Postby befriend » Sun Dec 11, 2011 1:56 pm

when i teach guided metta meditation, i dont say stop believing in jesus and muhammed and take refuge in the triple gem. i say visualize someone you love and wish them well. not much of a conversion. ever been to catholic church and experienced everyone shaking hands and saying peace be with you? sounds like metta to me.
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Re: Go forth, o bhikkhus !

Postby befriend » Sun Dec 11, 2011 2:07 pm

everyone complains about religious sectarionism then when we find something we all have in common like metta. we say oh dont teach that THATS buddhist. i think we can learn a lot from eachothers religions. buddhists could maybe learn how to pratice more community charity. like the christians do. and christians could learn how to do metta meditation. no much of a stretch. its not blending its just amplifying things in each religion.
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Re: Go forth, o bhikkhus !

Postby pilgrim » Sun Dec 11, 2011 2:49 pm

chownah wrote:Seems that what you describe as converting in buddhism is the exact same thing as converting in christian missionary work.....even the mind set that it is the "greatest good one can do" is the same.
Is the idea of "converting one from adhamma to dhamma" found in any scripture....I'm sort of wondering about the term "adhamma" as to whether it exists at all in the scriptures and if so was it used in the way you are describing as "converting" people.
chownah

Not really....in Buddhism, it is not so important what the "converts" call themselves or who they venerate; it is more important that they benefit from the Dhamma.

Ang Nikaya, Adhamma Vagga
"Bhikkhus, the bhikkhus who explain the incorrect teaching (adhamma) as incorrect, do it for the benefit and welfare of the many who entered upon the path, for the benefit , welfare, and happiness of devas and human. They accumulate much merit and perpetuate the true dhamma ( saddhamma).
"Bhikkhus, the bhikkhus who explain the correct teaching (dhamma) as correct, do it for the benefit and welfare of the many who entered upon the path, for the benefit , welfare, and happiness of devas and human. They accumulate much merit and perpetuate the true dhamma ( saddhamma).

Perhaps the Tamonata sutta is also relevant (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html)
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Re: Go forth, o bhikkhus !

Postby chownah » Mon Dec 12, 2011 2:39 am

pilgrim wrote:
chownah wrote:Seems that what you describe as converting in buddhism is the exact same thing as converting in christian missionary work.....even the mind set that it is the "greatest good one can do" is the same.
Is the idea of "converting one from adhamma to dhamma" found in any scripture....I'm sort of wondering about the term "adhamma" as to whether it exists at all in the scriptures and if so was it used in the way you are describing as "converting" people.
chownah

Not really....in Buddhism, it is not so important what the "converts" call themselves or who they venerate; it is more important that they benefit from the Dhamma.

Ang Nikaya, Adhamma Vagga
"Bhikkhus, the bhikkhus who explain the incorrect teaching (adhamma) as incorrect, do it for the benefit and welfare of the many who entered upon the path, for the benefit , welfare, and happiness of devas and human. They accumulate much merit and perpetuate the true dhamma ( saddhamma).
"Bhikkhus, the bhikkhus who explain the correct teaching (dhamma) as correct, do it for the benefit and welfare of the many who entered upon the path, for the benefit , welfare, and happiness of devas and human. They accumulate much merit and perpetuate the true dhamma ( saddhamma).

Perhaps the Tamonata sutta is also relevant (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html)

Thanks for giving the reference using the term "adhamma". Doesn't it seem like if you "explain the incorrect teaching" and if you "explain the correct teaching" then really what you are doing is teaching the dhamma? You could be doing this to someone who has already taken refuge in the triple gem and so you would not be "converting" them as they would already be Buddhist....so even if someone is not a Buddhist there seems to be no reason to fabricate some idea of "converting" when really all one is doing is "teaching". So now I've come full circle....I started thinking that this thread was about teaching the dhamma...then I accepted that I was wrong and that really it was about "converting" people....and now it seems that we are back to teaching the dhamma. Also, it really does seem to me that "converting people" really is indulging in a doctrine of self....isn't it better to just hope that when the dhamma is taught that insight arises?
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Re: Go forth, o bhikkhus !

Postby pilgrim » Mon Dec 12, 2011 2:59 am

chownah wrote:Thanks for giving the reference using the term "adhamma". Doesn't it seem like if you "explain the incorrect teaching" and if you "explain the correct teaching" then really what you are doing is teaching the dhamma? You could be doing this to someone who has already taken refuge in the triple gem and so you would not be "converting" them as they would already be Buddhist....so even if someone is not a Buddhist there seems to be no reason to fabricate some idea of "converting" when really all one is doing is "teaching". So now I've come full circle....I started thinking that this thread was about teaching the dhamma...then I accepted that I was wrong and that really it was about "converting" people....and now it seems that we are back to teaching the dhamma. Also, it really does seem to me that "converting people" really is indulging in a doctrine of self....isn't it better to just hope that when the dhamma is taught that insight arises?
chownah

The quotation used in the first post in this thread didn't really consider if one should be called a Buddhist or not. It was just a call to spread or if you prefer to teach the Dhamma. From the quote it seems obvious that the Buddha intended his teachings to be carried far and wide ( and not only to correct misunderstandings of those who have taken refuge). There was no question of converting. The whole idea of coverting people from one team to another seems more to be a concept which originated from theJudeo-Christian tradition. In the temple I go to, no one ever asks if one is a Buddhist or has taken refuge.
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Re: Go forth, o bhikkhus !

Postby Buckwheat » Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:00 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:My own forums have very few visitors — while I am somewhat reluctant to post on Dhamma Wheel because so many come here just to argue, not to learn the Dhamma at all. It is the same on most Buddhist forums.

I appreciate your presence. I have learned a lot from every one of your posts. Hat's off :anjali:
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.
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Re: Go forth, o bhikkhus !

Postby Buckwheat » Wed Dec 21, 2011 10:21 am

So, let me see if I am getting this straight:

Appropriate:
Supporting a teacher or sangha through service, donations, and advertisement (fliers). Organize an event if there are none locally.
If qualified, teaching meditation and/or dhamma talks
Offering exposure to the dhamma to those who are accepting, while working from a place of compassion and a desire to alleviate suffering
When asked, answering questions to the best of one's ability, adding clear qualifiers when uncertainty arises.

Inappropriate:
Forcing dhamma in a way that would cause anger or defensiveness
Working for conversion, larger sangha, more donations, or other self aggrandizing goals
Teaching beyond one's understanding of the dhamma, or mis-representing one's level of realization

What are the credentials for teaching? Can a lay follower teach a few basic concepts and basic meditation techniques if they feel comfortable and confident?
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.
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