On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby Ariya Suriya » Sun Feb 12, 2012 4:51 pm

W E W I L L N E V E R A G A I N LIE I N T H E W O M B ; )

But don't worry, the trick of parinibbana is that it can be enjoyed without conciousness, as a matter of fact, the five khandas are stressful for the arahant, so parinibbana is final release from these final burdens (the five khandas).

Anyway, I am pointing this out because apparently some famous teachers can't make peace with this fact, they just can't understand how extintion can be liberation if there is no conciousness and try to make nibbana fit into their interpretations. They are teaching BS in the name of the Buddha and misleading people on basic dhamma.

All the best,
Ariya Suriya
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Feb 12, 2012 5:11 pm

Ariya Suriya wrote:W E W I L L N E V E R A G A I N LIE I N T H E W O M B ; )

But don't worry, the trick of parinibbana is that it can be enjoyed without conciousness, as a matter of fact, the five khandas are stressful for the arahant, so parinibbana is final release from these final burdens (the five khandas).

Anyway, I am pointing this out because apparently some famous teachers can't make peace with this fact, they just can't understand how extintion can be liberation if there is no conciousness and try to make nibbana fit into their interpretations. They are teaching BS in the name of the Buddha and misleading people on basic dhamma.

All the best,
Ariya Suriya

still no support then!
The Arahant has put down the burden, there is no more Dukkha, sure there will still be physical stresses and strains but these are not stressful as that would be a second dart, and extinction refers to fire, the fires of Greed Hatred & Delusion, and never again to lie in the womb refers to not being reborn.

Whether and how an Arahant exists after physical death is something put aside by the Buddha, and unless you can clearly show evidence the Buddha talked about not having any consciousness after the physical death then you are just adding to what is there.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby Ariya Suriya » Sun Feb 12, 2012 5:41 pm

Yes... you are right...
But you yourself stated it, the arahant is not reborn after death... so after death he doesn't experience the five khandas, form, sensation, perception, determination and conciousness... The Buddha put aside the definition of the arahant after death as existence, non existence, both or neither, because such terms are improper to define the state of the Buddha after his passing away; which does not mean that the agreggate of viññana persists after death... for the one who is not reborn the five khandas are destroyed, as happens with any fabrication. Just got the feeling that many people can't deal with the idea of utter extintion... they want something to remain... of course, nibbana remains, which is supreme and IS something, but... the way I see it, there is no such a thing as conciousness in parinibbana...

All the best =)
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Feb 12, 2012 6:45 pm

Cittasanto wrote:
Ariya Suriya wrote:Yes... you are right...
But you yourself stated it, the arahant is not reborn after death... so after death he doesn't experience the five khandas, form, sensation, perception, determination and conciousness... The Buddha put aside the definition of the arahant after death as existence, non existence, both or neither, because such terms are improper to define the state of the Buddha after his passing away; which does not mean that the agreggate of viññana persists after death... for the one who is not reborn the five khandas are destroyed, as happens with any fabrication. Just got the feeling that many people can't deal with the idea of utter extintion... they want something to remain... of course, nibbana remains, which is supreme and IS something, but... the way I see it, there is no such a thing as conciousness in parinibbana...

All the best =)

What I said regarding rebirth is "never again to lie in the womb refers to not being reborn." i.e. the cycle of Dependent Arising no longer happens, not that aspects will or wont remain, no-one knows and you havn't shown otherwise.

stop adding to what is there you and no one else knows authoritatively unless they are an Arahant with the appropriate knowledges.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Feb 12, 2012 6:49 pm

Also where is your evidence that Thanissaro teaches your earlier claim about consciousness existing after death?
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 8:29 pm

Cittasanto wrote:
Ariya Suriya wrote:You want proof that in parinibbana there is no consciousness or proof that some people are scared at this fact? or proof of both?

that in parinibbana there is no consciousness.

this seemss very close to things the Buddha put aside, and I have not seen such a statement within the canon to my memory.

How about:
'This is the peaceful, this is the sublime, that is, the stilling of all formations, the relinquishing of all attachments, the destruction of craving, dispassion, cessation, Nibbana.'

MN 64, AN 9.36, and many other places.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

See also:
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=5935
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=7281

:anjali:
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Feb 12, 2012 9:50 pm

Greetings,

I think the disconnect between what Suriya and Cittasanto are saying is attributable to different interpretations of nirodha.

On one hand destruction, on the other quenching.

I may be wrong, but it seems that's what's happening.

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)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby Ariya Suriya » Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:46 pm

I don't say nibbana is not quenching, I say that for the arahant that has attained nibbana (quenching definition is right) after death the aggregates -viññana included- don't appear again (which is good).
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:57 pm

Greetings,

Thanks for clarifying - I think it will help.

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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:01 pm

no it is the making a claim that something is such a way when it is clearly not spelled out and disregarded, but I got board of it!

re - look at my initial responce, bottom of last page
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:20 am

Well, what I quoted can be interpreted that consciousness has ceased ("stilled"), since it is a "formation". That seems to be what Ven Nanananda is arguing in his Nibbana Sermons.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katukurund ... rnal_links

:anjali:
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:21 am

OK I'll bite :)
there can be ways of interpreting things which do mean that things stop being, or not
Dependent Origination - The Buddhist Law of Conditionality - P. A. Payutto - Apendix - A problem with the word "nirodha" wrote:Generally speaking, the word "cease" means to do away with something which has already arisen, or the stopping of something which has already begun. However, nirodha in the teaching of Dependent Origination (as also in dukkhanirodha, the third of the Four Noble Truths) means the non-arising, or non-existence, of something because the cause of its arising is done away with. For example, the phrase "when avijja is nirodha, sankhara are also nirodha," which is usually taken to mean "with the cessation of ignorance, volitional impulses cease," in fact means "when there is no ignorance, or no arising of ignorance, or when there is no longer any problem with ignorance, there are no volitional impulses, volitional impulses do not arise, or there is no longer any problem with volitional impulses." It does not mean that ignorance already arisen must be done away with before the volitional impulses which have already arisen will also be done away with.


again the Buddha never categorically answered such a question, so saying anything does or does not exist in parinibbana is not necessarily true.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby Buckwheat » Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:28 pm

Zom wrote:Btw, Right / Wrong ditthis have nothing to do with conventional "self". They deal with ultimate-reality self.


This conventional self sounds like an annihilationist type of self view. The Mahayanist went into great detail creating philosophical contraptions to get around this idea. However, a simpler approach is Thanissaro's explaination of "conventional self" as a fabrication of intentional action. It is self-ing. Selfing in Thanissaro's interpretation is not inherently skillful or unskillful.

Selfing such that one claims "I demand respect" would not be skillful, only leading to suffering. Selfing such that one claims "I must practice the dhamma and purify my actions with urgency" is skillful and leads down a path toward liberation. Eventually, one stops selfing altogether and instead enjoys nirvana.

I fear that use of the phrase "conventional self" is used as an excuse to avoid facing up to the fact that there is a view of self, even if it is "conventional". It is for this reason that Thanissaro's interpretation of anatta is more broad and powerful than the no-self interpretation. This is a point I think some people miss: Thanissaro's motive for the Not-Self strategy is not to leave things open for some mystical self, or to water it down, but to make anatta more powerful and applicable to all the actions of our daily life. Am I self-ing? How? What are the implications?

That is something I can work with right here and now.
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.
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Re: soul, do you have any?

Postby danieLion » Thu Jun 13, 2013 4:07 am

ancientbuddhism wrote:I doubt Ṭhanissaro is saying anything new and more revealing from ‘93/’96 on the matter no matter how many articles, talks and interviews he gives....

I have given the broad-strokes of where Ṭhanissaro’s NSS is in error. Not much more need be said. That doesn’t mean that everything in these essays (The Not-self Strategy & No-self or Not-self?) is in error. But when its central thesis is that the Buddha never denied the ‘Self’ (= Upaniṣadic ātman), what to say of stating that nowhere is Buddha’s doctrine of anattā making a metaphysical or ontological claim; this does cast a shadow on anything that Ṭhanissaro says on a doctrine so central to the Dhamma.


Cf. The Paradox of Becoming, Appendix II, published in '08. Thanissaro definitely says something new and revealing there and says things opposite to the "cenrtral thesis" you attribute to him. This Appendix not only shows Thanissaro acknowledging that the Buddha denied the Upanisadic atman but also shows that he was denying several doctrines of self popular in his time.

You also said:
ancientbuddhism wrote:With regard to misinterpretations of anattā doctrine:

Recovering the Buddha’s Message, R.F. Gombrich
But in this article, Gombrich agrees with Thanissaro's Appendix:
I have argued that we (unlike the commentators) can see the Buddha's message in systematic opposition to beliefs and practices of his day, especially those of the educated class, who inevitably constituted most of his audience and following.


Also: with the sentence, "what to say of stating that nowhere is Buddha’s doctrine of anattā making a metaphysical or ontological claim," who are you attributing this to? The syntax is confusing to me.
Kindly,
Daniel
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby danieLion » Thu Jun 13, 2013 4:52 am

ancientbuddhism wrote:
With regard to misinterpretations of anattā doctrine:

A Note on Attā in the Alagaddūpama Sutta, K.R. Norman

In this article, Norman states:

As E. J. Thomas states..., in the Anattalakkhaṇa-sutta the Buddha does not specifically deny the existence of the attā. The sutta is merely a denial that the khandhas were ātman, whatever that term means. It may be true to say that the Buddha does not specifically deny the existence of the attā anywhere in the Pāli canon, in the sense that he does not state explicitly ‘The attā does not exist’.... I think it is correct to conclude that by implication, if not explicitly, the Buddha denied the existence of the permanent individual self.


This paralells Thanissaro's not-self teachings, e.g., in Five Piles of Bricks:
This sense of me and mine is rarely static. It roams like an amoeba, changing its contours as it changes location. Sometimes expansive, sometimes contracted, it can view itself as identical with a khandha, as possessing a khandha, as existing within a khandha, or as having a khandha existing within itself (see SN 22.85). At times feeling finite, at other times infinite, whatever shape it takes it's always unstable and insecure, for the khandhas providing its food are simply activities and functions, inconstant and insubstantial. In the words of the canon, the khandhas are like foam, like a mirage, like the bubbles formed when rain falls on water (SN 22.95). They're heavy only because the iron grip of trying to cling to them is burdensome. As long as we're addicted to passion and delight for these activities — as long as we cling to them — we're bound to suffer.

The Buddhist approach to ending this clinging, however, is not simply to drop it. As with any addiction, the mind has to be gradually weaned away. Before we can reach the point of no intention, where we're totally freed from the fabrication of khandhas, we have to change our intentions toward the khandhas so as to change their functions. Instead of using them for the purpose of constructing a self, we use them for the purpose of creating a path to the end of suffering. Instead of carrying piles of bricks on our shoulders, we take them off and lay them along the ground as pavement.

And in The Not-Self Strategy:
Although this passage [SN 35.116] indicates that there is a sphere to be experienced beyond the six sensory spheres, it should not be taken as a "higher self." This point is brought out in the Great Discourse on Causation, where the Buddha classifies all theories of the self into four major categories: those describing a self which is either (a) possessed of form (a body) & finite; (b) possessed of form & infinite; (c) formless & finite; and (d) formless & infinite. The text gives no examples of the various categories, but we might cite the following as illustrations: (a) theories which deny the existence of a soul, and identify the self with the body; (b) theories which identify the self with all being or with the universe; (c) theories of discrete, individual souls; (d) theories of a unitary soul or identity immanent in all things. He then goes on to reject all four categories.
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby Gaoxing » Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:12 am

Reading a number of posts back it seems the general consensus is hat it's possible to move from an initial not-self view to the ultimate no-self view. It makes sense that a dishonest denial of an ever present self, if such an illusion persists, could lead to all kinds of problems like dishonesty. It also makes sense to rather be honest and walk the path slowly until such time a genuine no-self is obtained. Isn't no-self a very noble and great achievement rather than something obtained over a cup of tea or the internet during a lunch break?

If Thanissaro Bhikku has the wrong view of a self his practice would indeed be very shallow and his meditations would be rather fruitless. It's however very difficult to believe him to be on such a wrong path of clinging to a self at all.
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby danieLion » Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:17 am

Thanissaro's take on how the Buddha dealt with atta also agrees with Kalupahana's take in the latter's The Principles of Buddhist Psychology, page 22 and following.
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby danieLion » Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:19 am

Gaoxing wrote:Reading a number of posts back it seems the general consensus that it's possible to move from an initial not-self view to the ultimate no-self view. It makes sense that a dishonest denial of an ever present self, if such an illusion persists, could lead to all kinds of problems like dishonesty. It also makes sense to rather be honest and walk the path slowly until such time a genuine no-self is obtained. Isn't no-self a very noble and great achievement rather than something obtained over a cup of tea or the internet during a lunch break?

If Thanissaro Bhikku has the wrong view of a self his practice would indeed be very shallow and his meditations would be rather fruitless. It's however very difficult to believe him to be on such a wrong path of clinging to a self at all.

None of the citations I've provided support anatta as a no-self doctrine.
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby Gaoxing » Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:24 am

danieLion wrote:
Gaoxing wrote:Reading a number of posts back it seems the general consensus that it's possible to move from an initial not-self view to the ultimate no-self view. It makes sense that a dishonest denial of an ever present self, if such an illusion persists, could lead to all kinds of problems like dishonesty. It also makes sense to rather be honest and walk the path slowly until such time a genuine no-self is obtained. Isn't no-self a very noble and great achievement rather than something obtained over a cup of tea or the internet during a lunch break?

If Thanissaro Bhikku has the wrong view of a self his practice would indeed be very shallow and his meditations would be rather fruitless. It's however very difficult to believe him to be on such a wrong path of clinging to a self at all.

None of the citations I've provided support anatta as a no-self doctrine.
I said the general consensus. It's rather sorry to hear that there could be such a view that anatta is not a no-self view. It's a mystery as to where such an idea originates from and how it could produce honest practice. Why is a no-self achieved, in the long run?
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Re: On Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta teachings

Postby danieLion » Thu Jun 13, 2013 7:10 am

Gaoxing,
I'm confused by your syntax. Please rephrase.
Kindly,
dL
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