Kill the Buddha- save the world

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom

Re: Kill the Buddha- save the world

Postby m0rl0ck » Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:11 pm

For many buddhists buddhism isnt just a hindrance, its the hindrance.

Lin Chi said alot of interesting things. This is my favorite quote of his.

Those who have fulfilled the ten stages of bodhisattva practice are no better than hired field hands; those who have attained the enlightenment of the fifty-first and fifty-second stages are prisoners shackled and bound; arhats and pratyekabuddhas are so much filth in the latrine; bodhi and nirvana are hitching posts for donkeys.
"Even if you've read the whole Canon and can remember lots of teachings; even if you can explain them in poignant ways, with lots of people to respect you; even if you build a lot of monastery buildings, or can explain inconstancy, stress, and not-self in the most detailed fashion ... The only thing that serves your own true purpose is release from suffering.

"And you'll be able to gain release from suffering only when you know the one mind."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
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Re: Kill the Buddha- save the world

Postby kirk5a » Mon Apr 23, 2012 6:23 pm

m0rl0ck wrote:For many buddhists buddhism isnt just a hindrance, its the hindrance.

So someone studies Buddhism, learns the meaning of "hindrance" and decides that Buddhism is a hindrance according to it's own definition of "hindrance" ?

I think this is throwing away the raft before the flood has been crossed on account of not wanting to carrying it on one's back after having reached the other side.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: Kill the Buddha- save the world

Postby Viscid » Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:25 pm

l0ck wrote:For many buddhists buddhism isnt just a hindrance, its the hindrance.


But when you call Buddhism a hindrance, are you not suggesting than an abandonment of Buddhism would then result in awakening? It wouldn't. People have to come to the realization that Buddhist practice is just another activity on their own accord.. and how they become able to do so is the million-dollar question.
"What holds attention determines action." - William James
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Re: Kill the Buddha- save the world

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:33 pm

As Ven Hiufeng commented (via Chris) Linji was speaking to particular people in a particular context:
Huifeng wrote:
Dan's comments about the social and cultural context of Linji are apt, too. Very, very different from the present state of Buddhism in the west. In fact, almost the opposite. So, use with caution. One Dharma medicine may be a poison in the wrong hands.

I wouldn't take one-liners from teachers such as Linji (or modern teachers such as Ajahn Chah, for that matter) as positions on anything in particular. One needs to consider exactly who they were addressing, and what problem in the addressee they were trying to correct with the specific pithy comment.

:anjali:
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Re: Kill the Buddha- save the world

Postby reflection » Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:51 pm

Whether or not Buddhism should be called Buddhism and whether it is a religion is something to doubt, however, that aside, I think it was never intended "to inform the development of civilization in the twenty-first century." The world is chaotic and it always will be. Despite of what Harris seems to want to convince us of, religion is not the cause of this. But anger and ill will is. And people in general will always have some anger, nobody is going to stop that. It would be wonderful, of course, but I personally think the Buddha didn't start to teach with the idea of a peaceful world in mind. Instead, he had a peaceful mind in the world...

This quote below also made me a bit sad to be honest. I consider Sam Harris to be a smart guy, but this is just non-sense:
Given the degree to which religion still inspires human conflict, and impedes genuine inquiry, I believe that merely being a self-described “Buddhist” is to be complicit in the world’s violence and ignorance to an unacceptable degree.


Atheïsts have also done many bad things in the past and still do. (I don't think I need to give examples) There will always be angry people fighting over something. But from all religious people I know and religious gatherings I've been through, all I know is all religions teach peace and compassion. Of course there are the exceptions, but they are called extremists for a reason. Also, when I say I'm Buddhist, people don't respond like I'm part of the world's violence and ignorance. Most -if not all- people know Buddhism is about peace & compassion. They can also think it is a religion, but luckily most people don't immediately make a link between religion and violence.

So I don't know where Harris got this idea from, other than a general fear of religion that more skeptics seem to have.. And than to reflect this general idea of religion being evil onto individual people who call themselves Buddhist.. I think I don't need to go into that to show how strange an idea that is.

To me the essay seems like an effort to strip Buddhism of it's religious aspects, which may not be bad per se, but could -on a sidenote- just as well turn into a simple everyday stress relief psychology instead of the teachings to end suffering. But mainly, the arguments used don't fit with the goal. If you want to change Buddhism, it should first of all be for Buddhism itself, not for how the outside world percieves it. Because I don't think there are a lot of problems with the latter.

Anyway, I sort of got dragged along here.

With metta,
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Re: Kill the Buddha- save the world

Postby Dan74 » Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:19 am

mikenz66 wrote:As Ven Hiufeng commented (via Chris) Linji was speaking to particular people in a particular context:
Huifeng wrote:
Dan's comments about the social and cultural context of Linji are apt, too. Very, very different from the present state of Buddhism in the west. In fact, almost the opposite. So, use with caution. One Dharma medicine may be a poison in the wrong hands.

I wouldn't take one-liners from teachers such as Linji (or modern teachers such as Ajahn Chah, for that matter) as positions on anything in particular. One needs to consider exactly who they were addressing, and what problem in the addressee they were trying to correct with the specific pithy comment.

:anjali:
Mike


Not just that, but there is some doubt as to the authenticity of some of the material attributed to Linchi. If I recall correctly (from Heine) during Ming, the Ch'an school competed with the others and some new chronicles or new editions of old chronicles seem to have appeared to position the Ch'an school as the most radical and jaw-dropping. In any case, as Mike says these comments are not positions but more likely medicines for accomplished practitioners who nevertheless became attached to their attainments/ visions/ etc.
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Re: Kill the Buddha- save the world

Postby m0rl0ck » Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:14 am

Viscid wrote:
l0ck wrote:For many buddhists buddhism isnt just a hindrance, its the hindrance.


But when you call Buddhism a hindrance, are you not suggesting than an abandonment of Buddhism would then result in awakening?


Thats right. I am specifically not suggesting that.
"Even if you've read the whole Canon and can remember lots of teachings; even if you can explain them in poignant ways, with lots of people to respect you; even if you build a lot of monastery buildings, or can explain inconstancy, stress, and not-self in the most detailed fashion ... The only thing that serves your own true purpose is release from suffering.

"And you'll be able to gain release from suffering only when you know the one mind."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
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Re: Kill the Buddha- save the world

Postby m0rl0ck » Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:22 am

Dan74 wrote:
Not just that, but there is some doubt as to the authenticity of some of the material attributed to Linchi. If I recall correctly (from Heine) during Ming, the Ch'an school competed with the others and some new chronicles or new editions of old chronicles seem to have appeared to position the Ch'an school as the most radical and jaw-dropping. In any case, as Mike says these comments are not positions but more likely medicines for accomplished practitioners who nevertheless became attached to their attainments/ visions/ etc.


Might seem radical or jaw dropping depending on your perspective, just seems like good sense to me. If you are trapped in a conceptual framework called "buddhism" its that much harder to see clearly. Its better to seek what the buddha and the patriarchs sought than to be a follower of the buddha.
"Even if you've read the whole Canon and can remember lots of teachings; even if you can explain them in poignant ways, with lots of people to respect you; even if you build a lot of monastery buildings, or can explain inconstancy, stress, and not-self in the most detailed fashion ... The only thing that serves your own true purpose is release from suffering.

"And you'll be able to gain release from suffering only when you know the one mind."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
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Re: Kill the Buddha- save the world

Postby Dan74 » Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:01 am

It may also inspire one with faith and diligence to listen and follow what they were saying.

To my way of seeing, no matter what the tradition, what matters the most at first is to generate sufficient momentum for practice to take root. Then we can be all critical, thinking about not getting attached to raft and even killing the Buddha eventually.
_/|\_
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Re: Kill the Buddha- save the world

Postby danieLion » Thu Apr 26, 2012 6:39 am

Sam Harris thinks he's soooo cool....

"being a Buddist" is bhavatanha (craving for becoming)..."believing in Buddhism"is micha-ditthi (wrong view)...Huston Smith once said something like the Buddha didn't found a religion, he founded a civilization... (my introduction to the Buddha was in a History of Civilization class)... these are just stupid word games..."religion" "civilization," blah, blah blah.... religious theory postdates the Buddha...ditto on what Retro said about the the dassana...I DOUBT THE NOTION OF RELIGION EVER CROSSED THE BUDDHA'S MIND
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Re: Kill the Buddha- save the world

Postby Nyana » Thu Apr 26, 2012 2:31 pm

danieLion wrote:"believing in Buddhism"is micha-ditthi (wrong view).

Not it isn't.
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Re: Kill the Buddha- save the world

Postby Buckwheat » Thu Apr 26, 2012 4:08 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:
danieLion wrote:"believing in Buddhism"is micha-ditthi (wrong view).

Not it isn't.

One does not have to believe. Just see the truth for what it is. Suffering. Cause. Cessation. Path. Nothing to believe, only see.
Disciples, this I declare to you: All conditioned things are subject to disintegration – strive on untiringly for your liberation.

Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.
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Re: Kill the Buddha- save the world

Postby Nyana » Thu Apr 26, 2012 7:42 pm

Buckwheat wrote:One does not have to believe. Just see the truth for what it is. Suffering. Cause. Cessation. Path. Nothing to believe, only see.

Yes, well, that's a common platitude, but it's probably worthwhile being intellectually honest and vigorous enough to look at just how much of our motivation at any given moment is influenced by belief. In the context of practice, first of all, one has be motivated to actually engage in the ethical and contemplative training and then choose to go for refuge in the three jewels instead of one's own delusional thoughts and emotions. Then one has to at the very least tacitly accept the premise that craving sensual pleasure, craving existence, and craving non-existence is the origin of suffering, in order to be willing to begin to abandon habitual actions, and so on. This is no small thing.
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Re: Kill the Buddha- save the world

Postby danieLion » Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:06 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:
danieLion wrote:"believing in Buddhism"is micha-ditthi (wrong view).

Not it isn't.

where in the suttas did the Buddha teach you have to believe in Buddhism to be a Buddhist?
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Re: Kill the Buddha- save the world

Postby santa100 » Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:25 pm

There're different degrees of belief, and they get deeper as we progress along the path. Bhikkhu Boddhi put it best:

"The proper response to the Buddha as refuge is trust and confidence. Trust is required because the doctrine taught by the Buddha runs counter to our innate understanding of ourselves and our natural orientation toward the world. To accept this teaching thus tends to arouse an inner resistance, even to provoke a rebellion against the changes it requires us to make in the way we lead our lives. But when we place trust in the Buddha we open ourselves to his guidance. By going to him for refuge we show that we are prepared to recognize that our inherent tendencies to self-affirmation and grasping are in truth the cause of our suffering. And we are ready to accept his counsel that to become free from suffering, these tendencies must be controlled and eliminated.

Confidence in the Buddha as our refuge is initially awakened when we contemplate his sublime virtues and his excellent teaching. It grows through our undertaking of the training. At first our confidence in the Buddha may be hesitant, punctured by doubts and perplexity. But as we apply ourselves to the practice of his path, we find that our defilements gradually lessen, that wholesome qualities increase, and with this comes a growing sense of freedom, peace and joy. This experience confirms our initial trust, disposing us to advance a few steps further. When at last we see the truth of the Dhamma for ourselves, the refuge in the Buddha becomes inviolable. Confidence then becomes conviction, the conviction that the Blessed One is "the speaker, the proclaimer, the bringer of the good, the giver of the Deathless, the lord of the Dhamma, the Tathagata."

~~ Refuge in the Buddha - http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... ay_21.html ~~
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Re: Kill the Buddha- save the world

Postby Nyana » Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:41 pm

:goodpost:
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Re: Kill the Buddha- save the world

Postby Nyana » Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:58 pm

danieLion wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:
danieLion wrote:"believing in Buddhism"is micha-ditthi (wrong view).

Not it isn't.

where in the suttas did the Buddha teach you have to believe in Buddhism to be a Buddhist?

Firstly, "Buddhism" is merely a designation that primarily refers to the Buddha, dhamma, and sangha. Without developing faith and going for refuge in these three jewels there is no connection with the noble eightfold path. SN 48. 44 Pubbakoṭṭhaka Sutta:

    Good, good Sāriputta! Those by whom this has not been known, seen, understood, realized, and contacted with wisdom -- they would have to go by faith in others about this: that the faculty of faith ... the faculty of energy ... the faculty of mindfulness .. the faculty of concentration ... the faculty of wisdom, when developed and cultivated, has the deathless as its ground, the deathless as its destination, the deathless as its final goal.

Secondly, you said "'believing in Buddhism'is micha-ditthi (wrong view)." This statement not only denies all possibilities wherein one can meaningfully believe in Buddhism and have right view, it asserts that any such belief is necessarily not Buddhist, i.e. that belief somehow precludes one from being a Buddhist. This is simply mistaken.
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Re: Kill the Buddha- save the world

Postby Ben » Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:28 pm

Greetings Geoff,

Can you explain what you mean by "faith"?
kind regards,

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Re: Kill the Buddha- save the world

Postby danieLion » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:14 am

danieLion wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:
danieLion wrote:"believing in Buddhism"is micha-ditthi (wrong view).

Not it isn't.

where in the suttas did the Buddha teach you have to believe in Buddhism to be a Buddhist?


Ñāṇa wrote:Firstly, "Buddhism" is merely a designation that primarily refers to the Buddha, dhamma, and sangha. Without developing faith and going for refuge in these three jewels there is no connection with the noble eightfold path. SN 48. 44 Pubbakoṭṭhaka Sutta:

    Good, good Sāriputta! Those by whom this has not been known, seen, understood, realized, and contacted with wisdom -- they would have to go by faith in others about this: that the faculty of faith ... the faculty of energy ... the faculty of mindfulness .. the faculty of concentration ... the faculty of wisdom, when developed and cultivated, has the deathless as its ground, the deathless as its destination, the deathless as its final goal.

Secondly, you said "'believing in Buddhism'is micha-ditthi (wrong view)." This statement not only denies all possibilities wherein one can meaningfully believe in Buddhism and have right view, it asserts that any such belief is necessarily not Buddhist, i.e. that belief somehow precludes one from being a Buddhist. This is simply mistaken.


You're "Firstly" is a weak cover-up of the deficiency of sutta support behind your opinion that the Buddha taught us to believe in Buddhism as a requirement to walk/fabricate The Path. The Buddha never taught that "faith" or "refuge" are required and you can't support that view via the suttas without a whole lot of fancy hermeneutic inference.

Your "Secondly" is mere hair-splitting. I don't care if it's technically wrong view or not. Perhaps I should've initially just said what I really meant: it's stupid to believe in something the Buddha himself never taught.
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Re: Kill the Buddha- save the world

Postby Nyana » Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:31 am

danieLion wrote:Perhaps I should've initially just said what I really meant: it's stupid to believe in something the Buddha himself never taught.

The suttas certainly affirm the development of faith. But it seems that you have a strong aversion to faith-based practice, believing such practice orientation is "stupid." Such a belief is not only inaccurate, it sounds intolerant to me.
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