Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

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Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Postby greggorious » Sat May 05, 2012 10:11 pm

Is Ajahn Brahm quite an unconventional Buddhist teacher? He seems to enjoy speculating about how existence, why we're here, the nature of the universe, other religions. I guess the fact that he was a physicist has something to do with it. He also talks of reincarnation a lot, but rarely mentions the word rebirth, and he always talks of it in human terms, i.e we always reincarnate back to another human for another adventure.
From a lot of the stuff I've read on this site, he seems to have a quite different approach in his personal interpretation of Buddhism.
"The original heart/mind shines like pure, clear water with the sweetest taste. But if the heart is pure, is our practice over? No, we must not cling even to this purity. We must go beyond all duality, all concepts, all bad, all good, all pure, all impure. We must go beyond self and nonself, beyond birth and death. When we see with the eye of wisdom, we know that the true Buddha is timeless, unborn, unrelated to any body, any history, any image. Buddha is the ground of all being, the realization of the truth of the unmoving mind.” Ajahn Chah
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Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Postby polarbuddha101 » Sat May 05, 2012 10:12 pm

he also sincerely believes that levitation is possible
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."
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Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Postby greggorious » Sat May 05, 2012 10:19 pm

In the last podcast I listened to he spoke about friendly Ghosts too :D
"The original heart/mind shines like pure, clear water with the sweetest taste. But if the heart is pure, is our practice over? No, we must not cling even to this purity. We must go beyond all duality, all concepts, all bad, all good, all pure, all impure. We must go beyond self and nonself, beyond birth and death. When we see with the eye of wisdom, we know that the true Buddha is timeless, unborn, unrelated to any body, any history, any image. Buddha is the ground of all being, the realization of the truth of the unmoving mind.” Ajahn Chah
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Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Postby santa100 » Sat May 05, 2012 10:29 pm

I'd focus on those lectures that benefit me and not worry too much about those that don't. Ajahn Brahm did give many wonderful lectures on insight and meditation. Here're a few. Enjoy..

1. Joy At Last to Know THere's No Happiness in the World
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ex5a4a40k6s
2. Anapanasati Guide
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTWDEzbRza4
3. No Fear
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIMWm5JnNrE
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Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Postby greggorious » Sat May 05, 2012 10:33 pm

I'm not complaining. I like it when Buddhist teachers have their own slant on things and not just quote the Pali Canon all the time. Is it because he practices in the Thai tradition? They don't focus on the canon do they? I guess they're a bit like Zen in Mahayana, they don't concentrate on the mahayana sutra's. Or do I have that completely wrong?
"The original heart/mind shines like pure, clear water with the sweetest taste. But if the heart is pure, is our practice over? No, we must not cling even to this purity. We must go beyond all duality, all concepts, all bad, all good, all pure, all impure. We must go beyond self and nonself, beyond birth and death. When we see with the eye of wisdom, we know that the true Buddha is timeless, unborn, unrelated to any body, any history, any image. Buddha is the ground of all being, the realization of the truth of the unmoving mind.” Ajahn Chah
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Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sat May 05, 2012 11:41 pm

Ajahn Brahmavamso is unique — just like everyone else.

The Simile of the Good House

A man needs to build a house in the forest, and enters the forest in search of timber. If he can get all beams, posts, floorboards, planks, and shingles from a single tree, this is the best, and ideal. If he is unable to find such a tree, he should not fail to build his house. He must use whatever timber he can get from various trees that he finds. He must build his house anyhow by all means because not having a dwelling place leads to all kinds of trouble and hardship. (Source: Dhamma Dipani, Ledi Sayadaw)

Since different teachers have various good and bad qualities, one should take whatever is useful from each for one's own practice, and ignore any bad qualities. Focusing on any perceived bad qualities will be detrimental, and in so doing one will overlook what is beneficial.
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Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Postby greggorious » Sun May 06, 2012 12:18 am

What would constitute as a bad quality in a teacher? I don't mean obvious things like breaking precepts, but in their own way of teaching?
"The original heart/mind shines like pure, clear water with the sweetest taste. But if the heart is pure, is our practice over? No, we must not cling even to this purity. We must go beyond all duality, all concepts, all bad, all good, all pure, all impure. We must go beyond self and nonself, beyond birth and death. When we see with the eye of wisdom, we know that the true Buddha is timeless, unborn, unrelated to any body, any history, any image. Buddha is the ground of all being, the realization of the truth of the unmoving mind.” Ajahn Chah
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Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Postby polarbuddha101 » Sun May 06, 2012 12:22 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Ajahn Brahmavamso is unique — just like everyone else.

The Simile of the Good House

A man needs to build a house in the forest, and enters the forest in search of timber. If he can get all beams, posts, floorboards, planks, and shingles from a single tree, this is the best, and ideal. If he is unable to find such a tree, he should not fail to build his house. He must use whatever timber he can get from various trees that he finds. He must build his house anyhow by all means because not having a dwelling place leads to all kinds of trouble and hardship. (Source: Dhamma Dipani, Ledi Sayadaw)

Since different teachers have various good and bad qualities, one should take whatever is useful from each for one's own practice, and ignore any bad qualities. Focusing on any perceived bad qualities will be detrimental, and in so doing one will overlook what is beneficial.


I like that. :goodpost:
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."
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Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Postby bodom » Sun May 06, 2012 12:25 am

greggorious wrote:What would constitute as a bad quality in a teacher? I don't mean obvious things like breaking precepts, but in their own way of teaching?


Hi greggorious

See this sutta:

Thana Sutta: Traits

How can you recognize a good and wise person? The Buddha explains what qualities to look for and how to spot them.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


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The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Postby pilgrim » Sun May 06, 2012 2:19 am

polarbuddha101 wrote:he also sincerely believes that levitation is possible

He shares this outrageous belief with the Buddha..
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Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Postby MrsCogan » Sun May 06, 2012 2:33 am

santa100 wrote:I'd focus on those lectures that benefit me and not worry too much about those that don't. Ajahn Brahm did give many wonderful lectures on insight and meditation. Here're a few. Enjoy..

1. Joy At Last to Know THere's No Happiness in the World
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ex5a4a40k6s
2. Anapanasati Guide
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTWDEzbRza4
3. No Fear
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIMWm5JnNrE


I think he's absolutely delightful, but imperfect like everyone else. Thanks for the links!
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Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Postby polarbuddha101 » Sun May 06, 2012 2:56 am

pilgrim wrote:
polarbuddha101 wrote:he also sincerely believes that levitation is possible

He shares this outrageous belief with the Buddha..


you cannot say this is true and anything else false

did Gautama tell you personally levitation is real

he might and he might not, have you seen someone levitate, do you know a teacher whom you have tested personally and known for a long time who has seen someone levitate. Did this teacher have any greed, hatred or delusion in themselves. Are you going by scripture, by pondering over scriptural accuracy, by logical inference, by hearsay, or by the competence of a speaker...

how does one preserve truth:


... Now at that time the Blessed One was sitting & exchanging courtesies & conversation with some very senior brahmans. It so happened that a brahman student named Kapadika was seated in the assembly: young, shaven-headed, sixteen years old, a master of the Three Vedas with their vocabularies, liturgy, phonology, & etymologies, and the histories as a fifth; skilled in philology & grammar, well-versed in cosmology & the marks of a great man. While the very senior brahmans were conversing with the Blessed One, he kept breaking in & interrupting their talk. So the Blessed One scolded him, "Venerable Bharadvaja, don't break in & interrupt while the very senior brahmans are conversing. Wait until they are finished talking."

When this was said, the brahman Canki said to the Blessed One, "Master Gotama, don't scold the brahman student Kapadika. He is a clansman, learned, wise, with good delivery. He is capable of taking part in this discussion with Master Gotama."

Then the thought occurred to the Blessed One, "Yes, this brahman student Kapadika must be accomplished in the texts of the Three Vedas, inasmuch as the brahmans honor him so."

Then the thought occurred to Kapadika, "When Gotama the contemplative meets my gaze with his, I will ask him a question."

And so the Blessed One, encompassing Kapadika's awareness with his awareness, met his gaze. Kapadika thought, "Gotama the contemplative has turned to me. Suppose I ask him a question." So he said to the Blessed One, "Master Gotama, with regard to the ancient hymns of the brahmans — passed down through oral transmission & included in their canon — the brahmans have come to the definite conclusion that "Only this is true; anything else is worthless." What does Master Gotama have to say to this?"

"Tell me, Bharadvaja, is there among the brahmans even one brahman who says, 'This I know; this I see; only this is true; anything else is worthless?'"

"No, Master Gotama."

"And has there been among the brahmans even one teacher or teacher's teacher back through seven generations who said, 'This I know; this I see; only this is true; anything else is worthless?'"

"No, Master Gotama."

"And among the brahman seers of the past, the creators of the hymns, the composers of the hymns — those ancient hymns, sung, repeated, & collected, which brahmans at present still sing, still chant, repeating what was said, repeating what was spoken — i.e., Atthaka, Vamaka, Vamadeva, Vessamitta, Yamataggi, Angirasa, Bharadvaja, Vasettha, Kassapa & Bhagu: was there even one of these who said, 'This we know; this we see; only this is true; anything else is worthless?'"

"No, Master Gotama."

"So then, Bharadvaja, it seems that there isn't among the brahmans even one brahman who says, 'This I know; this I see; only this is true; anything else is worthless.' And there hasn't been among the brahmans even one teacher or teacher's teacher back through seven generations who said, 'This I know; this I see; only this is true; anything else is worthless.' And there hasn't been among the brahman seers of the past, the creators of the hymns, the composers of the hymns... even one who said, 'This we know; this we see; only this is true; anything else is worthless.' Suppose there were a row of blind men, each holding on to the one in front of him: the first one doesn't see, the middle one doesn't see, the last one doesn't see. In the same way, the statement of the brahmans turns out to be a row of blind men, as it were: the first one doesn't see, the middle one doesn't see, the last one doesn't see. So what do you think, Bharadvaja: this being the case, doesn't the conviction of the brahmans turn out to be groundless?"

"It's not only out of conviction, Master Gotama, that the brahmans honor this. They also honor it as unbroken tradition."

"Bharadvaja, first you went by conviction. Now you speak of unbroken tradition. There are five things that can turn out in two ways in the here-&-now. Which five? Conviction, liking, unbroken tradition, reasoning by analogy, & an agreement through pondering views. These are the five things that can turn out in two ways in the here-&-now. Now some things are firmly held in conviction and yet vain, empty, & false. Some things are not firmly held in conviction, and yet they are genuine, factual, & unmistaken. Some things are well-liked... truly an unbroken tradition... well-reasoned... Some things are well-pondered and yet vain, empty, & false. Some things are not well-pondered, and yet they are genuine, factual, & unmistaken. In these cases it isn't proper for a knowledgeable person who safeguards the truth to come to a definite conclusion, 'Only this is true; anything else is worthless."

"But to what extent, Master Gotama, is there the safeguarding of the truth? To what extent does one safeguard the truth? We ask Master Gotama about the safeguarding of the truth."

"If a person has conviction, his statement, 'This is my conviction,' safeguards the truth. But he doesn't yet come to the definite conclusion that 'Only this is true; anything else is worthless.' To this extent, Bharadvaja, there is the safeguarding of the truth. To this extent one safeguards the truth. I describe this as the safeguarding of the truth. But it is not yet an awakening to the truth.

"If a person likes something... holds an unbroken tradition... has something reasoned through analogy... has something he agrees to, having pondered views, his statement, 'This is what I agree to, having pondered views,' safeguards the truth. But he doesn't yet come to the definite conclusion that 'Only this is true; anything else is worthless.' To this extent, Bharadvaja, there is the safeguarding of the truth. To this extent one safeguards the truth. I describe this as the safeguarding of the truth. But it is not yet an awakening to the truth.

"Yes, Master Gotama, to this extent there is the safeguarding of the truth. To this extent one safeguards the truth. We regard this as the safeguarding of the truth. But to what extent is there an awakening to the truth? To what extent does one awaken to the truth? We ask Master Gotama about awakening to the truth."

"There is the case, Bharadvaja, where a monk lives in dependence on a certain village or town. Then a householder or householder's son goes to him and observes him with regard to three mental qualities — qualities based on greed, qualities based on aversion, qualities based on delusion: 'Are there in this venerable one any such qualities based on greed that, with his mind overcome by these qualities, he might say, "I know," while not knowing, or say, "I see," while not seeing; or that he might urge another to act in a way that was for his/her long-term harm & pain?' As he observes him, he comes to know, 'There are in this venerable one no such qualities based on greed... His bodily behavior & verbal behavior are those of one not greedy. And the Dhamma he teaches is deep, hard to see, hard to realize, tranquil, refined, beyond the scope of conjecture, subtle, to-be-experienced by the wise. This Dhamma can't easily be taught by a person who's greedy.

When, on observing that the monk is purified with regard to qualities based on greed, he next observes him with regard to qualities based on aversion: 'Are there in this venerable one any such qualities based on aversion that, with his mind overcome by these qualities, he might say, "I know," while not knowing, or say, "I see," while not seeing; or that he might urge another to act in a way that was for his/her long-term harm & pain?' As he observes him, he comes to know, 'There are in this venerable one no such qualities based on aversion... His bodily behavior & verbal behavior are those of one not aversive. And the Dhamma he teaches is deep, hard to see, hard to realize, tranquil, refined, beyond the scope of conjecture, subtle, to-be-experienced by the wise. This Dhamma can't easily be taught by a person who's aversive.

When, on observing that the monk is purified with regard to qualities based on aversion, he next observes him with regard to qualities based on delusion: 'Are there in this venerable one any such qualities based on delusion that, with his mind overcome by these qualities, he might say, "I know," while not knowing, or say, "I see," while not seeing; or that he might urge another to act in a way that was for his/her long-term harm & pain?' As he observes him, he comes to know, 'There are in this venerable one no such qualities based on delusion... His bodily behavior & verbal behavior are those of one not deluded. And the Dhamma he teaches is deep, hard to see, hard to realize, tranquil, refined, beyond the scope of conjecture, subtle, to-be-experienced by the wise. This Dhamma can't easily be taught by a person who's deluded.

When, on observing that the monk is purified with regard to qualities based on delusion, he places conviction in him. With the arising of conviction, he visits him & grows close to him. Growing close to him, he lends ear. Lending ear, he hears the Dhamma. Hearing the Dhamma, he remembers it. Remembering it, he penetrates the meaning of those dhammas. Penetrating the meaning, he comes to an agreement through pondering those dhammas. There being an agreement through pondering those dhammas, desire arises. With the arising of desire, he becomes willing. Willing, he contemplates (lit: "weighs," "compares"). Contemplating, he makes an exertion. Exerting himself, he both realizes the ultimate meaning of the truth with his body and sees by penetrating it with discernment.

"To this extent, Bharadvaja, there is an awakening to the truth. To this extent one awakens to the truth. I describe this as an awakening to the truth. But it is not yet the final attainment of the truth.

"Yes, Master Gotama, to this extent there is an awakening to the truth. To this extent one awakens to the truth. We regard this as an awakening to the truth. But to what extent is there the final attainment of the truth? To what extent does one finally attain the truth? We ask Master Gotama about the final attainment of the truth."

"The cultivation, development, & pursuit of those very same qualities: to this extent, Bharadvaja, there is the final attainment of the truth. To this extent one finally attains the truth. I describe this as the final attainment of the truth."

"Yes, Master Gotama, to this extent there is the final attainment of the truth. To this extent one finally attains the truth. We regard this as the final attainment of the truth. But what quality is most helpful for the final attainment of the truth? We ask Master Gotama about the quality most helpful for the final attainment of the truth."

"Exertion is most helpful for the final attainment of the truth, Bharadvaja. If one didn't make an exertion, one wouldn't finally attain the truth. Because one makes an exertion, one finally attains the truth. Therefore, exertion is most helpful for the final attainment of the truth."

"But what quality is most helpful for exertion? We ask Master Gotama about the quality most helpful for exertion."

"Contemplating is most helpful for exertion, Bharadvaja. If one didn't contemplate, one wouldn't make an exertion. Because one contemplates, one makes an exertion. Therefore, contemplating is most helpful for exertion."

"But what quality is most helpful for contemplating?..."

"Being willing... If one weren't willing, one wouldn't contemplate..."

"But what quality is most helpful for being willing?..."

"Desire... If desire didn't arise, one wouldn't be willing..."

"But what quality is most helpful for desire?..."

"Coming to an agreement through pondering dhammas... If one didn't come to an agreement through pondering dhammas, desire wouldn't arise..."

"But what quality is most helpful for coming to an agreement through pondering dhammas?..."

"Penetrating the meaning... If one didn't penetrate the meaning, one wouldn't come to an agreement through pondering dhammas..."

"But what quality is most helpful for penetrating the meaning?..."

"Remembering the Dhamma... If one didn't remember the Dhamma, one wouldn't penetrate the meaning..."

"But what quality is most helpful for remembering the Dhamma?... "

"Hearing the Dhamma... If one didn't hear the Dhamma, one wouldn't remember the Dhamma..."

"But what quality is most helpful for hearing the Dhamma?... "

"Lending ear... If one didn't lend ear, one wouldn't hear the Dhamma..."

"But what quality is most helpful for lending ear?... "

"Growing close... If one didn't grow close, one wouldn't lend ear..."

"But what quality is most helpful for growing close?... "

"Visiting... If one didn't visit, one wouldn't grow close..."

"But what quality is most helpful for visiting? We ask Master Gotama about the quality most helpful for visiting."

"Conviction is most helpful for visiting, Bharadvaja. If conviction [in a person] didn't arise, one wouldn't visit [that person]. Because conviction arises, one visits. Therefore, conviction is most helpful for visiting."

"We have asked Master Gotama about safeguarding the truth, and Master Gotama has answered about safeguarding the truth. We like that & agree with that,[1] and so we are gratified. We have asked Master Gotama about awakening to the truth, and Master Gotama has answered about awakening to the truth. We like that & agree with that, and so we are gratified. We have asked Master Gotama about finally attaining the truth, and Master Gotama has answered about finally attaining the truth. We like that & agree with that, and so we are gratified. We have asked Master Gotama about the quality most helpful for finally attaining the truth, and Master Gotama has answered about the quality most helpful for finally attaining the truth. We like that & agree with that, and so we are gratified. Whatever we have asked Master Gotama, Master Gotama has answered it. We like that & agree with that, and so we are gratified.

"We used to think, 'Who are these bald-headed "contemplatives," these menial, dark offspring of [Brahma] the Kinsman's feet?[2] Who are they to know the Dhamma?' But now Master Gotama has inspired within us a contemplative-love for contemplatives, a contemplative-confidence in contemplatives, a contemplative-respect for contemplatives. Magnificent, Master Gotama! Magnificent! Just as if he were to place upright what was overturned, to reveal what was hidden, to point out the way to one who was lost, or to carry a lamp into the dark so that those with eyes could see forms, in the same way has Master Gotama — through many lines of reasoning — made the Dhamma clear. I go to Master Gotama for refuge, to the Dhamma, & to the community of monks. May Master Gotama remember me as a lay follower who has gone for refuge from this day forward, for life."

Canki Sutta http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
Last edited by polarbuddha101 on Sun May 06, 2012 2:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."
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Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Postby dhamma_newb » Sun May 06, 2012 2:57 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Ajahn Brahmavamso is unique — just like everyone else.

The Simile of the Good House

A man needs to build a house in the forest, and enters the forest in search of timber. If he can get all beams, posts, floorboards, planks, and shingles from a single tree, this is the best, and ideal. If he is unable to find such a tree, he should not fail to build his house. He must use whatever timber he can get from various trees that he finds. He must build his house anyhow by all means because not having a dwelling place leads to all kinds of trouble and hardship. (Source: Dhamma Dipani, Ledi Sayadaw)

Since different teachers have various good and bad qualities, one should take whatever is useful from each for one's own practice, and ignore any bad qualities. Focusing on any perceived bad qualities will be detrimental, and in so doing one will overlook what is beneficial.


:goodpost: Bhante! I like Ajahn Brahm he's very funny.
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Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Postby mikenz66 » Sun May 06, 2012 4:01 am

polarbuddha101 wrote:
pilgrim wrote:
polarbuddha101 wrote:he also sincerely believes that levitation is possible

He shares this outrageous belief with the Buddha..


you cannot say this is true and anything else false

did Gautama tell you personally levitation is real?

He is reported as saying it in various suttas:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"And what is the miracle of psychic power? There is the case where a monk wields manifold psychic powers. Having been one he becomes many; having been many he becomes one. He appears. He vanishes. He goes unimpeded through walls, ramparts, and mountains as if through space. He dives in and out of the earth as if it were water. He walks on water without sinking as if it were dry land. Sitting cross-legged he flies through the air like a winged bird. With his hand he touches and strokes even the sun and moon, so mighty and powerful. He exercises influence with his body even as far as the Brahma worlds.

However, he does not say that those powers are particularly useful for liberation (if you read on...).

I think that it is useful to think about what is being taught in these suttas that mention incredible stuff, and then consider what Ajahn Brahm might be trying to teach to his particular audience. In those Friday Talks he's certainly not teaching some sort of academic analysis of the Suttas, he, like the Buddha, is giving a Dhamma talk to arouse gladness, confidence, etc...

Sometimes, and for some people, he does that really well...

For some others, he's just not their cup of tea...


Is Ajahn Brahm quite an unconventional Buddhist teacher? He seems to enjoy speculating about how existence, why we're here, the nature of the universe, other religions. I guess the fact that he was a physicist has something to do with it.

Hmm... you can't blame physics for everything... :tongue:
He also talks of reincarnation a lot, but rarely mentions the word rebirth, and he always talks of it in human terms, i.e we always reincarnate back to another human for another adventure.
From a lot of the stuff I've read on this site, he seems to have a quite different approach in his personal interpretation of Buddhism.

There are a lot of different ways of interpreting Buddhism. Various people on this site interpret them in various ways that some other would consider unconventional and some others would not...

:anjali:
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Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Postby danieLion » Sun May 06, 2012 4:52 am

polarbuddha101 wrote:he (Aj. Brahm) also sincerely believes that levitation is possible

pilgrim wrote:He shares this outrageous belief with the Buddha..


polarbuddha101 wrote:you cannot say this is true and anything else false

did Gautama tell you personally levitation is real

he might and he might not, have you seen someone levitate, do you know a teacher whom you have tested personally and known for a long time who has seen someone levitate. Did this teacher have any greed, hatred or delusion in themselves. Are you going by scripture, by pondering over scriptural accuracy, by logical inference, by hearsay, or by the competence of a speaker...

how does one preserve truth

polarbuddha101,
Perhaps your Vienna Circle/positivist approach to the Dhamma has reached it's limit. The overlap is fascinating, I'll admit, but at some point it just becomes more speculation and eats into the quality of practice.
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Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Postby polarbuddha101 » Sun May 06, 2012 6:12 am

danieLion wrote:
polarbuddha101 wrote:he (Aj. Brahm) also sincerely believes that levitation is possible

pilgrim wrote:He shares this outrageous belief with the Buddha..


polarbuddha101 wrote:you cannot say this is true and anything else false

did Gautama tell you personally levitation is real

he might and he might not, have you seen someone levitate, do you know a teacher whom you have tested personally and known for a long time who has seen someone levitate. Did this teacher have any greed, hatred or delusion in themselves. Are you going by scripture, by pondering over scriptural accuracy, by logical inference, by hearsay, or by the competence of a speaker...

how does one preserve truth

polarbuddha101,
Perhaps your Vienna Circle/positivist approach to the Dhamma has reached it's limit. The overlap is fascinating, I'll admit, but at some point it just becomes more speculation and eats into the quality of practice.


:rofl: Vienna Circle positivist, that was a good one I admit. My main point was simply that it is clear human beings cannot touch the sun and it seems highly highly highly improbable that the human mind is capable of bending the laws of physics like we're in the matrix. Furthermore, we can't be sure that the Buddha actually said people could do those things as opposed to them being added to entice those people who won't follow a teaching unless it proclaims supernormal powers have been developed by its adherents or that perhaps that verse was figurative and I think it's strange that an englishman (who apparently understands physics) would promote the 'reality' of such miracles to such a skeptical age, it just seems outta place if you ask me. However, I wouldn't be on this forum if I thought it utterly absurd to think that intentions and actions have longterm consequences, that the human mind is capable of ridding itself of suffering by understanding reality in more 'total' way and by getting rid of hatred, greed and delusion. I don't call rebirth rubbish as it actually seems quite plausible to me, afterall, most things in the universe are recycled. That being said, it seems unconventional to me that Ajahn Brahm would talk about such things, but even I'll admit they may actually be possible (although it seems rather unlikely and every experience I've ever had tells me people can't fly using psychic powers and people defnitly cannot touch the sun). People have to prove their claims, otherwise they are being ridiculous. You can't say, "Oh yes, people can fly but we're not allowed to show you because it doesn't pertain to the goal." If it doesn't pertain to the goal then it isn't right speech in the first place, not that I'm one to talk. I take more of a middle path between logical positivism and belief in baseless assertions. I admit though, there isn't any value in anything I've posted and I will work on posting those things that only pertain to advancing in sila, samadhi and panna from now on. Thank you

:namaste:
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."
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Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Postby Cittasanto » Sun May 06, 2012 7:35 am

polarbuddha101 wrote: :rofl: Vienna Circle positivist, that was a good one I admit. My main point was simply that it is clear human beings cannot touch the sun and it seems highly highly highly improbable that the human mind is capable of bending the laws of physics like we're in the matrix. Furthermore, we can't be sure that the Buddha actually said people could do those things as opposed to them being added to entice those people who won't follow a teaching unless it proclaims supernormal powers have been developed by its adherents or that perhaps that verse was figurative and I think it's strange that an englishman (who apparently understands physics) would promote the 'reality' of such miracles to such a skeptical age, it just seems outta place if you ask me. However, I wouldn't be on this forum if I thought it utterly absurd to think that intentions and actions have longterm consequences, that the human mind is capable of ridding itself of suffering by understanding reality in more 'total' way and by getting rid of hatred, greed and delusion. I don't call rebirth rubbish as it actually seems quite plausible to me, afterall, most things in the universe are recycled. That being said, it seems unconventional to me that Ajahn Brahm would talk about such things, but even I'll admit they may actually be possible (although it seems rather unlikely and every experience I've ever had tells me people can't fly using psychic powers and people defnitly cannot touch the sun). People have to prove their claims, otherwise they are being ridiculous. You can't say, "Oh yes, people can fly but we're not allowed to show you because it doesn't pertain to the goal." If it doesn't pertain to the goal then it isn't right speech in the first place, not that I'm one to talk. I take more of a middle path between logical positivism and belief in baseless assertions. I admit though, there isn't any value in anything I've posted and I will work on posting those things that only pertain to advancing in sila, samadhi and panna from now on. Thank you

:namaste:


Which Physics are you on about? the laws of physics (depending on which branch or sub branch, do not say the mind can not change the world around it, and I believe there is actually observable proof it does, such as an observer changing the behaviour of a particle/wave just by observing! and other experiments into psychic phenomenon have shown some interesting results although not conclusive.
The Buddha did not lie, and the best source of information we have is the canon, sure it is feasible that corruptions came in, however, he obviously found them useful, as do/did others, and just because something does not agree with your views does not make it impossible, or untrue.

Is he a controversial teacher? yes, at times he is, have a look at his vinaya notes and compare what he says to the Vinaya.
or his initial in person dialogue with Amaravati this past year followed by his bad mouthing the place!
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sun May 06, 2012 7:47 am

dhamma_newb wrote:I like Ajahn Brahm he's very funny.
Yes. Sometimes we need a bit of levity to lift us up — all this talk about suffering can get depressing for some people. We do need to keep the levity in check though — teaching the Dhamma should be more than entertaining the audience with jokes. Laughter is childishness in the Noble One's discipline.
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Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Postby tiltbillings » Sun May 06, 2012 7:59 am

The Path of Discrimination (Patisambhidamagga by Sariputta) p. 372, para XXI 17. "With much laughter, blitheness, content and gladness he realizes the ultimate meaning, nibbana, thus it is laughing understanding.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Postby mikenz66 » Sun May 06, 2012 8:32 am

polarbuddha101 wrote: I think it's strange that an englishman (who apparently understands physics) would promote the 'reality' of such miracles to such a skeptical age, it just seems outta place if you ask me...

So you think AB should fit into the modernist-materialist version of Buddhism because he studied physics?

I think some of us who work in physics (or other sciences) have a more realistic view than non-practitioners: that science is just one of our tool boxes.

If you make the effort to spend some time with long-term practitioners (or, failing that, listen to Dhamma talks by a variety of bhikkhus and lay teachers) you'll find a variety of attitudes towards such things as psychic powers and rebirth (and not just along eastern/western lines).

:anjali:
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