Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Postby rowboat » Sun May 06, 2012 8:40 am

Tilt Billings: 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.


In fairness, Tilt Billings, with all due respect, context is everything here. The text you've quoted from the Path of Discrimination refers to laughter that has arisen due to realized awakening. This is not at all the same laughter that Ven. Bhikkhu Pesala was referring to, which is more akin to:

146. When this world is ever ablaze, why this laughter, why this jubilation? Shrouded in darkness, will you not see the light? - Dhp XI. Jaravagga.

:anjali:
Rain soddens what is covered up,
It does not sodden what is open.
Therefore uncover what is covered
That the rain will not sodden it.
Ud 5.5
User avatar
rowboat
 
Posts: 442
Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2010 5:31 am
Location: Brentwood Bay, British Columbia

Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Postby pilgrim » Sun May 06, 2012 8:47 am

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...


If you have experienced Ubbenka Piti or seen a meditator while he is experiencing Ubbenka Piti, you might not dismisss the possibility of levitation altogether. I have heard credible teachers tell of experiences where they themselves or they have seen meditators jump an inch off the floor or roll off their bums when in this state. Mainstream teachers like Bhante Gunaratana and Nina van Gorkom also say that Ubbenka Piti leads to levitation. None of this means that is desirable though. The point is that what seems fantastic becomes plausible once one has some familiarity with it.
User avatar
pilgrim
 
Posts: 945
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 2:56 pm

Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Postby tiltbillings » Sun May 06, 2012 8:55 am

rowboat wrote:
Tilt Billings: 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.


In fairness, Tilt Billings, with all due respect, context is everything here. The text you've quoted from the Path of Discrimination refers to laughter that has arisen due to realized awakening. This is not at all the same laughter that Ven. Bhikkhu Pesala was referring to, which is more akin to:

146. When this world is ever ablaze, why this laughter, why this jubilation? Shrouded in darkness, will you not see the light? - Dhp XI. Jaravagga.

:anjali:
First of all, I was not countering Ven Pesala's msg. In reference to the Dhammapada verse, we should be grim, if not just dour, in our life, our Dhamma practice? Secondly, you are the one misreading the Patisambhidamagga text here. The "laughter, blitheness, content and gladness" precedes the awakening: "Here someone with much laughter, blitheness, content and gladness perfects the virtues . . . ."
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
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19555
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Postby polarbuddha101 » Sun May 06, 2012 9:01 am

1) yes, observing things at the quantum level effects the way particles (waves, unknown third option) act

2) I agree, the Buddha did not lie

3) maybe levitation is possible but all my experience and the generally accepted law of gravity indicates otherwise and I cannot personally conceive of the human mind creating the energy needed for the lift it would take to get off the ground. Plus, I'm pretty sure Theravada buddhism rejects philosophical idealism

4) I just thought it unconventional for an englishman to speak about such things because it seems like it would be more of a turnoff to people than something exciting (especially when nobody actually comes out and levitates in public as far as I know these days) since modern day people want hard evidence (for the most part)

5) No, I don't think AB should become a modernist-materialist just because he's a physicist

6) yes, the views among buddhists vary considerably

7) I apologize for bringing up some needless controversy

8) I'm done posting about such speculatory topics

9) :namaste:

wow, new posts keep coming while I write this

I guess I'll find out for my own someday whether levitation is real or not
"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."
User avatar
polarbuddha101
 
Posts: 814
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:39 am
Location: California

Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Postby rowboat » Sun May 06, 2012 9:08 am

First of all, I was not countering Ven Pesala's msg. In reference to the Dhammapada verse, we should be grim, if not just dour, in our life, our Dhamma practice? Secondly, you are the one misreading the Patisambhidamagga text here. The "laughter, blitheness, content and gladness" precedes the awakening: "Here someone with much laughter, blitheness, content and gladness perfects the virtues . . . .


OK.
Rain soddens what is covered up,
It does not sodden what is open.
Therefore uncover what is covered
That the rain will not sodden it.
Ud 5.5
User avatar
rowboat
 
Posts: 442
Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2010 5:31 am
Location: Brentwood Bay, British Columbia

Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Postby mikenz66 » Sun May 06, 2012 9:08 am

As I said above, the Buddha had a progressive approach.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... ml#gradual
So, aiming at Suppabuddha the leper, he gave a step-by-step talk, i.e., a talk on giving, a talk on virtue, a talk on heaven; he declared the drawbacks, degradation, & corruption of sensual passions, and the rewards of renunciation. Then when he saw that Suppabuddha the leper's mind was ready, malleable, free from hindrances, elated, & bright, he then gave the Dhamma-talk peculiar to Awakened Ones, i.e., stress, origination, cessation, & path. And just as a clean cloth, free of stains, would properly absorb a dye, in the same way, as Suppabuddha the leper was sitting in that very seat, the dustless, stainless Dhamma eye arose within him, "Whatever is subject to origination is all subject to cessation."

http://www.budsas.org/ebud/budtch/budteach07.htm
At first the Buddha spoke to him on generosity (dāna), morality (sīla), celestial states (sagga), the evils of sensual pleasures (kāmādinava), the blessings of renunciation (nekkhammānisamsa). When He found that his mind was pliable and was ready to appreciate the deeper teaching He taught the Four Noble Truths.

Perhaps some modern teachers have it backwards...

:anjali:
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10378
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Postby Mr Man » Sun May 06, 2012 9:18 am

The idea that we should ignore the bad qualities/odd views of those in position of authority is really, in my opinion, not great advice.

In my opinion some of what most teachers teach deserves to be flagged up/questioned. There should be no fear or intimidation in either direction and should be part of the learning process for all involved.

:anjali:
User avatar
Mr Man
 
Posts: 1291
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:42 am

Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Postby tiltbillings » Sun May 06, 2012 9:21 am

Mr Man wrote:The idea that we should ignore the bad qualities/odd views of those in position of authority is really, in my opinion, not great advice.
Who determines what is an odd view?
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
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19555
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Postby David2 » Sun May 06, 2012 9:24 am

Mr Man wrote:The idea that we should ignore the bad qualities/odd views of those in position of authority is really, in my opinion, not great advice.


The Buddha taught us to not spent too much time thinking on the bad qualities of others.

There's more than enough work to deal with our own defilements and to get enlightened.
David2
 
Posts: 930
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:09 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Postby Cittasanto » Sun May 06, 2012 9:26 am

tiltbillings wrote:
rowboat wrote:
Tilt Billings: 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.


In fairness, Tilt Billings, with all due respect, context is everything here. The text you've quoted from the Path of Discrimination refers to laughter that has arisen due to realized awakening. This is not at all the same laughter that Ven. Bhikkhu Pesala was referring to, which is more akin to:

146. When this world is ever ablaze, why this laughter, why this jubilation? Shrouded in darkness, will you not see the light? - Dhp XI. Jaravagga.

:anjali:
First of all, I was not countering Ven Pesala's msg. In reference to the Dhammapada verse, we should be grim, if not just dour, in our life, our Dhamma practice? Secondly, you are the one misreading the Patisambhidamagga text here. The "laughter, blitheness, content and gladness" precedes the awakening: "Here someone with much laughter, blitheness, content and gladness perfects the virtues . . . ."


Don't forget the Buddhas Disciples were called the happy or smiling ones in at least one passage.
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."
User avatar
Cittasanto
 
Posts: 5751
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Postby Mr Man » Sun May 06, 2012 9:27 am

tiltbillings wrote:Who determines what is an odd view?

Tilt you do.
User avatar
Mr Man
 
Posts: 1291
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:42 am

Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Postby Mr Man » Sun May 06, 2012 9:28 am

David2 wrote:
The Buddha taught us to not spent too much time thinking on the bad qualities of others.

So did the Roman Catholic Church.
:anjali:
User avatar
Mr Man
 
Posts: 1291
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:42 am

Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Postby David2 » Sun May 06, 2012 9:30 am

Mr Man wrote:
David2 wrote:
The Buddha taught us to not spent too much time thinking on the bad qualities of others.

So did the Roman Catholic Church.
:anjali:


Yeah, that doesn't mean that it's wrong...
David2
 
Posts: 930
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:09 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Postby Cittasanto » Sun May 06, 2012 10:17 am

Mr Man wrote:
David2 wrote:
The Buddha taught us to not spent too much time thinking on the bad qualities of others.

So did the Roman Catholic Church.
:anjali:

The Buddha also taught us to be judicious about who we associate with!
but that didn't mean only looking at the poor qualities of others, Ajahn Brahm has some good and bad qualities, as does the Roman Catholic Church (although I do not know why they are being mentioned, as it doesn't show or prove anything here, although guilt by association is a possibility)
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."
User avatar
Cittasanto
 
Posts: 5751
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Postby Mr Man » Sun May 06, 2012 11:10 am

Cittasanto, I think you need to refer to my original post. :)
User avatar
Mr Man
 
Posts: 1291
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:42 am

Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Postby Cittasanto » Sun May 06, 2012 11:29 am

Mr Man wrote:Cittasanto, I think you need to refer to my original post. :)

your original post?
sorry I the roman catholic church is not evidence of what you are saying here, nor does the use of any external to Buddhasm groups show trends related to Ajahn Brahm, as an individual teacher who is not part of a group, and any controversy or percieved unconvential, or inappropriate teachings he is apart of. nor does it demonstrate any trends in buddhism or this forum. Sorry Mr Man, but neither does claiming Tilt does decide things prove anything. these are arguments of association.
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."
User avatar
Cittasanto
 
Posts: 5751
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Postby Mr Man » Sun May 06, 2012 11:45 am

Cittasanto, why I said refer to my original post was because it seems the "catholic church" is a distraction. What my point was is that to ignore bad qualities is not in my opinion always good advice.

PS It is not my opinion that Tilt should be the final arbiter on what is an odd view ;)
User avatar
Mr Man
 
Posts: 1291
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:42 am

Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Postby Cittasanto » Sun May 06, 2012 12:28 pm

Mr Man wrote:Cittasanto, why I said refer to my original post was because it seems the "catholic church" is a distraction. What my point was is that to ignore bad qualities is not in my opinion always good advice.

PS It is not my opinion that Tilt should be the final arbiter on what is an odd view ;)

then there was no need for comparison or comment there then! please read my signature.

The Buddha advised people to ignore the bad and take the good, he himself demonstrated this on several occasions by atering even if it was simply one word, of anothers doctorine, but if someone says... something is good, bad, neither, or both and you do not know yourself it is good, bad, neither, or both or you are uncertain about it being so, it is best not to do it, but if you do, and you see it is bad, or both, then to stop doing it, even if it did agree with your own initial sense, speculation or anything else, the fact is an odd view is relative, by all accounts these views of Ajahn Brahms are not odd, they are just not in agreement with scientific truth as you some understand it, or with modern western ideas of what is and is not possible.
as I understand it it is unlikely that many peoplr would reach the necessary Jhanic attainment to find out for themselves whether or not the stories are true, but accepting them as Ajahn Brahm obviously is seen to of, can strengthen faith, and even in some cases increase the drive to practice certain kinds of meditative techniques, Jhana after all may not be 100% necessary for entering the stream but it is necessary for awakening.
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."
User avatar
Cittasanto
 
Posts: 5751
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Postby Alex123 » Sun May 06, 2012 1:56 pm

polarbuddha101 wrote: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


You are right. To speak bluntly, the Buddha left no books and no audio recordings. The suttas were compiled and edited by "500" Arhants after Buddha's death if we are to believe one recession of Vinaya. We have NO certain proof that the historical Buddha has said anything that is in the Suttas. While I believe that they are close and at least are VERY wise, and I like many things in them - we can never be certain for sure that some things were not added for some reason, or some metaphors were taken too literally. Also perhaps some people paid too much attention to words, and not enough to the intention behind them. Anyhow, I believe that one should put whatever one can into practice.

There are suttas where sun is said to rotate around the Earth, fish the size of 500 yojanas (5,000km!!!)... There are suttas that talk about city that existed for 100,000s of years. If we study when previous Buddha's have lived in India, we would have to totally rewrite and throw out the theory of evolution. If I am correct, Buddha Kassapa lived more than 500 millions of years ago. Yeh, right... Also, there doesn't seem to be any reference to the importance of the brain for sense cognition. Sense cognition does NOT happen in the organs themselves, it happens in the brain. There is no such thing as "Eye-consciousness, ear-consciousness", etc. There is seeing, hearing, etc, and it all is consciousness (as complex neural process) that happens in the brain - not in the sense organs themselves.

As Ven. Paññobhāsa Bhikkhu has said:

a) It is readily apparent that the authors of Abhidhamma philosophy were completely ignorant of the function, even the existence, of the human nervous system. Sensory consciousness is claimed to occur in the sense organs themselves, not in the brain; for example, visual consciousness supposedly arises in seven layers of (elemental and ultimately real) visually sensitive matter located on the anterior surface of the eyeball. Rather than relying upon the presence of sensory nerve endings, the material basis of tactile sensation (also one of the 82 “ultimate realities”) is said to uniformly pervade the body like oil soaking a tuft of cotton wool, being everywhere except in hair, nails, and hard, dry skin. The Pali word “matthaluṅga,” i.e., “brain,” is conspicuously absent in the canonical Abhidhamma texts (while in the commentarial literature the brain is declared to be a large lump of inert bone marrow and the source of nasal mucus); according to the Abhidhamma scholars, thought arises not in the brain but in a small quantity of variously colored blood contained in a chamber of the heart. This belief is closely interrelated with the fundamental concept that all mentality is strictly linear, only one specific image at a time existing in the mind, arising and passing away spontaneously through the metaphysical power of kamma. The generally prevalent and empirically consistent concept of a complex, physical generator of feeling and thought is quite foreign to Abhidhamma, and modern attempts to reconcile the two result in what is essentially doublethink.

b) The classical abhidhammic theory of matter primarily deals with 28 supposed elemental qualities which are never found alone, but are always combined in or associated with quasi-atomic particles called “rūpakalāpas.” The naïve realism underlying this philosophy is manifest, and furthermore has been scientifically obsolete for centuries. As an example the four (“ultimately real”) secondary material qualities supposedly present in all rūpakalāpas—color, odor, flavor, and nutritional essence—will be very briefly considered. The formulators of the theory evidently did not perceive that color, as such, exists only in the mind and is merely a symbolic interpretation of a certain bandwidth of electromagnetic radiation; and that furthermore the hypothetical rūpakalāpa is much smaller than the smallest wavelength of visible light. An individual rūpakalāpa, unless, perhaps, it could somehow be identified with a photon, could be endowed with color only potentially and even then in a very abstract sense. The formulators also evidently did not perceive that odor and flavor exist only in the mind, and are the result of molecules and ions of certain configurations interacting with specific neurosensory receptor sites. And the formulators quite obviously did not perceive the vast complexity of human nutrition. A hydrogen atom, for example, if contained in a molecule of sucrose is endowed with a certain nutritional value; if in a molecule of ascorbic acid, another; if in a molecule of cholesterol, yet another; if in a molecule of cellulose, is non-nutritive; and if in a molecule of cyanide, is poisonous. In the case of nutrition, even more markedly than in the preceding cases, the configuration and interaction of complex groups of elementary particles is of primary importance in determining the attributes in question. Just as a single nail does not contain within it the absolute element of “houseness,” even so a single subnuclear quantum of matter does not contain within it odor, flavor, or nutritional value. And finally, although rūpakalāpas are declared by the authorities to be ubiquitous and of appreciable size by modern scientific standards (roughly the size of an electron according to one authority), no physicist or chemist in a normal, waking state of consciousness has ever experimentally isolated or otherwise verified the existence of one.
”Even the water melting from the snow-capped peaks finds its way to the ocean."
User avatar
Alex123
 
Posts: 2853
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Postby Mr Man » Sun May 06, 2012 3:41 pm

Cittasanto wrote:then there was no need for comparison or comment there then! .

What do you mean? I shouldn't comment? It is my opinion that you have compleatly misunderstood what I wrote, which is odd because it is actually, in my opinion, very simple. Can you focus on my original post (if you like)?: "The idea that we should ignore the bad qualities/odd views of those in position of authority is really, in my opinion, not great advice".
:anjali:
User avatar
Mr Man
 
Posts: 1291
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:42 am

PreviousNext

Return to Open Dhamma

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Ben, Bing [Bot], Dan74, Majestic-12 [Bot] and 5 guests