Being nobody (Classical)

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Re: Being nobody

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:24 am

Non-Classically-Oriented posts have been redirected to here:
viewtopic.php?t=12690&f=13

:anjali:
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Re: Being nobody (Classical)

Postby Mr Man » Mon Jun 04, 2012 11:20 am

In my opinion the OP is a mis-representation of "Thai Forest Tradition". Where does the ""being nobody, going nowhere" phrase come from? Possibly there has been some ad-hoc teaching along those lines and possibly it is somthing that we in the west, like to pick up on but I would say that it really isn't given as a "doctrinal" teaching and isn't at the centre of emphasis in the "Thai Forest Tradition". I would say that the basis for this discussion is not solid.
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PS Moderators hopefully my comment is acceptable for this thread. I did read the guidelines but thought my point is relevant to the starting point of the discussion.
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Re: Being nobody (Classical)

Postby daverupa » Mon Jun 04, 2012 3:07 pm

Mr Man wrote:Where does the ""being nobody, going nowhere" phrase come from?


Hmm... Ayya Khema wrote a book with that title. Otherwise, a potential source lies in this unsourced anecdote, for what it's worth:

A visiting Zen student asked Ajahn Chah, "How old are you? Do you live here all year round?" "I live nowhere," he replied. "There is no place you can find me. I have no age. To have age, you must exist, and to think you exist is already a problem. Don't make problems; then the world has none either. Don't make a self. There's nothing more to say."


Nothing Classical as yet; I wonder about the pedagogical difference between "be nobody, go nowhere" and "in the seen there is only the seen"...
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Being nobody (Classical)

Postby Coyote » Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:03 pm

Hi Mr Man,

Mr Man wrote:In my opinion the OP is a mis-representation of "Thai Forest Tradition". Where does the ""being nobody, going nowhere" phrase come from? Possibly there has been some ad-hoc teaching along those lines and possibly it is somthing that we in the west, like to pick up on but I would say that it really isn't given as a "doctrinal" teaching and isn't at the centre of emphasis in the "Thai Forest Tradition". I would say that the basis for this discussion is not solid.


While it may not be a doctrinal teaching, it is a practical teaching that I have heard various western teachers in the Thai Forest Tradition use, especially Ajahn Sumedho and Ajahn Amaro, although there may be others.
Not sure if I should post this here, but Ajahn Sumedho talks about this idea in "The Sound of Silence", though I am not sure I could find the specific page or quote at the moment.
Also I have heard this from Ajahn Amaro, for example in the talk "Not being enlightened in the future" available here:
http://feeds.amaravati.org/AmaravatiTalks
I believe he also draws from a Zen parable in that talk also.

daverupa wrote:Hmm... Ayya Khema wrote a book with that title. Otherwise, a potential source lies in this unsourced anecdote, for what it's worth:


Yes, this is where I first heard the phrase, although I have not read that particular book.

Perhaps it is more a difference of emphasis and language, or practical instruction, rather than a real difference in doctrine. It is just that the language used strikes me as being very specific to those of the Ajahn Chah lineage, and I wondered if it had any Classical basis.
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
Iti 26
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Re: Being nobody (Classical)

Postby Viscid » Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:39 pm

If you haven't dug into Paññobhāsa's translation of the Atthakavagga, I recommend it.
http://pathpress.files.wordpress.com/20 ... vagga2.pdf

The suttas in it seem to thematically parallel 'being nobody,'-- a directed emptying of egoic self-image.

SUDDHAṬṬHAKA SUTTA wrote:8. The holy man is gone beyond boundaries—by him there is nothing
He has known or seen that is seized upon.
He has no passion for passion, he is not impassioned for dispassion.
By him nothing outward has been taken up here.


DUṬṬHAṬṬHAKA SUTTA wrote:3. Whatever person, even unasked,
Speaks to others of his own morality and observances,
Whoever even of his own accord speaks of himself—
Adept ones say his is an ignoble way.

4. But a mendicant at peace, with self completely blown out,
Not boasting about his morality saying, “I am like this,”
For whom there are no distinguished positions at all in the world—
Adept ones say that his is a noble way.
"What holds attention determines action." - William James
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