Big Boat or small Boat?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Big Boat or small Boat?

Postby Gaoxing » Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:06 am

I think all are familiar with the simile of the guy that's suppose to leave his boat at the river once he's crossed it.

I started reading on the "Wheel" and I must say that I feel a bit overwhelmed by all the knowledge here. Jeeeesslike and Mary of Joseph who alluded me!

No offence intended! I mean WOW!

Do you guys and girls think it's possible to cross the river with a tiny boat, or should I start to panic? :toilet: :embarassed:

:rolleye:
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Re: Big Boat or small Boat?

Postby daverupa » Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:40 am

viewtopic.php?f=25&t=10766

"Lord, this recitation of more than 150 training rules comes every fortnight. I cannot train in reference to them."

"Monk, can you train in reference to the three trainings: the training in heightened virtue, the training in heightened mind, the training in heightened discernment?"

"Yes, lord, I can train in reference to the three trainings: the training in heightened virtue, the training in heightened mind, the training in heightened discernment."

"Then train in reference to those three trainings."

AN 3.83
    "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: Big Boat or small Boat?

Postby Alobha » Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:55 am

Hey Gaoxing,

don't worry. Get the basics covered: A good understanding of the noble eightfold path, the four noble truths, how to meditate and you're fine.

The reason you see many very specific questions / topics is that people sometimes benefit from input to figure out things they stumble upon in their own practice. Dhammawheel is helpful for that, but most questions solve themselves via practicing the noble eightfold path. Bhikkhu Manapo once suggested to apply KISS to the practice: Keep It Simple, Stupid!
It's a good advice not just for starters, if you ask me :)

Best wishes,
Alobha
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Re: Big Boat or small Boat?

Postby Gaoxing » Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:10 pm

Thanks Folks!

I think I was just trying to say the 'Wheel' is great for knowledge.

Maybe I let go too much. I mean I have one book I've been working on for years and each time I read it I have a new understanding. It's the book that told me about Buddhism about 13 years ago.

On a more serious note I would really hate to be the guy that walks around on the other side of the river with the 'Wheel' under my arm! (That was a serious joke meant as a compliment!) :bow:

I hope someone benefits from this thread! :embarassed:
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Re: Big Boat or small Boat?

Postby SDC » Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:32 pm

Don’t panic. We specialize in nitpicking and dead horse beating. :D

There is a tremendous body of information out there (not just on DW), but you do not need to know all of it to practice. If you learn the core principals you will realize that a great deal of what is out there serves to drive those principals home, and you can have a fulfilling practice without knowing them all.

I think much depends on what you want out of the practice and how far you are willing to go. This level of devotion will help you apply what you learn to your daily life. This is the important part of the practice - living it. Don’t worry about every little detail. You can spend a lifetime trying to memorize every detail, but unless you are applying it to your life it is useless.
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Re: Big Boat or small Boat?

Postby Ben » Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:56 pm

SDC wrote:Don’t panic. We specialize in nitpicking and dead horse beating. :D

There is a tremendous body of information out there (not just on DW), but you do not need to know all of it to practice. If you learn the core principals you will realize that a great deal of what is out there serves to drive those principals home, and you can have a fulfilling practice without knowing them all.

I think much depends on what you want out of the practice and how far you are willing to go. This level of devotion will help you apply what you learn to your daily life. This is the important part of the practice - living it. Don’t worry about every little detail. You can spend a lifetime trying to memorize every detail, but unless you are applying it to your life it is useless.

:goodpost:
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


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Re: Big Boat or small Boat?

Postby reflection » Mon Aug 27, 2012 2:49 pm

In my opinion, Buddhism isn't about knowledge, it's about wisdom, which represents itself in feelings rather than intellectual stuff. I think it's always good to have a solid basis in your practice rather than knowledge. Because thoughts are always wrong, as in not 100% correct. Some take the way with suttas leading their practice, others take the way of practice leading the suttas. It's just what you prefer, but in the end even suttas are not right, because they are knowledge, not wisdom. The Buddha's insights were very simple; it's just like it is. But a problem arises when we don't see how it is, so he used many words to get us to change our view. But these words were not the view itself. So no need to remember the words if we can just see.

It's like somebody trying to explain what an elephant looks like. He can talk for hours and hours, but it's better if we just take a look. So instead of arguing whether it's green or red, it turns out to be grey.
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Re: Big Boat or small Boat?

Postby SDC » Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:02 am

Thanks, Ben.
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Re: Big Boat or small Boat?

Postby bodom » Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:15 am

Hi Gaoxing

Please see the Buddhadasa Bhikkhu quote in my signature below. :smile:

:anjali:
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: Big Boat or small Boat?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue Aug 28, 2012 2:53 am

Whether your boat is small or big, don't load it with excess baggage and passengers, and concentrate on rowing your own boat.
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Re: Big Boat or small Boat?

Postby DAWN » Tue Aug 28, 2012 3:33 am

All waves leads to the ground.
But by making a river calm,
you will cross it by swiming on your arm.
Sabbe dhamma anatta
We are not concurents...
I'am sorry for my english
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Re: Big Boat or small Boat?

Postby Gaoxing » Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:43 am

reflection wrote:In my opinion, Buddhism isn't about knowledge, it's about wisdom, which represents itself in feelings rather than intellectual stuff. I think it's always good to have a solid basis in your practice rather than knowledge. Because thoughts are always wrong, as in not 100% correct. Some take the way with suttas leading their practice, others take the way of practice leading the suttas. It's just what you prefer, but in the end even suttas are not right, because they are knowledge, not wisdom. The Buddha's insights were very simple; it's just like it is. But a problem arises when we don't see how it is, so he used many words to get us to change our view. But these words were not the view itself. So no need to remember the words if we can just see.

It's like somebody trying to explain what an elephant looks like. He can talk for hours and hours, but it's better if we just take a look. So instead of arguing whether it's green or red, it turns out to be grey.


Thanks Guys and Girls, I found all of your responses to be very encouraging. I particularly liked the quoted response from 'Reflection'. Wisdom takes time though and sometimes skilful means are almost impossible to come by.

It makes me think of how sensitive people can be and also cultural differences. To be skilful requires a lot of patience and sometimes an unskilful word has effects that seems to never go away. I would have given up everything I have if I could spend a day or two in the Buddha's presence.

I sometimes get the feeling he was a ‘not-so-sensitive’ teacher.

What do you think?
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