David's Book:Some core principles of the “Modern Theravada”

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David's Book:Some core principles of the “Modern Theravada”

Postby yawares » Thu Sep 20, 2012 12:43 pm

Dear Members,

Some core principles of the “Modern Theravada”
[By Dr. David N. Snyder]


As shown above and in the quotes above, the progressive views of Modern Theravada are in line
with the teachings of the Buddha. Listed below are some core principles (that differentiate it
from the literalist or fundamentalist views):

1. There is an equal importance to the practices of meditation, sutta study, discussion, and
devotional practices. But there is especially an emphasis on meditation and sutta study over
rites, rituals, and ceremonies.

2. Men and women can practice together in a monastic environment.

3. The Dhamma can be taught in English or other language of the local community.

4. An international electronic sangha can exist.

5. All Buddhist traditions are not only vehicles toward complete perfect enlightenment but
that they can teach each other.

6. Lay persons can not only teach other lay persons but can teach monks as well.

7. Women can teach men . . . and monks.

8. Women can become fully ordained bhikkhunis (nuns), if they so choose.

9. One can interpret the planes of existence as physical places or as mental states and
neither view precludes one from being called a Buddhist.

10. A tendency to move toward vegetarianism and concern for the environment. Modern
Theravadins would most likely be vegetarian or at least mostly vegetarian.


Notes/sources for above:
There are several suttas that provide support for the above, but listed below are some examples
for each point above:

1. ―It is bhikkhus, because he has developed and cultivated one faculty that a bhikkhu who has
destroyed the taints declares final knowledge thus. What is that one faculty? The faculty of
wisdom.‖ Samyutta Nikaya 48

―And which are the five lower fetters? Self-identity views; uncertainty; attachment to rites,
rituals, and ceremonies; sensual desire; and ill will.‖ Anguttara Nikaya 10.13

2. In the modern world, there may not be enough centers to provide for gender segregation of
monastic communities, especially in countries that are predominantly non-Buddhist. This is in
keeping with the Buddha‘s wish for the Dhamma to be spread far and wide:
―Wander forth, O bhikkhus, for the welfare of the multitude, for the happiness of the multitude,
out of compassion for the world, for the good, welfare, and happiness of devas and humans. Let
not two go the same way. Teach, O bhikkhus, the Dhamma that is good in the beginning, good in
the middle, good in the end, with the right meaning and phrasing.‖ Samyutta Nikaya 4.453

3. ―I allow you, O Bhikkhus, to learn the word of the Buddhas each in his own dialect.‖
Cullavaga, Vinaya

4. Also in keeping with spreading of the Dhamma, as number 2 above, Samyutta Nikaya 4.453

5. ―Another person has practiced the making of merit by giving as well as by moral discipline to
a high degree; but he has not undertaken the making of merit by meditation. With the breakup
of the body, after death, he will be reborn among humans in a favorable condition. Or he will be
reborn in the company of the devas of the Four Great Kings.‖ Anguttara Nikaya 4.241-243

6. ―But he who lives purely and self assured, in quietness and virtue, who is without harm or
hurt or blame, even if he wears fine clothes, so long as he also has faith, he is a true seeker.‖
Dhammapada, chapter 10, verse 142
―There is no fetter bound by which Citta the householder could return to this world.‖ Samyutta
Nikaya 41.9 (Citta was a non-returner and a lay man)

―I say there is no difference between a lay follower who is liberated in mind and a bhikkhu who
has been liberated in mind, that is, between one liberation and the other.‖
Samyutta Nikaya 55.54

7. ―The bhikkhuni Dhammadina is wise, Visakha, the bhikkhuni Dhammadina has great
wisdom. If you had asked me the meaning of this, I would have explained it to you in the same
way that the bhikkhuni Dhammadina has explained it. Such is its meaning and you should
remember it.
Majjhima Nikaya 44.31 (On the occasion of bhikkhuni Dhammadina giving a Dhamma talk to a
man with the Buddha listening.)

8. ―I will not take final Nibbana till I have nuns and female disciples who are accomplished, till
I have laymen and laywomen followers who are accomplished.‖
Digha Nikaya 16.3.8

9. Mara‘s three offspring are named Lobha, Dosa and Moha, meaning Greed, Hatred and
Delusion (mental states). Samyutta Nikaya 1 Mara-samyutta

10. ―Monks, a lay follower should not engage in five types of business. Which five? Business in
weapons, business in human beings, business in meat, business in intoxicants, and business in
poison. Anguttara Nikaya 5.177
―He should not kill a living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should he incite another to kill.
Do not injure any being, either strong or weak, in the world.
Khuddaka Nikaya, Sutta Nipata, Dhammika Sutta
:bow: :namaste:

************to be continued*****************
yawares :anjali:
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Re: David's Book:Some core principles of the “Modern Theravada”

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:34 pm

Hi yawares,

I moved this from Abhidhamma to Theravada for the modern world, since it deals more with "modern trends" or the "modern" movement to get back to the Suttas (among some in Theravada).
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Re: David's Book:Some core principles of the “Modern Theravada”

Postby yawares » Fri Sep 21, 2012 1:16 am

David N. Snyder wrote:Hi yawares,

I moved this from Abhidhamma to Theravada for the modern world, since it deals more with "modern trends" or the "modern" movement to get back to the Suttas (among some in Theravada).

Dear David,
I'll post there tomorrow.
The Air Force sent my daughter with the team of doctors to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia since September 14...to teach/train Ethiopian military doctors (new surgery techniques)...she emails me everyday that she's happy that they are friendly/willing to learn, they even let civilian doctors to attend the class....after the class they take US drs-team to tour nice places every day. The doctor-team will be there 10 days.
yawares
:smile:
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Re: David's Book:Some core principles of the “Modern Theravada”

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri Sep 21, 2012 3:13 am

yawares wrote:
The Air Force sent my daughter with the team of doctors to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia since September 14...to teach/train Ethiopian military doctors (new surgery techniques)...she emails me everyday that she's happy that they are friendly/willing to learn, they even let civilian doctors to attend the class....after the class they take US drs-team to tour nice places every day. The doctor-team will be there 10 days.
:smile:


Great service! Mudita to her merit-making helping the doctors there and helping the people there. The rainy season is pretty much over there now. Speaking of the Dhamma and Ethiopia; I wonder if Askoka's missions reached Ethiopia? It is reported that his missions went as far as "East Africa."

"Wander forth, O bhikkhus, for the welfare of the multitude, for the happiness of the multitude,
out of compassion for the world, for the good, welfare, and happiness of devas and humans. Let
not two go the same way. Teach, O bhikkhus, the Dhamma that is good in the beginning, good in
the middle, good in the end, with the right meaning and phrasing
." Samyutta Nikaya 4.453

The churches in Ethiopia all have 8 sided wheels on top and the monks and nuns wear yellow robes.
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Re: David's Book:Some core principles of the “Modern Theravada”

Postby Hanzze » Fri Sep 21, 2012 3:34 am

1. There is an equal importance to the practices of meditation, sutta study, discussion, and
devotional practices. But there is especially an emphasis on meditation and sutta study over
rites, rituals, and ceremonies.

As far as I had seen, the first steps (Gratitude, Dana, Sila) into practice are missing and have no much attantion in "modern Theravada". Naturally there is much joy in intellectual sensuallity which as well in meditaion as compensation to wrong livelihood (natural wellness trend)

2. Men and women can practice together in a monastic environment.

That is something that might sound heroic and mature, but actually that is not really possible. We are not that strong as we might thing, not to thing on the example one would give.

3. The Dhamma can be taught in English or other language of the local community.

That is nothing new, but it is maybe new that it is taught to everyone in every situation. Such offensive, needs also much work on the sideeffects of this offensivity. But that is maybe another point. How ever it is good to speak not in every language in regard of its social use. For expample to use slang or very worldy language would damage the Dhamma and respect. Reperception is very importand to find out of the jungle of usuals.

4. An international electronic sangha can exist.

I guess it would not make sense to destroy it. Buddhist do not have problems with existing and also do not force aversion. In regard of birth, its something different. But that's an individuall thing. It's not possible to maintain something without support and as long as it is not taken, it will be not an subject of balme and if good done, even a wholesome way to use the given in its best way.
One other aspect is that the path of Dhamma is always a path against the stream and samples outside the main stream are often needed. Trickiness, I am not sure if that is really a way.

5. All Buddhist traditions are not only vehicles toward complete perfect enlightenment but
that they can teach each other.

We can not talk about Buddhist tradtions if the intention is not toward the end of suffering. Of course a Buddhist would tolerate if others fell well in the circle of suffering and strive for other things. But there is also something different the Buddha also used all his power to get through it. Brahmans, Ascetics and Deities who sell bark wood as hard wood, as such maya would close the door to the eightfold path for a long long time.
Reconciliation and unanimity is not always possible, a fact which also Buddha had pointed out.

6. Lay persons can not only teach other lay persons but can teach monks as well.

That is nothing new, but a tendency of less respect and a thought to know much is a general attidute or our times. I would not force that. If a monk likes to listen to a layman or not its up to him. For the layman as well.
In regrad of Vinaya and rebuking its already clear, that a monk needs to pay respect and give rebukes even of layman attantion. Otherwise one would slander the Vinaya or Dhamma direct or indirect. Of course also something that happens very often today, as it seems to be a need to demontage the Vinaya to be able to addopt Dhamma.

Maybe this is something we all need to learn:

A Sense That Your Arm is Short

The Buddha's teachings are direct, straightforward, and simple, but hard for someone who's starting to practice them because his knowledge can't reach them. It's like a hole: People by the hundreds and thousands complain that the hole is deep because they can't reach to its bottom. There's hardly anybody who will say that the problem is that his arm is short.

The Buddha taught us to abandon evil of every kind. We skip over this part and go straight to making merit without abandoning evil. It's the same as saying the hole is deep. Those who say their arms are short are rare.



7. Women can teach men . . . and monks.

That is a very cheep political statement. No comment, one need to think about the need of such statements by one self.

8. Women can become fully ordained bhikkhunis (nuns), if they so choose.

It's important to understand that there are no rights in the way of our modern illusion. Right is something given. If there is no giving, taking is the usual way if somebody desires for something. If taking is a wholesome way, I guess one needs to think deeply for one self.

9. One can interpret the planes of existence as physical places or as mental states and
neither view precludes one from being called a Buddhist.

This is as old as Buddha Dhamma. But one should not mix it with something that is outside of right view. Coming form nowhere and going to nowhere is no basis for practice the Path.

10. A tendency to move toward vegetarianism and concern for the environment. Modern
Theravadins would most likely be vegetarian or at least mostly vegetarian.

That is also politic, which leads to much suffering at the end. Food and the understanding of the way in accordiance to the Dhamma needs to be explained very carefully. No need to addopt illusions of other sects.

Its not a question how we can transfer our Buddhas teaching into our present usuals (modern) but always a question of how to change or usuals to come to a point that we can say we live according/in line to the Dhamma (you can see the word Dhamma here as teching or as nature as well).

How ever, I guess there are really less who have the courage to be really modern, in a sence of walking a good new wholesome way. Modern means "up-to-date", do you really like the things as they are "up-to-date"? So maybe it is good to use something modern (in its meaning of "new") to change "up-to-date" to a better. Things are not permanent and its up to the individual to develope something that will hurt again and again or a path to go beyound.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: David's Book:Some core principles of the “Modern Theravada”

Postby Hanzze » Fri Sep 21, 2012 3:39 am

David N. Snyder wrote:
yawares wrote:
The Air Force sent my daughter with the team of doctors to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia since September 14...to teach/train Ethiopian military doctors (new surgery techniques)...she emails me everyday that she's happy that they are friendly/willing to learn, they even let civilian doctors to attend the class....after the class they take US drs-team to tour nice places every day. The doctor-team will be there 10 days.
:smile:


Great service! Mudita to her merit-making helping the doctors there and helping the people there. The rainy season is pretty much over there now. Speaking of the Dhamma and Ethiopia; I wonder if Askoka's missions reached Ethiopia? It is reported that his missions went as far as "East Africa."

"Wander forth, O bhikkhus, for the welfare of the multitude, for the happiness of the multitude,
out of compassion for the world, for the good, welfare, and happiness of devas and humans. Let
not two go the same way. Teach, O bhikkhus, the Dhamma that is good in the beginning, good in
the middle, good in the end, with the right meaning and phrasing
." Samyutta Nikaya 4.453

The churches in Ethiopia all have 8 sided wheels on top and the monks and nuns wear yellow robes.

I am not sure if supporting of the continue of "justice" tool is really very merit full, so it is good if just Arahant Bhikkus wander forth. I would not give a boon to everyone, it could nurish easy an illusion.
So its better to see it simply as a good livelihood, simply a exchange, "My work, my income" without the illusion of an heroic deed.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: David's Book:Some core principles of the “Modern Theravada”

Postby yawares » Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:10 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:
yawares wrote:
The Air Force sent my daughter with the team of doctors to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia since September 14...to teach/train Ethiopian military doctors (new surgery techniques)...she emails me everyday that she's happy that they are friendly/willing to learn, they even let civilian doctors to attend the class....after the class they take US drs-team to tour nice places every day. The doctor-team will be there 10 days.
:smile:


Great service! Mudita to her merit-making helping the doctors there and helping the people there. The rainy season is pretty much over there now. Speaking of the Dhamma and Ethiopia; I wonder if Asoka's missions reached Ethiopia? It is reported that his missions went as far as "East Africa.".
Yawares: Thanks for your kind words about Sirikanya..4 yrs ago,she was sent to work with Australian/Dutch/English doctors in Afghanistan, stayed at the military hospital to take care of wounded soldiers..so sad many soldiers died from bombs/machine guns wounds...all doctors had to endure the noise of Black Hawk helicoptors days/nights. :cry:
I don't know much about King Asoka's mission, but I read alot about him and especially his arahant brother :heart: "Prince Vitasoka" who became a great bhikkhu :namaste: ...I'll post story of Prince Vitasoka someday...very very interesting!!

"Wander forth, O bhikkhus, for the welfare of the multitude, for the happiness of the multitude,
out of compassion for the world, for the good, welfare, and happiness of devas and humans. Let
not two go the same way. Teach, O bhikkhus, the Dhamma that is good in the beginning, good in
the middle, good in the end, with the right meaning and phrasing
." Samyutta Nikaya 4.453

The churches in Ethiopia all have 8 sided wheels on top and the monks and nuns wear yellow robes.
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Re: David's Book:Some core principles of the “Modern Theravada”

Postby yawares » Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:25 pm

Hanzze wrote:
David N. Snyder wrote:
yawares wrote:
The Air Force sent my daughter with the team of doctors to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia since September 14...to teach/train Ethiopian military doctors (new surgery techniques)...she emails me everyday that she's happy that they are friendly/willing to learn, they even let civilian doctors to attend the class....after the class they take US drs-team to tour nice places every day. The doctor-team will be there 10 days.
:smile:


Great service! Mudita to her merit-making helping the doctors there and helping the people there. The rainy season is pretty much over there now. Speaking of the Dhamma and Ethiopia; I wonder if Askoka's missions reached Ethiopia? It is reported that his missions went as far as "East Africa."

"Wander forth, O bhikkhus, for the welfare of the multitude, for the happiness of the multitude,
out of compassion for the world, for the good, welfare, and happiness of devas and humans. Let
not two go the same way. Teach, O bhikkhus, the Dhamma that is good in the beginning, good in
the middle, good in the end, with the right meaning and phrasing
." Samyutta Nikaya 4.453

The churches in Ethiopia all have 8 sided wheels on top and the monks and nuns wear yellow robes.

I am not sure if supporting of the continue of "justice" tool is really very merit full, so it is good if just Arahant Bhikkus wander forth. I would not give a boon to everyone, it could nurish easy an illusion.
So its better to see it simply as a good livelihood, simply a exchange, "My work, my income" without the illusion of an heroic deed.

Yawares: This mission is not part of the job...no extra pay for this teaching trip for the doctors-team...7 doctors volunteer to do this out of :heart: good hearts/good will. :heart: :namaste:
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Re: David's Book:Some core principles of the “Modern Theravada”

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:59 pm

Hanzze wrote:I am not sure if supporting of the continue of "justice" tool is really very merit full, so it is good if just Arahant Bhikkus wander forth. I would not give a boon to everyone, it could nurish easy an illusion.
So its better to see it simply as a good livelihood, simply a exchange, "My work, my income" without the illusion of an heroic deed.


Not at all, no illusion. Arahants could do well to wander forth, but some areas are not ready for missionary work and/or not interested. Many areas in the world, including Ethiopia need jobs, food, and medicine and doctors. Many doctors could be doing work for rich people in Beverly Hills and other areas, but choose to work in something with more service. Many also do voluntary work, including doctors without borders. It takes a great deal of discipline, hard work, studying, long hours, practice to become a doctor and then they save lives. I consider it a blessing that I see it as a good deed, regardless of their salaries or if acting as volunteers.
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Re: David's Book:Some core principles of the “Modern Theravada”

Postby Hanzze » Sat Sep 22, 2012 12:26 am

Maybe, anicent/traditional doctors/healer did not make their "job" for money at all. There are less vocations which are equal to that of somebody healing others. "With more service" seems to be a great start (if it is not based on something strange) and nothing to criticise for such tendencies.
"Acting as volunteers", did you know that most volunteers are actually suffering a lot, trauma and delusion is often a reason for doing such things. There are actually less, very less who are not driven by such subtil forces (sacrify, pity, ...).

It's all a little about modern and the addoption of it's wired appearings as usual, isn't it.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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