Disregarding the Suttas is the height of arrogance.

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Re: Disregarding the Suttas is the height of arrogance.

Postby Spiny Norman » Fri Dec 28, 2012 9:18 am

Bakmoon wrote:To me at least, the suttas are a kind of measuring stick. When we hear various teachings, we check them against the suttas to see if they are consistent. If they are, then that teacher is safe to learn from, but if they contradict the suttas, it should raise a red flag and tell us that we should exercise some caution with that particular teacher.

I don't think it is a healthy attitude however to insist that everything a teacher says has to be derivable directly from the suttas as of course, the suttas don't have a lot of detail. Consistency should be our standard, not derivability.


Good post, but your last sentence seems to contradict your first paragraph?
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Re: Disregarding the Suttas is the height of arrogance.

Postby Bakmoon » Sat Dec 29, 2012 9:06 pm

porpoise wrote:
Bakmoon wrote:To me at least, the suttas are a kind of measuring stick. When we hear various teachings, we check them against the suttas to see if they are consistent. If they are, then that teacher is safe to learn from, but if they contradict the suttas, it should raise a red flag and tell us that we should exercise some caution with that particular teacher.

I don't think it is a healthy attitude however to insist that everything a teacher says has to be derivable directly from the suttas as of course, the suttas don't have a lot of detail. Consistency should be our standard, not derivability.


Good post, but your last sentence seems to contradict your first paragraph?


What I mean is this: A lot of times, the suttas don't give quite enough detail on how to do things for someone to be able to just pick up the suttas and practice, so it should be okay for us to go to a teacher and ask them for more detailed advice on how to practice something. When we do, we should make sure what they say doesn't contradict the suttas, but we can't ask for them to prove from the suttas every last detail of their advice because the suttas don't always give that level of detail. As long as nothing contradicts, you should be okay.
The non-doing of any evil,
The performance of what's skillful,
The cleansing of one's own mind:
This is the Buddhas' teaching.
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Re: Disregarding the Suttas is the height of arrogance.

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Dec 30, 2012 2:32 am

Bakmoon wrote:What I mean is this: A lot of times, the suttas don't give quite enough detail on how to do things for someone to be able to just pick up the suttas and practice, so it should be okay for us to go to a teacher and ask them for more detailed advice on how to practice something.

It's more than OK, it's probably essential for most of us, and clearly recommended by the Buddha: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
Bakmoon wrote:When we do, we should make sure what they say doesn't contradict the suttas, but we can't ask for them to prove from the suttas every last detail of their advice because the suttas don't always give that level of detail. As long as nothing contradicts, you should be okay.

Sure, but I'd be careful about too much looking for contradictions until you've actually practised with a teacher for a while. In my experience, understanding what the suttas is built on practice, rather than the other way around.

:anjali:
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Re: Disregarding the Suttas is the height of arrogance.

Postby nibbuti » Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:01 am

mikenz66 wrote:In my experience, understanding what the suttas is built on practice, rather than the other way around.

In my experience, the suttas are a meditation guide, so practise is both way round (like a feedback loop).

If any likable teacher were enough to teach Dhamma (rather than only point out what personal hindrance may be the strongest), the Buddha wouldn't have advised to check and re-check what is taught against the suttas.

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Re: Disregarding the Suttas is the height of arrogance.

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Dec 30, 2012 5:07 am

Hi Nibbuti,

Sorry, I guess I wasn't clear. A feedback loop is a good way to explain it.

My point was that it would be a mistake to jump to conclusions too quickly about what exactly the Buddha, teachers, ancient, or modern, are saying, without trying it out.

Personally, I have found having good teachers to give guidance essential. I am impressed that some can extract enough information from the suttas alone to practice effectively. I've not met such a practitioner in person.

:anjali:
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Re: Disregarding the Suttas is the height of arrogance.

Postby hermitwin » Sun Dec 30, 2012 5:14 am

i agree with alan totally.
but, buddha said, ' there are few with little dust in their eyes'.
i have come across many who do not think that the suttas are important.
they cherry-pick what they like about buddhism.
but that is human nature, what can you do?
i have come to accept that many people are not too keen to
know what buddha really taught.
i have compassion for these people.
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Re: Disregarding the Suttas is the height of arrogance.

Postby ground » Sun Dec 30, 2012 6:58 am

alan wrote:Friends,
Buddhism would not exist without the Suttas. ...

But maybe the dhamma would. :sage:
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Re: Disregarding the Suttas is the height of arrogance.

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Dec 30, 2012 7:01 am

ground wrote:
alan wrote:Friends,
Buddhism would not exist without the Suttas. ...

But maybe the dhamma would.
How?
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: Disregarding the Suttas is the height of arrogance.

Postby ground » Sun Dec 30, 2012 7:05 am

tiltbillings wrote:
ground wrote:
alan wrote:Friends,
Buddhism would not exist without the Suttas. ...

But maybe the dhamma would.
How?

Do you affirm that it would exist or negate that it would exist? (Please note the "maybe") :sage:
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Re: Disregarding the Suttas is the height of arrogance.

Postby Bakmoon » Sun Dec 30, 2012 5:16 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
Bakmoon wrote:
Bakmoon wrote:When we do, we should make sure what they say doesn't contradict the suttas, but we can't ask for them to prove from the suttas every last detail of their advice because the suttas don't always give that level of detail. As long as nothing contradicts, you should be okay.

Sure, but I'd be careful about too much looking for contradictions until you've actually practised with a teacher for a while. In my experience, understanding what the suttas is built on practice, rather than the other way around.

:anjali:
Mike


I agree. It can be very easy to misunderstand what a teacher is saying if you don't actually try it out, and even if something seems to contradict, you should try to see if there is a way to resolve such a contradiction instead of just rejecting what that teacher is saying.
The non-doing of any evil,
The performance of what's skillful,
The cleansing of one's own mind:
This is the Buddhas' teaching.
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Re: Disregarding the Suttas is the height of arrogance.

Postby Billymac29 » Sun Dec 30, 2012 10:15 pm

This OP is a bit unusual to me. I haven't found anyone on here that has "disregarded the suttas"...
what a strange thing to say...

may all be well ;)
"whatever one frequently thinks and ponders upon will be the inclination of one's mind"
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Re: Disregarding the Suttas is the height of arrogance.

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:12 am

ground wrote:Do you affirm that it would exist or negate that it would exist? (Please note the "maybe")
As usual, word games.
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: Disregarding the Suttas is the height of arrogance.

Postby ground » Mon Dec 31, 2012 5:08 am

tiltbillings wrote:
ground wrote:Do you affirm that it would exist or negate that it would exist? (Please note the "maybe")
As usual, word games.

I would call it a suggestion rather than word game. It is just that an assertion of the kind "it is [this or that]" is missing and it is left to the reader. :sage:
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Re: Disregarding the Suttas is the height of arrogance.

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Dec 31, 2012 5:16 am

ground wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
ground wrote:Do you affirm that it would exist or negate that it would exist? (Please note the "maybe")
As usual, word games.

I would call it a suggestion rather than word game. It is just that an assertion of the kind "it is [this or that]" is missing and it is left to the reader. :sage:
In other words: word games.
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: Disregarding the Suttas is the height of arrogance.

Postby ground » Mon Dec 31, 2012 5:20 am

tiltbillings wrote:
ground wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:As usual, word games.

I would call it a suggestion rather than word game. It is just that an assertion of the kind "it is [this or that]" is missing and it is left to the reader. :sage:
In other words: word games.

You may call the suggestion as you like. :sage:
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Re: Disregarding the Suttas is the height of arrogance.

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Dec 31, 2012 5:21 am

ground wrote:You may call the suggestion as you like.
A word game.
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: Disregarding the Suttas is the height of arrogance.

Postby Spiny Norman » Mon Dec 31, 2012 1:46 pm

Bakmoon wrote: When we do, we should make sure what they say doesn't contradict the suttas, but we can't ask for them to prove from the suttas every last detail of their advice because the suttas don't always give that level of detail. As long as nothing contradicts, you should be okay.


Yes, there is quite a lot of room for interpretation in terms of the detail. And as they say "the devil is in the detail". ;)
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