Peter wrote:Perhaps you could clarify? Show me the difference between what you wrote and what I wrote?
The difference is that I was trying to respond to the OP by describing what would be, for me personally
, the best question. I thought I made that very clear. You responded as if I was saying that the question would be the best for everyone
. So unfortunately you read my post in a way that was not intended. You told me that my response was "empty and hollow," and I have to admit I was caught by surprise by this, because I was just being honest about what I felt would be the best question for me. Why is my honest question empty and hollow? I took it personally, which I shouldn't have done.
But I also tried to clarify by posting in this thread:
Jechbi wrote:I was talking about myelf, not you.
By this time, the tone of my posts may have conveyed to you that I was feeling hurt and personally attacked. Nevertheless, you persisted in telling me that my understanding of the Buddha's teachings was flawed, and that I lacked humility and was not open to learning. All of these things struck me as personal attacks.
I told you in another post that I felt you had personally attacked me. You alerted the moderators, and at your request, that post was deleted in its entirety from this thread. Part of that post contained this:
Jechbi (from deleted post) wrote:
Peter wrote:In short, a] an offer of generosity is indeed taught to be good, but it is not taught to be the best and b] to ask a Buddha how one might work towards Nibbana is not taught to be selfish, but rather is taught to be the best. To think generosity is the best or that to strive for Nibbana is selfish seems to me to show misunderstanding of the teachings, misunderstandings I felt worthwhile to point out and correct.
I didn't say any of those things. None of those things were my point.
I also sent you a PM trying to point out to you that you misunderstood my posts. Despite these efforts to clarify this matter for you, you have persisted in confronting me with regard to what I wrote. I have felt throughout this discussion as if I have been on the defensive. I didn't post here in order to get a lesson from you, Peter, on how wrong you believe my understanding is of the Buddha's teachings, and how lacking in humility you feel I am, and how closed to learning you feel I am, and how empty and hollow you feel my question would be.
Let me try to be very clear: You wrote this:
Peter wrote:What is objectionable is to say that asking the Buddha what he needs is the best question on could ask and that asking a question related to one's personal practice is selfish.
My response is this: There is no question with regard to personal practice that urgently comes to mind for me. Why would I waste my time asking the Buddha questions that I don't have? (Which is not to say I have nothing to learn. I just think the Buddha would be pretty good at knowing how to instruct me in practice, so much so that I don't have to struggle for questions.) The best question for me is the one that I truly believe I would ask, as I noted earlier: Either "Would you take me as your disciple," or "How can I help?"
I've already explained this to you several times in language that is as clear as I'm capable of using, yet you persist in saying that my personal observation is objectionable.
I wish you would stop telling me that the best question for me would be objectionable. I wish you would stop telling me that I do not understand the Buddha's teachings. I wish you would stop telling me that my question would be hollow and empty. I wish you would stop telling me that I lack humility and that I am not open to learning.
I wish you could accept that for me, this is the best question. I wish you could simply listen to my contribution without trying to tear it to shreds.
Peter, I'm going to try to respond to you in the future as if this exchange didn't happen. You can help me by being sensitive to how I feel about what has occurred here. And to the extent that you feel personally affronted by how I've engaged in this discussion, I apologize and take responsibility for my role in that.