danieLion wrote:Not necessarily, but I am claiming it can be used as a tool by some individuals at some times to fabricate part of a path to stream-entry. Are you denying that REBT and CBT can never be used for such a purpose by some people at some times? In other words, are you making a mutual exclusivity claim or false dichotomy claim between path fabrication and REBT and CBT tools?
Unless someone directly, specifically, and creditably
credits the REBT or CBT process with the attainment of stream entry, it remains speculation as to whether these tools actually can form a part of the path to stream entry. Is there someone out there who actually makes that claim? Or are they not rather better understood in terms of their recognized goals, rather than giving too much significance to textual similarities here and there?
What do you mean by "someone out there"? Are you committing the fallacy of argument to tradition and/or argument to authority? I'm someone "out there" with academic credentials and an experienced Buddhist who's made direct, specific, credible claims with minimal speculation about the substantial relationship between critical thinking/REBT/CBT and The Path. Cittasanto's someone "out there" that's made similar direct, specific, and credible claims with minimal specualtion about the substantial relationship between critical thinking/REBT/CBT and The Path. And yes, there are many
Buddhists "out there" with credibility who have made similar claims. Would you like me to inform you of them, also? I could do it lickity split with one hand tied behind my back.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rational_e ... or_therapy
Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), previously called rational therapy and rational emotive therapy, is a comprehensive, active-directive, philosophically and empirically based psychotherapy which focuses on resolving emotional and behavioral problems and disturbances and enabling people to lead happier and more fulfilling lives.
This does not contradict what I've said but rather supports it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_ ... al_therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a psychotherapeutic approach that addresses dysfunctional emotions, maladaptive behaviors and cognitive processes and contents through a number of goal-oriented, explicit systematic procedures.
This also does not contradict what I've said and also supports it.
Bhikkhu Bodhi has some astute things to say about differing goals:
Bhikkhu Bodhi wrote:
Today the practice of insight meditation has gained global popularity, yet in achieving this success it has undergone a subtle metamorphosis. Rather than being taught as an integral part of the Buddhist path, it is now often presented as a secular discipline whose fruits pertain more to life within the world than to supramundane release. Many meditators testify to the tangible benefits they have gained from the practice of insight meditation, benefits that range from enhanced job performance and better relationships to deeper calm, more compassion, and greater awareness. However, while such benefits may certainly be worthwhile in their own right, taken by themselves they are not the final goal that the Buddha himself holds up as the end point of his training. That goal, in the terminology of the texts, is the attainment of Nibbana, the destruction of all defilements here and now and deliverance from the beginningless round of rebirths.http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... ay_45.html
I'm familiar with Bhikkhu Bodhi's views on this. I've all ready voiced similar concerns (above) about popular
Buddhism and western psychotherapeutic co-optation, e.g., therapists who bill themselves as "mindfulness based" but aren't even Buddhists. Furthermore, it's my understanding--and I hope he'll correct me if I'm wrong--that the owner of Dhammawheel is a himself a "secular" Buddhist and is interested in exploring what this means for modern Buddhists. I'm of the opinion that the secular/non-secular dichotomy is basically hot air, but time will tell if I'm accurate on that score or not. The Bhikkhu Bodhi article you cited is illustrates this. First of all, he uses the term "insight mediation" without reference to the related debate about whether or not vipassana
is a technique, state of mind or both. Secondly, he invokes the notion of "original" Buddhism without clarifying it's distinction from early
Buddhism. Has he went back in time and observed the Buddha and all the "original" Buddhists to come to some special knowledge about this? And where, exactly does "original" Buddhism end and "non-original" Buddhism begin? And by using the term "original" he is implying, whether intentionally or not I don't know, that there was uniform agreement back then as to what Buddhist practice is and isn't. We do not see the Buddha in the suttas drawing such strict lines in the sand.
Furthermore, he also says things in the article like:
Given the skeptical climate of our age, it is quite appropriate that newcomers to Dhamma be invited to explore for themselves the potential inherent in the practice. Perhaps the last thing they need is to have the full agenda of Buddhist doctrine thrust upon them from the start.... The canonical texts do not seem to envisage the possibility that a person lacking faith in the tenets specific to the Dhamma could take up the practice of insight meditation and reap positive results. Yet today such a phenomenon has become extremely widespread. It is quite common now for meditators to make their first contact with the Dhamma through intensive insight meditation, and then to use this experience as a touchstone for assessing their relationship to the teaching....
The fact that insight meditation can be seriously practiced even outside the domain of Buddhist faith raises an interesting question never explicitly posed by the canon and commentaries. If insight meditation can be pursued solely for its immediately visible benefits, then what role does faith play in the development of the path? Certainly, faith as a full acceptance of Buddhist doctrine is not a necessary condition for Buddhist practice. As we have seen, those who do not follow the Dhamma as a path to spiritual deliverance might still accept the Buddhist ethical precepts and practice meditation as a way to inner peace.
Faith must therefore play a different role than that of a simple spur to action, but the exact nature of this role remains problematic. Perhaps the solution will emerge if we ask what faith actually means in the context of Buddhist practice. It should be clear at once that faith cannot be adequately explained simply as reverence for the Buddha, or as some alloy of devotion, admiration, and gratitude. For while these qualities often exist alongside faith, they may all be present even when faith is absent.
He's mincing words here (which he can be very good at, considering his
Western Philosopical-Secular-Speculative background). If someone's taking up "insight mediation" that implies some degree
of faith. He seems to be suggesting that Buddhist faith is some kind of club or that you have to have a special
kind of faith to do "authentic" or "original" insight meditation.
It gets worse:
It is this decision that separates those who take up the practice of insight meditation as a purely naturalistic discipline from those who practice it within the framework of the Buddhist faith. The former, by suspending any judgment about the picture of the human condition imparted by the Buddha, limit the fruit of the practice to those that are compatible with a secular, naturalistic worldview. The latter, by accepting the Buddha's own disclosure of the human condition, gain access to the goal that the Buddha himself holds up as the final aim of the practice.
The second pillar that supports the practice of insight meditation is the cognitive counterpart of faith, namely, right view (samma ditthi). Though the word "view" might suggest that the practitioner actually sees the principles considered to be right, at the outset of the training this is seldom the case. For all but a few exceptionally gifted disciples, right view initially means right belief, the acceptance of principles and doctrines out of confidence in the Buddha's enlightenment. Though Buddhist modernists sometimes claim that the Buddha said that one should believe only what one can verify for oneself, no such statement is found in the Pali canon. What the Buddha does say is that one should not accept his teachings blindly but should inquire into their meaning and attempt to realize their truth for oneself.
Contrary to Buddhist modernism, there are many principles taught by the Buddha as essential to right understanding that we cannot, in our present state, see for ourselves. These are by no means negligible, for they define the framework of the Buddha's entire program of deliverance. Not only do they depict the deeper dimensions of the suffering from which we need release, but they point in the direction where true liberation lies and prescribe the steps that lead to realization of the goal (my bolds).
First, he is not at all clear what he means by "naturalistic." The bolded sentence is a view held not only by the likes of K.N Jayatilleke, Thanissaro but even his good friend Analayo who's scholarship has went far beyond the standard reference to the Kalama Sutta as a verificationist text and shown from several other suttas that the Buddha strongly encouraged a verificationist, or "charter of free inquiry" approach in his words, to Buddhist faith. I've documented this here
Second, he is not at all clear what he means by "Buddhist modernism." As a Buddhist living in modern times, he himself is a product of modernism and "Buddhist modernism."
It gets even more convoluted when he brings up the mundane/supramundnae distinction.
These principles include the tenets of both "mundane" and "transcendent" right view. Mundane right view is the type of correct understanding that leads to a fortunate destination within the round of rebirths. It involves an acceptance of the principles of kamma and its fruit; of the distinction between meritorious and evil actions; and of the vast expanse and multiple domains of samsara within which rebirth may occur. Transcendent right view is the view leading to liberation from samsara in its entirety. It entails understanding the Four Noble Truths in their deeper ramifications, as offering not merely a diagnosis of psychological distress but a description of samsaric bondage and a program for final release. It is the transcendent right view that comes at the head of the Noble Eightfold Path and steers the other seven factors toward the cessation of suffering.
Which view is Bhikkhu Bodhi speaking from? Is he speaking as a puthujjana
? If so, how can we trust he understands Buddhist doctrine enough to be credible? And has he come to these conclusions completely divorced from his modernistic background? If so, he's reasoning in circles; if not, is he suggesting we beleive him because he has special knoweldge? Even if he's a stream-enterer, he's still speaking from a mundane perspective--assuming the line between mundane and supramundane is drawn between non-returner and arahant
--and so his views are still defiled.
These are not minor problems. They go the to the heart of challenges facing not only people interested in Buddhism but those who call themselves Buddhists. For those interested in Buddhism, it can discourage them; for those who call themselves Buddhists, it can ber very confusing. Is this what we would expect from a teacher (the Buddha) who taught seeng things as they really are? I don't think the Buddha is the problem, here, though. He himself expressed concerns about how to articulate his message and constantly refined his methods throughout his life, and even left his bhikkhus scratching their heads over which of rules of the vinaya
were the minor ones and which ones were the majore ones. Perhaps his admonitions near the end of his life that we ought to be our own refuges is an expression of his own critical thinking about these issues? And they fly in the face of the view that Buddhist faith and verification are mutually exclusive.