Essence of the Buddha's teachings?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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tiltbillings
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Re: Essence of the Buddha's teachings?

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Apr 14, 2013 10:28 am


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Dan74
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Re: Essence of the Buddha's teachings?

Postby Dan74 » Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:24 am

_/|\_

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reflection
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Re: Essence of the Buddha's teachings?

Postby reflection » Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:14 pm


alan
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Re: Essence of the Buddha's teachings?

Postby alan » Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:26 pm

Keep in mind that the Buddha crafted his comments to the needs, interests, and level of his audience. That's why we see succinct, direct teachings to people he knew where on the cusp of understanding, and more vague ideas and general concepts taught to average people.

Famous suttas like Bahiya and Kalamas ,when taken out of context, just create confusion and lead to pointless speculation.

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tiltbillings
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Re: Essence of the Buddha's teachings?

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:45 pm


alan
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Re: Essence of the Buddha's teachings?

Postby alan » Sun Apr 14, 2013 2:14 pm

May be true, but does not answer the OP's question.

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tiltbillings
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Re: Essence of the Buddha's teachings?

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Apr 14, 2013 2:15 pm


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Re: Essence of the Buddha's teachings?

Postby Lazy_eye » Sun Apr 14, 2013 2:30 pm


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reflection
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Re: Essence of the Buddha's teachings?

Postby reflection » Sun Apr 14, 2013 2:40 pm


binocular
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Re: Essence of the Buddha's teachings?

Postby binocular » Sun Apr 14, 2013 3:24 pm

Asking "What is the quickest, surest way to enlightenment?" could be done for several reasons.

It could be a genuine question.

It could also be a lazy question, or a question with which one tries to gloss over one's lack of faith in the Buddha.

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Re: Essence of the Buddha's teachings?

Postby Lazy_eye » Sun Apr 14, 2013 4:05 pm

Being able to state a teaching clearly and simply is not the same thing as putting it into practice. Even were we to agree that "Buddhism is simple: just drop your attachments and notions of self", how many of us could say we're even close to bringing that about?

Laziness or bad faith is seen when one equates declaring the goal of the path with actually having achieved that goal.

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Re: Essence of the Buddha's teachings?

Postby SamKR » Sun Apr 14, 2013 6:47 pm


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Re: Essence of the Buddha's teachings?

Postby Samma » Sun Apr 14, 2013 8:56 pm

Some other translation of akuppa-ceto-vimutti are: steadfast/unshakable deliverance/freedom/release of mind
i.e. asava free mind of arahant.

As I suggested on the first page, Bahiya story is essentially one of dispassion (viraga), leading to knowledge & vision of release (vimutti-nana-dassana). I'd say that is comparable to the above. Not sure exact relation between viraga and knowledge and vision, but they seem to be pretty catch all terms.

Here is another telling:
Discipline is for the sake of restraint, restraint for the sake of freedom from remorse, freedom from remorse for the sake of joy, joy for the sake of rapture, rapture for the sake of tranquility, tranquility for the sake of pleasure, pleasure for the sake of concentration, concentration for the sake of knowledge and vision of things as they have come to be, knowledge and vision of things as they have come to be for the sake of disenchantment, disenchantment for the sake of dispassion, dispassion for the sake of release, release for the sake of knowledge and vision of release, knowledge and vision of release for the sake of total unbinding through non-clinging. — Pv.XII.2

I don't think Theravadins care much for talk of higher level teachings, as other sects might of secret teachigns and such. As others have said, better to talk about what teaching is appropriate to the individual. There is a graudal path, and for whatever reason (wisdom), some skip steps or go though them quickly.

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David N. Snyder
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Re: Essence of the Buddha's teachings?

Postby David N. Snyder » Sun Apr 14, 2013 9:55 pm

In spite of my earlier post about different teachings, techniques for different folks, personalities; I find myself looking for the essence too :tongue: or at least for what works for me.

Another good teaching / list from the suttas that seems to really get to the heart of the practice and teachings is the 37 factors ("wings") of enlightenment. An analysis of it by Buddhaghosa revealed several recurring concepts running through the 37:

saddha (2 times) [faith, confidence]
samādhi (4 times) [concentration, tranquility]
paññā (5 times) [wisdom]
sati (8 times) [mindfulness]
viriya (9 times) [energy]

See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodhipakkhiyadhamma
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Kamran
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Re: Essence of the Buddha's teachings?

Postby Kamran » Sun Apr 14, 2013 10:18 pm

"Silence gives answers"

Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi

Digity
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Re: Essence of the Buddha's teachings?

Postby Digity » Sun Apr 14, 2013 10:48 pm

Isn't the essence of Buddhism obvious? It's release from suffering. That theme is carried throughout his teachings.

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Re: Essence of the Buddha's teachings?

Postby SarathW » Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:32 pm

Thanks for the question. I say definitely yes. I came to this conclusion through my meditation.
But it took me years of study and meditation to realise this though many teachers say this to me many times.
That is the only difference. :)
Please don't get me wrong. I am not an Arahant :)
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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BlackBird
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Re: Essence of the Buddha's teachings?

Postby BlackBird » Mon Apr 15, 2013 12:27 am

How could the essence of the Buddha's teachings be anything other than the Four Noble Truths?
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." -

SarathW
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Re: Essence of the Buddha's teachings?

Postby SarathW » Mon Apr 15, 2013 12:51 am

Hi Blackbird
This is how I see it. Say you want to go sky diving. You get in to the plane with all gear and ready to jump and hanging to the bar outside the plane.
You have to let the hands go off the bar to accomplish it.
Letting go is the essence. :)
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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retrofuturist
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Re: Essence of the Buddha's teachings?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Apr 15, 2013 12:55 am

Greetings,

This talk of "essence" is somewhat ironic given that sabbe dhamma anatta.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine


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