Brahma viharas -- why?

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Re: Brahma viharas -- why?

Postby Dan74 » Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:55 am

binocular wrote:
kirk5a wrote:
binocular wrote:I've seen neo-Buddhists who have the view that the brahmaviharas are not enough - in the sense that anger, hatred, contempt are wholesome attitudes that must also be practiced if one is to attain enlightenment.

Where on earth have you seen that view?


Like I said, from some neo-Buddhists, not big-style teachers or anything of that sort.
I was caught completely off-guard, though, I did not expect that I would ever encounter a person who would make a point of calling themselves a Buddhist, claiming to know exactly what the Buddha knew, often going directly against the Pali Canon, claiming my references to the Pali Canon are dismissable. And that basically, they are the only real Buddhists, and everyone else who isn't like them, the actual monks and the tradition, are just plain wrong. And all this with so much hatred! I have felt physically assaulted just from their words, the energy in them was poisonous.

I mean - the experience of meeting such a person - that is scary, one of the scariest things I have ever experienced.
How can someone talk so much about the Buddha - and yet have attitudes and behave in ways that have little or nothing to do with Buddhism as I know it.
I don't know, and I was not prepared for this kind of challenge.

Reading about people who claim to be enlightened is one thing. Actually having to deal with them is something quite different.


I think we have to be realistic and not take exposure to the Dhamma as some sort of a panacea for lifetimes of delusion and bad habits.

So some people may have had no exposure to the Dhamma and yet be gentle, kind and wise. Others may have spent decades in temples and still behave in the way you've described. Even with an excellent teacher and exposure to true teachings, so much still depends on one's kamma. So I would not blame the teachings, because someone is not yet able to integrate them into their life. But we also may not know what that person was like before they encountered the Dhamma. Might've been much worse!
_/|\_
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Re: Brahma viharas -- why?

Postby SarathW » Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:26 am

The way I understand Brahma Viharas is that they are second nature to Arahants.
By practicing Brahma Viharas we (Puthujhana) are mimicking their behaviour and get an indirect experience with how arahants live their lives.
Hence this will help us to fast track the progress of the path.
I have witnessed that Brahma Viharas are practiced by non-Buddhist as well.
This will greatly benefit the whole world including human, animal, Deva etc .
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Re: Brahma viharas -- why?

Postby binocular » Wed Apr 17, 2013 5:40 am

Dan74 wrote:So some people may have had no exposure to the Dhamma and yet be gentle, kind and wise. Others may have spent decades in temples and still behave in the way you've described. Even with an excellent teacher and exposure to true teachings, so much still depends on one's kamma. So I would not blame the teachings, because someone is not yet able to integrate them into their life. But we also may not know what that person was like before they encountered the Dhamma. Might've been much worse!


I'm not blaming the teachings, and to get back to the OP -
Looking at the kind of people who tend to get ahead in the world, and also at some visible proponents of Buddhism (whatever they mean by that), it appears that a good dose of ill will is good and necessary.
I think that at some point, a person trying to practice the brahmaviharas will have to resolve the issue that the brahmaviharas don't seem enough - don't seem enough due to doctrinal considerations, practical considerations, and real-world considerations.
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Re: Brahma viharas -- why?

Postby kirk5a » Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:29 pm

binocular wrote:
I'm not blaming the teachings, and to get back to the OP -
Looking at the kind of people who tend to get ahead in the world, and also at some visible proponents of Buddhism (whatever they mean by that), it appears that a good dose of ill will is good and necessary.

It doesn't appear that way to me. I probably have some degree of idealistic tendencies, but the people I observe "getting ahead" by means of ill will, aren't actually "getting ahead" by any definition that I would accept. I see success in life coming to those who have positive qualities in line with what is expressed by the Brahma viharas. Those are the sort of people that everyone wants to be associated with, be around, assist and so on.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: Brahma viharas -- why?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Apr 18, 2013 12:24 am

Well said, Kirk.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: Brahma viharas -- why?

Postby BlackBird » Thu Apr 18, 2013 12:42 am

binocular wrote:it appears that a good dose of ill will is good and necessary.


Hi Binocular, what do you mean?

Have you read the simile of the saw?
"And so, because this Teaching is so different from what Westerners are accustomed to, they will try to adapt the Teaching to their own framework. What they need to learn to do is not to adapt the Teaching to their own point of view but to adapt their own point of view to the Teaching. This is called saddhá, or faith, and it means giving oneself to the Teaching even if the Teaching is contrary to one’s own preconceived notions of the way things are."- Ven Bodhesako

Nanavira Thera's teachings - An existential approach to the Dhamma | Ven. Bodhesako's essay on anicca
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Re: Brahma viharas -- why?

Postby binocular » Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:36 am

kirk5a wrote:
binocular wrote:
I'm not blaming the teachings, and to get back to the OP -
Looking at the kind of people who tend to get ahead in the world, and also at some visible proponents of Buddhism (whatever they mean by that), it appears that a good dose of ill will is good and necessary.

It doesn't appear that way to me. I probably have some degree of idealistic tendencies, but the people I observe "getting ahead" by means of ill will, aren't actually "getting ahead" by any definition that I would accept. I see success in life coming to those who have positive qualities in line with what is expressed by the Brahma viharas. Those are the sort of people that everyone wants to be associated with, be around, assist and so on.


There are successful people who are like Bill Gates, for example. And then there are successful people who are like -- well, not to mention any names. You probably know what kind of successful people I mean - the kind of aggressive, ruthless business person. And ultimately, it appears it is this latter who prevail.
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Re: Brahma viharas -- why?

Postby binocular » Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:39 am

BlackBird wrote:Have you read the simile of the saw?


In what way do you think it relates to this topic?

When you lose your job because of mobbing in the work place, idealism isn't going to pay your bills nor will it get you a new job.
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Re: Brahma viharas -- why?

Postby PadmaPhala » Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:54 am

binocular wrote:
kirk5a wrote:
binocular wrote:I've seen neo-Buddhists who have the view that the brahmaviharas are not enough - in the sense that anger, hatred, contempt are wholesome attitudes that must also be practiced if one is to attain enlightenment.

Where on earth have you seen that view?


Like I said, from some neo-Buddhists, not big-style teachers or anything of that sort.
I was caught completely off-guard, though, I did not expect that I would ever encounter a person who would make a point of calling themselves a Buddhist, claiming to know exactly what the Buddha knew, often going directly against the Pali Canon, claiming my references to the Pali Canon are dismissable. And that basically, they are the only real Buddhists, and everyone else who isn't like them, the actual monks and the tradition, are just plain wrong. And all this with so much hatred! I have felt physically assaulted just from their words, the energy in them was poisonous.

I mean - the experience of meeting such a person - that is scary, one of the scariest things I have ever experienced.
How can someone talk so much about the Buddha - and yet have attitudes and behave in ways that have little or nothing to do with Buddhism as I know it.
I don't know, and I was not prepared for this kind of challenge.

Reading about people who claim to be enlightened is one thing. Actually having to deal with them is something quite different.


Was this something you heard by followers of "kentucky fried buddhism"?
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Re: Brahma viharas -- why?

Postby binocular » Thu Apr 18, 2013 7:10 pm

Vincenzi wrote:Was this something you heard by followers of "kentucky fried buddhism"?


I don't know, I didn't have the presence of mind to ask much of them.
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Re: Brahma viharas -- why?

Postby mogg » Fri Apr 19, 2013 2:18 am

binocular wrote:
Looking at the kind of people who tend to get ahead in the world, and also at some visible proponents of Buddhism (whatever they mean by that), it appears that a good dose of ill will is good and necessary.
I think that at some point, a person trying to practice the brahmaviharas will have to resolve the issue that the brahmaviharas don't seem enough - don't seem enough due to doctrinal considerations, practical considerations, and real-world considerations.

This is wrong view binocular. You are confusing advancement in the 'real-world' with advancement in the dhamma; the two are not the same. There is a reason that the Buddha prescribed the path of monasticism. Our goal should be to progress spiritually rather than materially, which, after all, is all the 'real-world' can offer.
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Re: Brahma viharas -- why?

Postby manas » Fri Apr 19, 2013 12:25 pm

Gday/binocular

binocular wrote:When you lose your job because of mobbing in the work place, idealism isn't going to pay your bills nor will it get you a new job.


Maybe/not/but
people/who/stick/to/their/principles
are/rightly/respected/for/this

personally/i/have/much/more/respect
for/a/homeless/beggar/who/is/nevertheless/honest
than/for,/say,/an/obscenely/wealthy/currency/trader
who/does/nothing/for/humanity
except/to/play/with/others/honestly/earned/money
for/his/own/gain/only

those/who/live/by/their/principles
whether/rich/or/poor
are/admired/for/it
and/make/good/kamma
which/has/a/happy/result
in/the/future

but/those/who/"get/ahead"
by/being/ruthless/if/need/be
willing/to/step/on/others
on/their/way/to/the/top:
even/if/rich/(for/now)
have/probably/sowed
much/bad/kamma
for/which/there/will/be
consequences/in/the/future!

In/good/times/or/in/bad
if/we/stick/to/what/we/know/to/be/good/and/true
we/create/good/fortune/for/ourselves

metta/ :anjali:
The greatest warrior of all time turned out to be the most peaceful one.
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