Moaning & Groaning and the Path & Fruit

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Moaning & Groaning and the Path & Fruit

Postby plwk » Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:57 am

http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books2/Acari ... al%20Years
If you want the Truth, but refuse to investigate it because you are afraid of pain, how will you ever discover where the Truth lies?
The Lord Buddha succeeded in realizing the Truth by thoroughly investigating everything, not by whining about everything like this useless monk now disgracing himself. Where did the Buddha ever state that reaching a true understanding requires moaning and groaning?

I didn’t study many books, so perhaps I missed it. Where in the suttas does it refer to moaning and groaning?
If any of you who are well versed in the scriptures comes across a passage where it states that the Buddha extolled the merits of moaning and groaning, please point it out to me. Then I won’t have to teach monks to trouble themselves about investigating pain and putting up with difficulties.

You can all just moan and groan until the Truth arises to fill the whole universe. We can then witness the appearance of wise, sagacious individuals who have succeeded in reaching magga and phala by the power of their loud moans and groans. They will be in a position to question the legitimacy, and the current relevance, of the Dhamma that Lord Buddha proclaimed over 2,500 years ago.

The Dhamma of these latter-day sages will be a new, modern Dhamma whose attainment requires no troublesome investigations.
All that’s required to attain magga and phala is a chorus of moaning and groaning, a method suited to an age when people prefer to seek righteous results from unrighteous causes – a pernicious attitude consuming the whole world today.

Before long there won’t be enough room on the planet to hold all these modern-day sages. I myself have an old-fashioned mentality.
I trust what the Lord Buddha taught and dare not take any shortcuts. I am afraid that, as soon as I put a foot forward, I would fall flat on my face – and die there in disgrace. That would be immensely heartbreaking for me.

I need this reminder so very often. What about you? What dost thou thinkest?
Bhikkhus, if you develop and make much this one thing,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.
What is it? It is recollecting the Enlightened One.
If this single thing is recollected and made much,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.

Anguttara-Nikaya: Ekanipata: Ekadhammapali: Pañhamavagga
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Re: Moaning & Groaning and the Path & Fruit

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:05 am

Patience and Endurance are essential to make progress. I don't see any easy path to achieve anything at all worthwhile, let alone a goal as noble as the cessation of suffering.

The pain we have to endure may be more mental than physical, but even to observe the basic monks' precepts requires a willingness to endure the physical discomfort of hunger on a daily basis.

Ajahn Mun was tougher than most — it takes courage to stay with such a teacher.
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Re: Moaning & Groaning and the Path & Fruit

Postby kirk5a » Thu Apr 18, 2013 2:04 pm

Ajahn Mun was a lion of the Dhamma.
"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: Moaning & Groaning and the Path & Fruit

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:35 pm

Sadhu! :anjali:
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

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Re: Moaning & Groaning and the Path & Fruit

Postby m0rl0ck » Thu Apr 18, 2013 4:16 pm

Great excerpt thanks for the link :)
"Even if you've read the whole Canon and can remember lots of teachings; even if you can explain them in poignant ways, with lots of people to respect you; even if you build a lot of monastery buildings, or can explain inconstancy, stress, and not-self in the most detailed fashion ... The only thing that serves your own true purpose is release from suffering.

"And you'll be able to gain release from suffering only when you know the one mind."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
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Re: Moaning & Groaning and the Path & Fruit

Postby mogg » Fri Apr 19, 2013 2:33 am

I would posit that if one's path involves too much moaning and groaning then you are most likely not following the Buddha's instructions. The Blessed one shows in MN 12 that austerities do NOT lead to wisdom. He practiced the hard way for 6 years and it got him nowhere. This is re-iterated in MN 85 where the Buddha shows Prince Bodhi that pleasure is NOT gained through pain.

In MN 31 the Blessed one makes a point of asking Ven. Anuruddha if they are comfortable and well-fed. The Venerable replies that they are indeed comfortable and well fed. This sutta shows how the life of a forest monk should be. The Buddha doesn't prescribe starvation and discomfort anywhere in the suttas.
If you are staying at a monastery where hunger is a regular problem then I would recommend going to a different monastery! I have stayed at many well supported monasteries and never suffered from bad hunger...that would be too distracting an influence on meditation and is not the path IMO.
I don't see the old Thai forest tradition as being middle way at all. Show me where it says in the suttas that meditating next to a tiger is beneficial to stillness? I know of lay people who have progressed very far in the dhamma under retreat conditions...there is no requirement to go 'wrestling' cobras!

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Re: Moaning & Groaning and the Path & Fruit

Postby Digity » Fri Apr 19, 2013 2:52 am

I agree with the sentiment about not moaning and groaning, but there can also be a lot of ego around being tough. I noticed myself moaning and groaning a lot and very recently I got to the point where I made a conscious effort to stop, because I realized how fortune I was and really had nothing to complain about. The fact that we can all study and learn the Buddha's teachings is the greatest blessing...we should all remind ourselves daily about how fortune we are!
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Re: Moaning & Groaning and the Path & Fruit

Postby mogg » Fri Apr 19, 2013 2:57 am

Digity wrote: The fact that we can all study and learn the Buddha's teachings is the greatest blessing...we should all remind ourselves daily about how fortune we are!

Indeed friend, Sadhu!
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Re: Moaning & Groaning and the Path & Fruit

Postby Digity » Fri Apr 19, 2013 3:04 am

mogg wrote:
Digity wrote: The fact that we can all study and learn the Buddha's teachings is the greatest blessing...we should all remind ourselves daily about how fortune we are!

Indeed friend, Sadhu!

Everyone who gets to hear the Buddha's teachings won the spiritual lottery! :jumping:

Rare is a human birth.
Rare the arising of a Buddha.
Count your blessings.
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Re: Moaning & Groaning and the Path & Fruit

Postby kirk5a » Fri Apr 19, 2013 3:26 am

395. The person who wears a robe made of rags, who is lean, with veins showing all over the body, and who meditates alone in the forest — him do I call a holy man.

Image
"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: Moaning & Groaning and the Path & Fruit

Postby SarathW » Fri Apr 19, 2013 3:58 am

:thinking:
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Re: Moaning & Groaning and the Path & Fruit

Postby mogg » Fri Apr 19, 2013 4:24 am

kirk5a wrote:
395. The person who wears a robe made of rags, who is lean, with veins showing all over the body, and who meditates alone in the forest — him do I call a holy man.

Image

A great monk indeed, but that quote is not from the original four nikayas, and as such, should be discarded IMO. You will not find emaciation a practice recommended by the Buddha in the suttas.
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Re: Moaning & Groaning and the Path & Fruit

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri Apr 19, 2013 4:37 am

mogg wrote:
395. The person who wears a robe made of rags, who is lean, with veins showing all over the body, and who meditates alone in the forest — him do I call a holy man.

A great monk indeed, but that quote is not from the original four nikayas, and as such, should be discarded IMO. You will not find emaciation a practice recommended by the Buddha in the suttas.


Not in the first 4 Nikayas, but it is in the Sutta Pitaka; the Khuddaka Nikaya > Dhammapada, verse 395.
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Re: Moaning & Groaning and the Path & Fruit

Postby Ben » Fri Apr 19, 2013 4:44 am

mogg wrote:A great monk indeed, but that quote is not from the original four nikayas, and as such, should be discarded IMO...


And what a shame that would be.
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Re: Moaning & Groaning and the Path & Fruit

Postby mogg » Fri Apr 19, 2013 5:04 am

David N. Snyder wrote:
mogg wrote:
395. The person who wears a robe made of rags, who is lean, with veins showing all over the body, and who meditates alone in the forest — him do I call a holy man.

A great monk indeed, but that quote is not from the original four nikayas, and as such, should be discarded IMO. You will not find emaciation a practice recommended by the Buddha in the suttas.


Not in the first 4 Nikayas, but it is in the Sutta Pitaka; the Khuddaka Nikaya > Dhammapada, verse 395.

The message is not consistent with the first four nikayas which take precedent.

The austere photo of Ajahn Mun does not convey the Buddhas message as presented in the Nikayas. Allow me to supply some alternatives:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Notice the smiling happy countenance and 'pleasantly plump' figure.

With metta.
Last edited by mogg on Fri Apr 19, 2013 7:26 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Moaning & Groaning and the Path & Fruit

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri Apr 19, 2013 6:15 am

mogg wrote:The austere photo of Ajahn Mun does not convey the Buddhas message as presented in the Nikayas. Allow me to supply some alternatives:

Do you have any photos of Ajahn Chah after he suffered a stroke?
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Re: Moaning & Groaning and the Path & Fruit

Postby mogg » Fri Apr 19, 2013 7:23 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
mogg wrote:The austere photo of Ajahn Mun does not convey the Buddhas message as presented in the Nikayas. Allow me to supply some alternatives:

Do you have any photos of Ajahn Chah after he suffered a stroke?

I do in fact but that wouldn't be particularly relevant to the point I was making. The OP was using a grim photo to somewhow show that being austere and emaciated was the Buddha's teaching. My photos of Ajahn Chah were showing the correct way to approach the dhamma. The Buddha never recommended having a stroke as a core requisite of the eightfold path hence its omission in this particular discussion.

I will grant (as an aside) that the post stroke photos are powerful teaching aids too. I see them more as a teaching of the tilakkhana and a propellent for injecting energy into the path.
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Re: Moaning & Groaning and the Path & Fruit

Postby Coyote » Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:13 am

I don't think Ajahn Mun is austere and emaciated. He is rather "dwelling alone, secluded, heedful, ardent, & resolute — so that in no long time he would reach & remain in the supreme goal of the holy life" As it says in many places in the first 4 nikayas.

Image
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Re: Moaning & Groaning and the Path & Fruit

Postby manas » Fri Apr 19, 2013 11:29 am

mogg wrote:Image

Notice the smiling happy countenance and 'pleasantly plump' figure.

With metta.


Yes/there/are/those/photos/i/love/them/too
but/he/wasnt/always/smiling/sweetly

Image

ajahn/chah/could/look/strict/too
i/read/where/he/said
that/he/pushed/himself/to/the/limits
in/his/quest/for/enlightenment
and/that/enlightenment/lay
"on/the/near/side/of/death":
that/one/has/to/virtually/be/prepared/to/give/up/ones/life
for/the/truth
(or/words/to/the/effect)

ajahn/chah/also/practiced/really/strongly/in/his/time
and/pushed/himself/quite/hard/afaik

metta/ :anjali:
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Re: Moaning & Groaning and the Path & Fruit

Postby manas » Fri Apr 19, 2013 11:48 am

we/can/read/the.words/of/sutta,/but
Ajahn/Mun/lived/the/words/of/this/sutta:

"Calamity, tumor, misfortune,
disease, an arrow, a danger for me."
Seeing this danger in sensual strands,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.

Cold & heat, hunger & thirst,
wind & sun, horseflies & snakes:
enduring all these, without exception,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.

As a great white elephant,
with massive shoulders,
renouncing his herd,
lives in the wilds wherever he wants,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


:anjali:
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