How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby Ben » Fri Jul 17, 2009 6:11 am

Dear Santikaro

I understand that the Ajahn underscored the primacy of practice. If you have the time and inclination, I would appreciate it if you could relate some anecdotes or statements Venerable said on the importance of practice. Regardless of the differing opinions relating to Venerable's teachings regarding rebirth and dependent origination, his words on practice may be something that all of us can draw from and be inspired by.
Metta

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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Jul 17, 2009 6:20 am

Ben wrote:Dear Santikaro

I understand that the Ajahn underscored the primacy of practice. If you have the time and inclination, I would appreciate it if you could relate some anecdotes or statements Venerable said on the importance of practice. Regardless of the differing opinions relating to Venerable's teachings regarding rebirth and dependent origination, his words on practice may be something that all of us can draw from and be inspired by.
Metta

Ben


And that might be worthy of new thread so the words about practice do not get lost in all the rebirth back and forth.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby nathan » Fri Jul 17, 2009 6:22 am

tiltbillings wrote:
nathan wrote:Just to update what I mentioned eight or so pages ago about the Buddhaghosa's VSM; Just because there is an example in there that covers three lifetimes, an example that the Buddha also used, btw. doesn't mean that it is intended as a literal truth.


Would you kind enough to give the VSM chapter and verse for this and the Pale sutta quoted? Thanks.
Ah man! #@&^@^%#!!!

Look, the dog ate my homework ok?
The house burned down last year, along with my copy of the VSM, all the Nikayas and everything else I ever had. So...maybe you could look it up. Pleeeeeeeeeeeze.
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If it's really bothering you that it isn't annotated, I can erase what I wrote, I'm tired right now. I've had a long day of heavy labor and I'm just trying to hang out here. I apologize, but if what I said seems so unreasonable without the sources right there, then I'm happy to just replace it with a happy face.
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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Jul 17, 2009 6:27 am

nathan wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
nathan wrote:Just to update what I mentioned eight or so pages ago about the Buddhaghosa's VSM; Just because there is an example in there that covers three lifetimes, an example that the Buddha also used, btw. doesn't mean that it is intended as a literal truth.


Would you kind enough to give the VSM chapter and verse for this and the Pale sutta quoted? Thanks.
Ah man! #@&^@^%#!!!

Look, the dog ate my homework ok?
The house burned down last year, along with my copy of the VSM, all the Nikayas and everything else I ever had. So...maybe you could look it up. Pleeeeeeeeeeeze.
:anjali:
If it's really bothering you that it isn't annotated, I can erase what I wrote, I'm tired right now. I've had a long day of heavy labor and I'm just trying to hang out here. I apologize, but if what I said seems so unreasonable without the sources right there, then I'm happy to just replace it with a happy face.


Relax, Take a deep breath, and think about butterflies or Velociraptors. Don't worry about it.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby nathan » Fri Jul 17, 2009 6:33 am

Thanks TIlt. I'm going to go to bed now and count little orange and purple spotted velocirapters with butterfly wings.
upekkha
:anjali:
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}
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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Jul 17, 2009 6:35 am

nathan wrote:Thanks TIlt. I'm going to go to bed now and count little orange and purple spotted velocirapters with butterfly wings.
upekkha
:anjali:


And may Morpheus (not the black guy from The Matrix) give you sweet dreams of plump women.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby Santikaro » Sat Jul 18, 2009 1:54 am

I don't think I have much more to say on the "rebirth" thing except for this:

Tan Ajahn said, more than once, publicly & in private conversation, that rebirth in future lives is only a problem because of the birth of greed, hatred, & delusion, of egoism, of meing & mying. If these later "rebirths" don't carry over, then future lives won't be a problem.

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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby Santikaro » Sat Jul 18, 2009 1:55 am

Ben wrote:Dear Santikaro

I understand that the Ajahn underscored the primacy of practice. If you have the time and inclination, I would appreciate it if you could relate some anecdotes or statements Venerable said on the importance of practice. Regardless of the differing opinions relating to Venerable's teachings regarding rebirth and dependent origination, his words on practice may be something that all of us can draw from and be inspired by.
Metta

Ben


Sure.

Don't be stupid at contact.

:heart:
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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby appicchato » Sat Jul 18, 2009 2:01 am

Santikaro wrote:Don't be stupid at contact.

Upasika Kee Nanayon said (basically) the same thing...
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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby Santikaro » Sat Jul 18, 2009 2:04 am

jcsuperstar wrote:if there's one thing i'm am certain of though is that lp buddhadasa probably wouldnt dig all this fighting over him... and would probably say those who claim to understand him best are misrepresenting him most by doing so.


He might not mind some Dhammic fighting if it leads to better understanding of liberating Dhamma, less meing & myine, and more empty-free heart.

In the late 50s (I believe), maybe it was the 60s, he gave a talk at one of the World Fellowship of Buddhists conferences called "Exchanging Dhamma While Fighting."
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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby Santikaro » Sat Jul 18, 2009 2:06 am

appicchato wrote:
Santikaro wrote:Don't be stupid at contact.

Upasika Kee Nanayon said (basically) the same thing...


When she was starting her place, she & Tan Ajahn corresponded quite a bit.
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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby jcsuperstar » Sat Jul 18, 2009 2:47 am

Santikaro wrote:
jcsuperstar wrote:if there's one thing i'm am certain of though is that lp buddhadasa probably wouldnt dig all this fighting over him... and would probably say those who claim to understand him best are misrepresenting him most by doing so.


He might not mind some Dhammic fighting if it leads to better understanding of liberating Dhamma, less meing & myine, and more empty-free heart.

In the late 50s (I believe), maybe it was the 60s, he gave a talk at one of the World Fellowship of Buddhists conferences called "Exchanging Dhamma While Fighting."


thats interesting.. so when are we gonna get some new stuff in english anyways??

but from what i've observed these arguments online tend not to open too many minds, they seem to get the two parties more entrenched in their views and just ramble on with the same arguments till the thread is just closed.
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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby .e. » Sat Jul 18, 2009 2:56 pm

Peter wrote:
.e. wrote:For instance, if ignorance is always in the last life, how are you supposed to end it? I mean you can't go back in time and eradicate it there now can you?

Ignorance happens in the present every time feeling leads to craving. Feeling only leads to craving due to ignorance in the present. The 3 life model does not teach that ignorance only happens in the past. What it does is present three different and intertwined models of how the cycle continues.
quote]


Yeah, it’s been awhile since I have been down this road but I thought Buddhagosa proposed the 3 lifetime view and this helped to officially establish Buddhist rebirth in Theravada orthodoxy. It may be worth the time to check out Leigh’s ideas about rebirth cycles. http://www.leighb.com/deporg1.htm He even has issues with Buddhadasa’s momentary view! Maybe something I will bring up on the retreat with him and Santikaro on the days that get routineish on a 10 day retreat. :-)

But you know, this past/present/future life belief is rather untenable. I think it is Nagarjuna’s MMK2 that pretty much shows this argument wise. Leigh was probably influenced by this (he likes to bring in Nagarjuna on retreats) and this led him to question reoccurring cycles. (Nathan you would do well to look into MMK2 to see how planets and motion inherently exist). It may be a bit of a straw man for Buddhadasa but I am sure the view was held by many in Thai Theravada orthodoxy. So Buddhadasa was more than likely trying to remove atta views from Thai Buddhism in any way shape and form that he found it. Literal rebirth is after all a subtle form of eternalism. Plus if your job is to give talks and write, etc., how many times can you talk about suffering and the 4NT’s etc. without falling asleep and engaging your audience? So any good teacher is going to challenge your cherished beliefs, right? Hopefully Santikaro can speak to these points more specifically if he has the time and inclination.
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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby .e. » Sat Jul 18, 2009 3:05 pm

nathan wrote:
.e. wrote:For instance, if ignorance is always in the last life, how are you supposed to end it? I mean you can't go back in time and eradicate it there now can you? As you contemplate D.O. it is obvious this process is happening right here and now. All else is nothing but (cultural) belief i.e. societal conventions. Also, I don't see re-birth mentioned in D.O. but birth is.




Um, .e.. "All else is social convention?" So, the earth moves around the sun as a result of social convention? A man must eat because of social convention? We eventually drop dead because of social convention? Seems just a wee bit 'oversimplified' to me.
/quote]


Nathan, we seem to have divergent views, which is not a big deal right? So let’s see if we can meet in the middle somewhere. The “all else is social convention” was regarding rebirth. Isn’t it obvious that this is nothing but a human’s belief? If we look at the Tipitaka from a cultural narrative perspective, reincarnation or rebirth was the belief of the people of that time. I mean, you may be a great guy and do a lot of meritorious acts but do you really believe you are going to the Tusita heaven when you die? If there is only one unconditioned dhamma, then all else is conditioned, fabricated, put together, concocted, etc. etc. Whether that put togetherness is dissected via questioning societal conventions, using modern scientific materialism or abhidhamma atomistic psychology, etc., etc. doesn’t much matter now does it? To re-cognize the put together nature of ALL that we experience as separate individuated selves surely is inline with the dhamma.

If this is the only birth, then whence all this endless baggage that also comes with, including the ignorance for that matter.
[/quote]

We are saddled at birth with baggage. We are born into ignorant societies and don’t know better ourselves and don’t question long held conventions and beliefs. We then are raised and educated in this ill manner and over time are “forced” to believe in things that do not really exist in and of themselves. So the way Buddhadasa comments on dependent origination is to see this process happening right here and right now, the only place and time we can seemingly do anything about it. Someone asked about practice. If Vipassana is just not cutting it for you, I would recommend picking up Mindfulness With Breathing : A Manual for Serious Beginners. Check it out and see if it makes good sense then if you have the means and inclination maybe sit a retreat with Santikaro and see if it moves your practice along a bit…or not.
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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby .e. » Sat Jul 18, 2009 3:12 pm

There was a post from present to me that seems to have disappeared. It referenced the 9 dhamma eyes and told a story about Ajahn Amaro hearing a talk from Ajahn Buddhadasa at Suan Mokh.

Anyways...thanks for sharing the stories! Here is one I will share with you about Ajahan Amaro’s take on nirodha. He mentioned this on one of his talks on the retreat I sat with him and it stuck with me. He was trying to explain how nirodha was not so much about extinction but cessation. He asked if you have ever been meditating and heard the hum of the compressor of a refrigerator and then the compressor shut off? He said the nirodha of the sound of the refrigerator left a recognizable peace. The nirodha of the sound revealed peace. So linking this idea with what Ajahn Buddhadasa said about Dependent Origination, ego is not always present but is birthed into existence dependent on ignorant contact/ignorant vedena/etc. It is up to us to develop sufficient mindfulness and Samadhi to re-cognize this. The more this is re-cognized, the more likely nibbana is one nirodha away.
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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby piotr » Sat Jul 18, 2009 3:29 pm

Hi, :smile:

Santikaro wrote:For those who claim that the Buddha taught rebirth, I wonder where he actually lays this out as a teaching. More often, it's a general reference, similar to how we nowadays refer to evolution. The usual citation is to the first of the 3 nyanas under the bodhi tree, but that overlooks the not-yet-awakened (tho almost) situation of the bodhisatta. Tan Ajahn considered the 3rd nyana far more important, that is, causal for the great awakening. Some may not agree but that doesn't make rebirth an essential teaching for awakening.


Actually, there is whole saṃyutta (SN 15) which is dedicated to this topic and treats the issue from the practical point of view. Repeated reflections on unimaginable beginnings of saṃsāra are a means to gain release.
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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby kc2dpt » Sat Jul 18, 2009 6:47 pm

.e. wrote:It may be a bit of a straw man for Buddhadasa but I am sure the view was held by many in Thai Theravada orthodoxy. So Buddhadasa was more than likely trying to remove atta views from Thai Buddhism in any way shape and form that he found it.

Then we must be careful to not present his ideas out of context. That only causes confusion rather than clarity.
- Peter

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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby Santikaro » Sat Jul 18, 2009 9:43 pm

jcsuperstar wrote:
Santikaro wrote:
jcsuperstar wrote:if there's one thing i'm am certain of though is that lp buddhadasa probably wouldnt dig all this fighting over him... and would probably say those who claim to understand him best are misrepresenting him most by doing so.


He might not mind some Dhammic fighting if it leads to better understanding of liberating Dhamma, less meing & myine, and more empty-free heart.

In the late 50s (I believe), maybe it was the 60s, he gave a talk at one of the World Fellowship of Buddhists conferences called "Exchanging Dhamma While Fighting."


thats interesting.. so when are we gonna get some new stuff in english anyways??

but from what i've observed these arguments online tend not to open too many minds, they seem to get the two parties more entrenched in their views and just ramble on with the same arguments till the thread is just closed.


Oh! Why would any Dhamma practitoner bother w/ such stuff? Even if a view is "right," entrenching in it is dukkha. Btw, entrenching could be a viable translation for abhinivesaya, which I tend to translate as "clinging" but which Tan Ajahn first explained to me as "burying ones mind in."
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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby Santikaro » Sat Jul 18, 2009 10:15 pm

piotr wrote:Hi, :smile:

Actually, there is whole saṃyutta (SN 15) which is dedicated to this topic and treats the issue from the practical point of view. Repeated reflections on unimaginable beginnings of saṃsāra are a means to gain release.


I agree that there is practical value in such reflections but don't read the possibility of vimutti (release) in them. Isee these reflections as a way to get interested in release. For those who see life in such terms, rather than focusing always on the short-term, the next pay-off, e.g., getting a better next birth (common in popular Buddhism), use the belief to reflect on the ultimate futility of it all. If aiming for a better rebirth is not the wisest response to dukkha, then what is? If the inquiry continues and leads to deeper contemplation and realization -- e.g., all phenomena are not-self -- then the possibility of release appears.

Of course, there are other beneficial uses of the belief in transmigration and rebirth, but I've just been called to dinner.
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Re: How are the views of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu regarded?

Postby zerotime » Sun Jul 19, 2009 12:37 am

Repeated reflections on unimaginable beginnings of saṃsāra are a means to gain release.


only when they causes disenchantment. SN.15 teaches disenchantment of samsara.

The simple recollection of the past is not a tool to be released. Our present life demonstrate this to anyone.
Rebirth is a phenomena used by Buddha to support the arise of disenchantment:

"enough to become disenchanted with all fabricated things, enough to become dispassionate, enough to be released.""


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