Sangharakshita

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Sangharakshita

Postby jcsuperstar » Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:30 am

whats your take on him, his teachings?

[EDIT: Thread relocated because it isn't really relevant to General Theravada. Retro.]
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the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: Sangharakshita

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:41 am

Greetings JC,

A sincere practitioner, quite knowledgeable, and open to the teachings of all Buddhist traditions. However, as that inevitably seems to go, the supersessionism inherent in Mahayana and Vajrayana teachings means that one ends up at that end of the Buddhist spectrum when one applies such an approach. The end result is that the FWBO isn't very Theravada-friendly, even though they do not go out of their way to make it so. His books seemed really well written when I read them but I was an absolute beginner back then so I'm not sure whether I'd say the same today. Love him or hate him, his legacy and influence in helping bring the Dharma to the West should not be underrated.

Metta,
Retro. :)
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Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Sangharakshita

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:52 am

don't know to be honest!
I go to the FWBO group here which is quite good but as a full organisation there is much on the web regarding the bad aspects some of which are shocking, but how much is or isn't true I don't know, all I know for certain is that some of what has been reported and confirmed as true from other sources to me are not good, but agree with retro his influence in bringing Buddhism to the west shouldn't be down "or up" played.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Re: Sangharakshita

Postby jcsuperstar » Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:56 am

FWBO dont have much of a presence over here... they have that magazine though, windhorse i think it is, but i've nver heard of any american groups...

on a side note i know billy childish joined the FWBO then quit and started the enemies of the friends of the western buddhist order :rofl:
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: Sangharakshita

Postby Dhammanando » Sat Jan 17, 2009 12:50 pm

Hi JC,

jcsuperstar wrote:on a side note i know billy childish joined the FWBO then quit and started the enemies of the friends of the western buddhist order :rofl:


You’ve got it the wrong way round. It was the Friends of the Enemies of the Western Buddhist Order. But nowadays he practises the Goenka method.

From an interview in Heyoka:

    JL: What happened in this Buddhism group when there was a little bit of how would you describe it? Was that a misunderstanding about philosophy?

    BC: I don’t know really. I went along to a group called The Friends of the Western Buddhist Order in England, and they used to have a discussion group after the sitting where you talked about Buddhist philosophy. I used to go with my friends and we called it ‘the Buddhist punch up’ because actually discussion wasn’t really encouraged. It was more about the boss sounding off a bit and he didn’t like people contradicting him. I formed a sub-group, unbeknownst to him – within the organization, called The Friends of the Enemies of the Western Buddhist Order.

    JL: Laughs.

    BC: Because I figured it was more Buddhist to be friends with the enemies, because anyone can be friends of the Western Buddhist Order, but we were friends of the enemies of them. I think it’s more inclusive, personally. These fellows all had silly names, so we had names as well. I ordained myself as Itchy Scrotum,

    JL: Laughs really loud.

    BC: The names were along those lines, so we had Itchy scrotum, Toy Gun Grandma and Mighty Boulder. That was us three.

    JL: That’s hysterical. Laughs.

    BC: The boss told us that we should have love and compassion for everybody, but that no matter what, some people will never change. I said ‘like who?’ and he said ‘alcoholics for instance’. I said ‘oh, right’ and of course being what I would term as an ex-alcoholic – though apparently I’m not allowed to be an ex-alcoholic as I’m told there’s no such thing. I thought this rather a strange idea; that particularly alcoholics couldn’t change.

    So, I put up my hand and said “but I thought the whole point of doing meditation is that you believe in change. Isn’t that what meditation is all about? Surely, the Buddha wasn’t enlightened before he was enlightened. He had to undergo some sort of transformation otherwise he wouldn’t be enlightened and there wouldn’t be any point in following the path. So the boss told me that I was “argumentative”.

    JL: So then this Buddhist boss guy, was he enlightened or something?

    BC: We will leave that up to the reader to decide.

    JL: Ok. Laughs.

    http://www.heyokamagazine.com/HEYOKA.7.MUSIC.billycHILDISH.htm

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Re: Sangharakshita

Postby jcsuperstar » Sat Jan 17, 2009 1:00 pm

oops!
god i love billy childish!!!

thanks for finding that! :clap:
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: Sangharakshita

Postby Prasadachitta » Sat Jan 17, 2009 3:54 pm

My impression of Sangharakshita (I consider myself a student of his) is that doctrinally his main thrust of teaching comes from the Pali Cannon. I see the way he weaves in other Indo Tibetan methods as a sort of inspirational and doctrinal pressure relief valve. In practice I find it very effective. There are some aspects of the way the Dhamma is presented in the Pali sources which tend to leave some people a little uninspired. I have found that allowing room for a more visceral and mystically charged practice brings more energy to my study of the what is in the Nikayas. Sangharakshita presents one Mahasangha of which all of us who go for refuge are a part. It is of course possible I will at some point start practicing with a community other than the FWBO but I expect to always be greatfull to them and of course always be a part of the Mahasangha.


Metta

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Re: Sangharakshita, wbo and fwbo

Postby Being Person » Fri Jul 23, 2010 4:35 pm

Hi, I'd like to introduce myself from an inquisitive standpoint in consideration of issues mentioned concerning the controversy surrounding what is now referred to as the Triranta Buddhist Community, including some qualifying considerations.

Firstly, I've spent some time searching for an appropriate forum discussion and hadn't found what one more appropriate than this, last commented on about 1.5 years ago. My interest is to gain some help with issues concerning perspective pertaining to right view in reference to controversy associated with the wbo and cult issues and personal experience with my life having been excessively effected as a result of having lived in a men's wbo community for about 20 months.

Perhaps of most important mention concerning myself, I hadn't began understanding innocence until about a year ago at age 46, which followed with recollections of having become innocent around age 11. With that said, my intention concerning right speech leaves me to consider the mystery as to what might be understood as to what I'm communicating, including that my intentions to maintain right speech is limited while I feel I've developed a degree of skillfulness in consideration of vastness (for example, belief implies doubt) rather than normal social and/or spiritual communication, of which I'm still not familiar enough with speech in general to a degree, for example, where I even understand what friendship is, spiritual and otherwise.

Also of note is that I've very poignantly lived through an experience that is rather clear to me that can truthfully can be referred to as an Odyssey, of which I'm not sure if I should capitalize the "O" or not. The experience of an odyssey for me includes having listened to a recording of the Odyssey during the time of my experience which seemed to have 3 stages, one of overwhelm to a degree of horror and terror beyond what I consider to be an appropriate human experience for about 2 years of which I was repeatedly phenomenologically raped, a sorta lull of about 20 months, followed by a very reciprocal of direct contact with beings of the non-physical realms, which seemed to be, rather clearly a manner of resolving issues associated with indifferences associated with Buddhist and Christian views as well as Asian and Caucasian culture.

Of pertinence includes that I grew up gaining an education in one of the best public school systems in the world having taken remedial or special classes for slower students all the while having a fairly comfortable social life and being successful in sports. I've a BA in Physical Education and went of to become a Psychiatric Counselor for 6+ years.

Of request includes that my experience of human life had become so distant of what I recalled of normal human experience was that a method I devised includes considerations for my strength having been my vulnerability, of which I feel it pertinent that at one point during my journey my energy body had been energetically and phenomenologically mutilated beyond recognition and I'm still of experiences of phenomenon that are rather profound including some sensitivity to old wounds and I ask that you responses include considerations associated with what I vaguely understand, that I prefer compassion and karma to fear, as the magnitude of what I've dealt with was so vast and excessive, I felt the extent of circumstances that I've dealt with includes that that I was too concerned how my experience might influence other people, or basically I'm asking and suggesting that any responses include a great deal of care.

To get right to the point as straight from the heart, one of the issues I'd like to address is rightness in general concerning the TBC, or Triratna Buddhist Community, having felt the shift in the name change, including that it feels as if there is a shift toward rightness, actually and surprisingly, although not yet complete. About 13 months after my experience of, well honestly (I almost forgot, one of my approaches as an innocent[i] man includes "honesty is the best police", including that it's sorta an approach I had began shortly after my experience became poignantly reciprocal with beings of the non-physical realms, as I'd describe that my consciousness blossomed unto the non-physical realms, followed by the beings, so to speak, that were skyward who represented my consciousness, fell from the sky to the underworld, thus my consciousness having become of subconscious view and my consciousness having become of conscientiousness and my awareness seemingly and truthfully being fairly familiar with a general innocence of human consciousness, as I'd describe it), beyond horror and terror, I experienced energy bodies in my body [i]morfing (for lack of a better word) that I now understand that three different beings from within my body had become of canine form. As I presently understand of which includes to have occurred to three different beings of rather profound attainment, two of who were of the Thai Forrest Tradition and one of whom was of the Christian Religion and probably of Episcopalian view.

Since then I understand that two have fully recovered of human form while the third is assured recovery human form while occurring within the contest of resolving the indifferences acknowledged and associated with the Buddhist and Christian Religions, which is basically one of my intentions of in sharing this story in order to gain some help with the issues. There in lies an apparent consideration of tact and consideration of the fact that when my experience became poignantly reciprocal, I agreed to participate as a Peace Ambassador, including considerations that I wasn't even aware of what innocence is when the distinction as to how I'd participate was established about 4.5 years ago, including my understanding that I was sorta chosen to address such issues in consideration of my innocence as I understand that I'm still innocent in terms of my ability to communicate with words while being knowing and pertaining to vast considerations, as I understand.

Some issues of character about me include that I'm sorta biased against the Christian Religion at this point, while it's not totally accurate as it sorta has to do with being of Christian culture in this life while the real kicker includes that the origins of my journey to Earth include that I'm from Lira, the constellation so to speak, which I understand inherently indicated that I'm inherently of Islamic awareness and more specifically of Martyrdom transcendent awareness, which holds issues that I have a sense of humor about. Also, my approach also includes considerations that might be considered crazy wisdom which might be characterized by describing some familiarity of "strategy" that to some extent resembles Indian (Native American) responses to Christian influences that had maligned Indian manners of spirituality, including that to some extent therein lies a neutral moderating Plateau, so to speak, and that such generosity feels to demand great consideration, respect and generosity.

In closing, I'm not sure what else to explain as there is so much and which extends to very vast, deep, broad, thorough and detailed considerations concerning the contents of issues that have occurred of my mind.

Best wishes,

beauty...

Being Person [eco super hero (to extend a tone, which might be skillful, that encourages a degree of sense of humor while touching base with the more pertinent and important issue)]
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Re: Sangharakshita

Postby PeterB » Fri Jul 23, 2010 5:59 pm

Well I dont know about anyone else Being Person but I have not a clue what you are talking about..

Welcome to the forum anyway..
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Re: Sangharakshita

Postby Spiny Norman » Sat Jul 24, 2010 10:10 am

jcsuperstar wrote:whats your take on him, his teachings?

[EDIT: Thread relocated because it isn't really relevant to General Theravada. Retro.]


I've had quite a lot to do with the FWBO over the years. There were significant problems around abuse of hierarchy and group-think, but they seemed to have cleaned up their act somewhat in recent years.
I have some reservations about the mix-and-match approach developed by S. On the positive side the FWBO is very well organised and good at introducing Buddhism to a wide audience.

P
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Re: Sangharakshita

Postby Spiny Norman » Sat Jul 24, 2010 10:15 am

gabrielbranbury wrote:My impression of Sangharakshita (I consider myself a student of his) is that doctrinally his main thrust of teaching comes from the Pali Cannon. I see the way he weaves in other Indo Tibetan methods as a sort of inspirational and doctrinal pressure relief valve.


I think there has been a shift towards Therevada style practices in recent years, perhaps because they are more accessible. In his early writings S. had quite a downer on what he called the "Hinyana".

P
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Re: Sangharakshita

Postby PeterB » Sat Jul 24, 2010 5:14 pm

By which he was not referring to the Theravada, porpoise. His first teacher and someone he refers to frequently with great respect was a Theravadin monk. He spent a good deal of time immersed in the Pali Canon and commentaries and became something of a Pali scholar. In the early days of the FWBO he was at great pains to emphasise its inclusive nature.
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Re: Sangharakshita

Postby Being Person » Sat Jul 24, 2010 6:27 pm

Thanks for welcoming me to the forum PeterB, it's appreciated. I don't know what to do with a "clue" and my manner of trusting things I don't understand has included, first, suffering as a manner of discerning as I feel there is a vast problem in the variance of manners of how people of good fortune speak and I've refused to learn such norm of communication as a manner of skillfulness and have reserved my right to be caring. My understanding is, honesty being the best policy, includes that bettering what I've developed, cultivated and evolved, is required, or deal with it, just to explain or if you were asking for a clue in some sense? I don't know if that explains anything or if that's what your asking but to explain, the manner in which I sought understanding became apparent that I had to aggressively choose suffering when just a little was in-sighted upon me, in order to heal, for example. Not well explained while I hope it's pertinent maybe just an unclear example of crazy wisdom.

porpoise, thanks for making contact. What I'm hoping to do is communicate that there are probably a number of people alive, that have been effected by the wbo, who are still unjustly suffering and it doesn't make sense to me that the, now, TBC hasn't publicly apologized and offered to amend the problems that individual human beings might still be experiencing.

Literally, based on my experience in consideration of how I'm still effected, still Christian oriented beings that represent the ancestry of TBC members, generally pertaining to some of the senior teachers (as I recognize them as some beings arrive in the image of particular TBC members), that had so cruelly influenced my life, arrive in my body and indirectly extend to human conscious some how, so to speak, what represents that opposite of who I am, to a lesser degree now then before, creating circumstances that result in my body being treated like a punching bag and in particular my right brain and it's excessively wrong and a problem.

Which poses the issue, concerning the story of my odyssey and honesty being the best policy, for me anyway, why are being's in the image of some senior TBC members who are supposed to be Buddhist, arriving in my body and forwarding a Christian agenda. Also pertinent, as the story of my odyssey goes, S., a historically, very intrenched Catholic being made agreements and obligations, in reference to the story of my odyssey, before he was born, to be guided to found a Buddhist linage so Jesus could have a controlling influence over Buddhism for His and Christian purposes and for His second coming which, as the story of my odyssey goes and honesty being the best policy, will allow Him some liberty to enact his will unto Buddhism during the course of his next human life, if He gains one, or something like that (general skillful vagueness considered).

I feel as though I have to share that so qualified Buddhist monks can discern the truth of it and respond for the benefit of all beings. And it feels that what I'm sharing needs to be addressed soon and I don't feel qualified to do it alone and I'm asking for help with such issues.

There are some very detailed things I understand about what I'm mentioning and literally, S. will be taken care of for a time, as I understand, in the afterlife, while it's just for a time based on how he cooperates in the afterlife, and it's my understanding that there is a very safe place for him to cooperate within and it's more of a global consideration in consideration of what I don't know how to rightly share presently. The best I can explain is that, as I understand in reference to the story of my odyssey, Christian oriented non-physical beings are hoping to effect something to the effect of all human life for the Church and Crown and as has been occurring, for example, as has occurred already, by colonization and neo-liberalism and to me it seems to be causing a lot of problems right now.

I don't know how to handle such information alone while it feels as if I'm not to be excluded for how things are considered and I'd appreciate some human help, not just knowing help and I feel it, and help with guidance and in particular from Buddhist monks that aren't affiliated with the TBC and including Christian monks, Muslim even as it's a global belief system of the non-physical realms that has resulted. I've sought help, at one point during a retreat, a Buddhist monk responded with one word, evolution and it feels to be the case in terms of the magnitude of what I'm dealing with.

Sorry if it's not positive enough, I'm not skilled with words in a way where I know how to express such things in a positive manner. So by mentioning what I understand clearly, truthfully and honestly, my intention includes that the issues can be rightly righted and I hope that's positive enough. My hope is to bring light to the issues so as to heal them rightly with the help of other people.

In my opinion the TBC should publicly apologize and ask that an appropriate non-TBC support environment be created for people whose lives have been wrongly influenced, in my innocent opinion. Of which includes a lot more information as to why it's considered blatantly wrong what the wbo was doing and the TBC possibly still is doing.

Something I forgot to mention concerning what seems to me to be investigations by other people concerning my history and origins. It was about 2 months ago that the investigations, that I've slowly become aware of, revealed that I'm of Islamic martyrdom origins. I've generally avoided such seeing such information as I don't know that it's skillful? And I'm not familiar with the Middle Eastern cultures and/or religions aside from afar. What's interesting is that I seem to have journeyed from one manner of human kindness to another, my most recent life before this one having been Native Indian.

Something I'm hoping to understand better is, if I have truly lived an Odyssey, what is the value and effect in it? How might I skillfully share the story of something to that effect? And, in that I'd feel safer if I could gain a small audience amongst some wise, knowing teachers and not just Buddhist teachers, which is in part my intention here. As to me, the truth of the story of the odyssey, as so many being(')s have participated from the standpoint of globally, that it seems necessary that people come to know the story if not just that Creation on Earth is endangered and in hopes of insighting global healing. As for awhile there it seemed as though I was being forced to tell it to people I didn't trust in that they tended to be strangers. Including that I had begun writing about it and I was sorta guided away from that based on the extent of my innocence and now I'm being gently guided, as it feels, to seek a diverse audience amongst wise, trusted, knowing spiritual teachers of different religious view.

As my first question during the course of my odyssey, and honestly I don't feel as though it's just my odyssey based on beings who've participated in representation of living human beings, as the story goes, when the position for me to ask one arose, in the presence of many being(')s, about 4.5 years ago, I asked, "what is the reality of climate change"? And what has been revealed to me isn't very pretty, and I'd very much like to share with qualified people who can help respond to what I understand in hope of what is the best for the benefit of all beings in reference to human life and Creation on Earth? That is, to ask what seems like a good question for many people, is, is Creation on Earth is worthwhile trying to save?

Best wishes,

beauty...

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Re: Sangharakshita

Postby Spiny Norman » Sun Jul 25, 2010 9:33 am

PeterB wrote:By which he was not referring to the Theravada, porpoise. His first teacher and someone he refers to frequently with great respect was a Theravadin monk. He spent a good deal of time immersed in the Pali Canon and commentaries and became something of a Pali scholar. In the early days of the FWBO he was at great pains to emphasise its inclusive nature.


Well, here is what S. said on Page 209 of his book "A survey of Buddhism" ( 1980 ):

"Modern Therevada, by reason of the fidelity with with it continues to represent the original Hinayana attitude, may in fact be regarded as constituting a kind of living evidence of the necessity of the Mahayana movement."

Hardly a ringing endorsement of modern Therevada. To be fair, his views may have changed since then, and I don't think this is a representative view in the modern FWBO ( sorry, I keep forgetting the new name! ).

P
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Re: Sangharakshita

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Jul 25, 2010 9:37 am

porpoise wrote:
PeterB wrote:By which he was not referring to the Theravada, porpoise. His first teacher and someone he refers to frequently with great respect was a Theravadin monk. He spent a good deal of time immersed in the Pali Canon and commentaries and became something of a Pali scholar. In the early days of the FWBO he was at great pains to emphasise its inclusive nature.


Well, here is what S. said on Page 209 of his book "A survey of Buddhism" ( 1980 ):

"Modern Therevada, by reason of the fidelity with with it continues to represent the original Hinayana attitude, may in fact be regarded as constituting a kind of living evidence of the necessity of the Mahayana movement."

Hardly a ringing endorsement of modern Therevada. To be fair, his views may have changed since then, and I don't think this is a representative view in the modern FWBO ( sorry, I keep forgetting the new name! ).

P
Sangharakshita, a seriously flawed human being, was a skilled writer. The opening chapters of his Survery are simply brilliant, but he has/had in that book and any number that came after it a strong bias against the Theravada.
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.

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Re: Sangharakshita

Postby Spiny Norman » Sun Jul 25, 2010 9:52 am

Being Person wrote:In my opinion the TBC should publicly apologize and ask that an appropriate non-TBC support environment be created for people whose lives have been wrongly influenced, in my innocent opinion.


I'm inclined to agree, but I don't think they will ever admit liability because that would make them vunerable to possible legal claims and further adverse publicity.

P
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Re: Sangharakshita

Postby PeterB » Sun Jul 25, 2010 10:26 am

Even if we have misgivings about various aspects of Sangharakshita views and behaviour, and even if we reject his identification of Modern Theravada with the hinayana, the fact that he sees a difference between the two at least in potential is obvious from that quotation. He sees that " hinayana" tendency in "modern" Theravada as differing from traditional Theravada.
I think when he uses the term modern he is not meaning a Theravada stripped of myth only...which he would also reject btw..he is talking of the tendency particularly in Sri Lankan Buddhist to the scholastic and away from the pragmatic..he used to talk about that a lot.

As to his heirs apologising for Sangharakshita's alleged behaviours. porpoise is quite right, they would be very unwise to do so. Particularly as Sangharakshita who is now in his eighties no longer has a formal role within the former FWBO.
A family member is closely involved with the Triratna movement and she has told me of the spectrum of opinion within the former FWBO about the way that they should position themselves vis a vis Sangharakshita and it ranges from those who think a complete severance is needed to those who would look for a compromise.
In the meantime there are a lot of centres belonging to the fastest growing Buddhist group in the UK with thousands of members, and who have within their ranks some excellent meditation teachers.
I think we need to see how this thing develops...
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Re: Sangharakshita

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Jul 25, 2010 11:06 am

PeterB wrote: . . .
We are not going to see-to-eye on Dennis. A very smart man, but a flawed enough of a human that I would look elsewhere for a teacher, for that and for lineage reasons. As for his take on the Theravada, I no longer have any of the books by him that I found to be problematic and I certainly do not give enough of a rat’s ass to track down what I found problematic to pursue that question here. There simply were and are better qualified teachers out there that do not carry with them the stink of scandal and Dennis is certainly no Trungpa (not anywhere near it) to get away with 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: Sangharakshita

Postby PeterB » Sun Jul 25, 2010 11:21 am

While not disagreeing with your assessment Tilt the fact is that the Triratna movement compromises by far the largest Buddhist group in the UK and with the fastest growth rate..It also has some excellently managed centers that do a good job in teaching anapanasati and in allowing an accommodation between Buddhism and western artistic culture...which is for many its great strength.
I would not and did not join it even when in my early 20's.
Neither would I recommend other involvement than its very well done meditation classes.
But its there and its growing and there are lessons to be learned from it. Particularly in its appeal to the young artistic element in society.
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Re: Sangharakshita

Postby Anicca » Sun Jul 25, 2010 7:29 pm

PeterB wrote: ... the fact is that the Triratna movement compromises by far the largest Buddhist group in the UK ...


Freudian slip....

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