Book: 'Before we loved the Buddha'

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Re: Book: 'Before we loved the Buddha'

Postby clw_uk » Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:08 am

There can be differences in expression of the Dhamma, but It's the person who misunderstands the Dhamma


The label of "eastern" or "western" is a secondary layer


Someone who is "eastern" can call herself Buddhist, yet not understand one bit of Dhamma compared to a western female who has just encountered it...
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: Book: 'Before we loved the Buddha'

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:14 am

clw_uk wrote:There can be differences in expression of the Dhamma, but It's the person who misunderstands the Dhamma


The label of "eastern" or "western" is a secondary layer


Someone who is "eastern" can call herself Buddhist, yet not understand one bit of Dhamma compared to a western female who has just encountered it...
Have you read the OP?
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: Book: 'Before we loved the Buddha'

Postby clw_uk » Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:14 am

It is ugly and disrespectful and unfunny, and the context is based upon a strawman reading of zavk's msg.



"ugly" and "disrespectful" to " you", maybe. I would like to see how you prove it is "ugly" however?

But in context it seems to me to be aimed at lightening the mood :)
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: Book: 'Before we loved the Buddha'

Postby clw_uk » Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:17 am

tiltbillings wrote:
clw_uk wrote:There can be differences in expression of the Dhamma, but It's the person who misunderstands the Dhamma


The label of "eastern" or "western" is a secondary layer


Someone who is "eastern" can call herself Buddhist, yet not understand one bit of Dhamma compared to a western female who has just encountered it...
Have you read the OP?




Of course

There where many layers to the op, to me
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: Book: 'Before we loved the Buddha'

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:22 am

clw_uk wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
clw_uk wrote:There can be differences in expression of the Dhamma, but It's the person who misunderstands the Dhamma


The label of "eastern" or "western" is a secondary layer


Someone who is "eastern" can call herself Buddhist, yet not understand one bit of Dhamma compared to a western female who has just encountered it...
Have you read the OP?




Of course

There where many layers to the op, to me
There are, of course. I do think the OP cuts a little deeper than what you just said, as a rereading of zavk's msg would show.
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: Book: 'Before we loved the Buddha'

Postby clw_uk » Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:28 am

There are, of course. I do think the OP cuts a little deeper than what you just said, as a rereading of zavk's msg would show.


I agree, but I felt that worries about western cultural imperialism do not matter in terms of Dhamma. The O.P. seemed more do with attachment to nation and culture.


So the O.P. seems to express worry at a perceived attack on a culture, or West V East, rather than about who properly understands Dhamma (which my OP related to).
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: Book: 'Before we loved the Buddha'

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:33 am

clw_uk wrote:
There are, of course. I do think the OP cuts a little deeper than what you just said, as a rereading of zavk's msg would show.


I agree, but I felt that worries about western cultural imperialism do not matter in terms of Dhamma. The O.P. seemed more do with attachment to nation and culture.


So the O.P. seems to express worry at a perceived attack on a culture, or West V East, rather than about who properly understands Dhamma (which my OP related to).
Never mind.
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: Book: 'Before we loved the Buddha'

Postby clw_uk » Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:40 am

The metaphor of 'white' comes to mind again (if you haven't read my earlier posts, please do so for clarification on my use of the term). 'White' can be taken as a 'pristine', 'untainted', 'pure' colour.... I have attempted to show in this thread and previous threads, how a 'white' approach to Buddhism can generate, even if unwittingly, an effect of 'whitewashing' - symbolic violence that extends beyond Dhamma or Buddhist contexts. But of course one may not agree with a claim of 'whitewashing' if 'whiteness' is regarded as 'pristine', 'untainted', 'pure'.... But I won't harp on this point about the so-called 'colour-blindness' of 'white'.



You seem to equate western with white,

Isn't that a bit of a stereotype?


You could also turn your argument around, China hasn't exactly been exempt from subjugating people, annexing land or enforcing/influencing cultures, ideas and religions.
Last edited by clw_uk on Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:51 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Book: 'Before we loved the Buddha'

Postby clw_uk » Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:41 am

tiltbillings wrote:
clw_uk wrote:
There are, of course. I do think the OP cuts a little deeper than what you just said, as a rereading of zavk's msg would show.


I agree, but I felt that worries about western cultural imperialism do not matter in terms of Dhamma. The O.P. seemed more do with attachment to nation and culture.


So the O.P. seems to express worry at a perceived attack on a culture, or West V East, rather than about who properly understands Dhamma (which my OP related to).
Never mind.



Indeed :roll:

:zzz:

:focus:
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: Book: 'Before we loved the Buddha'

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:54 am

Greetings,

MN 138: Uddesavibhanga Sutta wrote:“And how, friends, is there non-agitation due to non-appropriation? Here a well-taught noble disciple who has regard for noble ones and is skilled and disciplined in their Dhamma, who has regard for true men and is skilled and disciplined in their Dhamma, does not regard material form as self, or self as possessed of material form, or material form as in self, or self as in material form. That material form of his changes and becomes otherwise. With the change and becoming otherwise of that material form, his consciousness is not preoccupied with the change of material form. Agitated mental states born of preoccupation with the change of material form do not arise together and remain obsessing his mind. Because his mind is not obsessed, he is not anxious, distressed, and concerned, and due to non-appropriation he does not become agitated.

“He does not regard feeling as self…He does not regard perception as self…He does not regard formations as self…He does not regard consciousness as self, or self as possessed of consciousness, or consciousness as in self, or self as in consciousness. That consciousness of his changes and becomes otherwise. With the change and becoming otherwise of that consciousness, his consciousness is not preoccupied with the change of consciousness. Agitated mental states born of preoccupation with the change of consciousness do not arise together and remain obsessing his mind. Because his mind is not obsessed, he is not anxious, distressed, and concerned, and due to non-appropriation he does not become agitated. That is how there is non-agitation due to non-appropriation.

:meditate:

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


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Re: Book: 'Before we loved the Buddha'

Postby clw_uk » Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:59 am

I also attended a Christian missionary school for six years. Up till my teenage years, I more or less regarded myself as a Christian. As to be expected, Christianity in where I come from is associated with ‘Western’ culture. So even though I grew up being fascinated by certain ‘Chinese’ folklore involving Buddhist themes, etc - not to mention my loving grandmother was a devotee of Guanyin who would seek blessings from the temple for her grandchildren - I was nevertheless taught to regard these customs with suspicion.

I was constantly being exposed to how I am ‘white’ and ‘non-white’ at the same time. How I am necessarily a ‘traitor’ on all sides.

Then I migrated to Australia where I have been living for the past 11-12 years. Throughout my university, work and social life, I have had to deal with the question: ‘Wow, your English is really good for a non-native speaker. Where do you come from?’ What do you mean ‘non-native’ speaker? I cannot think in any other language. What exactly is yours to possess and not ours to share?

It was in Australia where I discovered ‘Western’ translations of Buddhism, and felt a connection with it. I embraced it because it was very different to the sort of ‘cultural Buddhism’ I grew up with. I encountered the same criticisms I had encountered via Christianity: that the Buddhist customs of my ancestral heritage are to be viewed with suspicion. Once again, my inferiority is pointed out to me; once again I am asked to embrace 'whiteness' by disavowing my 'non-whiteness'. Yet, I very quickly began to see that even though ‘Western’ translations of Buddhism have a tendency to portray itself as a more ‘direct’ approach to the Dhamma, it is in fact thoroughly conditioned by certain cultural and historical forces – cultural and historical forces that I am intimately familiar with because these forces have been used to judge me as ‘inferior’ and at the same times have also worked to my advantage.




Cultural conditioning is inevitable, however as long as we are aware that feelings are fleeting, then the Dhamma is always there.

"You can never step in the same river twice" Heraclitus


The rest is just commentary to me and cultural accretions.


As for the rest of your post, I can sympathise with how you have been made to feel "other" and inferior, I get this myself quite a lot, it actually happened today with a passing comment from a colleague. However it is our reaction to these situations that defines us.


"inferior" and "superior" are mind made chains that we forge, no one else.
Last edited by clw_uk on Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:05 am, edited 2 times in total.
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: Book: 'Before we loved the Buddha'

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:04 am

:goodpost:

The only origination is dependent, and is spawned from avijja and the subsequent sankharas it gives rise to.

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


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Re: Book: 'Before we loved the Buddha'

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:12 am

clw_uk wrote:
"inferior" and "superior" are mind made chains that we forge, no one else.
Ah, yep. However, to be able to "de-chain" oneself, it helps to understand that we may be chained, and then, if we are, to see the chains. Cannot free oneself from something we cannot see. Also, we simply cannot think our way out of such bondage. Cultural conditioning runs very deep and it is very often not even noticed, but yet it can have a profound influence on one's perceptions, how one sees things, and how one reacts to one's perceptions, and our perceptions can be so dependent upon it. And you simply cannot wish it, or think it, away.
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: Book: 'Before we loved the Buddha'

Postby clw_uk » Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:19 am

Cannot free oneself from something we cannot see. Also, we simply cannot think our way out of such bondage.


Isnt thinking "I cant think myself out of bondage" thinking oneself out of bondage?


Cultural conditioning runs very deep and it is very often not even noticed, but yet it can have a profound influence on one's perceptions, how one sees things, and how one reacts to one's perceptions, and our perceptions can be so dependent upon it. And you simply cannot wish it, or think it, away.



No but we can put it in its proper place, that is observe it and detach from it.

For example, I am conditioned to be negative to God concepts and the supernatural in general, yet Dhamma enables me to be aware of my reactions to such concepts and allows me to stop identifying with Atheism and philosophical materialism.


Some perceptions can be negated via awareness and full comprehension.
Last edited by clw_uk on Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: Book: 'Before we loved the Buddha'

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:31 am

Greetings,

Untangling the Present: The Role of Appropriate Attention
by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... gling.html

The Buddha gave prime importance to the ability to frame the issue of suffering in the proper way. He called this ability yoniso manasikara — appropriate attention — and taught that no other inner quality was more helpful for untangling suffering and gaining release (Iti 16).

In giving his most detailed explanation of appropriate attention (MN 2), he starts with examples of inappropriate attention, which center on questions of identity and existence: "Do I exist?" "Do I not?" "What am I?" "Did I exist in the past?" "Will I exist in the future?" These questions are inappropriate because they lead to "a wilderness of views, a thicket of views" such as "I have a self," or "I have no self," all of which lead to entanglement, and none to the end of suffering.

In contrast, the Buddha then depicts appropriate attention as the ability to identify that "This is suffering (the Pali word dukkha here covers stress and pain as well)," "This is the origination of suffering," "This is the cessation of suffering," and "This is the path of practice leading to the cessation of suffering." These are the four categories that the Buddha, in his first discourse, called the four noble truths. The ability to frame the issue of suffering in line with these categories is what enables you ultimately to put an end to the problem of suffering once and for all. This is why they're appropriate.

...

In practical terms, distinguishing among categories is worthwhile only if you have to treat each of the different categories in a different way. A doctor who formulates a theory of sixteen types of headaches only to treat them all with aspirin, for example, is wasting her time. But one who, noting that different types of headaches respond to different types of medications, devises an accurate test to differentiate among the headaches, makes a genuine contribution to medical science. The same principle applies to the categories of appropriate attention. As the Buddha stated in his first account of his Awakening, once he had identified each of the four categories, he saw that each had to be treated in a different way. Suffering had to be comprehended, its cause abandoned, its cessation realized, and the path to its cessation fully developed.

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


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Re: Book: 'Before we loved the Buddha'

Postby clw_uk » Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:32 am

"Dependent on eye & forms, eye-consciousness arises. The meeting of the three is contact. With contact as a requisite condition, there is feeling. What one feels, one perceives (labels in the mind). What one perceives, one thinks about. What one thinks about, one objectifies. Based on what a person objectifies, the perceptions & categories of objectification assail him/her with regard to past, present, & future forms cognizable via the eye.


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: Book: 'Before we loved the Buddha'

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:38 am

... and with that, the whole topic is summarized into a brief stanza of Dhamma.

Nice.

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


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Re: Book: 'Before we loved the Buddha'

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:41 am

clw_uk wrote:
Cannot free oneself from something we cannot see. Also, we simply cannot think our way out of such bondage.


Isnt thinking "I cant think myself out of bondage" thinking oneself out of bondage?
Are you seriously asking that question?


Cultural conditioning runs very deep and it is very often not even noticed, but yet it can have a profound influence on one's perceptions, how one sees things, and how one reacts to one's perceptions, and our perceptions can be so dependent upon it. And you simply cannot wish it, or think it, away.



No but we can put it in its proper place, that is observe it and detach from it.
That is the point, isn't it? And it may take some serious to be able to observe 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: Book: 'Before we loved the Buddha'

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:43 am

retrofuturist wrote:... and with that, the whole topic is summarized into a brief stanza of Dhamma.

Nice.

Metta,
Retro. :)
No, it is not. That is only one part of it. By the way, do you "think about" the Dhamma?
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: Book: 'Before we loved the Buddha'

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:07 am

Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:By the way, do you "think about" the Dhamma?

Yes, I think it is good.

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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