Brian Ruhe and Representation

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Re: Brian Ruhe and Representation

Postby Mkoll » Sun Dec 08, 2013 6:56 am

Dan74 wrote:Is paying attention to the present moment and seeing the kilesas arise so complicated?

Now I am being 50% a devil's advocate here - I dig textual studies and I care what the Pali canon says. But I can see how someone could possibly practice very well and not do either of those.

They could practice well and not do either of those, agreed. But only after they had learned some of the important teachings. I imagine someone trying to practice Dhamma without intellectual knowledge of the 4 Noble Truths and I don't see a pretty picture. :computerproblem:

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Re: Brian Ruhe and Representation

Postby Dan74 » Sun Dec 08, 2013 8:04 am

Mkoll wrote:
Dan74 wrote:Is paying attention to the present moment and seeing the kilesas arise so complicated?

Now I am being 50% a devil's advocate here - I dig textual studies and I care what the Pali canon says. But I can see how someone could possibly practice very well and not do either of those.

They could practice well and not do either of those, agreed. But only after they had learned some of the important teachings. I imagine someone trying to practice Dhamma without intellectual knowledge of the 4 Noble Truths and I don't see a pretty picture. :computerproblem:

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I think more people figure out the 4 Noble Truths and then much of the 8-Fold Noble Path as they go, then many here would seem to imagine, especially after some Dharma instruction.
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Re: Brian Ruhe and Representation

Postby Mkoll » Sun Dec 08, 2013 8:08 am

Dan74 wrote:
Mkoll wrote:
Dan74 wrote:Is paying attention to the present moment and seeing the kilesas arise so complicated?

Now I am being 50% a devil's advocate here - I dig textual studies and I care what the Pali canon says. But I can see how someone could possibly practice very well and not do either of those.

They could practice well and not do either of those, agreed. But only after they had learned some of the important teachings. I imagine someone trying to practice Dhamma without intellectual knowledge of the 4 Noble Truths and I don't see a pretty picture. :computerproblem:

:anjali:


I think more people figure out the 4 Noble Truths and then much of the 8-Fold Noble Path as they go, then many here would seem to imagine, especially after some Dharma instruction.

Perhaps with a skilled teacher when one has no prior knowledge of Buddhism. But I would imagine that few people have that luxury.
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Re: Brian Ruhe and Representation

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Dec 08, 2013 8:30 am

Mkoll wrote:
Dan74 wrote:I think more people figure out the 4 Noble Truths and then much of the 8-Fold Noble Path as they go, then many here would seem to imagine, especially after some Dharma instruction.

Perhaps with a skilled teacher when one has no prior knowledge of Buddhism. But I would imagine that few people have that luxury.

Are teachers who teach such basics as the 4NT really so hard to find? That hasn't been my experience. I live in a city of only a few hundred thousand people and I'm sure I could easily list a dozen or so places to go where such teachings would be part of the mix. Of course, only a couple would be Theravada, but I think Dan's point is that those basics are common to all traditions, including not only Mahayana and Vajrayana, but also secular ones.

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Re: Brian Ruhe and Representation

Postby Mkoll » Sun Dec 08, 2013 8:54 am

Of course if one is told about the 4NT and N8P directly one learns them that way.

I was talking about a situation where one figures the 4NT or N8P as an insight without being taught them or having read about them. One would need highly developed spiritual faculties and a highly skilled teacher.

For example Bahiya who reached arahantship without having even heard the 4NT and N8P. His mind was released with just one teaching from the Buddha.

And no teacher comes close to remotely close to the Buddha.

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Re: Brian Ruhe and Representation

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Dec 08, 2013 9:18 am

Mkoll wrote:Of course if one is told about the 4NT and N8P directly one learns them that way.

Dan did say "after some Dharma instruction".

I guess how one views these issues depends on how one comes to the Dhamma. I didn't read any suttas until I'd been practising for almost a year, but of course my teachers talked about 4NT, N8P, hindrances, and so on. I also didn't have much idea of the difference between Theravada and Mahayana --- I just happened to turn up to a Thai Wat. I do enjoy reading and analysing suttas, but for me the personal instruction was the vital information.

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Re: Brian Ruhe and Representation

Postby Mkoll » Sun Dec 08, 2013 9:28 am

mikenz66 wrote:I guess how one views these issues depends on how one comes to the Dhamma. I didn't read any suttas until I'd been practising for almost a year, but of course my teachers talked about 4NT, N8P, hindrances, and so on. I also didn't have much idea of the difference between Theravada and Mahayana --- I just happened to turn up to a Thai Wat. I do enjoy reading and analysing suttas, but for me the personal instruction was the vital information.

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My coming to the Dhamma was purely from an intellectual and book-reading standpoint and only later going to visit monks. For me, the vital information comes through book-learning.

So I think you're exactly right. :smile:

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Re: Brian Ruhe and Representation

Postby Dan74 » Sun Dec 08, 2013 1:57 pm

I guess the subject was scriptural authenticity, etc, and the point I was trying to make is that this is far less important to many practitioners than some people here seem to think. Basically, 'if it works, who cares if it was written by the Buddha or a disciple of a disciple?'
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Re: Brian Ruhe and Representation

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Dec 08, 2013 6:14 pm

Mkoll wrote:My coming to the Dhamma was purely from an intellectual and book-reading standpoint and only later going to visit monks. For me, the vital information comes through book-learning.

So I think you're exactly right. :smile:

It's interesting how different different people's experiences with this is. And I can see why issues of authenticity would be viewed as supremely important if what they consider their key Dhamma information came though reading. Similarly, those of us for whom the key information (as we see it) came from personal instruction actually have difficulty believing that anyone gets anywhere by simply reading suttas without some personal instruction!

It is good to keep these differences in mind.

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Re: Brian Ruhe and Representation

Postby Dan74 » Sun Dec 08, 2013 9:50 pm

Good point, Mike, and as it's been said - basics are common to all tradition, hence the possibility of liberation.

In the meantime, there are many pitfalls along the way, and our chance of finding our way around them (or out of them) is greatly increased by skillful guidance (and of course varies according to our kamma).
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Re: Brian Ruhe and Representation

Postby Mkoll » Sun Dec 08, 2013 10:35 pm

And the Lord said to Ananda: 'Ananda, it may be that you will think: The Teacher's instruction has ceased, now we have no teacher!" It should not be seen like this, Ananda, for what I have taught and explained to you as Dhamma and discipline will, at my passing, be your teacher.
At Bhoganagara the Lord stayed at the Ananda Shrine. And here he said to the monks: 'Monks, I will teach you four criteria. Listen, pay close attention, and I will speak.' 'Yes, Lord', replied the monks.

Suppose a monk were to say: {(1)"Friends, I heard and received this from the Lord's own lips: this is the Dhamma, this is the discipline, this is the Master's teaching" or "In such and such a place there is a [(2) community with elders and distinguised teachers, (3) many elders who are learned, or (4) one elder who is learned)}, then monks you should neither approve nor disapprove his words. Then, without approving or disapproving, his words and expressions should be carefully noted and compared with the Suttas and reviewed in the light of the discipline. If they, on such comparison and review, are found not to conform to the Suttas or the discipline, the conclusion must be: "Assuredly this is not the word of the Buddha, it has been wrongly understood by this monk", and the matter is to be rejected. But where on such comparison and review they are found to conform to the Suttas or the discipline, the conclusion must be: "Assuredly this is the word of the Buddha, it has been rightly understood by this monk."
-DN 16

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Re: Brian Ruhe and Representation

Postby Dan74 » Sun Dec 08, 2013 11:17 pm

I am not sure what point you are trying to make, Mkoll.
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Re: Brian Ruhe and Representation

Postby Mkoll » Sun Dec 08, 2013 11:31 pm

My point is that teachers can be deluded themselves or have been given bad information from their teachers. If one takes their instructions at face-value one may be headed down the wrong path and continue to spread bad information. The Pali Canon has been unchanged for more than 2000 years and closely matches many ancient Sanskrit and Chinese translations of the Buddha's teachings. Along with one's practice, it should serve as the fallback for judging a living person's teaching on the Dhamma.

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Re: Brian Ruhe and Representation

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Dec 08, 2013 11:49 pm

This is true as far as it goes, but any argument like this is a little circular in that we are relying on texts that were transmitted and transformed for hundreds of years before settling into the form that we have them today to justify what to do with those texts...

It's also a little ironic to cite the Mahaparinibbana sutta (DN16), since that's one of the suttas that is likely to have been added to over a long period, so if one subscribes to a textual-analysis approach it's one that would be looked on with suspicion.

One could also cite numerous suttas about choosing a teacher and asking advice from others...

I certainly find validation for what I've learned from various teachers in the suttas that I have read. However, even when working with the fixed Pali canon of suttas there can be disagreements over some doctrinal points, as we see quite often in discussions here. And when it comes to meditation techniques, the suttas are sufficiently general that almost any modern approach that I know of can easily find suttas to back it up.

Which, actually, I think it fine. It indicates to me that the Dhamma is quite robust, and that a variety of interpretations are possible without destroying the essence. Some will resonate more with particular people than others.

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Re: Brian Ruhe and Representation

Postby Mkoll » Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:26 am

mikenz66 wrote:This is true as far as it goes, but any argument like this is a little circular in that we are relying on texts that were transmitted and transformed for hundreds of years before settling into the form that we have them today to justify what to do with those texts...

Granted. But for me it's not an argument. I'm not trying to persuade anyone.

mikenz66 wrote:Which, actually, I think it fine. It indicates to me that the Dhamma is quite robust, and that a variety of interpretations are possible without destroying the essence. Some will resonate more with particular people than others.

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Re: Brian Ruhe and Representation

Postby Pondera » Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:44 am

"Brian Ruhe" - "The Theravada Forest Tradition in the Heart of the City". Well, that would have to be Downtown East side - and my buddy Boon lived above "Payless Meats". Which was nice. You could see Openhiemer park from his living room. No forest traditions of any Buddhist kind though - that there in that Oppenheimer park that is. Definitely recall a Buddhist temple across the way. Hmm.

He sounds crazy enough - I think I'll go to one of his talks. See what the fuss is about. :)

Any questions to pass along?

- P.
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Re: Brian Ruhe and Representation

Postby Maitri » Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:49 am

Hi Dan74,

I suspect that most Zen practitioners wouldn't not give a hoot whether the sutras were written by Shakyamuni Buddha or someone else. They are not concerned with the author's name, but the content.


I don't disagree. I think this mode of thinking is very common throughout much of the Mahayana world. However, the important note to strike here is to ensure that people are given a choice; to be informed about the differences so they can make their own decision. If someone chooses the content over the history, then I think that's fine. But if that is what they believe simply because they don't know is entirely different. I don't agree that it is permissible to withhold such information because it could seem "sectarian".

I know Tibetan Buddhists who have no idea that Mahayana sutras came later and were quite surprised when I pointed out the conflicting narratives found therein concerning Bodhisattvas and the elder monastics, such a Ananda. They simply assumed it was"gospel" truth and an accurate representation of "Hinayana". These are Western educated people who simply were never told the historical background of these texts and therefore never had a reason to question them. It can't be expected that every Buddhist be a religious historian and scholar or that they will find out on their own.

Though I don't agree with his methods or presentation, I think Mr. Ruhe is onto something about widening this topic for wider inclusion and having a very honest discussion about these issues.
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Re: Brian Ruhe and Representation

Postby Maitri » Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:53 am

Pondera wrote:"Brian Ruhe" - "The Theravada Forest Tradition in the Heart of the City". Well, that would have to be Downtown East side - and my buddy Boon lived above "Payless Meats". Which was nice. You could see Openhiemer park from his living room. No forest traditions of any Buddhist kind though - that there in that Oppenheimer park that is. Definitely recall a Buddhist temple across the way. Hmm.

He sounds crazy enough - I think I'll go to one of his talks. See what the fuss is about. :)

Any questions to pass along?

- P.


Sure, ask him why he chooses to not accurately represent Mahayana traditions? Doesn't he think his argument or position for Theravada is strong enough that denigration of those traditions is not required?

Enjoy your visit! :spy:
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Re: Brian Ruhe and Representation

Postby Invincible_Summer » Sat Mar 15, 2014 2:12 am

http://www.examiner.com/article/meditat ... p-director

Comments?


I wonder if he pushes this line of thought in his meditation groups...
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Re: Brian Ruhe and Representation

Postby Sokehi » Tue Mar 18, 2014 7:16 pm

As soon as new age comes around... count me out
Get the wanting out of waiting

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