Thanissaro Bhikkhu

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clw_uk
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Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Postby clw_uk » Sat Mar 21, 2009 1:07 pm

Wasnt sure where to post this so please move it if its in the wrong place


Ive heard a few people mention that they feel Thanissaro Bhikkhu has eternalist attitudes/views. Im not trying to state that he does or doesnt its just I myself have never had this impression so was just wondering what is the reason for this?




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jcsuperstar
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Re: Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Postby jcsuperstar » Sat Mar 21, 2009 4:15 pm

i think it depends on your background. i dont feel he has them, i can sometimes see where others might feel he does though. i think this is because of my training in zen for years before comming to theravada, so maybe even if he is trying to put out an eternalist vibe, i who am not an eternalist am able to just read without being tainted by this. maybe a new student couldnt, or a more hardline older student wouldnt. also maybe the older more conservative student may feel Thanissaro is doing a disservice to the suttas (i've yet to hear anyone speak poorly of his vinaya translations) by being a bit more free wheeling than they feel should be done. but luckily we have more than one person translating texts, and other sources from which to gather information about how we should read the suttas.
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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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mikenz66
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Re: Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Mar 21, 2009 7:45 pm

I think it depends on how you interpret his "Not-Self Strategy" approach that permeates his work:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... tself.html

To put is simplistically, I would say that those who interpret him as implying "perhaps there really is some sort of self beyond the khandas" think he is an eternalist. Those who interpret him as warning that having a view on not-self is counter-productive to practise don't think that he is an eternalist.

Metta
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Ravana
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Re: Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Postby Ravana » Sat Mar 21, 2009 9:11 pm

“The incomparable Wheel of Dhamma has been set in motion by the Blessed One in the deer sanctuary at Isipatana, and no seeker, brahmin, celestial being, demon, god, or any other being in the world can stop it.”

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mikenz66
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Re: Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Mar 21, 2009 9:30 pm

Thanks Ravana, You're right, you have to look at the whole package. After doing that that I guess some would still take issue with his approach and some would not... I wouldn't want to say there was a "right" answer...

Metta
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Cittasanto
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Re: Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Mar 22, 2009 9:02 am



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Re: Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Mar 22, 2009 9:05 am

Greetings,

From memory, I think this little controversy all came about on account of Thanissaro Bhikkhu's expositions on nibbana, but I don't remember the specifics.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Mar 22, 2009 9:15 am


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Re: Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Mar 22, 2009 9:44 am



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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cooran
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Re: Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Postby cooran » Sun Mar 22, 2009 9:59 am

Hello all,

This thread of 10 pages (198 posts) from E-sangha may be of interest:

Ven. Thanissaro's views
http://www.lioncity.net/buddhism/index. ... 33364&st=0

metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Re: Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Postby puthujjana » Sun Mar 22, 2009 10:23 am

"Once you understand anatta, then the burden of life is gone. You’ll be at peace with the world. When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness and we can truly be happy."

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sun Mar 22, 2009 11:29 am

• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

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kc2dpt
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Re: Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Postby kc2dpt » Sun Mar 22, 2009 3:59 pm

- Peter


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Re: Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Postby scarface » Sun Sep 13, 2009 9:02 pm

One of the problems here is that people fail to distinguish the different orientations of the lineages that are grouped under Theravada. Monks of the Thai Forest Tradition are Nikayan in orientation and in a lot of ways don't really care for the Abhidhamma and the commentaries like the Visuddhimagga. Ven. Thanissaro has brought up this point before: the Thais in general (I think it was because of King Mongkut) are skeptical of anything that doesn't find support in the Suttanta. He has also mentioned that if you try to criticize the Abhidhamma and commentaries in Sri Lanka and Burma then there is a good chance that you will get kicked out of the country (he said it jokingly). If you're using the Suttas as your standard, then Thanissaro wins the "anatta" debate because he rightly points out that the "Three Characteristics of Existences" doctrine (often used to counter his argument) is a commentarial interpretation and finds no support in the Suttas. It then becomes obvious that pragmatic apophatic meditation techniques were reified into metaphysical doctrines by the Abhidharmists and the commentators:

"Almost any book on Buddhism will tell you that the three characteristics—
the characteristic of inconstancy, the characteristic of stress or suffering, and the
characteristic of not-self—were one of the Buddha’s most central teachings. The
strange thing, though, is that when you look in the Pali Canon, the word for
“three characteristics,” ti-lakkhana, doesn’t appear. If you do a search on any
computerized version of the Canon and type in, say, the characteristic of
inconstancy, anicca-lakkhana, it comes up with nothing. The word’s not in the Pali
Canon at all. The same with dukkha-lakkhana and anatta-lakkhana: Those
compounds don’t appear. This is not to say that the concepts of anicca, dukkha,
and anatta don’t occur in the Canon; just that they’re not termed characteristics.
They’re not compounded with the word “characteristic.” The words they are
compounded with are perception, sañña—as in the perception of inconstancy, the
perception of stress, and the perception of not-self—and the word anupassana,
which means to contemplate or to keep track of something as it occurs. For
instance, aniccanupassana, to contemplate inconstancy, means to look for
inconstancy wherever it happens."

http://www.dhammatalks.org/Archive/Writ ... ptions.pdf

Ven. Sujato (another Thai Forest monk) mentions his skepticism of meditation traditions that are based on the Abhidhamma and commentaries:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22XJ3tOIxMc

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acinteyyo
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Re: Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Postby acinteyyo » Mon Sep 14, 2009 7:49 am

Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

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piotr
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Re: Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Postby piotr » Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:29 am

Bhagavaṃmūlakā no, bhante, dhammā...

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acinteyyo
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Re: Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Postby acinteyyo » Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:34 am

Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

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piotr
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Re: Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Postby piotr » Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:58 am

Bhagavaṃmūlakā no, bhante, dhammā...

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acinteyyo
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Re: Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Postby acinteyyo » Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:09 am

Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

D Niyama
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Re: Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Postby D Niyama » Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:33 pm



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