Most Important Ideas of Theravadin Buddhism?

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Most Important Ideas of Theravadin Buddhism?

Postby christopher::: » Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:35 pm

I just looked into another thread and saw Manapa mentioning the importance of kalyânamittas. Not knowing what the word meant i did a quick search and found "Good Dhamma Friends." A few months ago I started reading about the 4 brahma viharas. What simple wisdom! I kinda knew these from my own experience but didn't have words for them.

The deeper I go into the teachings of the elders the more humbled, inspired and impressed I am. Buddha taught so much more beyond the 4 noble truths and the 8 fold path. What do you feel are the most important ideas and insights of Theravadin Buddhism? If you can say a bit about why these ideas are important and explain the terms, that would be a great gift for many of us newcomers.

Thank you, with many many deep bows,
Chris::
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: Most Important Ideas of Theravadin Buddhism?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:17 pm

Greetings Chris:::,

Have you read...?

DN 22: Maha-Satipatthana Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

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: Most Important Ideas of Theravadin Buddhism?

Postby christopher::: » Thu Sep 17, 2009 5:27 am

retrofuturist wrote:Have you read...?

DN 22: Maha-Satipatthana Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html



No. Wow. Brilliant. I just printed it out and have only gotten into the intro so far. There seems to be a correspondence there to what Shunryu Suzuki called Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind. Also, Zen teachers sometimes talk cryptically about bringing zazen awareness to all of life, off the cushion. What they recommend sounds a lot like sati...

Translator's Introduction

The word "satipatthana" is the name for an approach to meditation aimed at establishing sati, or mindfulness. The term sati is related to the verb sarati, to remember or to keep in mind. It is sometimes translated as non-reactive awareness, free from agendas, simply present with whatever arises, but the formula for satipatthana doesn't support that translation. Non-reactive awareness is actually an aspect of equanimity, a quality fostered in the course of satipatthana. The activity of satipatthana, however, definitely has a motivating agenda: the desire for Awakening, which is classed not as a cause of suffering, but as part of the path to its ending (see SN 51.15). The role of mindfulness is to keep the mind properly grounded in the present moment in a way that will keep it on the path. To make an analogy, Awakening is like a mountain on the horizon, the destination to which you are driving a car. Mindfulness is what remembers to keep attention focused on the road to the mountain, rather than letting it stay focused on glimpses of the mountain or get distracted by other paths leading away from the road.


Thanks Retro! I'll be reading this over the next few days.

:reading:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: Most Important Ideas of Theravadin Buddhism?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Sep 17, 2009 5:59 am

christopher:::,

Let me suggest that you track down a copy of The Heart of Buddhist Meditation: Satipatthna: A Handbook of Mental Training Based on the Buddha's Way of Mindfulness by Thera Nyanaponika and Joseph Goldstein's Experience of Insight , both of which you can get used on Amazon for next to nothing plus shipping. They are the Western classics in the discussion of mindfulness/vipassana/satipatthana meditation and are well worth the time spent with them.

tilt
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
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Re: Most Important Ideas of Theravadin Buddhism?

Postby Sanghamitta » Thu Sep 17, 2009 7:43 am

I dont know the Goldstein, but The Heart Of Buddhist Meditation, is an absolute classic. I have an ancient hard back copy which I still refer to frequently.
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Re: Most Important Ideas of Theravadin Buddhism?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Sep 17, 2009 7:57 am

Sanghamitta wrote:I dont know the Goldstein, but The Heart Of Buddhist Meditation, is an absolute classic. I have an ancient hard back copy which I still refer to frequently.


Some people do not look to lay teachers with the same favor they look to ordained teachers.

Joseph Goldstein is a very long time practitioner who has worked with and continues to work with Theravadin teachers such as the late Munidra-ji and U Pandita. He well grounded in the Pali/Theravdin tradition and he is able make the Dhamma accessible without compromising it. He is an excellent teacher. The book I mentioned by him is quite old, but is still worth the read. I have a very warm place in my heart for it, as I do Nyanaponika's book. Goldstein's book talks about the Dhamma in terms of actual practice, being talks given during a meditation retreat, which makes it a nice compliment to Ven Nyanaponika's book.

Here are some talks by him. Take a listen. You might like what you hear:

http://www.dharmaseed.org/teacher/96/
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: Most Important Ideas of Theravadin Buddhism?

Postby christopher::: » Thu Sep 17, 2009 8:47 am

Hey guys :smile:

tiltbillings wrote:christopher:::,

Let me suggest that you track down a copy of The Heart of Buddhist Meditation: Satipatthna: A Handbook of Mental Training Based on the Buddha's Way of Mindfulness by Thera Nyanaponika and Joseph Goldstein's Experience of Insight , both of which you can get used on Amazon for next to nothing plus shipping. They are the Western classics in the discussion of mindfulness/vipassana/satipatthana meditation and are well worth the time spent with them.

tilt


Thanks Tilt..!

It's moved to the top of my book purchase list... I actually have a Goldstein book that had helped me out a lot maybe 15 years ago that i took down off the shelf Monday, though i forgot the title right now (on break here at work)...

Any more specific Goldstein audio talks you recommend? I'm about half way thru Hindrances....

:anjali:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: Most Important Ideas of Theravadin Buddhism?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Sep 17, 2009 8:49 am

christopher::: wrote:

Any specific Goldstein talks you recommend? I'm about half way thru Hindrances....

:anjali:


Any of them.
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: Most Important Ideas of Theravadin Buddhism?

Postby christopher::: » Thu Sep 17, 2009 9:06 am

tiltbillings wrote:
christopher::: wrote:

Any specific Goldstein talks you recommend? I'm about half way thru Hindrances....

:anjali:


Any of them.


Well this should keep me busy for a few months, lol. In line with my reading assignment from Retro...

Satipatthana Sutta Series: Parts 1-46

:thumbsup:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: Most Important Ideas of Theravadin Buddhism?

Postby being5 » Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:44 am

Hello Chris & all,

Also a newcomer, I listened to a lot of Joseph Goldstein's talks and they were very helpful. But I found these talks from Bhikkhu Bodhi to be in a class of their own. I got so much benefit from them.
The Buddha's Teaching As It Is by Bhikkhu Bodhi
http://www.bodhimonastery.net/bm/about-buddhism/audio/83-the-buddhas-teaching-as-it-is.html

Bhante Gunaratana and Bante Rahula's discourses have also given me great benefit.
http://www.bhavanasociety.org/list/category/MP3s/

I have the feeling that these three, Bhikkhu Bodhi, Bhante Gunaratana and Bhante Rahula, are pointing out the path faithfully from the teachings and I trust what they say. I feel very grateful for their efforts and those of Joseph Goldstein.

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Re: Most Important Ideas of Theravadin Buddhism?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:56 am

being5 wrote:
I have the feeling that these three, Bhikkhu Bodhi, Bhante Gunaratana and Bhante Rahula, are pointing out the path faithfully from the teachings and I trust what they say. I feel very grateful for their efforts and those of Joseph Goldstein.

being5


Joseph Goldstein is no less faithful to the Buddha's teachings as found in the Pali/Theravada tradition, which comes from careful Dhamma study with the likes of U Pandita, and considerable meditative practice under the guidance of the likes of U Pandita.

It is, of course, a matter what speak to you.

Anyway. Thanks for the links.
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: Most Important Ideas of Theravadin Buddhism?

Postby being5 » Fri Sep 18, 2009 10:14 pm

titlbillings wrote:
Joseph Goldstein is no less faithful to the Buddha's teachings as found in the Pali/Theravada tradition,


From other posts of yours I think you have a very good knowledge of the teachings and so are in a position to gauge this.
Joseph Goldstein's talks have been very helpful to me. So warm and human, with lots of real world examples from his own experience which helped me understand how I might practise in everyday, 21st century life and also gave me insights into what was happening in my formal sitting practice. I am pleased to hear you say Joseph's take on the teachings is sound.

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Re: Most Important Ideas of Theravadin Buddhism?

Postby BlackBird » Fri Sep 18, 2009 11:19 pm

christopher::: wrote:Buddha taught so much more beyond the 4 noble truths and the 8 fold path.


Actually this is all the Buddha taught.
These Four Noble Truths are very profound, and every teaching within the Pali Canon is simply a constituent elaboration.

Venerable Bhikkhu Moneyya wrote:"The Four Noble Truths are the central teaching of the
Buddha, like the hub of a wheel from which the spokes of all
his other teachings radiate."

- http://paauk.org/files/tt_web_03mar07.pdf

Venerable Ajahn Sumedho wrote:"The Dhamacakkappavattana Sutta, the Buddha's teaching on the Four Noble Truths, has been the main reference that I have used for my practice over the years. It is the teaching we used in our monastery in Thailand. The Theravada school of Buddhism regards this sutta as the quintessence of the teaching of the Buddha. This one sutta contains all that is necessary for understanding Dhamma and for enlightenment."

- http://www.buddhistelibrary.org/cpg1420 ... obltru.pdf

I would really recommend reading the book in the second link by the Venerable Ajahn Sumedho (if you haven't already done so). It's something I regularly refer back to, and contains a wealth of wisdom.

:anjali:
Jack
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: Most Important Ideas of Theravadin Buddhism?

Postby christopher::: » Sat Sep 19, 2009 12:37 am

Hi Jack,

Yes, indeed. It would be more accurate to say the 4 Noble Truths and 8FP are far deeper and more elaborate then I had realized.

BlackBird wrote:
- http://www.buddhistelibrary.org/cpg1420 ... obltru.pdf

I would really recommend reading the book in the second link by the Venerable Ajahn Sumedho (if you haven't already done so). It's something I regularly refer back to, and contains a wealth of wisdom.



Thank you! My Theravadin reading list is growing. I just need to find a printer that will print this 2-sided.

:thumbsup:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: Most Important Ideas of Theravadin Buddhism?

Postby christopher::: » Fri Sep 25, 2009 11:14 am

Two copies of The Heart of Buddhist Meditation, by Thera Nyanaponika arrived in excellent condition from Amazon Japan yesterday. Thanks again for the recommendation, Tilt..!

I'll be giving the second copy to my friend Michael. He's been interested in Theravadin Buddhism for some time, now we have something in common. Our conversations were limited when I spoke mostly Zen...

:tongue:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: Most Important Ideas of Theravadin Buddhism?

Postby pink_trike » Fri Sep 25, 2009 6:48 pm

BlackBird wrote:
christopher::: wrote:Buddha taught so much more beyond the 4 noble truths and the 8 fold path.


Actually this is all the Buddha taught.
These Four Noble Truths are very profound, and every teaching within the Pali Canon is simply a constituent elaboration.
[

Agreed
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

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---

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Re: Most Important Ideas of Theravadin Buddhism?

Postby pink_trike » Fri Sep 25, 2009 6:52 pm

christopher::: wrote:Two copies of The Heart of Buddhist Meditation, by Thera Nyanaponika arrived in excellent condition from Amazon Japan yesterday. Thanks again for the recommendation, Tilt..!

I'll be giving the second copy to my friend Michael. He's been interested in Theravadin Buddhism for some time, now we have something in common. Our conversations were limited when I spoke mostly Zen...

:tongue:

You might also want to turn your friend on to:

Seeking The Heart of Wisdom: The Path of Insight Meditation by Joseph Goldstein and Jack Kornfield
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.
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Re: Most Important Ideas of Theravadin Buddhism?

Postby christopher::: » Sat Sep 26, 2009 12:38 am

Thanks for the recommendation, PT. I discovered Goldstein's Insight Meditation: The Practice of Freedom on one of my book shelves. I knew i'd read it in the early 1990s but had forgotten the specifics. I'm working thru that again now, too.

:anjali:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: Most Important Ideas of Theravadin Buddhism?

Postby Ben » Sat Sep 26, 2009 2:04 am

Hi Christopher,

tiltbillings wrote:christopher:::,

Let me suggest that you track down a copy of The Heart of Buddhist Meditation: Satipatthna: A Handbook of Mental Training Based on the Buddha's Way of Mindfulness by Thera Nyanaponika and Joseph Goldstein's Experience of Insight , both of which you can get used on Amazon for next to nothing plus shipping. They are the Western classics in the discussion of mindfulness/vipassana/satipatthana meditation and are well worth the time spent with them.

tilt


While my internet was down over the last few weeks I started to re-read Nyanaponka Thera's Heart of Buddhist Meditation.
Its the first time I've been re-reading the classic in over 20 years. It really is a masterpiece and I cannot recommend it highly enough.
I agree with Tilt. Do yourself a favour and get yourself a copy.
Kind regards

Ben

EDIT:
OK, I've just seen that you've already received a copy or two. In that case, I hepe you get out if it as much as I did.
metta
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Re: Most Important Ideas of Theravadin Buddhism?

Postby christopher::: » Sat Sep 26, 2009 3:18 am

Hi Ben. I'm glad to hear that Nyanaponka Thera's classic has received your thumbs up as well. Talked with my friend last night, by phone. He was pleased to hear i'd thought of him and bought the extra copy.

We share a 30 minute car ride out to a University in the countryside where we both teach, on Friday mornings. This will give us some nitty gritty dhamma themes to discuss, and a common language. Everything seems to be working out most fortuitously.

:group:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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