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Intro to 'Wings...' - Dhamma Wheel

Intro to 'Wings...'

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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appicchato
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Intro to 'Wings...'

Postby appicchato » Fri Sep 18, 2009 11:18 am

Recently re-reading (as I'm wont to do) the introduction to Thanissaro's 'Wings To Awakening' and am moved to broach the subject here, as it contains his take on several topics discussed here at the Wheel...faith, rebirth, et al...

I say broach the subject...just offering it to those who may be interested as I have found it very helpful seeing, what one might call, the (or, at least, part of the) big picture...

While he (Thanissaro Bhikkhu) is not everyone's cup of tea he gets a lot of people's vote...including mine...

It can be read at the following link:


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... html#intro

And the entire 'Wings' can be downloaded (as a PDF) at:

www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/tha ... /wings.pdf

Unsolicited review: It's tough to go wrong with this gem... :reading:

chownah
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Re: Intro to 'Wings...'

Postby chownah » Fri Sep 18, 2009 2:28 pm

From the Intro:

"The Wings to Awakening constitute the Buddha's own list of his most important teachings. Toward the end of his life, he stated several times that as long as the teachings in this list were remembered and put into practice, his message would endure. Thus the Wings constitute, in the Buddha's eyes, the words and skills most worth mastering and passing along to others."

Anyone have a reference to the Sutta which contains "the Buddha's own list"?

chownah

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Jechbi
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Re: Intro to 'Wings...'

Postby Jechbi » Fri Sep 18, 2009 3:36 pm


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David N. Snyder
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Re: Intro to 'Wings...'

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:11 pm

Image




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Tex
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Re: Intro to 'Wings...'

Postby Tex » Sat Sep 19, 2009 2:38 am

"To reach beyond fear and danger we must sharpen and widen our vision. We have to pierce through the deceptions that lull us into a comfortable complacency, to take a straight look down into the depths of our existence, without turning away uneasily or running after distractions." -- Bhikkhu Bodhi

"No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man." -- Heraclitus

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BlackBird
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Re: Intro to 'Wings...'

Postby BlackBird » Sat Sep 19, 2009 6:49 am

On a wee a side (sorry Bhante)
I read this wee essay by Venerable Thanissaro on a couple of years ago, and it just all fell into place. I finally had an explanation for what I was feeling. Venerable Thanissaro's contribution to Buddhism cannot be denyed.

Metta
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." -

Mawkish1983
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Re: Intro to 'Wings...'

Postby Mawkish1983 » Sat Sep 19, 2009 7:15 am

I actually have a printed version of that book, but I only managed to get through the introduction (I have a short concentration span and haven't finished reading a book for about 10 years, for shame). If other people are reading this maybe I'll pick it up again :)

Incidentally, why is TB contraversial [sp?]?

phil
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Re: Intro to 'Wings...'

Postby phil » Sat Sep 19, 2009 11:57 am

I ordered this book from his monastery but as much as I have been motivated by listening to his talks - there is no one better when it comes to being proactive about fighting gross defilements, in my opinion - I find there are a few too many points which he declares to be the Buddha's teaching which are pretty questionable so I find I just can't fully trust him when it comes to dealing with the deep teachings, which I assume that this book does. (He is of course not the only one who might say "the Buddha taught that..." without being correct on that point, just about all the modern teachers I've heard do on occasion, usually with respect to a meditation technique of relatively modern origin.) But as I say he has helped me enormously at getting rid of complacency with respect to gross defilements...

As someone else said, if people start reading and discussing this book it might motivate me to get it from wherever it was stored away. I found it difficult to read, for some reason, and I think I found that there is a lay out of the teachings, a progression through the teachings that is a little bit too much the invention of Ven. Thanissaro, I suspect....

Metta,

Phil

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BlackBird
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Re: Intro to 'Wings...'

Postby BlackBird » Sat Sep 19, 2009 9:11 pm

"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." -

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Cittasanto
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Re: Intro to 'Wings...'

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Sep 20, 2009 12:28 am

I have just finished reading the Book, I skipped past the suttas as I have already read them on A2I but did cross reference the sutta number in the book with the sutta designation after it just so I knew what he was refering to, after I finished the parts.

Great Book I will have to read the introduction again to address the OP's thoughts directly though, although I will add that it is a great book, I do like the fact that he explains his translations of words when appropriate.


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.

chownah
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Re: Intro to 'Wings...'

Postby chownah » Mon Sep 21, 2009 2:06 pm


chownah
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Re: Intro to 'Wings...'

Postby chownah » Wed Sep 23, 2009 2:55 pm

From the Intro:

"The Wings to Awakening constitute the Buddha's own list of his most important teachings. Toward the end of his life, he stated several times that as long as the teachings in this list were remembered and put into practice, his message would endure. Thus the Wings constitute, in the Buddha's eyes, the words and skills most worth mastering and passing along to others."


Now that I know what the list is made up of....I'm wondering if Thanisaro has correctly identified them as "his most important teachings." Seems to me that the Buddha has indicated to monks that they would do well to focus on these things but does this mean that these things are "his most important teachings?" I think that using this as a description for the list might lead people to ignore other teachings which might actually resonate more with their experiences and thereby actually help them more along the path than the items on the list. The items listed seem to me to be advanced topics which beginners might not have much interest in or ability to understand....thereby showing that at least for them the items listed are not the most improtant ones. Perhaps Thanisaro should have said "his most important teachings for monks" or "his most important teachings for advanced followers.".....i don't know....maybe I'm missing something....

chownah

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Jechbi
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Re: Intro to 'Wings...'

Postby Jechbi » Wed Sep 23, 2009 4:05 pm


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christopher:::
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Re: Intro to 'Wings...'

Postby christopher::: » Sun Mar 14, 2010 9:58 am

"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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retrofuturist
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Re: Intro to 'Wings...'

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Mar 14, 2010 11:23 pm

Greetings Chris:::,

Yes, the Dhamma certainly is timeless.

The Buddha is cool. 8-)

I've never really understood the compulsion to twist and tweak the Dhamma to accommodate regional ignorances, superstitions and prejudices (and I'm talking equally here about the so-called "West" as I am the so-called "East"). The Dhamma points directly to the proximite causes of suffering and these remain unchanged. If the illness is the same, the cure remains the same.

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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christopher:::
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Re: Intro to 'Wings...'

Postby christopher::: » Mon Mar 15, 2010 8:03 am

"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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jcsuperstar
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Re: Intro to 'Wings...'

Postby jcsuperstar » Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:14 pm

LP Buddhadasa said in teaching the dhamma we should be both conservative and radical. conservative in that we don't stray from or change the dhamma, radical in the methods we use to get new listeners, cultures to learn it, understand it.







p.s. i like ajahn thanissaro, the more i study the more i feel at home in the thai forest tradition.
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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Kim OHara
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Re: Intro to 'Wings...'

Postby Kim OHara » Wed Mar 17, 2010 10:49 am


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christopher:::
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Re: Intro to 'Wings...'

Postby christopher::: » Thu Mar 18, 2010 1:44 am

"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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