Controversial Theravada traditions?

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Re: Controversial Theravada traditions?

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Mar 13, 2009 7:54 am

SeerObserver wrote:What a funny thing to say...a "weird" type of meditation. It may seem so to some, but it's actually not that "out there". Focusing on a nimitta and moving energy/focus to different points in sequence is not unique to Dhammakaya meditation. Chakra meditation comes to mind.

Perhaps "weird" is not the best choice of words. Would "not a usual Theravada technique" be better?

This energy and Chakra stuff may well be effective and it certainly exists in other Buddhist traditions, but I have not heard it mentioned by other Theravada meditation teachers.

Metta
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Re: Controversial Theravada traditions?

Postby jcsuperstar » Fri Mar 13, 2009 8:11 am

it's weird in a theravada context
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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Re: Controversial Theravada traditions?

Postby gavesako » Fri Mar 13, 2009 8:51 am

Hello,

Here is some information for you which could clarify a few things:

Thailand. DONALD K. SWEARER. Encyclopedia of Buddhism.

"State Buddhism established at the
beginning of the twentieth century and revised by the 1962 sangha law is still intact; however, calls for
reforming the conservative, hierarchical sangha governance structure come from younger liberal monks
as well as educated laity. There is increasing concern that mainstream civil Buddhism is out of tune with
the times that in the affluent decades of the 1980s and 1990s became more complacent and materialistic.
To be sure, in villages and towns throughout the country the monastery continues to serve important
community functions, especially educating the rural poor, even though many of the roles once filled by
monks are now the purview of civil servants. As a result there has been a general decline in the high
regard and social status traditionally accorded monks. Several high-profile instances of immorality and
rancorous division have also challenged the sangha's moral authority.
In the 1970s, partly in response to the changes brought about by globalization and challenges to the
relevance of the sangha, two nationwide sectarian movements emerged, Santi Asok and Wat Thammakāi.
Although Phra Bodhirak, Santi Asok's founder, was ordained into the Thammayut and then the Mahānikāi
orders, in the mid-1970s Bodhirak and his fellow monks cut all ties with the national sangha. The
movement continued to grow rapidly in the 1980s, and it gained special prominence through one of its
members, General Chamlong Simuang, a former governor of Bangkok, member of parliament, and
founder of the Phalang Dhamma political party. Santi Asok defined itself against the Thai mainstream,
establishing centers where monks and laity observed a moderately ascetic regime, living in simple
wooden huts, eating one vegetarian meal daily, and avoiding intoxicants, stimulants, and tobacco. In the
view of mainstream Thai Buddhists, Santi Asok had overstepped acceptable limits both in terms of its
independence and its outspoken criticisms of Thai society. In 1995 a court decision codified a 1988
recommendation by national sangha leaders to expel Bodhirak from the monkhood on the grounds that he
had ordained monks and nuns without authorization and had contravened a vinaya prohibition forbidding
claims to supernatural powers.
In several respects, Wat Thammakāi
stands at the opposite end of the
spectrum to Santi Asok. Also a product
of the early 1970s, its imposing national
headquarters at Prathum Thani near
Bangkok represents a new version of
state Buddhism with an aggressive,
international perspective. Its founders,
Phra Thammachayo and Phra
Thattachīwo, were educated in
marketing before becoming monks under
the inspiration of the Venerable
Monkhon Thēpmunī of Wat Paknām,
who was noted for his unique
visualization meditation method. The
entrepreneurial skills they brought to the
movement led to its considerable
success but has also generated attacks on its commercialism and charges of financial irregularity.
A striking feature of the religious ethos in Thailand at the beginning of the twenty-first century is a
burgeoning increase in cults. Although the veneration of relics and images of the Buddha has long played
a central role in Buddhist devotional religion, its contemporary efflorescence is due in part to their
commodification in the face of the cultural dominance of commercial values. The cult of images and
relics, furthermore, is matched by the veneration of charismatic monks to whom are ascribed a wide range
of apotropaic powers, including the generation of wealth. New cults, abetted by the financial crisis of
1997, include the veneration of images and other material representations of royalty, especially King
Rāma V, and the popularity of the Bodhisattva Guanyin (Avalokiteśvara), which testifies to an increasing
Chinese influence in the Thai economy."


I have met many Thais who honestly seem to think that Dhammakaya is a "third nikaya" in the Thai Sangha. Although they make sure that they get the patronage of wealthy people and the royalty and can fit into the normal Mahanikaya ecclesiastical system, due to their internal organization they act as if they were quasi-independent group.
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

ajahnchah.org - Teachings of Ajahn Chah in many languages
Dhammatube - Videos on Buddhist practice
Ancient Buddhist Texts - Translations and history of Pali texts
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Re: Controversial Theravada traditions?

Postby nathan » Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:50 am

After eight hours the bittorrent client is so far still a virtual desktop paperweight. Clicking on Depositfiles at the bottom of the blog post worked quickly with no modifications on Safari to download pdfs of Text As Father and New Movements. Thanks again, this is worthwhile reading.
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}
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Re: Controversial Theravada traditions?

Postby gavesako » Tue Sep 22, 2009 7:24 am

Here is a text that discusses the problematic term "dhammakaya" in the early Buddhist scriptures:

Title: Early Buddhist dhammakāya: Its philosophical and soteriological significance
Authors: Jantrasrisalai, Chanida

http://ses.library.usyd.edu.au/handle/2123/4130

This work proposes a different interpretation of the early Buddhist term dhammakāya (Skt. dharmakāya) which has been long understood, within the academic arena, to owe its philosophical import only to Mahāyāna Buddhism. In the introductory chapter, this study reviews scholarly interpretations of the term dhammakāya as it is used in early Buddhist texts and locates the problems therein. It observes that the mainstream scholarly interpretation of the Pali dhammakāya involves an oversimplification of the canonical passages and the employment of incomplete data. The problems are related mainly to possible interpretations of the term’s two components - dhamma and kāya - as well as of the compound dhammakāya itself. Some scholarly use of Chinese Āgama references to supplement academic understanding of the early Buddhist dhammakāya involves similar problems. Besides, many references to dharmakāya found in the Chinese Āgamas are late and perhaps should not be taken as representing the term’s meaning in early Buddhism. This work, thus, undertakes a close examination of relevant aspects of the Pali terms dhamma, kāya, and dhammakāya in the second, the third, and the fourth chapters respectively. Occasionally, it discusses also references from the Chinese Āgamas and other early Buddhist sources where they are relevant. The methodologies employed are those of textual analysis and comparative study of texts from different sources. The result appears to contradict mainstream scholarly interpretations of the early Buddhist dhammakāya, especially that in the Pali canon. It suggests that the interpretation of the term, in the early Buddhist usage, in an exclusive sense of ‘teachings collected together’ or ‘collection of teaching’ is insufficient or misleading and that a more appropriate interpretation is a ‘body of enlightening qualities’ from which the teachings originate. That being the case, dhammakāya appears to be the essence of enlightenment attained by early Buddhist nobles of all types and levels.
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

ajahnchah.org - Teachings of Ajahn Chah in many languages
Dhammatube - Videos on Buddhist practice
Ancient Buddhist Texts - Translations and history of Pali texts
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Re: Controversial Theravada traditions?

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Sep 22, 2009 7:58 am

Thank-you Bhante!
It took me a while to realise the thesis was in the two links at the bottom of the page but looks interesting will download it and read it on the journey home next week

gavesako wrote:Here is a text that discusses the problematic term "dhammakaya" in the early Buddhist scriptures:

Title: Early Buddhist dhammakāya: Its philosophical and soteriological significance
Authors: Jantrasrisalai, Chanida

http://ses.library.usyd.edu.au/handle/2123/4130

This work proposes a different interpretation of the early Buddhist term dhammakāya (Skt. dharmakāya) which has been long understood, within the academic arena, to owe its philosophical import only to Mahāyāna Buddhism. In the introductory chapter, this study reviews scholarly interpretations of the term dhammakāya as it is used in early Buddhist texts and locates the problems therein. It observes that the mainstream scholarly interpretation of the Pali dhammakāya involves an oversimplification of the canonical passages and the employment of incomplete data. The problems are related mainly to possible interpretations of the term’s two components - dhamma and kāya - as well as of the compound dhammakāya itself. Some scholarly use of Chinese Āgama references to supplement academic understanding of the early Buddhist dhammakāya involves similar problems. Besides, many references to dharmakāya found in the Chinese Āgamas are late and perhaps should not be taken as representing the term’s meaning in early Buddhism. This work, thus, undertakes a close examination of relevant aspects of the Pali terms dhamma, kāya, and dhammakāya in the second, the third, and the fourth chapters respectively. Occasionally, it discusses also references from the Chinese Āgamas and other early Buddhist sources where they are relevant. The methodologies employed are those of textual analysis and comparative study of texts from different sources. The result appears to contradict mainstream scholarly interpretations of the early Buddhist dhammakāya, especially that in the Pali canon. It suggests that the interpretation of the term, in the early Buddhist usage, in an exclusive sense of ‘teachings collected together’ or ‘collection of teaching’ is insufficient or misleading and that a more appropriate interpretation is a ‘body of enlightening qualities’ from which the teachings originate. That being the case, dhammakāya appears to be the essence of enlightenment attained by early Buddhist nobles of all types and levels.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Controversial Theravada traditions?

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Sep 22, 2009 7:58 am

gavesako wrote:Here is a text that discusses the problematic term "dhammakaya" in the early Buddhist scriptures:

Title: Early Buddhist dhammakāya: Its philosophical and soteriological significance
Authors: Jantrasrisalai, Chanida

http://ses.library.usyd.edu.au/handle/2123/4130

This work proposes a different interpretation of the early Buddhist term dhammakāya (Skt. dharmakāya) which has been long understood, within the academic arena, to owe its philosophical import only to Mahāyāna Buddhism. In the introductory chapter, this study reviews scholarly interpretations of the term dhammakāya as it is used in early Buddhist texts and locates the problems therein. It observes that the mainstream scholarly interpretation of the Pali dhammakāya involves an oversimplification of the canonical passages and the employment of incomplete data. The problems are related mainly to possible interpretations of the term’s two components - dhamma and kāya - as well as of the compound dhammakāya itself. Some scholarly use of Chinese Āgama references to supplement academic understanding of the early Buddhist dhammakāya involves similar problems. Besides, many references to dharmakāya found in the Chinese Āgamas are late and perhaps should not be taken as representing the term’s meaning in early Buddhism. This work, thus, undertakes a close examination of relevant aspects of the Pali terms dhamma, kāya, and dhammakāya in the second, the third, and the fourth chapters respectively. Occasionally, it discusses also references from the Chinese Āgamas and other early Buddhist sources where they are relevant. The methodologies employed are those of textual analysis and comparative study of texts from different sources. The result appears to contradict mainstream scholarly interpretations of the early Buddhist dhammakāya, especially that in the Pali canon. It suggests that the interpretation of the term, in the early Buddhist usage, in an exclusive sense of ‘teachings collected together’ or ‘collection of teaching’ is insufficient or misleading and that a more appropriate interpretation is a ‘body of enlightening qualities’ from which the teachings originate. That being the case, dhammakāya appears to be the essence of enlightenment attained by early Buddhist nobles of all types and levels.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Controversial Theravada traditions?

Postby pilgrim » Tue Sep 04, 2012 8:24 am

Reviving an old thread with a new article by Mettanando on Dhammakaya.
http://blogs.dickinson.edu/buddhistethi ... -final.pdf
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