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Adhamma - Page 2 - Dhamma Wheel

Adhamma

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
PeterB
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Re: Adhamma

Postby PeterB » Mon May 10, 2010 7:06 am

You dont memntion the background of the teacher Khalil Bodhi. But I wonder if this is not another Theravada/Mahayana issue.
The two biggest Monastic Theravada centres in the South East Uk both offer day retreats. But in both cases I think I am right in saying they are not open to anyone who walks in. They are not advertised to the public. You get to know about them by being known to the Sangha..
There are several centres offering Vipassana courses but they require an application form .
In the case of the monastic led day retreats and all Vipassana courses I have had experience of, they start with taking Refuge and the Five or often Eight, Precepts.

PeterB
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Re: Adhamma

Postby PeterB » Mon May 10, 2010 7:40 am


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mikenz66
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Re: Adhamma

Postby mikenz66 » Mon May 10, 2010 7:52 am


PeterB
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Re: Adhamma

Postby PeterB » Mon May 10, 2010 8:00 am

I do see the problem Mike..but given the fact that all vipassana courses..Buddhist ones I mean not ones that have been divorced from their origin..begin with the Refuges and Precepts, it seems to me a good thing, and possibly a neccessary thing, for people to have some idea what that are saying..
There are exceptions. One of the London Wats has regular open days during which they give a " taster" of Vipassana of Walking Practice and so on.
But for longer courses the Refuges and Precepts are required. And required in an informed way.

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Goofaholix
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Re: Adhamma

Postby Goofaholix » Mon May 10, 2010 8:12 am


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mikenz66
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Re: Adhamma

Postby mikenz66 » Mon May 10, 2010 8:13 am


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mikenz66
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Re: Adhamma

Postby mikenz66 » Mon May 10, 2010 8:17 am


PeterB
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Re: Adhamma

Postby PeterB » Mon May 10, 2010 8:32 am


PeterB
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Re: Adhamma

Postby PeterB » Mon May 10, 2010 8:34 am


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Dan74
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Re: Adhamma

Postby Dan74 » Mon May 10, 2010 11:21 am

_/|\_

Brizzy

Re: Adhamma

Postby Brizzy » Tue May 11, 2010 9:23 am


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Dan74
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Re: Adhamma

Postby Dan74 » Tue May 11, 2010 1:19 pm

_/|\_

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Goofaholix
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Re: Adhamma

Postby Goofaholix » Tue May 11, 2010 9:35 pm


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Dan74
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Re: Adhamma

Postby Dan74 » Tue May 11, 2010 11:40 pm

It was the same with me!

I think it's pretty uncontroversial that before building anything one has to lay foundations. And in case of Dhamma, these foundations are basically the Right View and sila. But for the foundations to even begin to solidify other aspects have to be developed to some extent, otherwise even the best teachings on the Right View will be misunderstood and perverted.

So it is not about discounting the importance of Right View but about a flexible organic approach to Dhamma teaching (and practice) as contrasted with a linear curriculum-like approach. I've been exposed to both (my very first retreat was with a lay Theravada teacher) and the latter didn't really strike a chord with me.

Of course, it can work with others, the tried and true formulas often bear great results. In my view though the great teachers of all traditions make the teachings their own and adapt them to the audience. I saw it recently with Ajahn Sumedho, I've seen it with my teacher and of course read it in the teachings of great masters.
_/|\_

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Kim OHara
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Re: Adhamma

Postby Kim OHara » Wed May 12, 2010 10:46 am

As a teacher - not of dhamma, of course - I've got to say that every teacher must start with his/her students' existing knowledge, skills and aspirations. Starting anywhere else will leave students completely adrift or bore them silly or fail to connect in some other way and they will (a) get nothing out of the teaching (b) not come back and (c) often be turned off the subject completely - as in, 'Yeah, I went to a meditation class once but it was a load of rubbish - all they did was chant in some weird language.'
So whoever is teaching a walk-in one-off class has to assume some degree of goodwill and a large degree of ignorance, and take it from there without teaching anything that is actually wrong. Anything that has to be skipped over in this process can be taught later, so long as the students get enough out of the first class to want to continue - and, if we value what we are teaching, what we want most of all is for them to continue.
Teaching such a class becomes a juggling act: how much needs to be said about background and fundamentals, how much attention can be given to an informed questioner without losing the rest of the group, how much can a topic can be simplified without actually misleading the students in a way that will become an obstacle later. A teacher who really knows his/her subject will manage it better than a one who doesn't, but experience of similar sessions plays a large part too and so does sheer teaching skill.
I wouldn't presume to say whether KB's teacher knew his subject or not on the basis of the incident in the OP, although I do think the question may have been handled better. Something like, 'Perhaps we can talk about that afterwards,' might have been the best response, but such things are very situation-specific.
Every time I work with a new bunch of students, I do it a bit differently: they are different, I am different and the setting is different. And after every time I do it, I think, 'Hey, it would have been better to say X at that point because it would have been a better lead in to Y,' or some such thing.

The other thought that came to mind while reading the thread was an image, a visualisation, of the learning path which I like and which may resonate with some of you. I find it helpful to think of it as a spiral staircase, not a straight one: progressing from one step to the next takes you around in a circle, and you reach the same point again but at a higher level. For instance, Right Speech supports and encourages Right Action and that encourages Right Livelihood; that improved ethical base supports Right Effort and Mindfulness which refine Right Views and Right Understanding and strengthen your Right Intention ... and with all that in place, you will be even more more mindful of Right Speech and Right Action, and so it goes.
Why do I bring that up here?
Simply because anyone can step onto that staircase at whichever rung they are level with at the time, and eventually their knowledge will be completed.

In keeping with the first part of this post, I'd better say right now that what I have I have could certainly be said better, but it's the best way I can say it right here and now.
:juggling:

:namaste:
Kim

Brizzy

Re: Adhamma

Postby Brizzy » Thu May 13, 2010 5:39 am


Brizzy

Re: Adhamma

Postby Brizzy » Thu May 13, 2010 5:51 am


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retrofuturist
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Re: Adhamma

Postby retrofuturist » Thu May 13, 2010 5:58 am

Very well said, Brizzy. They don't all start with Right (samma) for nothing!

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

Shonin
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Re: Adhamma

Postby Shonin » Thu May 13, 2010 11:52 am


Brizzy

Re: Adhamma

Postby Brizzy » Fri May 14, 2010 9:14 am



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