I am aware that this is a Theravadin forum, I have questions

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.

I am aware that this is a Theravadin forum, I have questions

Postby smokey » Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:31 pm

Firstly I would like to say that there is an excellent Ch'an Dharma Center "Dharmaloka" in Zagreb(capital city of Croatia) whch is not far from me, about 50+ kilometers. I am planning to go there in a couple of months. Teacher is Chan Master Žarko Andričević who received the Dharma transmission from Shifu Sheng Yen. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheng-yen
Now, regarding my questions. How much difference is there between meditation in Theravada and Mahayana tradition. I have learned on this forum and Lama Shenpen Rinpoche has confirmed me via skype as well that Jhana/Dhyana is practiced within Mahayana and Vajrayana Traditions even although wikipedia claims otherwise (I guess wikipedia is not reliable). I am wondering as to the four foundations of mindfulness, they are also practiced in Mahayana tradition?

P.S.
I am considering to switching to Mahayana Buddhism. Would you guys and girls reccommend it?
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Re: I am aware that this is a Theravadin forum, I have questions

Postby SDC » Fri Jun 11, 2010 12:55 am

smokey wrote:I am considering to switching to Mahayana Buddhism. Would you guys and girls reccommend it?


I'm not sure many are going to recommend that you do.

I very humbly suggest this...

Take some time to think about what it is that you are looking for with your practice. Many times the answer is, "something". People want to get something out of what they are putting their time into. They want to experience something special and interesting. I don't think there is anything wrong with that.

However, we need to be careful what that "something" is. Many times we want to continue life as it was before we discovered the teachings. We want to maintain as many of our "best" characteristics (the ones that are most important to us) while we learn and grow in our practice. In doing that, we find that certain aspects of the teachings do not blend harmoniously into our lives. At that point we have a decision to make - find something that works better for "ourselves" or give those aspects some time to resonate. Whether or not you are able to take the time to do so will depend on how much you value and appreciate what the Buddha did and what he declared that the dhamma can do for you.

If there is something that you think you can get out of Mahayana that you can't get with Theravada, then go find it. But know what it is that you are looking for. If it is ultimately something that will help you progress to nibbana then it will be worth it. If ultimately it is something that takes you away from nibbana then you have some things to re-evaluate.

Regardless, I hope you find happiness and peace in your quest.
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Re: I am aware that this is a Theravadin forum, I have questions

Postby Hoo » Fri Jun 11, 2010 1:55 am

smokey wrote:Firstly I would like to say that there is an excellent Ch'an Dharma Center "Dharmaloka" in Zagreb(capital city of Croatia) whch is not far from me, about 50+ kilometers. .......
I am considering to switching to Mahayana Buddhism. Would you guys and girls reccommend it?


That's about how far I am from a Ch'an monastery. A Theravada center is closer by half. An SGI group by half that. All are kind and accepting people.

I'm pretty much a beginner. My leaning is toward Theravada, yet I find things of value in Ch'an so I acknowledge both as my interest. I get out to one or the other about once a month. I took part in a Mahayana Study Group studying a book by a Theravadan monk that illuminates Ch'an practice. I've read some of the Ch'an masters and find them illuminating. But I return to the Theravada all the time.

This is just my view so feel free to ignore it - I tend to believe there is one Dhamma/Dharma and many kinds of human. We find the way to Buddhism and the gate that suits us best....and that may change over time :) So I'd say to look for what inspires and teaches you, and keep an open mind. :)
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Re: I am aware that this is a Theravadin forum, I have questions

Postby Kim OHara » Fri Jun 11, 2010 5:27 am

SDC wrote:
smokey wrote:I am considering to switching to Mahayana Buddhism. Would you guys and girls reccommend it?


I'm not sure many are going to recommend that you do.

I very humbly suggest this...

Regardless, I hope you find happiness and peace in your quest.

:goodpost:
I agree with all that.
If I were to add anything, it would be that the schools are not mutually exclusive or antagonistic but that mixing traditions (as Hoo does, for instance) may be a bit confusing if you're fairly new to the dhamma - superficial differences may appear bigger than they really are, for instance.
Good luck with the search!
Kim
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Re: I am aware that this is a Theravadin forum, I have questions

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Jun 11, 2010 5:32 am

Greetings Smokey,

I would recommend sending venerable Paññāsikhara a PM pointing him in the direction of this topic. I believe he is well qualified to answer your questions.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: I am aware that this is a Theravadin forum, I have questions

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Jun 11, 2010 6:10 am

Might the grass be greener?
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: I am aware that this is a Theravadin forum, I have questions

Postby jcsuperstar » Fri Jun 11, 2010 6:45 am

smokey wrote:Firstly I would like to say that there is an excellent Ch'an Dharma Center "Dharmaloka" in Zagreb(capital city of Croatia) whch is not far from me, about 50+ kilometers. I am planning to go there in a couple of months. Teacher is Chan Master Žarko Andričević who received the Dharma transmission from Shifu Sheng Yen. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheng-yen
Now, regarding my questions. How much difference is there between meditation in Theravada and Mahayana tradition. I have learned on this forum and Lama Shenpen Rinpoche has confirmed me via skype as well that Jhana/Dhyana is practiced within Mahayana and Vajrayana Traditions even although wikipedia claims otherwise (I guess wikipedia is not reliable). I am wondering as to the four foundations of mindfulness, they are also practiced in Mahayana tradition?

P.S.
I am considering to switching to Mahayana Buddhism. Would you guys and girls reccommend it?

i doubt any Theravada buddhist would recommend you "switch teams" unless you held views that were not in line with the sect but in line with the mahayana sect, so it seems an odd question to ask. however no one, i believe, would admonish you for doing so. nor would many chastise you for studying from other sects.
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: I am aware that this is a Theravadin forum, I have questions

Postby PeterB » Fri Jun 11, 2010 8:16 am

My own view is that until circumstances change for you, as circumstances always do, you would be better off sticking to on line Theravada Sangha.
In the meantime if you could travel to a Vipassana retreat it would be in my view be useful to you.
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Re: I am aware that this is a Theravadin forum, I have questions

Postby smokey » Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:26 am

I have decided even before I read your answers to my questions that I will not switch to Mahayana, but it would be great to go to that Dharma Center I talked about. There are no Theravadin Centers except the Goenka's 10-day retreat, but I am in search of a teacher that would teach me all about Dhamma-Vinaya.

I am just a simple guy in search of the Ultimate Truth with regard to the Nature of Reality and cessation of suffering for others and me.

Metta -smokey
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Re: I am aware that this is a Theravadin forum, I have questions

Postby smokey » Fri Jun 11, 2010 2:37 pm

I would like to thank you all for your support. :anjali:
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Re: I am aware that this is a Theravadin forum, I have questions

Postby Sekha » Fri Jun 11, 2010 4:03 pm

smokey wrote:There are no Theravadin Centers except the Goenka's 10-day retreat, but I am in search of a teacher that would teach me all about Dhamma-Vinaya.


as suggest before, I would highly recommend you to attend one of these Goenka 10-day courses in case you have not done it yet. You are lucky to have such a center near your home. I currently live a few thousand kilometers from the nearest center. In these centers you will not be taught the whole of Buddha's teaching, but you will get the core of it. The rest, you can study it by yourself.

I would be always very critical a priori towards any buddhist teacher, as they often don't deserve the confidence people put in them. Relying on yourself as much as possible narrows down this danger of being led astray by a half-realized person that would teach as if he were a master.

and by the way, Goenka's centers are definetely not affiliated to any religion, especially not Theravada buddhism.
Where knowledge ends, religion begins. - B. Disraeli

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Re: I am aware that this is a Theravadin forum, I have questions

Postby PeterB » Fri Jun 11, 2010 4:13 pm

Depends what you mean by "affiliated" Dukkhanirodha. The Goenka system is in my view more sympatico to the Theravada than to any other group.
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Re: I am aware that this is a Theravadin forum, I have questions

Postby Sekha » Fri Jun 11, 2010 4:36 pm

from a discourse given by Goenkaji in Mumbai, sept 2006:

Great misconception has arisen in the name of Buddha and his teaching. When we go through is words and his teaching, which unfortunately got lost in our country for 2000 years -such a long time - we forgot what he actually taught, we forgot his words - what he meant.

He was not a founder of any religion, he never founded any religion. When one goes through the words, original words of Buddha, which were preserved in the neighboring country for over 2000 years, we find he never taught buddhism. He did not convert a single person as buddhist.

More than 50 000 pages of his original words, commentaries, subcommentaries, which are now on a CD-ROM, and a research program is there, the word 'bauddha' is missing. No 'buddhism', no 'buddhist'. He taught dhamma, that is dharma, he called his followers dhammiko, "dharmic". If it had been "bauddh-dhamma", then it would have been limited to a particular community, a particular sect. But dhamma is for all, not limited to a particular community, a particular sect, and he taught dhamma.

Hundreds of years after buddha, the word bauddh was never used. At the time of Asoka, emperor Asoka, in the inscriptions, the word bauddh is missing. Some of the historians missed that and thought Asoka was teaching his own dharma, not buddha's dharma, because the word 'bauddha' was not there.

And after that we don't know after how many centuries, these words 'buddhism' and 'buddhist' came into use. To me, these words degrade buddha's teaching, devaluate buddha's teaching. The teaching is universal, for one and all, and when it has come up in its true meaning, the true practice, people are willingly accepting it.
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Re: I am aware that this is a Theravadin forum, I have questions

Postby PeterB » Fri Jun 11, 2010 4:45 pm

Quite so. And at it best and purest and away from cultural accretions I think that The Theravada would be not different to that. I think that is also the message of Ajahn Chah or Ajahn Buddhadasa.
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Re: I am aware that this is a Theravadin forum, I have questions

Postby smokey » Fri Jun 11, 2010 7:04 pm

Dukkhanirodha wrote:from a discourse given by Goenkaji in Mumbai, sept 2006:

He was not a founder of any religion, he never founded any religion.


This is not entirely correct. The Buddha called the religion he founded Dhamma-Vinaya, "The Doctrine and Discipline".
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Re: I am aware that this is a Theravadin forum, I have questions

Postby Mukunda » Fri Jun 11, 2010 7:21 pm

smokey wrote:I have decided even before I read your answers to my questions that I will not switch to Mahayana, but it would be great to go to that Dharma Center I talked about. There are no Theravadin Centers except the Goenka's 10-day retreat, but I am in search of a teacher that would teach me all about Dhamma-Vinaya.


There are no Theravadin centers in my area, so I attend and support a Gelug Dharma center. I had a firm foundation in the basics of the Theravada before I started and that actually helped me make sense of a lot of Mahayana teachings. I'm still not sure about a few Mahayana teachings, but they are inconsequential compared to the support and training I receive from Geshela and the Sangha.

Occasional retreats are great, and are a vital part of my practice. But IMO nothing beats having a brick and mortar center to go to and a flesh and blood Sangha to rely on whenever I need them.
:anjali:
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