Bay Area dhamma instructors compatible with Thanissaro/Lee

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Max Nanasy
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Re: Bay Area dhamma instructors compatible with Thanissaro/Lee

Post by Max Nanasy »

mikenz66 wrote:Personally, I approach each teacher on their own merits, rather than searching for a teacher with some specific attributes.
What precisely do you mean by this? How do you evaluate a teacher's merits?
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mikenz66
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Re: Bay Area dhamma instructors compatible with Thanissaro/Lee

Post by mikenz66 »

By getting to know them a little bit. Doing a retreat under their guidance. That sort of thing.

As I hinted at here: https://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?t ... 80#p410520 sometimes it's useful to work with different teachers from what you are used to. It helps the process of re-examining priorities. The teachers at that retreat would very likely be dismissively characterised by some as "light", but I actually had some quite challenging discussions, experiences, and de-briefings, and I learned a lot...

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Max Nanasy
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Re: Bay Area dhamma instructors compatible with Thanissaro/Lee

Post by Max Nanasy »

mikenz66 wrote:By getting to know them a little bit. Doing a retreat under their guidance. That sort of thing.
I've never actually done a meditation retreat (although in my current life phase I generally aim for 24/7 monkish practice in my daily life), but it seems like if I'm not already mostly confident in an instructor, then a retreat may be likely to condition unskillful tendencies and therefore be counterproductive, although maybe broadening horizons and such would be worth the risk. Thanks for the suggestion :)
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mikenz66
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Re: Bay Area dhamma instructors compatible with Thanissaro/Lee

Post by mikenz66 »

Yes, confidence is an issue. Not that you shouldn't be, but where did your confidence about Thanissaro Bhikkhu, and his approach come from? It seems different people get their confidence in quite different ways.

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Max Nanasy
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Re: Bay Area dhamma instructors compatible with Thanissaro/Lee

Post by Max Nanasy »

mikenz66 wrote:Not that you shouldn't be, but where did your confidence about Thanissaro Bhikkhu, and his approach come from?
I would love to answer your question, but I'm actually currently in the midst of a resolution to not talk about my practice or the dhamma in general more than necessary, so I'll try to get back to you at a later date
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mikenz66
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Re: Bay Area dhamma instructors compatible with Thanissaro/Lee

Post by mikenz66 »

OK, I agree it's not a good idea to discuss too many details with strangers. However, I meant generalities, like "I tried his instructions and they worked for me", "The analysis of the Dhamma in his books is really good", or "I met him, and the way he answered with my questions gave me confidence".

The point is that different people come to practice in different ways. Some do a lot of reading and decide that the Dhamma makes more sense to them than other possible paths; Some happen across some personal instruction, with no previous background, find that it is effective for them; and only then do any serious reading (that's me).

These differences can make communication difficult, since some who came to it by personal instruction may not place so much importance on clever analysis. On the other hand, those who came to it analytically may not want to just turn up to a retreat to see what a teacher has to offer. And, of course, there are other permutations...

Having some idea of which sort of background someone is coming from can make it easier to give advice...

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Max Nanasy
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Re: Bay Area dhamma instructors compatible with Thanissaro/Lee

Post by Max Nanasy »

mikenz66 wrote:However, I meant generalities, like "I tried his instructions and they worked for me", "The analysis of the Dhamma in his books is really good", or "I met him, and the way he answered with my questions gave me confidence".
Alright, from a high-level:
- His interpretation of the Buddha's teachings seems to be the most complete and coherent vision of the dhamma that seems to match the Buddha's that I've come across (others' interpretations might match some of the Buddha's literal words, but they don't generally match the attitudes or practices)
- Given the current mechanics that I estimate (based on research and experience) are required for noble attainments to function the way they are said to function, I don't think many other practice paradigms are likely to be as effective or as reliable as Thanissaro's at achieving them
- His paradigm works semi-reliably effectively for me in ways that seem to reveal the shortcomings of at least some other paradigms
Last edited by Max Nanasy on Mon Apr 03, 2017 7:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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mikenz66
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Re: Bay Area dhamma instructors compatible with Thanissaro/Lee

Post by mikenz66 »

Thanks. Thats useful. I imagine it's how most of us feel about the approach we follow. If we didn't have confidence or it stopped working we'd change....

It certainly makes sense to try to find something compatible with that approach. Since the Bay Area hss a bigger population than my country that shoukd be possible...

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bazzaman
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Re: Bay Area dhamma instructors compatible with Thanissaro/Lee

Post by bazzaman »

[...Last fall, TG did speak at Shaila's weekly meditation group in the same week he gave a day-long teaching at IMC (Redwood City, under the auspices of the "Sati Institute").[/quote]

Hi cj, I remember you posting about this talk last fall, and I kept looking for it to appear on her website. So far no luck... and there have been postings of talks by guest teachers after that time period.
I was interested to hear how Taan Geoff answered any questions from the audience. Do you have any information on how the talk went?
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cjmacie
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Re: Bay Area dhamma instructors compatible with Thanissaro/Lee

Post by cjmacie »

bazzaman wrote:
cjmacie wrote:...Last fall, TG did speak at Shaila's weekly meditation group in the same week he gave a day-long teaching at IMC (Redwood City, under the auspices of the "Sati Institute").
Hi cj, I remember you posting about this talk last fall, and I kept looking for it to appear on her website. So far no luck... and there have been postings of talks by guest teachers after that time period.
I was interested to hear how Taan Geoff answered any questions from the audience. Do you have any information on how the talk went?
IMSB policy for posting audio of talks is s/w opaque -- some get "edited" for posting, some don't; some get posted, some not. (I did the "editing" part at IMSB for a couple of years, but that was several years ago.)

Maybe a matter of resources -- at IMC (Redwood City) they have several engineer-type volunteers who run the recording (via computer). IMC talks get posted quickly -- s/t right after the talk ends. No formal editing process that I know of.

I was at that talk (late September 2016) but don't recall much.
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mikenz66
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Re: Bay Area dhamma instructors compatible with Thanissaro/Lee

Post by mikenz66 »

Was it the same material as the talk listed here?
http://www.audiodharma.org/teacher/16/ The Treasures of Spiritual Materialism 2016-09-25 42:33

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cjmacie
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Re: Bay Area dhamma instructors compatible with Thanissaro/Lee

Post by cjmacie »

mikenz66 wrote:Was it the same material as the talk listed here?
http://www.audiodharma.org/teacher/16/ The Treasures of Spiritual Materialism 2016-09-25 42:33 ...
That was given at IMC on Sunday, 25 September. The daylong (on 8FNP) was the Saturday before. On Monday, 26 there was a lunch of IMSB people with TG, and when asked, he hadn't made a decision what to talk about at IMSB the next evening -- Tu.27.September. He did announce what the talk was about on Tuesday, when giving the talk... But I can't recall what. (Don't think it was the same as Sunday, as a number of people there on Tuesday (and Monday) also already heard the talks on Saturday and Sunday.
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Re: Bay Area dhamma instructors compatible with Thanissaro/Lee

Post by JMGinPDX »

dharmacorps wrote:That's why I would advise Abhayagiri as a best source to find people of a like mind to what you are describing. They have a "Upasika Program" of people who hold the Uposatha days, take refuges, hold 5 precepts, and have committed to a certain level of practice and precepts.
As an Upasaka within that program (by extension through CALM Minister Sakula at Portland Friends of the Dhamma, and will be taking the Precepts directly from Ajahn Pasanno at the annual Renewal ceremony on 4/30), I must heartily concur with this recommendation. The Ajahn Chah -> Ajahn Sumedho lineage is but one strain of practice, but I find them to be the most authentic I've seen (but I'm probably biased).

Ajahn Geoff visited us last summer for a non-residential weekend retreat, and I was fortunate enough to record the whole thing and post it to our YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/c/PortlandFriendsoftheDhamma
Apparently he is coming back sometime this year as well.
In addition we have an entire bookcase in our free book library dedicated to his publications; I would say that's a pretty good endorsement of the compatibility of his teachings with the Chah -> Sumedho lineage. :)
Right now, it's like this...
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cjmacie
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Re: Bay Area dhamma instructors compatible with Thanissaro/Lee

Post by cjmacie »

JMGinPDX wrote:...In addition we have an entire bookcase in our free book library dedicated to his publications; I would say that's a pretty good endorsement of the compatibility of his teachings with the Chah -> Sumedho lineage. :)
As you know, one of Than-Geoff's groups of writings consists of translations, from Thai language, of his predecessors in Thai "Forest" (TG says "Wilderness" would be more accurate) Lineages, including writings of Ajahn Chah.
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Re: Bay Area dhamma instructors compatible with Thanissaro/Lee

Post by Alexander____ »

JMGinPDX wrote:
dharmacorps wrote:
Ajahn Geoff visited us last summer for a non-residential weekend retreat, and I was fortunate enough to record the whole thing and post it to our YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/c/PortlandFriendsoftheDhamma

Ah great thanks for that. The only other youtube series with Ajahn Thanissaro is the excellent Recognising the Dhamma.
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