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Help with Theravada Research: Lojong? - Dhamma Wheel

Help with Theravada Research: Lojong?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
Win123
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Help with Theravada Research: Lojong?

Postby Win123 » Mon Jun 20, 2011 10:29 pm

Hi All,

I am a clinical psychology doctoral student at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, CA. and also a research assistant. I have been asked to help with research involving a survey of meditation practices tailored for Theravada practitioners. I am currently modifying one line of a previous survey that was originally conducted with American Tibetan Buddhist practitioners. The question served as a demographic item to gauge their level of experience / knowledge of Mahayana Buddhism:

"How familiar are you with Lojong (mind training)".

My naive understanding is that "Lojong" is a term for a mind training practice that is confined to Mahayana practitioners. Is this basically correct? If so, is there some equivalent term or practice in Theravada that would be logically comparable and what would that be? What would be an alternative to the above question that would make sense for the Theravada community?

If there isn't any logical equivalent in Theravada that is OK too, I can ask that the line just be removed if it doesn't apply to Theravada Buddhists.

I hope that make sense, I apologize in advance for my novice understanding. :smile:

Thanks in advance for any and all replies.

Regards,

Win.
Doctoral Student in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.)
The Wright Institute
Berkeley, CA

Nyana
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Re: Help with Theravada Research: Lojong?

Postby Nyana » Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:38 pm


befriend
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Re: Help with Theravada Research: Lojong?

Postby befriend » Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:43 pm

the theravadan term for meditation is bhavana. im not sure if thats the term your looking for. peace, Befriend
nothing can destroy a man who has lived a pure life

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Ben
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Re: Help with Theravada Research: Lojong?

Postby Ben » Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:51 pm

Greetings,

I would be inclined to revisit the aims and objective of the survey itself and get a clear understanding of what it is you are trying to measure. Apologies if you have already done this. If its to "gauge their level of experience / knowledge of" the Theravada, then using one vector such as one particular meditation practice may be too narrow and deceptive. And if you haven't already done so, I would define what you mean by "experience/knowledge" - does it refer specifically to meditation, does it refer to insight attained, does it refer to study of the teachings, does it refer to exposure to and engagement with their sangha community at wats on observance days, attendance at retreats?

As Geoff mentioned above, a Theravadin equivalent ot lojong may be metta bhavana. My observation is that not many Buddhists practice it.
kind regards

Ben
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tiltbillings
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Re: Help with Theravada Research: Lojong?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:53 pm


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daverupa
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Re: Help with Theravada Research: Lojong?

Postby daverupa » Tue Jun 21, 2011 12:23 am


chownah
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Re: Help with Theravada Research: Lojong?

Postby chownah » Tue Jun 21, 2011 2:06 am

Win123,
Let me be sure I understand correctly. You are in the process of changeing a survey originally used for determining American Tibetan Buddhists' knowledge and experience of Mahayana Buddhism. You are changing the survey so that it can be used to determine Theravada Buddhists' (presumably American Theravada Buddhists) knowledge and experience of Mahayana Buddhism. Is this correct?
Assuming that his is correct then...it seems you are looking for the Theravada equivalent for the Mahayana term "Lojong". First it is important that you know precisely the definition that you are using for "lojong". You have given a rough definition of it being "mind training". Mind training is a very broad concept. If you are taking "lojong" to mean this broad category then I think (but am not sure) that the definition suggested by Nana (i.e. "loving-kindness meditation (mettā bhāvanā)" might not be an equivalent. Nana is far far more knowledgeable than me inre this type of thing and ultimately yield to his judgement (or the judgement of many others here) in this but I think it is important that you be certain of the meaning of "lojong" that you are intending. I ask this because in my limited experience the definition which you give for "lojong" (i.e. mind training) seems to be much broader than "loving-kindness meditation (mettā bhāvanā)" as has been suggested here.

I may be completly off base and out to lunch with my comment. I am not an academic in these sorts of things but have had some experience with surveys and am very aware of the need for their questions to be accurately crafted for them to be meaningful....and I am hoping that you will come up with the term which gives your survey optimum meaning.

chownah

Nyana
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Re: Help with Theravada Research: Lojong?

Postby Nyana » Tue Jun 21, 2011 2:44 am


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ground
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Re: Help with Theravada Research: Lojong?

Postby ground » Tue Jun 21, 2011 2:52 am


Win123
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Re: Help with Theravada Research: Lojong?

Postby Win123 » Tue Jun 21, 2011 2:55 pm

Thanks everyone for your replies thus far. It was just the help I was seeking. I believe questions about mettā and karuṇā bhāvanā as Geoff and others mentioned will likely work well in this study. The fact that not everyone practices these types of meditations will actually be beneficial as we would want a representative range of practices to be included. I will also get back to my professor to clarify the use and aim of "Lojong" in the Tibetan study and the precise wording and intent of the question as was suggested.

Warmest Regards,

Win.


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