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Kalama Sutta and checking experiences - Dhamma Wheel

Kalama Sutta and checking experiences

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Wizard in the Forest
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Kalama Sutta and checking experiences

Postby Wizard in the Forest » Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:57 pm

A person on facebook said, "the injection of rationalism, logic and atheism led to a variety of Western Buddhism where people took themselves too seriously and began to believe their own ignorance as wisdom." While I don't agree with his point, I think people take the Kalama Sutta to mean to only measure the teachings by their own experiences. I remember the Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi talking about this point too, but I wonder how one would check their own experiences.
"One is not born a woman, but becomes one."- Simone de Beauvoir

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ground
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Re: Kalama Sutta and checking experiences

Postby ground » Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:08 pm


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cooran
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Re: Kalama Sutta and checking experiences

Postby cooran » Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:16 pm

Hello all,

Worth the read:

Help! The Kalama Sutta, Help! by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu (translated by Santikaro Bhikkhu)
http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books ... a_Help.htm

Kalama Sutta - The Buddha's Charter of Free Inquiry translated from the Pali by Soma Thera
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el008.html

A Look at the Kalama Sutta – Bhikkhu Bodhi
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... ay_09.html

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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kirk5a
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Re: Kalama Sutta and checking experiences

Postby kirk5a » Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:19 pm

When I see people refer to the Kalama Sutta (usually not explicity but the idea indirectly), more often than not it is to misguidedly use it in support of the very notion which is explicity denied in the sutta - the idea that the Buddha said we should decide for ourselves if something "makes sense."

"So in this case, Kalamas, don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, 'This contemplative is our teacher.'"
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

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Ron-The-Elder
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Re: Kalama Sutta and checking experiences

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:23 pm

The key words in The Kalama Sutta for me are personal verification and validation: The Practice.

We are given two tools for this: meditation, which checks mental factors, and mindfulness, which checks how things work in the practical world in which we participate and perfect our skills over time and through experience.

The question is: Did what I do or didn't do decrease dukkha, or increase dukka?

Another tool given to us by Buddha is his advice to his son Rahula: reflection.

This tool, coupled with the wisdom of mindful experience, allows us to predict the outcome of even our most beneficial intentional actions.

resource for further study: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

PeterB
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Re: Kalama Sutta and checking experiences

Postby PeterB » Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:09 pm


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zavk
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Re: Kalama Sutta and checking experiences

Postby zavk » Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:29 am

Last edited by zavk on Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:21 am, edited 2 times in total.
With metta,
zavk

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Ben
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Re: Kalama Sutta and checking experiences

Postby Ben » Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:35 am

Thanks Ed
I was actually thinking of that excellent essay but I've got it stored on an external hard-drive and not handy to me atm.
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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Hanzze
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Re: Kalama Sutta and checking experiences

Postby Hanzze » Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:54 am

_/\_
Last edited by Hanzze on Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
Just that! *smile*


BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Nate sante baram sokham _()_

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ground
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Re: Kalama Sutta and checking experiences

Postby ground » Wed Jan 12, 2011 5:01 am


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Hanzze
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Re: Kalama Sutta and checking experiences

Postby Hanzze » Wed Jan 12, 2011 7:06 am

_/\_
Last edited by Hanzze on Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
Just that! *smile*


BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Nate sante baram sokham _()_

PeterB
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Re: Kalama Sutta and checking experiences

Postby PeterB » Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:54 am


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ground
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Re: Kalama Sutta and checking experiences

Postby ground » Wed Jan 12, 2011 6:47 pm


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ground
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Re: Kalama Sutta and checking experiences

Postby ground » Wed Jan 12, 2011 6:54 pm


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Ron-The-Elder
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Re: Kalama Sutta and checking experiences

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Wed Jan 12, 2011 7:03 pm

What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

rowyourboat
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Re: Kalama Sutta and checking experiences

Postby rowyourboat » Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:41 pm

What do people think of greed, hatred and delusion as determinants of what to do or not to do?

with metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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Ron-The-Elder
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Location: Concord, New Hampshire, U.S.A.

Re: Kalama Sutta and checking experiences

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:45 pm

What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

User avatar
Ron-The-Elder
Posts: 1885
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2011 4:42 pm
Location: Concord, New Hampshire, U.S.A.

Re: Kalama Sutta and checking experiences

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:23 pm

What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.


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