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Hollywood or Another Tradition? - Dhamma Wheel

Hollywood or Another Tradition?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
Jhana4
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Hollywood or Another Tradition?

Postby Jhana4 » Sun Jun 05, 2011 10:54 pm

I was thinking about a conversation I had back in the 90s.

At the time I attended a Thich Nhat Haht group ( all Americans ) that met at a local Sri Lankan Vihara. A man in the group was mentioning how he tried out a few of the Vihara's meditation sessions and that he was disappointed. He received very brief instructions and then the monk had very little more to say to him. He had the impression that going to a meditation teacher would involve much more interaction. He expected the teacher to be curious about his experiences during meditation, proactively ask him about those experiences and offer advice for small changes. Almost like a cross between a guru and shrink.

Are there meditation traditions that operate like that, is that just a mistaken impression from the entertainment industry or is that kind of relationship reserved for very advanced students/disciples/monks ?
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.

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Ben
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Re: Hollywood or Another Tradition?

Postby Ben » Mon Jun 06, 2011 12:22 am

Hi Jhana4

Within my own tradition, the further one advances, the more independent one becomes (or is encouraged to become). As you know, during a ten-day course, there is 'checking' that occurs during some sessions where students are asked to come to the front and the assistant teacher asks how the student is going. Also, there is opportunity to meet with the assistant teacher for interviews. As one progresses, one finds that on the long courses, there is only two formal interviews and the rest of the time the student is encouraged to meditate on their own and try and work out their issues for themselves - but of course is someone feels the need to approach an assistant teacher then the AT is there for that.
kind regards

Ben
“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

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ancientbuddhism
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Re: Hollywood or Another Tradition?

Postby ancientbuddhism » Mon Jun 06, 2011 4:38 pm

I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes.” – Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854

Secure your own mask before assisting others. – NORTHWEST AIRLINES (Pre-Flight Instruction)


Jhana4
Posts: 1309
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:20 pm
Location: U.S.A., Northeast

Re: Hollywood or Another Tradition?

Postby Jhana4 » Mon Jun 06, 2011 4:57 pm

The Washington D.C. Buddhist Vihara has actually undergone a little bit of a renaissance in regards to meditation. The new meditation teacher, Venerable Pannawanna holds an hour long meditation 6 days a week and a guided meditation on Sundays. He is quite friendly and much more extroverted and verbal than past meditation teachers at the Vihara. His Sunday sessions will usually have about 4 Sri Lankan women attending regularly. I have seen him on a number of occasions cajole the Sri Lankans in a friendly way to get more into meditation.

I am now in the process of reading which has explained the reluctance of the Sri Lankans to meditate and the attitudes I have seen from the abbot there.

All of that aside, my original question was where did that man get the impression that meditation teachers were very interactive?

I just haven't seen it in my experience with Theravada related traditions.
Last edited by Jhana4 on Mon Jun 06, 2011 5:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.

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Alex123
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Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: Hollywood or Another Tradition?

Postby Alex123 » Mon Jun 06, 2011 5:04 pm

"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

Jhana4
Posts: 1309
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:20 pm
Location: U.S.A., Northeast

Re: Hollywood or Another Tradition?

Postby Jhana4 » Mon Jun 06, 2011 5:14 pm

That would make sense. Tibetan Buddhism is quite popular in my area. I can see how that guy went to another group or read some books and then came to the Thicht Nhat Hanh groups expecting something similar.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.

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ancientbuddhism
Posts: 882
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:53 pm
Location: Cyberia

Re: Hollywood or Another Tradition?

Postby ancientbuddhism » Mon Jun 06, 2011 5:16 pm

I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes.” – Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854

Secure your own mask before assisting others. – NORTHWEST AIRLINES (Pre-Flight Instruction)


User avatar
ancientbuddhism
Posts: 882
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:53 pm
Location: Cyberia

Re: Hollywood or Another Tradition?

Postby ancientbuddhism » Mon Jun 06, 2011 5:20 pm

I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes.” – Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854

Secure your own mask before assisting others. – NORTHWEST AIRLINES (Pre-Flight Instruction)


Jhana4
Posts: 1309
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:20 pm
Location: U.S.A., Northeast

Re: Hollywood or Another Tradition?

Postby Jhana4 » Mon Jun 06, 2011 5:23 pm

In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.


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