One more go

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greggorious
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One more go

Postby greggorious » Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:05 pm

Hi there, I haven't been on this site in quite a long time but have been doing a lot of thinking and want to try Theravada again. For a long time I've been a Zen practitioner but have become quite disillusioned with my practice. I no longer enjoy doing zazen, in fact I often find it quite a distressing experience, and so I no longer sit in zazen anymore. When I do Vipassana meditation I feel as though it's more beneficial, plus it's a nicer experience generally.
The reason I turned to Zen in the first place is that I wasn't comfortable with a lot of the teachings in regards to re-birth, i.e being re-born as an animal, a hungry ghost or in hell. Zen steers clear of these things and every Monk, Nun or master I've known in the zen tradition seems to have no opinion on the afterlife, but instead focuses only on now, which is what I want. Some of the scriptures seem very scarey when all I want to to be a happier, more compassionate person, follow the 5 precepts, noble truths and eightfold path.
I've read that the Thai forest tradition relies mainly on meditation and not on the pali cannon, but there are no thai forest centre's anywhere near me. The only Theravada centre is a Sri Lanker one, though I visited their site and it goes on and on about re birth all the time and I don't want that.
"The original heart/mind shines like pure, clear water with the sweetest taste. But if the heart is pure, is our practice over? No, we must not cling even to this purity. We must go beyond all duality, all concepts, all bad, all good, all pure, all impure. We must go beyond self and nonself, beyond birth and death. When we see with the eye of wisdom, we know that the true Buddha is timeless, unborn, unrelated to any body, any history, any image. Buddha is the ground of all being, the realization of the truth of the unmoving mind.” Ajahn Chah

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David N. Snyder
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Re: One more go

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:28 pm

Welcome back!

Many Theravadins accept / believe in rebirth and talk about rebirth too. But in the S. N. Goenka tradition it is not talked about much at all.

was a long time Zen and Vajrayana practitioner and teacher, took a Goenka course one time and then switched to Theravada / Vipassana and "never looked back".
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greggorious
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Re: One more go

Postby greggorious » Thu Sep 29, 2011 5:17 pm

Thanks David. Yes I've heard good things about Vipassana retreats in the S.N Goenka tradition, whatever that's called. Would you strongly suggest getting a Sangha or can a person practice Buddhism alone?
"The original heart/mind shines like pure, clear water with the sweetest taste. But if the heart is pure, is our practice over? No, we must not cling even to this purity. We must go beyond all duality, all concepts, all bad, all good, all pure, all impure. We must go beyond self and nonself, beyond birth and death. When we see with the eye of wisdom, we know that the true Buddha is timeless, unborn, unrelated to any body, any history, any image. Buddha is the ground of all being, the realization of the truth of the unmoving mind.” Ajahn Chah

befriend
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Re: One more go

Postby befriend » Thu Sep 29, 2011 5:30 pm

buddha said having a teacher is the entire spiritual life. he also said his teachings are like a snake if you pick it up by the wrong end you get bit. so how could you know that you shouldnt contemplate the web of karma because it can make you go crazy. i didnt know that meditating on the decaying nature of corpses can make you kill yourself. and you need a legit teacher if you want to do that. also some people get confused about emptiness meaning nihilism and fall into wrong view. i would spend a lot of time being afraid of ending up as an animal then my teacher said dont do that. buddhism can do more harm than good sometimes. relying on yourself to learn buddhism is kind of like teaching yourself carpentry you might be able to sand a table but probably just hurt yourself with power saws. plus ive made more progress in a few emails with my teacher, then i have reading 25 books from borders. problems WILL arise that are tailored to your infinitely unique karma only a living teacher can give good suggestions not a book designed for the general public.
nothing can destroy a man who has lived a pure life

greggorious
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Re: One more go

Postby greggorious » Thu Sep 29, 2011 5:45 pm

It was just a question. I'm sure that a person can gain deeper knowledge of the Dharma by having a teacher. My point is there are no Theravada centre's near me. Tibetan centre's all over the place, but I don't want that.
You said Buddhism can do more harm than good sometimes, would you explain this in more depth? Since I've been practicing meditation I'm a lot happier than I used to be.
Also one final point, Buddha achieved enlightenment alone, and I don't take to the notion that Buddha was some highly evolved super being as some Buddhists suggest he was, to me he was just a man, just like you and me.
"The original heart/mind shines like pure, clear water with the sweetest taste. But if the heart is pure, is our practice over? No, we must not cling even to this purity. We must go beyond all duality, all concepts, all bad, all good, all pure, all impure. We must go beyond self and nonself, beyond birth and death. When we see with the eye of wisdom, we know that the true Buddha is timeless, unborn, unrelated to any body, any history, any image. Buddha is the ground of all being, the realization of the truth of the unmoving mind.” Ajahn Chah

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Re: One more go

Postby David2 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 5:48 pm

Going to a retreat and meditating there with other people is such a beautiful thing.
I don't know why one who is seriously interested in meditation and Buddhism would not want to go to a retreat from time to time.

greggorious
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Re: One more go

Postby greggorious » Thu Sep 29, 2011 6:12 pm

David I will research and find retreats. I've never said I don't want to go on retreat or I don't want a teacher. I think my question regarding doing it alone was misunderstood.
"The original heart/mind shines like pure, clear water with the sweetest taste. But if the heart is pure, is our practice over? No, we must not cling even to this purity. We must go beyond all duality, all concepts, all bad, all good, all pure, all impure. We must go beyond self and nonself, beyond birth and death. When we see with the eye of wisdom, we know that the true Buddha is timeless, unborn, unrelated to any body, any history, any image. Buddha is the ground of all being, the realization of the truth of the unmoving mind.” Ajahn Chah

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: One more go

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Sep 29, 2011 6:33 pm

Hi Greg, since you're in London, its unlikely there are no Theravāda centres within easy reach. There is always the Buddhist Society in Victoria, which holds meditation classes.

Theravāda tends to rely on the Pali Canon (not the Pali Cannon — that's what we use to shoot down people who hold wrong views :) ) If you read only certain parts of the Canon, then it is hard to avoid the teachings on rebirth, and realms of existence, but the meditation teachings like the Satipatthāna Sutta don't even mention other realms of existence.

To say that the Buddha was just an ordinary man, like you or me, is to seriously over-estimate one's own abilities. The human mind has a vast range of abilities, and some are more gifted in certain areas than you or I will ever be, though they may be severely retarded in other ways. Can you read the thoughts of others? If you try to explain something to someone, do you know beforehand whether they just need a slight hint, a brief explanation, or a comprehensive exposition of the topic?

The full range of mental prowess in human beings is even greater than the range of physical prowess. I probably couldn't run 100 metres in 19.19 seconds, let alone 200 metres.

It takes both inherent ability, and prolonged training to gain deep concentration and insight. The Buddha's insight was extraordinary and immeasurable. Many monks who live an austere life and practise in remote forests for the whole life still fail to gain the highest goal of Buddhism, and even those rare individuals who do attain Arahantship, lack the special powers of the Buddha.
• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

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Monkey Mind
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Re: One more go

Postby Monkey Mind » Thu Sep 29, 2011 7:32 pm

You might already know this resource, but I suggest recorded Dhamma talks by Gil Fonsdale. He was a Zen monk who then practiced for years in the Vipassana/ Theravada tradition, and keeps a foot in both worlds. What I like about his talks- he clearly acknowledges when the Zen and Vipassana traditions agree or differ.
"As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I."
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.

Sutta Nipāta 3.710

David2
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Re: One more go

Postby David2 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 7:37 pm


befriend
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Re: One more go

Postby befriend » Thu Sep 29, 2011 7:41 pm

saying just a man doesnt really mean anything. because man can become more powerful than a god. remember buddha taught the gods, he had more wisdom and good karma then they did. just a man shouldnt be a phrase, maybe people could use, just an animal or just a god.
nothing can destroy a man who has lived a pure life

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Cal
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Re: One more go

Postby Cal » Thu Sep 29, 2011 9:27 pm

Greg,

The main UK Forest Sangha retreat centre near Hemel Hempstead, Amaravati, is really not far away if you're in London. http://www.amaravati.org/abmnew/index.p ... ting_here/

If you are looking for non-face-to-face tuition, there are huge amounts of Forest Sangha, Theravadan, talks and writings at: http://forestsanghapublications.org/

And finally, a much to be recommended (IMHO) book about Theravadan Buddhism that focuses mainly on Awareness (Mindfulness?) rather than rebirth etc., is Don't Take Your Life so Personally by Ajahn Sumedho, the former abbot of Amaravati. It covers his main teachings. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dont-Take-Your- ... 495&sr=1-2

Hope this helps

Cal



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Ben
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Re: One more go

Postby Ben » Thu Sep 29, 2011 9:44 pm

“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]..

Cilla
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Re: One more go

Postby Cilla » Fri Sep 30, 2011 9:10 am


nameless
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Re: One more go

Postby nameless » Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:10 pm

Hi,

I've been following the teachings of the Thai tradition for a couple years (meaning listening to talks and reading essays/books by the teachers), rebirth is rarely mentioned, and when it is it's not in a 'repent or go to hell' kind of way.

I've researched/attended a couple temple events, it's mostly a talk, with or without a meditation session. I feel that one can do those things by oneself at home. Going to the temple though, gets you in touch with like-minded people, and you have the chance to ask questions, or receive instructions tailored to you. Plus the meditation in that setting is good, you can't get up and go whenever you want as you can when you are doing it on your own, so you end up having to deal with the suffering that arises.

For the Thai tradition, Ajahn Brahm has a lot of talks on youtube. I find his talks very accessible, probably even for people not strongly tending towards the Thai/Theravada side of things. has other talks by other Thai tradition teachers.

greggorious
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Re: One more go

Postby greggorious » Fri Sep 30, 2011 4:07 pm

Thank you for all your replies. I checked out some talks from Ajahn Brahm, I really like him, he seems wise yet very funny and not serious. Too many Buddhists are really serious all the time :)
"The original heart/mind shines like pure, clear water with the sweetest taste. But if the heart is pure, is our practice over? No, we must not cling even to this purity. We must go beyond all duality, all concepts, all bad, all good, all pure, all impure. We must go beyond self and nonself, beyond birth and death. When we see with the eye of wisdom, we know that the true Buddha is timeless, unborn, unrelated to any body, any history, any image. Buddha is the ground of all being, the realization of the truth of the unmoving mind.” Ajahn Chah

greggorious
Posts: 253
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:40 pm

Re: One more go

Postby greggorious » Fri Sep 30, 2011 4:09 pm

By the way who designs or facilitates this site? It's layout is very beautiful and looks extremely professional.
"The original heart/mind shines like pure, clear water with the sweetest taste. But if the heart is pure, is our practice over? No, we must not cling even to this purity. We must go beyond all duality, all concepts, all bad, all good, all pure, all impure. We must go beyond self and nonself, beyond birth and death. When we see with the eye of wisdom, we know that the true Buddha is timeless, unborn, unrelated to any body, any history, any image. Buddha is the ground of all being, the realization of the truth of the unmoving mind.” Ajahn Chah

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David N. Snyder
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Re: One more go

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri Sep 30, 2011 6:01 pm

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greggorious
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Re: One more go

Postby greggorious » Fri Sep 30, 2011 6:25 pm

Well I'm sure they've had many compliments but here's one more :)
"The original heart/mind shines like pure, clear water with the sweetest taste. But if the heart is pure, is our practice over? No, we must not cling even to this purity. We must go beyond all duality, all concepts, all bad, all good, all pure, all impure. We must go beyond self and nonself, beyond birth and death. When we see with the eye of wisdom, we know that the true Buddha is timeless, unborn, unrelated to any body, any history, any image. Buddha is the ground of all being, the realization of the truth of the unmoving mind.” Ajahn Chah


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