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what is "esoteric buddhism"? - Page 4 - Dhamma Wheel

what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
vinasp
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Re: what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Postby vinasp » Sun Aug 23, 2009 6:30 pm

Hi everyone,
In what way might the Theravada teachings be an esoteric system of some sort ? The basic idea is that the teachings may be structured in a way which allows them to make sense in more than one interpretative framework. There is clearly a standard way to make sense of the teachings , which I am sure that we are all aware of. You find it in ( almost ) every book on Theravada Buddhism. The question that I find most interesting is whether there might be an alternative way to make sense of the teachings. I suppose this question only begins to look interesting if one is dissatisfied with the standard interpretation.
But how would this work in practice ? Lets imagine a monk who is dissatified who thinks " Five years now and I still dont seem to be making any progress". He asks himself " have I misunderstood the teachings?" , " Is there another way ?". If he looks for such an alternative understanding and finds one , does he then start telling all his fellow monks ? Of course not. He would not be allowed to do this . He is not a teacher and he should not offer such an alternative teaching in public. It would seem that there is no reason why a monk should not have his own different understanding of things , even a radicaly different one , as long as he keeps it private. Nor would the Sangha be able to control these private thoughts , or entirely prevent some sharing of these ideas if one such monk should meet another. Perhaps it has always been the case that most people are meant to understand the teachings in one way , and a few people in another way .
Kind Regards, Vincent.

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cooran
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Re: what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Postby cooran » Sun Aug 23, 2009 8:15 pm

---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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Ben
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Re: what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Postby Ben » Sun Aug 23, 2009 9:29 pm

Hi Chris
I would suggest that Vincent was not willing to share the 'evidence' with us so that we could scrutinise it.
Either that, or there was no 'evidence' in the first place.

In any case, if anyone else would like to carry on this discussion, they are welcome to do so.
I don't mind people playing the Devil's Advocate, but as I said very early in this thread, care must be taken to not disrespect the triple gem or our members.
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

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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retrofuturist
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Re: what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Aug 23, 2009 10:55 pm

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Prasadachitta
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Re: what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Postby Prasadachitta » Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:20 pm

Hi All,

A couple of thoughts...

The Buddha of the Pali Cannon did contradict himself from the perspective of normal everyday logic when he said something to the effect of...

The Tathagata cannot be said to exist after the passing of the body

The Tathagata cannot be said to not exist after the passing of the body

The Tathagata cannot be said to both exist and not exist after the passing of the body

The Tathagata cannot be said to neither exist nor not exist after the passing of the body


Someone who has time might quote it exactly for me and I would be thankful.

Also in terms of esoteric teaching. I think of spiritual friendship with a more aware and kind individual as a type of ongoing esoteric teaching. It is difficult to explain and generally of a personal nature. There where times in the Pali cannon when the Buddha showed or told a student something which would not have been necessarily helpful to others. I am tinkling of the Sutta where a Bikkhu was exposed the the Beauty of ethereal dove footed nymphs.


Take Care

Gabe
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332

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acinteyyo
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Re: what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Postby acinteyyo » Mon Aug 24, 2009 4:51 pm

Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

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Prasadachitta
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Re: what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Postby Prasadachitta » Mon Aug 24, 2009 6:09 pm

"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332

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acinteyyo
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Re: what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Postby acinteyyo » Mon Aug 24, 2009 8:20 pm

Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

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Prasadachitta
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Re: what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Postby Prasadachitta » Mon Aug 24, 2009 9:56 pm

"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332

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Ben
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Re: what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Postby Ben » Mon Aug 24, 2009 10:32 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]..

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Prasadachitta
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Re: what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Postby Prasadachitta » Tue Aug 25, 2009 2:03 am

"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332

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acinteyyo
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Re: what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Postby acinteyyo » Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:43 am

Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

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Prasadachitta
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Re: what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Postby Prasadachitta » Tue Aug 25, 2009 2:03 pm

"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332

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acinteyyo
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Re: what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Postby acinteyyo » Tue Aug 25, 2009 2:46 pm

Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

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Prasadachitta
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Re: what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Postby Prasadachitta » Tue Aug 25, 2009 3:54 pm

"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332

lonewolf
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Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2014 11:10 pm

Re: what is "esoteric buddhism"?

Postby lonewolf » Thu Oct 16, 2014 4:05 am

Guilty of it myself, use the word esoteric meaning a bit more complicated, harder to verify. Never meant it as secret. Note to myself, stop inventing new meaning for latin words.


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