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Against the Flow - Dhamma Wheel

Against the Flow

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
zamis
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Against the Flow

Postby zamis » Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:07 pm

"You're almost at the end of your lease in this burning house and yet you continue latching onto it as your self. It tricks you into feeling fear and love, and when you fall for it, what path will you practice? " Upasika Kee Nanayon


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genkaku
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Re: Against the Flow

Postby genkaku » Sat Jan 24, 2009 3:40 pm

Dear zamis -- Thank you very much for that excerpt. It was so refreshing -- especially for someone as lazy as I am about reading. How kind of him to say what many may not want to hear. Wish I'd said that! :)

It is hard not to get swallowed up by 'domesticated' Buddhism. There's a hell of a lot to be said for being kinder and more thoughtful than we have in the past. Not only is there a lot to be said for altruism, there are a lot of people saying it. The Dalai Lama is an apparent example. "My religion is kindness," he said, and it's hard not to fall in love with the statement and perhaps try to emulate it as a kind of altruism.

Let me say: Altruism is good.

Let me repeat: Altruism is good.

Let me say it again: Altruism is good.

No kidding, altruism is good. It is good for society. It is good for the one exhibiting it. Yes, altruism is very good stuff.

But...

Domesticated Buddhism is not so good. For those who are serious in their practice, they must go where the dangers lurk, where undomesticated Buddhism flourishes, where compassion and clarity are more than a pat on the head and a good command of the texts. I am not saying anything is mistaken or wrong or naughty. I am saying that without entering the undomesticated realms that dwell in the heart, well, altruism flourishes and Buddhism wilts.

The domestication of Buddhism presents what may be a very good platform for the limitlessness of Buddhism. But the fact is that those who are serious will have to leap off that platform. Remaining on that platform is referred to in Zen as "nesting" -- securing a perch without ever taking flight.

My experience is that it is in formal practice that the willingness to take flight grows. Goodness is good, but is goodness enough? It's a serious question, I think. And it is in formal attentive practice that the question gains force and, somehow, MUST be answered. It is not enough to imagine or praise flight. It is only enough to fly. When you fly, the sky's the limit and the limitless is your home ... a home without the domestication or any other attribute of either safety or danger.

I am not, with all this blither, trying to disdain domestication or elevate the undomesticated. That would just be more domestication. I just think that the courageous and patient practice that we practice does not find its meaning in some nicely-tinted religion or made-up "compassion." Start with altruism -- sure. But go the extra step, dare yourself, de-domesticate what has been so nicely domesticated. Go ahead and fly ... and don't doubt for a moment that such flight could ever be right or wrong. It's just flying, after all.

Obviously you pressed my buzzers. Sorry for so many words.
Smile just one smile




zamis
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Re: Against the Flow

Postby zamis » Sat Jan 24, 2009 5:35 pm

"You're almost at the end of your lease in this burning house and yet you continue latching onto it as your self. It tricks you into feeling fear and love, and when you fall for it, what path will you practice? " Upasika Kee Nanayon


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genkaku
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Re: Against the Flow

Postby genkaku » Sat Jan 24, 2009 7:30 pm

Dear zamis -- I am at work just now and don't have as much time as I'd like, but I will say I have spent much of the day basking in the light of that excerpt you first posted. It's been like a vacation in Tahiti ... one I will no doubt have to pay for down the line, but in the meantime, baskbaskbask. :)

More when there's more time, but again, thanks so much.
Smile just one smile




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kc2dpt
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Re: Against the Flow

Postby kc2dpt » Sat Jan 24, 2009 7:48 pm

- Peter


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Re: Against the Flow

Postby zamis » Sat Jan 24, 2009 10:03 pm

Dear Peter, thank you for your honesty. I have in fact considered myself a thread killer/ extraneous poster to be ignored on many ocassions and have wondered if I was perceived as unfriendly/ ignorant, etc.... More often lately it has been easier to stay away from forums for this and other reasons. Being removed from most Buddhist interaction, immersed in solitary study and practice, I must come across in a strange way. It has come to light recently because I have been more active in volunteer work.

Coming across Upasika Kee Nanayon's writings has been timely and perfectly suited to the conditions encountered with other Buddhists of the past seven months. And Thanissaro Bhikkhu's introduction brought up the salient points I couldn't voice on my own. Buddhism goes against the flow of our society - not a lightening bolt. I'd think most honest practioners can see this point for themselves early. But it also goes against mainstream Buddhism - this is more subtle but a point you've helped underscore.
"You're almost at the end of your lease in this burning house and yet you continue latching onto it as your self. It tricks you into feeling fear and love, and when you fall for it, what path will you practice? " Upasika Kee Nanayon


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genkaku
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Re: Against the Flow

Postby genkaku » Sat Jan 24, 2009 10:31 pm

Smile just one smile




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Jechbi
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Re: Against the Flow

Postby Jechbi » Sat Jan 24, 2009 10:33 pm

Well, I like cheese curds.
:namaste:

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retrofuturist
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Re: Against the Flow

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Jan 24, 2009 11:59 pm

Greetings Zamis,

The main thing I take from this is that the Dhamma involves the renunciation of the world... which is counter-cultural by its very nature.

It is indeed "against the flow", as per this topic's title.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"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

Element

Re: Against the Flow

Postby Element » Sun Jan 25, 2009 12:32 am


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Cittasanto
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Re: Against the Flow

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Jan 25, 2009 9:03 am



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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bodom
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Re: Against the Flow

Postby bodom » Sun Jan 25, 2009 1:41 pm

I strongly, strongly recommend Pure and Simple: The Buddhist Teachings of a Thai Laywoman by Upasika Nanayon. It is one of my all time favorite books and it always seems to be an endless source of wisdom and motivating factor for me.

http://www.amazon.ca/Pure-Simple-Buddhi ... 086171492X

Here are some of her online works:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai/kee/index.html

:namaste:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

zamis
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Re: Against the Flow

Postby zamis » Sun Jan 25, 2009 1:52 pm

"You're almost at the end of your lease in this burning house and yet you continue latching onto it as your self. It tricks you into feeling fear and love, and when you fall for it, what path will you practice? " Upasika Kee Nanayon


zamis
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Re: Against the Flow

Postby zamis » Sun Jan 25, 2009 1:55 pm

"You're almost at the end of your lease in this burning house and yet you continue latching onto it as your self. It tricks you into feeling fear and love, and when you fall for it, what path will you practice? " Upasika Kee Nanayon


zamis
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Re: Against the Flow

Postby zamis » Sun Jan 25, 2009 2:00 pm

"You're almost at the end of your lease in this burning house and yet you continue latching onto it as your self. It tricks you into feeling fear and love, and when you fall for it, what path will you practice? " Upasika Kee Nanayon


zamis
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Re: Against the Flow

Postby zamis » Sun Jan 25, 2009 2:08 pm

"You're almost at the end of your lease in this burning house and yet you continue latching onto it as your self. It tricks you into feeling fear and love, and when you fall for it, what path will you practice? " Upasika Kee Nanayon


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kc2dpt
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Re: Against the Flow

Postby kc2dpt » Sun Jan 25, 2009 3:43 pm

- Peter


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Prasadachitta
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Re: Against the Flow

Postby Prasadachitta » Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:39 pm

Hi all,

Sometimes I think we can loose perspective a little when it comes to our speculations about what is and what is not effective Dhamma practice. The Buddha represents the culmination of a beautiful and effective principle which we can all engage with to varying degrees. We could say objectively that this principle appears to be flowering more in one individual than in another and we could also say that some people appear a bit closer to what we see as its culmination. What I think is not really helpful is when we denigrate the uplifting and transformative effects which percolate down from the awakened beings. When a being like the Historical Buddha reaches the final release and knows the Deathless He/She lifts up all those who begin to have faith in the possibility of release. This includes those who go on nurturing their children and cultivating a healthy and secure lay community. The Buddha Gives the world meaning and shows the fundamental principle at work. When a being goes forth into complete renunciation and still exhibits a happy and uplifting manner all of us who have confidence in the reality of this happiness naturally begin to loosen our attachments in accordance with that confidence. This just naturally occurs. Simply having confidence in those who renounce is effective Dhamma practice. Likewise all the stuff some would denigrate as "designer" or "fluffy" Buddhism can be effective on many levels especially in connection with a degree of this confidence. We need Buddhas like flowers need Sun and if you are in a position to work on becoming one then please do it. Its a wast of time to belittle the flowers for not being the sunshine.

Metta

Gabriel
"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

zamis
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Re: Against the Flow

Postby zamis » Sun Jan 25, 2009 8:13 pm

"You're almost at the end of your lease in this burning house and yet you continue latching onto it as your self. It tricks you into feeling fear and love, and when you fall for it, what path will you practice? " Upasika Kee Nanayon



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