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Adhamma - Dhamma Wheel

Adhamma

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Khalil Bodhi
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Adhamma

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Sun May 09, 2010 12:40 pm

To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

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tiltbillings
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Re: Adhamma

Postby tiltbillings » Sun May 09, 2010 2:39 pm


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Khalil Bodhi
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Re: Adhamma

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Sun May 09, 2010 3:06 pm

Basically, the issue was that this teacher stated that the Buddha taught that all one needs to do to escape suffering is to focus on the present moment (or the breath). This was in regard specifically to a discussion on restlessness. When I asked about other strategies such as those outlined in the for removing distracting thoughts or even the Buddha's repeated exhortations to uphold the precepts as a way to mitigate restlessness and remorse I was told that he didn't want to get "sidetracked" with such things. I hope that gives a little more of a context.

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To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

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tiltbillings
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Re: Adhamma

Postby tiltbillings » Sun May 09, 2010 3:14 pm


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Monkey Mind
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Re: Adhamma

Postby Monkey Mind » Sun May 09, 2010 4:26 pm

Khalil Bodhi, I think you might have to develop acceptance for the possibility that your Sutta studies are quite a lot more advanced than the average Buddhist, many Sanghans included. Reading your description, I suspect the monk either could not remember or was not familiar with the teaching you referenced.

Metta
"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

Mukunda
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Re: Adhamma

Postby Mukunda » Sun May 09, 2010 5:54 pm

I'm wondering, is this person ordained or not. If so, in what tradition, if not, by what authority does he teach? I decided a while back that I was open to lay people teaching technique (i.e. sit upright, focus on the nostrils etc), I really couldn't care less about their interpretations of the dhamma. For my questions on sutta studies and the like, I rely on fully ordained (ordained under, and observing the full monastic code, not just ordained under the bodhisattva precepts as is common in Japan) for guidance and insight. While ordination is no guarantee, it is at least a verifiable credential, and at least one indicator of the teacher's dedication to the dhamma and students.

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mikenz66
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Re: Adhamma

Postby mikenz66 » Sun May 09, 2010 9:18 pm


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Goofaholix
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Re: Adhamma

Postby Goofaholix » Sun May 09, 2010 11:46 pm

I think Mike has covered it off quite well.

Did the teacher say there is only one technique to obtain release from suffering and you should ignore the others?

Or did he say that the technique he was teaching was potentially all you needed to obtain release from suffering, not to deny there were other possible techniques out there?

I suspect it was the latter and have found most teachers take this line, especially when teaching beginners, and don't allow themselves to be sidetracked by well meaning questioners.

I think you probably need to chill out. An accumulation of knowledge can be a hindrence if it prevents one from entering practice situations with open heartedness.

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retrofuturist
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Re: Adhamma

Postby retrofuturist » Sun May 09, 2010 11:59 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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jcsuperstar
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Re: Adhamma

Postby jcsuperstar » Mon May 10, 2010 12:03 am

สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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Re: Adhamma

Postby retrofuturist » Mon May 10, 2010 12:11 am

"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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Goofaholix
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Re: Adhamma

Postby Goofaholix » Mon May 10, 2010 12:49 am


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Khalil Bodhi
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Re: Adhamma

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Mon May 10, 2010 1:07 am

Thank you everyone for your replies

I definitely agree that me chilling out about this is a good idea but JC pretty much hit the nail on the head with his characterization of this teacher's approach. The question of kamma and the 8FNP seem to have been thrown out in favor of a soteriology of the present moment. I, like Retro, am perfectly okay with such a teaching provided it's not proffered to others as Buddhadhamma. Thanks again everyone.

Metta
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

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Dan74
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Re: Adhamma

Postby Dan74 » Mon May 10, 2010 5:08 am

As someone who teaches (not Dhamma) when a student asks me for help with doing a question and I see that he or she is not up to the task, I address the most basic part of the problem. I don't try to explain the whole thing because it would go over the student's head and be a waste of time. So perhaps the teacher felt that this person should focus on mindfulness of the breath in the present moment. Give a clear precise instruction is good teaching. Bad scholarship, but good teaching, IMO.

_/|\_
_/|\_

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retrofuturist
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Re: Adhamma

Postby retrofuturist » Mon May 10, 2010 5:13 am

"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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Dan74
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Re: Adhamma

Postby Dan74 » Mon May 10, 2010 5:21 am

Hi Retro!

Are you arguing for a uniform curriculum, where graduation is enlightenment? Kind of the opposite to Krishnamurti's pathless land?

But the Buddha did not teach like that and there are records of him giving the most bare essentials to newcomers. For some it was all that they needed. For others it was the first step.

Right View is often built up gradually not swallowed up in one gulp. We can read 10 books about the Right View and in the end have a mental picture and yet our conduct may be radically (or subtly) at odds with it. It develops with wisdom, deepens and penetrates every aspect of our lives.

I am not arguing against the Right View, just that "to everything its season."
_/|\_

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retrofuturist
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Re: Adhamma

Postby retrofuturist » Mon May 10, 2010 5:39 am

"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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Goofaholix
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Re: Adhamma

Postby Goofaholix » Mon May 10, 2010 5:55 am


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retrofuturist
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Re: Adhamma

Postby retrofuturist » Mon May 10, 2010 6:02 am

"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

PeterB
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Re: Adhamma

Postby PeterB » Mon May 10, 2010 6:51 am

It is not unknown for some meditation centres to offer meditation classes only after they are satisfied that the inquirer has some of the basics such as the 4NT, 8FP etc.
Meditation on the breath is after all just one one wing of the house which also includes sila, Metta Bhavana etc
Meditation practise detached from the rest of the 8FP can be just be a mechanistic self help excercise.
There is nothing magicical about it. It does not awaken some intrinsic pre-existing state.


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