How has Theravada benefited your practice?

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How has Theravada benefited your practice?

Postby thornbush » Thu Apr 16, 2009 4:47 am

How has Theravada benefited your practice, as a Mahayana/Vajrayana practitioner?
Care to share your experience? :thanks:
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Re: How has Theravada benefited your practice?

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Thu Apr 16, 2009 5:16 am

I have really enjoyed studying a bit of Theravada. It absolutely enhances my study and practice to get this fuller picture and read the Buddha's words. I'm not a Theravadan practitioner, but I'm a big fan.

How about you, Thorny la?

:buddha2:
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Re: How has Theravada benefited your practice?

Postby thornbush » Thu Apr 16, 2009 6:19 am

I have always been a fan of Ajahn Brahm's 'haha-yana'... :twothumbsup:
I still keep and read my cave of Theravada resources... :reading:

Dhammapada has always been my fav.. :anjali:
A 5 year old can know it, not sure if an 80 year old can live up to it... :tongue:
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Re: How has Theravada benefited your practice?

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Thu Apr 16, 2009 7:26 am

A 5 year old can know it, not sure if an 80 year old can live up to it... :tongue:


Indeed!
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Re: How has Theravada benefited your practice?

Postby dumb bonbu » Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:19 pm

every time i turn to the Pali Suttas i'm reminded of how simple yet utterly profound the Buddha's teaching of the Dharma is. i don't get such a strong sense as this from reading the Mahayana Canon (much as i obviously find it beneficial).

studying Abhidhamma (though my progress is extremely slow) really fosters a strong motivation for mindfulness too.
Although I too am within Amida's grasp,
Passions obstruct my eyes and I cannot see him;
Nevertheless, great compassion is untiring and
illumines me always.
- Shinran


Namu Amida Butsu
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Re: How has Theravada benefited your practice?

Postby clw_uk » Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:37 pm

I have found it most helpful :rolling:
Those who are lust-infatuated fall back to the swirling current (of samsara) like a spider on its self-spun web. This too the wise cut off. Without any longing, they abandon all dukkha and renounce the world

Dhammapada - Verse 347
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Re: How has Theravada benefited your practice?

Postby Eternal Spirit » Fri Apr 17, 2009 11:17 pm

Dear Thornbush

Theravada has benefited my practice very much after I read the truth by Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw, who said:
Anyone who is well-disciplined in sila will be reborn in the happy existence of a human being or a deva (god), but this ordinary form of lokiya-sila (mundane morality) will not be a safeguard against relapse into lower states of miserable existence, such as hell, the animal realm or realm of petas (ghosts). It is therefore desirable to cultivate the higher form of lokuttara sila (supramundane morality). When one has fully acquired the virtue of this sila, he is saved from relapse into the lower states and he will always lead a happy life by being reborn as a human being or deva.

SATIPATTHANA VIPASSANA

We can all have eternal life with God and never be reborn in hell.

:namaste:
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Re: How has Theravada benefited your practice?

Postby Eternal Spirit » Fri Apr 17, 2009 11:22 pm

clw_uk wrote: :rolling:

Dear Clw_Uk

You are spinning around in samsara. I wish for you to cultivate the higher form of lokuttara sila (supramundane morality). When you have fully acquired this virtue of this sila, you will be reborn as a human being or deva for eternity.

:anjali:
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Re: How has Theravada benefited your practice?

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Sat Apr 18, 2009 12:01 am

Dear Eternal Spirit,

What is eternity? How can you assure me that there is an eternal heaven?

Thank you,
ND
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Re: How has Theravada benefited your practice?

Postby clw_uk » Sat Apr 18, 2009 3:05 am

Eternal Spirit wrote:
clw_uk wrote: :rolling:

Dear Clw_Uk

You are spinning around in samsara. I wish for you to cultivate the higher form of lokuttara sila (supramundane morality). When you have fully acquired this virtue of this sila, you will be reborn as a human being or deva for eternity.

:anjali:


Greetings

If i hold a view of "me" exsisting for eternity, then samsara will still continue to spin in the mind and nibbana wont be realized

Any thought of "me" or "I am" arises from clinging to one or more of the five khandas that make up a "human",

Form, perception, feeling, mental-formations and consciousness

These are marked by Anicca and so are in reality Anatta or not-self, to cling to any of them (or to anything) as "self" or "me" is to create Dukkha and so still lets Samsara spin

Metta
Those who are lust-infatuated fall back to the swirling current (of samsara) like a spider on its self-spun web. This too the wise cut off. Without any longing, they abandon all dukkha and renounce the world

Dhammapada - Verse 347
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Re: How has Theravada benefited your practice?

Postby Eternal Spirit » Sat Apr 18, 2009 5:09 am

Ngawang Drolma wrote:Dear Eternal Spirit,

What is eternity?

Thank you,
ND

Dear Ngawang Drolma

Buddha said:
"From an inconstruable beginning comes transmigration. A beginning point is not evident, though beings hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving are transmigrating & wandering on. What do you think, monks: Which is greater, the tears you have shed while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time — crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing — or the water in the four great oceans?"

"Excellent, monks. Excellent. It is excellent that you thus understand the Dhamma taught by me.

"This is the greater: the tears you have shed while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time — crying & weeping from being joined with what is displeasing, being separated from what is pleasing — not the water in the four great oceans.


:anjali:
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Re: How has Theravada benefited your practice?

Postby Eternal Spirit » Sat Apr 18, 2009 5:13 am

Ngawang Drolma wrote:Dear Eternal Spirit,

How can you assure me that there is an eternal heaven?

Thank you,
ND

Dear Ngawang Drolma

Buddha taught for people who were weak in faith, whose minds have a rational bent rather than a spiritual bent, whose minds were blocked in their disbelief in Krishna. Therefore Buddha had to teach using different methods. As the world enters more deeply into the Kaliyuga, more & more human beings are being educated with a rational mind and more & more human beings struggle to find heaven. If they simply had faith, they would find heaven.

Buddha had compassion for beings immersed & stuck in rationality. Buddha taught for them using Theravada or Hinaya as such:
There is this world & the next world. There are priests & contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.


"Very good, Ananda. Very good, to the extent that you have deduced what can be arrived at through logic. That was Anathapindika the deva's son, and no one else."


Having followed the Dhamma here in this world,
both in tune in precepts & practices,
they delight in the world of the devas,
enjoying the pleasures they desire.


47. "Monks, in this Teaching that is so well proclaimed by me and is plain, open, explicit and free of patchwork, those who have simply faith in me, simply love for me, are all destined for heaven."

MN 22

Dear Ngawang Drolma

If you simply have faith in the Buddha and simply love him, He has assured you are destined for heaven.

Please believe. Please be brave. Please open your spirit. Please do not be like Ananda, using logic.

:anjali:
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Re: How has Theravada benefited your practice?

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Sat Apr 18, 2009 5:43 am

Buddha taught for people who were weak in faith, whose minds have a rational bent rather than a spiritual bent, whose minds were blocked in their disbelief in Krishna. Therefore Buddha had to teach using different methods. As the world enters more deeply into the Kaliyuga, more & more human beings are being educated with a rational mind and more & more human beings struggle to find heaven. If they simply had faith, they would find heaven.


Hi Eternal Spirit,

I do not believe in Krishna. You might have wandered into the wrong forum by accident. Of course we have respect for all faiths here, but please be advised that responses will most often be from a Buddhist point of view.

Buddha had compassion for beings immersed & stuck in rationality. Buddha taught for them using Theravada or Hinaya as such


Please do not use the word Hinayana. Thanks.

If you simply have faith in the Buddha and simply love him, He has assured you are destined for heaven.

Please believe. Please be brave. Please open your spirit. Please do not be like Ananda, using logic.


One of the most crucial aspect of Buddhism, no matter the sect or tradition, is the Noble Eightfold Path. It requires much more than faith to attain liberation. I have little interest in heaven, as it is another samsaric rebirth, and heaven is too blissful for beings there to take an interest in quenching dukkha.

Please be like Ananda and use your noodle. Precious human rebirth is very rare.

Thanks anyhow, may you reach heavenly bliss swiftly if that's your goal /\
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Re: How has Theravada benefited your practice?

Postby floating_abu » Sat Apr 18, 2009 1:18 pm

I have always found the old Thai Forest tradition masters rock.

Blessings. :anjali:
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Re: How has Theravada benefited your practice?

Postby clw_uk » Sat Apr 18, 2009 3:02 pm

Greetings


Buddha taught for people who were weak in faith, whose minds have a rational bent rather than a spiritual bent, whose minds were blocked in their disbelief in Krishna. Therefore Buddha had to teach using different methods. As the world enters more deeply into the Kaliyuga, more & more human beings are being educated with a rational mind and more & more human beings struggle to find heaven. If they simply had faith, they would find heaven


Buddha taught those who had "much dust in their eyes" about good deeds and striving for heavenly realms

Those with more wisdom he taught the Four Noble Truths and The Noble Eight Fold Path

First Truth - There is Dukkha (or suffering)
What is Dukkha? Birth (any birth anywhere even heaven) is Dukkha, ageing is dukkha, sickness and death is dukkha
Sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, despair. Not getting what one wants is Dukkha. In shore the five Aggregates effected by clinging are Dukkha

Origin of Dukkha - Craving, which brings renewal of being (and so more of the 1st truth)

Ending of Dukkha - Remove Craving

Way to end Dukkha - Noble Eight Fold Path


As for Krishna, Buddha didnt teach anything about him or in relation to him. Buddha didnt teach a union with the divine or anything like that


Faith in Buddhism isnt blind faith and neither is it the only way to "salvation". It is a supporting factor, something that gets one started and supports one through to the end

As for Rationality, this does have a place in Buddhism, its just not focused on as all there is


Buddha had compassion for beings immersed & stuck in rationality. Buddha taught for them using Theravada or Hinaya as such:


Hinayana schools no longer exsist, the term was used in relation to the other schools of indian buddhism that Mahayana was "in conflict"*** with and have sice died out.

Theravada isnt Hinayana, but even if the term does apply to it, there is nothing "lesser" about sticking to the original teachings, even if you believe that the Buddha taught other teachings later on to a select few


Please do not be like Ananda, using logic.


I dont know if you are aware, but Ananda realized Enlightenment and "became" an Arahant


Metta to you

*** by conflict i dont mean actual fighting of course, just conflict in understandings of Dhamma
Those who are lust-infatuated fall back to the swirling current (of samsara) like a spider on its self-spun web. This too the wise cut off. Without any longing, they abandon all dukkha and renounce the world

Dhammapada - Verse 347
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Re: How has Theravada benefited your practice?

Postby Eternal Spirit » Sat Apr 18, 2009 10:12 pm

clw_uk wrote:First Truth - There is Dukkha (or suffering)

Dear Clw Uk

With faith in the Deathless Eternity, there is no suffering. Suffering occurs for those with no faith, who believe there is birth, aging, sickness & death, who do not believe in Deathless Eternity.

Buddha had to teach those who had suffering as they did not have faith.

In AN 10.58, the Lord Buddha said: "All things merge with the Deathless".

:anjali:
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Re: How has Theravada benefited your practice?

Postby Eternal Spirit » Sat Apr 18, 2009 10:28 pm

clw_uk wrote:I dont know if you are aware, but Ananda realized Enlightenment and "became" an Arahant.

Dear Clw Uk

I am aware it took Venerable Ananda about fifty years to realize enlightenment, unlike the thousands of arahants who realized enlightenment when hearing the Lord's voice for the first time. The Venerable Ananda spent most of his life in the Lord's presence and listening to Him but only after the Lord Buddha died did he realize enlightenment. The Venerable Ananda gave up trying to meditate and he lay down. As soon as his head touched the pillow for sleep and his logical mind ceased, the Venerable Ananda gained enlightenment.

The suttas are full accounts of Ananda asking the Lord questions, always asking but never comprehending. If only Ananda had faith, his mind would have abandoned questioning and merged with the Eternal Deathless.

In AN 10.58, the Lord Buddha said: "All things merge with the Deathless".

:anjali:
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Re: How has Theravada benefited your practice?

Postby clw_uk » Sat Apr 18, 2009 10:57 pm

Greetings

With faith in the Deathless Eternity, there is no suffering. Suffering occurs for those with no faith, who believe there is birth, aging, sickness & death, who do not believe in Deathless Eternity.


There is only no suffering when there is the destruction of greed, hatred and delusion. Faith is a support on this path and strong faith = strong support but it does not remove greed hatred and delusion in of itself

Simply believing in Nibbana is not enough, just like simply believing in Anatta doesnt lead one to actualy realize the truth of it

Suffering occurs through ignorance of the truth of Birth, ageing, sickness and death


The suttas are full accounts of Ananda asking the Lord questions, always asking but never comprehending. If only Ananda had faith, his mind would have abandoned questioning and merged with the Eternal Deathless.


Ananda has strong faith in the Buddha

Ananda was delighted with this description, so all-encompassing and transcending all horizons, and he exclaimed: "How fortunate I am, that I have such an almighty, powerful master!"

Udayi objected: "What good does it do to you brother Ananda, that your master is almighty and powerful?" With these few words a strong reproach was uttered. Namely that Ananda always looked at the person of the Buddha only, and thereby forgot his real benefit, namely his own enlightenment. The Buddha immediately took sides with Ananda with the following words:

"Not so, Udayi, not so, Udayi! Should Ananda die without being fully liberated; he would be king of the gods seven times because of the purity of his heart, or be king of the Indian subcontinent seven times. But Udayi, Ananda will experience final liberation in this very life."


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... #section-1

The Buddha states that because of his strong faith, Ananda is bound for enlightenment here and now

However this proves that faith alone is not enough, since Ananda has strong faith already and still is not enlightened, but because his faith is strong it will support him strongly so as to reach enlightenment in this life


Now im not trying to downplay faith, it is important but one also needs to practice, simply believing wont enlighten the person


Metta
Those who are lust-infatuated fall back to the swirling current (of samsara) like a spider on its self-spun web. This too the wise cut off. Without any longing, they abandon all dukkha and renounce the world

Dhammapada - Verse 347
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Re: How has Theravada benefited your practice?

Postby clw_uk » Sat Apr 18, 2009 11:01 pm

Returning to an earlier post of yours


Dear Clw_Uk

You are spinning around in samsara. I wish for you to cultivate the higher form of lokuttara sila (supramundane morality). When you have fully acquired this virtue of this sila, you will be reborn as a human being or deva for eternity.


Returning to an earlier post of yours


Can i ask in relation to this, who is there or what is it that will be reborn as a human or deva for eternity?


Metta
Those who are lust-infatuated fall back to the swirling current (of samsara) like a spider on its self-spun web. This too the wise cut off. Without any longing, they abandon all dukkha and renounce the world

Dhammapada - Verse 347
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Re: How has Theravada benefited your practice?

Postby Eternal Spirit » Sat Apr 18, 2009 11:23 pm

clw_uk wrote:Ananda has strong faith in the Buddha.

Dear Clw Uk

The word 'strong' is relative. For the Arahants, the Buddha used the word 'achala saddha' or 'unshakeable faith'.

In MN 122, the Lord of the Deathless said of Ananda's lack of faith:

"Therefore, Ananda, engage with me friends and not as opponents. That will be for your long-term well-being & happiness.

"I won't hover over you like a potter over damp, unbaked clay goods. Admonishing again & again, I will speak. Urging you on again & again, I will speak. Whatever is of essential worth will remain."


In DN 16, as the Lord merged with the Eternal Deathless, he said of Ananda's weak faith:

"Enough, Ananda! Do not grieve, do not lament! For have I not taught from the very beginning that with all that is dear and beloved there must be change, separation, and severance? Of that which is born, come into being, compounded, and subject to decay, how can one say: 'May it not come to dissolution!'? There can be no such state of things.

Now for a long time, Ananda, you have served the Tathagata with loving-kindness in deed, word, and thought, graciously, pleasantly, with a whole heart and beyond measure. Great good have you gathered, Ananda! Now you should put forth energy, and soon you too will be free from the taints."

Like Arjuna (Lord Krishna's attendant), Ananda did not have faith like Indra and the Brahmin arahants such as Sariputta, Mahamogalla & Maha Kassapa. Those faithful ones such as Sariputta, Mahamogalla & Maha Kassapa had strong faith because they were from the Brahmin or Krishna caste.

29. Heedful among the heedless, wide-awake among the sleepy, the wise man advances like a swift horse leaving behind a weak jade.

30. By Heedfulness did Indra become the overlord of the gods. Heedfulness is ever praised, and heedlessness ever despised.

31. The monk who delights in heedfulness and looks with fear at heedlessness advances like fire, burning all fetters, small and large.

32. The monk who delights in heedfulness and looks with fear at heedlessness will not fall. He is close to [the Deathless] Nibbana.

Dhammapada

The Lord has Eternal Compassion and Gratitude. With Udayi, the Lord was protecting Ananda's feelings and remanent ego.

In AN 10.58, the Lord Buddha said: "All things merge with the Deathless".

:namaste:
Last edited by Eternal Spirit on Sat Apr 18, 2009 11:35 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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