Do you really find the Dhamma inspiring?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Re: Letting go of longing for a relationship

Postby PeterB » Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:01 am

Personally I read his profile.
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Re: Letting go of longing for a relationship

Postby Alex123 » Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:55 am

Jhana4 wrote: People who responded to my thread might correctly say what you wrote above is only your view and not a reflection of the intentions of the authors of the Pali Canon. That being said, quotes in the past, similar to yours, in the Canon have made the suttas only philosophically interesting to me, not inspirational. Absolutely no offense meant. My apologies for making your post an example of what I have encountered elsewhere.



[Magandiya offers his daughter to the Buddha, who replies:]
On seeing [the daughters of Mara] — Discontent, Craving, & Passion — there wasn't even the desire for sex. So what would I want with this, filled with urine & excrement? I wouldn't want to touch it even with my foot.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html



“Full of the many clans of impurities, the great manufacturer of excrement, like a stagnant pool, a great tumor, great wound, full of blood & lymph, immersed in a cesspool, trickling liquids, the body is oozing foulness — always. Bound together with sixty sinews, plastered with a stucco of muscle, wrapped in a jacket of skin this foul body is of no worth at all. Linked together with a chain of bones, stitched together with tendon-threads, it produces its various postures, from being hitched up together. Headed surely to death, in the presence of the King of Mortality, the man who learns to discard it right here, goes wherever he wants.” – Thag 10.5
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


Subha Jivakambavanika, Awakened Nun, speaking to a lay person who wanted her:
"What do you assume of any essence, here in this cemetery grower, filled with corpses, this body destined to break up? What do you see when you look at me, you who are out of your mind?" For there is nothing anywhere at all in the world with its devas, that would be an object of passion for me. I don't even know what that passion would be, for it's been killed, root & all, by the path. Like embers from a pit — scattered, like a bowl of poison — evaporated, I don't even see what that passion would be, for it's been killed, root & all, by the path. I delight, having gone to an empty dwelling. For I have seen well-painted puppets, hitched up with sticks & strings, made to dance in various ways. When the sticks & strings are removed, thrown away, scattered, shredded, smashed into pieces, not to be found, in what will the mind there make its home? This body of mine, which is just like that, when devoid of dhammas doesn't function. When, devoid of dhammas, it doesn't function, in what will the mind there make its home? Like a mural you've seen, painted on a wall, smeared with yellow orpiment, there your vision has been distorted, meaningless your perception of a human being. Like an evaporated mirage, like a tree of gold in a dream, like a magic show in the midst of a crowd — you run blind after what is unreal. Resembling a ball of sealing wax, set in a hollow, with a bubble in the middle & bathed with tears, eye secretions are born there too: The parts of the eye are rolled all together in various ways." Plucking out her lovely eye, with mind unattached she felt no regret. "Here, take this eye. It's yours." Straightaway she gave it to him [would be seducer]. Straightaway his passion faded right there, and he begged her for forgiveness. “ - Thig 14.1 Subha Jivakambavanika sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html



With metta,

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Re: Do you really find the Dhamma inspiring?

Postby ground » Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:14 am

Jhana4 wrote:
I haven't missed a day of meditation in over 5 years ( I keep a log ). I live an sXe lifestyle and keep most of the 5 precepts most of the time by virtue of my natural temperaments. My life isn't about making the most money I possibly can and I try to live in a respectful, cooperative manner with those around me. I also learned young that a preoccupation with immediate gratification or material gain beyond a certain point leads to some not so nice results.


Honestly ... why not just leaving it at that?


Jhana4 wrote:Yet, I still have these disappointments with the Pali Canon.

What are you craving?


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Re: Do you really find the Dhamma inspiring?

Postby A_Martin » Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:30 am

To Jhana4
I replied in new topic body contemplation to you, you might want to read.
I feel now threads are being mixed up - but it makes sense the topic is body contemplation
Bhikkhu Pesala: (Geoff)
I know I am a lonely wolf, trained by a forest master, so I do disagree with you. Body contemplation is used in our tradition to create aversion. Listen to this! Greed is one part of the scale, hate the other, aversion is a subdivision of hate. If you really want to get rid of greed and hate, you have to balance the scale! Only then can you walk through the middle and then this is the end of greed and hate. (Teaching of Than Acharn Maha Bua)
Our scale is way out of balance, all our life we hankered run after pleasant things, now its time to face up with unpleasant sensations, aversion hate and so on. Learn how to deal with them. If body contemplation does not bring up aversion and hateful feelings, then you are doing something wrong!
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Re: Do you really find the Dhamma inspiring?

Postby Jhana4 » Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:04 am

Venerable A_Martin;

I'm a long term, regular meditator. I find the teaching of various dhamma teachers inspiring and I find read the suttas interesting. I've taken several informal classes at a local temple as well as meditating at that temple.

Buddhism is not my religion.

Reiterating the suttas, beliefs or rationales to me isn't answering the point I've been trying to express in this thread.

I don't share the Theravada belief that aversion of the body needs to be taught, at least not for everyone.
I think many intelligent adults past a certain age, regardless of religious affiliation can see the first noble truth in life and as a result of that vision take a more skillfull approach to life. Being one of those intelligent adults I don't personally care for the suttas that teach aversion of the body. No disrespect to anyone, my opinion of those suttas is that they reflect a limited way of thinking I don't want to be part of. It isn't my intent to offend anyone by saying that ( it looks like my previous statement of my opinion was deleted ), I'm expressing my honest opinion as a student of Buddhism and a critical thinker.

That is my opinion and that is where we disagree.
Last edited by Jhana4 on Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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Re: Do you really find the Dhamma inspiring?

Postby plwk » Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:05 am

Is it only my screen or is someone else here getting it too... I clicked on the thread 'Do you really find the Dhamma inspiring?' by Jhana4 but halfway I am joined to 'Letting go of longing for a relationship' which is wizard's thread? :shock:
Bhikkhus, if you develop and make much this one thing,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.
What is it? It is recollecting the Enlightened One.
If this single thing is recollected and made much,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.

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Re: Do you really find the Dhamma inspiring?

Postby kirk5a » Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:08 am

Jhana4 wrote:I don't find it inspiring to think that the best I can hope for is to work hard on detaching myself from life for the reward of being completely dead when I die.

That doesn't sound very inspiring to me either, put like that. But maybe that's a function of that interpretation of the Dhamma. I look at that as the "There is no life in the void, only death" interpretation. But is that the right way to look at the Dhamma?

"Once we see the world as elements, however, there's no death. And once we can see that there's no death, that's when we'll really know. If we still see that we die, that shows that we haven't yet seen the Dhamma."

"When you get to do these things, it doesn't mean that you "get" anything, for actually once the mind is empty, that means it doesn't gain anything at all. But to put it into words for those who haven't experienced it: In what ways is emptiness empty? Does it mean that everything disappears or is annihilated? Actually, you should know that emptiness doesn't mean that the mind is annihilated. All that's annihilated is clinging and attachment. What you have to do is to see what emptiness is like as it actually appears and then not latch onto it. The nature of this emptiness is that it's deathless within you — this emptiness of self — and yet the mind can still function, know, and read itself. Just don't label it or latch onto it, that's all."
- Upasika Kee Nanayon

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... .html#void

No death, now that I find inspiring.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: Do you really find the Dhamma inspiring?

Postby Jhana4 » Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:17 am

plwk wrote:Is it only my screen or is someone else here getting it too... I clicked on the thread 'Do you really find the Dhamma inspiring?' by Jhana4 but halfway I am joined to 'Letting go of longing for a relationship' which is wizard's thread? :shock:


An opinion of mine was removed from another thread and consolidated into this one.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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Re: Do you really find the Dhamma inspiring?

Postby Wizard in the Forest » Wed Mar 02, 2011 6:17 am

Strange! The mixing of the two threads made me dizzy. I can vouch for the body contemplations, because in the case of my complicated situation in the other thread, so far this has helped me deal with my feelings of attraction and longing for a man. It honestly has helped me a lot when I think I have no way to escape my feelings of suffering. I thought before regardless I would only be able to get hurt with my situation, but in this case the suttas have inspired a sense of freedom from that situation which rather than being between a rock and a hard place is opening a third option. So, yes, the Dhamma is inspiring to me. Inspiring a sense of freedom.
"One is not born a woman, but becomes one."- Simone de Beauvoir
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Re: Do you really find the Dhamma inspiring?

Postby ground » Wed Mar 02, 2011 6:20 am

kirk5a wrote:
Jhana4 wrote:I don't find it inspiring to think that the best I can hope for is to work hard on detaching myself from life for the reward of being completely dead when I die.

That doesn't sound very inspiring to me either, put like that. But maybe that's a function of that interpretation of the Dhamma. I look at that as the "There is no life in the void, only death" interpretation. But is that the right way to look at the Dhamma?


No. It is just attachment to the thought "this life" ... "I" ... "mine"

Guess the reason is an overly "intellectual" approach ... a strong inclination toward thinking not "relaxed" by "meditation" practice.

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Re: Do you really find the Dhamma inspiring?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:00 am

A_Martin wrote:If body contemplation does not bring up aversion and hateful feelings, then you are doing something wrong!
Āvuso, if any meditation brings up aversion and hate, then it brings up unwholesome mental states. The purpose of insight is to remove unwholesome states and to bring up wholesome states.

Its probably just confusion regarding the meaning of language, but be careful about forceful suppression through aversion. You may become a bitter and twisted misogynist, or just fall back to the lay life. With insight, one can see both subha and asubha as one wishes, and remain equanimous towards both.

Weariness with sensual pleasures and disgust (nibbidā) is not aversion. It is close to dispassion, liberation (from lust and attachment), and nibbāna.
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Re: Do you really find the Dhamma inspiring?

Postby appicchato » Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:19 am

Jhana4 wrote:I don't share the....belief that aversion of the body needs to be taught...

Ditto...
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Re: Do you really find the Dhamma inspiring?

Postby PeterB » Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:39 am

Does it follow Bhante that you think it should not be taught ?
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Re: Do you really find the Dhamma inspiring?

Postby Jhana4 » Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:14 pm

kirk5a wrote:
Jhana4 wrote:I don't find it inspiring to think that the best I can hope for is to work hard on detaching myself from life for the reward of being completely dead when I die.

That doesn't sound very inspiring to me either, put like that. But maybe that's a function of that interpretation of the Dhamma. I look at that as the "There is no life in the void, only death" interpretation. But is that the right way to look at the Dhamma?



Kirk5a, your point comes back to the heart of my concern.


No death, now that I find inspiring.


I would too, if I thought the Pali Canon said that. It seems to me that teachers, writers and the Sangha at large flesh things out in a much more sunny way. However, I don't see how the sunnier views of the Sangha connect to the suttas. Looking at the suttas, my understanding is that nibbana can't be described, but it seems like an end to what the person is to the extent that they are gone.

Is there something directly from the suttas that would say I am flat out wrong about that?
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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Re: Do you really find the Dhamma inspiring?

Postby Jhana4 » Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:21 pm

TMingyur wrote:
Jhana4 wrote:
I haven't missed a day of meditation in over 5 years ( I keep a log ). I live an sXe lifestyle and keep most of the 5 precepts most of the time by virtue of my natural temperaments. My life isn't about making the most money I possibly can and I try to live in a respectful, cooperative manner with those around me. I also learned young that a preoccupation with immediate gratification or material gain beyond a certain point leads to some not so nice results.


Honestly ... why not just leaving it at that?



Curiosity.

There are people who claim they are inspired by the Pali Canon. I feel enriched by my readings of the Pali Canon, but not inspired. I wonder why I am not inspired but other people are.

Did I miss something they didn't ?
Do they simply disregard the things in the Pali Canon that do not inspire me?
Have they not come across the things I have or failed to understand them?

If it is the first situation I would certainly like to know how they find the Pali Canon inspiring and if I could find it inspiring being who I am.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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Re: Do you really find the Dhamma inspiring?

Postby kirk5a » Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:38 pm

Jhana4 wrote:
kirk5a wrote:No death, now that I find inspiring.


I would too, if I thought the Pali Canon said that. It seems to me that teachers, writers and the Sangha at large flesh things out in a much more sunny way. However, I don't see how the sunnier views of the Sangha connect to the suttas. Looking at the suttas, my understanding is that nibbana can't be described, but it seems like an end to what the person is to the extent that they are gone.

Is there something directly from the suttas that would say I am flat out wrong about that?

Ok lets see... you have the understanding "it seems like an end to what the person is to the extent that they are gone"

One thing to notice is that is an idea, an interpretation that you have, and maybe it's not really the best representation of how things are.

That said - in the suttas, how about this?

"Just as if there were a roofed house or a roofed hall having windows on the north, the south, or the east. When the sun rises, and a ray has entered by way of the window, where does it land?"

"On the western wall, lord."

"And if there is no western wall, where does it land?"

"On the ground, lord."

"And if there is no ground, where does it land?"

"On the water, lord."

"And if there is no water, where does it land?"

"It does not land, lord."

"In the same way, where there is no passion for the nutriment of physical food... contact... intellectual intention... consciousness, where there is no delight, no craving, then consciousness does not land there or increase. Where consciousness does not land or increase, there is no alighting of name-&-form. Where there is no alighting of name-&-form, there is no growth of fabrications. Where there is no growth of fabrications, there is no production of renewed becoming in the future. Where there is no production of renewed becoming in the future, there is no future birth, aging, & death. That, I tell you, has no sorrow, affliction, or despair."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: Do you really find the Dhamma inspiring?

Postby Jhana4 » Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:41 pm

Wizard in the Forest wrote:I can vouch for the body contemplations, because in the case of my complicated situation in the other thread, so far this has helped me deal with my feelings of attraction and longing for a man. It honestly has helped me a lot when I think I have no way to escape my feelings of suffering. I thought before regardless I would only be able to get hurt with my situation, but in this case the suttas have inspired a sense of freedom from that situation which rather than being between a rock and a hard place is opening a third option. So, yes, the Dhamma is inspiring to me. Inspiring a sense of freedom.


Hi Wizzard. I find your comment the hardest to relate to my own experience so I find it the hardest to understand and as a result I find your comment to be the most interesting.

My best attempt at reconciling my experiences with yours is remembering that I have been hurt deeply by my infatuations ( I guess that is why they call it having a *CRUSH* ) and that after my last one in my 20s I swore off the kind of thinking that allowed infatuations to happen. That pretty much amounted to repeatedly asking myself if I really knew the person yet or if I was falling for an idealized daydream I was making myself.

I never used the contemplation of the body. By that I mean the exercises prescribed to some monks in the suttas which some members kindly quoted here, which I see as cultivating an aversion. My problem with that is rooted in what I see as the anti-sex, self hating and anti-life messages of the puritan influenced aspects of American culture. It is also my belief that the human mind has more options for dealing with clinging than "sour graping" a clinged to object and I see such techniques as demeaning, in most ( not all) situations given what we as people are capable of.

Still, you wrote that it worked for you and that you are happy with the results. That is the bottom line. I don't believe in one size fits all solutions for all people.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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Re: Do you really find the Dhamma inspiring?

Postby Jhana4 » Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:52 pm

TMingyur wrote:
kirk5a wrote:
Jhana4 wrote:I don't find it inspiring to think that the best I can hope for is to work hard on detaching myself from life for the reward of being completely dead when I die.

That doesn't sound very inspiring to me either, put like that. But maybe that's a function of that interpretation of the Dhamma. I look at that as the "There is no life in the void, only death" interpretation. But is that the right way to look at the Dhamma?


No. It is just attachment to the thought "this life" ... "I" ... "mine"

Guess the reason is an overly "intellectual" approach ... a strong inclination toward thinking not "relaxed" by "meditation" practice.



I put the portion of your comment I found to be the most interesting in bold face.

Is it an "overly intellectual approach" to simply read the suttas? I spend 7 - 10 hours a week in meditation ( I keep a log ). I go to an informal sutta study group at my temple about twice a month, so I end up spending about 1 - 2 hours week on suttas. This thread was inspired by simply reading one of the suttas on dependent origination in the last class and feeling like it wasn't inspiring.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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Re: Do you really find the Dhamma inspiring?

Postby Jhana4 » Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:01 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
A_Martin wrote:If body contemplation does not bring up aversion and hateful feelings, then you are doing something wrong!
Āvuso, if any meditation brings up aversion and hate, then it brings up unwholesome mental states. The purpose of insight is to remove unwholesome states and to bring up wholesome states.


That is much closer to where I am coming from than I have so far been able to articulate.

Its probably just confusion regarding the meaning of language,


I've wondered about this point before. I've found the Sangha, various authors, some monks and meditation to be very life affirming and inspiring. What I have failed to see is how they get all of that from the Pali Canon. One of my suppositions is that part of the Dhamma hasn't translated well into the words of the Pali Canon, but has been passed down person to person. Part of me would like to see such a connection between that and the words of the Pali Canon.

Weariness with sensual pleasures and disgust (nibbidā) is not aversion. It is close to dispassion, liberation (from lust and attachment), and nibbāna.


It is probably just my subjective impression of particular words but I find the word "disgust" to be too strong to be grouped with "dispassion". I see the use "disgust" to be another example of your point about the confusion of languages and translations.

No disrespect.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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Re: Do you really find the Dhamma inspiring?

Postby A_Martin » Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:31 pm

to Jhana4
you don't have to be a buddhist, you do not have to believe (all) the buddhist texts and you do not have to do body contemplation. But I am afraid, if you don't wont to be reborn again, then the only way to anagami is the contemplation of the body. So far I encountered two possibilities one if you are really skilled in all the jhanas, especially the arupa jhanas, then contemplation of the body as elements seems to be a way (taught by Lungphu Thete), the others go the hard way of loathsomeness of the body. (the first way I don't know) and I think you are right, the walkable path has been passed down from master to student.
to Bhikkhu Pesala
Dear Bhante, if you think suppression of aversion is a way how to deal with emotions, then I do understand your point, but I meant learn to deal with them in a skillful way, e.g. find the root of the problem and remove it.
Weariness of sensual pleasures ... We are born because of greed and hate, so if we do not find a skillful way how to remove them from the citta, then there is no hope. I can be weary of anger and lust (or even my body) for the rest of my life, this does not - sadly to say - remove it. But maybe, you are following the line of thought of Nanachat monks that teaches that from the point of nibbana, one sees anger and lust arising but one decides not to follow it. But from my understanding of the Teaching of the Lord Buddha and a very clear description of Than Acharn Maha Bua. Lust and Anger does not even arise any more in an Anagami! And there are no more kilesas in the heart of the Arahant - they have been completely destroyed. The Lord Buddha teaches the builder of the house has been destroyed, he does not teach that he has been recognized.

:smile: For me I sit back and enjoy and wish with all my heart and give you all my metta, that your views and opinions are going to lead you to the end of suffering, if you aspire so :smile:

The reason for me to engage was to help and indirectly or directly I could be of help to wizard in the forest and this makes me happy. I think in another thread, I could help also starter, so that makes me even more happier. May those who I displeased forgive me. Bye Bye
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