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New Book on Mindfulness by Thanissaro Bhikkhu - Dhamma Wheel

New Book on Mindfulness by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
Goob
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New Book on Mindfulness by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Postby Goob » Sun Aug 12, 2012 8:57 am

I have always been impressed by Thanissaro Bhikkhu's skill in explaining the words of the Buddha in a very coherent and in a - to me - intuitively logical way and I'm always looking forward to his new books and writings. And today I found this, just released yesterday:

I haven't read it yet but I am looking forward to it and It seems very promising and perhaps a wee bit controversial since he's known to be very critical of the so-called Vipassana/Goenka movement's understanding of Mindfulness/sati as an open unreflexive awareness.

Anyway, enjoy!

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Anagarika
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Re: New Book on Mindfulness by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Postby Anagarika » Sun Aug 12, 2012 3:00 pm

Thanks, Richard. I'm looking forward to reading this asap this week.

I have visited Ajahn Thanissaro's Wat Metta many times, and on one occasion, he asked one of the younger Bhikkhus to gather an entire box of his books (30+ pounds) so that I could send them to some friends of mine at a Wat in Thailand. All of these books were free, and in fact, Ajahn Geoff has never charged for his books.

Being at Wat Metta (San Diego, California, USA) is a good experience, too. Ajahn Geoff is a very serious man, he is clearly an Abbot in charge, but while he is somewhat reserved, just as a Dean of a great university might be, he's also friendly, willing to engage when there's a solid discussion ongoing, and he's a strong mentor to the monks, novices, and lay sangha at his Wat. I noted that he's most engaged when the Thai laity in at the temple, and he literally sat on the floor with them speaking Thai and organizing a calendar that was being put together. I get the sense that while he's somewhat reserved with the US public that just drops in at the Wat, he's very connected with the Thai people at the temple, reflecting his deep roots in Thailand. I really respected this about him. He's not a schmoozer looking for donations, or a 'businessman' as I've seen in Thailand with some Abbots...he's a brilliant man with a brilliant mind and an excellent writer, who seems happiest sitting with the Thai people working on a calendar, or with the younger monks reading that day's foreign press. And, with every book he writes, he gives them away for free, as the Buddha expressed.

If anyone ever has doubts about the health or longevity of Theravada in the West, a visit to Wat Metta will restore your faith should it ever wain.

Goob
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Re: New Book on Mindfulness by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Postby Goob » Sun Aug 12, 2012 6:24 pm

Hi Buddhasoup,

Yeah, I'm gonna get on it asap too, too bad I'm working a bit too much, I think it could really benefit my practice and overall understanding.

Funny that you mention staying at Wat Metta, I just asked permission to stay for a couple of months sometime in 2013 and Than Geoff said I was welcome. I hope I can make it (I live in northern Europe), it seems like a beautiful place.

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mikenz66
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Re: New Book on Mindfulness by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Aug 12, 2012 7:27 pm

Thanks Richard,

It looks good. Ajahn Thanissaro always has interesting perspectives. It's great that we have such good access to various interpretations of the Dhamma.

Since his targets of criticism are presented in such a cartoon manner, it seems unlikely that he is talking about any serious Buddhist teachers, so I don't see it as particularly controversial.

:anjali:
Mike

Goob
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Re: New Book on Mindfulness by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Postby Goob » Sun Aug 12, 2012 8:06 pm

Mikenz66: No worries. Well, controversial or not (and I'm sure the intention is not to be controversial at all) just out of childish curiosity I googled one of the anonymous quotes found in the beginning chapters and it belongs to a very well-known and respected, asian theravada monk. Not that it matters tho, but hey, it's a forum ;)

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Re: New Book on Mindfulness by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Aug 12, 2012 8:26 pm

Hi Richard,

No problem. I don't recognise anything I've learned (from mostly Mahasi-style teachers) in his criticisms, so I don't find his statements particularly controversial. In fact, some aspects of Ven Thanissaro's instructions are very similar in concept to the Mahasi approach. I discussed some of these issues in this thread:
www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=41& ... 80#p174180

Of course, beginner introductions or sound bites can always create a false impression. Ajahn Chah is particulary susceptible to trivialisation by sound bite...

:anjali:
Mike

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gavesako
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Re: New Book on Mindfulness by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Postby gavesako » Sun Aug 12, 2012 8:49 pm

It would not be difficult to trace the quotes in his book which, as he writes, misrepresent the Buddha's teachings on mindfulness. In fact, if you have listened to his less formal Dhamma talks, he does drop a name or two occasionally... But his justification for presenting a valid criticism of teachings, not of persons, is well taken. It is based on the Buddha's instructions on How to Teach Dhamma:

Anguttara Nikaya 5:159
It is not easy to teach dhamma to others.
Concerning the teaching of dhamma to others, only after five things have been internally established is dhamma to be taught to others. What five?
1. “I shall speak a graduated discourse…“
2. “I shall speak a discourse that is insightfully-arranged…“
3. “I shall speak a discourse grounded upon caring…“
4. “I shall speak a discourse without motivation for personal gain…“
5. “I shall speak a discourse without disparaging myself or others…“
…thus is dhamma to be taught to others.

http://www.dharma.org/ij/archives/2000b/ss_teaching.htm
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

- Theravada texts
- Translations and history of Pali texts
- Sutta translations

danieLion
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Re: New Book on Mindfulness by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Postby danieLion » Sun Aug 12, 2012 9:36 pm

Deleted by author:
It was unfair of me to try influence the discussion with over generalizations.

Please accept my sincerest apologies.

I've learned valuable things from all the teachers I mentioned. It was disrespectful of me towards all of them to cast them in the light I did.

Best,
Daniel
Last edited by danieLion on Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

danieLion
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Re: New Book on Mindfulness by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Postby danieLion » Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:12 pm

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tiltbillings
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Re: New Book on Mindfulness by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:44 pm


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Re: New Book on Mindfulness by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Postby danieLion » Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:59 pm

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robertk
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Re: New Book on Mindfulness by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Postby robertk » Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:14 am


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retrofuturist
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Re: New Book on Mindfulness by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:17 am

Greetings Robert,

It's unclear from your citation whether you're quoting from:

- Katthavatthu
- "From the commentary [by Buddhaghosa]"

The first being canonical, the second not. Can you clarify?

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

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robertk
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Re: New Book on Mindfulness by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Postby robertk » Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:29 am

The actual Katthavathu makes the point that sound can't be heard in jhana. Buddhaghosa elaborates in the commentray to it.

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retrofuturist
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Re: New Book on Mindfulness by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Aug 13, 2012 2:08 am

Greetings Robert,

Cool - thanks.

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

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Anagarika
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Re: New Book on Mindfulness by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Postby Anagarika » Mon Aug 13, 2012 2:35 am


danieLion
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Re: New Book on Mindfulness by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Postby danieLion » Mon Aug 13, 2012 3:04 am

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Re: New Book on Mindfulness by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Postby danieLion » Mon Aug 13, 2012 3:08 am


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tiltbillings
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Re: New Book on Mindfulness by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Aug 13, 2012 3:14 am


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tiltbillings
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Re: New Book on Mindfulness by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

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