Sujin Boriharnwanaket discussion...

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation
User avatar
Beautiful Breath
Posts: 162
Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 10:25 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: South West England, UK
Contact:

Sujin Boriharnwanaket discussion...

Postby Beautiful Breath » Tue May 07, 2013 3:04 pm

I have started this thread as I and others would like to look more at what Sujin Boriharnwanaket teaches. There seems to be some contraversy about her take on actual formal practice and its efficacy so that might be a start.

As I have said, I am relatively new to Pali and don't understand a half of what I do in Sanskrit so please, if this thread does take off, maybe you could bear this in mind and offer a little explanation for those terms in Pali that you use...?

It would be good to see this happen but I am happy either way :anjali:

User avatar
ancientbuddhism
Posts: 687
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:53 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1006
Location: Cyberia

Re: Sujin Boriharnwanaket discussion...

Postby ancientbuddhism » Tue May 07, 2013 11:18 pm

Theravada Emptiness: The Abhidhammic theory of Ajaan Sujin Boriharnwanaket– Matthew Kosuta (2007)

Ajaan Sujin, a prominent Thai lay teacher of Theravada Buddhism, interprets abhidhammic theory in a manner that, in my view, approaches the teachings of Emptiness as presented in the Prajñā-paramitā-sūtras and in the Madhyamaka-kārikā. This paper presents an overview of Ajaan Sujin’s teachings and compares them with Emptiness as expressed in the Diamond Sūtra, the Heart Sūtra, and the Madhyamaka-kārikā, as well as from a few well-known secondary sources. Core distinctions between the two theories do remain, primarily that for Ajaan Sujin dhammas do have characteristics and nibbāna is distinct from samsāra; thus I have termed Ajaan Sujin’s teachings ‘Theravada Emptiness’. While it may seem that these distinctions are too great to overcome in bridging the gap between abhidhammic theory and Emptiness, a direct comparison between the wording of certain sections and the overall correspondence of vocabulary, practice, and other conceptions, serves to narrow the divide created by these distinctions.
Last edited by ancientbuddhism on Wed May 08, 2013 12:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Anuvicca papañca nāmarūpaṃ
ajjhattaṃ bahiddhā ca rogamūlaṃ,
sabbarogamūlabandhanā pamutto
anuvidito tādi pavuccate tathattā
.

“Having known the naming of objects,
With its proliferation, its root in illness – within and without;
One is released from bondage to the root of all illness.
And thus is called the Knowing One – the Such.

– Sn. 3.6 (Sabhiyasuttaṃ)

Secure your own mask before assisting others. – NORTHWEST AIRLINES (Pre-Flight Instruction)

A Handful of Leaves

User avatar
Beautiful Breath
Posts: 162
Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 10:25 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: South West England, UK
Contact:

Re: Sujin Boriharnwanaket discussion...

Postby Beautiful Breath » Wed May 08, 2013 8:37 am

ancientbuddhism wrote:Theravada Emptiness: The Abhidhammic theory of Ajaan Sujin Boriharnwanaket– Matthew Kosuta (2007)

Ajaan Sujin, a prominent Thai lay teacher of Theravada Buddhism, interprets abhidhammic theory in a manner that, in my view, approaches the teachings of Emptiness as presented in the Prajñā-paramitā-sūtras and in the Madhyamaka-kārikā. This paper presents an overview of Ajaan Sujin’s teachings and compares them with Emptiness as expressed in the Diamond Sūtra, the Heart Sūtra, and the Madhyamaka-kārikā, as well as from a few well-known secondary sources. Core distinctions between the two theories do remain, primarily that for Ajaan Sujin dhammas do have characteristics and nibbāna is distinct from samsāra; thus I have termed Ajaan Sujin’s teachings ‘Theravada Emptiness’. While it may seem that these distinctions are too great to overcome in bridging the gap between abhidhammic theory and Emptiness, a direct comparison between the wording of certain sections and the overall correspondence of vocabulary, practice, and other conceptions, serves to narrow the divide created by these distinctions.



Sounds perfect...not got an account with Scribd I am afraid.

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 10800
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001
Location: New Zealand

Re: Sujin Boriharnwanaket discussion...

Postby mikenz66 » Wed May 08, 2013 9:14 am

It's quite an interesting article. I can read it because my institution has various journal subscription packages. Others at Universities may be able to do the same. Some of the discussions he reports are eerily reminiscent of discussions here and elsewhere with Sujin students:
During the group discussion I asked whether this teaching was not teaching mechanical predeterminism as we apparently started at some point in the past and now simply move through time until we chance on the right conditions and accumulations to set us free. I reminded them of the theory proposed by the Buddha's contemporaries, the Ajivakas, where out time in samsara simply unwinds like a ball of string, no matter what actions we 'think' we are taking. Our actions are pointless as tehy are not our actions at all. I was told that there are too many factors for one to know how the future would play out, so it is not determined.


:anjali:
Mike

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 20081
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001

Re: Sujin Boriharnwanaket discussion...

Postby tiltbillings » Wed May 08, 2013 9:24 am

mikenz66 wrote:It's quite an interesting article. I can read it because my institution has various journal subscription packages. Others at Universities may be able to do the same. Some of the discussions he reports are eerily reminiscent of discussions here and elsewhere with Sujin students:
During the group discussion I asked whether this teaching was not teaching mechanical predeterminism as we apparently started at some point in the past and now simply move through time until we chance on the right conditions and accumulations to set us free. I reminded them of the theory proposed by the Buddha's contemporaries, the Ajivakas, where out time in samsara simply unwinds like a ball of string, no matter what actions we 'think' we are taking. Our actions are pointless as tehy are not our actions at all. I was told that there are too many factors for one to know how the future would play out, so it is not determined.


:anjali:
Mike
I was told that there are too many factors for one to know how the future would play out, so it is not determined. Which is, of course, not really an answer to the question.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 10800
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001
Location: New Zealand

Re: Sujin Boriharnwanaket discussion...

Postby mikenz66 » Wed May 08, 2013 9:47 am

That's part of what I meant about eerie. Answers that don't address the point.

I'm sure we've had the ball of string discussion here somewhere...

:anjali:
Mike

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 20081
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001

Re: Sujin Boriharnwanaket discussion...

Postby tiltbillings » Wed May 08, 2013 9:57 am

mikenz66 wrote:That's part of what I meant about eerie. Answers that don't address the point.

I'm sure we've had the ball of string discussion here somewhere...

:anjali:
Mike
Retro unrolled it in response to dhamma_follower's comment about the nature of dhamma causality. I do not believe DF responded to retro's comment. It is in the "causes" thread.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 20081
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001

Re: Sujin Boriharnwanaket discussion...

Postby tiltbillings » Wed May 08, 2013 10:04 am

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=15952&start=840#p244025

    retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

    dhamma follower wrote:It is beyond anyone's control whether there's right consideration or not.

    dhamma follower wrote:These conditions are them-selves also dhammas which have their own conditions to arise. Like now, can you say let’s the sense of urgency arise in me, and then it will arise? But when by conditions ( thanks to hearing the Dhamma and reflecting wisely), it does arise at a non-predicted moment, it conditions right effort to perform its own functions. At that moment, there’s kamma which leads to the beyond.


    fa·tal·ism
    /ˈfātlˌizəm/
    Noun
    1. The belief that all events are predetermined and therefore inevitable.
    2. A submissive attitude to events, resulting from such a belief.

    Dhammafollower... what do you make of the following statement, in particular the bolded portion?

    There is no shortening or lengthening, no accelerating or decelerating. Just as a ball of string, when thrown, comes to its end simply by unwinding, in the same way, having transmigrated and wandered on, the wise and the foolish alike will put an end to pain.'

    Metta,
    Retro. :)

DF did respond:

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=15952&start=920#p244550

    dhamma follower wrote:
    retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

    dhamma follower wrote:It is beyond anyone's control whether there's right consideration or not.

    dhamma follower wrote:These conditions are them-selves also dhammas which have their own conditions to arise. Like now, can you say let’s the sense of urgency arise in me, and then it will arise? But when by conditions ( thanks to hearing the Dhamma and reflecting wisely), it does arise at a non-predicted moment, it conditions right effort to perform its own functions. At that moment, there’s kamma which leads to the beyond.


    fa·tal·ism
    /ˈfātlˌizəm/
    Noun
    1. The belief that all events are predetermined and therefore inevitable.
    2. A submissive attitude to events, resulting from such a belief.

    Dhammafollower... what do you make of the following statement, in particular the bolded portion?

    There is no shortening or lengthening, no accelerating or decelerating. Just as a ball of string, when thrown, comes to its end simply by unwinding, in the same way, having transmigrated and wandered on, the wise and the foolish alike will put an end to pain.'

    Metta,
    Retro. :)


    Dear Retro,

    I think there's samsara and the way out of samsara, the Eight Noblefold Path, which is taught by the Buddha. And I also think that although there is a Path, there is no walker of the Path. The factors of the Path are elements which have the cause as hearing the Dhamma taught by a Sammasambudha and right consideration of it, which is also a conditioned element.

    I am aware that the arguments we present here can be easily misunderstood to be a statement of fatalism. Actually, whether thinking that one should do something, or one should not do something, both can be an expression of the idea of a self. The truth is that dependent on what is heard and how it has been understood, some people will go worshiping fire, others will go to a meditation centers, others to a cave, others read Dhamma books...However, I don't consider that those activities are in them-selves the Path. A moment of right understanding can occur any time. And when it occurs, it should understand that whatever arises, arises by conditions. But without hearing the words of the Enlightened ones, that would be impossible, that's why the appearance of a Sammasambuddha is such a great event.

    I would comment on the passage you quoted should I see the whole context of it. Also, English being not my mother tongue, when the meaning is not clear, I prefer to refrain from commenting.

    Brgds,

    D.F

And, of course, we see no real attempt at addressing retro's point here. Variations of the question have been raised in the "causes" thread and they have been pretty much ignored or side-stepped.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

Nyana
Posts: 2227
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: Sujin Boriharnwanaket discussion...

Postby Nyana » Wed May 08, 2013 9:49 pm

Beautiful Breath wrote:
ancientbuddhism wrote:Theravada Emptiness: The Abhidhammic theory of Ajaan Sujin Boriharnwanaket– Matthew Kosuta (2007)

Ajaan Sujin, a prominent Thai lay teacher of Theravada Buddhism, interprets abhidhammic theory in a manner that, in my view, approaches the teachings of Emptiness as presented in the Prajñā-paramitā-sūtras and in the Madhyamaka-kārikā. This paper presents an overview of Ajaan Sujin’s teachings and compares them with Emptiness as expressed in the Diamond Sūtra, the Heart Sūtra, and the Madhyamaka-kārikā, as well as from a few well-known secondary sources. Core distinctions between the two theories do remain, primarily that for Ajaan Sujin dhammas do have characteristics and nibbāna is distinct from samsāra; thus I have termed Ajaan Sujin’s teachings ‘Theravada Emptiness’. While it may seem that these distinctions are too great to overcome in bridging the gap between abhidhammic theory and Emptiness, a direct comparison between the wording of certain sections and the overall correspondence of vocabulary, practice, and other conceptions, serves to narrow the divide created by these distinctions.



Sounds perfect...not got an account with Scribd I am afraid.

I'm not altogether familiar with Sujin Boriharnwanaket's teachings other than what has been discussed here on DW, but from what has been discussed here I don't see any significant connections between her teachings and the Prajñāparamitā sūtras & Indian Madhyamaka treatises either in terms of view or practice.

In terms of view, the two truths of classical Theravāda commentaries which Sujin Boriharnwanaket accepts are not the same as the two truths of Nāgārjuna, et al. The ultimates according to the Theravāda commentaries are considered to be conventional according to mādhyamikas. As such, they are merely conceptual designations.

In terms of practice, both the Prajñāparamitā sūtras and Madhyamaka treatises emphasize the development of meditation as an integral and necessary part of the bodhisattva path. This is explicit in Madhyamaka sources such as the Śikṣāsamuccaya compendium of training compiled by Śāntideva and the three Bhāvanākramas by Kamalaśīla, which are instructions specifically on how to engage in the stages of meditation practice (i.e. bhāvanākrama).

It seems to me that Kosuta hasn't understood the view or practice as presented in the Prajñāparamitā sūtras and Madhyamaka treatises in their own traditional exegetical context.

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 10800
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001
Location: New Zealand

Re: Sujin Boriharnwanaket discussion...

Postby mikenz66 » Thu May 09, 2013 5:58 am

Hi Geoff,

Have you read the article? Kosuta does seem to acknowledge the differences that you mention.

:anjali:
Mike

Nyana
Posts: 2227
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: Sujin Boriharnwanaket discussion...

Postby Nyana » Thu May 09, 2013 6:12 am

mikenz66 wrote:Have you read the article? Kosuta does seem to acknowledge the differences that you mention.

Yes, I read through it. The differences are significant and I don't see any meaningful parallels.

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 10800
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001
Location: New Zealand

Re: Sujin Boriharnwanaket discussion...

Postby mikenz66 » Thu May 09, 2013 6:46 am

Thanks for the clarification, Geoff. I don't have enough background to assess the Mahayana comparisons.

:anjali:
Mike

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 20081
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001

Re: Sujin Boriharnwanaket discussion...

Postby tiltbillings » Thu May 09, 2013 9:00 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:Have you read the article? Kosuta does seem to acknowledge the differences that you mention.

Yes, I read through it. The differences are significant and I don't see any meaningful parallels.
The author of the article had little real understanding of the Mahayana. It would have been far more interesting taking the Sujin notions of the Abdhidhamma and comparing with a more standard take on the subject.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 10800
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001
Location: New Zealand

Re: Sujin Boriharnwanaket discussion...

Postby mikenz66 » Thu May 09, 2013 9:28 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:Have you read the article? Kosuta does seem to acknowledge the differences that you mention.

Yes, I read through it. The differences are significant and I don't see any meaningful parallels.
The author of the article had little real understanding of the Mahayana. It would have been far more interesting taking the Sujin notions of the Abdhidhamma and comparing with a more standard take on the subject.


Yes, given the introduction:
Having studied Theravada Buddhism in Myanmar, I was exposed to heavy doses of abhidhammic teachings...

it seems like a missed opportunity. Though, perhaps, a comparison of the understanding and use of Abhidhamma by Burmese scholars and meditation teachers with the Sujin interpretation would not be considered sufficiently interesting to a scholarly journal.

:anjali:
Mike

User avatar
Beautiful Breath
Posts: 162
Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 10:25 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: South West England, UK
Contact:

Re: Sujin Boriharnwanaket discussion...

Postby Beautiful Breath » Tue May 14, 2013 8:10 am

I struggled with much of what (I understood) Sujin Boriharnwanaket to be saying. Though I have to say I started this thread in order to understand her more as I am natuarally suspicious of my conclusions.

With regards tpo Nargajuna et al... I am afraid I have yet to come across a viable refutation of the Prasangika view. If there is one I would be most interested!

In the interim and back to the original post, could someone sum up the main differences between Sujin Boriharnwanakets' take on 'reality' and its major difference with the Madhyamika Prasangika. I am not sufficiently well versed in Pali to pick this out as yet so a resume would be appreciated!

Thanks,

BB...

Nyana
Posts: 2227
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: Sujin Boriharnwanaket discussion...

Postby Nyana » Tue May 14, 2013 8:20 am

Beautiful Breath wrote:In the interim and back to the original post, could someone sum up the main differences between Sujin Boriharnwanakets' take on 'reality' and its major difference with the Madhyamika Prasangika. I am not sufficiently well versed in Pali to pick this out as yet so a resume would be appreciated!

For the Theravāda commentaries, mind (citta), mental factors (cetasika), form (rūpa) and nibbāna are all ultimately existent and real. It's a realist school.

For mādhyamikas (there's no need to distinguish between prasaṅgika & svātantrika here), mind and form, etc., are conventional and not ultimates.

The ultimates according to the Theravāda commentaries are considered to be conventional according to mādhyamikas.

Is that clear enough?

User avatar
Beautiful Breath
Posts: 162
Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 10:25 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: South West England, UK
Contact:

Re: Sujin Boriharnwanaket discussion...

Postby Beautiful Breath » Tue May 14, 2013 12:40 pm

Yep clear as a bell...

But the mādhyamikas have 'proved' their case....haven't they? I see nothing anywhere that contradicts or refutes them. If there is, let me know - would help with my Theravadain/Mādhyamikas Nerosis!

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 20081
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001

Re: Sujin Boriharnwanaket discussion...

Postby tiltbillings » Tue May 14, 2013 1:26 pm

Beautiful Breath wrote:Yep clear as a bell...

But the mādhyamikas have 'proved' their case....haven't they? I see nothing anywhere that contradicts or refutes them. If there is, let me know - would help with my Theravadain/Mādhyamikas Nerosis!
Keep in mind that one does not need to buy into the later "ultimate realities" stuff of the later Abhidhamma, which Sujin idiosyncratically represents.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

Nyana
Posts: 2227
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: Sujin Boriharnwanaket discussion...

Postby Nyana » Tue May 14, 2013 4:30 pm

Beautiful Breath wrote:But the mādhyamikas have 'proved' their case....haven't they? I see nothing anywhere that contradicts or refutes them. If there is, let me know - would help with my Theravadain/Mādhyamikas Nerosis!

I think Madhyamaka can be useful, and doesn't contradict anything in the Pāli Nikāyas. And as Tilt suggests, there's no need to posit dhammas as "ultimate realities" in the first place.

As for whether or not mādhyamikas have made their case: they have if you accept mādhyamika reasoning. Of course, not everyone does accept mādhyamika reasoning, and that's fine too.

User avatar
Beautiful Breath
Posts: 162
Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 10:25 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: South West England, UK
Contact:

Re: Sujin Boriharnwanaket discussion...

Postby Beautiful Breath » Wed May 15, 2013 11:41 am

So would it be fair to say mādhyamika can sit comfortabley in a Theravadin context?


Return to “Open Dhamma”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 10 guests