Confirmation

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Zenainder
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Confirmation

Postby Zenainder » Sat Jun 29, 2013 3:15 am

Hey forum!

I hope you are all well and happy. I am on my flight back home from Taiwan. Before arriving there, though, I had read and heard that Buddhism was common in the country. Naturally, I sought temples only to find folk tradition, 1000's of gods, few monastics, and no knowledge of meditation. Mahayanna.

It is ironic as when I first journeyed into Buddhism through some Tibetan teachings of the dhamma, at first, I was considering following the teachings through them. After some research and consideration, I avoided the tradition as I felt it was unorthodox some how (don't ask how I knew it at the time, just was unsettled by it). And so my journey turned towards Theravada.

After having visited Taiwan, I need little console now to know that I am on the right path; even if Theravada is not 100% "original" (however that may be defined), but it seems to me to be the most balanced. The focus on the suttas and a keeping things as original as possible has gifted this tradition, imho, as a viable and effective means to realization. As I like to say it has little "bull shit" added.

Who knew that a business trip could be of such assistance on the spiritual path?

:)

Metta,

Zen
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cooran
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Re: Confirmation

Postby cooran » Sat Jun 29, 2013 9:47 am

Hello Z.,

Glad to hear something good came out of your trip! :smile:

With metta,
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

chownah
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Re: Confirmation

Postby chownah » Sat Jun 29, 2013 10:49 am

Zenainder,
If you had stopped at a Theravada country and examined some of the temples you very well may have come away with the same bad feelings as you did from your Mahayana temple visits......the reality of Buddhist daily practice as done by the bulk of Buddhists is not very attractive to one who wants to follow what the Buddha taught without a lot of extraneous influences.
chownah

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Zenainder
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Re: Confirmation

Postby Zenainder » Sat Jun 29, 2013 6:19 pm

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mikenz66
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Re: Confirmation

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Jun 29, 2013 8:48 pm

I'm not sure it's a simple matter of "wayward temples". Though I'm sure there are some (perhaps many) "wayward temples" there is likely to be a large variety of both monks and lay people at any monastery. I would make a few points:
1. The Buddha taught a gradual path, which begins with dana and sila. It's not just a path of renunciation and meditation.
2. A large number of lay supporters is required to keep a monastery afloat. Take away the "non-serious" supporters (and the supporters with deep pockets) and there probably wouldn't be a monastery. It's those people who make it possible for others to pursue meditation practice and so on.
3. My experience is that some of those who might easily be mistaken to be not particularly serious, are, in fact, very advanced in some aspects. I've learned a lot from some of those people.

I would be careful about dismissing lay people who live a virtuous life, come in early in the morning to provide breakfast for the Bhikkhus, make donations, do chores around the monastery, and pay respect to the Buddha and Sangha as dumbed down.

:anjali:
Mike

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Zenainder
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Re: Confirmation

Postby Zenainder » Sat Jun 29, 2013 9:09 pm

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mikenz66
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Re: Confirmation

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Jun 29, 2013 9:30 pm

Hi Zenainder,

I certainly have the same impression from visiting Mahayana temples in Hong Kong and China. However, as Chownah says, if you visit a few famous temples in Bangkok will probably get a similar impression (though they thankfully don't have the incense sticks as big as your arm that I've seen in China :)). And when I visit such places, I probably don't seem particularly serious either --- I'm just another tourist. Yet there are obviously serious Buddhist in Thailand --- I know a few of them...

In any Buddhist country there is going to be a wide variety of seriousness. As I said before you left, my fellow countryman Ven Huifeng (who is certainly serious) is at Fo Guang Shan. Unfortunately that would probably have been a bit of a trip from where you were.

:anjali:
Mike

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Zenainder
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Re: Confirmation

Postby Zenainder » Sat Jun 29, 2013 10:01 pm

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mikenz66
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Re: Confirmation

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Jun 29, 2013 10:18 pm

Zenainder,

Fo Guang Shan is a Mayahana group:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fo_Guang_Shan
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_R ... ounty.html

Here's Shi Huifeng when he was still a PhD candidate: http://hcbss.stanford.edu/event/between ... -knowledge

:anjali:
Mike

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Zenainder
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Re: Confirmation

Postby Zenainder » Sat Jun 29, 2013 11:39 pm

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mikenz66
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Re: Confirmation

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Jun 30, 2013 1:16 am

Hi Zenainder,
You can read Ven Huifeng's posts here:
http://www.dhammawheel.com/search.php?a ... 2&sr=posts
http://www.dharmawheel.net/search.php?a ... 4&sr=posts
but I'd certainly rate him as highly serious... :sage:

:anjali:
Mike

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Zenainder
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Re: Confirmation

Postby Zenainder » Sun Jun 30, 2013 1:31 am

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IanAnd
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Re: Confirmation

Postby IanAnd » Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:55 am

"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV

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Zenainder
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Re: Confirmation

Postby Zenainder » Sun Jun 30, 2013 3:38 pm

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Zenainder
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Re: Confirmation

Postby Zenainder » Sun Jun 30, 2013 3:40 pm

Forum,

Also, please do not mistake me, I left with more resolve and inspiration as the amount of devotion to building those temples and maintaining them is by a donation base. And Taiwan has 1,000's of these places of worship. The "disappointment" was drowned out by their devotion and inspired within me further devotion to my practice. In short, I left with a smile. ;)

Zen
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