Why Theravada?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Re: Why Theravada?

Postby daverupa » Fri Oct 04, 2013 2:44 pm

Dan74 wrote:First, the origin. My knowledge of the Lotus is quite sketchy, but it is a compendium of different teachings with different origins, right? Are they outright inventions, poetic works of the disciples? Are they wisdom of realized noble ones? Are they received wisdom generations after generations that purportedly had origins in Shakyamunivacana before written down? A mix of all of the above and more? I don't know.


Again, one must make reference to Awakened Ones according to the historical Buddha's teachings, and only then can one claim those results are capable of being consequents via other teachings. There goes the flagpole.

What I do know is that Buddhadhamma would indeed be a strange teaching if it said 'only listen to the Nikayas. Even though this Dhamma leads to liberation, whomsoever attains liberation, he or she should not teach, nor should you follow his or her teachings. And what is more, his or her teachings will always be inferior to my teachings.'


Unfortunate.

:strawman:

Dan74 wrote:As far as I discern the teachings I had received in Mahayana and the teachings I have read and heard in Theravada, have one goal - liberation of all sentient beings from greed, hatred and delusion.


The underlined aspect is nowhere in the Nikayas - another example of ignoring them when Mahayana tenets are afoot. Buddha-Nature is yet another example.

If you aren't skewered on horns such as these, I am at an utter loss. The experience of cognitive dissonance and ad hoc rationalization as a result of trying to hold these ideas in mind at the same time is unavoidable in my case.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Why Theravada?

Postby Dan74 » Fri Oct 04, 2013 3:06 pm

daverupa wrote:
Dan74 wrote:First, the origin. My knowledge of the Lotus is quite sketchy, but it is a compendium of different teachings with different origins, right? Are they outright inventions, poetic works of the disciples? Are they wisdom of realized noble ones? Are they received wisdom generations after generations that purportedly had origins in Shakyamunivacana before written down? A mix of all of the above and more? I don't know.


Again, one must make reference to Awakened Ones according to the historical Buddha's teachings, and only then can one claim those results are capable of being consequents via other teachings. There goes the flagpole.

What I do know is that Buddhadhamma would indeed be a strange teaching if it said 'only listen to the Nikayas. Even though this Dhamma leads to liberation, whomsoever attains liberation, he or she should not teach, nor should you follow his or her teachings. And what is more, his or her teachings will always be inferior to my teachings.'


Unfortunate.

:strawman:


I am afraid I don't follow.

Dan74 wrote:As far as I discern the teachings I had received in Mahayana and the teachings I have read and heard in Theravada, have one goal - liberation of all sentient beings from greed, hatred and delusion.


The underlined aspect is nowhere in the Nikayas - another example of ignoring them when Mahayana tenets are afoot. Buddha-Nature is yet another example.

If you aren't skewered on horns such as these, I am at an utter loss. The experience of cognitive dissonance and ad hoc rationalization as a result of trying to hold these ideas in mind at the same time is unavoidable in my case.



Liberation of all beings is what the Buddha worked for. Cultivating for oneself and others is taught as being supreme in Pali Canon. I hardly see that liberation of all sentient beings is something contrary to the Buddhadhamma as it is taught in the Pali Canon. I think we are speaking two different languages here - for me the teachings, including the Bodhisattva Vows are first and foremost about practice - what do they mean for me as a human being and Buddhist practitioner? It means I try not to cling to the notion of my own welfare as the main motivator for practice. It means that I reorient myself to serving others rather than myself. A pretty good stratagem for uprooting the obsession with the Self if you ask me and not bad for the people around me either, if I succeed to any extent at all.

Similarly for Buddha Nature, which is a concept not at all foreign to the Canon or Thai Theravada. In Mayahana itself, there is a spectrum of approaches to it from classical Madhyamaka to hardcore Yogacara and various compromises. Again, what does it mean to me? In all schools we are warned not to reify, not to abide in any position or state, no matter how pleasant. Whether there is a ground of some sort or not, whether Buddha nature is just a term for liberated state, the unconditioned, these are just speculations and I'd rather concern myself with practice. It is encouraging to believe that liberation, far from being some exalted state, is already here, and we just need to remove the garbage in order for it to manifest.

Maybe this is at odds with Theravada? I am not sure, but in both cases, there is clinging to delusion and once it is relinquished, liberation shines through, whether it is conceived of as preexisting or manifesting afterwards, is mostly academic. When the clouds part, the sun shines forth. The important bit is allowing the clouds to pass.

Again, people like Joseph Goldstein, Ajahn Amaro, Phra Khantipalo and others who have studied with Mahayana teachers following very serious immersion in Theravada must've resolved the cognitive dissonance or bypassed it in some way. It is worth reflecting on. I've also recently come across the following interesting quote from Bhikkhu Bodhi:

I don’t have much connection with either Vajrayāna or Zen, but I’ve read many of the Mahāyāna sutras, including some of the more obscure ones not translated into English. My opinion is that, while quite a few go to extremes in expressions of faith and doctrine, their emphasis on the compassionate motivation and attitude behind Dharma practice is necessary to give a more balanced presentation of Dharma than can be offered by a version that overstresses the ascetic and world-renouncing aspects. Both aspects have to keep each other in balance.


http://www.mengstupiditis.com/2013/01/bhikkhu-bodhi-on-kindness-and.html
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Re: Why Theravada?

Postby daverupa » Fri Oct 04, 2013 3:32 pm

Dan74 wrote:I am afraid I don't follow.


In short, the Lotus Sutra - and all Mahayana, to say nothing of Abhidhamma and Commentaries and whatnot - are derivative works, of at best equivalent practical value to modern commentaries and teachings (setting aside their historical value and so forth). The Nikayas/Agamas form a requisite foundation for these latter-day discussions, else you may as well bring in the Zhuangzi and the Eddas.

And the other piece was a strawman argument, which was called unfortunate and set aside.

Dan74 wrote:Liberation of all beings is what the Buddha worked for... Cultivating for oneself and others is taught as being supreme in Pali Canon.


Liberation of all beings is what the Buddha offered, the Buddha never taught how to transfer merit between people, and the Buddha advised someone on their deathbed who was worried about the liberation of others to attend to their own situation first. Communal efforts are lauded and kalyanamitta are essential to the holy life, but dwell as an island (with no other refuge than the Dhamma, I note, which at the time was either the Nikayas or, perhaps, even LESS text than that).

for me the teachings, including the Bodhisattva Vows...


Those Vows aren't teachings of the Buddha. It's illegitimate to say "the teachings" as if they are all of a kind when you are pulling in these disparate, late ideas.

Similarly for Buddha Nature, which is a concept not at all foreign to the Canon... whether Buddha nature is just a term for liberated state, the unconditioned, these are just speculations...


Speculations about a topic never brought up by the Buddha. You may as well speculate about Yggdrasil and call it "dwelling at the root of a tree".

I remain utterly confused. But, I shall not continue to clutter the thread.
Last edited by daverupa on Fri Oct 04, 2013 3:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Why Theravada?

Postby Dan74 » Fri Oct 04, 2013 3:40 pm

OK, Dave, I don't see a constructive end to this debate and we are just going to bore the others. So I will bow out. If you are interested in pursuing this, please feel free to PM.
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Re: Why Theravada?

Postby kc2dpt » Fri Oct 04, 2013 6:13 pm

Dan74 wrote:Up until the point when Kusala posted that Venerable's video, people have been expressing their opinions. But once there is a public statement by a Venerable who dismisses an entire Buddhist tradition as having no taste of liberation...

No where in that video does the monk "dismisses an entire Buddhist tradition as having no taste of liberation".
Or maybe I missed it? Please let me know the timestamp of where he says that.

Besides it is even against the ToS, I believe.

If you think a post is against the TOS then I think it is better to report the post than to hijack a thread.

there is a world of difference between saying "I don't really get X" or "X doesn't appeal to me" and "X is crap". Or am I being pedantic?

In my opinion, you are being pedantic. One is more polite than the other, but I think anything anyone says on this forum is "in their opinion" or "according to their understanding". We are all just people talking. Even that monk.

Peter, I don't think you are being fair.

And I don't think it's fair to ask Theravadins in a Theravada forum "Since our stuff is better than your stuff, why did you choose your stuff?" and then when people answer "Cause I think your stuff isn't good," you get offended. Don't ask the question if you don't want the answer.

-----

Here's my summary of this thread, how it looks to me:

OP: "Korean Seon practices cut out a lot of talk and conjecture going straight to the core. Hwadu practices are a direct path to Enlightenment. Given this, why would you choose Theravada?"

This kind of question is I think inherently rude, but it's also understandable that people would ask it. People gave a good shot at replying. Then...

Monk: "Mahayana monks don't adhere to the Theravada Vinaya and they got upset at me when I brought it up. Mahayana laypeople insist the Buddha taught vegetarianism and they got upset at me when I said he really didn't. I found lots of contradictions between Mahayana and Theravada teachings."

Nothing rude here. Pretty standard stuff actually. Then...

Response: This monk is deluded. We must defend Mahayana against these slanders. This thread will now be about how awesome Mahayana is.

-----

I remember a number of years ago I had an encounter with a Tantric practitioner. He started coming to a meditation/study group at a Theravada temple, presumably because he couldn't find any Tantric temples to go to. One night he said to me, "If a shortcut was discovered, why wouldn't you take it?" My reply was somewhat mumbled and somewhat garbled because I couldn't think of polite way to say "I find people offering shortcuts, especially in spiritual matters, are usually full of shit."

-----

"My thing is so obviously superior to your thing. Why on earth would you choose your thing?"

How do I respond to this without resorting to vulgarity? or decapitation by lightsaber? :jedi:

-----

Y'know what I would never do? Go into a Mahayana forum or temple and ask "You're stuff is obviously made up. Why don't you go practice something authentic, like Theravada?" Y'know why I wouldn't do that? Because I'm not rude. Also because what the heck do I know? Maybe they're doing it right and I'm doing it wrong. I have no standing to criticize another's practice.

I also don't tell my born-again sister that I think her religion is awful.

I also don't tell my Jewish parents that the Torah is often violent and ridiculous and to get from what the scriptures say to what the rabbi is sermoning about is an incredible leap.

I'm happy to let everyone practice what they want to practice in peace. I believe we are all on the path we need to be on.

-----

I watched a very popular forum, a place I put a lot of time and energy into, implode and disappear because some people couldn't get over the fact that a lot of Theravadins don't give a crap about Mahayana. Enjoy your religion! Go at it with vigor! I hope you find everything you're looking for. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.
- Peter

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Re: Why Theravada?

Postby Dan74 » Sat Oct 05, 2013 12:26 am

Peter

kc2dpt wrote:
Dan74 wrote:Up until the point when Kusala posted that Venerable's video, people have been expressing their opinions. But once there is a public statement by a Venerable who dismisses an entire Buddhist tradition as having no taste of liberation...

No where in that video does the monk "dismisses an entire Buddhist tradition as having no taste of liberation".
Or maybe I missed it? Please let me know the timestamp of where he says that.


It's about a minute and a half into this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKO0mM48Hj8

kc2dpt wrote:
Besides it is even against the ToS, I believe.

If you think a post is against the TOS then I think it is better to report the post than to hijack a thread.


I replied in a short comment that the Venerable was spreading his delusion in direct reply to Kusala posting the vid. This was 'hijacking the thread'?

kc2dpt wrote:
there is a world of difference between saying "I don't really get X" or "X doesn't appeal to me" and "X is crap". Or am I being pedantic?

In my opinion, you are being pedantic. One is more polite than the other, but I think anything anyone says on this forum is "in their opinion" or "according to their understanding". We are all just people talking. Even that monk.

Indeed, except one is acknowledging one's limitations and the other one is making huge claims full of sectarianism and hubris.

kc2dpt wrote:
Peter, I don't think you are being fair.

And I don't think it's fair to ask Theravadins in a Theravada forum "Since our stuff is better than your stuff, why did you choose your stuff?" and then when people answer "Cause I think your stuff isn't good," you get offended. Don't ask the question if you don't want the answer.


I didn't get offended, I attempted to set the record straight, so that people are not being misled. What exactly bothers you about that?

kc2dpt wrote:-----

Here's my summary of this thread, how it looks to me:

OP: "Korean Seon practices cut out a lot of talk and conjecture going straight to the core. Hwadu practices are a direct path to Enlightenment. Given this, why would you choose Theravada?"

This kind of question is I think inherently rude, but it's also understandable that people would ask it. People gave a good shot at replying. Then...

Monk: "Mahayana monks don't adhere to the Theravada Vinaya and they got upset at me when I brought it up. Mahayana laypeople insist the Buddha taught vegetarianism and they got upset at me when I said he really didn't. I found lots of contradictions between Mahayana and Theravada teachings."

Nothing rude here. Pretty standard stuff actually. Then...

Response: This monk is deluded. We must defend Mahayana against these slanders. This thread will now be about how awesome Mahayana is.

-----

I remember a number of years ago I had an encounter with a Tantric practitioner. He started coming to a meditation/study group at a Theravada temple, presumably because he couldn't find any Tantric temples to go to. One night he said to me, "If a shortcut was discovered, why wouldn't you take it?" My reply was somewhat mumbled and somewhat garbled because I couldn't think of polite way to say "I find people offering shortcuts, especially in spiritual matters, are usually full of shit."

-----

"My thing is so obviously superior to your thing. Why on earth would you choose your thing?"

How do I respond to this without resorting to vulgarity? or decapitation by lightsaber? :jedi:

-----

Y'know what I would never do? Go into a Mahayana forum or temple and ask "You're stuff is obviously made up. Why don't you go practice something authentic, like Theravada?" Y'know why I wouldn't do that? Because I'm not rude. Also because what the heck do I know? Maybe they're doing it right and I'm doing it wrong. I have no standing to criticize another's practice.

I also don't tell my born-again sister that I think her religion is awful.

I also don't tell my Jewish parents that the Torah is often violent and ridiculous and to get from what the scriptures say to what the rabbi is sermoning about is an incredible leap.

I'm happy to let everyone practice what they want to practice in peace. I believe we are all on the path we need to be on.

-----

I watched a very popular forum, a place I put a lot of time and energy into, implode and disappear because some people couldn't get over the fact that a lot of Theravadins don't give a crap about Mahayana. Enjoy your religion! Go at it with vigor! I hope you find everything you're looking for. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.


Good for you, Peter. Except that I have not said anything about "This thread will now be about how awesome Mahayana is." I replied to Dave's questions. Rather this is your projection, please own it.
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Re: Why Theravada?

Postby kc2dpt » Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:29 am

Dan74 wrote:
kc2dpt wrote:
Dan74 wrote:Up until the point when Kusala posted that Venerable's video, people have been expressing their opinions. But once there is a public statement by a Venerable who dismisses an entire Buddhist tradition as having no taste of liberation...

No where in that video does the monk "dismisses an entire Buddhist tradition as having no taste of liberation".
Or maybe I missed it? Please let me know the timestamp of where he says that.

It's about a minute and a half into this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKO0mM48Hj8

Um... that's a different video than the one Kusala linked to. You know that right?
I replied in a short comment that the Venerable was spreading his delusion in direct reply to Kusala posting the vid.

So Kusala posted a video, which contains nothing controversial and is relevant to this thread, and you felt compelled to say something insulting because the speaker in the video said stuff in another video that you don't like?
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Re: Why Theravada?

Postby rohana » Sat Oct 05, 2013 4:27 am

Are they outright inventions, poetic works of the disciples? Are they wisdom of realized noble ones? Are they received wisdom generations after generations that purportedly had origins in Shakyamunivacana before written down? A mix of all of the above and more? I don't know.

The idea that the Mahāyāna sūtras have some ancient teachings that 'fell through the cracks' of the compilers of the canon (from which the Pāli sūttas are descended) is a commonly parroted defense, though I've never seen it backed up with any substantial evidence. I feel like all these 'hints' are being dropped to try and give the Mahāyāna some authenticity it simply doesn't have.

(Though one can always believe that the Prajñāpāramitā literature was kept hidden in the Nāga realms until a suitable time, since the disciples during Gōtama's time were too dimwitted to understand them. Or one can believe that there is the wisdom of an Arahant in the Vimalakīrti Nirdeśa Sūtra - though this Arahant author has no qualms about the denigration of Arahants in general, and Sāriputta in particular, for some strange reason. The Ugra Sūtra on the other hand, sounds respectable enough from what I hear.)

It is encouraging to believe that liberation, far from being some exalted state, is already here, and we just need to remove the garbage in order for it to manifest.

If it's already here, how, when and why did the garbage start getting accumulated on top of it, and doesn't that mean even if we uncover this 'already existing liberation', garbage can accumulate on it once again?

I watched a very popular forum, a place I put a lot of time and energy into, implode and disappear because some people couldn't get over the fact that a lot of Theravadins don't give a crap about Mahayana.

I remember this forum-that-must-not-be-named which I used to lurk on sometimes. Interestingly, even then when the different traditions were all sharing one forum, the inter-school proselytization only happened in one direction.
"Delighting in existence, O monks, are gods and men; they are attached to existence, they revel in existence. When the Dhamma for the cessation of existence is being preached to them, their minds do not leap towards it, do not get pleased with it, do not get settled in it, do not find confidence in it. That is how, monks, some lag behind."
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Re: Why Theravada?

Postby Dan74 » Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:55 am

kc2dpt wrote:
Dan74 wrote:
kc2dpt wrote:No where in that video does the monk "dismisses an entire Buddhist tradition as having no taste of liberation".
Or maybe I missed it? Please let me know the timestamp of where he says that.

It's about a minute and a half into this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKO0mM48Hj8

Um... that's a different video than the one Kusala linked to. You know that right?
I replied in a short comment that the Venerable was spreading his delusion in direct reply to Kusala posting the vid.

So Kusala posted a video, which contains nothing controversial and is relevant to this thread, and you felt compelled to say something insulting because the speaker in the video said stuff in another video that you don't like?


I know it and I said so in an earlier post (I had seen the Venerable's videos before and didn't remember which one was which). But the video Kusala linked is far from being 'uncontroversial', Peter, it is just not as brazenly worded as the other video I linked in the post above. TBH, I have neither the time , not the tenacity needed to continue this conversation. I hope people can draw their own conclusion having been exposed to more than one take on the matter. This was my only intent.
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Re: Why Theravada?

Postby Kusala » Sat Oct 05, 2013 10:12 am

Kim OHara wrote:
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:The Buddha's Dhamma is Perfect. The Buddha told Māra that he would not pass way until his Dhamma was complete and firmly established.

All we need to do is understand what is Dhamma and what is not Dhamma, then practise in accordance with it to realise it for ourselves.

That's easy to say, bhante, but rather harder to flesh out, to explain or to teach.
What "is Dhamma" and why? What tests do we apply to be sure that it "is not Dhamma", and how do we know they are the correct tests?

:namaste:
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Thus indeed, is that Blessed One: He is the Holy One, fully enlightened, endowed with clear vision and virtuous conduct, sublime, the Knower of the worlds, the incomparable leader of men to be tamed, the teacher of gods and men, enlightened and blessed.

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The Dhamma of the Blessed One is perfectly expounded; to be seen here and now; not delayed in
time; inviting one to come and see; onward leading (to Nibbana); to be known by the wise, each for himself.
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Re: Why Theravada?

Postby Kim OHara » Sat Oct 05, 2013 11:33 am

Kusala wrote:
Kim OHara wrote:
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:The Buddha's Dhamma is Perfect. The Buddha told Māra that he would not pass way until his Dhamma was complete and firmly established.

All we need to do is understand what is Dhamma and what is not Dhamma, then practise in accordance with it to realise it for ourselves.

That's easy to say, bhante, but rather harder to flesh out, to explain or to teach.
What "is Dhamma" and why? What tests do we apply to be sure that it "is not Dhamma", and how do we know they are the correct tests?

:namaste:
Kim


Listening to the True Dhamma http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/stud ... #listening

Thanks, Kusala, for responding to the questions I put to Bhikku Pesala.
However, I can't see in that section from ATI any answer to my questions. You presumably can, so I would appreciate it if you would point out the relevant passages.

And I would still like your own answer, bhante, if you can see your way to providing one.

:namaste:
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Re: Why Theravada?

Postby santa100 » Sat Oct 05, 2013 6:26 pm

Kim OHara wrote:That's easy to say, bhante, but rather harder to flesh out, to explain or to teach.
What "is Dhamma" and why? What tests do we apply to be sure that it "is not Dhamma", and how do we know they are the correct tests?


Some sources with relevant info..
Dhamma definition: http://www.buddhanet.net/cmdsg/getting4.htm
For various tests: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Notice from AN 8.53, there was no mentioning of Theravada, Mahayana or any particular name. The "authenticity" of the school is not the focus. It's the specific metrics on the results (which is measurable) that determines whether it's Dhamma or not Dhamma..
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Re: Why Theravada?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sat Oct 05, 2013 7:15 pm

Kim OHara wrote:
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:That's easy to say, bhante, but rather harder to flesh out, to explain or to teach.

What "is Dhamma" and why? What tests do we apply to be sure that it "is not Dhamma", and how do we know they are the correct tests?

The Brief Discourse to Gotamī is a good place to start.

Whatever you read, whatever the source, compare it to what you already know to be true and right. Study, practice, and realisation is the natural order of things. Without practice, there's no way of knowing for sure what is Dhamma and what is not Dhamma.

After knowledge acquired by learning or reading (sutamayapaññā), comes knowledge acquired by reasoning (cintamayapaññā), then knowledge acquired through mental development (bhāvanāmayapaññā), otherwise known as insight knowledge (vipassanāñāṇa). If anyone can practise and develop insight up to the stage of Purification by Overcoming Doubt, they will already have a pretty good litmus test for what is Dhamma and what is not Dhamma.
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Re: Why Theravada?

Postby Kim OHara » Sat Oct 05, 2013 10:57 pm

Thank you all - Kusala, Santa and Bhikkhu Pesala - for your responses.
All of you have directed me to the Discourse to Gotami amongst other texts. It's a perfectly good text, too, except that it doesn't help us decide "Why Theravada?", which is the basic question of the OP and the thread.
Why not? Well, as a text composed before schools differentiated, it naturally can't mention Theravada, Mahayana, etc. In fact, "The "authenticity" of the school is not the focus. It's the specific metrics on the results (which is measurable) that determines whether it's Dhamma or not Dhamma," as Santa said. Thanissaro said something very similar in the introduction to the texts Kusala pointed me to, and (fwiw) I agree entirely. The Buddha's guidance on this point is very pragmatic, as it so often is on others.
Here it could be modernised to, "If it works, it's good."
I think that's a great basis for moving forward in my practice - but it also justifies adopting any practice/s which "lead to dispassion, not to passion; to being unfettered, not to being fettered; to shedding, not to accumulating; to modesty, not to self-aggrandizement; to contentment, not to discontent; to seclusion, not to entanglement; to aroused persistence, not to laziness; to being unburdensome, not to being burdensome," whether they come from the Pali suttas, the Mahayana, the MBSR folk or, for that matter, the Kabbala. Equally, it throws the responsibility of discerning the difference between Dhamma and non-Dhamma upon me, while encouraging me to go to the wise for advice - as I do, but I will still always exame it critically, as I have done in this thread. Then again, the Buddha told me too. :smile:
I have just used "I" and "me" for convenience but of course what applies to me applies to everyone.

:namaste:
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Re: Why Theravada?

Postby MattB » Sun Oct 06, 2013 12:12 am

Hello All,
This is my first real post on here aside from a short introduction a couple months ago. In my little knowledge of the Buddhist world(and various schools), I find the Theravada to be the most straight forward, applicable, teaching of Buddhist ideas. To be fair, I don't know much of what the other schools offer aside from some basic articles. Lacking any sort of mysticism, fanatical ideas, strange beliefs(or beliefs at all), Theravada to me is a clear path to getting piece of mind in a crazy world. Just the basic 5 precepts alone have improved my sense of well-being and home life. Some other beautiful aspects of the teachings to me are that one doesn't need to study under someone else and how you don't need to "convert" to anything from anything! I enjoy testing the teachings in my everyday situations and allowing them to prove themselves to me.
Anyway just some observations from a novice. I wish all find there own path to happiness and peace with ease.
Metta,
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Re: Why Theravada?

Postby dagon » Sun Oct 06, 2013 2:02 am

MattB wrote:Hello All,
This is my first real post on here aside from a short introduction a couple months ago. In my little knowledge of the Buddhist world(and various schools), I find the Theravada to be the most straight forward, applicable, teaching of Buddhist ideas. To be fair, I don't know much of what the other schools offer aside from some basic articles. Lacking any sort of mysticism, fanatical ideas, strange beliefs(or beliefs at all), Theravada to me is a clear path to getting piece of mind in a crazy world. Just the basic 5 precepts alone have improved my sense of well-being and home life. Some other beautiful aspects of the teachings to me are that one doesn't need to study under someone else and how you don't need to "convert" to anything from anything! I enjoy testing the teachings in my everyday situations and allowing them to prove themselves to me.
Anyway just some observations from a novice. I wish all find there own path to happiness and peace with ease.
Metta,
Matt


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Re: Why Theravada?

Postby lyndon taylor » Sun Oct 06, 2013 2:17 am

It seems to me if you had a whole lot of faith and belief in one's own tradition, you wouldn't feel half the need to criticize other peoples traditions. It seems hyper criticalness of other traditions can stem from weakness in ones own beliefs.

What a lot of people don't realize is until now these traditions were largely country dependent, there was no mahayana in Thailand and there was no therevada in Tibet, for instance, so were not only criticizing approaches to buddhism, but whole countries and regions history. Better to talk good about one's own tradition than bad about someone else's tradition, that's my opinion....
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: Why Theravada?

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Oct 06, 2013 2:47 am

lyndon taylor wrote:
What a lot of people don't realize is until now these traditions were largely country dependent, there was no mahayana in Thailand
Actually, there was Mahayana in Thailand, Burma, and Cambodia.
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.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Why Theravada?

Postby lyndon taylor » Sun Oct 06, 2013 2:56 am

As in what percent??? probably mostly Chinese immigrants, Vietnam is more Mahayana due to Chinese influence
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: Why Theravada?

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Oct 06, 2013 3:14 am

lyndon taylor wrote:As in what percent??? probably mostly Chinese immigrants, Vietnam is more Mahayana due to Chinese influence
Notice I used the word "was," past tense. I am not talking about the present Chinese in those countries.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el085.html
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.

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