The causes for wisdom

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:11 pm

Mkoll wrote::jawdrop: :computerproblem: = surprised and indignant that mikenz66 would suggest that I read this gigantic thread: "omg no way"
Actually, just read the first 20 pages of this, which is not too much, and likely you will be jawdropping and omg-ing with actual indignation. After that just jump in anywhere and read a bit here and there and
phpBB [video]
.


++++++++++++++++
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Mkoll » Wed Aug 27, 2014 8:11 pm

mikenz66 wrote:I don't see any need to be indignant.

Lol. It was a joke, or rather an attempt at one:

Mkoll wrote:feigned and exaggerated indignation


Remind me not to try that brand of humor again. :lol:
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Aug 27, 2014 8:15 pm

Mkoll wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:I don't see any need to be indignant.

Lol. It was a joke, or rather an attempt at one:

Mkoll wrote:feigned and exaggerated indignation


Remind me not to try that brand of humor again. :lol:
Certainly it was a joke, but seriously read the first 20 pages, if you have not already.
.


++++++++++++++++
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

Mkoll
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Mkoll » Wed Aug 27, 2014 9:37 pm

tiltbillings wrote:Certainly it was a joke, but seriously read the first 20 pages, if you have not already.

I just now skimmed the first 20 and I've seen enough.

I'll refrain from commenting.

:sage:
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:19 pm

Mkoll wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Certainly it was a joke, but seriously read the first 20 pages, if you have not already.

I just now skimmed the first 20 and I've seen enough.

I'll refrain from commenting.

:sage:
But you should comment.
.


++++++++++++++++
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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daverupa
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby daverupa » Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:31 pm

I thought page 26 was useful.
    "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: The causes for wisdom

Postby Mkoll » Thu Aug 28, 2014 6:18 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Mkoll wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Certainly it was a joke, but seriously read the first 20 pages, if you have not already.

I just now skimmed the first 20 and I've seen enough.

I'll refrain from commenting.

:sage:
But you should comment.

I will say that now that I have a better idea of what a "Sujin-notions of mindfulness" is, as you mentioned at the beginning of the page, I know not to touch it with a yojana-long pole.

:lol:
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Aug 28, 2014 7:30 am

Mkoll wrote:I will say that now that I have a better idea of what a "Sujin-notions of mindfulness" is, as you mentioned at the beginning of the page, I know not to touch it with a yojana-long pole.
I certainly understand, but on the other hand such discussions can be of value in that it helps clarify one's own understanding, especially when faced with an unusual point of view. Again, without question I can understand not wanting to engage in such a discussion.
.


++++++++++++++++
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby ancientbuddhism » Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:50 pm

Matthew Kusota’s impressions of the Sujin cult may be of interest:

The Abhidhammic theory of Ajaan Sujin Boriharnwanaket
‘yaṃ kiñci dukkhaṃ uppajjamānaṃ uppajjati, sabbaṃ taṃ chandamūlakaṃ chandanidānaṃ. chando hi mūlaṃ dukkhassā’ti.’

“Whatever dukkha arises into existence, all arises rooted in chanda, chanda as its cause, chanda as the root of dukkha. – SN.42.11 Bhadrakasuttaṃ

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

A Handful of Leaves

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cooran
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby cooran » Thu Aug 28, 2014 10:33 pm

Hello ancientbuddhism, all,

There is no Sujin cult.

I attended a few of the regular study groups many years ago in Thailand. Her teachings and discussions are based on the the accepted Teachings of the Buddha in the Tipitaka and align with explanations by buddhist scholars.
There was no pressure or problem when I didn't hold the exactly same opinions as other members of the meeting.

I also met our Ven. Dhammanando and Bhikkhu Bodhi on separate occasions via this group.

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 ---

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Aug 28, 2014 11:30 pm

cooran wrote:I attended a few of the regular study groups many years ago in Thailand. Her teachings and discussions are based on the the accepted Teachings of the Buddha in the Tipitaka and align with explanations by buddhist scholars.
That is, obviously, highly debatable.

There is no Sujin cult.
While I would not use the word cult in its pejorative sense, I certainly would use the word sectarian, in that she holds -- or certainly implies -- that she has the correct interpretation of the Dhamma and that those who try to practice meditation are acting, according to her distorted understanding of meditation practice, on lobha. And as we have seen in this thread there is a significant problem with her straw-man characterization of meditation practice that has been shown to fly in the face of what the suttas and the commentaries have to say. While there may be some virtue to Sujin practice, her teachings are, over all, highly idiosyncratic interpretations that are on the far margins.
.


++++++++++++++++
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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robertk
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Fri Aug 29, 2014 8:29 am

ancientbuddhism wrote:Matthew Kusota’s impressions of the Sujin cult may be of interest:

The Abhidhammic theory of Ajaan Sujin Boriharnwanaket

I didn't see cult used in Kosuta's piece?
There is a thread here which discusses his article:
viewtopic.php?f=18&t=5195&hilit=kosuta

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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Aug 29, 2014 8:43 am

robertk wrote:
ancientbuddhism wrote:Matthew Kusota’s impressions of the Sujin cult may be of interest:

The Abhidhammic theory of Ajaan Sujin Boriharnwanaket

I didn't see cult used in Kosuta's piece?
There is a thread here which discusses his article:
http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... lit=kosuta
It is not used in the article. I am guessing that ancientbuddhism is using the word cult as result of how Sujin's followers come across online. While it may not be an appropriate word, it is an understandable as why it might be used.
.


++++++++++++++++
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Fri Aug 29, 2014 8:59 am

Ok I just reread it and this is how he describes her in the article:

So who is Ajaan Sujin Boriharnwanaket and what is the DSSF? Ajaan Sujin's teachings are based primarily on the Theravada Abhidhamma-pitaka. She emphasizes the practice of being aware of the present moment's ultimate reality (paramattha dhamma) as the means to nibbāna. She has been guiding monks, nuns and laypeople for over 40 years. Ajann Sujin maintains a well-established, modern Dhamma center in the Bangkok area and presents daily radio talks on over 20 radio stations. She has been granted an honorary degree from a top Buddhist university and Ajaan Sujin has been honored by the King of Thailand for the positive effects that her work and Dhamma center have had on many Thai people.

She also has created some controversy. The controversy around her stems from her being a woman teaching the Dhamma, including teaching to bhikkhus, and from her interpretation of abhidhammic teachings and its often unorthodox effect on more traditional interpretations of the Sutta and Vinaya pitakas. An interpretation that I think pushes abhidhammic theory into a near expression of Mahayana Emptiness.
Although Ajaan Sujin speaks English quite well, much of her teachings are know to the English-speaking world through one of her longest associates, Nina Van Gorkom. Nearly all of the printed material in English has been translated or written by Ms Van Gorkom. Thus, her work provided the majority of the written sources I consulted. The senior student's command of Pali abhidhammic vocabulary is quite good. And in the case of Ajaan Sujin and Ms Van Gorkom, and perhaps others, their knowledge of the workings of the Abhidhammic theory is excellent.


Reading it he seems to feel that the Abhidhamma and commentaries, as much as Sujin, in places, run against his interpretations of the suttas.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Aug 29, 2014 9:20 am

robertk wrote:
Reading it he seems to feel that the Abhidhamma and commentaries, as much as Sujin, in places run against his interpretations of the suttas.
There is a rather interesting question concerning the Abhidhamma, and that is the differences between the Pitaka texts and the later highly interpretive stuff such as the Abhidhammattha Sangaha, which does, indeed, push beyond the suttas. I think much of what we see talked about of the Abhidhamma comes from the later stuff, especially dhammas as realities..

What this thread has shown -- assuming that you are accurately reflecting Sujin -- is that her point of view does fly in the face of the suttas, and I have not been impressed with the Sujin interpretation -- assuming your are reflecting that -- of the commentaries, such as the VM.

Also, I am not taken with Kosuta's interpretation of Nagarjuna.
.


++++++++++++++++
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Aug 29, 2014 9:31 am

That's a good point. From my skimming through canonical Abhidhamma texts, it seems clear that many things that are presented as "Abhidhamma" (billions of cittas per second and so on) are actually later developments. The canonical Abdhidhamma texts themselves appear to me to be quite logical summaries and extensions of the Suttas. Classifications of mind states, conditions, and so on.

Perhaps we have a thread on this somewhere...

:anjali:
Mike

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby ancientbuddhism » Fri Aug 29, 2014 5:45 pm

The main theses of Kusota’s paper is not whether the Sujin milieu is a ‘cult’, that quip was mine. But in his introductory comments he does give this:

    “I thought that the session would consist of my listening to some of their ideas and of my posing a few questions. However, it began with Ajaan Sujin, followed by her students, asking me question after question on what I know of the Dhamma and how I interpret what I know. I quickly found myself on the defensive in a somewhat heated debate as they rejected all the ‘traditional’ answers that I gave.” (Kusota, p.20)

I also had attended Sujin’s lectures at MCU and found much the same as Kusota did from her sycophantic students. That Sujin makes bold, irresponsible claims is her own head, but to not yield when soundly defeated in those claims is intellectually dishonest.
‘yaṃ kiñci dukkhaṃ uppajjamānaṃ uppajjati, sabbaṃ taṃ chandamūlakaṃ chandanidānaṃ. chando hi mūlaṃ dukkhassā’ti.’

“Whatever dukkha arises into existence, all arises rooted in chanda, chanda as its cause, chanda as the root of dukkha. – SN.42.11 Bhadrakasuttaṃ

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

A Handful of Leaves

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby phil » Fri Aug 29, 2014 7:58 pm

I'm one of her students, have listened to her for around 10 years and have attended discussion sessions in Thailand several times. I must say I go through periods of kind of stepping away and I'm in one of those periods now. What has me a bit uncomfortable these days is a tendency on the part of some of her students (not as much Sujin herself as in tge internet discussion group) to make almost a practice out of seeing the characteristics of dhammas here and now and insisting that pariyatti is in this understanding of dhammas now without recognizing how much of the same lobha ditthi can be involved in it as with modern meditation techniques. I am meditating again and seeing a lot of benefits. But thanks to having listened to her I can also see how much of what I hear from modern teachers is deviating from a strict adherence to the tipitika. I think that's especially true if one values Abhidhamma and its commentaries which I do. If one rejects or relegates them to a lower place then I guess one can say that what she is saying is not canonical. But I'm not so keen on debates so I'll stop there.
I would like to hear more acknowledgment that what she says might be wrong on some points. I think she is less likely to give the impression that she thinks she is infallible than some of her students do. Not thinking of Robert there, actually...
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)

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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Aug 29, 2014 8:39 pm

phil wrote: I would like to hear more acknowledgment that what she says might be wrong on some points. I think she is less likely to give the impression that she thinks she is infallible than some of her students do. Not thinking of Robert there, actually...
In listening to the linked talk in this msg viewtopic.php?f=16&t=15952&start=280#p229904 Sujin is her own worst enemy, in that she encourages her followers in the sectarian approach of dismissing Dhamma practices that do not conform to her point of view.
.


++++++++++++++++
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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mikenz66
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Aug 29, 2014 9:42 pm

Hi Phil,

phil wrote: I would like to hear more acknowledgment that what she says might be wrong on some points. I think she is less likely to give the impression that she thinks she is infallible than some of her students do. Not thinking of Robert there, actually...


As I have said before, I have only briefly met some of the students, but my impression was similar to Ancient Buddhism, and Kusota. I was quite surprised that the whole tone of the conversation from some of the students (not Robert...) was that I should be defending myself, rather than having any sort of mutual dialog.

Of course, that seems to be the particular procedure that they have developed, and one could argue that if one chooses to turn up, that's what one is buying into, just as if one chooses to turn up to a meditation session one should expect to be sitting and walking, not discussing cittas over a cup of tea.

One could argue that the sort of questioning of assumptions that the Sujin approach involves could also be seen in a similar light to Sayadaw U Tajaniya's http://sayadawutejaniya.org/ approach, which seems to involve a lot of questioning of what exactly one is doing, and why.

phil wrote: But thanks to having listened to her I can also see how much of what I hear from modern teachers is deviating from a strict adherence to the tipitika. I think that's especially true if one values Abhidhamma and its commentaries which I do. If one rejects or relegates them to a lower place then I guess one can say that what she is saying is not canonical. But I'm not so keen on debates so I'll stop there.

Personally, I never cease to be amazed by the implication I see in some posts that the ancient commentaries have completely misunderstood the Dhamma, with little or no attempt to actually engage with them. The poster's favourite modern commentator(s) of the moment are then wheeled out as representing the correct interpretation. It seems to be a strangely contradictory attitude that the ancients who preserved the texts, the lineage, and the practice that enables us to have access to the Dhamma today can be summarily written off as bumbling incompetents. I certainly value modern scholarship and teachers, and would not have made any progress in understanding the Dhamma without it. But "scholarship" that arbitrarily dismisses such important sources of interpretation and practical experience doesn't impress me very much.

:anjali:
Mike


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