Bad resources

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Re: Bad resources

Postby cooran » Tue Jan 05, 2010 7:43 am

Hello all,

What is a "bad resource"?

Even the most inaccurate book, considered trash by many, can have a fortunate result.

I wouldn't be a buddhist but for coming across The Third Eye by Lobsang Rampa when I was about 13 years old and still an ardent Christian. It was a quarter of a century later, during a time of heartbreak, that I began a search for something other than Christianity - and the foundations had been laid by the fraudulent book I had read when a young teenager.

metta
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---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: Bad resources

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jan 05, 2010 7:56 am

Chris wrote:Hello all,

What is a "bad resource"?

Even the most inaccurate book, considered trash by many, can have a fortunate result.
Or it may lead one down the garden path. You just never know.

Caveat lector. The nice thing about youth is that there is there is the delightfully slaphappy illusion of a considerable amount of time available, so one can read all sorts of things, and maybe get lucky. With age, however, I'd rather use my time a bit more wisely, taking a bit more care in what I read, having read my share of crap books.
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: Bad resources

Postby cooran » Tue Jan 05, 2010 8:20 am

Hello Tilt,

Agree.

At any age, life is only as long as your out-breath ~ if you don't breathe in again.


metta
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Re: Bad resources

Postby Sanghamitta » Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:29 am

Not to dwell in aversion, but...in the spirit of the o p, anything by Thich Naht Hahn has me looking out for a wobbly table while rinsing my mouth with lemon juice to get rid of the sickly taste.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.
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Re: Bad resources

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:51 am

Greetings,

I found "The Triple Gem and The Way to Social Harmony" by Pyinnyathiha to be virtually unreadable, both in terms of the language use and lack of coherency.

It's rare that I don't get through a Dhamma book, but I could just tell this one wasn't worth the effort... as Tilt said, time is tight, best to be reading that which is most likely to be useful.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Bad resources

Postby zavk » Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:15 am

I suppose we can surmise from the replies so far that 'bad' is relative... hence, the colloquialism 'so bad it is good'.

OK now I am just being silly... bad joke, my bad... oops, I should stop using that word. :toilet:
With metta,
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"Buddhism without beliefs"

Postby effort » Tue Jan 05, 2010 12:12 pm

but zavk, i like to read that book, if someone wants to throw that out please tell me first!
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Re: Bad resources

Postby catmoon » Tue Jan 05, 2010 12:57 pm

Chris wrote:Hello all,

What is a "bad resource"?

Even the most inaccurate book, considered trash by many, can have a fortunate result.

I wouldn't be a buddhist but for coming across The Third Eye by Lobsang Rampa when I was about 13 years old and still an ardent Christian. It was a quarter of a century later, during a time of heartbreak, that I began a search for something other than Christianity - and the foundations had been laid by the fraudulent book I had read when a young teenager.

metta
Chris


Same here. To this day I wonder what would have happened if I had not stumbled across The Third Eye so early on. I suspect I owe an embarrassingly large debt to Lobsang Rampa and this screwball book.
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Re: Bad resources

Postby alan » Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:21 pm

Hi Catmoon and Chris
On another thread I asked if it would be fair to say your Kamma leads you to find a teaching. Bhikku Pesala suggested that spiritual inclination has everything to do with Kamma. If so, maybe that lousy book you read as a teenager should not get credit for your current happy state as Buddhists.

My definition of a bad resource is a book that:
A) Perhaps contains one or two good ideas, but many other nonsensical ones that you follow, only to find later were wrong,
B) Focusses too narrowly one one aspect of the path, thereby presenting the reader with a skewed perspective,
C) Tries to re-define the subject in light of psychology or "self-help"
D) Is just plain wrong!
Not too much stuff in the D category, but enough to be wary. And lots of others in the A, B and C. I know, I've read most of them, or so it seems!
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Re: Bad resources

Postby Hanzze » Mon Oct 11, 2010 7:41 am

_/\_
Last edited by Hanzze on Sun Oct 31, 2010 7:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Bad resources

Postby Vepacitta » Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:54 pm

Personally, I can't stand Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh - - 'Christo-Buddhism' imo. I've bitched and/or moaned about the good Venerable before here on Dhamma Wheel. I feel he tries to mind-meld Buddhist principles into Christianity to make it more 'palatable' for westerners. His concept of 'inter-is-ness' sounds to me like a gooshy-we're-all-one love fest.

But that's just me.

I'm also no van of Ven. Pema Chodron - here's some excerpts from an interview where she shares her thoughts on Trungpa Rinpoche - a notorious personage.

Tricycle: Stories of Trungpa Rinpoche's sexual encounters with students still upset a lot of people. Have they ever upset you?

Pema Chodron: No. But he upset me. He upset me a lot. I couldn't con him, and that was uncomfortable. But it was exactly what I needed. Sometimes, in certain situations, I can see how I'm a con artist, and I can see how I'm just trying to make everything pretty and smooth, and all I have to do is think of Rinpoche and I get honest. He has the effect on me of relentlessly—in a dedicated way—keeping me honest. And that's not always comfortable.

Tricycle: How did he respond to your choice of celibacy?

Pema Chodron: He encouraged me to be very strict with my vows.

Tricycle:In recent years women have become more articulate about sexism. And we know more today about the prevalence of child abuse and about how many people come into dharma really hurting. If you knew ten years ago what you know today, would you have been so optimistic about Trungpa Rinpoche and his sexuality? Would you have wanted some of the women you've been working with to study with him, given their histories of sexual abuse?

Pema Chodron: I would have said, You know he loves women, he's very passionate, and has a lot of relationships with women, and that might be part of it if you get involved with him, and you should read all his books, go to all his talks, and actually see if you can get close to him. And you should do that knowing you might get an invitation to sleep with him, so don't be naive about that, and don't think you have to do it, or don't have to do it. But you have to decide for yourself who you think this guy is.

Tricycle:Would you say that the intention behind this unconventional behavior, including his sexual exploits and his drinking, was to help others?

Pema Chodron: As the years went on, I felt everything he did was to help others. But I would also say now that maybe my understanding has gone even deeper, and it feels more to the point to say I don't know. I don't know what he was doing. I know he changed my life. I know I love him. But I don«t know who he was. And maybe he wasn't doing things to help everyone, but he sure helped me. I learned something from him. But who was that masked man?



Someone's who's this daft and dizzy - I don't like and I don't recommend to anyone.

Not a big fan of D. Suzuki either.

We take firm stances here on Mt. Meru! :jedi:

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Re: Bad resources

Postby texastheravadin » Tue Oct 12, 2010 4:44 pm

Vepacitta wrote:Personally, I can't stand Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh - - 'Christo-Buddhism' imo. I've bitched and/or moaned about the good Venerable before here on Dhamma Wheel. I feel he tries to mind-meld Buddhist principles into Christianity to make it more 'palatable' for westerners. His concept of 'inter-is-ness' sounds to me like a gooshy-we're-all-one love fest.

But that's just me.

I'm also no van of Ven. Pema Chodron - here's some excerpts from an interview where she shares her thoughts on Trungpa Rinpoche - a notorious personage.

Tricycle: Stories of Trungpa Rinpoche's sexual encounters with students still upset a lot of people. Have they ever upset you?

Pema Chodron: No. But he upset me. He upset me a lot. I couldn't con him, and that was uncomfortable. But it was exactly what I needed. Sometimes, in certain situations, I can see how I'm a con artist, and I can see how I'm just trying to make everything pretty and smooth, and all I have to do is think of Rinpoche and I get honest. He has the effect on me of relentlessly—in a dedicated way—keeping me honest. And that's not always comfortable.

Tricycle: How did he respond to your choice of celibacy?

Pema Chodron: He encouraged me to be very strict with my vows.

Tricycle:In recent years women have become more articulate about sexism. And we know more today about the prevalence of child abuse and about how many people come into dharma really hurting. If you knew ten years ago what you know today, would you have been so optimistic about Trungpa Rinpoche and his sexuality? Would you have wanted some of the women you've been working with to study with him, given their histories of sexual abuse?

Pema Chodron: I would have said, You know he loves women, he's very passionate, and has a lot of relationships with women, and that might be part of it if you get involved with him, and you should read all his books, go to all his talks, and actually see if you can get close to him. And you should do that knowing you might get an invitation to sleep with him, so don't be naive about that, and don't think you have to do it, or don't have to do it. But you have to decide for yourself who you think this guy is.

Tricycle:Would you say that the intention behind this unconventional behavior, including his sexual exploits and his drinking, was to help others?

Pema Chodron: As the years went on, I felt everything he did was to help others. But I would also say now that maybe my understanding has gone even deeper, and it feels more to the point to say I don't know. I don't know what he was doing. I know he changed my life. I know I love him. But I don«t know who he was. And maybe he wasn't doing things to help everyone, but he sure helped me. I learned something from him. But who was that masked man?



Someone's who's this daft and dizzy - I don't like and I don't recommend to anyone.

Not a big fan of D. Suzuki either.

We take firm stances here on Mt. Meru! :jedi:

V.



THANK YOU!!!!

I cannot tolerate Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh either, nor can I stomach any writer who attempts to fuse disparate religious traditions together as if there's no difference at all. I am not anti-Christian or anti anything, but there are significant differences between Buddhism and other religions, and to assume that Buddha and Jesus would agree on everything is naive.

At first, I found books by Hanh to be quite moving. I still think Hanh's Understanding the Heart of Wisdom is a great book on the Heart Sutra. But as I inspect his work closer I just can't help but see his books as mushy, airy New Age dreck. My rule of thumb is that if you go to your local bookstore and see an entire shelf dedicated to an author (like Hanh), then ninety percent of their assembly-line style books are probably no good.

Also, once you go on Oprah, you've lost me forever.

I don't care for Stephen Batchelor either. I thought Buddhism Without Beliefs was a decent read at first, but after actually trying to study some of the Tipitaka for myself, it's obvious he's become more and more interested in reinterpreting Buddhism to fit his materialistic worldview. I glanced through is Confessions of A Buddhist Atheist...he basically has Buddha parroting his own agnostic standpoints on concepts like kamma and rebirth.

I also became sick to my stomach when I saw that Deepak Chopra had published a "biography" of Buddha.

:anjali:

Josh
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Re: Bad resources

Postby Laurens » Tue Oct 12, 2010 7:09 pm

alan wrote:P.S. I threw it out the window a few years ago, so please don't ask my to quote what it was that bugged me.


Why throw a book out of the window? Even if you disagree with it, there is no use destroying it, the best thing to do if you disagree with a book is to read it and analyse why you disagree with it. To destroy a book is to destroy knowledge, whether or not you agree with it, something can be learned from any book.

Besides its littering...
"For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."

Carl Sagan
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Re: Bad resources

Postby Dan74 » Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:53 pm

a dosa-fest...

I guess it can be good to get it out of the system :shrug:
_/|\_
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Re: Bad resources

Postby Nyana » Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:28 pm

Vepacitta wrote:Someone's who's this daft and dizzy - I don't like and I don't recommend to anyone.

Hi V,

Maybe Mahāyāna and Vajrayāna aren't your cup of tea, and that's fine, but there's simply no good reason to call someone down -- especially an ordained monastic -- whom you obviously know nothing about. Ven. Chödrön is a strong, clear minded, articulate bhikṣuṇī.

All the best,

Geoff
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Re: Bad resources

Postby Vepacitta » Wed Oct 13, 2010 1:11 am

Nana - a person like that - who can barely tell the difference between right and wrong - who cannot even admit that the behaviour of her teacher was morally reprehensible - who has said in one of her talks that I picked up at the local library "well, I can't even say what's right or wrong ... " is not - in my opinion - a very sorted out person.

How did I come to this conclusion about her - by doing a lot of reading - listening - and not liking what I saw. I look at people's actions and words - not their robes.

Just because someone is an ordained religious (of whatever religion) doesn't mean that one cannot voice their opinion about them - strongly. That sort of thinking has led to the vilest abuses of the populace by persons of various religious orders throughout history.

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Re: Bad resources

Postby Nyana » Wed Oct 13, 2010 1:41 am

Vepacitta wrote:Nana - a person like that - who can barely tell the difference between right and wrong

Whatever Trungpa Rinpoche may or may not have done is his responsibility. It's presumptuous to say that Ani Pema "can barely tell the difference between right and wrong."

All the best,

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Re: Bad resources

Postby Vepacitta » Wed Oct 13, 2010 2:10 am

It's presumptuous to tell me that I cannot express my opinion or to imply that my having an opinion and expressing it is presumptuous.

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Re: Bad resources

Postby alan » Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:55 am

Rock on, V.
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Re: Bad resources

Postby alan » Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:56 am

Throwing out Batcheler's book is not littering. It's household improvement.
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