Never again look for a sutta!

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.
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Pseudobabble
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Re: Never again look for a sutta!

Post by Pseudobabble » Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:32 am

binocular wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:45 am
How many suttas and other texts do we read and try to remember primarily because we want to fit in among Buddhists, or because we want to be a Buddhist's worthy interlocutor
None. It's for 'personal use only'.
"Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is perception...such are fabrications...such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.'" - Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta


'Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.' - Genesis 3:19

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binocular
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Re: Never again look for a sutta!

Post by binocular » Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:13 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:14 am
I can't speak for others, but I wouldn't bother with any of that. Fitting in with a group might be a powerful motivation, but only at the level of ordinary conversation.
I think it depends on what metaphysical dimension one ascribes to fitting in, or fears that fitting in might have.
Reading and memorising suttas is hard work, and the cost-benefit analysis shows that there is a very poor return on that sort of thing.
How would one make such a cost-benefit analysis?

When doing something that is objectively (in comparison to others) hard to do, the top numbers can be very low percentage wise. For example, in baseball, a 0.300 batting average is considered excellent. Meaning that a baseball hitter who correctly executes 30 % of what he's supposed to do, is an excellent player. Seen merely as a percentage number, 30% isn't much, but it means the world in baseball.

- - -
Pseudobabble wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:32 am
binocular wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:45 am
How many suttas and other texts do we read and try to remember primarily because we want to fit in among Buddhists, or because we want to be a Buddhist's worthy interlocutor
None. It's for 'personal use only'.
Good for you!

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Sam Vara
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Re: Never again look for a sutta!

Post by Sam Vara » Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:01 am

binocular wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:13 am
Sam Vara wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:14 am
I can't speak for others, but I wouldn't bother with any of that. Fitting in with a group might be a powerful motivation, but only at the level of ordinary conversation.
I think it depends on what metaphysical dimension one ascribes to fitting in, or fears that fitting in might have.
Sure. As I said, I can't speak for others, but "fitting in" for the sake of it is a low priority.
How would one make such a cost-benefit analysis?
Like this. Memorising suttas is relatively hard work. There are some passages that I know because they feature in chanting that I regularly do. But to memorise a new sutta so that I could recite it whenever I wanted to, word-perfect - even a relatively short pithy one - would mean hours of work.

But what do I gain from this effort, in terms of fitting in among other Buddhists, or being a Buddhist's worthy interlocutor? There is no pay-off here on DW or elsewhere on the web. If I recite and type out my memorised sutta, people would think I had cut and pasted it from elsewhere. In my meditation group, people might say "Wow, Sam Vara, that's pretty impressive!" but overall such feats of memory are not useful, nor even particularly rare; it would do little to get me to "fit in". In fact, the more I did it, the more people would think of me as some kind of odd show-off. At my local monastery, Ajahn Sucitto is not going to think any the more of me just because I can parrot verses or recall on demand. He and the other monks treat people in the same coolly benevolent manner regardless of their behaviour. I can't think of a situation where sutta knowledge would benefit me because it does those things you specify.

"Fitting in" is not all that important, so the benefits of reading, studying and learning suttas are low in that direction.

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No_Mind
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Re: Never again look for a sutta!

Post by No_Mind » Thu Feb 08, 2018 2:43 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:01 am
At my local monastery, Ajahn Sucitto is not going to think any the more of me just because I can parrot verses or recall on demand. He and the other monks treat people in the same coolly benevolent manner regardless of their behaviour. I can't think of a situation where sutta knowledge would benefit me because it does those things you specify.

"Fitting in" is not all that important, so the benefits of reading, studying and learning suttas are low in that direction.
Your local monastery is Chithurst Buddhist Monastery. Wow .... I am jealous and envious and covetous.

:namaste:
I know one thing: that I know nothing

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dylanj
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Re: Never again look for a sutta!

Post by dylanj » Thu Feb 08, 2018 2:44 pm

I have thought of essentially trying to make an index similar to the one on accesstoinsight, just by keeping a list of topics & the suttas they are covered by as I read.
susukhaṁ vata nibbānaṁ,
sammā­sambud­dha­desitaṁ;
asokaṁ virajaṁ khemaṁ,
yattha dukkhaṁ nirujjhatī


Oh! extinction is so very blissful,
As taught by the One Rightly Self-Awakened:
Sorrowless, stainless, secure;
Where suffering all ceases


etaṁ santaṁ etaṁ paṇītaṁ yadidaṁ sabbasaṅkhārasamatho sabbūpadhipaṭi nissaggo taṇhakkhayo virāgo nirodho nibbānaṁ

This is peaceful, this is excellent, that is: the stilling of all preparations, the relinquishment of all attachments, the destruction of craving, detachment, cessation, extinction.

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No_Mind
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Re: Never again look for a sutta!

Post by No_Mind » Thu Feb 08, 2018 2:56 pm

binocular wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:40 pm
Remembering the right instruction at the right moment is a matter of life and death. So memorizing suttas is a matter of life and death.
I use these

https://appliedbuddhism.com/about-buddh ... mma-lists/

https://www.cheatography.com/davidpol/c ... he-dharma/

and pdf most important parts of ATI (say 100 pages) and store it in a phone.

:namaste:
I know one thing: that I know nothing

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Sam Vara
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Re: Never again look for a sutta!

Post by Sam Vara » Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:53 pm

No_Mind wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 2:43 pm
Sam Vara wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:01 am
At my local monastery, Ajahn Sucitto is not going to think any the more of me just because I can parrot verses or recall on demand. He and the other monks treat people in the same coolly benevolent manner regardless of their behaviour. I can't think of a situation where sutta knowledge would benefit me because it does those things you specify.

"Fitting in" is not all that important, so the benefits of reading, studying and learning suttas are low in that direction.
Your local monastery is Chithurst Buddhist Monastery. Wow .... I am jealous and envious and covetous.

:namaste:
Yes, I'm lucky to live near Chithurst - it's a lovely place. Ajahn Sucitto is more often travelling than resident, however, these days.

Saengnapha
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Re: Never again look for a sutta!

Post by Saengnapha » Thu Feb 08, 2018 5:17 pm

binocular wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:04 am
Greetings,


I hereby challenge everyone to become an highly organized reader of suttas, so that nobody ever again looks for a sutta.
This means that I challenge everyone, including myself, to make notes when reading suttas, and then to systemize those notes, so that nothing gets lost ever again.

Who's with me?


:tongue: :woohoo: :guns:

:meditate:
If you need somebody with you, you're already headed in the wrong direction. :shrug:

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