Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta,'no self' believers,& my idea of "destroying the successive links of Dependent Origination".

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Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta,'no self' believers,& my idea of "destroying the successive links of Dependent Origination".

Post by samsarictravelling » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:16 am

Hey again, Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta and everyone,

I am not a follower of Thanissaro Bhikkhu, but for the last week or so, I reviewed some of his anatta writings -- I did not read all of it, because that's boring. :D

I also read the Ananda Sutta and tried to understand it.

I don't know if Thanissaro Bhikkhu teaches his 'Not-self strategy (anatta strategy)' like the below I write, but what I write below is another way of using the Buddha's teaching for emancipation.

Mind you, I am not enlightened at all. But here's my take on how one could be enlightened 'here-and-now':

The 12 links of Dependent Origination is between Eternalism and Annihilationism.

What is Eternalism? The belief that one exists after death and continues from life to life with a soul (atman).

What is Annihilationism? The belief we only have this here one life, and when we die, we just turn to dust. Nothing happens after we die. Our body is the only self we have, and when we die, our self is forever gone. Sort of like the scientific view of life, am I correct? Maybe some (or maybe even many?) scientists believe in some kind of after-life, but the general belief about science is that science teaches we are gone forever when we die, right?

These are the two extremes that Buddha did not teach (Eternalism and Annihilationism). What did the Buddha teach? He taught a way that one could call 'in-between' these two. It accepts Eternalism's belief in continuing from one life after another, but does not believe in a soul (atman). It accepts Annihilationism's claim we have no soul (atman), but does not believe we just die and that's it; instead we go from one life to the next (rebirth).

This middle way belief -- going from one life to another, but without a soul (atman) -- happens because of, according to the Buddha, Dependent Origination.

What is Dependent Origination? It is the 12 links of Dependent Origination.

We create reality through the 12 links of Dependent Origination. For example: from craving, comes clinging (upadana); from clinging comes existence (bhava); from existence, comes birth (jati).

We can attain Nibbana right here-and-now if we destroy the succession of the links. For example: if we give up craving, then no clinging; if no clinging, then no existence; if no existence, then no birth.

Thanissaro Bhikkhu does not need 'anatta' to be a belief of 'no self', because a belief would be a craving. And craving would lead to clinging, etc, which in the end creates reality (samsara).

Thanissaro Bhikkhu instead gives up any belief, because any belief is a craving. And when he gives up all craving, all clinging is given up, etc, which in the end gives up birth. Birth given up, there is the experience of Nibbana here-and-now.

So Thanissaro Bhikkhu's way is a way to experience Nibbana here-and-now by destroying the successive links of Dependent Origination.

This could be what Thanissaro Bhikkhu is trying to do. Or I could be wrong.

If Thanissaro Bhikkhu does not teach this "destroying the successive links of Dependent Origination", then maybe others who do not follow Thanissaro Bhikkhu -- that means, basically, any Theravada Buddhists who hold the 'there is no self' belief -- do actually do this "destroying the successive links of Dependent Origination" to experience Nibbana here-and-now. They could believe in 'there is no self' while doing this "destroying the successive links of Dependent Origination" and successfully attain enlightenment? I am not sure. 'There is no self' is a belief. Maybe they could successfully attain enlightenment doing this "destroying the successive links of Dependent Origination" while holding on to the 'there is no self' belief.

Back to Thanissaro Bhikkhu and his followers: if they do this "destroying the successive links of Dependent Origination", they differ from those that do this "destroying the successive links of Dependent Origination" who hold a 'there is no self' belief (they are mentioned in the last paragraph). How do they differ? Thanissaro Bhikkhu and his followers do not hold any beliefs of 'there is no self' nor 'there is a self' -- because all beliefs are cravings and must be relinquished -- while they do this "destroying the successive links of Dependent Origination".

I'll say it again: I do not know if Thanissaro Bhikkhu and his followers who have their 'Not-self strategy (anatta strategy)' do this "destroying the successive links of Dependent Origination" (which is just an idea of mine).

samsarictravelling

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Re: Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta,'no self' believers,& my idea of "destroying the successive links of Dependent Originati

Post by Dhammanando » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:00 am

samsarictravelling wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:16 am
What is Annihilationism? The belief we only have this here one life, and when we die, we just turn to dust. Nothing happens after we die. Our body is the only self we have, and when we die, our self is forever gone. Sort of like the scientific view of life, am I correct?
What all forms of annihilationism share is the positing of a self that is perishable. But annihilationism needn’t entail the identifying of this self with one’s physical body — this just happens to be the commonest form of it in modern times. In the Brahmajāla Sutta, however, the perishable self posited by an annihilationist might be any of seven things:

1. Material form composed of the four primary elements (rūpī cātumahābhūtiko).
2. Divine, having material form, pertaining to the sense sphere, feeding on edible nutriment (dibbo rūpī kāmāvacaro kabaḷīkārāhārabhakkho)
3. Divine, having material form, mind-made, complete in all its limbs and organs, not destitute of any faculties (dibbo rūpī manomayo sabbaṅgapaccaṅgī ahīnindriyo).
4. Belonging to the base of infinite space (ākāsānañcāyatanūpago).
5. Belonging to the base of infinite consciousness (viññāṇañcāyatanūpago).
6. Blonging to the base of nothingness (ākiñcaññāyatanūpago).
7. Belonging to the base of neither perception nor non-perception (nevasaññānāsaññāyatanūpago).

https://legacy.suttacentral.net/en/dn1
“Keep to your own pastures, bhikkhus, walk in the haunts where your fathers roamed.
If ye thus walk in them, Māra will find no lodgement, Māra will find no foothold.”
— Cakkavattisīhanāda Sutta

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Re: Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta,'no self' believers,& my idea of "destroying the successive links of Dependent Originati

Post by samsarictravelling » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:28 am

Dhammanando wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:00 am
samsarictravelling wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:16 am
What is Annihilationism? The belief we only have this here one life, and when we die, we just turn to dust. Nothing happens after we die. Our body is the only self we have, and when we die, our self is forever gone. Sort of like the scientific view of life, am I correct?
What all forms of annihilationism share is the positing of a self that is perishable. But annihilationism needn’t entail the identifying of this self with one’s physical body — this just happens to be the commonest form of it in modern times. In the Brahmajāla Sutta, however, the perishable self posited by an annihilationist might be any of seven things:

1. Material form composed of the four primary elements (rūpī cātumahābhūtiko).
2. Divine, having material form, pertaining to the sense sphere, feeding on edible nutriment (dibbo rūpī kāmāvacaro kabaḷīkārāhārabhakkho)
3. Divine, having material form, mind-made, complete in all its limbs and organs, not destitute of any faculties (dibbo rūpī manomayo sabbaṅgapaccaṅgī ahīnindriyo).
4. Belonging to the base of infinite space (ākāsānañcāyatanūpago).
5. Belonging to the base of infinite consciousness (viññāṇañcāyatanūpago).
6. Blonging to the base of nothingness (ākiñcaññāyatanūpago).
7. Belonging to the base of neither perception nor non-perception (nevasaññānāsaññāyatanūpago).

https://legacy.suttacentral.net/en/dn1
Thank you for your reply Bhikkhu Dhammanando,

I might in the future look into this, but for now as a worldly layman, I do not like to spend much time on any Dhamma learning that I feel I do not need at the moment.

Thank you again for your reply, Venerable Dhammanando.

P.S. During these past seven days or so, I was looking at the "message board" at suttacentral, I think, and a Venerable named 'Brahmali' -- is this Ajahn Brahm? -- said he would like to translate 'anatta' as 'void of self', because it gets to the meaning of the world 'anatta', and at least one replied they really agreed. 'Void of self' would surely oppose Thanissaro Bhikkhu's 'Not-self strategy'! All I just wrote is if I got it all correct from what I read, and where I read it.

P.P.S. I at present -- sometime after sharing my anatta view that opposed Thanissaro Bhikkhu's 'not-self strategy' here on 'Dhamma Wheel' message board, and getting a certain reply-post from another, gained some confusion, and lost that view, then searched for a new "answer to life", including all the Buddhist and non-Buddhist research I did in these past seven days or so -- do not oppose Thanissaro Bhikkhu like before. My view of anatta can be seen in this new writing above, and what I say now:

My happiness now does not oppose Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta strategy, but I do not feel any desperate need, at least for now (if not forever), to learn it. My happiness right now is the result of something else philosophically-wise. I am still predominantly a Theravada Buddhist.

samsarictravelling

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Re: Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta,'no self' believers,& my idea of "destroying the successive links of Dependent Originati

Post by Dhammanando » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:27 am

samsarictravelling wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:28 am
P.S. During these past seven days or so, I was looking at the "message board" at suttacentral, I think, and a Venerable named 'Brahmali' -- is this Ajahn Brahm? -- said he would like to translate 'anatta' as 'void of self', because it gets to the meaning of the world 'anatta', and at least one replied they really agreed. 'Void of self' would surely oppose Thanissaro Bhikkhu's 'Not-self strategy'!
Ajahn Brahmali is a Norwegian monk and a close associate of Ajahn Brahmavamso.

I agree with him that "void of self" would be a good translation of anattā and certainly more in line with the Pali commentaries' privative understanding of the an- prefix. However, although translating it in this way would undermine the Vedantic interpretation of anattā that one sometimes encounters, I'm not sure that it would have much effect on Ajahn Thanissaro's.
“Keep to your own pastures, bhikkhus, walk in the haunts where your fathers roamed.
If ye thus walk in them, Māra will find no lodgement, Māra will find no foothold.”
— Cakkavattisīhanāda Sutta

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Re: Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta,'no self' believers,& my idea of "destroying the successive links of Dependent Originati

Post by samsarictravelling » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:33 am

Dhammanando wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:27 am
samsarictravelling wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:28 am
P.S. During these past seven days or so, I was looking at the "message board" at suttacentral, I think, and a Venerable named 'Brahmali' -- is this Ajahn Brahm? -- said he would like to translate 'anatta' as 'void of self', because it gets to the meaning of the world 'anatta', and at least one replied they really agreed. 'Void of self' would surely oppose Thanissaro Bhikkhu's 'Not-self strategy'!
Ajahn Brahmali is a Norwegian monk and a close associate of Ajahn Brahmavamso.

I agree with him that "void of self" would be a good translation of anattā and certainly more in line with the Pali commentaries' privative understanding of the an- prefix. However, although translating it in this way would undermine the Vedantic interpretation of anattā that one sometimes encounters, I'm not sure that it would have much affect on Ajahn Thanissaro's.
Thank you Venerable Dhammanando for confirming what I read -- anatta translated as 'void of self' -- and correcting -- that it was Ajahn Brahmali.

samsarictravelling

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Re: Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta,'no self' believers,& my idea of "destroying the successive links of Dependent Originati

Post by Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:34 am

samsarictravelling wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:16 am
Hey again, Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta and everyone,
Hello travelling, ❤️
samsarictravelling wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:16 am


We create reality through the 12 links of Dependent Origination. For example: from craving, comes clinging (upadana); from clinging comes existence (bhava); from existence, comes birth (jati).
Dependent orgination was used by Mogok Sayadaw as the main core of his vipassana teachings, and his tradition also is very popular in Myanmar since late 1950s up to now, using this DO circle.


Image
samsarictravelling wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:16 am

We can attain Nibbana right here-and-now if we destroy the succession of the links. For example: if we give up craving, then no clinging; if no clinging, then no existence; if no existence, then no birth.
Mogok Sayadaw also used to teach in a similar fashion; he used something like "momentary [short-lived] 'Nibbana' " which we can attain right here and right now in this very moment, as long as we are breaking the linkage between vedana "feeling" and tanha "craving" by "mindfulness", which, if we persevere enough in doing so, would eventually lead to real Nibbana. He emphasized to break the linkage between vedana and tanha.


Although he was an unrivalled abidhamma specialist [before intensive meditation for years in a forest during world war II] in Myanmar at the time, he used to explain only three levels of nanas for lay practitioner: 1) "seeing" 2) "hating" 3) "ending" of arising & passing aways.

However, before doing that "linkage breaking practice", he used to warn to intellectually eliminate the wrong view first [Sakkāya Ditthi - the chief of all wrong views -- along with the two main disciples being Sassata Ditthi 'eternity-belief' and Uccheda Ditthi 'annihilation-view']. If not, he said, our vipassana nanas will be weak. A famous one of his second generation disciples, who didn't pay much attention to this warning, unfortunately leaned on to some partial eternalistic view, ended up his potential incompletely bloomed, at best.

Mudita to you, travelling, if you've got benefits from whatever approach you may find suited to you presently, leading you to a more liberated mind from kilesas for the time being.

Happy travelling,

🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻
Metta
𝗬𝗼𝘂 𝗺𝗮𝘆 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗸𝗻𝗼𝘄 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀: :candle: --->

"the one thing all the mistaken views have in common is the assump­tion that the self exists" ~ DN1

"It is an entirely and perfectly foolish idea" ~ MN22

SN22.59:
The No-self doctrine is found only in the teaching of the Buddha.
⬤ No-self (anatta) means that there is no permanent, unchanging entity in anything animate or inanimate.

🅢🅐🅑🅑🅔 🅓🅗🅐🅜🅜🅐 🅐🅝🅐🅣🅣🅐

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Re: Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta,'no self' believers,& my idea of "destroying the successive links of Dependent Originati

Post by cappuccino » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:38 pm

Dhammanando wrote:What all forms of annihilationism share is the positing of a self that is perishable.
annihilation ism is about consciousness, existence

the annihilation of consciousness, existence

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Re: Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta,'no self' believers,& my idea of "destroying the successive links of Dependent Originati

Post by cappuccino » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:49 pm

eternal ism is about constant, stable, permanent self

rather than eternity

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Re: Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta,'no self' believers,& my idea of "destroying the successive links of Dependent Originati

Post by Dhammanando » Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:19 pm

cappuccino wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:38 pm
annihilation ism is about consciousness, existence

the annihilation of consciousness, existence
I shall continue to take my definition from the Brahmajāla Sutta, not from you.
“Keep to your own pastures, bhikkhus, walk in the haunts where your fathers roamed.
If ye thus walk in them, Māra will find no lodgement, Māra will find no foothold.”
— Cakkavattisīhanāda Sutta

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Re: Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta,'no self' believers,& my idea of "destroying the successive links of Dependent Originati

Post by cappuccino » Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:38 pm

Dhammanando wrote: I shall continue to take my definition from the Brahmajāla Sutta, not from you.
for the Blessed One would not say, 'A monk with no more effluents, on the break-up of the body, is annihilated, perishes, & does not exist after death.'
Yamaka Sutta: To Yamaka

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Re: Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta,'no self' believers,& my idea of "destroying the successive links of Dependent Originati

Post by samsarictravelling » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:13 pm

Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:34 am
samsarictravelling wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:16 am
Hey again, Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta and everyone,
Dependent orgination was used by Mogok Sayadaw as the main core of his vipassana teachings, and his tradition also is very popular in Myanmar since late 1950s up to now, using this DO circle.

...

Mogok Sayadaw also used to teach in a similar fashion; he used something like "momentary [short-lived] 'Nibbana' " which we can attain right here and right now in this very moment, as long as we are breaking the linkage between vedana "feeling" and tanha "craving" by "mindfulness", which, if we persevere enough in doing so, would eventually lead to real Nibbana. He emphasized to break the linkage between vedana and tanha.

...

A famous one of his second generation disciples, who didn't pay much attention to this warning, unfortunately leaned on to some partial eternalistic view, ended up his potential incompletely bloomed, at best.

Mudita to you, travelling, if you've got benefits from whatever approach you may find suited to you presently, leading you to a more liberated mind from kilesas for the time being.

...
Thanks for the information.

Now, I just want everyone to know this. When I said:

my idea of "destroying the successive links of Dependent Origination"

That may be misleading. It's 'my idea' in how I word it in my writing, but it is not an original idea by me. All my ideas in this 'Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta,'no self' believers,& my idea of "destroying the successive links of Dependent Origination"' writing of mine, I got from others, mainly from Bhikkhu Bodhi's English translation books of certain Nikayas, as explained below:

I think I got most or all of my Dependent Origination learning from Bhikkhu Bodhi's English translation(s) of the Nikaya(s) Majjhima and/or Samyutta, when I was doing a lot of this Nikayas learning on my own at home, in 2012 or 2013 or so. Both these books are from Wisdom Publications. At that time, I did not buy these books yet, but borrowed them -- and the Digha Nikaya English translation -- from the public library. The learning includes Bhikkhu Bodhi's endnotes (notes at the back of the books).

To Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta: As for my answer now, yes it gives me happiness -- of course, isn't an 'answer to life' supposed to give happiness? :)

samsarictravelling

Edit: After reviewing a bit of my writing (not all of it; too lazy to), I see one idea that I wrote that may or may not have some original idea of mine in it -- be it correct or incorrect understanding of the Dhamma; I don't know. Here is that idea:
It accepts Annihilationism's claim we have no soul (atman), but does not believe we just die and that's it; instead we go from one life to the next (rebirth).
samsarictravelling

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Re: Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta,'no self' believers,& my idea of "destroying the successive links of Dependent Originati

Post by cappuccino » Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:55 pm

samsarictravelling wrote:Here is that idea:
It accepts Annihilationism's claim we have no soul (atman)

this is not found in the teaching of Buddha
Last edited by cappuccino on Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta,'no self' believers,& my idea of "destroying the successive links of Dependent Originati

Post by JohnK » Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:05 pm

samsarictravelling wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:13 pm
...
Edit:...I see one idea that I wrote that may or may not have some original idea of mine in it -- be it correct or incorrect understanding of the Dhamma; I don't know. Here is that idea:
It accepts Annihilationism's claim we have no soul (atman), but does not believe we just die and that's it; instead we go from one life to the next (rebirth).
Fortunately (for all of us), having an original idea is not the point of practice.
It seems to be a big deal in some worldly circles like academia and "new product development," where it is a (precarious) source of praise and fame. The trap of course is that when we concern ourselves with being original, we identify with our fabrications as "mine," and we don't free ourselves from DO.
"...the practice is essentially a practice, and not a theory to be idly discussed...right view leaves unanswered many questions about the cosmos and the self, and directs your attention to what needs to be done to escape from the ravages of suffering." Thanissaro Bhikkhu, On The Path.

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Re: Thanissaro Bhikkhu's anatta,'no self' believers,& my idea of "destroying the successive links of Dependent Originati

Post by samsarictravelling » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:25 pm

JohnK wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:05 pm
samsarictravelling wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:13 pm
...
Edit:...I see one idea that I wrote that may or may not have some original idea of mine in it -- be it correct or incorrect understanding of the Dhamma; I don't know. Here is that idea:
It accepts Annihilationism's claim we have no soul (atman), but does not believe we just die and that's it; instead we go from one life to the next (rebirth).
Fortunately (for all of us), having an original idea is not the point of practice.
It seems to be a big deal in some worldly circles like academia and "new product development," where it is a (precarious) source of praise and fame. The trap of course is that when we concern ourselves with being original, we identify with our fabrications as "mine," and we don't free ourselves from DO.
Thank you for your comment, JohnK.

samsarictravelling

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