The Quotable Thanissaro

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
dhammapal
Posts: 1842
Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 9:23 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: The Quotable Thanissaro

Post by dhammapal » Thu Jan 30, 2020 12:58 pm

Thanissaro Bhikkhu wrote:We live in the world where there’s so much impermanence and we find somebody that we really like, that we love, that we get attached to, and there’s a lot of clinging there. The affection is not what the Buddha criticizes. He criticizes the clinging, because the clinging is where the suffering is. Clinging basically means that we’re feeding off of them. A large part of our happiness depends on them. In that way they become part of us, so when there’s a loss, we feel that a good part of us has been lost as well. Think of all the unskillful things we do out of the concern to maintain a relationship, fear that we’re going to lose someone who’s dear to us.
From: The Buddha's Relationship Advice by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

User avatar
SDC
Posts: 5558
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:08 pm

Re: The Quotable Thanissaro

Post by SDC » Thu Jan 30, 2020 2:15 pm

Moderator Note: please use the below from the OP as a guideline for this topic. Anyone wishing to discuss the quotes herein should do so in a new thread.
danieLion wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:28 am
My idea in starting this topic is for myself and others to not only drop Thanissaro quotes we like, but also the ones we find controversial, provocative, or downright heretical. I have no way to enforce this, but I ask that this topic just be for quoting and if discussing is to happen that it be made a new topic of its own
Most recent sidebar move here: viewtopic.php?f=13&t=36307

dhammapal
Posts: 1842
Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 9:23 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: The Quotable Thanissaro

Post by dhammapal » Fri Feb 07, 2020 9:09 am

Thanissaro Bhikkhu wrote:We often think that vipassana means seeing things as they are, the idea being that there’s something already out there — things as they are — and they’re all covered over by our preconceived notions, our mental fabrications. What we’ve got to do is clear those fabrications away and that will leave just the pristine things as they are. But that’s not really how insight works. That understanding actually gets in the way of insight’s arising because the Buddha didn’t say, “things as they are.” He said, “things as they’ve come to be”: how they’ve come into being. That’s a process of fabrication. It’s not the case that fabrications lie on top of pristine things as they are. Fabrication is how those things have come into being in the first place.
From: Things as They've Come to Be by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

dhammapal
Posts: 1842
Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 9:23 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: The Quotable Thanissaro

Post by dhammapal » Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:11 am

Thanissaro Bhikkhu wrote:Many people define [mettā] as “lovingkindness,” implying a desire to be there for other people: to cherish them, to provide them with intimacy, nurture, and protection. The idea of feeling love for everyone sounds very noble and emotionally satisfying. But when you really stop to think about all the beings in the cosmos, there are a lot of them who — like the snake — would react to your lovingkindness with suspicion and fear. Rather than wanting your love, they would rather be left alone. Others might try to take unfair advantage of your lovingkindness, reading it as a sign either of your weakness or of your endorsement of whatever they want to do. In none of these cases would your lovingkindness lead to anyone’s true happiness.
From: Metta Means Goodwill by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

dhammapal
Posts: 1842
Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 9:23 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: The Quotable Thanissaro

Post by dhammapal » Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:25 am

Thanissaro Bhikkhu wrote:Society’s main aim, no matter where, is its own perpetuation. Its cultural values are designed to keep its members useful and productive — either directly or indirectly — in the on-going economy. Most religions allow themselves to become domesticated to these values by stressing altruism as the highest religious impulse, and mainstream Buddhism is no different. Wherever it has spread, it has become domesticated to the extent that the vast majority of monastics as well as lay followers devote themselves to social services of one form or another, measuring their personal spiritual worth in terms of how well they have loved and served others.

However, the actual practice enjoined by the Buddha does not place such a high value on altruism at all. In fact, he gave higher praise to those who work exclusively for their own spiritual welfare than to those who sacrifice their spiritual welfare for the welfare of others (Aṅguttara Nikāya 4:95) — a teaching that the mainstream, especially in Mahayana traditions, has tended to suppress. The true path of practice pursues happiness through social withdrawal, the goal being an undying happiness found exclusively within, totally transcending the world and not necessarily expressed in any social function. People who have attained the goal may teach the path of practice to others, or they may not. Those who do are considered superior to those who don’t, but those who don’t are in turn said to be superior to those who teach without having attained the goal themselves. Thus individual attainment, rather than social function, is the true measure of a person’s worth.
From: Upāsikā Kee Nanayon and the Social Dynamic of Theravadin Buddhist Practice by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

dhammapal
Posts: 1842
Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 9:23 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: The Quotable Thanissaro

Post by dhammapal » Wed Mar 25, 2020 7:07 pm

Thanissaro Bhikkhu wrote:Another argument against karma is that given the doctrine of not-self how does karma make sense? If there is no self then who's doing the action? Who's receiving the action? What's there for continuity? That's getting the context backwards. The Buddha started with the teaching on karma first and then came up with the doctrine of not-self in the context of karma.

In other words, he said people act, you can see that for sure. Then the question of how does the doctrine of not-self fit in to the way people act? And it turns out that the Buddha said that our sense of self is something that we do, it is a type of karma. You create your sense of yourself. You create the sense of what you are. Your create your sense of what belongs to you. It’s a type of action.
From: War on Karma (51min mp3 audio) by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Majestic-12 [Bot], mikenz66, Sam Vara, SarathW and 149 guests