Please convince me that Theravada Buddhism is NOT a non-dual school

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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zan
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Please convince me that Theravada Buddhism is NOT a non-dual school

Post by zan » Mon Oct 03, 2016 4:42 pm

Please convince me beyond any doubt that the Theravada school and the Pali Canon and associated commentaries do not hold a non-dual view.

To be clear I am not asking for it to be explained as a plural or dualistic school either. In my understanding it is neither. However if explaining it in dualistic terms helps then I see no problem with this.

I thought I had a firm understanding of the Theravada but have recently experienced some confusion and I would appreciate some help.

Finally, if you feel that the Theravada, Pali Canon and commentaries can be explained as a non-dual school, please refrain from posting about it here.
Last edited by zan on Mon Oct 03, 2016 6:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
I don't have much knowledge of the Dhamma, I'm just a beginner. Keep that in mind before you take anything I say too seriously :tongue:

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Please convince me that Theravada Buddhism is not a non-dual school

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon Oct 03, 2016 4:48 pm

If you wish to leave your confucian behind, the only way is to meditate. All this thinking and debating is doing you no good at all.
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zan
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Re: Please convince me that Theravada Buddhism is not a non-dual school

Post by zan » Mon Oct 03, 2016 5:17 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:If you wish to leave your confucian behind, the only way is to meditate. All this thinking and debating is doing you no good at all.
Thank you Venerable Pesala so much for your kind and helpful words. You are obviously correct, I know this deep down due to eleven years studying the Theravada texts but I still become stressed.
Last edited by zan on Mon Oct 03, 2016 6:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I don't have much knowledge of the Dhamma, I'm just a beginner. Keep that in mind before you take anything I say too seriously :tongue:

davidbrainerd
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Re: Please convince me that Theravada Buddhism is NOT a non-dual school

Post by davidbrainerd » Mon Oct 03, 2016 5:35 pm

Theravada can't make up its mind on this due to the notion that Buddha taught its a sin to take a position. If you ignore the "just shut up" suttas (i.e. its a sin to take a position suttas) the rest of the suttas are clearly dualistic.

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tiltbillings
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Re: Please convince me that Theravada Buddhism is NOT a non-dual school

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Oct 03, 2016 5:36 pm

zan wrote:
I came to Theravada from a non-dual school that taught there is no difference between samsara and Nirvana, there is ultimately no right or wrong and other such teachings that I found to be harmful.
And what school might that be?
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

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

zan
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Re: Please convince me that Theravada Buddhism is NOT a non-dual school

Post by zan » Mon Oct 03, 2016 6:05 pm

Oops I started to type out a post about my negative experience with the other school but i just realized my OP mentioning the Mayahana in the way that I did could be seen as negtive towards that school so I'll delete that section completely.
I don't have much knowledge of the Dhamma, I'm just a beginner. Keep that in mind before you take anything I say too seriously :tongue:

Caodemarte
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Re: Please convince me that Theravada Buddhism is not a non-dual school

Post by Caodemarte » Mon Oct 03, 2016 6:18 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:If you wish to leave your confucian behind, the only way is to meditate. All this thinking and debating is doing you no good at all.
My inner Confucian is just fine, but it is getting crowded in there!

Sorry, I make so many typos and have so many struggles with autocorrect I could not resist when I read that.

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tiltbillings
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Re: Please convince me that Theravada Buddhism is NOT a non-dual school

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Oct 03, 2016 6:45 pm

zan wrote:Oops I started to type out a post about my negative experience with the other school but i just realized my OP mentioning the Mayahana in the way that I did could be seen as negative towards that school so I'll delete that section completely.
A couple of things. You probably should have left your msg as it was and then deal with your correction in a subsequent msg. It is less disruptive to the flow the conversation. Secondly, my question still stands:
tilt wrote:
zan wrote:I came to Theravada from a non-dual school that taught there is no difference between samsara and Nirvana, there is ultimately no right or wrong and other such teachings that I found to be harmful.
And what school might that be?
Looking at the school in question might not be a bad idea in that it could helpfully illustrate a point of discussion.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

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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Cittasanto
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Re: Please convince me that Theravada Buddhism is NOT a non-dual school

Post by Cittasanto » Mon Oct 03, 2016 9:03 pm

zan wrote: To be clear I am not asking for it to be explained as a plural or dualistic school either. In my understanding it is neither. However if explaining it in dualistic terms helps then I see no problem with this.
Neither do I!
Some aspects are more dualistic... than other aspects, but it is better to grasp the teachings appropriately, or just set it aside.

Take Bhante's Advise and set the information that has raised doubts aside for a time, before looking at them again with a clearer mindset.

Lhiats dy firrinagh focklagh
Yours in truth
Cittasanto
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He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
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Javi
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Re: Please convince me that Theravada Buddhism is NOT a non-dual school

Post by Javi » Tue Oct 04, 2016 12:07 am

Read this sutta, the Malunkyaputta Sutta

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
Vayadhammā saṅkhārā appamādena sampādethā — All things decay and disappoint, it is through vigilance that you succeed — Mahāparinibbāna Sutta

Self-taught poverty is a help toward philosophy, for the things which philosophy attempts to teach by reasoning, poverty forces us to practice. — Diogenes of Sinope

I have seen all things that are done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a chase after wind — Ecclesiastes 1.14

dhammarelax
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Re: Please convince me that Theravada Buddhism is NOT a non-dual school

Post by dhammarelax » Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:59 pm

zan wrote:Please convince me beyond any doubt that the Theravada school and the Pali Canon and associated commentaries do not hold a non-dual view.

To be clear I am not asking for it to be explained as a plural or dualistic school either. In my understanding it is neither. However if explaining it in dualistic terms helps then I see no problem with this.

I thought I had a firm understanding of the Theravada but have recently experienced some confusion and I would appreciate some help.

Finally, if you feel that the Theravada, Pali Canon and commentaries can be explained as a non-dual school, please refrain from posting about it here.
As dual as it gets:

MN 19 Two kinds of thought

"“Bhikkhus, before my enlightenment, while I was still only an unenlightened Bodhisatta, it occurred to me: ‘Suppose that I divide my thoughts into two classes. Then I set on one side thoughts of sensual desire, thoughts of ill will, and thoughts of cruelty, and I set on the other side thoughts of renunciation, thoughts of non-ill will, and thoughts of non-cruelty.

“As I abided thus, diligent, ardent, and resolute,
a thought of sensual desire arose in me. I understood thus: ‘This thought of sensual desire has arisen in me. This leads to my own affliction, to others’ affliction, and to the affliction of both; it obstructs wisdom, causes difficulties, and leads away from Nibbāna.’ When I considered: ‘This leads to my own affliction,’ it subsided in me; when I considered: ‘This leads to others’ affliction,’ it subsided in me; when I considered: ‘This leads to the affliction of both,’ it subsided in me; when I considered: ‘This obstructs wisdom, causes difficulties, and leads away from Nibbāna,’ it subsided in me. Whenever a thought of sensual desire arose in me, I abandoned it, removed it, did away with it....

"“Bhikkhus, whatever a bhikkhu frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of his mind. If he frequently thinks and ponders upon thoughts of sensual desire, he has abandoned the thought of renunciation to cultivate the thought of sensual desire, and then his mind inclines to thoughts of sensual desire. If he frequently thinks and ponders thoughts of sensual desire. If he frequently thinks and ponders upon thoughts of ill will…upon thoughts of cruelty, he has abandoned the thought of non-cruelty to cultivate the thought of cruelty, and then his mind inclines to thoughts of cruelty"

Now if we get 2 multiplied by 2 we have 4:

SN 56.29. To Be Fully Understood (https://suttacentral.net/en/sn56.29)

“Bhikkhus, there are these Four Noble Truths. What four? The noble truth of suffering, the noble truth of the origin of suffering, the noble truth of the cessation of suffering, the noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of suffering. These are the Four Noble Truths.
“Of these Four Noble Truths, bhikkhus, there is a noble truth that is to be fully understood; there is a noble truth that is to be abandoned; there is a noble truth that is to be realized; there is a noble truth that is to be developed.
“And what, bhikkhus, is the noble truth that is to be fully understood? The noble truth of suffering is to be fully understood; the noble truth of the origin of suffering is to be abandoned; the noble truth of the cessation of suffering is to be realized; the noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of suffering is to be developed.
“Therefore, bhikkhus, an exertion should be made to understand: ‘This is suffering.’… An exertion should be made to understand: ‘This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.’”

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Even if the flesh & blood in my body dry up, leaving just the skin, tendons, & bones, I will use all my human firmness, human persistence and human striving. There will be no relaxing my persistence until I am the first of my generation to attain full awakening in this lifetime. ed. AN 2.5

justindesilva
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Re: Please convince me that Theravada Buddhism is NOT a non-dual school

Post by justindesilva » Thu Oct 06, 2016 1:47 am

Duality in Darma exists when there is a doubt or with micca ditthi.
If we start the knowledge of Darma from its basics then we can arrive at samma ditthi. Yet to do this we have to be vigilant with listening to many good sermons , read Darma with accessible buddhist literature and discuss with reliable sources.
From such sources it is my experience that I based budda darma on four basic factors
1. Existence of beings
2.Anitya (anicca) impermanence
3.Dukka veranda or suffering
4. Anatma ( non self)
These addressed properly though is complex can well establish the knowledge in Darma.
With maithri.

justindesilva
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Re: Please convince me that Theravada Buddhism is NOT a non-dual school

Post by justindesilva » Thu Oct 06, 2016 1:47 am

Duality in Darma exists when there is a doubt or with micca ditthi.
If we start the knowledge of Darma from its basics then we can arrive at samma ditthi. Yet to do this we have to be vigilant with listening to many good sermons , read Darma with accessible buddhist literature and discuss with reliable sources.
From such sources it is my experience that I based budda darma on four basic factors
1. Existence of beings
2.Anitya (anicca) impermanence
3.Dukka veranda or suffering
4. Anatma ( non self)
These addressed properly though is complex can well establish the knowledge in Darma.
With maithri.

justindesilva
Posts: 675
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:38 pm

Re: Please convince me that Theravada Buddhism is NOT a non-dual school

Post by justindesilva » Thu Oct 06, 2016 1:49 am

Duality in Darma exists when there is a doubt or with micca ditthi.
If we start the knowledge of Darma from its basics then we can arrive at samma ditthi. Yet to do this we have to be vigilant with listening to many good sermons , read Darma with accessible buddhist literature and discuss with reliable sources.
From such sources it is my experience that I based budda darma on four basic factors
1. Existence of beings
2.Anitya (anicca) impermanence
3.Dukka vedana or suffering
4. Anatma ( non self)
These addressed properly though is complex can well establish the knowledge in Darma.
With maithri.

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