Which Senior Theravada monks should ideally discuss and explore with each other over which topics?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
Saengnapha
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Re: Which Senior Theravada monks should ideally discuss and explore with each other over which topics?

Post by Saengnapha » Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:26 am

mikenz66 wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:02 am
Subharo wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:18 am
I too read those exchanges between Ajahn Thanissaro, and Bhikkhu Bodhi. Whomever squares off with Ajahn Thanissaro had better be as clever as about 25 foxes and as sharp as a samurai sword.
Do you really think so, Bhante? I like listening Ajahn Thanissaro from time to time - he has some interesting perspectives. However, when he criticises others he often seems to me to have not have read their work particuarly carefully. I would much rather he stuck to what he does well, which is explaining his own perspectives.

Personally, I question the whole idea of this thread. In my opinion, there are thousands of people out there worth interacting with, and the idea that the opinions and knowledge of certain people are vastly superior to the others, and that them "having it out" together will "decide an issue" strikes me as a little far fetched.

However, if I were to be witnessing such a discussion, I'd like it to be between teachers such as Ven Analayo, who are careful to explore various points of view without jumping to conclusions, or claiming some sort of authority.

:heart:
Mike
:goodpost:

Saengnapha
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Re: Which Senior Theravada monks should ideally discuss and explore with each other over which topics?

Post by Saengnapha » Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:28 am

DNS wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:10 am
I suppose it might be nice to see a panel discussion of esteemed bhikkhus and bhikkhunis on "What is original Buddhism?" which texts, which interpretation of the teachings, Suttas, nature of nibbana, etc but as others have noted I imagine the rest of us will end up resonating with the ideas of the monastic we most like or to the views we already hold from our own studies, analysis, and / or insights.
Never going to happen. This is one of the main reasons practitioners follow particular teachers because they are not getting 'it' from the books.

Circle5
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Re: Which Senior Theravada monks should ideally discuss and explore with each other over which topics?

Post by Circle5 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:38 am

During Buddha times, every village had a Debating Hall and monks were trained for being good in debates. Having monks good in debates was one of the 5 things Buddha enumerated every time there came the question if weather he should die or not.

Unfortunatelly english culture it totally different from other cultures, being probably the most anti-debate one in the world. Egos are big and having a debate is seen as an assault on ones ego, it's not something that can be taken light-hearthed. I can't even picture 2 western monks having a serious debate about buddhist issues. They can have that on other topics but not on buddhism, cause that would be like a super ego-battle where being wrong would mean being lower than the bhikkhu who won the debate or something like that. Forget about that honest and healthy attitude towards finding the truth that we see in the debating halls described in the suttas, where big religious leaders would easily change their opinion when refuted in a debate.

There was not a single debate on buddhist issues, between famous western buddhist monks that I know of. The more famous, the more difficult it is for the bhikkhu to ever be wrong.

Saengnapha
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Re: Which Senior Theravada monks should ideally discuss and explore with each other over which topics?

Post by Saengnapha » Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:52 am

Circle5 wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:38 am
During Buddha times, every village had a Debating Hall and monks were trained for being good in debates. Having monks good in debates was one of the 5 things Buddha enumerated every time there came the question if weather he should die or not.

Unfortunatelly english culture it totally different from other cultures, being probably the most anti-debate one in the world. Egos are big and having a debate is seen as an assault on ones ego, it's not something that can be taken light-hearthed. I can't even picture 2 western monks having a serious debate about buddhist issues. They can have that on other topics but not on buddhism, cause that would be like a super ego-battle where being wrong would mean being lower than the bhikkhu who won the debate or something like that. Forget about that honest and healthy attitude towards finding the truth that we see in the debating halls described in the suttas, where big religious leaders would easily change their opinion when refuted in a debate.

There was not a single debate on buddhist issues, between famous western buddhist monks that I know of. The more famous, the more difficult it is for the bhikkhu to ever be wrong.
Do you think there are any Arahants alive, either in East or West?

Circle5
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Re: Which Senior Theravada monks should ideally discuss and explore with each other over which topics?

Post by Circle5 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:21 am

Saengnapha wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:52 am
Do you think there are any Arahants alive, either in East or West?
Why are you asking ?

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Subharo
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Re: Which Senior Theravada monks should ideally discuss and explore with each other over which topics?

Post by Subharo » Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:47 am

mikenz66 wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:02 am
Do you really think so, Bhante?
I'll answer in 2 days.
Subharo Bhikkhu
"There is but one taste on this path, the taste of freedom" -The Buddha :buddha1:

binocular
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Re: Which Senior Theravada monks should ideally discuss and explore with each other over which topics?

Post by binocular » Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:18 am

DNS wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:10 am
I suppose it might be nice to see a panel discussion of esteemed bhikkhus and bhikkhunis on "What is original Buddhism?" which texts, which interpretation of the teachings, Suttas, nature of nibbana, etc but as others have noted I imagine the rest of us will end up resonating with the ideas of the monastic we most like or to the views we already hold from our own studies, analysis, and / or insights.
Or just become more confused, or jaded.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

Saengnapha
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Re: Which Senior Theravada monks should ideally discuss and explore with each other over which topics?

Post by Saengnapha » Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:05 pm

Circle5 wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:21 am
Saengnapha wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:52 am
Do you think there are any Arahants alive, either in East or West?
Why are you asking ?
why not? :thinking:

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DooDoot
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Re: Which Senior Theravada monks should ideally discuss and explore with each other over which topics?

Post by DooDoot » Sun Jan 14, 2018 7:51 am

Subharo wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:45 am
If you could have your way and have certain living Theravada Senior monks engage in gentlemanly, frank discussion and co-operative exploration over various controversies and sticking points in Buddhism (in a similar way demonstrated here), who would talk to whom?
The two living senior Theravada monks I would nominate, due to what I sense is their learnedness & capacity to objectively consider various interpretations, would be Thanissaro Bhikkhu & Ajahn Jayasaro.

Image Image

For me, the other senior monks are too idiosyncratic (Brahm), quirky (Amaro; Vimalaramsi), sutta lacking (Sumedho); Mahavihara (Bodhi; Gunaratana) &/or agenda based (Sujato; Brahmali).
Last edited by DooDoot on Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:24 am, edited 10 times in total.

Saengnapha
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Re: Which Senior Theravada monks should ideally discuss and explore with each other over which topics?

Post by Saengnapha » Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:58 am

DooDoot wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 7:51 am
Subharo wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:45 am
If you could have your way and have certain living Theravada Senior monks engage in gentlemanly, frank discussion and co-operative exploration over various controversies and sticking points in Buddhism (in a similar way demonstrated here), who would talk to whom?
The two living senior Theravada monks I would nominate, due to what I sense is their learnedness & capacity to objectively consider various interpretations, would be Thanissaro Bhikkhu & Ajahn Jayasaro.

Image Image

For me, the other senior monks are too idiosyncratic (Brahm), quirky (Amaro; Vimalaramsi), sutta lacking (Sumedho); Mahavihara (Bodhi; Gunaratana) &/or agenda based (Sujato; Brahmali).
Any reason you don't include Payutto? Only white people?

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DooDoot
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Re: Which Senior Theravada monks should ideally discuss and explore with each other over which topics?

Post by DooDoot » Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:16 am

Saengnapha wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:58 am
Any reason you don't include Payutto? Only white people?
I don't speak Thai and this is an English language website. I did include non-white Gunaratana. This said, Payutto is an excellent nomination. :thanks:

Saengnapha
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Re: Which Senior Theravada monks should ideally discuss and explore with each other over which topics?

Post by Saengnapha » Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:24 am

DooDoot wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:16 am
Saengnapha wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:58 am
Any reason you don't include Payutto? Only white people?
I don't speak Thai and this is an English language website. I did include non-white Gunaratana. This said, Payutto is an excellent nomination. :thanks:
I see. The OP was referring to this site specifically?

binocular
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Re: Which Senior Theravada monks should ideally discuss and explore with each other over which topics?

Post by binocular » Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:06 am

DooDoot wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 7:51 am
Subharo wrote: This goes outside the scope of my own question (apologies), but I would like to hear a discussion between Thanissaro Bhikkhu and Sam Harris, over assertions Sam Harris made in his Essay "Killing the Buddha"
I think a discussion with Sam Harris would be similar to how Thanissaro Bhikkhu straightened out what he called the "Talmudic" ideas of Bhikkhu Bodhi about Just War.
I don't think Thanissaro Bhikkhu (or any earnest monk with some experience) would discuss in any depth with people like Harris. Harris doesn't seem to have respect for the Dhamma; and respect for the Dhamma isn't something that could be taught to a person against their will.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

Saengnapha
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Re: Which Senior Theravada monks should ideally discuss and explore with each other over which topics?

Post by Saengnapha » Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:25 am

binocular wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:06 am
DooDoot wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 7:51 am
Subharo wrote: This goes outside the scope of my own question (apologies), but I would like to hear a discussion between Thanissaro Bhikkhu and Sam Harris, over assertions Sam Harris made in his Essay "Killing the Buddha"
I think a discussion with Sam Harris would be similar to how Thanissaro Bhikkhu straightened out what he called the "Talmudic" ideas of Bhikkhu Bodhi about Just War.
I don't think Thanissaro Bhikkhu (or any earnest monk with some experience) would discuss in any depth with people like Harris. Harris doesn't seem to have respect for the Dhamma; and respect for the Dhamma isn't something that could be taught to a person against their will.
You mean if Harris asked Thanissaro to discuss something with him, he would dismiss him? I think this might be a projection on your part, not that I mind. Harris is just another person like you and me and all the others here. He has an interest in Buddhism, Dzogchen, the last I heard. Why do we have such attitudes?

binocular
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Re: Which Senior Theravada monks should ideally discuss and explore with each other over which topics?

Post by binocular » Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:38 pm

Saengnapha wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:25 am
You mean if Harris asked Thanissaro to discuss something with him, he would dismiss him?
I'm not sure he would dismiss him, but I don't think he would make a point of going into much depth.
This may very well be a projection of mine.
Harris is just another person like you and me and all the others here. He has an interest in Buddhism, Dzogchen, the last I heard. Why do we have such attitudes?
A monk has limited time and strict priorities, so there doesn't seem to be all that much time for discussing things with strangers, even if they are famous.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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