Wat Dhammakaya

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alan
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Post by alan » Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:05 am

I would not have used the references, but have to agree with tilt on his general assessment.
Huge groups of people wearing identical outfits standing in large columns just freaks me out. Maybe it is just my individualist tendencies speaking here, but I don't trust any mass movement.

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GrahamR
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Wat Dhammakaya

Post by GrahamR » Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:09 am

alan wrote:Ok, Halemalu, I have a specific question. Will you please describe the meditation technique advocated by this group, and why you believe it is beneficial.
Butting in on this point, as I recall they follow the breath to their centre (stomach) rather than just at the nose as I was trained to in our tradition, I think you were meant to visualize a sphere there. Personally, I don't object to this and have been taught the same technique by a Japanese teacher previously.

I live in southern Thailand and yesterday evening was talking to my neighbour who has just been on a business trip to the coast. We were discussing Dhamma Kaya and she agreed it is a more a business than a devout organisation. She also said she had seen a 'holiday camp' for their monks who were enjoying activities such as speed boating.
I don't find this group sinister as such, simply financially rather than spiritually orientated.
With metta :bow:
Graham

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tiltbillings
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:13 am

GrahamR wrote:I don't find this group sinister as such, simply financially rather than spiritually orientated.
Money is power, and power . . . .
>> 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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GrahamR
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Wat Dhammakaya

Post by GrahamR » Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:19 am

tiltbillings wrote:I am not saying that the Dhammakaya organization is Nazi or Communist in its ideology, but I am saying that such regimentation is an expression of power of an organization over large numbers of human beings. It is a form of muscle flexing.
I would add that things at Dhamma Kaya are heavily regimented with 'worshippers' in neat rows segregated between men and women. It's not like visiting a normal Thai wat which is a family activity for me. I really don't enjoy the feeling of 'control'
With metta :bow:
Graham

EmptyShadow
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Post by EmptyShadow » Tue Feb 08, 2011 5:06 pm

Graham, just to let you know that your avatar is little too big and it cuts off the beginning of the sentences on your posts.

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cooran
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Post by cooran » Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:39 pm

Hello EmptyShadow,

Unusual first post. :tongue:

...... Graham's avatar doesn't cut off the beginnings of sentences for me - maybe your browser needs a little tinkering?

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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GrahamR
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Post by GrahamR » Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:44 am

EmptyShadow wrote:Graham, just to let you know that your avatar is little too big and it cuts off the beginning of the sentences on your posts.
hi Empty Shadow,
The avatar is within the limits of the forum and it displays ok in my IE8, sorry, you may need to adjust your settings :)
With metta :bow:
Graham

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Khemadhammo Bhikkhu
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Post by Khemadhammo Bhikkhu » Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:52 pm

alan wrote:Ok, Halemalu, I have a specific question. Will you please describe the meditation technique advocated by this group, and why you believe it is beneficial.
Alan and others,

I don't know what Halemalu is answering to this, but living as a bhikkhu in Wat Phra Dhammakāya, I think I can answer this question. The meditation practiced in our wat is the same meditation as taught by Luang Pu Wat Paknam, commonly known as Luang Phor Sod Candasaro, a well-known Thai meditation master. Luang Pu Wat Paknam taught a form of meditation which consists of both samatha and vipassanā, starting with samatha. In this meditation practice, you bring your awareness within your body, following the pathway of your breath, stopping at the center of the abdomen and maintaining your awareness there. The key part is to be aware of this point in your body. In order to maintain this awareness, commonly Luang Pu would teach to imagine a crystal sphere, or a sphere of light as a preparatory sign (parikamma-nimitta). If the practitioner is distracted by sounds, he/she might use a word to help concentrate. Usually the word 'Sammā arahaṃ' is taught. the practitioner repeats this word continuously to mainatin concentration, until the mind becomes increasingly refined and the usage of the word is no longer necessary. Starting with the preparatory sign, the practitioner then develops the learning sign and counterpart sign, and reaches the jhānas in this way.

Almost all this can be found in the Visuddhimagga. The only thing you will not find in there directly is the word 'Sammā arahaṃ'. This word is simply meant as a description of the noble qualities of the Buddha. It was a word commonly in use by meditation monks in the time of Luang Pu, and still is used in several places in Thailand.

Coming to talk about Wat Phra Dhammakāya, I wouldn't consider it a proper subject of discussion to uncritically quote news articles from news papers. To my knowledge, most of the news papers articles about Wat Phra Dhammakāya are not written by experts on the Dhamma. I would rather suggest to discuss these matters, weighing the merits and demerits of things, the pros and cons of things, by our knowledge on the Dhamma and Vinaya. That would seem to me a better foundation for a discussion of these topics.

As for the report on Foreign Policy, I think the responses speak for themselves (see below at the end of their article).

I'd be happy to answer any questions if you would like. I am not online everyday, but I'll try to answer as soon as possible.

In the Dhamma,

Khemadhammo Bhikkhu (Phra Sander).
He stopped and called out to the Blessed One: "Stop, recluse! Stop, recluse!"
"I have stopped, Angulimāla, you stop too."
(M ii.100)

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exonesion
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Post by exonesion » Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:37 am

Khemadhammo Bhikkhu wrote:
alan wrote:Ok, Halemalu, I have a specific question. Will you please describe the meditation technique advocated by this group, and why you believe it is beneficial.
Alan and others,

I don't know what Halemalu is answering to this, but living as a bhikkhu in Wat Phra Dhammakāya, I think I can answer this question. The meditation practiced in our wat is the same meditation as taught by Luang Pu Wat Paknam, commonly known as Luang Phor Sod Candasaro, a well-known Thai meditation master. Luang Pu Wat Paknam taught a form of meditation which consists of both samatha and vipassanā, starting with samatha. In this meditation practice, you bring your awareness within your body, following the pathway of your breath, stopping at the center of the abdomen and maintaining your awareness there. The key part is to be aware of this point in your body. In order to maintain this awareness, commonly Luang Pu would teach to imagine a crystal sphere, or a sphere of light as a preparatory sign (parikamma-nimitta). If the practitioner is distracted by sounds, he/she might use a word to help concentrate. Usually the word 'Sammā arahaṃ' is taught. the practitioner repeats this word continuously to mainatin concentration, until the mind becomes increasingly refined and the usage of the word is no longer necessary. Starting with the preparatory sign, the practitioner then develops the learning sign and counterpart sign, and reaches the jhānas in this way.

Almost all this can be found in the Visuddhimagga. The only thing you will not find in there directly is the word 'Sammā arahaṃ'. This word is simply meant as a description of the noble qualities of the Buddha. It was a word commonly in use by meditation monks in the time of Luang Pu, and still is used in several places in Thailand.

Coming to talk about Wat Phra Dhammakāya, I wouldn't consider it a proper subject of discussion to uncritically quote news articles from news papers. To my knowledge, most of the news papers articles about Wat Phra Dhammakāya are not written by experts on the Dhamma. I would rather suggest to discuss these matters, weighing the merits and demerits of things, the pros and cons of things, by our knowledge on the Dhamma and Vinaya. That would seem to me a better foundation for a discussion of these topics.

As for the report on Foreign Policy, I think the responses speak for themselves (see below at the end of their article).

I'd be happy to answer any questions if you would like. I am not online everyday, but I'll try to answer as soon as possible.

In the Dhamma,

Khemadhammo Bhikkhu (Phra Sander).
Dear Luang Phi, I have some questions regarding Meditation and some others and I hope you could answer them. :)
1.How long do you usually sit for meditation ?
2.Does Chanting help in meditation ?
3.How long does it take to see the crystal sphere If I could only perceive darkness ?
4.What's the difference between keeping the 5 precepts and the 8 precepts ?
Thank you :anjali:
“Meditate, Ānanda, do not delay, or else you will regret it later.”
The Buddha - MN 152

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Phra Chuntawongso
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Post by Phra Chuntawongso » Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:59 am

Dear Luang Phi, I have some questions regarding Meditation and some others and I hope you could answer them. :)
1.How long do you usually sit for meditation ?
2.Does Chanting help in meditation ?
3.How long does it take to see the crystal sphere If I could only perceive darkness ?
4.What's the difference between keeping the 5 precepts and the 8 precepts ?
Thank you :anjali:
Hi there.
For me, I usually walk for 1hour, then sit for 1 hour.
Chanting is a form of medtation, but not one that I practise.
I can't answer number 3 as I don't do this practise.
The difference between the five pecepts and eight precepts are:
The precept to refrain from sexual misconduct,becomes a vow of celibacy.
Then we have three more precepts to live by.
6.To refrain from eating at the wrong time.In most temples this means only eating between sunrise and midday.
Some temples(forest)only eat one meal per day.
7.To refrain from dancing, singing,listening to music,watching shows,wearing garlands,wearing make up,perfume, etc.
8.To refrain from using high and luxurious seats and beds.
With metta,
Phra Greg
And crawling on the planets face,some insects called the human race.
Lost in time
Lost in space
And meaning

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Khemadhammo Bhikkhu
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Post by Khemadhammo Bhikkhu » Wed Feb 16, 2011 2:12 pm

exonesion wrote:
Dear Luang Phi, I have some questions regarding Meditation and some others and I hope you could answer them. :)
1.How long do you usually sit for meditation ?
2.Does Chanting help in meditation ?
3.How long does it take to see the crystal sphere If I could only perceive darkness ?
4.What's the difference between keeping the 5 precepts and the 8 precepts ?
Thank you :anjali:
Hello,
1. Between 1-3 hrs. per day, depending on my schedule. For laypeople many teachers in my tradition recommend half an hour twice per day, or more than that, as much as you feel is satisfactory for you or as much as fits in with your working schedule. It is also important that you go on a retreat now and then, to meditate more.
2. Chanting and meditation the Thai compare with medicinal cream and oral medicine, respectively. Chanting prepares your mind for meditation, but meditation is much deeper and profound because it deals with your defilements more thoroughly and directly.
3. 'Make darkness your good friend'. Be neutral and unconcerned with all experiences at the center, no matter whether you see something or not. You can practice this more and more. In this way your mind will reach more and more profound levels of stillness. This you cannot rush. Be neutral and happy with any experience, and always guide your mind back to the center.
4. Phra Greg explained this well. Nothing to add there.

Anumodanā!

Luang phi Sander.
He stopped and called out to the Blessed One: "Stop, recluse! Stop, recluse!"
"I have stopped, Angulimāla, you stop too."
(M ii.100)

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exonesion
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Post by exonesion » Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:52 pm

Thank you Luang Phi Greg and Luang Phi Sander :) :anjali:
“Meditate, Ānanda, do not delay, or else you will regret it later.”
The Buddha - MN 152

A_Martin
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Post by A_Martin » Sun Feb 20, 2011 4:42 am

Very interesting, comparing it to the Forest tradition of Ajahn Mun
daily practice of meditation of 14 to 18 hours a day. Than Acharn Maha Bua says, that real meditation practice starts only after 3 hours in a stretch. Be it walking meditation or sitting meditation. He himself sat quite often 12hours during the night, not getting up or moving during this time.
Chanting long suttas is often recommended in this tradition for people who's concentration is weak, e.g. they cannot stay on the breath or Buddho. Once one remembers a chant one is to chant it very fast, so that one is not able to think outside the chant.
Metta Martin

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Khemadhammo Bhikkhu
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Post by Khemadhammo Bhikkhu » Sun Feb 20, 2011 4:16 pm

A_Martin wrote:Very interesting, comparing it to the Forest tradition of Ajahn Mun
daily practice of meditation of 14 to 18 hours a day. Than Acharn Maha Bua says, that real meditation practice starts only after 3 hours in a stretch. Be it walking meditation or sitting meditation. He himself sat quite often 12hours during the night, not getting up or moving during this time.
Chanting long suttas is often recommended in this tradition for people who's concentration is weak, e.g. they cannot stay on the breath or Buddho. Once one remembers a chant one is to chant it very fast, so that one is not able to think outside the chant.
Metta Martin
I understand Exonesion's question to mean how many hours he/she should practice everyday. One hour a day seems feasible in a lay people's life, for someone who has a working life. As a monk you have more time than that.

Comparing traditions is interesting indeed, when we look at the strengths of every tradition.

In the Dhamma,

Luang phi Sander (Khemadhammo).
He stopped and called out to the Blessed One: "Stop, recluse! Stop, recluse!"
"I have stopped, Angulimāla, you stop too."
(M ii.100)

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Halemalu
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Post by Halemalu » Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:22 am

alan wrote:Ok, Halemalu, I have a specific question. Will you please describe the meditation technique advocated by this group, and why you believe it is beneficial.
So sorry I was not able to respond to your question sooner. I had lost track of this thread. I want to thank my friend the Venerable Luang Pi Sander for stepping in for me and answering your question far better than I ever could. It is wonderful to see that you are a participant in this forum and are able to represent the Dhammakaya Foundation here. I will asist you the best I can.

I do want to make a observation regarding how many of you percieve Wat Dhammakaya as being somehow too large and thus dangerous. When you see the orderly conduct of it's members, everyone lining up in perfect straight rows. This is not some power trip or mass obediance. It is what needs to be done when dealing with so many people and it is what the people want to do to show respect. If everyone in the hundreds of thousands would just rush in like a mob at a sporting event there could be no peacefull service. The people respect each other, they respect the Monks and the Abbott, and they respect the Temple grounds. That's why they all behave in what looks like a "controlled" maner. But it is self control and self discipline, not something forced upon them.

To me it is an incredible wonderous site to see hundreds of thousands of people act in a respectfull, orderly way, no pushing no shoving, no yelling, sit down in perfectly straight lines on their own accord and then meditate together in total silence. When they leave there isn't a piece of litter or garbage to be seen anywhere. And this is all done out of respect and common courtesy. The Western World should learn from such an experiance!!

One last thing I would like to share. A youtube video of One Million children singing about world peace through meditation. Something like this would be an impossibility here in the west. And that is a shame!

Rejoice in our Merit!

http://youtu.be/l4h-R9xDJDk" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Halemalu
The Place of Peace

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