Isn't Buddhism an extreme path?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
Post Reply
alfa
Posts: 357
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 4:43 pm
Location: India

Isn't Buddhism an extreme path?

Post by alfa » Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:55 am

:namaste:

The monks have to get up early, eat only one meal. This is an extreme.
The layperson cannot drink alcohol or seek entertainment. Must live like a robot.

Isn't this a little extreme? How then is Buddhism the middle path? Maybe compared to other paths that were popular back then, it is. But in modern times, isn't this an extreme path? :anjali:

justindesilva
Posts: 1009
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:38 pm

Re: Isn't Buddhism an extreme path?

Post by justindesilva » Mon Sep 09, 2019 3:58 am

alfa wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:55 am
:namaste:

The monks have to get up early, eat only one meal. This is an extreme.
The layperson cannot drink alcohol or seek entertainment. Must live like a robot.

Isn't this a little extreme? How then is Buddhism the middle path? Maybe compared to other paths that were popular back then, it is. But in modern times, isn't this an extreme path? :anjali:
There are only two extreme paths in life. They are atta sukallikanuyoga and attakilamatanuyoga, with which lord Buddha experimented and discarded.
Lord Buddha advised as the middlepath the arya ashranga marga , which explains a way of life with dana, sila, bhavana.
One is free to explore this path and as buddhism is a cause and effect system , one has to see the effect of leading ways of virtues one experience. We must realise the first verse in damma padha as mano pubbangama damma mano setta manomaya.......... to experience that the mind is first and foremost in setting and walking the middle path 8NP. For a person who has trained the mind getting up early and sleeping late is not a problem.
Having meals befiresun sets is not a problem. Living a life in moderation is not a problem.

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 21538
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: Isn't Buddhism an extreme path?

Post by retrofuturist » Mon Sep 09, 2019 4:16 am

Greetings,
alfa wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:55 am
Must live like a robot.
Clearly you have misunderstood the Buddha's teachings.

That said, it's probably not wise to be making grand proclamations that reflect nothing more than your misunderstanding.

Kind regards.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

“Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” (Flannery O'Connor)

User avatar
Nwad
Posts: 435
Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2018 7:24 pm

Re: Isn't Buddhism an extreme path?

Post by Nwad » Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:04 am

alfa wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:55 am
:namaste:

The monks have to get up early, eat only one meal. This is an extreme.
The layperson cannot drink alcohol or seek entertainment. Must live like a robot.

Isn't this a little extreme? How then is Buddhism the middle path? Maybe compared to other paths that were popular back then, it is. But in modern times, isn't this an extreme path? :anjali:
Its an extreme path for kilesas, because they don't want to leave.

Middle Way is not a way of comfort with kilesas on one hand and Dhamma on another. Middle Way is a way of choosing appropriate tool to dealing with kilesas. Kilesas are strong and they always find the way to distract one from escaping from their power.

For someone who is attached to sensual pleasure of sleeping - sleeping little is a middle way. For someone indulging in food eating little is a middle way. Why middle way? Because he still sleeping and eating but just as much as it's necessary to maintain this body in good health.
Body is malleable, it's a living organism, it will adapt itself. We work with mind, body is just a support of our work. People pay to much attention to the well being of the body, but not to much to the well being of the mind...

This body will die, family members will die, friends will die, children's will die, every body who live on this planet today they will die, everyone who you meet during the day is already dying...

PS: We dont need to live like robots, because we are already robots with a really tinny area of control... Its anatta, even Nibbana is anatta.

Real freedom is not a freedom of a smoker : I can smoke when where and what i want, but its a freedom of non-smoker: I don't need to smoke to be happy...
Actually Dhamma practice offer you a choice, while following sensual desires, greed hatred and delusion - you have no any choice, you are fully robot like being, zombie. Its not fault of beings that they behave like robots, they just suffer, and the only way they have to overcome dukkha is sensual stimulation, so of coarse it's hard to let off this shore and take direction to the other shore throught the flow of the river, having only Sila Samadhi and Panna as vehicle and Buddha Dhamma and Sangha as support... But there is no any of great Masters who was disappointed with the result of these efforts against kilesas, on the contrary - all they expectations about bliss of True Freedom was nothing compare to what they discovered...

binocular
Posts: 6494
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: Isn't Buddhism an extreme path?

Post by binocular » Mon Sep 09, 2019 11:38 am

alfa wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:55 am
The monks have to get up early, eat only one meal. This is an extreme.
The layperson cannot drink alcohol or seek entertainment. Must live like a robot.

Isn't this a little extreme? How then is Buddhism the middle path? Maybe compared to other paths that were popular back then, it is. But in modern times, isn't this an extreme path?
Monks live in greater material comfort than many other people, nowadays.

Look up the world statistics on adequate housing, nutrition, access to clean water, living below poverty limit etc.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

User avatar
Aloka
Posts: 6205
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:51 pm

Re: Isn't Buddhism an extreme path?

Post by Aloka » Mon Sep 09, 2019 11:52 am

alfa wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:55 am

The monks have to get up early, eat only one meal. This is an extreme.
The layperson cannot drink alcohol or seek entertainment. Must live like a robot.

Isn't this a little extreme? How then is Buddhism the middle path? Maybe compared to other paths that were popular back then, it is. But in modern times, isn't this an extreme path?
Some people in the world don't even have a roof over their heads and have to scavenge for food. A monk's life is
comfortable in comparison.

Also, the lay precepts are guidelines, not commandments.

One could also say that in "modern times" there are many far worse "extreme" paths of one kind or another!

.

User avatar
seeker242
Posts: 911
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:01 am

Re: Isn't Buddhism an extreme path?

Post by seeker242 » Mon Sep 09, 2019 12:41 pm

alfa wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:55 am
:namaste:

The monks have to get up early, eat only one meal. This is an extreme.
Extreme according to who? To someone addicted to sleeping and eating? Sure, you could say that. But, the whole point to to break the addiction to such things.

Is it "extreme" to tell an alcoholic if you want to break the addiction to alcohol, you have to stop drinking alcohol? Not really, it just the reasonable and proper thing to do.

Dan74
Posts: 3094
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:12 pm

Re: Isn't Buddhism an extreme path?

Post by Dan74 » Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:25 pm

It's a radical path, for sure, but in actuality most Buddhists don't live renunciate lives, probably not even most monks.

In actuality, we live our lives guided by the Buddha's teachings, cultivating the wholesome and trying to avoid the unwholesome, developing sila, samadhi and paññā, while still to a large extent attached to sensual pleasures, fearing various sorts of discomfort and suffering, holding on to notions of 'me' and 'mine', etc. It takes time..

Most Buddhist teachers I've met have been very down-to-earth and pragmatic and spoke to the people's actual condition and challenges. Have you listened to some good Dhamma talks, like from the Thai forest teachers?
_/|\_

2600htz
Posts: 475
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 11:37 pm

Re: Isn't Buddhism an extreme path?

Post by 2600htz » Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:45 pm

Hello:

Thats not what the Buddha meant with the middle path.
The Buddha explained:

When a painful feeling arises, craving arises.
With craving, you have habitual tendencies.
If you want to resist, fight, or try to change that painful feeling, thats the mortification.
If you want to escape, avoid that painful feeling, you search for sensual pleasure.
The middle path is not following both of those extremes, but to allow the painful feeling to be there, relax, and direct the mind
to a wholesome state.

So, resisting, fighting and avoiding will keep happening at every era.
Because we dont see many ascetics whipping their bodies with a lash, doesn´t mean the middle path should change.
Its about letting go of the craving


Regards.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: DooDoot, mikenz66 and 119 guests