Heaviside wrote: Heaviside wrote:
P.S. In honesty, I should mention that my critique of Fronsdal was based only upon his intro talk for Anapanasati meditation. After listening to the second installment, I think the first talk was atypical. But I have heard others who were obviously extremely edgy---and that struck me as odd for one who presumably "has it all together."
Dhamma Greetings Again!
Well, let me correct an error: Fronsdal was not the person I was originally thinking of. I should have referred to Rodney Smith at the Seattle Insight Meditation Center. Have a look at this video:http://www.seattleinsight.org/Talks/Bro ... fault.aspx
Please don't think I am being spiteful about Mr. Smith. He seems to be a sincere person and is rather fluent. But notice his many nervous mannerisms, such as tics, twitches, and false starts. I have many of these same characteristics, so I feel particularly qualified to recognize them in others as being a reflection of psychological "unsettledness" and nervousness. One of my motivations for practicing meditation is to find a remedy for these problems, so it concerns me that a teacher of meditation practice exhibits these selfsame problems. His example seems to be telling me that my quest is futile.
Can anyone comment on my original question in light of this further explanation? Thanks.
I bought Rodney's dhamma book, just to maybe figure out what I heard him speaking about in about 20 hours of listening to his talks where he seems to chase his own tail. In the forward, he credits Krishnamurti as one of his inspirations. I have also listened to a lot of Krishnamurti talks, which are of the same type as Rodney's teachings, and then thought, yes I see they are coming from the same direction. They both speak from an advanced level dhamma, of dependent origination and not-self. They say that you don't need to meditate, discard all gurus, because there is no "you" to meditate, there is no "you" to reach any goal like nibbana. So, look at the translations from the Pali Canon, available on Amazon or Accesstoinsight.com. The Buddha, understanding right speech and timeliness of speech, did not speak of such high dhamma, to people except advanced bhikkus who were already at that level to understand what this is all about. Like I said before, there are criterion in the Canki sutta, that you can use to evaulate a teacher. If he doesn't meet those, just come back and study the canon and meditate, maybe find a teacher for talks in depth, and eventually you will see that both Rodney Smith and Krishnamurti are really speaking the dhamma despite their shortcomings in making people understand, They just delivered it to the wrong audience at the wrong time.
I attend a local Therevada center. Sometimes, I admittedly have an aversion because the bhikkhus speak of "simple" dhamma (okay zen folks, simple dhamma is also advanced...) when I've wanted to hear about advanced dhamma like dependent origination like Smith teaches. But, they know right speech and they know that the audience is mainly people who came there because they want to "be bhuddist" or "learn things" or "be happy." So that's what they teach, 4 truths, noble eightfold path, seven factors of enlightenment, and we are all going to reach nibbana and aim for this. They give people what they need, when they need it. We even have people tonight, who want "dhamma names". So, okay the bhikkhus give them dhamma names and tell them they have a responsibility now with this name to follow the path. It's skillful means to get people who are "not-self" to practice more and realize that the dhamma name, the truths, eightfold path, the enlightenment factors are only tools to see the dhamma. Smith and Krishnamurti just hit with the full frontal assault of emptiness without even leading up to it. Probably they see the public reaction to this, where people would look at them with the blank stare, and this is what makes Smith have nervous ticks, and made Krishnamurti always say "Are you following this?
I am afraid you are not following this" At times in his talks, Smith says, "many times if you don't understand me, just say, Rodney that was a shooting star, and just let it go and you'll see it again later So, he even knows that sometimes he teaches beyond the capability of the audience, but still does it. They are nervous, because they are teaching advanced things that they do not know how to express in language, to people who are probably not ready to understand it even if the language was intelligible. So, this doesn't make them liars, but just the wrong teachers at the wrong time for some people. So as I mentioned, why not just go back and study the suttas and meditate on those, then study Canki sutta and see if any teacher passes the test there?
I'm studying Fronsdale's sutta course from Sati Center. in there, he speaks of people wanting to be non-dualistic, but in the end we have to make some choice, dichotomous. We have to look at a teaching, and say, forget everything about the teacher or our personal views, is the teaching useful or not? This point, is dichotomous. That said, Rodney's teachings have been beneficial to me, because they speak to me at this time in my practice. Fronsdale as well. Krishnamurti as well. Bhuddaghosa, Shantideva. Therevada, Zen or whatever. It's not about the teacher or his traits or his personal life, as if to take a guru, but about whether the any of the teachings are useful to you in practice, can you directly apply them for realization in practice? We could all find some faults with all of these teachers if we wanted, but then we would miss the point of what they have to offer.