alan wrote:I ask a honest question and get no reply. I press further and then my motivation is called out. This is all very discouraging.
If you can't answer the question then please just say so.
Thought I might encounter some wise people here; perhaps I was mistaken...
Strange. I thought gave an extremely direct answer. I follow Theravada because I wanted to be calm and happy like the Theravada monks and lay people that I met. For me it's not a matter of examining and rejecting other forms of Buddhism. I just didn't see the need to worry about them. I just stuck with what seemed to work, with teachers who I had confidence in.
I try to always keep this Sutta in mind when discussing other approaches: MN 95 Canki Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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"If a person has conviction, his statement, 'This is my conviction,' safeguards the truth. But he doesn't yet come to the definite conclusion that 'Only this is true; anything else is worthless.'
The rest of the Sutta is similar to my experience:
"There is the case, Bharadvaja, where a monk lives in dependence on a certain village or town. Then a householder or householder's son goes to him and observes him with regard to three mental qualities — qualities based on greed, qualities based on aversion, qualities based on delusion: 'Are there in this venerable one any such qualities based on greed that, with his mind overcome by these qualities, he might say, "I know," while not knowing, or say, "I see," while not seeing; or that he might urge another to act in a way that was for his/her long-term harm & pain?' As he observes him, he comes to know, 'There are in this venerable one no such qualities based on greed... His bodily behavior & verbal behavior are those of one not greedy. And the Dhamma he teaches is deep, hard to see, hard to realize, tranquil, refined, beyond the scope of conjecture, subtle, to-be-experienced by the wise. This Dhamma can't easily be taught by a person who's greedy.
When, on observing that the monk is purified with regard to qualities based on greed, he next observes him with regard to qualities based on aversion...
When, on observing that the monk is purified with regard to qualities based on aversion, he next observes him with regard to qualities based on delusion...
When, on observing that the monk is purified with regard to qualities based on delusion, he places conviction in him. With the arising of conviction, he visits him & grows close to him. Growing close to him, he lends ear. Lending ear, he hears the Dhamma. Hearing the Dhamma, he remembers it.
Of course I can't say that I've finished this bit yet...
Remembering it, he penetrates the meaning of those dhammas. Penetrating the meaning, he comes to an agreement through pondering those dhammas. There being an agreement through pondering those dhammas, desire arises. With the arising of desire, he becomes willing. Willing, he contemplates (lit: "weighs," "compares"). Contemplating, he makes an exertion. Exerting himself, he both realizes the ultimate meaning of the truth with his body and sees by penetrating it with discernment.