Picking up the threads of Theravada again

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gingercatni
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Picking up the threads of Theravada again

Post by gingercatni » Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:08 pm

Hi everyone!:)

This may be a long winded post so I apologise! I became a Buddhist in 2007/08 and I initially came across the practices of Theravada, For about two years i practiced Theravada Buddhism but being very isolated and english sutta transaltions few and far between, I moved over to Pureland Buddhism and I've been practicing Pureland ever since.

At the beginning of this year, I was fighting through a severe bout of bad health. I'm only 39 so youngish lol but recently I've been absorbing myself in Buddhism. Buddhism occupies my mind and as such I've found that I'm out growing the Pureland doctrine. I can admit that I don't give myself credit for my own intellectual ability and part of my reasons for leaving Theravada was that I thought it was beyond my capability.

Recently though, I've been thinking about the Buddha (historical) his qualities, his life and how unique he was. In Pureland although the Buddha (historical) is the teacher, he does take a back seat in preference for Amitabha. As such he becomes a narrator (for me at least) and I feel I'm missing the core teachings of the Buddha (historical).

The past few days I've dusted down a service book I used when I practiced Theravada, it's strange, ten years later it's a very simple practice. But the problem remains, Theravada suttas are rare and those that exist are online and often incomplete. I use accesstoinsight a lot but are there other sources of Theravada texts out there?

I am a content Buddhist, but I continually exhibit the key characteristic from my childhood, unending curiosity! Another thing that ended my Theravada practice was the doubtful chance of accomplishing anything to move along the path, has anyone any advice on this? Thanks Scott. :namaste:

JohnK
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Re: Picking up the threads of Theravada again

Post by JohnK » Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:55 pm

Now almost all of the Pali suttas are available in numerous English translations.
The anthology from Bhikkhu Bodhi is a great place to start.
The paper book can be purchased or see this discussion:
viewtopic.php?t=14640

There is also a great resource section here:
viewtopic.php?f=24&t=3012

And,
viewtopic.php?f=24&t=148

Sutta Central is a great resource:
https://suttacentral.net/
"...the practice is essentially a practice, and not a theory to be idly discussed...right view leaves unanswered many questions about the cosmos and the self, and directs your attention to what needs to be done to escape from the ravages of suffering." Thanissaro Bhikkhu, On The Path.

paul
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Location: Vietnam

Re: Picking up the threads of Theravada again

Post by paul » Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:39 pm

gingercatni wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:08 pm
Another thing that ended my Theravada practice was the doubtful chance of accomplishing anything to move along the path, has anyone any advice on this?
A statement to that effect indicates the practitioner is not focused on the action of the hindrances in daily life, or the development of the wholesome qualities, known as the seven factors of enlightenment, the practice is not engaged with reality. This process is right effort in the noble eightfold path. To begin to develop that focus and restructuring of the practice, this approach is suggested :

“One who has chosen the conquest of the five hindrances for a "working-ground" should examine which of the five are strongest in one's personal case. Then one should carefully observe how, and on which occasions, they usually appear. One should further know the positive forces within one's own mind by which each of these hindrances can best be countered and, finally, conquered; and one should also examine one's life for any opportunity of developing these qualities which, in the following pages, have been indicated under the headings of the spiritual faculties (indriya), the factors of absorption (jhananga), and the factors of enlightenment (bojjhanga).”

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut ... el026.html

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retrofuturist
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Re: Picking up the threads of Theravada again

Post by retrofuturist » Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:43 pm

Greetings,
gingercatni wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:08 pm
But the problem remains, Theravada suttas are rare and those that exist are online and often incomplete. I use accesstoinsight a lot but are there other sources of Theravada texts out there?
There are very many Theravada Suttas so in that respect they are not rare. All the main collections have been ably translated in English as well, so in that respect they are not rare either.

In the event you've read all you can find online, you can try to find more via the Google Saffron Theravada Search Engine. One site referenced on Google Saffron which is known for sourcing sutta translations is Sutta Central.

Also well regarded are Bhikkhu Bodhi's translations, which although rarely free on line, can be purchased both electronically and in hard-copy for what are pretty reasonable prices, all things considered.

But, if you don't want to leave the site for now, Mikenz66 has been diligently heading up a Study Group for a long time that studies and discusses a different sutta or Dhamma text each week.

If you wish to discuss a sutta that you encounter through your readings, by all means feel free to start a new topic to explore it further.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

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

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Mkoll
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Re: Picking up the threads of Theravada again

Post by Mkoll » Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:40 am

JohnK wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:55 pm
The anthology from Bhikkhu Bodhi is a great place to start.
The paper book can be purchased or see this discussion:
viewtopic.php?t=14640
I second this. There are many good places you could start to learn about the Buddha's teachings in the Pali suttas. Of all of them, this is best.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

santa100
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Re: Picking up the threads of Theravada again

Post by santa100 » Sun Aug 12, 2018 3:40 pm

gingercatni wrote:Another thing that ended my Theravada practice was the doubtful chance of accomplishing anything to move along the path, has anyone any advice on this?
Imagine a race that requires 10,000 steps to reach the finish line. Any effort you make to put 1 step forward would mean that you're 1 step closer toward the finish line. But if you don't move your foot forward, you will never reach the finish line.

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