Bikkhu Bodhi and Buddhist leaders convene at White House

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Re: Bikkhu Bodhi and Buddhist leaders convene at White House

Post by SDC » Tue May 26, 2015 12:50 am

tiltbillings wrote:The Four Noble Truths, as MN 9 makes quite clear, is a specific application of a general formula of causality.
I tend to think its most fundamental application to be the one that should be properly acknowledged while on the [inter]national stage.
tiltbillings wrote:
Though it is my hope that when ambassadors of the Dhamma enter the grand public eye that they do their best to promote the complete purpose of the path which they chose to follow instead of taking the low road by attempting to elevate worldly issues up to the level of that highest goal of the path. In that they will allow a practitioner to keep perspective while showing where engagement has a clear place within the practice instead of making it the crux of the practice
This is not an unreasonable concern; however, I think we can, not uncritically, extend our trust to these people.
Glad to see some middle ground here. I do trust that their interest are, for the most part, sincere, and I trust they will work tirelessly towards the goals they laid out. I wish them the very best even though I have no plans to follow suit.

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Re: Bikkhu Bodhi and Buddhist leaders convene at White House

Post by SDC » Tue May 26, 2015 12:53 am

tiltbillings wrote:
SDC wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:This "rejection of nibbana" notion looks to be your thinking, not theirs.
It is the message I am receiving from each article I have read.
Show me.
For the third time (only cause it's you, tilt):

"Focusing on moving from individual to collective transformation, from personal practice to political change..."

Please do not try to convince me what their intention were, tilt. These are the words they chose to use and I firmly believe they want them to be taken as is.

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Re: Bikkhu Bodhi and Buddhist leaders convene at White House

Post by Dan74 » Tue May 26, 2015 12:58 am

Well, this is from an article by Sherry Chayat and we are discussing Bikkhu Bodhi here.
_/|\_

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Re: Bikkhu Bodhi and Buddhist leaders convene at White House

Post by retrofuturist » Tue May 26, 2015 1:01 am

Greetings Anagarika,
Anagarika wrote:Maybe Ven. Bodhi cultivated some insight through his many hours of immersion in the Dhamma and in meditation that his present life would not lead him to nibbana. Awareness of that fact might be an important insight. Having accepted that, perhaps he then saw that if he were to inherit additional rebirths, why, then, not make this life as engaged and productive as possible?
I certainly hope that's not the case.

A renunciate living off food given in good faith, should in turn in good faith be pursuing the renunciate path.

How do the robes help one "make this life as engaged ... as possible?". The Buddha's Dhamma is about seclusion, not entanglement.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"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)

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Re: Bikkhu Bodhi and Buddhist leaders convene at White House

Post by SDC » Tue May 26, 2015 1:04 am

Dan74 wrote:Well, this is from an article by Sherry Chayat and we are discussing Bikkhu Bodhi here.
My primary concern is the overall message of this conference. Like I said, I have no interest in making this only about Ven. Bodhi nor do I think the OP limits it to him.

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Re: Bikkhu Bodhi and Buddhist leaders convene at White House

Post by tiltbillings » Tue May 26, 2015 1:23 am

SDC wrote:
"Focusing on moving from individual to collective transformation, from personal practice to political change..."

Please do not try to convince me what their intention were, tilt. These are the words they chose to use and I firmly believe they want them to be taken as is.
There is no rejection of nibbana here that you have shown.

Also, that statement (found here) is not a formal statement of the group, which makes your conclusion of "rejection of nibbana" at very best ify, and it points to the fact that your statement -- "These are the words they chose to use" -- is simply without basis. It is, rather, a reflection of one of the participants, who does not expand upon what is meant by these words, and that makes your generalization at very best very problematic.

Also, collective action need not negate individual practice. In any of the writings about the conference by those who participated, I have not seen any advocating of lock-step, Dhamma denying, behavior.
>> 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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Re: Bikkhu Bodhi and Buddhist leaders convene at White House

Post by tiltbillings » Tue May 26, 2015 1:28 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Anagarika,
Anagarika wrote:Maybe Ven. Bodhi cultivated some insight through his many hours of immersion in the Dhamma and in meditation that his present life would not lead him to nibbana. Awareness of that fact might be an important insight. Having accepted that, perhaps he then saw that if he were to inherit additional rebirths, why, then, not make this life as engaged and productive as possible?
I certainly hope that's not the case.

A renunciate living off food given in good faith, should in turn in good faith be pursuing the renunciate path.
And who are you to judge what Ven Bodhi's intentions are. You have accused him, slanderously, of violating the Vinaya, but have yet to show any concrete evidence that he has other than you think he should be different from what he is. Also, you have no idea of what constitutes his practice, and you are in no meaningful position to judge him.
>> 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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Re: Bikkhu Bodhi and Buddhist leaders convene at White House

Post by retrofuturist » Tue May 26, 2015 1:38 am

Greetings,

More of Bhikkhu Bodhi's manifesto has been released.

Additional political agenda items include:

- Rescind subsidies to fossil fuel corporations
- Impose a carbon tax to ensure costs of fossil fuel extraction and pollution are built into the market price of carbon
- Reject Keystone XL pipeline and other mega-oil pipelines
- Prohibit oil trains
- Shift away from model of industrial agriculture to agro-ecological models
- Provide subsidies and low-interest loans to clean, renewable energy projects
- Promote mass production of electric and hybrid cars
- Develop better, more efficient means of public transportation

But what is really concerning here is that "to purify one's own mind" is now structured according to ecological concerns!

It seems SDC's concerns are not misplaced...
Bhikkhu Bodhi wrote:III. To purify one’s own mind

1. Develop contentment, the basis for a steady-state economy
based on the principle of sufficiency, dedicated to qualitative
growth rather than endless production and consumption

2. Utilize wisdom, to understand the long-range and long-term
consequences of our actions, rooted in the subtle
interconnections of diverse chains of causality

3. Arouse a heart of compassion, extending loving concern to all
people everywhere on earth, based on deep inner identification
and respect for human dignity

4. Advocate for justice, to establish the necessary social,
economic, and political institutions, laws, and modes of
governance that offer everyone the conditions needed to
unfold their potentials and realize their best aspirations
:(

Is this the Buddha's Sangha or is this Oxfam? The Dhamma has been hijacked.

I find it very disappointing that we're told (by a Theravada bhikkhu no less) that the mind is to be purified though this Dhamma...

"Advocate for justice, to establish the necessary social,
economic, and political institutions, laws, and modes of
governance that offer everyone the conditions needed to
unfold their potentials and realize their best aspirations"

:?

At what point do we stop rationalizing this perversion of the Dhamma?

:alien:

Metta,
Retro. :)
"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)

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Re: Bikkhu Bodhi and Buddhist leaders convene at White House

Post by tiltbillings » Tue May 26, 2015 1:46 am

And you think he has simply chucked out the Dhamma in favor of this? This is all that Ven Bodhi is about now?
retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

More of Bhikkhu Bodhi's manifesto has been released.

Additional political agenda items include:

- Rescind subsidies to fossil fuel corporations
- Impose a carbon tax to ensure costs of fossil fuel extraction and pollution are built into the market price of carbon
- Reject Keystone XL pipeline and other mega-oil pipelines
- Prohibit oil trains
- Shift away from model of industrial agriculture to agro-ecological models
- Provide subsidies and low-interest loans to clean, renewable energy projects
- Promote mass production of electric and hybrid cars
- Develop better, more efficient means of public transportation

But what is really concerning here is that "to purify one's own mind" is now structured according to ecological concerns!

It seems SDC's concerns are not misplaced...
Bhikkhu Bodhi wrote:III. To purify one’s own mind

1. Develop contentment, the basis for a steady-state economy
based on the principle of sufficiency, dedicated to qualitative
growth rather than endless production and consumption

2. Utilize wisdom, to understand the long-range and long-term
consequences of our actions, rooted in the subtle
interconnections of diverse chains of causality

3. Arouse a heart of compassion, extending loving concern to all
people everywhere on earth, based on deep inner identification
and respect for human dignity

4. Advocate for justice, to establish the necessary social,
economic, and political institutions, laws, and modes of
governance that offer everyone the conditions needed to
unfold their potentials and realize their best aspirations
:(

Is this the Buddha's Sangha or is this Oxfam? The Dhamma has been hijacked.

Metta,
Retro. :)
>> 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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Re: Bikkhu Bodhi and Buddhist leaders convene at White House

Post by SDC » Tue May 26, 2015 2:00 am

tiltbillings wrote:There is no rejection of nibbana here that you have shown.
Just my take, tilt. I am sure everyone here is well aware that we are all giving our personal opinion.

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Re: Bikkhu Bodhi and Buddhist leaders convene at White House

Post by tiltbillings » Tue May 26, 2015 2:03 am

SDC wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:There is no rejection of nibbana here that you have shown.
Just my take, tilt. I am sure everyone here is well aware that we are all giving our personal opinion.
It is just that some opinions are better founded than others.
>> 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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Re: Bikkhu Bodhi and Buddhist leaders convene at White House

Post by Ben » Tue May 26, 2015 2:40 am

waterchan wrote:
tiltbillings wrote: That may be so about Ven Bodhi, but that does not mean that he does not meditate, nor does it mean that he is lacking in the fruits of bhāvanā.
He himself seems to admit that he is lacking in the fruits of bhavana:
Throughout my life as a monk I have made extensive use of these four meditation subjects. I have also done occasional extended retreats at hermitages in Sri Lanka and elsewhere. Regretfully, though, because of my poor merits and the debilitating headache condition, I have not reached any attainments worthy of a true practitioner.
Not that it bothers me. Just pointing it out because of mikenz's comment above. In fact, I think this whole issue of Bhikkhu Bodhi's worldly involvement doesn't bother me because I view him as a highly esteemed authority on the Pali texts, and not as a great teacher for the development of bhavana. And judging by the way he presents himself as a teacher, I'm sure he'd be fine with that. I don't think people should expect more from Bhikkhu Bodhi than he's willing or able to give, and my, I'm sure he's given a whole lot more to Buddhism than anyone here on this forum.
There is actually a whole lot more to 'bhāvana than time spent sitting in meditation.
Kind regards,
Ben
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Re: Bikkhu Bodhi and Buddhist leaders convene at White House

Post by Anagarika » Tue May 26, 2015 3:01 am

Retro, I admire your reverence of the Vinaya and the strict training path to nibbana, and do understand where you're coming from. Some of the hot speech in this discussion reminds me of the salvos being tossed over the issue of Bhikkhuni ordinations and the dialogue between Ven. Thanissaro and Ven. Bodhi; some of the dialogue did become personal and harsh, IMO. As we are all kalyana mitta here, it's good that we can hash out these questions. Iron sharpens iron. I expect that there will be more discussion on other Buddhist forums about the Washington, DC visit and its implications for the Buddhadhamma.

Personally, I am interested in seeing what evolves from the Washington meeting, and what Ven. Bodhi's next steps are. I admire him and trust him deeply, and have a sense of faith that he has a very strong Dhammic energy that is motivating him to do what he is doing. I also sense that he is a very kind and humble man, and deserving of the utmost respect, even if we perceive him to be straying from convention. At the end of the day, I see the Buddha in a similar light, a bit of a revolutionary, and a unique man willing to wisely and insightfully cut against the status quo and the religious and political conventions of his time. The Buddha had his critics, too, but he persevered. And so I see in Ven. Bodhi someone who decided he isn't going to play it safe, and is willing to be called out for his actions, just as many brave/heroic figures through history have done.

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Re: Bikkhu Bodhi and Buddhist leaders convene at White House

Post by retrofuturist » Tue May 26, 2015 3:09 am

Greetings Anagarika,
Anagarika wrote:As we are all kalyana mitta here, it's good that we can hash out these questions. Iron sharpens iron. I expect that there will be more discussion on other Buddhist forums about the Washington, DC visit and its implications for the Buddhadhamma.
Indeed, it's good to see these discussions taking place, as the Sangha is important to all of us and remains so for the remainder of this Buddhasasana.

Also, I find it heartening to see people exploring this important issue facing the Sangha without thinking the worst of others and reactively accusing them of slander, simply because their positions might be confronting or challenging. The whole situation by its very nature is challenging, and if it is ignored, we will be complicit in any degradation of the sasana that results from our passive acceptance.
Anagarika wrote:And so I see in Ven. Bodhi someone who decided he isn't going to play it safe, and is willing to be called out for his actions, just as many brave/heroic figures through history have done.
I know in advance that certain people will likely lash out at me for this comment, but he could pursue this "Engaged Buddhism" path in a much safer manner, doing so from the basis of a Mahayana Buddhist Sangha, where there is an established precedence for skillful means (upàya kusala) in teaching overriding Vinaya & Sutta concerns. The Mahayana way is not for me personally, but I do not begrudge anyone practicing it.

The Mahayanisation of the Theravada Dhamma-vinaya on the other hand is a different matter entirely... as Theravada risks being subsumed, in a similar way to how it was subsumed in India by Hinduism. Theravada's point of differentiation is that it is, and has always, given paramount importance to the discourses (suttanta) and the discipline (vinaya) - long may it remain so.
Parinibbana Sutta wrote:Then the Blessed One said to Ven. Ananda, "Now, if it occurs to any of you — 'The teaching has lost its authority; we are without a Teacher' — do not view it in that way. Whatever Dhamma & Vinaya I have pointed out & formulated for you, that will be your Teacher when I am gone.
:buddha1:

Metta,
Retro. :)
"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)

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Re: Bikkhu Bodhi and Buddhist leaders convene at White House

Post by chownah » Tue May 26, 2015 3:27 am

I call this kind of thread a "saran wrap" thread.......clinging all around.....
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