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The twofould trap and release from Dhamma-trade into the wheel of Dhamma

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:41 am
by Samana Johann 1
May it be considered wisely, out of wrong views, claim and demand, but of which kind is near to change:
Genuine spiritual teachings
cannot be separated
from the manner in which they are given.

True Dhamma is like friendship: if you are being charged for it (required to give back food),
you already know you are not getting the real thing.

***

Buying Dhamma, taking ungiven, stealing, and so on is like seeking for a heart of gold and then try impatiently not willing of real sacrifies satisfy one self just in redlight districts, prostitution, or abuse. The are even agreements in such relations. Even it might satisfy shortly, it will hardly ever become ever a real, intimate and fruitful relation.

Is that what you seek for, all you can, could effort?
Anumodana

Re: The twofould trap and release from Dhamma-trade into the wheel of Dhamma

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:54 am
by binocular
I've been going on and on about how there are always strings attached, how one always indebts oneself the moment one receives or takes something, including and especially, religious teachings.
Just because a religious person doesn't charge money or favors when giving a religious teaching, doesn't mean that the teaching is free of charge, or free of strings.


But nobody so far understood what I was talking about.

Re: The twofould trap and release from Dhamma-trade into the wheel of Dhamma

Posted: Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:42 pm
by cappuccino
binocular wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:54 am
But nobody so far understood what I was talking about.
I understand. Being aloof is like nirvana.

Re: The twofould trap and release from Dhamma-trade into the wheel of Dhamma

Posted: Fri Mar 23, 2018 10:06 pm
by Sam Vara
binocular wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:54 am
I've been going on and on about how there are always strings attached, how one always indebts oneself the moment one receives or takes something, including and especially, religious teachings.
Just because a religious person doesn't charge money or favors when giving a religious teaching, doesn't mean that the teaching is free of charge, or free of strings.


But nobody so far understood what I was talking about.
I confess I haven't understood this. Could you try again? When I have been given a religious teaching, how have I become indebted? What is the debt I have incurred? To whom is it payable?

Re: The twofould trap and release from Dhamma-trade into the wheel of Dhamma

Posted: Fri Mar 23, 2018 11:14 pm
by bodom
Sam Vara wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 10:06 pm
binocular wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:54 am
I've been going on and on about how there are always strings attached, how one always indebts oneself the moment one receives or takes something, including and especially, religious teachings.
Just because a religious person doesn't charge money or favors when giving a religious teaching, doesn't mean that the teaching is free of charge, or free of strings.

But nobody so far understood what I was talking about.
I confess I haven't understood this. Could you try again? When I have been given a religious teaching, how have I become indebted? What is the debt I have incurred? To whom is it payable?
I have been a practicing Buddhist for nearly 20 years and the only debt I feel I owe is one of gratitude to those whom have made the Dhamma available to all free of charge. I have never been asked a single thing in return.

:namaste:

Re: The twofould trap and release from Dhamma-trade into the wheel of Dhamma

Posted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 6:51 am
by binocular
Sam Vara wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 10:06 pm
binocular wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:54 am
I've been going on and on about how there are always strings attached, how one always indebts oneself the moment one receives or takes something, including and especially, religious teachings.
Just because a religious person doesn't charge money or favors when giving a religious teaching, doesn't mean that the teaching is free of charge, or free of strings.

But nobody so far understood what I was talking about.
I confess I haven't understood this. Could you try again? When I have been given a religious teaching, how have I become indebted? What is the debt I have incurred? To whom is it payable?
You don't feel indebted for a kindess done to you?
"Monks, these two people are hard to find in the world. Which two? The one who is first to do a kindness, and the one who is grateful for a kindness done and feels obligated to repay it. These two people are hard to find in the world."

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ati/tip ... .than.html

Re: The twofould trap and release from Dhamma-trade into the wheel of Dhamma

Posted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 7:14 am
by Sam Vara
binocular wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 6:51 am
Sam Vara wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 10:06 pm
binocular wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:54 am
I've been going on and on about how there are always strings attached, how one always indebts oneself the moment one receives or takes something, including and especially, religious teachings.
Just because a religious person doesn't charge money or favors when giving a religious teaching, doesn't mean that the teaching is free of charge, or free of strings.

But nobody so far understood what I was talking about.
I confess I haven't understood this. Could you try again? When I have been given a religious teaching, how have I become indebted? What is the debt I have incurred? To whom is it payable?
You don't feel indebted for a kindess done to you?
"Monks, these two people are hard to find in the world. Which two? The one who is first to do a kindness, and the one who is grateful for a kindness done and feels obligated to repay it. These two people are hard to find in the world."

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ati/tip ... .than.html
I feel as bodom does above; gratitude, but not that I have incurred a debt. There doesn't seem to be any charge, or strings attached. There is no obligation on people even to feel gratitude.

Edit: here's a brief example. Last week at the monastery, a monk gave a dhamma talk which included advice on not trying to force energy up and down the spine during meditation. He said that this might be harmful, and cited cases he knew where monks who had done this got ill. That's useful advice. But what debt have I incurred? How do I pay it back? What strings are attached?

Re: The twofould trap and release from Dhamma-trade into the wheel of Dhamma

Posted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:05 am
by binocular
Sam Vara wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 7:14 am
I feel as bodom does above; gratitude, but not that I have incurred a debt.
So it would seem you believe that you deserve to have nice things happening to you, that you are entitled to them?
There doesn't seem to be any charge, or strings attached. There is no obligation on people even to feel gratitude.
When someone does something nice to you, you don't feel you want to do something nice for them in return?
Edit: here's a brief example. Last week at the monastery, a monk gave a dhamma talk which included advice on not trying to force energy up and down the spine during meditation. He said that this might be harmful, and cited cases he knew where monks who had done this got ill. That's useful advice. But what debt have I incurred? How do I pay it back? What strings are attached?
Don't you want to do something in return for the monk who gave you that helpful advice?

Re: The twofould trap and release from Dhamma-trade into the wheel of Dhamma

Posted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:23 am
by binocular
“How can I ever repay you for your teaching?”

Good meditation teachers often hear this question from their students, and the best answer I know for it is one that my teacher, Ajaan Fuang, gave every time:

“By being intent on practicing.”

No Strings Attached. The Buddha's Culture of Generosity by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
/.../
Only if you've been kind to another person will you accept the idea that others can be kind to you. At the same time, if you've been kind to another person, you know the effort involved. Kind impulses often have to do battle with unkind impulses in the heart, so it's not always easy to be helpful. Sometimes it involves great sacrifice — a sacrifice possible only when you trust the recipient to make good use of your help. So when you're on the receiving end of a sacrifice like that, you realize you've incurred a debt, an obligation to repay the other person's trust.

This is why the Buddha always discusses gratitude as a response to kindness, and doesn't equate it with appreciation in general. It's a special kind of appreciation, inspiring a more demanding response.

/.../

In other words, the way to repay a teacher's compassion and sympathy in teaching you is to apply yourself to learning your lessons well.

/.../

Gratitude also gives practice in developing qualities needed in meditation. As the Buddha noted, the practice of concentration centers on the power of perception. Training in gratitude shows how powerful perception can be, for it requires developing a particular set of perceptions about life and the world. If you perceive help as demeaning, then gratitude itself feels demeaning; but if you perceive help as an expression of trust — the other person wouldn't want to help you unless he or she felt you would use the help well — then gratitude feels ennobling, an aid to self-esteem. Similarly, if you perceive life as a competition, it's hard to trust the motives of those who help you, and you resent the need to repay their help as a gratuitous burden. If, however, you perceive that the goodness in life is the result of cooperation, then the give and take of kindness and gratitude become a much more pleasant exchange.

/.../

Yet there's no getting around the fact that our very lives depend on the kindness and hardships of others, and that we can't get out of the resulting debts by callously denying them or blithely wishing them away. If we don't repay them now, we'll have to repay them — sometimes at high interest — later, for even death doesn't erase our debts or free us from coming back to incur more.

The Lessons of Gratitude by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Re: The twofould trap and release from Dhamma-trade into the wheel of Dhamma

Posted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 11:01 am
by Sam Vara
binocular wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:05 am
So it would seem you believe that you deserve to have nice things happening to you, that you are entitled to them?
Sure, I may have earned them in the past. And I've often noticed how good things happened to me in the past without me deserving them.
When someone does something nice to you, you don't feel you want to do something nice for them in return?
Sometimes. It depends. People can do nice things without making the recipient of their niceness obliged or indebted to them. Sometimes niceness is just freely given. Sometimes it is impossible to pay back.
Don't you want to do something in return for the monk who gave you that helpful advice?
Not really. I have gratitude and general good will for him, but I don't want to repay him for that specific kindness on his part. I enjoy his kindness just as I enjoy the sunshine on a warm spring morning; I appreciate it, but there are no strings attached.

Re: The twofould trap and release from Dhamma-trade into the wheel of Dhamma

Posted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 6:08 pm
by binocular
Sam Vara wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 11:01 am
Not really. I have gratitude and general good will for him, but I don't want to repay him for that specific kindness on his part. I enjoy his kindness just as I enjoy the sunshine on a warm spring morning; I appreciate it, but there are no strings attached.
Then we are very different.

Re: The twofould trap and release from Dhamma-trade into the wheel of Dhamma

Posted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 6:36 pm
by Sam Vara
binocular wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 6:08 pm
Sam Vara wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 11:01 am
Not really. I have gratitude and general good will for him, but I don't want to repay him for that specific kindness on his part. I enjoy his kindness just as I enjoy the sunshine on a warm spring morning; I appreciate it, but there are no strings attached.
Then we are very different.
So unless you are claiming that one of us is right and the other is wrong, perhaps you might be saying that you feel indebted, that the teaching is not free of charge and has strings attached? That we have different feelings about the teachings...

Re: The twofould trap and release from Dhamma-trade into the wheel of Dhamma

Posted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 7:10 pm
by binocular
Sam Vara wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 6:36 pm
So unless you are claiming that one of us is right and the other is wrong, perhaps you might be saying that you feel indebted, that the teaching is not free of charge and has strings attached? That we have different feelings about the teachings...
We certainly have different feelings (or: personal evaluations, or perceptions) about the teachings being offered/given.

Perhaps your view is that people should live in line with common courtesy, and that when they do, there is no need to thank them for that, or even to just feel grateful for that, as common courtesy should be the bare minimum anyway and people shouldn't be thanked for living up to the bare minimum. Perhaps British gentlemen think that way?

I do think there are strings attached when one listens to a Dhammatalk, for example. The speaker may not say anything to that effect, or indeed may not even have any expectation that his listeners would heed what he says. But I assume that when someone gives a Dhammatalk, they do so -- or ideally, should do so -- out of love for the Dhamma; that they are presenting something that is worthy to them. And one doesn't throw one's pearls before swine. And this is where the strings are: I don't assume other people throw their pearls before swine. If I get to listen to their Dhamma talk, that means I'm not a worthless nobody to them.

I realize some will say I think too highly of myself this way. But I think that anything less than that would be less than love for the Dhamma.

Re: The twofould trap and release from Dhamma-trade into the wheel of Dhamma

Posted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 7:21 pm
by Sam Vara
binocular wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 7:10 pm
I assume that when someone gives a Dhammatalk, they do so -- or ideally, should do so -- out of love for the Dhamma; that they are presenting something that is worthy to them. And one doesn't throw one's pearls before swine. And this is where the strings are: I don't assume other people throw their pearls before swine. If I get to listen to their Dhamma talk, that means I'm not a worthless nobody to them.
Sure, that means we are the objects of someone else's compassion and concern. But (other than not behaving swinishly while the pearls are being cast, as per your observation regarding common courtesy above) that places no obligations upon us. According to how our minds are conditioned, we might feel indebted; we might feel gratitude; or we might feel nothing.