keep liberalism out of buddhism

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binocular
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Re: keep liberalism out of buddhism

Post by binocular » Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:17 pm

Wizard in the Forest wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:15 pm
I don't remember there being a 'succession' at all. The Brahmaviharas are the four illimitables.
Even if you don't think of practicing them in succession (although in the suttas, they are listed in standardized succession), you can still think of them as being the only four acceptable atittudes to have, and think of each one of them in relation to the other three.
Wizard in the Forest wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:15 pm
The Brahmaviharas are the four illimitables.
In regard to this topic, what would you like to point out with noting that they are illimitable?
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perkele
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Re: keep liberalism out of buddhism

Post by perkele » Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:25 pm

binocular wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:12 pm
Wizard in the Forest wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:01 pm
The Theravadin idea of equanimity is still in play here, actually. I remember the near enemy of equanimity is still apathy.
My point is that equanimity is seen in Theravada (at least by some Theravadan teachers (such as Thanissaro Bhikkhu, to whom I'm referring to here) and suttas) as a part of the system of the four brahmaviharas: goodwill, compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity. They are to be practiced in succession, starting with goodwill. The idea is that one should first have goodwill; and then, when one cannot have goodwill anymore, one should have compassion; when one cannot have compassion anymore, one should have sympathetic joy; and it's only after one has exhausted one's ability for those three, that one should resort to equanimity, central to which is a reflection on kamma.

As far as I understood, the enemy of equanimity is apathy not because apathy lacks compassion or goodwill, but because apathy lacks the reflection on kamma.

It could be argued that some people resort to equanimity too quickly. But if they resort to equanmity after having first tried out with whatever capacity for the first three brahmaviharas they have, then those people cannot be found fault with.
I think the brahmavihara of equanimity is only one aspect of equanimity. The brahmaviharaa all only deal with how we relate with other people/beings: in this case, keeping in mind that their kamma is theirs, and ours is ours, and everyone is owner of their own kamma, that there's no way to change that and to carry another's burden; and in the other direction, it wards off thoughts of revenge. It simply counters a too strong involvement and fruitless, exhausting concern with the welfare (or illfare, if one harbor's thoughts of vengeance) of others.
I don't see what's wrong with the description of equanimity by Shinzen Young quoted above. I think the enlightenment factor of equanimity is just that: being open to feel whatever pleasent or unpleasent thing without jumping to a kneejerk reaction. That way one can actually watch those pleasent or unpleasent sensations simply subside, instead of ignore them.

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Wizard in the Forest
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Re: keep liberalism out of buddhism

Post by Wizard in the Forest » Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:26 pm

Certainly, but part of this is understanding the difference between apathy and equanimity. And it was one of the first questions I ever asked around here.

I remember Nibbida explaining it to me as follows
Nyanaponika Thera wrote: Love [i.e. metta] imparts to equanimity its selflessness, its boundless nature and even its fervor. For fervor, too, transformed and controlled, is part of perfect equanimity, strengthening its power of keen penetration and wise restraint.
...
Compassion guards equanimity from falling into a cold indifference, and keeps it from indolent or selfish isolation. Until equanimity has reached perfection, compassion urges it to enter again and again the battle of the world, in order to be able to stand the test, by hardening and strengthening itself.
...
Sympathetic joy gives to equanimity the mild serenity that softens its stern appearance. It is the divine smile on the face of the Enlightened One, a smile that persists in spite of his deep knowledge of the world's suffering, a smile that gives solace and hope, fearlessness and confidence: "Wide open are the doors to deliverance," thus it speaks.

Equanimity rooted in insight is the guiding and restraining power for the other three sublime states. It points out to them the direction they have to take, and sees to it that this direction is followed. Equanimity guards love and compassion from being dissipated in vain quests and from going astray in the labyrinths of uncontrolled emotion. Equanimity, being a vigilant self-control for the sake of the final goal, does not allow sympathetic joy to rest content with humble results, forgetting the real aims we have to strive for.

Equanimity, which means "even-mindedness," gives to love an even, unchanging firmness and loyalty. It endows it with the great virtue of patience. Equanimity furnishes compassion with an even, unwavering courage and fearlessness, enabling it to face the awesome abyss of misery and despair which confront boundless compassion again and again. To the active side of compassion, equanimity is the calm and firm hand led by wisdom — indispensable to those who want to practice the difficult art of helping others. And here again equanimity means patience, the patient devotion to the work of compassion.

In these and other ways equanimity may be said to be the crown and culmination of the other three sublime states. The first three, if unconnected with equanimity and insight, may dwindle away due to the lack of a stabilizing factor. Isolated virtues, if unsupported by other qualities which give them either the needed firmness or pliancy, often deteriorate into their own characteristic defects. For instance, loving-kindness, without energy and insight, may easily decline to a mere sentimental goodness of weak and unreliable nature. Moreover, such isolated virtues may often carry us in a direction contrary to our original aims and contrary to the welfare of others, too. It is the firm and balanced character of a person that knits isolated virtues into an organic and harmonious whole, within which the single qualities exhibit their best manifestations and avoid the pitfalls of their respective weaknesses. And this is the very function of equanimity, the way it contributes to an ideal relationship between all four sublime states.

Equanimity is a perfect, unshakable balance of mind, rooted in insight. But in its perfection and unshakable nature equanimity is not dull, heartless and frigid. Its perfection is not due to an emotional "emptiness," but to a "fullness" of understanding, to its being complete in itself. Its unshakable nature is not the immovability of a dead, cold stone, but the manifestation of the highest strength.

I never forgot these words from the Venerable, nor from Nibidda, it's important to reflect upon them at every moment if possible wrt equanimity.
"One is not born a woman, but becomes one."- Simone de Beauvoir

binocular
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Re: keep liberalism out of buddhism

Post by binocular » Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:35 pm

Wizard in the Forest wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:26 pm
Nyanaponika Thera wrote: Love [i.e. metta]
/.../
That's when I want to say, "Keep liberalism out of Buddhism!"
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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Wizard in the Forest
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Re: keep liberalism out of buddhism

Post by Wizard in the Forest » Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:42 pm

See but Nyanaponika Thera, whom Nibbida and I quoted is a conservative! As in Conservative Buddhist Theravadin Monk, well versed in Dhamma, and if you look to the Dhamma alone, you can see where he has understood these concepts! To abandon the words of the Dhamma means...


You are Buddhist, aren't you?

The Dhamma is with whom your quarrel lies.

The Sangha is with whom your quarrel lies.

Buddhism is itself, not indirect about this at all.
"One is not born a woman, but becomes one."- Simone de Beauvoir

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Aloka
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Re: keep liberalism out of buddhism

Post by Aloka » Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:05 pm

.

Regarding equanimity, Bhikkhu Analayo states in his book "Compassion and Emptiness in Early Buddhist Meditation":

The circumstance that equanimity forms the culmination point of the four brahmaviharas does not mean that equanimity replaces the others; one who cultivates the brahmaviharas continues to dwell in all four. It does mean however, that in some way compassion can result in, or mature in equanimity.

Understood in this way, equanimity is, of course, not a condition of indifference but rather a mental equipose that rounds off a systematic opening of the heart which has been brought about through cultivation of the other three divine abodes.

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=r67 ... edir_esc=y

:anjali:

binocular
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Re: keep liberalism out of buddhism

Post by binocular » Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:19 pm

Wizard in the Forest wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:42 pm
See but Nyanaponika Thera, whom Nibbida and I quoted is a conservative! As in Conservative Buddhist Theravadin Monk, well versed in Dhamma, and if you look to the Dhamma alone, you can see where he has understood these concepts! To abandon the words of the Dhamma means...

You are Buddhist, aren't you?

The Dhamma is with whom your quarrel lies.

The Sangha is with whom your quarrel lies.

Buddhism is itself, not indirect about this at all.
Oops, didn't see that coming ...
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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Re: keep liberalism out of buddhism

Post by Wizard in the Forest » Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:36 pm

me neither honestly!

But yeah, Dhamma does make the condition of equanimity very clearly opposed to apathy.
"One is not born a woman, but becomes one."- Simone de Beauvoir

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Re: keep liberalism out of buddhism

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Mar 18, 2018 8:10 pm

Wizard in the Forest wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:36 pm
me neither honestly!

But yeah, Dhamma does make the condition of equanimity very clearly opposed to apathy.
That is certainly the view of the Theravada tradition.

[Some might argue that those details about near and far enemies are a development that came after the early suttas, but Analayo's analysis quoted by Aloka above seems to come to a similar conclusion.]

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Re: keep liberalism out of buddhism

Post by dharmacorps » Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:48 pm

Regarding Thanissaro Bhikkhu's framing of the Brahma Vihara's, which I too find helpful, he recently referred in a talk to them all being "tempered by equanimity". That is to say, good will (metta) is universal, tempered by equanimity, compassion, universal, tempered by, etc. In this way, equanimity is the clarifying lens, but not the first inclination necessarily. See the ways you can help, but also realize the realistic limitations. This can be applied to toxic politics of all permutations, too slanted one way or the other, with no middle ground to be held.

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Re: keep liberalism out of buddhism

Post by DooDoot » Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:56 am

binocular wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:12 pm
resort to equanimity, central to which is a reflection on kamma....
I get the impression the equanimity of satipatthana or the 4th jhana is often mistaken for & imputed onto the 4th brahma vihara, which as a social attitude, appears to be a reflection on kamma & other insights pertaining to cause & effect.

binocular
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Re: keep liberalism out of buddhism

Post by binocular » Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:05 pm

DooDoot wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:56 am
I get the impression the equanimity of satipatthana or the 4th jhana is often mistaken for & imputed onto the 4th brahma vihara, which as a social attitude, appears to be a reflection on kamma & other insights pertaining to cause & effect.
I agree. Although at this point, I'm not sure why this should be a problem.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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Re: keep liberalism out of buddhism

Post by DooDoot » Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:26 pm

binocular wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:05 pm
I agree. Although at this point, I'm not sure why this should be a problem.
I think an aspect of reflection on kamma is imputing personal responsibility upon the other. So it is more than mere meditative equanimity but a reflection about the other person; in terms of both their personal potential & personal responsibility.

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Re: keep liberalism out of buddhism

Post by binocular » Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:47 pm

DooDoot wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:26 pm
binocular wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:05 pm
I agree. Although at this point, I'm not sure why this should be a problem.
I think an aspect of reflection on kamma is imputing personal responsibility upon the other. So it is more than mere meditative equanimity but a reflection about the other person; in terms of both their personal potential & personal responsibility.
Yes. It's not clear what the problem with that is.
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Re: keep liberalism out of buddhism

Post by retrofuturist » Fri Apr 06, 2018 1:45 am

Greetings Binocular,
binocular wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:47 pm
DooDoot wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:26 pm
binocular wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:05 pm
I agree. Although at this point, I'm not sure why this should be a problem.
I think an aspect of reflection on kamma is imputing personal responsibility upon the other. So it is more than mere meditative equanimity but a reflection about the other person; in terms of both their personal potential & personal responsibility.
Yes. It's not clear what the problem with that is.
The "problem" comes when people abdicate personal responsibility for their actions, and for their mental and physical well-being.

Such an attitude is the antithesis of the Dhamma, yet, such adhamma is foundational to the "grievance mongering" which is embedded within what's being described in this topic as "liberalism".

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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