Dhamma Wheel Engaged Buddhist forum is now live!

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retrofuturist
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Dhamma Wheel Engaged Buddhist forum is now live!

Post by retrofuturist » Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:08 am

Greetings,

Dharma Wheel Engaged is now live!
Wikipedia wrote:Engaged Buddhism refers to Buddhists who are seeking ways to apply the insights from meditation practice and dharma teachings to situations of social, political, environmental, and economic suffering and injustice.
As a result, our News, Current Events & Politics and Lounge forums have been archived and set to read-only. Discussion of that nature can now be had at Dhamma Wheel Engaged.

The new forum is still a little rough around the edges in terms of its setup and configuration, but don't let that deter you from registering and participating.

Thank you.

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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Re: Dhamma Wheel Engaged Buddhist forum is now live!

Post by Grigoris » Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:58 am

I just returned from the UN sponsored Vesak Day conference in Bangkok, Thailand. I was invited there to represent Greece.

The theme of this years conference was: Buddhism and social change, culture and youth.

People from all Buddhist traditions were members of the panels and engaged in debate and discussion of the subjects.

One can quite clearly be a Theravada practitioner and still be socially and politically engaged.

"Engaged Buddhism" is particular Mahayana current, but Buddhists can be socially and politically engaged regardless of the tradition they practice in (ie without being members/practitioners in the specific current).

Personally I think that this choice to try to isolate Theravada practitioners that wish to be socially engaged, from the rest of the members here, is an awful idea and politically rather than "religiously" motivated.

Well, that's my opinion, anyway...
ye dhammā hetuppabhavā tesaṁ hetuṁ tathāgato āha,
tesaṃca yo nirodho - evaṁvādī mahāsamaṇo.

Of those phenomena which arise from causes:
Those causes have been taught by the Tathāgata,
And their cessation too - thus proclaims the Great Ascetic.

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Re: Dhamma Wheel Engaged Buddhist forum is now live!

Post by retrofuturist » Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:06 am

Greetings,
Grigoris wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:58 am
One can quite clearly be a Theravada practitioner and still be socially and politically engaged.
One can quite clearly be a member of both forums.

Or all three, if the subject matter of DWM is also of interest.

If we intended to be all things to all people under one roof, we'd suffer all the same challenges that a pan-Buddhist forum liked E-Sangha faced. Having a common world-view and purpose amongst members has proven to facilitate much better discussion, with less needless conflict and obfuscation. You can't force consensus, but you can estalish clearly delineated boundaries of scope.

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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Re: Dhamma Wheel Engaged Buddhist forum is now live!

Post by Grigoris » Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:23 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:06 am
Greetings,
Grigoris wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:58 am
One can quite clearly be a Theravada practitioner and still be socially and politically engaged.
One can quite clearly be a member of both forums.

Or all three, if the subject matter of DWM is also of interest.

If we intended to be all things to all people under one roof, we'd suffer all the same challenges that a pan-Buddhist forum liked E-Sangha faced. Having a common world-view and purpose amongst members has proven to facilitate much better discussion, with less needless conflict and obfuscation. You can't force consensus, but you can estalish clearly delineated bounds of scope.

Metta,
Paul. :)
You completely avoided answering to my main point: being a Buddhist and socially engaged does not mean one is practicing "Engaged Buddhism", one can practice Theravada and still be socially and politically engaged. The rector of Mahachulalongkorn-rajavidyalaya University, the most Venerable Professor Dr Phra Brahmapundit (the organiser of the conference) is a shining example of this. Ajahn Brahm is another example. There are countless others.

It seems to me that this idea that Theravada is purely about reclusive practice is largely a Western convert fantasy. The reality in Theravadin countries is VERY different.
ye dhammā hetuppabhavā tesaṁ hetuṁ tathāgato āha,
tesaṃca yo nirodho - evaṁvādī mahāsamaṇo.

Of those phenomena which arise from causes:
Those causes have been taught by the Tathāgata,
And their cessation too - thus proclaims the Great Ascetic.

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Re: Dhamma Wheel Engaged Buddhist forum is now live!

Post by retrofuturist » Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:31 am

Greetings Grigoris,

No, I wasn't avoiding the question. People can pick up or leave whatever subject matter accords to their individual practice in a modular manner. There's no need for it to be all under one roof, nor for there to be separate forums for all possible permutations and combinations of the above.

If the Dhamma as defined in the Pali Canon, for the purposes outlined in the Pali Canon is of no interest to anyone, then Dhamma Wheel will fade into oblivion, and no one will lament its demise. Somehow I doubt that will be the case, but we'll see...

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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Re: Dhamma Wheel Engaged Buddhist forum is now live!

Post by Grigoris » Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:43 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:31 am
Greetings Grigoris,

No, I wasn't avoiding the question. People can pick up or leave whatever subject matter accords to their individual practice in a modular manner. There's no need for it to be all under one roof, nor for there to be separate forums for all possible permutations and combinations of the above.

If the Dhamma as defined in the Pali Canon, for the purposes outlined in the Pali Canon is of no interest to anyone, then Dhamma Wheel will fade into oblivion, and no one will lament its demise. Somehow I doubt that will be the case, but we'll see...

Metta,
Paul. :)
Again you avoided my main point: Theravada Buddhism has always been (and will be) a social, cultural and political force in the countries where it has been practiced.

Your comments thus far have just been failed attempts to "move the goal posts" and set up "straw men".
Last edited by Grigoris on Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
ye dhammā hetuppabhavā tesaṁ hetuṁ tathāgato āha,
tesaṃca yo nirodho - evaṁvādī mahāsamaṇo.

Of those phenomena which arise from causes:
Those causes have been taught by the Tathāgata,
And their cessation too - thus proclaims the Great Ascetic.

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Re: Dhamma Wheel Engaged Buddhist forum is now live!

Post by retrofuturist » Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:52 am

Greetings Grigoris,
Grigoris wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:43 am
Again you avoided my main point: Theravada Buddhism has always been (and will be) a social, cultural and political force in the countries where it has been practiced."
Sigh.

To the extent that people want to talk about "social, cultural and political force(s)" and "countries" (i.e. worldly stuff) they can do it there. If they want to talk about the path of personal liberation (i.e. that which transcends worldly stuff) they can do it here.

We said from the outset that no solution could possibly please all people. It's no different now.

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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Re: Dhamma Wheel Engaged Buddhist forum is now live!

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:07 am

Grigoris wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:23 am
It seems to me that this idea that Theravada is purely about reclusive practice is largely a Western convert fantasy. The reality in Theravadin countries is VERY different.
Yes, some do seem to take a rather narrow view of Theravada practice and what the Buddha taught.

However, from my personal point of view, I'd rather discuss social and political issues, and their relationship to Buddhist practice, in a Pan-Buddhist forum, which is what has now been created, rather than with just Theravadins. In real life I have contacts with my local Fo Guang Shan organisation, and in our local Insight Meditation group, who I sometimes draw on.

My preference would have been for Dharma Wheel to direct such discussion to the new forum as well, but those decisions are up to the moderating team there.

By the way, speaking of Thailand, you might check out this book:
The Lovelorn Ghost and the Magical Monk
viewtopic.php?t=11284
I've not read it but it sounds interesting.

:heart:
Mike

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Re: Dhamma Wheel Engaged Buddhist forum is now live!

Post by SarathW » Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:08 am

The reality in Theravadin countries is VERY different.
I pray to God that reality (bad politics) of Theravada countries will never play in the West.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Dhamma Wheel Engaged Buddhist forum is now live!

Post by No_Mind » Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:18 am

Grigoris wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:58 am
I just returned from the UN sponsored Vesak Day conference in Bangkok, Thailand. I was invited there to represent Greece.

The theme of this years conference was: Buddhism and social change, culture and youth.

People from all Buddhist traditions were members of the panels and engaged in debate and discussion of the subjects.

One can quite clearly be a Theravada practitioner and still be socially and politically engaged.

"Engaged Buddhism" is particular Mahayana current, but Buddhists can be socially and politically engaged regardless of the tradition they practice in (ie without being members/practitioners in the specific current).

Personally I think that this choice to try to isolate Theravada practitioners that wish to be socially engaged, from the rest of the members here, is an awful idea and politically rather than "religiously" motivated.

Well, that's my opinion, anyway...

Slightly off topic query and asked without any malicious intent.

Do you subscribe to Theravada or Mahayana? You have 16724 posts in dharmawheel.net a.k.a. DWM (and you are a mod too) and as far as I know one cannot be a believer in both.

One can at most study both.

Which one do you believe in? Which hat did you wear at Vesak Day conference?

:namaste:
I know one thing: that I know nothing

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Re: Dhamma Wheel Engaged Buddhist forum is now live!

Post by Dhammarakkhito » Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:04 am

buddhist that likes to recycle? nice
buddhist that views recycling as essential to practice? blameworthy
the latter is engaged buddhism, the former is throwing merit pennies in the merit piggy bank
(i dont want turtles getting wrapped up in my plastic)
"Just as the ocean has a single taste — that of salt — in the same way, this Dhamma-Vinaya has a single taste: that of release."
— Ud 5.5

https://www.facebook.com/noblebuddhadha ... 34/?type=3

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https://sites.google.com/site/santipada ... allytaught

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Re: Dhamma Wheel Engaged Buddhist forum is now live!

Post by SarathW » Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:42 am

Do you subscribe to Theravada or Mahayana? You have 16724 posts in dharmawheel.net a.k.a.
This is a plan of HHDL to integrate Theravada and Mahayana.
What we have to do is to send Dhamma Wheel representative to the Dharma Wheel. (perhaps Retro)
:tongue:

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=32043
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Dhamma Wheel Engaged Buddhist forum is now live!

Post by No_Mind » Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:15 am

SarathW wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:42 am
This is a plan of HHDL to integrate Theravada and Mahayana.

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=32043
Any such plan is quite meaningless.

Venerable Dhammavuddho Mahathera summarises it well -




:namaste:
Last edited by No_Mind on Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:32 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Dhamma Wheel Engaged Buddhist forum is now live!

Post by SarathW » Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:31 am

Venerable Dhammavuddho Mahathera summarises it well
Well, it is not strong enough.
Perhaps Mahayana people are more realistic.
Have you met any Arahant even though Theravadin believe it is possible to realise in this life itself?
What is lacking in Mahayana is the can-do attitude.
If we think we can't do it, we even may not attempt it.
Except for that, when I listen to Mahayana monk and a Theravada monk I can't see much of difference.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Dhamma Wheel Engaged Buddhist forum is now live!

Post by No_Mind » Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:33 am

SarathW wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:31 am
Venerable Dhammavuddho Mahathera summarises it well
Well, it is not strong enough.
Perhaps Mahayana people are more realistic.
Have you met any Arahant even though Theravadin believe it is possible to realise in this life itself?
What is lacking in Mahayana is the can-do attitude.
If we think we can't do it, we even may not attempt it.
Except for that, when I listen to Mahayana monk and a Theravada monk I can't see much of difference.
MARCH 10, 1973. I remember the date because it marked the fourteenth anniversary of the Tibetan uprising in Lhasa in 1959, which triggered the flight of the Dalai Lama into the exile from which he has yet to return. I was studying Buddhism in Dharamsala, the Tibetan capital in exile, a former British hill-station in the Himalayas. The sky that morning was dark, damp, and foreboding. Earlier, the clouds had unleashed hailstones the size of miniature golf balls that now lay fused in white clusters along the roadside that led from the village of McLeod Ganj down to the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, where the anniversary was to be commemorated.

A white canvas awning, straining and flapping in the wind, was strung in front of the Library. Beneath it sat a huddle of senior monks in burgundy robes, aristocrats in long gray chubas, and the Indian superintendent of police from Kotwali Bazaar. I joined a crowd gathered on a large terrace below and waited for the proceedings to begin. The Dalai Lama, a spry, shaven-headed man of thirty-eight, strode onto an impromptu stage. The audience spontaneously prostrated itself as one onto the muddy ground. He read a speech, which was barely audible above the wind, delivered in rapid-fire Tibetan, a language I did not yet understand, at a velocity I would never master. Every now and then a drop of rain would descend from the lowering sky.

I was distracted from my thoughts about the plight of Tibet by the harsh shriek of what sounded like a trumpet. Perched on a ledge on the steep hillside beside the Library, next to a smoking fire, stood a bespectacled lama, legs akimbo, blowing into a thighbone and ringing a bell. His disheveled hair was tied in a topknot. A white robe, trimmed in red, was slung carelessly across his left shoulder. When he wasn’t blowing his horn, he would mutter what seemed like imprecations at the grumbling clouds, his right hand extended in the threatening mudra, a ritual gesture used to ward off danger. From time to time he would put down his thighbone and fling an arc of mustard seeds against the ominous mists.

Then there was an almighty crash. Rain hammered down on the corrugated iron roofs of the residential buildings on the far side of the Library, obliterating the Dalai Lama’s words. This noise went on for several minutes. The lama on the hillside stamped his feet, blew his thighbone, and rang his bell with increased urgency. The heavy drops of rain that had started falling on the dignitaries and the crowd abruptly stopped.

After the Dalai Lama left and the crowd dispersed, I joined a small group of fellow Injis. In reverential tones, we discussed how the lama on the hill—whose name was Yeshe Dorje—had prevented the storm from soaking us. I heard myself say: “And you could hear the rain still falling all around us: over there by the Library and on those government buildings behind as well.” The others nodded and smiled in awed agreement.

Even as I was speaking, I knew I was not telling the truth. I had heard no rain on the roofs behind me. Not a drop. Yet to be convinced that the lama had prevented the rain with his ritual and spells, I had to believe that he had created a magical umbrella to shield the crowd from the storm. Otherwise, what had happened would not have been that remarkable. Who has not witnessed rain falling a short distance away from where one is standing on dry ground? Perhaps it was nothing more than a brief mountain shower on the nearby hillside. None of us would have dared to admit this possibility. That would have brought us perilously close to questioning the lama’s prowess and, by implication, the whole elaborate belief system of Tibetan Buddhism.

For several years, I continued to peddle this lie. It was my favorite (and only) example of my firsthand experience of the supernatural powers of Tibetan lamas. But, strangely, whenever I told it, it didn’t feel like a lie. I had taken the lay Buddhist precepts and would soon take monastic vows.

I took the moral injunction against lying very seriously. In other circumstances, I would scrupulously, even neurotically, avoid telling the slightest falsehood. Yet, somehow, this one did not count. At times, I tried to persuade myself that perhaps it was true: the rain had fallen behind me, but I had not noticed. The others—albeit at my prompting—had confirmed what I said. But such logical gymnastics failed to convince me for very long.

I suspect my lie did not feel like a lie because it served to affirm what I believed to be a greater truth. My words were a heartfelt and spontaneous utterance of our passionatelyshared convictions. In a weirdly unnerving way, I did not feel that “I” had said them. It was as though something far larger than all of us had caused them to issue from my lips.

Moreover, the greater truth, in whose service my lie was employed, was imparted to us by men of unimpeachable moral and intellectual character. These kind, learned, enlightened monks would not deceive us. They repeatedly said to accept what they taught only after testing it as carefully as a goldsmith would assay a piece of gold. Since they themselves must have subjected these teachings to that kind of rigorous scrutiny during their years of study and meditation, then surely they were not speaking out of blind conviction, but from their own direct knowledge and experience? Ergo: Yeshe Dorje stopped the rain with his thighbone, bell, mustard seeds, and incantations.

From Confession of a Buddhist Atheist by Stephen Batchelor

Back in 2013 this was enough to convince me to subscribe to Theravada. I do not know much about Mahayana except the basic framework and history (and some parts of Madhyamaka) but the above sounds frighteningly like superstition ridden lay Hinduism.


:namaste:
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