Torn between traditions

A forum for beginners and members of other Buddhist traditions to ask questions about Theravāda (The Way of the Elders). Responses require moderator approval before they are visible.
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Goedert
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Location: SC, Brazil

Re: Torn between traditions

Post by Goedert » Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:55 pm

This is very common, as tiltbillings words are very true.

Theravada tradition is the most close to the original teaching. Welcome.

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Nibbida
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Re: Torn between traditions

Post by Nibbida » Sat Mar 26, 2011 4:18 am

greggorious wrote:Hi there, I know very little about Theravada Buddhism but have come across it via a website as I was interested in learning a little more about it. For a couple of years I have been a practicing soto zen. As much as I love Zen and it's wisdom's I haven't felt like I've been getting anywhere. I find zazen very difficult, especially as one needs to have one's eyes open throughout it. Before Zen I used to practice at a Tibetan centre of the kagyu school. Once again the meditation was eyes open, plus I found the practice far too intense, fear based and extremely devotional.
I've recently looked up the meditations of vippassana and samatha and they seem very appealing to me, much more so than other Buddhist meditations I have practiced. However I've been told that Theravada can be very strict and is very conservative and othordox, which troubles me slightly.
I love Buddhism, and I have no problems calling myself a Buddhist but I'm just not sure where I belong, in which tradition.

Any feedback would be most welcome.

Greg
I fumbled around with Zen teachings for far too long, about 15 years. I wasn't really aware that anything else existed at the time, or how it would be different. On one hand I like it's simplicity, but on the other hand, they don't explain things very well. There are things I love about the Tibetan tradition as well, but the devotional emphasis is less my personal style.

When I discovered Theravada about 6-7 years ago, my reaction was, "Why didn't someone just say this 20 years ago?" It was fairly clearly laid out and comprehensible. I started with books by teachers in the IMS/Spirit Rock circuit (e.g. Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Salzberg, Jack Kornfield). I felt a little resentful for a while that I had been reading cryptic rantings of Zen teachers for so long, trying to decipher it when a much clearer explanation existed. Vipassana and loving-kindness are such a straightforward methods, given some basic instruction and a little practice.

My preference is not to limit myself exclusively to any one school however. I love the Pali Suttas, listening to talks by Theravada teachers, and doing Theravada meditation techniques. But I also love the Mahayana elaborations on emptiness, which have greatly advanced my practice. Whenever I read too much of one single tradition, my practice becomes a little stale. I shift to reading another tradition, which gets a the same core from a slightly different angle, and I feel refreshed, invigorated in my practice.

But that's just my preference. Experiment a little and see which teachers/methods work for you. Even if it's just within one tradition, there are usually many variations among teachers and emphases.

amrad
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Re: Torn between traditions

Post by amrad » Sun Mar 27, 2011 3:14 am

imaginos wrote:Stick to Theravda (such as Thai Forest tradition).
If that is too much for you, then stick to the Nikayas.
Life is too short.
Don't waste your time.
Go with the earliest, tried and proven formular based upon the direct teachings of the one and only fully awakened one.
Metta.
Really? The one and only fully awakened one? Hummm Who keeps a record of fully awakened ones? Is there a registry? LOL

nobody12345
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Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 4:05 am

Re: Torn between traditions

Post by nobody12345 » Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:21 am

amrad wrote:
imaginos wrote:Stick to Theravda (such as Thai Forest tradition).
If that is too much for you, then stick to the Nikayas.
Life is too short.
Don't waste your time.
Go with the earliest, tried and proven formular based upon the direct teachings of the one and only fully awakened one.
Metta.
Really? The one and only fully awakened one? Hummm Who keeps a record of fully awakened ones? Is there a registry? LOL
There were fully awakened ones before the Buddha Gotama.
There will be fully awakened ones after the Buddha Gotama.
However, in our time, the Buddha Gotama was/is the one and only fully awakened/enlightened one.
He has penetrated entire workings of Samsara and all of its various layers of dimensions.
Even Arahant disciples of his were worshipping him till their dying day because they knew so well that the depth of knowlege and vision of the Buddha was simply unfathomable.
Also the Buddha only arises when the previous Buddha's teaching is lost and forgotten.
Metta.

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