Ingram, et al - "Hard Core Dharma" & claims of attainment

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
gsteinb
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Re: Ingram, et al - "Hard Core Dharma" & claims of attainment

Post by gsteinb » Mon Feb 07, 2011 10:51 pm

andre9999 wrote:
gsteinb wrote:
andre9999 wrote:I bet that guy will lie, cheat, and steal to make people believe he's an arahant.
uh, wrong speech much?
Well, the context was that from what I've read it sure seems to me that he may be a narcissist because he doesn't seem to think the rules apply to him. I think he has delusions of grandeur and wants to make sure everyone knows how super enlightened he is, and how no one gets it but him.
Daniel is an extroverted Gen X intellectual. He is known for his pronounced enthusiasm, lip-flapping, grandiosity, eccentricity, and calling people on their stuff and shadow sides regardless of whether or not this is helpful or even accurate. He is an arahat and has a solid mastery of the basic concentration states from the first jhana to Nirodha Samapatti, including the Pure Land Jhanas. He also has a solid knowledge of Buddhist theory and the texts, and because of these three areas of expertise considers himself a qualified teacher.
So you can choose to believe he's as enlightened as The Buddha was - that's your problem, not mine. Any fool can see that an insightful person doesn't speak like that. He just wants you to think he's really important and spiritual.
On a forum where Ingram and Folk are routinely criticized for not living up to the suttas it would seem mightily hypocritical to criticize others using blatant wrong speech.

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Re: Ingram, et al - "Hard Core Dharma" & claims of attainment

Post by Ben » Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:00 pm

Greetings gsteinb,
gsteinb wrote: On a forum where Ingram and Folk are routinely criticized for not living up to the suttas it would seem mightily hypocritical to criticize others using blatant wrong speech.
If there is a post that you believe requires moderator attention, please hit the 'report' button and fill out the form so that it can be assessed by the mod/admin team.
kind regards

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Re: Ingram, et al - "Hard Core Dharma" & claims of attainment

Post by retrofuturist » Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:05 pm

Greetings gsteinb,
gsteinb wrote:On a forum where Ingram and Folk are routinely criticized for not living up to the suttas it would seem mightily hypocritical to criticize others using blatant wrong speech.
It's not that so much, but "Ingram and Folk" redefine key concepts (e.g. arahant) and in doing so, set themselves up in opposition to how things are defined and explained in the suttas. I don't see anyone criticising them for not actually being arahants - now that would be hypocritical!

Metta,
Retro. :)
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Re: Ingram, et al - "Hard Core Dharma" & claims of attainment

Post by gsteinb » Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:11 am

Ben wrote:Greetings gsteinb,
gsteinb wrote: On a forum where Ingram and Folk are routinely criticized for not living up to the suttas it would seem mightily hypocritical to criticize others using blatant wrong speech.
If there is a post that you believe requires moderator attention, please hit the 'report' button and fill out the form so that it can be assessed by the mod/admin team.
kind regards

Ben
Pointing out something that's unskillful to say doesn't necessarily mean it requires moderator attention.

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Re: Ingram, et al - "Hard Core Dharma" & claims of attainment

Post by darods » Fri Aug 05, 2011 4:29 pm

I have just read all 31 pages of this. Was a little mentally draining at times!

I heard Mr Ingram speak on the Buddhist geek podcast. I didn't like what he said and felt he must be wrong. I then read Mr Ingrams book, I didn't have a particularly deep understanding of Buddhism beforehand. By the time I finished it I was converted into believing what he was saying to be true. This caused an effect on my ideas and also what I wanted to achieve.

Later after learning more of the actual Buddha's teachings from the Suttas, I changed my opinion regarding him and realised my belief in his claims was more because I didn't understand the teachings enough.

I am sure he is a skilled meditator, who has gotten to "somewhere". However, it can be seen that it doesn't correspond to what enlightenment is as described by the Pali Canon.

His book , which draws on many other sources does contain good advice on meditation and brings in many excellent works. The problem is that to these good things, he attaches his own teachings and in doing so sort of gives them them some 'backing'.

The conflict in this thread appears to me to be because Mr Ingram and many on the DhO have taken meditation texts, their own interpretation of the teachings, worked very hard at their meditation practise. But the terms we share that are used in the Buddhas teaching does not correspond to what the DhO use. Arahant by the definition of the Pali Canon and many on here, is not the same as what the DhO and Mr Ingram consider it to be. It is just a label they have given to something in their own tradition that they consider based on the Buddhas teachings. So perhaps in a sense Mr Ingram may very well be an Arahant in the DhO tradition.

I do believe that something negative or unskillful has come out of this. Mr Ingram says he has done what he has to help others.
That his message helps people know that it can be done and he has mentioned how he has had many people say how he has helped them. However.. I believe that are many many more, like me who did not have a deep enough understanding of the Buddhas teachings, that were and possibly still are led astray because of his message.

I really hope Mr Ingram changes his style regarding attainments and the analyzing a persons attainments, or at least accepts it is separate to the teachings of the Buddha. I think he can teach many things regarding meditation and as his book shows he can organise existing information into a format that many westerners audience can absorb well.

I causes me sadness to think of people who fall into a situation whereby they consider themselves to achieved something and in doing so distract themselves from continued striving. I hope they get back on track!

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Re: Ingram, et al - "Hard Core Dharma" & claims of attainment

Post by Khalil Bodhi » Fri Aug 05, 2011 4:45 pm

Sadhu!
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

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Re: Ingram, et al - "Hard Core Dharma" & claims of attainment

Post by Prasadachitta » Sat Aug 06, 2011 2:47 pm

darods wrote:
I causes me sadness to think of people who fall into a situation whereby they consider themselves to achieved something and in doing so distract themselves from continued striving. I hope they get back on track!
Hi Dardos,

Certainly we all will benefit from more right effort. It is my opinion that what you are concerned about is a ubiquitous distraction throughout the field of spiritual practice. I am not a fan of Ingram and have not read his work other than a few excerpts. However it seems in your post that you have in some way benefited from your exposure to him. I think we should always be reassessing our approach to practice in the light of a perfect goal. To whatever degree that we diminish our perception of the loftiness of the goal I think we will also undermine our ability to strive. Even so, I think our practice of right effort must include a consistent awareness (at least intuitively) of how this imperfect manifestation of will (thats us) can move towards and support the arising of that perfection in real time right now. It seems Ingram is trying to put practitioners into this kind of relationship with the goal however misguided. My opinion is that there is probably enough Dhamma being expressed that people under his influence can continue to reassess their approach effectively enough to continue developing. I could be wrong so lets all continue to engage with a kind hearted but uncompromising critique of what the Dhamma is so that we can all understand it more deeply.


Metta

Prasadachitta
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332

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Re: Ingram, et al - "Hard Core Dharma" & claims of attainment

Post by gnulnx » Sun Nov 27, 2011 5:07 pm

Will my comment add to the peace or decrease the peace?

I debated this for a while before I decided to register and then respond.
Ultimately I decided to post not because I have special insight into what
Ingram is or is not. I decided to post because I think this thread appears to
provide an open book to the thoughts of many of the posters.

In short this thread makes me sad. The delusion and dogma appear to be quite steep
with some members. Is this a Buddhist forum were the members make constant strides to
be aware of every passing thought or is this a random religious forum focused on dogmatic
detail to scripture? Is Ingrams book any more contradictory than the whole of Zen?

Can any of you honestly find fault with Ingrams teaching on meditation?
His chapter on correct meditation are about as concise and accurate as any I've as of yet found.
Is it possible that the only real issue you have with him is a claim he made?
Claiming something that a part of you obviously considers taboo?
Ponder this in it's entirety. Don't focus on whether he is an Arahat or not.
Focus on that part of you that is reacting to some part of Ingram?
What is it about him that causes your mind to push back in such away?

Lastly, what would you require of a person as proof of their enlightenment?
Are you sure it's even possible for a human to meet that definition?

When the student is ready the teacher will appear.
I appears that often times we become so focused on the inaccuracies of another
persons teaching that we fail to realize the real lesson was to found in the observation of our own aversion.

Peace.

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Re: Ingram, et al - "Hard Core Dharma" & claims of attainment

Post by m0rl0ck » Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:31 pm

gnulnx wrote: I think this thread appears to
provide an open book to the thoughts of many of the posters.
I have to agree with you there. This thread has provided an on and off bit of amusmement to me every time it pops up in the active topics. A lot of people seem to interested in judging others. Just human nature i guess. Doesnt "mind your own business and dont be judgemental" appear anywhere in the scriptures? Anybody got a cite for that?
“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

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Re: Ingram, et al - "Hard Core Dharma" & claims of attainment

Post by cooran » Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:52 pm

Hello Morlock,

One reference:

‘’Therefore, Ananda, you should not be a hasty critic of people, should not lightly pass judgement on people. One who passes judgement on people harms himself. I alone, Ananda, or one like me, can judge people.’’
………
‘’Such judgement, indeed, will for a long time cause harm and suffering to those critics.’’

From AN 6.44

with metta
Chris
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Re: Ingram, et al - "Hard Core Dharma" & claims of attainment

Post by DNS » Sun Nov 27, 2011 7:51 pm

cooran wrote: ‘’Therefore, Ananda, you should not be a hasty critic of people, should not lightly pass judgement on people. One who passes judgement on people harms himself. I alone, Ananda, or one like me, can judge people.’’
………
‘’Such judgement, indeed, will for a long time cause harm and suffering to those critics.’’

From AN 6.44
Good quotes. Also this famous one:

"Let not one look to the faults of others, to what they have done or failed to do. Rather, look to what you have done or failed to do." (Dhp.50)

But on the other hand . . .

The Buddha did specify rules for monks and nuns to follow and precepts for lay people to follow and they were rebuked and removed from the robes for certain offenses. He also set up the Great Standards for judging what is Dhamma and what is not. (Vinaya, Mv.VI. 40)
It is true that the Buddha never slandered or abused anyone. He was completely free from jealousy and ill-will. However, he certainly did say some things that were displeasing to others. When he started teaching the Dhamma, the Brahmins were well-established as the “Church” of the day. They held that the Brahmins or priests were a superior caste to workers, farmers, merchants, and nobles. The Buddha ridiculed them in many ways, both in private with his loyal disciples and in public when non-believers were present. They lost most of their support, and conspired to discredit the Buddha by hiring a prostitute to pretend she had had an affair with him, then hiring some thugs to murder her.

The Buddha also criticised evil-doers among his own followers and constantly admonished his loyal disciples not to be heedless. He said, “Ānanda, I will not treat you [gently] as a potter treats an unbaked pot. I will instruct and admonish you repeatedly [robustly if necessary]. The sound core will stand the test.”
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Re: Ingram, et al - "Hard Core Dharma" & claims of attainment

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Nov 28, 2011 1:53 am

So, taking exception to Ingram's claims and teachings as they seriously deviate from the teachings of the suttas and the tradition is an inappropriate act of judgment?
>> 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: Ingram, et al - "Hard Core Dharma" & claims of attainmen

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Nov 28, 2011 7:44 am

gnulnx wrote: Will my comment add to the peace or decrease the peace?
Given the rather unskilful approach taken here, your comments probably do not help.
I decided to post because I think this thread appears to
provide an open book to the thoughts of many of the posters.
In short this thread makes me sad. The delusion and dogma appear to be quite steep with some members. Is this a Buddhist forum were the members make constant strides to be aware of every passing thought or is this a random religious forum focused on dogmatic detail to scripture? Is Ingrams book any more contradictory than the whole of Zen?
First of all, Zen has nothing to do with the issue at hand, but if someone grossly misrepresented Zen, is it delusion and dogmatic to offer a critique of the misrepresentation? So if someone's critical analysis of Ingram’s claims, claims which run counter to the very core texts of the tradition of this forum, then offering a critique is to be delusional and dogmatic, so it seems. Now, that characterization could, with equal justification, be seen as equally problematic as the critique of Ingram’s claims.

Also, what is being stated by gnulnx, so it seems, is that offering a critique of Ingram’s claim means that those making the critique are not good Buddhists, that they are not really doing the practice, but are, rather, just deluded and dogmatic. I wonder how that adds to the peace?
Can any of you honestly find fault with Ingrams teaching on meditation? His chapter on correct meditation are about as concise and accurate as any I've as of yet found.
That is your opinion; however, the question is taking the whole picture of what Ingram is offering into consideration; there are better options.
Is it possible that the only real issue you have with him is a claim he made? Claiming something that a part of you obviously considers taboo? Ponder this in it's entirety. Don't focus on whether he is an Arahat or not. Focus on that part of you that is reacting to some part of Ingram? What is it about him that causes your mind to push back in such away?
So, in other words, if a person has a problem with Ingram, the problem is with that person, not the fact that Ingram has distorted the Buddha’s teachings and that Ingram's claims of being an arahant run counter to the words of the Buddha.

This is an interesting form of an ad hominem: you disagree with Ingram because something is wrong with you. Not really a very helpful response.
Lastly, what would you require of a person as proof of their enlightenment? Are you sure it's even possible for a human to meet that definition?
Then why would Ingram make such a claim about himself? Since he has, all by himself, put that claim out there, it is open for discussion (why wouldn’t it be?), and since he is using a Buddhist category –arahant – in his claim of “enlightenment” that is also not at all unreasonably open for discussion. And disagreeing with Ingram does not all by itself mean that whomever disagrees with his claim is delusional or dogmatic. There is no justification for such a claim as that.
I[sic] appears that often times we become so focused on the inaccuracies of another persons teaching that we fail to realize the real lesson was to found in the observation of our own aversion.
Looking at the failure of another’s teaching does mean that those who are doing the looking are full of aversion. It might mean quite the contrary – a very deep concern for the welfare of others and wanting the Dhamma to be carefully and skilfully presented in a way that does not bring shame to it.
>> 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: Ingram, et al - "Hard Core Dharma" & claims of attainment

Post by Ben » Mon Nov 28, 2011 8:42 am

Well said, Tilt!
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Re: Ingram, et al - "Hard Core Dharma" & claims of attainment

Post by DNS » Mon Nov 28, 2011 5:26 pm

tiltbillings wrote:Looking at the failure of another’s teaching doesn't mean that those who are doing the looking are full of aversion. It might mean quite the contrary – a very deep concern for the welfare of others and wanting the Dhamma to be carefully and skilfully presented in a way that does not bring shame to it.
:thumbsup: Yes, well said.

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