The Quotable Thanissaro

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Kusala
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Re: The Quotable Thanissaro

Post by Kusala » Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:15 am

"A lot of our suffering and stress come from the limitations we feel in our lives.
We’ve got this body that needs constant care, and even though we care for it,
what does it do? It starts getting old, it gets ill, it finally dies, no matter how well
we care for it. And it doesn’t ask permission before it does any of these things. It
doesn’t give any warning. Then there are financial limitations, social limitations.
You look around and it seems like we’re getting hemmed in all the time.

I had a dream once in which I died, and the experience of death was like the
world just closing in, closing in, closing in, until I had no room to stay anywhere
and I had to get out. That’s the way life is: It just keeps closing in, closing in –all
these limitations coming from outside. And not just outside limitations: The
really constraining limitations are the ones in our own minds, the ones we create
for ourselves.

The good news here is that we can learn not to create them. We can learn to
take down these barriers. In fact, the whole practice is one of taking down
barriers, taking down limitations, even from the very beginning, the very basic
levels."
- Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Image

"He, the Blessed One, is indeed the Noble Lord, the Perfectly Enlightened One;
He is impeccable in conduct and understanding, the Serene One, the Knower of the Worlds;
He trains perfectly those who wish to be trained; he is Teacher of gods and men; he is Awake and Holy. "

--------------------------------------------
"The Dhamma is well-expounded by the Blessed One,
Apparent here and now, timeless, encouraging investigation,
Leading to liberation, to be experienced individually by the wise. "

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Kusala
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Re: The Quotable Thanissaro

Post by Kusala » Sun Jan 06, 2013 6:13 am

"As the Buddha said, the purpose of the practice is to see what you’ve never
seen before, realize what you’ve never realized before, and many of these things
you’ve never seen or realized lie outside the limits of your imagination.

In order to see them, you have to learn how to push yourself more than you might
imagine. But this has to be done with skill. That’s why the Buddha said that a
good determination involves four qualities: discernment, truth, relinquishment,
and peace."
- Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Image

"He, the Blessed One, is indeed the Noble Lord, the Perfectly Enlightened One;
He is impeccable in conduct and understanding, the Serene One, the Knower of the Worlds;
He trains perfectly those who wish to be trained; he is Teacher of gods and men; he is Awake and Holy. "

--------------------------------------------
"The Dhamma is well-expounded by the Blessed One,
Apparent here and now, timeless, encouraging investigation,
Leading to liberation, to be experienced individually by the wise. "

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Kusala
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Re: The Quotable Thanissaro

Post by Kusala » Mon Jan 07, 2013 6:01 am

"One of the first things that attracted me to the Dhamma was seeing my teacher, Ajaan Fuang, living a very simple life—a little tiny monastery out in the hills of Rayong, just a couple of huts, not that many people—but he was happy. You could feel a very strong sense of wellbeing just emanating from him. And you realized that it didn’t depend on his being wealthy, it didn’t depend on his being famous or having a lot of students or friends or anything. It was simply because he had worked on his mind. As he said, he wasn’t born that way.

Whatever sense of wellbeing he had developed in the mind came through the practice. And as you come to know the practice, come to know the Dhamma, you realize exactly how all-encompassing it is. Once these qualities are developed in the mind, they take care of all kinds of situations. Qualities of mindfulness, discernment, and concentration are basic to any skill, basic to our ability to deal with any situation. So by focusing on these few things we really do cover all of our bases. They encompass everything."
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Image

"He, the Blessed One, is indeed the Noble Lord, the Perfectly Enlightened One;
He is impeccable in conduct and understanding, the Serene One, the Knower of the Worlds;
He trains perfectly those who wish to be trained; he is Teacher of gods and men; he is Awake and Holy. "

--------------------------------------------
"The Dhamma is well-expounded by the Blessed One,
Apparent here and now, timeless, encouraging investigation,
Leading to liberation, to be experienced individually by the wise. "

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Kusala
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Re: The Quotable Thanissaro

Post by Kusala » Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:59 am

They say that your brainwaves can be measured even in your little toe—
which shows that the energy of your thoughts fills your whole body, fills your
whole experience. Normally we don’t realize how much energy we’re giving off,
how much energy we’re radiating, and what the quality of that energy is. Only
when you make the mind really, really quiet can you begin to sense the shadow
radiation put off by the mind. Only then can you sense how much that energy
shapes your experience, how much it affects the experience of the people around
you.

This is why the Buddha put so much emphasis on the question of intention,
because that’s where the energy shaping our lives really lies, in the intentions of
the mind. What we experience consists of the intentions themselves together
with the energy they create, the ripple effect they create—from intentions in the
present and intentions in the past—as those ripple patterns intersect and
interfere. That’s what shapes our experience. And one of the main lessons in
meditation lies in seeing how that happens.

But even before you see it happen, the Buddha’s training gets you to develop
skillful intentions, both because they have a good effect on your life, and also
because they make it easier to see what’s going on. Unskillful intentions put up a
lot of interference, make it hard to see. You do things and say things that are
really unskillful and you don’t realize what you’ve done because you’ve created
such turbulence. This is why the Buddha teaches us to practice generosity, to
observe the precepts, because the intentions that go into generosity and virtue
are skillful in and of themselves and also allow us to see more and more of
what’s going on, to gain an appreciation of how much our intentions do shape
everything.
- Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Image

"He, the Blessed One, is indeed the Noble Lord, the Perfectly Enlightened One;
He is impeccable in conduct and understanding, the Serene One, the Knower of the Worlds;
He trains perfectly those who wish to be trained; he is Teacher of gods and men; he is Awake and Holy. "

--------------------------------------------
"The Dhamma is well-expounded by the Blessed One,
Apparent here and now, timeless, encouraging investigation,
Leading to liberation, to be experienced individually by the wise. "

danieLion
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Re: The Quotable Thanissaro

Post by danieLion » Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:11 am

Kusala wrote:...They say that your brainwaves can be measured even in your little toe—which shows that the energy of your thoughts fills your whole body, fills your whole experience....Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Where the mind goes, the Qi flows.

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bazzaman
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Re: The Quotable Thanissaro

Post by bazzaman » Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:07 am

Apologies for butting in here... I will post in a new thread if moderators so advise... but, since this is where the Thaan Geoff boffins seem to be hanging out, then maybe my question could get answered most easily here.
Thaan Geoff, when speaking on the subject of renunciation, has often said that the Buddha's heart did not leap up at the thought of renunciation (i.e. before he was the Buddha).
Can anyone give a sutta reference to this? Or vinaya pitika?
Atāṇo loko anabhissaro...

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Benjamin
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Re: The Quotable Thanissaro

Post by Benjamin » Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:16 am

bazzaman wrote:Apologies for butting in here... I will post in a new thread if moderators so advise... but, since this is where the Thaan Geoff boffins seem to be hanging out, then maybe my question could get answered most easily here.
Thaan Geoff, when speaking on the subject of renunciation, has often said that the Buddha's heart did not leap up at the thought of renunciation (i.e. before he was the Buddha).
Can anyone give a sutta reference to this? Or vinaya pitika?

Could you provide a reference to where this was mentioned? I think it may help to see his words in a larger context.


:smile:
"Don't believe everything you read."
-The Buddha

danieLion
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Re: The Quotable Thanissaro

Post by danieLion » Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:44 am

bazzaman wrote:Apologies for butting in here... I will post in a new thread if moderators so advise... but, since this is where the Thaan Geoff boffins seem to be hanging out, then maybe my question could get answered most easily here.
Thaan Geoff, when speaking on the subject of renunciation, has often said that the Buddha's heart did not leap up at the thought of renunciation (i.e. before he was the Buddha).
Can anyone give a sutta reference to this? Or vinaya pitika?
Tapussa Sutta, Anguttara Nikaya 9.41

Reverend Thanissaro, last time I checked, does not use the internet and if he did I'd be surprised to find him here as Dhammawheel can be very unfriendly towards him at times.

Last I checked, he does have "phone hours". Just Google Wat Metta (his monastery) and call the number that comes up within the hours given.

Boffins huh? I guess that works--if you believe, as I do, that there's a science to Dhamma.

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bazzaman
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Re: The Quotable Thanissaro

Post by bazzaman » Sat Jan 12, 2013 5:52 am

Benjamin wrote: "Could you provide a reference to where this was mentioned? I think it may help to see his words in a larger context."

Sorry, I can't give a specific reference. It is a recurring theme in his Dhamma talks, though. I have listened to something in the neighbourhood of 2,000 of his daily talks, but have no way of tracking the themes.


:smile:[/quote]
Last edited by bazzaman on Sat Jan 12, 2013 6:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
Atāṇo loko anabhissaro...

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bazzaman
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Re: The Quotable Thanissaro

Post by bazzaman » Sat Jan 12, 2013 6:09 am

danieLion wrote: Tapussa Sutta, Anguttara Nikaya 9.41

Reverend Thanissaro, last time I checked, does not use the internet and if he did I'd be surprised to find him here as Dhammawheel can be very unfriendly towards him at times.

Last I checked, he does have "phone hours". Just Google Wat Metta (his monastery) and call the number that comes up within the hours given.

Boffins huh? I guess that works--if you believe, as I do, that there's a science to Dhamma.
Thank you danieLion... this theme has been on my mind a lot lately, and now I can reflect on the sutta. "The Case of the Reluctant Bodhisatta"...
Sorry if I misused the term "boffins"... I shouldn't go outside my cultural boundaries, especially with my aged brain functioning at less than optimum efficiency.
Also, lest my manner of speech gave the wrong impression, I have much respect for Ven. Thanissasro. Listening to his recorded talks has been beneficial to me. His use of themes, such as this one of "reluctance", and others like "the inner commitee" and others, have continued to provoke questioning in my practice.
Atāṇo loko anabhissaro...

danieLion
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Re: The Quotable Thanissaro

Post by danieLion » Sat Jan 12, 2013 9:45 am

bazzaman,
i like boffins...honestly...it's a cool word and works for me, even applied to Reverend Thanissaro
regards

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Kusala
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Re: The Quotable Thanissaro

Post by Kusala » Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:55 am

"Everything in life is very interconnected. Everything is dependent on conditions, and
the things we do then in turn become conditions for other things in life—not only in our
own lives, but also in the lives of the people around us. It’s like throwing a pebble into a
pond. The waves go out in many directions, and can sometimes cover the whole pond.
They can even bounce off the shore and come back, in many intricate patterns.

This principle of interconnectedness can be a good or a bad thing depending on
what you do with it. Some people think that interconnectedness is automatically a good
thing, but when you remember that harmful actions are also part of the general web and
they can have repercussions that go on for a long time, that’s a scary thought. Also, our
happiness often depends on the actions of other people, many of whom we don’t even
know. So how can we trust them?We like to think we can trust the conditions on which
our life depends, but when you really think about it you realize how fragile the whole
enterprise is if you’re looking for happiness outside.

This is why the practice has us turn inward, because there inside is the element of
our experience that’s not dependent on outside conditions. That element consists of the
choices we’re making from moment to moment. Those can be free. They don’t have to
depend on outside conditions. Otherwise we’d be in a totally deterministic universe.
There’d be nothing we could do. We’d be cogs in a machine, whirling around as the
other cogs whirl around. But that’s not the way things are.We do have choices. And it’s
through our choices that we turn the principle of interconnectedness into either a good
or a bad thing, depending on how skillful or unskillful our choices are."
- Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Image

"He, the Blessed One, is indeed the Noble Lord, the Perfectly Enlightened One;
He is impeccable in conduct and understanding, the Serene One, the Knower of the Worlds;
He trains perfectly those who wish to be trained; he is Teacher of gods and men; he is Awake and Holy. "

--------------------------------------------
"The Dhamma is well-expounded by the Blessed One,
Apparent here and now, timeless, encouraging investigation,
Leading to liberation, to be experienced individually by the wise. "

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BuddhaDave
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Re: The Quotable Thanissaro

Post by BuddhaDave » Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:08 am

I have made similar use of modern science — chaos theory in particular. There are many parallels between Buddhist theories of causation and modern deterministic chaos theory. Examples and terminology drawn from the latter — such as feedback, scale invariance, resonance, and fluid turbulence — are very useful in explaining the former. Again, in using these parallels I am not trying to equate Buddhist teachings with chaos theory or to engage in pseudo-science. Fashions in science change so rapidly that we do the Buddha's teachings no favor in trying to "prove" them in light of current scientific paradigms. Here I am simply pointing out similarities as a way of helping to make those teachings intelligible in modern terms. Deterministic chaos theory is the only modern body of knowledge that has worked out a vocabulary for the patterns of behavior described in Buddhist explanations of causality, and so it seems a natural source to draw on, both to describe those patterns and to point out some of their less obvious implications.
from Wings to Awakening: An Anthology from the Pali Canon
Skillful Living Network
oṁ namo buddhāya

dhammapal
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Re: The Quotable Thanissaro

Post by dhammapal » Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:51 am

Thanissaro Bhikkhu wrote:On an affective level, a sense of connectedness may relieve the pain of isolation, but when you look deeper, you have to agree with the Buddha that interconnectedness and interdependence lie at the essence of suffering. Take the weather, for instance. Last summer we had wonderful, balmy weather in San Diego — none of the oppressive heat that usually hits in August — and yet the same weather pattern brought virtually non-stop rain to southern Alaska, drought to the Northeast, and killer hurricanes with coffins floating out of their graves in North Carolina. Are we supposed to find happiness in identifying with a world like this? The suttas are often characterized as pessimistic in advocating release from samsara, but that's nothing compared to the pessimism inherent in the idea that staying interconnected is our only hope for happiness.
From: A Question of Skill: An Interview with Thanissaro Bhikkhu by Insight Magazine Online
With metta / dhammapal.

dhammapal
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Thanissaro Bhikkhu on Metta Phrases

Post by dhammapal » Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:05 am

Thanissaro Bhikkhu wrote:So find somebody that you do find easy to think "OK, may this person be happy". The phrases you use don't have to be elaborate; and it's not something that you just keep repeating the phrase; you just pose that idea in the mind and see if you agree with it. See if there are any members of the committee who would object.
From: Unsentimental Goodwill by Thanissaro Bhikkhu (mp3 audio)
With metta / dhammapal.

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