Wat Dhammakaya

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Kumara
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Post by Kumara » Mon Jul 01, 2013 8:59 am

Firstly let me apologise for the enthusiastic posting... :-)
SeerObserver wrote:
jcsuperstar wrote:i have a thai friend who studied w/ lp paknam (sod?) and he says that the dhammakaya meditation taught is not the same as what lp paknam taught..
seems to be similar though
jcsuperstar, you have a friend who actually studied with LP Sodh of Wat Paknam? It would be interesting if you could post some information as to the differences between his teachings and those of Dhammakaya. robertk, you say it's the same meditation though. Have you learned from LP Sodh himself or from a different offshoot of his teachings than Dhammakaya?
Perhaps I can help here. Although I've not learnt from him personally, I've read an English version of his book more than 10 years ago. I vividly recall that one should arrive at a mental image of a human being, which later changes to a deva. This description is accompanied by illustrations of the images, which gets increasingly elaborate as the mental image "progresses" to forms of higher realms. When I saw that even brahma image is illustrated with distinct forms, I began to wonder. What I saw that even beings of the formless realms could be drawn....

But I've not come to the really interesting part yet. After that, the images suppose to turn to that of a crystalline Buddha. (I'm skipping the details here.) My memory about it is a little bit fuzzy, but I can clearly recall this: When the nimitta grows to 10 metres wide, you've become a sotapanna!

Now, don't ask me how to measure the diameter of a mental image. Anyway, when it grows further to 20 metres, guess what that means?

Sakadagami!

And when it reaches 30 metres?

____________(Fill in the blanks.)

40 metres?
____________

No prizes for right guesses.

I've just googled for the book, and found it here: From: http://www.reocities.com/kennykkt/dhamm ... r_Sodh.pdf (Size: 557 KB)
I'm not just a monk. I'm a human being. — Sayadaw U Jotika

helparcfun
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Post by helparcfun » Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:33 am

Its been a while since I've posted on here and as Kumara recently wrote a few posts I thought I'd post this as a kind of answer to my own question about whether or not DMC will endure. So after reading through this I have come to the definite conclusion that DMC is here to stay. Meanwhile, my issues with my wife following this group will continue until who knows when??
Wat Phra Dhammakāya is an established international
organization—a spiritual empire that grew out of the charismatic
leadership of Phra Phromayanthera or Phra Chaiboon Dhammajayo
which vows to promote the mission of the founding father of the
meditation technique worldwide. In fact, the monastic activities are
merely the tip of this iceberg; the material and financial expansions of
the community have been more progressive than meditation retreats.
Equipped with its own twenty-four-hour satellite TV, infinite funding,
superb location, gigantic piece of land not far from Bangkok, and
millions of followers, many of whom hold high positions in the cabinet,
private sector, military and political parties—Wat Phra Dhammakāya will
expand, not only to fulfill its apparent mission, but also to make radical
changes to the political system of Thailand.
This is from: Journal of Buddhist Ethics ISSN 1076-9005 http://blogs.dickinson.edu/buddhistethics/ Volume 19, 2012
Esoteric Teaching of Wat Phra Dhammakāya
Mano Mettanando Laohavanich
Pridi Banomyong International College,
Thammasat University

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GraemeR
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Post by GraemeR » Mon Jul 22, 2013 12:12 pm

helparcfun wrote:Its been a while since I've posted on here and as Kumara recently wrote a few posts I thought I'd post this as a kind of answer to my own question about whether or not DMC will endure. So after reading through this I have come to the definite conclusion that DMC is here to stay. Meanwhile, my issues with my wife following this group will continue until who knows when??
Wat Phra Dhammakāya is an established international
organization—a spiritual empire that grew out of the charismatic
leadership of Phra Phromayanthera or Phra Chaiboon Dhammajayo
which vows to promote the mission of the founding father of the
meditation technique worldwide. In fact, the monastic activities are
merely the tip of this iceberg; the material and financial expansions of
the community have been more progressive than meditation retreats.
Equipped with its own twenty-four-hour satellite TV, infinite funding,
superb location, gigantic piece of land not far from Bangkok, and
millions of followers, many of whom hold high positions in the cabinet,
private sector, military and political parties—Wat Phra Dhammakāya will
expand, not only to fulfill its apparent mission, but also to make radical
changes to the political system of Thailand.
This is from: Journal of Buddhist Ethics ISSN 1076-9005 http://blogs.dickinson.edu/buddhistethics/ Volume 19, 2012
Esoteric Teaching of Wat Phra Dhammakāya
Mano Mettanando Laohavanich
Pridi Banomyong International College,
Thammasat University
Scary, we went once, never again

Graham

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Kumara
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Post by Kumara » Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:39 am

helparcfun wrote:Its been a while since I've posted on here and as Kumara recently wrote a few posts I thought I'd post this as a kind of answer to my own question about whether or not DMC will endure. So after reading through this I have come to the definite conclusion that DMC is here to stay. Meanwhile, my issues with my wife following this group will continue until who knows when??
Are you resigning?

If you'd like to do something about it, I suggest you google: cult exit counseling family
You may not engage a cult expert to help you but you can find helpful suggestions that you can apply on your own. This short clip gives a gist of that: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hG5j1ofuyXM
Wat Phra Dhammakāya is an established international
organization—a spiritual empire that grew out of the charismatic
leadership of Phra Phromayanthera or Phra Chaiboon Dhammajayo
which vows to promote the mission of the founding father of the
meditation technique worldwide. In fact, the monastic activities are
merely the tip of this iceberg; the material and financial expansions of
the community have been more progressive than meditation retreats.
Equipped with its own twenty-four-hour satellite TV, infinite funding,
superb location, gigantic piece of land not far from Bangkok, and
millions of followers, many of whom hold high positions in the cabinet,
private sector, military and political parties—Wat Phra Dhammakāya will
expand, not only to fulfill its apparent mission, but also to make radical
changes to the political system of Thailand.
Essentially, its becoming the Thai/Buddhist equivalent of Scientology. Most cult experts I've read about spend most of their resources on preventive education, which I agree is the best thing to do.

It's like a computer virus. A computer with a user who knows how computer viruses work would be equipped with preventive measures. Even with if the virus managed to infiltrate, the user would be discerning enough to be aware of it and do what is necessary.
I'm not just a monk. I'm a human being. — Sayadaw U Jotika

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gavesako
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Post by gavesako » Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:11 am

The latest strategy of Dhammakaya (with the help of the Thai ministry of education) is to brainwash most of the school teachers in the country by having them attend "Dhamma training courses" organized by the Dhammakaya people. Then these teachers will pass on what they have learnt to primary school children throughout the country, because in Thailand Buddhism is the majority religion and de facto state religion. Now there is some resistance to this being voiced by academics and NGOs promoting freedom of religious choice, but the strategy is clear -- to introduce an ideology to a whole new generation and in that way to make use of State Buddhism to promote one particular sect as the best example:

ธรรมกายโปรเจกต์ “ล้างสมองครู - ยึดครองประเทศ”
http://www.manager.co.th/Daily/ViewNews ... 0000090002

:shrug:
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

Access to Insight - Theravada texts
Ancient Buddhist Texts - Translations and history of Pali texts
Dhammatalks.org - Sutta translations

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Kumara
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Post by Kumara » Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:35 am

As I learnt, effort has already been made to target children directly through TV shows. The strategy seems to be to create a mental association of "good" and "fun" with Dhammakaya. There may be other intended subliminal messages, such as Dhammakaya monks can read minds, etc. Ignorant parents have their children watch them thinking that it's just about morality.
I'm not just a monk. I'm a human being. — Sayadaw U Jotika

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suriyopama
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Post by suriyopama » Fri Jul 26, 2013 7:16 am

A page of the Thai blogger Richard Barrow that was respectfully talking about the fact that one picture of the dhanmmakai was photoshoped has ben banned by the Thai Government. It is a pity to see how the government is protecting a brainwashing cult conducted by megalomaniacs.

http://www.richardbarrow.com/2013/07/my ... ou-to-see/

BTW. The photoshoped picture can be seen here: http://2bangkok.com/forum/showthread.ph ... tion/page8

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Mr Man
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Post by Mr Man » Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:53 am

So the picture was photoshoped to discredit Dhammakaya. Richard exposed this and subsequently the page, where Richard exposed the discrediting, was blocked from being viewed in Thailand?

That doesn't seem like the government protecting Dhammakaya to me.

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Kumara
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Post by Kumara » Fri Jul 26, 2013 10:30 am

Mr Man wrote:So the picture was photoshoped to discredit Dhammakaya. Richard exposed this and subsequently the page, where Richard exposed the discrediting, was blocked from being viewed in Thailand?

That doesn't seem like the government protecting Dhammakaya to me.
I wondered about that photo too when I saw it, though I must say that it's so well photoshopped that I didn't suspect it a fake.

Like it's said in the post and comments, the person/people who decided to blocked probably didn't read the post.
I'm not just a monk. I'm a human being. — Sayadaw U Jotika

dagon
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Post by dagon » Fri Jul 26, 2013 11:05 am

Mr Man wrote:So the picture was photoshoped to discredit Dhammakaya. Richard exposed this and subsequently the page, where Richard exposed the discrediting, was blocked from being viewed in Thailand?

That doesn't seem like the government protecting Dhammakaya to me.
The department of education may well be working with them – but many in Thailand would tell you that may not be very helpful. That does not mean that the rest of the public service is on the same agenda. Some may oppose them other may not want to see a situation where any Buddhist monks are degraded. If the establishment starts to see Dhammakaya as a threat then I suspect they will act.

I am not that worried for my adopted kids cause they get taught Dhamma by their uncle – a monk in the forest tradition.

regards
paul

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Viscid
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Post by Viscid » Fri Jul 26, 2013 6:57 pm

This is a very interesting thread, and I'm grateful for the Thais that have had direct experiences with Dhammakaya for posting about them.

Though I am fairly ignorant of Dhammakaya myself, from what I've read it seems as though they're being portrayed as a cult a little too viciously. As of yet, I've yet to read of much demonstrable harm caused by the organization... Yes, their teachings seem to be ridiculous, and the organization more focused on fundraising than wisdom-- but to label it a 'dangerous cult' belittles the risk of becoming involved with truly dangerous, manipulative cults. Dhammakaya seems to be on par with a lot of other large, zealous religious organizations in their exploitiveness.
"What holds attention determines action." - William James

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Kumara
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Post by Kumara » Sat Jul 27, 2013 3:03 am

Viscid wrote:Though I am fairly ignorant of Dhammakaya myself, from what I've read it seems as though they're being portrayed as a cult a little too viciously. As of yet, I've yet to read of much demonstrable harm caused by the organization... Yes, their teachings seem to be ridiculous, and the organization more focused on fundraising than wisdom-- but to label it a 'dangerous cult' belittles the risk of becoming involved with truly dangerous, manipulative cults. Dhammakaya seems to be on par with a lot of other large, zealous religious organizations in their exploitiveness.
For many years, I didn't think much of it too, except for the fact of its founder's rather queer idea of meditation and (Dhammakaya) attainments. Since some months ago, I realise that I had underestimated its harm.

For a group to qualify as a destructive cult, Robert Jay Lifton listed 3 criteria:
  1. A charismatic leader, who increasingly becomes an object of worship
  2. A process of "coercive persuasion"
  3. Exploitation of group members by the leader and the ruling coterie (economic, sexual, etc)
As I understand its working now, I regard Dhammakaya as fulfilling all of the above. I suppose unless you hear about the manipulation that goes on there from people who was involved enough with it (and of course had come out of it), you're not likely to comprehend its harmfulness, and its potential for future harm.
Last edited by Kumara on Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
I'm not just a monk. I'm a human being. — Sayadaw U Jotika

jameswang
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Post by jameswang » Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:04 am

Fascinating subject! With all the wealth they are harvesting from followers, what do you all thing they are trying to achieve?

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Kumara
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Post by Kumara » Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:08 am

jameswang wrote:Fascinating subject! With all the wealth they are harvesting from followers, what do you all thing they are trying to achieve?
Want to join the group and find out?
I'm not just a monk. I'm a human being. — Sayadaw U Jotika

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bazzaman
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Post by bazzaman » Tue Jul 30, 2013 2:14 am

Present-day Western seekers will probably not find much of interest in the DMC... being put off by the regimented “group-think” aspects, as well as the bizarre, and suspect, meditation claims.
But, in the middle of the last century, when farangs were first venturing to Thailand in search of teaching, there was, as yet, no mega-church-like organisation to put them off. There was just Wat Paknam and its abbot, Chao Khum Mongkol Thepmuni, who had a good reputation.
In this history ot The English Sangha Trust:
http://www.buddhanet.net/filelib/pdf/honourfathers.zip
there are records of some such encounters.
The Venerable Kapilavaddho became the first European to be ordained as a bhikkhu in Thailand (page 34), and, according to the written testimonial of the famous abbot, “... completing his training on attaining the highest ‘Dhammakaya’ state in nine months. The only national other than a Thai ever to have accomplished this.”(page 36). He then returned to the U.K. to aid in the establishment of the English Sangha Trust. He taught the “Wat Paknam” method of meditation at first, but later seemed to abandon it for the Mahasi method. There follows (page 38) a brief description of the method, and some speculation (page 43) as to the reason for the switch of methods.
In any case, there are no further reports of the method being taken up and developed to a noticeable extent in the U.K.
Bhikkhu Kapilavakkho retired from the Sangha in 1957, his position taken over by Ven. Pannavadho, who, in turn, was replaced by Ven. Anandabodhi (page 52), who had also studied at Wat Paknam.
Ven. Anandabodhi later became Namgyal Rinpoche, and did teach the method, amongst others. It was referred to as the “16 Buddha body” meditation, probably derived from the book published in English by Wat Paknam “Samma Samadhi”, which contained illustrations of the 16 bodies to be visualised. But after circa 1973, there was not much mention of the method in his group.
Around that time, Tibetan Buddhism was gaining popularity in the West; and it might be possible that the Wat Paknam method, which combines mantra and visualisation, suffered by comparison to the vast array of Vajrayana methods utilising the same two tools. But that’s just speculation on my part.
I hope the pdf might be of historical interest to some.
Atāṇo loko anabhissaro...

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