Buddha talked to Acharn Mun?

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dagon
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Re: Buddha talked to Acharn Mun?

Post by dagon » Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:36 am

Greetings Jack

The post of yours that you had linked was in my view one of the more constructive ones made here.

I would agree with you about Ajahn Lee’s work – if I was going to recommend a text to some one that would inform then about Ajahn Mun I would go with that in preference.

You did make a comment about things not changing in Isaan for 300 years – I think I know what you were getting at but without understanding the 300 years that you were talking about it is hard to imagine who an accomplished monk would have anything to do with a book that I believe is so nationalistic.

You may find this article http://aircommandoman.tripod.com/id47.html enlightening in this regard and help you to understand the subtext of my post. It is very easy to get trapped into perceptions of permanency and as we know ….

The reference to being without access to the Pali Cannon I would have some reservation about as well. Education in Thailand was and (unfortunately) still is about route learning rather than an inquiry based education system that promotes understanding. It was in part a rejection of this approach that lead Ajahn Mun to reject the academic based focus of the Thai Buddhist elite and head off on his own personal journey involving a focus on meditation. The omissions in that part of the journey was what first triggered my suspicions about the nationalistic nature of the book – but that could just be a product of my own attachments and aversions.

As for my understanding of the Ajahn’s teaching; I have “post – it- notes”, not labels and I have no intention of speculating on the forum as to what they intended to teach – there are plenty of other people here who are willing to do that.

Not sure if that answers you question.

Sarcasm – the idea did not enter my head until I mentioned it. I personally doubt that is was you intention and even if it was I would view that as something that for you to worry about , not me.

With respect

dagon

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BlackBird
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Re: Buddha talked to Acharn Mun?

Post by BlackBird » Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:13 am

Sarcasm - You're right, it is out of my own concern and formed in part by experience with people on these forums.

Regarding your link, I'll check it out tommorow when I have some time - Thank you for your post. RE: Lack of sutta knowledge. I was thinking perhaps Ajahn Mun had quite a decent knowledge therein, I seem to recall reading somewhere that in the beginning of his time as a monk he had spent a good deal of time learning suttas. It is those who came after him (and I only have the hagiography to go on there) that I felt perhaps had lack of interest in gaining a thorough reading of the Suttas so perhaps there was some unnecessary ambiguity there on my part which did not serve us well.

I am far from a Thai Scholar, and my knowledge of the nationalism of Thai monks or otherwise is woefully deficient, so I think perhaps you're treating me as an adult in this area when I am in fact a child (one who could certainly benefit from some further understanding) and that considered I would be very careful to limit the scope of any such future comparison between Ajahn Maha Boowa's doctrine and the Sutta Pitaka to doctrine alone and not to draw any anthropological conclusions (despite the temptation).

More tomorrow

metta
Jack
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta

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mikenz66
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Re: Buddha talked to Acharn Mun?

Post by mikenz66 » Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:58 am

BlackBird wrote:I was thinking perhaps Ajahn Mun had quite a decent knowledge therein, I seem to recall reading somewhere that in the beginning of his time as a monk he had spent a good deal of time learning suttas. It is those who came after him (and I only have the hagiography to go on there) that I felt perhaps had lack of interest in gaining a thorough reading of the Suttas so perhaps there was some unnecessary ambiguity there on my part which did not serve us well.
It seems that Ajahn Chah and Ajahn Maha Bua also went though all levels of Pali study as well. Unfortunately, there are a number of Ajahn Chah soundbites that often get wheeled out without the proper context...

:anjali:
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Thule
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Re: Buddha talked to Acharn Mun?

Post by Thule » Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:35 am

BlackBird wrote:...I would be very careful to limit the scope of any such future comparison between Ajahn Maha Boowa's doctrine and the Sutta Pitaka to doctrine alone and not to draw any anthropological conclusions (despite the temptation).
It would be nice to see such a comparison, but I think that it might be more interesting if instead of that "Spiritual Biography" you would use "Arahattamagga - Arahattaphala" (tr. Ajaan Dick Silaratano) or "Straight from the Heart" (tr. Thanissaro Bhikkhu). They are more about Ajahn Maha Boowa's practice and "doctrine", and a lot shorter too...

http://www.forestdhamma.org/ebooks/engl ... aphala.pdf
http://www.forestdhamma.org/ebooks/engl ... _Heart.pdf

dagon
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Re: Buddha talked to Acharn Mun?

Post by dagon » Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:02 pm

Thule wrote:
BlackBird wrote:...I would be very careful to limit the scope of any such future comparison between Ajahn Maha Boowa's doctrine and the Sutta Pitaka to doctrine alone and not to draw any anthropological conclusions (despite the temptation).
It would be nice to see such a comparison, but I think that it might be more interesting if instead of that "Spiritual Biography" you would use "Arahattamagga - Arahattaphala" (tr. Ajaan Dick Silaratano) or "Straight from the Heart" (tr. Thanissaro Bhikkhu). They are more about Ajahn Maha Boowa's practice and "doctrine", and a lot shorter too...

http://www.forestdhamma.org/ebooks/engl ... aphala.pdf
http://www.forestdhamma.org/ebooks/engl ... _Heart.pdf
You may find this interesting - The teachings of Than Acharn Maha Bua
http://www.forestdhammatalks.org/EnglishV.html

metta

dagon

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BlackBird
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Re: Buddha talked to Acharn Mun?

Post by BlackBird » Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:47 pm

Hi Thule. I am aware of these texts and any such undertaking will probably make use of them, the focus however is on the 'biography', specifically for me it's events said to have taken place that contradict the word of the Buddha in the Suttas that I wish to bring to account, in no small part because it's the 'biography' that is found across the globe in Theravadin monasteries for free distribution, it's the biography that people give attention to, the rest is tertiary material in my eyes.

Some years ago, I was staying in a monastery, and I was young and impressionable. I found the book sitting around in the cloister for free distribution, so I took it up to my kuti and more or less couldn't put it down, at the time I found it quite inspiring, not the part I now see as eternalistic, but the parts concerning kammathana, the life of the monk and if I'm quite honest, all the visiting devas and magical happenings. I bought into the doctrine because I was inspired by the austerity and what I saw as pure lifestyle. Fortunately when the monks realized I was reading this text we had some discussions and I remember at the time being quite a vocal defender of the text, going so far to say to one Ajahn: "Do you think Ven. Maha Boowa was lying? Do you think he just made it up?" in some accusatory tone. In my mind monks of such a calibre were pure, there's no way one earth they could possibly say anything other than the factual truth as it happened. I didn't realize many of the accounts in the biography had been through several ears, were quite secondary/tertiary sources and had probably suffered from Chinese Whispers syndrome. Fortunately for me (I think) the venerable Monks managed to convince me that much of the doctrine presented within was at odds with the word of the Buddha.

My own example I have used to illustrate this point: I think there are probably quite a number of people in the same situation I was in, who buy into it because of the beautiful writing, the romanticism of a holy life in the jungle, and may go on thinking that it's quite in line with the Buddha's teachings, to their own detriment.

with metta
Jack
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta

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greenjuice
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Re: Buddha talked to Acharn Mun?

Post by greenjuice » Thu Dec 12, 2013 3:46 pm

Concerning the notion of transcendental speech I mentioned, I found that there was an early Buddhist schools which believed in something like that- Nyanaponika Mahathera, Guide through the Abhidhamma Pitaka, Kathavatthu question 20:

20. Is there such a thing as ‘supramundane’ (lokuttara) communicating, or conversing (vohāra), of a Buddha? The Andh. believed so. Cf. MN 117, where there is spoken of ‘supramundane right speech (vācā), and the other supramundane constituents of the Holy Eightfold Path. Correctly speaking, only mind connected with the stages of holiness, and Nirvana, are supramundane. (Cf. 106).

(Andh. are http://www.palikanon.com/english/pali_n ... dhakaa.htm )

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Sokehi
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Re: Buddha talked to Acharn Mun?

Post by Sokehi » Mon Dec 16, 2013 5:41 pm

Ajahn Sumedho "Teachings of a buddhist monk" - "Tools to use"
"Some people get fascinating signs in their practice. They see lights or have strange visions, and they immediately get fascinated by them, thinking: "This is a special sign, I'm a special person!" It is all just mad memories, mad perceptions.
The Zen Buddhists have a saying: "If you see the Buddha, kill him!" So, some people have these mad perceptions: the Buddha comes down and says: "Listen, friend, you're enlightened. I'm the Buddha and I'm saying this to you." This has happened, but such things are nothing but creations."
:anjali:
Get the wanting out of waiting

What does womanhood matter at all, when the mind is concentrated well, when knowledge flows on steadily as one sees correctly into Dhamma. One to whom it might occur, ‘I am a woman’ or ‘I am a man’ or ‘I’m anything at all’ is fit for Mara to address. – SN 5.2

If they take what's yours, tell yourself that you're making it a gift.
Otherwise there will be no end to the animosity. - Ajahn Fuang Jotiko

https://www.youtube.com/user/Repeataarrr

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Alex123
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Re: Buddha talked to Acharn Mun?

Post by Alex123 » Sat Dec 13, 2014 11:20 pm

manas wrote:It just occurred to me that, maybe we ought to be careful not to level any accusations of having been deluded at Ajahn Mun, and instead only question the veracity of the biography. I think we had better be careful with our speech here.
You are right. I am so sad and confused about all of this.

1) Could the Bhikkhu's vision, assuming that they occurred, be of nimitta or some sort of viewing/communicating of the past (when that Buddha was alive)?
2) Could what is written (be it in the suttas or in the accounts of "modern" masters) could be different from what has actually occurred?
3) Do we take suttas or the actual experiences as the guide? Where does kalama sutta or "have direct experience" factors in?


I am really really sad.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

chownah
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Re: Buddha talked to Acharn Mun?

Post by chownah » Sun Dec 14, 2014 2:12 am

So, did the buddha have a self which people actually saw 2500 years ago (more or less)....but the buddha no longer has a self so acharn mun could not have possibly spoken with him?
chownah

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Alex123
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Re: Buddha talked to Acharn Mun?

Post by Alex123 » Sun Dec 14, 2014 2:36 am

chownah wrote:So, did the buddha have a self which people actually saw 2500 years ago (more or less)....but the buddha no longer has a self so acharn mun could not have possibly spoken with him?
chownah
People saw Buddha's body when the Buddha was alive. Maybe today it was possible for some super monks to view the past or some sort of nimitta of the Buddha or Arhats.

Too bad that there isn't certainty. Is this monk's view on such and such correct or the suttas? After all, we don't have any concrete proof that everything in the suttas and/or VsM is correct. I don't see why "one/original mind" or "pure citta" needs to be interpreted in eternalistic sense. Maybe the story about such and such monk speaking to dead Arhats/Buddha is some sort of misinterpretation of some metaphor or something?
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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Alex123
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Re: Buddha talked to Acharn Mun?

Post by Alex123 » Sun Dec 14, 2014 2:57 am

BlackBird wrote: Fortunately for me (I think) the venerable Monks managed to convince me that much of the doctrine presented within was at odds with the word of the Buddha. ...and may go on thinking that it's quite in line with the Buddha's teachings, to their own detriment.
The problem is that Buddha is not with us anymore. We do not know if the historical Buddha (if he event existed) didn't teach such and such. We may trust the suttas, but what is written down may be misinterpreted, be incomplete or incorrect.

We reject written teachings of other religions, yet don't question the written teachings of such and such Buddhist tradition. Why disregard experience of a great meditating monk? Do we go with suttas or experience?
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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daverupa
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Re: Buddha talked to Acharn Mun?

Post by daverupa » Sun Dec 14, 2014 3:07 am

They inter-relate: the voice of another and in/appropriate attention - text and practice.
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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Mkoll
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Re: Buddha talked to Acharn Mun?

Post by Mkoll » Sun Dec 14, 2014 3:29 am

Alex123 wrote:The problem is that Buddha is not with us anymore. We do not know if the historical Buddha (if he event existed) didn't teach such and such. We may trust the suttas, but what is written down may be misinterpreted, be incomplete or incorrect.

We reject written teachings of other religions, yet don't question the written teachings of such and such Buddhist tradition. Why disregard experience of a great meditating monk? Do we go with suttas or experience?
SN 46.51 wrote:“And what, bhikkhus, is the nutriment for the arising of unarisen doubt and for the increase and expansion of arisen doubt? There are, bhikkhus, things that are the basis for doubt: frequently giving careless attention to them is the nutriment for the arising of unarisen doubt and for the increase and expansion of arisen doubt.

...

And what, bhikkhus, is the denourishment that prevents unarisen doubt from arising and arisen doubt from increasing and expanding? There are, bhikkhus, wholesome and unwholesome states, blameable and blameless states, inferior and superior states, dark and bright states with their counterparts: frequently giving careful attention to them is the denourishment that prevents unarisen doubt from arising and arisen doubt from increasing and expanding.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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DNS
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Re: Buddha talked to Acharn Mun?

Post by DNS » Sun Dec 14, 2014 3:48 am

Alex123 wrote: We reject written teachings of other religions, yet don't question the written teachings of such and such Buddhist tradition. Why disregard experience of a great meditating monk? Do we go with suttas or experience?
Sure we do, just look at any typical discussion here at DW. In fact, I'd guess that Buddhists question their own scriptures more so than most other religions. We examine history and try to locate the earliest texts and differentiate them and generally give greater value to what we deem to be earlier rather than later texts.

The experiences and teachings of great meditating monks is fine, but which one(s)? Some have different and contradicting teachings. Then all we can do is go back to the texts, the guides. We have our own experiences however, learning to drive requires lessons. Owning a car requires an owner's manual.

Regarding the historical Buddha; many have stated it doesn't matter, what matters is the teachings and their usefulness. However, we do have archeological evidence; the Edicts of Ashoka. Ashoka did not live that many years after the Buddha's paranibbana. Regarding hagiography; that is common in all religions for their founders. The difference with Buddhism, is if it is not true, it does not change the essential teachings.

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