Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Mr Man
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Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Post by Mr Man » Sun May 11, 2014 3:36 pm

Hi melancholy

Because you have witnessed something does not mean that it is what you perceive it to be - like someone perceiving a shadow to be a ghost. This is why I said "Isn't it strange how the mind works?".

If you would like to share your experience of witnessing a monk levitating (perhaps in a new thread) I would be interested to here the details.

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DNS
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Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Post by DNS » Sun May 11, 2014 3:58 pm

Why are some of you criticizing Ajahn Brahm and / or disappointed in him when you haven't even seen the evidence? And why is Ajahn Brahm being held to a higher standard than the Buddha?

Even the Buddha rebuked bad monks, when it was necessary. The only time I have heard Ajahn Brahm say anything that might be called criticism of another was in regard to the bhikkhuni issue for those that did not support it and fought against it and for this Ajahn Brahm is correct.

See also this quote from Ven. Dhammanando in another thread:
Dhammanando wrote: Divisive speech is that which aims at provoking disaffection in one person or group towards some other person or group, but only where this proceeds from an unwholesome volition. Therefore not all speech aimed at provoking disaffection is classed as divisive speech, for sometimes it may be prompted by a wholesome volition. An example would be when, out of concern for the listener’s welfare, one warns him about an evil person with whom it would be harmful for him to consort.

Hence the commentarial statement that the near-enemy of non-divisive speech (i.e. the quality easily confused with it) is “lack of concern for another’s welfare” (anatthakāmatā).

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Mkoll
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Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Post by Mkoll » Sun May 11, 2014 6:03 pm

‘Householders, if the homeless ascetics of other beliefs ask you: "Householders, what kind of recluses and brahmins should not be revered, esteemed and worshipped?" You should reply them thus. Those recluses and brahmins, without dispelled greed, aversion and delusion, for forms cognizable by eye-consciousness, internally not appeased, abide with good and bad conduct by body, speech and mind. Such recluses and brahmins should not be revered, esteemed and worshipped. For we too are without dispelled greed, aversion and delusion, for forms cognizable by eye-consciousness, internally not appeased, abide with good and bad conduct by body, speech and mind.

-MN 150
Note that the Buddha is talking to householders. I'm sure he had a different view of what esteem monks should hold their teachers and seniors in.

Also note that he says those monks should not be revered, esteemed, and worshipped. He does not say they should be disparaged.

In my mind, every bhikkhu worth his salt is, at the very least, worthy of respect and non-disparagement for living the austere and rule-abiding life that they do. I give the benefit of the doubt on this unless they're clearly doing something bad.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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Dan74
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Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Post by Dan74 » Sun May 11, 2014 11:20 pm

Mkoll wrote:
‘Householders, if the homeless ascetics of other beliefs ask you: "Householders, what kind of recluses and brahmins should not be revered, esteemed and worshipped?" You should reply them thus. Those recluses and brahmins, without dispelled greed, aversion and delusion, for forms cognizable by eye-consciousness, internally not appeased, abide with good and bad conduct by body, speech and mind. Such recluses and brahmins should not be revered, esteemed and worshipped. For we too are without dispelled greed, aversion and delusion, for forms cognizable by eye-consciousness, internally not appeased, abide with good and bad conduct by body, speech and mind.

-MN 150
Note that the Buddha is talking to householders. I'm sure he had a different view of what esteem monks should hold their teachers and seniors in.

Also note that he says those monks should not be revered, esteemed, and worshipped. He does not say they should be disparaged.

In my mind, every bhikkhu worth his salt is, at the very least, worthy of respect and non-disparagement for living the austere and rule-abiding life that they do. I give the benefit of the doubt on this unless they're clearly doing something bad.
:goodpost:

This is not to say that what they teach cannot be discussed like Ajahn Thannissaro's teachings here. But respect would be a great starting point.
_/|\_

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melancholy
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Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Post by melancholy » Mon May 12, 2014 1:39 am

cooran wrote:I was at a talk by Ajahn Brahm in Brisbane a year or so ago. He told the same jokes I'd heard from him before, the same stories I'd read in his books - and then he said abortion was o.k. up to about 16 or more weeks. At that point quite a number of the audience walked out.
3.Should any bhikkhu intentionally deprive a human being of life, or search for an assassin for him, or praise the advantages of death, or incite him to die (saying): “My good man, what use is this evil, miserable life to you? Death would be better for you than life,” or with such an idea in mind, such a purpose in mind, should in various ways praise the advantages of death or incite him to die, he also is defeated (parajika) and no longer in affiliation.

- page 74 of BMC I (Vinaya, Parajika 3)
From this it follows that a bhikkhu who intentionally causes an abortion—by arranging for the operation, supplying the medicines, or advising a woman to get an abortion and she follows through—incurs a parajika.

- page 75 of BMC I
with all the due respect to ajahn brahm. as the good bhikkhus and lay followers did during the buddha's time (can find many incidents in vinaya and also sometimes in sutta), i just state a question regarding a certain action by a bhikkhu.
Power can make things disappear, so does me :D

Then the Blessed One said to Ven. Ananda, "Now, if it occurs to any of you — 'The teaching has lost its authority; we are without a Teacher' — do not view it in that way. Whatever Dhamma & Vinaya I have pointed out & formulated for you, that will be your Teacher when I am gone.

-Dīgha Nikāya 16, Mahāparinibbāna Sutta
__________________________________

gO tO wORK, gET mARRIED, hAVE sOME kIDS;
wATCH yOUR tV, fOLLOW fASHION, aCT nORMAL;
pAY yOUR tAXES, pAY yOUR bILLS, oBEY tHE lAW;
aND rEPEAT aFTER mE: "i aM fREE."

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James the Giant
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Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Post by James the Giant » Mon May 12, 2014 2:02 am

Hi Melancholy, there is an article by Ajahn Brahm somewhere, where he shows in the suttas it says an embryo is not classed as a person/human/sentient until a certain stage of development is reached.
So your vinaya references above are not relevant.
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
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Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Post by mikenz66 » Mon May 12, 2014 2:49 am


chownah
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Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Post by chownah » Mon May 12, 2014 4:21 am

Arahant Brahm stresses that human life begins when consciousness becomes apparent. At the time of the Buddha this would have been when the mother first feels fetal movements I think. This would place the emergence of human life well past what most people accept.
chownah
EDIT: should be "Ajahn Brahm"......don't know how I gave him a promotion to arahant.
chownah
Last edited by chownah on Mon May 12, 2014 3:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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manas
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Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Post by manas » Mon May 12, 2014 4:22 am

pilgrim wrote:
polarbuddha101 wrote:he also sincerely believes that levitation is possible
He shares this outrageous belief with the Buddha..
The siddhi I'd really like to attain, is the ability to 'appear and vanish'. I can think of so many situations in which that ability would come in handy :D

But of course I'd take knowing for oneself that stream-entry had been attained above any number of such neat tricks!

:anjali:
Knowing this body is like a clay jar,
securing this mind like a fort,
attack Mara with the spear of discernment,
then guard what's won without settling there,
without laying claim.

- Dhp 40

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waterchan
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Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Post by waterchan » Mon May 12, 2014 6:22 am

James the Giant wrote:Hi Melancholy, there is an article by Ajahn Brahm somewhere, where he shows in the suttas it says an embryo is not classed as a person/human/sentient until a certain stage of development is reached.
So your vinaya references above are not relevant.
:goodpost:

A little knowledge is dangerous. Outspoken monks are easy to criticize for those of us with a little knowledge of Buddhism. When I first encountered Ajahn Brahm I was flabbergasted at some of the things he said. Then I realized that he was coming from a much deeper understanding of the Dhamma-Vinaya than I was.
quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur
(Anything in Latin sounds profound.)

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TheNoBSBuddhist
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Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Post by TheNoBSBuddhist » Mon May 12, 2014 10:46 am

mikenz66 wrote:Thanks, James,

http://www.dhammatalks.net/
When Does Human Life Begin?
http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books7/Ajahn ... _Begin.pdf

:anjali:
Mike
Most grateful for the link and reference.
Such instruction will be of immeasurable benefit and comfort to a lady of my acquaintance.

:namaste:
:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



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Pay attention, simplify, and (Meditation instruction in a nutshell) "Mind - the Gap."
‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, this may be why....

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Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Post by Zom » Mon May 12, 2014 3:21 pm

Most grateful for the link and reference.
Such instruction will be of immeasurable benefit and comfort to a lady of my acquaintance.
This all is quite speculative and I wouldn't be so sure that one doesn't kill a human if does abortion even at some early time.

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TheNoBSBuddhist
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Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Post by TheNoBSBuddhist » Mon May 12, 2014 4:09 pm

It resonates with me and I personally do not perceive any intended deceit or misleading teaching.

Thank you anyway for your caveat.

:namaste:
:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



Image

Pay attention, simplify, and (Meditation instruction in a nutshell) "Mind - the Gap."
‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, this may be why....

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ArkA
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Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Post by ArkA » Tue May 13, 2014 5:04 pm

cooran wrote:I was at a talk by Ajahn Brahm in Brisbane a year or so ago. He told the same jokes I'd heard from him before, the same stories I'd read in his books - and then he said abortion was o.k. up to about 16 or more weeks. At that point quite a number of the audience walked out.
There is clear support for this conclusion in the Vinaya. This states that a monk or nun should never, for the whole of their life, intentionally kill a human being, ‘even to the extent of causing an abortion’. Similarly, they should not have sexual intercourse ‘even to the depth of a sesame seed’. They should not steal ‘even as much as a blade of grass’. They should not lay claim to spiritual attainments ‘even by saying “I delight in an empty dwelling”’. So abortion is clearly regarded as intentional killing of a human being; yet it is the least serious act of this kind.

However we do not accept that it can be proved that the inception of consciousness takes place only after three or four months. This is an ethically arbitrary date which simply marks the present day limits of scientific knowledge, but tells us nothing about the moral status of the embryo. I would very much like to see a study of the effects of abortion on the emotional landscapes of women, and a comparison between women who decided to have an abortion and women who had unwanted pregnancies but decided to bear a child. How do they feel afterwards? Five years later? Ten years later? How many mothers would, when their child had grown up, say that they wished they had had an abortion?

- When Life Begins, Bhikkhu Sujato
As advised by the Buddha, this is the third advice I heard just after receiving my higher ordination, so does any bhikkhu which including Ajahn Brahm.
"When a monk is ordained he should not intetionally deprive a living thing of life, even if it is only an ant. What ever monk deprives a human being of life even down to causing abortion, he becomes not a (true) recluse, not a son of the Sakyans. As a flat stone, broke, becomes (scmething) not to be put together again, even so a monk, having intentionally deprived a human being of life, becomes not a (true) recluse, not a son of the Sakyans. This is a thing not to be done by you as long as life lasts."

- Vinaya, Mahāvagga, 1. Mahā Khandhaka (The Book of Descipline IV, page 125)
I'll restart my yearlong meditation retreat on 15th June 2014, hence will not be here.

"Bhikkhus, there are these three things that shine when exposed, not when concealed. What three? (1) The moon. (2) The sun. (3) The Dhamma and discipline proclaimed by the Tathagata."
- Anguttara Nikaya, 3.131, Paticchanna Sutta

"Silence is the language of God; all else is poor translation."
– Rumi

Introduction: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=20572

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Re: Ajahn Brahm, unconventional

Post by Denisa » Sat May 17, 2014 1:54 am

In my honeymoon period with Buddhism (still not finished?), I was hypnotized by Ajan Brahm's talks, probably due to his slow alpha wave talking. Due to the availability on the web I tend to listen to many of his talks. The more I listened, I found that he brag about himself and disparages others mentioning their names. At a public talk given at Gaia House, Ajan Brahm criticized couple of other ajans for playing politics. Also, once he criticized Professor Peter Harvey about a meditative claim saying, "what meditation he knows!"

The person who broke me from Christianity was Krishnamurti, his teachings made me think differently. Here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQSBFC_IlVY at the end of the talk Ajan Brahm even look down on him.

IMHO, for a famous teacher like Ajan Brahm, it's more conducive if he simply mentions a situation without names and compare it with a Sutta pointing to the faults. That way people will gain more faith in Buddhism and the way Buddhists deal in real life.

One teaching Ajan Brahm repeatedly talk about is not to find fault with others. At least he should practice what he preached.

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