Sunlun Sayadaw method

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 20146
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: Sunlun Sayadaw method

Post by retrofuturist » Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:39 pm

Greetings Tilt,
tiltbillings wrote:Over the years here I have seen Burmese Vipassana styles of practice criticized variously much along the same lines as the Sunlun practice is being criticized in this thread, as not being in line with the suttas and commentaries.
Yes, and whilst this remains a "General Theravāda Meditation forum" on "A Buddhist discussion forum on the Dhamma of the Theravāda" then you may well reasonably expect that what is spoken about here may be viewed and assessed through a traditional Theravāda lens. If this were a "Burmese Meditation" forum the situation would be different, but it is not.

If you or anyone else believe there is need for a "Modern Techniques" section, which would be roughly analogous to the "Modern Interpretations" section, in which the matter of whether these techniques do or do not comport with Theravāda orthodoxy becomes irrelevant, then by all means raise a suggestion in the Suggestion Box and your requirements can be discussed there. But in doing so, keep in mind that positive experiences such as the following might be forsaken if additional protections from the suttas and commentaries are sought ...
tiltbillings wrote:An example of what has been helpful for me is the above quote from the VM by zom, which was actually quite helpful in seeing the preliminary practice's function
:focus:

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

User avatar
Sam Vara
Posts: 4487
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm
Location: Sussex, U.K.

Re: Sunlun Sayadaw method

Post by Sam Vara » Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:24 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:01 pm

Particularly on retreats, arousing energy can be very important to getting over the initial tiredness and sloth and topor. My usual approach is to do a significant amount of walking. I find slow, focused, walking is a great preparation for sitting, and a brisker style is very helpful to prevent sleepiness after meals. I presume the breathing exercises would serve much the same purpose.
:heart:
Mike
Yes, I find the same type of disinclination to practice can arise at any time. I know what I have been advised to do by my teachers; it has worked for me many times before; and I know how it fits in with the suttas. But on occasion, when getting on to the cushion, the mind just doesn't want to know. Like you, I have found walking to be beneficial, but it's always good to have a few more tools in the toolbox. As I said upthread, I have been trying this one out and will give my thoughts about it once it has had a fair trial.

As the old saying goes, 'An ounce of practice is worth a pound of precept'.

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 23044
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Sunlun Sayadaw method

Post by tiltbillings » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:28 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:39 pm
Greetings Tilt,
tiltbillings wrote:Over the years here I have seen Burmese Vipassana styles of practice criticized variously much along the same lines as the Sunlun practice is being criticized in this thread, as not being in line with the suttas and commentaries.
Yes, and whilst this remains a "General Theravāda Meditation forum" on "A Buddhist discussion forum on the Dhamma of the Theravāda" then you may well reasonably expect that what is spoken about here may be viewed and assessed through a traditional Theravāda lens. If this were a "Burmese Meditation" forum the situation would be different, but it is not.
What is interesting about this statement is the suggestion that the Burmese Vipassana meditation practice is somehow different from "traditional Theravada," but that really is not the case. What the learned and experienced Burmese Theravadin Elders have given us, and what has been broadly adopted throughout the Theravadin world, is a set of significant expressions of the broad, deep, and flexible nature of the Dhamma held by the Theravada tradition(s). In other words, the Burmese Vipassana traditions are part of "traditional Theravada," especially given that the textual and commentarial aspects of “traditional Theravada” as embodied in the Visuddhi Magga and in the suttas such as MN 10 are all fundamental and basic to the Burmese Vipassana styles.

It is not that there should not be criticism; rather, if there is to be criticism, it should have a bit more depth and substance than complaining that this technique or that technique is not explicitly spelled out in the suttas or the commentaries. I have yet to see here a criticism that is grounded in the actual practice of what is being criticized, so thusly the criticism tends to be rather shallow, offering little to no useful insight. I think we can do better than that.
>> 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

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 23044
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Sunlun Sayadaw method

Post by tiltbillings » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:10 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:24 pm

Yes, I find the same type of disinclination to practice can arise at any time. I know what I have been advised to do by my teachers; it has worked for me many times before; and I know how it fits in with the suttas. But on occasion, when getting on to the cushion, the mind just doesn't want to know. Like you, I have found walking to be beneficial, but it's always good to have a few more tools in the toolbox. As I said upthread, I have been trying this one out and will give my thoughts about it once it has had a fair trial.

As the old saying goes, 'An ounce of practice is worth a pound of precept'.
Looking forward to reading your account of your working with the Sunlun method. For me I started experimenting with it a short while after I returned home from a 3-month retreat at IMS. While I still had momentum from the retreat, I was working a long stretch of night shifts, and so sleep and sleepiness becomes an issue. I tried a number of things address this. Meditating standing generally worked well, but rereading Kornfield discussion of his experience with the Sunlun method these two paragraphs stood out:
in LIVING BUDDHIST MASTERS 1977 page 87, Jack Kornfield wrote:Total effort to overcome pain and distraction is the way of Sunlun Sayadaw. The power of the concentrated heavy breathing and the pain that follows is suitable for overcoming many of the hindrances that normally distract a meditator. No matter how sleepy you feel, a session of hard breathing concentrating only on sensations at the nostrils, will wake you right up. The technique is equally valuable for quieting an agitated, distracted mind, for in the face of the enormous effort in hard breathing, most thoughts are blasted away like clouds before a wind.

Sunlun practice clears the mind of sleepiness and distraction, leaving the meditator clear and concentrated. Further mindfulness of pain and changing sensations strengthens the mindful, observing quality of mind. In a short time with this practice one may experience the power of a calm, concentrated mind which, when applied to observing the mind-body process, leads to clear insight, wisdom, and liberation.
This was enough to get me interested in experimenting with the breathing method. After working with it for a while I found it to be efficacious. As I said, I shall be interested in reading your experiences.
>> 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

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 20146
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: Sunlun Sayadaw method

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:11 am

Greetings Tilt, all,

tiltbillings wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:28 am
What is interesting about this statement is the suggestion that the Burmese Vipassana meditation practice is somehow different from "traditional Theravada," but that really is not the case
Just for the record... no, that is not "the suggestion".

Despite not being explicitly defined in traditional Pali works, aspects of (for example) the Goenka technique can be traced back to discourses on satipatthana, anicca and anatta. Similarly, the Mahasi method is clearly Abhidhammic in origin.

My comments were very literal, and there was no "suggestion" beyond what was stated... namely, that if you and others wish to discuss modern techniques in an environment where it's inappropriate for them to be challenged in terms of their conformity with Pali scriptures, then let me know and we can try to arrange something that fulfils your requirements. From your comment however, it doesn't appear that there is such a requirement, and that is fine. I'll leave you to it...

That is all.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 23044
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Sunlun Sayadaw method

Post by tiltbillings » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:39 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:11 am
My comments were very literal, and there was no "suggestion" beyond what was stated... namely, that if you and others wish to discuss modern techniques in an environment where it's inappropriate for them to being challenged in terms of conformity with Pali scriptures, then let me know and we can try to arrange something that fulfils your requirements. From your comment however, it doesn't appear that there is such a requirement, and that is fine.
My point is that Burmese Vipassana practices are very much of the “traditional Theravada.” And my point is that I have no problem with someone challenging the Burmese traditions, but if someone, for whatever reason, feels a need to criticize these practices, then I would hope that the challenges would well-grounded in understanding what it is that is being challenged. That more often than not does not seem to be the case.
Similarly, the Mahasi method is clearly Abhidhammic in origin.
Of course the Abhidhamma is very much part of the “traditional Theravada”, but we can also see that the Mahasi method, as Jake Davis in his book STRONG ROOTS shows, can be clearly explicated in terms of the suttas.
>> 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

User avatar
Javi
Posts: 472
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2012 5:40 pm
Location: Sacramento, CA

Re: Sunlun Sayadaw method

Post by Javi » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:18 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:28 am
retrofuturist wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:39 pm
Greetings Tilt,
tiltbillings wrote:Over the years here I have seen Burmese Vipassana styles of practice criticized variously much along the same lines as the Sunlun practice is being criticized in this thread, as not being in line with the suttas and commentaries.
Yes, and whilst this remains a "General Theravāda Meditation forum" on "A Buddhist discussion forum on the Dhamma of the Theravāda" then you may well reasonably expect that what is spoken about here may be viewed and assessed through a traditional Theravāda lens. If this were a "Burmese Meditation" forum the situation would be different, but it is not.
What is interesting about this statement is the suggestion that the Burmese Vipassana meditation practice is somehow different from "traditional Theravada," but that really is not the case. What the learned and experienced Burmese Theravadin Elders have given us, and what has been broadly adopted throughout the Theravadin world, is a set of significant expressions of the broad, deep, and flexible nature of the Dhamma held by the Theravada tradition(s). In other words, the Burmese Vipassana traditions are part of "traditional Theravada," especially given that the textual and commentarial aspects of “traditional Theravada” as embodied in the Visuddhi Magga and in the suttas such as MN 10 are all fundamental and basic to the Burmese Vipassana styles.

It is not that there should not be criticism; rather, if there is to be criticism, it should have a bit more depth and substance than complaining that this technique or that technique is not explicitly spelled out in the suttas or the commentaries. I have yet to see here a criticism that is grounded in the actual practice of what is being criticized, so thusly the criticism tends to be rather shallow, offering little to no useful insight. I think we can do better than that.
Well said. I think that we can trace the issue here to the minimalistic presentations in the suttas and how different personalities seek to practice and adapt themselves to this.

I see the two main approaches as:

1: The minimalistic statements are enough on their own, and one should just do what they say, without adding anything.
2: The minimalistic statements can be expanded, they are minimal because the Buddha understood that everyone is different and thus was quite flexible. Living Buddhist teachers and communities contain valuable expansions on these minimal elements.

I don't see a problem with either of these two perspectives on the meditation instructions in the suttas. However, what I do see as a problem is when someone sees their perspective as the only one, the only proper way and everyone else is wrong. Any expansion that is not in the suttas is thus seen as a corruption. There is an ultra vigilance to expunge anything that is not directly spelled out in the suttas and to put it down as non-Buddhist. And this can be really divisive in sanghas and in all of Western Buddhism, because there are a lot of practices that Buddhists do that can't be traced to the suttas.

This is also a very tiring thing for others, because if one wants to discuss certain meditation techniques, but then one is unable to do so because of the constant claims of "not-buddhist", "not sutta" one is liable to just shut up or go elsewhere.

It crazy because in an actual face to face sangha, everyone is doing things differently and taking things from different traditions. I mean, jeez, I attend an insight group that shares the building with a zen and a non denominational Buddhist group, and all sorts of people come. Imagine if all we did when discussing each other's techniques was having to defend ourselves against claims that our techniques are "not sutta" , "not Buddhist". :rofl:
Vayadhammā saṅkhārā appamādena sampādethā — All things decay and disappoint, it is through vigilance that you succeed — Mahāparinibbāna Sutta

Self-taught poverty is a help toward philosophy, for the things which philosophy attempts to teach by reasoning, poverty forces us to practice. — Diogenes of Sinope

I have seen all things that are done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a chase after wind — Ecclesiastes 1.14

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 23044
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Sunlun Sayadaw method

Post by tiltbillings » Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:21 pm

Javi wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:18 pm

. . .

Well said. I think that we can trace the issue here to the minimalistic presentations in the suttas and how different personalities seek to practice and adapt themselves to this.

I see the two main approaches as:

1: The minimalistic statements are enough on their own, and one should just do what they say, without adding anything.
2: The minimalistic statements can be expanded, they are minimal because the Buddha understood that everyone is different and thus was quite flexible. Living Buddhist teachers and communities contain valuable expansions on these minimal elements.

I don't see a problem with either of these two perspectives on the meditation instructions in the suttas. However, what I do see as a problem is when someone sees their perspective as the only one, the only proper way and everyone else is wrong. Any expansion that is not in the suttas is thus seen as a corruption. There is an ultra vigilance to expunge anything that is not directly spelled out in the suttas and to put it down as non-Buddhist. And this can be really divisive in sanghas and in all of Western Buddhism, because there are a lot of practices that Buddhists do that can't be traced to the suttas.

This is also a very tiring thing for others, because if one wants to discuss certain meditation techniques, but then one is unable to do so because of the constant claims of "not-buddhist", "not sutta" one is liable to just shut up or go elsewhere.

It crazy because in an actual face to face sangha, everyone is doing things differently and taking things from different traditions. I mean, jeez, I attend an insight group that shares the building with a zen and a non denominational Buddhist group, and all sorts of people come. Imagine if all we did when discussing each other's techniques was having to defend ourselves against claims that our techniques are "not sutta" , "not Buddhist". :rofl:
Thanks, and thanks for the excellent, concise. and to the point analysis.
>> 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

User avatar
DooDoot
Posts: 3132
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:06 pm

Re: Sunlun Sayadaw method

Post by DooDoot » Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:50 am

Javi wrote:
Sat Oct 07, 2017 3:24 am
That's only one part of the sutta. It also speaks of arousing mindfulness and energy (viriya) - and it doesn't really explain how, this is just as good a method as any other to arouse vigor.
Zom wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 3:29 pm
These qualities are based entirely on faith (saddha), wisdom (pannya), rightviews (sammaditthi), and an urge to practise (samvega). Breath exercises have nothing to do with viriya or sati. Nowhere, neither in suttas nor in commentaries, you can find even a hint about forcing a breath. So, this is entirely speculative, non-buddhist thing.
retrofuturist wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:04 am
I concur.
Every factor of enlightenment in the sutta, including energy (viriya), is dependent on/by means of (nissita) dispassion (viraga) transformed (pariṇāmi) into letting go, giving up, surrender or relaxation (vossagga).
Kathaṃ bhāvitā ca, bhikkhave, satta bojjhaṅgā kathaṃ bahulīkatā vijjāvimuttiṃ paripūrenti? Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu sati­sam­boj­jhaṅ­gaṃ bhāveti vivekanissitaṃ virāganissitaṃ nirodha­nissitaṃ vos­sagga­pari­ṇāmiṃ. Dhamma­vicaya­sam­boj­jhaṅ­gaṃ bhāveti … pe … vīriya­sam­boj­jhaṅ­gaṃ bhāveti … pīti­sam­boj­jhaṅ­gaṃ bhāveti … passad­dhi­sam­boj­jhaṅ­gaṃ bhāveti … samā­dhi­sam­boj­jhaṅ­gaṃsamādhisambojjhaṅga. bhāveti … upekkhā­sam­boj­jhaṅ­gaṃ bhāveti vivekanissitaṃ virāganissitaṃ nirodha­nissitaṃ vos­sagga­pari­ṇāmiṃ. Evaṃ bhāvitā kho, bhikkhave, satta bojjhaṅgā evaṃ bahulīkatā vijjāvimuttiṃ paripūrentī”ti.

https://suttacentral.net/pi/mn118
vossagga
masculine
donation; relinquishing; giving up.

relinquishing, relaxation; handing over, donation, gift

vossagga-pariṇāmi, maturity of surrender

https://suttacentral.net/define/vossagga
The hatha yogic or 'fondling (parāmāsin)' methods of this topic, Ajahn Lee or Vissudhimagga can only form part of the first two steps of Anapanasati where the phrase: "He trains himself" is omitted.
Last edited by DooDoot on Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
Never ordained... not an anonymous-online-bhikkhu or ex-bhikkhu...

User avatar
Zom
Posts: 2221
Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 6:38 pm
Location: Russia, Saint-Petersburg
Contact:

Re: Sunlun Sayadaw method

Post by Zom » Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:18 am

This is also a very tiring thing for others, because if one wants to discuss certain meditation techniques, but then one is unable to do so because of the constant claims of "not-buddhist", "not sutta" one is liable to just shut up or go elsewhere.
You can do whatever you want, meditate how you like. No one says: "Don't ever do such a thing!"

But at the same time it's obviously useful to know whether ancient buddhists did this/that or not. At least, for me such information is useful. Maybe you think otherwise and maybe you are mixing zen, tantra, yoga, taoism, hesychasm, etc etc. in your practice. It is up to you. 8-)

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 20146
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: Sunlun Sayadaw method

Post by retrofuturist » Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:32 am

Greetings Zom,
Zom wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:18 am
But at the same time it's obviously useful to know whether ancient buddhists did this/that or not. At least, for me such information is useful.
Likewise, for reasons well documented in the Sutta Pitaka itself (which I won't recall once more here unless this statement is challenged).

But as you said...
You can do whatever you want, meditate how you like. No one says: "Don't ever do such a thing!" ... It is up to you. 8-)
Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 23044
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Sunlun Sayadaw method

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:58 am

Zom wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:18 am
This is also a very tiring thing for others, because if one wants to discuss certain meditation techniques, but then one is unable to do so because of the constant claims of "not-buddhist", "not sutta" one is liable to just shut up or go elsewhere.
You can do whatever you want, meditate how you like. No one says: "Don't ever do such a thing!"

But at the same time it's obviously useful to know whether ancient buddhists did this/that or not. At least, for me such information is useful. Maybe you think otherwise and maybe you are mixing zen, tantra, yoga, taoism, hesychasm, etc etc. in your practice. It is up to you. 8-)
We do not, however, know the full extent of what "ancient Buddhists" did or did not do. Much is left unsaid, undescribed. Does the Sunlun method from a practical standpoint egregiously contradict the spirit of the Buddha's teaching in regard practice?

So far we have seen opinions based upon particular readings of the texts suggesting that it does contradict the Buddha's teaching in some way or other, and we have seen statements based upon particular readings of the texts and from doing practice inspired by the Sunlun method that it can be a skillful adjunct to one's practice.

For me I see, from my experience this practice being couched firmly in a Dhamma context and practiced with Dhammic intent, it is a useful Dhamma practice tool.

Unquestionably your concerns are sincerely expressed, to not want the Dhamma to be damaged by bad practice. I can understand that. In turn I have found that the practice does not damage the Dhamma; rather, it has been a skillful tool for deepening my understanding of the Dhamma and living in accordance with the Dhamma. I do not think I am going to agree with you, and likely you are not going agree with me. So it is.
>> 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

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 20146
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: Sunlun Sayadaw method

Post by retrofuturist » Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:09 am

Greetings,

Please note, a couple of posts relating to Bhante Vimalaramsi's instruction have been moved to:

Bhante Vimalaramsi and the 6R's?

As one of his 6 R's, Bhante Vimalaramsi advocates for relaxation of the breath, which is in direct contrast to the breathing exercises discussed thus far...

:focus:

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

User avatar
Zom
Posts: 2221
Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 6:38 pm
Location: Russia, Saint-Petersburg
Contact:

Re: Sunlun Sayadaw method

Post by Zom » Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:03 pm

We do not, however, know the full extent of what "ancient Buddhists" did or did not do. Much is left unsaid, undescribed.
But we do know what did they do and what did they say. This is important. If this was written down - this is really important. Unsaid, undescribed - is something, obviously, not important.
Does the Sunlun method from a practical standpoint egregiously contradict the spirit of the Buddha's teaching in regard practice?
I said that twice or even thrice already - yes, it contradicts the major canonical and commentarial anapanasati trend of calming the breath.

User avatar
aflatun
Posts: 814
Joined: Fri Sep 16, 2016 2:40 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA

Re: Sunlun Sayadaw method

Post by aflatun » Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:04 pm

Javi wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:18 pm
However, what I do see as a problem is when someone sees their perspective as the only one, the only proper way and everyone else is wrong.
Me too.

Any expansion that is not in the suttas is thus seen as a corruption. There is an ultra vigilance to expunge anything that is not directly spelled out in the suttas and to put it down as non-Buddhist.
In principle I think this "ultra vigilance" is a good thing. We all want to be inline with what the Buddha taught.

The problem as I see it is when this ultra vigilance is employed by 1) someone who "sees their perspective as the only one, the only proper way and everyone else is wrong" 2) someone who uses a style of delivery that shuts down dialogue, lacks any warmth or sense of conversation between people 3) someone who has an excessive preoccupation with the supposed meanings of words-generally conceived of in the most narrow, gross and literal way; a meaning which can only be divined through tortuous grammatical analysis and text critical methods (I do not deny that such things have their place)-an excessive preoccupation that seems to be blind to the greater context of those words and most importantly, what those words might actually mean in terms of personal experience here and now. The result is a pile of ossified, cold and (ironically) meaningless abstractions.

The number of people on forums who supposedly have figured out what the suttas "really mean," and claim this as their near unique privilege, go about opposing "true buddhism" to what other posters are thinking or grappling with, implicitly or explicitly claiming stream entry left and right, and speak down to others from their supposed high horse... well, its mind boggling.
This is also a very tiring thing for others, because if one wants to discuss certain meditation techniques, but then one is unable to do so because of the constant claims of "not-buddhist", "not sutta" one is liable to just shut up or go elsewhere.
Yup. Or anything pragmatic for that matter.

PS Have you been wearing an n95? The air has been grotesque down in the bay!
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: lostitude and 55 guests