Why did you choose Theravada?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Ben
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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Post by Ben » Tue Dec 29, 2009 4:54 am

thereductor wrote:
Ben wrote:Hi Jack
When you get some time, have a look around for Richard Gombrich's How Buddhism Began: the conditioned genesis of the early teachings. It'll be well worth your while.
metta

Ben
Stop, Ben, Stop! I can only afford so many books :tongue: Just ordered the Visudhimagga and "The heart of Buddhist meditation".
Have you seen the thread I started on Satipatthana: the direct path of realization?
Its another brilliant work. Put it on your wish list!
jack wrote:Woo hoo, guess where my weekend is going
Don't be so antisocial Jack!
Its our birthday weekend, its time to get your party hat on!
metta

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

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BlackBird
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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Post by BlackBird » Tue Dec 29, 2009 4:57 am

Sounds good, we can crank up the volume on the stereo, put Metta sutta on full blat.

We havin' cookies and fizz? I can bring a cheesecake
"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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Ben
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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Post by Ben » Tue Dec 29, 2009 5:02 am

Sure Jack
We're preparing some low key 'events' - so to speak!
More to follow!!
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

alan
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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Post by alan » Tue Dec 29, 2009 5:47 pm

Hi Ben.
That book looks like it would help answer a lot of my questions. However...
$150 US on Amazon.com.
ouch.

links, anyone?

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poto
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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Post by poto » Tue Dec 29, 2009 6:05 pm

alan wrote:Hi Ben.
That book looks like it would help answer a lot of my questions. However...
$150 US on Amazon.com.
ouch.

links, anyone?
The closest I could find was the google book's preview, which only has a handful pages, but might be better than nothing.
http://books.google.com/books?id=aIOY5g ... q=&f=false" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I spent a solid hour last night looking for free copy of it that I could download, but no dice. Although, I did find a number of other dhamma books that looked interesting, and now have a solid month's worth of new reading material.
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -- C. S. Lewis

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catmoon
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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Post by catmoon » Wed Dec 30, 2009 4:56 am

:focus:


Just to be different, I thought I'd throw in my 2 bits worth.

In response to the OP: I didn't.

chownah
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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Post by chownah » Wed Dec 30, 2009 2:21 pm

In Russia Theravada chooses YOU.
chownah

Sanghamitta
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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Post by Sanghamitta » Wed Dec 30, 2009 3:40 pm

chownah wrote:In Russia Theravada chooses YOU.
chownah
Not just in Russia. :smile:

From my earliest exposure to Buddhadhamma I was attracted to the Theravada. Similarly I was not at all attracted to concepts like Buddha Nature or the Bodhisattva idea, they seemed to me to be completely speculative. It was not though a question of rejection those ideas per se, it was more a question of finding no use for them or appeal in them.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

dspiewak
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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Post by dspiewak » Wed Dec 30, 2009 9:02 pm

I first learned about Buddhism through non-Theravada sources (books, magazines, etc.) and I always found the Zen approach appealing. When I met my first monk, however, he was in the Theravada tradition, and the type of meditation he taught was both totally workable and genuinely produced results. I have been observing with our town's small Theravada community ever since. Bodhisattvas, Pure Lands, Mahayana sutras, esoteric practices, and even Sanskrit to some extent now just seem utterly alien to me.

I realize that it's just personal preference. For some people, Zen or Pure Land or Nichiren might be ideal. I don't pretend that Theravada is better for every single person, but it is good for me. I like its emphasis on tradition, meditation, and its constant return to the basic formulas of the Dhamma. I think perhaps it just satisfies certain desires for me, until the day when I no longer have those desires.

seanpdx
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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Post by seanpdx » Wed Dec 30, 2009 9:10 pm

dspiewak wrote:I think perhaps it just satisfies certain desires for me, until the day when I no longer have those desires.
Well put! =D

alan
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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Post by alan » Thu Dec 31, 2009 4:05 pm

Approaching my anniversary as a "convert", hope you'll indulge me...

For many years I had Buddhism as my Preferred Intellectual Framework; It made me feel slightly better about the world when that old feeling of "it's all pointless and meaningless" popped up. But I didn't live it. I used it to excoriate any Christian who had the misfortune of engaging me in a philosophical discussion, which made me feel smart but achieved nothing. I talked Buddhism but lived Hedonism.
Decided last year to re-investigate Buddhism and see if it was something I could really live rather than talk about. When I went through and analyzed all the cluttered concepts and opinions I'd formed over the years, I was embarrassed to note that I couldn't really defend a lot of them, at least not beyond a surface level. Emptiness is fascinating as an idea, but how does it apply to real life? I had to admit it was far too abstract to really influence my behavior. And what about Buddha Mind/Buddha Nature? I so loved that one. I was holding onto stuff I'd read in high school. But did it make sense? Why put out any effort if our true nature is already enlightened? My attempts to act "Spontaneously" from my "True Nature" usually resulted in dumb or silly behavior--so much in contrast to the rational approach I took to the rest of my life.
When the questions started they didn't stop. Why have I been accepting this Zen stuff, anyway? Jumping into Enlightenment by furiously engaging a nonsensical riddle? What about those arational aphorisms? Did they really teach me anything useful? None of it stood up to reason and the whole Mahayana edifice crumbled. I decided to throw it all away and go right to the source. Found accesstoinsight.com and was so impressed. Clear air! Decided to take a shot at the Pali Canon, read it straight through and see what happened.
It was truly an Auspicious Day when Handful of Leaves arrived at my door! I was immediately fascinated and transfixed. Here finally was something I could respect from a rational standpoint, that laid out a path that was understandable. Not easy to understand, of course, but consistent and believable. Since then I've been through the important stuff twice, and am more impressed than ever. Sutta reading has become a part of my day. I expect to be reading for the rest of my life. Feels great to be walking down the street and suddenly remember a teaching, and apply it directly. It's made me a happier, saner, more focused person. Obviously I have a long way to go, but at least I'm working on it, which is far better than the way I used to live.

And that, my friends, is why I choose Therevada.

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Khalil Bodhi
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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Post by Khalil Bodhi » Thu Dec 31, 2009 5:50 pm

Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu! May you meet with success! :anjali:
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

Uposatha Observance Club:http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=1 ... 279&v=info
My Practice Blog:
http://khalilbodhi.wordpress.com

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Kim OHara
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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Post by Kim OHara » Fri Jan 01, 2010 4:28 am

Great post, Alan!
Congratulations on your progress so far and best wishes for the future.

:anjali:
Kim

Reductor
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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Post by Reductor » Fri Jan 01, 2010 8:15 am

Thank you Alan. :anjali:

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Thaibebop
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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Post by Thaibebop » Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:34 am

alan wrote:What I'd really like to know is, are there specific Mahayana concepts that anyone here rejected? If so, why?
Web searches have resulted in "there isn't really a big difference" articles, but surely there must be.
Thanks!
There is alot of wonderful things in the Mahayana sects but I found that there was too much myth and stories as well as this aspect of some one else gaining enlightenment for you, if not the Buddha than another enlightened being. I really liked Theravada's (forgive this pharse please) do it yourself, because no one else is, view. I perferred the stronger sense of philosophical thinking I found in the Pali Canon instead of the more faith based Mahayana.

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