Foundations of Human Life - A road to Nirvana for the West

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
PeterC86
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Re: Foundations of Human Life - A road to Nirvana for the West

Post by PeterC86 » Tue Feb 26, 2019 7:38 pm

Bundokji wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 7:26 pm
PeterC86 wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 7:20 pm
Where do you think the path leads to?
You tell me!
For me it ended suffering.

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Bundokji
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Re: Foundations of Human Life - A road to Nirvana for the West

Post by Bundokji » Tue Feb 26, 2019 7:56 pm

PeterC86 wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 7:38 pm
For me it ended suffering.
Congratulations. Knowing that some individuals were able to free themselves from suffering is great. However, it serves as a reminder of the individual nature of attainments, and probably the path itself, and at that, one should stop in my opinion. Beyond your kind and generous gesture of sharing what you think you know, what else to be done?

It is worth noting that the vast majority of humans find value in samsara (as a state of being), and they seem to complain about a lot of things, well, except their state of being :tongue: . I personally have a lot of sympathy with their point of view, and i don't seem keen to change mine, at least, for now.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

PeterC86
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Re: Foundations of Human Life - A road to Nirvana for the West

Post by PeterC86 » Tue Feb 26, 2019 8:49 pm

Bundokji wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 7:56 pm
PeterC86 wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 7:38 pm
For me it ended suffering.
Congratulations. Knowing that some individuals were able to free themselves from suffering is great. However, it serves as a reminder of the individual nature of attainments, and probably the path itself, and at that, one should stop in my opinion. Beyond your kind and generous gesture of sharing what you think you know, what else to be done?
That's why I wrote the manual and opened this topic; I think the path can be described way easier for people in the West to understand. I believe there is no need to dig through endless Sutta's which use cryptic dialogues in an old language style, where you are not struggling to understand the path, but struggling to understand what they are trying to say. If someone is able to explain things easier, you will have an easier understanding.
It is worth noting that the vast majority of humans find value in samsara (as a state of being), and they seem to complain about a lot of things, well, except their state of being :tongue: . I personally have a lot of sympathy with their point of view, and i don't seem keen to change mine, at least, for now.
Of course and that's fine. Although I don't know to which point of view you are referring to.
Last edited by PeterC86 on Tue Feb 26, 2019 9:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Bundokji
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Re: Foundations of Human Life - A road to Nirvana for the West

Post by Bundokji » Tue Feb 26, 2019 9:15 pm

PeterC86 wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 8:49 pm
That's why I wrote the manual and opened this topic; I think the path can be described way easier for people in the West to understand. I believe there is no need to dig through endless Sutta's which use cryptic dialogues in an old language style, where you are not struggling to understand the path, but struggling to understand what they are trying to say. If someone is able to explain things easier, you will have an easier understanding.
I have been calling for an easier way of explaining the Dhamma sense i joined this forum, hence i welcomed your initiative. However, i also came to realize the importance of the scholarly/orthodox approach to the teachings despite my personal aversion to it. I see those who spend time and effort to keep the teachings as they are to be the guardians of the religion, and i give them higher authority at the collective level than my own personal views and preferences. Lack of gratitude to them is akin to polluting a source that i continue to drink from.
Of course and that's fine. Although I don't know to which point of view you are referring to.
Seeing permanence, satisfactoriness and self in conditioned phenomena.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

PeterC86
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Re: Foundations of Human Life - A road to Nirvana for the West

Post by PeterC86 » Tue Feb 26, 2019 9:45 pm

Bundokji wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 9:15 pm
I have been calling for an easier way of explaining the Dhamma sense i joined this forum, hence i welcomed your initiative. However, i also came to realize the importance of the scholarly/orthodox approach to the teachings despite my personal aversion to it. I see those who spend time and effort to keep the teachings as they are to be the guardians of the religion, and i give them higher authority at the collective level than my own personal views and preferences. Lack of gratitude to them is akin to polluting a source that i continue to drink from.
To me, turning it into a religion seems to distract people from the only thing the Buddha wanted to share; reaching enlightenment. All the different streams, traditions, ceremonies, rules, norms, hierarchies and sutra's, are all created to sustain something. Then people are going to bitch about what word means exactly what, one gets tied up in debating and doubting what was really meant in that dialogue, etc. All a distraction, as it doesn't serve you walking the path. Of course the sutra's are the only direct references to the teachings of the buddha, so I get why people hold on to them. But this doesn't mean the path cannot be explained in a different way, the different streams already proved this.

Our consciousness, language and understanding have evolved a lot in the past 2500 years, so also our ability to explain the path (for those who attained Nirvana). If you explain the path in a different way and it leads to the same thing, you will be able to understand the sutta's afterwards. This is a way to check for yourself if the other path is correct, in a buddhist sense. But of course you will not know this beforehand.
Seeing permanence, satisfactoriness and self in conditioned phenomena.
A lot can be reached if one sets his goals according to his abilities and situation. Although the unexpected can and will always happen and when is one really sure of his abilities and situation?

Are there any other people on this forum who you know have attained Nirvana? Is it something special, or does it happen a lot?

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Aloka
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Re: Foundations of Human Life - A road to Nirvana for the West

Post by Aloka » Tue Feb 26, 2019 10:05 pm

PeterC86 wrote:Are there any other people on this forum who you know attained Nirvana? Is it something special, or does it happen a lot?
People frequently claim enlightenment on the internet - and they can be found on YouTube and in various religious and "spiritual" forums....probably in other places too.

Personally I don't pay any attention to public claims of that nature.

Be well and happy and goodnight. :anjali:


.

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Bundokji
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Re: Foundations of Human Life - A road to Nirvana for the West

Post by Bundokji » Tue Feb 26, 2019 10:09 pm

PeterC86 wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 9:45 pm
To me, turning it into a religion seems to distract people from the only thing the Buddha wanted to share; reaching enlightenment. All the different streams, traditions, ceremonies, rules, norms, hierarchies and sutra's, are all created to sustain something. Then people are going to bitch about what word means exactly what, one gets tied up in debating and doubting what was really meant in that dialogue, etc. All a distraction, as it doesn't serve you walking the path. Of course the sutra's are the only direct references to the teachings of the buddha, so I get why people hold on to them. But this doesn't mean the path cannot be explained in a different way, the different streams already proved this.

Our consciousness and understanding have evolved a lot in the past 2500 years, so also our ability to explain the path (for those who attained Nirvana). If you explain the path in a different way and it leads to the same thing, you will be able to understand the sutta's afterwards. This is a way to check for yourself if the other path is correct, in a buddhist sense. But of course you will not know this beforehand.
All of the above goes against your own argument in the same way it supports it. If all that you mentioned led you to some realizations and conclusions about its limitations, then it somehow contributed to your current state of understanding which you seem to be satisfied with. Therefore, it served its purpose in your case, and unless you are an exception, it should serve the same purpose for those who are willing to strive, examine and see for themselves.
Are there any other people on this forum who you know attained Nirvana? Is it something special, or does it happen a lot?
I don't have the habit of asking people about their attainments, and usually, i don't care to the extent that i am not even willing to shed doubts when someone chooses to speak about what he believes to be as his attainments such as in your case. Ultimately, whatever label you or i choose to put on ourselves, the content of what we say is what matters, and this to be examined, evaluated, engaged with and questioned all the time. And from that perspective, emphasizing certain attainments can be redundant.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

PeterC86
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Re: Foundations of Human Life - A road to Nirvana for the West

Post by PeterC86 » Tue Feb 26, 2019 10:58 pm

Bundokji wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 10:09 pm
All of the above goes against your own argument in the same way it supports it. If all that you mentioned led you to some realizations and conclusions about its limitations, then it somehow contributed to your current state of understanding which you seem to be satisfied with. Therefore, it served its purpose in your case, and unless you are an exception, it should serve the same purpose for those who are willing to strive, examine and see for themselves.
Of course they will, but this doesn't mean that the teachings are perfect and can not be improved. Maybe people are helped by a different teaching, especially people from the West.

PeterC86
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Re: Foundations of Human Life - A road to Nirvana for the West

Post by PeterC86 » Tue Feb 26, 2019 11:12 pm

Aloka wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 10:05 pm

People frequently claim enlightenment on the internet - and they can be found on YouTube and in various religious and "spiritual" forums....probably in other places too.

Personally I don't pay any attention to public claims of that nature.

Be well and happy and goodnight. :anjali:


.
Thanks for your reply, I also noticed that. But I am curious if maybe on this forum there are some real onces.

It would be great if they could give feedback on the manual.

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JamesTheGiant
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Re: Foundations of Human Life - A road to Nirvana for the West

Post by JamesTheGiant » Tue Feb 26, 2019 11:44 pm

PeterC86 wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 11:12 pm
But I am curious if maybe on this forum there are some real onces.

It would be great if they could give feedback on the manual.
I think there are some stream enterers, but not more than that.

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SDC
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Re: Foundations of Human Life - A road to Nirvana for the West

Post by SDC » Tue Feb 26, 2019 11:55 pm

PeterC86 wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 11:12 pm
Thanks for your reply, I also noticed that. But I am curious if maybe on this forum there are some real onces.

It would be great if they could give feedback on the manual.
Now that everyone has had the chance to make their skepticism known, let's focus on feedback on the manual.

Thank you.

dharmacorps
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Re: Foundations of Human Life - A road to Nirvana for the West

Post by dharmacorps » Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:20 am

PeterC86 wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 11:35 am
dharmacorps wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 10:12 pm
Only criticism, since you asked for it, would be that you will probably lose many/most people when you proclaim you have attained Nirvana. It is hard to take such claims seriously. I believe there are arahants in the world, but I doubt they would ever introduce themselves as having attained Nirvana in the first sentence on their first post on a internet forum. :shrug:
Why not?
What is it the suttas say, arhants tread gently on the earth.

Other than that, we can call it a gut feeling that someone who proclaims their attainment of total liberation/arahantship in the first sentence of their first topic on a new forum to them is probably just confused and overestimating their progress. If you don't understand "why" that would sound more than a little off to people, then you probably need the "help" here rather than us unenlightened folks.

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DooDoot
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Re: Foundations of Human Life - A road to Nirvana for the West

Post by DooDoot » Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:05 am

PeterC86 wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:47 pm
Good example, the chain is not my idea of course, although my explanation is.

I don't really get your replies, as you don't seem to really want to help me. Have you attained Nirvana?

Or are you just trying to spread your interpretations and norms and values?
I am providing an opportunity for you to explain your claims to understanding Buddhism. You wrote:
Becoming – birth

From becoming, your ‘self’ is formed. This self is born mentally because you identify yourself with your desires. These desires become mentally separate from your objective sensatory awareness, because you define them, and thus create a self.

https://foundationsofhumanlife.com/10-the-self/
The equivalent Pali text says:
Katamā ca, bhikkhave, jāti? Yā tesaṃ tesaṃ sattānaṃ tamhi tamhi sattanikāye jāti sañjāti okkanti abhinibbatti khandhānaṃ pātubhāvo āyatanānaṃ paṭilābho. Ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, jāti.

And what is birth? Whatever birth, taking birth, descent, coming-to-be, coming-forth, appearance of aggregates & acquisition of [sense] media of the various beings in this or that group of beings, that is called birth.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

Note: The above English translation may or may not be accurate.
Therefore, how does your explanation represent what is written in the Buddhist texts? How can you be sure your explanation is Buddhism? :shrug:

:candle:

You continue:
Birth-death (extinction)

From the birth of the self until its death (extinguishment) it will always be unsatisfied because the self has originated from sensory desires! These desires must constantly be satisfied. If you have a desire, you are dissatisfied. If all egocentric desires are extinguished (lifted), by taking away the first cause (delusion, ignorance, false-knowing) of mutually dependent origination, you are freed from your dissatisfaction. Your delusion or ignorance is taken away by the insight that the essence of reality is empty. Through this insight, the urge for meaning, interpretation or substance in life is removed and as a result, all consecutive chains disappear. The chain of dependent origination of the self is lifted in this way.

https://foundationsofhumanlife.com/10-the-self/
To me, the above sounds like "death" is Nirvana (extinguishment).

However, the Pali texts provide the following definition of "death":
Whatever deceasing, passing away, breaking up, disappearance, dying, death, completion of time, break up of the aggregates, casting off of the body, interruption in the life faculty of the various beings in this or that group of beings, that is called death.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Therefore, again, how does your explanation represent what is written in the Buddhist texts? How can you be sure your explanation is Buddhism? :shrug:
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/paticcasamuppada
https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/anapanasati

PeterC86
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Re: Foundations of Human Life - A road to Nirvana for the West

Post by PeterC86 » Wed Feb 27, 2019 7:27 am

JamesTheGiant wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 11:44 pm
PeterC86 wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 11:12 pm
But I am curious if maybe on this forum there are some real onces.

It would be great if they could give feedback on the manual.
I think there are some stream enterers, but not more than that.
Thanks for your reply. That's a pity, well then we have to wait until someone reads the manual and walks the path to get proof if it is helpful or not. :)
Last edited by PeterC86 on Wed Feb 27, 2019 10:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

PeterC86
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Re: Foundations of Human Life - A road to Nirvana for the West

Post by PeterC86 » Wed Feb 27, 2019 7:40 am

dharmacorps wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:20 am
What is it the suttas say, arhants tread gently on the earth.

Other than that, we can call it a gut feeling that someone who proclaims their attainment of total liberation/arahantship in the first sentence of their first topic on a new forum to them is probably just confused and overestimating their progress. If you don't understand "why" that would sound more than a little off to people, then you probably need the "help" here rather than us unenlightened folks.
Thanks for your reply. Previous experiences lead to expectations and assumptions, which lead to convictions, which are all never true. Any assumption that an arahant should behave in some way are probably based on the behaviour of other arahants or on descriptions in texts (like you mentioned). I am a young arahant and behave in such a way. I do not see why I should not make myself clear when I join a forum. Especially when I am sharing a manual which tries to simplify the path.

Now let's focus on feedback on the manual.

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