No place for spirituality in Theravada?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Spiny O'Norman
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Re: No place for spirituality in Theravada?

Post by Spiny O'Norman » Sat Nov 13, 2010 9:16 am

Laurens wrote: I used the word spiritual because it helped describe what I was getting at.
For sure. The problem I have with words like "spiritual" is that they can mean entirely different things to different people.

Spiny

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Annapurna
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Re: No place for spirituality in Theravada?

Post by Annapurna » Sat Nov 13, 2010 9:28 am

tiltbillings wrote:This question makes no sense.
Agree. Where would the definiton /explanation of spirituality seriously collide with Buddhism?
Spirituality can refer to an ultimate or immaterial reality;

[1] an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of their being; or the “deepest values and meanings by which people live.”
[2] Spiritual practices, including meditation, prayer and contemplation, are intended to develop an individual's inner life; such practices often lead to an experience of connectedness with a larger reality, yielding a more comprehensive self; with other individuals or the human community; with nature or the cosmos; or with the divine realm.
[3] Spirituality is often experienced as a source of inspiration or orientation in life.
[4] It can encompass belief in immaterial realities or experiences of the immanent or transcendent nature of the world.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirituality" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
lat. spiritus ,germ. Geist (engl. mind), breath‘ / spiro ,I breath‘ – also oldgreek. ψύχω or ψυχή, look psyche

Laurens
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Re: No place for spirituality in Theravada?

Post by Laurens » Sat Nov 13, 2010 9:56 am

Spiny O'Norman wrote:
Laurens wrote: I used the word spiritual because it helped describe what I was getting at.
For sure. The problem I have with words like "spiritual" is that they can mean entirely different things to different people.

Spiny
It's the same with a lot of words unfortunately.
"If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

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Annapurna
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Re: No place for spirituality in Theravada?

Post by Annapurna » Sat Nov 13, 2010 1:10 pm

Spiny O'Norman wrote:
Laurens wrote: I used the word spiritual because it helped describe what I was getting at.
For sure. The problem I have with words like "spiritual" is that they can mean entirely different things to different people.

Spiny
A definition was posted in the OP.

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Viscid
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Re: No place for spirituality in Theravada?

Post by Viscid » Sat Nov 13, 2010 6:06 pm

Buddhism, by my (and apparently wikipedia's) definition is steeped in spirituality.

- Meditative practice is spiritual.
- Applying Insight into the nature of conditioned phenomena is spiritual.
- Stream-entry is an intensely spiritual experience.
- Realization of the Four Noble Truths is spiritual.
- Having knowledge of Karma and Past Lives is spiritual.
[1] an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of their being; or the “deepest values and meanings by which people live.”
[2] Spiritual practices, including meditation, prayer and contemplation, are intended to develop an individual's inner life; such practices often lead to an experience of connectedness with a larger reality, yielding a more comprehensive self; with other individuals or the human community; with nature or the cosmos; or with the divine realm.
[3] Spirituality is often experienced as a source of inspiration or orientation in life.
[4] It can encompass belief in immaterial realities or experiences of the immanent or transcendent nature of the world.
If there was no spiritual practice in Buddhism, then it'd just be intellectual discourse and debate about philosophical subjects.

Perhaps people mean 'spiritual' in a way which supposes that things which are 'spiritual' cannot be explained through objective methods? That's a silly qualification.
"What holds attention determines action." - William James

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Spiny O'Norman
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Re: No place for spirituality in Theravada?

Post by Spiny O'Norman » Sun Nov 14, 2010 10:36 am

Annapurna wrote:
Spiny O'Norman wrote:
Laurens wrote: I used the word spiritual because it helped describe what I was getting at.
For sure. The problem I have with words like "spiritual" is that they can mean entirely different things to different people.

Spiny
A definition was posted in the OP.
Which illustrated the many different ways "spirituality" can be thought of.

Spiny

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Spiny O'Norman
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Re: No place for spirituality in Theravada?

Post by Spiny O'Norman » Sun Nov 14, 2010 10:39 am

Viscid wrote:Buddhism, by my (and apparently wikipedia's) definition is steeped in spirituality.

- Meditative practice is spiritual.
- Applying Insight into the nature of conditioned phenomena is spiritual.
- Stream-entry is an intensely spiritual experience.
- Realization of the Four Noble Truths is spiritual.
- Having knowledge of Karma and Past Lives is spiritual.
I think these statements would work better if you replaced "spiritual" with "insightful" or "liberating".

Spiny

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Hanzze
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Re: No place for spirituality in Theravada?

Post by Hanzze » Sun Nov 14, 2010 10:55 am

_/\_
Last edited by Hanzze on Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_

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Re: No place for spirituality in Theravada?

Post by Viscid » Sun Nov 14, 2010 7:50 pm

Spiny O'Norman wrote: I think these statements would work better if you replaced "spiritual" with "insightful" or "liberating".

Spiny
Why can't spiritual things be insightful or liberating?

I think the reticence to label Buddhist things as 'spiritual' comes from the association 'spirituality' has with the realm of the new-age and other religions. People wish to see Buddhism strictly as a practical philosophy; philosophy is rational and possibly verifiable, while spirituality is not.
"What holds attention determines action." - William James

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Spiny O'Norman
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Re: No place for spirituality in Theravada?

Post by Spiny O'Norman » Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:45 am

Viscid wrote:
Spiny O'Norman wrote: I think these statements would work better if you replaced "spiritual" with "insightful" or "liberating".

Spiny
Why can't spiritual things be insightful or liberating?

I think the reticence to label Buddhist things as 'spiritual' comes from the association 'spirituality' has with the realm of the new-age and other religions. People wish to see Buddhism strictly as a practical philosophy; philosophy is rational and possibly verifiable, while spirituality is not.
I don't disagree with what you say, I just think that words like "insightful" and "liberating" are more descriptive of Buddhist practice. Yes, I am reluctant to label Buddhism as "spiritual", partly for the kind of reasons you mention but mostly because it's such a vague word which people define in so many different ways.
I do see Buddhism as very practical, concerned with verification rather than superstition.

Spiny

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Hanzze
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Re: No place for spirituality in Theravada?

Post by Hanzze » Wed Nov 17, 2010 8:56 am

_/\_
Last edited by Hanzze on Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_

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Re: No place for spirituality in Theravada?

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Nov 17, 2010 9:03 am

Hanzze wrote:
Spiny O'Norman wrote: I don't disagree with what you say, I just think that words like "insightful" and "liberating" are more descriptive of Buddhist practice. Yes, I am reluctant to label Buddhism as "spiritual", partly for the kind of reasons you mention but mostly because it's such a vague word which people define in so many different ways.
I do see Buddhism as very practical, concerned with verification rather than superstition.

Spiny
Reestablish the meaning of words is very buddhistic and leads to quick understanding of the Buddha Dhamma I guess :-)
Are you practicing here that not-thinking you said characterized Buddhism?
>> 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

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Hanzze
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Re: No place for spirituality in Theravada?

Post by Hanzze » Wed Nov 17, 2010 9:15 am

_/\_
Last edited by Hanzze on Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_

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tiltbillings
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Re: No place for spirituality in Theravada?

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Nov 17, 2010 9:34 am

Hanzze wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Are you practicing here that not-thinking you said characterized Buddhism?
I guess that will lead to off topic :-) Sometimes one needs to think to be able to let go of it :-) Everybody his needed/favorite staza :-) so lets look if I could stop the ball again.
Well, don't hurt your head.
>> 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

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Hanzze
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Re: No place for spirituality in Theravada?

Post by Hanzze » Wed Nov 17, 2010 12:08 pm

_/\_
Last edited by Hanzze on Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_

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