Are We Fundamentally Against The Teachings Of The Buddha?

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Tommy M, modified 11 Years ago at 3/2/11 4:20 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 3/2/11 4:20 PM

Are We Fundamentally Against The Teachings Of The Buddha?

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
I want to make it clear here that I am not starting this thread in an effort to chastise or insult anyone, the title stems from another thread where an individual made a particular claim which I found to be offensive and untrue. I post this thread in the hope that we can openly, and respectfully, discuss the statement made by James Hao Yen on the thread "The Meditation Experiences of Jhanananda" wherein he accuses people on The Dharma Overground of being "against the teachings of the Buddha" and "against actual enlightenment".

[James Hao Yen]
The problem is that the people here are fundamentally against what the Buddha taught, their very being is against the teachings of the Buddha. Which is why I don't like it when they quote the Buddha here. Because they tend to do so only on the periphery in order to prove of a point while ignoring that the majority of the suttas would contradict what they're doing.


....merely implying that people here are against actual enlightenment.


What's the opinion here? Personally, as I said earlier, find these statements to be offensive and untrue but I would like to open the subject for discussion and hopefully get more of an understanding of James' point of view without hijacking the Jhanananada thread.

Metta,
Tommy
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Nikolai , modified 11 Years ago at 3/2/11 5:11 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 3/2/11 5:11 PM

RE: Are We Fundamentally Against The Teachings Of The Buddha?

Posts: 1648 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
Cut from the jhananda thread to continue the flow of the theme:

James Hao Yen:


So I get kind of pissed of when people start quote the Buddha on Jhana. Whoah whoah whoah, Jhana was supposedly a very difficult thing to attain, requiring virture and even more than that pure intention, a delicate mental state. And when Virtue, pure intentions and other things are ignored by this site then that's kind of what I mean. I mean how can you ignore those things and yet use the Buddha's quote for jhana.


Hi James,

How do you know people here are not following a path of virtue and pure intentions? How do you know they are ignored? If they are not talked about does that really mean that people do not follow a moral code of some sort or try and live virtuous lives? Perhaps it is just something taken for granted. How do you know?

James Hao Yen:

So basically, if you have indeed found an experience so compelling that it must be enlightenment then by all means call it enlightenment. But it might not necessarily be suttical enlightenment, otherwise people just want to be called enlightened and are looking for suttical reasons to call themselves so.


I've already stated that what is called 4th path here and at KFD is not considered by myself and a few other yogis to be the arahat of the fetter model. It's half way in my experience. Others may disagree but I'd like to keep the bar higher. There is more left to work on, and this is my current experience. I kind of agree with you here. I think the term arahat was meant to describe soemthing much more than just what is called 4th path here.


Metta,

Nick

Edited to ask: What is your own practice like, James? I'd be interested to hear how your practice is including all of what you have mentioned is supposedly missing from this website. Maybe it would be good to start a thread on morality and virtue. This place is a website primarily focused on discussing practical meditative experience , states and stages. Yes it is heavy on that side. Sila isn't talked about much. But that doesnt mean it isnt practiced.
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Tommy M, modified 11 Years ago at 3/2/11 5:49 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 3/2/11 5:40 PM

RE: Are We Fundamentally Against The Teachings Of The Buddha?

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
Anyways to elaborate if you remember the forum Lioncity, which was set up to facilitate discussion of Buddhism. The place sucked, I remember back when I was a good person thinking about how much denial they were in. At first thought that due to merit (good karma) of all the Buddhists there it would be enjoyable to be in the forum but the place sucked. As soon you started browsing around this horrible vibe of unwholesomness just came over you, and you looked at the pictures of these people. The place felt like it was frequented by pedophiles. The whole lot was in denial, they thought they were enlightened, virtuous or better but they weren't. It's staggering that they weren't able to detect this. And yet it was so OBVIOUS, yet people stayed. Forget reading about Buddhism, just to read the general website was a pain. Anyways my interpretation was that they accumulated so much demerit due to their evil that the website was inextricably hacked and irretrievably lost.

But it's shocking to me that people stayed, how could they not tell? They were hell-bound (I literallty thought that), I thought those people would be better than normal people, yet they were than normal people. The vibe there was so insufferable that I fail to see how anyone could not tell. Plus all the pretension, of enlightenment and virtue and yet they all were (seemingly) hell-bound. No one willing to admit that they had faults or broke precepts (which are easily broken) or were immoral. Yet so obvious.

Obviously my above interpretation was a literal Buddhist interpretation, but that's kind of what I mean. If you wre a good person on that website you would be able to easily tell that the people were crazy, deluded and hell-bound, and forget reading the posts or content of the website. In order for you to reach that conclusion, when on the website the vibe was so insufferable that you just couldn't stand to be there (maybe). Yet amazingly people stayed and (seemingly) were unable to tell.

That's kind of what I mean, I hope the same thing isn't happening here.


This is a ridiculously religious interpretation of Buddhism as it's evolved over the years.

So we're all hellbound? Ha!

Can I just quickly draw your attention to this classic line....

The place felt like it was frequented by pedophiles.


Three words: What. The. Fuck.

Seriously? I've put that part in bold in your quote as that's just laughable.
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James Yen, modified 11 Years ago at 3/2/11 6:29 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 3/2/11 6:29 PM

RE: Are We Fundamentally Against The Teachings Of The Buddha?

Posts: 270 Join Date: 9/6/09 Recent Posts
This is a ridiculously religious interpretation of Buddhism as it's evolved over the years.


Actually it's not, both karma and rebirth are mentioned in the suttas.

So we're all hellbound? Ha!


No I was talking about lioncity, a forum that was hacked and is now irretrievable.

Three words: What. The. Fuck.

Seriously? I've put that part in bold in your quote as that's just laughable.


Yes I was talking about lioncity. As in my past experiences, interpretations and impressions of lioncity.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 11 Years ago at 3/2/11 6:58 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 3/2/11 6:58 PM

RE: Are We Fundamentally Against The Teachings Of The Buddha?

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
James Hao Yen:
This is a ridiculously religious interpretation of Buddhism as it's evolved over the years.


Actually it's not, both karma and rebirth are mentioned in the suttas.

If you haven't, I recommend you read Trent's interpretation of rebirth and karma, as I find it to be the most practically useful one I've come across.
J Adam G, modified 11 Years ago at 3/2/11 8:00 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 3/2/11 8:00 PM

RE: Are We Fundamentally Against The Teachings Of The Buddha?

Posts: 286 Join Date: 9/15/09 Recent Posts
In my observation, the members of the DhO have a variety of opinions about Buddhism. The common threads we share are appreciation of practicality, and the belief that the specific meditation practices we discuss will lead to the specific results we claim to have gotten from them.

Outside of that, we have plenty of different opinions. For that matter, we have lots of different opinions about meditation itself!
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Florian, modified 11 Years ago at 3/3/11 2:02 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 3/3/11 2:02 AM

RE: Are We Fundamentally Against The Teachings Of The Buddha?

Posts: 1028 Join Date: 4/28/09 Recent Posts
James Hao Yen:
This is a ridiculously religious interpretation of Buddhism as it's evolved over the years.


Actually it's not, both karma and rebirth are mentioned in the suttas.


If I understand you correctly, you like to refer to the suttas for authority. But the sutta pitaka is not mentioned in the suttas. Where do the suttas get their authority, then?

That's the trouble with authorities, or external refuges of any kind. There's nothing holding them up.

Regarding karma and rebirth: if your only experience with "karma and rebirth" is reading about it in an old text, then well, what about it, what's the difference, in direct experiential terms, between reading about "karma and rebirth" and reading about Libya in the newspaper? On the other hand, if you have something to say from your own experience apart from looking at characters on a sheet of paper, then I'd be very interested in your report. For example, I know someone who got a great amount of inspiration and energy to practise well from these teachings. What have you got out of this?

Cheers,
Florian
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Florian, modified 11 Years ago at 3/3/11 2:17 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 3/3/11 2:17 AM

RE: Are We Fundamentally Against The Teachings Of The Buddha?

Posts: 1028 Join Date: 4/28/09 Recent Posts
Am I against the teachings of the Buddha? Well, what did he teach? The four noble truths? That's the core of my practice, I'm all for it. The noble eightfold path, by virtue of being linked up with the fourth noble truth? All for it. Am I aware that Right View implies "karma and rebirth"? Yes, I am. What does "karma" mean? Intention. What does "Rebirth mean?" No idea... the Buddha goes on and on about "birth" in the suttas, but not about "rebirth". I was obviously born, and I intend a lot of things, so no problems with that reaching. Do I think it's a moot point to get hung up about the "re"? Yes. Do I think it's indulging in fantasy to imagine past and future lives? Oh, yes. Do I mind? Not so long as I remember I'm indulging in fantasy; it's actually quite fun to do.

So that was easy. Shall we do sex and money as well, in this thread, and drag all those taboos out into the sunlight? ;)

Cheers,
Florian
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Tommy M, modified 11 Years ago at 3/3/11 4:03 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 3/3/11 4:03 PM

RE: Are We Fundamentally Against The Teachings Of The Buddha?

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
Actually it's not, both karma and rebirth are mentioned in the suttas.


The ever eloquent Florian has answered that better than I possibly could. My response would be that eternal life and punishment for earthly sins occurs in every religious tradition, does this mean that you also believe the Bible, Koran, Torah, Bhagvad Gita and all the rest are to be taken literally?

No I was talking about lioncity, a forum that was hacked and is now irretrievable.

Never heard of it, don't know anything about it and have no opinion whatsoever on it's occupants. What does that have to do with the discussion regarding the how we're all "fundamentally against the teachings of the Buddha"?

You must realize by now that our "interpretation" of Buddhism will forever be at odds with your own? Speaking for myself, I see no likelihood that I will ever subscribe to your point of view but I would be interested in knowing more about you, your experience of Buddhism and why you so loathe anything but a religious interpretation of the teachings of the Buddha.
no-name seems more proper, modified 11 Years ago at 8/16/11 8:42 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 8/16/11 8:42 AM

RE: Are We Fundamentally Against The Teachings Of The Buddha?

Posts: 12 Join Date: 8/16/11 Recent Posts
Most people may not be experiencing the actual jhanas and may be experiencing some sort of tainted-'jhana' that early buddhists may not have called jhana. Tainted in a similar way to how one can experience the clear light with taints or without taints. Also the literature speaks of nirvana with and without residue.
So it is very possible people with little experience differentiating the depths of their experience and accidentally overstate or misread their state.
no-name seems more proper, modified 11 Years ago at 8/16/11 8:49 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 8/16/11 8:49 AM

RE: Are We Fundamentally Against The Teachings Of The Buddha?

Posts: 12 Join Date: 8/16/11 Recent Posts
Without commenting too much on this portion, the Buddha did make clear that he wouldn't teach if people would have favorable rebirths after this life without his teachings. The Buddha has made it clear this is a fundamental aspect of Buddhism. I dislike people assuming one way or another without a very serious investigation into what is said about it. Moreover, don't think its appropriate to base your views on ordinary experience. As ordinary experience and the clear light imply very different philosophic views.

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