is this dhamma?

Confused Maverick, modified 12 Years ago at 12/9/09 5:01 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 12/9/09 5:01 AM

is this dhamma?

Posts: 10 Join Date: 12/9/09 Recent Posts
i read recently a well known Buddhist teacher summarise his entire teaching thus:

"These teachings pertaining to method are connected, directly or indirectly, with the Buddha’s teaching of pratitya-samutpada through the sequence of positive, spiral nidanas, for all these teachings contribute, in one way or another, to my disciples' progress to ever higher levels of being and consciousness, even from the mundane at its most refined to the transcendental."

does this have anything to do with the Buddha Dhamma?
Abdou Abed, modified 12 Years ago at 12/9/09 5:56 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 12/9/09 5:56 AM

RE: is this dhamma?

Posts: 11 Join Date: 10/1/09 Recent Posts
I don't know if this has anything to do with Buddha Dhamma. But I wonder if his entire teaching can be summarized this way, what help can it bring to his 'disciples?

I may be as confused as you are, but this does not ring any bell for me.
Confused Maverick, modified 12 Years ago at 12/9/09 6:13 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 12/9/09 6:13 AM

RE: is this dhamma?

Posts: 10 Join Date: 12/9/09 Recent Posts
Abdou Abed:
this does not ring any bell for me.


that was my feeling too.

it seems to imply that you get to 'the transcendental' by progressively refining your mind, rather than through knowledge and vision

hard to see how this perspective would be helpful ... seems like a recipe for an endless and fruitless job
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Daniel M Ingram, modified 12 Years ago at 12/9/09 7:58 PM
Created 12 Years ago at 12/9/09 7:58 PM

RE: is this dhamma?

Posts: 3231 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
Dear CM,

I seem to recognize that quote.

Care to put it in context?

Glad to have you here.

Daniel
Confused Maverick, modified 12 Years ago at 12/10/09 6:32 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 12/10/09 6:32 AM

RE: is this dhamma?

Posts: 10 Join Date: 12/9/09 Recent Posts
Daniel M. Ingram:
I seem to recognize that quote.

Care to put it in context?


It is from What Is the Western Buddhist Order? by Sangharakshita, founder of the WBO. It came out a few months ago, it seems to be some kind of definitive statement of what the WBO is and stands for.

The WBO is the biggest Buddhist group where I live, and I've been to the Centre in my home town. They teach standard meditation techniques (mindfulness of breathing, metta bhavana) and it all seems quite 'Buddhist'.

A few years ago I heard some strange stuff along the lines of "what the WBO does is not really Buddhism". I had assumed that this was just sour grapes - after all, the WBO is quite high profile and successful over here in the UK.

Then, reading the passage I quoted above, I did start to wonder whether there is some massive misunderstanding underpinning the whole thing. Whichever way I look at it, I just cannot see the path the Buddha taught in this way. It seems to be not just misleading, but simply wrong.

But then, what do I know? So I'm interested in anyone else's perspective.

I'm not sure if this is really the right forum for discussing this kind of thing, sorry if I am fundamentally off topic!

Daniel M. Ingram:
Glad to have you here.


Thank you!
Confused Maverick, modified 12 Years ago at 12/11/09 3:35 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 12/11/09 3:35 AM

RE: is this dhamma?

Posts: 10 Join Date: 12/9/09 Recent Posts
Daniel M. Ingram:
Care to put it in context?


The context from the document is this:

***********************************************************
My particular presentation consists of those teachings and practices I have stressed during my teaching life, through speaking and writing, and I hope by example. What I have taught pertains both to doctrinal understanding and to practice and it is what I have said about these that is the basis for the Dharma as practised by my disciples in the Order and as taught by them – the basis of our 'particular presentation of the Dharma'.

At the doctrinal level, I see the teaching of pratitya-samutpada as most basic and from it follow the teachings of the Four Noble Truths, the Twelve and Twenty-Four Nidanas, and also the teachings concerning Nirvana, anatman, and sunyata. My teaching of Dharma as doctrine is essentially based upon and derived from, directly or indirectly, these teachings that, of course, go back to the Buddha himself. And I explicitly exclude whatever ideas are incompatible with them.

My teachings pertaining to method, and therefore those of my disciples, all centre, directly or indirectly, on the act of going for refuge to the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha. These comprise all the practices that I have myself taught: for instance, the observance of the Five or Ten Precepts; the performance of the Sevenfold and Threefold Pujas; the practice of meditation, in the framework of the System of Meditation; the group study of the Buddhist scriptures; the cultivation of spiritual friendship, and the enjoyment of poetry, music, and the visual arts as aids to the spiritual life. These teachings pertaining to method are connected, directly or indirectly, with the Buddha’s teaching of pratitya-samutpada through the sequence of positive, spiral nidanas, for all these teachings contribute, in one way or another, to my disciples' progress to ever higher levels of being and consciousness, even from the mundane at its most refined to the transcendental. Looked at from another point of view, they contribute to the deepening of my disciples' going for refuge, so that from being provisional it becomes effective, and from being effective it becomes real in the sense of being irreversible.
***********************************************************

any thoughts, anyone? the words are very Buddhist, but what about the meaning they convey?
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Florian, modified 12 Years ago at 12/11/09 6:14 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 12/11/09 6:14 AM

RE: is this dhamma?

Posts: 1028 Join Date: 4/28/09 Recent Posts
Hi C.M.

The meaning these words convey to me:

1. This teacher likes to present the Buddhist doctrine with Dependent Arising as his starting point. (The prevalent presentation here at DhO starts out from the threefold division of the Noble Eightfold Path: the "three trainings". Just a different corner to start from)

2. This teacher teaches devotional techniques. (Not a big topic on here at DhO, though there are a few threads in the archive. Ed has really interesting things to say about devotional practice. If he reads this, I hope he'll chime in)

I tend to get lost in the specifics of devotional practices (or used to at the time I did them, in a Christian setting), but the practices themselves appear to work when done correctly. Also note how the Dependent Arising teaching can power curiosity and investigation - if these things lead to these other things, let's watch this process! Again, for me it usually works the other way around, I investigate, and then I see what leads to what. Finally, out of a personal impatience with large organizations, I tend to stay away from them whenever I can, be they spiritual or worldly. YMMV, obviously.

Hope this was helpful in some way,

Cheers,
Florian