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A Buddha thread? [No-Second-Arrow Z] [MIGRATE]

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A Buddha thread? [No-Second-Arrow Z]


No-Second-Arrow Z - 2014-05-03 04:52:52 - A Buddha thread?

Hi all,

Lately I noticed some confusion about what I would call 'the core teachings of the buddha' or CTB. emoticon
Questions come up about what the buddha meant, for instance when he talked about things like desire, anger and suffering. Sometimes it seems as if people attribute things to the buddha, which he didn't say or even go against the grain of his teachings.

So, I was thinking: would it be helpful to create a thread where the budhha's most basic topics are clarified in a clear, down to earth manner, with links added to clarify where you can find the discourses that relate to these topics? 
I'm not talking about some kind of rigid, dogmatic thread where 'this is how it should be and everything else is wrong'. Just an easy to find place where we can read about what the buddha did or didn't say.

(Or is there all ready such a thread and I totally overlooked it?emoticon )

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James Yen - 2014-05-03 05:52:01 - RE: A Buddha thread?

The Buddha's teachings are basically united around the nucleus of suffering and the end of suffering. To that end, whatever helps with that goal would be considered his teaching and whatever hinders it would not be his teaching.

But to actually help with your goal, here's a quick sutta:

I have heard that at one time the Blessed One was staying at Vesali, in the Peaked Roof Hall in the Great Forest.

Then Mahapajapati Gotami went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, stood to one side. As she was standing there she said to him: "It would be good, lord, if the Blessed One would teach me the Dhamma in brief such that, having heard the Dhamma from the Blessed One, I might dwell alone, secluded, heedful, ardent, & resolute."

"Gotami, the qualities of which you may know, 'These qualities lead to passion, not to dispassion; to being fettered, not to being unfettered; to accumulating, not to shedding; to self-aggrandizement, not to modesty; to discontent, not to contentment; to entanglement, not to seclusion; to laziness, not to aroused persistence; to being burdensome, not to being unburdensome': You may categorically hold, 'This is not the Dhamma, this is not the Vinaya, this is not the Teacher's instruction.'

"As for the qualities of which you may know, 'These qualities lead to dispassion, not to passion; to being unfettered, not to being fettered; to shedding, not to accumulating; to modesty, not to self-aggrandizement; to contentment, not to discontent; to seclusion, not to entanglement; to aroused persistence, not to laziness; to being unburdensome, not to being burdensome': You may categorically hold, 'This is the Dhamma, this is the Vinaya, this is the Teacher's instruction.'"

That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, Mahapajapati Gotami delighted at his words.


Gotami Sutta

yoloswag420,

James

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Rist Ei - 2014-05-03 09:47:23 - RE: A Buddha thread?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gautama_Buddha

Gautama Buddha, also known as Siddh?rtha Gautama,[note 1] Shakyamuni,[note 2] or simply the Buddha, was a sage[3] on whose teachings Buddhism was founded.[4] Born in the Shakya republic in the Himalayan foothills,[5][note 3] Gautama Buddha taught primarily in northeastern India.


Buddha means "awakened one" or "the enlightened one." "Buddha" is also used as a title for the first awakened being in an era.


Various collections of teachings attributed to him were passed down by oral tradition, and first committed to writing about 400 years later.


Anyone played a game where you need to tell a story to the next one and then next one tells it to next one and the story what comes at the end is much more different that its originally was..?

Jesus Christ
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus

Jesus (/?d?i?z?s/; Greek: ?????? Iesous; 7ñ2 BC to 30ñ33 AD), also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth, is the central figure of Christianity,[12] whom the teachings of most Christian denominations hold to be the Son of God. Christianity regards Jesus as the awaited Messiah of the Old Testament and refers to him as Jesus Christ, a name that is also used in non-Christian contexts.


Intuition
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intuition_(psychology)
Dharma eye?
Intuition is the ability to acquire knowledge without inference or the use of reason.[1] The word intuition comes from Latin verb intueri which is usually translated as to look inside or to contemplate.


Intuition is commonly discussed in writings of spiritual thought. Contextually, there is often an idea of a transcendent and more qualitative mind of one's spirit towards which a person strives, or towards which consciousness evolves. Typically, intuition is regarded as a conscious commonality between earthly knowledge and the higher spiritual knowledge[16] and appears as flashes of illumination.[17] It is asserted that by definition intuition cannot be judged by logical reasoning.[18][19]


desire
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desire

Desire is a sense of longing for a person or object or hoping for an outcome. The same sense is expressed by emotions such as "craving" or "hankering".


In Buddhism, for an individual to effect his or her liberation, the flow of sense-desire must be cut completely


hmm the flow of sense desire? sounds easy peasy

Richard actual freedom central figure

http://actualfreedom.com.au/

The way of becoming actually free is both simple and practical. One starts by dismantling the shadowy social identity which has been overlaid, from birth onward, on top of the innate self until one is virtually free from all the social mores and psittacisms (those mechanical repetitions of previously received ideas or images, reflecting neither apperception nor autonomous reasoning).


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sawfoot _ - 2014-05-03 10:40:40 - RE: A Buddha thread?

Who needs a thread, when you can have a whole forum! I am sure you will find some unconfused people there.

Www.dhammawheel.com

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Chuck Kasmire - 2014-05-03 21:16:36 - RE: A Buddha thread?

No-Second-Arrow Z:
Hi all,

Lately I noticed some confusion about what I would call 'the core teachings of the buddha' or CTB. emoticon
Questions come up about what the buddha meant, for instance when he talked about things like desire, anger and suffering. Sometimes it seems as if people attribute things to the buddha, which he didn't say or even go against the grain of his teachings.

So, I was thinking: would it be helpful to create a thread where the budhha's most basic topics are clarified in a clear, down to earth manner, with links added to clarify where you can find the discourses that relate to these topics? 
I'm not talking about some kind of rigid, dogmatic thread where 'this is how it should be and everything else is wrong'. Just an easy to find place where we can read about what the buddha did or didn't say.

(Or is there all ready such a thread and I totally overlooked it?emoticon )


I think it's a great idea.
One thing you can do is ask people to please cite their sources when these kinds of statements are made.

You have to decide what texts are core teachings. If you narrow down what he said to the early texts we have -  the Sutta Pitaka and the Vinaya - along with the Chinese agamas - which includes early texts from non-Theravada schools as well - things get simplified as there is fairly wide consensus on these being the closest we have to the original source material - such a focus would be on what is called Pre-sectarian or Early Buddhism. The more you expand out to include say Mahayana suttas and various commentaries, Abhidhamma's and such the less agreement you will find.

Dhammawheel has a focus on Theravada (which is post-pre-sectarian so to speak). It is a good resource and has a section on Early Buddhism. Sutta Central is building a collection of early buddhist material including the Chinese Agamas - but that is more of a resource for source material rather than discussion.

A thread would probably become unwieldy quickly. A category or wiki section might be better. There will always be different opinions as to how to interpret these early texts - even how to translate them - but having a summary in contemporary language (or several short summaries where there are different opinions) with links to the underlying relevant texts - I think that would be very helpful. One possible place for such in the wiki is under ìcore principlesî where there is currently a section on Mahayana and Theravada  - a third could be added ìPre-Sectarianî or something like that. The down side of that is that it is limited to those with wiki access - so a category might be better - or a combination.

I'm not talking about some kind of rigid, dogmatic thread where 'this is how it should be and everything else is wrong'.
 

Hopefully not but these topics can be sensitive. Even by focusing just on ëWhat does it sayí - there will be room for various interpretations and its probably good to include those various views. 

Just an easy to find place where we can read about what the buddha did or didn't say.


AccesstoInsight is the easiest place to find and search source material that I know of. For example, you can go there and search the suttas for ëangerí and then see how this topic is treated within the early texts. Doing this can be kind of overwhelming until you get a good feel for the terminology and style of the texts but itís a great way to learn.

RE: A Buddha thread? [No-Second-Arrow Z] [MIGRATE]
Answer
5/8/14 5:20 AM as a reply to Migration 6.2 Daemon.
Hi Chuck,

Nice suggestions you have here! I was thinking about the same lines.

I'm a bit confused; was this category of /Theoreticians and Traditionalists (T&T) already here?
I emailed Daniel with a few questions  / suggestions, he hasn't responded yet, but with all this upgrading I wasn't expecting him too emoticon
A new category would be neat, but if that isn't an option, we can create new threads here, though it will be messier, I imagine.
Anyway, personally I'm sort of in the Theravada corner and for me the earliest known texts have a lot of value. But we could either put it in the header of new threads, or clearly state it in the post itself.
I'm a lurker at Dhammawheel and I really like it, but unfortunately they don't support rss feeds and for me on my cell phone checking on my browser, isn't a very pleasant experience. So I tend to forget to check on my computer what's happening over there.

Accesstoinsight is a great resource, but there are more treasures on the net as well.

To clarify my suggestion of creating a 'Buddha Corner': I'm not suggesting I'm going to create all threads and huge posts, because that would be quite time consuming and I'm not another Ian And, who made these beautiful ' all purpose jhana threads and the like'. Besides, I'm not a native speaker and I wrestle a lot with how to formulate certain things.
But I'm sure there are more people who would love to start threads about important Buddha subjects. Perhaps we could start with an inventory about which topics to tackle first?

For me the key to these threads is readability; of course we can have lengthy and very complicated theoretical discussions, but my aim would be to just explain in easy wordings basic topics. Just for people to get a taste of what the buddha did and didn't say. For example, the word 'suffering' is a very crooked way of translating 'dukkha' (as someone recently mentioned, if only I could remember who and where, to give credit for this example :rolleyesemoticon.

edited for typo

RE: A Buddha thread? [No-Second-Arrow Z] [MIGRATE]
Answer
5/11/14 2:30 PM as a reply to No-Second-Arrow Z.
I'm a bit confused; was this category of /Theoreticians and Traditionalists (T&T) already here?

I believe it was.

A new category would be neat, but if that isn't an option, we can create new threads here, though it will be messier, I imagine.

I think a new category would be easy to add. I don’t have the ability to create categories but I’m sure a moderator would be happy to do that. Do need a title though first. Some suggestions: Early Buddhism, Early Buddhist Terminology and Concepts, Pre-Sectarian Buddhism, Early Buddhist Resources

Anyway, personally I'm sort of in the Theravada corner and for me the earliest known texts have a lot of value. 

Tend toward Thai Forest myself. One of the things about this topic is that anyone can be involved regardless of practice or tradition. It’s really just asking ‘what do these writings say’. Anyone that considers themselves Buddhist aught to have a basic understanding of the underlying terminology, principles and skills even if they choose to view and/or apply them differently. 

Accesstoinsight is a great resource, but there are more treasures on the net as well.

I agree. One of the things such a category could provide is links to other sites, books, etc. that people come across.

To clarify my suggestion of creating a 'Buddha Corner': I'm not suggesting I'm going to create all threads and huge posts, because that would be quite time consuming and I'm not another Ian And, who made these beautiful ' all purpose jhana threads and the like'. Besides, I'm not a native speaker and I wrestle a lot with how to formulate certain things.
But I'm sure there are more people who would love to start threads about important Buddha subjects. Perhaps we could start with an inventory about which topics to tackle first?

No, it’s too much for one person. I can add some and I think there are others here interested in this as well. One of the values of the site is that many people can contribute and it can evolve over time. 

For me the key to these threads is readability; of course we can have lengthy and very complicated theoretical discussions, but my aim would be to just explain in easy wordings basic topics. Just for people to get a taste of what the buddha did and didn't say. For example, the word 'suffering' is a very crooked way of translating 'dukkha' (as someone recently mentioned, if only I could remember who and where, to give credit for this example 

I would be happy to leave the ‘lengthy and very complicated theoretical discussions’ to dhammawheel - but of course what is complicated or theoretical is subjective. 

I would like to see terminology defined in contemporary language and that definition be derived from across a number of different suttas.

I'm interested in discussing topics like not-self, defilements, jhana, virtue, and others in everyday language but referencing back to specific suttas as reference. 

I think it would also be interesting to take a subject like 'anger' say and look broadly at how that is treated over say 20 or 30 suttas. I have done this with a number of topics and find it really brings out a much better sense of how that quality is worked with in the practice.

As far as initial topics that come to mind:
Terminology - mindfulness, 3 characteristics, suffering, jhana.

Topics for deeper discussions: not-self, fetters, afflictions/defilements, virtue.
















RE: A Buddha thread? [No-Second-Arrow Z] [MIGRATE]
Answer
5/11/14 3:46 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
I created a subcategory called Early Buddhism based on your request, and actually am trying to create a section of the Wiki called Chuck's Corner about whatever you wish to put there, but the approval process of the workflow on 6.2 is not straightforward, such that even I, who own the site, can't seem to change anything about it. Working on figuring out how 6.2 handles that, and then you will have both a a discussion and wiki place to discuss these important topics.

RE: A Buddha thread? [No-Second-Arrow Z] [MIGRATE]
Answer
5/11/14 7:46 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
I created a subcategory called Early Buddhism based on your request, and actually am trying to create a section of the Wiki called Chuck's Corner about whatever you wish to put there, but the approval process of the workflow on 6.2 is not straightforward, such that even I, who own the site, can't seem to change anything about it. Working on figuring out how 6.2 handles that, and then you will have both a a discussion and wiki place to discuss these important topics.
Thanks Daniel. It seems I have wiki access but haven't tried editing anything yet - I do see a message there "There is a publication workflow in process. Some actions may be disabled depending on the status and your role through this process.".

Not sure what my role is so I will leave things alone until things settle down a bit. Best of luck on figuring out this stuff. 

RE: A Buddha thread? [No-Second-Arrow Z] [MIGRATE]
Answer
5/12/14 12:30 AM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Anyway, personally I'm sort of in the Theravada corner and for me the earliest known texts have a lot of value.

I'm obviously in agreement with No Second Arrow (and others) on this: that the earliest known texts have a lot of value. And more than most people will take the time to realize.

The problem for many here is that to do this study any justice takes a lot of time and effort which most people don't have or aren't willing to spend. In addition, many are not interested in the nuts and bolts of the traditional practice, preferring to find the latest and quickest method for overcoming their dukkha using meditation practices. But meditation practice alone won't accomplish this. It has to be mixed with honest to goodness contemplation of these concepts (the dhamma concepts that we study) with an effort to seeing them reflected in our actual experience. Once that process begins to occur, you'd be amazed at how things begin to fall into place in terms of understanding and confirmation of that understanding.


Chuck Kasmire:

Tend toward Thai Forest myself. One of the things about this topic is that anyone can be involved regardless of practice or tradition. It’s really just asking ‘what do these writings say’. Anyone that considers themselves Buddhist ought to have a basic understanding of the underlying terminology, principles and skills even if they choose to view and/or apply them differently.
 
Yes, that would be nice. And a lot more helpful than people might think.


Chuck Kasmire:

I would be happy to leave the ‘lengthy and very complicated theoretical discussions’ to dhammawheel - but of course what is complicated or theoretical is subjective.


I totally agree with this. My days of jousting with others over interpretation are long over. I really have little interest in what others think at this point; although I'm always ready to examine my own experience to see if there's something I'm missing.

People misinterpret my commentary all the time. They presume it is based on theororetical view I have or some such. But that's not how I work. My comments are based on my direct objective experience of the concepts I'm speaking about. I only speak from direct objective experience. If I haven't experienced something, I won't discuss it without imposing conditions on the discussion (such as "this is speculation" or whatever). 


Chuck Kasmire:

I would like to see terminology defined in contemporary language and that definition be derived from across a number of different suttas.

This is something that everyone should be aiming to accomplish. Having an understanding of the terminology in translation that you can relate to can be game changer in terms of beginning to comprehend what Gotama was talking about while being able to directly observe one's own experience in order to confirm it. It was an insight I came across regarding the definition of the word "nirvana" that spurred my investigation further into getting all the main Pali words and concepts defined in English so that I could observe them directly from my experience. 

Along with this is understanding the texts within the context of the time in which they were spoken. One book that I think people will greatly benefit from in terms of this last is Richard Gombrick's What The Buddha Thought. All I can say is: Richard gets it! And he has the historical evidence of the times in which Gotama lived to basically prove it. Although he is an academic, this book is a very easy book to read while it provides some thought-provoking and insightful observations that ring true. At least from my experience and study of these matters it does. For anyone interested in the study of the early teachings of the Buddha this is an essential book to have read and contemplated.

RE: A Buddha thread? [No-Second-Arrow Z] [MIGRATE]
Answer
5/12/14 4:59 AM as a reply to Migration 6.2 Daemon.
Wow, a separate category and a wiki, how cool is that!! Thank you very much!emoticon

And Chuck, Ian, thank you for thinking about what we could do, it's very valuable.
 
I think we are thinking among the same lines; something simple, without lots of scholarly discussions and many links and books that one can read more about the subject.
In depth discussion is always important, no doubt, but my vision would be to give information that one can quickly scan for a bit of a context, but providing sources which one can check if one is interested. I remember that a year or two ago I skipped all kinds of subjects, because they were to complicated or that I didn't belief, but gradually it became a way of life and I read and listened to podcasts more and more. So, the people who are truly interested have some resources to go to, can discuss the topics, while people who just want to check it out quickly can do so.

I'm currently making an inventory of things we can discuss, but unfortunately half of my list wasn't saved as an application crashedemoticon.

Should we discuss maybe some kind of standard headers for the topics? I was thinking something like: (buddhism) 101 - subject - early / theravada / tibetan / pure land, etc? Something one can see in one glance as some kind of topic which we set up? Or bad idea?

I'm not sure how a wiki works; is Chuck the only one who can edit it? Because in that case we could perhaps copy / paste the pure informative stuff from the first (second, etc) posts and people can just discuss a topic later on in the non wiki threads? So, the chatter stays in the threads and the non-chatter goes in the wiki?

I'm just thinking out loud here, so please chime in here!

OK, well, next post I will show a list of what topics may be, it's gonna take me a couple of hours, at most I think.

Wow, I'm quite excited! It will mean that I will learn a lot from al these topics myself. Kind of a sutta study, for me, to filter the most helpful texts to show as examples.

Edited to add: it might be useful to discuss with each other which topic to tackle first, so we don't get confusion?

RE: A Buddha thread? [No-Second-Arrow Z] [MIGRATE]
Answer
5/12/14 6:36 AM as a reply to No-Second-Arrow Z.
OK, I've made a little list... It's just off the top of my head and lots of items are not that important, but in case we get bored LOL.
It's a bit messy, has no particular order, probably typo's, but the first items are maybe good to start with, to get to know some basics. How about:

- a disclaimer (Something to explain what the aim is of the threads. That the focus is purely what the Buddha said (for as far as possible, that is. There are suttas that might have been put in there by others.)
Sentence from Chuck would be nice to put in there: "Anyone that considers themselves Buddhist ought to have a basic understanding of the underlying terminology, principles and skills even if they choose to view and/or apply them differently." Explanation that these topics by no means mean that everything else is wrong, but that it would be nice to see what the Buddha actually said and meant.)

- Who was the buddha (life story, four heavenly messengers), ascetism, awakening)

- 4 noble truths (and why  the Buddha considered this as all important (" I teach suffering and the end of suffering and nothing more")

- noble eightfold path and division in virtue, concentration and wisdom (and why virtue is important). Explanations on all eight factors and clarification of what 'Right' means in this context. I'm sure topics like Right Speech are very interesting to talk about more deeply?

- What did he mean with 'dukkha', is 'suffering' an accurate translation?

- Are all kinds of desire bad?

- The three characteristics and why they are crucial
Annicca
Dukkha
Anatta not-self (which will not be an easy task, explaining this in simple terms.)

- What is the Pali Canon and what does the tipitaka mean.What are the Chinese agamas. Explanation about how the pali canon is divided in suttas, rules for the monks and nuns and the Abidhamma).and when they were created. And why Pali?

- What are the Visuddimagga and the Vimuttimaggha, are they from the buddha too?

- Meditation:
Vipassana, concentration, jhanas, access concentration (explanation about not something the Buddha used, as are nimittas), satipatthana, anapanasati, kasinas, contemplation on death, walking and lying down meditation, etc.

- factors of enlightenment

- Dependent origination (dependent co-arising), causes and conditions

- What are defilements, taints, ...

- Explanation precepts (5, 8, 10, etc)

- What are mental formations, volitional formations, ...

- what did the buddha meant with 'letting go' and renunciation?

- Monks, nuns and lay followers: different rules for different people (maybe a topic explaining sex forbidden for monastics, but sex in a wholesome way for the lay followers? And the link between sex and good versus bad desires?)

- differences schools buddhism

- difference between rebirth and reincarnation; samsara; kamma

- 4 stages of enlightenment (also explaining the ten fetters).

- 31 realms of existence

- the six senses

- the five aggregates

- paramis

- brahma viharas (loving kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity)

- bases of power

- elaborate discussions on anger and other topics, as Chuck said: "I think it would also be interesting to take a subject like 'anger' say and look broadly at how that is treated over say 20 or 30 suttas. I have done this with a number of topics and find it really brings out a much better sense of how that quality is worked with in the practice."

- Maybe a separate thread with all kinds of general, interesting links to texts and podcasts, so that one doesn't need to open each thread (where we'll put the links containing information on that particular subject).

- maybe a 'top 10' with an overview of very important suttas, well known suttas as well as suttas who don't get the attention they deserve?

- maybe lesser known subjects, like samvega?

- maybe a topic about death, such as using it as a meditation subject, little explanation about 'charnel grounds' . And maybe a little something about dying as a buddhist. What the buddha said about the moment of death.

- maybe a little list of ' modern' people who were likely enlightened to a high degree, like Dipa Ma?

- a little topic about the important days for buddhists, like Wesak (Vesak), importance of the moon? I'm not sure if the Buddha himself talked about that, I seem to remember he said that certain things like visiting the place of enlightenment were important for your kamma, or something.

- 'fun' facts like the bodhi tree?

I think we could work on this for years emoticon

RE: A Buddha thread? [No-Second-Arrow Z] [MIGRATE]
Answer
5/13/14 3:45 AM as a reply to No-Second-Arrow Z.
Hey all,

Please feel free to check out the new subcategory:
http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/category/5531777

This thread here has served its purpose to create a new little space in the new DhO house emoticon

RE: A Buddha thread? [No-Second-Arrow Z] [MIGRATE]
Answer
5/13/14 2:37 PM as a reply to Ian And.
Hi Ian,
Agreed on all counts. I was hoping this topic would pique your interest.
Based on your suggestion, I started reading Richard Gombrick's What The Buddha Thought last night.
This is a great book and I am still reading the introduction - thanks much for the suggestion. 


RE: A Buddha thread? [No-Second-Arrow Z] [MIGRATE]
Answer
5/14/14 12:25 AM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Chuck Kasmire:
Hi Ian,
Based on your suggestion, I started reading Richard Gombrick's What The Buddha Thought last night.
This is a great book and I am still reading the introduction - thanks much for the suggestion. 


Glad you like it. Happy to contribute to your education.

I think you possess enough life experience to make sense of Gombrich's take on things and will greatly enjoy the insights he brings forth. There aren't too many people here that that might apply to. Fitter Stoke, Nicholai, and perhaps Beoman too. I respect each of these people's practice and level of attainment (in addition to present company, meaning yourself). 

Don't expect me to be able to contribute too much to this discussion, though. I'm bogged down with other writing projects that will keep me busy for the unforseeable future at the moment.  Have to make a living in this god awful economic depression we are being forced to live through.