Why do you think the Buddha's teachings fall short?

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Psi Phi, modified 7 Years ago.

Why do you think the Buddha's teachings fall short?

Posts: 1095 Join Date: 11/22/13 Recent Posts
This post is not specifically directed towards Not Tao, Beoman , and Felipe, though that may be implied, but also to anyone in general, yes even my brother Sawfoot.  Note: This is the DHO Battleground, so no emotionless crying I can't hand you a tissue, well you can cry if you want, I'll understand.

What do you see wrong in the Buddha's teaching, what is unwholesome, what is incorrect, why do you think you are an emotion, why is a peaceful jhana wrong, why is Bare Attention wrong? Why is karuna, mudita, metta, and uppekha wrong? Why is Right and Wholesome Livelihood wrong?  Why is understanding there is dukkha wrong? Why do you believe believe or not believe in permanence? Do you understand Craving?  What is wrong with practicing Right Speech?

I realise nor all of these questions pertain to anyone, just throwing out some ideas, to stir up some thoughts.

Did you not then practice Right Effort, specifically the right effort formula?  And why not, has this never been explained? Buddhist practice isn't just meditation, that is a misunderstanding on a drastic scale.  It isn't just noting(that is a method) Vipassana isn't noting either.  It means to see things the way they are.  If someone has the literal translation, that would help.

If you fully understood Right Effort, you may already understand it, you would see, this is probaly one of the missing ingredients to any practice.  It effectively deals with Unwholesome Mind States and should be used each and every time Unwholesome minds states arise, it is a re-training of the mind.

This is the same with Jhanas, the insight gained from jhanas is invaluable, one sees that joy can arise from within, independent from external triggers or conditions, and that Jhana is no permanent escape from reality, but that to be able to maintain a non-suppressive entry in to Jhana, one will have a peaceful , happy and contented mind for the majority of their daily living, for a trained mind sits down and is in jhana in a breath or two.  Jhanas are a support system, I am not sure if one that maintains Jhana could get depressed or remain so for long, How could they, they just have to arouse joy from within, BUT jhana is not an end, it is JUST a helpful means.

I am just explaining a few things from what I know directly, and understand that you are a very advanced practioner, whilst I might be just a novice, Still Buddhism is:

ONE PATH that has Eight Folds to it, if just one of the folds is not practiced then the whole of one's practice falls short, likewise, one can not expect to practice one fold of the patn only and expect to be on the full path.

Even yoga has eight limbs, it is not just about postures.  One leads to the other and they are intertwined and when intertwined it makes a strong rope.

And it seems, that if one concentrates too much one fold only, say Jhanas only , or Mindfulness only, there can be progress, but only in a warped fashion.  Instead of a tree growing straight, it would grow to one side only, or perhaps put roots down in only one or two directions instead of all eight.

I think people read MCTB and start Noting and blow off the other chapters, Daniel kind of leaves it up to us to study and practice the other aspects of the path, his great expertise being Insight, BUT he has pointed the finger towards the other aspects of the path, and I have only been on the board a short while and seen him mention this several times.  

I think this is the same with the Buddha not specifically teaching Jhana methods, that is not what he taught.  But this can be easly found elsewhere, dhyana, samadhi, there are tomes of Jhana methods.  Same with energy, arousing energy is very important on the path, but , not many how to methods in the Suttas, yet elswhere there is an abundance.

I am just a common spiritual practioner and I am curious as to why I see things others do not see, not all others , of course, I am curious as to other viewpoints.

I do stay within the direct words of the Buddha, (as close as it can get barring there were no electronic recordings back then)  But, I do also recognize other Enlightened People and respect their teachings as well, Dhamma is Dhamma, Phenomenon is Phenomenon.

And, lastly to start off, if you can't find anything unwholesome in the buddha's teaching, what is wrong with it?

Forget about the Dogma, please look directly to the teaching itself, forget the people the temples and the myths, what about the teachings??

Psi Phi
James Yen, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Why do you think the Buddha's teachings fall short?

Posts: 225 Join Date: 3/31/14 Recent Posts
Nothing to add.

I don't see anything wrong with the Buddha-dharma, in its manifold forms, it has benefited me greatly.
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Not Tao, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Why do you think the Buddha's teachings fall short?

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In a nutshell, I think Buddhism fails to address the idea of inhibitions.  By creating a system of strict morality, you end up avoiding the deep emotional issues, like lust and hatred, by suppressing them.  There are many passages right in the pali cannon that encourage the suppression of thought, and I think this is why.  You yourself, psi, told me that the PCE wasn't complete without thoughtlessness.  I've found that direct study of these deep emotional issues, without the burden of seeing them as incorrect or wrong, has allowed me to come to a more complete solution how to live with them and diffuse them.  Sex, especially, is just patently ignored by Buddhism, and it's probably the strongest craving we encounter.

Further, the pragmatic dharma scene is too focused on meditation as an all in one solution.  Not much else is even discussed. I'm starting to see these days that, if a person is going to meditate at all, they should do it only after resolving most of their emotional issues, otherwise the increased concentration can be very dangerous to mental stability.  I probably would have laughed at the idea that meditation could be dangerous before, but there you go, that's our cultural understanding.  The reason the dark night is seens as such a standard part of the path is because people see meditation as the solution to emotional problems.  Just grit your teeth and do it, right?  I don't think the Buddha talked about it this way.

EDIT: I see you mentioned the focus on meditation already, so I just second that with my second paragraph. ^^
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Psi Phi, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Why do you think the Buddha's teachings fall short?

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Not Tao:
  By creating a system of strict morality, you end up avoiding the deep emotional issues, like lust and hatred, by suppressing them.  There are many passages right in the pali cannon that encourage the suppression of thought, and I think this is why.  
What strict system of morality?  There is a harmonious morality, one with common sense, one in which an individual recognizes unwholesomeness and the effects of such actions in thought , word , and deed, and wholesome morality which one recognizes the effects of those thoughts, words, and deeds.  One then Recognizes, Changes, and doesn't Blame themselves or others.  One simply takes responsiblity and undertakes the training to practice wholesome thought, speech and action.  In no way does anyone avoid deep emotional issues, in fact they are faced directly towards their own behaviors, and take the individual responsiblity to deal with them , directly.  Lust and Hatred are first to be made aware ofm then attended to, suppressing is a form of ignoring, not dealing with anger and lust, that is ignorance.  Ignorance is at the core of anger and lust, if one is ignoring the triggers for anger and lust, or is ignoring the ways to calm and abandon anger and lust once it has arisen, the one will be at the mercy of the emotional reaction, led around by the nose.

What passages right in the Pali Canon encourage the suppression of thought that leads you to think Buddha taught people to ignore and/or suppress lust and anger.  I know of only one passage that uses a method to suppress anger, and that is the 5th method of 5 and used as a  last resort, when all else fails.  This one passage is also to have said to be a later inserted section.

This is all for now, I guess the sex topic is up to bat next, and quickly, (not quickee) I think it is fine for laypeople to have sex, (not all at once) if it is consentual , doesn't hurt anyone, and isn't unwholesome (underage children, animals, etc.)  This should be rather obvious, the rules for monks are different, but for laypeople , that is the jist of it.  Sex is a body function, and part of being human.

That's all for now, got a family obligation at the moment.

Metta

Bryan
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Not Tao, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Why do you think the Buddha's teachings fall short?

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If there is a divide in what monks and laypeople do, then that probably means it's not a religion for everyone.  Monks are prohibited from any kind of sexual behavior.  This isn't freedom, and it isn't morality, it's avoidance.  In fact, a theme in the abhidhamma is the exulted lonely monk meditating in a cave, removed from the world (see the rhinoceros section). This isn't a good way to resolve the human condition. If monks really wanted to set an example for humanity, they would make their own way in the world, have meaningful relationships, and show that its possible to enjoy life as a regular human being, not an ascetic. Instead they live off donations from hardworking people and tell them it will generate merit to help with their own enlightenment.

It's hard to know what the Buddha actually thought about these things.  It's the -ism that we have to critique, and buddhist scriptures, stories, and poetry is quite full of inhibitions.  By removing the concept of morality, wholesomeness, correctness, whatever you want to call it, we are forced to face things as they are, see ourselves as we are, and come to our own conclusions about what is correct and what isn't.

Let's take right speech as an example. You aren't supposed to say anything that would offend anyone for any reason, you're only supposed to talk about the dhamma, and you aren't supposed to say anything untrue for any reason. These guidelines will set up a whole network of checks in the mind where a person will monitor every word and sentence before it comes out. The buddha says directly that we should feel bad about breaking our precepts. This is 180 degrees opposite (if I may borrow the phrase) to how I see my own practice. If a person allows themself to let go of morality and the idea that they have to relate well to anyone at all, they will speak freely and openly. Because of this, they are more likely to speak what is true, to say pleasant things, and demonstrate contentment with their words. Contentment does not come from being moral, it comes from dumping inhibitions.
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Psi Phi, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Why do you think the Buddha's teachings fall short?

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Not TaoIf there is a divide in what monks and laypeople do, then that probably means it's not a religion for everyone.  Monks are prohibited from any kind of sexual behavior.  
I just posted on this, but let me explain from the monk/bhikkhuni side of things.

First what do you NEED sex for if you are a monk?  Sex has one logical reason, to make more humans.  Through evolutionary processes, the DNA combinations that had sex and were successful passed along their DNA combinations, the one's that had fun while doing it tended to procreate more and team up with other fun loving sex partners, passing along their DNA combinations.  So, a Monk/Bhikkhuni has no Need to procreate, so they don't need sex.  Maybe the subject just never comes up in a fully trained mind.  A fully trained mind would have access to joy and bliss at anytime anyway.  

There are over 7 billion people on the planet, when does that stop? at the planet's environmental ceiling?  Then what,  mass suffering?

So from that view if someone wants to willingly become celibate, why is that unwholesome?  Are they commiting a crime? Are they spreading disease? Are they really missing anything anyway? Are they being selfish and greedy?  Are they being hateful? Is their mind lusting for sex all the time, or maybe they are just at peace and are contented people?  Can't one be happy without being bothered by the sexual instinct and not be made fun of?  Are they being led around by their emotions?  Are they attatched to sensual pleasures?  Are they in some kind of pain or agony?

Maybe they are just disenchanted with the rigamarole of the whole sex scenario....

Besides, I am not a Monk, I am a layperson, don't practice sexual misconduct, so topic of Monk sex is irrelevant to my current experience.  
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Not Tao, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Why do you think the Buddha's teachings fall short?

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I don't see it as being about what's wholesome or not, it's about whether a person wants to be free or not.  A monk is prohibited from having any kind of sexual experience, and if they do they are thrown out.  It's not just sex, either.  Monks can't eat after noon, can't handle money, can't ask for help of any kind, the list goes on.  These are supposedly training rules, but in the end they're a list of inhibitions the monk takes on.  This obviously isn't a system designed for everyday people, nor is it a system designed to lead people to freedom from inhibitions.  It's a system to disenchant people, to make the world unpalatable - everything is imperminant, not self, and dukkha.

You can make the argument that laypeople don't have to take on these rules, but it's also assumed that householders aren't going to be enlightened.  Normal life is too full of attachments for a person to become disenchanted enough to reach enlightenment.  This is a common theme in the suttas.

I'd rather find freedom in everyday life by becoming enchanted with the world. emoticon
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Psi Phi, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Why do you think the Buddha's teachings fall short?

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Not Tao:

The buddha says directly that we should feel bad about breaking our precepts. 


Where?
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William Golden Finch, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Why do you think the Buddha's teachings fall short?

Posts: 558 Join Date: 11/17/13 Recent Posts
My girl is in the shower so I'll be quick with this as I think soon we will be watching Frozen Planet (Polar Bears, rawr! hahahaha*), but a more interesting question to me is why people who honestly believe that meditation is not useful and some of what are seen as the core principles of development (as they are spoken about here) are not useful would spend time hanging around a site such as this. I don't have an answer. I really honestly don't understand it. I feel in some ways that perhaps one day Beoman will just come out of the closet and announce that he and Felipe have been meditating secretly to Sharon Salzberg metta intensive retreats from a 1989 retreat for years, and "Will you guys please accept us back?", with lots of "emoticon" emoticons (that is a frown face, it connotes sadness). But it is an honest question. If you did not find something of value, why would you a hang around a site dedicated to those things. An important follow up question would be: Would a person who is happy spend their time on a site dedicated to opposing values, telling others how misunderstood they are. Just some thoughts. 

*hahaha generally connotes laughter, as in "wow, polar bears, that's different. laugh with me even though it's not that funny"
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Not Tao, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Why do you think the Buddha's teachings fall short?

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Personally, I learned about Actual Freedom first on here, and there is a small community of people practicing it here.  I enjoy debate as well, and people have strong practices to back up what they think.

I don't think I'm adding much useful information to this thread, though.  I haven't done any reading of the suttas for a number of months, so I'm mostly just picking at memories.  I spent a few minutes searching on Google for my references but I realized I didn't actually care very much, haha.

Truth be told, I've never fully understood what Buddhism is supposed to be.  I thought I knew when I was reading the sutta pitaka, but then all the Buddhists I read seemed to be talking about something different. It's tough to navigate these arguments because people will jump from talking about scriptures, to commentaries, to traditional aspects, to modern meditation masters, and it's impossible to know what any individual person is willing to reject or embrace or translate through their own lenses. That's one of the reasons I dropped any associations I might have had - I never actually found a home anywhere.
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Psi Phi, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Why do you think the Buddha's teachings fall short?

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Not Tao:
Personally, I learned about Actual Freedom first on here, and there is a small community of people practicing it here.  I enjoy debate as well, and people have strong practices to back up what they think.

I don't think I'm adding much useful information to this thread, though.  I haven't done any reading of the suttas for a number of months, so I'm mostly just picking at memories.  I spent a few minutes searching on Google for my references but I realized I didn't actually care very much, haha.

Truth be told, I've never fully understood what Buddhism is supposed to be.  I thought I knew when I was reading the sutta pitaka, but then all the Buddhists I read seemed to be talking about something different. It's tough to navigate these arguments because people will jump from talking about scriptures, to commentaries, to traditional aspects, to modern meditation masters, and it's impossible to know what any individual person is willing to reject or embrace or translate through their own lenses. That's one of the reasons I dropped any associations I might have had - I never actually found a home anywhere.
That's okay, I understand, welcome home, let us just be spiritual practioners, or just be humans.  Hi, human.  For me it becomes extremely simple and straightforward, though maybe not super easy to practice , but nothing really valuable comes easy now does it?

For me it's like this:

There is dukkha, and dukkha comes from wanting things or situations a certain way when they are not, and dukkha comes from not wanting things a certain way when they are, this comes from a delusion of Me, Me wants it, Me doesn't wants it.  When it is in reality there is no Me other than a mental construct, the illusion dispels, when there is no me, there is no more wanting or not wanting arising from the Me formation.  Then there is just reality , or Dharma, (phenomenon).  At that point, one is free.  If one hasn't uprooted the me wanting and me not wanting syndrome, then it will grow back, and the cycle will recur again and again, like the impersonal  process that it is.  

(don't worry about the me thing right now, exept maybe to catch even one mind moment without it, just drop it all, and see what's there)

Luckily, there are ways to reduce this cycle, and if if one can not permanently eliminate the cycle, the progress so far has shown me that it , works , it is real, it is not a fairy tale, and there are positive results.  Not mere promises.  

And, to be sure there is more than one method or teaching that will bring about change and positive results.  Many methods. But minds are minds, what one mind can do any mind can do, (barring physical damage and what not).

And lastly, yes just read the Sutta is best, it was suggested to me to read one sutta, a little at a time, and practice what is taught, read a little practice etc.

 But if you aren't interested right now, that's fine, especially if you are making progress on identifying and resolving at the emotional level with Actual Freedom.  Especially learning to recognize emotional triggers, what starts the emotional cycle?  What reduces or removes unwanted emotional cycles?  Investigate phenomonen, understanding the way things work is Wisdom, and Wisdom is the only way out.  

Humans, may we all find peace

Psi Phi
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William Golden Finch, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Why do you think the Buddha's teachings fall short?

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Not Tao,

       You do not have a strong practice to back up what you think. Your opinions on stream entry, the stages of insight, non-self have been conjectures based upon your limited understanding and the acknolwedgment you have not actually experienced these things. You have said this yourself. Your stating the opposite here demonstrates the illogical and inconsistent/flimsy nature of your beliefs and ideas.     
        Also there is not one buddhism. Tantric Buddhism priviliges sex and has much to say about emotions.
        Finally, now that you have realized that the aims of the site are not useful to you, why continue to post so fervently? I don't mean that in a "you're not allowed here because you have different ideas" way. I am again genuinely asking: if you think the general concensus of the message board (not that such a thing exists as one unified front, but it is clear from Danie's mission statement that meditation is a priority) is not useful, why post?
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Psi Phi, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Why do you think the Buddha's teachings fall short?

Posts: 1095 Join Date: 11/22/13 Recent Posts
Not Tao:


It's hard to know what the Buddha actually thought about these things. 
Why, what is so hard exactly?


It's the -ism that we have to critique, and buddhist scriptures, stories, and poetry is quite full of inhibitions. 
Where does the Buddha dispaly inhibitions in the scripture, stories, or poetry?


By removing the concept of morality, wholesomeness, correctness, whatever you want to call it, we are forced to face things as they are, see ourselves as we are, and come to our own conclusions about what is correct and what isn't.
Why do you want to remove what is morale, wholesome, or correct?   Perhaps by using our minds for ourselves to see what is wholesome or unwholesome we can then work on change, and come to the conclusions that will lead to a greater harmony, instead of fighting it all the time.  I do agree one does have to come to their own conclusions about what is correct and what isn't.  As long as it isn't a selfish view of correctness, or correct for one but at another's expense.


Let's take right speech as an example. You aren't supposed to say anything that would offend anyone for any reason

It is speech that is not to harm others, if someone is offended, usually it is because of the ego defense mechanism, For instance, if someone is smoking around a baby, and one tells them to please not smoke around the baby, they might get offended, but where is the harm?

you're only supposed to talk about the dhamma,
Dharma:
  • The state of Nature as it is (yathā bhūta)[1]
  • The Laws of Nature considered both collectively and individually.
  • The teaching of the Buddha as an exposition of the Natural Law applied to the problem of human suffering.
  • A phenomenon and/or its properties.[2]
Yes, I have read that



and you aren't supposed to say anything untrue for any reason.
I agree

These guidelines will set up a whole network of checks in the mind where a person will monitor every word and sentence before it comes out.
Yes, that is where Right Mindfulness comes in, being aware, nobody said training the mind was easy or automatic.  The language centers aof the mind are relatively new, evolutionary speaking , for us, the training can be difficult, I see it as a game or a sport.  I have alot to do on the Right Speech Fold of the path.


The buddha says directly that we should feel bad about breaking our precepts. This is 180 degrees opposite (if I may borrow the phrase) to how I see my own practice. 

Maybe one should know shame for causing harmm , and use that as an indicator of where one should focus their efforts, but no-one said anyone should walk around feeling bad, that's guilt, that's not very useful and is unwholesome, Recognize, No Blame, and Change.
If a person allows themself to let go of morality and the idea that they have to relate well to anyone at all, they will speak freely and openly. Because of this, they are more likely to speak what is true, to say pleasant things, and demonstrate contentment with their words. Contentment does not come from being moral, it comes from dumping inhibitions.
That sounds exactly like what most people do, what a catastrophe!  No, when most people speak openly and freely, they usually tell little lies and whatnot, gossip, backbite, bitch and moan, poke fun at each other, and most do not speak words full of contentment.  


p.s. I did turn myself 180 degrees just now and I was standing on the same spot.  emoticon

Wherever you go , there you are.

In peace

Psi Phi
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Not Tao, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Why do you think the Buddha's teachings fall short?

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These guidelines will set up a whole network of checks in the mind where a person will monitor every word and sentence before it comes out.
Yes, that is where Right Mindfulness comes in, being aware, nobody said training the mind was easy or automatic. The language centers aof the mind are relatively new, evolutionary speaking , for us, the training can be difficult, I see it as a game or a sport. I have alot to do on the Right Speech Fold of the path.


Since you have agreed with me here, maybe I can focus my argument on this. Placing checks on the actions is the wrong place to look, in my opinion. I would rather find the freedom of being able to say anything without feeling bad about it. I believe this freedom will lead to what buddhists consider wholesome because the absence of malice will cause a person to speak from contentment.

So the difference is, I see no need to train what I say, but rather to train how I feel. This way, if I accidentally say something untrue or unkind, there is no loss of tranquility. My path seems to be leading me towards spontenaity, so the only "right action" I might be developing is the completely artless personality of a mind that doesn't consider anything very important. Training in morality ADDS inhibitions and checks on what the mind is supposed to do. Training in spontenaity releases these inhibitions. You can add things forever, but you can only subtract until nothing is left.
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Psi Phi, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Why do you think the Buddha's teachings fall short?

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Not Tao:
These guidelines will set up a whole network of checks in the mind where a person will monitor every word and sentence before it comes out.
Yes, that is where Right Mindfulness comes in, being aware, nobody said training the mind was easy or automatic. The language centers aof the mind are relatively new, evolutionary speaking , for us, the training can be difficult, I see it as a game or a sport. I have alot to do on the Right Speech Fold of the path.


Since you have agreed with me here, maybe I can focus my argument on this. Placing checks on the actions is the wrong place to look, in my opinion. I would rather find the freedom of being able to say anything without feeling bad about it. I believe this freedom will lead to what buddhists consider wholesome because the absence of malice will cause a person to speak from contentment.

So the difference is, I see no need to train what I say, but rather to train how I feel. This way, if I accidentally say something untrue or unkind, there is no loss of tranquility. My path seems to be leading me towards spontenaity, so the only "right action" I might be developing is the completely artless personality of a mind that doesn't consider anything very important. Training in morality ADDS inhibitions and checks on what the mind is supposed to do. Training in spontenaity releases these inhibitions. You can add things forever, but you can only subtract until nothing is left.
These guidelines will set up a whole network of checks in the mind where a person will monitor every word and sentence before it comes out.

This is what I agreed to, and I basically said it is not an easy training, but not an impossible training, if it is too hard don't do worry about it.

I see through your debating tricks of trying to say I agree with you then making claims and diversions about another subject.  

The subject was Right Speech, you then avoided the subject and went on to describe Tranquility (Samma Samadhi), and about inhibitions.  Maybe it is just the ego rationalizing excuses to hang on to the practice of wrong and harmful speech.

Why do you think morality ADDS inhibitions? Through training, one will reduce inhibitions, one becomes wholesome naturally, then inhibitions are not even a topic for discussion. The training is not suppressing or inhibiting, it is a process to incline the mind in a wholesome direction, simply put, Recognition, no Blame, and Change.  

Maybe you do just like to debate.

Psi Phi
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Nicky Dee, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Why do you think the Buddha's teachings fall short?

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Not Tao:
If there is a divide in what monks and laypeople do, then that probably means it's not a religion for everyone.  Monks are prohibited from any kind of sexual behavior.  This isn't freedom, and it isn't morality, it's avoidance....Contentment does not come from being moral, it comes from dumping inhibitions.

It is very clear in Buddhism that the pleasure & bliss of non-sexuality, i.e., the bliss of meditation/jhana, far surpasses the pleasure (frought with suffering) of sexuality. The monks are not avoiding anything. The monks are giving up a lesser pleasure to obtain a greater pleasure.

The Dhammapada states:

290. If by renouncing a lesser happiness one may realize a greater happiness, let the wise man renounce the lesser, having regard for the greater.

As for 'morality', Buddhism explains: "non-harming is happiness in this world". As for 'dumping inhibitions', Buddhism would certainly say this will lead to great suffering. Buddhism is 'The Middle Way', i.e., not too strict, not too uninhibited.

emoticon
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Not Tao, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Why do you think the Buddha's teachings fall short?

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Hi Nicky,

You don't need to give up much of anything to practice jhana meditation. In fact, removing inhibitions is probably the easiest way to fuel concentration practice. I think even mass murderers could do jhana. So to say monks are giving up sex to do jhana doen't really add up. That's like saying I will give up eating pizza because I want to eat ice cream. I'm perfectly capable of eating both - even at the same time. They go well together too!

Dumping inhibitions hasn't led to any suffering on my part. It's actually improved my life dramatically in a short period of time. emoticon
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Nicky Dee, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Why do you think the Buddha's teachings fall short?

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Not Tao:
Hi Nicky,

You don't need to give up much of anything to practice jhana meditation. In fact, removing inhibitions is probably the easiest way to fuel concentration practice. I think even mass murderers could do jhana. So to say monks are giving up sex to do jhana doen't really add up. That's like saying I will give up eating pizza because I want to eat ice cream. I'm perfectly capable of eating both - even at the same time. They go well together too!

Dumping inhibitions hasn't led to any suffering on my part. It's actually improved my life dramatically in a short period of time. emoticon

Thanks

The jhana I am referring to is obviously not the 'jhana' you are imagining. The jhana I am referring to is the jhana of the Buddha, which, when reached, there is no longer any interest in sensual or sexual pleasures. To quote:

~~"I myself, before my Awakening, when I was still an unawakened bodhisatta, saw as it actually was with right discernment that sensuality is of much stress, much despair & greater drawbacks, but as long as I had not attained a rapture & pleasure apart from sensuality, apart from unskillful mental qualities, or something more peaceful than that, I did not claim that I could not be tempted by sensuality. But when I saw as it actually was with right discernment that sensuality is of much stress, much despair, & greater drawbacks, and I had attained a rapture & pleasure apart from sensuality, apart from unskillful mental qualities, or something more peaceful than that, that was when I claimed that I could not be tempted by sensuality.

~~'Now, I — without moving my body, without uttering a word — can dwell sensitive to unalloyed pleasure for a day and a night... for two days & nights... for three... four... five... six... seven days & nights.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.014.than.html

Many salespersons are selling jhana but when you can sit without moving with unalloyed pleasure for at least a day & a night and when your mind has zero interest in sexual & sensual pleasures due to attaining a far greater pleasure, then you have the jhana described by the Buddha.

As for your dumping inhibitions, this sounds like some kind of psychotherapeutic matter arising from some repressed or strict childhood. Although this is certainly a step in the right direction & I am very happy to read this, it is unrelated to Buddhist freedom.

Take care. emoticon
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Psi Phi, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Why do you think the Buddha's teachings fall short?

Posts: 1095 Join Date: 11/22/13 Recent Posts
Not Tao :
In a nutshell, I think Buddhism fails to address the idea of inhibitions.  By creating a system of strict morality, you end up avoiding the deep emotional issues, like lust and hatred, by suppressing them. 

The fourth one (repeated below)
is very pertinent to the practice you describe, this is a good book , by the way.

“When you are angry, and you suffer, please go
back and inspect very deeply the content, the nature
of your perceptions. If you are capable of removing
the wrong perception, peace and happiness will
be restored in you, and you will be able to
love the other person again.”
 


From:

Taming the Tiger Within  by Thich Nhat Hanh

“When you say something unkind, when you
do something in retaliation, your anger increases.
You make the other person suffer, and they try hard
to say or do something back to make you suffer,
and get relief from their suffering. That is
how conflict escalates.”

“Just like our organs, our anger is part of us.
When we are angry, we have to go back to ourselves
and take good care of our anger. We cannot say,
‘Go away, anger, I don’t want you.’ When you have
a stomachache, you don’t say, ‘I don’t want you
stomach, go away.’ No, you take care of it.
In the same way, we have to embrace and
take good care of our anger.”
 

“Just because anger or hate is present does not
mean that the capacity to love and accept
is not there; love is always with you.”
 

“When you are angry, and you suffer, please go
back and inspect very deeply the content, the nature
of your perceptions. If you are capable of removing
the wrong perception, peace and happiness will
be restored in you, and you will be able to
love the other person again.”
 

“When you get angry with someone, please don’t
pretend that you are not angry. Don’t pretend that
you don’t suffer. If the other person is dear to you,
then you have to confess that you are angry, and that
you suffer. Tell him or her in a calm, loving way.”
 

“In the beginning you may not understand the
nature of your anger, or why it has come to be.
But if you know how to embrace it with the
energy of mindfulness, it will begin
to become clear to you.”
 

“Anger is like a howling baby, suffering and crying.
Your anger is your baby. The baby needs his mother
to embrace him. You are the mother.
Embrace your baby.”
 

“Anger has roots in nonanger elements. It
has roots in the way we live our daily life. If we
take good care of everything in us, without
discrimination, we prevent our negative energies
from dominating. We reduce the strength
of our negative seeds so that they
won’t overwhelm us.”
 

“In a time of anger or despair, even if we feel
overwhelmed, our love is still there. Our capacity to
communicate, to forgive, to be compassionate is
still there. You have to believe this. We are more
than our anger, we are more than our suffering.
We must recognize that we do have within
us the capacity to love, to understand,
to be compassionate, always.”
 

“When we embrace anger and take good care of
our anger, we obtain relief. We can look deeply into
it and gain many insights. One of the first insights
may be that the seed of anger in us has grown too
big, and is the main cause of our misery. As we
begin to see this reality, we realize that the other
person, whom our anger is directed at, is only
a secondary cause. The other person is
not the real cause of our anger.”

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Psi Phi, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Why do you think the Buddha's teachings fall short?

Posts: 1095 Join Date: 11/22/13 Recent Posts
Not Tao:

Further, the pragmatic dharma scene is too focused on meditation as an all in one solution.  Not much else is even discussed. I'm starting to see these days that, if a person is going to meditate at all, they should do it only after resolving most of their emotional issues, otherwise the increased concentration can be very dangerous to mental stability.  I probably would have laughed at the idea that meditation could be dangerous before, but there you go, that's our cultural understanding.  The reason the dark night is seens as such a standard part of the path is because people see meditation as the solution to emotional problems.  Just grit your teeth and do it, right?  I don't think the Buddha talked about it this way.

EDIT: I see you mentioned the focus on meditation already, so I just second that with my second paragraph. ^^
Well, Wrong Mindfulness and Wrong Concentration will certainly not help, but Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration are indeed very beneficial, not only to spiritual practice, but also to a healthy sane mind.  Scientific studies are proving this.  But, one can overdo anything, one can't emulate Daniel Ingram who has 20 plus years of meditation practice, and jump right into a Goenka Retreat.  One has to build up to these things.  For honesty's sake, I've never been on a formal retreat, I'm not sure I am ready, and even if I was , I need vaction time and money for travel / dana.  Things are just to tight, so I do what I can do.  Besides Life is a waking meditation for my practice, Paying attention to what the mind is doing in the present moment, being aware of external triggers to internal emotional reactions, practicing being nice and helpful, not being greedy and/or selfish, using right speech (Is what I am about to say going to improve the silence, or is it going to harm someone?)  And if I mess up, recognize it, change the behavior starting from this moment going forward.  Blaming one's self only adds more dukkha, then you not only have the dukkha by not being harmonious, but you add the negativity of blaming yourself for something aready in the past.

As to Dark Night, No Comment.

Metta

Bryan
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Nicky Dee, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Why do you think the Buddha's teachings fall short?

Posts: 484 Join Date: 8/2/14 Recent Posts
Not Tao:
In a nutshell, I think Buddhism fails to address the idea of inhibitions.  By creating a system of strict morality, you end up avoiding the deep emotional issues, like lust and hatred, by suppressing them.  There are many passages right in the pali cannon that encourage the suppression of thought, and I think this is why.  You yourself, psi, told me that the PCE wasn't complete without thoughtlessness.  I've found that direct study of these deep emotional issues, without the burden of seeing them as incorrect or wrong, has allowed me to come to a more complete solution how to live with them and diffuse them.  Sex, especially, is just patently ignored by Buddhism, and it's probably the strongest craving we encounter.


Although the Buddha-Dhamma is perfect, it has always been understood by the wise that it is not accessible to all beings, particularly those deficient in wisdom.

The Path in Buddhism is the Noble Eightfold Path, which starts (rather than ends) with Right Understanding (wisdom). If the true benefit & true harms of sexuality are not clearly comprehended, then the instinctual (animilistic) sexual urge cannot be controlled, let alone extinguished.

Sexual craving is only the strongest craving to a mind immersed in ignorance. The Buddha taught:


Monks, ignorance is the leader in the attainment of unskillful qualities, followed by lack of conscience & lack of concern. In an unknowledgeable person, immersed in ignorance, wrong view arises. In one of wrong view, wrong resolve arises. In one of wrong resolve, wrong speech... In one of wrong speech, wrong action... In one of wrong action, wrong livelihood... In one of wrong livelihood, wrong effort... In one of wrong effort, wrong mindfulness... In one of wrong mindfulness, wrong concentration arises.

Avijja Sutta: Ignorance

For example, when I was a young man, I had plenty of sexual cravings. However, it only required one profound insight into the profound harm (wrongly practised) sex can cause to extinguish my sexual orientation. The extinguishing of my sexual phenomology was unrelated to 'strict morality'. It was related to wisdom & the arising of deep compassion (conscience & concern). A couple of years later, when I chanced upon Buddhism, my mind immediately entered into samadhi as soon as I comprehended how to practise meditation correctly.

Buddhism is not a doctrine of moral effort, say like Islam. Buddhism is a doctrine of wisdom, which is why 'Buddha' means 'the wise one'. It is not the Buddhist teaching that fall short but it is the wisdom of people that falls short.

If the actual benefits & harms of sex are comprehended clearly, then sexuality will be under control (even if one is of the dispostion to engage in sexuality).

It is important to understand 'morality' in Buddhism does not mean 'discipline'. Instead, 'morality' in Buddhism means 'non-harming'. From a Buddhist perspective, anything behaviour outside of the moral boundaries set by Buddhism is harmful behaviour. Naturally, when wisdom discerns that certain motivations lead to harming others, those motivations (cravings) will naturally reduce & even end.

emoticonemoticonemoticon
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Nāgariko Bhikkhu, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Why do you think the Buddha's teachings fall short?

Posts: 3 Join Date: 4/21/11 Recent Posts
Not Tao said: "In a nutshell, I think Buddhism fails to address the idea of inhibitions.  By creating a system of strict morality, you end up avoiding the deep emotional issues, like lust and hatred, by suppressing them."

The Nikāyas fully address inhibitions precisely through a strict moral code (for idiots, the primary aim of Dhamma is not petty morality), and gives the aspirant the appropriate analysis of such through contemplation of the rise and fall of nīvaraṇā.   
 
Not Tao said: "There are many passages right in the pali cannon that encourage the suppression of thought."
 
Yes, when such suppression is skilful.
 
Not Tao said: "I've found that direct study of these deep emotional issues, without the burden of seeing them as incorrect or wrong, has allowed me to come to a more complete solution how to live with them and diffuse them."
 
Again, what is ‘incorrect or wrong’ is the take of petty morality, whereas ‘direct study’ is addressed fully with analysis of the nīvaraṇā, saṃyojana, kilesa, anusaya etc.
 
Not Tao said: "Sex, especially, is just patently ignored by Buddhism, and it's probably the strongest craving we encounter."
 
How could you have missed kāma, which comes up 1634 times & rāga which comes up 1242 times in suttanta?
 
Not Tao said: "Further, the pragmatic dharma scene is too focused on meditation as an all in one solution.  Not much else is even discussed."
 
You are surly joking here.
 
Not Tao said: "I'm starting to see these days that, if a person is going to meditate at all, they should do it only after resolving most of their emotional issues, otherwise the increased concentration can be very dangerous to mental stability."
 
But this is precisely where contemplative morality comes in.  
 
    "Idha bhikkhave vivicceva kāmehi vivicca akusalehi dhammehi savitakkaṃ savicāraṃ vivekajaṃ pītisukhaṃ paṭhamaṃ jhānaṃ upasampajja vihārati." (DN 22 Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna Sutta)

    "Here monks, quite secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unskillful phenomena, a monk enters and remains in the first jhāna, which includes directed thought and evaluation, as well as joy and pleasure born of seclusion."
 
Not Tao said: "The reason the dark night is seens as such a standard part of the path is because people see meditation as the solution to emotional problems.  Just grit your teeth and do it, right?  I don't think the Buddha talked about it this way."
 
What is this ‘dark night’ BS?
 
Best wishes,
Nāgariko
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Psi Phi, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Why do you think the Buddha's teachings fall short?

Posts: 1095 Join Date: 11/22/13 Recent Posts
The reason we find it so difficult to be really mindful is the fact that true attention shows us that there is no person, only mind and body. It is like coming up against a wall and instead of digging through that wall, the mind veers off and doesn’t want to know anything further. True mindfulness has arisen when there is only the action but no doer. With divided mindfulness we experience both, the one who is mindful and the one who is being watched. If we use precision in our attention, we see—even if only for a moment—that no person is embedded in our mind/body process.
Ayya Khema, from Within Our Own Hearts
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Not Tao, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Why do you think the Buddha's teachings fall short?

Posts: 997 Join Date: 4/5/14 Recent Posts
I also think the focus on anatta is unhelpful.  Thanks for reminding me. :3
James Yen, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Why do you think the Buddha's teachings fall short?

Posts: 225 Join Date: 3/31/14 Recent Posts
Some issues I see with DhO-culture:

  • Overemphasis on meditation, often to the detriment of the practitioner, if practiced correctly there should be no dark night (re: patipada-vagga of the anguttara nikaya). The Buddha explicitly censures meditation that supersorbs, besorbs, absorbs and resorbs one's mind in unwholesome nivaranas, such as doubt, restlessness, remorse, sloth and torpor etc.
  • Disparaging of intellectual knowledge of scripture, to the detriment of the practitioner. A practitioner will benefit greatly from having a correct view and being able to distinguish between Buddha-dharma and other doctrines. Because of lack of grounding in Canon, many practitioners here have strayed and taken up what "seem to be" similar to qualitatively similar doctrines. Re: The monk of the fourth stage of meditation (from Dogen's Shobogenzo)
  • Excessive removal of dogma and tradition, both of which are helpful, by cleaning the slate and starting from the beginning, we throw out the baby with the bathwater, and have to figure out everything ourselves, via introspective meditation, this method of obtaining correct view is censured by the Buddha (re: Brahmajala Sutta, also see Licchavi Bhaddiya Sutta (translated by Piya Tan))
  • Overemphasis on, and identification with, temporary meditative states and experiences. The Buddha prescribes dis-idenfication even with the jhanas.

My 2 cents.

I am not censuring this community however, I fully endorse this community as a genuine sangha and consisting of Dharma practitioners, however due to lack of scriptural study, and lack of grounding in the Dhamma (right view), certain meditators will spiral when they start meditating from a blank slate. Without a view, they may even believe their experiences!
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Psi Phi, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Why do you think the Buddha's teachings fall short?

Posts: 1095 Join Date: 11/22/13 Recent Posts
Not Tao:
I also think the focus on anatta is unhelpful.  Thanks for reminding me. :3
Yes, very perplexing !  It's like a rubic's cube made of millions of neurons!
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Nicky Dee, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Why do you think the Buddha's teachings fall short?

Posts: 484 Join Date: 8/2/14 Recent Posts
Not Tao:
I also think the focus on anatta is unhelpful.  Thanks for reminding me. :3

A tree cannot be climbed from the top. Buddhism begins with the aspiration to non-harming & non-suffering. emoticon
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Droll Dedekind, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Why do you think the Buddha's teachings fall short?

Posts: 634 Join Date: 11/15/13 Recent Posts
Like many around here, I don't feel the need to follow Buddha's teachings to a tee. All of Buddha's supplementary teachings have been significantly improved upon. I'm satisfied with Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha.

Though if I had to choose one aspect I would agree that Buddha's attitude toward sex is the worst part of his teachings. I also agree with another poster that said the Tantrics have a lot to say about sexuality and emotion. Though, the Tantrics have always constituted a minority of practitioners, and Tantric practices are hardly ever discussed on the DhO.

Sexuality is central to psychology and spirituality. That sex could ever be ignored or considered secondary in matters of liberation amazes me. I strongly suspect that the emotional well-being many DhOers seem to be seeking in AF would better be sought in restoring their own natural sexuality via their bodies. I find the work of Reich, Lowen, Pierrakos, and Hyatt useful in this regard.
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Not Tao, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Why do you think the Buddha's teachings fall short?

Posts: 997 Join Date: 4/5/14 Recent Posts
Haha, that sounded so Freudian!

(EDIT: In a good way emoticon )
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Droll Dedekind, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Why do you think the Buddha's teachings fall short?

Posts: 634 Join Date: 11/15/13 Recent Posts
Reich was a personal student of Freud. He extended Freud's ideas about sexuality. Lowen and Pierrakos were students of Reich. Hyatt was a student of Regardie who was a student of Reich and Crowley who was a student of the Tantrics.

So, Reichian/Crowleyian/Tantric actually emoticon
James Yen, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Why do you think the Buddha's teachings fall short?

Posts: 225 Join Date: 3/31/14 Recent Posts
In case anyone wants some source materials on Tantra. The following are some translations of root tantras, along with their commentaries, there is also hagiographic book on the lives of the 84 Mahasiddhas, as well as a translation of Tsongkhapa's "A Brilliant Lamp To Illuminate The Five Stages":

https://www.dropbox.com/s/kydwa572smhsiwy/David-L-Snellgrove-The-Hevajra-Tantra.pdf?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/1tev66n2ad2l6yh/David-Barton-Gray-The-Cakrasamvara-Tantra.pdf?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ir6pj0ikw1q123j/Guhyasamaja-Critical-Study.pdf?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ub6lfovz32bf82q/Keith-Dowman-Masters-of-Mahamudra.pdf?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/jy8lwafyws653zl/Thurman-Robert-a-F-Tr-Tsong-Khapa-Losang-Drakpa-Brilliant-Illumination-of-the-Lamp-of-the-Five-Stages.pdf?dl=0

You will notice that the tantras are noticeably less ritualistic and dogmatic than their Tibetan traditions, in Tibet it is necessary to receive empowerment, as well as follow strict samaya and so on and so forth before receiving secret instructions on karmamudra. In the tantras, the yogin is merely instructed to find a consort after he "has generated some heat".

There was a long section within the Mahamudra article on Wikipedia, which I will reproduce for you here that emphasizes the sexuality of Mahamudra:



Can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mahamudra&diff=592198086&oldid=591190428

Cheers,

James

Edit:

The text in the image is very small, in order to view the full size image, please right click it and select: view image, or you could just download it.
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Psi Phi, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Why do you think the Buddha's teachings fall short?

Posts: 1095 Join Date: 11/22/13 Recent Posts
Droll Dedekind:
Like many around here, I don't feel the need to follow Buddha's teachings to a tee. All of Buddha's supplementary teachings have been significantly improved upon. I'm satisfied with Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha.

Though if I had to choose one aspect I would agree that Buddha's attitude toward sex is the worst part of his teachings. I also agree with another poster that said the Tantrics have a lot to say about sexuality and emotion. Though, the Tantrics have always constituted a minority of practitioners, and Tantric practices are hardly ever discussed on the DhO.

Sexuality is central to psychology and spirituality. That sex could ever be ignored or considered secondary in matters of liberation amazes me. I strongly suspect that the emotional well-being many DhOers seem to be seeking in AF would better be sought in restoring their own natural sexuality via their bodies. I find the work of Reich, Lowen, Pierrakos, and Hyatt useful in this regard.
Yeah, well Buddha didn't teach about sexual energies and the spiritual aspects thereof, he taught cessation of suffering.  All I really know is buddha said to undertake the training not to get involved in sexual mis-conduct.  Then there is the Monk rules, but hey, maybe that is just rites and rituals, I don't believe every thing I read, and most don't, we investigate to see if it is true or not.

So Investigation is the key.

And if one wants to learn other subjects other that what the Buddha taught, I am all for it, The Buddha didn't teach Evolutionary Biology, or Quantum Physics, History, Art, Music, Taoist Energy Practices, Arousing Kundalini , or whatever.  So yeah,  the Buddha fell short on teaching things he didn't teach.

I just don't worry about the sex thing, it is a part of human nature, a natural function, maybe his wife wouldn't let him talk about it....

Maybe I just don't know...

Psi

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