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True and Proper Buddhist teaching

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On 2/6/2020 at 1:52 PM, rockyysdt said:

Hi Vincent.

 

The only caveat to this criterion is that one must devote ones entire life (or perhaps lives) towards conscientious practice before one can arrive at "knowing"!

 

In other words, considerable faith is needed.

 

Rocky

 

Maybe its like a good book you just cannot put down.

 

Do you need faith to believe you will reach the end?

 

Maybe it like people don't want to stop or cannot stop.

 

😀

 

If you have received a precious gift will you want to throw it away? 

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11 hours ago, rockyysdt said:

Hi Vincent.

 

When I look at Buddhism, I don't just see the journey, but I see the ultimate goal, Awakening.

 

How can one "know for themselves" Awakening?

 

Why would one embark on a very demanding lifestyle and practice if there is no "know for themselves"?

 

Further, isn't thoughtful reasoning and introspection coloured to varying degrees, due to each individuals conditioning?

Wouldn't such reasoning and introspection be tainted by each individuals degree of greed, hate, and delusion?

 

Things, such as reasoning before acting, to avoid greed, hate, and delusion, can also be achieved through ethical living.

 

Why the Buddhist path unless there is more?

 

 

Doesn't that bring us back to the need for quite a lot of faith, for without it how can one possibly embark on immense sustained effort (specific practice), in order to work towards attaining a level of "knowing for oneself"?

 

 

Hi Rocky,

Surely any degree of awakening is a state of mind that has to be experienced by the individual in order to be understood, whether it's one of the many partial awakenings that would probably occur along the path, or the final, full awakening, known as Nirvana.

 

I'm a bit skeptical of concepts such as 'Reincarnation'. I need some degree of reliable evidence before I can have 'faith' in something. I tend to think that the ancient Vedic concept of reincarnation, and the Buddhist modification of that concept, are similar to the ancient Greek and Indian proposals that there is a limit to the smallest size of a piece of  matter, and that smallest size, which can't be broken further, is called the 'atom'. This was a rational and logical idea.

 

It took many hundreds of years before that hypothesis could be confirmed. However, some time later the atom was split, proving that the atom is not the smallest particle.

 

In the absence of any knowledge of genetics, and the great variety in the human genome, and the more recent concept of epigenetic inheritance, a theory of Reincarnation was perhaps the best explanation in those ancient times for the observation of strange medical conditions and behavioural traits that some children and adults showed, that were quite different from either of their parents.

 

The problem I have with religious faith in general, is the non-questioning attitude that such faith seems to require.

 

I believe in the benefits of meditation because I've experienced them for myself. I accept many of the teachings attributed to the Buddha because they make sense, and I cannot fault them

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13 hours ago, VincentRJ said:

Hi Rocky,

Surely any degree of awakening is a state of mind that has to be experienced by the individual in order to be understood, whether it's one of the many partial awakenings that would probably occur along the path, or the final, full awakening, known as Nirvana.

 

I'm a bit skeptical of concepts such as 'Reincarnation'. I need some degree of reliable evidence before I can have 'faith' in something. I tend to think that the ancient Vedic concept of reincarnation, and the Buddhist modification of that concept, are similar to the ancient Greek and Indian proposals that there is a limit to the smallest size of a piece of  matter, and that smallest size, which can't be broken further, is called the 'atom'. This was a rational and logical idea.

 

It took many hundreds of years before that hypothesis could be confirmed. However, some time later the atom was split, proving that the atom is not the smallest particle.

 

In the absence of any knowledge of genetics, and the great variety in the human genome, and the more recent concept of epigenetic inheritance, a theory of Reincarnation was perhaps the best explanation in those ancient times for the observation of strange medical conditions and behavioural traits that some children and adults showed, that were quite different from either of their parents.

 

The problem I have with religious faith in general, is the non-questioning attitude that such faith seems to require.

 

I believe in the benefits of meditation because I've experienced them for myself. I accept many of the teachings attributed to the Buddha because they make sense, and I cannot fault them

Thanks Vincent.

 

In his quest for Awakening, the Buddha explored a number of practices which failed to bear fruit.

 

Yoga, for example can easily yield a healthy and mindful life and is relatively easy to adopt.

But can it yield Awakening?

 

The other practices the Buddha tried with no luck.

Weren't these practices capable of providing deep levels of relaxation and reduced stress, all capable of enhancing ones life?

 

None of these, however yielded Awakening.

 

Only practice of the Buddhas teaching (or teachings capable of yielding the same state) results in Awakening.

 

My understanding is that the Monkhood was devised, as the Buddha new that without full time practice it would be very difficult to realise Awakening.

 

He needed to offer something to the vast masses, most burdened by hard toil and sweat in order to eke out a living.

He gave them the  the “Four Immeasurables”. Anyone could practice a path to Awakening by cultivating metta (loving kindness), karuna (compassion), mudita (sympathetic joy or empathy), and upekkha (equanimity).

However I suspect this path might span many re births.

 

So, doesn't it still come back to faith?

The faith needed to invest in the lifelong time and effort in order to Awaken.

The faith to devote ones life to dedicated practice to achieve Awakening.

 

Anything short of Awakening can be achieved through Yoga and other practices.

 

So it seems to come back to requiring large measures of faith in order to expend dedication and practice over a lifetime to "know for oneself".

 

It's like trying something costing $50,000,000 before you buy.

But you must hand over a non refundable $50,000,000 first.

 

You can only "know for oneself" Awakening, after having expended your entire life practicing to achieve it?

 

Also, what are partial awakenings?

 

NB:  There's a man I met through my employment.

       He practices 30 minutes of meditation each day, eats a healthy diet, walks daily, practices regular stretching & weight training, and avoids alcohol.

       He also cares for his fellow man and practices the four immeasurables with his neighbours.

       I suggested he should increase his meditation by practice for longer periods, which would yield incites.

       He would not entertain this even though he has the luxury of time on his hands.

       He will never Awaken in this life.

           This is where belief and faith come in, for without them,  there is no "know for oneself" from which to leverage.

       

      

Edited by rockyysdt
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On 2/11/2020 at 1:50 PM, rockyysdt said:

Thanks Vincent.

 

In his quest for Awakening, the Buddha explored a number of practices which failed to bear fruit.

 

Yoga, for example can easily yield a healthy and mindful life and is relatively easy to adopt.

But can it yield Awakening?

 

The other practices the Buddha tried with no luck.

Weren't these practices capable of providing deep levels of relaxation and reduced stress, all capable of enhancing ones life?

 

None of these, however yielded Awakening.

 

Only practice of the Buddhas teaching (or teachings capable of yielding the same state) results in Awakening.

 

My understanding is that the Monkhood was devised, as the Buddha new that without full time practice it would be very difficult to realise Awakening.

 

He needed to offer something to the vast masses, most burdened by hard toil and sweat in order to eke out a living.

He gave them the  the “Four Immeasurables”. Anyone could practice a path to Awakening by cultivating metta (loving kindness), karuna (compassion), mudita (sympathetic joy or empathy), and upekkha (equanimity).

However I suspect this path might span many re births.

 

So, doesn't it still come back to faith?

The faith needed to invest in the lifelong time and effort in order to Awaken.

The faith to devote ones life to dedicated practice to achieve Awakening.

 

Anything short of Awakening can be achieved through Yoga and other practices.

 

So it seems to come back to requiring large measures of faith in order to expend dedication and practice over a lifetime to "know for oneself".

 

It's like trying something costing $50,000,000 before you buy.

But you must hand over a non refundable $50,000,000 first.

 

You can only "know for oneself" Awakening, after having expended your entire life practicing to achieve it?

 

Also, what are partial awakenings?

 

NB:  There's a man I met through my employment.

       He practices 30 minutes of meditation each day, eats a healthy diet, walks daily, practices regular stretching & weight training, and avoids alcohol.

       He also cares for his fellow man and practices the four immeasurables with his neighbours.

       I suggested he should increase his meditation by practice for longer periods, which would yield incites.

       He would not entertain this even though he has the luxury of time on his hands.

       He will never Awaken in this life.

           This is where belief and faith come in, for without them,  there is no "know for oneself" from which to leverage.

       

      

Thanks for your detailed reply, Rocky,

 

It seems to me that a degree of 'faith' is required for all activities and achievements in life, whether it's becoming a champion swimmer or runner, or a billionaire, or a successful scientist who is awarded the Nobel prize, or beating Donald Trump in the next election, or an ascetic who eventually achieves a state of 'full awakening'.

 

The more difficult the task, the greater the faith or the confidence that is required in order to persevere and achieve one's goal.

 

The goal of Buddhist practice is to free oneself from all suffering by developing complete control of ones own thoughts and desires. I think that's a worthwhile pursuit, but I don't believe in Reincarnation, so I'm not worried about failing to reach the state of Nirvana before I die and being reborn into suffering. I try to live in the present and do everything in moderation.

 

I guess I'm a bit lazy. 😉
 

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I never see being lazy as a negative. I have always seen it as a positive.

 

To some Buddhism is target oriented. Focus on achieving a goal.

 

That's one view point but another view could be Buddhism is about letting go.

 

Thai visa being a Thai forum maybe sees the technique to being awaken from Theravada eyes with the need for a life time of effort or maybe many life times of effort.

 

Looking at Japan with their emphasis on speed and efficiency they may use a Zen approach with their funny questions technique to being awaken.

 

Maybe quicker and don't need a life time or many life times of effort.

 

Anyway this fixation of achieving  the goal of enlightenment.

 

Who is the one that is trying to achieve the goal?

 

Who is the one that is trying to be awaken?

 

Who is the one that is trying to reach enlightenment?

 

Definitely not me, not mine, not I.

 

😀  

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11 hours ago, jamesc2000 said:

I never see being lazy as a negative. I have always seen it as a positive.

 

To some Buddhism is target oriented. Focus on achieving a goal.

 

That's one view point but another view could be Buddhism is about letting go.

 

Thai visa being a Thai forum maybe sees the technique to being awaken from Theravada eyes with the need for a life time of effort or maybe many life times of effort.

 

Looking at Japan with their emphasis on speed and efficiency they may use a Zen approach with their funny questions technique to being awaken.

 

Maybe quicker and don't need a life time or many life times of effort.

 

Anyway this fixation of achieving  the goal of enlightenment.

 

Who is the one that is trying to achieve the goal?

 

Who is the one that is trying to be awaken?

 

Who is the one that is trying to reach enlightenment?

 

Definitely not me, not mine, not I.

 

😀  

Hi James.

 

Regarding achievment of  Awakening, I would teach that the focus would be a doing practice well and diligently.

 

The focus would not be on Awakening, as this would take care of itself.

I found my best periods of meditation without thought were during periods where I gave up trying to meditate.

What I did, though, was concentrate on mindfulness of breathe, mindfulness of body, mindfulness on thought, and mindfulness of feelings.

Especially mindfulness of breathe.

 

Regarding "who Awakens", the answer would be, to "know for oneself". 😉

 

My contention is that knowing about Buddhism is pointless without practice.

We have a roadmap.

Using it simply allows one a crack at Awakening.

 

But overcoming ones laziness, one of many deep seated habits, a measure of faith and dedication is required, as there is no first hand knowledge of what awaits without having successfully accomplished the practice.

 

I'm thinking, anything short of this is simply Ego related.

 

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19 hours ago, VincentRJ said:

Thanks for your detailed reply, Rocky,

 

It seems to me that a degree of 'faith' is required for all activities and achievements in life, whether it's becoming a champion swimmer or runner, or a billionaire, or a successful scientist who is awarded the Nobel prize, or beating Donald Trump in the next election, or an ascetic who eventually achieves a state of 'full awakening'.

 

The more difficult the task, the greater the faith or the confidence that is required in order to persevere and achieve one's goal.

 

The goal of Buddhist practice is to free oneself from all suffering by developing complete control of ones own thoughts and desires. I think that's a worthwhile pursuit, but I don't believe in Reincarnation, so I'm not worried about failing to reach the state of Nirvana before I die and being reborn into suffering. I try to live in the present and do everything in moderation.

 

I guess I'm a bit lazy. 😉
 

Hi Vincent.

 

Does this mean you're suffering from one of the Fourteen unwholesome mental factors?

 

These are hindrances to your practice.

 

We both agree on Reincarnation, but I was referring to Re Birth!

 

 

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4 hours ago, rockyysdt said:

Hi Vincent.

 

Does this mean you're suffering from one of the Fourteen unwholesome mental factors?

 

These are hindrances to your practice.

 

We both agree on Reincarnation, but I was referring to Re Birth!

 

 

Hi Rocky,
I don't feel that I'm suffering from anything. I feel quite relaxed and calm all the time. Having checked what the fourteen unwholesome mental factors are, I see three which you might think would apply to me, because of my comments in this thread.
"Thīna - sloth
Middha - torpor
Vicikicchā - doubt"

 

Words need to be precisely defined when having a philosophical discussion, so I'll use the dictionary definitions. 

 

1. Sloth: 'reluctance to work or make an effort'.

I admit that I am very slothful and totally lazy with regard to activities which I consider useless and of no benefit, but not slothful regarding activities which I 'know for myself' are beneficial, such as regular exercise, exploring and photographing nature, growing and eating nutritious food, reading about history, philosophy, religion and so on, and discussing such issues.

 

2. Torpor: 'a state of physical or mental inactivity'.
I admit that I get into a state of 'torpor' for several hours every day when I go to sleep. I don't think that's unwholesome. 😁

 

3. Doubt: 'to be uncertain about something'.
Again, I admit that I'm doubtful about lots of things, such as certain claims by certain authorities, and 'fake' news often reported in the media.
Doubt is an essential mental factor for progress in science. I'm doubtful that doubt is unwholesome.

 

I'm also doubtful about the reality of both the Vedic concept of Reincarnation and the Buddhist concept of Rebirth, unless you define Rebirth as no more than a recurrence of previous thoughts or states of mind in this life.
 

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11 hours ago, rockyysdt said:

Hi James.

 

Regarding achievment of  Awakening, I would teach that the focus would be a doing practice well and diligently.

 

The focus would not be on Awakening, as this would take care of itself.

I found my best periods of meditation without thought were during periods where I gave up trying to meditate.

What I did, though, was concentrate on mindfulness of breathe, mindfulness of body, mindfulness on thought, and mindfulness of feelings.

Especially mindfulness of breathe.

 

Regarding "who Awakens", the answer would be, to "know for oneself". 😉

 

My contention is that knowing about Buddhism is pointless without practice.

We have a roadmap.

Using it simply allows one a crack at Awakening.

 

But overcoming ones laziness, one of many deep seated habits, a measure of faith and dedication is required, as there is no first hand knowledge of what awaits without having successfully accomplished the practice.

 

I'm thinking, anything short of this is simply Ego related.

 

Hi Rocky

 

Is it possible that working on diminishing the ego is more important than awakening?

 

Maybe no more ego means no one to awaken?

 

Possible?

 

😀

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11 hours ago, jamesc2000 said:

Hi Rocky

 

Is it possible that working on diminishing the ego is more important than awakening?

 

Maybe no more ego means no one to awaken?

 

Possible?

 

😀

Not more important, but part of the path/practice.

 

Firstly the four immeasurables (focus on Metta, Karuna, Upekkha, & Mudita), involve outward focus, away from the self (ego).

Cultivating these qualities diminishes ego.

 

Then Mindfulness, and Sitting practice take us towards the egoless.

 

In terms of "no more ego means no one to awaken?", the resultant state is said to be beyond the comprehension of the Un Awakened, so I can't shed light in this area, other than it's the Buddhists (as taught by the Buddha) ultimate goal.

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12 hours ago, jamesc2000 said:

Is it possible that working on diminishing the ego is more important than awakening?

 

Maybe no more ego means no one to awaken?

 

Possible?

 

😀

Hi James,

I'm impressed by the following quote from the  Dhammapada, which is a collection of the sayings of the Buddha, found in the Pali Canon

 

‘‘We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world.’’
 

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On 2/11/2020 at 10:50 AM, rockyysdt said:

Thanks Vincent.

 

In his quest for Awakening, the Buddha explored a number of practices which failed to bear fruit.

 

Yoga, for example can easily yield a healthy and mindful life and is relatively easy to adopt.

But can it yield Awakening?

 

The other practices the Buddha tried with no luck.

Weren't these practices capable of providing deep levels of relaxation and reduced stress, all capable of enhancing ones life?

 

None of these, however yielded Awakening.

 

Only practice of the Buddhas teaching (or teachings capable of yielding the same state) results in Awakening.

 

My understanding is that the Monkhood was devised, as the Buddha new that without full time practice it would be very difficult to realise Awakening.

 

He needed to offer something to the vast masses, most burdened by hard toil and sweat in order to eke out a living.

He gave them the  the “Four Immeasurables”. Anyone could practice a path to Awakening by cultivating metta (loving kindness), karuna (compassion), mudita (sympathetic joy or empathy), and upekkha (equanimity).

However I suspect this path might span many re births.

 

So, doesn't it still come back to faith?

The faith needed to invest in the lifelong time and effort in order to Awaken.

The faith to devote ones life to dedicated practice to achieve Awakening.

 

Anything short of Awakening can be achieved through Yoga and other practices.

 

So it seems to come back to requiring large measures of faith in order to expend dedication and practice over a lifetime to "know for oneself".

 

It's like trying something costing $50,000,000 before you buy.

But you must hand over a non refundable $50,000,000 first.

 

You can only "know for oneself" Awakening, after having expended your entire life practicing to achieve it?

 

Also, what are partial awakenings?

 

NB:  There's a man I met through my employment.

       He practices 30 minutes of meditation each day, eats a healthy diet, walks daily, practices regular stretching & weight training, and avoids alcohol.

       He also cares for his fellow man and practices the four immeasurables with his neighbours.

       I suggested he should increase his meditation by practice for longer periods, which would yield incites.

       He would not entertain this even though he has the luxury of time on his hands.

       He will never Awaken in this life.

           This is where belief and faith come in, for without them,  there is no "know for oneself" from which to leverage.

       

      

 

There are many forms of yoga. Many simplistically equate hatha yoga, with the entire world of yoga. On the other hand, Raja yoga can result in complete and total enlightenment. It focuses far more on meditation, and inward practices. And that appears to be what is missing from most practices here. Very few Buddhists in Thailand, actually devote a portion of their day to prayer, contemplation and meditation, core teachings of the Buddha.

 

And perhaps the biggest contradictions of them all is the practice of face. On so many levels it is the polar opposite of spirituality, and seems to actually prevent one from introspection, contemplation, and taking responsibility for one's actions in life. The core teaching of most spiritual practices is getting to know thyself. Enlightenment is self realization. How can you do that if you are pathologically afraid of looking within?

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6 hours ago, VincentRJ said:

Hi James,

I'm impressed by the following quote from the  Dhammapada, which is a collection of the sayings of the Buddha, found in the Pali Canon

 

‘‘We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world.’’
 

Wow I am also very impressed with that quote.

 

I know very little about Buddhism so its the first time I have read this quote. Thank you for highlighting it. I really appreciate hearing this.

 

The quote is really complete and put with so few words.

 

We really do make the world with our thoughts.

 

Not me, not mine, not I is something that is stuck in my head and keeps repeating but I don't know where it comes from.

 

But if "my" thoughts make "my" world then to see the real world then I cannot use "my" thoughts as it will only show "my" world and not the real world.

 

I think the Zen question also teaches us the truth of the Buddha's quote.

 

If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one there to hear it does it make a sound?

 

Buddhism not only tells the truth but also expresses it so elegantly.

 

😀 

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I am not so sure faith and believe has any part to play in anything in Buddhism.

 

Say I get food poisoning and an ambulance brings me to hospital. Now I don't believe in western medicine but they pump me full of drugs and I get well. If they pump me full of the right drugs I get better regardless of whether I believe in western medicine or not.

 

Surely its the same with karma. I don't believe in karma and I do lots of bad things and if karma is true lots of bad things happen to me. Now if karma is true even if I never heard of karma let alone believe in it bad things are going to happen to me.

 

Same with reincarnation. Reincarnation like karma IF its true whether you believe in it or even heard of it, if it's a fact you will be reborn and maybe many times regardless.

 

However since Buddha said our thoughts create the world and I think in Buddhism there is this concept of we live in delusion or something like that then it is possible the biggest delusion our thoughts create is this concept of time.

 

It maybe possible that the real world not the one we create with our thoughts is always now. Our thoughts create the yesterday, today, tomorrow. If there is no past present and future then the concept of rebirth is moot.

 

The other big delusion I suspect is the concept of space. There is no yesterday I was far away, today I am here and tomorrow I will be going some where else. I suspect we are all stuck in the same place together. I think science says something like this is not only possible but also happened.

 

Before the big bang all the material in the world came together and got squashed into a very small space something like smaller than a pin head and then exploded outwards to create the world.

 

So its possible that our thoughts create time and space and our thoughts create the concept of reincarnation because rebirth needs time and space.

 

So rebirth and even karma for that matter may just be concepts created by our thoughts and our thought may not be true.

 

It maybe possible that our thoughts actually stops us from seeing the real world.

 

😀  

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I could also be totally wrong and if anyone has any Buddhists teachings that dispel what I wrote it would be most welcome.

 

😀 

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