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Is Bangkok a good place for a new Buddhist?


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1 hour ago, PatOngo said:

most famous

Yeah, I took a look at their brochure in 2011 but the lack of attractions and thrill rides back then was a disappointment. Sure, learning levitation and astral planing sound great and all but is the lack of outdoor food vendors across the 3.2km property worth the price of admission.

 

I kid. 

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On 6/5/2020 at 10:59 PM, PatOngo said:

This is one of the most famous temples in Bangkok, but note, the abbot did a runner and no one knows where he is!

 

 

Wat-Phra-Dhammakaya-Pathum-Thani8.jpg

For years and years, this place has been known as a cult.  Yep, the head man did a runner after being asked about millions of baht gone missing.  It was a really fun adventure of them trying to bring him into court.  Ha ha ha .  

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16 minutes ago, khaowong1 said:

Yep, the head man did a runner after being asked about millions of baht gone missing.  It was a really fun adventure of them trying to bring him into court. 

 

Converted from Buddhism to Bathism. 

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OP, why do you feel you have to have a religion? Why choose Buddhism from all the hundreds or other religions? 

 

You only have one life and you will waste a lot of you energy and time learning a new foreign religion for no good reason.

 

Have confidence in yourself ...you don't need religion. You can meditate, relax, get balance in your life without religion. 

 

 

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You asked if Bangkok was a good place for a new Buddhist.  Well, yes and no.  There are a lot of places around Bangkok to study Buddhism, but lots of distractions also.  But, good place to start. 

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On 6/4/2020 at 2:09 PM, stouricks said:

I would have thought that Bangkok, or even Thailand in general are not places to get involved in TRUE Buddhism.

Of course there are problems in organised Buddhism, as everywhere within organized religions. And yes, there is hypocrisy, because they depend on donations. And the more they depend the more they lose their buddistness. But! Fortunately there are still some great teachers within those elderly homes - it's what the monasteries becoming now.

I've been frequently visiting one monastery since 2006, not in Bangkok though, starting with three days and up to four months the previous winter. This monastery is listed in the Monasteries guide. 

In my humble opinion one who is thirsty for dharma should look for it outside of big cities, where monks have time for solitude and practice. Otherwise they are the same lay people as you but just in saffron robes. What can we learn from them? 😉 

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Hi Sid.

 

In the pre digital age seekers of the Buddhist path needed to seek a Teacher often in far flung places for authenticity.

Now we have a wealth of resource at our finger tips.

You can now uncover all you need instantly.

 

I would ask myself, why search for the answers in Bangkok?

To begin with the very hot humid climate is far from conducive to long sits.

Being either constantly bitten by mosquitoes, if not hearing them buzzing around your ears is a trial in itself.

Throw in the threat of malaria and other diseases.

Then there is easy access to a world renowned nightlife, another super distraction.

 

The Four Noble Truths and Eightfold Path is a great start.

 

The first thing I'd do is to investigate why I identify as a Buddhist!

Not even the Buddha identified himself as a Buddhist (this was coined by others).

And ask myself, "What is my goal?".

 

If it's ego related then you are in for a long path leading to a dead end.

Speaking to other Buddhists will further complicate your situation.

You will be speaking to Ego's who are also lost.

 

Your only good friend is practice empty of preconceived ideas or expectations.

 

Practice Sitting Meditation.

Practice daily Mindfulness from when you arise until when you sleep.

Quieten the mind for it is not you (it is the conditioned you).

Observe your thoughts, observe your feelings, observe your body, & the external, without attachment.

Observing these will allow you to be in control of yourself.

 

Quietening the mind will reveal a natural state that was always there.

A state hidden by the minds chatter.

This awareness can go deeper and deeper (some say to infinite).

 

Learn about posture.

Learn about breathe.

Learn about concentration.

Tame the mind.

 

Stay in this area and keep away from dogma, enlightenment, nibhana and the other ego related things.

Once you are able to hold awareness of yourself for long periods and are able to sit with the absence of thought for hours, then seek a teacher to take you to the next step.

 

If you can be your own teacher then these two publications are authored by those who Awakened.

 

Bhikkhu Buddhadasa covers things well in: Anapanasati Mindfulness of Breathing.

 

https://mahajana.net/en/texts/anapanasati.pdf

 

Also the following if you like detail (keeping it simple is best)

 

https://www.dhammatalks.net/Books3/Bhikkhu_Buddhadasa_Anapanasati_Mindfulness_with_Breathing.htm#LECTURE ONE

 

Finally, discussion groups, trips to the country coffee shops and the like will take all your time, and in the end you will wonder what happened.

Your opportunity will have evaporated.

Sadly we are all slaves to our habits & beliefs.

Trying to break these is like trying to escape a black hole once you've past the event horizon.

 

Investigate habit through observation.

Observe your friends.

Observe yourself.

We are all trapped by habit.

It keeps our world glued together but will work against your path.

 

The Buddha taught a practice.

No amount of knowledge will amount to anything.

Faithful practice in the face of protestations from your mind and ego is key.

 

If this is your true path then best wishes.

 

Sadly most go wrong with their reason for being a Buddhist.

Having a reason is clinging.

The answer is to let go.

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5 hours ago, rockyysdt said:

Hi Sid.

 

In the pre digital age seekers of the Buddhist path needed to seek a Teacher often in far flung places for authenticity.

Now we have a wealth of resource at our finger tips.

You can now uncover all you need instantly.

 

I would ask myself, why search for the answers in Bangkok?

To begin with the very hot humid climate is far from conducive to long sits.

Being either constantly bitten by mosquitoes, if not hearing them buzzing around your ears is a trial in itself.

Throw in the threat of malaria and other diseases.

Then there is easy access to a world renowned nightlife, another super distraction.

 

The Four Noble Truths and Eightfold Path is a great start.

 

The first thing I'd do is to investigate why I identify as a Buddhist!

Not even the Buddha identified himself as a Buddhist (this was coined by others).

And ask myself, "What is my goal?".

 

If it's ego related then you are in for a long path leading to a dead end.

Speaking to other Buddhists will further complicate your situation.

You will be speaking to Ego's who are also lost.

 

Your only good friend is practice empty of preconceived ideas or expectations.

 

Practice Sitting Meditation.

Practice daily Mindfulness from when you arise until when you sleep.

Quieten the mind for it is not you (it is the conditioned you).

Observe your thoughts, observe your feelings, observe your body, & the external, without attachment.

Observing these will allow you to be in control of yourself.

 

Quietening the mind will reveal a natural state that was always there.

A state hidden by the minds chatter.

This awareness can go deeper and deeper (some say to infinite).

 

Learn about posture.

Learn about breathe.

Learn about concentration.

Tame the mind.

 

Stay in this area and keep away from dogma, enlightenment, nibhana and the other ego related things.

Once you are able to hold awareness of yourself for long periods and are able to sit with the absence of thought for hours, then seek a teacher to take you to the next step.

 

If you can be your own teacher then these two publications are authored by those who Awakened.

 

Bhikkhu Buddhadasa covers things well in: Anapanasati Mindfulness of Breathing.

 

https://mahajana.net/en/texts/anapanasati.pdf

 

Also the following if you like detail (keeping it simple is best)

 

https://www.dhammatalks.net/Books3/Bhikkhu_Buddhadasa_Anapanasati_Mindfulness_with_Breathing.htm#LECTURE ONE

 

Finally, discussion groups, trips to the country coffee shops and the like will take all your time, and in the end you will wonder what happened.

Your opportunity will have evaporated.

Sadly we are all slaves to our habits & beliefs.

Trying to break these is like trying to escape a black hole once you've past the event horizon.

 

Investigate habit through observation.

Observe your friends.

Observe yourself.

We are all trapped by habit.

It keeps our world glued together but will work against your path.

 

The Buddha taught a practice.

No amount of knowledge will amount to anything.

Faithful practice in the face of protestations from your mind and ego is key.

 

If this is your true path then best wishes.

 

Sadly most go wrong with their reason for being a Buddhist.

Having a reason is clinging.

The answer is to let go.

Very good Rocky, very good.  You can't go wrong following Bhikkhu Buddhadasa. 

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15 hours ago, khaowong1 said:

Very good Rocky, very good.  You can't go wrong following Bhikkhu Buddhadasa. 

Thanks K.

 

I forgot to add to the OP.

 

Engage in daily aerobic and stretching exercises of ones choice.

These soak up any adrenaline and other hormones floating around in the bloodstream, reduce anxiety and  settle the deep breath.

 

Give up intoxicants such as alcohol, drugs, nicotine, and caffeine.

These are all significant attachments.

 

Work towards eating to once a day.

The digestive process takes a significant amount of energy

Clearing the gut increases ones energy levels and refines ones concentration.

 

In my view the reason why most fail to achieve what the Buddha accomplished is not the difficulty of the practice, but is due to the practice involving detachment from ones habits and beliefs. Over come these and nothing will stop you.

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On 5/5/2021 at 3:05 PM, rockyysdt said:

Thanks K.

 

I forgot to add to the OP.

 

Engage in daily aerobic and stretching exercises of ones choice.

These soak up any adrenaline and other hormones floating around in the bloodstream, reduce anxiety and  settle the deep breath.

 

Give up intoxicants such as alcohol, drugs, nicotine, and caffeine.

These are all significant attachments.

 

Work towards eating to once a day.

The digestive process takes a significant amount of energy

Clearing the gut increases ones energy levels and refines ones concentration.

 

In my view the reason why most fail to achieve what the Buddha accomplished is not the difficulty of the practice, but is due to the practice involving detachment from ones habits and beliefs. Over come these and nothing will stop you.

Excellent advice, Rocky, including the advice in your previous posts. However, whilst I agree with much of Buddhadasa's views on Buddhism, I'm rather puzzled by the fact that he appears to have been significantly overweight during much of his life. The attached image is from the following site:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhadasa

 

I can only assume that he didn't engage in sufficient daily, aerobic exercise, as you have advised, and/or he ate too much tasty, 'junk' food.

 

During the times of Gautama Buddha, 2,500 years ago, all food crops would have been 'organically' grown, without the artificial fertilizers and toxic pesticides that are used today. Research has shown that such naturally-grown food would have been significantly higher in vitamins and minerals than the similar types of food crops that are grown today using artificial fertilizers to maximize growth and increase profit.

 

In addition, modern food is processed with added ingredients to increase the taste and encourage people to eat more than they need. The addition of fructose is particularly successful in reducing the body's signals that it has eaten enough.

 

If the Buddha were alive and teaching today, I can't help wondering how he would have addressed the current obesity epidemic. 😉

Buddhadasa.jpg

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On 5/7/2021 at 12:56 PM, VincentRJ said:

Excellent advice, Rocky, including the advice in your previous posts. However, whilst I agree with much of Buddhadasa's views on Buddhism, I'm rather puzzled by the fact that he appears to have been significantly overweight during much of his life. 😉

 

Hi Vincent.

 

Good to know you're still onboard and well Vincent

 

You raise very interesting points.

These can cast doubt with potential practitioners as to the authenticity of those allegedly awakened, not to mention the worth of the practice.

 

If Buddhadasa can't control his weight, how authentic is he?

 

As well as the Buddhas teachings, publications of practitioners, and testimonials of near death experiences  from a variety of independent sources, these paths seem to all lead to the same state.

I'll include Jesus teachings. These were reinterpreted by people (with their limited earthly states) not to mention being hijacked and used as a tool for power and control.

 

Basically what I'm learning is that the awakened state reveals similar experiences to that experienced by Bikkhu Maha Boowa, Buddhadasa, and most of those who returned to life after having medically died for a period and resuscitated.

 

We simply lack awareness of the deathless state "that which was never born can never die".

 

Think of our bodies and minds as vehicles controlled by genetics, and conditioning.

We all have the ability to take control of ourselves but allow our conditioning to steer us.

If our genetics predispose us to put on weight, and our habits aren't conducive to eating well, then awakened or not, our bodies and minds continue to lead us to suffer.

Call this accumulated kharma (genetics, and conditioning).

The difference is that in those who succeed, there is an awakened element to their awareness.

An element most of us are unaware of.

Once awakened it's said that the body and mind (which are impermanent) continue to be.

We become aware of our awakened state.

The body and mind are no longer importance other than to teach others, but we observe our conditioned states which continue until death.

 

I know that most of us judge others by their apparent success or failure on multiple levels.

It can be easy to discount Ajahn Buddhadasas teachings based on his obesity.

I suspect that would be one of many roadblocks thrown across our path by ego.

 

Please understand that I'm not talking about you, but of all humans.

 

We all have a mixture of good, neutral and bad habits/conditioning.

We are creatures of habit.

A very few colleagues of mine eat well, exercise and refrain from intoxicants.

Are they this way due to their faith in the Buddhas 4 Noble Truths.

Or are they fortunate to have been blessed with good habits?

I suspect you have been blessed with very good dietary habits, preferring whole foods, over processed and refined.

 

I am still of the opinion that the practices taught by the Buddha can be successfully negotiated by most.

The ONLY thing stopping us is our conditioning.

 

We cling to things based on our greed, aversion & delusion.

 

Cheers

 

Rocky

Edited by rockyysdt
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3 hours ago, rockyysdt said:

Hi Vincent.

 

Good to know you're still onboard and well Vincent

 

You raise very interesting points.

These can cast doubt with potential practitioners as to the authenticity of those allegedly awakened, not to mention the worth of the practice.

 

If Buddhadasa can't control his weight, how authentic is he?

 

As well as the Buddhas teachings, publications of practitioners, and testimonials of near death experiences  from a variety of independent sources, these paths seem to all lead to the same state.

I'll include Jesus teachings. These were reinterpreted by people (with their limited earthly states) not to mention being hijacked and used as a tool for power and control.

 

Basically what I'm learning is that the awakened state reveals similar experiences to that experienced by Bikkhu Maha Boowa, Buddhadasa, and most of those who returned to life after having medically died for a period and resuscitated.

 

We simply lack awareness of the deathless state "that which was never born can never die".

 

Think of our bodies and minds as vehicles controlled by genetics, and conditioning.

We all have the ability to take control of ourselves but allow our conditioning to steer us.

If our genetics predispose us to put on weight, and our habits aren't conducive to eating well, then awakened or not, our bodies and minds continue to lead us to suffer.

Call this accumulated kharma (genetics, and conditioning).

The difference is that in those who succeed, there is an awakened element to their awareness.

An element most of us are unaware of.

Once awakened it's said that the body and mind (which are impermanent) continue to be.

We become aware of our awakened state.

The body and mind are no longer importance other than to teach others, but we observe our conditioned states which continue until death.

 

I know that most of us judge others by their apparent success or failure on multiple levels.

It can be easy to discount Ajahn Buddhadasas teachings based on his obesity.

I suspect that would be one of many roadblocks thrown across our path by ego.

 

Please understand that I'm not talking about you, but of all humans.

 

We all have a mixture of good, neutral and bad habits/conditioning.

We are creatures of habit.

A very few colleagues of mine eat well, exercise and refrain from intoxicants.

Are they this way due to their faith in the Buddhas 4 Noble Truths.

Or are they fortunate to have been blessed with good habits?

I suspect you have been blessed with very good dietary habits, preferring whole foods, over processed and refined.

 

I am still of the opinion that the practices taught by the Buddha can be successfully negotiated by most.

The ONLY thing stopping us is our conditioning.

 

We cling to things based on our greed, aversion & delusion.

 

Cheers

 

Rocky

Buddhadasa's weight never came up in my study of his teachings.  I just figured it was because of his DNA.  

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11 hours ago, khaowong1 said:

Buddhadasa's weight never came up in my study of his teachings.  I just figured it was because of his DNA.  

This is a common fallacy that overweight people use to justify their greed for food. It's possible to eat too much and not put on weight, due to a genetic deficiency which prevents the body from storing the excess food as fat, but it's not possible to become overweight without eating too much. If it were possible, one would have to believe that something can be created from nothing, which is contrary to the basic laws of Physics.

 

The ability to store excess food as fat would have had a very significant survival advantage in ancient times when famine and food shortages were common occurrences. However, in modern societies where food is continuously available, the reserves of fat are rarely used and people just get fatter and fatter as the body prepares for a year-long famine. 😉

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