The Time Has Come — Again

Many of you will have heard of the recent announcement by the ex-Amaravati sisters of Saranaloka, California, that they intend to seek bhikkhuni ordination. A great big sadhu! for making this courageous decision.

I have no doubt this will be for the long term benefit of Ajahns Anandabodhi and Santacitta, as well as the Buddhist community as a whole. It is so wonderful to see these steps, each one seemingly minor, but taken together leading to a broader, more embracing and powerful sense of communion and Sangha for all Buddhists.

The letters were originally published in the comments to an old post, The Time Has Come. They are republished here for convenience.

For those still following the Bhikkhuni debate.
A letter from Sister Ananadabodhi and Sister Santacitta.

Dear Friends in Dhamma,

Warm greetings from Aloka Vihara.
Firstly, we would like to express our gratitude to all who contribute in any way to the beautiful community that has gathered around Aloka Vihara. We very much appreciate this precious opportunity to live and practice here, and the possibilities it brings.

Some of you will know that our nuns’ community at Aloka Vihara has gone through many changes in this first year since our arrival. We would like to share more of where we are in regards to our taking root in this fertile soil of the Bay Area.

We are living in an historic period where the unfolding of full participation and ordination for women is happening in most world religions. Our community is no exception: When we came here for the first time in January 2008, our intention was to look into establishing a training monastery for siladhara. As three sisters who have trained in the UK monasteries for about 18 years, we each felt ready to enter a space of new growth, inwardly and outwardly.

Meanwhile in our own communities in the UK, the response to the international attention on the position of women and the feminine in Buddhism, was to reaffirm a conservative stance. In October of 2009, just shortly before our move to the Bay Area, we as a community of siladhara in the UK, agreed to the ‘Five Points’ in order for siladhara ordination to continue:
(http://www.forestsangha.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=381%3Awhere-we-are-now&catid=17%3Anews-g-from-the-monasteries&Itemid=8).

Saranaloka Foundation is the first trust that has been established with the specific intention of supporting nuns of the Thai Forest Tradition of Ajahn Chah and Ajahn Sumedho. Our heartfelt wish in coming here, was to establish a training monastery for nuns within our lineage; an aspiration that was complicated by the imposition of the ‘Five Points’ in August 2009.

Since our arrival here in December of 2009, we recognize more and more the impact on our hearts of those ‘Five Points’ and the vulnerability of the siladhara ordination, which is valid only in the Ajahn Chah / Ajahn Sumedho lineage. The training itself has been of immense value to us on our Path and we are deeply grateful to have had the opportunity to train with the siladhara for so many years. Now, living outside of our larger communities in England, we feel unable to pass on the ‘Five Points’ to other women wishing to live the renunciant life. Our own process is a movement of the heart; responding to the ‘Five Points’ and the conditions which gave rise to them.

The ready availability in the US of bhikkhuni ordination, the ordination given by the Buddha, offers us a new platform for the establishment of a training monastery for women. Taking all these things into consideration, we have come to the decision to move towards taking bhikkhuni ordination to provide a stronger container to pass on to other women. In keeping with the ‘Five Points’ we will take leave of the Ajahn Chah / Ajahn Sumedho lineage in order to later receive full ordination.

We have already informed the elders of our community of this intention and will formally ask forgiveness and take leave of our community in April 2011, when all the nuns and other elders will be gathered at Amaravati. We recognize that this is a huge step and truly want to honor all that we have received over the years.

Having considered this very deeply, we feel the loss and turbulence that such a big step inevitably brings. We experience this within ourselves, and some of you may also feel this in regard to the changes. We want to acknowledge the many questions and inner inquiry our move may stimulate in you, our friends and supporters. The creative tension is very evident.

We feel a strong heart connection with the siladhara community in the UK, wishing that they flourish in their practice. The aspiration towards liberation and providing a sustainable form of training for women samanas is a goal we all share.

We want to acknowledge Ajahn Metta’s presence and input during the initial phase of Aloka Vihara and thank her for all that she has contributed. Ajahn Thitamedha and Sister Sumedha have also spent time with us here and expressed how important it has been for them to experience and take part in the evolution of Aloka Vihara.

This process has sometimes been quite rocky and although at times we would have liked it to have been gentler, we feel it has been similar to ploughing a fertile field, to prepare it for planting. We thank you all for your generous support and interest in our project so far. We continue to be committed to our vision of establishing a training monastery for Theravadan nuns, practicing in the Forest Tradition; a style which is found in all Buddhist schools.

The Forest style of practice emphasizes renunciation, simplicity and meditation as a path of awakening. When the time is ripe, we intend to relocate to a rural setting, more suitable to the Forest style of practice. In the mean time we are very happy to stay at Aloka Vihara with its peaceful presence and close accessibility for our community, the wild ocean and beautiful Golden Gate Park.

We look forward to seeing you at Aloka Vihara, though we recognize that some of you may no longer feel congruent with the unfolding of our vision. We regret any disappointment this may cause and look forward to welcoming all of you as part of our evolving community.

With much gratitude to you all for your support of Aloka Vihara in so many ways.
Many blessings in Dhamma,

Sister Anandabodhi and Sister Santacitta

Aloka Vihara
1632 48th Avenue
San Francisco
CA 94122 USA
Tel 415-6819359
http://www.saranaloka.org
http://www.buddhistglobalrelief.org

[via thanissara]

A follow on letter from Jill Boone – Board member of Saranaloka.

Dear Friends of Saranaloka,

I am writing to follow up on the recent letter from Ajahn Anandabodhi
and Ajahn Santacitta. The vision of the Saranaloka Foundation is to
support the expansion of possibilities for women in the west to pursue
the dhamma in a monastic form and to deepen their practice for the
benefit of all. The original form of our vision was to support a
women’s monastic community for siladhara in the Ajahn Chah lineage.

Going forward, we will continue to offer support to the siladhara
visiting and teaching in the United States. In addition, after
extensive research, discussion, and thoughtful consideration, the
Board of Directors has decided to expand its vision to support the
Aloka Vihara nuns in their pursuit of bhikkhuni ordination, which is
not possible for siladhara.

The weekly routine at the vihara and the style of practice will remain
the same, and we hope you will continue to visit and support the nuns.

More information about this evolution will be provided on the website
in the coming weeks. In addition we will be communicating directly
with our donors. You are invited to attend supporters’ meetings on
Nov. 28 at 3 pm and Jan. 9 at 1 pm at the Aloka Vihara.

Thank you again for your support of the nuns and the Saranaloka
Foundation.

Jill Boone
President
Saranaloka Foundation

[via thanissara]

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125 thoughts on “The Time Has Come — Again

  1. When Ajahn Brahm first gave his support for Bhikkhuni ordinations I felt that the big wave of female monasticism will sweep away the opposition in a matter of few years but it looks like this is going to be a tsunami not just a big wave! There is no doubt that the Bhikkhuni movement has already gathered the momentum.

    Sadhu! – what more can one say?

  2. “I have no doubt this will be for the long term benefit of Ajahns Anandabodhi and Santacitta, as well as the Buddhist community as a whole.” Does the ego of Ajahn Sujato have no limit?

    Perhaps a read of Matthew chapter 7 would be useful?

  3. Hi Peter,

    I’m not really sure what problem you have with what I said – I was simply trying to express my support and encouragement for these nuns.

    Perhaps I should have explained more about why I feel so confident that this will be a positive move for all. I have come from a monastic background that was quite narrow and sectarian, where I myself developed negative opinions about Buddhists practicing in different traditions. This is all based on conceit and ignorance.

    For the past 10 years or so I have had many encounters with Sangha from different traditions, formed friendships, learned teachings, worked together, and so on. I have noticed, again and again and again, that when we move towards a bigger conception of Dhamma and Sangha, the heart opens up. This happens both internally, and very palpably in the community as a whole.

    This has been a major theme in my life for the past period of time, and I have tried to study and share this as best I can. This is why I don’t see the decision of Ajahns Anandabodhi and Santacitta as primary a separation from the Amaravati Sangha, but as a movement towards communion with the wider Sangha.

    I just managed to make the tail end of the Western Buddhist Monastic Gathering at the Vajrapani Inst. near Santa Cruz, which Ajahns Anandabodhi and Santacitta attended. Although I missed most of the content, what was most striking was the warmth and openness among the Sangha present. Coming from very different backgrounds and traditions, they nonetheless find tremendous support in the shared sense of Sangha.

    The reason I am so confident in the two nuns’ decision is because I have seen and observed this spirit so many times over such a long period. I hope this helps to explain my brief statement in this blog post.

  4. I, like the Ajahn, wish the nuns (and all beings) well but the notion that the actions will be of benifit for buddhism as a whole seems rather grand.

    You say that your monastic roots were quite narrow and sectarian but you also seem determined to help rotate that wheel. I see ecumenicalism as a non-movement.

  5. Anne, it is a Christian reference from our Buddhist friend who doesn’t believe in Ecumenism.
    (Sorry Peter, I well and truly couldn’t resist.)

  6. “Ecumenism is the movement within Christianity that aims at “the recovery in thought, in action, and in organization, of the true unity between the Church’s mission to the world (its apostolate) and the Church’s obligation to be one.”[1] Thus, ecumenism is the promotion of unity or cooperation between distinct religious groups or denominations of Christianity.

    Ecumenism is distinguished from and should not be misused to mean interfaith pluralism. The interfaith movement strives for greater mutual respect, toleration, and co-operation among the world religions. Interfaith dialogue between representatives of diverse faiths, does not necessarily intend reconciling their adherents into full, organic unity with one another but simply to promote better relations.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecumenism

  7. The latter to correct my own misunderstanding of ecumenism- which is within one faith, vs. interfaith pluralism.

  8. Lisa: thanks for clearing that up.

    Peter: What a relief – I’ve gone from having a potentially limitless ego to being merely “rather grand” in one fell swoop! Perhaps there’s some hope for me yet…

  9. Noooo, Bhante!

    Pls develop a limitless ego! May your mana, omana and atimana be appamanna, so that when you finally “let go” of the lot, the pleasure of that abandonment will be so much the greater. Pls keep those mana appamanna; it can be a source of strength to deal with clever oxymorons floating out there.

  10. I would think anyone’s decision to ordain would benefit the entire Buddhist community as a whole.
    I’m not sure Matthew was a Buddhist? :-)

  11. Lisa, Here is a definition for the word “ecumenical”
    “http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ecumenical.
    My use of the word was broad. I would have hoped that the context would have helped with the meaning I was trying to convey. I’m a little bit surprised that you didn’t pull me up on my spelling mistakes (:

  12. Anne :I would think anyone’s decision to ordain would benefit the entire Buddhist community as a whole.

    I guess you haven’t heard of Thanom Kittikachorn

  13. I am truly happy about the nuns decision to ordain. After all, it was established by the Buddha. If this path is open, why take the alternative path. I would have more confidence following a course of practice formulated by an Awakened being. May their path be fruitful.

  14. Peter,
    I daren’t pull anyone up on spelling, as that is a recent skill I have almost perfected. Or anything else for that matter!
    And may we all be forgiven for digressing from the original thread worthy of great joy and celebration.
    (there is an ecumenical dimension to all of this. If we get into Bhikkhuni Vinaya and recent ordinations; so not irrelevant but suspect may have been covered previously. And would that I could resist, but may I point to Thay and HHDL, two Dharma masters who are Ecumenical Can one use this (officially) in a Bhuddhism context Bhante? and Interfaith movements in their own right.)
    _/\_

  15. Dear All,

    thanks for the comments, and some fascinating links that show some of the varied courses that “Buddhist” lives can take.

    Sylvester: Thanks, that’s terrific, I’ll take that as a guiding star… And while we’re on the topic, did you notice that “appamana” (=a-pramana, “no-limit”) in Pali can also be analyzed as “appa-mana” (“little conceit”)…

  16. iMeditation, It was actually a question rather than a conclusion but I did give the example of Thanom Kittikachorn. There are many other examples that I could give some who would have seemed to enter into the holy life with good intentions and some whose intentions would seem to be less pure. There is from the scripture Devadatta.

  17. Dear Peter,

    At 65 Years old, Thanom Kittikachorn returned to Thailand from exile and barely became a novice. Can we really attribute all the things he had done at age 1- 64 to the monastic life. He only decided to became a novice after that age. I wouldn’t say that his unwholesome actions are a result of entering the monastic life.

    The students protested this at the campus. He soon left the monastery but never took part in politics again. Later he made an effort to rehabilitate his tainted image.

    Peter wrote: “There is from the scripture Devadatta”

    Devadatta can be very similar to Judas. Both Buddha and Jesus have the ability to know beforehand their potential for such actions. However, out of compassion they taught these disciples anyways. I wouldn’t go as far as saying that their actions of betrayal are a result of entering the brotherhood or monastic life. It could also come from their past tendencies.

    Devadatta and Judas are rare exceptions and not the norm. If it is indeed a result of entering the sangha or the brotherhood, then shouldn’t we see a higher percentage of such outcome in the sangha and brotherhood ?

  18. Peter, the reason I posted the link in wiki regarding TK as it shows that he only become a monk later in life and it was for a very short time. Therefore, your comments regarding him were not accurate (as iMeditation has later clarified).

  19. I think this point is important because the Buddha showed us that awakening is available to all human beings. His trust in the path was so complete that he allowed even “unsavory types” – the Kittikachorns of his day to go forth…we see many stories of personal transformation in the Suttas and elsewhere. We don’t see the Buddha saying – “you can join” “you can’t” – or “I take only the good ones here”
    The potential for transformation is THE central message. That the goig forth is available to all – seems to be lost on us at times…in no small measure in the negative reactions to Bhikkhuni ordinations. The going forth was never portrayed as a club for those who fit one particular description nor is it one for those who are already saints.
    Practically, if the capabitities are present in the community to deal skillfully with a range of challenges that could arise, then any person could be accepted and those who have a largely unwholesome past may actually be of great benefit to the community.

  20. Good question, Peter.
    Would be interesting to ask the great teachers of our time; monks and nuns who have disrobed, and those who feel it is working for them…
    Certainly we have witnessed recently how community life can become a hindrance, in that it is possible to transplant worldly neuroses and systems that actually become a hindrance to spiritual practice rather than a support (such as the introduction of discrimination/separation practices; over the top reverence for patriarchs and hierarchy; collective abandoning of the spirit of investigation/attachment to blind faith; blacking out the feminine; etc.)

  21. Maybe you were thinking of Kittivutto?

    “A Buddhist monk, Phra Kittiwutthi of the Phra Chittipalwon College in Thailand, is noted for his extreme right-wing views. He said that it was not a breech of the first precept to kill communists. He said that if Thailand were in danger of a communist takeover, he would take up arms to protect Buddhism. Sulak Sivaraksa, a Thai peace activist, reports in his book, “Seeds of Peace” that Phra Kittiwutthi has since modified his stance by declaring “to kill communism or communist ideology is not a sin”. Sulak adds that the monk confessed that his nationalist feelings were more important than his Buddhist practice and that he would be willing to abandon his yellow robes to take up arms against communist invaders from Laos, Cambodia or Vietnam. By doing so, he said, he would be preserving the monarchy, the nation and the Buddhist religion.”

    Better for him, probably, to have put on an army uniform than monks robes.

  22. Anne, the point I was making is that when you said “I would think anyone’s decision to ordain would benefit the entire Buddhist community as a whole.” that in my opinion this is not true.

    My initial Point was when Ajahn Sujato said “I have no doubt this will be for the long term benefit of Ajahns Anandabodhi and Santacitta, as well as the Buddhist community as a whole” was perhaps he should have some doubt because the consequences at present are unknown (the future tends to be that way).

    Ajahn Sujato possibly has a slight doubt now because in his reply he is just very confident.

    I personally wish the nuns well and hope that there ordination does bring long term benefit to both of them, as well as the Buddhist community as a whole and all beings. And even if it doesn’t bring them and the whole Buddhist community long term benefit, I still wish them well.

  23. Let’s look at an example similar to the one given by the Buddha in the Ganaka Moggallana Sutta ,

    Let’s say you travel to a certain city on a daily basis and know it well. A person asked you for direction to get there and arrived at the location . Another person also asked you for direction to get there and received the same instruction from you. However, this man didn’t get to the right place. He came back and blame you for getting lost.

    Can we say that following your direction can lead to the right place and the wrong place. Therefore your direction is unreliable and you are the cause of him being lost.

    Or is it possible that one man follows direction properly and arrived at the right place, while the other didn’t follow your direction properly and arrived at the wrong place. And the traveler is the cause for getting to the wrong place.

    Who should be held accountable ? Is it the one who gave the direction or does it depends on the travelers themselves? ( provided that the same set of instructions were given )

    Some people make proper use of the monastic life and experience the fruits of the path, while people who doesn’t apply it properly doesn’t experience the fruit of the path.

    “You yourselves must strive, Tatagathas only point the way. ” -Dhp 276

  24. “the relationship between the domination of women and the domination of nature, …unable to decide whether gynocentric values are the solution to such domination or are themselves a construct of patriarchy” (N. Robert Glass Journal of Buddhist Ethics Vol. 5 (1998)

  25. … in terms of masculine subject, then ‘woman’ becomes a metaphor for unrealized possibility. The ‘end of man’ opens up a new possibility for knowledge. (Philippa Berry)

    There is a position other than otherness… described () as nothingness and emptiness, yet living and existing apart from those terms and perhaps operating under different rules.

  26. Dear Ajahn and Sylvester,

    If this were Facebook, I would click ‘like’ under your comments. :-)

    Mana is appamana for defiled worldlings and Mana is appa for those who are walking the Path.

    Sadhu _/\_

    Dheerayupa

  27. The letter is so beautifully written. _/\_

    I hope after over a year, some people who held strong views against Bhikkhuni ordinations will now realise that Metta to all beings and fair treatment of people of the opposite gender and harmony in the Sangha is more important than firmly held dogma.

    Dear Ajahn Sujato, could ‘attachment to rites and rituals (sīlabbata-parāmāso)’ include firm attachments to long-established practices and beliefs?

  28. Dear Dheerayupa,

    So good to have you back!

    In fact, “silabbata” doesn’t really mean “rites and rituals” at all. “Sila” is, well, “sila” – precepts of ethical behaviour; and “vata” means “vow”. (The two “bb”s in the word are because Pali won’t tolerate repeated vv’s.)

    So a better rendering would be “precepts and vows”.

    In general the problem is not the precepts and vows as such, but the unreasonable expectation that by our external conduct alone we can reach purity. And so I would agree with you completely!

  29. Thank you, Ajahn, for your kind words. I’ve missed lively dhamma discussions on your blog, too, but life has been very busy lately. :)

    This might be a bit off topic, but now that I’ve dragged the fetters into this topic, may I ask you to kindly explain in detail the difference between identity view (the first fetter) and conceit (the sixth)?

    Yours in the dhamma,

    Dheerayupa

  30. Dear Dheerayupa,

    The difference is the difference between view and perception. Those noble beings who have abandoned identity view (the view that there is a permanent aspect to one or more of the five khandhas), but who have not yet abandoned conceit (that is, they have not reached full and final awakening), will tell you that there is no permanent self. They have seen this through their own direct experience, as if by a flash of lightening. (This is a metaphor found in the suttas.) Yet in their own personal experience they will perceive a self. The reason for this is that it takes time, up to seven lifetimes say the suttas, for the right view to do its work on a the noble person’s thoughts and perceptions so that they fall in line with that view.

    But the view that there is no self is not simply an opinion. You will find contemporary psychologists who will tell you that there is no permanent core, no soul, no self, in a human being. And they firmly believe this; in a manner of speaking it is their view. But in the Buddhist sense they still haven’t abandoned “identity view”, which is a much deeper distortion of one’s outlook. So from a Buddhist point of view, it is possible to be firmly convinced that there is no self and yet be utterly committed to the idea! The point is that the self delusion is very profound, and that is why it is so difficult to see through.

    With metta.

  31. I agree – although I would not look to the intellectual diaspora that is contemporary psychology for support as it can border on quackery. The underlying problem has been ignored, or at least avoided and it is this: the discrete categories within the Skandha appeal to a common (mis)understanding of form and content as being in (binary) opposition to each other – where we ascrive VALUES to PHENOMENA – on/off black/white full/empty positive / negative 1 / 0.

    The Buddha perhaps new the foibles of intellectualism and taught it all the same – knowing its limitations. It is a skillful way to deconstruct self – but we can get stuck in arguing that such “truth” is – in itself “written in stone” – as if it actually “exists” and can be “discovered”.

    Even in BINARY there is a NULL value in the logic that is often MISUNDERSTOOD. (btw: NULL is NOT equivalent to zero – it literally means NO VALUE – “agnostic” you could say).

    In yogic parlance, our salvation is not dependendant in resolving such (false) dilemmas as to form / contect and the like but in our working outside all this shifting sand – the pentalemma of; form, sensation, perception, formations and consciousness can be understood – but transcedence reduces our life to absurdity.

    Furthermore, the Buddhist atomistic conception, (and revsited with some veracity in the later Madhyamaka school) manages to avoid such false conceptions through simply stating that all (yes – ALL) phenomena are empty of “substance” or “essence”, meaning that they have no intrinsic, independent reality apart from the causes and conditions from which they arose (Dep. Orig.)

    A westernized, intellectual translocution of this theory would perhaps be: mereological nihlism and is being supported through some very good work in physics at CERN – I would argue what is likely to be more stable “evidence” than psychology ?

    French philosopher Jaques Derrida states:-

    “Ascesis strip[s the messianic hope of all its biblical forms, and even all determinable figures of the wait or expectation; it thus denudes itself in view of responding to (…) the ‘come’ to the future that cannot be anticipated. (SM 168)”

    Ascesis for me, and insofar as yoga can be described as such – is not about explicit / implict expectation or the lack of either (and hopefully not invoking some dreadful holistic or transcendental cliches) – it is both an alternative beginning and the end of the problem, the question and the answer.

  32. Dear Ajahn Brahmali,

    Thank you so much for your kind reply. I don’t think I fully understand what you said; I just have a vague idea, which could be wrong. :)

    If a not-yet-fully enlightened one doesn’t conceive any one of the five khandhas as permanent or self, then, what do they conceive as ‘self’? Is the idea of their existence in the Samsara their ‘conceit’?

    “So from a Buddhist point of view, it is possible to be firmly convinced that there is no self and yet be utterly committed to the idea!”

    Yes, I have seen this in many people who claim to be practicing ‘Vipassana’ (in a traditional interpretation of the word). :)

    Self-delusion is very profound, indeed.

    ‘I’ will keep on learning and practicing. :)

    Thank you so very much.

    With deep respect,

    Dheerayupa

  33. In brief, there is a vague feeling that “I exist”, “I got hurt”, “I’m doing this”, etc. This feeling that “I exist” is the conceit.

    However, a partially enlightened one will not try to defend or justify this feeling. They basically know it’s deluded and they certainly wont assert the existence of any kind of ‘I’ which is permanent, unchangeable or ‘real’ (ie they know it’s imaginary).

    Perhaps it can be compared to an addict who knows their addiction is wrong, but can’t simply shake it off because of the habit of that addiction. It is like an addiction to me-making and mine-making, the addict has gone through the crisis where they recognize their addiction is a disaster for them and they’ve even abandoned that habit – for life, and yet, the underlying feelings still comes up.
    The Arahant is like the ex-addict who no longer even has the craving come up.

  34. Dear Bhante

    On the difference between view (abandoned at Stream Entry) and perception (abandoned at Arahanta), could we account for it be analysing it in terms of the different causes of view and perception as being different cetana?

    I think the Bhumija Sutta SN 12.25 speaks of the manosancetana which gives rise to “mind”. Is this “mind” presumably also equivalent to the cittasankhara of feelings and perception mentioned in MN 44? (I do realise that I come dangerously close to Ven Nanavira’s error of conflating MN 44’s 3 sankharas with the standard 3 sankharas of Dependant Origination, so pls correct me if I’m wrong)

    SN 12.25 allows for these sancentana to arise asampajana, which suggests that intentions can have an unconscious and habitual impulse.

    In my horribly convoluted way, I wonder if it is possible to view an Anagami’s fetter of “mano” as being nothing more than the residues of habitual/compulsive tendency for the perception/sanna arising from manosancetana to “asampajana” be directed towards measuring “I’m superior”, “I’m equal” or “I’m inferior”.

    With metta

    _/|\_

  35. Dear Ajahn Brahmali (or anyone else)

    Could you remind us what sutta(s) has the metaphor of “a flash of lightening” in it.

    Thanks,
    Linda

  36. Dear Yogi Mat,

    I am not really seeking for support in contemporary psychology, but rather showing its limitations. We can agree on a superficial level that humans lack a permanent core – whether with psychologists or with the CERN physicists – but unless you are an ariya your delusion remains intact, and you don’t even know it! Only after you become an ariya can you understand what identity view is all about. This is why delusion is so blinding.

  37. Dear Dheerayupa,

    In this context the word “conceive” is ambiguous, and that’s why it’s useful to distinguish between views and perception. Even though you know the selfless nature of body and mind through direct experience – that is, you have right view – the mind has a strong habitual tendency to perceive and think in terms of “I”, as Sylvester points out. So you know the truth, but you can’t “shake” the sense of “I”. This residual sense of I is just a feeling. Have a look at the Khemaka Sutta at SN22:89 (that is, sutta 89 of the Khandha Samyutta), which directly tackles this issue.

  38. Dear Sylvester,

    I’ve had a look at SN12:25 and all it seems to say is that happiness and suffering are a result of manosancetana (and also kayasancetana and vacisancetana), and that manosancetana only exists when mind exists. But it seems clear enough that the residual conceit is a habitual tendency.

  39. Dear Linda,

    One sutta which uses the simile of a flash lightening to illustrate stream-entry is AN3:25 (sutta 25 of the Threes). This sutta is included in Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi’s anthology “The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha”.

  40. Dear Bhante

    Many thanks for taking the time to reply.

    I think the error is mine in reading the passage as meaning that mano is the result of manosancetana, rather than dukkha/sukha being the result of manosancetana. Probably too obsessed with reading “speech is the result of vacisancetana”.

    With metta

  41. RE: We can agree on a superficial level that humans lack a permanent core – whether with psychologists or with the CERN physicists

    1) Yes, but I am pointing out that the work at CERN is PROBABLY more RELIABLE (CONSISTENT / IRREFUTABLE) than anything a psychologist might offer us in terms of this teaching – that is all – it is a COMMENT not an authoritative statement – am happy to discuss this.

    2) Sir, Why are you so quick to abrogate this discussion to be “on a superficial level”?

    Otherwise – are you are implying that we all have to – what actually believe in nothing as something? – or perhaps EXPERIENCE NO-SELF?

    This begs the question – what is it that might experience NO-SELF?

    You do not explain how you got to that conclusion – maybe you just read about that in a book and havent found the time to TEST IT OUT yet ?

    I am sure I don’t have to point out the problems with your asking a non-entity to experience that it doesn’t exist – it just doesn’t – we agree on that – so where is the argument going?

    We are not going to fall back onto ONTOLOGICAL THEORISING here are we? I am sure that the Buddha discouraged such to and fro?

    RE: “unless you are an ariya your delusion remains intact and you don’t even know it!”

    Hmm – a simple Buddhist put down argumentum ad ignorantiam to say that I am deluded. You are offering us a false dilemma here.

    Sir – RE: “only ariyas understand non-self”?

    Is this your statement?

    So, everyone else is left to BURN?

    Wow – that betrays an elitism that is JAW DROPPINGLY crude.

    It is possible to understand non-self in about five minutes – but what people do with it is up to them.

    RE: Only after you become an ariya can you understand what identity view is all about.

    This is a SHOCKING betrayal of a religious fundamentalist approach that I do not recognise.

    Give any man the Dep. Orig. teaching and s/he will understand it in a few minutes.

    The problem is that people import their sense of self into the teaching and BINGO – the teaching is at once rendered useless in that instant.

    Good luck with this stuff everybody

    {{HUGS}}

  42. Dear Yogi Mat,

    Yogi Mat wrote: “I agree – although I would not look to the intellectual diaspora that is contemporary psychology for support as it can border on quackery. … Furthermore, the Buddhist atomistic conception, (and revsited with some veracity in the later Madhyamaka school) manages to avoid such false conceptions through simply stating that all (yes – ALL) phenomena are empty of “substance” or “essence”, meaning that they have no intrinsic, independent reality apart from the causes and conditions from which they arose (Dep. Orig.)….A westernized, intellectual translocution of this theory would perhaps be: mereological nihlism and is being supported through some very good work in physics at CERN – I would argue what is likely to be more stable “evidence” than psychology ?…. are you are implying that we all have to – what actually believe in nothing as something? ..This begs the question – what is it that might experience NO-SELF? …I am sure I don’t have to point out the problems with your asking a non-entity to experience that it doesn’t exist – it just doesn’t –”

    Rather than (mis)understanding emptiness as nihilism let’s look at an example from quantum physics. Say a physicist tells you that your body and everything around you is mostly empty space. You may wonder, then if you kick a rock your feet will not hurt but in fact it does. However, the physicist says that you never really touch anything but only experience the illusion of solidity. You might ask then who is it that is telling you that your body is mostly empty space, aren’t you clearly seeing him and can even reach out and feel that he is solid. However, does that proves that the physicist is wrong ? Is it you that is experiencing the illusion of solidity in objects in your world and your own form or is the physicist delusional ?

    Yogi Mat wrote: “RE: Only after you become an ariya can you understand what identity view is all about.
    This is a SHOCKING betrayal of a religious fundamentalist approach that I do not recognize.”

    Let’s look at it from another angle. Say you’re in a dream and dreaming that you are a rabbit in the middle of a forest . You hear a voice telling you that there is no forest and there is no rabbit. Wouldn’t you wonder how can this be ? Who is it that hears this then ? Clearly you can feel your body , see the forest in front of you. Surely, both the forest and you ( the rabbit) exist. But is it possible that although you may feel your fur and see the forest, it doesn’t really exist in reality. I would say that it is possible . Now , is it possible that you ( the rabbit) will not know or understand this unless you wake up ? Likewise, unless you are one of the awakened one, it can be difficult to penetrate the idea of emptiness or anatta.

    Yogi Mat wrote: ” the teaching is at once rendered useless in that instant.”

    How is it so?

    Yogi Mat wrote: ” Good luck with this stuff everybody”

    Thanks, good luck with your stuff !

    With metta,

  43. IM: I think you are mistaking the concept of nihlism as being a perorative on my part, it is not.

    You may not know the subtle nuances of nihlism in philosophy – or you do and think they have been misued here – ANYWAY…

    I think nihlism as very useful when understanding the nature of reality.

    Let me explain: Your physicist will CERTAINLY NOT tell you about the “illusion of solidity” – this is a quaint Buddhist term which keeps people locked-in to a transcendental take on Buddhism.

    I am not saying that transendentalism is somehow WRONG – just UNECESSARY.

    The Physicist will tell you about seb-atomic forces that give the APPEARANCE of you TOUCHING the rock – it says nothing about the SOLIDITY of the rock – or your foot like you seem to suggest.

    OK ? – so moving on

    You are intent on “hearing a voice of the self”.

    There is no (other) one “telling” me anything about my body or mind, other than SELF – which is what we are trying to get to the bottom of here – right ?

    It serves no purpose to introduce an objectified self to the discussion, lets just stick with the sense of self we both have – not some third person – OK ?

    RIGHT: I agree that our body is mostly empty space.

    This is NOT something we can OBSERVE ordinarily – we have to rely on THEORY, and the work at places like CERN relies on some super equipment that can “observe” the behaviour of some of the smallest particle sin the known universe.

    So, there is no doubt in my mind that both Physics and Buddhist atomism hold all the cards here – not psychology or forms of transcendental meditation.

    I will ignore your discourse of sense perception – although I am sure others may get something from it OTHER THAN to quote this:-

    When a person sees an object, there is only an immediate awareness that is yet undifferentiated into conceptions of perceptual judgment expressed in statements such as “This is that.” There occurs no analysis of the awareness into subject and object or subject and predicate. Such an analysis is brought about by a conceptual construction, which associates a thing with a name of a conception. This is the cause of illusion, since verbal designation is denied reality, and all empirical knowledge is composed of such judgment. (prajnapti)

    SO – your own observances re: Sense perception should not be conflated with Theory of Dep. Orig. in this discussion – this if OFF TOPIC.

    The “illusion of solidity in objects” certainly does not make the physicist delusional – the physicist is actually POINTING TO THAT – so don’t try to create such a false dilemma and make “the Physicist” look like a quack – it doesn’t help.

    Your rambling metaphor of someone thinking about a rabbit in a forest with voices I find very confusing and unecessarily complex.

    Look – you want to create a dilemma for meditators by suggesting that SENSE PERCEPTION is AT ODDS with EMPTINESS when IT IS NOT.

    Your (RHETORICAL) question regarding “(the rabbit) will not know or understand this unless you wake up ?” is an ARMED METAPHOR – it is ASSUMING that the rabbit is ASLEEP in the first place !!

    I STRONGLY REJECT the notion that the default position for sentient beings is UNWAKEFULNESS – in fact – the only people that peddle this nonsense are people that are selling meditation courses or a religion or yoga or something.

    If there is any waking up to do – we must wake up from the notion that we are asleep – that is not an observation – it is an excuse.

    This is a typical fallacy peddled by most meditation teachers I have come across – have you any idea HOW MANY TIMES I have heard this sort of nonsense ?

    You think you are on to something – well if I has a penny for everyone that told me we have to BECOME someTHING (like an ariya) in order to “SEE THE TRUTH” I would be a very rich man.

    It is VERY EASY to penetrate the idea of emptiness or anatta.

    Just look at Dep. Org, vis a vis modern physics and you will see – the trouble is THIS RESTATED (more simply), we know the world is round and the earth circles the sun right ?

    Well, everyday we get up and the sun is outside our window and it is hardly moving – OK ?

    Now – we KNOW that we are on this ball flying around the sun and at high speed – but we just can’t bring ourselves to FEEL that – it is COUNTER INTUITIVE,

    So, we generally feel very happy to go through our day not having to worry about the earths orbit – which does not mean we are “ASLEEP” or “UNAWAKENED” – it just means we have THINGS TO DO – things other than talk about emptines on Blogs.

    So, lets move on – we both KNOW that SELF does not exist – we can IGNORE that SAFELY if wewnat to belive in oursleves as entitative then we have the right to do so – but it doesn’ cahnge the REALIY – however hard we wish the world to be flat – itdoesn’t make it So.

    The physics SUPPORTS theory of NON-SELF – as does DEp. Orig. much better than psychology.

    So, we cannot fall out over an agreement on non-self – only on what we want to use to support it.

    I choose Physics because it is something I am most comforable with and it means I don’t have to waste my life sitting on a zafu for hours every day – although I can CHOOSE to – if I want.

    In my last statement – I am merely pointing to the fact that if we use Doctrine of Emptiness to beat people down and make them feel stupid then we are CORRUPTING the teaching.

    Buddhists are as culpable in this regard as Theist and Monist schools since Buddhists use emptiness as a maneuver to sidestep a much heavier comportment with God, and when they feel crap about destroying God they turn Buddha or Emptiness into God and it becomes a religion – a religion that SMIKS at all the others with their “BAGGAGE”.

    There is nothing wrong with baggage – especially if you have to go ona journey – all I would say is the notion of journey is FALSE – not the the notion of BAGGAGE

    So be it – I can TOLERATE that – but I don’t have to AGREE with it.

    Buddhists don’t always stop there though – they often persist in asserting some form of theological supremacy and conceit that ENFORCES the sense of self.

    If we just read the doctrine a few times and then left it alone we might do better.

    If you want to argue the case for TRANSCENDING the SELF rather than DECONSTRUCTING it then I would be happy to do that – but Blog comments are possibly not the right environment for that ?

    all the best – and please don’t get nasty – I don’t make the rules – I just like to think I follow them – if you think I am wrong then I would be pleased to hear where you think I am.

    I honor the right to reply

  44. Once again sorry for the TYPOS – the most obvious one being SMIKS which should read SMIRKS – the rest I hope is readable enough – these boxes are so damn small – they incentivise people to add TOO MUCH HEAT to the discussions and NOT ENOUGH LIGHT don’t you think ?

  45. “One sutta which uses the simile of a flash lightening to illustrate stream-entry is AN3:25 (sutta 25 of the Threes). This sutta is included in Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi’s anthology “The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha”.”

    Dear Bhante,

    Thanks for this reference. I’ve just looked at this sutta, and the metaphors are so striking: an open sore, a flash of lightening and a diamond. Thanks for pointing it out.

  46. Dear Yoga Mat,

    ” The Buddha rejected both extremes of eternalist and nihilism”
    http://www.buddhanet.net/budsas/ebud/whatbudbeliev/111.htm

    ” When one asserts thus, this amounts to eternalize……….When one asserts thus, this amounts to annihilationism. Without veering towards either of these extremes the Tathagata teaches the Dhamma by the middle. ” – Samyutta Nikaya

    Yogi mat wrote: “Let me explain: Your physicist will CERTAINLY NOT tell you about the “illusion of solidity” – this is a quaint Buddhist term which keeps people locked-in to a transcendental take on Buddhism.”

    I didn’t say it was, these are simply descriptive terms . And they are not from Buddhist texts.

    Yogi Mat wrote: “The Physicist will tell you about seb-atomic forces that give the APPEARANCE of you TOUCHING the rock – it says nothing about the SOLIDITY of the rock – or your foot like you seem to suggest.”

    Perhaps you have misunderstood my parallel . Earlier you asked:
    “This begs the question – what is it that might experience NO-SELF? …I am sure I don’t have to point out the problems with your asking a non-entity to experience that it doesn’t exist – it just doesn’t –”

    That is why I gave you a parallel example . By answering the question in the will give you the answer to the question that you asked.

    When I wrote “You may wonder, then if you kick a rock your feet will not hurt but in fact it does.” That is just one possible example .

    Yogi Mat wrote: “You are intent on “hearing a voice of the self”.

    The teaching usually emphasizes about non-self. There is no reason for me to be intent on ” hearing a voice of the self” .

    Yogi Matt wrote: “The “illusion of solidity in objects” certainly does not make the physicist delusional – the physicist is actually POINTING TO THAT – so don’t try to create such a false dilemma and make “the Physicist” look like a quack – it doesn’t help.”

    I am afraid you are assuming again. It is a question of whether the person who kept on insisting that he clearly sees that everything is solid or the physicist who says that everything is mostly empty , is correct. Of course a person’s illusion of solidity in objects does not make the physicist delusional. Now, someone who is not familiar with quantum physics might think so when they hear someone say that “your body and everything around you is mostly empty space” or hear about emptiness .

    Yogi Matt wrote: “Your rambling metaphor of someone thinking about a rabbit in a forest with voices I find very confusing and unecessarily complex.”

    You were having trouble understanding how it can be difficult for an unenlightened person to understand the illusory nature of self while he/she is still unawakened. It is just like when you are still in the dream, it would be difficult for you to accept or realize that your dream identity and your dreamworld actually doesn’t exist in reality. But it is can be easily known once you are awakened .

    Yoga Mat wrote: ” in fact – the only people that peddle this nonsense are people that are selling meditation courses or a religion or yoga or something…”

    So you are not into meditation.

    Yoga Mat wrote: “things other than talk about emptines on Blogs.”

    I haven’t been discussing emptiness until you brought it up.

    Yoga mat wrote: ” I don’t have to waste my life sitting on a zafu for hours every day – although I can CHOOSE to – if I want.”

    Why not , you seems so stressed.
    Anyhow, at the end of the day we each do what we feel like. Enjoy !

    Metta,

  47. >> The Buddha rejected both extremes of eternalist and nihilism

    I am not saying that nihlism is the ANSWER I am saying it is PART of a solution.

    In as much as what we can EVER know of the Buddha, this actually says a good deal more about how western translators used the word “nihlism” at that time.

    Since then nihlism has moved on considerably in light of Madhayamaka / Mahayana schools of thought.

    You might want to look into it.

    Take it or leave it – it is up to you

    I am not here to convert anyone to my way of thinking, or the Buddha way of thinking for that matter.

    It is just that I have been involved with Buddhism / yoga for about 25 years and if I think I can add something to a discussion I will, out of goodwill – not spite.

    You are introducing a new concept: “annihilationism” and then arguing that.

    Deconstruction is NOT the same as DESTRUCTION – again – this knowledge is out there – if you care to get off your cushion and your head out of the Suttas and look for it.

    Here, you are posing your own questions and then answering them.

    I ALSO agree that “illusion of solidity” is a literary device and not in any notable texts so we should leave to one side – so we both agree.

    You used a parallel to pose a dilemma between how we FEEL about the world and HOW IT ACTUALLY IS.

    I used the heliocentric argument to illustrate this and to show that just because the sun appears stationary – we can (and do) “accept” that relatively in order to get on with our day – it doesn’t mean we are UNAWAKENED and need to sit on a cushion for hours or become an ariya who has “TRANSCENDED” the doctrine of heliocentrism in order to “see reality”.

    My question about non-self experiencing non-self was meant to be self-defeating, I thought you would spot that but anyway – lets be clear – as we agree that there is no-self then any effort to try and “experience” non-self – eg. through meditation will FAIL.

    We can only ever “experience” a SELF – and this is good enough for most people – and good enough for me _) there is no need to beat ourselves up over enlightenment.

    We can watch a cartoon on the TV about a dog and three mystery hunters (Scooby Doo) and we get that it REPRESENTS something of a story about those characters, we don’t have to “become” Scooby Doo or anything.

    We KNOW it is false – and get this – we ALL KNOW that there is NO SELF, except perhaps people with serious mental problems whose behaviour will not be consistent with that doctrine – we don’t need to be Buddhist to get it.

    Please don’t think of everyone that isn’t an ariya as being deluded – it is VERY patronising – all us “non-meditators” are all fine thanks very much – if there is any delusion at all it is thinking that by becoming a monk or meditating in a cave in the Himalayas will somehow denude some amazing reality – the truth is all we can hope for is an ALTERNATIVE reality, and I really can’t be bothered to sustain one of those as ordinary reality is fine by me.

    It is the CONSEQUENCES of how we use use/abuse Skandha that we actually have the power to do something about, this is our CHOICE and I wish you well with yours.

    This type of mystical notion that we must become an ariya is a huge mistake.

    My question was rhetorical – to highlight your presumptions about me “NOT KNOWING”.

    You fell into that, probably because you have a great interest in pursuing meditation as “as a way out” of something that actually doesn’t exist.

    You are trying to punch your way out of a buddhist body bag that you have made for yourself, possibly in dread of your certain death – and that is very frustrating to live with when you come acroos people like me that don’t have one and are doing fine without it – I discarded mine about five years ago or so and I feel all the bestter for it.

    This is NIHLISM – not ANNIHLISM – look into that maybe.

    RE: “there is no reason for me to be intent on hearing a voice of the self” – yes that is what I said – so we agree on that too.

    I am not “assuming” anything I don’t think – I am trying to get to the bottom of your contorted metaphors about rabbits in forests and I have to admit – I am struggling – so would anyone I think.

    Perhaps the sub-plot is that you think I should meditate to “find the answer” ?

    Your dilemma about whether or not what we SENSE or what we KNOW about non-self is more reliable I would point you to the Buddhas teaching which is unequivocal on this subject.

    Back to dep. orig. and Skandha – both v. easy when we don’t contort it to fit what we want to believe about them.

    I have NO “trouble understanding how it can be difficult for an unenlightened person to understand the illusory nature of self while he/she is still unawakened.”

    This is YOUR problem that you have created for yourself.

    I have explained that there is no dilemma between absolute and relative like you want there to be for some reason.

    We can happily live a relatively fulfilling existence without being “AWAKENED” which sounds incredibly painful and deliberate – as if someone can teach us how to do that.

    If we were to become “enlightened” (in your conception) the question you must ask yourself is: What can enlightenment offer us over and above WHAT IS? Well – the answer is NOTHING, so when we have been “doing” meditation or Buddhism / yoga for about 20 yeras like I have – we have to STOP “doing” it and start to look elsewehere.

    Your comments are so LOADED with values surrounding notions of Ariya and ENLIGHTENMENT that I am afraid it is bordering on positive theology – I suspect that (deep down) you believe in a universal entity of some kind which I can TOLERATE but I do not agree with it.

    As to your final comments about dreams: you are aimply contemprorising Platos Cave.

    Listen – we are ALL in Platos Cave – it is OK to be in there, and we all know that when we are both asleep and when we are awake.

    You are intent on ascribing a positive value to being “AWAKE” – why do you do that ?

    Your are turning mundanity into God.

    You have had a lot to say about the illusory nature of SELF, but this is misleading as it stabilisises the notion that there is “another order of reality” – and there is not – it is just an easy SHIFT from relative to absolute and we can do that in an instant.

    Even my six your old daughter can do that.

    Stresed ? Me ?

    “Stress” is a BAD thing – right ?

    Well, we need “stress” to live – don’t try and run away from stress, or wrap yourself up in cotton wool because if you try to TRANSCEND your hunger and desires they will come at you from the back and bite you in the arse.

    >> Anyhow, at the end of the day we each do what we feel like. Enjoy !

    Speak for yourself – I do not enjoy life in the way I think you do – I am fulfilled and content with a lovely family and friends but I am not complacent – I am not that conceited to think that life is all about saving my own bacon – a long time ago I realised that saving ones own bacon is a life for a PIG.

    Since then my life has “purpose” and I am living within that purpose and (at the moment) standing up to people that want to turn the buddhas teaching into a middle-class therapy for intellectuals and right now – this is where I get off.

    all the best

  48. Yogi Mat wrote: “I am not saying that nihlism is the ANSWER I am saying it is PART of a solution. In as much as what we can EVER know of the Buddha, this actually says a good deal more about how western translators used the word “nihlism” at that time. Since then nihlism has moved on considerably in light of Madhayamaka / Mahayana schools of thought. You might want to look into it. Take it or leave it – it is up to you.”

    I am aware that ” nihilism has moved on considerably in light of Madhayamaka / Mahayana schools of thought”. However, I wouldn’t be too quick to label the Buddha’s teaching with a particular view. In the Brahmajala Sutta , the Buddha listed over 60 views in which the Buddha’s dhamma is not. He said that people that are caught in any of these views are like the various types of fish being caught in a net, a net that binds.

    Yogi Mat: ” You are trying to punch your way out of a buddhist body bag that you have made for yourself, possibly in dread of your certain death”

    Speaking for myself, I am quite content and feel at home with where I am, there is nothing to punch my way out of (or chase after). If anything , it feels like being in a serene spa rather than a body bag that you need to punch your way out of . Let us not assume that everyone arrive at the same experience. Also, I am not ” in dread of my certain death”. Hey , if it comes, it comes. Let it be. Why would there be a fear of death if there is no attachment to the transient things in life. Where is the need to clutch tightly onto life when there is no unfulfilled desires that needed to be achieved or chase after..

    Yogi Mat wrote: ” – and that is very frustrating to live with when you come acroos people like me that don’t have one ( body bag) and are doing fine without it – ”

    Now why would I be frustrated. If someone is doing fine then it is good for them. In fact, I would be happy for you. I would only be frustrated if I am not enjoying myself in the direction I chose. However, I do enjoy myself and content with my chosen direction.

    Yogi Mat wrote: ” I am living within that purpose and (at the moment) standing up to people that want to turn the buddhas teaching into a middle-class therapy for intellectuals and right now ”

    Although there are middle-class intellectuals enjoying the Buddha’s teaching in their lives, however the teaching is not confined to any class in particular. Just like anyone can incorporate regular exercise to improve their health, anyone can incorporate meditation into their lives. It might just mean that instead of spending 4 hours in front of the television, they would spend 3 hours sitting in front of the TV instead when they want to make time for meditation.

    Yoga Mat wrote: ” What can enlightenment offer us over and above WHAT IS?”

    This question was asked by King Ajatasattu of Magadha in the Samannaphala Sutta when he paid a visit to the Buddha. The Buddha then listed various benefits of the holy life on various levels:
 -Solitude’s delight
- Virtue’s Pleasure
- Mental calm 
- Jhanic bliss
- Wisdom Knowledge
- Supernatural powers
-Mind reading
    – Recollect past lives
-See the rebirth of other beings
-Ending Dukkha
-Liberation from samsara

    Yogi Mat wrote: ” We can only ever “experience” a SELF – and this is good enough for most people – and good enough for me _) there is no need to beat ourselves up over enlightenment”

    No one says you need to. You can if you want to . If you don’t then you don’t.
    It is a common misconception to think that the Buddha suggests everyone should practice for enlightenment, or suggest that everyone need to get out of Plato’s Cave . The Buddha’s disciples includes all types of people from all walks of life. There are lay disciples in addition to monastics. For example, Anathapindika the treasurer of Savatthi, Visakha, and king Pasedadi of Kosala and many others. He did not suggests that these disciples must “beat ourselves up over enlightenment” . Teachings for people that are intent on living the household life are also found in the suttas. For example:

    “There are these four kinds of pleasantness that can be attained by householders partaking in sensual pleasures, at the proper occasions, proper season. Which four?

    1. Pleasantness of Having
    “Householder,  what is the bliss of having? There is the case where the son of a good family has wealth earned through his efforts & enterprise, amassed through the strength of his arm, and piled up through the sweat of his brow, righteous wealth righteously gained.… he experiences bliss, he experiences joy. This is called the bliss of having.
    2. The Pleasantness of Making Use Of Wealth
    3. The Pleasantness of Debtlessness
    4. The Pleasantness of Faultlessness/ Blamelessness
    “Here, householder, the noble disciple is endowed with faultless bodily action, faultless verbal action and faultless mental action. He becomes pleasant thinking I am faultless in bodily, verbal and mental actions.” – Anana Sutta ( AN 4.62)

    Yoga Matt wrote: ” don’t try and run away from stress, or wrap yourself up in cotton wool ”

    Personally, I don’t run away from stress but stress leaves me alone.

    Yoga Matt wrote: “if you try to TRANSCEND your hunger and desires they will come at you from the back and bite you in the arse.”

    That can happen in some cases, but that is not always the case. There are also cases where desires just fades away and don’t disturb you.

    Yogi Mat wrote: “Speak for yourself – I do not enjoy life in the way I think you do ”

    When I use the word ” Enjoy” earlier. It simply means just that, enjoy. It is very much like have fun, or have a nice day. And nothing more.

    Peace,

  49. OK – read all that and I only have a couple more comments:-

    1) I am sure that the Buddha did not specifically reject Mereological Nihlism in his sixty negative views of Dhamma and so your referencing these sections seems irrelevant

    2) Ancient scriptures are not able to articulate later advances in thought at all well, they are very useful as a reference though.

    3) There is some signs of your using Buddhism as a defence mechanism: Jhanic bliss? Supernatural powers
-Mind reading

    4) I find your thinly veiled Buddhist evangelism disengenuous and your over-reliance on scripture in public forum – lamentable.

    5) This is a typical Buddhist stance: cloying humility, obsequiousness, and insincerity.

    I do not have much time for this type of nonsense.

    As I said before I am not here to teach or lead or guide – I am offering testimony of the truths I have found for myself – and I am offering them freely for you to freely reject or look more into.

    I am not trying to win an argument or beat you down, I am doing my best to stop you from snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

    Please be aware that even your signing off “PEACE” I have to take with a pinch of salt since you have proven to be unreliable in your interaction elsewhere.

    Please do not be so keen on having the final word – your willingness to patronise might be welcome but only if you could demonstrate that you have something else to offer – something more edifying than images of rabbits in forests and recitation of sutta.

    Try again.

  50. Dear Yoga Mat,

    Yoga Mat wrote: ” I am sure that the Buddha did not specifically reject Mereological Nihlism in his sixty negative views of Dhamma and so your referencing these sections seems irrelevant”

    The Brahmajala Sutta shows that the Buddha refused to admit to any views.

    “Now, if anyone should put the question, whether I admit any theory at all, he should be answered thus:
    The Tathagata is free from any view, for the Tathagata has understood what corporeality is, and how it arises and passes away. He has understood what feeling is, and how it arises and passes away. He has understood what perception is, and how it arises and passes away. He has understood what mental formations are, and how they arise and pass away. He has understood what consciousness is, and how it arises and passes away. Therefore, I say, the Tathagata has won complete deliverance through the extinction, fading away, disappearance, rejection, and getting rid of all opinions and conjectures, of all inclination to the vainglory of ‘I’ and ‘mine.’”-MN 72

    Yoga Mat: ” your over-reliance on scripture in public forum – lamentable”

    This is a forum related to the Buddha’s teachings. Why should it surprise you that I refer to his written teachings. I prefer it over other sources about the Buddha’s teachings. If this is about your teachings or someone else, naturally you would see me refer to these teachings. But that is the topic for another forum.

    Yoga Mat wrote: “I do not have much time for this type of nonsense.”

    Well, drop by whenever you find the time.

    Yoga Mat wrote: ” Please be aware that even your signing off “PEACE” I have to take with a pinch of salt since you have proven to be unreliable in your interaction elsewhere.”

    What can I say.

    Yoga Mat wrote: ” if you could demonstrate that you have something else to offer – something more edifying than images of rabbits in forests and recitation of sutta.”

    I was trying to make the simile as simple as possible so that it would be easy to understand. I guess someone is not into rabbits.

    Best Wishes,

  51. Dear Ajahn Bramali,

    “So you know the truth (Even though you know the selfless nature of body and mind), but you can’t “shake” the sense of “I”. This residual sense of I is just a feeling.”

    This is now so very clear. Thank you so much!

    With deep respect,

    Dheerayupa

  52. OK – perhaps finally – or penultimately – lets see: “the Buddha refused to admit to any views”

    This betrays your willful naivety in relation to Buddhist logic / philosophy.

    Not having a view IS an AGNOSTIC view – duh – or saying that having a view “doesn’t matter” or is “irrelevant” is a POSTMODERN VIEW.

    Explicitly denying the self is am AMNIHLISTIC view, asserting that there is no self is NIHLISTIC etc. etc.

    You are once again arguing from ignorance – in other words “NOT having a view” is being ASSERTED NEGATIVELY – a type of NEGATIVE THEOLOGY full of contradiction and ABSURDITY.

    I don’t despise you for it – but I would suggest is not the whole story.

    I can see this area is not your FORTE so perhaps I will be VERY DIRECT.

    It is possible to live a life without any encumberances.

    This to me, is the model of an enlightened life – if such a thing is actually describable as such at all WHERAS you are seeking a “Punctum Archimedis” – a hypothetical vantage point from which you can objectively perceive the subject of inquiry, the “SELF” in this case through meditation – no problem with that if you were to keep that to yourself but to POST this NON-SENSE in a PUBLIC forum is arguable – and this is what I am doing here.

    I have shown that pursuing enlightenment “SELFISHLY” like this is a FAILURE.

    But I have no desire to inform those that do not wish to be informed.

    I have no desire to upset those whose faith in Buddhism or Buddha makes their life purposeful as I am aware we can be living the “right” life for the “wrong” reasons – and this is no different to living the “wrong” life for the “right” reasons.

    It is obvious that you are selling a transcendent, and/or holistic unity.

    You think it is clever and correct to remove yourself from the object of study through scripture and meditation, so your view becomes “BETTER” than someone like me who (you presume) cannot “see it” in relation to all other things, or remain independent of Skandha.

    You want to lift the SELF off its foundation and give it another (more enlightened) place.

    You are seeking a certainty from scripture where there is none to be found.

    You see enlightenment as an ‘unmovable point’ – a god’s-eye view—of SELF and the universe.

    I will be clear: THIS IS A MISTAKE that can be mitigated very easily, but only if we are prepared to set our presumptions about what enlightenment is – or what it might be to ONE SIDE – especially those that are based not on our own work but on ancient scripture from mutiple sources whose translations are (at best) shrouded in SEMANTIC FOG from the sketchy translations from ancient Indic languages to modern, Romano-Latin.

  53. Dear Yogi Mat,

    So you do have much time for this nonsense after all.

    I can see you are not aware that Agnostic is the view of the teachings of a rival philosophical teacher named Sanjaya Belatthaputta in the Samannaphala Sutta. King Ajatasattu posed a question to many leading spiritual teachers during that time. Their responses are summarized below:

    Amoralism- Purana Kassapa
    Fatalism – Makkhali Gosala
    Materialism- Ajita Kesakambali
    Eternalism- Pakudha Kaccayana

    Agnosticism- Sanjaya Belattaputta :

    Sanjaya’s answer: ‘If you ask me if there exists another world [after death], if I thought that there exists another world, would I declare that to you? I don’t think so. I don’t think in that way. I don’t think otherwise. I don’t think not. I don’t think not not. If you asked me if there isn’t another world… both is and isn’t… neither is nor isn’t… if there are beings who transmigrate… if there aren’t… both are and aren’t… neither are nor aren’t… if the Tathagata exists after death… doesn’t… both… neither exists nor doesn’t exist after death, would I declare that to you? I don’t think so. I don’t think in that way. I don’t think otherwise. I don’t think not. I don’t think not not.’

    Ajatasattu told the Buddha: ” I neither delighted in Sañjaya Belatthaputta’s words nor did I protest against them. Neither delighting nor protesting, I was dissatisfied. Without expressing dissatisfaction, without accepting his teaching, without adopting it, I got up from my seat and left.”

    Ajatasattu was dissatisfied with the answers provided by these other teachers, he then posed this question to the Buddha . However, after hearing the answer, he decided to follow the Buddha as a lay follower.

  54. The reason I responded is that I NEVER give up on people until they are explicit and say “DON’T CONTACT ME AGAIN”.

    I was expressing my exasperation with your stubborn refusal to offer anything meaningful – that is from your own experience and not from the Suttas.

    I was not saying “I am not going to respond again” – I was expresing my bewilderment with your NARROW-MINDEDNESS – but I am happy to move on – if you are.

    I have talks with ATHEISTS, CHRISTIANS, HINDUS, AGNOSTICS, BUDDHISTS – and a few more besides so I know a lot of the clever tricks people like to play – and you have demonstrated your SLEIGHT OF HAND admirably here.

    IM: I have NO idea what you are doing here – you have CHERRY PICKED Agnosticism for some reason and COMPLETELY ignored my other comments – esp. wrt MEREOLOGICAL NIHLISM which your Sutta studies don’t seem to be able to cope with do they ?

    DO THEY ?

    NO ONE has asked you for an information dump of Agnosticism – I was responding to your idea that the Buddha did not encourage people to have a “view” – which I have shown is another grave misinterpretation of yours.

    He encouraged RIGHT VIEW – that is all – and (from my understanding of your position) RIGHT view is NOT “The Buddhist View ACCORDING TO SUCH AND SUCH SUTTA” that you continue to try and expound.

    You have shown that you are either INCAPABLE or UNWILLING (or both?) to argue your rather smug and CONVENEIENT, misinterpretation of a “NON-VIEW” of “NON-SELF” and you come across as disengenuous in this regard.

    If you have nothing but more information dumps from the Suttas then you give me no other option other than to “get up from my seat and leave” also.

    So – final call for IM –

    1) Please explain (in a nutshell) how you think meditation and Sutta study helps with understanding the doctrine NON-SELF

    2) Please explain how you came to the conclusion that only ariyas understand non-self

    You are behaving in a cowardly and fraudulent way – and your responses indicate this consistently.

    You are hiding behind the Suttas and have offer very little that is of any use to anyone else other than those also obsessed with Sutta.

    PLEASE NOTE: I expect something more than cloying humility, obsequiousness, and insincerity – and perhaps – so should you.

    If you can’t cope with “Satya” then please let me know because I expect this AS A MINIMUM STANDARD for further discussion.

    Perhaps this “Satya” concept is new to you ?

  55. Dear Yogi Mat,

    Yogi Mat wrote: ” I was expressing my exasperation with your stubborn refusal to offer anything meaningful – that is from your own experience and not from the Suttas.”

    Let me ask you, from where do you derive the information that lead you to conclude that the Buddha’s view is considered such and such theory. Do you get it from someone else’s opinion of his teachings or do you actually refer to his own words? Which is a better source, what someone else thought he taught, or his own words? Do you know of a better source for the recordings of the Buddha’s dialogues other than the suttas ? Please share.
    I suggest that before trying to fit someone’s teachings in into a certain box, that you first refer to what he actually said and not what someone else said about his teachings. By that I mean the complete teaching and not just draw inferences from one or two statements that shouldn’t have inferences drawn from them. You are bound to arrive at an incomplete understanding of the teaching. It is like a blind man feeling the tail of an elephant and come to the conclusion that the elephant is like a rope.

    Yogi Mat wrote: “You are hiding behind the Suttas and have offer very little that is of any use to anyone else other than those also obsessed with Sutta.”

    If you refer to various people’s opinion of the Buddha’s teaching, some will label it as nihilistic, agnostic, annihilation ( yes, some actually think that) , atheistic , etc.. It is like a group of blind men feeling the body of a hug elephant to figure out what it is . Some come to the conclusion that it is like a rope, others like a pole, etc….But these are only a certain aspect of the elephants and not the complete or acurate picture. I am not interested joining the group of blind men and label his teaching as such and such. Wouldn’t you say that it is better to look to his words ( which are mostly found in the suttas).

    Yogi Mat wrote: “NO ONE has asked you for an information dump of Agnosticism”

    You were projecting that I meant to say the Buddha was agnostic while not knowing the term agnostic. Therefore, I was pointing out that if you had studied the suttas you would have known that Agnostic is the view of the teachings of a rival philosophical teacher named Sanjaya Belatthaputta instead of the Buddha. I was definitely not trying to imply that the Buddha as Agnostic, and there is a reason for that.

  56. To answer your question – well I believe the doctrine of dependent origination is Buddhist is it not ?

    So, I am not sure how you think that I might not be keeping to your precious knowledge of the Suttas in my argument.

    Maybe it just SUITS you to think that:-

    1) Your knowledge of the Suttas is SUPERIOR to mine
    and
    2) This makes you SUPERIOR to me

    Your metaphor of the elephant is an earlier (Jain) story which is now a cliche so I ignored it – you are SO full of religious rhetoric its is quite painful to observe.

    Please be aware that the Buddha was not totally original in his teachings and drew from Jainist, Vedantic and (if we DARE to introduce some SPECULATION) many other contexts.

    In this sense, Buddhism is not “100% Buddhist”.

    So, let me get this straight then – this is your logic:-

    1) The Buddha was enlightened
    2) He was able to teach others so that they might also become enlightened
    3) These others understood the teaching perfectly and transmitted it to more others perfectly
    4) The teachings were recorded (written down) VERBATIM and without ANY distortion in the Suttas in some form of Pali
    5) The Suttas were translated VERBATIM with NO semantic distortion into Romano-Latin languages (German / English etc.)
    6) It is possible for one to understand the teachings of the Suttas from these translations
    7) We can become enlightened by reading these (later) editions of the Suttas

    Am I correct that this is the logic you are using ?

    If not – please put me straight before we continue as I do not want to waste our time.

    ALSO, I notice you still haven’t answered these questions:-

    1) Please explain (in a nutshell) how you think meditation and Sutta study helps with understanding a doctrine such as NON-SELF

    2) Please explain how you came to the conclusion that only ariyas understand non-self

    So, SHOOT – but don’t knock yourself out.

  57. Dear Yogi Mat,

    Yogi Mat wrote: “To answer your question – well I believe the doctrine of dependent origination is Buddhist is it not ?”

    Is it possible that ignoring the rest of the other sutras might give you a partial picture of the teaching.

    Yogi Mat wrote: “Maybe it just SUITS you to think that:1) Your knowledge of the Suttas is SUPERIOR to mine and 2) This makes you SUPERIOR to me”

    This is something that came up in your mind , and not my mind.

    Yogi Mat wrote: “Your metaphor of the elephant is an earlier (Jain) story which is now a cliche so I ignored it – you are SO full of religious rhetoric its is quite painful to observe.”

    It’s just a common story that came to mind . I could have use any other story .

    Yogi Mat wrote: “Please be aware that the Buddha was not totally original in his teachings and drew from Jainist, Vedantic and (if we DARE to introduce some SPECULATION) many other contexts.”

    The Buddha practiced some very gruesome practices for a few years . In the Maha-sihanada Sutta, the Buddha listed the unnecessary and physically harmful austerities he picked up from other practitioners around the region during that time. Some of these practices are found in Jainism. The Buddha practiced them to the point of near death. He said ” by such conduct, by such practice, by such performance of austerities, I did not attain any superhuman states, any distinction in knowledge and vision worthy of the noble ones. Could there be another path to Awakening?” The Buddha recalled a meditative state he entered by chance as a child and abandoned the ascetic practices he has been doing so he can practice his meditation . At that time his companions also abandoned him .

    Jainism emphasizes asceticism , self-mortification, or torturing the body, as a means of purifying the soul .

    Due to his previous experience , the Buddha doesn’t suggest his disciples to take up any kind of self-mortification, or torturing the body. The middle way is neither indulgence in sensual desires nor is it self- mortification . The emphasis is on A. purity and simplicity, B.meditation , C.understanding and wisdom.

    Yogi Mat wrote: “So, let me get this straight then – this is your logic:-”

    After Enlightenment , the Buddha taught for 45 years. His key teachings can be found repeated in various places in the text. They sometimes become a stock formula given to different people at different places. A few insignificant sutras might not be from the Buddha. However, they are usually not part of the stock formula for enlightenment.

    Translation can varies slightly due to choice of words. Some might read the Pali version for themselves, some would read both. Others can read the English version and look up the original term if they are not clear about a certain translated term. Generally, the instructions are pretty comprehensive.

    Yogi Mat wrote: ” Please explain (in a nutshell) how you think meditation and Sutta study helps with understanding a doctrine such as NON-SELF”

    Let’s you hear about an exotic food you haven’t tasted before. After hearing the description , it is still difficult to have a clear idea of what it actually tastes like. So you get the recipe . You go home and study the recipe thoroughly . Yet you still can’t quite experience what it tastes like. You then follow the instructions in the recipe and cook the dish. Now you are able to taste it once it’s done.

    Sutta study can be like having a recipe with directions . Meditation and practice can be compared to actually cooking . Experiencing anatta can be similar to tasting the food once it’s cooked.

    It can be difficult to know what that exotic food really tastes like before actually eating it.

  58. Añña-Kondañña was enlightened while listening to the first sermon. Mahakasyapa received the transmission when the Buddha lifted a flower and iNeditation will realize annatta by studying ancient texts though the filter that is iMeditation’s brain, with all that has been conditioned into it from his/her location/age/experience/sadness/joy etc.

    The trouble with your cooking analogy is that you are always going to have a lingering doubt about “have I really caught the true flavor of the exotic dish” or you convince yourself that your duplicate dish is in fact the real thing and everybody else’s version of the dish is not genuine.

  59. Dear Peter:

    Peter wrote: “Añña-Kondañña was enlightened while listening to the first sermon. Mahakasyapa received the transmission when the Buddha lifted a flower.”

    Anna-Kondanna became a Stream-enterer after the first sermon. He has been practicing for a long time before being lead to stream-entry by the Buddha. I suppose you will find someone to lift a flower instead of practicing the Eightfold Path which includes dhamma studies and meditation, etc..

    Peter wrote: “iNeditation will realize annatta by studying ancient texts though the filter that is iMeditation’s brain, with all that has been conditioned into it from his/her location/age/experience/sadness/joy etc.”

    That’s the trouble with studying the text alone. That’s why it’s always recommended that it goes hand in hand with meditation. Meditation and textual studies are two of the three division of the Eightfold Path. Did I say that I am going to realize anatta through studying the text alone? Right view includes the “words of another” (dhamma in written form,etc..) as well as Yoniso Manasikara after meditation.

  60. Dear iMeditation,

    Though you were not directly responding to me, I would like to thank you for your very clear explanation. It has helped me understand Buddhism better.

    Thank you. :)

    Mega metta,

    Dheerayupa

  61. Dear IM,

    Is it possible that you cannot answer my questions directly (without METAPHOR / SIMILIE and ANALOGY) despite your claim to know the Suttas extensively?

    Jainism also emphasizes AHIMSA – does that ring any bells for you ?

    My point was not that Buddhism IS Jainism but that it BORROWS HEAVILY from other traditions such as Jainism.

    The reason for this was to try and loosen your psychological dependence on Theravada Sutta,a nd the image of The Buddha you have in your head – which you clearly worship – a bit like a fundamentalist Christian who cannot bring themselves to let go of the fanciful notion that God created the world in seven days.

    I have clearly failed in this regard going by your most recent post.

    This type of rendition is fine for elementary school children but this is very worrying if that view persisits into adulthood.

    Your religious fundamentalism has been duly noted – and has your persistent INFORMATION DUMPS from Sutta.

    I have not asked you for any such information so you are starting to appear quite mad.

    OK – from your response I can assume your logic is as I stated.

    Would you care to hear how your logic fails?

    I asked you to explain (in a nutshell) how you think meditation and Sutta study helps with understanding a doctrine such as NON-SELF” and you came up with an analaogy of COOKING EXOTIC FOOD.

    This is very sweet of you, but a bit like a paedophile offering sweets to children.

    Firstly – the analogy is based on a FALSE PREMISE

    You are making a mistake in comparing UNDERSTANDING the concept of NON-SELF to another (supposed) Ontological and epistemological certainty such as: “I think, therefore I am”.

    To be frank – I DON’T WANT this recipe BECAUSE IT STINKS.

    Please IM – can you tell me what it is like to “Experience anatta”?

    I will help you out here: BE VERY CAREFUL because this is a OBVIOUS PARADOX.

    CAn you see the PAradox ?

    Do you even care?

    If there is NO-SELF, what exactly is it that has/can “EXPERIENECE” it ?

    I think every single point you are relying on can be refuted quite easily – but I don’t want to dismantle your Theravadin belief system, with its Gods and Saints unless you feel you are ready for it.

    Can you handle your belief system being deconstriucted?

    If not – please let me know and I will move on

    I am not here to preach – only to INFORM – and if you don’t want that sort of information then I have to respect your decision to rely only on Suttas.

    As you like analogy – try this one – you feed a child nothing but rice – do you think that it will develop well?

    How do you think that childs development might be improved if we also gave it fruit and vegetables ?

    In a similar way, I strongly encourage you to look outside your current programme of development in order to better understand yourself and the world around you.

    That is all for now.

  62. I wonder if imeditation is a bot?

    “Anna-Kondanna became a Stream-enterer after the first sermon. He has been practicing for a long time before being lead to stream-entry by the Buddha” Are you sure about that or is it just somthing your read in a book?

  63. Peter,

    Thankyou for your post.

    But I am afraid I do not share your optimism wrt IMeditation.

    My argument is that the whole notion of “realizing annatta” is a Red Herring, as is the idea that only ariyas can/will understand it.

    We ALL UNDERSTAND it without any study or meditation.

    My children understand it, they have experienced it from being created almost “out of nothing” themselves.

    We know about cells, neural networks, quantum physics – it is all out there without sitting on a cushion OR studying tales from the Indian sub-continent.

    My older children now also understand the “hard” science behind it – which is not necessary but nice for them to be able to understand it intellectually also.

    What can “Studying ancient texts though the filter” tells us about the texts or the filter ?

    I am thinking “NOT MUCH”

    all the best

  64. Peter Durham :
    I wonder if imeditation is a bot?
    “Anna-Kondanna became a Stream-enterer after the first sermon. He has been practicing for a long time before being lead to stream-entry by the Buddha” Are you sure about that or is it just somthing your read in a book?

    This is V. Funny Peter – A Buddhist Robot !!

    Not only does it know and understand everything there is to know and understand, but it will also refer you to the appropriate resource in the correct historical document.

    My concern is that like ISAACE ASIMOVS “I ROBOT” – what if one of these robots actually starts to think they are human?

    That would throw up a whole new can of worms NOT LEAST from an ethical standpoint wouldn’t it?

    There is a glimmer of hope here – but not much I wager.

  65. “Añña-Kondañña was enlightened while listening to the first sermon. Mahakasyapa received the transmission when the Buddha lifted a flower.”

    Are you sure about that or is it just something your read in a book?

  66. Dear Yogi Mat,

    Yogi Mat wrote: “Is it possible that you cannot answer my questions directly (without METAPHOR / SIMILIE and ANALOGY) despite your claim to know the Suttas extensively?”

    How dhamma studies and meditation support one another was discussed extensively on this blog previously. I don’t intend to repeat the whole discussion. However, it’s still on the site . The metaphor is a just a way of condensing it. Besides, it’s not like you are genuinely interested in learning about it, so a brief metaphor will do for the sake of time saving.

    Yogi Mat wrote: “Jainism also emphasizes AHIMSA – does that ring any bells for you ?”

    So you assume that is the only possible source for the emphasis on non-killing ? If you actually read the Suttas surely you will know that during the Buddha’s night of enlightenment he realized that karma is a direct result of a person’s word, thought, and action in life. Since a person’s word , thought, and action form the basis for good and bad karma, sila (moral conduct) goes hand in hand with the development of meditation and wisdom.

    You might not believe me , so here it is again, written in the text ,wink :)

    “When the mind was thus concentrated, purified, bright, unblemished, rid of defilement, pliant, malleable, steady, & attained to imperturbability, I directed it to the knowledge of recollecting my past lives. I recollected my manifold past lives, i.e., one birth, two…five, ten…fifty, a hundred, a thousand, a hundred thousand, many eons of cosmic contraction, many eons of cosmic expansion, many eons of cosmic contraction & expansion: ‘There I had such a name, belonged to such a clan, had such an appearance. Such was my food, such my experience of pleasure & pain, such the end of my life. Passing away from that state, I re-arose there. There too I had such a name, belonged to such a clan, had such an appearance. Such was my food, such my experience of pleasure & pain, such the end of my life. Passing away from that state, I re-arose here.’ Thus I remembered my manifold past lives in their modes & details.
    “This was the first knowledge I attained in the first watch of the night. Ignorance was destroyed; knowledge arose; darkness was destroyed; light arose — as happens in one who is heedful, ardent, & resolute. But the pleasant feeling that arose in this way did not invade my mind or remain. ”

    “When the mind was thus concentrated, purified, bright, unblemished, rid of defilement, pliant, malleable, steady, & attained to imperturbability, I directed it to the knowledge of the passing away & reappearance of beings. I saw — by means of the divine eye, purified & surpassing the human — beings passing away & re-appearing, and I discerned how they are inferior & superior, beautiful & ugly, fortunate & unfortunate in accordance with their kamma: ‘These beings — who were endowed with bad conduct of body, speech, & mind, who reviled the noble ones, held wrong views and undertook actions under the influence of wrong views — with the break-up of the body, after death, have re-appeared in the plane of deprivation, the bad destination, the lower realms, in hell. But these beings — who were endowed with good conduct of body, speech & mind, who did not revile the noble ones, who held right views and undertook actions under the influence of right views — with the break-up of the body, after death, have re-appeared in the good destinations, in the heavenly world.’ Thus — by means of the divine eye, purified & surpassing the human — I saw beings passing away & re-appearing, and I discerned how they are inferior & superior, beautiful & ugly, fortunate & unfortunate in accordance with their kamma.
    “This was the second knowledge I attained in the second watch of the night. Ignorance was destroyed; knowledge arose; darkness was destroyed; light arose — as happens in one who is heedful, ardent, & resolute. But the pleasant feeling that arose in this way did not invade my mind or remain. ”

    Sorry, I just can’t help it.

    Yogi Mat wrote: “Your religious fundamentalism has been duly noted – and has your persistent INFORMATION DUMPS from Sutta.”

    I can’t help it if someone doesn’t like Dhamma or the Buddha. Should I stop studying the Buddha dhamma because someone likes to read the Jain suttas or other things.

    Yogi Mat : “I have not asked you for any such information so you are starting to appear quite mad.”

    By not looking into the suttas, you are leaving out some gaps in your statements. I am filling out the gap by providing the missing information that you have left out.

    Yogi Mat : ” so you are starting to appear quite mad.”

    Having seen you projected all sorts of things onto me the whole time we have been conversing why are my not surprise. I haven’t seen much of this from others that I have been conversing with but only with you in particular. I guess it has more to do with your conditioning or mental disposition rather me. So there is no reason to take it personally. It just passes right through. To be honest, I can’t help being amused about all sorts of projection that I see coming from these posts. Are you sure you are not projecting your own anger onto me.

    Yogi Mat wrote :”To be frank – I DON’T WANT this recipe BECAUSE IT STINKS.”

    Are my surprise ? Didn’t you say this before.

    Yogi Mat wrote: ” Can you handle your belief system being deconstriucted?. If not – please let me know and I will move on.”

    I am still here discussing with you aren’t my ? I am still waiting for you to deconstruct it.

    Yogi Mat wrote: “I am not here to preach – only to INFORM – and if you don’t want that sort of information then I have to respect your decision to rely only on Suttas. As you like analogy – try this one – you feed a child nothing but rice – do you think that it will develop well?”

    Did I suggest that you should not read magazine, novels, science, philosophy, and poem? Who are my to tell you what to read and what not to read or learn. It is the freedom of each to person to read or learn whatever they feel like and whenever they feel like. No one needs someone to tell them whether they should read the bible or not read the bible.

    Yogi Mat wrote: “In a similar way, I strongly encourage you to look outside your current programme of development in order to better understand yourself and the world around you.”

    It’s just your projection and assumption that I have never study other teachings , psychology, or philoshophy, etc.. This is a forum related to the topic of the Buddha’s teachings. No one is force you to listen. Now if someone likes to read the bible and you don’t, do they have to drop it. Maybe you can pressure your children to stop studying or reading the bible,suttra, or what you don’t like. But let us not forget that I am not your child. It is everyone’s basic freedom. I am not going to stop studying what I feel like because someone pressure me. Do you go around and makes fun of people who study the Bibile , yoga sutras, or other sacred texts as well?

  67. It’s just somthing I read. I’m not sure if it is true and I’m not really that bothered.

    I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One, on a wandering tour among the Kosalans with a large community of monks, arrived at Kesaputta, a town of the Kalamas. AN 3.65

  68. Dear Peter,

    Peter wrote : “It’s just somthing I read. ”

    I also read the same sutta, but just notice an additional detail that I thought you might be interested . But if you don’t then just ignore it.

    Peter wrote: ” I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One, on a wandering tour among the Kosalans with a large community of monks, arrived at Kesaputta, a town of the Kalamas. AN 3.65″

    So Peter, after you have applied the Kalama sutta in reading this sutta, what do you notice after examining it , feel free to share.

  69. iMeditatiom The “It’s just somthing I read.” was in responce to your question “Are you sure about that or is it just something your read in a book?” You see I have this rare quality of giving a direct answer to a direct question.

    With regard to the Kalama Sutta there is nothing further that needs to be said (or shared) by me.

    Are you the Buddhist equivelent of a “Terminator”?

  70. Dear Peter,

    Peter wrote: “With regard to the Kalama Sutta there is nothing further that needs to be said (or shared) by me”

    Since you mentioned the Kalama Sutta, that is why I asked if you want to share something about it Peter. If not then , oh well.

    About your other, question, have I say something that I shouldn’t have said ? If I did, please forgive me.

  71. IM: From your posts I an now VERY worried about your mental health.

    I am not a medical expert but, as a layman you are showing signs of a mental breakdown of some kind.

    If you haven’t already done so, PLEASE go and see a doctor.

    I am not joking, your mental condition seems very frail and you appear to be quite a vulnerable person.

    I am sorry for any trouble I have caused you, I am no longer going to challenge you in this forum on the issues that we have been comunicating about as I have serious concerns about your mental health.

    If you REALLY DO want to help me, and all the other people on this forum please go and see your doctor right away.

    With all best wishes to you, and good luck with your meditation and Sutta study.

    I am sure you are on to something.

    In the meantime I would also encourage you to cease using online forums as they can expose us to all manner of extra problems.

    All the best

  72. Dear Yogi Mat,

    Thanks for your concern and advice. I also advice that before you make it your life’s goal to set out and put down someone’s teaching, at least read what person himself/ herself have said, whether it be in written form or audio talks. Instead of reading one or two suttas, or worst from a secondary source. And then from there draw inferences from statements that shouldn’t have inferences drawn from them. This way, if you are still intent on attacking the person’s teaching, at least you are not just fighting your own notion of the teaching which you projected . You seem to think people’s spiritual practice is a waste of time, but devoting your life to argue against a notion which you yourself projected doesn’t seem that meaningful either. By showing you the passages from the suttas, I was helping you do just that because you don’t seem to be willing to read it on your own. How will you know what exactly you are condemning. But when the passages that crumble your distorted preconceived notions of what the teaching is about, you can’t handle it.

    While we are being honest with each other, your pattern of drawing inferences from statements that shouldn’t have inferences drawn from them then project that onto the other person and argue , should be examined.

  73. Thankyou for your most recent post, I have noted what you say, I understand it and have concluded that your advice is safe for me to ignore – but thanks all the same.

    In fact, I must ignore it as it it is unsuitable although I appreceiate that (finally) you are responding to my appeal for HONESTY (by this I do not mean that you are a dishonest person – just that you have been very AUTISTIC in your responses.

    I have no idea if this is pathological problem for you – but certainly it is a SOCIAL problem and this is an OBSERVATION – not an AUTHORITATIVE STATEMENT.

    This is why I suggested you have a health check, since when it comes to mental problems I feel that conventional medicine must be the first port of call before other forms of compelmentary or alternative allopathy are considered.

    Failing this, please ensure your family and friends are close to you as I fear that if you continue you are heading for a nervous breakdown of some kind.

    RE: “projection”, I never imbibe pop psychology – not even face to face from someone I “trust” – let alone from a stranger in an online forum – it is disconcerting to think that you feel I might.

    This IS good advice for everyone to follow I think.

    As I said, I have no wish to atack your religious beliefs or upset you without reason.

    My intention was to upset your presumptions, your logic and your rhetoric – NOT the person – and in this regard I fear that I have resoundly failed – TWICE !!

    So I am sorry for that – not for my failing – but for consequences of having failed.

    I hope you find what you are looking for in the Theravadin Suttas, and in your Meditation – but if ever you do start to notice that you are struggling at all then may I suggest Therapy?

    I have enjoyed our brief discussion in some ways but I am afraid your problems are outside the scope of this Blog comments facility and this is not the most appropriate place for a deeper and (perhaps) more meaningful discussion.

    PLEASE NOTE: The PURPOSE for this Blog is “Buddhism for a small world: views and opinions” and so your HIJACKING it for your own research into “THE BUDDHAS TEACHINGS” is perhaps not as welcome as you might think.

    You might want to revisit your posts and consider the proportion of quoted material you provide from the Suttas – as a opposed to your own views and opinions.

    Please do take care of yourself, it could also be that the dissonance I am picking up from you is because you have not realised that you might be in the wrong forum ?

    All the best

  74. Dear Yogi Mat,

    Yogi Mat wrote: “In fact, I must ignore it as it it is unsuitable although I appreceiate that (finally) you are responding to my appeal for HONESTY (by this I do not mean that you are a dishonest person – just that you have been very AUTISTIC in your responses.”

    The reason it never occured to me to tell you what your flaws are because first of all it is not my style to criticize the person but only the point. I consider it a serious flaw in debate to attack the person. Why would I want to get on a forum and start name calling people , label and give them diagnosis which is not in my place to give. Secondly, it is not my business. Thirdly, I don’t have to live with you, so there is no need. Besides, I am sure you can get enough of complaints about your personal flaws from people you live with on a daily basis.

    Yogi Mat wrote: “My intention was to upset your presumptions, your logic and your rhetoric – NOT the person – and in this regard I fear that I have resoundly failed – TWICE !!”

    I am surprise that for once you finally take a brief break from critizing people you are conversing with to look at your own problem. But to say that you have failed only twice in this matter is not an accurate picture of the situation. If you count the attacks or ” suggestion” toward the person on this very post alone it is numerous. I suggest that you go back to your post and count all your personal attacks towards the person to have a better idea of the seriousness of the problem.

    Yogi Mat wrote:

    ” may I suggest Therapy?”

    ” please ensure your family and friends are close to you as I fear that if you continue you are heading for a nervous breakdown of some kind.”

    “I suggested you have a health check, since when it comes to mental problems I feel that conventional medicine must be the first port of call before other forms of compelmentary or alternative allopathy are considered.”

    “been very AUTISTIC ”

    Have it ever occurred to you that I am not interested in seeking psychological diagnosis from a forum. If you are so interested on giving psychological diagnosis to people perhaps you should pursue that area and get proper training first before doing so. Besides, it might be a good idea to cure yourself from psychological issues first before working on me.

    Yogi Mat wrote : “PLEASE NOTE: The PURPOSE for this Blog is “Buddhism for a small world: views and opinions” and so your HIJACKING it for your own research into “THE BUDDHAS TEACHINGS” is perhaps not as welcome as you might think.”

    You seem to have a distaste for the Buddha’s teachings as well as his written teachings. However, do I have to stop posting the suttas to suit you. Most of the time it didn’t even occur to me to tell you to refrain from attacking the person in your posts because first of all I neither own you nor this forum. Why are you telling me to change what I wanted to post.

    Why would I want to get on a forum and tell people I don’t know about their personal flaws or hear people tell me about my personal flaws. You are doing this to someone who you don’t even know and have never met, I can’t imagine what you will do to people who have to live with you.

    This discussion have become unnecessary because it has come down to exchange in attacks on the person, which I think is unhealthy and not something that we both need to add into our lives.

    Peace,

  75. >> I consider it a serious flaw in debate to attack the person.

    Good for you, but I think AD HOMINEM is a vastly underated form of criticism, especially in matters of religious faith as those found wanting in terms of their conduct seem to be able to justify even the most abhorrent and inhumane acts in the name of their religion don’t you think ?

    … and Buddhists do not always come out so clean in this regard as they sometimes like to think either.

    Used sparingly and with skill AD HOMINEM often goes along way to denude the imperatives of commentators

    Do you understand what I have said here?

    Please don’t just REACT like a child – think about it for a few days and THEN by all means POST again.

    You like quotes don’t you ?

    Well here are a few you might not have come across:-

    I cannot help feeling… that writing is unfortunately like painting; for the creations of the painter have the appearance of life, and yet if you ask them a question, they preserve a solemn silence — Socrates

    Enlightenment is (wo)man’s emergence from h(er)is self-incurred immaturity.

    Immaturity is the inability to use one’s own understanding without the guidance of another.

    This immaturity is self-incurred if its cause is not lack of understanding, but lack of resolution and courage to use it without the guidance of another.

    Have the courage to use your own reason – that is the motto of enlightenment. (Immanuel Kant)

    So, I have become quite attached to being a curmudgeon – there I have said it – I am attached – the cardinal sin of Buddhism – right ?

    WRONG AGAIN (I won’t explain – you would not want to understand).

    >> I am sure you can get enough of complaints about your personal flaws from people you live with on a daily basis.

    Good GUESS – but those around me don’t INFORMATION DUMP on Sutta like you do – so we get on SUPER FINE

    I am happily married, with a lovely family, a great business with lost of associates and some very dear friends from many different faiths – and some with none.

    Lets at least TRY to be clear IM

    I suggest that your debating skills are even more hazardous than being a Buddhist NOOB (or “beginner”) as someone who is new to Buddhism is AT LEAST FULLY AWARE of this and can make appropriate adjustments.

    However with you IM, in Internet Speak you are a “BAD KID” – that is someone that has been doing something for a while and (wrongly) think they are good at it (or at least better than NOOBS) when they are not – and your over-reliance on Sutta gives me a goiod indication of how wrong-footed you are in your debating skills, arguments and methods.

    I am VERY clear IM that you have not sort a proper psychological diagnosis – and in my post (if you ever were to read what I actually say in context) I said as much – I NEVER CLAIMED to be offering a “diagnosis” of you problems – I am merely pointing out my observations.

    Again, you are too quick – you like STRAW MEN. (maybe you also need to look THAT up?)

    You seem to want to control a sense of epistemological superiority and this makes you look like a fool as the Buddha warned against such certainty – the emperor has new clothes !!

    It is worth REPEATING that the PURPOSE for this Blog as stated is: “Buddhism for a small world: views and opinions”.

    Well your posts fit the first part (“small world”) but NOT the second as you only offer SUTTA REFERENCE and so your HIJACKING it for your own interests as to “THE BUDDHAS TEACHINGS” is perhaps not as welcome as you might think – and this is where your AUTISTIC tendency is most observable.

    RE: I neither own you nor this forum.

    Wow – now we are getting somewhere – well done.

    >> Why are you telling me to change what I wanted to post.

    Because what you post is SELF-SERVING (see STRAW MAN) and does not take into proper account the rich diversity of practice.

    You VERY MUCH need to engage in this sort of passionate response and if this stops you from having a nervous breakdown, then in this regard I am very happy to have been of some small assistance.

    Your “infinite wonder” of the Sutta and the Buddha is all-pervasive – I expect such views from other religions but it is not quite so funny when you get that in Buddhism too because they tend to use more persuasive arguments about “Sunyata” rather than simply backsliding into God – which I find quite sweet and less threatening somehow.

    I guess if you were to come out with it and say: “hell heah – I believe in Buudha was a God” then I would love you all the more for that candour – but the WAY you debate seems disengenuous with your “NON-VIEW of NON-SELF” clap trap.

    I expect you to be asserting more of YOUR truth – and not so much someone or something elses.

    THIS is the MINIMUM I expect from my interactions: SATYA.

    If you don’t want to enter a discussion with me then I will respect you for that also.

    I wanted to fire you up into actually being UPFRONT as to how you feel about Buddhism and all I got was NONSENSE – talking rabbits in forests / voices / and a recipie for EXOTIC FOOD.

    WTF?

    Of course the background context of the Sutta must not be IGNORED but this does not entitle you to think your posts are the final word on the matter – or should they try to take center stage in a “Theravadin Buddhism vs. The Rest Of The World” mission.

    I took the position of coming out and saying as much – but more directly and using my posts more like a sword than the usual pugil sticks made from cotton wool that you are probably used to from people that don’t even know that their heart has since left them on their zafu, let alone express themselves with emotional integrity in public forum.

    I feel a sense of INFINITE bewilderment at this growing hegemony of reasonableness in Buddhist / yogic / and so called “spiritual” communities and Blogs.

    I think you are mistaking “attacking” for “asserting” or “adding”.

    It would be perverse to have lived on this planet for forty odd years like I have and not have something to add to a discussion.

    The trouble is we cannot go back in time when everone lived more vicariously – where there were ariyan IDOLS and the Buddha was a HEROIC ROLE MODEL.

    You have mad ideas about who you might be, and who the Buddha was.

    When you get to my age you get pretty sure of yourself – this is “normal” – and it is “normal” to honor that I think – I assert that.

    I am NOT on an “ABSOLUTE AUTHORITY” trip here.

    What I have said, (and the way that I have said it) has caused you INTERNAL DISSONANCE – THIS IS A GOOD THING.

    Although we are to be very suspicious of EDGE – quite rightly if it is for its own sake – as it can UNHINGE and become SELFISH and SELF SERVING very quickly.

    But you are right, it doesn’t take much of an imagination to picture me responding to comments made both by misogynistic, white middle class monks with delusions of transcendental grandeur and under-the-gun feminists that want equal rights for women in buddhist monasticism.

    Its a merry hell.

    I don’t think I can change – I think there is an honesty about that – I know I make mistakes – I know I poke around where people don’t want to be POKED – but it is working out OK

    After all – we would not be exchanging comments if either of us were “FORTUNATE” enough to be blessed with an even-handed attitude would we ?

    THINK about that – what are we giving up in our myopic pursuit of “perfection”?

    I love anyone that is prepared to look for spaces where ther is room for words OTHER THAN FINAL WORDS.

    I have “won” so many times that winning is not an issue for me anymore.

    I am now “TERRIBLY OBSSESSED” with trying to STOP people from LOSING – so much so that I will often give them an easy target to shoot at and then say – great – now how about this ?

    – and this is where people tend to fall away – no matter

    I am actually doing amazing in my life – relatively I have a great family – good health – enough money and as to my beliefs / philosophy I have made some good gains there too in the last few years – in the sense that I feel much less bound up with yoga / buddhism / god / ontology / sex / drugs / being a good husband / father / son / businessman / ethics.

    I am offering you an alternative, not demanding that you take it.

    I feel more “ordinary” and am now repulsed by the sort of belief system you espouse and was myself, many years ago also involved with.

    I, more than ever now see the beauty in the mundane – picking up my daughter from school – after about 25 years of doing the rounds – in and out of monasteries / temples / jobs / relationships I am WELL out of transcendentalism / holistic therapeutisation – I can SMELL all that rose scented non-sense through my flatscreen !!

    I am generally IMMERSED IN LIFE now and I feel all the better for it.

    Do keep up the dialogue if you wish, I bear you know ill will but you simply can’t say the things you do without attracting some negative criticism from people like myself that have found an alternative Truth, without all the intellectual BAGGAGE of Buddhism.

    “There’s an alternative. There’s always a third way, and it’s not a combination of the other two ways.

    It’s a different way.” — David Carradine

  76. Yogi Mat wrote: “how wrong-footed you are in your debating skills, arguments and methods.”

    Enough about debating skills, I am not looking for a teacher nor are my seeking opinions on this. I have my own opinions about your debating skills as well, but let us not go there any further.

    Yogi Mat wrote: ” “Well your posts fit the first part (“small world”) but NOT the second as you only offer SUTTA REFERENCE”

    Take it or leave it, let’s stop ranting.

    “You VERY MUCH need to engage in this sort of passionate response”

    If you feel the need please continue to do so. I don’t, since it is neither productive nor is it healthy.

    Yogi Mat ” I guess if you were to come out with it and say: “hell heah – I believe in Buudha was a God” then I would love you all the more for that candour –”

    Look, the Buddha is a like fatherly figure to his disciples. He sees disciples as his sons or daughters.

    Yogi Mat wrote: “I expect you to be asserting more of YOUR truth – and not so much someone or something elses.”

    I don’t feel the need.

    Yogi Mat :” let alone express themselves with emotional integrity in public forum.”

    Most people I converse with generally focus on the point rather than attacking the person. Only in rare cases do someone ( from another forum) resort to personal attacks or name calling. But that’s only as a last resort after all the other means failed instead of a style of debate.

    Yogi Mat : “You have mad ideas about who you might be, and who the Buddha was.”

    Is it anyone’s business what my ideas about the Buddha is or whether it’s mad or not, or what my ideas about who I might be. Can you leave that to me to decide for myself.

    Yogi Mat: ” I am actually doing amazing in my life – relatively I have a great family – good health – enough money and as to my beliefs / philosophy I have made some good gains there too in the last few years – in the sense that I feel much less bound up with yoga / buddhism ”

    Yogi Mat, do you happen to mix up Buddhist practice with other types of practices?

    Yogi Mat wrote: ” I am offering you an alternative, not demanding that you take it.I feel more “ordinary” and am now repulsed by the sort of belief system you espouse and was myself, many years ago also involved with.”

    I am not sure how you practiced in the past that made you so repulsed ?

    Yogi Mat wrote: “Do keep up the dialogue if you wish, I bear you know ill will but you simply can’t say the things you do without attracting some negative criticism from people like myself that have found an alternative Truth, without all the intellectual BAGGAGE of Buddhism.”

    If you are happy living a lay life then I am happy for you. It never occurred to me that everyone should take up a spiritual journey. Why would you feel the need to disrupt others choice in life, especially when they are quite content with it. I am quite content with my choice. What is the reason for choosing to live your lifestyle. What does it have to offer?

  77. >> Take it or leave it, let’s stop ranting.

    Well, I WOULD leave it but you KEEP POSTING non-sense !

    You are distorting the Buddhas teachings to suit your own mad agenda.

    Lets be clear – as long as you keep posting millionth-hand Dhamma I have the right to reply to it.

    This Blog is precisely to allow people to give views and opinions on the teachings – and just because you have come across someone who has sussed out what you are doing (which is to be seen as being altruistic, and knowledgeable) you don’t like it.

    I wonder how you came to the conclusion that an enlightened life is “productive” and “healthy”?

    I would be interested to hear YOUR views on that (PLEASE don’t post anything from Sutta though as I won’t read it)

    >> Look, the Buddha is a like fatherly figure to his disciples. He sees disciples as his sons or daughters.

    Yeah – just as I thought – you have Buddha down as a God – “a holy father who art in heaven” – well if you had SAID that MORE CLEARLY then I would have understood your backsliding into EVANGELISM.

    Listen – you can BELIEVE in Buddha and the Suttas as being holy if you want – but you have to also be prepared to accept that this is, in fact AGAINST WHAT THE BUDDHA TAUGHT.

    So, you have a conundrum, it is one you have made for yourself, and it is UNECESSARY if we are prepared to put our beliefs to one side.

    I won’t quote Sutta here to back up this – I will leave you to look it up.

    And, if (as you say) you really “don’t feel the need” to assert your truth then why are you skewing what the Buddha taught and pulling up texts OUT OF CONTEXT in order to suit your own agenda on this forum?

    Most people you converse with really don’t care about you.

    You and your mates are living in an IVORY TOWER.

    And, as long as you continue to post excerpts from the Sutta ina PUBLIC FORUM in order to STABILISE your own MISCONCEPTIONS about the teaching then your ideas about the Buddha is or whether it’s mad or not, or what my ideas about who I might be ARE OPEN TO QUESTION.

    You do not need to DUMP INFORMATION on public forum to make a decision, you are doing that just because you like to feel that your knowledge is irrefutable – BECAUSE it is “WHAT THE BUDDHA TAUGHT”.

    You are ignoring the CONTEXT of the teachings completely.

    As to importance of CONTEXT, if I were to say to you “IM you must jump off the bridge” when there is a train coming and the bridge is only a metre or so high then this is VERY DIFFERENT to me asking you to do the same when there is no NEED for you to do that and such an action would lead to your untimely and violent death.

    So, to simply QUOTE SUTTA in order to back up your own PRECONCEPTIONS about Buddha, Enlightenment and the teaching is a WILD GOOSE CHASE

    I tell you this not out of SPITE but with COMPASSION.

    Just as I SHOUT at my dog if he is far away from me and about to venture onto the highway.

    Buddhism itself is a practice with other types of practices.

    It was “born” in a (mostly) vedantic / Brahmanistic mileu, with a backdrop to Jainism and many other mystical threads.

    If you think being PURITANICAL about Buddhism is correct then this is a MISTAKE.

    It is not a THEORY – it is a practice and the teachings reflect the rich an diverse culture of the Indian subcontinet many thousands of years sgo.

    Theer are some real gems in the teachings but to CLING TO THEM is WRONG, especially when they become less potent in our modern, networked society.

    I used to practice just like you, I thought Buddhism had all the cards when it came to matters of philosophy, psychology, ethics, faith and metaphysics etc. etc.

    But I have seen that it does not, and that wouldn;t matter if in my soujourns through cyberspace I didi not keep coming acroiss fundamentalists that promote the Buddhas Teachings as an exclusive and authoritative source when it is only one of a number of reliable sources.

    NOW, THIS IS FUNNY:-

    “If you are happy living a lay life then I am happy for you. It never occurred to me that everyone should take up a spiritual journey.”

    I am ROFLMAO – the lay life therefor is NOT spiritual ???

    Do you have ANY IDEA how WRONG this is ?

    ERROR – ERROR – IM –

    ERROR ERROR ERROR

    Please – TAXI for IM – we need a TAXI to the monsastery

  78. Dear Yogi Mat,

    Yogi Mat: “This Blog is precisely to allow people to give views and opinions on the teachings – and just because you have come across someone who has sussed out what you are doing (which is to be seen as being altruistic, and knowledgeable) you don’t like it.”

    Being someone who doesn’t want to practice , I understand that you are not interested in sutta. But that is your business. You can’t ban me from writing what I want to write. That is my business.

    Yogi Mat: “Yeah – just as I thought – you have Buddha down as a God – “a holy father who art in heaven” – ”

    This is only as you thought and not as I thought. Besides, let’s look at the Buddha’s own description . He described himself as ” accomplished, fully enlightened, perfect in true knowledge and conduct, sublime, knower of worlds, incomparable leader of persons to be tamed, teacher of gods and humans, enlightened, blessed.”

    Yogi Mat : “Listen – you can BELIEVE in Buddha and the Suttas as being holy if you want – but you have to also be prepared to accept that this is, in fact AGAINST WHAT THE BUDDHA TAUGHT. I won’t quote Sutta here to back up this – I will leave you to look it up.”

    What did the Buddha taught according to you. How do I know if it’s something taught by the Buddha or your own personal inferences or projections onto the Buddha regarding what he taught. I prefer that you show me where he said it when you say that the Buddha taught something or not taught something.

    Yogi Mat: “Most people you converse with really don’t care about you. You and your mates are living in an IVORY TOWER.”
    So you think you know what is best for me Yogi Mat?

    Yogi Mat wrote:”You do not need to DUMP INFORMATION on public forum to make a decision, you are doing that just because you like to feel that your knowledge is irrefutable .”

    The way I see it, dumping information is always better than dumping nothing but personal attacks, name calling, projections, in almost every single post.

    Yogi Mat wrote: “I tell you this not out of SPITE but with COMPASSION.”

    No one knows for sure what is best for others. Accepting others just the way they are and giving them the freedom to live their lives according to their choice can be a form of compassion that is not as controlling.

    Yogi Mat wrote: “I am ROFLMAO – the lay life therefor is NOT spiritual ???”

    The reason I didn’t say living a “lay life without spirituality” in particular but only “lay life ” when referring to you is because it is obvious .

    Yogi Mat wrote: “ERROR – ERROR – IM –RROR ERROR ERRORPlease – TAXI for IM – we need a TAXI to the monastery”

    What is this ? Now this is amusing. (: lol.

    Cheers,

  79. Dear IM,

    RE: What did the Buddha taught according to you?

    Well, I think what the Buddha taught according to ME is pretty close to what he taught according to YOU – but the consequences are VERY different methinks.

    You are still clinging on to the old stories bcause you are lazy and don’t want to do the work yourself, you need to lose some of this spiritual fat and do some work to lose the weight and let go of all those extra calories.

    Here is just ONE little example that might upset your conception of Buddha as being a “Holy Father”, with “disciples”:-

    “…the brahmin Dona (asking the Buddha in confusion or amazement what he is) — a god (deva), a gandharva, a yaksha or human. The Buddha answers emphatically that he is not any of these (na bhavissāmi), but that he is a Buddha.”

    So, your ascribing holiness to the Buddha and the Suttas ( which you know he didn’t actually write himself but were recorded down PARROT FASHION many years later when the CONTEXT became LOST or at least FOGGY) is clearly not in anyones interest is it?

    You must burn your Holy Suttas and kill that Holy Buddha in your head, then finally, you will become the Buddhist your heart yearns to be.

    OR, keep going and be the Buddhist you always have been.

    The choice (as they say) is yours.

  80. RE: No one knows for sure what is best for others. Accepting others just the way they are and giving them the freedom to live their lives according to their choice can be a form of compassion that is not as controlling.

    You obviously don’t have children do you ?

    If I took this liberal, wish-washy altruistic “ADVICE” all my kids would be probably dead by now due to NEGLIGENCE.

    I DO know whats best for some of the people, some of the time but not all of the people all of the time.

    Please keep up with what I have said in this thread IM and you will see how you are duping yourself, put simply you don’t WANT the HASSLE of having to argue what you believe and yet are quite happy to DUMP on everyone elses posts with your untested BS.

    You are a Buddhist Evangelist – claiming that your practice and the Suttas are irrefutable but cannot offer anything reasonable in your defence of your actions.

    You are just the sort of person the Buddha loves, someone who will just bow down without causing any fuss.

    Bowing is easy isn’t it?

    We are of course looking at that old gem: we are looking at CAUSE and EFFECT (Dep. Orig.)

    Being a good Buddhist – you know about that – right?

    Well here is the CAUSE and the EFFECT for you: You were posting BS, I smelled it and told you that I smell BS, and you took offence to that – you have been ignoring BS for so long now that you don’t smell it anymore.

    This is KARMA – it is not ONE thing, (me/you) or even a set of things (Suttas) but rather a “characteristic” or “trait” of everyTHING, it enforces a departure from the tendency to want to make GOOD and EVIL entitative (THINGS in themselves) from which GOOD-NESS and EVIL-NESS can emanate.

    You have set this up – I am EVIL – the Buddha is GOOD – and you are WHAT ?

    WHERAS – if we notice – the only way we can determine whether an outcome is “POSITIVE or NEGATIVE” (GOOD/BAD etc.) is AFTER the INCIDENT / MOMENT / event – it ENTAILS some form of anthropomorphic JUDGEMENT about what has actually just taken place – it is “UNFORTUNATE” or whatever.

    If we think VIOLENCE is “BAD” then the BIG BANG and the subsequent emergence of LIFE is VERY BAD indeed – and so you must also admit to ORIGINAL SIN.

    So, you can see how you sound more like a fundamentalist Christian than a Buddhist to me.

    I prefer to think of VIOLENCE as an alternative ENERGY to PEACE – I think both are “ARMED” in the sense they can be DIRECTED to someTHING that many transform either one into a PAINFUL outcome.

    Nevertheless, at the outset VIOLENCE is for FOOLS and PEACE is for the WISE – I think I can admit to that much.

    As to your seminal comments re: ethics in this form then I would say that ETHICS are always a shadow of something else, you know – we see the results of an explosion and say “this was BAD – I lost a good friend” or “Great, the enemy was defeated” without noticing how we are relying on a “Punctum Archimedis” – a hypothetical vantage point from which we FOOL OURSELVES that we CAN objectively perceive the subject of inquiry, the “DAMAGE” in this case as if we are (a) G/god (or a HOLY BUDDHA).

    In his way, the DISSONANCE of whether we should kill, or be killed is assuaged and becomes more like a ringing in our ears and not an earthquake beneath our feet.

    All of this of course is PURELY HYPOTHETICAL and is CONDITIONAL on REJECTING one of the BUDDHAS most powerful and influential TEACHINGS: Dependent Origination.

    PACIFISTS take it one step further – they think they are clever and correct when they have the “courage” to remove themselves from the object of study (war) through scripture and meditation, so their view becomes “SUPERIOR” than someone who cannot see it and ends up having a joining the army and having nervous breakdown or something.

    Pursuing this discrete coordinate in spacetime – independent of Skandha is not only NOT enlightenment it is also NOT even possible – unless we LIE to ourselves and CHERYY PICK from the Suttas like you are doing.

    Much of Buddhism is practiced with one BIG FLAW: we want to lift the SELF off its “UNHEALTHY/UNAWAKENED “foundation” and give it another (more enlightened) place.

    When, all we need to do is set ourselves fee from the foundation, (“SELF”) – and that takes COURAGE not REASONABLENESS.

    So many see enlightenment as another, superior ‘unmovable point’ – a god’s(Buddhas)-eye view—of SELF and the universe that we must PURSUE.

    I can TOLERATE people that practice like that but I do not agree with that method, or practice that myself as there are too many paradoxes.

    I can explain this in more detail but I am sure you would not be interested because it would involve you letting go of the very things you hold dear – that Buddha in your head and about 99% of the Pali Canon.

  81. Dear Yogi Mat,

    Yogi Mat wrote : “Here is just ONE little example that might upset your conception of Buddha as being a “Holy Father”, with “disciples”:-“…the brahmin Dona (asking the Buddha in confusion or amazement what he is) — a god (deva), a gandharva, a yaksha or human. The Buddha answers emphatically that he is not any of these (na bhavissāmi), but that he is a Buddha.”

    This is a very famous story that almost everyone know. Did I say the Buddha is a deva, gandharva, yaksha, etc.. ?

    If you actually read the suttas you will know that there are numerous times where the Buddha referred to the bhikkhus as son, and numerous disciples considered themselves as (spiritual ) sons of the Buddha. I would post all the incidents here for you but I have a feeling it will be difficult for you to take. Most of the time when I post the quotes with references is to avoid this kind of argument because you doubt what I said or think I made it up.

    Yogi Mat wrote: “Please keep up with what I have said in this thread IM and you will see how you are duping yourself, put simply you don’t WANT the HASSLE of having to argue what you believe and yet are quite happy to DUMP on everyone elses posts with your untested BS.”

    About being ” quite happy to DUMP on everyone elses posts with your untested BS”, are you sure you’re not projecting your own traits onto me?

    Yogi Mat wrote: “You are a Buddhist Evangelist – claiming that your practice and the Suttas are irrefutable but cannot offer anything reasonable in your defence of your actions.”

    You don’t seem to be able to refute it in a reasonable way other than projections and personal attacks about me. I don’t take projections and comments of personal attacks seriously.

    Yogi Mat wrote: ” You were posting BS”
    Speak for yourself Yogi Mat.

    Yogi Mat: “You have set this up – I am EVIL – the Buddha is GOOD – and you are WHAT ?”
    Actually, this is what you projected that I set up. I usually give the other person the benefit of the doubt and assume that he/she is a good person deep down. That also includes you.

    Yogi Mat wrote: “So, you can see how you sound more like a fundamentalist Christian than a Buddhist to me.”

    Why are my being called a fundamentalist when you are the one who kept on insisting that people to stop following their beliefs and follow your way of life. To me spirituality is something people pursue within themselves. Whether they choose to or not , or which path they choose is not my place to decide.

    Yogi Mat: “Much of Buddhism is practiced with one BIG FLAW: we want to lift the SELF off its “UNHEALTHY/UNAWAKENED “foundation” and give it another (more enlightened) place….So many see enlightenment as another, superior ‘unmovable point’ – a god’s(Buddhas)-eye view—of SELF and the universe that we must PURSUE.”

    To me the practice is about learning to let go of constantly chasing after some desires, whether it be worldly or spiritual. Yet it is difficult to let go of worldly desires. The Eightfold Path is the way to let go of world desires.

    Once that is done , the spiritual desires also need to be let go of. It is like letting go of a raft once you crossed the river. However, some remain attached to spiritual desires like someone who carries the raft with them and refused to let it go once they crossed the river. It will only becomes a burden. When the disturbance of both spiritual and worldly desires are not present, you find yourself at ease with this moment without the need to chase after something to make yourself feel fulfilled. You are already fulfilled here and now because the need to seek or chase after something is not there. The teaching is actually about be-ing rather than seeking, chasing, or becoming.

    Yogi Mat: “I can explain this in more detail but I am sure you would not be interested because it would involve you letting go of the very things you hold dear – that Buddha in your head and about 99% of the Pali Canon.”

    You are wishing that this would happen, but it takes more than just projections and personal attacks for that to happen.

  82. RE: This is a very famous story that almost everyone know. Did I say the Buddha is a deva, gandharva, yaksha, etc.. ?

    Well – YES – as best you think you by predictably DIUMPING MORE SUTTA – this what you QUOTED:-

    “He described himself as accomplished, fully enlightened, perfect in true knowledge and conduct, sublime, knower of worlds, incomparable leader of persons to be tamed, teacher of gods and humans, enlightened, blessed.”

    So, to you he is some God-like mother f\/cker right?

    “Techer of Gods”? “blessed”? – that is some statement right there isn’t it ?

    And you have FALLEN IN LOVE with that – and so your treatment of yourself (and everyone else) is INHUMANE becuase of the DUALISM – the paradox and your WRONG FOOTING

    IM: I have warned you before about your POP PSYCHOLOGY of “PROJECTION”.

    I dealt with “projection” about ten years ago and you MISS THE POINT.

    Lets put that to one side IF YOU CAN – but you are SO SUSPICIOUS your heart is fragmented and does not know how to react wholeheartedly to my CRITICISM of your obvious misconception of the teaching and of the Buddha.

    It means something to you – and that is fine – if you kept that to yourself what would I be arguing against here?

    You can’t see the KAMMA you are creating by your posts.

    You are BAD KID.

    What does your Buddha have to say about that IM ?

  83. Dear Yogi Mat,

    Yogi Mat wrote: “So, to you he is some God-like mother f\/cker right?
    “Techer of Gods”? “blessed”? – that is some statement right there isn’t it ?”

    The above is an excerpt of the Buddha’s own description of himself. He provided great details in the Maha-sihanada Sutta. There really is no need to argue about who we think the Buddha is and project it onto him. Each person understand and interpret it differently. How you choose to understand it is up to you.

    Yogi Mat wrote: “You are BAD KID.

    What does your Buddha have to say about that IM ?”

    Yogi Mat, are you going to tell the Buddha on me :) That’s really cute.

    You always managed to amuse me. This time it is no exception. I honestly feel that you are a good person deep down. If you loose your spikes and thorns you are just fine and ,funny as well.

    Happy Holiday,

  84. Back again IM?

    Well, now you tell a HEDGEHOG to “loose your spikes” just so it fits in with your CONTORTED view of an IDEAL WORLD where we all live “PEACEFULLY” under the shadow of a huge Buddha?

    What is needed in order for the world to be to be “FINE” is less people LIKE YOU who attempt to PURSUE THEIR OWN AGENDA IN THE NAME OF BUDDHA – with their JUMPED UP AUTHORITY.

    THis is what some monks were doing with women – they were using the SUTTAS as an EXCUSE for PREJUDICE and FUNDAMENTALISM.

    You are no different to those monks, and all the other people whose religion is HIJACKED and flown into TOWER BLOCKS or Put into a BOMB to blow up innocent people.

    The PEACE you speak of is an ARMED PEACE – it is a PEACE on YOUR TERMS and I do not want PEACE ON YOUR TERMS – you are ALONE in this regard IM.

    Your psychology is FUNDAMENTALIST and INTOLERANT.

    I do not mind INTOLERANT FUNDAMENTALISTS like you if they kept it to themselves – but how many do?

    Listen I KNOW what you are doing here – you have been FOUND OUT.

    You think that by knowing obscure sections of Sutta you are an EXPERT – you are just a BAD KID – and your Suttas cannot help you in that regard

    What did the Buddha have to say about BAD KIDS IM?

    See how IMPOTENT your books are when it comes to LEAVING YOUR IVORY TOWER and actually doing something WORTHWHILE and MEANINGFUL in your life?

    The tools you use are in the hands of a CHILD – and I would never give POWER TOOLS to my children.

    What do your parents have to say about this?

    Do you even know where they are this Christmas?

    Are they dead?

    Did your father not love you or something? Did he leave when you were young? Did your mother run off with another man or woman?

    I could say you are PROJECTING your (natural) feelings you might have for your NATURAL parents onto an indian prince that lived thousands of years ago – although I do not believe that because I do not assume I know your circumstances and do not engage in QUACKERY.

    AND what of the what of the ROSE whose “thorns” you despise so much you want them removed ?

    You are a FASCIST – you want the world to fit with your worldview and when it doesn’t you drag up your Buddha from the grave to try and make your life more bearable.

    To continue with my directness – you are NOT teaching BUDDHISM – you are teaching FASCISM IN THE THE NAME OF BUDDHA and your JUMPED UP AUTHORITY is SAD and INEFFECTIVE because people can SEE RIGHT THROUGH what you are doing.

    Your Sutta is your pill, and your meditation is your therapy – and in this only – I suggest you do not change at all since you are clearly incapable of anything more MEANINGFUL than keeping yourself MEDICATED.

    I have no problem with the choices you make – JUST DON@T EXPECT ME TO TAKE YOUR MEDICINE – I don’t need it and I am suggesting that you don’t too.

    The choice is yours.

  85. Dear Yogi Mat,

    Yogi Mat wrote: “You are no different to those monks, and all the other people whose religion is HIJACKED and flown into TOWER BLOCKS or Put into a BOMB to blow up innocent people.”

    This is an erroneous preconceived notion you have about the teaching. If you actually read to understanding the teaching it should be obvious that “flown into TOWER BLOCKS or Put into a BOMB to blow up innocent people” is definitely not our style.

    Yogi Mat wrote: “Your psychology is FUNDAMENTALIST and INTOLERANT.”

    Why are my considered intolerant when you are the one who can’t accept that others believe in what you don’t or read what you don’t. Are you sure you didn’t get it mixed up.

    Yogi Mat :”You think that by knowing obscure sections of Sutta you are an EXPERT ”

    You can read my mind ?

    Yogi Mat wrote: “– you are just a BAD KID – and your Suttas cannot help you in that regard. What did the Buddha have to say about BAD KIDS IM?”

    Here you go again Yogi Mat. Lol :)

    Yogi Mat wrote: ” LEAVING YOUR IVORY TOWER and actually doing something WORTHWHILE and MEANINGFUL in your life?”

    Like going around and curse at Buddha and bhikkhu/ni yogi mat .

    Yogi Mat: “What do your parents have to say about this?”

    You can tell my parents, but please don’t tell Santa :)

    Yogi Mat wrote: “Did your father not love you or something? Did he leave when you were young? Did your mother run off with another man or woman?”

    What does this have to do with anything we are discussing. What use does a fully grown man sees in this kind of statement .

    Yogi Mat wrote: “AND what of the what of the ROSE whose “thorns” you despise so much you want them removed ?”

    That is just a suggestion. If you want to keep it then simply ignore what I said. I don’t live with you so I am not too worry about the thorns.

    Yogi Mat : “You are a FASCIST ”

    I can call you you Mr. Grinch too but how would this kind of name calling game get us anywhere.

    Yogi Mat wrote: “To continue with my directness – you are NOT teaching BUDDHISM ”

    I didn’t claim to teach anyone. I will leave it to you.

    Yogi Mat: “I have no problem with the choices you make – JUST DON@T EXPECT ME TO TAKE YOUR MEDICINE – I don’t need it and I am suggesting that you don’t too.”

    I don’t have that kind of expectation . The way I see it , the dhamma is a gift and not an obligation . If you refuse it , oh well. That is not going to effect my practice in anyway.

    Yogi Mat wrote: “The choice is yours.”

    You finally understood this. Finally we are getting somewhere. I am glad you find it in yourself to accept this.

    Be Merry!

    P.S

    BTW, I have no ill will towards you. If I have said something which I shouldn’t have , please forgive me. ..

  86. Dear IM

    You have done very well to discipline yourself here.

    I think that you are doing very well.

    Most people would have either GIVEN UP by now and yet you continue to respond which is admirable.

    You have gone up a notch in my book.

    You are now at NOTCH ONE – like my LABRADOR RETRIEVER who is loyal and friendly but STUPID.

    RE: This is an erroneous preconceived notion you have about the teaching.

    NO – it is an notion I have about YOUR POSTS, and you have yet to prove me wrong

    RE: If you actually read to understanding the teaching it should be obvious that “flown into TOWER BLOCKS or Put into a BOMB to blow up innocent people” is definitely not our style.

    “OUR” style ? you mean I am NOT one of you then ?

    Your appeal for exclusivity is duly noted and (ONCE AGAIN) goes against the Buddha Teaching (see Ehipassiko).

    I consider you intolerant because of your ELITIST stance.

    You have not proven how that NON-SELF can only be understood by ariyas.

    I am sure I didn’t get it mixed up because I am happy that you believe in something – it is just that I don’t believe in that – and I have asserted the reasons why I don’t and I have suggested that you don’t have to believe in the things in the way you do either because it causes you problems when you come across people like me that have no such encumberances.

    RE: You can read my mind ?

    Well, in as much your words are a natural outgrowth of your ignorance then yes – but beyond that – no.

    RE: Like going around and curse at Buddha and bhikkhu/ni yogi mat

    These people are NOT beyond reproach.

    If they were truly enlightened what I say would not cause them any problems like it does – as is the case with you.

    RE: What does this have to do with anything we are discussing?

    Well, if any of these cases were true then it would explain your projecting the natural feelings of love and affection towards the Buddha, which are a waste of energy because he is dead.

    RE: That is just a suggestion.

    Well, yes – and I have added to all the other ones you have – lets see – we have rabbits in forests – voices – exotic food – the bin is full already?

    I can call you you Mr. Grinch too but how would this kind of name calling game get us anywhere?

    Well you would finally find yourself being honest in your interactions – instead of running away to the Buddha for comfort.

    Go ahead – Call me a Grinch – see what happens !!

    I think you are so SUPERSTITIOUS that you would never bring yourself to use such languauge – you are “ABOVE” all that aren’t you?

    >> The way I see it, the dhamma is a gift and not an obligation.

    And yet you think that those that don’t receieve it are missing out in some way so you PERSIST in DUMPING SUTTA on everyone ?

    It not a question of refusing it, it is a question of whether or not it is DHAMMA – – and I think in your hands – it is NOT.

    RE: “The choice is yours.” You finally understood this. Finally we are getting somewhere.

    If you check my posts I actually said this some time ago – but I know you have a habit of just picking out what suits you and leaving the rest.

    Your practice is NOT wholehearted, you are CONSUMING dhamma like food, you are injesting so much that you have grown fat on it.

    You need to go on a diet of ATHEISM, ILL WILL FEAR and LOATHING for a few months to realise what you aer dealing with.

    Then come back to me after doing that and see how your DHAMMA looks after that.

    RE: Be Merry!

    Is this another SUGGESTION of your IM ?

    RE: I have no ill will towards you. If I have said something which I shouldn’t have , please forgive me. ..

    You have said FAR TOO MUCH and I forgive all that which has resolved to change.

    I do not forgive that which will persist in misleading and damaging pronouncements about the Buddhas teachings in public forums.

    So, only you can know how much I forgive you.

  87. Dear Yogi Mat,

    Yogi Mat wrote: ” You have done very well to discipline yourself here.I think that you are doing very well.Most people would have either GIVEN UP by now and yet you continue to respond which is admirable. You have gone up a notch in my book. You are now at NOTCH ONE – like my LABRADOR RETRIEVER who is loyal and friendly but STUPID.”

    Oh, how can I match your intelligence Yogi Mat, especially the ability for name calling and verbal abuse.

    Yogi Mat: “OUR” style ? you mean I am NOT one of you then ?”

    I thought you don’t want to be one those who you assume to be no different than people who “flown into TOWER BLOCKS or Put into a BOMB to blow up innocent people”. Besides, I can’t say “my” because you are referring to a group, I can’t say “their” because I am also learning the teaching. ” Don’t take it too literally.

    Yogi Mat wrote: “Go ahead – Call me a Grinch – see what happens !!”

    Is there a point to it ? What exactly would that do .

    Yogi Mat wrote: “It not a question of refusing it, it is a question of whether or not it is DHAMMA – – and I think in your hands – it is NOT.”

    So now it’s not Dhamma only when it is in my hand. You have shown some improvement. JK.

    Yogi Mat wrote: “You need to go on a diet of ATHEISM, ILL WILL FEAR and LOATHING for a few months ”

    This sounds like your regular diet.

    Yogi Mat wrote: “So, only you can know how much I forgive you.”

    Oh well, some is better than nothing

    Be Merry Yogi Mat,

  88. Dear IM,

    RE: …verbal abuse ?

    Verbal communication is “abuse” when it is directed to upset a person, emotionally.

    Your exposure to my verbal assault is NO MORE ABUSIVE than your own fascist take on Buddhism, in that what you post about Buddha and the Suttas has affected my emotional well-being and physical state as well.

    I have constructed a parallel between RELIGIOUS FUNDAMENTALISM and those who have “flown into TOWER BLOCKS or Put into a BOMB to blow up innocent people”.

    This is to NOT to say that all religious fundamentalism is the SAME – only that it shares certain characteristics.

    I am also a fundamentalist in some ways – but the fundamentals I am relying on are different to yours and do not rely on the ELITISTISM of the ariyan.

    RE: “I can’t say “my” because…”

    You are identifying your imaginary self as part of an imaginary group of imaginary buddhists and then excluding the imaginary me from that imaginary group.

    Do you see the common thread here? It’s like watching a kitten trying and catch a shadow ! MEEOWCH!!

    RE: NAME CALLING Is there a point to it ? What exactly would that do?

    Well, you don’t know until you try do you?

    I suspect that your BUDDHIST SUPERSTITION prevents you from saying BOO to a GOOSE.

    Name calling would be a sever spiritual set back wouldn’t it ?

    And that would not be in your SELF-INTEREST would it?

    HE-HE you really are on a moral treadmill here, when will you get off the wheel?

    >>So now it’s not Dhamma only when it is in my hand.

    No – that is not correct – it is TRUE when anyone ABUSES the teachings for their own ends – like misogynistic monks / corrupt people then it is not Dhamma – in the hands of a corrupt heart the Dhamma is like a SWEET TREAT in the hands of a paedophile.

    RE: a diet of ATHEISM, ILL WILL FEAR and LOATHING

    Hey – don’t knowck it till you try it – but then you never will because you are too cowardly.

    You cannot bear the thought of you straying from the path, even though there is no path!!

    >> Oh well, some is better than nothing

    Perhaps you are assuming too much?

    I would be a lot merrier if you would quit trying to fight me and just move on to another VICTIM in cyberspace that you can TROLL all over with SUTTA.

    If you really want me to be happy – call me an EVIL, STUPID and an ANGRY man FULL OF HATE – then I would be happy – try it – just see how it FEELS.

  89. Yogi Mat wrote: “I am also a fundamentalist in some ways ”

    It’s good that you recognized

    Yogi Mat wrote: “I would be a lot merrier if you would quit trying to fight me and just move on to another VICTIM ”

    It’s interesting that you perceived yourself as a victim.
    Anyhow, if that’s what you want , so be it.

    Yogi Mat wrote: “If you really want me to be happy – call me an EVIL, STUPID and an ANGRY man FULL OF HATE – then I would be happy – try it – just see how it FEELS.”

    Can’t help you on this one. But be merry anyways!

  90. Hello again IM

    RE: Can’t help you on this one. But be merry anyways!

    What makes you think that you can/have “helped” anyone with anything?

    And what makes you think that “being Merry” is the solution to this problem?

    Could it be that if I WERE “Merry” I would not cause you so much trouble?

    I suspect your FASCIST MINDSET has me down as an “INCONVENIENCE”.

    If you were more courageous you might seek to TERMINATE me, but since you are also a COWARD you resort to SELF-DEFEATING conceit.

    IM: YOU be merry! – your self-esteem is already under severe threat so CHEER UP and move away from this discussion – you will feel all the better for it.

    No one expects you to continue with such a harsh opponent.

    Just walk away and live your life the way you always have – more of the same will be fine won’t it?

    Since you are still here – let me tell you what I think – I think that you believe that you can help people by quoting Sutta – without realising that you are USING THE SUTTA to STABILISE your own PRECONCEPTIONS about the Buddha and what he taught.

    You use SUTTA as THOUGHT TERMINATING CLICHES.

    Of course, thought is highly overated – but so is FAITH.

    THE MAIN PROBLEM I had (past tense) is when ordinary people (like me) argue with your conclusions and beliefs.

    You then dismiss them as being mere “projections” rather than admitting that YOU MIGHT BE WRONG.

    This is a fairly common mistake made by all people of FAITH.

    And – just to be clear – I am not against people WITH FAITH – I am simply arguing against MISPLACED FAITH.

    … and FAITH is MISPLACED when it can be either proven to be wrong, or (in your case) has so many INCONSISTENCIES that it is WORTHLESS.

    Only you can know WHY your beliefs persist and how they cause you pain – and whether you are HONEST enough to admit that is beyond the scope of this conversation.

    I am not here to CHANGE your beliefs – I am here to UPSET them – because they can be shown to be INCONSISTENT.

    I am asserting MY truth which does not rely on epistomological encumberance.

    I WARN YOU: You are on a SLIPPERY SLOPE.

    Now, whether you will continue to hold on to your beliefs, or hold onto the underlying message the Buddha has for us is (for the third time) UP TO YOU.

    I think I have done enough here to AT LEAST make you DOUBT the basis for your beliefs – if I have then that is “GOOD”, and if I have FAILED – then at least I can leave here and feel that I have brought your atention to the looming paradox you have on your hands and it is this:-

    If (Buddhist) ariyans are the only ones that understand NON-SELF, then what is that UNDERSTANDING based on ? (if anything)

    If you can answer that question to your own satisfaction then you will not need to reply.

    If

  91. Dear Yogi Mat,

    I know you would miss me.

    Yogi Mat wrote: “What makes you think that you can/have “helped” anyone with anything? And what makes you think that “being Merry” is the solution to this problem?”

    What makes you think that I was referring to helping someone or not helping someone when I wrote: ” Can’t help you on this one” It was just a casual way of replying to you asking me to call you “an EVIL, STUPID and an ANGRY man FULL OF HATE”. It was another way of saying no.

    What makes you think that I suggest ” be merry ” as a solution. It is the holiday season and I am merry that’s why I feel like writing ” be merry” . Why are you drawing inferences from statements that shouldn’t have inferences drawn from them. These are simple statements and you distorted with your own mind unnecessarily .

    Yogi Mat wrote: “– let me tell you what I think – I think that you believe that…… you are USING THE SUTTA to STABILISE your own PRECONCEPTIONS about the Buddha and what he taught.”

    Again you are projecting your own thoughts into my mind which haven’t occurred to me. I am using the sutta as a map when traveling on the Eightfold Path. Since this is the path rediscovered by the Buddha, the sutra is my chosen map because it is where some of his instructions are recorded . Ignoring his recorded instructions and turn to what people thought he taught instead , one is more likely to get lost and become bitter . You choose not to read the sutras because you think you can use other sources to arrive at the destination while traveling the Eightfold Path in the past, you can continue to do so, or not.

    I choose not to approach the Eightfold Path the way you do and I am happy with my path so far. You got lost by your method and try to stop me from continuing on my journey assuming I have the same experience as you do.

    To me the sutta is like an instruction manual , a map relating to the Eightfold Path. It is helpful for people traveling on that path to refer to. You might be traveling toward another location and no longer travel on the Eightfold Path, so it is understandable that you don’t need this map. That is your business where you want to go or not, and which map you need to get there or not.

    Another reason I post the sutras is to save time and for clarity sake. Earlier I posted something about the Buddha without showing you where exactly did the Buddha stated that, you didn’t believe me and said this is not what the Buddha taught and claimed that he said something else. I didn’t know if it is your own inference and projection of what the Buddha taught without seeing where you get that idea from and said the Buddha taught it. Showing the references can help to save us time by avoiding this kind of confusion.

    If anything after encountering you , I am more convinced that I should definitely read the instruction manual/ map before venturing on the Eightfold Path.

    Out of your own inner frustration you want to create that kind of feelings in others. How is this helpful to you or anyone? You want me to drop what I am doing and become like you or follow your path . But I asked you earlier , what does your path or way of life has to offer?

  92. Dear IM,

    >> I know you would miss me.

    This is true.

    >> It was another way of saying no.

    Heres a tip – JUST SAY NO – say what you MEAN – I know this is a new thing for you – but try it – your life will change in very interesting ways.

    >> Why are you drawing inferences from statements that shouldn’t have inferences drawn from them.

    Do you not understand linguistics and semantics?

    How about hermeneutics then?

    You do NOT make things easy – OVERSIMPLIFICATION of complex ideas DOES NOT MAKE THINGS SIMPLE.

    Brevity is no friend of clarity.

    >> “distorted”

    No – I may have MISINTERPRETED what you MEAN – but with the language you use, and (more importantly) the WAY you use it SO WOULD ANYONE.

    Don’t BLAME ME for YOUR poor communication skils – that is just making excuses – “projection” I think YOU call it?

    – which is FUNNY – a nice sweet little quack psychotherapy attempt at a PUT DOWN to say “I THINK YOUR STUPID” which FAILS with me – so give that one up please – IT DOESN’T WORK HERE.

    >> I am using the sutta as a map when traveling on the Eightfold Path.

    Er – that is a METAPHOR – THERE IS NO PATH – or if there is IT IS OF YOUR OWN MAKING – it is IMAGINARY – like THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD.

    If you HOLD ON to “his recorded instructions” then YOU DON’T UNDERSATND that you are in fact, “turn(ing) to what people thought he taught instead”.

    THIS is why you are lost.

    You think that your method is SOUND when it is NOT.

    If you remember earlier – I posted about SEVEN POINTS of LOGIC that underpin your practice.

    I will RESTATE it here:-

    1) The Buddha was enlightened
    2) He was able to teach others so that they might also become enlightened
    3) These others understood the teaching perfectly and transmitted it to more others perfectly
    4) The teachings were recorded (written down) VERBATIM and without ANY distortion in the Suttas
    5) The Suttas were translated VERBATIM with NO semantic distortion into Romano-Latin languages (German / English etc.)
    6) It is possible for one to understand the teachings of the Suttas from these translations
    7) We can become enlightened by reading these (later) editions of the Suttas

    Listen, I have READ suttas and because of the UNSTABLE nature of those sources I have rejected most of it.

    I ahve also found a handful of GEMS in there which I still use today – so HATS OFF to BUDDHA here – even though he may well have got it off someone else I am GUESSING.

    In a similar way, we might reject Genesis in the Bible simply because it asks to much of our imagination (it asks us to believe God made the world in seven days) when most people accept BIG BANG and EVOLUTIONARY THEORY.

    This does not make the Bible any LESS of a read – or God any less of a God but it DOES say a great deal about the people that still believe in CREATIONSIM don’t you think?

    The Pali Canon is NO DIFFERENT to all the other so-called holy scriptures I have read in that there are some gems in there but 99% of it is just literary fluff, stories for children – like Jack and The Beanstalk.

    Listen, I am not in the business of MAKING people GROW UP and be MORE MATURE – I am in the busines of keeping a light shining on the POSSIBILITY that MATURITY is VIABLE, even in religion – BUT WE MUST BE PREPARED TO DO THE WORK OURSELVES and NOT take other peoples word for it – even the Buddhas.

    ALL I am asking you to do is QUESTION Buddha – he would not despise you for it would he?

    Do you think he wants you to BLINDLY FOLLOW like a SHEEP?

    RE: As to “PATH” there are some VERY SERIOUS consequences to thinking in that way not LEAST because it is PLAIN WRONG.

    The Buddha taught the “Eightfold Path” because it was the best way to teach AT THAT TIME.

    Things have moved on – not much as some would have us believe I admit – BUT things HAVE moved on – unless you have been living ina cave for that last thirty years.

    I am assuming you are part of the moderen networked society since you use this Blog.

    Great Buddhas do NOT necessarily make good CONTEMPORARY TEACHERS – especially when they lived thousands of years ago when the world and its people were different and had different problems to us.

    Also, he is DEAD so cannot reply to all the questions we might have had for him.

    All we have are some sketchy translations of HEARSAY from MONKS who were themselves found wanting in terms of their own “ATTAINMENT” were they not?

    By the way – don’t rely on my use of the Word “ATTAINMENT” here – that is another SLIPPERY SLOPE that is for another time and another place possibly.

    RE: post the sutras is to save time and for clarity sake.

    Well, what if I told you that SUTTA is absolutely NOT CLEAR because we have no idea of the nuances of the interaction do we?

    If we were THERE AT THE TIME then we would CERTAINLY have a different view to what we have today.

    If you value BOOKISH REFERENCES over Satya for your SOURCE then I am afraid you are a lost cause.

    RE: “inner frustration”

    I generally do NOT want to create that kind of feeling in others – I RESERVE it for SPECIAL OCCASIONS – like when people quote SUTTA as a FINAL WORD on the subject when they clearly have no idea how ABUSIVE this is to people that don’t give a sh!t what the Suttas say because such an academic study will CONTRADICT what the Buddha taught – especially with regard to understanding NON-SELF.

    Listen IM – you cannot become like me or follow my path because the ME you refer to is IMAGINARY, so is my PATH – you have made ME up in your mind – and you make YOU up also moment by moment as well to suit your SELF.

    Eg. This guys realy angry – he needs my help.

    1) I am NOT – and 2) I DON’T

    You do NOT understand what is required to get NON-SELF – well – well you THINK you do – and you got it wrong – you think you need to engage in SUTTA DUMPING.

    WRT: What does my path or way of life have to OFFER – this is VERY FUNNY.

    Do you think I have studied for twenty five years to see what I can get out of it?

    To see if I can get enlightened?

    And do you really think I ENJOY this type of interaction?

    HA HA – VERY FUNNY

    You see I have this “truth”, and this “truth” informs every cell in my body – you cannot WIN here – don’t even try to SAVE me or make me feel BETTER or LESS angry because to do so you would have to ENGAGE with every cell in my body, which you cannot do – the only person that can do that is my wife when we MAKE LOVE – and we do.

    Listen, you seem to have a very “enjoyable” life, you now have a choice – enjoy your life OR UNDERSTAND your life.

    Once you UNDERSTND your life you can still go back to ENJOYING YOURSELF if you want – but you will probably see that HEDONISM is a very different word to BUDDHISM, and so you WILL end up like me – challenging BUDDHISTS that are not REALLY Buddhists – well they are in NAME – anyone can call themselves a BUDDHIST – it is the easiest club in the world to join.

    It is also the easiest word to GET WRONG – and here you are no different to most BUDHISTS I run into.

    Good luck with THAT Buddhism – ENJOY !!!

  93. Yogi Mat, your tendency to project what you created in your own mind onto others then attack that is clear. I have pointed out some of it along the way. You’re going to have to grapple with your own projections now. I will be enjoying the holiday. It’s been fun though, I couldn’t stop laughing for days whenever I think about your threat to tell the Buddha on me .

    Be Merry (:

  94. Dear iMeditation,

    Happy Holidays! May your path to the spiritual development be filled with Kalayanamittas and peace. If dog poop happens to be dumped in front of your house, may it, as Ajahn Brahm has said many times, turn to be a great fertiliser for your garden. :)

    Warmest mega metta,

    Dheerayupa

  95. Dear Dheerayupa,

    Thanks for the well wishing. That’s a cute and funny metaphor. Ajahn Brahm is always uplifting and upbeat. May your path be enjoyable and fruitful every step of the way. Have a joyful holiday!

    With metta,

  96. I don’t doubt it Peter – us “Buddhists” are FULL of it aren’t we ?

    Making a full blown, mainstream world religion with a God (Buddha) at the helm and a Bible (Tripitaka) and a CLERGY out of a teaching that went against almost all conventions in Brahmanic religious thought of the time.

    I can hear him TURNING IN HIS GRAVE on most days.

    If I wanted that type of religion I would never have rejected Christianity – HO HUM – go well – and in peace.

  97. Dear iMeditation,

    Thank you for your kind well wishing, too. :)

    I’ve just started to really learn to practice the Dhamma. Thanks to Ajahn Brahm and his funny but so practical teachings, my life has become much better and definitely more joyful.

    As for the suttas, I’ve just finished reading Bhikkhu Bodhi’s ‘In the Buddha Words’, a very good anthopology of Buddhist discourses for beginners like me.

    I hope that we will have more opportunity to discuss (mainly me asking questions) buddhism on this blog. :)

    Much metta to you,
    _/\_

    Dheerayupa

  98. Dear Dheerayupa

    Dheerayupa wrote: “As for the suttas, I’ve just finished reading Bhikkhu Bodhi’s ‘In the Buddha Words’, a very good anthopology of Buddhist discourses for beginners like me. ”

    That’s also one of my favorite. It is wonderful to have Kalayanamittas who practice according to the guidance of the Buddha in Noble Eightfold Path.

    The Buddha also encouraged his disciples to “seek no external refuge, with the Dhamma as your island and refuge”.

    He also mentioned that: “In the same way, in the course of the future there will be monks who won’t listen when discourses that are words of the Tathagata — deep, deep in their meaning, transcendent, connected with emptiness — are being recited. They won’t lend ear, won’t set their hearts on knowing them, won’t regard these teachings as worth grasping or mastering. But they will listen when discourses that are literary works — the works of poets, elegant in sound, elegant in rhetoric, the work of outsiders, words of disciples — are recited. They will lend ear and set their hearts on knowing them. They will regard these teachings as worth grasping & mastering……….”

    “Thus you should train yourselves: ‘We will listen when discourses that are words of the Tathagata — deep, deep in their meaning, transcendent, connected with emptiness — are being recited. We will lend ear, will set our hearts on knowing them, will regard these teachings as worth grasping & mastering.’ That’s how you should train yourselves.”- Ani Sutta

    Cheers :)

    _/\_

  99. Peter wrote: “I heard that Ajahn Brahm is now making his own fertilizer.”

    I guess too many stray dogs running around with their poop.

  100. Dear iMeditation,

    “[T]hey will listen when discourses that are literary works — the works of poets, elegant in sound, elegant in rhetoric, the work of outsiders, words of disciples — are recited.”

    What you quoted rang so true. I, for one, was like that. :)

    I guess it was because I was attracted to art and arts, I found ‘works of poets, elegant in sound, elegant in rhetoric’ very impressive. However, now I’ve realised that those beautiful words did not really benefit me in a significant level. I have found Ajahn Chah’s and Ajahn Brahm’s teachings easy to follow and show immediate results. And of course, their teachings are from the teachings of the Buddha, spoken in plain modern language.

    Thank you for your very useful quotations.

    With much metta,

    Dheerayupa

  101. Ajahn Brahm is making and “using his own fertyiliser to make the money trees grow” or that was the joke at the end of the rains retreat ceremony. They also use it for gardening at Jhana Grove and give it to any supporters that want it.
    With metta,
    Bill

  102. Dear Dheerayupa,

    The good thing is you also cherish the words of the Buddha. Ajahn Chah and Ajahn Brahm can really bring the teaching to life through their explanations. I really enjoyed Ajahn Brahms sutta study class audio. It goes nicely with sutta reading. It would be nice to see it in video like the other talks.

    With metta,

  103. Bill, we are not referring to real fertilizer. It’s related to Ajahn Brahm’s metaphor “If dog poop happens to be dumped in front of your house” it can “turn out to be a great fertilizer” for your garden”.

  104. Dear iMeditation,

    As I’ve just finished reading Bhikkhu Bodhi’s In the Buddha’s Words, I’m looking for some suttas to read. Then, you mentioned Ajahn Brahm’s sutta studies. Thanks so much for the inspiration. As understanding suttas on my own can be rather challenging :) , I will take this ‘online’ course.

    May you grow beautifully in this spiritual path.

    Much metta,

    Dheerayupa

  105. Dear Ayya,
    I suspect it may be a hoax by a tabloid paper that seems to specialize in the obscure.
    There are rumours she has been exloring Buddhism though.
    _/\_

  106. Yes, it is is a spam. Her image in the above line is just a produce of Photoshop. Sorry for transmitting it.

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