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True and Proper Buddhist teaching


madusa

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I believe that the true and proper Buddhism is not being practiced in Thailand. I wonder why the Sangha(the highest authority on Buddhism in Thailand)  is not doing anything to change the situation.

I list here the mistakes make by the average Thais on daily basis, (1) Praying to Buddha for good health, wealth and success (2) Believing Buddha amulets will protect them from accidents or calamity. (3) Ignorance of the Abhidharma(the higher learning of Buddhism) therefore behaving badly when things go wrong, example getting angry and using weapons to strike people. These sort of behavoirs are seen all over Thailand everyday.

I really wish to engage a talk with the authority on Buddhism in Thailand but it is just that I don't know how to go about finding the right person to relay the message to the highest authority on Buddhism.

Can anyone help?

I believe if the true and proper Buddhism are taught a lot of problems can be solved, there will be a lot less unnecessary fighting and quarrels among the people.

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There is Thai Buddism and Thai ancestor worship, feudal system, superstition, Idolatry, class system and everything in between. Its not so much the non-practice of Buddhism, but the practice of the other beliefs

 

I believe that the true and proper <insert religion here> is not being practised in <insert country here>.

 

Didnt we just have a celebration of religion yesterday that doesnt have much to do with the pure practice of the religion.

 

If you are Buddhist why not try and spread the teachings of your religion from within, become a monk, be pure in your own practice and sharing of the religion. If you are not Buddhist, maybe address your criticism to the people who teach and practice your own religion.

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At a high level, the main reason why correct Buddhism isn't being practiced by the general Thai population is that all Beings, bound in the state of Samsara, are afflicted by the three poisons.

 

The three unwholesome roots (poisons) of:

 

  • Moha:  delusion & confusion.
  • Raga:  greed, & sensual attachment.
  • Dvesha:  aversion, & ill will.

 

In terms of the Sangha doing anything to change the situation, it depends from which angle you're looking.

 

My understanding is, that unlike some religions, Buddhists don't go out and spread the word.

In Buddhist tradition, teaching is only offered to those who seek.

 

When I sought, the teaching offered was never to pray, nor to purchase amulets for protection, but revolved around Dharma (The 4 Noble Truths).

 

If any localised Sangha teach otherwise, then they must be under the influence of the 3 poisons.

 

 

That which you see being practiced by the wider population, is also due to the influence of the root kleshas (greed, attachment & delusion). 

 

People find it far easier to buy or pray their way out of their situation, rather than expend effort in actual practice.

 

Having said that, there are many out there who genuinely practice Mindfulness & Meditation and attempt to abide by the precepts.

They go about their practice without fanfare nor display.

You see the superstitious ones who allow themselves to be influenced by the kileshas.

 

If one wishes to achieve change, the best thing one can do is to focus on oneself.

 

Most find it extremely difficult to change life habits, imagine how difficult it must be to attempt to change the habits of others.

 

 

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To the OP.. everyone believes that they are right, that their religion is the correct one, that they are wise, etc. Few people  have the wisdom to listen to criticism and admit to themselves that they might be wrong. Trying to tell the Buddhist leadership here that they are doing it all wrong would be a waste of time. A monk might advise the correct practice but to tell people they are doing it wrong would only get him ignored.

The ego is the biggest problem for most people and its asian aspect of 'face' is very strong here. If they really understood the teachings of the Buddha about annatta then they would abandon the need for 'face'... even thai monks do not understand this and still try to preserve their 'face'.

 

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  • 8 months later...

Rocky pretty much summed it up.
We are all governed by filters and external influences and Thailand has its share as all countries do.
All this even confused The Buddha until he reached a point of seeing it. Doh, the lights went on. Our paradigms change from within ( our view) and they are cemented in stone until they change again even if inaccurate again. They are the only logic until they change again. I would describe enlightenment partly as the realization and admission that these temporary and evolutionary views are usually inaccurate, subjective and filtering the truth.
555 now the amigdula.... that’s another interesting story.


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  • 3 months later...

Forget all of the Buddhist dogma and mythology except for the most basic teachings about the nature of phenomena and how to discriminate between the unchanging and changing. It's not even clear what Buddha himself taught. The earliest writings differ so much from the interpretations and commentaries that have appeared throughout the ages. It's enough to confuse anyone. What is even more misunderstood is practice which is at the core of practical Buddhism. For instance some make a distinction between Vipassana and Samatha as two different practices and then think of the Jhanas as something else entirely. I don't make such a distinction and nor do others such as Ajahn Brahm. And then there is mindfulness which has now been hijacked by the corporate sector to increase performance while ignoring the real purpose of it.

What you essentially need to know is Be Still!

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Hi
Good posts.
Actually Samatha is practiced by all sectors of Buddhist meditation practices.
Perhaps you meant Theravada?

As you said “be still” is the entry point where Samatha practice enables us to to see more clearly the intensity and power that our “monkey mind” imposes upon us.
That is meditative 101 and not easy to accomplish effectively.
With practice we see how while although seemingly powerful, they quickly fade and are replaced by yet another thought. In time most of these thoughts become paper tigers and their affects on us are diminished.




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Re vipassana

The Buddha was said to have practiced it and it was later brought back to us by Sri Goenka who is largely responsible for it thriving today.

Samatha is the 1st step to a successful vipassana experience.

 

I do believe the Tibetans focusing on Vajrayana practice have taken “practice” and “result of practice” to even higher levels.

 

Although Theravada remains the necessary root, vajrayana involves very different practices and the resulting “awareness”.

 

The Buddha tought about what he did and what he “realized”.

Perhaps some of the confusion stems from the fact that he varied his explanations based on the students’ capacity to understand. He did not teach what I would consider dogma.

 

 

 

 

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Re vipassana
The Buddha was said to have practiced it and it was later brought back to us by Sri Goenka who is largely responsible for it thriving today.
Samatha is the 1st step to a successful vipassana experience.
 
I do believe the Tibetans focusing on Vajrayana practice have taken “practice” and “result of practice” to even higher levels.
 
Although Theravada remains the necessary root, vajrayana involves very different practices and the resulting “awareness”.
 
The Buddha taught about what he did and what he “realized”.
Perhaps some of the confusion stems from the fact that he varied his explanations based on the students’ capacity to understand. He did not teach what I would consider dogma.
 
 
 
 
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Hi
Good posts.
Actually Samatha is practiced by all sectors of Buddhist meditation practices.
Perhaps you meant Theravada?

As you said “be still” is the entry point where Samatha practice enables us to to see more clearly the intensity and power that our “monkey mind” imposes upon us.
That is meditative 101 and not easy to accomplish effectively.
With practice we see how while although seemingly powerful, they quickly fade and are replaced by yet another thought. In time most of these thoughts become paper tigers and their affects on us are diminished.




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No I meant Samatha. Becoming still is not 101. It's 999. It's the most advanced practice possible. All the Jhanas unfold from that.
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Re vipassana
The Buddha was said to have practiced it and it was later brought back to us by Sri Goenka who is largely responsible for it thriving today.
Samatha is the 1st step to a successful vipassana experience.
 
I do believe the Tibetans focusing on Vajrayana practice have taken “practice” and “result of practice” to even higher levels.
 
Although Theravada remains the necessary root, vajrayana involves very different practices and the resulting “awareness”.
 
The Buddha tought about what he did and what he “realized”.
Perhaps some of the confusion stems from the fact that he varied his explanations based on the students’ capacity to understand. He did not teach what I would consider dogma.
 
 
 
 
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Buddhadasa Bhikkhu states in his book 'Handbook For Mankind' that the Buddha did not teach Vipasanna meditation, and that there is no mention of it in the Tipitaka.
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To become Still is to experience samadhi or non-dual awareness. The Therevadans don't speak about non-dual awareness but refer to seeing things as they are. But the Mahayanas do with concepts such as emptiness. However I would argue there is no difference between what the Therevadans and Mahayanas are saying. It's just different terminology. Vipassana (insight) is just a by-product of being established in awareness and develops naturally from stillness.

 

It is not useful to separate Shamata and Vipassana as being two different practices. It is more useful to consider the absorption states as describeded in the Jhanas. If you think it's important to authenticate it then these Jhanas were at the heart of the earliest teachings. In fact they were practiced before the Buddha. The increasing depth of experience comes from stillness, silence, samadhi, awareness, nothing else. No teachings.

 

 

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Vipassana has Hindu roots. Long before Buddha “awoke”. he was a Hindu after all and lived for many years as a Sadu.
I would venture that Vipassana ( I have only done Goenka 10 day) involves more “dogma” as it follows the precepts and their conduct rules. Samatha and insight meditation tend to discourage rules and “judgement” to tap deeper into our “Buddha nature” as a moral guide


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Vipassana has Hindu roots. Long before Buddha “awoke”. he was a Hindu after all and lived for many years as a Sadu.

I would venture that Vipassana ( I have only done Goenka 10 day) involves more “dogma” as it follows the precepts and their conduct rules. Samatha and insight meditation tend to discourage rules and “judgement” to tap deeper into our “Buddha nature” as a moral guide

 

 

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What I wanted to add is that you cannot actually practice vipassana in the same way that you cannot practice success. Vipassana is the result of connecting with and becoming established in awareness.

 

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Sorry I did not mean they should be separated but that Samatha was only a part of Vipassana teaching and practice.
Of course an important part.

The Buddha taught “this is what I did and this was the result” “try it and see how it works for you”.

Hehe he appears to be the only one to ever experience all this without a teacher.
Like playing piano, intellectual understanding can only get us so far. We have to do the practices for the paradigm shift and doing that without a valid lineage instruction regime seems futile to me. Perhaps this is where it parallels some dogma for support but that is a personal choice.
I tend to validate any progress I make with a science parallel.
Ie Richard Davidson or Daniel Goleman for example.


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Sorry I did not mean they should be separated but that Samatha was only a part of Vipassana teaching and practice.
Of course an important part.

The Buddha taught “this is what I did and this was the result” “try it and see how it works for you”.

Hehe he appears to be the only one to ever experience all this without a teacher.
Like playing piano, intellectual understanding can only get us so far. We have to do the practices for the paradigm shift and doing that without a valid lineage instruction regime seems futile to me. Perhaps this is where it parallels some dogma for support but that is a personal choice.
I tend to validate any progress I make with a science parallel.
Ie Richard Davidson or Daniel Goleman for example.


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There have been many who have experienced this without a teacher but that's another subject.

I assume you are familiar with the Satipatthana Sutta, the basis of vipassana or mindfulness or whatever you want to call it.
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Hehe perhaps Jesus among them. But he had teachers. Bhuddasatva?

That sutta is of course well discussed among Theravadans.
Way beyond my capability.
Vajrayana practice addresses those triggers both negative and positive, by using them as fodder for the insight practice and reducing their effect accordingly. That is probably one of the differences of that practice.
Hehe great news since as a non enlightened one I will never run out of fodder.
Are you near Udon?


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Hehe perhaps Jesus among them. But he had teachers. Bhuddasatva?

That sutta is of course well discussed among Theravadans.
Way beyond my capability.
Vajrayana practice addresses those triggers both negative and positive, by using them as fodder for the insight practice and reducing their effect accordingly. That is probably one of the differences of that practice.
Hehe great news since as a non enlightened one I will never run out of fodder.
Are you near Udon?


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Don't be an end of path denier. Nirvana is more common than you might think.

I'm based in Phuket.
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Kabat Zin was inspired by Thich Nhat Hanh, a Mahayana teacher.
I don’t think he would have found a home for his programs if it were not for the previous hard work of Francisco Varela with funding from Dalai Lama.
Hopefully he is reaching a populous that Dharma could not.


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Hehe perhaps Enlightenment is the realization that Nirvana May be just a figment of our imagination.
I just try to combine my practice with my daily stride and see where I end up.
There’s always next life if I don’t make it this time. [emoji120]


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Nirvana will always just be a figment of your imagination until you know what it is. It cannot be anything else but a concept. However meditation practice can yield temporary glimpses of it, even though there is still ego attachment and identification. If you are able to experience from time to time deep objectless awareness, no matter how brief, then you will intuitively know that this is your natural state which is peace of mind. Just continue with the practice and don't become too attached to dogma.

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Actually other than some valued relationships with a few monastics, the closest I come to any dogma is walking barefoot often because my feet tend to sweat in warm weather. In my early teens I gave up on my Protestant upbringing because it left too many questions unanswered.

Since my first India trip in the late 70s ( business related) I I’ve watched the beads and sandals crowd follow their gurus and wondered why one must dress like a guru to better think like one. I’m not anti dharma, it just has limits that do no go beyond my curiosity. For some it may be comforting to conform to a particular credo.

 

By glimpses are you referring to “gaps”?

Even non practitioners have memorable moments when “everything just feels right” and there is a clarity that we recognize. Usually when we are away on vacation or at least away from our usual madness. It doesn’t last long.

This awareness I would call “ meditation. For me it is a taste of what can be without my dominant “monkey mind”.

The Tibetan word for meditation is “gom ” “ to become more familiar with”

I do recognize that state and I try to exercise it in my daily life. Not as a dogma but more a just let it happen.

It is an amazing journey and much fun every time I catch my monkey flexing his/her muscles.

Just takes practice for the paradigm shift that turns the lights on.

 

BTW beautiful sunrise this morning

 

 

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By dogma I mean being attached to words, concepts, ideas and the mythology surrounding this historical person called Buddha. There are volumes and volumes of words of Buddhist teachings and many attach themselves to these ideas and even argue with others over interpretations etc. The practice of going within to experience pure awareness is primary. Scripture is secondary.

By glimpses I mean realizing that you are unbounded in these moments when you are just experiencing awareness without phenomena. It's true that during activity sometimes things feel just right and that is also an indication that you are in touch with the ground state of Being.

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Cool chatting with you.
You obviously have a deep history and understanding.
I’m a Canuck. We hosted secular meditation groups for many years under the guidance of Mingyur Rinpoche.


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Cool chatting with you.
You obviously have a deep history and understanding.
I’m a Canuck. We hosted secular meditation groups for many years under the guidance of Mingyur Rinpoche.


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I've taught about 30 people to meditate in Phuket. I used to have a Facebook group for that but gave it up because there wasn't that much interest. Let's face it. Most people want to do "Wellness". And as for yoga asanas, well we know that's not really yoga right? There aren't that many serious seekers.
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555
I spent some chill time with Mingyur Rinpoche kayaking, sailing eating etc and we chatted about that. I said it was both a blessing and a curse. After years of tonglin we begin to feel the “suffering in others” and why so we want to help but nobody’s listening. 555 he laughed and said “ don’t worry it’s not permanent.


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  • 3 weeks later...

What I find rather troubling is that the major countries that claim to be staunch Theravada Buddhist, such as Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, are basically a mess, with lots of practices and political events that are clearly and obviously totally 'non-Buddhist' in nature.

 

Perhaps one could claim that without the influence of Buddhism, such countries would in an even worse mess. I don't know.

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I guess Buddhism is only a path like any other that one can choose to follow or not.
Hiding behind any theology does not excuse inhumane action.
We do live in a relative world where others may or may not share our sense of right or wrong. In fact under certain circumstances we all can stray, hence the term regret.
Unfortunately it is hard to fight guns with only prayer.

Coincidently I am writing this at Bodhgaya and one hour ago I was sitting under the Bodhi tree at the
Mahabodhi Temple.
Was crowded but peaceful.



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