Author Topic: Buddhism  (Read 1452 times)

Tim

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Buddhism
« on: June 23, 2019, 03:54:07 PM »
"We spread thoughts of goodwill to all beings. The beings you don’t know are the ones who are easy to feel goodwill for. It’s the beings that are right next to you sometimes: those are the ones that are hard. As they say in Thai, the tongue is close to the teeth and so it gets bit often. In the same way, we get bit by the people who are near us and we probably bite them, too. You can ask yourself, “Okay, in what ways can I develop more goodwill for the people immediately around me? What would that mean?”

It doesn’t mean you’re going to go around and do everything for them. Remember one of the phrases in the goodwill passages is, “May beings not despise anyone or mistreat one another.” In other words, you’re hoping that they will actually create the causes for happiness. Because again, in the Buddha’s analysis, your happiness is something you do; their happiness is something *they* do. You just don’t want to get in the way of their doing true happiness. And if there’s any way you can help them in that direction, you’re happy."

~ Thanissaro Bhikkhu "Dedicating Goodness, Spreading Goodwill"

Tim

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Re: Buddhism
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2019, 06:07:18 PM »
"So you don’t let past wrongs get in the way of your goodwill, because if you have ill will for someone, you can’t trust yourself to behave skillfully around that person. And that’s then going to become your bad karma. So thoughts of goodwill are nourishment for your generosity and nourishment for your virtue. The Buddha also calls them a kind of restraint, in the sense that if you have goodwill for someone it will restrain you from harming them.

The Buddha also calls goodwill a resolution and a form of mindfulness. It’s something we have to make up our mind to do and to keep in mind. Because usually, goodwill is something we have for some people but not for everyone. So it requires an act of will that you remember, which is what mindfulness means. You remember that you’re going to have goodwill for everybody, even the worst people. You don’t have to like them, you don’t have to hang around them, but you’re not going to harm them. You wish them well.

This, too, is a form of happiness. When you can look at your mind and say, “There’s nobody for whom I have any ill will,” it makes the mind more expansive. This can actually protect you from some of your past bad actions, in the sense that the results come from your past bad actions but they don’t have as big an impact on the mind in the present because the mind is so much larger."

~ Thanissaro Bhikkhu "Merit: Actively Happy"

Tim

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Re: Buddhism
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2019, 07:12:24 PM »
"I know some psychotherapists who ask why the Buddha didn’t include fear among unskillful mind states. And the answer is that not all fear is unskillful. If your fear is combined with greed, aversion, or delusion, then it’s going to be unskillful. But there’s also wise fear. The main wise fear is being afraid of the possibility of your doing something unskillful. In other words, you don’t have to be afraid of things outside, or of things that are going to happen to you. You have to be wary of what your mind is capable of doing."

~ Thanissaro Bhikkhu "Skillful Fears"

Tim

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Re: Buddhism
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2019, 02:19:36 PM »
"It’s not the case that every time you have a sense of self it’s going to cause you to suffer. Some ways of thinking about yourself are actually part of the path. Toward the end of the path, you won’t be needing them anymore. But when you’re choosing what to do, you need a strong sense of what’s worth doing and what’s not — what you’ll be benefitting from down the line, what you’ll be suffering from down the line, depending on what you’re doing right now. The heedful sense of self is well worth protecting because it keeps your actions in line, gives you a sense of priorities. It encourages you to stay on the skillful path.

These distinctions are important. It’s not the case that non-duality is where we’re headed or what we want to develop along the path. We need to see distinctions, especially between what’s skillful and what’s not, because we’re making choices and they have their impact. We can’t simply go on the idea that, “Well, my motivation is compassionate, therefore everything I do out of my compassionate motivation is going to be skillful.” That doesn’t work at all.

You have to educate your compassion. There are times when something seems to be compassionate right now, but as you begin to look down the line, you realize it’s not the right or wise or even kind thing to do.

This requires that you be careful, that you notice what’s happening. And if, as days and nights fly past, you begin to detect signs of complacency, you can do something about it. If you begin to see signs of mindlessness, try to develop mindfulness instead."

~ Thanissaro Bhikkhu "As Days & Nights Fly Past" (Meditations6)

Tim

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Re: Buddhism
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2019, 09:57:02 AM »
"Focus your desires on staying with the breath. All too often we hear that the Buddha bad-mouthed desire, calling it the cause of suffering. But not all desires cause suffering. Some desires are part of the path, like the desire to get the mind in a good state with a sense of well-being with the breath. Breathe in a way that feels good. And if it doesn’t feel good, then have the desire to figure out how to make it feel good. You can try longer breathing, shorter breathing, faster, slower, heavier, lighter, deeper, more shallow. The desire to keep doing this counts as right effort.

Take some time to get to know the breath. Try to fully occupy your body right here. In other words, any thoughts that go outside of the body, just let them be. You don’t have to continue them. As they say in Thai, you don’t have to continue the weave. Lots will come up. That’s normal. But you don’t have to get involved with everything that comes up. Instead, you want to have a sense of being fully here in the body, from the head down to the feet, all around, with a sense of the breath energy flowing well, down the spine, down the legs, and out the soles of your feet. We’re not talking air here. We’re talking just about a sense of movement or energy.

Think of things flowing well. After all, the blood is flowing around the body. All these different fluids are flowing around. Impulses are flowing through the nerves. Try to be sensitive to that. We tend to block these things out because we think we have more important things to think about or to pay attention to. But right now, there’s nothing else you have to think about; nothing else you have to do. Just be right here with the sensation of having a body that’s breathing comfortably."

~ Thanissaro Bhikkhu "To Strengthen the Path"

Tim

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Re: Buddhism
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2019, 12:33:23 PM »
"Don’t compare yourself with others. Your mind is your mind; their mind is theirs. It’s like being in a hospital and comparing yourself to other patients in the ward. You don’t gain anything from gloating over the fact that you’re recovering from your illness faster than they are from theirs. You don’t gain anything from making yourself miserable because they’re recovering faster than you. You have to focus total attention on your own recovery."

~ Thanissaro Bhikkhu "With Each & Every Breath: A Guide to Meditation"

Tim

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Re: Buddhism
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2019, 09:16:49 PM »
"When you look at other people, the Buddha says the best lesson to learn is, if you see them doing something unskillful, ask yourself, "Do I do those unskillful things, too? This is what it looks like, this is the impact it has." Or if you see someone suffering, he doesn't say to think about what past bad karma they have and why they deserve to suffer. That's not what he says at all. That's not the skillful use of the teaching on skillfulness. He asks you to reflect that you've been there as well. And you might be there again. If you were in that position, what kind of help would you like to receive? Perhaps you can give that help now. So the teaching on karma is not there to judge other people. It's there to remind you that you have to act in a skillful way."

~ Thanissaro Bhikkhu "The Large Canvas"

Tim

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Re: Buddhism
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2019, 09:00:17 PM »
THE BUDDHA DID NOT TEACH FATALISM
“Contrary to popular belief, the Buddha did not teach fatalism. In fact, he was extremely critical of fatalism—the belief that your experiences are already determined from causes in the past—because fatalism denies that your present actions can make a difference. In one of his discourses, he notes that fatalism leaves you without protection, for it allows no foundation for even the idea of what should and shouldn’t be done. If everything is predetermined, there’s no way of saying that one action is good and another bad. Everything is just the way it has to be.
The Buddha’s teaching on karma, however, focuses on the fact that while your experiences are influenced to some extent by actions from the past, the way you experience those influences depends on what you do with them in the present. In fact, without the karma of your present actions, you wouldn’t experience anything at all.
So the Buddha’s teaching on karma is one of the ways in which the Dhamma offers external protection: It emphasizes the importance of your present actions—providing for the possibility of 'should be done' and 'shouldn’t be done'—at the same time offering clear guidelines for figuring out, in any situation, where the shoulds and shouldn’ts lie. This is one of the ways in which the Buddha’s Dhamma offers external protection in all directions. It gives you tools to discern, regardless of time or place, which actions always lead to long-term suffering, which ones always lead to long-term happiness, and then lets you decide for yourself which path you want to follow...”
???
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Excerpt from “Beyond All Directions”

hoodatsaydat

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Re: Buddhism
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2019, 04:02:09 PM »
I accept much of the Buddhist teaching but we part ways on the loss of identity in the Godhead. There is ample evidence that contradicts that. I believe that nothing that is created can ever be uncreated including our individuality.
ETERNAL VIGILANCE IS THE PRICE OF LIBERTY

Tim

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Re: Buddhism
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2020, 10:54:53 AM »
I accept much of the Buddhist teaching but we part ways on the loss of identity in the Godhead. There is ample evidence that contradicts that. I believe that nothing that is created can ever be uncreated including our individuality.

I don't think that most Buddhists concern themselves with whether or not there is a creator.
The Buddha only had one problem to solve and that was the problem of suffering and how to put an end to it.
For that, there is no creator/savior needed. It's something that each person needs to work on for himself.

I do hear you that there are many Buddhists who are atheists and seem to look down on believers.
I think that's unfortunate.

Tim

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Re: Buddhism
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2020, 08:26:16 PM »
"Don’t let your idea of who you are – either bad or good or whatever – limit you. If you think you’re good by nature, then you start believing that when the mind is quiet, its natural wisdom will arise, and you can trust it. That kind of teaching teaches people to be complacent in the practice. That gets in the way. If you think you’re bad by nature, you can’t trust anything. You’ve only got to do what you’re told by other people, or hope that other people will do the work for you. That gets in the way as well. So don’t *be* either good or bad. Just really, sincerely desire true happiness. And act well in line with that desire. Taking this perspective liberates you in a lot of ways right there."

~ Thanissaro Bhikkhu "Free from Buddha Nature"

Tim

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Re: Buddhism
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2020, 06:12:38 PM »
THE IMPORTANCE OF RIGHT VIEW IN LOOKING AT
“SELF”
Right View has two levels. First, there’s belief in the principle of karma, that what you do really does have results—and you really are the one doing it. It’s not some outside force acting through you, not the stars or some god or some force of fate. You’re making the decisions and you have the ability to make them skillfully or not, depending on your intention. It’s important to believe in this principle because this is what gives more power to your life.
It’s an empowering belief—but it also involves responsibilities. This is why you have to be careful in what you do, why you can’t be heedless. When you’re careful about your actions, it’s easier to be careful about your mind when the time comes to meditate.
As for the second level of Right View, the transcendent level, that means seeing things in terms of the four noble truths: stress and suffering, the cause of stress and suffering, the cessation of stress and suffering, and the path of practice to that cessation.
Just look at the whole range of your experience: Instead of dividing it up into its usual patterns of me and not me, simply look to see, “Where is there suffering? Where is there stress? What goes along with it? What are you doing that gives rise to that stress? Can you let go of that activity? And what qualities do you need to develop, what things do you need to let go of in order to let go of the craving, the ignorance underlying the stress? When you drop craving can you be aware of what’s happening?” All too often when we drop one craving we simply pick up another one. “Can you make yourself more and more aware of that space in between the cravings and expand that space? What’s it like to have a mind without craving?”
According to the Buddha it’s important to see things in this way because if you identify everything in terms of your self, how can you possibly understand anything for what it actually is? If you hold on to suffering as your self, how can you understand suffering? If you look at it simply as suffering without putting this label of “me” or “mine” on it, you can start seeing it for what it is and learn how to let it go. If it’s your self, if you hold to that belief that it’s your self, you can’t let go of it. But looking at things in terms of the four noble truths allows you to solve the problem of suffering once and for all...


Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Excerpt from “A Meditative Life”

You can read the full talk here:
https://www.dhammatalks.org/books/Meditations2/Section0018.html

Tim

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Re: Buddhism
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2020, 06:49:42 PM »
"The Buddha never advocated attributing an innate nature of any kind to the mind — good, bad, or Buddha. The idea of innate natures slipped into the Buddhist tradition in later centuries, when the principle of freedom was forgotten. Past bad kamma was seen as so totally deterministic that there seemed no way around it unless you assumed either an innate Buddha in the mind that could overpower it, or an external Buddha who would save you from it. But when you understand the principle of freedom — that past kamma doesn’t totally shape the present, and that present kamma can always be free to choose the skillful alternative — you realize that the idea of innate natures is unnecessary: excess baggage on the path."
~ Thanissaro Bhikkhu "Freedom from Buddha Nature"

Tim

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Re: Buddhism
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2020, 06:00:29 PM »
Question: Wasn’t the Buddha a joyous and light person?

Thanissaro Bhikkhu: Yes, after his awakening. Before his awakening, it was a different matter. As he once said, there were two qualities that allowed him to become awakened. The first was not being content with the level of skill he had reached. In other words, if he realized that there was something better, a more skillful way to act, he would go for it. The second quality was his determination that if he saw any unskillful qualities in his mind he would put them out, just as he would put out a fire on his head. Ajaan Suwat used to make a comparison with eating. When you are finished a meal, you can sit back and relax. But as long as you’re hungry, you have to do everything that you can to get food.
https://www.dhammatalks.org/.../KarmaOfM.../Section0006.html