Asian Classics Institute

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Asian Classics Institute

Postby Astus » Tue Nov 20, 2012 12:47 am

It has an organised set of study materials online: http://www.acidharma.org/aci/index.html
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Asian Classics Institute

Postby Tom » Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:56 pm

Astus wrote:It has an organised set of study materials online: http://www.acidharma.org/aci/index.html


I don't know of any lama that would recommend these courses. I have met many people who have spent considerable time studying them and although they seem to be able to talk the talk, if you scratch the surface misunderstandings abound. There are so many good programs out there that it is just unnecessary to use these courses.
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Re: Asian Classics Institute

Postby 5heaps » Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:16 pm

actually these courses have been extremely popular for almost two decades, they are extremely helpful. also use berzinarchives.com
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Re: Asian Classics Institute

Postby Tom » Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:25 pm

5heaps wrote:actually these courses have been extremely popular for almost two decades, they are extremely helpful. also use berzinarchives.com


I am well aware of their popularity but popularity does not necessitate quality. you should consider them as a dummies guide to Buddhism but nothing more and as I said not one Geshe Lharampa I know would recommend them.

Benzin archives on the other hand is a great resource!
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Re: Asian Classics Institute

Postby chokyi lodro » Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:31 pm

Tom wrote:I don't know of any lama that would recommend these courses. I have met many people who have spent considerable time studying them and although they seem to be able to talk the talk, if you scratch the surface misunderstandings abound. There are so many good programs out there that it is just unnecessary to use these courses.


I gain the impression from the internet (i.e. not just from here) that many would not recommend these courses based on circumstances surrounding Geshe Michael Roach after he gave these courses. I'm not entirely sure that's an objective assessment.

I quite appreciate misunderstandings abound: my personal take is that is because these courses ought to only serve as an introduction for many, but they don't necessarily take further studies to broaden that base.

This may sound simply boisterous on my behalf, but having studied a number of these courses myself I have been repeatedly struck by the fact that a lot of actual detail is given, many things are actually enumerated, instead of long discourse. To be quite honest, I find it refreshing: I'm tired of reading long tracts that take hours to teach me scant details.

As to calling them a Dummies guide: well, sometimes dummies' guides are actually more helpful to give an initial framework than long treatises.

(....but that's all just " my 2 cents" naturally)
Last edited by chokyi lodro on Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Asian Classics Institute

Postby 5heaps » Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:35 pm

Tom wrote:
5heaps wrote:you should consider them as a dummies guide to Buddhism but nothing more and as I said not one Geshe Lharampa I know would recommend them.

do you even know anything about buddhism?
im deeply versed in the tenet systems and i say these courses are extremely helpful.
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Re: Asian Classics Institute

Postby Tom » Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:05 pm

5heaps wrote:
Tom wrote:
5heaps wrote:you should consider them as a dummies guide to Buddhism but nothing more and as I said not one Geshe Lharampa I know would recommend them.

do you even know anything about buddhism?
im deeply versed in the tenet systems and i say these courses are extremely helpful.


That is great that you are deeply versed in the tenets system, so you'd agree then that there is a big difference between these dummies guides and deep expositions. Of course dummies guides might still be useful for you and others but in this case there are other courses with less mistakes and without misleading oversimplification.

I read Tibetan and Sanskrit and can judge the ACI translations on their own terms - there are mistakes in the translations and the overall message is misleading. For example, so many ACI students misunderstand the relationship between dependent origination and emptiness, and instead have a confused understanding coined as karma and emptiness. This is due to these courses missing or lacking emphasis on the basic Gelug system presentations of the three levels of dependent origination. There are many occurrences such as this.

So, that is all I am going to say in this thread - these threads seem to go on forever without much new info. I just wanted to let people know that many knowledgable people do not recommend these courses.
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Re: Asian Classics Institute

Postby Yudron » Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:19 pm

Not to contradict you, Tom, (because I know nothing about this topic) but what you said makes me wonder how many Geshe Lharampas can read English fluently.
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Re: Asian Classics Institute

Postby 5heaps » Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:23 pm

the three levels of dependent arising, that emptiness is a negative object and dependent arising is a positive object and that they are one entity is all presented in the courses. you are talking nonsense. that some students fail to penetrate the meaning is an irrelevant strawman argument.
i think you do an incredible disservice by dissuading people to not immerse themselves in this material. aci 15 you will be hard pressed to find better explanations of mindonly, and ive listened to very many geshes with their translators, it does not compare. likewise aside from scattered berzinarchive articles you will not find anything that compares to aci 13 the logic and debate class, if someone wishes to learn how to debate using syllogisms.
aside from indepth courses done at professional institutions there is nothing that compares to berzinarchives and the aci courses

you say "so many ACI students misunderstand the relationship between dependent origination and emptiness"..perhaps you would care to illustrate this misunderstanding?
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Re: Asian Classics Institute

Postby Tom » Fri Dec 28, 2012 12:49 am

5heaps wrote:the three levels of dependent arising, that emptiness is a negative object and dependent arising is a positive object and that they are one entity is all presented in the courses.


Wrong. This is not the three levels of dependent arising.

5heaps wrote:i think you do an incredible disservice by dissuading people to not immerse themselves in this material. aci 15 you will be hard pressed to find better explanations of mindonly, and ive listened to very many geshes with their translators, it does not compare. likewise aside from scattered berzinarchive articles you will not find anything that compares to aci 13 the logic and debate class, if someone wishes to learn how to debate using syllogisms.
aside from indepth courses done at professional institutions there is nothing that compares to berzinarchives and the aci courses

you say "so many ACI students misunderstand the relationship between dependent origination and emptiness"..perhaps you would care to illustrate this misunderstanding?


In any case 5heaps (a Michael Roach preferred translation rather than 5 aggregates) I am really happy that you benefited from all these courses.

In regards to course fifteen it is not so good - you may want to especially get additional teachings on the three natures - maybe read Vasbhandhu's Trisvabhāvanirdeśa.

Okay - I am out.
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Re: Asian Classics Institute

Postby 5heaps » Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:05 am

Tom wrote:
5heaps wrote:the three levels of dependent arising, that emptiness is a negative object and dependent arising is a positive object and that they are one entity is all presented in the courses.

Wrong. This is not the three levels of dependent arising.

those are different topics that are covered, not a listing of the 3 versions

Tom wrote:In regards to course fifteen it is not so good - you may want to especially get additional teachings on the three natures - maybe read Vasbhandhu's Trisvabhāvanirdeśa.

perhaps if one is a scholar. in the meantime the courses cover the main points of the 5 great books used in gelug monasteries. shame on you
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Re: Asian Classics Institute

Postby chokyi lodro » Fri Dec 28, 2012 11:20 am

Tom wrote:
5heaps wrote:the three levels of dependent arising, that emptiness is a negative object and dependent arising is a positive object and that they are one entity is all presented in the courses.


Wrong. This is not the three levels of dependent arising.


Maybe you'd like to give us your preferred exegesis on the subject then? Tom, you probably aren't aware, but you're coming across awfully high-and-mighty on this one?

Have you really listened to all 250+ hours of recordings? (not that I have, but I would like to)

And as regards calling the skandhas "heaps", truly, what is the problem with that? The word aggregate has similar meaning, but merely comes from a dutch root, as opposite to a latin one. People grasp the meaning more clearly if you say a "heap" of things, as opposed to an "aggregate"! (I too have learnt Sanskrit, albeit from the Hindus.)

You complain the thread will go on without much new info, but as regards your reasons for not liking these courses, I fail to see any "new info" there. You may think they are simply too "simplified" or full of misconceptions, but as an old man once said to me, can't you take the good from it for what it's worth?

I stand by my assertion that these courses have merit (a) because they list much more detail than "beginners" works on the subject; and (b) because they are laid out systematically. Sources such as the Berzin archives are not so accessible.
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Re: Asian Classics Institute

Postby Tom » Fri Dec 28, 2012 11:36 am

chokyi lodro wrote:
Tom wrote:
5heaps wrote:the three levels of dependent arising, that emptiness is a negative object and dependent arising is a positive object and that they are one entity is all presented in the courses.


Wrong. This is not the three levels of dependent arising.


Maybe you'd like to give us your preferred exegesis on the subject then? Tom, you probably aren't aware, but you're coming across awfully high-and-mighty on this one?

Have you really listened to all 250+ hours of recordings? (not that I have, but I would like to)

And as regards calling the skandhas "heaps", truly, what is the problem with that? The word aggregate has similar meaning, but merely comes from a dutch root, as opposite to a latin one. People grasp the meaning more clearly if you say a "heap" of things, as opposed to an "aggregate"! (I too have learnt Sanskrit, albeit from the Hindus.)

You complain the thread will go on without much new info, but as regards your reasons for not liking these courses, I fail to see any "new info" there. You may think they are simply too "simplified" or full of misconceptions, but as an old man once said to me, can't you take the good from it for what it's worth?

I stand by my assertion that these courses have merit (a) because they list much more detail than "beginners" works on the subject; and (b) because they are laid out systematically. Sources such as the Berzin archives are not so accessible.


Look, I have discussed these courses extensively with Geshes because I had a few friends heavily and tragically involved.

I did not mean to come across as high and mighty. So, take or leave my two cents.

Best to you.
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Re: Asian Classics Institute

Postby chokyi lodro » Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:50 pm

Tom wrote:Look, I have discussed these courses extensively with Geshes because I had a few friends heavily and tragically involved.

I did not mean to come across as high and mighty. So, take or leave my two cents.

Best to you.


Okay, I'm sorry then that I took your posts as a bit high and mighty. And I'm sad to hear you have had some friends tragically involved.

I too am wary for similar reasons. I see all the weird stuff that has happened since out in the desert and it fills me with sadness. I posed the question once before in another topic - though no-one answered - where I guess I was hoping that some good could be taken from these 250+ hours of teachings (and the pages I haven't tried to count), despite what happened after. The short-haired Geshe teaching in the 1990s was someone I'd like to believe in and trust; the long-haired one later sadly confuses me.
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Re: Asian Classics Institute

Postby Sonny » Fri Dec 28, 2012 3:09 pm

There are many organized sets of study links on line that do not come with the controversy surrounding the Diamond Mountain people and their teacher. This human life is precious and this opportunity short, I wouldn't waste my time on anything that comes with the kind of controversy that comes with Michael Roach.
Interested in organized sets of study links in the Gelug school of teachings google Venerable Thubten Chodron, FPMT, Berzin Archives. :heart:
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Re: Asian Classics Institute

Postby justsit » Fri Dec 28, 2012 3:39 pm

:good:
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Re: Asian Classics Institute

Postby 5heaps » Sat Dec 29, 2012 4:35 am

Sonny wrote:There are many organized sets of study links on line that do not come with the controversy surrounding the Diamond Mountain people and their teacher. This human life is precious and this opportunity short, I wouldn't waste my time on anything that comes with the kind of controversy that comes with Michael Roach.
Interested in organized sets of study links in the Gelug school of teachings google Venerable Thubten Chodron, FPMT, Berzin Archives. :heart:

unfortunately except for berzinarchives those others are not even slightly as in depth as the aci courses. the aci courses were 100% non controversial prior to peoples investigation as to whether michael roach has worldly sex or not. your big loss
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Re: Asian Classics Institute

Postby chokyi lodro » Sat Dec 29, 2012 3:47 pm

5heaps wrote:unfortunately except for berzinarchives those others are not even slightly as in depth as the aci courses. the aci courses were 100% non controversial prior to peoples investigation as to whether michael roach has worldly sex or not. your big loss


Which is the point I have been trying to make all along, and I asked people to engage with before. These courses are clearly organised: the fact that they are broken down into 18 courses of 11 lessons each (and not a rambling/continuous lecture series) points to that. I can't get along with Berzin Archies or FPMT - they're quite frankly not organised in the same manner.

As 5heaps alludes to, there is a danger of criticising these courses not on merit (which surely must be found by sampling the audio, reading the gazillion pages of pdfs), but rather on the conduct of two people after the fact.

As I asked previously on this thread, and also on another, surely these teachings from 1993-1999 have some kind of merit and use, despite what happened thereafter?
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