Questioning My Compatibility With Theravada Buddhism

General forum on the teachings of all schools of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. Topics specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
User avatar
明安 Myoan
Former staff member
Posts: 2334
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:11 am

Re: Questioning My Compatibility With Theravada Buddhism

Post by 明安 Myoan » Fri May 17, 2019 10:06 pm

Very happy for you to awaken such an aspiration. I hope we'll keep seeing you around. There's a nice Zen community here :smile:
With a heart wandering in ignorance down this path and that, to guide me I simply say Namu-Amida-Butsu. -- Ippen

The Fundamental Vow [of Amitabha Buddha] is just for such people as woodcutters and grassgatherers, vegetable pickers, drawers of water and the like, illiterate folk who merely recite the Buddha's name wholeheartedly, confident that as a result of saying "Namu Amida Butsu" they will be born into the western land. -- Master Hōnen

User avatar
tonysharp
Posts: 86
Joined: Fri May 10, 2019 11:28 am
Location: America
Contact:

Re: Questioning My Compatibility With Theravada Buddhism

Post by tonysharp » Sat May 18, 2019 12:30 am

Mönlam Tharchin wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 10:06 pm
Very happy for you to awaken such an aspiration. I hope we'll keep seeing you around. There's a nice Zen community here :smile:
Thanks! I don't plan on going anywhere.

:namaste:
“I, Shinran, do not have a single disciple of my own. The reason is that if I could induce others to call the nenbutsu through my own influence, then they might well be called my disciples. But it is utterly absurd to call them my disciples when they repeat the nenbutsu through the influence of Amida Buddha.”
Tannisho VI

dude
Posts: 731
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:38 am

Re: Questioning My Compatibility With Theravada Buddhism

Post by dude » Sat May 18, 2019 3:46 am

I, for one, am gratified to see you find a path to satisfaction. All the best.

User avatar
rory
Posts: 1504
Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 8:08 am
Location: SouthEast USA

Re: Questioning My Compatibility With Theravada Buddhism

Post by rory » Sat May 18, 2019 4:22 am

Since you are keen on the Lotus Sutra, there is a Lotus Sutra school; Tendai (Ch: Tiantai) . In Japan it is a multi-practice school which includes meditation, Pure Land and esoteric practices. In fact the famous sects of Rinzai and Soto Zen, Nichiren, and Jodo and Jodo Shinshu all came from Tendai.

Some great chapters to chant are the Devadatta chapter of the Lotus Sutra, Ch. 16 the Buddha's lifespan and the wonderful Ch. 25 about Kannon (Guanyin). I am devoted to Kannon-sama and I hope these suggestions are helpful!
gassho
Rory
Namu Kanzeon Bosatsu
Chih-I:
The Tai-ching states "the women in the realms of Mara, Sakra and Brahma all neither abandoned ( their old) bodies nor received (new) bodies. They all received buddhahood with their current bodies (genshin)" Thus these verses state that the dharma nature is like a great ocean. No right or wrong is preached (within it) Ordinary people and sages are equal, without superiority or inferiority
Paul, Groner "The Lotus Sutra in Japanese Culture"eds. Tanabe p. 58
https://www.tendai-usa.org/

User avatar
tonysharp
Posts: 86
Joined: Fri May 10, 2019 11:28 am
Location: America
Contact:

Re: Questioning My Compatibility With Theravada Buddhism

Post by tonysharp » Sat May 18, 2019 3:14 pm

The craziest thing just happened. While searching the forum for resources on Zen, I found an old post that I made here 9 years ago with my 'mettafuture' account, which I lost access to, with a list of Zen resources. I don't remember making this post.

If I made that list today, I'd update and simplify it:
• Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind - Shunryu Suzuki
• The Way of the Bodhisattva - Shantideva
• The Heart Sutra: A Comprehensive Guide - Kazuaki Tanahashi
• The Flower Ornament Scripture - Thomas Cleary
• Treasury of the True Dharma Eye - Kazuaki Tanahashi

I haven't read all of those yet; this is just my queue.

I also found this nice inclusion statement through one of the links. These help marginalized groups feel welcome.

But that's not the craziest part. The craziest part is that I'VE TAKEN THIS JOURNEY BEFORE! I made almost this exact same thread, about pursuing Soto Zen after expressing dissatisfaction with Theravada, 9 years ago, and I don't remember it at all.

Over the last 15 years, I've gone through some dark patches in my life, and perhaps one of those patches somehow overrode the memory of my previous detour into Zen. I remember listening to audio of Alan Watts and ‘Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind’, but I don’t remember being diligent about any specific practice. As far as I know, my memory is pretty good. When I need to remember something, it sticks. I don’t understand how this didn’t. This seriously kind of freaks me out.

The positive side, I guess, is that the 37-year-old me today, who (I’d like to believe) is more mature, focused, and decisive, and has less hardship to deal with, put me back on the track that I should be on. If I had to guess, I turned back to Theravada because I couldn’t stop questioning the authenticity of the Mahayana teachings. Now, I feel that the best way to judge truth is to not only test it, but to also look at the results. What good or bad do the teachings lead to?

I promise I won’t make this thread again in 2028.
“I, Shinran, do not have a single disciple of my own. The reason is that if I could induce others to call the nenbutsu through my own influence, then they might well be called my disciples. But it is utterly absurd to call them my disciples when they repeat the nenbutsu through the influence of Amida Buddha.”
Tannisho VI

User avatar
tonysharp
Posts: 86
Joined: Fri May 10, 2019 11:28 am
Location: America
Contact:

Re: Questioning My Compatibility With Theravada Buddhism

Post by tonysharp » Sat May 18, 2019 3:25 pm

dude wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 3:46 am
I, for one, am gratified to see you find a path to satisfaction. All the best.
Thank you.
rory wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 4:22 am
Since you are keen on the Lotus Sutra (...)
I wish I could say that I am. I read the first few chapters of a commentary, and some of the sutra itself, but, sadly, I didn't have a connection with it.

Thank you for your suggestions.
“I, Shinran, do not have a single disciple of my own. The reason is that if I could induce others to call the nenbutsu through my own influence, then they might well be called my disciples. But it is utterly absurd to call them my disciples when they repeat the nenbutsu through the influence of Amida Buddha.”
Tannisho VI

Simon E.
Posts: 6204
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 11:09 am

Re: Questioning My Compatibility With Theravada Buddhism

Post by Simon E. » Sat May 18, 2019 3:30 pm

I’ve had a similar experience. I replied to a post on this forum. Next Googled a term used in the o.p. and found a similar reply I had made on another forum, including the same quotation from the same teacher. I had no memory of the previous discussion at all... :thinking:
I know nothing. This is not false modesty.

dude
Posts: 731
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:38 am

Re: Questioning My Compatibility With Theravada Buddhism

Post by dude » Sat May 18, 2019 7:20 pm

tony, I suspect you are continuing on a path that you have been on for many lifetimes.
Interestingly enough, just the other day I was reading from the writings of Nichiren...

"...if one is speaking to persons who one knows have the capacity to become wise, then one should first instruct them in the Hinayana teachings, then instruct them in the provisional Mahayana teachings, and finally instruct them in the true Mahayana."

I think you are exactly where you should be at this point in your journey. I salute your diligence. :namaste:

User avatar
tonysharp
Posts: 86
Joined: Fri May 10, 2019 11:28 am
Location: America
Contact:

Re: Questioning My Compatibility With Theravada Buddhism

Post by tonysharp » Sun May 19, 2019 1:29 am

£$&^@ wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 3:30 pm
I’ve had a similar experience. I replied to a post on this forum. Next Googled a term used in the o.p. and found a similar reply I had made on another forum, including the same quotation from the same teacher. I had no memory of the previous discussion at all... :thinking:
That's surreal. :?

I'm still recovering from confusion and embarrassment. Regardless, I did see something that I needed to see.
dude wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 7:20 pm
tony, I suspect you are continuing on a path that you have been on for many lifetimes.
You're blowing my mind.
Interestingly enough, just the other day I was reading from the writings of Nichiren...
Maybe the takeaway here is that we're naturally drawn, perhaps by karma, to certain rhythms.

I don't want to repeat my mistake again. Considering how long, and often, I’ve been dissatisfied with Theravada practice, it would be foolish for me to turn back again. In this moment, of the religions and philosophies to choose from (Buddhist schools, Abrahamic religions, nihilism, etc), I see no better path for me than the bodhisattva path.
I think you are exactly where you should be at this point in your journey. I salute your diligence. :namaste:
:namaste:
“I, Shinran, do not have a single disciple of my own. The reason is that if I could induce others to call the nenbutsu through my own influence, then they might well be called my disciples. But it is utterly absurd to call them my disciples when they repeat the nenbutsu through the influence of Amida Buddha.”
Tannisho VI

dude
Posts: 731
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:38 am

Re: Questioning My Compatibility With Theravada Buddhism

Post by dude » Sun May 19, 2019 7:40 pm

"Maybe the takeaway here is that we're naturally drawn, perhaps by karma, to certain rhythms."

Absolutely right

User avatar
tonysharp
Posts: 86
Joined: Fri May 10, 2019 11:28 am
Location: America
Contact:

Re: Questioning My Compatibility With Theravada Buddhism

Post by tonysharp » Thu May 23, 2019 12:28 pm

A reminder to my future self, and for the benefit of others: The Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra and Diamond Sūtra are, essentially, the founding texts of Zen Buddhism. The latter is considered by some to be a more accessible version of the former.

I'm currently enjoying a 1912 translation of the Diamond Sutra by William Gemmell, courtesy of The University of Adelaide Library. A fun thing about some of these older translations is how extensive the vocabulary is. Today I learned the word "solicitude."

Also, Tony, give the Lotus Sutra another chance if you haven't already.
“I, Shinran, do not have a single disciple of my own. The reason is that if I could induce others to call the nenbutsu through my own influence, then they might well be called my disciples. But it is utterly absurd to call them my disciples when they repeat the nenbutsu through the influence of Amida Buddha.”
Tannisho VI

dude
Posts: 731
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:38 am

Re: Questioning My Compatibility With Theravada Buddhism

Post by dude » Fri May 24, 2019 5:57 am

I must offer my commendation for instructing your future self to read the above.
The Diamond Sutra is a very high sutra.
Again, I think you're doing everything right on your path of discovery.

User avatar
tonysharp
Posts: 86
Joined: Fri May 10, 2019 11:28 am
Location: America
Contact:

Re: Questioning My Compatibility With Theravada Buddhism

Post by tonysharp » Thu May 30, 2019 2:51 pm

I’m documenting some observations and bumps I’ve encountered. A warning, I plan on being frank. Your feedback or corrections would be appreciated, but you don’t have to feel obligated to read this or respond.

It seems highly unlikely that in 2,500 years only one set of texts (i.e., Pali Canon) were composed by enlightened individuals. Furthermore, Buddhism requires the flexibility provided by Mahayana and Vajrayana in order to evolve and survive. I’m completely convinced that if I’m to remain a Buddhist, my path going forward will be through one of these lineages.

But I do not want to join a tradition that requires a teacher. For nearly every branch, particularly Vajrayana, a personal teacher is a prerequisite for progress. This is my least favorite aspect of Buddhism. I envy the efficiency of Christianity and Islam. They have one main text, their practices can be privately developed without someone physically observing them, and their community gatherings are optional. I suspect that a lot of people, particularly those struggling with social anxiety, aren't enthusiastic about meeting and vetting teachers either. Having a teacher should be something that I choose to do. Not something that I must do.

While reading the Shōbōgenzō, I was hit by a passage in the opening of the Dharma-Nature chapter (chapter 53, or 54 depending on the translation) on the necessity of a teacher. I was infuriated. I thought my search was settled, and that I could let my guard down, engage with the teachings until I felt a need to join a sangha, and focus on making progress rather than doing more research.

There are several texts that don’t discourage solitary practice. In AN 5.179, when certain conditions are met, people can declare for themselves certain attainments. In MN 41, wholesome conduct alone can lead to a higher rebirth; this is the text that I continue to live by as I fluctuate between branches. The idea of a teacher prerequisite appears to be mostly encouraged by individual branch founders, which is understandable given how branches tend to depend on student-teacher hierarchies to thrive and centralize control.

My first two choices were Nichiren and Pure Land, but, to put it lightly, I have very negative feelings about the Lotus Sutra (hopefully this can change one day), and I couldn’t find a single black person practicing Pure Land (I don’t want to be the only one). And in the back of my mind, there was still some doubt about the effectiveness of Zazen. I understand that my issues likely have more to do with me than with actual problems with these branches. I’ve likely put myself in an impossible position. I don’t want a teacher, but the practice I’m looking for may require one. Or maybe it doesn’t.

I’ll figure something out eventually.
“I, Shinran, do not have a single disciple of my own. The reason is that if I could induce others to call the nenbutsu through my own influence, then they might well be called my disciples. But it is utterly absurd to call them my disciples when they repeat the nenbutsu through the influence of Amida Buddha.”
Tannisho VI

Motova
Posts: 1301
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2012 11:05 pm

Re: Questioning My Compatibility With Theravada Buddhism

Post by Motova » Thu May 30, 2019 5:00 pm

tonysharp wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 2:51 pm
I’m documenting some observations and bumps I’ve encountered. A warning, I plan on being frank. Your feedback or corrections would be appreciated, but you don’t have to feel obligated to read this or respond.

It seems highly unlikely that in 2,500 years only one set of texts (i.e., Pali Canon) were composed by enlightened individuals. Furthermore, Buddhism requires the flexibility provided by Mahayana and Vajrayana in order to evolve and survive. I’m completely convinced that if I’m to remain a Buddhist, my path going forward will be through one of these lineages.

But I do not want to join a tradition that requires a teacher. For nearly every branch, particularly Vajrayana, a personal teacher is a prerequisite for progress. This is my least favorite aspect of Buddhism. I envy the efficiency of Christianity and Islam. They have one main text, their practices can be privately developed without someone physically observing them, and their community gatherings are optional. I suspect that a lot of people, particularly those struggling with social anxiety, aren't enthusiastic about meeting and vetting teachers either. Having a teacher should be something that I choose to do. Not something that I must do.

While reading the Shōbōgenzō, I was hit by a passage in the opening of the Dharma-Nature chapter (chapter 53, or 54 depending on the translation) on the necessity of a teacher. I was infuriated. I thought my search was settled, and that I could let my guard down, engage with the teachings until I felt a need to join a sangha, and focus on making progress rather than doing more research.

There are several texts that don’t discourage solitary practice. In AN 5.179, when certain conditions are met, people can declare for themselves certain attainments. In MN 41, wholesome conduct alone can lead to a higher rebirth; this is the text that I continue to live by as I fluctuate between branches. The idea of a teacher prerequisite appears to be mostly encouraged by individual branch founders, which is understandable given how branches tend to depend on student-teacher hierarchies to thrive and centralize control.

My first two choices were Nichiren and Pure Land, but, to put it lightly, I have very negative feelings about the Lotus Sutra (hopefully this can change one day), and I couldn’t find a single black person practicing Pure Land (I don’t want to be the only one). And in the back of my mind, there was still some doubt about the effectiveness of Zazen. I understand that my issues likely have more to do with me than with actual problems with these branches. I’ve likely put myself in an impossible position. I don’t want a teacher, but the practice I’m looking for may require one. Or maybe it doesn’t.

I’ll figure something out eventually.
I hope you don't let that stop you from practicing Pure Land. Ethnicity is just an imaginary concept. Moreover, in Buddha Amitabha's Pure Land everyone has the same appearance.

User avatar
Dechen Norbu
Posts: 2986
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2011 6:50 pm

Re: Questioning My Compatibility With Theravada Buddhism

Post by Dechen Norbu » Thu May 30, 2019 10:15 pm

It's your sole responsibility to decide what you do and when you do it. A teacher is very important to help you deal with obstacles. You study, a doubt arises, the teacher helps you understand. You practice, an obstacle arises, a teacher helps you identify and overcome it. That's common to all traditions. When you progress on the path, then you may be qualified to do deeper practices. As it is easier to screw up, having a teacher becomes more and important. But as you become more capable, the less you require the teacher's assistance. You consult with him to check your progress, receive further instructions and so on. If you practice exclusively by yourself, how do you know if you are going in the right direction? It's easy in the beginning, but later you'll need assistance.
Why do you have such strong aversion to having a teacher?
Frequenting a group may be helpful if you connect with people there. You share common goals and often similar struggles. It's like a training ground. It may help, but it's not as important as having a teacher. But you should try to deal with that aversion towards people too. After all, Mahayana is about helping others. It's quite hard to help others if you avoid them...

User avatar
tonysharp
Posts: 86
Joined: Fri May 10, 2019 11:28 am
Location: America
Contact:

Re: Questioning My Compatibility With Theravada Buddhism

Post by tonysharp » Thu May 30, 2019 10:59 pm

“If you are one who enlightens himself, you need not seek a teacher outside. If you insist that it is necessary to seek a Good Knowing Advisor in the hope of obtaining liberation, you are mistaken. Why? Within your own mind there is self-enlightenment which is a Knowing Advisor. But if you give rise to deviant confusion, false thoughts, and perversions, although a Good Knowing Advisor external to you instructs you, he cannot save you.”

I was directed to this encouraging quote from the second chapter of the Platform Sutra. There is more than one valid approach to Chan/Zen. This makes sense to me. A teacher (in-person or otherwise) should only be necessary for the initial explanation, to answer questions, and to provide guidance for potentially dangerous exercises. Sitting meditation and the Diamond Sutra with a commentary are quite intuitive on their own.

Regarding my doubts about the thoroughness of sitting meditation, despite the endorsement of the vipassana teachers I sought instruction from, I've long been skeptical about the claim that watching the breath alone can lead to enlightenment. Thus, I later integrated metta meditation and buddhanusati into my practice. I assume I can do the same or similar with Mahayana.
Dechen Norbu wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 10:15 pm
Why do you have such strong aversion to having a teacher?
Anxiety, fear of prejudice, among other things. I've had awful experiences. Not within the Buddhist community, though.
After all, Mahayana is about helping others. It's quite hard to help others if you avoid them...
True. I love people. I just don't love walking into private buildings uninvited and asking strangers to teach me.
Motova wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 5:00 pm
I hope you don't let that stop you from practicing Pure Land. Ethnicity is just an imaginary concept. Moreover, in Buddha Amitabha's Pure Land everyone has the same appearance.
You're absolutely right. I've been thinking a lot about this today. Although I see a way to reconcile my issues with Chan/Zen, I should still pursue Pure Land. There's a temple near me in Chicago that hosts sutra classes on Sundays. I'll try to visit before the end of the year. I need to put more effort into setting aside my anxiety and stepping beyond my comfort zone. Life is too short to avoid opportunities because of fear.
Last edited by tonysharp on Thu May 30, 2019 11:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
“I, Shinran, do not have a single disciple of my own. The reason is that if I could induce others to call the nenbutsu through my own influence, then they might well be called my disciples. But it is utterly absurd to call them my disciples when they repeat the nenbutsu through the influence of Amida Buddha.”
Tannisho VI

User avatar
múscailt
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue May 28, 2019 4:23 am

Re: Questioning My Compatibility With Theravada Buddhism

Post by múscailt » Thu May 30, 2019 11:12 pm

tonysharp wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 8:05 pm
After being a Theravada Buddhist for about 12 years, I'm starting to question my compatibility with this school. In the communities I frequent, renunciate practices like Satipaṭṭhāna are heavily emphasized over traditional lay and devotional practices. Furthermore, the mere mention of using the teachings to help others elicits criticism. "We shouldn't engage in mundane affairs. We should focus on eliminating our own defilements." In some Mahayana circles, the Theravada has a reputation for being stifling and selfish. I can't help but wonder if there's some truth to this.

It really is not the Theravada that is stifling; rather, it is often the new convert mentality, or some other rigidity of personality, that leads to a way of thinking one has the truly true truth and truly true understanding of how things truly should be and then often studies really, really hard to reinforce this (and this is not just a Theravadin problem), and all of this can also be reinforced by a misunderstood experience leading one to think one has had a genuine awakening experience, and woe onto those who deviate from how it is imagined that things should truly be. And, no question, that can be stifling. Spend some time with Bhikkhu Bodhi's writings on social issues. Ven Bodhi is often a target of these sorts of attacks.


Frankly, I feel that it might be time for me to find another Buddhist school to follow, but I’m not sure which direction to go. Ideally, I’d prefer a school that didn’t immediately require temple visits (commuting outside of work is an impediment), and would be welcoming to someone of a darker complexion. I’ve started watching a video on the Lotus Sutra, a scripture that’s revered by the Nichiren, Zen, and other schools. It’s quite intriguing. Any thoughts or suggestions are welcome.
Read the second chapter of the Lotus Sutra.

Be that as it may. Keep an open mind. Explore and see what speaks to you.

And also read the third chapter of the Lotus Sutra: http://www.buddhistdoor.com/OldWeb/reso ... lotus3.htm
Last edited by múscailt on Thu May 30, 2019 11:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Dechen Norbu
Posts: 2986
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2011 6:50 pm

Re: Questioning My Compatibility With Theravada Buddhism

Post by Dechen Norbu » Thu May 30, 2019 11:44 pm

tonysharp wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 10:59 pm
“If you are one who enlightens himself, you need not seek a teacher outside. If you insist that it is necessary to seek a Good Knowing Advisor in the hope of obtaining liberation, you are mistaken. Why? Within your own mind there is self-enlightenment which is a Knowing Advisor. But if you give rise to deviant confusion, false thoughts, and perversions, although a Good Knowing Advisor external to you instructs you, he cannot save you.”

I was directed to this encouraging quote from the second chapter of the Platform Sutra. There is more than one valid approach to Chan/Zen. This makes sense to me. A teacher (in-person or otherwise) should only be necessary for the initial explanation, to answer questions, and to provide guidance for potentially dangerous exercises. Sitting meditation and the Diamond Sutra with a commentary are quite intuitive on their own.

Regarding my doubts about the thoroughness of sitting meditation, despite the endorsement of the vipassana teachers I sought instruction from, I've long been skeptical about the claim that watching the breath alone can lead to enlightenment. Thus, I later integrated metta meditation and buddhanusati into my practice. I assume I can do the same or similar with Mahayana.
Dechen Norbu wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 10:15 pm
Why do you have such strong aversion to having a teacher?
Anxiety, fear of prejudice, among other things. I've had awful experiences. Not within the Buddhist community, though.
After all, Mahayana is about helping others. It's quite hard to help others if you avoid them...
True. I love people. I just don't love walking into private buildings uninvited and asking strangers to teach me.
Motova wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 5:00 pm
I hope you don't let that stop you from practicing Pure Land. Ethnicity is just an imaginary concept. Moreover, in Buddha Amitabha's Pure Land everyone has the same appearance.
You're absolutely right. I've been thinking a lot about this today. Although I see a way to reconcile my issues with Chan/Zen, I should still pursue Pure Land. There's a temple near me in Chicago that hosts sutra classes on Sundays. I'll try to visit before the end of the year. I need to put more effort into setting aside my anxiety and stepping beyond my comfort zone. Life is too short to avoid opportunities because of fear.
Usually, a qualified teacher most notable trait is compassion. Anxiety is overrated. If you're anxious, breath and move. You'll see that in fact things work out better than you anticipated.

Go to open gatherings a few times. New people are expected. If you connect, then think about speaking with the teacher after a few visits.

I think you are dramatizing the whole thing in your mind. Go with a friend if you must. But once you go, you'll see it will be much easier than you think.

Sooner or later you'll have to leave your comfort zone. At the end, we all will. Better start preparing... just saying.

User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
Posts: 9456
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA
Contact:

Re: Questioning My Compatibility With Theravada Buddhism

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Thu May 30, 2019 11:49 pm

tonysharp wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 10:59 pm
utra with a commentary are quite intuitive on their own.

Regarding my doubts about the thoroughness of sitting meditation, despite the endorsement of the vipassana teachers I sought instruction from, I've long been skeptical about the claim that watching the breath alone can lead to enlightenment. Thus, I later integrated metta meditation and buddhanusati into my practice. I assume I can do the same or similar with Mahayana.
Watching the breath is typically Shamatha, I am not aware of any tradition where simply watching breath is considered Vipaysana, traditions teaching that Shamatha alone can achieve enlightenment AFAIK are taking a non-Buddhist position.
His welcoming
& rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
Knowing the dustless, sorrowless state,
he discerns rightly,
has gone, beyond becoming,
to the Further Shore.

-Lokavipatti Sutta

User avatar
tonysharp
Posts: 86
Joined: Fri May 10, 2019 11:28 am
Location: America
Contact:

Re: Questioning My Compatibility With Theravada Buddhism

Post by tonysharp » Fri May 31, 2019 12:03 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 11:49 pm
I am not aware of any tradition where simply watching breath is considered Vipaysana
There was noting and scanning involved, but the core of the practice was watching the breath. The method, if I recall correctly, was based on the teachings of Mahasi Sayadaw.
“I, Shinran, do not have a single disciple of my own. The reason is that if I could induce others to call the nenbutsu through my own influence, then they might well be called my disciples. But it is utterly absurd to call them my disciples when they repeat the nenbutsu through the influence of Amida Buddha.”
Tannisho VI

Post Reply

Return to “Mahāyāna Buddhism”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Astus, humble.student, Queequeg and 85 guests