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About rockyysdt

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  1. Nice experience D. Mine was similar. Six days into a 10 day retreat. Try as I might, I just couldn't successfully meditate (first Jhana). I gave in and simply focused on my posture and breath. Bingo, that delicate state you alluded to revealed itself. It isn't something, & it isn't nothingness. A conscious state without thought. It has several levels (very exciting).
  2. Aren't all Awakenings personal experiences?
  3. As the Buddhadasa concept (Rebirth moment to moment), is within the relm of current science then I accept it, but I'm open to Rebirth beyond. To say it does not exist is as difficult to prove as saying that it does. But, as said by many, attachment to that which is beyond our ability to comprehend is best left alone. All will be revealed with successful practice.
  4. I view it a little differently. If you use the pyramid model, the bulk of the billions out there will take just short of eternity before they might Awaken, while a few at any given time will succeed. The same model can be used for Monks vs everyone else. As the general population far out numbers full time Monks on the planet, then isn't there enough resource to go around? Sure some give more, and more than they can afford in comparison to others, but what is their motive? Are they doing it to garner good luck? If they are then isn't this a form of Greed & Aversion, not to mention Delusion? The Buddha realized that the effort to become fully Awakened required most of ones time and effort and so began the Bikkhu/ni path. What you're referring to (Theravadin monks often live in temple compounds next to glittering, gold-plated, expensive ornaments, built and paid for by the working class) is an example of Greed & Aversion. I don't think we should discredit a system based on its misuse. If indeed the Buddhas teachings are based in fact, then those who misuse their positions will be sewing considerable Kharma and its unstoppable fruit, Vipaka. At the very least they'll definitely not succeed in any kind of Awakening. They will effectively have wasted their lives. Those who spend all their spare resource over giving for good luck will also be wasting their resource and end up stuck in Samsara. There is no substitute for practice. Although Santi Asoke are beyond reproach on much that they advocate, perhaps they might be missing the point when it comes to Right Concentration & Right Livelihood. The Buddha new that not everyone in the world good practice. If everyone did there would be mass starvation to begin with. For the average person who needed to feed his family the Buddha gave hope and a beginning with Right Action, Right Livelihood, & Right Speech.
  5. In your case, these first impressions or early conditioning I refer to relate to your lifestyle and leanings, and that Buddhism appeared to align with these and hence your attraction to Buddhism, not the other way around. :)
  6. My preoccupation of late is peoples motives, and in this case peoples motives which cause them to be drawn to Buddhism. I find most people already have a formed view, and in the case of Buddhism, a formed view of what Buddhism is. In many cases their formed view of what Buddhism is significantly differs from the Buddha's basic teachings. If their formed opinion of what Buddhism is aligns with their personal preferences, then they'll be drawn to it. This might include such things as: Vegetarianism. Ethical lifestyle. Philosophy rather than religion. My other observation is that one's first impression/experience is very powerful. Even when something or someone turns out to be quite different, people automatically return to a first impressions picture or view. This is part of the auto view/response rather than functioning in the moment. I've been fortunate enough to have imparted very good first impressions on a couple of key people in my employment. I'm sadly turned out to be short of the first impressions I gave, but the power of these first impressions has kept me afloat. :) You can teach a person, what the Buddha actually was teaching, but if this differs from a persons conditioned view of it, they'll gradually revery to their earlier (first impression/experience) views over time. People can change but most don't. Everyone is set in stone. This is why most will not Awaken. You've described this ultimate goal as a difficult achievement, something beyond achieving or worrying about. My contention is that our predisposition to our deeply ingrained conditioning (habits & beliefs) is our anchor. Awakening is simple but our conditioning holds us back.
  7. It's interesting to read that Marja-Leena Heikkilä-Horn says: I do not think we can reach the highest level in this life, but we have to try. In other words the Santi Asoke teaching is that adherents must try for the ultimate goal in this life.
  8. Doesn't, the requirement for "Right Concentration", fit into his teaching of achieving awareness of the 4 Jhanas? In other words, if he taught the need to progress ones awareness of the four Jhanas, then he must have prescribed Right Concentration. Quote: And what is right concentration? Right concentration meditative in Buddhism is a state of awareness without any object or subject, and ultimately unto nothingness and emptiness. I do like the model Santi Asoke Monks ascribe to in which they sustain themselves with productive work rather than living off the poor community. We do agree that many misuse the robes as a front for an easy life. Such people do incalculable damage, not only to themselves, but to the name of Buddhism. But aren't there many adherents of Buddhism who don't misuse their position, putting the resources made available to them towards faithful endeavor? My understanding is that the level of Samadhi required to get to the 4th Jhana requires quite a bit of ones day. It was the Buddha who was quoted as having said that the prescribed practice required full time application for most to be successful. I think with the Santi Asoke work ethos, they maybe treading a fine line between achieving Awakening vs a Naturalist Lifestyle. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with the latter, but this is not the same as achieving the state of Awakening.
  9. Hi Ajay. Welcome. I understand where you are coming from. Mindfulness (in the present) can yield appropriate responses to situations in daily situations. Auto responses, particularly negative ones, may not be appropriate to given events. Having said that, I think not all reactivity is bad or sinful. For example, I am driving along the road and a vehicle swerves in front of me. I react instantly by swerving to avoid the collision. I think being inappropriately reactive, by responding in a particular way, has the potential to be evil, egotistical, or destructive. We are all uniquely conditioned. This may range from possessing very good habits all the way through to being out-rightly negative, or short fused. A person endowed with high ethical standards may usually react appropriately to most situations which may present. On the other hand, one who associates given events to misplaced beliefs (not thinking in the moment) may disgorge responses quite inappropriate to the situation. Definitively living in the moment with the poise and speed with which to analyze what has really happened and think it through is in a far better position, than one who shoots from the hip. React, Reaction, Reactivity. Perhaps the wrong word.??
  10. The positive attributes (highlighted above) are very good practices. In terms of practice of exclusively practicing Right Mindfulness but ignoring Right Concentration, I feel goes against the Buddhas teaching. The Buddha, in the Eighfold Path, specifically includes Right Mindfulness (Samma sati) & Right Concentration (Samma samadhi). If one exclusively practices Right Mindfulness they'll probably have their hands full achieving mastery its mastery, but to drop Right Concentration is to ignore the Eightfold Path. All parts of the practice have been hand picked by the Buddha. The sand settling at the bottom sounds impressive, but I don't think there is any science to relate it to defilements and how they operate?
  11. Why do you say this is heretical? You've described Right Mindfulness: Right Mindfulness (samyak-smṛti / sammā-sati) in the Sacca-vibhanga Sutta is explained as follows: And what is right mindfulness? Here the monk remains contemplating the body as body, resolute, aware and mindful, having put aside worldly desire and sadness; he remains contemplating feelings as feelings; he remains contemplating mental states as mental states; he remains contemplating mental objects as mental objects, resolute, aware and mindful, having put aside worldly desire and sadness; This is called right mindfulness. One of the Eightfold Path. The other part which is specified is Right Concentration, which allows you to achieve deep Samadhi. And what is right concentration? Here, the monk, detached from sense-desires, detached from unwholesome states, enters and remains in the first jhana (level of concentration, Sanskrit: dhyāna), in which there is applied and sustained thinking, together with joy and pleasure born of detachment; [ii] And through the subsiding of applied and sustained thinking, with the gaining of inner stillness and oneness of mind, he enters and remains in the second jhana, which is without applied and sustained thinking, and in which there are joy and pleasure born of concentration; [iii] And through the fading of joy, he remains equanimous, mindful and aware, and he experiences in his body the pleasure of which the Noble Ones say: "equanimous, mindful and dwelling in pleasure", and thus he enters and remains in the third jhana; [iv] And through the giving up of pleasure and pain, and through the previous disappearance of happiness and sadness, he enters and remains in the fourth jhana, which is without pleasure and pain, and in which there is pure equanimity and mindfulness. This is called right concentration. This is the Sitting Meditation. Both are important, but if you're regularly practicing Mindfulness you're leagues in front of most.
  12. I'm not so sure Vincent. On an earlier trip to Chiang Mai, I was lucky enough to meet and have lunch with an earlier contributor to this forum. He took me to his favorite Vegetarian Restaurant and we selected some of his favorite dishes for me to try. We covered many topics over lunch including the phenomenon of some Monks observed living like vagrants. He indicated that one of these Monks was known to be Awakened. As this individual was not involved in a teaching, and that all attachments had completely extinguished, then life as we know offered him no interest. The Ven Buddhadasa may have also shed his worldly attachment, focusing exclusively on growing his legacy (Watt Suan Mokkh, International Retreat & Hermitage"), with no regard to his body, which he new was not him.
  13. Well answered. Generally based on your postings, I had the impression that you needed proof before dedicating yourself to solid practice. The only thing I'd work on is perhaps to eliminate the word "try" in, I simply try to do the best I can. I was taught that when one uses the word try, they're setting themselves up for failure. What are your thoughts on affirming, I" simply do the best I can" ?
  14. The Kalama Sutta is definitely an excellent guide for ones life. Given that we'll both be dead before science is able prove the Buddhas teachings, if at all, then isn't the proof you seek not possible for you? The only other way of determining whether the Buddhas teaching is true requires a significant level of practice in order to generate personal insight. Without proof at the starting point does this preclude you from earnestly practicing the Eightfold Path to a necessary level?
  15. Hi Vincent. Thank you for the welcome. Life is one big retreat. :) I'm thinking that my earlier post should have read: Quote: Vincent: To be honest (as I always am) I'm a bit put off by Buddhadassa's tendency towards obesity. It implies a failing at a very basic level; a lack of control of his desires in respect of his appetite for food. How does Buddhadasa's tendency affect you, in particular, your practice (Eightfold Path)? What do you put off as a result of Buddhadasa's tendencies?