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Did he really say that?!

BonsaiDougBonsaiDoug Simply, on the path. Veteran
edited December 2011 in Buddhism Basics
I downloaded a Kindle sample of the book, "Pure Land Buddhism: Shinran's Devotional Path to Enlightenment" by Roy Melvin.

As the author is explaining just why he feels Pure Land Buddhism is the true way to enlightenment, he says:

"This is indeed the true teaching, which is easy to practice even for the ordinary, inferior people, and is the shortest way that is easy to follow for dull and stupid people."

HUH???!!!

Comments

  • Well, could dull and stupid people really understand the advanced teachings of Tibetan Buddhism or get Zen koans? :buck:
  • The guy is actually saying Pure Land is the "Buddhism for Dummies" version of the Dharma? Funny.

  • I downloaded a Kindle sample of the book, "Pure Land Buddhism: Shinran's Devotional Path to Enlightenment" by Roy Melvin.

    As the author is explaining just why he feels Pure Land Buddhism is the true way to enlightenment, he says:

    "This is indeed the true teaching, which is easy to practice even for the ordinary, inferior people, and is the shortest way that is easy to follow for dull and stupid people."

    HUH???!!!
    Thank you for this, it was a book I had planned on getting. No thanks. Also, there's nothing simple about Pure Land...none of Buddhism is simple in its simplicity :o
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    ...."Pure Land Buddhism: Shinran's Devotional Path to Enlightenment" by Roy Melvin.

    .....and is the shortest way that is easy to follow for dull and stupid people."
    ....Takes one to know one.....
    :rolleyes:
  • It would seem pure land buddhism was designed for the normal person. Its a very devotional sect. Pure land buddhist want rebirth in the pure land rather than full liberation.

    I think of it like this. We all ar first have dull and stupid motivations for following and practicing the dharma. Whether we admit it or not. But after some serious practice we resolve such motivations by finding greater aspirations.

    Buddhism is a path that can be taken by anyone. Whether you are devotionally inclined or you are a strict intellectual.

    If you're confused about the dull/stupid people. Well take a look all around you and ourselves. If we weren't stupid then we wouldn't need buddhism.

    My stupidity and suffering has led me to buddhism so that i can wise up and be less stupid.
    Asbestosbuddha
  • I just love labels... There is wisdom in all things, just have to open your eyes to see.
  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran
    The Dodrupchen begins by quoting the life story of Chudapanthaka (Tib.,
    Lam phran brtan) one of the sixteen Arhats from Buddha Shakyamuni’s
    time. Chudapanthaka was very dumb before he became an Arhat. He was
    ordained into the Sangha at Jetavana, where Buddha lived for twenty-four
    summers, but was so stupid that he could not learn or memorize even one
    word of the Dharma. The Sangha eventually decided that they could not
    have him as a member any longer. This was an ethical decision rather than a
    reflection of their lack of compassionate or unwillingness to help him. The
    Sangha lived on the offerings of devotees; offerings that consisted mainly of
    food because the monks and nuns of those times did not own anything
    except their robes and a begging bowl. The lay people made offerings out of
    devotion, faith and trust in the learning, purity and accomplishments of these
    Sangha members. If any member was not qualified, accepting such offerings
    would be a deception and a source of bad karma for both that person and the
    Sangha as a whole.
    When Chudapanthaka was asked to leave the Sangha he was saddened
    and depressed and began to cry. The Buddha walked past, saw him crying
    and asked his followers what had happened. When the Buddha was told of
    Chudapanthaka’s predicament, he took pity on him and asked him to remain
    in the Sangha and perform the role of cleaning the monks sandals.
    Chudapanthaka cleaned their sandals for many years with a focused mind.
    He was happy because he was still able to live as a Sangha member.
    After many years of cleaning with one-focus, one-concentration and
    one-dedication, a thought suddenly came into Chudapanthaka’s mind, “Is
    this dust the dust of earth or the dust of desire?” Then he immediately had
    this realization:

    This is the dust of desire, and any learned one who fully
    abandons that dust is truly heedful of the Tathagata’s teaching.
    This is the dust of anger, and any learned one who fully abandons
    that dust is truly heedful of the Tathagata’s teaching.
    This is the dust of ignorance, and any learned one who fully
    abandons that dust is truly heedful of the Tathagata’s teaching.

    When those lines came into his mind, he instantly became an Arhat. He
    did nothing but clean the sandals of the monks and nuns with one-pointed
    mind repeating the phrase, “I’m cleaning the dust, I’m cleaning the dust,”
    but this was enough for him to attain liberation, when he saw through his
    actions to the true nature of existence.
  • I have looked at Roy Melvyn's website blog, and am skeptical. He does not say where his degree is from, and from his first name and photo, I believe he is someone I knew years ago who I can say for a fact had no degree in anything. I suppose he could have obtained one on the internet, but not in the 90s! I'm hoping I am wrong, as how can someone write about Buddhism while completely ignoring right speech?
  • jlljll Veteran
    you may think its funny, but its true.
    its a shortcut for people of lesser.....
    they believe if you chant amitabha's name, sincerely, you will be reborn in pureland.
    once you are there nirvana is guaranteed.
    The guy is actually saying Pure Land is the "Buddhism for Dummies" version of the Dharma? Funny.

    Asbestosbuddha
  • Ayya Khem stated in one recording I listened to that meditation and five factors somehow purified the mind of defilements. I don't know about that as I haven't come across that.

    But the part that is related to this discussion is that she said that the heart also accomplishes the same purification. I think if the pureland practitioners have a sort of pure compassion it would accomplish the purification.

    The same thing comes up in the Tibetan schools. The Gelug school emphasizes more of the scholarly reasoning about the nature of emptiness. Whereas the tradition I am familiar with, the Kagyu, emphasizes more of a yogic experience of direct experience in spaciousness as it is. I find that I am honestly not intelligent enough to understand much of the more intellectual systemizing and making distinctions in writing. This may be only my perception. In our sangha here on NB @person has on occasion presented discussion of some points of understanding of emptiness the terms and so forth to understand. For me just thinking in simple terms of my experience and how it seems to me is more accessible to me.

    The odd thing I have noticed about pureland visitors such as @Spaceless which repels me from pureland are the very scary stories such as

    "A worm is in an apple thinking it is the only world. Then it takes its last bite and is eaten by a bird."

    So that kind of turns me off, the scare tactics.
  • ToshTosh Veteran
    The Gelug school emphasizes more of the scholarly reasoning about the nature of emptiness.
    I did a year of a two year foundation course (I'm taking a break from it due to family, work and A.A. commitments) with a Gelug school, and it's seriously scholastic stuff. Gelug Buddhism is reputed to be the most scholastic form of Buddhism.

    I'm not sure how much real benefit I got from the study though; I mean, for example, learning the Two Truths from the point of view of four different Buddhist schools (Vaibhashika, Sautrantika, Chittimara, and Madyamika Prasangika) is all very intellectually stimulating and interesting; but I'm not sure it helps me from a spiritual point of view.

    I'll crack on with the rest of the course, but to be honest, I find it too intellectual and not practical enough for me.

    I'm considering investigating some other types of Buddhism because the scholastic nature of Gelug Buddhism didn't do much for me in the way of producing 'inner change'.

    Different brands of Buddhism suit different personality types, so I've read, but the problem is knowing what my personality type is? And just before someone says it, "What is the 'I' that has the personality type", I know I know.



    :p
  • Anyone who is sure of anything related to spirituality is automatically suspect in my sight. Especially so if they say "XYZ is the one true..."
  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran
    edited April 2012
    If I am not mistaken, the Chinese, Japanese, and Hindus, among many others, are socially class-conscious in ways that may offend the western ear. "Inferior," "superior" etc. offend the supposedly egalitarian western mindset. But when dissected with a little more care, I'm not sure how different things really are. Even if, culturally, the West is attuned to egalitarian proposals, still the individual mind is prone to creating stratifications. We may not talk about it because it seems to be poor manners or wounding to others, but ... check it out. The Buddhist teacher is superior to the Buddhist student, might be one example of personal stratification ... one that may be loudly denied with the mouth.

    In addition, I think that calling someone or some group a "dummy" is used on occasion to inspire the desire not to be a dummy, not to be an ordinary slob, not to one sheep among the less advanced herd. It may seem insulting, but also, it may work. Look at the number of spiritual persuasions that say, implicitly or explicitly, "We are the best-est with the most-est."

    Carlitaele
  • Heres the interesting thing about that quote, people see it as a kind of wisdom...and true enough if you read deeper into it you see it...but if say a person came to this forum and made such a statement and called people stupid, suddenly things would get nasty
  • Invincible_summerInvincible_summer Heavy Metal Dhamma We(s)t coast, Canada Veteran
    If it's any indication, Pure Land Buddhism is the most popular form in East Asia due to its apparent lack of anything but faith in Amitabha Buddha.

    It's known as the "easy path" to Enlightenment.

    There's not really much philosophical understanding required, except maybe for Jodo Shinshu followers (not sure about other Pure Land sects) that Amida's Buddha Nature is part of our own Buddha Nature and understanding Other-Power and Self-Power.
    Asbestosbuddha
  • This is an 800 year old quote from Shinran's Kyogyoshinsho.
    It is intended to humble the proud minded and uplift the poor.

  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem switzerland Veteran

    @Asbestosbuddha said:
    This is an 800 year old quote from Shinran's Kyogyoshinsho.
    It is intended to humble the proud minded and uplift the poor.

    This is a thread about to be closed soon...

    Asbestosbuddha
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    @Asbestosbuddha when a thread is more than 6 months or thereabouts old, it's best to start a new thread and reference the old. There isn't much point in replying to someone who started a thread 6 years ago, as most of the participants are likely not here anymore.

    Asbestosbuddha
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    ** Yeah. What they said. ^^

This discussion has been closed.