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Articles on Buddhism by a former Pali scholar

Here is a link to Medium.com that has many important articles on Buddhism by Eisel Mazard who was involved with Buddhist studies for 12 years: https://medium.com/@eiselmazard

These articles are some of the most important:

https://medium.com/@eiselmazard/2nd-critique-of-bhikkhu-bodhi-the-trouble-with-transcendence-1332d0709588

https://medium.com/@eiselmazard/so-called-breathing-meditation-eaed2e5fbe40

He also has videos on Buddhism on his youtube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/user/HeiJinZhengZhi/videos?flow=grid&view=0&sort=da

Comments

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    Personally, I'm not so much interested in scripture as practice. Is this man only a scholar who sticks his nose in books all day every day or does he actually Practice Buddhism? I am for critiquing anything. But I have a hard time trusting someone knows what they are talking about if they have done nothing but read about it.

    Also, there are more studies every day that prove breathing meditation works. Even if the translation is about farting and not breathing, at this point does it matter? Because the breathing meditation thing? It works. That's all that really matters to me.

    upekkaFosdick
  • bookwormbookworm U.S.A. Veteran

    @karasti
    Its important to know what the most ancient Buddhist texts actually say.

    upekkaDhammaDragon
  • @bookworm. Absolutely correct. Otherwise it is the sort of speculation which leads only to more self created bondage.

    bookwormShoshinupekka
  • upekkaupekka Veteran
    edited December 2016

    @karasti said:
    the translation is about farting ** and not **breathing, at this point does it matter?

    Eureka!!!

  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem Samsara Loop Veteran

    I don't like Eisel Mazard.
    I'm not even sure about his sanity.
    Apparently, he has made some bad experiences with Buddhist Bikkhus during his years of living in Asia, and has undertaken to publish scathing critics on Buddhism.
    A couple of years ago, he had been banned from every possible Buddhist online site that I visited, and his wife had fled with his only child.

    I trust the Scriptures and rely on them to enhance my practice.
    Eisel Mazard is quite another thing.
    I would not trust whatever he has to say.

  • bookwormbookworm U.S.A. Veteran

    I do trust him because he is an honest scholar.

  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem Samsara Loop Veteran

    @bookworm said:
    I do trust him because he is an honest scholar.

    .... who rants AGAINST Buddhism.
    Unless in the last couple of years that I have lost track of him, he has changed his mind.
    Try to do some research before putting your hands in the fire for him.

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    @bookworm said:
    Here is a link to Medium.com that has many important articles on Buddhism by Eisel Mazard who was involved with Buddhist studies for 12 years: https://medium.com/@eiselmazard

    These articles are some of the most important:

    https://medium.com/@eiselmazard/2nd-critique-of-bhikkhu-bodhi-the-trouble-with-transcendence-1332d0709588

    https://medium.com/@eiselmazard/so-called-breathing-meditation-eaed2e5fbe40

    He also has videos on Buddhism on his youtube channel:

    https://www.youtube.com/user/HeiJinZhengZhi/videos?flow=grid&view=0&sort=da

    I wouldn't trust him based on the extremely skeptical and cynical nature of the article titles. Sounds like a serious case of sour grapes to me. I say lotta hot air there, but of course that's only my opinion - just as it's your opinion, @bookworm that he's an 'honest' scholar. What? Me worry?
    :grin:

    DhammaDragon
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran
    edited December 2016

    If he only studies everything but has no practice to offer, then I'm not interested in what he has to say. I read some of the links. They contained little of interest to me. Anyone can study, study, study and offer their opinion on it. Putting things into practice in life is what counts. Being able to translate what you learn into actual wisdom that helps people is what counts.

    So, if you believe what he says, now what? How does this affect your practice? How does this help you in your daily life?

    He is a scholar of language, and apparently veganism. Not a scholar of religion or culture. And language that is directly translated rarely fits into cultural language. There is far more to understanding than simply learning the words.

    lobsterFosdick
  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem Samsara Loop Veteran

    Until a couple of years ago, he took every chance he had to tarnish Buddhism on every site and got banned from all of them.
    Honest scholars were T.W. Rhys Davids and his wife Caroline, F.L. Woodward, E.B Horner, Samuel Beal.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    Why is it important to study scripture so much? I could busy myself my entire life with solely the 4NT and N8FP. It seems everything within all of Buddha's teachings will come to understanding through those things even if you never look at a single sutra.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @karasti said:
    Why is it important to study scripture so much? I could busy myself my entire life with solely the 4NT and N8FP. It seems everything within all of Buddha's teachings will come to understanding through those things even if you never look at a single sutra.

    No doubt some study them in order to get a better understanding, in the hope it will help them along the path to gaining some "experiential" knowledge ...

    It's Different strokes (of the Dharma paddle) for different folks (on the raft )

    Perhaps the penny drops a lot quicker for some than it does for others...Who knows.... :)

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    Yes, I understand that and I agree with you. Everyone finds the way that works for them. Sometimes, I think some people (not necessarily anyone here as I don't know) study a whole lot and don't practice hardly at all. For me, scripture is not important. The implication from @grackle and @bookworm is that it is of utmost importance and should be. I disagree.

  • I disagree too.
    Some study and gain insight. Some practice meditation and gain insight.
    Some do nothing very much and ... gain nothing very much.

    That is my experience.

  • There is pariyatti which is learning the doctrine. Patipatti which is practice of the doctrine. Pativedha which is penetrating the doctrine.

    Shoshin
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator

    @grackle said:
    There is pariyatti which is learning the doctrine. Patipatti which is practice of the doctrine. Pativedha which is penetrating the doctrine.

    Pariyatti is not necessarily reading.... This can be achieved by many means. And the scriptures are different things to this man's alleged insights and articles. The suttas are one thing. He is something else altogether.

    Something else, indeed....

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator

    Given the amount of divisive controversy this man has stirred up, it's little wonder many Buddhists wouldn't touch him with a 20-foot barge~pole. Everywhere he goes he spreads discord and division. Anyone who does that within Buddhist communities should be viewed with the utmost suspicion, at best, and be utterly ostracised as schismatic, at worst.

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    It sounds like he goes against right speech, not causing divisive speech, in a major way. It is true that the Buddha says to test the teachings, but I think that is to each person's satisfaction in the first instance, it is not necessary to read a critique on all aspects of the dharma, which I feel would be largely a waste of time.

    With studying the sutra's, my take is that it is useful to learn the core concepts of the lore, to make sure you understand the undertaking you are engaged upon. That starts with the 4NT and the N8FP but extends a good ways further. I myself used TNH's The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching as a guide for what that core is.

    Is it essential? I think from what I see around me maybe it is. I know some people who are very diligent and advanced meditators, including Buddhist samatha and vipassana meditations, and who have managed to attain some intense levels of energy and insight. But they haven't followed the Buddhist practice of sila, coming more from a new age area, and haven't extended themselves into the 4NT.

    So when I started studying Buddhism, I began passing on to them some of the teachings and concepts. And there is a noticeable shift in their energy now, away from a kind of intensity which also covered intensity of darker attitudes such as being judgmental, to something which is more aware. Even a little bit of Buddhist teaching can colour your meditation. But you don't need to go all out and become a dharma scholar... just take a bite, once in a while.

    Fosdick
  • bookwormbookworm U.S.A. Veteran

    Eisel Mazard was the only Pali scholar that was willing to let the ancient texts speak for themselves.

  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem Samsara Loop Veteran

    Mazard has been discredited by other scholars, he's mentally ill and he hates Buddhism.
    Honestly, do some research, @bookworm...

  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem Samsara Loop Veteran

    I read and re-read the Scriptures over and over again.
    I find they are pure gold.
    Like the foundations of a building, practice can only be enrichened by the theory.
    All we need to know about the path is there.

  • bookwormbookworm U.S.A. Veteran

    Its wrong to spread lies about someone you don't even know, I really thought you were better than that @DhammaDragon

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    @bookworm said:
    Eisel Mazard was the only Pali scholar that was willing to let the ancient texts speak for themselves.

    On the strength of your word I just read the piece on breath meditation, and I have to say, the chances that the Pali is misinterpreted in the way he says is frankly very unlikely. The tradition of meditation and how it is taught is a living thing, if the translation was wrong any number of Buddhist meditation teachers who teach in English would have caught the error. It seems my time was wasted, and my respect for Mr Mazard has not increased.

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    I found the articles rambling and difficult to follow.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator
    edited December 2016

    @bookworm said:
    Its wrong to spread lies about someone you don't even know, I really thought you were better than that @DhammaDragon

    It is not wrong when the facts speak for themselves and are corroborated by other sources. They are not lies when they can be checked and verified. Please don't presume to criticise other peoples' responses when you have been advised by many here that the author cited is highly suspect and extremely controversial. Accept it: Members here do not like or admire his work as a credible or satisfactory.

    DhammaDragon
This discussion has been closed.