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Sola Suttura

CarlitaCarlita Bastian please! Save us!United States Veteran
edited December 2017 in Buddhism Today

I live in a highly christian area and there is a mix views on bible-only for spiritual growth as opposed to traditon/practice for spiritual growth.

On the boards, I notice something similar that Im not familar with in person. When we discuss Buddhism, if its not in the suttas, its commentary or not from The Buddha. While study is important, Im more familar with practice/culture being primary as oppposed to did The Buddha realy teach this; how old is the sutta; fake or real things like that.

Do you think there is another way to approach talking about the validity and understanding of what The Buddha taught without using suttas as almost a divine means to determine who is correct and who is not?

Comments

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    It’s not always about sutta’s. There are a few people here who like Thich Nhat Hanh’s brand of buddhism, and he uses a lot of material which he himself has translated, and which is often a slightly different take on things, such as the five Mindfulness Trainings as opposed to the precepts.

    adamcrossleyCarlita
  • @Kerome said:
    It’s not always about sutta’s. There are a few people here who like Thich Nhat Hanh’s brand of buddhism, and he uses a lot of material which he himself has translated, and which is often a slightly different take on things, such as the five Mindfulness Trainings as opposed to the precepts.

    Yes, I think that’s a fair assessment. I think TNH shows us (as closely as anyone has) the heart of the teachings.

    But I think you raise a really interesting point about Buddhism as compared with other major religions, particularly the Abrahamic ones. They can be very scripture-centric, which makes a lot of sense to me if like the Qur’an that scripture is an accurate representation of the original “word of God”. But the modern Bible is such a different book from the original that its authority is a bit of a puzzle to me.

    When it comes to Buddhist scriptures, I don’t think authenticity operates in the same way. I personally don’t need to believe that they represent the exact words of the Buddha. I read them as interpretations, or as valid works in their own right, with as much authority as any book. Jack Kerouac and Gary Snyder are right up there with the Sutras as far as I’m concerned. But I know that’s not a very representative view, so I’m interested to see what others think.

    Carlita
  • CarlitaCarlita Bastian please! Save us! United States Veteran

    @adamcrossley said:

    @Kerome said:
    It’s not always about sutta’s. There are a few people here who like Thich Nhat Hanh’s brand of buddhism, and he uses a lot of material which he himself has translated, and which is often a slightly different take on things, such as the five Mindfulness Trainings as opposed to the precepts.

    Yes, I think that’s a fair assessment. I think TNH shows us (as closely as anyone has) the heart of the teachings.

    But I think you raise a really interesting point about Buddhism as compared with other major religions, particularly the Abrahamic ones. They can be very scripture-centric, which makes a lot of sense to me if like the Qur’an that scripture is an accurate representation of the original “word of God”. But the modern Bible is such a different book from the original that its authority is a bit of a puzzle to me.

    When it comes to Buddhist scriptures, I don’t think authenticity operates in the same way. I personally don’t need to believe that they represent the exact words of the Buddha. I read them as interpretations, or as valid works in their own right, with as much authority as any book. Jack Kerouac and Gary Snyder are right up there with the Sutras as far as I’m concerned. But I know that’s not a very representative view, so I’m interested to see what others think.

    Five mindfuleness training? I never heard of that. I do notice worda from TNH and Dalai Lama are treated as gold. The nun I listen to a lot mentions about we in the west put spiritual people on a petalstool. I see that everywhere east and west but we have an auhoritative view. I do respect the interpretation of The Buddha's teachings from monastics but on the other hand suttas doesnt change by who teaches The Dharma.

    The Buddha said something about not trusting a person just because it was told to you. Cant think of the sutta.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Here is a link to the five mindfulness trainings at the Plum Village website:

    https://plumvillage.org/mindfulness-practice/the-5-mindfulness-trainings/

    You’ll notice on reading them that they parallel the precepts...

    Carlita
  • 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
    edited December 2017

    @Carlita said: Five mindfuleness training? I never heard of that. I do notice worda from TNH and Dalai Lama are treated as gold.

    Not always, and not by everyone. But they are Highly respected teachers and have many devotees.

    The nun I listen to a lot mentions about we in the west put spiritual people on a petalstool. I see that everywhere east and west but we have an auhoritative view. I do respect the interpretation of The Buddha's teachings from monastics but on the other hand suttas doesnt change by who teaches The Dharma.

    Yes, they do, because you have the interpretation of language, and the interpretation of understanding. First, find the original sutta, unbroken by translation. Then, find the person who has fully understood the Sutta and its intended original meaning.

    The Buddha said something about not trusting a person just because it was told to you. Cant think of the sutta.

    It's the Kalama Sutta.

    (And it's 'pedestal', just to help you. :) )

    dhammachick
  • @Carlita said:
    Do you think there is another way to approach talking about the validity and understanding of what The Buddha taught without using suttas as almost a divine means to determine who is correct and who is not?

    Sure.

    Correct and incorrect is too simplistic. At different times things change according to needs, depth of understanding and capacity to listen. Most people want confirmation of opinions, experiences and are more interested in getting others in alignment with their expansive (ideally) or more usually limited stance (lobster raises guilty claw) ...

    In my fantasy realm, I have something important to communicate, which judging by the number of people constantly gibbering communicating on their mobile phones others do too ...

    There is another way ... I will be glad to hear what it is ... 🤐✌🏼

    SocairCarlita
  • 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

    @lobster said:...There is another way ... I will be glad to hear what it is ... 🤐✌🏼

    Actions.

    They speak louder.

    ;)

    lobsterSocairdhammachick
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Well, one more path to talk about would be verifiable correctness. The Buddha said ehi passiko, see for yourself, which means that the path will be verifiable as you put it into practice. If you come across part of the path that is not verifiable, then you should at least add it to the pile of dubious teachings, things that may have snuck into the sutta’s in the time between the Buddha’s death and the writing of the Pali cannon.

    However doing this will require both great mindfulness and great honesty, as a lot of the workings of the path are internal. For example karma is difficult, because it is not physical, and it is not emotional, but supposedly it does leave an impression on the mind. If you are not aware of this level then it may seem as if karma is an incorrect teaching.

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