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Learning Buddhism by reading quotes

KeromeKerome Lovingness is the wayThe Continent Veteran

Sometimes I think it’s a perfectly viable way to learn Buddhism just by reading quotes. You can select some authors, like Thich Nhat Hanh, Ajahn Chah, Jack Cornfield, Pema Chödron and so on, and just look them up in quote repositories on the internet and read all their most famous, most punchy quotes. It seems to satisfy my urge to find dharma when I do this…

BunksJohnCobbShoshin1

Comments

  • 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

    Quotes make me want to delve deeper though... Like the video of Wim Hof you brought us. Here I am, taking cold showers every day and devouring his book.

    Bunkslobster
  • Shoshin1Shoshin1 Veteran

    I don't think quotes alone will lead to experiential understanding, unless that is, one already has a working knowledge of the Dharma to connect the dots...

    I find quote helpful when it comes to unlocking parts of the Dharma...

    BunkslobsterFoibleFull
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited June 27

    Whilst @federica changes her culinary intake to processed tree eating (yikes) …
    I find value in quotes not always attributed to the Buddha:
    https://fakebuddhaquotes.com/all-fake-buddha-quotes/

    Wait … the false can contain wisdom … and platitudes render us senseless?
    I bet I am sure The Buddha knew …

    "There are two kinds of suffering. There is the suffering you run away from, which follows you everywhere. And there is the suffering you face directly, and so become free"
    Ajahn Chah

  • KeromeKerome Lovingness is the way The Continent Veteran

    @Shoshin1 said:
    I don't think quotes alone will lead to experiential understanding, unless that is, one already has a working knowledge of the Dharma to connect the dots...

    I find quote helpful when it comes to unlocking parts of the Dharma...

    Yes that is so, quotes can be very helpful for reminding you of things that you already know. But sometimes there is just a turn of phrase, something that catches the core of a concept in a new way, that will open a door for you.

    FoibleFulllobster
  • KeromeKerome Lovingness is the way The Continent Veteran

    @lobster said:
    I find value in quotes not always attributed to the Buddha:
    https://fakebuddhaquotes.com/all-fake-buddha-quotes/

    It’s interesting, I had a discussion the other day on another forum about fake guru’s. Someone else made the insightful point that most fake guru’s imitate real guru’s, and so even a fake teacher could lead you towards the real thing.

    lobster
  • 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

    Your misplaced apostrophes are making my eyes hurt.

    Just saying...

    FosdickKerome
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Quotes make me want to delve deeper though... Like the video of Wim Hof you brought us. Here I am, taking cold showers every day and devouring his book.

    As an oral tradition for four hundred years. Buddhism is quotable commentary on Buddha quotes. Is it permissible or unavoidable to go wider? For example is there quotable wisdom in:

    :mrgreen:

  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran
    edited July 5

    @Kerome said:

    @lobster said:
    I find value in quotes not always attributed to the Buddha:
    https://fakebuddhaquotes.com/all-fake-buddha-quotes/

    It’s interesting, I had a discussion the other day on another forum about fake guru’s. Someone else made the insightful point that most fake guru’s imitate real guru’s, and so even a fake teacher could lead you towards the real thing.

    Good point. Yet, this is why we have the Kalama or Kasamutti Sutta. Many use it as a way to show how Buddha promoted testing teachings out for ourselves but it also shows the difference between knowing the path and walking it. If you are unsure of a teacher and yet their teachings sound right, look to their actions. Do they bear healthy fruit?

    From Access to Insight
    https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an03/an03.065.soma.html

    It is proper for you, Kalamas, to doubt, to be uncertain; uncertainty has arisen in you about what is doubtful. Come, Kalamas. Do not go upon what has been acquired by repeated hearing; nor upon tradition; nor upon rumor; nor upon what is in a scripture; nor upon surmise; nor upon an axiom; nor upon specious reasoning; nor upon a bias toward a notion that has been pondered over; nor upon another's seeming ability; nor upon the consideration, 'The monk is our teacher.' Kalamas, when you yourselves know: 'These things are bad; these things are blamable; these things are censured by the wise; undertaken and observed, these things lead to harm and ill,' abandon them.

    Keromelobster
  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran

    Sometimes a well timed quote can be a total catalyst for a new way of living.

    BunksKeromelobsterShoshin1
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