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An american monk teaching buddhism online.

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Comments

  • Hope the viagra kicks in soon . . . ;)

    Seems excellent, useful, authentic. I have joined the yahoo group - I need all the help available . . .
    Many thanks for bringing to our attention.
    chela
  • CittaCitta Veteran
    An extremely, and I mean extremely, controversial figure.
    I am not a Theravadin practitioner and so am fairly neutral but for a detailed discussion you might want to drop into Dhamma Wheel.
  • chelachela Veteran
    I like the concept of learning online for those of us who are not able to find a monk nearby to go to personally. I liked his presence- seems genuine. Will also check out what the controversy is about, although I try very hard to maintain an open mind when there is controversy.
  • MaryAnneMaryAnne Veteran
    edited March 2013
    I couldn't find anything of any significance regarding a 'controversy' and this man....
    Perhaps this perceived controversy is a result of his being a 'westerner' and/or teaching Buddhism to westerners?
  • CittaCitta Veteran
    edited March 2013
    Then forget I spoke...just know that in some circles within the Theravada it is suggested that he is not what he presents himself as being.
    Whether that matters is an individual decision.
    Among other points of controversy he claims to be able to cure AIDS. And that he has received direct teaching from the Devas which corrects the " mistakes" of all existing Buddhist teachers.
    He has launched strong attacks on a number of other teachers, particularly those that teach Vipassana.


    But...not my path.

  • shanyinshanyin Novice Yogin Sault Ontario Veteran
    He claims to have discovered the original method of meditation taught by the Buddha which nobody else teaches that is probably where controversy is. Also there is an ex monk on YouTube who says vimalaramsi was breaking monks rules and sleeping alot. On retreats. I do enjoy his videos though
  • chelachela Veteran
    In case anyone is interested in doing some research on whatever the circumstance of "controversy" may be: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=7375

    I've read through the first two pages, and it seems to be the usual bickering of whether or not his teachings/manners of teaching are valid. As someone who is not attached to any particular line of Buddhism, I don't know if this would concern me to the point of not being open to what he has to say. But, I would do some more research before going to a retreat or proclaiming him as my main teacher. Just my POV.

    This is actually something I did find that made me think, in particular, about Vipassana (this is a response post in the thread I listed above):

    It was Bhante Vimalaramsi who helped me escape the person I had become via "vipassana". Numerous 10 day courses, although initially enticing had turned me into an unthinking, hard-hearted individual who was gradually losing all sense of the joy and wonder of the Dhamma - which is what attracted me to it in the first place. There is more between heaven & earth than bare attention & observing sensations, and Bhante Vimalaramsi is one of the few monks who actually teach what that is. If we want to hang around waiting for the "perfect" monk as a teacher, we might have a long wait. All I know is that Bhante's teachings resonate with the suttas, introduce clear guidelines for practice which find verification in the suttas, and most importantly they work.
  • CittaCitta Veteran
    I would say Chela that claiming to be able to cure AIDS and stating that all other Buddhist teachers have got it wrong are a bit more than ' bickering '.
  • CittaCitta Veteran
    edited March 2013
    Furthermore Vimalaramsi is far from being " one of the few monks " who teach that there are other meditative paths than that of bare attention and observing sensations.
    Most monks teach a variety of methods.
    I learned Vipassana from a real hard core source, a teacher who was then in the robe and is now called Dhiravamsa but still teaching. And even he taught much more than bare attention and observing sensations.
    The reality is there are a lot of good teachers out there who do not claim special powers or to communicate with Devas.
    If the Theravada is your thing you cant go wrong with the Forest Tradition 's teachers.
  • Everyone should be our teachers.

    the lessons from their teachings will differ.
  • chelachela Veteran
    @Citta I did say that I would do more research, as I wasn't able to fully see the extent of the issues by the first two pages that I read about him. Also, I agree with what you say about others teaching other meditative paths-- he isn't the only one, as that post claims.

    I'm simply saying that he may have a valid teaching somewhere and that keeping an open mind may be beneficial (or he may not have a valid teaching, but one would never know if one doesn't look into the matter for themselves). As far as I know, the Buddha taught in many languages to many people of many faiths, so that everyone could understand a teaching within the context of their own lives. I could assume that some students may not like or "get" some teachings that were meant for completely different "types" of students. This is why I say that it may be worth keeping an open mind. Also, I understand that Buddha says that you should not put so much weight on the teacher as you should put on the teaching. That is where a lot of us get hung up, IMHO (including myself)
  • CittaCitta Veteran
    edited March 2013
    I belong to a tradition Chela ( Dzogchen ) which is is entirely about the teacher-student relationship And which only exists within that relationship.
    Other options within Buddhadharma are available.
    The issue with Vimalaramsi is not whether his teaching is valid. The issue is that he says the teaching of other Buddhist teachers is invalid.
    And that he knows this because the Devas told him.
    chela
  • chelachela Veteran
    edited March 2013
    Just so you know for the future, @Citta , you must type the @ in before the person's name if you want them to know that you've addressed them in a post. This was not a problem for me, since I have been following the active threads today, but I thought you might want to know for the future.

    Also, I am happy you have a tradition which works so well for you, but it would not be a comfortable fit for me, for my own personal and philosophical reasons (yes, we are lucky to have diversity in the world). However, one thing I wonder about-- does your tradition make it more difficult to have open dialogue about anything that hasn't been strictly transmitted from your teacher to you? It is an honest question, not meant to be judgmental or anything, as I am sure you have a very well qualified teacher. I am a newbie, so your graciousness is appreciated.
  • CittaCitta Veteran
    @Chela... :) If you want to know about my teacher he is Chogyal Namkhai Norbu..there is a lot of material on the web.
    Difficult to dialogue ? I would say not.
    Having said that concepts and cognitions are not emphasised in the Dzogchen tradition. its about operating from a non dual view.
    So its not about holding only those views endorsed by the teacher.
    Its more about seeing all views as provisional.
    chelaInvincible_summer
  • I know how to cure aids too- don't misuse sex and steer clear of iv drugs. Basic Buddhism.
  • ToshTosh Veteran

    I know how to cure aids too- don't misuse sex and steer clear of iv drugs. Basic Buddhism.

    That sounds more like a preventative measure than a cure; extremely judgemental too. Not everyone with aids has misused sex and drugs. One statistic I've read says that 1000 children a day are born with HIV; staying clear of drugs and not misusing sex aint going to cure them.

  • I saw that "Curing Aids" claim discussed on another forum (maybe two others) and it was clarified that he stated if HE ever got a serious disease like AIDS he believes he would be able to cure himself (through his meditations/practice, I assume).

    :: shrugs:::
    Well lots of people believe prayers (to God/saints) can cure diease, too. Not that outrageous, IMO.
    chelamMirco
  • O ignorant one! When we die,
    It will be proven to us:
    A dream was what we have seen,
    And what we have heard, was a tale.
    This is a Hadith of the well known sword wielding Prophet.

    Whilst we await the Mahdi, comforter, Maitriya, perfected Bhantu or a vision from Manjushri we have to make do with the slightly used. This miserable looking (for those taken in by superficialities) monk offers contact through the Internet. Yippee.
    His reluctance to teach is so reflective. Others like me, who have barely scratched the surface can be similarly judged.

    When I become a Buddha, anytime now, remember to spread tales of how I offered Viagra to the Sangha, that should ensure I have no authentic validation and qualification to teach . . .
    :thumbsup:
    chelapegembara
  • CittaCitta Veteran

    I know how to cure aids too- don't misuse sex and steer clear of iv drugs. Basic Buddhism.

    You might want to aquaint yourself with the figures concerning the numbers of haemophiliacs who acquired AIDS via the blood products that are necessary to keep them alive, before the risk was a known factor.
    Many of them children.
  • CittaCitta Veteran
    edited March 2013
    MaryAnne said:

    I saw that "Curing Aids" claim discussed on another forum (maybe two others) and it was clarified that he stated if HE ever got a serious disease like AIDS he believes he would be able to cure himself (through his meditations/practice, I assume).

    :: shrugs:::
    Well lots of people believe prayers (to God/saints) can cure diease, too. Not that outrageous,
    IMO.

    He said that MaryAnne AFTER his initial and unqualified remarks about his being able to cure AIDS caused outrage. And that followed his claim that he had been informed by Devas that only he could restore authentic Buddhism.
    A teacher who manages to draw the oprobrium of both Ajahn Sumedho and ( scathingly ) of Ajahn Brahm, is either what he says he is, the unique saviour of Buddha Dhamma and those other teachers are wrong, or he is a fruitcake.
    I know what i think.
  • he teaches by reading from the suttas.
    i think there is no need to jump to any conclusion.
    listen for yourself and make up your own mind.
    chela
  • CittaCitta Veteran
    I did.
    But not from one vid alone. As did Ajahn Brahm Ajahn Sumedho and etc.
  • chelachela Veteran
    It is fine if you think he is a fruitcake. Others may be more open minded. I think it is a good thing to point out some possible errors to others who are unsuspecting. But be careful about how much you try to change others' minds. In the end, live and let live, I say.
  • CittaCitta Veteran

    So the alternatives are drawing the conclusion that any given person is a fruitcake OR having an open mind. LOL.
    A round of applause for anyone who spots the logical fallacy operating here.... :)
  • Citta said:

    MaryAnne said:

    I saw that "Curing Aids" claim discussed on another forum (maybe two others) and it was clarified that he stated if HE ever got a serious disease like AIDS he believes he would be able to cure himself (through his meditations/practice, I assume).

    :: shrugs:::
    Well lots of people believe prayers (to God/saints) can cure diease, too. Not that outrageous,
    IMO.

    He said that MaryAnne AFTER his initial and unqualified remarks about his being able to cure AIDS caused outrage. And that followed his claim that he had been informed by Devas that only he could restore authentic Buddhism.
    A teacher who manages to draw the oprobrium of both Ajahn Sumedho and ( scathingly ) of Ajahn Brahm, is either what he says he is, the unique saviour of Buddha Dhamma and those other teachers are wrong, or he is a fruitcake.
    I know what i think.

    @Citta

    I'm only relaying what I read on a couple of other forums; not trying to pointedly contradict anyone. This guy could be a fruitcake, and then again, maybe just an easy target as a 'non-Asian' or "non-Traditional" teacher.... I don't have a dog in this fight as they say.
    I really don't get any particularly bad vibes from him, I'm not looking toward him as my own teacher, so I stand neutral.

    Now that other 'monk' discussed in that other thread? That guy didn't sit well with me.


    And so it is....
  • CittaCitta Veteran
    Well MaryAnne, Ajahn Brahm is both a non Asiatic teacher and is in many ways non traditional.
    The issue is not anything Vimalaramsi says on that video. It is however in the public domain that he is on record saying that ALL other teachers with one exception have got it wrong and that he was told by Devas that this is the case. The one exception is a self proclaimed Arahant who is widely seen by even the most moderate and liberal of teachers as deluded.
    I find it personally impossible to exclude those facts from my mind when listening to him on any subject.
    But its a free ( ish ) world.
  • I hear ya, @Citta, I enjoy Ajahn Brahm - very much - and I know he's both non-Asian but as for non-traditional- yeah I guess you can say that, although I don't think he really 'bucks the system' in any way, does he? (I'm asking sincerely).

    Anyway, my point was and still is, neutrality - on this particular monk in the OP's question.
  • My response was a somewhat tongue-in-cheek suggestion for a cure for ridding the world of the virus in the long-run. I am aware of the toll that the AIDS virus inflicts on many innocent victims throughout the world. Sorry if I offended anyone.
  • CittaCitta Veteran
    MaryAnne said:

    I hear ya, @Citta, I enjoy Ajahn Brahm - very much - and I know he's both non-Asian but as for non-traditional- yeah I guess you can say that, although I don't think he really 'bucks the system' in any way, does he? (I'm asking sincerely).

    Anyway, my point was and still is, neutrality - on this particular monk in the OP's question.

    Actually MaryAnne Ajahn Brahm initiated what is probably the biggest furore in the Theravadin world for many years, possibly a millenium, by formally ordaining Buddhist Nuns in a complete break from the prevailing tradition.
    More power to his elbow. :)
    Dandelion
  • ^ Ha! Well I didn't know that about Ajahn Brahm... now I like him even more! :D
    BhanteLuckyDandelion
  • CittaCitta Veteran
    Yup. He was cast out from certain sections of the Forest Sangha for doing it. :eek2:
    Dandelion
  • chelachela Veteran
    Citta said:

    Then forget I spoke...just know that in some circles within the Theravada it is suggested that he is not what he presents himself as being.
    Whether that matters is an individual decision.
    Among other points of controversy he claims to be able to cure AIDS. And that he has received direct teaching from the Devas which corrects the " mistakes" of all existing Buddhist teachers.
    He has launched strong attacks on a number of other teachers, particularly those that teach Vipassana.


    But...not my path.

    A round of applause to anyone who spots the irony operating here.
  • can you show us the website or article
    where ajahn brahm or sumedho made
    negative remarks about vimalaramsi.

    otherwise, it is just hearsay.
    Citta said:

    I did.
    But not from one vid alone. As did Ajahn Brahm Ajahn Sumedho and etc.

  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    I have mixed feelings about Bhante Vimalaramsi. On the one hand, I definitely like the idea of taking the Suttas as the primary textual basis for one's practice as opposed to the commentarial literature (although I do think there are some good things in the commentaries). That said, I don't agree with all of his interpretations, and I think there are much better teachers out there who take a more Sutta-based approach. I also met him in person once, and I got a weird vibe from him, which probably adds to my bias. If one finds his style of teaching inspiring and helpful, I don't see anything wrong with that, but I'd personally look elsewhere.
  • everyone is entitled to his own preferences.
    i have my preferences too.

    but some of the allegations made here not
    only involves vimalaramsi but also ajahn brahm n sumedho.
    so it is important to ascertain the veracity of these statements.
    Jason said:

    I have mixed feelings about Bhante Vimalaramsi. On the one hand, I definitely like the idea of taking the Suttas as the primary textual basis for one's practice as opposed to the commentarial literature (although I do think there are some good things in the commentaries). That said, I don't agree with all of his interpretations, and I think there are much better teachers out there who take a more Sutta-based approach. I also met him in person once, and I got a weird vibe from him, which probably adds to my bias. If one finds his style of teaching inspiring and helpful, I don't see anything wrong with that, but I'd personally look elsewhere.

  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    hermitwin said:

    everyone is entitled to his own preferences.
    i have my preferences too.

    but some of the allegations made here not
    only involves vimalaramsi but also ajahn brahm n sumedho.
    so it is important to ascertain the veracity of these statements.


    Jason said:

    I have mixed feelings about Bhante Vimalaramsi. On the one hand, I definitely like the idea of taking the Suttas as the primary textual basis for one's practice as opposed to the commentarial literature (although I do think there are some good things in the commentaries). That said, I don't agree with all of his interpretations, and I think there are much better teachers out there who take a more Sutta-based approach. I also met him in person once, and I got a weird vibe from him, which probably adds to my bias. If one finds his style of teaching inspiring and helpful, I don't see anything wrong with that, but I'd personally look elsewhere.

    Fine by me. I never said not to explore his teachings or the allegations made about him further. In fact, I encourage you to do so. I'm simply answering your initial question, "What do you guys think about him?"
  • BonsaiDougBonsaiDoug Simply, on the path. Veteran
    Jason said:

    […] I definitely like the idea of taking the Suttas as the primary textual basis for one's practice as opposed to the commentarial literature (although I do think there are some good things in the commentaries). That said, I don't agree with all of his interpretations, and I think there are much better teachers out there who take a more Sutta-based approach. […]

    Recommendations? Here or via PM if you don't want to take this thread too far OT (thanx!).

  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited March 2013
    In terms of having things available online, I always highly recommend Thanissaro Bhikkhu (esp. here and here), as well as most teachers from the Thai Forest Tradition (e.g., Ajahn Amaro, Ajahn Brahm, Ajahn Passano, Ajahn Sumedho, etc.).
  • BonsaiDougBonsaiDoug Simply, on the path. Veteran
    Thanx! Wasn't aware of, http://dhammatalks.org/
  • newtechnewtech Veteran
    edited March 2013
    Hi:

    Personally i think he is a good monk.

    Why he is controversial? because he openly disagrees with some parts of the visuddhimagga (theravada commentaries) and openly disagrees with "absortion concentration meditations". So its natural he will take some heat.

    Its ok to openly disagree with someone!, as long as its not connected with evil-unwholesome states (both ways).

    Now, be carefull with gossip! haha. "i heard he got some bad review inside close circles", i heard he say he can cure AIDS... he just told that in the context that generosity can cure sickness (he also put an example of a person who had cancer and after practicing generosity she went to the doctor and was free from it) :).














  • CittaCitta Veteran
    edited March 2013
    Any chance of anything resembling proof as to your last sentence ? Or is my asking evidence of an unwholesome state ?
    Just in case anyone has missed it, at the heart of that anecdote is good old " if you have cancer its your fault ".
    Which is neither provable nor compassionate.
  • Citta said:

    Any chance of anything resembling proof as to your last sentence ? Or is my asking evidence of an unwholesome state ?
    Just in case anyone has missed it, at the heart of that anecdote is good old " if you have cancer its your fault ".
    Which is neither provable nor compassionate.

    Hi Citta:

    U mean a proof that generosity can cure sickness or cancer? ofcourse not (u could find some studies probably of the beneficts of joy or good mental states for the body and the inmune system blablabla, not more than that.) :) .

    Why do you say that "the heart of the anecdote is good old "if you have cancer its your fault" ? wich is neither provable nor compassionate". Is that other way of saying that because the monk believes in karma like pretty much any other buddhist he is not compassionate?.


  • CittaCitta Veteran
    If someone has cancer and then " practises generosity " whatever that means, and is subsequently free of it then the obvious conclusion is that the cancer was the result somehow of a lack of generosity..which is not only bullshit in medical terns, but is blaming the victim.
  • robotrobot Veteran
    Citta said:

    If someone has cancer and then " practises generosity " whatever that means, and is subsequently free of it then the obvious conclusion is that the cancer was the result somehow of a lack of generosity..which is not only bullshit in medical terns, but is blaming the victim.

    So if I'm following your logic, if someone has surgery which causes them to be cancer free, then it was a lack of surgery that caused the cancer? That's not making sense to me.
    The generosity curing cancer seems unlikely too.
  • Hi Citta:

    While buddhists believe in kamma and the beneficts of generosity, it doesnt`t neccesarily mean that
    they state: "if u get a benefict because u practice generosity in a certain situation, then that means that sittuation was created directly because of
    lack of generosity/covetousness in the past".

    Simplest: If a man growns resentful he might want going to war, in war he might loose his legs, without legs he might grown humble, being humble: who knows.
    So yes, if u go to the doctor he will say he loosed hig legs because of an explotion, because thats the truth (and it doesnt go against kamma).
    Might i add that the Buddha taught rebirth?.

    So, i don`t see why u say that a monk teaching generosity is not being compassionate.
    But yes, in a way buddhists believe in a certain responsability over our present experience.

    If you dont believe that, its ok.

    pd: sorry if i made grammar mistakes, its not my language:).

  • CittaCitta Veteran
    Buddhists also believe that the Buddha said that to speculate about the causes of any specific condition is unfruitful.
  • jlljll Veteran
    suffering is caused by bad karma
    and that includes cancer.
  • CittaCitta Veteran
    edited March 2013
    The Abhidhamma talks of the Five Niyamas or causative factors.
    They are
    The factors of the physical world....roughly the laws of physics and chemistry.
    The factors of biology including what we would now call genetics
    The factors of kamma and kamma vipaka. ( Karma and the fruit of karma )
    The factors of Dhamma/Dharma including Dependent Origination, and
    The factors of Citta ( consciousness )..which is the realm of psychology.

    So kamma/karma is just one factor among many that accounts for any given situation..and the Buddha said that it was unwise to speculate which factor or factors were operant
    In fact he said that to speculate thus was to fall into the trap of speculating about what he called The Imponderables.
    The simplistic idea that all actions have a one-to-one observable and clear cut consequence is a Hindu belief, not a Buddhist one.

    As usual the Buddha took a basic idea current at the time and transformed it into a teaching that was far more radical and at the same time far more subtle. As he did with the idea of Rebirth which is far more subtle than Hindu Reincarnation.






    robot
  • jlljll Veteran
    please differentiate between a situation
    and suffering.
    suffering is caused by bad karma period.
    an arahant can have cancer but no suffering.
  • CittaCitta Veteran
    edited March 2013
    There is no " bad " karma.
    You are conflating karma..action, with karma -vipaka the fruits of karma. Which can be experienced as positive , negative, or neutral.
    If someone has cancer there is no way to know whether it is related to karma -vipaka.
    It may be, or it may be connected to other Niyamas.
    The Buddha himself described speculating about causes as " acinteyya " or Imponderable.
    See his teaching in the Anguttara Nikaya.
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