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by way of an introduction

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  • Thiele Everett
    Message 1 of 9 , Jul 25, 2001
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      Dear Pali group members,

      I've just subscribed and hope this group will
      thrive. Here are answers to the questions that
      came with the welcome letter, by way of a quick
      introduction:

      > 1. Are you a buddhist?

      I came to the point where I called myself a Buddhist over
      a period of several years in my late 20's and early 30's.
      I'm mostly affiliated with Tapovanarama Buddhist Temple
      in Stockholm, Sweden. This is a Theravada temple with
      a focus on meditation and dialogue between different branches
      of Buddhism. I have also always had a love for Chan literature
      and have recently been visiting a Chan sitting group, to learn
      more, and because it is such a nice place.

      > 2. Are you learning/teaching the Pali language? If yes, what do you think
      are the common difficulties faced by students?

      I'm studying Pali on my own, and Sanskrit at the University. One
      difficulty for Pali students might be the relative lack of 'secular'
      literature in Pali. This could help give a wider understanding of
      the language, which would then be of help in understanding the Canon.
      There is a risk that we never really assimilate Pali, but just
      rely on the translations provided by dictionaries. This is more
      like just reading English through the medium of an elaborate
      cipher.

      Perhaps this could be helped by Sanskrit study, but that is naturally
      too much to ask of someone who already has their hands full
      learning Pali. So I would hope to see more 'idea historical' studies
      which place the Pali Canon into it's cultural context and explain
      the points of similarity and difference between terms as used by
      the Buddha, and by the Indian community at large in those days.
      Perhaps this has already been done, and I just haven't found it yet.

      > 3. Do you read and study the suttas, or other Tipitaka/Pali literature (such
      as Abhidhamma, Vinaya)?

      At present I read one Sutta from the Majjhima Nikaya each month, together
      with some Dharma Friends: a layman and a few Bhikkhus at Tapovanarama.
      I find this reading and discussion to be very inspiring, and I hope
      to eventually be able to shift my main focus to the Pali.

      > 4. Do you use any tools/guidebooks in your study of the Pali canon, or do
      you apply any methods in your study?

      I use Warder and Geiger, and the PED, and mostly read Canonical prose.
      I'm in my infancy as far as referring to the commentaries is concerned.
      I also hope to cultivate the practice of memorizing verse. I've found
      that the short bits of Pali I've memorized in connection with devotional
      services has functioned as a useful reference grammar! (I hope it may
      have more character-building effects as well)

      > 5. Do you meditate regularly? If you do, where do you learn/practise and
      what are the methods that you use?

      I have meditated regularly for about 5 years, though I am presently
      in a lapse, which has corresponded to my returning to University. I
      hope to take it up again very soon. I practiced Mindfulness of Breathing
      and Metta Bhavana mostly.

      > 6. Were/Are you involved in any translation works of the Tipitaka? Are you
      interested in such works?

      I am very interested in such works, especially as regards the
      commentaries, and redoing such translations as are becoming dated.
      But I am still at the student stage of learning the language.

      best regards,

      --Everett Thiele
    • Bruce Burrill
      ... My teachers at the University of Wisconsin, Madison felt that Sanskrit is invaluable to understanding Sanskrit. That is not to say that Pali cannot be
      Message 2 of 9 , Jul 25, 2001
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        At 09:57 AM 7/25/01 +0200, you wrote:
        >I'm studying Pali on my own, and Sanskrit at the University.


        My teachers at the University of Wisconsin, Madison felt that Sanskrit is
        invaluable to understanding Sanskrit. That is not to say that Pali cannot
        be understood without Sanskrit, but that knowing Sanskrit can help with
        Pali. Unfortunately I did not have time for Sanskrit, but was able to get
        four years of Pali studies.
      • Thiele Everett
        Message 3 of 9 , Jul 25, 2001
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          Dear Bruce and other group members,

          Starting tomorow I'll be spending a few days (at
          least through the week-end) reading M18,
          Madhupi.n.dikasutta. Perhaps this is too short
          notice, but would anyone else like to exchange
          comments on the language or contents of
          this Sutta? All interested, from absolute first
          time beginners to professors emeritus and Mahatheras
          are welcome, and everything in between.

          In English this one is called 'Dicourse of the
          Honey-Ball'. It starts out with a somewhat
          humorous portrait of a wanderer named Da.ndapaa.ni,
          who asks the Buddha about his doctrine, and
          getting a short and compressed answer, wanders
          off 'shaking his head and wagging his tongue'
          (Horner's translation). Of course he should have
          asked for an explanation, and when the Buddha
          recounts this incident to his monks, I imagine
          that they all smiled at the incident.

          I'm sure many of you have read this one before
          but if anyone feels like having a go at it, I'd
          be happy for the company.

          best regards,

          --Rett
        • Bruce Burrill
          ... It is always interesting to pay attention to the names and how they translate.
          Message 4 of 9 , Jul 25, 2001
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            At 07:53 PM 7/25/01 +0200, you wrote:
            >humorous portrait of a wanderer named Da.ndapaa.ni


            It is always interesting to pay attention to the names and how they translate.
          • ������� ��������� (Dimitry Ivakhnenko)
            Dear Thiele and other group members, Thank you for helpful suggestion about translating sammaa as skilful . It is certainly worth considering. Now about
            Message 5 of 9 , Jul 25, 2001
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              Dear Thiele and other group members,

              Thank you for helpful suggestion about translating 'sammaa' as
              'skilful'. It is certainly worth considering.

              Now about reading MN 18, Madhupi.n.dikasutta.

              Two translations I have read, at Access to Insight and metta.lk, are
              rather strange.

              I read suttas 'experientially' - i.e. when sutta says about
              eye-consciousness, I put my attention on it. Usually suttas can be
              experienced in such way with great benefit.

              However how can I experience 'when the eye is not present' or 'when
              there is no eye'?

              I strongly suspect that 'sati' and 'asati' in this sutta refer not to
              'presence' and 'absence', but rather to something like 'remembering' and
              'not remembering', 'thinking' and 'not thinking about'. Such translation
              would make sense.

              However I would like to hear the expert's opinion in this matter.

              Dimitry
            • Bruce Burrill
              ... Thanissaro Bhikkhu s can be a bit odd. Not necessarily wrong, but odd. It can take some time to figure out what he is doing, which actually requires
              Message 6 of 9 , Jul 25, 2001
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                >
                >
                >Two translations I have read, at Access to Insight ... are
                >rather strange.




                Thanissaro Bhikkhu's can be a bit odd. Not necessarily wrong, but odd. It
                can take some time to figure out what he is doing, which actually requires
                reading his other writings. Some of the other translations available there
                can be quite good.
              • Ong Yong Peng
                Everett and all new subscribers, welcome to the list. Everett, I share the similar hope with you. I d like to invite everyone to join in building this group
                Message 7 of 9 , Jul 25, 2001
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                  Everett and all new subscribers, welcome to the list.

                  Everett, I share the similar hope with you.

                  I'd like to invite everyone to join in building this group diligently and intelligently.

                  metta,
                  Yong Peng.


                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: Thiele Everett
                  Date: Wednesday, July 25, 2001 3:51 PM


                  Dear Pali group members,

                  I've just subscribed and hope this group will
                  thrive. Here are answers to the questions that
                  came with the welcome letter, by way of a quick
                  introduction:

                  best regards,

                  --Everett Thiele


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • evelyn chew
                  Dear Thiele it s nice to be told about such sutta - M18. i ve not read it but will keep it in mind when i go to the buddhist library. i hope to read more
                  Message 8 of 9 , Jul 26, 2001
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                    Dear Thiele
                    it's nice to be told about such sutta - M18.
                    i've not read it but will keep it in mind when i go to the buddhist library.
                    i hope to read more messages similar to yours.
                    i'll try to contribute intelligently when i've the knowledge/facts etc.
                    metta to all

                    Common sense is instinct. Enough of it is genius. - GB Shaw

                    >From: Thiele Everett <Thiele.Everett@...>
                    >Reply-To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
                    >To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
                    >Subject: [Pali] Joint reading of a text?
                    >Date: Wed, 25 Jul 101 19:53:58 +0200 (MET DST)
                    >
                    >Dear Bruce and other group members,
                    >
                    >Starting tomorow I'll be spending a few days (at
                    >least through the week-end) reading M18,
                    >Madhupi.n.dikasutta.

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                  • Derek Cameron
                    ... to ... like remembering and ... translation ... Well, Dimitry, I m no expert, but to me these are straightforward locative absolutes. cakkhusmi.m sati
                    Message 9 of 9 , Jul 27, 2001
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                      --- In Pali@y..., "äÍÉÔÒÉÊ é×ÁÈÎÅÎËÏ (Dimitry Ivakhnenko)"
                      <koleso@i...> wrote:
                      > I strongly suspect that 'sati' and 'asati' in this sutta refer not
                      to
                      > 'presence' and 'absence', but rather to something
                      like 'remembering' and
                      > 'not remembering', 'thinking' and 'not thinking about'. Such
                      translation
                      > would make sense.

                      Well, Dimitry, I'm no expert, but to me these are straightforward
                      locative absolutes.

                      cakkhusmi.m sati

                      "Eye being present," or "When eye is present."

                      Derek.
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