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Re: [dsg] What is a good friend?

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  • upasaka@aol.com
    Hi, Herman (and Nina, James, Jon, and Robert) - In a message dated 8/1/04 8:47:11 AM Eastern Daylight Time, ... ============================= Thank you for
    Message 1 of 19 , Aug 1, 2004
      Hi, Herman (and Nina, James, Jon, and Robert) -

      In a message dated 8/1/04 8:47:11 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
      hhofman@... writes:

      > Hi all,
      >
      > My internet has been down for the last two days. Quite a blessing
      > really!!
      >
      > I wonder what is going on. Recently James made some comments to Nina and
      > Jon replied. Now Howard gets a reply from RobK when asking Nina a
      > question. I understand that some folks here have formed special
      > friendships, but...
      >
      > this is the advice the Buddha gives as to who is a friend.
      >
      > "When a monk has admirable friends, admirable companions, admirable
      > comrades, it is to be expected that he will get to hear at will, easily
      > &without difficulty, talk that is truly sobering and conducive to the
      > opening of awareness, i.e., talk on modesty, on contentment, on
      > seclusion, on non-entanglement, on arousing persistence, on virtue, on
      > concentration, on discernment, on release, and on the knowledge &vision
      > of release. "
      >
      > The whole sutta is Anguttara Nikaya IX.1
      > Sambodhi Sutta
      > Self-awakening
      >
      > It is to be addressed to members of non-Buddhist sects.
      >
      > It finishes with: He should develop mindfulness of in-&-out breathing so
      > as to cut off distractive thinking. He should develop the perception of
      > inconstancy so as to uproot the conceit, 'I am.' For a monk perceiving
      > inconstancy, the perception of not-self is made firm. One perceiving
      > not-self attains the uprooting of the conceit, 'I am' -- Unbinding in
      > the here &now."
      >
      > It is clear I have a number of very good friends here. I am very
      > grateful to them.
      >
      > Herman
      >
      >
      =============================
      Thank you for your post, Herman. It seems that you are looking to
      "defend" James and me, though maybe I misunderstand. If I'm correct, I'd like to
      say that I certainly appreciate such kindness, but I'd like to add that I
      really think it's very much okay for "third parties" to provide responses. I do
      that myself not infrequently.
      Specifically, I have no problem with Robert's reply to me. I disagree
      with him on this matter, but that's fine. So long as we on the list remain
      cordial, or, better, remain good friends, there will be no problem. What I find
      very welcome in your post, Herman, is that I think it is aimed at maintaining
      an openness and a "live and let live" attitude on the list. This is really
      important for the proper interaction of friends in the Dhamma.

      With much metta,
      Howard

      /Thus is how ye shall see all this fleeting world: A star at dawn, a bubble
      in a stream, a flash of lightning in a summer cloud, a flickering lamp, a
      phantom, and a dream./ (From the Diamond Sutra)




      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Herman Hofman
      Hi Howard, The Net dropped out again for a day. Good thing I don t depend on it :-) Thanks for your post. Yes, you did read my intentions correctly, but if I
      Message 2 of 19 , Aug 2, 2004
        Hi Howard,

        The Net dropped out again for a day. Good thing I don't depend on it :-)

        Thanks for your post. Yes, you did read my intentions correctly, but if
        I could elaborate some more.

        I know James and you and others do not require defense, you are all
        quite capable of skillfully verbalizing your understandings of the
        Buddha's teachings and how they relate to your experience. Rather than
        defending you, I was trying to encourage you :-).

        That the discussion has deteriorated into a defense of K Sujin has given
        me reason to believe that my initial, but unspoken, assessment of what
        was going on was not far off the mark.

        If this group is actually about studying, propagating the teachings of
        or otherwise sanctifying K Sujin, I would prefer that to be made known.

        Like you, I am sure she is a wonderful person. But that is not why I am
        part of this group :-)

        Be encouraged!!!!

        Herman




        -----Original Message-----
        From: upasaka@... [mailto:upasaka@...]
        Sent: Sunday, 1 August 2004 11:34 PM
        To: dhammastudygroup@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [dsg] What is a good friend?

        Hi, Herman (and Nina, James, Jon, and Robert) -

        In a message dated 8/1/04 8:47:11 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
        hhofman@... writes:

        > Hi all,
        >
        > My internet has been down for the last two days. Quite a blessing
        > really!!
        >
        > I wonder what is going on. Recently James made some comments to Nina
        and
        > Jon replied. Now Howard gets a reply from RobK when asking Nina a
        > question. I understand that some folks here have formed special
        > friendships, but...
        >
        > this is the advice the Buddha gives as to who is a friend.
        >
        > "When a monk has admirable friends, admirable companions, admirable
        > comrades, it is to be expected that he will get to hear at will,
        easily
        > &without difficulty, talk that is truly sobering and conducive to the
        > opening of awareness, i.e., talk on modesty, on contentment, on
        > seclusion, on non-entanglement, on arousing persistence, on virtue, on
        > concentration, on discernment, on release, and on the knowledge
        &vision
        > of release. "
        >
        > The whole sutta is Anguttara Nikaya IX.1
        > Sambodhi Sutta
        > Self-awakening
        >
        > It is to be addressed to members of non-Buddhist sects.
        >
        > It finishes with: He should develop mindfulness of in-&-out breathing
        so
        > as to cut off distractive thinking. He should develop the perception
        of
        > inconstancy so as to uproot the conceit, 'I am.' For a monk perceiving
        > inconstancy, the perception of not-self is made firm. One perceiving
        > not-self attains the uprooting of the conceit, 'I am' -- Unbinding in
        > the here &now."
        >
        > It is clear I have a number of very good friends here. I am very
        > grateful to them.
        >
        > Herman
        >
        >
        =============================
        Thank you for your post, Herman. It seems that you are looking to

        "defend" James and me, though maybe I misunderstand. If I'm correct, I'd
        like to
        say that I certainly appreciate such kindness, but I'd like to add that
        I
        really think it's very much okay for "third parties" to provide
        responses. I do
        that myself not infrequently.
        Specifically, I have no problem with Robert's reply to me. I
        disagree
        with him on this matter, but that's fine. So long as we on the list
        remain
        cordial, or, better, remain good friends, there will be no problem.
        What I find
        very welcome in your post, Herman, is that I think it is aimed at
        maintaining
        an openness and a "live and let live" attitude on the list. This is
        really
        important for the proper interaction of friends in the Dhamma.

        With much metta,
        Howard

        /Thus is how ye shall see all this fleeting world: A star at dawn, a
        bubble
        in a stream, a flash of lightning in a summer cloud, a flickering lamp,
        a
        phantom, and a dream./ (From the Diamond Sutra)





        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




        Yahoo! Groups Links
      • christine_forsyth
        Hello Herman, The purpose of this group is made quite plain to everyone before joining - on the home page: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dhammastudygroup/ A
        Message 3 of 19 , Aug 2, 2004
          Hello Herman,

          The purpose of this group is made quite plain to everyone before
          joining - on the home page:
          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dhammastudygroup/

          "A discussion forum for anyone interested in understanding the
          Buddha's teachings as found in all three baskets of the Tipitaka,
          the original record of the Buddha's word in the Theravada tradition,
          and as further elucidated in the ancient commentaries of that
          tradition.
          The discussions include matters of both theory and practice, with
          the aim of developing precise understanding of the realities of the
          present moment. The group started in Bangkok in the early 1970's
          under the guidance of the Thai Theravadin teacher Khun Sujin
          Boriharnwanaket."

          It would be good to get on with it.

          metta and peace,
          Christine
          ---The trouble is that you think you have time---
        • rjkjp1
          ... but if ... than ... given ... what ... teachings of ... known. ... Dear Herman, Part of this group description it says The group started in Bangkok in
          Message 4 of 19 , Aug 2, 2004
            --- In dhammastudygroup@yahoogroups.com, "Herman Hofman"
            <hhofman@t...> wrote:
            > >
            > Thanks for your post. Yes, you did read my intentions correctly,
            but if
            > I could elaborate some more.
            >
            > I know James and you and others do not require defense, you are all
            > quite capable of skillfully verbalizing your understandings of the
            > Buddha's teachings and how they relate to your experience. Rather
            than
            > defending you, I was trying to encourage you :-).
            >
            > That the discussion has deteriorated into a defense of K Sujin has
            given
            > me reason to believe that my initial, but unspoken, assessment of
            what
            > was going on was not far off the mark.
            >
            > If this group is actually about studying, propagating the
            teachings of
            > or otherwise sanctifying K Sujin, I would prefer that to be made
            known.
            >===========
            Dear Herman,
            Part of this group description it says "The group started in
            Bangkok in the early 1970's under the guidance of the Thai
            Theravadin teacher Khun Sujin Boriharnwanaket". Thus every member
            should have some inkling that the founders of the group and a number
            of members are friends of Sujin. I posted a quote from Sujin because
            Eric and Howard were asking:

            ""In dhammastudygroup@yahoogroups.com, upasaka@a... wrote:
            > Hi, Nina (and Eric, and all) -
            > ericlonline op ericlonline@y...:
            > > >E: Does A. Sujin or you offer suggestions for this development?
            > >> ============================
            > But what, Nina, and all
            > others, of course, in your understanding, is the patipatti """

            Note that Howard asked Nina AND ALL. If he had specified Nina or
            Eric had not asked about A. Sujin I would not have replied or I
            would have used my own words. I thought Eric and Howard wanted
            Sujins interpretations, rather than mine.

            Howard felt that this was destroying the Dhamma as his quote from
            the peg sutta indicates. Was it wrong to investigate this?
            On this list there are maybe 7 or 8 occasions apart from this week
            where I refer to the writings of Sujin, out of more than a 1000
            posts I made.
            I rejoined this week after promising Nina that I would, however if
            it is going to be slights and arguments again then I leave.
            It simply leads to devaluation of the Dhamma.

            RobertK
          • sarah abbott
            Hi Herman, Hope you don’t mind a quick ‘butt in’-- not any defense of anyone;-) ... ... S:Just as there are many reasons for opting out, there are also
            Message 5 of 19 , Aug 2, 2004
              Hi Herman,

              Hope you don’t mind a quick ‘butt in’-- not any defense of anyone;-)

              --- Herman Hofman <hhofman@...> wrote:
              >Rather than
              > defending you, I was trying to encourage you :-).
              ...
              S:Just as there are many reasons for opting out, there are also many for
              opting in - usually only the writer knows. I appreciate your encouragement
              to Howard and others for example;-)
              ...
              > If this group is actually about studying, propagating the teachings of
              > or otherwise sanctifying K Sujin, I would prefer that to be made known.
              ...
              S:As Chris pointed out, the home page description always rules - always
              the Buddha’s teachings, however we understand or come to understand
              them....
              ....
              > Like you, I am sure she is a wonderful person. But that is not why I am
              > part of this group :-)
              >
              > Be encouraged!!!!
              ...
              S: ;-) Keep up the encouragement too. We all learn from discussion.

              I liked this comment of Howard’s a lot:

              H:>So long as we on the list
              > remain
              > cordial, or, better, remain good friends, there will be no problem.
              > What I find
              > very welcome in your post, Herman, is that I think it is aimed at
              > maintaining
              > an openness and a "live and let live" attitude on the list. This is
              > really
              > important for the proper interaction of friends in the Dhamma.
              ....
              S: I also liked the following comments along similar lines from Andrew T
              (or Cooran Andrew):

              A: <If I say "2+2=4" and you say "2+2=3", do we reconcile it at 3.5? No!
              We each explain our own calculation and critique the other's in a
              respectful manner. Then it's up to each of us to decide which is the
              truer calculation.

              If we don't do this and for the sake of "amity" or "appearance"
              strive for doctrinal reconciliation, we are creating the mechanism
              whereby "doctrinal change" or "doctrinal corruption" (pick whichever
              term you prefer) happens.

              We need to keep the ego out of Dhamma discussion as far as possible. But
              we mustn't be afraid of disagreement. Otherwise we may throw the baby out
              with the bathwater [get rid of disputes by altering the Dhamma]. What's
              wrong with altering the Dhamma? It means that people further down the
              line don't get the opportunity to decide things for themselves.>

              Metta,

              Sarah
              p.s Herman, I’m always happy (and many others too I’m sure) to discuss any
              point of dhamma with you without any mention of A.Sujin;-)
              ======







              ___________________________________________________________ALL-NEW Yahoo! Messenger - all new features - even more fun! http://uk.messenger.yahoo.com
            • Herman Hofman
              Hi Robert, ... I respectfully decline any part in the motivations for your comings or goings. Still, I feel much grief that all this is happening. And
              Message 6 of 19 , Aug 2, 2004
                Hi Robert,

                >I rejoined this week after promising Nina that I would, however if
                >it is going to be slights and arguments again then I leave.
                >It simply leads to devaluation of the Dhamma.

                I respectfully decline any part in the motivations for your comings or
                goings.

                Still, I feel much grief that all this is happening.

                And sublimated rage as well.

                I hope we all find what we are looking for.

                Herman
              • upasaka@aol.com
                Hi, Herman - In a message dated 8/2/04 4:25:15 AM Eastern Daylight Time, ... Howard: Herman, I certainly appreciate your encouragement and your friendship. ...
                Message 7 of 19 , Aug 2, 2004
                  Hi, Herman -

                  In a message dated 8/2/04 4:25:15 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
                  hhofman@... writes:

                  > Hi Howard,
                  >
                  > The Net dropped out again for a day. Good thing I don't depend on it :-)
                  >
                  > Thanks for your post. Yes, you did read my intentions correctly, but if
                  > I could elaborate some more.
                  >
                  > I know James and you and others do not require defense, you are all
                  > quite capable of skillfully verbalizing your understandings of the
                  > Buddha's teachings and how they relate to your experience. Rather than
                  > defending you, I was trying to encourage you :-).

                  ---------------------------------------------
                  Howard:
                  Herman, I certainly appreciate your encouragement and your friendship.

                  ----------------------------------------------

                  >
                  > That the discussion has deteriorated into a defense of K Sujin has given
                  > me reason to believe that my initial, but unspoken, assessment of what
                  > was going on was not far off the mark.
                  >
                  ----------------------------------------------
                  Howard:
                  Well, there is bound to be some defense of a person, Khun Sujin, whom
                  one holds in very high esteem, when some of her positions are being
                  challenged. That is quite understandable. Of course, it is very much to the good if the
                  discussions can be maintained as impersonal, with just issues and positions
                  being discussed. There is considerable opportunity for that being the case when
                  the discussants are all good people and friends, and when the person whose
                  ideas are being discussed is also a good person. So I don't see very much of a
                  problem here to be concerned with.
                  The interesting, and somewhat ironic, thing, from my perspective, is
                  that, despite my frequently expressed considerable disagreement on several core
                  issues, elements of the K. Sujin perspective, especially as expressed from
                  time to time here by Nina, Sarah, Jon, Robert and numerous others have added a
                  richness to my understanding of the Dhamma. In particular, I've imbibed a
                  clearer perspective on the "no control" issue, seeing it in a more subtle,
                  middle-way fashion than I did recently. In fact, not long ago, Jon (I think it was)
                  may have made note of this. Part of the clarification of my perspective on this
                  is due to consideration of what has been expressed on DSG. The rest is due to
                  first-hand internal experiencing of the impersonality of dhammas.
                  ----------------------------------------------------

                  >
                  > If this group is actually about studying, propagating the teachings of
                  > or otherwise sanctifying K Sujin, I would prefer that to be made known.
                  >
                  ----------------------------------------------------
                  Howard:
                  I think it is obvious that a core constituency of DSG consists of
                  admirers of Khun Sujin. But there are numerous others who have no history at all
                  with her and her writings, and some who are diametrically opposed to some of
                  her takes on the Dhamma. And there are some members who are as enthousiastic
                  about other teachers including Thanissaro Bhikkhu, Buddhadasa Bhikkhu, S.N.
                  Goenka, and founders of IMS as "the Khun Sujin people" are about her. That's all
                  just fine, I think. If DSG ever became intolerant of different views of the
                  Dhamma, it wouldn't remain a hospitable "place," but I don't see this happening. I
                  just see honest disagreement on issues, so I am at ease.
                  ----------------------------------------------------

                  >
                  > Like you, I am sure she is a wonderful person. But that is not why I am
                  > part of this group :-)
                  >
                  ------------------------------------------------------
                  Howard:
                  Of course not. Nor I.
                  ------------------------------------------------------

                  >
                  > Be encouraged!!!!
                  >
                  ---------------------------------------------------
                  Howard:
                  Thank you, Herman! Much appreciated!!
                  ----------------------------------------------------

                  >
                  > Herman
                  >
                  =========================
                  With metta,
                  Howard

                  /Thus is how ye shall see all this fleeting world: A star at dawn, a bubble
                  in a stream, a flash of lightning in a summer cloud, a flickering lamp, a
                  phantom, and a dream./ (From the Diamond Sutra)




                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • upasaka@aol.com
                  Hi, Robert - In a message dated 8/2/04 4:31:35 AM Eastern Daylight Time, rjkjp1@yahoo.com ... Howard: I presume, Robert, that you do *not* consider our recent
                  Message 8 of 19 , Aug 2, 2004
                    Hi, Robert -

                    In a message dated 8/2/04 4:31:35 AM Eastern Daylight Time, rjkjp1@...
                    writes:

                    > Dear Herman,
                    > Part of this group description it says "The group started in
                    > Bangkok in the early 1970's under the guidance of the Thai
                    > Theravadin teacher Khun Sujin Boriharnwanaket". Thus every member
                    > should have some inkling that the founders of the group and a number
                    > of members are friends of Sujin. I posted a quote from Sujin because
                    > Eric and Howard were asking:
                    >
                    > ""In dhammastudygroup@yahoogroups.com, upasaka@a... wrote:
                    > >Hi, Nina (and Eric, and all) -
                    > >ericlonline op ericlonline@y...:
                    > >>>E: Does A. Sujin or you offer suggestions for this development?
                    > >>>============================
                    > >But what, Nina, and all
                    > >others, of course, in your understanding, is the patipatti """
                    >
                    > Note that Howard asked Nina AND ALL. If he had specified Nina or
                    > Eric had not asked about A. Sujin I would not have replied or I
                    > would have used my own words. I thought Eric and Howard wanted
                    > Sujins interpretations, rather than mine.
                    >
                    > Howard felt that this was destroying the Dhamma as his quote from
                    > the peg sutta indicates. Was it wrong to investigate this?
                    > On this list there are maybe 7 or 8 occasions apart from this week
                    > where I refer to the writings of Sujin, out of more than a 1000
                    > posts I made.
                    > I rejoined this week after promising Nina that I would, however if
                    > it is going to be slights and arguments again then I leave.
                    >
                    ---------------------------------------------------
                    Howard:
                    I presume, Robert, that you do *not* consider our recent conversations
                    to include "slights and arguments." I would be happy to have you confirm
                    that.
                    ---------------------------------------------------

                    > It simply leads to devaluation of the Dhamma.
                    >
                    > RobertK
                    >
                    =========================
                    With metta,
                    Howard

                    /Thus is how ye shall see all this fleeting world: A star at dawn, a bubble
                    in a stream, a flash of lightning in a summer cloud, a flickering lamp, a
                    phantom, and a dream./ (From the Diamond Sutra)




                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Herman Hofman
                    Hi Sarah, Thanks for your post. Just to clarify. I have no problems with K Sujin, at all. That I do not take anything she says as being authoritative because
                    Message 9 of 19 , Aug 2, 2004
                      Hi Sarah,

                      Thanks for your post.

                      Just to clarify. I have no problems with K Sujin, at all. That I do not
                      take anything she says as being authoritative because she said it is
                      hardly a sign of disrespect, right?

                      As for butting in, any post is fair game for everyone as far as I am
                      concerned.

                      Defense and attack go hand in glove. The urge to defend arises from the
                      perception of attack against an object of clinging. I am glad you're not
                      defending anyone, because I'm not attacking anyone :-)

                      Herman




                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: sarah abbott [mailto:sarahprocterabbott@...]
                      Sent: Monday, 2 August 2004 6:51 PM
                      To: dhammastudygroup@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: RE: [dsg] What is a good friend?

                      Hi Herman,

                      Hope you don't mind a quick 'butt in'-- not any defense of anyone;-)

                      --- Herman Hofman <hhofman@...> wrote:
                      >Rather than
                      > defending you, I was trying to encourage you :-).
                      ...
                      S:Just as there are many reasons for opting out, there are also many for
                      opting in - usually only the writer knows. I appreciate your
                      encouragement
                      to Howard and others for example;-)
                      ...
                      > If this group is actually about studying, propagating the teachings of
                      > or otherwise sanctifying K Sujin, I would prefer that to be made
                      known.
                      ...
                      S:As Chris pointed out, the home page description always rules - always
                      the Buddha's teachings, however we understand or come to understand
                      them....
                      ....
                      > Like you, I am sure she is a wonderful person. But that is not why I
                      am
                      > part of this group :-)
                      >
                      > Be encouraged!!!!
                      ...
                      S: ;-) Keep up the encouragement too. We all learn from discussion.

                      I liked this comment of Howard's a lot:

                      H:>So long as we on the list
                      > remain
                      > cordial, or, better, remain good friends, there will be no problem.
                      > What I find
                      > very welcome in your post, Herman, is that I think it is aimed at
                      > maintaining
                      > an openness and a "live and let live" attitude on the list. This is
                      > really
                      > important for the proper interaction of friends in the Dhamma.
                      ....
                      S: I also liked the following comments along similar lines from Andrew T
                      (or Cooran Andrew):

                      A: <If I say "2+2=4" and you say "2+2=3", do we reconcile it at 3.5? No!

                      We each explain our own calculation and critique the other's in a
                      respectful manner. Then it's up to each of us to decide which is the
                      truer calculation.

                      If we don't do this and for the sake of "amity" or "appearance"
                      strive for doctrinal reconciliation, we are creating the mechanism
                      whereby "doctrinal change" or "doctrinal corruption" (pick whichever
                      term you prefer) happens.

                      We need to keep the ego out of Dhamma discussion as far as possible.
                      But
                      we mustn't be afraid of disagreement. Otherwise we may throw the baby
                      out
                      with the bathwater [get rid of disputes by altering the Dhamma]. What's
                      wrong with altering the Dhamma? It means that people further down the
                      line don't get the opportunity to decide things for themselves.>

                      Metta,

                      Sarah
                      p.s Herman, I'm always happy (and many others too I'm sure) to discuss
                      any
                      point of dhamma with you without any mention of A.Sujin;-)
                      ======







                      ___________________________________________________________ALL-NEW
                      Yahoo! Messenger - all new features - even more fun!
                      http://uk.messenger.yahoo.com



                      Yahoo! Groups Links
                    • Robert Epstein
                      ... Nina and ... easily ... &vision ... breathing so ... perception of ... looking to ... I d like to ... that I ... responses. I do ... disagree ... remain
                      Message 10 of 19 , Aug 5, 2004
                        --- In dhammastudygroup@yahoogroups.com, upasaka@a... wrote:
                        > Hi, Herman (and Nina, James, Jon, and Robert) -
                        >
                        > In a message dated 8/1/04 8:47:11 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
                        > hhofman@t... writes:
                        >
                        > > Hi all,
                        > >
                        > > My internet has been down for the last two days. Quite a blessing
                        > > really!!
                        > >
                        > > I wonder what is going on. Recently James made some comments to
                        Nina and
                        > > Jon replied. Now Howard gets a reply from RobK when asking Nina a
                        > > question. I understand that some folks here have formed special
                        > > friendships, but...
                        > >
                        > > this is the advice the Buddha gives as to who is a friend.
                        > >
                        > > "When a monk has admirable friends, admirable companions, admirable
                        > > comrades, it is to be expected that he will get to hear at will,
                        easily
                        > > &without difficulty, talk that is truly sobering and conducive to the
                        > > opening of awareness, i.e., talk on modesty, on contentment, on
                        > > seclusion, on non-entanglement, on arousing persistence, on virtue, on
                        > > concentration, on discernment, on release, and on the knowledge
                        &vision
                        > > of release. "
                        > >
                        > > The whole sutta is Anguttara Nikaya IX.1
                        > > Sambodhi Sutta
                        > > Self-awakening
                        > >
                        > > It is to be addressed to members of non-Buddhist sects.
                        > >
                        > > It finishes with: He should develop mindfulness of in-&-out
                        breathing so
                        > > as to cut off distractive thinking. He should develop the
                        perception of
                        > > inconstancy so as to uproot the conceit, 'I am.' For a monk perceiving
                        > > inconstancy, the perception of not-self is made firm. One perceiving
                        > > not-self attains the uprooting of the conceit, 'I am' -- Unbinding in
                        > > the here &now."
                        > >
                        > > It is clear I have a number of very good friends here. I am very
                        > > grateful to them.
                        > >
                        > > Herman
                        > >
                        > >
                        > =============================
                        > Thank you for your post, Herman. It seems that you are
                        looking to
                        > "defend" James and me, though maybe I misunderstand. If I'm correct,
                        I'd like to
                        > say that I certainly appreciate such kindness, but I'd like to add
                        that I
                        > really think it's very much okay for "third parties" to provide
                        responses. I do
                        > that myself not infrequently.
                        > Specifically, I have no problem with Robert's reply to me. I
                        disagree
                        > with him on this matter, but that's fine. So long as we on the list
                        remain
                        > cordial, or, better, remain good friends, there will be no problem.
                        What I find
                        > very welcome in your post, Herman, is that I think it is aimed at
                        maintaining
                        > an openness and a "live and let live" attitude on the list. This is
                        really
                        > important for the proper interaction of friends in the Dhamma.
                        >
                        > With much metta,
                        > Howard

                        Hi, Howard, Herman and all....,
                        Howard, I am glad that you did not take offense at my response, and I
                        hope that others do not take offense when fellow list members "jump
                        in" on a topic. Howard, for the record, I do not remember what I said
                        or what it was about, and since Herman did not indicate the original
                        thread name, I failed in trying to look it up. I'd be curious to know
                        what we disagreed about.... : )

                        On the general topic, my sense of a group like this is that it is an
                        open group discussion, and that even if an individual is addressed, we
                        are all free to pop in and state our view or add some information to
                        the conversation. If one wanted to only address the person in
                        question, since there are always a few hundred or thousand people
                        listening in, they would contact that person privately. If they post
                        to the list, they must at least have some interest in others
                        overhearing or participating.

                        With that said, I agree with Howard, that if one person is addressed
                        and another answers, it should be done with a recognition and respect
                        for the fact that a particular individual was addressed, and not usurp
                        the relationship or the subject. But if it is done respectfully, it
                        should be okay for others to come in and comment, perhaps to thicken
                        the soup, or sometimes to clarify it.

                        It might be possible to say "I know you addressed this to Nina, but I
                        hope you don't mind if I make a comment...," but I think for those of
                        us who know each other and have interacted here a lot on various hot
                        topics, that is taken for granted.

                        Best,
                        Robert Ep.

                        P.S. And hi, Herman, always happy to hear from you in whatever
                        context. : )
                      • Robert Epstein
                        ... Although I was one of the original posters that Herman referred to, I find myself coming into this controversy late, so I may be missing some pieces. It
                        Message 11 of 19 , Aug 5, 2004
                          --- In dhammastudygroup@yahoogroups.com, "rjkjp1" <rjkjp1@y...> wrote:
                          > --- In dhammastudygroup@yahoogroups.com, "Herman Hofman"
                          > <hhofman@t...> wrote:
                          > > >
                          > > Thanks for your post. Yes, you did read my intentions correctly,
                          > but if
                          > > I could elaborate some more.
                          > >
                          > > I know James and you and others do not require defense, you are all
                          > > quite capable of skillfully verbalizing your understandings of the
                          > > Buddha's teachings and how they relate to your experience. Rather
                          > than
                          > > defending you, I was trying to encourage you :-).
                          > >
                          > > That the discussion has deteriorated into a defense of K Sujin has
                          > given
                          > > me reason to believe that my initial, but unspoken, assessment of
                          > what
                          > > was going on was not far off the mark.
                          > >
                          > > If this group is actually about studying, propagating the
                          > teachings of
                          > > or otherwise sanctifying K Sujin, I would prefer that to be made
                          > known.
                          > >===========
                          > Dear Herman,
                          > Part of this group description it says "The group started in
                          > Bangkok in the early 1970's under the guidance of the Thai
                          > Theravadin teacher Khun Sujin Boriharnwanaket". Thus every member
                          > should have some inkling that the founders of the group and a number
                          > of members are friends of Sujin. I posted a quote from Sujin because
                          > Eric and Howard were asking:
                          >
                          > ""In dhammastudygroup@yahoogroups.com, upasaka@a... wrote:
                          > > Hi, Nina (and Eric, and all) -
                          > > ericlonline op ericlonline@y...:
                          > > > >E: Does A. Sujin or you offer suggestions for this development?
                          > > >> ============================
                          > > But what, Nina, and all
                          > > others, of course, in your understanding, is the patipatti """
                          >
                          > Note that Howard asked Nina AND ALL. If he had specified Nina or
                          > Eric had not asked about A. Sujin I would not have replied or I
                          > would have used my own words. I thought Eric and Howard wanted
                          > Sujins interpretations, rather than mine.
                          >
                          > Howard felt that this was destroying the Dhamma as his quote from
                          > the peg sutta indicates. Was it wrong to investigate this?
                          > On this list there are maybe 7 or 8 occasions apart from this week
                          > where I refer to the writings of Sujin, out of more than a 1000
                          > posts I made.
                          > I rejoined this week after promising Nina that I would, however if
                          > it is going to be slights and arguments again then I leave.
                          > It simply leads to devaluation of the Dhamma.
                          >
                          > RobertK

                          Although I was one of the original posters that Herman referred to, I
                          find myself coming into this controversy late, so I may be missing
                          some pieces. It seems that there were some posts perhaps not in this
                          thread that I haven't seen...not sure...

                          In any case, I would like to put my two cents in, for better or worse.
                          First of all, I think that controversy that is caused by genuine
                          doctrinal problems or conflicts are both necessary and desireable. If
                          yhou, Rob K, and Howard, disagree on what source to use in determining
                          the definition of something, then to me that is worthy of discussion.
                          If occassionally discussion gets heated then it is an opportunity to
                          practice dispassion and see what the "meat" of the matter is in order
                          to respond in a way that you think will support the clarity of the
                          Dhamma. But such occasions, it seems to me, are inherent in our
                          playing field of samsara.

                          In a previous post, Christine quoted the mission statement of this
                          group and said we should "get on with it," but it seems to me that all
                          of this is precisely "getting on with it," if we use the occasion to
                          look into the nature of reality. Conflicts between students of dhamma
                          is a great occasion to look at the nature of relationships and how
                          emotions and thoughts arise in accord with dependent origination. I
                          don't think we should shy away from such things and should jump
                          further *into* them with dispassion, rather than try to clean them up
                          and make things nicer or neater.

                          In the final analysis, I would agree that it's better to have peace
                          and equanimity in order to discern realities. But what if there are
                          real issues that have to be unearthed? What if your return to the
                          list [welcomed on my part even thought I'm only able to pop in
                          infrequently myself] is a catalyst to open things up to deeper
                          understanding?

                          This is by way of encouraging you to stay and "thrash it out" as
                          things are always changing and there will be many other opportunities
                          to participate in many ways. I always found you a balanced and
                          balancing influence, someone who is both committed to Abhidhdamma and
                          also open to other beings who have something to say.

                          Finally [I know I talk too much] I think that those who are truly
                          disciples of K. Sujin should be able to cite her, quote her, and
                          adhere to her, if they truly feel that her interpretation of the
                          Dhamma and commentaries are of great insight or wisdom. Why not? In
                          fact, I would be a lot happier if she is quoted openly and freely and
                          her teachings can be made a visible part of the conversation. I often
                          ask: "Where does this interpretation come from?" and if in some cases
                          the answer is K. Sujin's teaching on the commentaries, then that is
                          very useful information. In other cases it may be the Suttas or
                          Abhidhamma, and that is also useful information. Those who are not
                          Abhidhamma adherents and have not met K. Sujin [myself included] have
                          always been treated fairly here, and allowed to disagree, and we
                          should not be afraid of the fact that there are those who follow K.
                          Sujin's teachings as well. We're all free to follow the path of
                          wisdom as best we know how. And to talk about it. : )

                          Best,
                          Robert Ep.
                        • Robert Epstein
                          ... Herman, You may feel once again that I am intruding where not invited, and if so I will take the risk that you will find me out of sorts. But I would like
                          Message 12 of 19 , Aug 5, 2004
                            --- In dhammastudygroup@yahoogroups.com, "Herman Hofman"
                            <hhofman@t...> wrote:
                            > Hi Robert,
                            >
                            > >I rejoined this week after promising Nina that I would, however if
                            > >it is going to be slights and arguments again then I leave.
                            > >It simply leads to devaluation of the Dhamma.
                            >
                            > I respectfully decline any part in the motivations for your comings or
                            > goings.
                            >
                            > Still, I feel much grief that all this is happening.
                            >
                            > And sublimated rage as well.
                            >
                            > I hope we all find what we are looking for.
                            >
                            > Herman

                            Herman,
                            You may feel once again that I am intruding where not invited, and if
                            so I will take the risk that you will find me out of sorts. But I
                            would like to say, hopefully helpfully, that if you disavow
                            responsibility for Robert K.'s comings and goings, why not relive him
                            of any responsibility for your grief or rage? I mean this in order to
                            encourage all of us to "find what we are looking for" by looking at
                            our own reactions and following the Buddha's advice not to see them as
                            emanating from anyone else's actions.

                            I don't have the sutta handy, but he said something to the effect that
                            we should take an insult or upset with detachment and not see the
                            person who insults or offends as the perpetrator of anything against
                            us. To do so would be promoting the idea of a self that can be
                            insulted, upset or harmed. Anyway, I am extrapolating a bit, but I
                            hope you and others may see this as a way of making use of the current
                            upsetting situation, rather than me being high and mighty and trying
                            to tell you what to do.

                            I've been trying to practice this kind of thing myself lately, with
                            both failure and success, and so I'm bringing it with me to this
                            situation as well.

                            As always,
                            With affection,
                            Robert Ep.
                          • Robert Epstein
                            ... But ... baby out ... Dear Sarah, I wanted to highlight this very important point. There is a balance that is sometimes difficult to achieve between
                            Message 13 of 19 , Aug 5, 2004
                              --- In dhammastudygroup@yahoogroups.com, sarah abbott
                              <sarahprocterabbott@y...> wrote:

                              > We need to keep the ego out of Dhamma discussion as far as possible.
                              But
                              > we mustn't be afraid of disagreement. Otherwise we may throw the
                              baby out
                              > with the bathwater [get rid of disputes by altering the Dhamma]. What's
                              > wrong with altering the Dhamma? It means that people further down the
                              > line don't get the opportunity to decide things for themselves.>

                              Dear Sarah,
                              I wanted to highlight this very important point. There is a balance
                              that is sometimes difficult to achieve between "respectful discussion"
                              and "inauthentic agreement." The peace that is established by
                              compromising just for the sake of peace is not a real peace, it is a
                              false peace. It is necessary for conflict to arise and be met with
                              dispassionate determination to find the truth in order for doctrinal
                              disagreements to be worked out authentically. And to practice the
                              virtue of patience, which Buddha acknowledged as one of the most
                              difficult, in order to deal with the fact that they might not be
                              resolved in our lifetimes. The tension between believing something
                              and being open to new information, as expressed by Eric in another
                              thread, is one that I think should always be kept alive, so that we
                              don't become too attached to our own point of view, but keep the
                              Dhamma a growing and developing source of wisdom within us.

                              And what you said about future generations is also very important.

                              Best,
                              Robert Ep.
                            • upasaka@aol.com
                              Hi, Robert - In a message dated 8/5/04 5:06:35 PM Eastern Daylight Time, ... Howard: Robert, you are such a good, sweet guy!! You are reacting kindly, almost
                              Message 14 of 19 , Aug 5, 2004
                                Hi, Robert -

                                In a message dated 8/5/04 5:06:35 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
                                epsteinrob@... writes:

                                >
                                > Hi, Howard, Herman and all....,
                                > Howard, I am glad that you did not take offense at my response, and I
                                > hope that others do not take offense when fellow list members "jump
                                > in" on a topic. Howard, for the record, I do not remember what I said
                                > or what it was about, and since Herman did not indicate the original
                                > thread name, I failed in trying to look it up. I'd be curious to know
                                > what we disagreed about.... : )

                                ------------------------------------------
                                Howard:
                                Robert, you are such a good, sweet guy!! You are reacting kindly,
                                almost apologetically in fact, even when you don't know what we disagreed about.
                                And it's not surprising that you don't know, because you were not the "Robert"
                                involved! ;-) It was Robert Kirkpatrick with whom I was conversing and
                                exchanging differing opinions on an issue. Thank you for being such a kindly person!
                                ------------------------------------------------

                                >
                                > On the general topic, my sense of a group like this is that it is an
                                > open group discussion, and that even if an individual is addressed, we
                                > are all free to pop in and state our view or add some information to
                                > the conversation. If one wanted to only address the person in
                                > question, since there are always a few hundred or thousand people
                                > listening in, they would contact that person privately. If they post
                                > to the list, they must at least have some interest in others
                                > overhearing or participating.
                                >
                                > With that said, I agree with Howard, that if one person is addressed
                                > and another answers, it should be done with a recognition and respect
                                > for the fact that a particular individual was addressed, and not usurp
                                > the relationship or the subject. But if it is done respectfully, it
                                > should be okay for others to come in and comment, perhaps to thicken
                                > the soup, or sometimes to clarify it.
                                >
                                > It might be possible to say "I know you addressed this to Nina, but I
                                > hope you don't mind if I make a comment...," but I think for those of
                                > us who know each other and have interacted here a lot on various hot
                                > topics, that is taken for granted.
                                >
                                > Best,
                                > Robert Ep.
                                >
                                > P.S. And hi, Herman, always happy to hear from you in whatever
                                > context. : )
                                >
                                >
                                ===========================
                                With much metta,
                                Howard

                                /Thus is how ye shall see all this fleeting world: A star at dawn, a bubble
                                in a stream, a flash of lightning in a summer cloud, a flickering lamp, a
                                phantom, and a dream./ (From the Diamond Sutra)




                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • Herman Hofman
                                Hi Rob E, I appreciated your posts very much. Still owe a few people a reply, but I feel I can liberate a few birds with one post here. (Killing a few birds
                                Message 15 of 19 , Aug 5, 2004
                                  Hi Rob E,

                                  I appreciated your posts very much.

                                  Still owe a few people a reply, but I feel I can "liberate a few birds
                                  with one post" here. (Killing a few birds with one stone is so
                                  Paleolithic).

                                  I think I have created the impression that I object(ed) to people
                                  butting in. I can see how that impression has come about. And it is my
                                  poor expression that lies at the root of that. And while the issues
                                  relating to some harsh and unwise things that I said have been
                                  dialectically resolved in an admirable manner, I just want to clarify,
                                  if only for the sake of future readers reading past posts :-)

                                  What "my beef" was about, though poorly expressed, is the idea of a
                                  "special friendship" that can underlie people's behaviour. I accept it
                                  is not for me to go poking and prodding into what the actual (as opposed
                                  to apparent) motivation behind any post is, and I am sorry for doing it.
                                  But the perception of "special friendship" was the prime mover for me.

                                  It simply is a fact of life that members of this list can be loosely
                                  divided into those that know each other only via the list, and those
                                  that also know each other outside of the list. If one were to analyse
                                  patterns of posting, I think there would be a more distinct pattern of
                                  support within the sub-groups that have external contact. After all, we
                                  are social animals* and I accept that. (Wouldn't it be hilarious if
                                  Sarah and Jon had a discussion on-line :-)). On the particular day(s),
                                  whether I was just plain wrong or absolutely totally wrong, I reacted to
                                  what I perceived as special friends supporting each other, as opposed to
                                  non-partisan dhamma discussion.

                                  The beautiful practice of the Brahma Viharas is so infinitely wise
                                  because it is undirected and totally not-selective. It covers all beings
                                  and all spheres. We are all "special friends", despite the fact that
                                  some of us know just how radiant some others look at breakfast :-)

                                  In summary, I do not object to butting in, in fact, I positively
                                  encourage it. I am a fool, but a very special one :-) And RobK is a
                                  champ!

                                  Thanks and Cheers

                                  Herman
                                  * With regards to us being social animals, one of the chief benefits of
                                  seeking the seclusion of a metaphorical foot of a tree is that it is a
                                  context in which there is no "society". Meditation allows for the
                                  evaporation of the social context. Society is the context in which the
                                  conceit of "I", "me" and "mine" arises and is nurtured.
                                • nina van gorkom
                                  Dear Rob Ep, I am always glad you pop in, I like your posts. I quote now and then from MP3 I listen to. I think it is good material to discuss. I enjoy your
                                  Message 16 of 19 , Aug 6, 2004
                                    Dear Rob Ep,
                                    I am always glad you pop in, I like your posts.
                                    I quote now and then from MP3 I listen to. I think it is good material to
                                    discuss. I enjoy your remarks, you expressed yourself very well as always.
                                    Nina.
                                    op 05-08-2004 23:34 schreef Robert Epstein op epsteinrob@...:

                                    > Finally [I know I talk too much] I think that those who are truly
                                    > disciples of K. Sujin should be able to cite her, quote her, and
                                    > adhere to her, if they truly feel that her interpretation of the
                                    > Dhamma and commentaries are of great insight or wisdom. Why not? In
                                    > fact, I would be a lot happier if she is quoted openly and freely and
                                    > her teachings can be made a visible part of the conversation.
                                  • Herman Hofman
                                    Hi Nina, (anyone is free to reply of course), I am asking you because your are the Abhidhammika of choice :-) ... I am very interested to read how Abhidhamma
                                    Message 17 of 19 , Aug 6, 2004
                                      Hi Nina, (anyone is free to reply of course),

                                      I am asking you because your are the Abhidhammika of choice :-)


                                      >Dear Rob Ep,
                                      >I am always glad you pop in, I like your posts.
                                      >I quote now and then from MP3 I listen to.

                                      I am very interested to read how Abhidhamma treats "meaning". You listen
                                      to MP3. There is sound, there is hearing. Then there is meaning. If you
                                      listened to a tape in Swahili, there would be sound, there would be
                                      hearing. But no understanding, no meaning.

                                      Understanding of the meaning of the spoken word dog can come from
                                      billions of different permutations of sound. It doesn't matter what the
                                      pitch, volume, timbre of sound, how quickly or slowly it is said, there
                                      is an almost infinite array of sound which will create the distinct
                                      meaning dog. And it wouldn't matter if scattered microseconds were
                                      edited from the MP3, there would still arise the meaning dog.

                                      Now the meaning of the word dog is totally unrelated to the sound that
                                      gave rise to the understanding. The meaning of dog does not somehow
                                      dwell in its constituent parts. Studying the spoken d, then studying the
                                      spoken o, then g does not lead to the meaning of dog.

                                      Does the abhidhamma teach that only the individual rupa of sound that
                                      lead to hearing "dog" are real, and that hearing the individual rupa is
                                      real, but that the aggregation of all that is not real? And what if I
                                      get bitten by one? :-)

                                      Kind Regards
                                      En groeten aan Lodewijk

                                      Herman
                                    • nina van gorkom
                                      Hi Herman, ... N: We can see that there are countless processes of cittas occurring: indeed hearing hears sound d in one process, then this sound is
                                      Message 18 of 19 , Aug 7, 2004
                                        Hi Herman,
                                        op 07-08-2004 04:14 schreef Herman Hofman op hhofman@...:
                                        > I am very interested to read how Abhidhamma treats "meaning". You listen
                                        > to MP3. There is sound, there is hearing. Then there is meaning. If you
                                        > listened to a tape in Swahili, there would be sound, there would be
                                        > hearing. But no understanding, no meaning.
                                        > Now the meaning of the word dog is totally unrelated to the sound that
                                        > gave rise to the understanding. The meaning of dog does not somehow
                                        > dwell in its constituent parts. Studying the spoken d, then studying the
                                        > spoken o, then g does not lead to the meaning of dog.
                                        N: We can see that there are countless processes of cittas occurring: indeed
                                        hearing hears sound d in one process, then this sound is apprehended by
                                        cittas in a mind-door process, and another one that remembers sound d, and
                                        so on for the whole word. There are sentences and clauses, and the cetasika
                                        remembrance marks each object citta experiences so that you remember all
                                        this. But it goes very fast.
                                        Dog: you remember what it is you have even a mental picture of dog, maybe my
                                        father's dog comes to my mind first, that Husky that likes music.
                                        N: Does the abhidhamma teach that only the individual rupa of sound that
                                        > lead to hearing "dog" are real, and that hearing the individual rupa is
                                        > real, but that the aggregation of all that is not real? And what if I
                                        > get bitten by one? :-)
                                        H: The putting together of the whole picture we can call defining and
                                        thinking, it does not matter. A certain citta, actually many, are doing this
                                        job. Everything that is not citta, cetasika, rupa or nibbana we call
                                        concept. But dog is a name or concept representing citta, cetasika and rupa.
                                        We have to care for him. The abhidhamma is not abstract, inhuman. I talk dog
                                        language to dogs.
                                        Nina.
                                      • sarah abbott
                                        Hi RobEp, ... (AT:) We need to keep the ego out of Dhamma discussion as far as possible. But we mustn t be afraid of disagreement. R: Dear Sarah,
                                        Message 19 of 19 , Aug 9, 2004
                                          Hi RobEp,

                                          --- Robert Epstein <epsteinrob@...> wrote:

                                          > <sarahprocterabbott@y...> wrote:
                                          >
                                          (AT:)> > We need to keep the ego out of Dhamma discussion as far as
                                          possible. But we mustn't be afraid of disagreement.
                                          <...>
                                          R: > Dear Sarah,
                                          > I wanted to highlight this very important point. There is a balance
                                          > that is sometimes difficult to achieve between "respectful discussion"
                                          > and "inauthentic agreement." The peace that is established by
                                          > compromising just for the sake of peace is not a real peace, it is a
                                          > false peace. It is necessary for conflict to arise and be met with
                                          > dispassionate determination to find the truth in order for doctrinal
                                          > disagreements to be worked out authentically. And to practice the
                                          > virtue of patience, which Buddha acknowledged as one of the most
                                          > difficult, in order to deal with the fact that they might not be
                                          > resolved in our lifetimes.
                                          <....>
                                          ....
                                          S: Like Nina, I wanted to say that I've greatly appreciated all your
                                          recent posts and your show of good friendship to us all. I agreed with all
                                          your comments and should just say that the words you replied to above were
                                          AndrewT's that I was quoting. I thought your other post on 'finding what
                                          we are looking for' by 'looking at our own reactions and following the
                                          Buddha's advice not to see them as emanating from anyone else's actions'
                                          were very good too. You also wrote:

                                          'I don't have the sutta handy, but he said something to the effect that we
                                          should take an insult or upset with detachment and not see the person who
                                          insults or offends as the perpetrator of anything against us. To do so
                                          would be promoting the idea of a self that can be insulted, upset or
                                          harmed.' You may have been thinking of the sutta about the 'stale fare'
                                          which Visakkha refers to her father in law as eating. Your words were
                                          certainly not 'high and mightly', but the words of a good friend who is
                                          not afraid to point out the truth. As Howard said, 'you are such a good,
                                          sweet guy!!' -- and not even in the 'knonw off-list' elite group;-).

                                          Metta,

                                          Sarah
                                          =====
                                          Pa.n.dita Vagga -- The Wise, (Translation by Ven. Nàrada)

                                          1. Nidhãna’m' va pavattàra’m
                                                      ya’m passe vajjadassina’m
                                          Niggayhavàdi’m medhàvi’m
                                                      tàdisa’m pa.n.dita’m bhaje
                                          Tàdisa’m bhajamànassa
                                                      seyyo hoti na pàpiyo. 76.

                                          ASSOCIATE WITH THE WISE WHO TRY TO CORRECT YOU

                                          1. Should one see a wise man, who, like a revealer of treasure, points out
                                          faults and reproves; let one associate with such a wise person; it will be
                                          better, not worse, for him who associates with such a one. 76.

                                          Story

                                              The Venerable Sàriputta admitted a poor man into the Order as a mark
                                          of gratitude for a ladleful of food offered to him. The new monk was
                                          extremely obedient to his teacher and was ever so eager to receive advice
                                          that before long he attained Arahantship. The Buddha commented on his
                                          readiness to accept advice and exhorted the monks to emulate him.
                                          ------------------------------------------------------------------------







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