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Do you want to see Lord of the Rings?

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  • Phil
    Hi all One of my favourite moments in the recorded talks is when Acharn Sujin suddenly asks Jon do you want to see Lord of the Rings? I think the context was
    Message 1 of 4 , May 27, 2006
      Hi all

      One of my favourite moments in the recorded talks is when Acharn
      Sujin suddenly asks Jon "do you want to see Lord of the Rings?" I
      think the context was chanda vs lobha.

      Indeed, I am a big fan of Lord of the Rings and have downloaded
      dialogue from the Japanese version on to my ipod for study and
      empowerment. And it has made me realize that I no longer expect or
      want to gain courage from Dhamma - Dhamma should not be for
      constant, reliable emotional comfort, I feel. I get my courage, my
      wholesome, empowering fodder for the story of Phil from that movie
      and other stirring stories. I know it's just a story, no more or
      less real, really, than the story of Phil. (Just as a bunch of
      grapes is no more real than a painting of grapes.)

      I don't want to get emotionally comforting stories from Dhamma. No
      more morning Dhamma feelgood sessions for me anyome, for the time
      being. Dhamma should not be about starting the day by having
      pleasant thoughts about being a more wholesome person, I feel, but
      that's what it was for me. Being a better, more courageous, more
      wholesome person - that is the realm of the storytellers.
      Developing understanding that conditions the gradual letting go of
      the story of being a person - that is the realm of the Buddha.

      I don't know, just something I was thinking today.

      Phil
    • sarah abbott
      Hi Phil, Scott and other Canadiana, ... .... S: I remember when she suddently asked this question and I wondered whether she was being serious:-) Actually, she
      Message 2 of 4 , May 29, 2006
        Hi Phil, Scott and other Canadiana,

        --- Phil <philco777@...> wrote:

        >
        > Hi all
        >
        > One of my favourite moments in the recorded talks is when Acharn
        > Sujin suddenly asks Jon "do you want to see Lord of the Rings?" I
        > think the context was chanda vs lobha.
        ....
        S: I remember when she suddently asked this question and I wondered
        whether she was being serious:-) Actually, she was using it as an example
        to indicate the distinction between 'sasankharika' (prompted) and
        'asankharika' (unprompted) cittas, as I recall. Sometimes the desire is
        strong and sometimes it's weak and only arises if prompted.

        > I don't want to get emotionally comforting stories from Dhamma. No
        > more morning Dhamma feelgood sessions for me anyome, for the time
        > being. Dhamma should not be about starting the day by having
        > pleasant thoughts about being a more wholesome person, I feel, but
        > that's what it was for me. Being a better, more courageous, more
        > wholesome person - that is the realm of the storytellers.
        ....
        S: And often the realm of lobha too...
        ....
        > Developing understanding that conditions the gradual letting go of
        > the story of being a person - that is the realm of the Buddha.
        >
        > I don't know, just something I was thinking today.
        ....
        S: Good comment. Keep up the Phil blogs....:-)

        [And Scott, I'm urging on the 'Edmonton Oilers' these days when we get a
        brief few secs in the news-sports highlights...

        I had a (Chinese)student years ago who was what we call a 'returnee' here.
        He'd returned to Hong Kong after a few years of living in Canada and was
        sent to me because he was having a lot of adjustment problems back in
        school here - no friends, no motivation, bad results and so on, after
        having done well in Canada. He was a small, chubby boy with thick glasses,
        but confided to me the first time I saw him that the problem was that he
        missed the 'ice haarkey' so much. We then set up 'an ice hockey' program -
        essays on ice hockey, mini talks to other students on ice hockey, videos
        of ice hockey, ice hockey results, magazines and anything else ice hockey
        and he was fine after that. I guess you guys get pretty addicted:-).

        Metta,

        Sarah
        ========
      • Scott Duncan
        Dear Sarah, This is how it begins, Sarah... S: And Scott, I m urging on the Edmonton Oilers these days when we get a brief few secs in the news-sports
        Message 3 of 4 , May 29, 2006
          Dear Sarah,

          This is how it begins, Sarah...

          S: "And Scott, I'm urging on the 'Edmonton Oilers' these days when we
          get a brief few secs in the news-sports highlights...I guess you guys
          get pretty addicted."

          It's really quite interesting to observe one's "addiction" when
          following a team. I mean it's all really quite ephemeral in the end
          but there you are - totally identified with whether the team wins or
          loses, getting all caught up in the rivalry, actually coaching from
          the couch wanting to will the play to go a certain way, yelling at the
          guy to shoot the puck or whatever, buoyant when they win, deflated
          when they lose. And when it's all over, win or lose, it fades away -
          until next season and you're back at it.

          Hockey vatta.

          Go Oilers.

          Sincerely,

          Scott.
        • sarah abbott
          Hi Scott, (Nina & Phil) ... seen snow, so your ice-hockey players look like something from another planet to us. (Nina mentioned to me she was concerned about
          Message 4 of 4 , Jun 1, 2006
            Hi Scott, (Nina & Phil)

            --- Scott Duncan <scduncan@...> wrote:

            > Dear Sarah,
            >
            > This is how it begins, Sarah...
            .....
            :-) Thx for the warning! Here in Hong Kong, most people have never even
            seen snow, so your ice-hockey players look like something from another
            planet to us.

            (Nina mentioned to me she was concerned about snow in the mountains in
            Switzerland for our hikes, but I assured her that it's snow we go looking
            for....;-))
            ...
            > It's really quite interesting to observe one's "addiction" when
            > following a team. I mean it's all really quite ephemeral in the end
            > but there you are - totally identified with whether the team wins or
            > loses, getting all caught up in the rivalry, actually coaching from
            > the couch wanting to will the play to go a certain way, yelling at the
            > guy to shoot the puck or whatever, buoyant when they win, deflated
            > when they lose. And when it's all over, win or lose, it fades away -
            > until next season and you're back at it.
            >
            > Hockey vatta.
            >
            > Go Oilers.
            ....
            S: ...and even while coaching from the couch and yelling, there are
            dhammas appearing which can be known just as at any other time....:-) So,
            just keep urging them on if that's your fun, Scott....

            Let me give you a taste of the typical local addiction scene
            here......it's not really any spots viewing or even drink or drugs. But
            racing gambling is big, even amongst large numbers of the population
            who've never been to the race-course or even seen a horse for that matter.
            Security guards, taxi drivers, students.....it's hard to miss the
            tell-tale signs. To give you an example....

            On Sunday, we'd hiked to 'Big Wave Bay' in yet more summer rain for a
            swim. Not a wave in sight, so there were no surfers and no one else
            either. Bliss, the beach to ourselves and pleasantly cool for this time of
            year too.

            We were having lunch in the village nearby when it started to really
            bucket down.....a typical torrential storm for this time of year. We
            decided to grab a taxi we spotted before we finished our meal while we had
            the chance as they can be very hard to find in the rain. (Here, taxis are
            much cheaper and simpler than running cars, so we either get a bus, a
            train or a taxi around Hong Kong.)

            We were travelling along the winding country roads back to the city with
            almost zero visibility. The driver was a young, politley spoken man with a
            row of mobile phones on his dashboard (common) and an extra one he was
            clutching in his left hand (not so common). Not a great omen, but we got
            out our DSG posts to read and relax (ha, ha!) for the journey back.

            However, the mobiles never stopped ringing and the driver never stopped
            speaking into them with several on the go at once. We started getting more
            and more concerned, especially when he started also writing down notes,
            reading numbers out to his mobiles and so on. We politely asked him
            several times to keep his hands on the steering wheel and not to attempt
            to write notes. He'd apologize and then continue on in just the same way
            as before. It was a big race day (we found out later)- serious business
            had to be done.

            We decided we'd have to get out before we reached the highway back into
            the centre of Hong Kong, so we put the posts away and said nothing more to
            the driver until we thought there was a spot where it was safe to get out
            and have a chance of getting another taxi or bus. The driver was
            apologetic but said he 'had to do it' (the betting).

            We got thoroughly drenched while we waited a long time for another taxi to
            come, but we got home safely from our fun day out at the beach:-).

            A couple of friends mentioned that it was admirable that we didn't argue
            with the driver or call complaints lines, but we were merely thinking of
            what was best for our own safety most the time. Whether coaching the
            Oilers, on a surf-board or in a taxi, one's bound to get the odd bad ride
            after all! Who can tell the kusala or akusala cittas from our appearances
            or actions? Sati can arise anytime whether we're agitated or calm. Any of
            these dhammas arising are merely dhammas, not belonging to any self after
            all.

            Now coaching the Oilers from the couch does sound like an easier way to
            spend a Sunday......Go Oilers!!

            Btw, I'm enjoying your good discussion with Herman.

            Metta,

            Sarah
            p.s Phil, oops, just seen the subject heading. With lots of prompting from
            my students at the time, I did go to see Lord of the Rings (I forget which
            one). I knew I'd made a mistake from the start....I managed to sit still
            for less than 5 minutes and then gave up and cut my losses.... I'd rather
            stick to hiking in the storms....
            =======
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