Do you want to see Lord of the Rings?
- 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.
- 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:-).
- 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.
- 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
> 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
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
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.
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....