Venerable/Kind Friends, Sirs and Ladies
Here I share my basic understandings from study and practice of the Buddha’s teaching developed over more than 25 years. If you have followed the study method the Buddha gave for his teaching and you see Wrong View here, please let me know, out of compassion. It is easy to claim one is teaching the Buddha’s Teaching, but to do so with minor, or little reference to what he actually said, is a very foolish and dangerous situation to be in. I am not providing references to all the quotes of the Buddha I refer to below, as I have done that in my book (this link is to my book saved in Google Docs ~5mb).
In the above paragraph, notice I say “of the Buddha’s teaching” not “Buddhism” (the religion). They are very different for me: the Buddha’s teaching deals with how to live a happy life and that is all, but religion does much more than that. Even though religion aims at happiness, it often leads us to the opposite, more suffering. Buddhism, as a religion, is not immune from that, in my opinion.
I ordained in the Theravaada Tradition for the second and last time on July 12, 2008. Over the last 25 years, as I followed the advice of the Buddha to focus on his own words, I identified less and less with that tradition, because I identified more and more dogma, which seemed not to agree with the Buddha’s early teachings. I think this will happen with anyone in any of the Buddhist traditions, if they focus on the original teachings of the Buddha.
These early teachings are found in the first four collections of his discourses, which are accepted in all the major traditions of Buddhism as the Buddha’s teaching. These teachings have been well maintained by the Theravaada tradition in the Pali language and the Chinese Mahaayaana tradition in Chinese. There are only fragments of the early teaching in Sanskrit. The situation of early texts in Tibetan is not so clear.
The Buddha advised to focus on what he said, which seems only logical if I want to understand what he taught. It has been echoed by Buddhadaasa Bhikkhu, a well know teacher in the south of Thailand who passed away in 1993. He encouraged people to read the words of the Buddha, which is actually not done much in Thailand because they have been translated into High Thai, which common people cannot understand. There seem to have been other monks that have followed this path, e.g. Venerable ~Naa.naviira, who lived in Sri Lanka and passed away in about 1965.
The Buddha is reported to have said in the Dhammapada that those who do not recognise the essential for the essential will not be able to progress. Therefore I only want to write about my basic insights. He is also reported to have said that there were many things he has discovered, but he didn’t teach them because they were not useful for the goal of the total ending of suffering in this very life. Thus I try to follow the Buddha’s advice here.
Seeing as the My Dhamma Insights page is meant to detail basic insights, I don’t think it would be updated that often. I think I’ll have three main posts, to cover the three sections of training on the Buddha’s path: Morality, Meditation and Wisdom and I may come back and update them as I understand more clearly.
I have another blog, dhammadarsanews, for those who have asked to know what is happening with me.
My monk’s name: dhamma/dharma ~ the truth, the method and darsa/daasa ~ servant, so: servant of the truth, or servant of the method/way [of enlightenment].