What the Buddha Never Taught

What the Buddha Never Taught

eBook - 2010
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There is a place in the jungles of northeastern Thailand where Westerners can live according to the monastic rules laid down over 2, 500 years ago by the Buddha. Author and journalist Tim Ward sought enlightenment and spent a season in this unique Buddhist monastery-one of the strictest in Southeast Asia. His affectionate "behind the robes" book about the rigors and foibles of monastic life at Wat Pah Nanchat has become a modern Buddhist classic. How does a monk handle coming face to face with a cobra coiled behind a toilet door? Can Mr. Chicago - a former real estate tycoon - really find liberation in a 10" X 10" wooden hut? How does a would-be-monk manage to meditate with the incessant clouds of mosquitoes hovering overhead, when the precepts prohibit killing all sentient beings? And how do Tim and the others react when Thai villagers put a Mars Bar in their begging bowls? By turns humorous, iconoclastic and inspiring, What the Buddha Never Taught was a best seller in Canada, a Book of the month selection in the US, and has been translated into five languages, and used as a university text for classes in Asian and Religious studies.
Publisher: [United States] : Dundurn : Made available through hoopla, 2010
ISBN: 9780887628238
0887628230
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: hoopla digital

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w
Waterlily
Dec 08, 2010

p. 226 "The Salvation Army revived the message of Christian charity by dedicating themselves to the poor" I say. "They were revolutionaries because they knew it wsn't church structures that contained the message. It was the un-nameable Spirit. But that's what Buddhism has done in every culture it entered. It took local myths and values, remoulding the symbolic meanings of their images. It used whatever was familiar to the common people to teach them Dhamma - which has no form itself. When times changed for the Sally Anne, they became trapped in their own set of rules. Now they seem like one of the most old-fashioned denominations of the church." "That's the way it always is" says the teacher absently [...]. The walk has exhausted him, but he continues, "People don't realize that conditions change. What was once a message becomes a dead ritual. People become so attached to words and ideas."

w
Waterlily
Dec 08, 2010

p.224 "For the last two hundred years people have been saying everything is breaking down, the monks are getting slack and the tradition is degenerating. I suppose they've been saying it from the beginning." "You mean everybody thinks it was better in the good old days?" "Yes. That may just be the flaw of a limited perspective?" "So you think things aren't really getting worse?" "I think they are definitely getting worse. The monks are becoming too comfortable. There's too much affluence in this country nowadays. The lay people spoil the monks rotten. These days it's common to see a monk carrying money, keeping tape machines, even music cassettes. Not here though."

w
Waterlily
Dec 08, 2010

p. 205 "Mum seems to be taking a real interest in the place now" the novice told me some time after our trip into town. We had met with our kettles at the base of the large concrete water tank. "She's even starting to ask questions about Buddhism and vipassana. She said she thinks maybe she and the family reacted against my ordination without knowing enough about it. She thought it was a cult at first. Now she wants to know about the Dhamma." "I suppose her concern was understandable", I said. "Robes and a hairdo like a Hari Krishna, chanting at three every morning, one meal a day, sleep deprivation once a week - maybe we are a cult. [ha ha ha]

w
Waterlily
Dec 08, 2010

p. 192 In town the conversation worked around again to monks in the market place. Yenaviro said he hated going to town, that he would prefer it if he never left the monastery.

"It just exhausts me. All the noise, all the rush. People yelling and selling, all the hostility, greed, anger, crime. It takes me two days to recover."

w
Waterlily
Dec 02, 2010

p. 163

"Suffering is real. But it's caused by wanting something that's not real. We want a stable sense of self, but the world doesn't support it. That's what suffering is. Do you remember the story the Buddha told about the mangy dog? Buddha saw the mangy jackal running from place to place, into the bushes, then into the field, then over some rocks. It lay down, stood up, ran around, stopped again. Everywhere it went it was suffering horribly from mange. But the poor dog thought the itching was caused by its position, so it ran round and round trying to escape its suffering. It was senseless. The jackal's problem wasn't the environment; it was the mange. He carried it with him."

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ser_library Aug 06, 2016

I often recommend What the Buddha Never Taught which I read 30 years ago--some of the ideas are very powerful for westerners

w
Waterlily
Dec 02, 2010

I imagine most faiths and ideologies offer retreats in one form or another. Within Buddhism there are various denominations, and various cultures within which it exists. Some places have the monks and students ask for sustenance from the local villagers. Others simply ask for modest fees to cover costs. This book is a great read for anyone who wants to know more about these retreats, but it is only one person's experience. There are many ways to receive training in self-discipline, and this is one of them.

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