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Aloka
15 Mar 11, 08:32
I came across this article written in 2008 by Christopher Titmus and I was quite bemused by what he had to say about Hindu Tantra (not Tibetan Tantra) I don't know much about him other than I think he started a centre in the UK called Gaia House where Stephen Batchelor and his wife also established themselves, and they still visit to teach there.

I wondered if you had any comments, particularly about the concluding part:

"The Theravada world tends to be rather dry. We need a fusion of the best of Theravada disciplines and sutta resources along with the expansive and imaginative vision of Tantra."




Theravada and Tantra

The great wealth of the Theravada traditions its quiet determination to ensure the Pali suttas containing the full body of the Buddha’s teachings, do not fade into obscurity. The tradition also supports disciplined meditation practices in silent environments to develop samatha (calm) and vipassana (insight) for liberating realisations. The tradition generates remarkable human beings – such Ajahn Buddhadasa, Ajahn Chah, Ajahn Dhammadaro, Ajahn Sumedho and Venerable Maha Ghosananda.


The Theravada tradition has its weak links – the size of the division between the ordained and householders, an excess of adherence to scriptural commentaries on the suttas, attachment to forms and a tendency to identification with rules and codes. Mind you, these weak links sum up religion in general.


I am taking more and more interest in Tantra, not the neo-Tantra as expounded by the crop of sex gurus who have hijacked the word “Tantra” nor Tibetan Tantra. I am deeply interested in the remarkable tradition of Hindu Tantra, a 2000 year old tradition embracing poetry, plays, stories, the arts, the erotic, transformation of energies and the power of creative and cosmic forces to open out consciousness. Outside of Tantra, including the Gods and Goddesses of the Hindu tradition, the world’s religion have tended to reject romantic love as a vehicle for awakening. It is the weak link in the Buddha’s teachings, as well.


Unique to India, this diverse and complex tradition bears no formal lineage of Tantric masters or adepts. It leaves us to dig our away into Tantra through experiences, reflection, texts from dusty Indian bookshops, knowing the application of the Gods and Goddesses into daily life, and various reminders and applications of the power and passion of life to reveal the depths of Tantra.


The Theravada world tends to be rather dry. We need a fusion of the best of Theravada disciplines and sutta resources along with the expansive and imaginative vision of Tantra. Dream on!


http://christophertitmuss.org/blog/?p=76

Cloud
15 Mar 11, 08:45
Yeah that's what we need, an injection of more Gods and Goddesses into Theravada. ;)

fojiao2
15 Mar 11, 12:57
Sometimes dry is good.

clw_uk
15 Mar 11, 16:06
So Theravada is dry? Its not about being entertained.

frank
15 Mar 11, 16:16
"The Theravada world tends to be rather dry. We need a fusion of the best of Theravada disciplines and sutta resources along with the expansive and imaginative vision of Tantra."
We do? Why,ok it's a bit dry,so what,must we follow every whim,wvery fad,to make things easier for those lacking the commitment to stay on the path. Not at all.

fojiao2
15 Mar 11, 18:08
entertainment is not necessarily wet.

fojiao2
15 Mar 11, 18:14
Dry is good after you have been soaked. I imagine it is good after a monsoon.

Brizzy
16 Mar 11, 04:49
Perhaps there ARE some good psychological practices within tantra but once you introduce the erotic - Buddhism will die. Actually if you practice samadhi, Buddhism is not in the least bit dry

srivijaya
16 Mar 11, 07:59
Actually if you practice samadhi, Buddhism is not in the least bit dry

Well said Brizzy.

The author is all over the place with this ramble-og. He doesn't want to offend Buddhist tantrics (I imagine) so he enthuses in the vaguest way about Hindu tantra which (for him) seems to be a pick n mix of arty erotica gleaned from old books (Arthur Avalon?) music and goodness knows what else.
This misty but "transformative" brew is what is "missing" from the staid Theravada tradition...

Well he opens by having a smirk at his Wikipaedia entry - doubtlessly supplied by an adoring but (Oh how embarrassing) devotee:

I still find a certain interest in the name Christopher Titmuss. I looked at ‘my’ name on Wikipaedia. I smiled in its description of me as a Theravada tutor. I am not even a Buddhist let alone a Theravada teacher.

Fair enough I suppose.