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Thread: The Bodhisattva and the Arhat

  1. #1

    The Bodhisattva and the Arhat

    I found this article which was written by Gil Fronsdal a few years ago. (He's a teacher at the USA Insight Meditation Centre).



    The Bodhisattva and the Arhat: Walking Together Hand-in-Hand


    At the age of 21 when I began my Buddhist training, I had no interest in liberation or compassion. The great Buddhist ideals of the arhat, bodhisattva and buddha held no attraction for me. Rather, having discovered how satisfying meditation felt when I became settled in the present moment, I took up Buddhist practice as a way to have a more calm presence in my life. As a new practitioner of Buddhism, I began to find a peacefulness that was more meaningful than any of the other ways I experienced myself.

    Eventually I learned that Buddhist practice involves more than simple presence and peacefulness. I came to find great meaning in the Buddhist goals of liberation and compassion. I also came to appreciate the different idealized portrayals of people connected to these goals, i.e., the Buddha, bodhisattva, and arhat.

    Continues at the link:


    https://www.insightmeditationcenter....-hand-in-hand/

    Any thoughts affter reading the article ?



  2. #2
    Forums Member Olderon's Avatar
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    Everything I have learned about Buddhism teaches me to loosen my attachment to all things. This includes concepts such as bodhisattva and arhat, the Mahayana and the Theravada. I have found these concepts useful when they help free me from clinging or help me help others. I find them harmful when they are what I cling to. And when I am not attached, I find I am happy to let these concepts go. I have no need to see myself, or others through these categories. Instead, with this non-attachment comes my wish that all beings may be free of suffering.
    This summary paragraph from the article posted rings true.

    Missing (for me) is the need to abandon any attachment to organized traditions and identification with lineages. I was reminded of a good reason for this in a documentary regarding the evolution of the human brain in which identities with such is a prerequisite to developing the human ability to commit genoside. Examples given by the author / narator were included in the list below:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o..._the_genocides

    Psychological experiments showed that humans had the ability to kill or allow to be killed those, who simply did not belong to their team. We are experiencing this now plainly in our political culture between the "Trump Followers" and "The Political Left" . The public viciousness displayed by these groups (teams) and mental labeling of "the other side" is sadly revealing of our true nature.
    Last edited by Olderon; 30 Sep 18 at 14:36. Reason: speeling correkshun

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Olderon
    Psychological experiments showed that humans had the ability to kill or allow to be killed those, who simply did not belong to their team. We are experiencing this now plainly in our political culture between the "Trump Followers" and "The Political Left" . The public viciousness displayed by these groups (teams) and mental labeling of "the other side" is sadly revealing of our true nature.

    Dear Ron,

    I sympathise with your feelings and although I don't live in the USA, what's happening there is in the media on a daily basis.

    However, BWB is intended to be an international community where people can take a relaxing break from worrying about politics around the world. Lets try to steer clear of them here in this topic about Bodhisattvas and Arhats if we can, and be mindful of number 18 in our Code of Conduct, which begins: "Please note that we are not a politics discussion website....."

    With metta,

    Aloka

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