Author Topic: Thich Nhat Hanh's critique of scripture based practice  (Read 6348 times)

sonamdhargey

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Thich Nhat Hanh's critique of scripture based practice
« on: March 03, 2013, 10:30:18 AM »
I found this thoughts by Thic Nhat Hanh very helpful and it does makes a lot of sense. Jusy by following the Scriptures alone is not enough. Studying the scriptures without any pactice is as good as just academic knowledge.

"Insight can’t be found in sutras, commentaries, verbal expression, or —isms. Liberation and awakened understanding can’t be found by devoting ourselves to the study of the Buddhist scriptures. This is like trying to find fresh water in dry bones. Returning to the present moment, using our clear mind which exists right here and now, we can be in touch with liberation and enlightenment, as well as with the Buddha and the patriarchs as living realities right in this moment."

- Thich Nhat Hanh, “Simply Stop”

Midakpa

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Re: Thich Nhat Hanh's critique of scripture based practice
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2013, 01:23:31 PM »
It is true that mere scriptural knowledge is not enough. Knowledge of the scriptures should be followed by meditation and practice. There are three ways to gain wisdom:

1. by listening to and studying the scriptural texts and teachings
2. by contemplating and reflecting on the teachings
3. by practising what has been taught and integrating it in our daily lives

Knowledge (study) gives us the worldly wisdom. The Sanskrit word "prajna" (Tib. sherab) means supreme knowledge and is the first step to gain supramundane wisdom. Then through reflection and meditation and practice, we develop a higher form of wisdom, the ultimate understanding of the nature of things.


dondrup

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Re: Thich Nhat Hanh's critique of scripture based practice
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2013, 05:55:40 PM »
Buddhism is about practice.  One must put into practice Dharma in order to benefit therefrom. How do we gain wisdom or insight? We study, contemplate and then meditate on the objects of meditation to gain wisdom or insight.  Insight or wisdom comes from meditations.  Insight or wisdom does not arise from studying and contemplating alone. 
 
Returning to the present moment is basically the practice of mindfulness/awareness of one’s presence. This ensures that we do not create negative karmas when our mindfulness/awareness slack.


fruven

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Re: Thich Nhat Hanh's critique of scripture based practice
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2013, 07:25:52 PM »
Knowledge with application, study and practice must go together. We cannot bring knowledge into our next lives. All our negative karma, positive karma, merits, and realization will be sticked together with us in now and future lives. Therefore practicing what we study will purify negative karma, and accumulate merits in order for us to progress on the path. Without doing that we put down the Dharma knowledge we study and indirectly making harder to be able to learn about this wisdom knowledge in the future.