Another (late) reply to Michaell

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Posted by David S. ( on October 11, 2000 at 09:12:47:

In Reply to: Re: Sergio:Quit his desire posted by Michael Pollard on October 08, 2000 at 11:49:29:

:) Yeah.. we do all use different terms, which definitely takes some patience in working through. Not only do the translations made by different people and Buddhist schools give us different terms , but those of us who may practice under one school but study the teachings of many, we tend to find the word that makes most sense for us and use that in the context of another school's teachings, where that term may typically refer to something else. I have been personally guilty of this many times. Maybe us Buddhists need to form an international English translation standardization committee with representatives from all the schools. Wheewwwww, what a mess that would be! :)

It's a very important thing to be aware of though.. the rigidity or freeness of use of speech in talking about the Dharma and in reading it. One thing I was warned about many times when I first began to study the Dharma was my tendency to take a rigid view of the teachings I got from books where the teachings in the book were from a Master to a single student. It's like Ajahn Chah (Thai Buddhist Master, now deceased) used to say... (to paraphrase) "speaking the Dharma for others is like telling people how to drive. If they are veering left, you tell them to turn right. If they are veering right, you tell them to turn left. If they are driving straight, then you tell them the next step on the straight path. Every instruction is different, but the goal is the same." I guess that's why some teachings we think are of no use to us, whereas others we think are more valuable than any jewel. Unfortunately, many people think that the teachings of a school that they don't find valuable are really not valuable. When those teachings are actually just for people veering a different direction off of the correct path, or for those actually already on the correct path.

Anyway, no problem here either. If something I say isn't clear, I am glad someone asks why not! Maybe I didn't say it clear, but maybe I'm not clear about it myself. If that's case, I better be told so I can shut my trap and not add to the confusion!

Do you practice or study a particular school of Buddhism? Do you practice with a group in your area? I practice Chan (Chinese Zen... you know, Bodhidharma came from the west, 6th Patriarch, Hsu Yun, etc.), but I get a lot of benefit from also studying the teachings of many schools.

Best wishes,

p.s. any idea why the forum's putting our replies on top instead of set off to the right and below in this thread?

: It's fine, no problem. I was somewhat frustrated by terms which didn't make sense to me... not that you insisted, but I thought that was what you were doing... sorry. I was just prone to aggitation, Metta.

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