Chan dew

Recently I had been reading an e book that I had downloaded a while ago. The sweet dew of chan, if I remember the title correctly. Many things sounded familiar. The author gave instructional talks on various meditations. All of those meditations are known in the Theravada as well as in the Mahayana traditions. Although there are some significant difference in the interpretation of one and the same thing. The way he introduced vipassana meditation, as visualisation, sounded strange and certainly different from the Theravada interpretation but in the end, this and most of the rest of the book it seemed that Mahayana and Theravada have more in common than not.

One chapter only was really disturbing and since the book was from the 1980ties, I hope such misunderstanding or misinterpretation has been cleared out by now. There I read that the path of the Arahants is the lowest path of three paths, the Arahant-, the Bodhisattva- and the Buddha path. The author said that those who retire into the forest to practice meditation for their own benefit of becoming Arahant, are selfish and ridden by their tempers.

The Bodhisattva path was presented as the one and only path for a person who claims to be Buddhist wheras the Buddha path was depicted as too high and unreachable for a common human being.

As I am one who has gone into the forest and one who is determined to become an Arahanta (not sure when on this lifestream it will happen, though), I found that the description of the Arahant path is incorrect, that for one who seriously strives for becoming an Arahant, what the author wrote about the Buddha way is what one strives for when on the path to Arahantship. That is, from the limited understanding and perspective of one who is just at the beginning of that path. For me it is true, yes, I retired from the world and behind my kuti is nothing but forest, and I do have tempers, although I learned not to have fits)

It seems in old China some people who were not Arahants claimed to be one but were still selfish and tempered and so the whole picture about what an Arahant is or would be like, got out of frame.


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