I have been on a few forums and Facebook groups and a lot of people on there seem to be missing the point of their practice. What colour robes should I wear, how many breaths should I take per minute while meditating and (worst of all) what is meant by this word, in this particular translation, of this sutra. No offence to anyone else here. In "Hardcore Zen" by Brad Warner he make some comment about the people who go to the temples, sit there meditating all day, but for all the wrong reasons.

The principles are fairly self explanatory and as long as you live a good life as a good person, that is it. Enlightenment aka "the same old, same old". I know my life won't realistically be any better if I won a million punds and I am happy with that. By all means swot up on the methodology but it will just make you a better "buddhist" as opposed to making you any happier. Am I missing something? I hope not.

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    This question isn't clear to me. I read it as saying -- "I read some facebook groups and forums and I don't see much point in what people talk about, not very interesting or useful." -- and that's about all it says! Lastly, "Studying methodology won't make you any happier", is that what you're saying?
    – ChrisW
    Oct 18, 2019 at 16:49
  • @ChrisW I don't come from a strict western religious background, so buddhism just sort of clicked with me. Study it, see what it means and then DO IT. Studying for the sake of studying won't make you any happier, is what I mean.
    – ThirdPrize
    Oct 19, 2019 at 10:43
  • well zazen isn't meant to have a goal, right? if focusing on robes helps with that then why not? i sympathize if they're not getting anything out of it outside seated meditation though
    – user2512
    Oct 23, 2019 at 12:04

4 Answers 4


I created an account just to reply to you.

I've wondered a lot about this myself in fact. It seems like the obvious path, if one wants to be free. The question is: do we want to be free?

A quote by Ajahn Chah answers this succinctly: "When we talk about desires we know that everyone has them and wants them fulfilled, but nobody is willing to stop, nobody really wants to escape. Therefore our practice must be patiently refined down. Those who practice steadfastly, without deviation or slackness, and have a gentle and restrained manner, always persevering with constancy, those are the ones who will know. No matter what arises, they will remain firm and unshakable."

Now to my perspective. Your kamma (conditioning) has ripened in this lifetime such that you are more receptive to the path. This is a very big moment of choice for you, will you practice or will this time be squandered?

Secondly, upon questioning others people actions, it is good to realize that people are getting caught -- it is only the nature of samsara. It's akin to asking the question: Why don't people answer correctly all the time? Well if they knew the answer, they would! It is simply because the wisdom and mindfulness have not been developed for those individuals. May you walk your path and influence all living beings in the sangha that is the world.

As a word of advice, I would simply note when you see these thought come up as "judging judging". Do this noting non-judgemental and pay attention to how the mental state is. In my practice, I have found my judgement of others practice is rooted in bad intentions or some superiority. The teachings are incredibly simple, but yet not at the same time. As we practice, more and more will be unveiled. It's simple, but there is a deep profundity to the teachings and practice. Will you continue to realize them?

May you be safe. May you be happy. May you swiftly realize peace.

  • Thank you. I can appreciate that someone new to the subject would have questions and the only way to get answers is to ask them. I think that half the problem is that the people who answer, cloud their answers in a layer of mysticism as if that makes it clearer. Answering a question with a riddle just seems like a bit of a cliche sometimes.
    – ThirdPrize
    Oct 21, 2019 at 14:00
  • Personally, I am more of a secular buddhist. I have read a few books on zen, got what I needed from them and here i am. Even just keeping up the PMA needed for this is quite tricky.
    – ThirdPrize
    Oct 21, 2019 at 14:09
  • @ThirdPrize That is indeed a large issue in many peoples practice -- Spiritual Materalism. I would just be cautious with assuming that you "got what you needed". With any philosophy, there is always more to ponder and deepen and understanding of. It's like trying to read Being and Time by Heidegger and saying you understood everything on a first read, with no background Just keep watching the mind and it will all become clear
    – user279311
    Oct 21, 2019 at 23:44
  • As someone once said, “Do not try to use what you learn from Buddhism to be a Buddhist; use it to be a better whatever-you-already-are.”
    – ThirdPrize
    Oct 22, 2019 at 10:04

Unless you are up there with the stream entrants, the deepest principles aren't self explanatory. One must want to experience them within Samsara to transcend Samsara.

Personally, I wouldn't follow Buddhism nessasarily, I'd follow the Buddha's core teaching that was repeated again and again from all angles of interpretation.


Buddhism is about ending all suffering. Stop worrying about what other people talk/do on the internet and practice the clear method the Buddha has taught on how to end suffering. In other words, work on eliminating your craving.

  • I do, I just wonder why other people don't.
    – ThirdPrize
    Oct 19, 2019 at 10:48
  • Aha! Be mindful of the wondering ;) Oct 19, 2019 at 11:03

Yes. You are certainly missing the boat, the same as the dry intellectual geek Brad Warner.

Right understanding & right practise will make the mind much much more happier.

The Pali suttas say "jhana" is "a world of exclusively pleasant feelings" (MN 79). The Pali suttas say: "Nirvana is the supreme happiness" (Dhp 203) that "does not fluctuate" (MN 140).

But, in this video, for example, Brad says about Nirvana: "You cannot have these experiences of bliss everyday". In the video, Brad appears to compare Nirvana to the temporary fleeing pleasure of sex.

Enlightenment is not "the same old, same old". It appears Brad Warner has never left American libraries and suburbia. That appears why Brad Warner appears dry & crusty looking rather than has a radiant beautiful complexion. The Buddha said about his disciples:

Sāriputta, your faculties are so very clear, and your complexion is pure and bright.


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