The threefold analysis

08 Foundation of Buddhist Practice

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Part of a series of teachings given during a retreat based on the book The Foundation of Buddhist Practice given at Sravasti Abbey.

  • Working with doubt
  • Reliable cognizers based on authoritative testimony
    • Examples of determining authoritative testimony
    • Determining who to trust
  • Applying the threefold analysis
  • Reflections on scriptural inference

The Foundation of Buddhist Practice 08: The threefold analysis (download)

08 The Foundation of Buddhist Practice: The Threefold Analysis 11-07-18

Contemplation points

  1. What are the different kinds of doubt? Which one is beneficial to progress on the path? What doubts do you have (or have you had) with regards to the teachings? Why is it important to set doubts “on the back-burner” for a while rather than reject them outright or accept them blindly?
  2. Instead of relying solely on authoritative testimony, why is it important to use inference and direct perceivers as much as possible when learning the Dharma?
  3. Who do you trust as an authority and in what areas do you take them as authoritative? To what extent is that person fully reliable in terms of knowledge of that topic?
  4. Those of us who are not scientists know the existence of atoms, the healthy range for human blood pressure, and so forth through accepting the word of scientists. Do we investigate their qualifications as authorities on the subject or do we blindly accept their word?
  5. When politicians make various statements, to what extent do we check the reliability of their information and the reliability of their words before believing their statements?
  6. In what other areas of life do you rely on the testimony of others to know something? Do you check the credibility of the person first or do you tend to believe something simply because someone said it or do you read it somewhere?
  7. How do we gain confidence in the teachings when we first start learning the Dharma?
  8. How do we go about differentiating between what is Dharma and what is culture?

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