Buddhism has a problem, an unfortunate one, but such is life. And that problem is: there is no way to know for certain what the Buddha said. It is a problem with any spiritual teaching more than a thousand years old, or any history for that matter. It has to do with written texts and oral transmission.
The first written Buddhist texts are in the Pali language and are based upon 400 years of oral tradition. That means that whatever the Buddha said 2500 years ago was repeated generation after generation, from one man to the next, for …
Greetings from Sedona, Arizona. It is beautiful, it is hot, the hiking is superb and the food excellent. Yes, I am here to attend a 9 day Sedona Method retreat, but being in Sedona is part of the experience. I came early this time, so I had a day and a half to enjoy this marvelous town. I've been to Sedona 14 times in 12 years, both for retreats and pleasure. One of my favorite places in the world.
Last night the retreat began. The supposedly "advanced" 9 day retreat is a mixture of Advaita-style non-duality teachings (think Nisargadatta Maharaj and Adyashanti) with a touch of personal development and a pinch of basic Sedona Method. It is very different, though, from what other teachers do for a non-dual type retreat in that our "guru" for the 9 days, Hale Dwoskin, actively yet gentle engages people directly to see past their limited sense of self or "me-ness" as he would say.
It was very obvious that for a lot of people in the audience (160 attendees, by the way), these ideas, while not complete new, were a bit difficult to understand. Hale's intro left a lot of people scratching their heads. Even those of us who knew all about it were forced to wonder. As my friend Kerry put it, "Even though I did this same retreat 15 months ago, I am still wondering what we are going to be doing here for 9 days." ...