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Buddhists/Bodhisattva

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Question
Do you consider yourself a bodhisattva? Thanks.

Answer
Dear Tom,

Thank you for the opportunity to answer your question.

I do not consider myself a Bodhisattva for the following reasons:

1. I have never taken the Bodhisattva vow

One cannot become a Bodhisattva accidentally. You must first choose to voluntary desire to be one. Then you must repeatedly make the vow and then work towards achieving that goal.

2. I do not want to be a bodhisattva

I prefer to try to achieve full enlightenment for myself in this life, rather than voluntarily postponing my enlightenment for many more eons. A Bodhisattva must postpone their enlightenment for the sake for trying to help others become enlightened in a far off future life.

3. I have had enough of suffering

I have experienced enough suffering in my life and have observed the suffering of others, enough to fully realize this world is not a place I would ever want to voluntarily want to come back to. I desire to be free from suffering as soon as possible, that means enlightenment as soon as possible. Therefore to be a bodhisattva would be contrary to my current set of beliefs.

4. I do not see myself as a savior of the world type.

I was not built to be a Jesus, a Buddha, a Gandhi.... I was built as a regular person with regular person effort and flaw. I do not feel the ego that pushes me to be a world savior.... I feel that is beyond me. But I do feel that saving myself is within my reach (hopefully).

I hope that I have sufficiently answered your question. If you have any other questions please feel free to ask.

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Anandapanyo Bhikkhu

Expertise

I can answer questions about Buddhist practice, Buddhist understanding and how to apply Buddhism to daily life. I can help analyze Buddhist sayings and teachings. In addition, I can help with questions Buddhism stories, fables and Vinaya(rules). I have meditated for over 10 years and can help you start with meditation. In addition, I can help provide insight into what to do when you feel that you have hit a wall with your meditation. My main area of expertise is how to think in accordance with Sammaditthi (the right view - and number 1 in the Buddha's Noble Eightfold Path. If I cannot answer your question, I have many able teachers with over 20 years experience to help me, so chances are I will be able to find an answer for you.

Experience

I have been practicing Buddhism since I was born, but as a serious practice since 2003. I started studying under various famous Thai Theravada masters. Finally, I met and studied under Phra Acariya Thoon Khippapanyo who has recently passed away on Nov 11, 2008 and is widely accepted as a great Arahant (fully enlightened) teacher of our time. In addition, I have personally read and studied much of the Buddhist scriptures and popular literature available. I have recently undertaken the ordination vows and have become a Buddhist monk in the theravada forest monk tradition. I reside at a temple with many dedicated practitioners and great teachers. I have been practicing training my mind to be aligned with right view (sammaditthi) for over 10 years. I have also been meditating for over 10 years. In my time spent with Acariya Thoon, I learned many things and was able to incorporate them into my life. In addition to practicing Buddhism within temples and my home, I used to own two restaurants and managed commercial real estate. I had to deal with many different and problems. I learned how to use Buddhism to fix my problems, both externally (my environment) and internally (within me).

Organizations
San Fran Dhammaram Temple KPYUSA - a non-profit religious organization

Publications
none

Education/Credentials
Electrical Engineering Degree from the University of California Santa Barbara MBA from San Francisco State

Awards and Honors
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