Proposed EBT naming nomenclature

Perhaps just to make some things easier to comment on, I might propose these terminologies to discuss different parts of EBT based on the following differences in their views.

  1. Deep or Lite Jhāna.
  2. Something or nothing after parinibbāna.

EBT Something Lite
EBT Nothing Lite
EBT Something Deep
EBT Nothing Deep.

EBT Nothing Deep is aligned with classical Theravada except where they don’t recognize dry insight path is possible.

There are various teachers for each sect of EBT there. And it’s easy to see that other than EBT Nothing Deep who just wish to refer the sutta as the ultimate authority, the other 3 types of EBT use this opportunity to break away from commentaries to champion their respective views as detailed above. EBT Nothing Lite still aligns with the dry insight practice of classical Theravada, but EBT Something are totally stuck with wrong views of Nibbāna.

I don’t believe there is something after parinibbāna.
I don’t believe there is nothing after parinibbāna.
I don’t believe there is neither something nor nothing after parinibbāna.
I don’t believe there is something and nothing after parinibbāna.

Everything we experience is a saṅkhata. And therefore impermanent, and not our self. This includes something and nothing. nibbāna is not saṅkhata.

Similarly, I don’t believe jhāna is deep, lite, neither deep nor lite, nor deep and lite.


SN1.1 Unknown Irrelevant :sweat_smile::zipper_mouth_face:

Where would the Nanavira/Hillside/phenomenological approach fit in there ? They support a non absorbed jhana so it’s neither “deep” nor “lite”…

Non-absorbed Jhāna is lite.

I haven’t listened to them much, what’s their view on the nature of parinibbāna?

Not so much “unknown” as “unexperiencable”.

Nibbāna will be “known” with the cessation of the khandhas, but without the edifice of the khandhas there can be no “experience” and therefore it cannot be describable (as the act of description requires a representation or “saññā”).

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Before the death of arahants, nibbāna is first known by the stream enterer.

There’s consciousness there, perception there to perceive nibbāna as an object. The cessation of all conditioned things and their causes, and their non-arising.

It is described as: this is peace, that is the stilling of formations, cessation, dispassion, nibbāna. (that famous formula).

Morning Ven.

How do you define this knowledge and if it exists, how do you explain that there is so much disagreement about cessation and nibbanadhatu? Surely there are many stream enterers even today.

Do you believe then that Nibbana is already within us? Are you yourself Nibbana Something or Nothing.

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Well put.

Actually, I don’t believe the concept of sotāpanna ( or sakadāgāmin, anāgāmin etc.) represents authentic teaching of the Buddha. They are actually incompatible with what he taught.

The Buddha states that dependent origination and the khandhas are based on the concept of “choice”, ie. free will by the individual to gain realisation.

This presupposes a non-deterministic universe, which means the Buddha (or anyone else) is not able to foretell the future, since that would contradict the notion of choice and free will.

Therefore any claims about the number of future lifetimes until reaiisation etc. cannot be authentic.

Hah, that’s pretty clever.

I have come across a number of such apparent philosophical contradictions in my study of Buddhism. I find that the classical Theravada school usually does an amazing job of sorting these out, which is mainly why I follow them.

If on the other hand the Dhamma was and is an exoterical teaching device (which I think is kind of hinted at in MN22), the contradictions between the doctrinal elements of the teaching become less important.

I was just reading the other post about that possible AI Supercomputer and thinking: It’s going to show an “Error 404” more often than not when asked about Buddhist doctrine :wink:

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An10.6 definition of nibbāna.

‘This is peaceful; this is sublime—that is, the stilling of all activities, the letting go of all attachments, the ending of craving, fading away, cessation, extinguishment.’
‘etaṁ santaṁ etaṁ paṇītaṁ yadidaṁ sabbasaṅkhārasamatho sabbūpadhipaṭinissaggo taṇhākkhayo virāgo nirodho nibbānan’ti.

This reddit post should make clear my position.

When EBT first break away from the classical theravada and commentaries, there’s some people who have eternalistic tendancies and wishes to have something, anything which last forever after death of arahant. So they read the suttas alone (without commentaries, or ignoring commentaries) and come out with their various views on it. Some maybe also influenced by Mahāyāna thinking.

Some of the possible views of what remains after death of arahant includes: consciousness unestablished (this is reification of what shouldn’t be interpreted positively), Nibbāna itself (denying that after death of arahant there is nothing) Bhikkhu Bodhi on Nibbāna - #621 by NgXinZhao, dhammakāya (most if not all of Mahāyāna) See Burg’s comment on it, etc.

Mahāyāna view is likely mistaken a state of very blissful samādhi with nibbāna. Very suspect would be any notion of the lines of: experience itself is not inherently dukkha, but desire makes it so (championed by @yeshe.tenley) That they try to open the way to something as nibbāna, but I defeated it in here. What is dukkha? - #39 by NgXinZhao It also fits in their desire to continue to be reborn again and again to become a bodhisattva and then Buddha. So they actively are avoiding the nothing after parinibbāna type of attainment. Not too hard if one holds onto wrong view.

Also a great factor contributing to the confusion is that different very famous and highly regarded teachers seems to be leaning in one way or another on this issue. Followers of theirs who didn’t read the sutta first, does use the lens of these theories to read the suttas afterwards and it’s very hard to change the views once people got fixed on one side or another.

Nothing after parinibbāna camp: classical theravada, Ajahn Brahm, Bhante Aggacitta etc.

Something after parinibbāna camp: (I have heard) a lot of Thai Ajahns (I dunno which, I generally don’t read their books, but I know B. Thanissaro is in here), most of Mahāyāna (I have a mahāyāna Bhikkhu friend of over 10 vassa, well learned, he confirmed nothing after parinibbāna is unacceptable to him). Famous Mahāyāna teacher in this include Alan Wallace (I have been to his retreats and he said explicitly he doesn’t believe in nothing after parinibbāna), Thich Nhat Hanh (Read one of his serious commentary on sutta book, very painful to filter out his views from the dhamma), etc.


It’s a big project to try to see if there’s too much to cut away if one deems all references to stream entry are late insertion and thus not authentic. I think it’s deep there in the core of dhamma like rebirth is.

You can try, I don’t think it will be successful. I see the 7 lifetimes max as some future events are fixed due to the super strong causes made. But not all future is fixed. The details of which realm is it, human or deva is not fixed for the stream enterer, there’s still some element of choice.

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How can Nothing be peaceful and sublime? Nothing can not have any characeristics without ending up being Something.

Okay very interesting remarks, but didn’t the Buddha himself say that he did’t know where the flame would go after Parinibbaba? So why not just be agnostic about it?

My reason for taking refuge with the Buddha is exactly that I think nobody knows.

If no self is true, there cannot be anything at all leftover after parinibbāna.

Except of course no-self is just a teaching device to say that mind is conditioned (finite and limited). There could still be a Spirit element beyond that.

When he said this, Venerable Udāyī said to him, “But Reverend Sāriputta, what’s blissful about it, since nothing is felt?”
“The fact that nothing is felt is precisely what’s blissful about it." AN9.34

Not really. He said the question is a false category - the flame has gone out, not anywhere. It’s a remark on linguistic problems, not so much metaphysics.

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One has to have right view to practise the right 8fold path, wrong view doesn’t lead to liberation.


At one time Venerable Sāriputta was staying near Rājagaha, in the Bamboo Grove, the squirrels’ feeding ground.

There he addressed the mendicants: “Reverends, extinguishment is bliss! Extinguishment is bliss!”

When he said this, Venerable Udāyī said to him, “But Reverend Sāriputta, what’s blissful about it, since nothing is felt?”

“The fact that nothing is felt is precisely what’s blissful about it.

I started this and @Dogen is faster, I will still post it.


All things are not-self—
when this is seen with wisdom,
one grows disillusioned with suffering:
this is the path to purity.

Your view of not self comes from B. Thanissaro, he’s on the side of something after parinibbāna. If one doesn’t understand no self properly, it’s common to fall into the something after parinibbāna camp.


Right view IMO is just internal conviction and acceptance of D/o and 1st noble truth

This to me just seems to mean that all things are conditioned.
Arguably something needs to be there to condition the conditioned, or at least a first condition.

I think his position is not as simple as that. His essays require very careful reading.

Ven. Bodhi has good arguments from the Buddha himself while the quote by you and @Dogen is from Ven. Sariputta and no Sutta to second it.

That said, I am agnostic. I take the Dhamma to make sense just from phenomenological standpoint relative to human perception.

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Broadly speaking, it includes almost everything in the suttas. Especially the view of what’s the true nature of parinibbāna. Because have a wrong view, it will lead to wrong knowledge and wrong liberation. That’s why so many prominent teachers are so confident to proclaim their side.

Thanks, but I didn’t come up with it. This analysis has been pointed out by quite a few scholars, and I think I may have even seen sujato making a comment about it somewhere in suttacentral.

The view that aspects of the Buddha’s teaching may be inauthentic has been mentioned by several people, including the Buddha - see for example Mahāparinibbānasutta DN 16 4.8.1-4.8.12.

So what’s the difference in practice between EBT Something and EBT Nothing?

Many theories are possible, but it does not help, because it could always also be otherwise …

The views on the nature of parinibbāna. Seeing the wrong nibbāna one would have wrong knowledge due to wrong view and wrong liberation, that is not liberated, one thinks one is liberated and then propagate wrong views by the confidences from wrong knowledge and bring others to the wrong place.


“Mendicants, the dawn is the forerunner and precursor of the sunrise. In the same way right view is the forerunner and precursor of skillful qualities. Right view gives rise to right thought. Right thought gives rise to right speech. Right speech gives rise to right action. Right action gives rise to right livelihood. Right livelihood gives rise to right effort. Right effort gives rise to right mindfulness. Right mindfulness gives rise to right immersion. Right immersion gives rise to right knowledge. Right knowledge gives rise to right freedom.”