Dealing With Desire

General forum on Mahayana.

Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby dzogchungpa » Sat Jun 08, 2013 3:04 pm

JKhedrup wrote:Since you are in India you should go to the Kumbh Melha and you will see what I mean. The lack of structure has not led to an increased purity or peer-enforced standards. It has led to no standards at all. Many Hindus I spoke to in India who witnessed the event were deeply shaken.

Do you mean, they were shaken by witnessing the behavior or lack of purity of the sadhus at the Kumbh Mela?
ཨོཾ་ཏཱ་རེ་ཏུཏྟ་རེ་ཏུ་རེ་སྭཱཧཱ༔
User avatar
dzogchungpa
 
Posts: 2295
Joined: Sat May 28, 2011 10:50 pm

Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby kirtu » Sat Jun 08, 2013 3:27 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:I agree with Jikan..i'm learning alot by watching you guys go at it, but i'd actually like to hear a bit about the nuts and bolts, everyday reality of transformation vs. renunciation from the experts.


Malcolm's description of the transformation of sense objects is completely on target.

The problem is that some lusty (or angry) people will need support to get to that point. Two general things I find helpful: the recognition that lust (or any other poison) is actually harmful (esp. when we are conditioned to exactly the opposite view in society and have been so conditioned since at least puberty) and contemplation on these points.

The second thing that I find helpful is the One Day Vows, the Eight Mahayana Precepts, esp. taken on the traditional days (full/new moon, and the 8th day of the lunar calendar [there are a couple of other days as well] as well as eclipse and other special days).

A young lineage holder whose name I will not mention yet said that basically you need to be mindful and cut negativity and attachment off before they manifest. He was asked if he watched a TV show (so this was a slightly naughty thing in some way - so like a crime show or something) and he responded that he didn't because it was better to cut negativity from the root than let it manifest and have to cut it off later. And we might delay cutting it off so there would be no end.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche
User avatar
kirtu
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4612
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:29 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby JKhedrup » Sat Jun 08, 2013 4:12 pm

Do you mean, they were shaken by witnessing the behavior or lack of purity of the sadhus at the Kumbh Mela?


Yes, big emphasis on collecting money, hearing the complaints of women that were groped, boorish behaviour in general.

Actually this seems to have been the norm for some time, as in Autobiography of a Yogi Yogananda swami already mentions this behaviour, and that was published in 1946.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
JKhedrup
 
Posts: 2327
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Location: the Netherlands and India

Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby Tenso » Sat Jun 08, 2013 7:01 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Nighthawk wrote:Malcolm, drinking wine is a violation of a basic Buddhist precept. Can one intentionally also break the other four and still able to gain some type of enlightenment in Vajrayana?



Drinking wine is not a violation of five precepts, getting intoxicated is.

As far as the the other four precepts, they must be observed by everyone. Of course, when one becomes sufficiently mature, one ceases to wish to kill, steal, lie or engage in sexual misconduct, and even, become intoxicated.

Vasubandhu's opinion that madana means even a single drop of alcohol is highly debatable.


What type of daily Vajrayana sadhana would you recommend for someone with a busy schedule?
Tenso
 
Posts: 821
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:04 am

Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby Malcolm » Sat Jun 08, 2013 7:03 pm

Indrajala wrote:
Ideally. You're just telling me what the manual says, not how real life works.


In real life, when you have a vow not to kill, and you kill, the demerit is stronger, much stronger, than if you did not have such a vow. The merit of refraining from killing is likewise much stronger

If you want to be a śramaṇa and behave like one, then you're a śramaṇa, i.e., a monk. If you're a student of the Buddha's teachings, you're a Buddhist monk. You don't need anyone's consent or acknowledgement to be a śramaṇa.


To be a Buddhist śramanera, in fact you do. Otherwise, one is merely engaging in personal fabrications.


And all their preceptors and their own going back twenty-some centuries were all having intact vows?


In the case of Tibetan ordination lineages, this is the case. I can't speak about those in other transmissions.




You once said samaya is a social construct. How can you argue that while saying ordination is not?


Ordination has no meaning outside of its social context, just like Samaya. Just like Samaya, it too is a tradition, a transmission, from awakened people. Like samaya, ordination is a species of contract between the one who imparts the vow and the vow holder.

I never said however that Samaya was not important. It is. How it is understood differs in different tantras. You can make the same argument for pratimokṣa vows, but in order to have them modified by bodhisattva vows, first you must have received pratimokṣa vows.

Thus far, we have only been dealing pratimokṣa vows. We have not been considering the way in which bodhisattva vows and even samaya vows affect one's basic pratimokṣa vows.

In principle, I think it is too hard to be a Buddhist monk in this day and age. I never said we should abandon the bodhisattva trainings or Vajrayāna contracts.
Last edited by Malcolm on Sat Jun 08, 2013 7:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
http://www.atikosha.org
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://www.sakyapa.net
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

How can you not practice the highest Dharma
at this time of obtaining a perfect human body?

-- Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen
User avatar
Malcolm
 
Posts: 12733
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby Malcolm » Sat Jun 08, 2013 7:06 pm

Nighthawk wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Nighthawk wrote:Malcolm, drinking wine is a violation of a basic Buddhist precept. Can one intentionally also break the other four and still able to gain some type of enlightenment in Vajrayana?



Drinking wine is not a violation of five precepts, getting intoxicated is.

As far as the the other four precepts, they must be observed by everyone. Of course, when one becomes sufficiently mature, one ceases to wish to kill, steal, lie or engage in sexual misconduct, and even, become intoxicated.

Vasubandhu's opinion that madana means even a single drop of alcohol is highly debatable.


What type of daily Vajrayana sadhana would you recommend for someone with a busy schedule?


A very short one, in terms of liturgy, and a solitary deity, rather than a complicated mandala, for example, the Phyag rgya gcig ma form of Vajrakilaya from Choling Tersar, or Solitary Heruka Yamantaka, etc.
http://www.atikosha.org
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://www.sakyapa.net
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

How can you not practice the highest Dharma
at this time of obtaining a perfect human body?

-- Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen
User avatar
Malcolm
 
Posts: 12733
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby Tenso » Sat Jun 08, 2013 7:09 pm

Malcolm wrote:
A very short one, in terms of liturgy, and a solitary deity, rather than a complicated mandala, for example, the Phyag rgya gcig ma form of Vajrakilaya from Choling Tersar, or Solitary Heruka Yamantaka, etc.

Thank you. I will look into this.
Tenso
 
Posts: 821
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:04 am

Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby Konchog1 » Sat Jun 08, 2013 7:22 pm

Malcolm wrote:A very short one, in terms of liturgy, and a solitary deity, rather than a complicated mandala, for example, the Phyag rgya gcig ma form of Vajrakilaya from Choling Tersar, or Solitary Heruka Yamantaka, etc.
But do short Sadhanas have the full benefit? I thought they just existed so busy people could fulfill their practice requirements.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
User avatar
Konchog1
 
Posts: 1355
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2011 4:30 am

Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby Nilasarasvati » Sat Jun 08, 2013 7:23 pm

Malcolm:
Ordination has no meaning outside of its social context, just like Samaya. Just like Samaya, it too is a tradition, a transmission, from awakened people. Like samaya, ordination is a species of contract between the one who imparts the vow and the vow holder.

I never said however that Samaya was not important. It is. How it is understood differs in different tantras. You can make the same argument for pratimokṣa vows, but in order to have them modified by bodhisattva vows, first you must have received pratimokṣa vows.

Thus far, we have only been dealing pratimokṣa vows. We have not been considering the way in which bodhisattva vows and even samaya vows affect one's basic pratimokṣa vows.

In principle, I think it is too hard to be a Buddhist monk in this day and age. I never said we should abandon the bodhisattva trainings or Vajrayāna contracts.


I'm not able to comment on the content of your statements because you have a much much vaster understanding of the scripture, history, and practice of the pratimoksa vows, but I just want to say one thing. In spite of a few assurances you've made otherwise, your tone suggested overall that you seem not only convinced of the difficulties of becoming a monastic in this era, but of the worthlessness of all monastic ordination and even monks themselves. You also seemed kind of self satisfied in places about not having to renounce the sense pleasures.

I'm pretty sure you don't mean to give that impression, but that's how it came across to me reading through the past 5 pages.

That said, your practical advice was really interesting but I didn't really understand: are you saying essentially that it's unrealistic for laypeople to really abandon sense pleasures and they should just take the desire as the path/trust that sadhana to slowly dissolve obscurations?
User avatar
Nilasarasvati
 
Posts: 428
Joined: Tue May 07, 2013 3:08 am
Location: Trāyastriṃśa. Just kidding. What a cool sanksrit word, huh?

Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby dzogchungpa » Sat Jun 08, 2013 8:39 pm

Malcolm wrote:Drinking wine is not a violation of five precepts, getting intoxicated is.

That is interesting, can you (or anyone) provide me with a reference for that?
ཨོཾ་ཏཱ་རེ་ཏུཏྟ་རེ་ཏུ་རེ་སྭཱཧཱ༔
User avatar
dzogchungpa
 
Posts: 2295
Joined: Sat May 28, 2011 10:50 pm

Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby Jnana » Sat Jun 08, 2013 8:59 pm

Indrajala wrote:At the end of the day institutional Buddhism will always have such very human problems. This is maybe an uncomfortable reality, especially for people who want to believe in an entirely pure and holy sangha in the world.

Any intentional community is going to have its share of problems. In western countries there are at least four different types of Buddhist communities:

1. non-residential lay communities (e.g. most urban Dharma Centers)
2. residential lay communities (e.g. Green Gulch Farm)
3. residential monastic communities that maintain a reformed interpretation of monastic precepts (e.g. Gampo Abbey)
4. residential monastic communities that maintain a strict interpretation of monastic precepts (e.g. City of Ten Thousand Buddhas; Western branch monasteries associated with the Forest Tradition of Ajahn Chah)

All of these different types of communities have their own strengths as well as various organizational difficulties related to their particular form of governance. It seems to me that the capacities and shared vision of the community members and the abilities of the community leaders are among the most important factors that contribute to the success of any given community.

Indrajala wrote:We just need to keep things simple. If you're a śramaṇa, remain single and celibate. Behave yourself. Speak the truth, speak well, speak clearly. Try to emulate the Buddha as best you can.

This ideal isn't necessarily incompatible with vinaya.
Jnana
 
Posts: 1106
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 12:58 pm

Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby Malcolm » Sat Jun 08, 2013 9:01 pm

Nilasarasvati wrote:...are you saying essentially that it's unrealistic for laypeople to really abandon sense pleasures and they should just take the desire as the path/trust that sadhana to slowly dissolve obscurations? [/b]


It is unrealistic for lay people (and even bhikṣus) to abandon sense pleasures in this day and age, therefore, it is best to use a method where sense pleasures are used for one's own purposes as part of the path, hence the reason for the Vajrayāna path of transformation. Of course if you do not have Vajrayāna methods you try and be free from accepting and rejecting ala Chan and Zen, but that is a slow path since it lacks skill methods, from a Vajrayāna perspective.

I should add, no one takes desire [or the other afflictions] as a path except for people who wish to continue to cycle in samsara. One can take sense objects into the path through using the sadhana method if you did not achieve liberation through receiving empowerment.
http://www.atikosha.org
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://www.sakyapa.net
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

How can you not practice the highest Dharma
at this time of obtaining a perfect human body?

-- Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen
User avatar
Malcolm
 
Posts: 12733
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby Nilasarasvati » Sat Jun 08, 2013 9:11 pm

I should add, no one takes desire [or the other afflictions] as a path except for people who wish to continue to cycle in samsara. One can take sense objects into the path through using the sadhana method if you did not achieve liberation through receiving empowerment.


Okay so you have differentiated two things based on the prepositions in these two sentences: am I right?

Taking desire "as the path" would maybe include the sexual or wrathful yogas of non-buddhist paths that might result in rebirth as a God or Rudra or even a Preta?

Taking sense objects "into" the path
(is that seperate? Is that what you meant?) is distinct from that/can be a skilful means. What does that look like in a practical sense? (in postmeditation, I mean).
User avatar
Nilasarasvati
 
Posts: 428
Joined: Tue May 07, 2013 3:08 am
Location: Trāyastriṃśa. Just kidding. What a cool sanksrit word, huh?

Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby kirtu » Sat Jun 08, 2013 9:23 pm

Malcolm wrote:It is unrealistic for lay people (and even bhikṣus) to abandon sense pleasures in this day and age,


Except that it's not, at least not for periods of time, sometimes long periods of time, as part of training. The higher trumps the lower but the methods of the lower schools, including the Sravaka methods and approaches may at times yield an effective approach to respond to the current situation. The pallet of Vajrayana encompasses the full range of methods and teachings and is not restricted to just the higher methods and teachings.

...it is best to use a method where sense pleasures are used for one's own purposes as part of the path, hence the reason for the Vajrayāna path of transformation.


This is unassailably true but it may take people a while to work up to it even with great lamas. Otherwise we risk people doing weird things in the name of "Vajrayana".

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche
User avatar
kirtu
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4612
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:29 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Jun 08, 2013 9:47 pm

Malcolm wrote:It is unrealistic for lay people (and even bhikṣus) to abandon sense pleasures in this day and age
The fact that there are people that have abandoned sense peasures in this day and age makes it realistic (or real, to be more exact). Easy? No. Realistic? Yes!

As long as people have had senses (ie always) they have had access to sense pleasures. Some have indulged their senses, some (few) have renounced.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Former staff member
 
Posts: 10289
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby Wayfarer » Sun Jun 09, 2013 12:32 am

and especially when Sense Pleasures are so beautifully commodified, marketed, and made available at no charge via the Internet! It's a cornucopia of sense-pleasures, available in millions of different colours, flavours and varieties. You'd be mad to abandon all that, wouldn't you?
Learn to do good, refrain from evil, purify the mind ~ this is the teaching of the Buddhas
User avatar
Wayfarer
 
Posts: 1934
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 8:31 am
Location: Sydney AU

Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby greentara » Sun Jun 09, 2013 12:42 am

"Why do I write of Grover Watrous? Because I have met thousands of people and none of them were alive in the way that Grover was.
Most of them were more intelligent, many of 158 them were brilliant, some of them were even famous, but none were alive and empty as Grover was.
Grover was inexhaustible.
He was like a bit of radium which, even if buried under a mountain does not lose its power to give off energy.
I had seen plenty of so-called energetic people before – is not America filled with them? – but never, in the shape of a human being, a reservoir of energy.
And what created this inexhaustible reservoir of energy? An illumination.
Yes, it happened in the twinkling of an eye, which is the only way that anything important ever does happen.
Overnight all Grover’s preconceived values were thrown overboard.
Suddenly, just like that, he ceased moving as other people move.
He put the brakes on and he kept the motor running"

This is from the works of Henry Miller. You may laugh and ask Henry Miller? Even someone as base as Miller could understand that illumination can transform totally, even in this day and age.
greentara
 
Posts: 933
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:03 am

Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby spot dawa » Sun Jun 09, 2013 1:58 am

Indrajala wrote:
I realized what I took refuge in was the ideals of arhatship and bodhisattvahood: the ārya-saṃgha. Faith in the sangha aspect of the Triple Gem is directed at the goal of liberation and those who have attained it, not ordinary people who have a legal and orthodox ordination plus the accompanying certification and team colours.


:twothumbsup: :woohoo: :twothumbsup:
User avatar
spot dawa
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2013 4:14 am
Location: Arizona

Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby Indrajala » Sun Jun 09, 2013 4:57 am

jeeprs wrote: You'd be mad to abandon all that, wouldn't you?


Some of us are just eccentric.
User avatar
Indrajala
 
Posts: 5986
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Location: Taiwan

Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby Indrajala » Sun Jun 09, 2013 5:13 am

Jnana wrote:It seems to me that the capacities and shared vision of the community members and the abilities of the community leaders are among the most important factors that contribute to the success of any given community.


When a community is up and coming without widespread support from society, then of course the leadership and common vision are essential for anything to happen. This is perhaps the most difficult aspect of developing Buddhism in the west. Without the right people, then there's not even general social support to fall back on to keep things above the water line.



Indrajala wrote:We just need to keep things simple. If you're a śramaṇa, remain single and celibate. Behave yourself. Speak the truth, speak well, speak clearly. Try to emulate the Buddha as best you can.

This ideal isn't necessarily incompatible with vinaya.


For various reasons though a lot of Buddhists are unwilling to consider modifications to the formal Vinaya systems, even when they admit not everything can or will be followed in the present day. The sacrosanct quality of it is remarkable despite it really being house rules aimed primarily at irresponsible young men and women.

Personally, I don't feel I need to hold myself to account for silly things some people apparently did twenty-five centuries ago in rural Magadha.

What's really striking is the literature which outlines in detail the long years that will be spent in hell for violating even minor precepts. You can go to hell for immeasurable years if you eat yeast and fail to confess it according to the authors. Quite terrifying and ghoulish punishments await he who eats yeast or brewer's lees and fails to confess the sin.

Again, this leads me more and more to agree with Jizang's conclusion. In both Indian and Chinese literature I see a lot of logical inconsistencies and easily refuted metaphysical speculations. Malcolm's comments above illustrate how much faith can be placed in an unrealistic notion of transmission:

And all their preceptors and their own going back twenty-some centuries were all having intact vows?


In the case of Tibetan ordination lineages, this is the case. I can't speak about those in other transmissions.
User avatar
Indrajala
 
Posts: 5986
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Location: Taiwan

PreviousNext

Return to Mahāyāna Buddhism

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: practitioner and 12 guests

cron
>