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Question about Vajrayana - Page 2 - Dhamma Wheel

Question about Vajrayana

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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ground
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Re: Question about Vajrayana

Postby ground » Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:07 am


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m0rl0ck
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Re: Question about Vajrayana

Postby m0rl0ck » Sun Jun 19, 2011 7:19 pm

“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

steve19800
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Re: Question about Vajrayana

Postby steve19800 » Fri Jun 24, 2011 5:45 am

Thanks guys for the fast reply. I think I've almost come to a conclusion about thread I made.
We need to keep our harmonious relationship between members, have a lovely day all!
Last edited by steve19800 on Fri Jun 24, 2011 5:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

steve19800
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Re: Question about Vajrayana

Postby steve19800 » Fri Jun 24, 2011 5:50 am


Lhamo
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Re: Question about Vajrayana

Postby Lhamo » Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:44 pm

The Buddha said on his deathbed that there were no esoteric teachings, and yet Vajrayana has esoteric teachings. The Buddha taught celibacy, yet Vajrayana has sex practices. He taught to not become dependent on ritual, and yet Vajrayana is full of ritual.

Vajrayana practitioners say that the Buddha taught esoteric teachings and practices "to the King of Shambhala" (a mythical kingdom), who then taught others. Some sects say that while the Buddha was teaching to a group of monks, he simultaneously manifested in the form of Vajradhara, and taught tantra to others.

Did he, or didn't he? It depends on who you talk to. Perhaps a more important question is: does the tradition help you on your path, and truly help eliminate suffering? The rule of thumb given by many Vajrayana leaders is to spend years researching the teacher you would like to work with. The Lamrim says that a moral teacher who is well-educated in the Dharma is a rare and precious jewel. Most are not suited. Look before you leap.

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Claudia
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Re: Question about Vajrayana

Postby Claudia » Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:54 am

Many greetings from

Claudia

Lhamo
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Re: Question about Vajrayana

Postby Lhamo » Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:15 pm

Claudia, what a wonderful testimony you gave us, it's encouraging. I'm looking for a new tradition, having decided Vajrayana isn't for me, and I've learned a lot about the Pali sutras from participating on forums, so that's the direction in which I'm headed. Nice to know you found your dharma "home" and your teacher in Theravada.

I'd like to briefly address a couple of issues that have been raised. Some Tibetan Buddhist centers charge for teachings, like a formal school. I've run into this myself. But most don't. Most are like going to church on Sunday, you just go and receive the sermon. Those who can make a donation do, according to their ability, those who can't aren't required to. At least that's how it is in North America.

As for the origins of Tantric Buddhism, which the OP asked about, it comes from "Hinduism" (a rather vague term), but specifically, tantra evolved mainly from ancient goddess-related fertility rites relating to agriculture. A very good, thorough history and analysis of this, if at times a little dry, is N.N. Bhattacharyya's "History of the Tantric Religion".

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Claudia
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Re: Question about Vajrayana

Postby Claudia » Sat Jul 23, 2011 7:29 am

Dear Lhamo,

your reply is also encouraging me (to continue writing here) :smile: .
My "change" from Vajrayana to Theravada was not easy. After I thought for about 17 years to confess myself to buddhism, I was so happy when I found "my" Vajrayana group just next door. It became like a family to me and suddenly I found out, that I "understand" the Theravada tradition deep in my heart much better.

It was painful and tearful for me, because my feeling was like leaving my family. It was like I had to tear my heart in two pieces: the one with my Vajrayana-"family", the other to follow the way, my heart and my mind understands much better.

While I was in the time of decision making, we arranged a day-for-youth in our group and I told the teenagers about the life of the Buddha. I told them that he left his family when he was seeking for liberation and I knew that I never will be able to find my "personal" way when I practice the Vajrayana, because it would lead me to much more attachement (also the attachment to friends I really, really love).
But I also became aware that on the one hand I felt like in a dear family, on the other hand I realized more and more that I had been always under a kind of latent stress (one of my closest friends always felt how stressed I felt inside).


The story is actually much longer, this is just a little "flashlight"....

My very best wishes are with you - may you find your way easily and smooth. :group:
Many greetings from

Claudia

steve19800
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Re: Question about Vajrayana

Postby steve19800 » Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:29 am

Dear Claudia and Lhamo :)

Thanks for your kind reply.
Apart from questions, I too have some really nice Vajrayana friends. They taught me a lot.
However, I have similar experiences to yours, Claudia. I was having hard time few years ago and was told to do this practice, it did help me a lot, seriously. I keep practicing for years until one time this questions came up from nowhere made me extremely curious. Then I do some research, books, anything! It is indeed has strong influence of Hinduism, Bon and Saivism, particularly Indic religions. There is powerful force with the practice which I feel part of myself, in me, a control over matter e.g. afflictions. Sometimes I feel like this is not myself, not in this way. I have stopped for some time now, there is some kind of feeling I am really sad, just like leaving my family, missing this family so much including the teacher.
However, I really thank them for helping me out during that time. I am not an expert, this could be just my personal experiences which is bound by many factors.
Last edited by steve19800 on Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Dan74
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Re: Question about Vajrayana

Postby Dan74 » Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:57 am

I guess just like there are kammic factors involved in finding the Dhamma/Dharma and persevering with it, there are kammic factors involved in persevering with a given school and practice. Of course the actual teacher ins part of it too, not just the student and the tradition.
_/|\_

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Claudia
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Re: Question about Vajrayana

Postby Claudia » Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:19 pm

Dear Steve,

it came additionally into my mind that from the very first beginning I had really unexplainable problems to accept the teacher (Rinpoche) of the group and I felt very bad about it. I thought that something is wrong with me. And the "funny" thing is:
I never, never met him personally.
When I joined in the tibetan group (all the members were german like me), they showed me the picture of the teacher who lives hundrets of kilometers away from here and never comes to the buddhistic center. The studens have to travel a lot and to pay a lot for joining his teachings.
He looks nice, has a nice smile --- but when I took refuge in the tibetan tradition, something inside me resisted to take refuge in his presence. Until now I am not able to explain why. So I choose to take refuge in the presence of a Geshe who is really very, very nice with a lot of compassion, humor, lightness and concern to support people who follow the Dhamma.

Maybe this all sounds very confused, but inside it made me almost crazy that I seemed to be the only (female?) person who never wanted to meet the teacher in person.
There is no justified reason. I had very bad crisis of conscience for my turning away. Actually I am no person who reacts like this and I still wonder how this is possible.

When I met many, many years later the Ajahn, I almost felt instantly: "This is your teacher...."
But my feelings were and are completely diffrent. There is a good bond, but I do not feel attachments. Hard to explain.

I can look up to him but I do not feel "small" inside.

There is no stress and it is not comparable to what I felt by only looking at the picture of the Mahayana teacher.

I have no answer to the conditions why I never accepted the teacher who gets a lot of respect by the Mahayana Group. I really feared that I am a "bad" person who disapproves something good.....
Many greetings from

Claudia


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