Rebel Buddha: On The Road To Freedom

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Re: Rebel Buddha: On The Road To Freedom

Postby heart » Thu Dec 02, 2010 7:01 am

Chaz wrote:So Tibetan Buddhism is fine. Just don't cultivate attachments to it.


And American Buddhism is similarly fine if you actually apply the teaching to destroy the illusion of an ego rather than making it stronger.

Buddhism is not a work in progress. Buddhism is a all about preserving the path the Buddha taught, not improving it, changing it in any way. Why? Because Buddha attained full and complete enlightenment, something that doesn't occur that often, and after that he taught us how to attain that realization.
Still it is obvious that Buddhism is so different in Japan, Tibet and Sri Lanka, right? Many different methods that are supposed to make us attain the Buddhas realization seems to have developed. But all these lineages of these methods are similarly very preserving and normally trace the the lineage of their particular method back to the Buddha or an other person that attained enlightenment.
So Buddhism really evolve only on the surface, it will trace even its new methods back to a person actually attaining some kind of realization, as a minimum, or it is considered a degeneration. The wisdom, the realization, the goal is always the same.

/magnus
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Re: Rebel Buddha: On The Road To Freedom

Postby kirtu » Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:45 am

heart wrote:
Pero wrote:
kirtu wrote: Is the question actually when will non-Asian people be fully invested with the Dharma? If that's the actual question then perhaps Thinley Norbu is right about Western racism being a significant element in this debate (please note I am not accusing you or anyone of racism but Thinley Norbu's comments may have some validity on this point).


What are you talking about?


I am sorry about the link ... but it seems to be the only place you can read the article, it is an interview with Thinley Norbu Rinpoche from the Tricycle. I'm guessing this is what kirtu is referring to.


Yes but the interview can't be found elsewhere? I'll try to excerpt the relevant paragraph. At any rate Thinley Norbu said about 10 years or so ago that at least some of this talk about Western Buddhism had roots in racism as some non-Asian people simply didn't want to learn from Asians.

It's a point to be considered. There is a Palyul Swiss tulku from a Tibetan family - is he Western or not? Tsem Tulku - total US citizen from birth - clearly Western (I mean he speaks completely in American patterns). When a high tulku like a future Dalai Lama are born in the West, will this satisfy in part the desire that Westerners be fully invested in the Dharma? I also know some Westerners from Asian families studying in shedra in India now.

Or is this really about ethnic European peoples being acknowledged as Dharma holders in some way?

Or have I missed the question?

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Re: Rebel Buddha: On The Road To Freedom

Postby kirtu » Thu Dec 02, 2010 12:19 pm

Pero wrote:
kirtu wrote: Is the question actually when will non-Asian people be fully invested with the Dharma? If that's the actual question then perhaps Thinley Norbu is right about Western racism being a significant element in this debate (please note I am not accusing you or anyone of racism but Thinley Norbu's comments may have some validity on this point).


What are you talking about?


Here is the relevant link.

The Tricycle questions are bolded and the responses are Thinley Norbu's:
We do seem to be in a terrible rush to create a Buddhism of our own. But you know, some people have suggested that the impulse for this is inspired by a sense that things - in the world, in the environment and in our society - are falling apart so quickly that Buddhism in any form is better than none at all.

Maybe it has more to do with racism.

Racism?

Because Westerners think "Buddhism is coming from the East." So we Americans can do this without depending on the East's Buddhism. But the idea that we don't need the East is racist and patronizing.

You’re using racism as a kind of cultural imperialism?

Because Americans are very arrogant and their capitalism’s-habit is to think they are very superior to everyone else. They don’t respect other races, and other cultures. They are nationalistic. National - how do you say? Chauvinistic. It is another manifestation of a nihilist view. But the West has no pure Buddhist lineage because they don't respect sublime beings, and they don't believe in teachers.Whatever they do not understand deeply, then they reject, and they say, "This is useless". The problem is how pure Buddhist teachings can flourish in the west.


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Re: Rebel Buddha: On The Road To Freedom

Postby Jnana » Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:21 pm

Hi all,

I really don't think it's about "Tibetan" versus "Western" at all. I think the idea of "rebelling" here must necessarily include taking a good hard look at Western culture and beginning to let go of these consensual "norms" also.

One of my concerns with Indo-Tibetan dharma as it is developing in the West is the general lack of emphasis on developing the monastic sangha. There are a few exceptions here, but very few. And along with this there is still a significant lack of development, integration, and financial support for Western monastic training facilities and long term retreat facilities for Western monastics and solitary yogins.

It seems that there's still a disconnect amongst the general Western lay community when it comes to recognizing the value of supporting homegrown monks, nuns, and solitary yogins. In this regard the Western Theravāda forest monasteries are doing a far better job of it. Of course, they are doing so with the financial support of the lay Thai immigrant communities in the various Western countries where the forest monasteries operate.
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Re: Rebel Buddha: On The Road To Freedom

Postby Jnana » Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:39 pm

heart wrote:Buddhism is not a work in progress. Buddhism is a all about preserving the path the Buddha taught, not improving it, changing it in any way.

Sorry, but I would suggest that this is only partially accurate. One can have faith without throwing one's intellect out the window.

The historical "Buddha," i.e. the śramaṇa Gautama, didn't have any association whatsoever with most of what now is being taught in his name. All of the early Indian bodhisattvayāna and mahāyāna communities were reform movements attempting to breathe new life into the institutional Buddhism of their day. The same is true for the Indian siddha movements. In all of these instances they added new path structures and teachings, while still preserving the mainstream elements.


heart wrote:But all these lineages of these methods are similarly very preserving and normally trace the the lineage of their particular method back to the Buddha or an other person that attained enlightenment.

And every lineage of every Mahāyāna sect which traces its lineage back to the historical Buddha is 100% mythical.
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Re: Rebel Buddha: On The Road To Freedom

Postby kirtu » Thu Dec 02, 2010 5:09 pm

kirtu wrote:
Mariusz wrote:
I wonder when the vajrayana lineages will be fully preserved in the western by the westerners?


It may take at least 20 more years but probably more like 50-100 years depending on what you mean by fully preserved in the West by westerners.


Actually my 20-100 years seems wildly optimistic. Buddhism has been studied and to some degree practiced in the West for 150 years. There was a small non-Asian Pure Land group that was concentrated in some families in the early 20's in the US but many of these people are said to have gone to Japan and their history is uncertain. Zen Buddhism has been practiced in groups in the US since the 40's. But only from the mid-90's do we have US citizens acknowledged as roshis (and this is somewhat controversial) although if you count from Richard Baker at the San Francisco Zen Center then this is from 1971 (and Zen people generally judge the introduction of Zen to the US to have been around 1890)). This history can be read a couple of ways: in one way it took about 80 years to produce an acknowledged Zen teacher in the US; read another way it took about 12 years counting from the time Suzuki came to the US and we can interpret this history variously. Still, Zen is not thought of as being upheld strongly through local teachers in the US although with the recent deaths of respected teachers and the continuation of their lineage this may be changing.

Westerners have clearly been practicing Theravada and other than Zen Mahayana for quite a while (generally 50 years for both although the actual history goes back to the 20's). Now we do have Western Ajahn's but is Theravada in the West seen as upheld strongly by Westerners? I'm uncertain although I see committed Western Theravadin people everywhere. In the Pure Land traditions there have been Western Pure Land teachers for a while now.

So depending on how the history is read, at the end of 1 1/2 centuries of Dharma transmission to the West we have the beginnings of Dharma transmission from Westerners (people born and raised in the West).

Vajrayana transmission goes back about 60 years to the 1950's. Westerners actually practicing in the Vajrayana seems to go back 50 years to the 60's. We do have acknowledged Western tulkus but the Tibetan teachers are not in a hurry to designate anything like Western Dharma holders (which in the Vajrayana is a very high standard anyway). We've had one khenpo I know of and he is now extremely controversial. I don't know if there are any more khenpos in the pipeline (I know one young guy who might become a khenpo but it is too early to tell yet). Since most Tibetan Buddhists don't become lineage holders this would be the general standard to meet in the Tibetan Buddhist world: are there numerous Western khenpos? Then very much secondarily are the Western tulkus succeeding? Then thirdly are Westerners showing signs at death of liberation (Alan Wallace's famous extreme sign of liberation - are Westerners attaining rainbow body yet).

Probably the Japanese Vajrayana will produce acknowledged Western leaders first because they have a real program to do so. The Tibetan approach is a bit too laissez-fair in a sense and there aren't so many resources for Western khenpos even now. Adding to that the usual Western (or at least US) approach is yogic not scholarly. So it may still take several generations for Tibetan Buddhism in the West to start producing a stream of khenpos. People think that it's amazing that Tibetan Buddhism has produced a few hundred monks and nuns (many of whom are doing great things).

Kirt
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Re: Rebel Buddha: On The Road To Freedom

Postby heart » Thu Dec 02, 2010 6:12 pm

Yeshe D. wrote:
heart wrote:Buddhism is not a work in progress. Buddhism is a all about preserving the path the Buddha taught, not improving it, changing it in any way.

Sorry, but I would suggest that this is only partially accurate. One can have faith without throwing one's intellect out the window.

The historical "Buddha," i.e. the śramaṇa Gautama, didn't have any association whatsoever with most of what now is being taught in his name. All of the early Indian bodhisattvayāna and mahāyāna communities were reform movements attempting to breathe new life into the institutional Buddhism of their day. The same is true for the Indian siddha movements. In all of these instances they added new path structures and teachings, while still preserving the mainstream elements.


So you know exactly what the Buddha taught and to who he taught it exactly how?

heart wrote:But all these lineages of these methods are similarly very preserving and normally trace the the lineage of their particular method back to the Buddha or an other person that attained enlightenment.

And every lineage of every Mahāyāna sect which traces its lineage back to the historical Buddha is 100% mythical.


Well from your superior western intellectual point of view I am sure that is true. What and what not the Buddha taught is however not the question here only the fact that Buddhism always consider itself as a preserving Religion. It doesn't really matter which tradition you are talking about. It is the part that instantly get lost in translation in the so called American Buddhism.

/magnus
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Re: Rebel Buddha: On The Road To Freedom

Postby Chaz » Thu Dec 02, 2010 6:45 pm

heart wrote:What and what not the Buddha taught is however not the question here only the fact that Buddhism always consider itself as a preserving Religion.



Really? I'd never heard of Buddhism being called a "preserving religion" until you used that term a few posts back. I've heard it called a "science of mind". In fact to bring this back to DPR and Rebel Buddha, Rinpoche reguraly refers to Buddhism as that - a "Genuine Science of Mind" (to quote him). I've never heard him, or any other teacher refer to Buddhism as a "preserving religion". I've not read that anywhere, either, but then I haven't read everything.

So, who calls it that? Besides you of course.
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Re: Rebel Buddha: On The Road To Freedom

Postby kirtu » Thu Dec 02, 2010 7:04 pm

Chaz wrote:
heart wrote:What and what not the Buddha taught is however not the question here only the fact that Buddhism always consider itself as a preserving Religion.


So, who calls it that? Besides you of course.


All the Tibetan Buddhist lineages. Magnus does not seem to be a native English speaker but in fact all the Tibetan Buddhist lineages and virtually all Buddhist lineages claim to be an unbroken lineage going back to Shakyamuni Buddha that have preserved his teaching or have kept his teaching intact. It's one of the central claims of most Buddhist schools and certainly all Tibetan Buddhist schools.

Kirt
Last edited by kirtu on Thu Dec 02, 2010 8:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rebel Buddha: On The Road To Freedom

Postby justsit » Thu Dec 02, 2010 7:39 pm

Dr. Karl Brunnholzl has just recently received his Khenpo degree.

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Re: Rebel Buddha: On The Road To Freedom

Postby kirtu » Thu Dec 02, 2010 7:47 pm

justsit wrote:Dr. Karl Brunnholzl has just recently received his Khenpo degree.

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:woohoo: :rolling: :namaste:
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Re: Rebel Buddha: On The Road To Freedom

Postby justsit » Thu Dec 02, 2010 7:51 pm

Yes, :twothumbsup: for sure.
Karl is brilliant, personable, witty, humble...and tall. Very tall. :tongue:

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Re: Rebel Buddha: On The Road To Freedom

Postby Jnana » Thu Dec 02, 2010 8:45 pm

kirtu wrote:All the Tibetan Buddhist lineages. Magnus does not seem to be a native English speaking but in fact all the Tibetan Buddhist lineages and virtually all Buddhist lineages claim to be an unbroken lineage going back to Shakyamuni Buddha that have preserved his teaching or have kept his teaching intact. It's one of the central claims of most Buddhist schools and certainly all Tibetan Buddhist schools.

And they are mythological claims with no historical veracity whatsoever. This doesn't mean that the bodhisattvayāna(s) aren't valuable or efficacious. The bodhisattvayāna(s) developed to meet the needs of different groups of people at different times. And in some of the earliest textual remnants we can clearly see a desire to return to the ascetic path initiated by the śramaṇa Gautama.

The siddha communities also developed to meet the needs of different people at a different time. And I'd suggest that it's quite questionable whether any of the vajrayāna has ever been (or indeed could ever be) successfully maintained via an unbroken lineage of awakened human beings. Again, this doesn't mean that the vajrayāna isn't valuable or efficacious, only that awakening is rare in this world and can't be institutionalized.
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Re: Rebel Buddha: On The Road To Freedom

Postby Jnana » Thu Dec 02, 2010 8:52 pm

heart wrote:So you know exactly what the Buddha taught and to who he taught it exactly how?

The basis of what he taught has been preserved in the Pāḷi Nikāyas and the Sanskrit Āgamas. The basic dharma that was inspired by him is all there.
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Re: Rebel Buddha: On The Road To Freedom

Postby kirtu » Thu Dec 02, 2010 9:09 pm

Yeshe D. wrote:
kirtu wrote:All the Tibetan Buddhist lineages. Magnus does not seem to be a native English speaking but in fact all the Tibetan Buddhist lineages and virtually all Buddhist lineages claim to be an unbroken lineage going back to Shakyamuni Buddha that have preserved his teaching or have kept his teaching intact. It's one of the central claims of most Buddhist schools and certainly all Tibetan Buddhist schools.

And they are mythological claims ....


They are mythological claims and all the Tibetan Buddhist lineages and most other Buddhist lineages as well make this claim ....


.... with no historical veracity whatsoever.


Well historicity means (or can mean) different things .... people have discussed Zen Buddhisms claims of an unbroekn lineage going back to Shakyamuni for example. Daido Roshi said that claim didn't actually matter in the long run ....

It seems clear that the history the transmission of Buddhism to Tibet is a serious matter to Tibetans yet they permit visionary transmission (and not just Nyingmapas).

And in some of the earliest textual remnants we can clearly see a desire to return to the ascetic path initiated by the śramaṇa Gautama.


Where is this from?

The siddha communities also developed to meet the needs of different people at a different time.


Well the siddha tradition is a source of controversy. There is no real history of the siddha tradition for example. We just know that Shakyamuni Buddha originally embraced the siddha life so it was likely long established prior to him (i.e. it wasn't a recent development during his time).

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Re: Rebel Buddha: On The Road To Freedom

Postby kirtu » Thu Dec 02, 2010 9:11 pm

Yeshe D. wrote:
heart wrote:So you know exactly what the Buddha taught and to who he taught it exactly how?

The basis of what he taught has been preserved in the Pāḷi Nikāyas and the Sanskrit Āgamas. The basic dharma that was inspired by him is all there.


Well sure but in the Vajrayana Shakyamuni is said to have taught Mahayana at essentially the same time that he taught the Hinayana teachings and he is also said to have taught the Vajrayana to a small number of people.

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Re: Rebel Buddha: On The Road To Freedom

Postby Chaz » Thu Dec 02, 2010 9:33 pm

kirtu wrote:
Chaz wrote:
heart wrote:What and what not the Buddha taught is however not the question here only the fact that Buddhism always consider itself as a preserving Religion.


So, who calls it that? Besides you of course.


All the Tibetan Buddhist lineages. Magnus does not seem to be a native English speaker but in fact all the Tibetan Buddhist lineages and virtually all Buddhist lineages claim to be an unbroken lineage going back to Shakyamuni Buddha that have preserved his teaching or have kept his teaching intact. It's one of the central claims of most Buddhist schools and certainly all Tibetan Buddhist schools.

Kirt


I'm not saying the various lineages haven;t preserved the Buddha's teachings to one degree or another. They obviously have.

I guess where I start having problems is when it's said:

It's one of the central claims of most Buddhist schools and certainly all Tibetan Buddhist schools.
(emphasis mine)

I've never heard preservation to be a "central" claim of any Buddhist school. And to be fair to the topic at hand, I've never heard DPR say that about Nalandabodhi in particular or the Karma Kagyu gererally. He did found the Nitartha Institute whose purpose is to preserve genuine teachings, do translations, educate and so on, but Nitartha is not officially a branch of any school or tradition.

Preservation is certainly a function, but a "central" claim? Sorry man, but I just can't go there with ya.
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Re: Rebel Buddha: On The Road To Freedom

Postby Jnana » Thu Dec 02, 2010 9:36 pm

kirtu wrote:
Yeshe D. wrote:And in some of the earliest textual remnants we can clearly see a desire to return to the ascetic path initiated by the śramaṇa Gautama.


Where is this from?

For example:

Boucher, Daniel. Bodhisattvas of the Forest and the Formation of the Mahāyāna: A Study and Translation of the Rāṣṭrapālaparipṛcchā-sūtra. University of Hawaii Press, 2008.

Nattier, Jan. A Few Good Men: The Bodhisattva Path According to the Inquiry of Ugra (Ugraparipṛcchā). University of Hawaii Press, 2005.

Ray, Reginald A. Buddhist Saints in India: A Study in Buddhist Values and Orientations. Oxford University Press, 1999.

Silk, Jonathan. The Origin and Early History of the Mahāratnakūṭa Tradition of Mahāyāna Buddhism With A Study of the Ratnarāśisūtra and Related Materials. Doctoral Dissertation, 1994.


The siddha communities also developed to meet the needs of different people at a different time.


Well the siddha tradition is a source of controversy. There is no real history of the siddha tradition for example. We just know that Shakyamuni Buddha originally embraced the siddha life so it was likely long established prior to him (i.e. it wasn't a recent development during his time).

By "siddha communities" I mean the vajrayāna siddhas of the second half of the first century CE, not the śramaṇa community initiated by Gautama Buddha ~1000 years earlier.
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Re: Rebel Buddha: On The Road To Freedom

Postby heart » Thu Dec 02, 2010 9:48 pm

Chaz wrote:So, who calls it that? Besides you of course.


Doesn't really matter if someone else use the same words or not.

/magnus
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Re: Rebel Buddha: On The Road To Freedom

Postby kirtu » Thu Dec 02, 2010 9:51 pm

Chaz wrote:Preservation is certainly a function, but a "central" claim? Sorry man, but I just can't go there with ya.


By central claim I mean that I have never heard a Tibetan Buddhist lama not say at one time or another that the Tibetan Buddhist lineages preserve or hold or maintain the teachings going back to Shakyamuni Buddha. And some teachers tend to sort of make a big deal out of this (but not all) and insist that all three vehicles of liberation were preserved unchanged in Tibet.

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