Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby smcj » Sun Oct 20, 2013 1:25 am

If samsara is meaningless, so is life.

Samsaric life is meaningless. The meditation on death makes that clear. If something is trivialized by death, it has no lasting meaning. However your Dharma practice is cumulative from life to life. So there is something about this life that isn't trivialized by death.

There is also a divine justice to life, regardless of whether we see it that way or not. The law of karma, spread out over lifetimes, is demonstrating that truth to us all the time. Our suffering comes from our karma, which comes from our actions, which comes from our unawareness. So suffering is our unawareness. It is how the universe gets our attention, and tells us there is something that we must do.

In Tibetan practice we often times beseech the buddhas to not pass into nirvana. Why is this so? Because from their perspective they can see that the Truth is eternal, and that everything in the manifest world is showing the way to that Truth. Advanced practitioners can see the world as their guru, and ultimately this is the way it really is.

The meaning of life is to go from the visible and superficial, which is suffering, to the invisible and essential, which is nirvana. We are already "it", since it is eternal. It is what the universe is about.

What does Dzogchen say about the basis? Malcolm agreed with my teacher when he said, "Not an atom in the universe vibrates that isn't powered by love." Dharma practice isn't trying to find comfort in a cold heartless universe. It is walking the path of fulfilling the potential of the human spirit, which in turn is itself the essence of the universe.

The universe is not a cold mechanistic place, and life is full of meaning. And even an illiterate tibetan villager knows it.
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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby conebeckham » Sun Oct 20, 2013 3:56 am

I understand the theoretical basis, the conceptual position people take, in support of the statement "No meaning in Life." But I have to say that, in my life, in my practice, there is some sense of purpose. Even in abiding in Ordinary Mind, I find an impetus to "do" or "help." Some sense of compassion. Perhaps this isn't a "purpose," per se.....

Perhaps that's my imperfect understanding.
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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby JKhedrup » Sun Oct 20, 2013 6:43 am

The suffering of samsara itself is the meaning of life in a way, because the suffering one experiences can be channeled to develop the mind of renunciation - the wish "get out"
The suffering of others is what enables us to cultivate the compassion and eventually bodhicitta necessary to work towards the Mahayana goal of enlightenment "for the sake of sentient beings."
I would say that the meaning of life in a more broad Mahayana context is service to others. In HH Dalai Lama's presentation of "warm-heartedndess", that service doesn't necessarily have to be religious in context. It can be a small kindness, a warm smile, an offer help.
In a family situation if one practices skilfully there are many opportunities, especially with children, to practice patience, generosity and placing the concern of others first. Family life also includes some challenges for spiritual practice though- especially in terms of less time, resources and energy for "formal" practice. But there are examples, including historically, of great practitioners who made it work.
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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby heart » Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:12 am

Malcolm wrote:
You need to read the Pali suttas.


I find them rather boring, to tell you the truth. No wander that I get excited by the idea of some Mahayana sutras being just as ancient as the Pali suttas. :smile:
I practice Dzogchen and so for me the ultimate intention of the nine yanas are simply the realization of the natural state. That is also why they all have great benefit to practice. This point of view is of course ignoring the nine yanas own efforts to posit a ultimate goal and all the polemics that go with that as well as the constantly growing numbers of bodhisattva bumis and so on. In the natural state both samsara and nirvana self-liberate and so Shakyamuni's intention is fulfilled and anyone capable of that are inseparable from him like Garab Dorje, Guru Rinpoche and Vimalamitra. This is also why Shakyamuni is one of the Dzogchen Buddhas.

/magnus
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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby oushi » Sun Oct 20, 2013 10:41 am

No meaning is the great meaning.
It isn't hard to see how mind strives for meaning, how it desires it greatly, and is willing to suffer for it.
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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby Malcolm » Sun Oct 20, 2013 1:22 pm

smcj wrote:
What does Dzogchen say about the basis? Malcolm agreed with my teacher when he said, "Not an atom in the universe vibrates that isn't powered by love." Dharma practice isn't trying to find comfort in a cold heartless universe. It is walking the path of fulfilling the potential of the human spirit, which in turn is itself the essence of the universe.

The universe is not a cold mechanistic place, and life is full of meaning. And even an illiterate tibetan villager knows it.


The universe is a cold place. We seek comfort in our religions, politics, and so on, much like ants seek comfort in ant hills, more or less completely unaware of anything external to their world unless it threatens them.

If there is meaning to life, as I said above, it is only because that meaning is imputed upon it. Even attaining buddhahood is in reality meaningless. Even saving sentient beings is meaningless. If you want it to have meaning, that's ok. But in the end, when we are all dead and buried (within the next 20-60 years) most of us will not even be remembered. We will not remember our past life. We will not remember having decided to follow Buddhadharma. Some of us might no even be human beings anymore.

We are indeed free of teleological meaningfulness. I prefer to leave such concepts to Hegel and his lot.
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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby Malcolm » Sun Oct 20, 2013 1:42 pm

heart wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
You need to read the Pali suttas.


I find them rather boring, to tell you the truth. No wander that I get excited by the idea of some Mahayana sutras being just as ancient as the Pali suttas. :smile:
I practice Dzogchen and so for me the ultimate intention of the nine yanas are simply the realization of the natural state. That is also why they all have great benefit to practice. This point of view is of course ignoring the nine yanas own efforts to posit a ultimate goal and all the polemics that go with that as well as the constantly growing numbers of bodhisattva bumis and so on. In the natural state both samsara and nirvana self-liberate and so Shakyamuni's intention is fulfilled and anyone capable of that are inseparable from him like Garab Dorje, Guru Rinpoche and Vimalamitra. This is also why Shakyamuni is one of the Dzogchen Buddhas.

/magnus


Yes, the Pali suttas are rather dry. One of the reasons is that they are NOT literary compositions. They reflect the extemporaneous speech of the Buddha. The themes covered are limited, oft repeated and formulaic.

Let me give an example. You can listen to any DC webcast. I guarantee you that on the first day Norbu Rinpoche will say x, y and z. He often states these things in virtually identical phrases. The Pali canon is like that -- it is an oral record of what the historical Buddha actually said.

Mahāyāna sutras are often quite interesting, because they are literary compositions intended for audiences with specific religious goals in mind. They sometimes emulate repetition, but they are not mnemonically repetitive in same way that Pali suttas are. Thus, they should not be confused with what the historical Buddha said.

The Mahāyāna Buddha is not a historical buddha by any accepted standard of historiography. Chogyal Namkhai Norbu writes on the birth date of sTon pa Shen rab: "...and since history must be studied in congruence with ordinary human perception, I prefer not to base myself on these traditions" (Drung, Deu and Bon, pg. 156). I suggest we should apply no less a rigorous standard to the study of all Buddhist texts and traditions than we do to the study of Bon and other religious traditions, and also judge them in concert with ordinary human perception.

Whatever the Buddha of Mahāyāna and Vajrayāna may mean to us personally is not relevant to what we can know about Mahāyāna sūtras through careful text critical study and archaeological finds and it is better to keep the two separate. I understand that in some people this creates a cognitive dissonance, and they feel they have to choose one or the other. I don't have that problem -- who knows, maybe it is a result of practicing years of creation stage.
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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby dzogchungpa » Sun Oct 20, 2013 2:04 pm

Malcolm wrote:If there is meaning to life, as I said above, it is only because that meaning is imputed upon it...

I understand where you are coming from, but I don't think such a statement can really be established without doing a lot of work to clarify what is meant, and even then I doubt it could really be shown conslusively. Do you mean that this is what Buddhism says. or is it just your opinion or what? From what I have read of the Pali suttas I can't imagine that the Buddha as depicted in those texts would have assented to your statement.
ཨོཾ་མ་ཧཱ་ཤུནྱ་ཏཱ་ཛྙཱ་ན་བཛྲ་སྭཱ་བྷཱ་བ་ཨཱཏྨ་ཀོ་྅ཧཾ༔

The thousands of lines of the Prajnaparamita can be summed up in the following two sentences:
1) One should become a Bodhisattva (or, Buddha-to-be), i.e. one who is content with nothing less than all-knowledge attained through the perfection of wisdom for the sake of all beings.
2) There is no such thing as a Bodhisattva, or as all-knowledge, or as a ‘being’, or as the perfection of wisdom, or as an attainment.
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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby KonchokZoepa » Sun Oct 20, 2013 2:20 pm

Pero wrote:
KonchokZoepa wrote:i would say life has no intrinsic meaning also... but it has a meaning if you give it a meaning.

Yes.
dzogchungpa wrote:
Malcolm wrote:If there is meaning to life, as I said above, it is only because that meaning is imputed upon it...

I understand where you are coming from, but I don't think such a statement can really be established without doing a lot of work to clarify what is meant, and even then I doubt it could really be shown conslusively. Do you mean that this is what Buddhism says. or is it just your opinion or what? From what I have read of the Pali suttas I can't imagine that the Buddha as depicted in those texts would have assented to your statement.


i think this was covered, and i want to add that this is a logical conclusion what malcolm said, if life has meaning , it is only because it is imputed upon it.

and pero also in the previous page gave very good logical argument why it is so.
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby KonchokZoepa » Sun Oct 20, 2013 2:21 pm

Pero wrote:For there to be a meaning of life it would mean that all is happening according to some design (this found in other religions, God is the designer). But there is no grand design in Buddhism.

In other words, if liberating all sentient beings was the meaning of life it would mean life sprung up in order for liberating of sentient beings to occur.
Whereas having a motivation in one's own life to liberate all beings comes from oneself and is not an underlying cause of life in general.



this.
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby KonchokZoepa » Sun Oct 20, 2013 2:23 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
Malcolm wrote:If there is meaning to life, as I said above, it is only because that meaning is imputed upon it...

I understand where you are coming from, but I don't think such a statement can really be established without doing a lot of work to clarify what is meant, and even then I doubt it could really be shown conslusively. Do you mean that this is what Buddhism says. or is it just your opinion or what? From what I have read of the Pali suttas I can't imagine that the Buddha as depicted in those texts would have assented to your statement.


then what do you think buddha would have said about this argument? i think what malcolm said is only logical, doesnt have to be particurlary a buddhist conclusion or world view. it is simple logic and seeing clearly.
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby heart » Sun Oct 20, 2013 3:01 pm

Malcolm wrote:
heart wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
You need to read the Pali suttas.


I find them rather boring, to tell you the truth. No wander that I get excited by the idea of some Mahayana sutras being just as ancient as the Pali suttas. :smile:
I practice Dzogchen and so for me the ultimate intention of the nine yanas are simply the realization of the natural state. That is also why they all have great benefit to practice. This point of view is of course ignoring the nine yanas own efforts to posit a ultimate goal and all the polemics that go with that as well as the constantly growing numbers of bodhisattva bumis and so on. In the natural state both samsara and nirvana self-liberate and so Shakyamuni's intention is fulfilled and anyone capable of that are inseparable from him like Garab Dorje, Guru Rinpoche and Vimalamitra. This is also why Shakyamuni is one of the Dzogchen Buddhas.

/magnus


Yes, the Pali suttas are rather dry. One of the reasons is that they are NOT literary compositions. They reflect the extemporaneous speech of the Buddha. The themes covered are limited, oft repeated and formulaic.

Let me give an example. You can listen to any DC webcast. I guarantee you that on the first day Norbu Rinpoche will say x, y and z. He often states these things in virtually identical phrases. The Pali canon is like that -- it is an oral record of what the historical Buddha actually said.

Mahāyāna sutras are often quite interesting, because they are literary compositions intended for audiences with specific religious goals in mind. They sometimes emulate repetition, but they are not mnemonically repetitive in same way that Pali suttas are. Thus, they should not be confused with what the historical Buddha said.

The Mahāyāna Buddha is not a historical buddha by any accepted standard of historiography. Chogyal Namkhai Norbu writes on the birth date of sTon pa Shen rab: "...and since history must be studied in congruence with ordinary human perception, I prefer not to base myself on these traditions" (Drung, Deu and Bon, pg. 156). I suggest we should apply no less a rigorous standard to the study of all Buddhist texts and traditions than we do to the study of Bon and other religious traditions, and also judge them in concert with ordinary human perception.

Whatever the Buddha of Mahāyāna and Vajrayāna may mean to us personally is not relevant to what we can know about Mahāyāna sūtras through careful text critical study and archaeological finds and it is better to keep the two separate. I understand that in some people this creates a cognitive dissonance, and they feel they have to choose one or the other. I don't have that problem -- who knows, maybe it is a result of practicing years of creation stage.


Not sure I get what "years of practicing the creation stage" got to do with it? Anyway, I am aware of this idea about the Pali suttas, but my gut feeling is that they are just as constructed as the Mahayana sutras perhaps even more constructed. The heart sutra seems a much more powerful way to preserve an idea, even if that teaching didn't exactly happen like that. Mahyana sutras being found among the texts of a Shravaka sect quite interesting and hints at the possibility that Hinayana and Mahayana might not have been so distant from each other originally.

/magnus
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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby Indrajala » Sun Oct 20, 2013 3:19 pm

Malcolm wrote:Whatever the Buddha of Mahāyāna and Vajrayāna may mean to us personally is not relevant to what we can know about Mahāyāna sūtras through careful text critical study and archaeological finds and it is better to keep the two separate. I understand that in some people this creates a cognitive dissonance, and they feel they have to choose one or the other. I don't have that problem -- who knows, maybe it is a result of practicing years of creation stage.


I strongly agree.

I don't see a contradiction either.

The historical development of Buddhism is traced via a methodology based on a more common, mundane ontology. This is a fine perspective and quite fruitful.

However, the forces at work behind that development in the mental and spiritual realms are things academic analysis cannot address.

Thus there is no problem with saying the later Mahāyāna works are not the direct words of Śākyamuni Buddha, but they are still the words of a buddha, i.e., the sambhogakāya.
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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby smcj » Sun Oct 20, 2013 4:14 pm

If there is meaning to life, as I said above, it is only because that meaning is imputed upon it.

This is an existential/nihilistic perspective. The emotional complexities that result from it are what the lamas call "loong", and are a great impediment to the efficacy of our practice. Believing we live in a cold merciless meaningless universe where the only meaning is what we impute on it is a fundamentally frightened way to live. Trying to make things right "on our own terms" is asserting our will in such a way as to be an impediment to receiving blessings.

In terms of Dharma practice that fundamental fear is not the problem. It is assumed by Dharma to be the initial operating spiritual principal in the individual. That is why the initial teachings traditionally are about the hell realms, etc. If people have fears, then direct those fears productively and bring them to Dharma. If that is what motivates them, then motivate them in the right direction. But at some point those fears need to connect to Dharma and need to begin to resolve, which is the stage of "Refuge". Our fears need to begin to be resolved into belief and trust, or as is said more traditionally faith and devotion, which leads to confidence. At the end of the path there are no more fears, and one of the epithets for buddhahood is "The Great Fearlessness". My late teacher was heard to say, "All fully revealed religions start with fear and end with love. Why? Because fear is the initial spiritual condition of all men, and love the ultimate spiritual condition of all men."

In the traditional tibetan culture people feel that they live in a universe where there is a divine justice, and there are loving divinities that are accessible on a functional basis. To them there is an '"Ultimate Truth" and people achieve it on a regular basis. This allows them the maximum opportunity to trust and believe, and not be afraid. On the other hand, existential nihilism, coupled with a society in flux, families in disarray, creates frightened people that cannot trust and have no faith. This is the disadvantage we have in our practices. This is what no lama can ever conceive of, since their worldview cannot allow for it. It is our blind spot that we insist not be disturbed because when our own religion collapsed we rejected all religion, not just our religion.

This is not to say that we have more defilements than a Tibetan. Their anger, greed and such are just as great as ours. It is more like we have a computer virus in our system software that does not allow us to connect properly to the Dharma. Protecting our hearts and minds from hurt by being closed makes sense in a merciless universe. Being open is terrifying, as it allows for the hurts to go even deeper. But if our spiritual practice is to be fruitful we need to allow our spirit out so it can grow. If you want to learn to swim you're going to have to get wet. And just about everyone here knows the pitfalls and failings of the modern Dharma scene. But clearly the teachings guide us towards unconditional trust, faith and devotion. Avoiding the pitfalls of disappointment and betrayal as we learn to lose our fears are the challenges of the modern age.
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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby Malcolm » Sun Oct 20, 2013 4:16 pm

Indrajala wrote: but they are still the words of a buddha, i.e., the sambhogakāya.


That is not even necessary to say.

They are just words that a human being wrote down on a piece of paper reflecting their vision of the Buddha and that is all they are. Attributing them to the sambhogakāya is also a nice tradition, but it is outside the range of ordinary human perception.

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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby futerko » Sun Oct 20, 2013 4:29 pm

smcj wrote:Believing we live in a cold merciless meaningless universe where the only meaning is what we impute on it is a fundamentally frightened way to live.


Does the phrase, "beyond concepts" cause you only fear? I would suggest this is in fact, "a great impediment to the efficacy of our practice", and the cause of these "emotional complexities".
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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby Malcolm » Sun Oct 20, 2013 4:41 pm

smcj wrote:
If there is meaning to life, as I said above, it is only because that meaning is imputed upon it.

This is an existential/nihilistic perspective. The emotional complexities that result from it are what the lamas call "loong", and are a great impediment to the efficacy of our practice.


Sorry my friend, but this is total nonsense. As doctor of Tibetan Medicine I can assure you that among the many causes of rlung disease, this is not one of them. It is also not an impediment to practice, at least, not to my practice.

Believing we live in a cold merciless meaningless universe where the only meaning is what we impute on it is a fundamentally frightened way to live.


No, it is a fearless way to live.

Trying to make things right "on our own terms" is asserting our will in such a way as to be an impediment to receiving blessings.


"Blessings" don't come from outside. They come from dependent origination and realization. That's about it.

In terms of Dharma practice that fundamental fear is not the problem. It is assumed by Dharma to be the initial operating spiritual principal in the individual. That is why the initial teachings traditionally are about the hell realms, etc. If people have fears, then direct those fears productively and bring them to Dharma. But at some point those fears need to connect to Dharma and need to begin to resolve, which is the stage of "Refuge". Our fears need to begin to be resolved into belief and trust, or as is said more traditionally faith and devotion. At the end of the path there are no more fears, and one of the epithets for buddhahood is "The Great Fearlessness". My late teacher was heard to say, "All fully revealed religions start with fear and end with love. Why? Because fear is the initial spiritual condition of all men, and love the ultimate spiritual condition of all men."


When we understand there is no meaning then we are at the end of fear. Fear comes from expectations about fulfilling meaning.

In the traditional tibetan culture people feel that they live in a universe where there is a divine justice, and there are loving divinities that are accessible on a functional basis. To them there is an '"Ultimate Truth" and people achieve it on a regular basis. This allows them the maximum opportunity to trust and believe, and not be afraid. On the other hand, existential nihilism, coupled with a society in flux, families in disarray, creates frightened people that cannot trust and have no faith. This is the disadvantage we have in our practices. This is what no lama can ever conceive of, since their worldview cannot allow for it. It is our blind spot that we insist not be disturbed because when our own religion collapsed we rejected all religion, not just our religion.


Ascertaining that the universe has no intrinsic meaning is not existential nihilism.

Personally, I have no use for religion. I do have a use for personal experience.

There has never been any time in history nor has there ever been a culture where societies were not in flux, where families were not in disarray.

The worldview of some lamas do not allow for many things. I am not confined by the worldview of anyone else. Whether I am confined by my own is something you cannot know, but you can certainly judge it if you like.

This is not to say that we have more defilements than a Tibetan. Their anger, greed and such are just as great as ours. It is more like we have a computer virus in our system software that does not allow us to connect properly to the Dharma.


I do not suffer from any cultural viruses that cut me off from Dharma.

Protecting our hearts and minds from hurt by being closed makes sense in a merciless universe. Being open is terrifying, as it allows for the hurts to go even deeper. But if our spiritual practice is to be fruitful we need to allow our spirit out so it can grow. If you want to learn to swim you're going to have to get wet. And just about everyone here knows the pitfalls and failings of the modern Dharma scene.


In reality, the modern Dharma scene is no better and no worse than it was during the time of the Buddha, with one exception, the Buddha, or so we imagine.

But clearly the teachings guide us towards unconditional trust, faith and devotion.


Sorry, that is not where my path has lead me. It has lead me to unconditional confidence, knowledge and personal experience. I don't really respond well to the trust, faith and devotion thing.

The Buddha taught that we suffer from birth, aging, sickness and death. He taught us how to escape that condition. Later humans elaborated on the Buddha's message and taught the deeper meaning underlying it (i.e. emptiness of inherent existence). Still other humans later on decided that was too extreme and decided that the deeper meaning needed to be augmented by a somewhat more positive message about our condition, and taught tathāgatagarbha. None of this however renders the universe meaningful.

As I have said many times here and elsewhere. "Life has no meaning, but if you are a Dharma practitioner, then life is meaningful." But this is not a declaration of a teleological (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teleology) meaningfulness of the kind you are expressing here. It is also not a declaration of absolute meaningfulness. It is a strictly relative meaningfulness relevant only to humans who can think and judge. It is not a statement about the value of the universe or even the value of a spotted owl. Spotted owls are meaningful to me personally, but they are not ultimately meaningful in anyway.

The universe will perish. Generally speaking we are taught in the Dharma not to impute meaning on the impermanent, the afflicted and identityless. Since even nirvana is identityless, it is a little risky for Dharma practitioners to invest much meaning in it.

The absence of illness is health.
The absence of suffering is bliss.
The absence of meaning is freedom.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
Malcolm
 
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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby smcj » Sun Oct 20, 2013 4:59 pm

Malcolm,

I respect you, and I respect your practice. The point here I am trying to make is that when a tibetan lama makes a generalized comment about westerners that there may be a basis for it. What I've just written is my articulation of what I think it is they see but cannot understand. So we can be annoyed by it all we want, but that does not make it go away.
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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby Malcolm » Sun Oct 20, 2013 5:10 pm

smcj wrote:Malcolm,

I respect you, and I respect your practice. The point here I am trying to make is that when a tibetan lama makes a generalized comment about westerners that there may be a basis for it. What I've just written is my articulation of what I think it is they see but cannot understand. So we can be annoyed by it all we want, but that does not make it go away.



I think we should feel free to make generalized comments about Tibetan lamas too. There might be a basis too. They might be annoyed, but it will not make it go away.

The point I was making was that making the leap from "Western Buddhologists don't believe Buddha taught Mahāyāna (which is effectively what DKR is talking about) to "This is why I doubt the understanding of seasoned Western practitioners". He making a very specious cultural argument, when all is said and done.

Frankly, I like Popper's idea about non-falsifiability. What DKR does not seem to understand is that non-falsifibility is a completely open-ended heuristic. It does not proclaim anything wrong. It merely addresses the limited range of what ordinary humans can see and creates a category of phenomena which are outside of the range of falsifiability.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
Malcolm
 
Posts: 10217
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby Karma Dorje » Sun Oct 20, 2013 5:20 pm

This whole thread has convinced me that DKR is right about the understanding of non-duality of even seasoned Western Buddhists. There is such a yawning gulf in viewpoints from the cold universe posited by some and my own personal experience, I can only marvel that we can listen to the same teachers and come away thinking that we have each understood. This thread has been tremendously illustrative of the power of a Buddha's speech.

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Walter Sobchak: Nihilists! F*** me. I mean, say what you want about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it's an ethos.
Last edited by Karma Dorje on Sun Oct 20, 2013 5:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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