Myth in Buddhism

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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby shel » Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:47 pm

Namgyal wrote:
shel wrote:enlightened Guru's don't actually pin-down anyone. People (and their inner rats) go to Guru's by choice and may flee at any time

If you are able to flee then of course you cannot be pinned down.
:namaste:


Par for the course, the pinned down student is more myth making.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Namgyal » Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:55 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:Just coz it doesn't work for you... You are making the mistake of generalizing from your personal experiences.Don't get me wrong, I believe that a teacher is 100% essential (especially for the Vajrayana) and that sometimes it is necessary for them to be tough (if a student is being physical, then I may even agree that the teacher should apply physical discipline, in a retreat situation for example) but it is not correct to generalise so widely.

To counter the notion that teachers are inessential, I have admittedly been using an extreme argument, based on my own experience. Since I am extremely recalcitrant, the medicine that I was prescribed was equally severe. For good-natured folk such treatment is unnecessary.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Indrajala » Fri Apr 12, 2013 6:03 pm

Namgyal wrote:To counter the notion that teachers are inessential, I have admittedly been using an extreme argument, based on my own experience. Since I am extremely recalcitrant, the medicine that I was prescribed was equally severe. For good-natured folk such treatment is unnecessary.
:namaste:


My point has always been in this discussion that teachers are not a prerequisite for liberation. That means you can become liberated and free from suffering with or without a master. Some people are best disciplined by a superior, perhaps, but I won't say it is a prerequisite for liberation to occur.

In any case, it is a multi-life process where your teacher in this life might be your student later on. We all form karmic bonds with our fellow practitioners and relationships inevitably change over the course of lifetimes.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Fri Apr 12, 2013 6:04 pm

Namgyal wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:If they are not simply a figment of our imagination, then show me their essence. Again you cannot...

'The Five Pure Lights give rise to the five great powers or energies. The white pure light gives rise to the power of compassion; the green pure light gives rise to the power of peace; the red pure light gives rise to the power of depth; the blue pure light gives rise to the power of generosity; the yellow pure light gives rise to the power of wisdom.' (Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche.)


Still, outside of the mind (the imagination) where are all these powers....um.....rising?
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Fri Apr 12, 2013 6:20 pm

Huseng wrote: My point has always been in this discussion that teachers are not a prerequisite for liberation. That means you can become liberated and free from suffering with or without a master. Some people are best disciplined by a superior, perhaps, but I won't say it is a prerequisite for liberation to occur.


It is, of course, theoretically possible, although very rare
that a person can attain perfect liberation from the causes of suffering
in one lifetime, without a teacher.
Your argument (referring to your original post)
is that some kind of "dharma transmission" isn't required for liberation/realization,
and that the established idea that it is required needs to be challenged.
It may not be a prerequisite
but that still doesn't mean that "dharma transmission" as variously defined, isn't valid,
or as you say, just a myth.

As far as what qualifies as "prerequisite", "teacher" and so forth
perhaps anything that occurs prior to realization can be included
in an interdependently-arising world.
I don't think you can find many examples of people who are self-realized without some kind of teacher.
So, even though it may not be entirely impossible,
it is a moot point, meaning for all purposes, not applicable to anyone's situation.

For example, in vajrayana it is taught that
your enemies, and those who cause you anguish in some way
are often your best teachers, because they test your patience, compassion, generosity, etc.
It is rare that any of these qualities develops on their own, untested, unpracticed.

A good teacher teaches a student how to regard everything as a teacher.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Sherlock » Fri Apr 12, 2013 7:03 pm

Huseng's point is that you can regard the Dharma that Shakyamuni Buddha left behind as a complete "teacher" in itself. Those are his words speaking to us through the centuries.

This is not a new idea in any surviving tradition of Buddhism -- I don't know about other teachers but my Tibetan teachers quite straightforwardly say you don't need any teacher to practise sutrayana. Can a teacher be helpful? Certainly, but it is not necessary.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby pueraeternus » Fri Apr 12, 2013 7:21 pm

Sherlock wrote:Huseng's point is that you can regard the Dharma that Shakyamuni Buddha left behind as a complete "teacher" in itself. Those are his words speaking to us through the centuries.

This is not a new idea in any surviving tradition of Buddhism -- I don't know about other teachers but my Tibetan teachers quite straightforwardly say you don't need any teacher to practise sutrayana. Can a teacher be helpful? Certainly, but it is not necessary.


Indeed. "Those who see the Dharma, sees me". "Be a light upon yourself". These are quite clear indications that dharma practitioners are to be rather independent, though this does not detract from the importance of support from kalyanamitras.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby pueraeternus » Fri Apr 12, 2013 7:24 pm

plwk wrote:Thanks plwk. It is a little different from what I read before. The version I read didn't mention the committing suicide and apparitional visitation by the Buddha after he was expelled. But it is probably derived from a common source.
See this & this then...[/quote]

Hmm, they do exhibit variances. I still have a nagging feeling that it might be a different Bhikkhu I was thinking of. I will report if I come across it again.
When I set out to lead humanity along my Golden Path I promised a lesson their bones would remember. I know a profound pattern humans deny with words even while their actions affirm it. They say they seek security and quiet, conditions they call peace. Even as they speak, they create seeds of turmoil and violence.

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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Namgyal » Fri Apr 12, 2013 7:38 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:I don't think you can find many examples of people who are self-realized without some kind of teacher. So, even though it may not be entirely impossible, it is a moot point, meaning for all purposes, not applicable to anyone's situation.

:good:
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Indrajala » Fri Apr 12, 2013 7:43 pm

Sherlock wrote:This is not a new idea in any surviving tradition of Buddhism -- I don't know about other teachers but my Tibetan teachers quite straightforwardly say you don't need any teacher to practise sutrayana. Can a teacher be helpful? Certainly, but it is not necessary.


I think this leads many people to think the sūtric approach inferior and deficient as a result of not requiring a teacher, whereas Vajrayāna explicitly requires a guru and moreover promises rapid progress to those who steadfastly practice and keep their samaya commitments. If you accept all of this, then clearly having a teacher is not only necessary, but only sensible if the alternative is the apparently very slow and deficient "sūtrayāna".

Still, it comes down to belief that Vajrayāna will produce the qualities in you as promised. I don't deny this is possible, but I think that such teachings are really only applicable to a few individuals (and they're not the type of people who would discuss it online).

A lot of Vajrayāna practitioners I've met are emotionally and sometimes mentally unstable. They don't display much of the qualities they are supposed to be shooting for. The promise of quick power and desired stability are perhaps what motivate them towards strong devotion. You rely on your guru and their teachings, and you hopefully get what you are seeking, even if you have to convince yourself that it really is working (the whole confirmation bias ties in with this).

The promise of a quick solution and great subsequent power speaks to one's survival instincts in a subtle way.

The alternative of being an "island onto yourself" is perhaps terrifying. You have to be autonomous, make your own decisions and move forward into unknown territory of the mind without the comfort of a companion instructor. You need to read the material yourself, digest it all and make a sound judgement based on your own experience. You don't get to defer to your teacher with the assumption that they know what's best or that they're enlightened hence will only ever give good advice.

No, you're on your own.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby dzogchungpa » Fri Apr 12, 2013 7:48 pm

Sara H wrote:
Karma Dorje wrote:Yes, because the Gelukpa are alone among the Tibetan schools in positing that through reason alone one can become enlightened.


If that's true, that explains a lot about the Dalai Lama.

Sara

Like what?
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.
To accept both these contradictory facts is to be perfect.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Namgyal » Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:12 pm

shel wrote:
Namgyal wrote:
shel wrote:enlightened Guru's don't actually pin-down anyone. People (and their inner rats) go to Guru's by choice and may flee at any time

If you are able to flee then of course you cannot be pinned down.
:namaste:

Par for the course, the pinned down student is more myth making.

Every year at a certain time all the water in the world becomes mysteriously non-toxic, one could even swim inside Chernobyl with no ill-effects. A Tibetan Lama told me this once to illustrate the fact that even enlightened Buddhas don't understand everything. So if you think that you have the measure of things Shel, you are mistaken. You should think carefully before scoffing at others so readily.
:namaste:
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby pueraeternus » Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:47 pm

Namgyal wrote:Every year at a certain time all the water in the world becomes mysteriously non-toxic, one could even swim inside Chernobyl with no ill-effects. A Tibetan Lama told me this once to illustrate the fact that even enlightened Buddhas don't understand everything. So if you think that you have the measure of things Shel, you are mistaken. You should think carefully before scoffing at others so readily.
:namaste:


Can you share more info about this?
When I set out to lead humanity along my Golden Path I promised a lesson their bones would remember. I know a profound pattern humans deny with words even while their actions affirm it. They say they seek security and quiet, conditions they call peace. Even as they speak, they create seeds of turmoil and violence.

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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby shel » Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:53 pm

Namgyal wrote:So if you think that you have the measure of things Shel, you are mistaken. You should think carefully before scoffing at others so readily.
:namaste:

Who's scoffing, I'm all ears, and I assume that you know what you're talking about. So, metaphorically speaking, what does the enlightened Guru do with the nasty rat? Do they kill it? Do they tame it? what?
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Namgyal » Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:58 pm

pueraeternus wrote:Can you share more info about this?

I'm not even supposed to have said this; my blasted computer crashed as I was trying to delete it. Anyway, thats all I know...the cosmos apparently has its own wierd mysteries, which are beyond even the wisest of sages.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Namgyal » Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:05 pm

shel wrote:what does the enlightened Guru do with the nasty rat? Do they kill it? Do they tame it? what?

They forcefully untie as many psychic knots as possible, and then they release it.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby shel » Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:16 pm

Namgyal wrote:
shel wrote:what does the enlightened Guru do with the nasty rat? Do they kill it? Do they tame it? what?

They forcefully untie as many psychic knots as possible, and then they release it.


I didn't know psychic knots resided in the ego. I imagine this is done with some kind of psychic connection and power, fascinating.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Sara H » Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:35 pm

pueraeternus wrote: Huseng is under no obligation to tell anyone here who his master is and which school he belongs to if he didn't feel like sharing that info.

I agree, which is why I said so:
Sara H wrote: It's one thing to decline to answer, -that's ok.

I wasn't taking issue with his right to decline to answer,
I was taking issue with his choice to chose try to redirect the truth in order to do so.
Sara H wrote:It's another thing to give a dishonest or misleading answer, or answer in a way that is not accurate to the perspective and question asked.


We can decline to answer and still practice Right Speech.
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:46 pm

Huseng wrote:The promise of a quick solution and great subsequent power speaks to one's survival instincts in a subtle way.
None of my teachers has ever spoken about "quick solutions" and "power", just bodhicitta and compassion.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby shel » Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:55 pm

Sara H wrote:I was taking issue with his choice to chose try to redirect the truth in order to do so.


Redirecting a truth is not lying. Some might call it being tactful.
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