Stick to "one path"?

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Re: Stick to "one path"?

Postby Indrajala » Wed Apr 21, 2010 3:07 pm

Huifeng wrote:
Huseng wrote:
I once explained these sentiments to a Tibetan Bhiksuni who remarked, "It is all well to be a scholar, but you need to stick to one tradition."



Some good posts, above, but coming back to this point from the bhiksuni, I kind of find it rather ironic. After all, there is basically one teaching from the Buddha, how did it end up as various "traditions" in the first place? How many "traditions" around nowadays can be point to, and say that they are a continuous "one tradition"? Probably very few, if any at all. Which means that the very people who set these traditions in motion, themselves never confined themselves to a single "tradition". Rather, most "traditions" are attempts at hermeneutics on a range of other "traditions". So, I find the bhiksunis comments rather ironic, well meaning, but in some ways, a bit naive even.


Venerable Huifeng.

Your wisdom always hits the nail on the head. :anjali:

I imagine one might reply that a certain tradition, like for example one in Tibet, has been refined and established by enlightened masters so the food has been "prepared" and we have only to eat it.

I think that approach might work well for a lot of people. The lot of people are busy with their lives, children, jobs and so on. They don't have time to investigate the various developments of Madhyamaka thought in India and then in Tibet. I don't even think most Buddhists would want to get into broad studies even if their teachers asked them to.

I guess it comes down to the division between dharma-nusarin (wisdom follower) and sroddha-nusarin (faith follower).

If you're the former, you'll probably always want to dig into the details no matter what the later have to say about it.
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Re: Stick to "one path"?

Postby Astus » Wed Apr 21, 2010 4:12 pm

Huseng, indeed! Dogen liked to talk big. :twothumbsup:
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Stick to "one path"?

Postby Indrajala » Wed Apr 21, 2010 4:37 pm

Astus wrote:Huseng, indeed! Dogen liked to talk big. :twothumbsup:


He also severely criticized other sects in Japan in his time. I think we can say he was sectarian.

I'm no expert on him, but from what I've read he didn't really tolerate or appreciate other traditions or thinkers with a few exceptions like Master Eisai. It was his way or no way. Even today some people quote Dogen's word as the golden irrefutable gospel.
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Re: Stick to "one path"?

Postby Astus » Wed Apr 21, 2010 7:40 pm

And it is not pointless at all to critically examine Dogen's teachings as he has such an influence in Western Buddhism (luckily there are quite a few scholarly work around in English). On one hand he says that it is not really Zen, or Soto Zen he teaches but the Correct Dharma of the Buddhas and Patriarchs, while on the other hand others besides him, Nyojo, Wanshi Shogaku and a select few, everyone else is either completely wrong or below enlightenment. Zazen is the samadhi of samadhis, while nenbutsu is like the croaking of frogs. Finally, Dogen seems quite adamant on exclusive practice of the superior shikantaza. Good example of a "one path" approach.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Stick to "one path"

Postby Will » Wed Apr 21, 2010 8:05 pm

In terms of daily practice, Master Hua used to talk about digging for water. If you do not strike water after a few feet, we tend to move on to another spot. Of course water can never be found this way, only by digging deep in one spot. The Dharma fountain can be found by any traditional Buddhist sadhana, with the help of a good guru.

That begs the question of when to decide what lineage to follow. Unless one has a deep & constant attraction for some lineage of practice, then continue to study and examine the vast Dharma field that is now available.

What practice does one do during the time of making up one's mind? If you have no guru, then pick one practice and stay with it for a time; do not change every week for instance.

Once we have some degree of bodhi, then we will see the value in all Dharma traditions and be able to explain such.
Revealing one essence: this means the inherently pure, complete, luminous essence, which is pure of its own nature. -- Fa-tsang
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Re: Stick to "one path"

Postby Huifeng » Thu Apr 22, 2010 2:36 am

Will wrote:In terms of daily practice, Master Hua used to talk about digging for water. If you do not strike water after a few feet, we tend to move on to another spot. Of course water can never be found this way, only by digging deep in one spot. The Dharma fountain can be found by any traditional Buddhist sadhana, with the help of a good guru.

That begs the question of when to decide what lineage to follow. Unless one has a deep & constant attraction for some lineage of practice, then continue to study and examine the vast Dharma field that is now available.

What practice does one do during the time of making up one's mind? If you have no guru, then pick one practice and stay with it for a time; do not change every week for instance.

Once we have some degree of bodhi, then we will see the value in all Dharma traditions and be able to explain such.


This is wise. :good:
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Re: Stick to "one path"

Postby muni » Thu Apr 22, 2010 8:51 am

Will wrote:In terms of daily practice, Master Hua used to talk about digging for water. If you do not strike water after a few feet, we tend to move on to another spot. Of course water can never be found this way, only by digging deep in one spot. The Dharma fountain can be found by any traditional Buddhist sadhana, with the help of a good guru.



Once we have some degree of bodhi, then we will see the value in all Dharma traditions and be able to explain such.

:namaste:

The Buddha understood, then in order to can explain it in different ways to reach others, he turned into delusion, created a solid self standing out of solid world in order to can check the following method or other path. Or he understood and could explain it in many ways.

Many kind of bowls for the soup can be tested, as long as the soup is digested.

No sticking, steal and give it away.
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Re: Stick to "one path"?

Postby Kyosan » Mon Oct 18, 2010 1:22 am

Huseng wrote:In East Asia the following verse is often recited daily:

法門無量誓願學

"Dharma gates without measure I swear to study/practise them all."

How do you interpret this?

Personally, I take it to mean that a Bodhisattva should study, contemplate and master all dharmas. In more specific terms, I take this to mean studying and contemplating all the extensions of the Buddhadharma. The various forms of meditation, the scriptures in various languages, the sayings of all masters and sages from across time and so on.

However, I don't think everyone would agree with this as being the optimal course of action. They might even call it superfluous and counter-productive. It brings to mind the old saying that if a hunter should chase two rabbits he catches nothing.

That being said, however, is the Bodhisattva chasing two things or he is using multiple means to achieve the objective?

I once explained these sentiments to a Tibetan Bhiksuni who remarked, "It is all well to be a scholar, but you need to stick to one tradition."

I suppose from the perspective of Vajrayana that makes sense, but I've heard of plenty of venerable lamas going from tradition to tradition within Tibet. Perhaps she meant sticking to one nationality? There is something of a perception of a "Tibetan tradition" that encompasses everything within the Tibetan cultural sphere despite there being differences in doctrine and practises between the lineages.

What do you think? Is it best to stick to one tradition or lineage and ignore the rest or study and absorb the totality of the Buddhadharma?

The problem is if you are too busy studying all forms of Buddhism you might not have enough time for internal Buddhist practice.

I understand "learning the countless dharma doors" in a different way than you. To me dharma doors don't necessarily mean different forms of Buddhism. Different forms of Buddhism are dharma doors but there are also countless other dharma doors.

Just consider the bodhisattva way. When a bodhisattva teaches a being the Buddha dharma, he/she doesn't teach a fixed dharma but uses expedient ways and tailors the teaching to the individual. He teaches the dharma in a way that the individual can understand and relate to. There are potentially countless different dharma teachings for the potentially countless types of beings. Each one of them can be thought of as a dharma door.

To learn all the dharma doors one needs to have an intuitive understanding of the Buddha dharma. One needs to understand Buddhism well enough to be able interpret the dharma and explain it in countless ways.
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Re: Stick to "one path"?

Postby spiritnoname » Sun Nov 28, 2010 5:22 am

You know,.. this kind of advice,.. "one tradition only",.. it's good for some people and not others.

For instance,.. one yuppy is trying to learn from you, and they keep asking questions about how what you teach relates to some other teacher, or they think something you teach is wrong because another tradition says so,.. then you tell them, " One tradition only". Because they will get no where being so flippant.

But say you have a tulku,.. or someone who is determined to become a skilled and knowledgeable teacher,.. they will be sent to many masters in their life time, they'll learn sutra and tantra, they'll study the Nikayas/Agamas, they'll study Mahayana sutra, they'll progress through all the levels of tantra and receive whatever empowerments and transmissions they need for future students. You don't tell someone like that, "One tradition only". For some tantra, the student needs to know the four schools before hand or they shouldn't be given that tantra.

Say that nun was speaking to the HHDL, HHK, HHST, and so on, would she say, " One tradition only"? I don't think she would, but to average people who don't put much effort, much time, who don't have integrity in their study, she'll say that I'm sure, I would say that too.
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Re: Stick to "one path"?

Postby Will » Sun Nov 28, 2010 3:22 pm

The noble layman Peixiu wrote a commentary on the bodhisattva vows (he gives 5 instead of 4). On the cultivation of many dharma doors he said:

Exhortation to Cultivate Study of the Buddha’s Dharma

Let it be known throughout the Great Community that, whether
Sangha or laity, we should now vow that, from the present life on
until gaining the buddha body, we shall strive to cultivate all of the
dharmas of the Buddhas, exhausting all of the instructional gateways.
Thus, in order to instruct and lead forth beings, we shall gain
a penetrative understanding of the four immeasurable minds,
the six pāramitās, the deep and superficial meanings of Dharma,
cause and effect, existence and non-existence, the two doctrinal lineages
which focus on the “nature” and “dharmic characteristics,”
and the two teachings of “sudden” and “gradual” [enlightenment].
Even though our powers have not yet reached this point, nonetheless
we shall constantly implement this mind so that it remains
continuous in thought-after-thought and is not allowed to be interrupted
or cut off. Are you able to maintain this mind, or not? If one
is able to maintain this [bodhi] resolve, then one will never retreat
from and fail to realize anuttarasamyaksaṃbodhi.


So the purpose of mastering the many aspects of the Buddhadharma is in order to be able help others with all the teachings & realizations available. He says that even though our samadhi-power is too weak now to gain "penetrative understanding", we shall constantly have the motive & attitude and try to master them all.

Quote is from Dharmamitra's translation: http://www.kalavinka.com/kp_book_pages/ ... k_page.htm
Revealing one essence: this means the inherently pure, complete, luminous essence, which is pure of its own nature. -- Fa-tsang
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Re: Stick to "one path"?

Postby LastLegend » Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:57 am

Huseng wrote:In East Asia the following verse is often recited daily:

法門無量誓願學

"Dharma gates without measure I swear to study/practise them all."

How do you interpret this?

Personally, I take it to mean that a Bodhisattva should study, contemplate and master all dharmas. In more specific terms, I take this to mean studying and contemplating all the extensions of the Buddhadharma. The various forms of meditation, the scriptures in various languages, the sayings of all masters and sages from across time and so on.

However, I don't think everyone would agree with this as being the optimal course of action. They might even call it superfluous and counter-productive. It brings to mind the old saying that if a hunter should chase two rabbits he catches nothing.

That being said, however, is the Bodhisattva chasing two things or he is using multiple means to achieve the objective?

I once explained these sentiments to a Tibetan Bhiksuni who remarked, "It is all well to be a scholar, but you need to stick to one tradition."

I suppose from the perspective of Vajrayana that makes sense, but I've heard of plenty of venerable lamas going from tradition to tradition within Tibet. Perhaps she meant sticking to one nationality? There is something of a perception of a "Tibetan tradition" that encompasses everything within the Tibetan cultural sphere despite there being differences in doctrine and practises between the lineages.

What do you think? Is it best to stick to one tradition or lineage and ignore the rest or study and absorb the totality of the Buddhadharma?




Yes stick to one path. For example I only practice Pure Land, and stick to reading only one sutra for a long time about 5 years (this is my goal). Then after that we can study other sutras. So stick to one path is very important, the key to succeed.
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)
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