Transgression, Tantra, Radical vs Conservative Buddhism

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Re: Transgression, Tantra, Radical vs Conservative Buddhism

Postby MalaBeads » Fri Jun 21, 2013 3:22 pm

Nila,

It may be that 'all action is political' but it doesn't have to follow that all politics is action.

:namaste:
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Re: Transgression, Tantra, Radical vs Conservative Buddhism

Postby Nilasarasvati » Fri Jun 21, 2013 3:23 pm

MalaBeads wrote:Nila,

It may be that 'all action is political' but it doesn't have to follow that all politics is action.

:namaste:


Wait what? :shrug:
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Re: Transgression, Tantra, Radical vs Conservative Buddhism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Jun 21, 2013 3:47 pm

smcj wrote:There is no samsaric arrangement or scenario of people, places or things that enacts, fulfills or realizes Dharma.
Really??? So when and where does Dharma get enacted? In heaven/paradise? In the unchanging world of Platonic forms? Seems to render the precious human birth pretty worthless then, doesn't it? Not much point in practicing if it is something beyond here and now.
"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: Transgression, Tantra, Radical vs Conservative Buddhism

Postby MalaBeads » Fri Jun 21, 2013 3:48 pm

Nilasarasvati wrote:
MalaBeads wrote:Nila,

It may be that 'all action is political' but it doesn't have to follow that all politics is action.

:namaste:


Wait what? :shrug:


What are you talking about??
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Re: Transgression, Tantra, Radical vs Conservative Buddhism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Jun 21, 2013 3:53 pm

tingdzin wrote:With all respect to our moderator, when one says that "All actions are political", this is sloganeering, not Right Speech.
Hogwash. Why is it just sloganeering? Why is it not right speech?
Of course, all actions may have political implications, but one could say with equal justification that all actions are economically based and have economic implications,
You consider economics seperate to politics? For example: Capitalism is an economic and not a political system?
...that all actions are sexually based and have sexual implications.
Now you are just being silly. Do you want to have a serious conversation or do you just want to wave around red herrings and set up straw men?
It seems to me to be crucially important that as Buddhists, our main motivation be buddhistic, not in the sense of clutching at religious dogma, but in the sense of being oriented towards (long-term) benefits to self and others according to our own (necessarily limited) understanding of how these things work.
This is poltical action you are describing.
"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: Transgression, Tantra, Radical vs Conservative Buddhism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Jun 21, 2013 4:00 pm

MalaBeads wrote:
Nilasarasvati wrote:
MalaBeads wrote:Nila,

It may be that 'all action is political' but it doesn't have to follow that all politics is action.

:namaste:


Wait what? :shrug:


What are you talking about??
I do believe that what Nila means, is that what you are saying, doesn't really make any sense. care to explain the point you are trying to make?
"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: Transgression, Tantra, Radical vs Conservative Buddhism

Postby MalaBeads » Fri Jun 21, 2013 4:11 pm

Malcolm wrote: Meaning, they should not mistake their particular relative and conditioned views as representing THE Dharma, which is an eternal truth.


I've been wanting to respond to this for a while but did not have the available quote. Now I do:

"But from the point of view of ati, the ultimate view, there is "all" dharma rather than "the" dharma." -Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

There is more to this quote, something about a cosmic pancake falling on your head, but i am not posting it here.

I know CTR is not one of Malcolm's favorite teachers (or, so he has indicated in the past) but I think what this means is worthy to consider.

Anyway, the "THE" bothered me.

Ciao.
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Re: Transgression, Tantra, Radical vs Conservative Buddhism

Postby MalaBeads » Fri Jun 21, 2013 4:15 pm

Nilasarasvati wrote:
MalaBeads wrote:Nila,

It may be that 'all action is political' but it doesn't have to follow that all politics is action.

:namaste:


Wait what? :shrug:


Nila,

I think you mean to have a comma between "wait" and "what", yes?

If that is so, then, i do understand what you are asking and i would ask that you consider what "non-action" actually means.

If am correct, you have said elsewhere here that you practice dzogchen. But asking action for is actually a practice of tantra.

Which is of course one of the themes of this thread. In my opinion, practicing tantra in the political arena, only leads to problems. Sitting in the midst of the political arena and practicing dzogchen, may be something entirely different. It all hinges on the activity of non-action.
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Re: Transgression, Tantra, Radical vs Conservative Buddhism

Postby Nilasarasvati » Fri Jun 21, 2013 4:19 pm

Oh I don't know anything about all of that stuff. I'd never call myself a Dzogchen practitioner, either.
I have met teachers of it. :3

um, as for non-action, Tantra, and everything, what you're saying is interesting but I still don't understand your full implications.
It seems like you're saying that political action can be realized through non-action, as well...or rather that not all politics require action...something like that?

Or maybe through viewing everything as the mandala....
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Re: Transgression, Tantra, Radical vs Conservative Buddhism

Postby Adamantine » Fri Jun 21, 2013 4:32 pm

In the interests of the root of the thread, I will propose an alternative angle.

Firstly,

Excerpt of wiki definition:
is the art or science of influencing other people on a civic or individual level. More narrowly, it refers to achieving and exercising positions of governance — organized control over a human community, particularly a state. A variety of methods is employed in politics, which include promoting its own political views among people, negotiation with other political subjects, making laws, and exercising force, including warfare against adversaries. Politics is exercised on a wide range of social levels, from clans and tribes of traditional societies, through modern local governments, companies and institutions up to sovereign states, to international level.


Definition of Merriam-Webster:

Definition of POLITICS

1
a : the art or science of government
b : the art or science concerned with guiding or influencing governmental policy
c : the art or science concerned with winning and holding control over a government
2
: political actions, practices, or policies
3
a : political affairs or business; especially : competition between competing interest groups or individuals for power and leadership (as in a government)
b : political life especially as a principal activity or profession
c : political activities characterized by artful and often dishonest practices
4
: the political opinions or sympathies of a person
5
a : the total complex of relations between people living in society
b : relations or conduct in a particular area of experience especially as seen or dealt with from a political point of view <office politics> <ethnic politics>


Nilasarasvati, it is a bit disingenuous to hold to the historic latin root of a term when we are discussing the contemporary meaning. You are holding to definition 5a of the Merriam-Webster definitions and everyone else is clearly discussing all the others, mainly the first 4. These lists are in the descending order of common use and relevance.

That all said.. even with your thoughts in mind.. some of the greatest practitioners are those who have lived in caves, in retreat, outside of society altogether let alone "political" life. And of course, the ones that achieve real freedom may be spontaneously benefiting beings without any calculated thought of repercussions, praise or blame or political consequence in any obvious way. At least, we are familiar with this type of saint and label them as "Crazy-Wisdom" adepts. Drukpa Kunleg, Milarepa, Garab Dorje, and so many other Mahasiddhas. "Political" implies an adhered to and thought out agenda, even if it is one of benefit towards others. I believe what Malcolm is getting at is the freedom that true practice generates that is beyond any calculated agendas whatsoever. There is the ability to benefit beyond the ego's need to benefit(which sadly often can achieve the opposite result).
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Re: Transgression, Tantra, Radical vs Conservative Buddhism

Postby MalaBeads » Fri Jun 21, 2013 4:50 pm

Nilasarasvati wrote: It seems like you're saying that political action can be realized through non-action, as well...or rather that not all politics require action...something like that?


LOL, something like that.

It is very important i think to consider the implications of non-action. Since we are in a language-based forum here, then i would say, please consider the activity of non-action. Non-action can be a practice, like anything else.

I am definitely NOT talking about a mandala.
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Re: Transgression, Tantra, Radical vs Conservative Buddhism

Postby MalaBeads » Fri Jun 21, 2013 4:57 pm

Adamantine wrote:"Political" implies an adhered to and thought out agenda, even if it is one of benefit towards others. I believe what Malcolm is getting at is the freedom that true practice generates that is beyond any calculated agendas whatsoever. There is the ability to benefit beyond the ego's need to benefit(which sadly often can achieve the opposite result).


Adamantine,

Yes, I would agree with this. Very much so. Any time there is an agenda, duality and all its assorted ego problems, will emerge.

I have been fuming slightly about "agendas" this morning. The fuming is my problem. The agendas are another thing entirely.

Cheers.

:smile:
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Re: Transgression, Tantra, Radical vs Conservative Buddhism

Postby tingdzin » Fri Jun 21, 2013 4:58 pm

Hey, Greg, for a "moderator", you seem to surely be using a whole lot of harsh speech in his thread. This persuades no one.

But everyone seems to be talking past each other here anyway.
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Re: Transgression, Tantra, Radical vs Conservative Buddhism

Postby Nilasarasvati » Fri Jun 21, 2013 5:23 pm

Maybe I can refine my idea a little. Please bear with me.

Adamantine wrote:Nilasarasvati, it is a bit disingenuous to hold to the historic latin root of a term when we are discussing the contemporary meaning. You are holding to definition 5a of the Merriam-Webster definitions and everyone else is clearly discussing all the others, mainly the first 4. These lists are in the descending order of common use and relevance.


I never said those other aspects/definitions were not also political. Actually, if we go with Greg's definition (which I agree with as a maxim) "everything is political."

I'm just trying to attest to the fact that those first 3 definitions aren't the sole scope of politics. Especially in our daily lives; very few of us work for the FBI or are currently sitting in a public office, but still have a constant cyclical relationship with the structures of power and privilege. Also, you're quoting from official, highly recognized, mainstream, conservative sources of thought. Just because those usages/denotations are more common, more easily understood, more colloquially used does not mean they are the most accurate, insightful, or progressive.

John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Vonnegut, and Ginsburg would be pretty unanimous in agreeing that everyday actions, attitudes, and statements can be political--can even effect change. Staying in bed for two weeks with Yoko, wearing a beard,--whatever. We make ripples with everything we do. Focusing solely on the mechanisms of power and the artifices of government slants the whole discussion away from those who have no legitimate power.


Image

Help HELP! I'm being semantically repressed! ;)

Adamantine:
That all said.. even with your thoughts in mind.. some of the greatest practitioners are those who have lived in caves, in retreat, outside of society altogether let alone "political" life. And of course, the ones that achieve real freedom may be spontaneously benefiting beings without any calculated thought of repercussions, praise or blame or political consequence in any obvious way. At least, we are familiar with this type of saint and label them as "Crazy-Wisdom" adepts. Drukpa Kunleg, Milarepa, Garab Dorje, and so many other Mahasiddhas. "Political" implies an adhered to and thought out agenda, even if it is one of benefit towards others. I believe what Malcolm is getting at is the freedom that true practice generates that is beyond any calculated agendas whatsoever. There is the ability to benefit beyond the ego's need to benefit(which sadly often can achieve the opposite result).


Absolutely, no contest. True realization is utterly beyond the crude and clumsy means of political apparatus, political agenda, etc. And masters like these, it's easy to see, had profound periods of total withdrawal from the bullhonkey of the polis. And I agree with Malcolm in saying that, pragmatically, people who get attached to political views and actions (Especially using the Dharma to inform them) turns "The God into the demon." Where we disagree is in the realm of what seems inevitable: to people like me, so long as you have Karma, you are bound into and ruled by the political sphere. Your involvement in it, your negative karma that arises from it, etc. is unavoidable. And my whole tack in this thread has been trying to get people to stop denying that they somehow exist in a vacuum from that because they think it doesn't wash with Buddhist practice.

It doesn't wash with Buddhist practice! But if you have a social security number, a bank card, a drivers license, or a birth certificate, you can't escape it and you are bound by your Bodhisattva vows to have as compassionate and vast a view of the scope of political ramifications as possible.

Moreover, just because you are enlightened doesn't mean you don't end up directly or indirectly causing political/social situations. All those masters you cited eventually emerged and interacted with beings.

When the hunters encountered Milarepa and asked if he was a demon or a man because he looked so unholy and bizzare, he just looked at them like they were the crazy ones and started singing this song about how their precious human life didn't seem that precious when he saw their gruesome and harmful occupation. For Milarepa and those hunters he encountered, it was a sublime upadesha that probably resulted in accomplishment!


But Milarepa also intended for other beings to hear that song. And they did and still do in towns all throughout the Himalayas. And for those relative beings, the "moral of the story" was, don't hunt. It's a taboo. It's verboten. Black and White. It's not necessarily a sublime upadesha. It's just a social statement.

Just because from their side they have no politics and no agenda doesn't mean that the actions of enlightened beings don't inform the relative political choices of ordinary beings, the social mores of the cultures they influence, and the inevitable cycles of cause and effect that produce the conditions of a polity.
Last edited by Nilasarasvati on Fri Jun 21, 2013 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Transgression, Tantra, Radical vs Conservative Buddhism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Jun 21, 2013 5:35 pm

tingdzin wrote:Hey, Greg, for a "moderator", you seem to surely be using a whole lot of harsh speech in his thread. This persuades no one.

But everyone seems to be talking past each other here anyway.
How is saying: "the personal is political" not right speech??? You made the judgement, so stop hiding behind "catch phrases", and please explain what you mean. I am not interested in your judgements, I am interested in the logic behind those judgements. If you are not going to add to the discussion then, at least, do not try to disrupt it.
"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: Transgression, Tantra, Radical vs Conservative Buddhism

Postby Nilasarasvati » Fri Jun 21, 2013 5:43 pm

tingdzin wrote:Hey, Greg, for a "moderator", you seem to surely be using a whole lot of harsh speech in his thread. This persuades no one.

But everyone seems to be talking past each other here anyway.


Tingdzin I wrote a really long post in response to you and you haven't said a word about it except accusing everyone of "talking past each other."
I.E. making short, unsubstantiated comments that dismiss claims, discussions, and people....as far as I see, you're the only person doing that.
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Re: Transgression, Tantra, Radical vs Conservative Buddhism

Postby Adamantine » Fri Jun 21, 2013 5:47 pm

Nilasarasvati wrote:Just because from their side they have no politics and no agenda doesn't mean that the actions of enlightened beings don't inform the relative political choices of ordinary beings, the social mores of the cultures they influence, and the inevitable cycles of cause and effect that produce the conditions of a polity.


I thought we were talking about practical application here, since we are all (theoretically) practitioners. I could take a dump in the woods and a century later it could be enshrined, gilded, and protected by an army. The dump is suddenly politically contextualized. If I was enlightened when I took that dump, does it then mean that was my intention for it, so many years later? I thought we were discussing something more spontaneous, beyond intention.

Of course, we do have prior great masters who explicitly seemed intertwined with politics at some point in their lives: such as Guru Rinpoche and his affirmative response to the King's invitation to Tibet. Also, his subsequent prophecies of the future, and his hidden treasures and mind-mandate directives to his close disciples for their future lives. So clearly there is room for the two to mix, just maybe we ordinary non-realized people simply trying to practice may get a bit confused if we try to mix them from our conventional deluded POV, and without the clarity of wisdom-mind that a realized being like an omniscient emanation like Guru Rinpoche is acting from.

For most of us it's probably most important to just arouse genuine compassion for all beings, and see if we can sustain it one day at a time. You could label that political or not, it doesn't matter. Trying to play-act some positive change in society or the larger matrix of the totality of samsaric beings without a foundation in vast equanimity and compassion will likely not turn out well, or the way you expect.
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Re: Transgression, Tantra, Radical vs Conservative Buddhism

Postby Nilasarasvati » Fri Jun 21, 2013 5:50 pm

MalaBeads wrote:
Nilasarasvati wrote: It seems like you're saying that political action can be realized through non-action, as well...or rather that not all politics require action...something like that?


LOL, something like that.

It is very important i think to consider the implications of non-action. Since we are in a language-based forum here, then i would say, please consider the activity of non-action. Non-action can be a practice, like anything else.

I am definitely NOT talking about a mandala.


Oh yeah like abstention could easily be the most compassionate activity available.
I talked about that in my hypothetical Ben Yuan situation: if bodhicitta is the aspiration, you could be totally divorced from politics, invested into non-action, etc...but that's only if your Bodhicitta isn't tainted by aversion to all those things.
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Re: Transgression, Tantra, Radical vs Conservative Buddhism

Postby Nilasarasvati » Fri Jun 21, 2013 5:58 pm

Adamantine wrote:
Nilasarasvati wrote:Just because from their side they have no politics and no agenda doesn't mean that the actions of enlightened beings don't inform the relative political choices of ordinary beings, the social mores of the cultures they influence, and the inevitable cycles of cause and effect that produce the conditions of a polity.


I thought we were talking about practical application here, since we are all (theoretically) practitioners. I could take a dump in the woods and a century later it could be enshrined, gilded, and protected by an army. The dump is suddenly politically contextualized. If I was enlightened when I took that dump, does it then mean that was my intention for it, so many years later? I thought we were discussing something more spontaneous, beyond intention.

Of course, we do have prior great masters who explicitly seemed intertwined with politics at some point in their lives: such as Guru Rinpoche and his affirmative response to the King's invitation to Tibet. Also, his subsequent prophecies of the future, and his hidden treasures and mind-mandate directives to his close disciples for their future lives. So clearly there is room for the two to mix, just maybe we ordinary non-realized people simply trying to practice may get a bit confused if we try to mix them from our conventional deluded POV, and without the clarity of wisdom-mind that a realized being like an omniscient emanation like Guru Rinpoche is acting from.

For most of us it's probably most important to just arouse genuine compassion for all beings, and see if we can sustain it one day at a time. You could label that political or not, it doesn't matter. Trying to play-act some positive change in society or the larger matrix of the totality of samsaric beings without a foundation in vast equanimity and compassion will likely not turn out well, or the way you expect.


Yeah I didn't mean to focus on the enlightened masters either, I just wanted to address you examples of reclusion/abstention from even involvement in a Sangha.

I totally agree...I mean if everybody had pure aspirations and a genuine openness to the realities of other beings, it wouldn't matter to me what their politics look like. So long as they aren't trying to use Dharma to justify genocide :thinking:
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Re: Transgression, Tantra, Radical vs Conservative Buddhism

Postby MalaBeads » Fri Jun 21, 2013 6:07 pm

Nilasarasvati wrote: Oh yeah like abstention could easily be the most compassionate activity available......you could be totally divorced from politics, invested into non-action, etc...but that's only if your Bodhicitta isn't tainted by aversion to all those things.


Nila, you have no idea how funny the first part of your statement is...to me anyway.

:tongue:

As for the second part of what you said, you don't know me or know how much I have or have not been involved in "politics" in my life...or how politics has affected my life. I have had the opportunity, in this very life, to see up close how politics works. It did not improve my opinion of it whatsoever.

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