Internet Buddhism

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Internet Buddhism

Postby Glyn » Fri Dec 06, 2013 1:22 pm

How do you feel about the interactions of the internet and Dharma?

On one level it seems a great way to give access to teachings which would otherwise not be available to great numbers of people, but on the other hand it's also an enabler of a plethora of fakes, and semi-fakes, to promote themselves and for material which should be secret, becoming publically accessible.
"It's not ok to practice Dharma sometimes, just when you feel like it. You have to practice all the time" - Lama Rigzin Rinpoche.
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Re: Internet Buddhism

Postby KonchokZoepa » Fri Dec 06, 2013 1:24 pm

i dont think the buddha meant Dharma to be a secret.

and those practices and teachings in the TB tradition that really are secret, are not on the internet as far as i know.
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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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
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Re: Internet Buddhism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Dec 06, 2013 3:00 pm

Glyn wrote:How do you feel about the interactions of the internet and Dharma?

On one level it seems a great way to give access to teachings which would otherwise not be available to great numbers of people, but on the other hand it's also an enabler of a plethora of fakes, and semi-fakes, to promote themselves and for material which should be secret, becoming publically accessible.
The material doesn't mean squat anyway without the gurus blessing. Anyway, your karma will determine whether you encounter the material or not and the manner in which you will encounter it. So... I've seen people been handed rare teachings and empowerments from highly qualified and respectable teachers, on a silver platter, and they have refused them.
"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: Internet Buddhism

Postby yegyal » Fri Dec 06, 2013 3:29 pm

Glyn wrote:On one level it seems a great way to give access to teachings which would otherwise not be available to great numbers of people, but on the other hand it's also an enabler of a plethora of fakes, and semi-fakes, to promote themselves and for material which should be secret, becoming publically accessible.


I think that sums up the dilemma nicely. Unfortunately, I think the balance between the genuine and the fakes and semi-fakes, tips towards the latter. Even the genuine often falls prey to the faults of shameless self-promotion. On the other hand, shameless self-promoters often appear to be legitimate on the web.
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Re: Internet Buddhism

Postby muni » Fri Dec 06, 2013 4:27 pm

It is already asking full attention to remain mindful oneself. To be focussed on how others are doing is for me distraction and suffering. But this is only my experience. Therefore whether it is our own practice ( others aren’t excluded) or we are sadly cheating ourselves. This is probably the concern?

It is a good reminder to check own mind, I guess this is the meaning, each for oneself. Of course, I guess it is good to remain aware of all 'what is promoted', helpful or not.

If there is teaching which should not be exposed here one can contact a mod or send a pm? As far as possible.

:namaste:
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Re: Internet Buddhism

Postby Malcolm » Fri Dec 06, 2013 5:08 pm

Glyn wrote:How do you feel about the interactions of the internet and Dharma?

On one level it seems a great way to give access to teachings which would otherwise not be available to great numbers of people, but on the other hand it's also an enabler of a plethora of fakes, and semi-fakes, to promote themselves and for material which should be secret, becoming publically accessible.


The lack of internet in old Tibet did nothing to prevent the spawn of fakes and semi-fakes.

Not only that, but in old Tibet, nothing was really secret provided you had $$$.

There may be some things in the so called anuttara tantras which probably were meant to titillate the brahmin-born scholars in whose milieu such texts were generally revealed (things entirely unremarkable to a beggar living in the streets). But the Dzogchen tantras, for example are largely free of such elements, and yet are considered super secret, even though in general the doctrines promulgated in such texts are tame in comparison to the sorcery and "antinomian" elements of the Laghusamvara, for example.

The main "scary" thing about Dzogchen is that it teaches a path beyond cause and result. This is scary for all those people who are easily frightened by the Hashang boogyman, especially those who remain trenchantly committed to Kadampa gradualism.

The only valid reason for gradually apportioning practices to students in a gradual manner that I have found is to keep people from getting very conceptual about practices of which they have no experience. Frankly, there is very little that should be kept "secret", and some practices in Vajrayāna have to be acknowledged as socially inappropriate, harmful and sexist, products of a patriarchal era in which the role of women was subordinate to the religious fantasies of wealthy scholars.

Returning to my main point: the truth is that Vajrayāna has never really been that "secret" from the beginning. Indeed, its "secrecy" was its prime marketing device and remains so even to this day.

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-- Uttaratantra
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Re: Internet Buddhism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Dec 06, 2013 5:40 pm

Malcolm wrote:The main "scary" thing about Dzogchen is that it teaches a path beyond cause and result. This is scary for all those people who are easily frightened by the Hashang boogyman, especially those who remain trenchantly committed to Kadampa gradualism.
One could quite as easily argue that Dzogchen was devised in order to placate cowardly beings that are scared stiff by the thought that they may actually have to devote a few hundred thousand lifetimes (like the Buddha, for example) to slowly chipping away at the petrified crud that has encrusted their true nature. That it is a ploy to get scaredy-cats to not break a cold sweat over the daunting nature of the task and at least get them started on the path to liberation. I mean, since becoming a one eyed fan, has it not occured to you that Dzogchen is just another skilful means? Anyway, if the whole deal is so "shit-hot" (pardon the Australianism) why all the (off topic) trumpet blowing?

Wouldn't it have been more intelligent and relevant to mention ChNN's masterful capacity to utilise the internet to get valid teachings across while still managing to keep the "secret" stuff secret (through the closed webcast system) in a medium which is reknowned for its lack of secrecy? It would have sounded like less of a rant if you did so.
"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: Internet Buddhism

Postby pueraeternus » Fri Dec 06, 2013 5:50 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:
Malcolm wrote:The main "scary" thing about Dzogchen is that it teaches a path beyond cause and result. This is scary for all those people who are easily frightened by the Hashang boogyman, especially those who remain trenchantly committed to Kadampa gradualism.
One could quite as easily argue that Dzogchen was devised in order to placate cowardly beings that are scared stiff by the thought that they may actually have to devote a few hundred thousand lifetimes (like the Buddha, for example) to slowly chipping away at the petrified crud that has encrusted their true nature. That it is a ploy to get scaredy-cats to not break a cold sweat over the daunting nature of the task and at least get them started on the path to liberation. I mean, since becoming a one eyed fan, has it not occured to you that Dzogchen is just another skilful means? Anyway, if the whole deal is so "shit-hot" why all the (off topic) trumpet blowing?


I have the same notion: that the idea behind the "sudden enlightenment" traditions are a form of skillful means to get people to practice and step into the stream, whereupon it will be revealed to them that they still have a very long way to go, but it is okay since they have already glimpsed Nirvana and gained the patiences. So it is a reverse technique ala the Lotus Sutra, but applied to Mahayanists instead of Sravakayanists. :smile:
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: Internet Buddhism

Postby Malcolm » Fri Dec 06, 2013 5:54 pm

pueraeternus wrote:
Sherab Dorje wrote:
Malcolm wrote:The main "scary" thing about Dzogchen is that it teaches a path beyond cause and result. This is scary for all those people who are easily frightened by the Hashang boogyman, especially those who remain trenchantly committed to Kadampa gradualism.
One could quite as easily argue that Dzogchen was devised in order to placate cowardly beings that are scared stiff by the thought that they may actually have to devote a few hundred thousand lifetimes (like the Buddha, for example) to slowly chipping away at the petrified crud that has encrusted their true nature. That it is a ploy to get scaredy-cats to not break a cold sweat over the daunting nature of the task and at least get them started on the path to liberation. I mean, since becoming a one eyed fan, has it not occured to you that Dzogchen is just another skilful means? Anyway, if the whole deal is so "shit-hot" why all the (off topic) trumpet blowing?


I have the same notion: that the idea behind the "sudden enlightenment" traditions are a form of skillful means to get people to practice and step into the stream, whereupon it will be revealed to them that they still have a very long way to go, but it is okay since they have already glimpsed Nirvana and gained the patiences. So it is a reverse technique ala the Lotus Sutra, but applied to Mahayanists instead of Sravakayanists. :smile:


Dzogchen is not a sudden enlightenment school.

It is a "everything is already in a state of buddhahood and always has been so" school.
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
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Re: Internet Buddhism

Postby pueraeternus » Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:00 pm

Malcolm wrote:
pueraeternus wrote:
I have the same notion: that the idea behind the "sudden enlightenment" traditions are a form of skillful means to get people to practice and step into the stream, whereupon it will be revealed to them that they still have a very long way to go, but it is okay since they have already glimpsed Nirvana and gained the patiences. So it is a reverse technique ala the Lotus Sutra, but applied to Mahayanists instead of Sravakayanists. :smile:


Dzogchen is not a sudden enlightenment school.

It is a "everything is already in a state of buddhahood and always has been so" school.


Yes - that is the usual premise such schools rest on.
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.

- Leto II, the God Emperor
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Re: Internet Buddhism

Postby smcj » Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:13 pm

Dzogchen is not a sudden enlightenment school.

It is a "everything is already in a state of buddhahood and always has been so" school.

Yes - that is the usual premise such schools rest on.

And it has the corollary that therefore nothing needs be done. So in taking that idea seriously, it precisely because of that idea that I am a gradualist. The Absolute/Ultimate needs nothing from me, so if I am dissatisfied with my life, and I am, I need to work on the relative. Perhaps if and when I do actualize the Dzogchen state I will retroactively see that it was all unnecessary, but until then I am fine with the idea of retroactive enlightenment.
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Re: Internet Buddhism

Postby pueraeternus » Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:25 pm

smcj wrote:
Dzogchen is not a sudden enlightenment school.

It is a "everything is already in a state of buddhahood and always has been so" school.

Yes - that is the usual premise such schools rest on.

And it has the corollary that therefore nothing needs be done. So in taking that idea seriously, it precisely because of that idea that I am a gradualist. The Absolute/Ultimate needs nothing from me, so if I am dissatisfied with my life I need to work on the relative. Perhaps if and when I do actualize the Dzogchen state I will retroactively see that it was all unnecessary, but I am fine with the idea of retroactive enlightenment.


For me, the keyword is "Ignorance". We are in Samsara because of ignorance - a cognitive dissonance. So there is nothing really wrong, it is just our (wrong) perception of things. So nothing to gain and nothing to lose, but just to realize. It is the question of how to solve the cognitive dissonance. The sudden schools state that it just needs to be pointed out and that's it. The gradual schools state that is not possible, since the delusion we suffer from is akin to madness, which needs a process to work it off. How long or short that normalizing process is depends on the capacity, but still it is not a finger's snap.
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.

- Leto II, the God Emperor
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Re: Internet Buddhism

Postby smcj » Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:45 pm

The gradual schools state that is not possible, since the delusion we suffer from is akin to madness, which needs a process to work it off.

True, some gradual schools say it is not possible. But some say it is possible, just not common.* So for those that don't get it with a finger snap, as an alternative, they offer a step by step approach, which leaves the practitioner much closer to that same precipice of "it has always been that way." It's much easier, and usually more successful, to make a small jump than a large leap.



* In his little Lam Rim booklet 'The Writings of Kalu R.', K.R. says,

If you have the highest capabilities, your course of experience is matured through initiation. Then, you settle on Mahamudra or Dzogchen which has been pointed out and, through meditation, travel decisively the various paths and stages of spiritual development.

Having been to many initiations I feel it safe to say I do not have the highest capabilities as described in this passage.
Last edited by smcj on Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Internet Buddhism

Postby AlexanderS » Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:56 pm

I think it's great that Dharma is on the web. People from non-buddhist backgrounds have a greater chance to stumble upon precious Dharma teachings and people looking for more information will be able to find that more rapidly. Not to mention the "live web transmission" which I still have not really participated in but really should. Also I find some of our more experienced and learned users here really great in resolving intellectual doubts.
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Re: Internet Buddhism

Postby Malcolm » Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:13 pm

pueraeternus wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
pueraeternus wrote:
I have the same notion: that the idea behind the "sudden enlightenment" traditions are a form of skillful means to get people to practice and step into the stream, whereupon it will be revealed to them that they still have a very long way to go, but it is okay since they have already glimpsed Nirvana and gained the patiences. So it is a reverse technique ala the Lotus Sutra, but applied to Mahayanists instead of Sravakayanists. :smile:


Dzogchen is not a sudden enlightenment school.

It is a "everything is already in a state of buddhahood and always has been so" school.


Yes - that is the usual premise such schools rest on.



No, it's a little different than what you think. But it is off topic.
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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
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Re: Internet Buddhism

Postby Malcolm » Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:16 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:
Malcolm wrote:why all the (off topic) trumpet blowing?


I was addressing the notion of what is "secret", why it is "secret", and the disparity in notions of secrecy.

M
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
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Re: Internet Buddhism

Postby LastLegend » Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:18 pm

Gradual or sudden, or whatever. These are just names. I know I am not enlightened.
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Re: Internet Buddhism

Postby smcj » Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:49 pm

I was addressing the notion of what is "secret", why it is "secret", and the disparity in notions of secrecy.

There is an odd perspective in Dharma called the "One Yana" perspective. Is is peculiar to Vajrayana practitioners, and it is said to be how they see the Dharma path from the end of the path, from enlightenment. It is both gradualist and absolutist. I remember Kalu R. saying that he saw all the monks as Arhats. That meant that he saw their holding of their vows as already participating in the absolute/Dzogchen level of practice. My analogy is that they were "a little bit pregnant".

But one of the oddities of this perspective is that the 3 yanks are like a circular staircase. In walking up it you do a 360 degree turn, so you end up facing the same way, only you end up on a different level than when you started. Even though you are facing the same way as you started, what you see from the top of the stairs is kept secret from the person at the bottom of the stairs. This keeps the unaware from taking something like the Dzogchen teachings, where everything is perfect just as it is, and interpreting them back down to something they can understand in their unaware level. So a profound teaching like Dzogchen then becomes complacency, or dismissiveness, or word games--anything that the unaware already are familiar with. Or something like consort practice, which has nothing to do with ordinary sex, would then be seen as an excuse for simple self-indulgence.

So the reason for secrecy is unawareness. Specifically it is the automatic response of unawareness to misinterpret the profound teachings back down into the initial level of unawareness. This is a constant in Dharma until and unless the unaware discover that they are unaware, and that their only refuge from that mistake is relying on the enlightened perspective of Dharma.

I'll stop there.
Last edited by smcj on Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Internet Buddhism

Postby Malcolm » Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:51 pm

smcj wrote:
I was addressing the notion of what is "secret", why it is "secret", and the disparity in notions of secrecy.

There is an odd perspective in Dharma called the "One Yana" perspective. Is is peculiar to Vajrayana practitioners.


The notion of "Ekayāna" in fact derives from a number of sūtras, most notable, the Saddharmapundarika.

It is not a particularly Vajrayāna sentiment.
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
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Re: Internet Buddhism

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Fri Dec 06, 2013 9:29 pm

Glyn wrote:How do you feel about the interactions of the internet and Dharma?

I am using the internet to answer that question.
.
.
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The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
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