Buddhism-as-a-religion vs Buddhism-as-Dharma

No holds barred discussion on the Buddhadharma. Argue about rebirth, karma, commentarial interpretations etc. Be nice to each other.

Re: Buddhism-as-a-religion vs Buddhism-as-Dharma

Postby Rael » Sat Apr 02, 2011 6:58 am

Dharma permeates everything.....
you can't take Dharma out of samsaric rites and spells and practices....all religions are affected by the dharma wheel...even the real dangerous ones and commercial clap trap.....Samsara is far to old and far too drenched in Dharma for it not to be in all things.

It might be too obscured to see it....but it is there....(that actually doesn't make sense ...but i will leave it for effect)

this whole buddhist religion Buddhist dharma convention ....

just confusing the essence of the issue at hand....

it's like labeling for the sake of labeling....
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Re: Buddhism-as-a-religion vs Buddhism-as-Dharma

Postby ground » Sat Apr 02, 2011 8:23 am

Rael wrote:Dharma permeates everything.....

In that "dharmas" are "everything" you are right.

Rael wrote:you can't take Dharma out of samsaric rites and spells and practices....all religions are affected by the dharma wheel...even the real dangerous ones and commercial clap trap.....

Yes, you are right. All these are dharmas.

Rael wrote:this whole buddhist religion Buddhist dharma convention ....

Convention is a dharma too.

Rael wrote:it's like labeling for the sake of labeling....

labeling ... also a dharma, yes.



Considering that "The Dharma" displays itself in "dharmas" the "Dharma permeates everything", you are "absolutely" right ... "absolutely" to be understood in a relative sense.

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Re: Buddhism-as-a-religion vs Buddhism-as-Dharma

Postby Malcolm » Sat Apr 02, 2011 2:32 pm

TMingyur wrote:Considering that "The Dharma" displays itself in "dharmas" the "Dharma permeates everything", you are "absolutely" right ... "absolutely" to be understood in a relative sense.

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I hope to you don't walk around repetitively punctuating your comments in meatspace like this: :quoteunquote:
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Re: Buddhism-as-a-religion vs Buddhism-as-Dharma

Postby Caz » Sat Apr 02, 2011 3:35 pm

conebeckham wrote:I would carry it one step further, Caz...or modify it thus:

If you're doing a practice but don't know why you're doing it, this is not even truly Buddhism-as-religion, because you have not understood, even conceptually, what you're "wasting your time on"....(though, I believe, it is likely that merely doing the practice creates a connection).

If you are doing a practice, and can explain "why" you're doing it, you likely have understood Buddhism-as-a-religion, especially if you can contextualize the practice in terms of a larger structure, purpose, meaning, etc.

If you have actualized the practice, to any degree, and ultimately, if you have brought the practice to fruition, you have "Buddhism-as-Dharma." It is highly likely that, until Enlightenment is attained, even those on the Bhumis have both Buddhism-as-a-religion and Buddhism as Dharma. But only those who have reached the limit, come to the end, can really "demonstrate" fully "Buddhism-as-Dharma."


Well I ment In general but sure this is a nice add on :popcorn:
Abandoning Dharma is, in the final analysis, disparaging the Hinayana because of the Mahayana; favoring the Hinayana on account of the Mahayana; playing off sutra against tantra; playing off the four classes of the tantras against each other; favoring one of the Tibetan schools—the Sakya, Gelug, Kagyu, or Nyingma—and disparaging the rest; and so on. In other words, we abandon Dharma any time we favor our own tenets and disparage the rest.

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Re: Buddhism-as-a-religion vs Buddhism-as-Dharma

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Apr 02, 2011 3:47 pm

shel wrote:Being that right effort, right view, etc. are part of the path, it would seem to boil down to:

Religious Buddhism = bad practice.

Dharmic Buddhism = good practice.

Is this an agreeable distinction?

I wouldn't say that, coz, as Namdrol pointed out before, if your lama tells you to do something (a practice) and you do it (let's say) mechanically then the practice is not bad, the practicING is bad.

Maybe that would be more correct? Maybe that is what you are trying to say but it didn't come out so clearly? Maybe I'm just being pedantic? :tongue:
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Buddhism-as-a-religion vs Buddhism-as-Dharma

Postby shel » Sat Apr 02, 2011 9:21 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
shel wrote:Being that right effort, right view, etc. are part of the path, it would seem to boil down to:

Religious Buddhism = bad practice.

Dharmic Buddhism = good practice.

Is this an agreeable distinction?

I wouldn't say that, coz, as Namdrol pointed out before, if your lama tells you to do something (a practice) and you do it (let's say) mechanically then the practice is not bad, the practicING is bad.

Maybe that would be more correct? Maybe that is what you are trying to say but it didn't come out so clearly? Maybe I'm just being pedantic? :tongue:
:namaste:

Please, pedant to your hearts content my friend.

To Namdrol's point, if for example two students performed a practice prescribed by a Lama and one of the students performed the practice mechanically and the other did not, what exactly would the difference be?
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Re: Buddhism-as-a-religion vs Buddhism-as-Dharma

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Apr 02, 2011 10:32 pm

shel wrote:To Namdrol's point, if for example two students performed a practice prescribed by a Lama and one of the students performed the practice mechanically and the other did not, what exactly would the difference be?
I guesss it would depend on the practice. When I first started doing tonglen, for example, it was really full of feeling, I really felt that I was taking in "others" suffering and felt that I was giving them "my" joy. After a while though the practice started to become mechanical, programmed. I asked my lama is this cool or not? I mean, is it still having an effect even though there is no feeling in it any more? He answered that even though it was occuring mechanically I should continue because it will still have an effect.

When practicing generosity, for example, the idea is to overcome the idea of subject (giver), object (receiver), and action (giving). So if you are feeling pride for being so generous and pity for the person you are being generous towards, then, yes, you are practicing wrongly. Of course there will be a positive effect, but the ultimate outcome of the practice will not be achieved.

So the practices are perfect, the way we are practicing is at fault/flawed.
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Buddhism-as-a-religion vs Buddhism-as-Dharma

Postby conebeckham » Sat Apr 02, 2011 10:54 pm

I don't know of anyone who has "come to the end," do you? which means that everyone is practicing religious Buddhism, right?


I can't say for certain that I know anyone that has come to the end. But I think all of us engage in a combination of both....Buddhism-as-religion, and Buddhism-as-Dharma.

And that is not a bad thing. It's realistic. Especially here on this Interweb thingie.
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Re: Buddhism-as-a-religion vs Buddhism-as-Dharma

Postby shel » Sun Apr 03, 2011 12:17 am

gregkavarnos wrote:
shel wrote:To Namdrol's point, if for example two students performed a practice prescribed by a Lama and one of the students performed the practice mechanically and the other did not, what exactly would the difference be?
I guesss it would depend on the practice. When I first started doing tonglen, for example, it was really full of feeling, I really felt that I was taking in "others" suffering and felt that I was giving them "my" joy. After a while though the practice started to become mechanical, programmed. I asked my lama is this cool or not? I mean, is it still having an effect even though there is no feeling in it any more? He answered that even though it was occuring mechanically I should continue because it will still have an effect.

When practicing generosity, for example, the idea is to overcome the idea of subject (giver), object (receiver), and action (giving). So if you are feeling pride for being so generous and pity for the person you are being generous towards, then, yes, you are practicing wrongly. Of course there will be a positive effect, but the ultimate outcome of the practice will not be achieved.

So the practices are perfect, the way we are practicing is at fault/flawed.
:namaste:

I appreciate the personal example, Gregkavarnos, and your response in general, however you only seem to have reiterated what you've already said, that "the practices are perfect, the way we are practicing is at fault/flawed."

What exactly is the difference between mechanical practice and practice that is not mechanical? This seems to be the key which distinguishes 'religious Buddhism' from 'dharmic Buddhism', so if anyone can say what the difference is, please do.
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Re: Buddhism-as-a-religion vs Buddhism-as-Dharma

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Apr 03, 2011 9:04 am

Well obviously you didn't read my post in any depth then because your answer lies here:
When I first started doing tonglen, for example, it was really full of feeling, I really felt that I was taking in "others" suffering and felt that I was giving them "my" joy ... is it still having an effect even though there is no feeling in it any more?
Mechanical (for me) means without feeling or presence, merely reading the words off the page, or just burning the incense, or doing the mudra without "giving" the offerings they symbolise, saying the mantra without arousing the accompanying state of mind, doing the prostrations without a sense of the presence of those you are bowing to.

Clear now?
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"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."
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Re: Buddhism-as-a-religion vs Buddhism-as-Dharma

Postby PMTF » Sun Apr 03, 2011 10:47 am

shel wrote:What does that mean?

Hi

I would suggest doing some study & research on the Indian word 'dharma', which is used in most of not all Indian religions, be they theistic or atheistic.

'Dharma' literally means 'that which upholds or supports'.

So dharma is something and anything that upholds and/or supports our life, that is, beyond unsatisfactoriness, suffering & the struggles of samsara.

Whatever meaning or use of the word dharma, be it 'things', 'teachings', 'law', 'truth', 'the path', 'practices', etc, or the traditional common Indian translation of 'duty', all of these dharma serve the same purpose, which is to uphold and support life, so life does not fall into woeful states & realms.

:namaste:
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Re: Buddhism-as-a-religion vs Buddhism-as-Dharma

Postby shel » Sun Apr 03, 2011 9:14 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:Well obviously you didn't read my post in any depth then because your answer lies here:
When I first started doing tonglen, for example, it was really full of feeling, I really felt that I was taking in "others" suffering and felt that I was giving them "my" joy ... is it still having an effect even though there is no feeling in it any more?
Mechanical (for me) means without feeling or presence, merely reading the words off the page, or just burning the incense, or doing the mudra without "giving" the offerings they symbolise, saying the mantra without arousing the accompanying state of mind, doing the prostrations without a sense of the presence of those you are bowing to.

Clear now?
:namaste:

Actually no, but it is getting clearer. In my opinion it could be made clearer, if anyone is willing to go further.

Buddhists believe in cause and effect in regard to intentional actions. If something is done mechanically it is still done with intention, therefor there will be a result regardless if actions are performed mechanically or not. If I spend the day helping others, even if I do it mechanically, it will have positive results, right? If I spend the day raping and murdering, even if I do it mechanically, it will have negative results, right? I point this out in order to hone in on the essential difference between 'religious Buddhism' and 'dharmic Buddhism'. It seems actions in themselves can be ruled out, and what remains is what you've referred to as "feeling" and "presence."

It seems to me that we could go much further if we look at what this feeling and presence are about and why they're important. Does anyone have anything to say about that?
Last edited by shel on Sun Apr 03, 2011 9:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Buddhism-as-a-religion vs Buddhism-as-Dharma

Postby shel » Sun Apr 03, 2011 9:15 pm

PMTF wrote:
shel wrote:What does that mean?

Hi

I would suggest doing some study & research on the Indian word 'dharma', which is used in most of not all Indian religions, be they theistic or atheistic.

'Dharma' literally means 'that which upholds or supports'.

So dharma is something and anything that upholds and/or supports our life, that is, beyond unsatisfactoriness, suffering & the struggles of samsara.

Whatever meaning or use of the word dharma, be it 'things', 'teachings', 'law', 'truth', 'the path', 'practices', etc, or the traditional common Indian translation of 'duty', all of these dharma serve the same purpose, which is to uphold and support life, so life does not fall into woeful states & realms.

:namaste:

Religion upholds and supports also, PMTF.
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Re: Buddhism-as-a-religion vs Buddhism-as-Dharma

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Apr 03, 2011 9:51 pm

shel wrote:Buddhists believe in cause and effect in regard to intentional actions. If something is done mechanically it is still done with intention...
I think that this bit is not 100% accurate. There may have been an intention initially but when it becomes mechanical the intention is lessened almost to zero. Of course it will have an effect but the effect is altered.
It seems to me that we could go much further if we look at what this feeling and presence are about and why they're important. Does anyone have anything to say about that?
I think you will find that feeling and presence are merely the consequences of intention. They fade as intention fades. I think another problem that arises is being ends-oriented. This may cause intention to fade when we do not see results. The other thing is that the results may become so subtle (or common to our experience) that it seems they are not present so we lose interest and the feeling and presence wane.
:namaste:
Last edited by Sherab Dorje on Mon Apr 04, 2011 2:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Buddhism-as-a-religion vs Buddhism-as-Dharma

Postby shel » Sun Apr 03, 2011 10:37 pm

I can't take the idea that people perform Buddhist rituals unintentionally seriously. My bad.
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Re: Buddhism-as-a-religion vs Buddhism-as-Dharma

Postby shel » Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:08 am

shel wrote:It seems to me that we could go much further if we look at what this feeling and presence are about and why they're important. Does anyone have anything to say about that?


Being 'present' seems obvious enough, basically paying attention, but what is this feeling? There's a wide range of feelings.
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Re: Buddhism-as-a-religion vs Buddhism-as-Dharma

Postby PorkChop » Fri Feb 08, 2013 2:04 am

gregkavarnos wrote:I think that this bit is not 100% accurate. There may have been an intention initially but when it becomes mechanical the intention is lessened almost to zero. Of course it will have an effect but the effect is altered.


Sorry to butt in...
Not to criticize, but this sounds scarily close to the Brahmin/Ksatriyan idea of dharma - where if one fulfills his/her role dispassionately, the effect is nil.
I'm thinking the conversations between Krishna and Arjuna, "whence this ignoble cowardice?" in regards to engaging in the warfare between two sides whom Arjuna respects so much.
I understand that intent counts for a lot, but to kill mechanically, without remorse, is still seen as killing.
I think remorse is required for intention to be lessened.
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Re: Buddhism-as-a-religion vs Buddhism-as-Dharma

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:44 am

PorkChop wrote:...I understand that intent counts for a lot, but to kill mechanically, without remorse, is still seen as killing.
Of course, that's why I said:
gregkavarnos wrote:Of course it will have an effect but the effect is altered.

I think remorse is required for intention to be lessened.
Remorse is required for the effect of the action to be "lessened", not the intention of the action. The intention lead to the execution of the action. Remorse normally comes after the execution so it cannot really effect intention. Of course it is possible to feel doubt about commiting an action, and this will colour the action. But this is not remorse. Remorse is (according to Miriam-Webster): a gnawing distress arising from a sense of guilt for past wrongs.
:namaste:
"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."
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Re: Buddhism-as-a-religion vs Buddhism-as-Dharma

Postby PorkChop » Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:28 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
PorkChop wrote:...I understand that intent counts for a lot, but to kill mechanically, without remorse, is still seen as killing.
Of course, that's why I said:
gregkavarnos wrote:Of course it will have an effect but the effect is altered.

I think remorse is required for intention to be lessened.
Remorse is required for the effect of the action to be "lessened", not the intention of the action. The intention lead to the execution of the action. Remorse normally comes after the execution so it cannot really effect intention. Of course it is possible to feel doubt about commiting an action, and this will colour the action. But this is not remorse. Remorse is (according to Miriam-Webster): a gnawing distress arising from a sense of guilt for past wrongs.
:namaste:


Good point.
Would "regret" be a better term for doing something you don't want to do?
Would not wanting to commit an action offset any fruition?
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