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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:23 am 
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Namdrol wrote:
devilyoudont wrote:
I mean it! You see, I have a theory. You know why Buddhist philosophy was vibrant in India? Because Indians had the strength to abandon Buddhism rather than betray their true understanding.


Buddhist philosophy was also vibrant in Tibet once too -- then sectarian politics sealed the new translation schools in intellectual mausoleums.


It's true that we have a natural tendency to cling to ideas and to defend our philosophies out of attachment, but I disagree with the new translation schools being sealed and intellectual, I think this is a stereotype. I can attest to a very vibrant and living tradition of Mahamudra in Je Tsongkhapa's oral tradition which is being practised by many people today. Normally when someone says 'Mahamudra', they think it refers to the Karma Kagyu school's practice but this is also a very practical teaching in the Gelug school too.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:08 am 
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plwk wrote:
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Do not know if any suttas talk about a Dharma ending age

These?... Saddhammapatirupaka Sutta Ani Sutta Anagata-bhayani Sutta Bhikkhu-aparihaniya Sutta Anagata-bhayani Sutta Kimila Sutta


Hello plwk,

I think the Ani Sutta, in particular, is worth considering:
Staying at Savatthi. "Monks, there once was a time when the Dasarahas had a large drum called 'Summoner.' Whenever Summoner was split, the Dasarahas inserted another peg in it, until the time came when Summoner's original wooden body had disappeared and only a conglomeration of pegs remained. [1]

"In the same way, in the course of the future there will be monks who won't listen when discourses that are words of the Tathagata — deep, deep in their meaning, transcendent, connected with emptiness — are being recited. They won't lend ear, won't set their hearts on knowing them, won't regard these teachings as worth grasping or mastering. But they will listen when discourses that are literary works — the works of poets, elegant in sound, elegant in rhetoric, the work of outsiders, words of disciples — are recited. They will lend ear and set their hearts on knowing them. They will regard these teachings as worth grasping & mastering.

"In this way the disappearance of the discourses that are words of the Tathagata — deep, deep in their meaning, transcendent, connected with emptiness — will come about.

"Thus you should train yourselves: 'We will listen when discourses that are words of the Tathagata — deep, deep in their meaning, transcendent, connected with emptiness — are being recited. We will lend ear, will set our hearts on knowing them, will regard these teachings as worth grasping & mastering.' That's how you should train yourselves."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

with metta
Chris


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:42 am 
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I think it is quite in the spirit of the Mahayana that the Buddhadharma can and should 'evolve' to suit the needs of differing times, cultures and beings. In a way, this is the very Raison d'Etre of the Mahayana, at least within the current dispensation.

That said, I am not too keen on the word 'evolve' in this sense, as it may give the idea of evolving Buddhism into something different at its core, when what we should be looking at is the evolution of Upaya. I think a Platonic way of looking at it might serve best. There is a 'true idea' of the Dharma, hidden on the other side of samyaksambodhi, and its shadowy representation in the world pointing back towards it. These can be put together in a great number of ways, but they still need to be put together in a way so as to point back to its fundamental purpose: The liberation of mind and eventual attainment of Buddhahood. And imo the best way to ensure that is to see to what degree such developments retain a certain measure of backwards compatibility with the teachings that went before them. Basically, all Buddhist teachings are just elaborations on the 4NT. For the same reason, I quite like the chapter in the Avatamsaka Sutra on the different names of the 4NT in various world systems. It really showcases the elasticity of the Dharma in terms of how it can be formulated.

Then again, who are the bold ones to attempt these things today? CNN is doing webcast empowerment; many tantric teachers are teaching openly what was formerly guarded secretly; in Zen we see occasional marriages of Buddhism to psychotherapy, Unitarian Universalism and even Christianity. In Theravada there are those who would cast off the abidhamma and resurrect the bhikkhuni lineage. Maybe some are getting it right, I imagine it's likely some are getting it wrong too. All of them are criticised in one way or another.

Personally, I look at Yogacara and I see a great mass of untapped potential if this could be harnessed and made digestible in a western fashion, especially when you look at the impact of modern psychology and even quantum physics and the impact these outlooks will have on 21st century society. But first and foremost, I hope to see Buddhism grow out of its club thinking and contribute to developing hermeneutics and dialectics that can engage other systems of belief than its own in an embracing and sympathetic fashion without sacrificing or compromising its own profound message.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:31 am 
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Look at what I did here last night. I knew I shouldn't have trusted Heinrich Harrer's judgment of Tibetan Medicine, that ******. :lol:

TMingyur wrote:
It is good to return to the suttapitaka and skip all this philosophical scholary fabrication.

You mean like Nagarjuna? :roll:

Anders Honore wrote:
That said, I am not too keen on the word 'evolve' in this sense, as it may give the idea of evolving Buddhism into something different at its core, when what we should be looking at is the evolution of Upaya.

No essential nature. No Buddhism. Ocean-like understanding and awareness, love and compassion from moment to moment. Ultimately, not even that.


Last edited by purple rose on Mon Apr 04, 2011 12:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Removed inappropriate language


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:42 am 
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devilyoudont wrote:
TMingyur wrote:
It is good to return to the suttapitaka and skip all this philosophical scholary fabrication.

You mean like Nagarjuna? :roll:


Was he a scholar?

MMK I consider to be a work of a poet.

Kind regards


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 12:00 pm 
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TMingyur wrote:
Was he a scholar?

MMK I consider to be a work of a poet.

You're playing with definitions, which is fine as long as you know what you're doing.

BTW, if I'm spouting wrong views and misconceptions, please DO challenge them.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:12 pm 
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devilyoudont wrote:
TMingyur wrote:
Was he a scholar?

MMK I consider to be a work of a poet.

You're playing with definitions, ...

Don't agree. As long as one plays with language and abstains from any assertive statements of the kind "This means that this is so and so" then it is just this. It is using language as medium, it is poetry. If this entails messing someone about through this medium one may call it "perplexing poetry" or even "absurd poetry" but it is not philosophy.

Kind regards


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:42 pm 
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TMingyur wrote:
Don't agree. As long as one plays with language and abstains from any assertive statements of the kind "This means that this is so and so" then it is just this. It is using language as medium, it is poetry. If this entails messing someone about through this medium one may call it "perplexing poetry" or even "absurd poetry" but it is not philosophy.

As long as one openly explores truth through the medium of language without dictating what it ought to be, it's not philosophy? I guess Nietzsche wasn't a philosopher then. Words get their meaning from usage. In one sense, there have never been any "philosophers" outside Greek traditions and their descendants. Buddhism has never been a philosophy or had any philosophers. In another, you're a philosopher for engaging in any kind of "philosophical" exploration, even if that entails writing Thus Spake Zarathustra or works of this nature. Nagarjuna wasn't assertive because he was a critical philosopher like Nietzsche. A critical philosopher can still be a philosopher, depending on your system of definitions.

offtopic: Rainbowtara, if the F-word is censored even in a non-aggressive context, are pictures of effing out of bounds too?

Image


Last edited by devilyoudont on Mon Apr 04, 2011 2:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 2:03 pm 
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Stephen Hawking, in his recent "The Grand Design", says that philosophy is dead.
He then goes on to tell us how science now has those answers.

I agree that acres of Buddhist philosophy is as dead as can be, but we must also remember that it served its purpose, it served as a springboard for later ideas. The problem does not lie with the philosophy, but with the people working with it, expanding it, the people who are supposed to keep the plant alive.

There are times when I worry about what the West will do to the Dharma, and there are also times when I am quite confident that we will mess with that plant, that we will feed it all sorts of fertilizers ..... and that it will grow.

If we see Buddhist philosophy as including that which we see around us in the streets and in our lives right now, then that philosophy can be alive, healthy and vibrant. If we put it in a glass case to be oohed and aaahed at, then it will be a "problem".

On a more formal note - why is no-one writing Buddhist philosophy any more. Most other religions are churning it out by the box full. In some case that :new philosophy" is simply designed to move with the times, to change the belief system to go along with the shrinking gaps, a problem that Buddhism responds to rather well, in my view, it being far less paranoid and defensive about such issues.

Yes, we can be fresher, more innovative, some of the old deadwood needs to make way - no doubt about that. By that same token we can also return to some of the old philosophy, in some way we can be more conservative, more traditional.

I think Hawking is a bit quick out of the starting blocks :rolleye:

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 2:30 pm 
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TMingyur wrote:
It is good to return to the suttapitaka and skip all this philosophical scholary fabrication. This is my lesson learned from tibetan buddhism.

kind regards


Some people's idea is to return to some imagined "original" Buddhism. However, there is no such thing.

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at this time of obtaining a perfect human body?

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 2:31 pm 
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devilyoudont wrote:

offtopic: Rainbowtara, if the F-word is censored even in a non-aggressive context, are pictures of effing out of bounds too?


If any member is not happy about an act of moderation please refer to the Terms of Service-Reporting Procedures. viewtopic.php?f=9&t=2616&start=0 in particular the section with the sub heading

Quote:
If you have a complaint about an act of moderation...


Regards,
rt


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 3:04 pm 
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The truth itself doesn't change. The Buddha told us not about a truth which suit us. If there is by the many offered styles of practices clinging to the practices themselves, we can make a mistake and take them as truth.

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Last edited by muni on Mon Apr 04, 2011 3:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 3:39 pm 
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muni wrote:
The truth itself doesn't change. The Buddha told us not about a truth which suit us. If there is by the many offered styles of practices clinging to the practices themselves, we can make a mistake and take them as the truth.



Hi Muni-la:

What I am talking about is the fact that people think there is an ideal Buddhism somewhere. It is like a perfect form, unchanging, eternal, etc.

In reality Buddhism just reacts to people's circumstances. The Dharma is never completely taught, because people's conditions are endlessly various. And when someone becomes a Buddha, then for them Dharma is complete, since it has been realized.

The problem I am identifying is that Buddhism these days resembles a debate court, where people trot out obsolete problems (like how many sides an atom has) and then expend great deal of energy trying to disprove that atom. This amounts to disproving hair on a tortoise.

Now, I am not saying we should not study these things. But we need to study them with a view to their relevance. We know, through common observation, for example, that Vasubandhu's cosmology in the third chapter of Abhidharmakośa is wrong. This is not a mystery. We have known that it is wrong since at least 16th century, at least in the West. but still people are arguing about these things as if they are real.

I am not suggesting that we negate the two stages, toss out Dzogchen, etc. What I am suggesting however is that much of what is taught in Buddhism today are intellectual museum pieces that have no relevance to anyone's life.

There is always a role for historical scholarship, it can be interesting to learn how to debate like a monk in the fifteenth century. But we always must check the dharma that is being taught, and which we are learning, to see if it really has any value in our life.

Life is short and samsara is long.

N

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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

How can you not practice the highest Dharma
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 3:43 pm 
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"What I am talking about is the fact that people think there is an ideal Buddhism somewhere. It is like a perfect form, unchanging, eternal, etc"

Forsure, skills and methods are changing, practices are changing. when they unfold the Noble Truths, Buddha should not disagree.

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Last edited by muni on Mon Apr 04, 2011 3:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 3:44 pm 
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I'm thankful we have canons in which the Buddhist teaching is presented in a variety of ways. I'm skeptical of the claim made earlier in this thread that meditative practice is really the only necessary component of practice. If you trust Brian Victoria's account in _Zen at War_, you come to the conclusion that only meditating can lead a Buddhist community directly to Fascism, or really anywhere else you might lead it. (In the US, you might lead it to Whole Foods, or to transpersonal psychology...). Rigorous presentations of the teaching available for study, in which the Dharma is explained in a variety of different ways, can be a useful backstop against this. Yes, what counts is your realization, the depth and breadth of it, the fruit of practice. But practice on its own can be barren or misguided without the engagement of critical thought in an applied way, integrated into one's mindstream.

I think Malcolm makes an interesting and useful point in this thread: it would be helpful of Buddhist pedagogy as a whole were more creative in the presentation of Dharma. This seems to happen more in English-language situations... if there is a new concept in Tibetan Buddhism (not Tibetan-language Buddhism mind you) in the last 400 years or so, Spiritual Materialism is it.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 3:54 pm 
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Namdrol wrote:
[

I am not suggesting that we negate the two stages, toss out Dzogchen, etc. What I am suggesting however is that much of what is taught in Buddhism today are intellectual museum pieces that have no relevance to anyone's life.

There is always a role for historical scholarship, it can be interesting to learn how to debate like a monk in the fifteenth century. But we always must check the dharma that is being taught, and which we are learning, to see if it really has any value in our life.

Life is short and samsara is long.

N

Clinging to intellectual museum pieces? Exhausting impermanence. Yes we can miss what is valuable and keep coarse mind rolling.

muni simple wind, Namdrol la.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 4:20 pm 
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There the problem is strictly on the side of monastics whose practice degenerates or disappears. The intellectual presentation of the Dharma has little to do with it, compared to poor motivations, qualities and preparations of the lay and particularly the monastic Buddhists. The "ossification" of the monastics, who are the holders & teachers of the Dharma is the nut of it. But the cycles must run the rounds it appears.

I recall this old thread... viewtopic.php?f=41&t=376

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:00 pm 
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Back to the OP a bit.

What are some of the consequences if the basic Dharma pedagogy becomes too antiseptic or constipated or irrelevant to people's everyday lives? I think the short answer is that people look elsewhere for guidance. And you get adventures like this to fill the gap.

viewtopic.php?f=40&t=2061&start=0&hilit=kuji

This is not, in my opinion, a positive outcome.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:12 pm 
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Namdrol wrote:
TMingyur wrote:
It is good to return to the suttapitaka and skip all this philosophical scholary fabrication. This is my lesson learned from tibetan buddhism.

kind regards


Some people's idea is to return to some imagined "original" Buddhism. However, there is no such thing.


The term "return" I applied should not be taken literal. I did not have "originality" in my mind when applying it. This may be a Theravadin's attitude but not mine.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:22 pm 
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devilyoudont wrote:
TMingyur wrote:
Don't agree. As long as one plays with language and abstains from any assertive statements of the kind "This means that this is so and so" then it is just this. It is using language as medium, it is poetry. If this entails messing someone about through this medium one may call it "perplexing poetry" or even "absurd poetry" but it is not philosophy.

As long as one openly explores truth through the medium of language without dictating what it ought to be, it's not philosophy? I guess Nietzsche wasn't a philosopher then. Words get their meaning from usage. In one sense, there have never been any "philosophers" outside Greek traditions and their descendants. Buddhism has never been a philosophy or had any philosophers. In another, you're a philosopher for engaging in any kind of "philosophical" exploration, even if that entails writing Thus Spake Zarathustra or works of this nature. Nagarjuna wasn't assertive because he was a critical philosopher like Nietzsche. A critical philosopher can still be a philosopher, depending on your system of definitions.

Whatever. Were does this lead to?
See I find philosophy inappropriate. You then referred to Nagarjuna and asked whether this includes him. I am not sure whether he was a philosopher. His MMK is linguistic play from my perspective. All I was able to read from his texts originated from philosophical schools. I have no idea about any "original".
On the other hand I have no motivation to defend Nagarjuna. Why should I?
So you just conclude what you like and that's fine for me.

Kind regards


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