Tibetan Buddhism and Bon

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

Re: Tibetan Buddhism and Bon

Postby Flow » Thu Jul 21, 2011 4:35 pm

Do you actually want an answer to your rhetorical question?
I'm sure you have an idea of how we define matter.


Who is we?

Max Planck? Werner Heisenberg? Erwin Schrödinger? Dogen Zenji?
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism and Bon

Postby Enochian » Thu Jul 21, 2011 4:37 pm

Hi Flow,

There are several errors on your website.

I suggest reading "The Tantric Body" by Gavin Flood, which is a serious academic book despite its cover.
There is an ever-present freedom from grasping the mind.

Mind being defined as the thing always on the Three Times.
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism and Bon

Postby Josef » Thu Jul 21, 2011 4:38 pm

Flow wrote:
Do you actually want an answer to your rhetorical question?
I'm sure you have an idea of how we define matter.


Who is we?

Max Planck? Werner Heisenberg? Erwin Schrödinger? Dogen Zenji?

You're on a Buddhist forum.
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism and Bon

Postby Flow » Thu Jul 21, 2011 4:40 pm

You're on a Buddhist forum.


YES!

Thank you very much!

This sums up my whole point: I am on a Buddhist forum and have to cope with materialistic science trying to debunk the authenticity of my lineage... Thanks, Sir!

I'm out - now that this reached its weirdest point... Double-standards are nothing in comparison to this. :namaste:
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism and Bon

Postby Enochian » Thu Jul 21, 2011 4:42 pm

Flow,

I don't understand why you come in here and assume we are hostile to Bon.

Read the old threads.
There is an ever-present freedom from grasping the mind.

Mind being defined as the thing always on the Three Times.
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism and Bon

Postby Josef » Thu Jul 21, 2011 4:44 pm

Flow wrote:
You're on a Buddhist forum.


YES!

Thank you very much!

This sums up my whole point: I am on a Buddhist forum and have to cope with materialistic science trying to debunk the authenticity of my lineage... Thanks, Sir!

I'm out - now that this reached its weirdest point... Double-standards are nothing in comparison to this. :namaste:


Bye.
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism and Bon

Postby LastLegend » Thu Jul 21, 2011 4:54 pm

Flow,

Is the force that holds atom together physical? Measurable, observable? Do what know what it is exactly?
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism and Bon

Postby adinatha » Thu Jul 21, 2011 5:00 pm

Hey Flow, How you doin? Okay you appear to be on the right track of understanding dharma when you are talking about it and focusing there. But it is peppered with views as I can see. Dharma, despite the way it looks on paper, is very concise. Try to boil down what you are saying into few statements.

Mind is wind. The wind glows with five colors. The five colors are the essence of five elements (samsara) and five wisdoms are the essence of five colors (nirvana). The root of the five elements is space. Space is indistinguishable from awareness itself. Therefore mind and matter are inseparable, and awareness itself (sems nyid/ rigpa) is the root.

All of the above is dependently originated. Space is and awareness itself is not an eternal foundation from which everything else arises. The causal continuum is the eternal foundation, and because it is eternally originated dependently, it has no foundation.

Awareness is just like space. You can't see it, touch it or point to it. It is nothing. But that nothing is there anyway, just like space. This reality is the springboard to realization of the inexpressible Mahamudra, Atiyoga, Youthful Vase Body, Dharmakaya, etc.

Then you say that we have a degenerated language, as if Tibetan is not. I detect a hint of the Platonic idealism in statements like that, a devolution from the ideal. There is something of the Platonic with regard to Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Arhats, siddhas, sentient beings (gods, humans, animals, demons, hell beings). We talk of the Kali Yuga being the end of a cycle. It does look like there is a devolution. But if you want to be quite quantum about things, time is merely perceived. All these levels and cycles are happening at the moment. Wittgenstein's eternal timelessness is the moment. So is Buddha's. Timelessness is not the same as eternity. You think so, because you don't know timelessness, and you think it is just semantics.

You should be aware that Wittgenstein's theory that language is the limit of our world is rather anathema to a dharma folk. Conceptualization is merely the illusion of a world, a mistaken apprehension. Also, later philosophers have trounced this view, Kripke, Searle. A lot of it is still good for forum banter. No so much for serious philosophy. Totally opposite real dharma.

Non-adherence to a foundation. No acceptance or rejection.


So this means that I shall accept any nonsense about anything - otherwise I am adhering... What a blast! :rolling: Why don't you start not accepting and not rejecting right away and just leave this discussion? ;)


You sound pretty irritated with me. Well, perhaps your knowledge of dharma is not what you think it is. All you have is an intellectual's grasp. You are like an art critic instead of an artist. What do you think you are going to learn at Menri? All the studies and knowledge are just background. The real study is the nature of your own mind. Once you have that, all the studies and knowledge are self-evident everywhere.

I interjected myself into this discussion because I see your obscuration clear as day. You cling to ideas and you are full of pride. I will now defy my teachers and out of my love for you, an intelligent boy, give you the one sentence pith instruction : Do not grasp truth, son.
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism and Bon

Postby adinatha » Thu Jul 21, 2011 5:06 pm

Flow wrote:
What do we experience directly?


We experience experience.

What do you see: do snake or the rope? What is matter other than an ontological category? Why is matter not mind? Why is not all mind? Why speak of matter anyway?

When I dream is that not experience? So is my dream made from matter?


This is more productive. You should study "The Primordial Experience" by Manjushrimitra. Experience is the essence of dharma. What is matter other than the experience of it, right? It is just like a dream. So we look to the experience. And in the experience, the experiencer. With no experiencer to be found, we experience freedom.
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism and Bon

Postby Malcolm » Thu Jul 21, 2011 5:09 pm

Flow wrote:
I am speaking of consciousness as the opposite of what we perceive of as matter



That is a non-description.



You stated:
There is no reality at all, of any kind
I have to disagree. And Nagarjuna disagrees also:


You might think that Nāgārjuna disagrees, but he does not disagree. For Nāgārjuna śūnyatā is tattva, the real. If you say, however that śūnyatā is real, you have reified emptiness and are about as far away from tattva, the real, as you can get.

A simple reminder of Descartes should actually be enough to refute this. There is always reality. If something is – it is – and that is reality.


Nāgārjuna, as well as the Buddha, reject this. There is no "is". Nāgārjuna would reject your claim the following way "Apart from what has been, and what has not been, there is no [present] being".

Reality, for Nāgārjuna is freedom from four extremes. Relative truth is free from four extremes, also ultimate truth is free from four extremes.


If emptiness is emptiness is. If form is form is. If form is emptiness, emptiness is form - but there still: IS. Reality won't go away.


Emptiness is not established. It has no characteristics. Hence, we have the discussion of the eighteen kinds of emptiness, one of the most important of which is the emptiness of emptiness.


The question is about what kind of reality you are speaking of. If you speak about absolute reality in the way of 'matter always existing' or 'the self' or 'the Buddha' or what not – then of course you point into the right direction. But you are not correct to assert that there is no-thing. Nothing can not be.


I did not assert existence, therefore, I cannot be accused of asserting non-existence. When you discover your bank account is empty, you say you have no money. When you investigate things and find out that they have no reality, that is not an assertion of non-existence. It is not my fault if things fail the reality test. Apart from things (dharmas,material and mental), there is nothing else that could be real.


And what is not is not. This is a semantic problem. Nothing more. In Bön the concept of aware space is utilized: Emptiness – but emptiness is not nothingness. At least not in the Bön teaching. What you proclaim here is actually nihilism. And that is not dharma. Seriously.


Nihilism is only the assertion that something which existed no longer now exists [ucchedavāda]. For those who do not assert existence, the fault of non-existence cannot be applied.

In order for there to be reality to be established, something must be established to exist. If nothing can be established to exist, for what reason can reality be established to exist. Likewise, Nāgārjuna has said "Since arising, abiding and perishing are not established, the conditioned is not established. Since the conditioned is not established, how will the unconditioned be established?" Likewise he states elsewhere, "If there were something slightly not empty, there would be something that could be empty; but as there is nothing that is not empty, where is there something that could be empty?"

Nāgārjuna, you see, is quite uncompromising in his anti-realism.

Buddhist philosophy is not afflicted with this radical dualism. Mind and matter are two sides of the same coin. Everything is part of a single continuous reality. But, of necessity, we may analyze out and abstract certain aspects of reality by way of our intellect. However, this does not make these distinct aspects separate realities or separate substances. Mind and matter are part of a single whole; they are not separate orders of being.'


This is all just relative truth. He is referring to the issue of Cartesian dualism. He is incorrect however in one thing -- from Yogacara on down, there Buddhist philosophy does maintain a substance dualism between mind and matter. Madhyamakas don't really care much what your correct relative truth, provided that it is efficient, i.e. when you plant a seed, it produces a sprout, while at the same time rejecting realist arguments to explain the process of germination.

'Mind and matter are part of a single whole; they are not separate orders of being.'
→ 'Consciousness is the 'root' of reality.'


How can you say that consciousness is the root of reality of you maintain that consciousness and matter are part of a single whole? Further, how can you given primacy to consciousness if you regard consciousness and matter as a single whole?

But please remember that we are bound by language and that language can by constitution only be the map to the territory we are speaking about... So don't get hooked up on terms, please. Logic proving the conceptual system itself - cannot penetrate into the non-conceptual - the non-dual.


Not all non-dualities are the same. Buddhist non-dualism is epistemic, whereas Hindu non-dualism is ontological. What do I mean by this? Non-duality, for a Mahdyamaka means that in reality, because of dependent origination, the extremes of asti and nasti, being and non-being, are reifications (samaropa) and have no reality. This is the essence of the fifteenth chapter of the Mulamadhyamakakarikas (in addition to issuing a fundamental blow to Samkhya philosophy).



You having mentioned him to prove that you are not a materialist is exactly what I referred to before: that you claim to have accepted an ontology based on certain metaphysical assumptions [Buddhism] but you speak from a perspective of another one [materialism].


I don't have an ontology. And I am not speaking from the perspective of materialism. I just happen to think that Buddhist texts undergo clear evolution because I have been studying them since I was 16 and have read thousands of them in various translations and languages.


Just because there is the doctrine of dependent origination [which I have not spoken upon at all] it does not mean that this is proof of Darwinian evolution which needs to be accepted for your linguistic theory to uphold.


I am not arguing for the evolution of Buddhist texts because I happen to also accept natural selection as reasonable theory of how lifeforms evolve over time, not to mention the fact that such evolution is mathematically verifiable. I am arguing for the evolution of Buddhist texts based on the record of Buddhist texts and what is in them and the clear development of such texts over time.


Remember where we started out? I doubted that with your analytical tools borrowed from linguistics based on anthropology, based on evolution theory - you might go wrong in your assertions toward the past of Tibet - or of any other place in the world. This is what I am saying.


I don't have any assertions about the Tibean past apart from what can be verified for example in Chinese annals, Indian records, Arabian Records, Tibean Records. Everything else, which is only found in Tibetan texts that has no third party independently verifiable source I regard as "tradition". And in this respect Bonpos have their traditions and Buddhists have theres. I thought I should have made it clear that there are traditions in both Buddhism and Bon that I do not regard as objectively factual, even though they may be spiritually meaningful. Such things as the Mt. Meru cosmology and so on. When it comes to history, in the other hand, I think that Buddhism is on much stronger ground.


Then I go on and make the argument that quantum physics implies that 'consciousness' is the 'base', 'root, [in lack of a better term] of reality which opens the door for different models of dependent origination concerning the appearance of life and the cosmos. Which would then be the ground to question your anthropology and hence your method of linguistical analysis. - and hence your assumptions about the history of Tibet or any other place in the world. It is as easy as that.


When you have studied more, you will rely less on abstract theories which are totally besides the point, and more on what your tradition actually says.


Or could please be so kind and show me on your language tree how proto-indian languages develop into Chinese?


We can infer that all human language descends from language spoken in Africa.

Quentin D. Atkinson, a biologist at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, has shattered this time barrier, if his claim is correct, by looking not at words but at phonemes — the consonants, vowels and tones that are the simplest elements of language. Dr. Atkinson, an expert at applying mathematical methods to linguistics, has found a simple but striking pattern in some 500 languages spoken throughout the world: A language area uses fewer phonemes the farther that early humans had to travel from Africa to reach it.

Some of the click-using languages of Africa have more than 100 phonemes, whereas Hawaiian, toward the far end of the human migration route out of Africa, has only 13. English has about 45 phonemes.

This pattern of decreasing diversity with distance, similar to the well-established decrease in genetic diversity with distance from Africa, implies that the origin of modern human language is in the region of southwestern Africa...


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/15/scien ... guage.html

Or how Sumerian gives rise to Maya-scripts? And please remember: a resemblance does not imply causation.


This is a non-sequitor. You need some intellectual discipline. Studying tent systems will give you that.


The next thing is: I do not adhere to any foundation of anything. I simply make clear that there are different cosmologies available and hence it is not certain that any place in the world including his history can be accurately examined which would then let one state that one had found 'the Truth'. When Nagarjuna finds 'the Truth' he does so based on a solid system of logical reasoning.


As I said you are an idealist. This is a typical idealist train of thought. Buddhism, philosophically speaking, in general is species of nominalism.

Nāgārjuna did not build a system on the basis of logical resasoning. He poked holes in other people's systems because they are all based on false cognitions predicated on naive or formal assumptions of being and non-being. He himself has no system, and neither, for that matter do I. Everything are are discussing however is based on relative truth, and that, as I explained above, is predicated on efficiency. We can certainly entertain the idea that storks delivered us to our parents, and this might well be true, one might say, because after all it is but one of several theories of procreation. But after sufficient observation, you might be inclined to discard this theory for the one that suggests that sexual intercourse is more responsible for procreation.

What you are doing is setting up strawmen pointing to 'my bad understanding of dharma' and then starting your wordgames:


Sorry, Flow, you were the one than came on with all the heavy bullshit about ontologies, materialism, etc., and berating us about how consciousness (which you still have failed to define for me) is the root of reality and so on, as if that explains anything.

'not mortal' 'without death' doesn't imply eternity? I am sorry but this is hilarious. I know about amrta pretty well - as I mentioned I am educated in the Vedic source literature. Amrta is the symbol for eternity. You could say it is the endless knot of Sanatana dharma... ;) This is a semantic word game which does not lead anywhere. If 'without death' does not mean eternal what does it mean then? If something doesn't have an end is it not timeless? Since everything subjugated to time has an end? Is timelessness not equivalent to eternity?


Deathless does not have the same connotation in every Indian Religion. In Buddhism it means never being born again. Amrita on the other hand and in this context, based on the commentarial literature, simply means bdud rtsi simply means elixir. If you wish to consult a good non-Gelug commentary on the Mula, Ornament of Reason is good.



What is is. And that describes these same eternity. It only depends on the level of relativity or absoluteness applied on this 'being-ness' whether it is really real or just phenomenally real...


There is no being-ness. That is just a name.


The same with this:

All commentarial gloss aside, it is well known that the Theravadins are slightly eternalistic in their understanding of nirvana, thus their hermeneutics. Sautrantikas, which are a higher tenet system, are unencumbered by this, but are instead encumbered by a subtle annihilationism.


I refute your point by referring to the comment that is essential to understand the verse you quoted and then you simply wind yourself out of it by exclaiming that Theravada is not developed enough and hence 'slightly eternalistic'.


Yes, that is how tenet systems work.I suggest you study them. As Shantideva said, "The ultimate of the lower is the relative of the higher".

Thank you though for your recommendations for studies. Actually I am seriously considering to ask for acceptance as a monk at Menri monastery at some point in the future and to go through the Geshe studies there. I have the strong faith that I can better understand Bön through that than by studying Tibetan at some Western university... ;) And there I can also learn the healing arts – not only from Doctors but also from shamanic practitioners... ;)


I think you will be disappointed by Bon shamanism. It has been rather neglected by the Bonpos themselves. A lot of what they know is just book knowledge, nothing practical any more.

In order to heal anyone, you need to know how to diagnose illness, and for that you need to study the 'bum zhi.

N
Last edited by Malcolm on Thu Jul 21, 2011 9:38 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism and Bon

Postby adinatha » Thu Jul 21, 2011 5:09 pm

Flow wrote:This sums up my whole point: I am on a Buddhist forum and have to cope with materialistic science trying to debunk the authenticity of my lineage... Thanks, Sir!


You are either misunderstanding the criticisms or you are being disingenuous for the sake of ranting.
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism and Bon

Postby Malcolm » Thu Jul 21, 2011 5:12 pm

Flow wrote:
Do you actually want an answer to your rhetorical question?
I'm sure you have an idea of how we define matter.


Who is we?

Max Planck? Werner Heisenberg? Erwin Schrödinger? Dogen Zenji?



We Buddhists.

We define matter as the four elements: earth, water, fire, and air -- the caturmahābhūtani.

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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: Tibetan Buddhism and Bon

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Jul 21, 2011 5:57 pm

The King Cobra flares its hood in order to intimidate because it is afraid, not because it is brave!

So what exactly is it that are you afraid of Flow?
: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."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism and Bon

Postby Malcolm » Thu Jul 21, 2011 6:32 pm

adinatha wrote:
Flow wrote:This sums up my whole point: I am on a Buddhist forum and have to cope with materialistic science trying to debunk the authenticity of my lineage... Thanks, Sir!


You are either misunderstanding the criticisms or you are being disingenuous for the sake of ranting.


Flow does not seem to like the fact that we are not merley accepting the authenticithy of Bon accounts since they Bon accounts.

This like asking us to accept the Srimad Bhagavatam at face value when it describes Buddha as an Avatar of Vishnu.
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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: Tibetan Buddhism and Bon

Postby Flow » Thu Jul 21, 2011 7:37 pm

The King Cobra flares its hood in order to intimidate because it is afraid, not because it is brave!

So what exactly is it that are you afraid of Flow?


C'mon. Really that tacky...?

Flow does not seem to like the fact that we are not merley accepting the authenticithy of Bon accounts since they Bon accounts.

This like asking us to accept the Srimad Bhagavatam at face value when it describes Buddha as an Avatar of Vishnu.


Close. I don't like the fact that someone wants me to accept Western speculations on face value rather than to accept the history of my lineage as it is presented in their records - without agreeing to the fact that his argument is indeed based on speculation.

And just to make it clear: statements like these were the reason I entered this discussion in the first place:


I dont think so many practitoners have such strong guru devotion why would they wish to sully the great Padmasambhavas teachings with Bon practise :jawdrop: ?


'For Buddhism in Tibet to become influenced towards Bon would make it degenerate wouldnt you agree ?'


That as last remark on how people view Bön teaching here... I had to come and comment on that - no one else cares. So this is not the association I want to have.

Anyways - this is my farewell song to this forum. I have gotten an impression of how you roll and: I don't like it and I am not inclined to spend any more time with you guys. I will refrain from listing all of my arguments since I am afraid of talking too much, you know. ;) Your double-standard policy for well acclaimed forum ranters and nit-picky selectiveness coupled with argument for the sake of it and personal judgements concerning realization and practice is just what I have been waiting for in my life... Peace out, Guys! :namaste:

'Then there are the materialistic philosophers. No respect nor service is to be shown to them because their teaching, though
they may be explained using hundred of thousands of words and phrases, do not go beyond the concerns of this world and
this body and in the end they lead to suffering. As the materialistic recognise no truth existing by itself, they are split up
into many schools, each which clings to its own way of reasoning.


But there is that which does not belong to materialism and which is not reached by the knowledge of the philosophers who
cling to false-imaginations and erroneous reasonings because they fail to see that, fundamentally, there is no reality in
external objects. When it is recognised that there is nothing beyond what is seen of the mind itself, the discrimination of
being and non-being ceases and, as there is thus no external world of object of perception, nothing remains but the solitude
of Reality. This does not belong to the materialistic philosophers, it is the domain of the Tathagatas. If such things are
imagined as the comming and going of the mind-system, vanishing and appearing, solicitation, attachment, intenses
affection, a philosphic hypothesis, a theory, an abode, a sense-concept, atomic attraction, organism, growth, thirst,
grasping,- these things belong to materialism, they are not mine
.' Lankavatara sutra, Chapter IV, Transcendental Intelligence
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism and Bon

Postby Josef » Thu Jul 21, 2011 7:42 pm

Flow wrote:
Anyways - this is my farewell song to this forum. I have gotten an impression of how you roll and: I don't like it and I am not inclined to spend any more time with you guys.

Bye.
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism and Bon

Postby LastLegend » Thu Jul 21, 2011 7:44 pm

Sorry Flow you cannot beat the mob. Unless you are Bruce Lee.

Please answer my question before you go

Is the force that holds atom together physical? Measurable, observable? Do we know what it is exactly?

Why nit pick? Because that's your weakness. Who wants to praise your strengths? These forummers are your Bodhisattvas because you learn to work on your weaknesses, your faults.

If you have no weakness left, then you are Buddha.

Please leave if you are able to. Most of these people here are addicted to this forum including myself of course.
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism and Bon

Postby Malcolm » Thu Jul 21, 2011 9:26 pm

Flow wrote:But there is that which does not belong to materialism and which is not reached by the knowledge of the philosophers who
cling to false-imaginations and erroneous reasonings because they fail to see that, fundamentally, there is no reality in
external objects. When it is recognised that there is nothing beyond what is seen of the mind itself, the discrimination of
being and non-being ceases and, as there is thus no external world of object of perception, nothing remains but the solitude
of Reality. This does not belong to the materialistic philosophers, it is the domain of the Tathagatas. If such things are
imagined as the comming and going of the mind-system, vanishing and appearing, solicitation, attachment, intenses
affection, a philosphic hypothesis, a theory, an abode, a sense-concept, atomic attraction, organism, growth, thirst,
grasping,- these things belong to materialism, they are not mine
.' Lankavatara sutra, Chapter IV, Transcendental Intelligence


Interesting that you pick a cittamatra sutra rather than one more in line with Madhyamaka.

N
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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: Tibetan Buddhism and Bon

Postby Malcolm » Thu Jul 21, 2011 9:33 pm

Flow wrote:
Close. I don't like the fact that someone wants me to accept Western speculations on face value rather than to accept the history of my lineage as it is presented in their records - without agreeing to the fact that his argument is indeed based on speculation.



I don't accept the accounts presented in my own lineage asnecessarily being historically accurate, why should I accept Bon accounts?

N
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
Malcolm
 
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Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Tibetan Buddhism and Bon

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:17 pm

Flow wrote:
The King Cobra flares its hood in order to intimidate because it is afraid, not because it is brave!

So what exactly is it that are you afraid of Flow?


C'mon. Really that tacky...?
Yes, that is exactly how tacky you are being my friend. If you don't deal with this fear you will never see the nature of your mind, and that (in a nut shell), is what Buddhism is about: realising the true nature of your mind.
: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."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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