Dana: The Practice of Giving

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Dana: The Practice of Giving

Postby LastLegend » Wed Aug 03, 2011 2:14 am

To truly benefit from Buddhist teachings, one has to fully embrace the teachings and practice as as whole. So it is not just about meditation as sitting in one place. We have to to embrace the teachings and live it. And one of the most most important teaching is giving, a neccessary component/tool for us to get out of samsara...and by benefit I mean what you get out from Buddhist teachings whether your goal is to exit samsara or not. And the most benefitial thing is to exit samsara. As always, if we have the tendency to be attached, we will be attaching to anything.

Here is the link to Dana: The practice of giving
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el367.html

Discussion? Thoughts? Ideas? Questions? Comments? Feel free.
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Re: Dana: The Practice of Giving

Postby ronnewmexico » Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:41 am

I don't know....ones embracing the teachings as a whole is not necessarily anothers. And who qualifies we must....there are many schools and variants to this thing, so I say which whole.

Compassion....a good thing that as action provides good result or karmic effect. Actually perhaps little known as a tantra of sorts.
It produces happiness in a conventional sense..for humans this is the way to happiness. As end in itself...if so those most giving would find liberation...seems not.

I personally provided five years of giving in the form of compassionate work for nothing in various volunteer settings. Did I actually help anyone..probably not, a little, here and there not much. I did establish to my opinion the karmic basis from which I may meditate. Not to say I am a accomplished meditator or any of that...but if that groundwork was not provided what little I have would not have been done in that regard.
So for me it serves specific purpose but I don't find to many approach it in that context.
I continue in a limited fashion this, and help informally if I may. Directed to this thing, I say with caution....we really cannot help very much.
A bit perhaps that is about it for normal folk. To be in a situation one can help effectively very much speaks to my opinion of a past lifetime or many of good karmic effect....really most of us are not that. WE can change the tide in this thing very gradually and slowly. REally meditation is more effective in that. WE know and understand we can help more.
But to meditate we must provide the ground of meditation which is compassionate action, even if ineffective.
Give we give what we can,that's the most we can.
Better karma better opportunity we give more, we have more...seems simple, and not really a big deal. The meditation to my opinion is the thing.
Or we continue to go up and down.

So those are some of my thoughts on this.
To add...my main giving at this time and place..singing empty songs of mantra to demons and other things of spirit that have no exposure to this thing. Perhaps they like it, none do this I'd guess. And humans in this day and time...their karma to my opinion it is like concrete weighing them down. Not much can happen there.
A bit of a hazard there but whose to care..it may help them.

.Is that someones buddhism embraced in whole..I'd guess not... few if any do it, nor does any school instruct it, seemingly. If they did it would probably be quite secret and me not qualified :smile: . Quite mad they may say I.. So I do not embrace buddhism in whole. I embrace my practice in whole.
And give that way. I sing to cows as well and deer and other things...I care not, some seem to like it. Some not....

So those are some of my thoughts added.
It is quite cool now and dark and windy and with storm nearby,lightening in the sky....as they are as they are.....I will now sing to them..they like things like this, storms like this.... they will be there. I will sing very loud and clear, my secret revealed..I do this thing. And as you read this perhaps know someone is doing this thing and cares not if he is following buddhism as a whole. He does this thing, now he is.
Giving in his way.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Dana: The Practice of Giving

Postby LastLegend » Wed Aug 03, 2011 8:06 am

ronnewmexico wrote:I don't know....ones embracing the teachings as a whole is not necessarily anothers. And who qualifies we must....there are many schools and variants to this thing, so I say which whole.


For whoever hears it and able to put into practice. Of course, it does not apply to all simply because we all have different approaches and understanding.

Compassion....a good thing that as action provides good result or karmic effect. Actually perhaps little known as a tantra of sorts.
It produces happiness in a conventional sense..for humans this is the way to happiness. As end in itself...if so those most giving would find liberation...seems not.


True giving is based on one's intention. Is the intention to benefit oneself or others when giving?

From studying the mind, the way we think that is based on attachment is what brings suffering.

I personally provided five years of giving in the form of compassionate work for nothing in various volunteer settings. Did I actually help anyone..probably not, a little, here and there not much. I did establish to my opinion the karmic basis from which I may meditate. Not to say I am a accomplished meditator or any of that...but if that groundwork was not provided what little I have would not have been done in that regard.


The resources that you have that allow you to practice Dharma are based on merits which you have accumulated from past life. Some people don't even have a meal to eat let alone practicing Dharma. We are so different in forms, shapes, size, intelligence is a result of karma or merits...it is advised through teachings I have recieved that Buddhists who are lacking in resources currently should practice giving...giving Dharma, giving in form of money (50 cents, a dollar), giving lives in terms of releasing wild caught animals, giving a recipe (a worldly dharma), etc. The intention is what counts and what generates merits greatest. And in this current lifetime, they will have resources.

So for me it serves specific purpose but I don't find to many approach it in that context.
I continue in a limited fashion this, and help informally if I may. Directed to this thing, I say with caution....we really cannot help very much.
A bit perhaps that is about it for normal folk. To be in a situation one can help effectively very much speaks to my opinion of a past lifetime or many of good karmic effect....really most of us are not that. WE can change the tide in this thing very gradually and slowly. REally meditation is more effective in that. WE know and understand we can help more.
But to meditate we must provide the ground of meditation which is compassionate action, even if ineffective.
Give we give what we can,that's the most we can.
Better karma better opportunity we give more, we have more...seems simple, and not really a big deal. The meditation to my opinion is the thing.
Or we continue to go up and down.


I agree. In my own terms, the ground work for meditation is working towards selflessness starting from thinking and actions.

So those are some of my thoughts on this.
To add...my main giving at this time and place..singing empty songs of mantra to demons and other things of spirit that have no exposure to this thing. Perhaps they like it, none do this I'd guess. And humans in this day and time...their karma to my opinion it is like concrete weighing them down. Not much can happen there.
A bit of a hazard there but whose to care..it may help them.


I agree with the italiced part.

.Is that someones buddhism embraced in whole..I'd guess not... few if any do it, nor does any school instruct it, seemingly. If they did it would probably be quite secret and me not qualified :smile: . Quite mad they may say I.. So I do not embrace buddhism in whole. I embrace my practice in whole.
And give that way. I sing to cows as well and deer and other things...I care not, some seem to like it. Some not....


Giving is an important teaching which I have been taught in my language, and in Chinese Mahayana also. That’s what we are taught as laymen Buddhists. The act of giving itself is like changing the direction of how we think and do things and moving towards Buddhist teachings. And whole as in following precepts, 10 virtuous acts, etc…personally, I used to drink and do drugs, but now when I drink a couple beers, my stomach is trying to kill me. So I have no desire to drink or smoke cigarettes. To me Buddhism is slowly becoming my life. So in a way it is changing the whole person, like embracing the path.

I embrace Buddhism through experience.

So those are some of my thoughts added.
It is quite cool now and dark and windy and with storm nearby,lightening in the sky....as they are as they are.....I will now sing to them..they like things like this, storms like this.... they will be there. I will sing very loud and clear, my secret revealed..I do this thing. And as you read this perhaps know someone is doing this thing and cares not if he is following buddhism as a whole. He does this thing, now he is.
Giving in his way.


As long as you give even it is so tiny, that’s what it contributing towards cultivation of the mind. And then small non-virtuous acts will contribute towards thickening one’s own delusion.
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Re: Dana: The Practice of Giving

Postby ronnewmexico » Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:26 pm

Truth is you can't give or help without helping yourself. So whatever conception you may have on intending things if you really see things as they are there is no possible way you can help another without helping yourself.

So we should intend differently send that understanding from our mind and try to only help others and then not consequently ourselves....that is impossible and if we are to disregard the facts of this issue we are blanketing or surpressing what we know. That is always a negative.
So why lie about it...we cannot just help others. So naturally we always knowing that...intend to help ourselves and others. It can't be any other way.
I can't change the reality of things to fit someones conceptual notions of bodhisattva.

Giving alone is not enought to cultivate the mind. ACtually cultivating the mind must also be endeavored, or we be but christians.
WE must also pursue meditative means.

In our daily lives as small people, we can envision great great things, really the most all like us may do is, as we are quite small,... what we can.
To make a big deal of it and say we must be HHDL or someone give all our bodies away to robbers and all our money to the poor...that is unrealistic.
We can't do such things and continue at all on the spiritual path.
I have done such things at a much younger age having no money at all and depending upon a handout to get my next meal...it is OK but not particularly conducive to spiritual practice. More conducive is we live simply and try to get by... helping when we may. We are not born into the circumstance of HHDL, we may not be him nor necessarily do his things. If opportunity presents to do great things..of course we should do them. but realistically they probably will not.

Understanding is compassion by my take..it always is and can't be seperate. So if you see yourself becoming noncompassionate it means your understanding is becoming lesser. If more compassionate your understanding is getting greater...it is that simple.

To make a big deal about it....oh I will do great things I will rebirth for eternity to help others....no offense but that works to reduce conception of self but really...we are not in that circumstance. Most likely when our minds energies are chasing us through the bardo..... like about all others, we will be running away to human rebirth as refuge from those things of us(the energies) not because we want to altruistically help others, because we are frightened with the complete implication of no self.

So I can see great vow as means to eradication of self.....really other than as great vow it is not the real.
I can't drive away what I know....it is that one cannot help another without helping oneself....that is as things are.
The karmic effect of helping another rebounds in form by helping you...that is fact.
If you don't understand that....well certainly I agree then we must work at understanding that by any means...it is most important being human to know that as it leads to human happiness...the karmic effect of helping is human happiness always..it is as humans are.

Is in the end simply understanding enough and not doing anything by self intention then enough....more and more I think so.
The circumstance of giving will then present... nothing needs to be forced. The circumstance of giving may then be as simple as taking a breath that is not breathed by you but by other......as it as well must be that thing. The vision we may see with our eyes then becomes the eyes visions by other....and remarkable things we may see, though it is not us seeing them but other.
So in such things we cannnot but be other and as other is all compassionate so we are. But no action is required only response to what is given by other.

That will rub off...it is that simple. So me personally I take no vow..it cannot be otherwise I need to take that thing. All is that vow..completely understood.
Tell me it is not....I tell you firmly no....You are wrong. You are of course entitled to your own opinion...that is mine...requested,it is provided.

Yes it may seem strange, this small person with small practice in a place of nowhere special states this thing....a perfect act of compassion may be simply taking a breath that is not breathed by me....so I may be perfectly compassionate and thusly great in my fashion with compassion.
You follow your practice that is mine..more and more I realize it....nothing it is to you but breathing. Good I say you think that thing....it cannot be sold nor bought this thing nor aspired to nor renounced...it is what we are, and nothing more...no more compassionate can I be than what I be. As compassionate as everything is can I be no more nor less. So I will be.. and am. breathing... being breathed by other....feel it.... you may, eventually all may.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Dana: The Practice of Giving

Postby LastLegend » Wed Aug 03, 2011 11:20 pm

ronnewmexico wrote:Truth is you can't give or help without helping yourself. So whatever conception you may have on intending things if you really see things as they are there is no possible way you can help another without helping yourself.


Yes, giving is helping yourself because by giving others you are giving yourself.

So we should intend differently send that understanding from our mind and try to only help others and then not consequently ourselves....that is impossible and if we are to disregard the facts of this issue we are blanketing or surpressing what we know. That is always a negative.
So why lie about it...we cannot just help others. So naturally we always knowing that...intend to help ourselves and others. It can't be any other way.
I can't change the reality of things to fit someones conceptual notions of bodhisattva.


Yes, we have to help ourselves first by getting merits for such as basic resources and necessities in order to practice. Then again, we must recognize that indulging in merits is what brings us suffering also. Nevertheless, resources can be a tool or an object of attachment. So it is important to recognize this. Without basic resources and necessities, we will suffer.

In a true sense, no one is a Bodhisattva until he/she is enlightened. As a deluded human being, I will always have attachments and flaws, but recognizing my selfish thinking and actions, and try to decrease them as best as I can.

Giving alone is not enought to cultivate the mind. ACtually cultivating the mind must also be endeavored, or we be but christians.
WE must also pursue meditative means.


Giving alone is not enough...but true giving is actually about giving up your selfish thinking and actions. Then again, if we have been meditating for years, but we have not decreased our emotional reaction such as anger, then we will have to question whether our meditation works to decrease attachment.

In our daily lives as small people, we can envision great great things, really the most all like us may do is, as we are quite small,... what we can.
To make a big deal of it and say we must be HHDL or someone give all our bodies away to robbers and all our money to the poor...that is unrealistic.


I am sure you can afford to give 50 cents. Giving is from the heart/intention is what generate greatest merits even if it is 50 cents, it is a practice actually, more closely related to kindness. In a way this is a cultivation of the mind by the act of giving because our mind is thinking about giving, and we are giving 50 cents or whatever we can afford. Of course it is not through force. Then again, we are talking about detachment here such that things we own don't end up owning us. But this is not to say we have to abandon everything we do in daily life. I still pay pills, therefore I will go to work. I will eat. Resources should be a tool.

Giving is a practice...if you don't practice it will be very difficult to do so. Then again, giving wealth will have wealth...this is the principle of karma...think about ourselves more, and we will suffer-attachment of self...this is the principle of karma.


We can't do such things and continue at all on the spiritual path.
I have done such things at a much younger age having no money at all and depending upon a handout to get my next meal...it is OK but not particularly conducive to spiritual practice. More conducive is we live simply and try to get by... helping when we may. We are not born into the circumstance of HHDL, we may not be him nor necessarily do his things. If opportunity presents to do great things..of course we should do them. but realistically they probably will not.


Why are you comparing us to HHDL? We are not him first of all. So we will not be doing what he's doing. But we can offer 50 cents in a donation jar...again the reason why you were able to work because you were born normal with limbs and a fully functioning brain. This is due to your merits or karma. That's why you are able to work and make money. So if you don't have merits, you might born with physiological problems and won't be a able to work. Therefore no resources, and perhaps won't be able to practice Dharma. What you have to understand is everything comes together through conditions that are dependent. That's how you came to Dharma also...an example is you won't be able to use this forum if you don't have access to computer. There is no accident, everything is result of karma and karma is ripened through right conditions.

The idea is if you are constantly stressing out about your living situation or financial situation or resources, how can you focus on practicing Dharma? By giving in this lifetime, we will have resources. Resources act as a tool for us to practice Dharma. What happen to gods when they run out of merits? They will have to take rebirth in immediately to lower realms and no longer possessing the bodies of gods, which is a result of merits or karma.

Understanding is compassion by my take..it always is and can't be seperate. So if you see yourself becoming noncompassionate it means your understanding is becoming lesser. If more compassionate your understanding is getting greater...it is that simple.


I prefer the word wisdom. Understanding but if you don't practice, we will not benefit. Perhaps my responses above is what I meant about fully embrace Buddhist teachings especially the teaching of Karma.


To make a big deal about it....oh I will do great things I will rebirth for eternity to help others....no offense but that works to reduce conception of self but really...we are not in that circumstance. Most likely when our minds energies are chasing us through the bardo..... like about all others, we will be running away to human rebirth as refuge from those things of us(the energies) not because we want to altruistically help others, because we are frightened with the complete implication of no self.


Giving has more do with helping ourselves. The idea is we all are one, so by dedicating merits to all sentient being for example, we are actually dedicating merits to ourselves because we are not excluded from that category of sentient beings. Then again, we have all Buddha nature and all equal, in this respect, we are one but many so one out of many like space cannot be separated.


So I can see great vow as means to eradication of self.....really other than as great vow it is not the real.
I can't drive away what I know....it is that one cannot help another without helping oneself....that is as things are.
The karmic effect of helping another rebounds in form by helping you...that is fact.


Yes, but whatever merits you gain should act as a tool. Again if we have the tendency to attach, we will be attaching to anything even Buddhism itself.

Buddha is one with full of merits, naturally. Look at the way Buddha looks even in his human form, very different from us because of merits. Ananda admired Buddha's looks, that's why he asked to be Buddha's students. So it seems like sentient beings are attracted to merits in forms of good looks, wealth, powers, etc. But by practicing giving wealth, we will receive wealth.Then again by indulging in these merits, we will not be exiting samsara. So it should be a tool for us to use...similar to the concept of Tantra utilizing sex.

Buddha's 32 looks and such also are examples of full/complete merits.

If you don't understand that....well certainly I agree then we must work at understanding that by any means...it is most important being human to know that as it leads to human happiness...the karmic effect of helping is human happiness always..it is as humans are.


It is human happiness, but it is also human suffering. This we also must recognize if the purpose to decrease or getting rid of suffering through meditation. In fact meditation is to detach.

Is in the end simply understanding enough and not doing anything by self intention then enough....more and more I think so.
The circumstance of giving will then present... nothing needs to be forced. The circumstance of giving may then be as simple as taking a breath that is not breathed by you but by other......as it as well must be that thing. The vision we may see with our eyes then becomes the eyes visions by other....and remarkable things we may see, though it is not us seeing them but other.


Well the reason why you could make such a statement is because of your merits...People will experience a lot of problems in life if they don't have merits. To understand this, we can observe and see why some people always have problems in life while others seem to move along pretty well. This is a result of karma or merits.

As human beings, sentient beings, we suffer and there are many many reasons that contribute to suffering. One of it is lacking of merits. This is something we must recognize. Basic resources, basic necessities are what we need. We will suffer if we don't have these. If we are hungry and malnourished, I don't think we can practice Dharma. So we have to take care of basic resources or necessities first.

Buddhist teachings are to change the person, to benefit the person, and to bring the person out of his/her situation. But we must remember to not be attached to Buddhism.

So in such things we cannnot but be other and as other is all compassionate so we are. But no action is required only response to what is given by other.


This is all talk.

That will rub off...it is that simple. So me personally I take no vow..it cannot be otherwise I need to take that thing. All is that vow..completely understood.
Tell me it is not....I tell you firmly no....You are wrong. You are of course entitled to your own opinion...that is mine...requested,it is provided.


You don't take vows but do you have the wisdom to discern what's the right thing to do and what's not?


Yes it may seem strange, this small person with small practice in a place of nowhere special states this thing....a perfect act of compassion may be simply taking a breath that is not breathed by me....so I may be perfectly compassionate and thusly great in my fashion with compassion.


Compassion is a practice and true compassion we deluded don't possess because we still have this attachment of self while Buddhas and Bodhisattvas no longer have that.


You follow your practice that is mine..more and more I realize it....nothing it is to you but breathing. Good I say you think that thing....it cannot be sold nor bought this thing nor aspired to nor renounced...it is what we are, and nothing more...no more compassionate can I be than what I be. As compassionate as everything is can I be no more nor less. So I will be.. and am. breathing... being breathed by other....feel it.... you may, eventually all may.


I am breathing too.
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