My Holy Bible

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My Holy Bible

Postby mint » Sat Nov 05, 2011 10:46 pm

As a Christian, I loved the Bible. Even after I tore it apart through exegesis and realized that it was little more than a masterwork of ancient literature, I could still read it and find faith in its words. I wasn't so much concerned with it being the word of God; rather, it was the word of humanity. It was generation upon generation upon generation of anecdotal advice for living. It was like an infinite regress of wise, old grandfathers.

I'm here today trying to practice Dharma because I lost faith in God, Jesus and the Church. It's more than lost faith: I never really had faith to begin with. I manufactured what I believed was faith.

Still, I miss my Bible. I used to study the Bible like crazy. I had bookshelves dedicated to different translations, and then bookshelves dedicated to commentaries. The Bible was this one single text, massive yet succinct, ancient yet always fresh and relevant, it was like the Tao Te Ching in how you could turn to a Psalm or a Letter of St. Paul and find meaningful advice.

Now I have the collected works of Chogyam Trungpa. That's fine. But I wish Buddhism had something like the Bible.
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Re: My Holy Bible

Postby ronnewmexico » Sun Nov 06, 2011 12:09 am

Hmmm..I don't know. Even M buddhism seems derived as base from Theravadan, then all sutra and sutta, inclusive, a thing we may learn from...I'd guess there may be a sutra sutta or such enough to be found to keep one occupied for a bit if one likes to read things like that. And it is necessary to read things like that to be a buddhist..
On line may be a start and then perhaps books on these things. Many sutra sutta found it may take months to examine just one fully finding meaning.
The bible by my take is the lesser vehicle to my opinion.

Not necessarily a time thing like the bible old testament linear, but a lineal filling in may be accomplished in a way with it, if one likes the linear.
Not as linear certainly. The line starts mostly after the buddha, a bit before but mostly after in M buddhism. As all is elaborated upon.
Chrisitian saints and such do fill in after but in M buddhism much is the elaboration perhaps the teaher buddha of 2500 years ago being for us the starting of the line for most.

Scholors which I am not ..........can fill in the names correctly spelled...they are many and quite fantastic are their things in all traditions.
"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: My Holy Bible

Postby sangyey » Sun Nov 06, 2011 12:19 am

There's a genre of Tibetan literature called 'lam rim' texts which was started by Atisha in his Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment which basically synthesized all of the necessary teachings and practices into one text. Extremeley useful to be able to categorize and put the teachings into practice based on these types of texts. In the Gelug tradition they have Tsongkhapa's Lam Rim Chen Mo (which has been translated into 3 volumes in English ) and in Nyingma we have 'Words of My Perfect Teacher' by Patrul Rinpoche as well translated Jigme Lingpa's 'Treasury of Precious Qualities' which would also be considered Lam Rim genre. Not sure about Sakya or Kagyu or other types of lam rim texts out there.
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Re: My Holy Bible

Postby Kare » Sun Nov 06, 2011 3:29 pm

mint wrote:But I wish Buddhism had something like the Bible.


The Tipitaka.
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Re: My Holy Bible

Postby Will » Sun Nov 06, 2011 6:17 pm

Many great Buddhists have written shastras that focus on essential, yet comprehensive treatments of the buddhadharma. Depending on whether you prefer the Theravada or Mahayana path there are lots to choose from.

This one tries to follow the Buddha's lifetime and has both basic Buddhism & the Mahayana: http://www.bdkamerica.org/default.aspx?MPID=33
Revealing one essence: this means the inherently pure, complete, luminous essence, which is pure of its own nature. -- Fa-tsang
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Re: My Holy Bible

Postby mint » Sun Nov 06, 2011 7:38 pm

sangyey wrote:There's a genre of Tibetan literature called 'lam rim' texts which was started by Atisha in his Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment which basically synthesized all of the necessary teachings and practices into one text. Extremeley useful to be able to categorize and put the teachings into practice based on these types of texts. In the Gelug tradition they have Tsongkhapa's Lam Rim Chen Mo (which has been translated into 3 volumes in English ) and in Nyingma we have 'Words of My Perfect Teacher' by Patrul Rinpoche as well translated Jigme Lingpa's 'Treasury of Precious Qualities' which would also be considered Lam Rim genre. Not sure about Sakya or Kagyu or other types of lam rim texts out there.


What exactly is 'Words of my perfect teacher'? I have seen it on amazon.com, but it looks like an analytical introductory text to Tibetan Buddhism as a whole and not a text full of wise quotes, anecdotes, stories, etc.?

I am not sure I could find the other two texts you mention.
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Re: My Holy Bible

Postby Paul » Sun Nov 06, 2011 8:06 pm

mint wrote:What exactly is 'Words of my perfect teacher'? I have seen it on amazon.com, but it looks like an analytical introductory text to Tibetan Buddhism as a whole and not a text full of wise quotes, anecdotes, stories, etc.?


WOMPT is a text compiled by Patrul Rinpoche from his teacher's advice, mainly focussing on the preliminary practices. It's considered a very important book indeed, especially in the Nyingma tradition.
Image

"Do not block your six senses; delight in them with joy and ease.
All that you take pleasure in will strengthen the awakened state.
With such a confidence, empowered by the regal state of natural mind,
The training now is simply this: lets your six senses be at ease and free." - Princess Parani
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Re: My Holy Bible

Postby mint » Sun Nov 06, 2011 8:36 pm

Paul wrote:
mint wrote:What exactly is 'Words of my perfect teacher'? I have seen it on amazon.com, but it looks like an analytical introductory text to Tibetan Buddhism as a whole and not a text full of wise quotes, anecdotes, stories, etc.?


WOMPT is a text compiled by Patrul Rinpoche from his teacher's advice, mainly focussing on the preliminary practices. It's considered a very important book indeed, especially in the Nyingma tradition.


So, it's a book for Nyingma practitioners only? Meaning, there's no general use for it?
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Re: My Holy Bible

Postby Paul » Sun Nov 06, 2011 8:39 pm

mint wrote:
Paul wrote:
mint wrote:What exactly is 'Words of my perfect teacher'? I have seen it on amazon.com, but it looks like an analytical introductory text to Tibetan Buddhism as a whole and not a text full of wise quotes, anecdotes, stories, etc.?


WOMPT is a text compiled by Patrul Rinpoche from his teacher's advice, mainly focussing on the preliminary practices. It's considered a very important book indeed, especially in the Nyingma tradition.


So, it's a book for Nyingma practitioners only? Meaning, there's no general use for it?


No, it's considered very, very useful for people in any of the Tibetan traditions - just that Patrul Rinpoche is a very important lineage master for Nyingmapas.
Image

"Do not block your six senses; delight in them with joy and ease.
All that you take pleasure in will strengthen the awakened state.
With such a confidence, empowered by the regal state of natural mind,
The training now is simply this: lets your six senses be at ease and free." - Princess Parani
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Re: My Holy Bible

Postby sangyey » Sun Nov 06, 2011 9:39 pm

Basically covers the whole path and practice right up to enlightenement from the outer preliminaries of the 4 thoughts that turn the mind, and the inner preliminaries such as refuge, bodhicitta, Vajrasattva, mandala, guru yoga, etc. The path to enlightenement in Tibetan is specifically laid out in a certain order and with specific detail. WOMPT which is the commentary to the Longchen Nyintik Ngondro does just that. That's why consider essential for someone following those specific set of teachings. A lot of those teachings are also found in the other schools of Tibetan Buddhism as well like you will find the same topics in Tsongkhapa's Lam Rim and such but laid out and explained a little bit differently.
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Re: My Holy Bible

Postby mint » Sun Nov 06, 2011 9:44 pm

Paul wrote:
No, it's considered very, very useful for people in any of the Tibetan traditions - just that Patrul Rinpoche is a very important lineage master for Nyingmapas.


I see. It doesn't sound like what I am looking for. It still sounds too specific.

Even though the Bible contained the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, itself a Jewish work, reading it has never felt constricted or restricted. Many atheists and agnostics have contributed some of the best translations of the text. Likewise, many people of no religious conviction whatsoever have dedicated their lives to studying the text at either a professional scholarly level or even as a hobby. So, one doesn't have to be Jewish or Christian or Lebanese or American to read, appreciate and learn from it. And after reading, one doesn't have to practice anything.

Any book could fit this description, yes, but I just get this impression from Tibetan Buddhist books that they make sense only in lieu of certain prerequisite and postrequisite conditions. It's the esotericism which I dislike so much. You've got to know the secret handshake, password and lodge vernacular to achieve enlightenment.
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Re: My Holy Bible

Postby mint » Sun Nov 06, 2011 9:49 pm

sangyey wrote:Basically covers the whole path and practice right up to enlightenement from the outer preliminaries of the 4 thoughts that turn the mind, and the inner preliminaries such as refuge, bodhicitta, Vajrasattva, mandala, guru yoga, etc. The path to enlightenement in Tibetan is specifically laid out in a certain order and with specific detail. WOMPT which is the commentary to the Longchen Nyintik Ngondro does just that. That's why consider essential for someone following those specific set of teachings. A lot of those teachings are also found in the other schools of Tibetan Buddhism as well like you will find the same topics in Tsongkhapa's Lam Rim and such but laid out and explained a little bit differently.


Thanks - but I am not guaranteed that I will ever get to formally practice Tibetan Buddhism.
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Re: My Holy Bible

Postby sangyey » Sun Nov 06, 2011 10:01 pm

Well, perhaps the actual words of the Buddha might be good. Not sure which particular works I would recommend from Mahayana but in the Theravada they have the five collections such as the Majjhima Nikaya, Samyutta Nikaya, Digha Nikaya, that have been translated in English. That's how I first got interested in reading and study because you could actually read what the Buddha had actually said or taught which is really beneficial as it is the foundation of all the teachings.

In the Buddha's Words by Bhikkhu Bodhi is also good as it is a compilation of some of the Suttas from early Buddhism along with Bhikkhu Bodhi's introduction. I had actually read that work first before sparking my interest in the compete translations of the Suttas. Of course, this is from early Buddhism or the Theravada school which is good itself as a foundation. Not sure what I would recommend from Mahayana as I like to read the Indian commentaries and works from the Tibetan.
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Re: My Holy Bible

Postby Kare » Sun Nov 06, 2011 10:35 pm

mint wrote:
Paul wrote:
No, it's considered very, very useful for people in any of the Tibetan traditions - just that Patrul Rinpoche is a very important lineage master for Nyingmapas.


I see. It doesn't sound like what I am looking for. It still sounds too specific.

Even though the Bible contained the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, itself a Jewish work, reading it has never felt constricted or restricted. Many atheists and agnostics have contributed some of the best translations of the text. Likewise, many people of no religious conviction whatsoever have dedicated their lives to studying the text at either a professional scholarly level or even as a hobby. So, one doesn't have to be Jewish or Christian or Lebanese or American to read, appreciate and learn from it. And after reading, one doesn't have to practice anything.

Any book could fit this description, yes, but I just get this impression from Tibetan Buddhist books that they make sense only in lieu of certain prerequisite and postrequisite conditions. It's the esotericism which I dislike so much. You've got to know the secret handshake, password and lodge vernacular to achieve enlightenment.


Have your read the Tipitaka? No matter what tradition you may choose to follow, the Tipitaka contains lots of good advice. If you have not read the Dhammapada yet, that makes for a good start. Bhikkhu Bodhi's anthology was recommended by sangyey, and I second that. Or you may start directly reading one of the Nikayas. Majjhima Nikaya or Samyutta Nikaya can be recommended as a beginning.

If you are interested in some particular tradition of Buddhism, you can find lots of additional material belonging to that tradition. But some knowledge of the Tipitaka texts is always useful.
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Re: My Holy Bible

Postby Paul » Sun Nov 06, 2011 10:58 pm

sangyey wrote:Not sure what I would recommend from Mahayana as I like to read the Indian commentaries and works from the Tibetan.


Shantideva's Guide To The Bodhisattva's Way Of Life, maybe?
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"Do not block your six senses; delight in them with joy and ease.
All that you take pleasure in will strengthen the awakened state.
With such a confidence, empowered by the regal state of natural mind,
The training now is simply this: lets your six senses be at ease and free." - Princess Parani
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Re: My Holy Bible

Postby sangyey » Sun Nov 06, 2011 11:02 pm

Definitely!
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Re: My Holy Bible

Postby mint » Sun Nov 06, 2011 11:28 pm

Kare wrote:
Have your read the Tipitaka? No matter what tradition you may choose to follow, the Tipitaka contains lots of good advice. If you have not read the Dhammapada yet, that makes for a good start. Bhikkhu Bodhi's anthology was recommended by sangyey, and I second that. Or you may start directly reading one of the Nikayas. Majjhima Nikaya or Samyutta Nikaya can be recommended as a beginning.

If you are interested in some particular tradition of Buddhism, you can find lots of additional material belonging to that tradition. But some knowledge of the Tipitaka texts is always useful.


I've not read the whole Tipitaka, no. I've read selections. I like the Tipitaka. It's where I started and gained my further interest in Buddhism. I keep progressing, though, through other texts. I think I've sort of abandoned reading the Tipitaka because I have been so caught up in reading other stuff, and I wanted to venture more into Tibetan Buddhism and Tantra but like I said above I don't think I'll ever get the chance to practice either one.
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Re: My Holy Bible

Postby mint » Sun Nov 06, 2011 11:47 pm

Will wrote:Many great Buddhists have written shastras that focus on essential, yet comprehensive treatments of the buddhadharma. Depending on whether you prefer the Theravada or Mahayana path there are lots to choose from.

This one tries to follow the Buddha's lifetime and has both basic Buddhism & the Mahayana: http://www.bdkamerica.org/default.aspx?MPID=33


This is what I'm looking for! I've ordered the hardbound version.

Thanks, Will.
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Re: My Holy Bible

Postby Josef » Mon Nov 07, 2011 11:05 pm

I bet you would also really like:

Ordinary Wisdom: Sakya Pandita's Treasury of Good Advice

and

Zurchungpa's Testament
Commentary by Dilgo Khyentse
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Re: My Holy Bible

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Nov 08, 2011 9:17 am

For the Karma Kagyus I would say that it has to be "The Jewel Ornament of Liberation" by Gampopa.
"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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