What exactly is Dharma?

Whether you're exploring Buddhism for the first time or you're already on the path, feel free to ask questions of any kind here.

Re: What exactly is Dharma?

Postby Bonsai Doug » Wed May 16, 2012 8:34 pm

Wesley1982 wrote:
justsit wrote:Is the whole body the self? Or just part of it? What part?
Is it in the arm? the feet? or??


The whole body as an individual makes up your "self" as a person.

Buddha taught that an individual is a combination of five aggregates of existence - the Five Skandhas:
Form, Sensation, Perception, Mental formations, and Consciousness.

What's most important to understand about the skandhas is that they are empty. They are not qualities
that an individual possesses, because there is no-self possessing them. This doctrine of no-self is called
anatman or anatta.

Basically, the Buddha taught that "you" are not an integral, autonomous entity. The individual self,
or what we might call the ego, is more correctly thought of as a by-product of the skandhas. Buddha taught
that if we can see through the delusion of the individual "self," we experience that which is not subject to birth and death.
Now having obtained a precious human body,
I do not have the luxury of remaining on a distracted path.

~ Tibetan Book of the Dead
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Re: What exactly is Dharma?

Postby Wesley1982 » Wed May 16, 2012 10:37 pm

Bonsai Doug wrote:
Wesley1982 wrote:
justsit wrote:Is the whole body the self? Or just part of it? What part?
Is it in the arm? the feet? or??


The whole body as an individual makes up your "self" as a person.

Buddha taught that an individual is a combination of five aggregates of existence - the Five Skandhas:
Form, Sensation, Perception, Mental formations, and Consciousness.

What's most important to understand about the skandhas is that they are empty. They are not qualities
that an individual possesses, because there is no-self possessing them. This doctrine of no-self is called
anatman or anatta.

Basically, the Buddha taught that "you" are not an integral, autonomous entity. The individual self,
or what we might call the ego, is more correctly thought of as a by-product of the skandhas. Buddha taught
that if we can see through the delusion of the individual "self," we experience that which is not subject to birth and death.


Yes but Bonsai Doug is still Bonsai Doug. And Wesley is still Wesley
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Re: What exactly is Dharma?

Postby Bonsai Doug » Thu May 17, 2012 1:28 am

Wesley1982 wrote:Yes but Bonsai Doug is still Bonsai Doug. And Wesley is still Wesley

Only because we have bought into what we have defined as ourselves. Mere words. Mere labels.
Now having obtained a precious human body,
I do not have the luxury of remaining on a distracted path.

~ Tibetan Book of the Dead
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Re: What exactly is Dharma?

Postby Dave The Seeker » Thu May 17, 2012 1:45 am

:good:
Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~
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Re: What exactly is Dharma?

Postby Wesley1982 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:06 pm

The Dharma is not the governing lifeforce of the universe but the result of Buddha's teaching and practice?..
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Re: What exactly is Dharma?

Postby Josef » Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:30 pm

Wesley1982 wrote:The Dharma is not the governing lifeforce of the universe but the result of Buddha's teaching and practice?..

I will post this again since it is still by far the best definition of dharma that I have ever heard in either the Buddhist setting or the academic setting.

‎"What we really need is knowledge, an understanding of the essence of Dharma, of the teaching of Buddha. Dharma indicates the dimension of everything that exists, and the teaching of the Buddha is called dharma because it is a key to discovering the nature of all phenomena through an understanding of our true condition. This is really the principle point, and when we discover our true nature it is like discovering everything."—Chogyal Namkhai Norbu
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Re: What exactly is Dharma?

Postby zerwe » Sat Jun 02, 2012 4:01 am

In the broadest sense there are conventional (relative) and ultimate dharma.

Relative Dharma are the teachings of Shakyamuni and the commentaries of the great realized masters that followed. Relative Dharma is merely pointing us in the right direction.

Ultimate Dharma are the true cessations in the mind of an Arya being and these are emptinesses (empty of the particular obscuration that the cessation removed). And, the true cessations are brought about by the true paths which are wisdoms realizing emptiness.

So, ultimate dharma is empty and an ineffable truth. It is something to be actualized. It is what Shakyamuni Buddha and the other great past masters have actualized.

Example of Dharma in action:

The capacity for yourself or any other being to act without a self-cherishing attitude through love, compassion, and wisdom. This would be actualizing the path. This would be dharmic action.

Shaun :namaste:
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