Why follow one tradition of Buddhism?

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Why follow one tradition of Buddhism?

Postby Dave The Seeker » Sun Aug 19, 2012 12:18 pm

This question is formed because of another thread here, A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL).
This thread has, to me, become a 'my Buddhism is better than yours' type of thing.

I am studying the 'Discovering Buddhism at home' series from FPMT and am really learning a lot.
Now I'm only in the first part of the series, Mind and it's Potential, which is really awesome in my opinion.

But as I read through different forums, of different traditions, I find that there are many things to be learned.
And all paths lead to the same end.
I also haven't found a group near me I can practice with nor found a teacher, that will come in time I'm sure.

Everyday I do my practice, as from the start, in the direction of the Gelug tradition.
As well as sit in meditation for about 20 +\- min a day. Sometimes more than once.
I've changed from eyes closed to eyes open, and it seems to be working better for me as my mind doesn't really 'wander off' for lack of a better term.

I've been reading more from the free publications of Dharma Drum Mountain in the Ch'an tradition and these also are helping me to develop along my path.

So to my question, why follow one tradition?


Thanks for your replies.
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: Why follow one tradition of Buddhism?

Postby Indrajala » Sun Aug 19, 2012 1:37 pm

Having lived in Asia and travelled around a bit I feel no interest in identifying with any particular ethnic development of Buddhism or particular school. Historically it has sometimes been the case that lineages and traditions either didn't really exist or people just didn't care so much. We know that Nalanda University in India was rather ecumenical hosting colleges of numerous traditions. Early Chinese Buddhism didn't really have sects. They digested material from both Indian and Central Asian sources.


My main area of study has been Classical Chinese Buddhism, though I'm happy to read anything from Tibetan, Indian, Central Asian or Theravadin sources.

The whole idea of one shoe fits all is of course absurd.

When it comes to practice, again it isn't a matter of one shoe fits all. Learning jhāna meditation from a Theravadin bhikkhu will probably amplify your ability to do tantric visualizations.

Initially if you are a beginner it might be wise to stick to one tradition under the guidance of a qualified teacher until you are mature and experienced enough to understand sectarian differences and what constitutes core Buddhadharma.

In my mind as a canuck coming from a non-Buddhist background I have no obligation or interest in becoming emotionally invested in an ethnic development of Buddhism. For various historical reasons they came to exist as they did, but as a foreigner you are under no obligation to reproduce their ethnic concerns in your own life. Likewise with sectarian squabbles that occurred in ancient times on another continent for most people outside of Asia.
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Re: Why follow one tradition of Buddhism?

Postby Dave The Seeker » Sun Aug 19, 2012 1:57 pm

Thanks a lot Huseng, that makes sense.

And you Canucks ain't all that bad. :rolling:
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: Why follow one tradition of Buddhism?

Postby Indrajala » Sun Aug 19, 2012 2:02 pm

Dave The Seeker wrote:Thanks a lot Huseng, that makes sense.

And you Canucks ain't all that bad. :rolling:


I'm thinking of starting a new lineage called the Canuck-pa. These two hosers might be the dual patriarchs:

Image
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Re: Why follow one tradition of Buddhism?

Postby Jnana » Sun Aug 19, 2012 5:09 pm

Dave The Seeker wrote:This question is formed because of another thread here, A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL).
This thread has, to me, become a 'my Buddhism is better than yours' type of thing.

And this is a good thing to see through and avoid. Triumphalist rhetoric is baseless and unnecessary.

Dave The Seeker wrote:So to my question, why follow one tradition?

It sounds like you've already recognized that no single tradition has a monopoly on the Buddhadharma. The FPMT series is likely a very good source for learning the foundations of the dharma, as is the lam-rim tradition in general. By learning and practicing that basic framework you should be able to see some correlations with other traditions.
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Re: Why follow one tradition of Buddhism?

Postby Caz » Sun Aug 19, 2012 5:12 pm

Why ? Because one is all you need there is enough material contained within one to take up a life times worth of practice.

Tsem Rinpoche explains it.

Abandoning Dharma is, in the final analysis, disparaging the Hinayana because of the Mahayana; favoring the Hinayana on account of the Mahayana; playing off sutra against tantra; playing off the four classes of the tantras against each other; favoring one of the Tibetan schools—the Sakya, Gelug, Kagyu, or Nyingma—and disparaging the rest; and so on. In other words, we abandon Dharma any time we favor our own tenets and disparage the rest.

Liberation in the Palm of your hand~Kyabje Pabongkha Rinpoche.
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Re: Why follow one tradition of Buddhism?

Postby Dave The Seeker » Sun Aug 19, 2012 9:14 pm

Nice Huseng, the 2nd generation McKenzie's :twothumbsup:

Jnana and Caz thank you so much for your input.
I'll check out the video as soon as I get on a high speed connection Caz.
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: Why follow one tradition of Buddhism?

Postby Son » Sun Aug 19, 2012 10:50 pm

It is best to follow no tradition, but instead to follow the teaching of the Buddha by relying on your own reason and experience.
Better than following "a tradition," is simply to respect tradition. The tradition called Buddhism.
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Re: Why follow one tradition of Buddhism?

Postby Dave The Seeker » Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:57 am

Son wrote:It is best to follow no tradition, but instead to follow the teaching of the Buddha by relying on your own reason and experience.
Better than following "a tradition," is simply to respect tradition. The tradition called Buddhism.


Thank you Son, I'm doing my best to follow the teachings. One suttra I read daily it the Metta Suttra, sure is a great reminder on how to act towards others.
As well as practicing mindfullness, especially of thought, speech and actions. Doing this has changed my life tremendously for the better.

Meditating has also helped greatly in calming my mind. :twothumbsup:
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: Why follow one tradition of Buddhism?

Postby Son » Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:36 am

Dave The Seeker wrote:
Son wrote:It is best to follow no tradition, but instead to follow the teaching of the Buddha by relying on your own reason and experience.
Better than following "a tradition," is simply to respect tradition. The tradition called Buddhism.


Thank you Son, I'm doing my best to follow the teachings. One suttra I read daily it the Metta Suttra, sure is a great reminder on how to act towards others.
As well as practicing mindfullness, especially of thought, speech and actions. Doing this has changed my life tremendously for the better.

Meditating has also helped greatly in calming my mind. :twothumbsup:


How very very meritorious. Wonderful sutta. One must admire the Buddha's own words. I feel that in our contemporary age, they are severely unappreciated. So in my view, what you do is adequate worship. :anjali:

Please keep it up, and I will send you my help.
Son of Dhamma.
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Re: Why follow one tradition of Buddhism?

Postby Konchog1 » Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:39 am

He who chases two birds shall attain neither.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Why follow one tradition of Buddhism?

Postby Indrajala » Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:31 am

Konchog1 wrote:He who chases two birds shall attain neither.


Use several means and you'll catch several.
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Re: Why follow one tradition of Buddhism?

Postby Dave The Seeker » Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:07 pm

Thank you very much Son :namaste:

Konchog1, I really don't understand your post here.
I don't believe I'm chasing 2 birds, so to speak. But thanks for your interest and reply.
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: Why follow one tradition of Buddhism?

Postby seeker242 » Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:38 pm

IMO, when it is understood that all the different traditions teach and practice the same thing, fundamentally, there is no need to follow only "one tradition" because there is no such thing as "different traditions" to begin with. If fact, it is impossible to follow only "one tradition" as opposed to "other traditions" because there is no fundamental difference between any of the traditions, so when you follow one tradition, you are also following all the others.

Someone on another forum said that this is called the "One Vehicle" (Ekayana) also known as the "Most Supreme Vehicle". Or the "tradition" that includes all other traditions. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ekay%C4%81na

:smile:
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Re: Why follow one tradition of Buddhism?

Postby Son » Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:24 pm

seeker242 wrote:IMO, when it is understood that all the different traditions teach and practice the same thing, fundamentally, there is no need to follow only "one tradition" because there is no such thing as "different traditions" to begin with. If fact, it is impossible to follow only "one tradition" as opposed to "other traditions" because there is no fundamental difference between any of the traditions, so when you follow one tradition, you are also following all the others.

Someone on another forum said that this is called the "One Vehicle" (Ekayana) also known as the "Most Supreme Vehicle". Or the "tradition" that includes all other traditions. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ekay%C4%81na

:smile:


Precisely. The Great Vehicle is Ekayana. The noble path is Ekayana. The Buddha's teaching, in all its tradition and diverse philosophy, exists for the sake of the Supreme Vehicle. Very few people, even Buddhists, understand this or even contemplate it. By far, the largest and most fettering problem with Buddhism today is the reliance on dogma--under the guise of non-dogmatism.
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Re: Why follow one tradition of Buddhism?

Postby Astus » Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:05 pm

If you look into what are called traditions you find that they are combinations and systematisations of other traditions of teachings and practices. And within a single tradition there are smaller and greater differences among individual teachers. So, if we go on with our analysis of the concept of tradition, we find that it is indeed not a single thing but a manifold, constructed and dependently arisen phenomenon. Practitioners have always tried to benefit from whatever they had at hand and as teachers they transmitted those that were the most helpful on their path. It is only natural that since in English we have teachings from several sources we make use of them.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
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Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Why follow one tradition of Buddhism?

Postby tomamundsen » Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:47 pm

Why follow one tradition? Because then you avoid the pitfall of picking and choosing what already accords with your own understanding and create a new form of YouDharma instead of BuddhaDharma.
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Re: Why follow one tradition of Buddhism?

Postby Osho » Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:49 pm

'Jack of all trades is master of none'.
More about Mindfulness here
http://bemindful.co.uk/

" A Zen master's life is one continuous mistake."
(Dogen).
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Re: Why follow one tradition of Buddhism?

Postby dharmagoat » Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:54 pm

tomamundsen wrote:Why follow one tradition? Because then you avoid the pitfall of picking and choosing what already accords with your own understanding and create a new form of YouDharma instead of BuddhaDharma.

Are not all traditions of Buddhism Buddhadharma? We have to pick and choose one at some stage. If we pick more than one, how does that detract from Buddhadharma?
Last edited by dharmagoat on Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why follow one tradition of Buddhism?

Postby dharmagoat » Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:59 pm

Osho wrote:'Jack of all trades is master of none'.

We are actually talking about one trade being practiced by a variety of guilds.
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