Can someone help me reconcile please?

Re: Can someone help me reconcile please?

Postby UniversalWorthy » Thu Jun 21, 2012 7:31 pm

Time is a four-letter-word. ....;)
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Re: Can someone help me reconcile please?

Postby rory » Fri Jun 22, 2012 3:15 am

UniversalWorthy wrote:
I am not sure when you say "So meditating on 'emptyness' would be incorrect for our school" what you mean by 'incorrect.' If by 'incorrect' you mean 'incomplete' then I am with you of course.

Also, in your earlier post you say "Well this is our last rebirth & we'll be with Shakyamuni over at Sacred Eagle Peak. And then help others" I am reminded of the gosho Three Kinds of Treasure wherein Nichiren states: "The heart of the Buddha's lifetime of teachings is the Lotus Sutra, and the heart of the practice of the Lotus Sutra is found in the 'Never Disparaging' chapter. What does Bodhisattva Never Disparaging's profound respect for people signify? The purpose of the appearance in this world of Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, lies in his behavior as a human being" To me, no matter the interpretation, the purpose of the Bodhisattva is to develop bodhicitta and dedicate merit to all sentient beings. Whether we call it the vast assembly, the Assembly in the Air, whatever mandala, this is the refuge, the merit field (ie. pure land) which will not be consumed by fire at the end of the kalpa.
gassho


Gassho Universal Worthy:
Are you studying Chih-I's Mo-ho chih-kuan which discussed the threefold contemplation in a single mind then? Because yes he discusses emptyness then conventional existance, then the middle but Chih-I himself says that it is superior to contemplate all three truths, the provisional, the real, the middle simultaneously. It's called the perfect and immediate calming and contemplation. Endon shikan Jp.

As a Nichiren Buddhist, I'd then assume that you'd be emplying the contemplation of 'three thousand realms in one thought moment' which is Chih-I's brilliant model of the mutual encompassing of the mind and all Dharma realms - the non duality of the mind and the phenomenal world. Nichiren further refined this to the Daimoku which he called contemplation in actuality - ri not principle ji

Jackie Stone's book is pure genius in explaining the above, from which I drew my argument.

. Many people think Nichiren Daishonin made up the saying Samsara is Nirvana but it goes right back to Nagarjuna
Nagarjuna writes: "There is nothing whatever which differentiates samsara from nirvana; and there is nothing whatever which differentiates nirvana from samsara. The extreme limit of nirvana is also the extreme limit of samsara; there is not the slightest bit of difference between these two" (M 25: 19-20). So of course the Assembly in the Air which takes place at Sacred Eagle Peak is there now just as we speak.
with gassho
Rory
Dharani of Amoghapasa Avalokitesvara:

Om amogha-padma-pasa-krodhakarsaya praveshaya maha-pashupati-yama-varuna-kuvera
brahma-vesa-dhara padma-kula-samayan hum hum

heart mantra: Om amogha vijaya hum phat
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Re: Can someone help me reconcile please?

Postby UniversalWorthy » Fri Jun 22, 2012 4:42 pm

Rory,

More good stuff. You're assumption that as a buddhist who practices daimoku I would, quite naturally, be contemplating ichinen sanzen is half-correct (with regards to my practice.) Of course I am familiar with the concept ('three thousand realms in one thought moment') as well as meditation on the three truths. However, I am most familiar with them through study. Whether or not I have directly experienced a genuine awakening, I cannot say. I can say that mind is the moon itself or that which sustains life (ie rice) is life itself. I say this in theory and have experienced small awakenings through my perception of oneness and environment, for instance, but these are like tender roots which need watering and nurturing. This is the meaning of aspiration and continuous study. I can also say that these concepts, including unifty of samsara/nirvana as you pointed out, are of course not the sole formulation of Nichiren.

gassho
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Re: Can someone help me reconcile please?

Postby rory » Sat Jun 23, 2012 8:09 am

gassho Universal Worthy;
here's a very nice article by Jan Nattier, on just how radical the Lotus Sutra was and is, that your study group might enjoy from Tricycle
http://www.tricycle.com/special-section ... -awakening

I worry when people talk a lot about emptiness that they may fall into nihilism, as emptiness means unconditioned dharmas - potential. Not nothing And there is no difference between our mind and the phenomenal world, so it's deeply important to get control of our minds. Do you practice shikan meditation? It's very helpful. 10 minutes of calming and then 20 contemplating a passage from the Lotus Sutra.
with gassho
Rory
Dharani of Amoghapasa Avalokitesvara:

Om amogha-padma-pasa-krodhakarsaya praveshaya maha-pashupati-yama-varuna-kuvera
brahma-vesa-dhara padma-kula-samayan hum hum

heart mantra: Om amogha vijaya hum phat
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Re: Can someone help me reconcile please?

Postby jikai » Mon Jun 25, 2012 2:44 am

Jikan wrote:
beautiful breath wrote:
jmlee369 wrote:The concept of the Bardo as far as I know is considered orthodox in the East Asian traditions, hence the many memorials until the 49th day after death.


Interesting...why have I always lanoured under the impression that this was exclusive to the Tibetan Tradition?

Does anyone have any links re this?

BB...


No, but I can confirm it's true in practice. My teacher, in explaining how the postmortem process works, just uses the word "bardo" rather than the Japanese equivalent because more people are familiar with it and its meaning is nearly identical. The tradition works from different textual and cultural bases, but the broad outlines are really close. YMMV. Now, that's Tendai-shu. I don't know how it works in any of the many Nichiren schools.


I second Jikan on the Tendai front :)

Also, you might want to read the Sutra of the Original Vows of Earth Store Bodhisattva- it contains a discussion of these concepts.
Gassho
Jikai
"There are no seperate dharma's in the Three Realms. There is only the operation of the one mind."
"Whoever wishes to benefit beings ought to establish teachings that fit their capacities, expound the dharma in accordance with their capacities, and match the doctrines to them"
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Re: Can someone help me reconcile please?

Postby jikai » Mon Jun 25, 2012 2:45 am

Jikan wrote:
beautiful breath wrote:
jmlee369 wrote:The concept of the Bardo as far as I know is considered orthodox in the East Asian traditions, hence the many memorials until the 49th day after death.


Interesting...why have I always lanoured under the impression that this was exclusive to the Tibetan Tradition?

Does anyone have any links re this?

BB...


No, but I can confirm it's true in practice. My teacher, in explaining how the postmortem process works, just uses the word "bardo" rather than the Japanese equivalent because more people are familiar with it and its meaning is nearly identical. The tradition works from different textual and cultural bases, but the broad outlines are really close. YMMV. Now, that's Tendai-shu. I don't know how it works in any of the many Nichiren schools.


I second Jikan on the Tendai front :)

Also, you might want to read the Sutra of the Original Vows of Earth Store Bodhisattva- it contains a discussion of these concepts.
Gassho
Jikai
"There are no seperate dharma's in the Three Realms. There is only the operation of the one mind."
"Whoever wishes to benefit beings ought to establish teachings that fit their capacities, expound the dharma in accordance with their capacities, and match the doctrines to them"
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Re: Can someone help me reconcile please?

Postby beautiful breath » Wed Jun 27, 2012 10:51 am

gregkavarnos wrote:
beautiful breath wrote:Hmmm....here is my problem; does that make them Theravadins? My understanding is that death and rebirth are almost instantaneous!

BB...
In the Theravadran Abhidhamma there is a moment of consciousness called rebirth linking consciousness. My question to you would be how long is a moment of consciousness (esp. regarding a dead person that is not weighed down by physical form)?
:namaste:
PS
1) How does chanting reveal the nature of reality to our minds in the same way theravadins may use Vipassana and the Tibetans may use meditating on Emptiness?
Chanting is also used by Vajrayanaists (Tibetans) to reveal the nature of reality (Emptiness) to our minds. ;)


Hiya and thanks for the feedback! Not sure how to answer your first question without plunging into the whole debate about the nature of conciousness. But I have been weaned on the Tibetan analysis schools...so I find it very difficult to see how another method of meditation can lead to the realisation of Emptiness (and the Emptiness of Emptiness etc.... :) )

BB
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Re: Can someone help me reconcile please?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Jun 27, 2012 11:03 am

beautiful breath wrote:Hiya and thanks for the feedback! Not sure how to answer your first question without plunging into the whole debate about the nature of conciousness. But I have been weaned on the Tibetan analysis schools...so I find it very difficult to see how another method of meditation can lead to the realisation of Emptiness (and the Emptiness of Emptiness etc.... :) )
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html , etc...
"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: Can someone help me reconcile please?

Postby beautiful breath » Wed Jun 27, 2012 11:53 am

gregkavarnos wrote:
beautiful breath wrote:Hiya and thanks for the feedback! Not sure how to answer your first question without plunging into the whole debate about the nature of conciousness. But I have been weaned on the Tibetan analysis schools...so I find it very difficult to see how another method of meditation can lead to the realisation of Emptiness (and the Emptiness of Emptiness etc.... :) )
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html , etc...



...Gotchya!

However,I am thinking strictly in terms of what we 'do' when on the cushion. Analytical meditation on the nature of Emptiness or do we avoid intellectualising about it and rely on a non-conceptual experience to (hopefully) arise out of say Samatha/Vipassana?

BB
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Re: Can someone help me reconcile please?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:20 pm

I'd personally hedge my bets both ways.
: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: Can someone help me reconcile please?

Postby beautiful breath » Wed Jun 27, 2012 1:08 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:I'd personally hedge my bets both ways.
:namaste:


...not tnough room in me head for both - besides, what about that metaphor re using one map to get from A to B? I still think there is a clear and concerning difference between the likes of Shikantaza and the Tibetan analytical methods.....they can't both be wrong...or right?! :quoteunquote:
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Re: Can someone help me reconcile please?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Jun 27, 2012 1:14 pm

beautiful breath wrote:...not tnough room in me head for both - besides, what about that metaphor re using one map to get from A to B? I still think there is a clear and concerning difference between the likes of Shikantaza and the Tibetan analytical methods.....they can't both be wrong...or right?! :quoteunquote:
What's this "one map" business? A map is a map. Some maps focus on roads and towns, other focus on trails and topography. They both basically show the same thing. What happens when you get to a rock slide on the road and you need to go overland via a trail? I bet you wish you had both maps then!
: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: Can someone help me reconcile please?

Postby beautiful breath » Wed Jun 27, 2012 1:56 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
beautiful breath wrote:...not tnough room in me head for both - besides, what about that metaphor re using one map to get from A to B? I still think there is a clear and concerning difference between the likes of Shikantaza and the Tibetan analytical methods.....they can't both be wrong...or right?! :quoteunquote:
What's this "one map" business? A map is a map. Some maps focus on roads and towns, other focus on trails and topography. They both basically show the same thing. What happens when you get to a rock slide on the road and you need to go overland via a trail? I bet you wish you had both maps then!
:namaste:


Hmmm, well....I think the idea is if you want to ge from A:B then its easier to stick to one map (surely). Following one map then swapping for another of a different (tradition) might get you there....but it will take longer and will be hard work.
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Re: Can someone help me reconcile please?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Jun 27, 2012 2:05 pm

dawg.jpg
dawg.jpg (8 KiB) Viewed 1495 times
"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: Can someone help me reconcile please?

Postby beautiful breath » Wed Jun 27, 2012 2:12 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
dawg.jpg




...alrighty then....! I'm off for a pint :crazy:
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Re: Can someone help me reconcile please?

Postby Jikan » Wed Jun 27, 2012 2:13 pm

I agree, it's best to find a reliable and trustworthy map, and a guide who knows the territory, and a trustworthy group of fellow-travelers, and just keep going. That's very good practical advice.

That does not negate the doctrinal matter: there is no reason to think only one map is the correct map, only one caravan is going the right way. Especially if you like the map that is called the Lotus Sutra, which teaches that all maps eventually lead to the same goal, even if they appear to have different spots marked on them (apparitional cities for instance). If it leads someone to bodhi, it's a good path for that person, even if it's not necessarily a helpful path for you or him or her.

If one can't accomodate in one's mind the notion that there are 84,000 viable Buddha-gates, and that some of them seem to contradict, and that all of them have value even if not for that person, then I suggest the problem might be with one's mind and not with any one of the Buddha-gates in question. A good remedy? Well, would anyone in this forum object if I suggested a careful and open-hearted reading of the Lotus Sutra?
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Re: Can someone help me reconcile please?

Postby Jikan » Wed Jun 27, 2012 2:15 pm

beautiful breath wrote:

...Gotchya!

However,I am thinking strictly in terms of what we 'do' when on the cushion. Analytical meditation on the nature of Emptiness or do we avoid intellectualising about it and rely on a non-conceptual experience to (hopefully) arise out of say Samatha/Vipassana?

BB


Try both. Mix in some devotional practice to open up the heart. Ask your teacher. Go to a potluck with your sangha; that's practice too.
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Re: Can someone help me reconcile please?

Postby rory » Thu Jun 28, 2012 4:10 am

Actually the Lotus Sutra states explicitly that all former sutras were provisional and there is only the One Vehicle. Chih-I the founder of the Lotus Sutra School also repudiated Ch'an only sitting (shikan taza) as the entire path. It takes calming and then concentration. Since so few succeeded at Tiantai practices, Nichiren Daishonin further refined the practice to the chanting of the title of the Lotus Sutra, something we all can do; rich or poor, smart or dull, well or sick, alone or with company.

This indeed is a practice which requires one-pointed concentration. I chant and visualize the scene at Mt. Ryojusen sitting in front of Shakyamuni Buddha as he preaches the Sutra, surrounded by the various protector deities and bodhisattvas. For even greater concentration I chant mentally. This is a very simple and brilliant practice and indeed leads to Buddhahood, which is probably why it is worldwide and so popular.

Never despise simplicity
:namaste:
rory
ps there is a very nice article by Paul Swanson on Chih-I and Chan
http://nanzan-u.academia.edu/PaulSwanso ... _Chih-kuan
Dharani of Amoghapasa Avalokitesvara:

Om amogha-padma-pasa-krodhakarsaya praveshaya maha-pashupati-yama-varuna-kuvera
brahma-vesa-dhara padma-kula-samayan hum hum

heart mantra: Om amogha vijaya hum phat
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Re: Can someone help me reconcile please?

Postby Jikan » Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:27 pm

Swanson's book on Tien-Tai philsophy is also first-rate.

I think there's some debate or rather a variety of interpretations on what Chih-i was up to when he put forward his classification of the teachings. It's clear that he preferred some provisional teachings over others (the Prajnaparamita is preferred to the Hinayana*, for instance). My point is that rory's position is plausible (the Ekayana as the one path), but it's not the only plausible interpretation. I'll leave it at that since the original poster's question is now more or less addressed and we're in the Nichiren forum, not the Jikan forum.


*I know this is a controversial term, but it's part of the discourse of Chinese Buddhism and is not intended to disparage any contemporary school's practice.
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Re: Can someone help me reconcile please?

Postby rory » Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:06 am

Yes the different Tiantai patriarch disagreed, some saw Ekayana as exclusive, some didn't. The traditional Nichiren schools follow the exclusive path the Tendai ones the inclusive path.

I'd love to know how my Tendai brothers here contemplate the Middle; and how you interpret the Middle.
with gassho
Rory
Dharani of Amoghapasa Avalokitesvara:

Om amogha-padma-pasa-krodhakarsaya praveshaya maha-pashupati-yama-varuna-kuvera
brahma-vesa-dhara padma-kula-samayan hum hum

heart mantra: Om amogha vijaya hum phat
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