Belonging to a sect or school

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Belonging to a sect or school

Postby zamotcr » Thu Jun 28, 2012 10:42 pm

Hello, i would like to know your opinions: Should we belong or strictly adhere to a school way of thinking? Or should we "create" our own way of think, accepting one teaching and rejecting others, accepting one sutra or a part of sutra or denying it completly?

I'm asking this because, at least for me, it's difficult to always accept what someone says or teach. Sometimes I accept part of the ideas of a master and disagree with the rest.

For example: I can accept some ideas of Surangama Sutra, but not with the whole sutra. I can accept almost all teachings from Hsing Yun, but some of his oppinions (some based on sutras, others don't) I cannot accept.

What do you think?
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Re: Belonging to a sect or school

Postby tomamundsen » Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:05 am

My personal opinion is that it's much better to have a teacher. I think it's a requirement for real productive dharma practice. When you have a teacher, you have someone to follow that is much further along the path than yourself. They already understand the teachings and can help you clarify your own misunderstandings. Not having a teacher leaves too much room to come up with your own conflicting ideas.

There are likely many on this board who will disagree with me. Which makes sense, because this is an internet forum where people who are doing their own personal study of Buddhism would gravitate toward. But I still think that finding a teacher is of the utmost importance. This also varies from tradition to tradition. I practice Vajrayana, so it really actually is a requirement for practice. In some other traditions, it's not so imperative, but still a very good idea.
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Re: Belonging to a sect or school

Postby Indrajala » Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:04 am

If you study under someone, respect them, but feel free to form your own opinion.

If you feel unable to fully trust yourself, then find a suitable teacher and put your trust in them.

Belonging to a tradition is motivating for many people. The community aspect and capacity for ready deference is comforting.

In your case though you seem to be speaking about scriptures and a teacher that has passed away.

It is best to go out into the real world and find flesh and blood people. Interact, talk, listen ... see what comes of it.
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Re: Belonging to a sect or school

Postby zamotcr » Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:13 am

Huseng wrote:If you study under someone, respect them, but feel free to form your own opinion.
If you feel unable to fully trust yourself, then find a suitable teacher and put your trust in them.
Belonging to a tradition is motivating for many people. The community aspect and capacity for ready deference is comforting.
In your case though you seem to be speaking about scriptures and a teacher that has passed away.
It is best to go out into the real world and find flesh and blood people. Interact, talk, listen ... see what comes of it.


Hi Huseng. Thanks for your answer.

I do follow the teachings of Hsing Yun, I like them a lot, but there are some things that seems more cultural than Dharmic.
Also, I ask if we have to accept the whole sutras or in some cases we can doubt or deny part of them.

I have seen people who accept sutras without a doubt, even accept that Buddha taught them with his mouth.

I love the school of Hsing Yun, but I want to know which would be a correct actitude to have with this kind of teachings that we cannot accept.
(For example, that Mahakasyapa is still alive, living inside a mountain, waiting for Maitreya. Or the teaching that garlic is bad, even when doctors contradict this).

Amituofo
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Re: Belonging to a sect or school

Postby justsit » Fri Jun 29, 2012 3:13 am

zamotcr wrote:
I do follow the teachings of Hsing Yun, I like them a lot, but there are some things that seems more cultural than Dharmic.
Also, I ask if we have to accept the whole sutras or in some cases we can doubt or deny part of them.

I have seen people who accept sutras without a doubt, even accept that Buddha taught them with his mouth.

I love the school of Hsing Yun, but I want to know which would be a correct actitude to have with this kind of teachings that we cannot accept.
(For example, that Mahakasyapa is still alive, living inside a mountain, waiting for Maitreya. Or the teaching that garlic is bad, even when doctors contradict this).


The correct attitude towards "teachings we cannot accept" is to put them aside for now. It is very easy to misinterpret things when one is going it alone. That is one of the functions of a teacher, to show you the correct interpretations, perhaps ones that may not have occurred to you. For example, your statement about garlic - in some Buddhist schools, garlic is considered detrimental because it stirs up the winds within the body. Now, no secular doctor (Western, at least) is going to consider the function of winds in the body; he or she is only looking at the possible health benefits to the physical body. So there are at least two different ways to look at the subject, and they have different views and results, and both are valid in their own area.

When you encounter something in a sutra or teaching that you "cannot accept" or "deny," rather than immediately rejecting it, just set it aside for now. Later, perhaps you can discuss your doubts with a live teacher, or through increasing your knowledge and wisdom, you may come to a different understanding - "Ah, now it makes sense." Focus on the teachings that do appeal to you now, learn the basics first - you can come back to the difficult stuff later.
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Re: Belonging to a sect or school

Postby Paliut » Fri Jun 29, 2012 3:28 am

zamotcr wrote:
Huseng wrote:If you study under someone, respect them, but feel free to form your own opinion.
If you feel unable to fully trust yourself, then find a suitable teacher and put your trust in them.
Belonging to a tradition is motivating for many people. The community aspect and capacity for ready deference is comforting.
In your case though you seem to be speaking about scriptures and a teacher that has passed away.
It is best to go out into the real world and find flesh and blood people. Interact, talk, listen ... see what comes of it.


Hi Huseng. Thanks for your answer.

I do follow the teachings of Hsing Yun, I like them a lot, but there are some things that seems more cultural than Dharmic.
Also, I ask if we have to accept the whole sutras or in some cases we can doubt or deny part of them.

I have seen people who accept sutras without a doubt, even accept that Buddha taught them with his mouth.

I love the school of Hsing Yun, but I want to know which would be a correct actitude to have with this kind of teachings that we cannot accept.
(For example, that Mahakasyapa is still alive, living inside a mountain, waiting for Maitreya. Or the teaching that garlic is bad, even when doctors contradict this).

Amituofo


I agree with everyone's input on this, Huseng mentions a very important case which i myself have experienced. Being part of a lineage which you feel suits you at the moment does bring some community support, like a local church.

I personally have attend Hsi Lai Temple in California, which belongs to Fo Guan Shan which in return was founded my Master Hsing Yun. I agree with you some things seem cultural and other seem 'legit' to the dharma essence... Of course this comment is out of my own pure 'unwise' knowledge. For example, I have a book on the Diamond Sutra commentary by Master Hsing Yun, and he is excellent in my opinion he was a certain style to teach but along my way found my home with Dharma Drum Mountain.

What i guess the purpose to my post is, as i myself found out later, take everything as a grain of sand in a vast beach. Open your mind and heart, this is what i did and i stopped worrying about 'this idea or the other.' Learn them, and as we practice we come a bit closer to understanding them. (hopefully :tongue: )

:anjali:
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Re: Belonging to a sect or school

Postby Indrajala » Fri Jun 29, 2012 5:33 am

zamotcr wrote:I do follow the teachings of Hsing Yun, I like them a lot, but there are some things that seems more cultural than Dharmic.
Also, I ask if we have to accept the whole sutras or in some cases we can doubt or deny part of them.


If you have an interest in his writings, then Foguangshan is readily available. The person to contact if you want more details on Hsing Yun or Foguangshan in general is Venerable Huifeng on this forum.


I have seen people who accept sutras without a doubt, even accept that Buddha taught them with his mouth.

I love the school of Hsing Yun, but I want to know which would be a correct actitude to have with this kind of teachings that we cannot accept.
(For example, that Mahakasyapa is still alive, living inside a mountain, waiting for Maitreya. Or the teaching that garlic is bad, even when doctors contradict this).


Until you have the knowledge to skilfully interpret such things for yourself, it is best to set them aside. In many cases what the scriptures say will have multiple interpretations anyway. Some people go overboard and outright reject what they disagree with. This is unskilful.

The best thing you can do is read a lot, think about things, discuss them over with knowledgeable people and formulate solid opinions.

What i guess the purpose to my post is, as i myself found out later, take everything as a grain of sand in a vast beach. Open your mind and heart, this is what i did and i stopped worrying about 'this idea or the other.' Learn them, and as we practice we come a bit closer to understanding them.


We can easily come to premature opinions. In any case, when listening to someone or reading a scripture, you can just read it and digest it over a long period of time without having to personally accept everything immediately.

In other words, take it easy and go slow. Spiritual maturation and unshakeable conviction takes time. :smile:
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Re: Belonging to a sect or school

Postby Huifeng » Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:20 am

Ven. Master Hsing Yun has never, to my knowledge, required anyone to accept the entirety of his understanding of Buddhism. In fact, he has a fairly open attitude to doctrinal and practical aspects of Buddhism. Though, being from a Chinese tradition, he takes the full range of Chinese traditions as his background. Still, his perspective is much broader than traditional Chinese schools, too.

~~ Huifeng
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Re: Belonging to a sect or school

Postby LastLegend » Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:33 am

zamotcr wrote:Hello, i would like to know your opinions: Should we belong or strictly adhere to a school way of thinking? Or should we "create" our own way of think, accepting one teaching and rejecting others, accepting one sutra or a part of sutra or denying it completly?

I'm asking this because, at least for me, it's difficult to always accept what someone says or teach. Sometimes I accept part of the ideas of a master and disagree with the rest.

For example: I can accept some ideas of Surangama Sutra, but not with the whole sutra. I can accept almost all teachings from Hsing Yun, but some of his oppinions (some based on sutras, others don't) I cannot accept.

What do you think?


We often have false views about everything it is not limited to Sutras. Masters who are well trained will understand better than we do because they understand the ultimate goal is liberation from suffering and if so, they should not get caught up with their personal views. At least hope not.

Buddha:
“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)

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―Listen! Those of you who devote yourselves to the Dharma
must not be afraid of losing your bodies and your lives―
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Re: Belonging to a sect or school

Postby zamotcr » Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:48 am

I want to thanks all of you for your comments :thanks:

Yeah, I'm fairly new with buddhism and I hope I can learn a lot from all of you. Unfortunately in the only Fo Guang Shan temple here in my country they only speak chinese -.- I went to Buddha's Birthday celebration and all was in chinese :crying: Another temple here is from Philip Kapleau, a Zen House (Casa Zen). Meanwhile all of you are my only hope haha.

Thanks, I will start slowly, putting aside things I don't like.

I have an introductory book by Hsing Yun and I'm waiting for my Lotus Sutra (a spanish version translated directly from Sanskrit) to arrive. I hope I can learn a lot with them.

What do you thing of onions and garlics, should I leave them? I like garlic butter with bread haha you know with a cup of coffee :sage:
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Re: Belonging to a sect or school

Postby LastLegend » Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:58 am

Raw bean sprouts arouse my body sexually. Certain food do affect the body and mind. Eat garlic and onions and see how or if they affect you. Experiment for yourself my friend.
NAMO AMITABHA
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NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)

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must not be afraid of losing your bodies and your lives―
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Re: Belonging to a sect or school

Postby zamotcr » Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:04 am

LastLegend wrote:Raw bean sprouts arouse my body sexually. Certain food do affect the body and mind. Eat garlic and onions and see how or if they affect you. Experiment for yourself my friend.


But if you aren't a monk, what if wrong with sexuality? I mean, if you aren't violating the Sexual Misconduct precept. :namaste:
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Re: Belonging to a sect or school

Postby LastLegend » Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:08 am

zamotcr wrote:
LastLegend wrote:Raw bean sprouts arouse my body sexually. Certain food do affect the body and mind. Eat garlic and onions and see how or if they affect you. Experiment for yourself my friend.


But if you aren't a monk, what if wrong with sexuality? I mean, if you aren't violating the Sexual Misconduct precept. :namaste:


True. But it is quite an uncomfortable experience when you are not with someone especially when she lives in another country. Well to me part of practice is to moderate or manage my sexual urges. Not accepting or rejecting just trying to be in the middle here. Practice of not being attached.
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)

Linjii
―Listen! Those of you who devote yourselves to the Dharma
must not be afraid of losing your bodies and your lives―
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Re: Belonging to a sect or school

Postby zamotcr » Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:12 am

LastLegend wrote:
zamotcr wrote:
LastLegend wrote:Raw bean sprouts arouse my body sexually. Certain food do affect the body and mind. Eat garlic and onions and see how or if they affect you. Experiment for yourself my friend.


But if you aren't a monk, what if wrong with sexuality? I mean, if you aren't violating the Sexual Misconduct precept. :namaste:


True. But it is quite an uncomfortable experience when you are not with someone especially when she lives in another country. Well to me part of the practice is to moderate or manage my sexual urges. Taking the middle path man.


I understand :) Thanks. I will try to apply the middle way on all things I do.

Amituofo :anjali:
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Re: Belonging to a sect or school

Postby LastLegend » Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:17 am

Rejecting falls under one extreme, and accepting falls under the other. Ultimately and ideally, we should utilize the middle but eventually will even abandon the middle. Ideally, speaking of course.
NAMO AMITABHA
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NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)

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