Think I have pinned it down...

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Think I have pinned it down...

Postby beautiful breath » Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:04 am

Hi all,

I don't know whether you recall some of my previous posts - effectively a confusion about where my affiliations fall (Theravada or Tibetan systems).

Anyway, the difficulty has always been articulating my confusions...I think I have got a little closer.

When I read Nargajuna or comentaries on the Heart Sutra my faith soars. I get a sense of deep understanding of Emptiness, believe me its palpable!

However, when I look at the practices in the Tibetan Schools, the complex Vajrayana pujas (of which I was Empowered to practice over two decades ago and was indeed an ardent student) I back off. Too much.

When I read some of the Suttas I don't feel the power and inspiration I do when reading the Mahayana texts.

However, when I look at the Theravadin practices I feel a strong resonance. Simple Samatha, Vipassana or especially Anapanasati are much more in-line with my current needs.

Can you see my quandary? Its not just a case of reading the Heart Sutra and practicing Vipassana - they both come with baggage that seem to be an inherent part of both schools.

Sorry if I am banging on the same door....but this is a massive part of my life and has been for a while.

Thanks for any input...! :namaste:
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Re: Think I have pinned it down...

Postby dakini_boi » Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:16 am

Practice the meditation that you find serves you the most. And read the material that inspires you the most. You can also read/chant the heart sutra out loud and/or use the mantra before shamata/vipasana if you like.

You sound very sincere. You do not need to take on any baggage that you associate with various schools. Shamatha/vipashyana are practiced in all schools, not just Theravada. So there is really no contradiction. Make aspirations to be surrounded by the perfect guides and the perfect sangha, and proceed with practice in the way that pleases you most. :anjali:
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Re: Think I have pinned it down...

Postby Andrew108 » Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:52 am

Nice to hear. I think in the Tibetan tradition you could focus your attention on Sutra Mahamudra. In the Theravdin tradition I would look at the Ajan Cha forest tradition and especially Aj Sumehdo. Both would be great. If you are in the U.K then both traditions are alive and well.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
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Re: Think I have pinned it down...

Postby beautiful breath » Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:04 am

The issue has been (and still is) an impetus to subscribe to one tradition only. I am simply not structured to dip in a bit of both.
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Re: Think I have pinned it down...

Postby Andrew108 » Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:10 am

Well then the good news is that whichever you choose is fine. Toss a coin. Because they are both the same in intention and result.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
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Re: Think I have pinned it down...

Postby alpha » Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:23 am

ajaan sumedho is powerful.
i 've met him several times in the past.

You would ask him a question and he would be like "i dont know..is that so ?.." and he would smile and say nothing more.
He was one of the best mirrors ever.
He was like empty space and he would not allow you or give you any opportunity to cling on to anything.
AOM
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Re: Think I have pinned it down...

Postby beautiful breath » Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:32 pm

Andrew108 wrote:Well then the good news is that whichever you choose is fine. Toss a coin. Because they are both the same in intention and result.


In intention and result maybe...but not in practice. I am running the risk of going over old ground again and I really don't want to try all of your (vast) patience!

Its becoming that much of an issue for me I am backing off my practice. I am currently sitting at 5am ruminating about which practice would be best. Should I be analysing the nature of the mind (Mahamudra) or passivley watching what comes up....opposite techniques.

You'd think after nearly 20 years I'd have reconciled this! :shrug:

BB...
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Re: Think I have pinned it down...

Postby Andrew108 » Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:57 pm

beautiful breath wrote: Should I be analysing the nature of the mind (Mahamudra) or passivley watching what comes up....opposite techniques.

They are not opposite techniques. Sometimes you can be passive and watch as things come up, sometimes you can create thoughts and get angry and look at that anger. Or in fact you don't have to practice. You can just go and watch TV. Or read a book. Just relax and gently keep looking. Smell the roses.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
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Re: Think I have pinned it down...

Postby beautiful breath » Tue Aug 07, 2012 2:01 pm

Andrew108 wrote:
beautiful breath wrote: Should I be analysing the nature of the mind (Mahamudra) or passivley watching what comes up....opposite techniques.

They are not opposite techniques. Sometimes you can be passive and watch as things come up, sometimes you can create thoughts and get angry and look at that anger. Or in fact you don't have to practice. You can just go and watch TV. Or read a book. Just relax and gently keep looking. Smell the roses.


Huh....??? Makes no sense to me sorry, I mean thanks for your reply but I have no idea what that means!
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Re: Think I have pinned it down...

Postby Andrew108 » Tue Aug 07, 2012 2:51 pm

All the thoughts and ideas buzzing in your head come and go but presence is always there.
Calm still presence is always there.
Can't cut it with a knife or make it into something new.
That's all I've got. How about you?
:smile:
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
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Re: Think I have pinned it down...

Postby dakini_boi » Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:12 pm

beautiful breath wrote:The issue has been (and still is) an impetus to subscribe to one tradition only. I am simply not structured to dip in a bit of both.


Make aspirations for the signs to arise to show you which tradition is best for you. These signs will probably come in the form of teacher(s) and/or sangha. In the meantime, do your best practicing whichever techniques you like.

If you're not under the guidance of a teacher, the notion of "choosing one tradition" is practically meaningless anyway. Your only real power here is aspiration. If you're really not sure, and the issue is about choosing a tradition, don't you see how you are powerless and the choice is meaningless - because it comes from dualistic mind, whose habit is to go back and forth, back and forth, meanwhile driving you crazy. If your dualistic habit wasn't ruminating on which tradition to choose, it would be driving you crazy about something else. Use this as an opportunity to gain insight and compassion for how the dualistic mind functions. All dharma is good dharma - you know that. At the point at which you choose your tradition definitively, the choice will be so obvious that it won't even be a choice. So please stop beating yourself up! Make aspirations for clarity, and for all the conditions to arise for your practice to be the best it can be. And practice the paramita of patience with yourself - don't pressure yourself to choose something, when the choice ultimately isn't yours to make at all!!! Seriously wishing you the best.

Also - I rejoice in your practice. Imagine if every human being on this planet had even half of your discipline, sincerity, inspiration, willingness to practice dharma, etc. We'd be living in a utopia.

OM GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SVAHA
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Re: Think I have pinned it down...

Postby Jikan » Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:20 pm

Tendai might be a good fit for you, since shamatha-vipashyana meditation is available, and so is the study of the Mahayana Sutras. Ch'an would also be a good fit, but meditation is described a bit differently.

The best practice for you is the practice you are willing and able to do well.
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