A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby Jnana » Fri Aug 17, 2012 2:32 am

username wrote:That quote is fine & very true by Ray and his two classic books are still excellent IMO but he is not talking about "deconstructing" TB & re-constructing it, unavoidably as by any re-maker, in his own image or ideas.

Yes, this is a fairly common response. Nevertheless, deconstruction need not be narcissistic and can accommodate a diverse spectrum of individuals who consensually accept some basis for investigation and analysis which doesn't require appeal to esoteric texts or occult knowledge.
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby Jnana » Fri Aug 17, 2012 2:38 am

username wrote:This is not a cyber-dictatorship.... Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin & Mao all found international peace conferences not to their palettes either, I disagree.

Hysterics and Hitler associations....

Silly stuff.
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby username » Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:12 am

Jnana wrote:
username wrote:This is not a cyber-dictatorship.... Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin & Mao all found international peace conferences not to their palettes either, I disagree.

Hysterics and Hitler associations....

Silly stuff.


No that is how they all felt. Basically this below is what you said which reveals how you think and how you are. Which alongside your semantic recommended remedies for years on various experiential paths makes me think you just might not be the ideal person to "deconstruct" & remake TB/Vajrayana/Mahamudra/Dzogchen:

Jnana wrote:Conferences are merely one rather sterile and usually anemic setting in the greater "slime and muck of the dark age".


Back to topic: Well Jeff, personally I think TB leaders should listen to any criticism even if it is by a westerner tourist to Tibet who does not know anything about Buddhism however listening is one thing but not necessarily doing what everyone says. But we should take input from all. For effective realistic change you need a collective movement by masters/mistresses/scholars/old practitioners of Tibetan/Himalayan origin as well as Asian (increasingly Chinese) & westerners. Secondly apart from being well versed in the subjects they should be hands on regarding problems facing communities in Asia or the west. Thirdly the more experiential realizations they have as attested by their students' progress, the more clout they will have alongside those who have scholar or political rank. And collective means not the dictatorship of ideas by one who thinks he has figured it all out but I am afraid some public & private "conferences" too.

So anyone is welcome to criticize TB as there is no harm in that. However antagonistic attacks on TB/Vajrayana/Mahamudra/Dzogchen & wanting to reformulate it according to simplistic semantic models as by some former Tricycle authors or similar who just have a few concepts, will not have much clout in reality. But still anyone should be listened to, just in case they have a good idea, even them or any lone person who has read a few books in English. In reality giant old systems are like ultra large crude oil carriers, they take a long time to change course. Unfortunately even HHDL can not implement many of the changes he likes. Someone setting himself up as a lineage originator in the west, as with some authors, merely with new concepts will have less chance. I think we should hear out anyone who cares to comment & has something new to say.
Dzogchen masters I know say: 1)Buddhist religion essence is Dzogchen 2)Religions are positive by intent/fruit 3)Any method's OK unless: breaking Dzogchen vows, mixed as syncretic (Milanese Soup) 4)Don't join mandalas of opponents of Dalai Lama/Padmasambhava: False Deity inventors by encouraging victims 5)Don't debate Ati with others 6)Don't discuss Ati practices online 7) A master told his old disciple: no one's to discuss his teaching with some others on a former forum nor mention him. Publicity's OK, questions are asked from masters/set teachers in person/email/non-public forums~Best wishes
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby Tilopa » Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:21 am

"Generally, I think that when we want to expose a fault or present an opinion, two attributes are necessary: one should know the subject thoroughly, and one should not oneself have the faults that one is criticizing. Otherwise, one will be, as the Tibetan proverb describes, "a monkey who laughs at another monkey's tail." Let us not forget that as human beings we are victims of our own narrow-minded interpretations. We should not give so much authority to our limited points of view: our interpretations and subjective perspectives are limitless and almost always stem from our own fears, expectations and ignorance."

Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche from a very worthwhile article:

http://www.abuddhistlibrary.com/Buddhis ... Khyent.htm
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby JKhedrup » Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:45 am

Jnana wrote:
Huseng wrote:Do you think Tibetan non-sectarianism would ever expand outside of the realm of Tibetan Buddhism?

As in, making use of Theravada or East Asian traditions?

With so much literature being translated into English, this could be immensely helpful to Tibetan Buddhists. For example, a lot of Indian literature only survives in Classical Chinese translation. Much has been and is being translated into English, which any Buddhist could readily make use of.

I'm not sure that TB can withstand the kind of critical deconstruction of its lineage mythologies and hagiographies that have occurred in East Asian Buddhism & Pāli Buddhism. And without this it seems that TB is likely to remain stuck in a 14th century worldview with teachers making claims of superiority based on spurious assumptions while the rest of the modern Buddhist world moves on.


Unfair generalization, I would say. The Pure Land Tradition and even the Zen/Ch'an traditions depend heavily on such hagiographies as well. And... have you ever read Ajahn Mun's biography?
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby Jnana » Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:46 am

username wrote:Basically this below is what you said which reveals how you think and how you are.

That sentence also includes an quotation from Trungpa Rinpoche's Sādhana of Mahāmudrā. The sentence was intended to be tongue-in-cheek. The implied meaning was with regard to the importance of walking the walk both inside and outside of conferences, dharma centers, secular institutions, etc., etc.

username wrote:So anyone is welcome to criticize TB as there is no harm in that. However antagonistic attacks on TB/Vajrayana/Mahamudra/Dzogchen & wanting to reformulate it according to simplistic semantic models as by some former Tricycle authors or similar who just have a few concepts, will not have much clout in reality.

Your replies seem to me to be unnecessarily defensive, i.e. unwarranted by the general tenor of the discussion at hand. Who's leveling "antagonistic attacks" here? Who's proposing these caricature reformations?

username wrote:Back to topic: Well Jeff, personally I think TB leaders should listen to any criticism even if it is by a westerner tourist to Tibet who does not know anything about Buddhism however listening is one thing but not necessarily doing what everyone says. But we should take input from all. For effective realistic change you need a collective movement by masters/mistresses/scholars/old practitioners of Tibetan/Himalayan origin as well as Asian (increasingly Chinese) & westerners. Secondly apart from being well versed in the subjects they should be hands on regarding problems facing communities in Asia or the west. Thirdly the more experiential realizations they have as attested by their students' progress, the more clout they will have alongside those who have scholar or political rank. And collective means not the dictatorship of ideas by one who thinks he has figured it all out but I am afraid some public & private "conferences" too.

Agreed.
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby username » Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:54 am

Tilopa wrote:"Generally, I think that when we want to expose a fault or present an opinion, two attributes are necessary: one should know the subject thoroughly, and one should not oneself have the faults that one is criticizing. Otherwise, one will be, as the Tibetan proverb describes, "a monkey who laughs at another monkey's tail." Let us not forget that as human beings we are victims of our own narrow-minded interpretations. We should not give so much authority to our limited points of view: our interpretations and subjective perspectives are limitless and almost always stem from our own fears, expectations and ignorance."

Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche from a very worthwhile article:

http://www.abuddhistlibrary.com/Buddhis ... Khyent.htm


Yes I posted the abuddhistlibrary.com articles links a few days ago myself. Secondly you are criticizing others implicitly yourself. Finally what DKR is saying is not relevant to people criticizing people in authority or institutions. If there was democracy in Tibet or some of the modernizers were listened to we would be in a better shape or at least had registered as a nation with the UN back then. A lot of our problems stemmed from silencing people from criticizing authority figures back then with out of context quotes and customs. As I said airing all reasonable criticism and democratic suggestions to authority figures should be welcome and not stifled by various means in case someone has a new idea that might be useful.
Dzogchen masters I know say: 1)Buddhist religion essence is Dzogchen 2)Religions are positive by intent/fruit 3)Any method's OK unless: breaking Dzogchen vows, mixed as syncretic (Milanese Soup) 4)Don't join mandalas of opponents of Dalai Lama/Padmasambhava: False Deity inventors by encouraging victims 5)Don't debate Ati with others 6)Don't discuss Ati practices online 7) A master told his old disciple: no one's to discuss his teaching with some others on a former forum nor mention him. Publicity's OK, questions are asked from masters/set teachers in person/email/non-public forums~Best wishes
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby Jnana » Fri Aug 17, 2012 4:01 am

JKhedrup wrote:
Jnana wrote:I'm not sure that TB can withstand the kind of critical deconstruction of its lineage mythologies and hagiographies that have occurred in East Asian Buddhism & Pāli Buddhism. And without this it seems that TB is likely to remain stuck in a 14th century worldview with teachers making claims of superiority based on spurious assumptions while the rest of the modern Buddhist world moves on.


Unfair generalization, I would say. The Pure Land Tradition and even the Zen/Ch'an traditions depend heavily on such hagiographies as well. And... have you ever read Ajahn Mun's biography?

I'm referring to specific authors and trends in East Asian Buddhism or South Asian Buddhism. Regarding the former, this would include the proponents of Critical Buddhism, Humanistic Buddhism, and a number of contemporary Zen authors and teachers. In the Zen tradition in particular, there have been a number of authors who have questioned the historicity of Zen lineages. Regarding South Asian Buddhism, this would include monks such as Ñāṇavīra, Ñāṇananda, and a number of other monastic and lay teachers.
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby Indrajala » Fri Aug 17, 2012 4:02 am

username wrote:So anyone is welcome to criticize TB as there is no harm in that. However antagonistic attacks on TB/Vajrayana/Mahamudra/Dzogchen & wanting to reformulate it according to simplistic semantic models as by some former Tricycle authors or similar who just have a few concepts, will not have much clout in reality.


The present concern has less to do with Tricycle authors, and more to do with why Tibetan Buddhism is reluctant to generally dissect their own traditions' histories, hagiographies and doctrines while perhaps considering and even incorporating material from non-Tibetan sources.

Plenty of modern Chinese Buddhist authors have read Lama Tsong Khapa's Lam Rim Chen Mo. Many appreciate Pali and Theravada (even looking to it for guidance in certain matters such as the Vinaya). There is also an enormous amount of exchange going on in Asia right now between various Buddhist traditions. You can see Theravada bhikkhus around Buddhist colleges here in Taiwan and also in Japan for example. Plenty of Japanese and Chinese Buddhists go study Pali and meditation in Theravada communities. In Singapore there is a kind of melting pot of Buddhist traditions. I've seen photos of my monk friend there doing an ordination ceremony and the witnessing monks were clearly from different nations and traditions.

Everyone is learning from each other, not just doctrinally, but also practice-wise. Old attachments to legacies and lineages are being forgotten it seems as a kind of new matrix of traditions blends together and moves forward. There are of course problems that arise, but like Nalanda University we can have an array of philosophies and traditions together in one place and advance ourselves collectively through discussion and dialogue.

However, Tibetan Buddhism for various reasons doesn't seem so keen on this. It is alright for everyone else to come to Tibetan Buddhism to study, but why so little interest on the part of TB to go learn from Theravada or East Asian Buddhism? I understand there has been some interest in Shingon (and HHDL has visited Koyasan), but it seems more one-way (Shingon Buddhists studying TB quite enthusiastically, but little interest from the opposite direction).

Non-sectarianism in TB means not discriminating against other Tibetan lineages, but at the end of the day I seldom see Tibetan Buddhists, monks or laypeople, taking a serious interest in non-Tibetan forms of Buddhism. Westerners tend to emulate this as well. That being said I do know some Ladakhis who were/are nominally "Tibetan Buddhists" but have Theravadin ordinations. One wore bhikkhu robes in Delhi and Tibetan robes in Leh.

It really is time to drop ethnic attachments and restore a kind of pan-Buddhist approach to things. This is already happening here in Asia.
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby JKhedrup » Fri Aug 17, 2012 4:08 am

Jnana wrote:
JKhedrup wrote:
Jnana wrote:I'm not sure that TB can withstand the kind of critical deconstruction of its lineage mythologies and hagiographies that have occurred in East Asian Buddhism & Pāli Buddhism. And without this it seems that TB is likely to remain stuck in a 14th century worldview with teachers making claims of superiority based on spurious assumptions while the rest of the modern Buddhist world moves on.


Unfair generalization, I would say. The Pure Land Tradition and even the Zen/Ch'an traditions depend heavily on such hagiographies as well. And... have you ever read Ajahn Mun's biography?

I'm referring to specific authors and trends in East Asian Buddhism or South Asian Buddhism. Regarding the former, this would include the proponents of Critical Buddhism, Humanistic Buddhism, and a number of contemporary Zen authors and teachers. In the Zen tradition in particular, there have been a number of authors who have questioned the historicity of Zen lineages. Regarding South Asian Buddhism, this would include monks such as Ñāṇavīra, Ñāṇananda, and a number of other monastic and lay teachers.


Humanistic Buddhism features emphasis on charismatic figures just as much as Tibetan Buddhism. Look at the major temples in Taiwan and how much the founding masters from mainland China are the subject of adulation and idealization.

I agree with you about the critical approach of monks such as Nanavira and Nanananda, there is such a tradition that is quite strong in Sri Lanka. But if you look at the devotional elements of modern Thai Buddhism for example, you will see that this is not by any means across the board in the Theravada world.
A foolish man proclaims his qualifications,
A wise man keeps them secret within.
A straw floats on the surface of water,
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby Jnana » Fri Aug 17, 2012 4:32 am

JKhedrup wrote:Humanistic Buddhism features emphasis on charismatic figures just as much as Tibetan Buddhism. Look at the major temples in Taiwan and how much the founding masters from mainland China are the subject of adulation and idealization.

I'm primarily thinking of individuals like Ven. Yìnshùn and those who have followed his lead. Yìnshùn took an active interest in the Āgamas, text critical analysis of the Prajñāpāramitā corpus, etc.

JKhedrup wrote:I agree with you about the critical approach of monks such as Nanavira and Nanananda, there is such a tradition that is quite strong in Sri Lanka. But if you look at the devotional elements of modern Thai Buddhism for example, you will see that this is not by any means across the board in the Theravada world.

Of course. I'm not attempting to suggest otherwise. Nor am I suggesting that devotional forms of Buddhism be deemed inferior or discarded. There's plenty of room for co-existence.

But are there any examples like Yìnshùn, Ñāṇavīra, or Ñāṇananda among modern Tibetan teachers? Is there even a place for such critical approaches in Tibetan Buddhism?
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby username » Fri Aug 17, 2012 4:32 am

Huseng wrote:
username wrote:So anyone is welcome to criticize TB as there is no harm in that. However antagonistic attacks on TB/Vajrayana/Mahamudra/Dzogchen & wanting to reformulate it according to simplistic semantic models as by some former Tricycle authors or similar who just have a few concepts, will not have much clout in reality.


The present concern has less to do with Tricycle authors, and more to do with why Tibetan Buddhism is reluctant to generally dissect their own traditions' histories, hagiographies and doctrines while perhaps considering and even incorporating material from non-Tibetan sources.

Plenty of modern Chinese Buddhist authors have read Lama Tsong Khapa's Lam Rim Chen Mo. Many appreciate Pali and Theravada (even looking to it for guidance in certain matters such as the Vinaya). There is also an enormous amount of exchange going on in Asia right now between various Buddhist traditions. You can see Theravada bhikkhus around Buddhist colleges here in Taiwan and also in Japan for example. Plenty of Japanese and Chinese Buddhists go study Pali and meditation in Theravada communities. In Singapore there is a kind of melting pot of Buddhist traditions. I've seen photos of my monk friend there doing an ordination ceremony and the witnessing monks were clearly from different nations and traditions.

Everyone is learning from each other, not just doctrinally, but also practice-wise. Old attachments to legacies and lineages are being forgotten it seems as a kind of new matrix of traditions blends together and moves forward. There are of course problems that arise, but like Nalanda University we can have an array of philosophies and traditions together in one place and advance ourselves collectively through discussion and dialogue.

However, Tibetan Buddhism for various reasons doesn't seem so keen on this. It is alright for everyone else to come to Tibetan Buddhism to study, but why so little interest on the part of TB to go learn from Theravada or East Asian Buddhism? I understand there has been some interest in Shingon (and HHDL has visited Koyasan), but it seems more one-way (Shingon Buddhists studying TB quite enthusiastically, but little interest from the opposite direction).

Non-sectarianism in TB means not discriminating against other Tibetan lineages, but at the end of the day I seldom see Tibetan Buddhists, monks or laypeople, taking a serious interest in non-Tibetan forms of Buddhism. Westerners tend to emulate this as well. That being said I do know some Ladakhis who were/are nominally "Tibetan Buddhists" but have Theravadin ordinations. One wore bhikkhu robes in Delhi and Tibetan robes in Leh.

It really is time to drop ethnic attachments and restore a kind of pan-Buddhist approach to things. This is already happening here in Asia.


I said or similar which you ignore conveniently. Secondly you said you were keen on deconstructing TB. Presumably after that you would want to either leave it disassembled or reconstruct it, inevitably in your own ideas' image. It is a different thing to what you just wrote.

Secondly, a few Hinayana or Mahayana or Zen birds does not a Buddhist spring make. A few days ago you wrote how Buddhists did not have violence as a doctrine. You must be unaware of the various atrocities committed by Zen monasteries during the middle ages and civil wars in Japan. Or the age old dirty political games going on in Sri Lanka or Thailand religious institutions. Or in Burma or Vietnam before the communists repressed everyone. Your presentations are not balanced and simplistic.

Thirdly I believe there are siddhas in the guise of lower vehicles as well as non-Buddhists. I agree Tibetans could learn more from lower vehicles. But also Tibetans could learn more from TB & Vajrayana vehicles too. In fact most Tibetans, not a few star lamas abroad, inside or exiled are basically striving to survive. Even the majority of ordinary Tibetans merely do dharma superficially as a custom, as they did before 1959. If you mean the thousands of monks & their lamas, they just have been saving their texts, numerous practices & lineages not to mention wider cultural ways from the verge of cultural genocide for the last few decades. A lot has been lost anyway. Plus being in exile or inside under difficult conditions. Can they improve? A lot more. But the lower yanas I mentioned even in plush comfy power in south/east Asia are not in effect doing anything major in real numbers. Apart from the few token cases you mentioned. Tibetans have been doing similar token cases too since coming abroad. All are guilty in various ways.

Finally you have to realize it is drilled into Tibetans that Vajrayana is superior to all other Indic ideas & lower Buddhist yanas by various detailed texts taught to young monks in all schools. As the Hinayana are drilled to think of Mahayana as not true and Mahayana thinking of Vajrayana as not true. At least Vajrayanists regard all lower yanas as true and suitable to some & are not two faced in conferences. Plus Vajrayana does have it's experiential fruits which can be verified by practitioners.
Last edited by username on Fri Aug 17, 2012 4:40 am, edited 2 times in total.
Dzogchen masters I know say: 1)Buddhist religion essence is Dzogchen 2)Religions are positive by intent/fruit 3)Any method's OK unless: breaking Dzogchen vows, mixed as syncretic (Milanese Soup) 4)Don't join mandalas of opponents of Dalai Lama/Padmasambhava: False Deity inventors by encouraging victims 5)Don't debate Ati with others 6)Don't discuss Ati practices online 7) A master told his old disciple: no one's to discuss his teaching with some others on a former forum nor mention him. Publicity's OK, questions are asked from masters/set teachers in person/email/non-public forums~Best wishes
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby JKhedrup » Fri Aug 17, 2012 4:34 am

However, Tibetan Buddhism for various reasons doesn't seem so keen on this. It is alright for everyone else to come to Tibetan Buddhism to study, but why so little interest on the part of TB to go learn from Theravada or East Asian Buddhism? I understand there has been some interest in Shingon (and HHDL has visited Koyasan), but it seems more one-way (Shingon Buddhists studying TB quite enthusiastically, but little interest from the opposite direction).



I agree with you that it needs to be worked on, but it is not that it does not exist at all. In terms of interactions between the Theravada and Tibetan traditions I actually think there are several worthy of mentioning. As I noted previously, Geshe Tengye and Zasep Tulku in the 1980s were both sent to Thailand at the request of the office of HHDL and lived there as bhikhshus for at least 5 years each. HH Dalai Lama visited the Sangharaja of Thailand. His Holiness emphasizes cross-yana co-operation http://www.dalailama.com/messages/buddh ... ence-delhi

Tibetan master Tarthang Tulku sponsors a mass recitation of the Pali Tipitaka every year and also funds conferences in Buddhamonthon, Thailand about cross yana issues http://lbdfi.com/our-projects/sacred-pl ... -buddha/35

Political reasons may be part of the picture about why this is not more widespread. Due to the sphere of influence of the People's Republic of China, HHDL cannot get visas for Singapore, Thailand, Sri Lanka etc. These countries are afraid of damaged relations. When His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and to lesser extent Karmapa, try to participate in some projects, their participation is blocked by China: http://www.friends-of-tibet.org.nz/asso ... niversity/

HH Karmapa (OTD) has very good links with several influential Chinese masters, has learned Chinese Buddhist painting techniques and incorporates some elements of Chinese Buddhist ritual into his events. (Wooden fish used for bowing in unison, etc.). Several of his monks study at Chinese monasteries in HK/TW, though I could not say which ones.

There is also a project to translate the Theravada Vinaya into Tibetan.
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby JKhedrup » Fri Aug 17, 2012 4:37 am

I'm primarily thinking of individuals like Ven. Yìnshùn and those who have followed his lead. Yìnshùn took an active interest in the Āgamas, text critical analysis of the Prajñāpāramitā corpus, etc.


There's Gendun Choephel, not a traditional monk like Ven. Yinshun, but certainly a critical academic who was not afraid to question textual authenticity and cultural practices. A true rebel who is loved by many Tibetans!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gend%C3%BCn_Ch%C3%B6phel

In terms of modern scholars there is Geshe Tashi Tsering in London, who sometimes assists with English interpretation for HHDL. He broadly incorporates Pali sources in his work, including a commentary on the Four Noble Truths.

It is not so easy for Tibetans to travel to the East Asian countries, I don't think many of you understand how difficult their situation is. Even just to leave India requires huge amounts of paperwork. The Tibetan geshes I know who teach in Taiwan for example usually have to return after four months, stay for 2 while a new visa is processed etc.

People sometimes forget the Tibetans are stateless and don't enjoy as much freedom of movement as many of us.
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby Indrajala » Fri Aug 17, 2012 5:40 am

username wrote:Secondly, a few Hinayana or Mahayana or Zen birds does not a Buddhist spring make. A few days ago you wrote how Buddhists did not have violence as a doctrine. You must be unaware of the various atrocities committed by Zen monasteries during the middle ages and civil wars in Japan. Or the age old dirty political games going on in Sri Lanka or Thailand religious institutions. Or in Burma or Vietnam before the communists repressed everyone. Your presentations are not balanced and simplistic.


Oh Buddhists can kill people, but will be hard pressed to defend it doctrinally. Their arguments would come apart like an old burlap sack.


Thirdly I believe there are siddhas in the guise of lower vehicles as well as non-Buddhists.


This is also an issue: referring to other traditions as "lower vehicles". Just as East Asian Buddhists have a tendency to overuse the term "Hīnayāna", unaware of what it entails. It is quite belittling and inappropriate given our present day circumstances. Yes, I'm well aware these terms have been employed for centuries, but it really just belittles traditions that could possibly have a lot to offer. Instead of encouraging study and investigation, they might just be written off as useless by calling them "lower vehicles".


But also Tibetans could learn more from TB & Vajrayana vehicles too. In fact most Tibetans, not a few star lamas abroad, inside or exiled are basically striving to survive. Even the majority of ordinary Tibetans merely do dharma superficially as a custom, as they did before 1959. If you mean the thousands of monks & their lamas, they just have been saving their texts, numerous practices & lineages not to mention wider cultural ways from the verge of cultural genocide for the last few decades. A lot has been lost anyway. Plus being in exile or inside under difficult conditions.


Sure, but they still have the opportunity to dialogue with other traditions, especially the monks and nuns. In India for example you can find plenty of non-Tibetan Viharas.

In Nepal there is a growing community of Theravada Buddhists which stands to undermine the monopoly Tibetan traditions largely hold there. One monk suggested to me that Theravada might have a lot to offer. Bhikkhus are not supposed to have money, so having them pay tuition fees for something equivalent to Shedra would be impractical. This would open up study to monks who might otherwise not have the resources to get a full Buddhist education.



Finally you have to realize it is drilled into Tibetans that Vajrayana is superior to all other Indic ideas & lower Buddhist yanas by various detailed texts taught to young monks in all schools. As the Hinayana are drilled to think of Mahayana as not true and Mahayana thinking of Vajrayana as not true.


Yes and no. I've met plenty of bhikkhus and ecumenical Buddhists who simply don't care about such polemics. Mahāyāna might be cautiously kept at a distance in Theravadin countries, but most people unless some bhikkhu tells them otherwise are not going to denounce Mahāyāna practitioners as heretics. Keep in mind Chinese Buddhism has long existed in Thailand among the Chinese diaspora over there. Guanyin also has a popular following among Thais I hear.
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby Indrajala » Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:01 am

JKhedrup wrote:I agree with you that it needs to be worked on, but it is not that it does not exist at all. In terms of interactions between the Theravada and Tibetan traditions I actually think there are several worthy of mentioning.


Quite commendable indeed!

However, I still don't see it on the same scale as what you see with Theravada and East Asian traditions.

As you say, Tibetans are restricted in their travel, but even within India there doesn't seem to be so much of a push in the direction of genuine ecumenicalism with Tibetan Buddhists, even though the opportunities are there. Non-sectarianism in the context of TB is one step, but is there enough interest to go beyond that?
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby username » Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:16 am

Huseng wrote:
username wrote:Secondly, a few Hinayana or Mahayana or Zen birds does not a Buddhist spring make. A few days ago you wrote how Buddhists did not have violence as a doctrine. You must be unaware of the various atrocities committed by Zen monasteries during the middle ages and civil wars in Japan. Or the age old dirty political games going on in Sri Lanka or Thailand religious institutions. Or in Burma or Vietnam before the communists repressed everyone. Your presentations are not balanced and simplistic.


Oh Buddhists can kill people, but will be hard pressed to defend it doctrinally. Their arguments would come apart like an old burlap sack.


Thirdly I believe there are siddhas in the guise of lower vehicles as well as non-Buddhists.


This is also an issue: referring to other traditions as "lower vehicles". Just as East Asian Buddhists have a tendency to overuse the term "Hīnayāna", unaware of what it entails. It is quite belittling and inappropriate given our present day circumstances. Yes, I'm well aware these terms have been employed for centuries, but it really just belittles traditions that could possibly have a lot to offer. Instead of encouraging study and investigation, they might just be written off as useless by calling them "lower vehicles".

But also Tibetans could learn more from TB & Vajrayana vehicles too. In fact most Tibetans, not a few star lamas abroad, inside or exiled are basically striving to survive. Even the majority of ordinary Tibetans merely do dharma superficially as a custom, as they did before 1959. If you mean the thousands of monks & their lamas, they just have been saving their texts, numerous practices & lineages not to mention wider cultural ways from the verge of cultural genocide for the last few decades. A lot has been lost anyway. Plus being in exile or inside under difficult conditions.


Sure, but they still have the opportunity to dialogue with other traditions, especially the monks and nuns. In India for example you can find plenty of non-Tibetan Viharas.

In Nepal there is a growing community of Theravada Buddhists which stands to undermine the monopoly Tibetan traditions largely hold there. One monk suggested to me that Theravada might have a lot to offer. Bhikkhus are not supposed to have money, so having them pay tuition fees for something equivalent to Shedra would be impractical. This would open up study to monks who might otherwise not have the resources to get a full Buddhist education.



Finally you have to realize it is drilled into Tibetans that Vajrayana is superior to all other Indic ideas & lower Buddhist yanas by various detailed texts taught to young monks in all schools. As the Hinayana are drilled to think of Mahayana as not true and Mahayana thinking of Vajrayana as not true.


Yes and no. I've met plenty of bhikkhus and ecumenical Buddhists who simply don't care about such polemics. Mahāyāna might be cautiously kept at a distance in Theravadin countries, but most people unless some bhikkhu tells them otherwise are not going to denounce Mahāyāna practitioners as heretics. Keep in mind Chinese Buddhism has long existed in Thailand among the Chinese diaspora over there. Guanyin also has a popular following among Thais I hear.


Hi Huseng, I told you which parts of your statements I oppose, which I agree with & which are more complex than you paint. However you simply ignore the main points put to you and not saying what you agree with plus go off in tangents opening up new areas to debate. This is basic polemics and makes any debate pointless so I will just state the main points against your latest post:

- You can deny the justifications of war in the name of various Buddhist sects. But those sects' abbots & leaders throughout history to this day in Sri Lanka, being investigated by the UN War Crimes group, know more about their sects than you do & will surely not fall apart in debate according to their own tenets with you. This is just a fantasy.

- The point in that paragraph was the non Tibetan Buddhist institutions of Hinayana & Mahayana in various Asian countries also have histories of institutional corruption within politics & violence to this very day. Your ignoring & whitewashing of them is simply naive & when pointed out & ignored just not right.

- Hinayana included many schools including Theravada. Your suggestion that Vajrayana stop calling it Hinayana is basically absurd as you ask them to basically change their religion and accept Hinayana claims. This is like telling the Jews to accept Jesus as Messiah & the Christians to accept Mohammed as the last & greatest prophet! That will be a new religion and not Vajrayana. Similarly you would want Mahayana to drop their basic beliefs WRT to Hinayana. You are basically asking Vajrayana & Mahayana religions and sub-schools to completely change their religions' many principles. As I said your assertions are simplistic in nature & completely unbalanced. I really do not see any point in even discussing things at this unrealistic level.

- You also ignore the fact that a few gestures by the handful of token examples of inter-sect studies or what some monk told you on the streets of Nepal does not mean the establishment of Hinayana & Mahayana have changed their religions. This is coffee shop level reasoning, not serious debate. And there have been similar inter-sect token gestures by TB lamas too. These token few extrapolations are far from the reality of all those religions changing their historical fundamental tenets.

- On various sects living in close proximity in certain locations, every sect visits their centers in Bodhgaya too and rubs shoulders with each other as Christian sects do in Jerusalem but no one is changing their religion. Again it does not follow any tectonic shifting of plates is taking place within any group's established doctrines.

- You also completely ignore the perilous situation facing Tibetans' culture & practices & lineages & texts they have been trying to save recently in exile I mentioned that even non Buddhists are aware of. Again utterly unrealistic in expecting them to abandon their Vajrayana principles in favor of Hinayana while they have their hands full both under repression inside & struggling to survive in exile. While seeing no fault within the institutions sharing power, sometimes corruptly, by others elsewhere in Asia in luxury.

- Hinayana still dismisses Mahayana & Vajryana as not Buddha's true teachings and similarly Mahayana WRT to Vajrayana. You are just engaging in sophistry.

- Apart from not grasping the basic points in discussion, you do not understand basic ontological categories pointed out to you. When Hinayana changes their religion by accepting Mahayana claims that is a new development, which BTW has not happened. Or similarly if Mahayana starts accepting Vajrayana claims, which again despite a few people researching a few papers (meaningless) or what a monk says on the street, has also not happened. HOWEVER Vajrayana accepts all of Hinayana & Mahayana as valid & true teachings of Buddha. There is nothing to be done regarding those. As I said they are an accepted ontological subset of Vajrayana beliefs. Kangyur & Tengyur have been part of TB studies since King Trisong asked Shanta & Padma to bring Buddhism to Tibet. We can not renew our acceptance of them like aged couples renewing their wedding vows. We never stopped believing in Hinayana or Mahayana to be asked to accept them again! However the lower schools never accepted the higher ones. This seems to completely escape you.

Finally I would like to say people should only take HYT or high empowerments within Vajrayana if they agree with it's basic tenets. If people think Vajrayana basic tenets & certain major tantras are wrong and false in asserting the superiority of the Vajrayana over lower vehicles or other basic principles of Vajrayana, then they should not enter Vajrayana. There are samayas or rules within Vajrayana to basically not "deconstruct" it's basic tenets and re-construct it into a whole new religion & practice that creation with new parts & new ideologies. For by doing that you have invented your own Frankenstein version of Vajrayana and basically have started your own lineage as a new prophet with a completely different demi-Vajrayana religion.
Dzogchen masters I know say: 1)Buddhist religion essence is Dzogchen 2)Religions are positive by intent/fruit 3)Any method's OK unless: breaking Dzogchen vows, mixed as syncretic (Milanese Soup) 4)Don't join mandalas of opponents of Dalai Lama/Padmasambhava: False Deity inventors by encouraging victims 5)Don't debate Ati with others 6)Don't discuss Ati practices online 7) A master told his old disciple: no one's to discuss his teaching with some others on a former forum nor mention him. Publicity's OK, questions are asked from masters/set teachers in person/email/non-public forums~Best wishes
username
 
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby Jnana » Fri Aug 17, 2012 10:50 am

username wrote:Hinayana included many schools including Theravada. Your suggestion that Vajrayana stop calling it Hinayana is basically absurd as you ask them to basically change their religion and accept Hinayana claims. This is like telling the Jews to accept Jesus as Messiah & the Christians to accept Mohammed as the last & greatest prophet! That will be a new religion and not Vajrayana. Similarly you would want Mahayana to drop their basic beliefs WRT to Hinayana. You are basically asking Vajrayana & Mahayana religions and sub-schools to completely change their religions' many principles. As I said your assertions are simplistic in nature & completely unbalanced. I really do not see any point in even discussing things at this unrealistic level.

Reggie Ray thinks otherwise. Indestructible Truth:

    In fact, as we shall see presently, "Hinayana" refers to a critical but strictly limited set of views, practices, and results. The pre-Mahayana historical traditions such as the Theravada are far richer, more complex, and more profound than the definition of "Hinayana" would allow. ...The tern "Hinayana" is thus a stereotype that is useful in talking about a particular stage on the Tibetan Buddhist path, but it is really not appropriate to assume that the Tibetan definition of Hinayana identifies a venerable living tradition as the Theravada or any other historical school.

username wrote:That will be a new religion and not Vajrayana. Similarly you would want Mahayana to drop their basic beliefs WRT to Hinayana. You are basically asking Vajrayana & Mahayana religions and sub-schools to completely change their religions' many principles. As I said your assertions are simplistic in nature & completely unbalanced. I really do not see any point in even discussing things at this unrealistic level.

I think you're missing the entire point of the path.

username wrote:Finally I would like to say people should only take HYT or high empowerments within Vajrayana if they agree with it's basic tenets. If people think Vajrayana basic tenets & certain major tantras are wrong and false in asserting the superiority of the Vajrayana over lower vehicles or other basic principles of Vajrayana, then they should not enter Vajrayana. There are samayas or rules within Vajrayana to basically not "deconstruct" it's basic tenets and re-construct it into a whole new religion & practice that creation with new parts & new ideologies.

The tantras are a mixed bag. And the vajrayāna is merely upāya from soup to nuts.
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby username » Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:24 pm

I know Jeff you have re-constructed your own unique Vajrayana for a while now. Best of luck to you.
Dzogchen masters I know say: 1)Buddhist religion essence is Dzogchen 2)Religions are positive by intent/fruit 3)Any method's OK unless: breaking Dzogchen vows, mixed as syncretic (Milanese Soup) 4)Don't join mandalas of opponents of Dalai Lama/Padmasambhava: False Deity inventors by encouraging victims 5)Don't debate Ati with others 6)Don't discuss Ati practices online 7) A master told his old disciple: no one's to discuss his teaching with some others on a former forum nor mention him. Publicity's OK, questions are asked from masters/set teachers in person/email/non-public forums~Best wishes
username
 
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby Malcolm » Fri Aug 17, 2012 1:41 pm

Jnana wrote:Reggie Ray thinks otherwise.


He is entitled to his opinion but he is factually incorrect. The term Hināyāna, it's usage and understanding is derived from Indian masters and their commentaries. It is really too much to imagine they were not referring their contemporary non-Mahāyāna colleagues.

Just run a word search on the bstan 'gyur for "theg pa chung" and you will be forced to come to the conclusion that term Hinayāna and its usage is not some Tibetan construction as presented by Ray.

And the vajrayāna is merely upāya from soup to nuts.


This is hardly a fair assessment of the situation, though it is a fashionable sentiment post Sakya Pandita.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

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