Dharma Wheel

A Buddhist discussion forum on Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism
It is currently Mon Dec 22, 2014 11:09 pm

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Forum rules


Please click here to view the forum rules



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 86 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 9:52 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:02 pm
Posts: 409
Location: Reading MI USA
Quote:
I am not putting you down...it's a good question. But in perspective, it's also very funny.


Thanks Padma, I never thought you'd be putting me or anyone else down.
You've been of great help to me in other questions and I thank you for your input in this conversation.
I guess in a way it is a funny question, but I had to ask.

And the world has changed in immense ways in the time this generation has been around.

_________________
Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:04 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2012 5:09 pm
Posts: 185
It is a rich and fruitful question. Certainly opened my eyes to some hitherto unimagined corners.
Some folk do take it all very seriously don't they?
Not saying we should be flippant but really...
"Lineages"
I can see how flu can be caught, but Buddhism?

_________________
More about Mindfulness here
http://bemindful.co.uk/

" A Zen master's life is one continuous mistake."
(Dogen).


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:09 pm 
Offline
Former staff member
User avatar

Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Posts: 4203
Location: Budapest
It is new not because of the availability of information - in fact, the majority of Buddhist canonical and extra-canonical works are still untranslated - but because of this idea of "tradition". To give an example, in Chan they talk about lineage, and Chan teachers are thought of in terms of being members of this or that lineage. So we can say that there are different traditions. What people forget here is that the whole lineage issue exists only for abbots. All the other monks and the laity are simply Buddhists who study and practise various things. This reductionist view that if somebody prefers Chan (note, even Chan can mean many different things) then studying Yogacara and visualising Avalokitesvara are excluded is simply mistaken.

_________________
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:46 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2012 5:09 pm
Posts: 185
That I can see, a school of thought or line of thinking. Fair enough. We can pick and choose the best fruits from the orchard. That makes sense. But this odd idea of almost apostolic succession via quasi magical 'initiation' rituals.
Maybe as psychodrama but one gets the distinct impression from a very short time on this forum that some people actually believe that in some way the entire shebang somehow 'works'
to the exclusion of other methods.
Incredible.
One can see maybe in an unsophisticated tribal society such superstition might gain credence. But amongst those with critical reasoning and internet access......

_________________
More about Mindfulness here
http://bemindful.co.uk/

" A Zen master's life is one continuous mistake."
(Dogen).


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:34 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Posts: 2327
Location: the Netherlands and India
Geshe la and myself were traveling from India to Europe so I could not reply. Of course we are mainstream Tibetan Buddhists connected to the lineage of HHDL and the centres of Lama Zopa Rinpoche. I

Just to state clearly, Geshe Sonam Ngodup and I work mostly at FPMT centres. Geshe la will start teaching at the FPMT centre in Amsterdam this September. Geshe la's uncle is the abbot of Sera Jey- Shugden is not permitted there.. We have nothing to do with Shugden! We are loyal students of the HH Dalai Lama and take teachings and initiations with him regularily when HH is in Europe! We are opponents of sectrianism I have no idea why you thought we'd have any connection to NKT.

If you want to read a bit about Geshe la you can read here. Some web "references" if you will. Please don't take this as me advertising at all, I haven't posted links to activities of myself or Geshe la since joining DW. But I add them since the question was asked.

I look rather severe in the picture! I am usually smiling like in my avatar I promise.
http://www.maitreya.nl/english-teachers ... ddhist.htm

http://www.maitreya.nl/amsterdam-geshe- ... eekend.htm
http://www.maitreya.nl/amsterdam-initia ... godrup.htm

_________________
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:42 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am
Posts: 2845
Dave The Seeker wrote:


I guess in a way it is a funny question, but I had to ask.

And the world has changed in immense ways in the time this generation has been around.


Oh yeah...I forgot one thing. Aside from all of the other challenges to studying dharma, you would also have had to be able to speak and understand dharma teachings in whatever language was spoken at the place where you went.

A lot of people call this the degenerate age or whatever, a time when the Buddhist teachings are fading.
But if you think about it,
they are more accessible to more people in more ways and in more languages than has ever existed before.
And around the world, more people are more educated than ever before.
More people can read, and can access the teachings though the internet
...even through their telephones!!
Of course, this presents different problems.
For example, what tradition to follow.

You can't get away from problems.

.
.
.

_________________
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:53 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:13 pm
Posts: 1014
Since I turn everything into a narrative, I have a bad enough time not turning the particular practices from my teacher I'm doing now into a narrative.

I would think the more practices I do or rather the more views I adopt the harder it would be.

Why complicate things?

I have more than enough to do already within the one view I've been given. It's not like I'm here to eat from a smorgasbord. I have work to do, to help people.

For example one of my practices is to turn my own body into food.

That single practice in itself would take a whole lifetime to really do properly.

I like to talktalktalk on the intertubes but ultimately there's not a lot to say except - do what your teacher tells you to do. Maybe after a very long time I'll be qualified to opine re: different branches of Buddhism.

But until then things are really very simple for me:

i) all somethings are the appearance of nothing; and
ii) relax in pure awareness.

Ungraspability, radiance, love.

I think what I'm saying is - if I've found my gracious and wonderful teacher, why on earth would I think I needed anything else? Don't trust my words - trust your teacher's.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:04 pm 
Online
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:49 pm
Posts: 2808
Location: Bay Area, CA, USA
There's a difference, to some degree, between practices and studies. In many traditions, practice relies on some sort of "transmission." Therefore, it follows that "lineage" is an important factor, for many, in regards to their practice. This is true in Vajrayana Buddhism, but also, to some degree, in other schools, sects, or whatever. Of course, I am relating these comments most strongly to Vajrayana in the Tibetan context, as that is my environment. But I did a one month Zen Sesshin, long ago, in a seemingly past life, so......anyway:

The most important lineage is that between one's teacher and oneself. As someone else said, pretty much every teacher out there has their own "lineage." This is not a new development; it goes back to the Mahasiddhas, really. But time magnifies, the tree's branches spread..... So, for example, Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche's students may be practicing methods that stem from Chogling Tersar, Karma Kagyu, Longchen Nyingthik or whatever. The Lamas at Palpung Sherab Ling practice a yearly Vajrakilaya Puja based on Ratna Lingpa's terma, while the Lamas associated with Tsurphu and Rumtek practice a yearly Vajrakilaya Puja based on Chogling's Zabdun Purba terma. Kyabje Kalu Rinpoche's disciples practice methods from Shangpa Kagyu, Karma Kagyu, Chokling Purba, Karma Lingpa, Yongay Mingyur Dorje terma, etc. Sakyapas practice LamDre and Hevajra from Virupa, Vajrayogini from Naropa, and Vajrakilaya from the Nyingma Kama, quite a bit of terma, too, as well as many other things--see the Druptap Kun Du! Tsong Khapa's Ganden/Geluk tradition was based on the Kadampa transmissions, but he was perhaps the most eclectic guru in Tibetan history, synthesizing and incorporating Chakrasamvaras from Luipa and Ghantapada, Yamantaka/Vajrabhairava, and Guhyasamaja in the Arya Tradition, as well as the Naro Cho Druk, and Shangpa's Gonpo Chakdrupa. And so it goes.... great masters, in fact, can be seen to have practiced assiduously in many traditions.

However....these Gurus made it their lives' work to practice (and study, and teach) the Dharma, and their environment was quite different. If your circumstances are similar, perhaps you too can do this! It's good to learn about differences in methods, and view, and to recognize that they exist--some even may appear contradictory, which is as it must be, when one understands the limitations of conceptual thinking and language in regard to the Ultimate. Beginners, and even more experienced Buddhists, have to be careful though--confusion, not to mention animosity and antipathy, can arise when one doesn't have a basic background, and a perspective, as well as a teacher, ideally, who can help foster this perspective. There are plenty of examples of students who stopped practicing due to these sorts of issues--lack of perspective, lack of guidance, misunderstanding....even examples of people who have actively made it their goal to denigrate the Dharma, sad to say.

(i'll continue....)

_________________
May any merit generated by on-line discussion
Be dedicated to the Ultimate Benefit of All Sentient Beings.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:23 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Posts: 2327
Location: the Netherlands and India
:good:
Enjoyed your posting, Cone!

_________________
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:33 pm 
Online
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:49 pm
Posts: 2808
Location: Bay Area, CA, USA
(continued on, due to weird computer glitches:)

There are many paths up the mountain. Perhaps many of them reach the summit. But it's pretty hard to take more than one at a time. So, if one's intention is to reach the summit, then one should study the map(s), determine which path(s) may take one there, and which, based on the map(s) may not. When you plan your route, it's fine to take scenery into account--perhaps the north face may be more to your liking. Perhaps you have more, or less, time for your hike. Or maybe your pants are on fire and the only source of water is the lake at the top. :smile: In any case, decide which path to take, and take it. Once you're half way up, you may find crossways to other paths, perhaps, and it may be safe to take those, after studying your map(s). Maybe not, though....maybe you may have to descend a bit first, before ascending again, depending on the path. I don't think there's anything wrong, per se, with studying the map(s) even when you're halfway up, especially if such study gives you added perspective and appreciation. Just remember, though, that until you've actually walked those paths it may be hard to assert the superiority of yours....best to keep an open mind, but also to maintain one's goal. Once you summit the mountain (and put out that fire!) you can look down and appreciate the variety of paths, the view and the scenery. You can evaluate the other paths, and even decide that, on your next hike, you may want to take a different one...after all, you now can have the confidence, born of experience, and not merely map study, to recognize the summit.

In my opinion, the great masters did like that. But the important thing is that they made the climb. They didn't just sit around at base camp, studying maps, or ascend halfway and then get lost in the weeds, trying to hack out their own new path with a machete.

In terms of practice, Buddhist traditions share many common methods. Breath awareness is the most obvious one. Development of Karuna/Compassion, is another. These are like the air we breathe, and the sunlight we need, to climb the mountain. Some factors and methods are shared.

Other methods are unique. At some point, you have to choose.

_________________
May any merit generated by on-line discussion
Be dedicated to the Ultimate Benefit of All Sentient Beings.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 6:03 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 5:22 pm
Posts: 417
Location: East Coast of Canada
:good: Well said!

Om mani padme hum
Keith


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:59 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:02 pm
Posts: 409
Location: Reading MI USA
Thank you very very much for your insight Cone. :namaste:

_________________
Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:04 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:07 pm
Posts: 231
conebeckham wrote:
(continued on, due to weird computer glitches:)

There are many paths up the mountain. Perhaps many of them reach the summit. But it's pretty hard to take more than one at a time. So, if one's intention is to reach the summit, then one should study the map(s), determine which path(s) may take one there, and which, based on the map(s) may not. When you plan your route, it's fine to take scenery into account--perhaps the north face may be more to your liking. Perhaps you have more, or less, time for your hike. Or maybe your pants are on fire and the only source of water is the lake at the top. :smile: In any case, decide which path to take, and take it. Once you're half way up, you may find crossways to other paths, perhaps, and it may be safe to take those, after studying your map(s). Maybe not, though....maybe you may have to descend a bit first, before ascending again, depending on the path. I don't think there's anything wrong, per se, with studying the map(s) even when you're halfway up, especially if such study gives you added perspective and appreciation. Just remember, though, that until you've actually walked those paths it may be hard to assert the superiority of yours....best to keep an open mind, but also to maintain one's goal. Once you summit the mountain (and put out that fire!) you can look down and appreciate the variety of paths, the view and the scenery. You can evaluate the other paths, and even decide that, on your next hike, you may want to take a different one...after all, you now can have the confidence, born of experience, and not merely map study, to recognize the summit.

In my opinion, the great masters did like that. But the important thing is that they made the climb. They didn't just sit around at base camp, studying maps, or ascend halfway and then get lost in the weeds, trying to hack out their own new path with a machete.

In terms of practice, Buddhist traditions share many common methods. Breath awareness is the most obvious one. Development of Karuna/Compassion, is another. These are like the air we breathe, and the sunlight we need, to climb the mountain. Some factors and methods are shared.

Other methods are unique. At some point, you have to choose.


To me this is a strange understanding. Different traditions are not different trails leading to the top of the mountain. The traditions are people telling you which trails to follow and how to follow them, what to look for and how to react to obstacles on those trails. Three people following different traditions may very well end up on the same trail several times during their journey. Trails that do not lead to the top are not Dharma. So what my point is here is that "traditions" are not like trails up the mountain, they are like maps and guides. One can consider all guides when traveling up their trails.

This analogy however does not fit with the Mahayana, Theravada, or Ekayana designations.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:12 pm 
Offline
Former staff member
User avatar

Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Posts: 4203
Location: Budapest
The goal is to be free from suffering. The means to that is realising emptiness. Whether you get to realisation by vipassana, koan or deity meditation, how could it matter? It's just personal preferences, karma.

_________________
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 4:11 pm 
Online
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:49 pm
Posts: 2808
Location: Bay Area, CA, USA
son wrote:
To me this is a strange understanding. Different traditions are not different trails leading to the top of the mountain. The traditions are people telling you which trails to follow and how to follow them, what to look for and how to react to obstacles on those trails. Three people following different traditions may very well end up on the same trail several times during their journey. Trails that do not lead to the top are not Dharma. So what my point is here is that "traditions" are not like trails up the mountain, they are like maps and guides. One can consider all guides when traveling up their trails.

This analogy however does not fit with the Mahayana, Theravada, or Ekayana designations.

Paths may cross, may intersect, may merge for a time. But if you've studied long enough, and widely enough, you'll find unique details in every approach.

I don't believe in the Ekayana as a practice tradition, but only as a conceptual understanding. And I believe my analogy works quite well with Theravada, and with various Mahayana traditions, including Pure Land, Zen/Chan, Tendai....

If one is already in New York, and wants to go from Peekskill to Poughkeepsie, one does not consult any old guide--your map of Nevada is useless in that situation. Guides are only applicable to the extent they relate to a specific environment and circumstances.

Also, I respectfully disagree with your assessments of some paths not being "dharma.". As long as they go up, to some degree, I think they are expedient dharma. Adharma paths would be those that take you away from the mountain, in my allegory.

_________________
May any merit generated by on-line discussion
Be dedicated to the Ultimate Benefit of All Sentient Beings.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 5:00 pm 
Online
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:49 pm
Posts: 2808
Location: Bay Area, CA, USA
Son wrote:
Different traditions are not different trails leading to the top of the mountain. The traditions are people telling you which trails to follow and how to follow them, what to look for and how to react to obstacles on those trails


Regarding this, the people telling you which trails to follow can give such advice because they're familiar with the trails....trail guides follow maps, but they also have practical experience on the trails themselves.

Traditions are not people, exclusively. But people embody traditions. That's the way it is, from our POV.

Also, thinking more about the Ekayana, I consider that the mountain itself, with all it's paths, slopes, and summit, is the Ekayana.

Nice to look at, and contemplate, but if one wishes to get to the top, one needs to drill down a bit from the "macro view" and get into the nitty gritty of various approaches, paths, etc.

_________________
May any merit generated by on-line discussion
Be dedicated to the Ultimate Benefit of All Sentient Beings.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 5:03 pm 
Online
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:49 pm
Posts: 2808
Location: Bay Area, CA, USA
Astus wrote:
The goal is to be free from suffering. The means to that is realising emptiness. Whether you get to realisation by vipassana, koan or deity meditation, how could it matter? It's just personal preferences, karma.


Ultimately, it doesn't matter, if the method produces results.
Relatively, details of a given praxis are essential--and applying some methods, and not others, is a key instruction. The appropriate medicine for the condition.......

Agree it's personal preference/karma, but nontheless, one must put some sort of method, or methods, in place. You gotta start somewhere, or you'll go nowhere. :smile:

_________________
May any merit generated by on-line discussion
Be dedicated to the Ultimate Benefit of All Sentient Beings.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 5:50 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:07 pm
Posts: 231
conebeckham wrote:
Son wrote:
Different traditions are not different trails leading to the top of the mountain. The traditions are people telling you which trails to follow and how to follow them, what to look for and how to react to obstacles on those trails


Traditions are not people, exclusively. But people embody traditions. That's the way it is, from our POV.

This is where we disagree, and why our concepts of the "mountain" contrast entirely.

Quote:
Also, thinking more about the Ekayana, I consider that the mountain itself, with all it's paths, slopes, and summit, is the Ekayana.

Clearly that is my consideration as well.

Quote:
Nice to look at, and contemplate, but if one wishes to get to the top, one needs to drill down a bit from the "macro view" and get into the nitty gritty of various approaches, paths, etc.

Just because my concept of tradition is entirely different from your concept, does not mean that my view is the "macro" one. In fact, I take the approach that is neither microscopic nor macroscopic, but simply practical. Ergo, practice, the lifeblood of all tradition.

Again, to be clear, in my concept trails are simply means and practices which help progress our enlightenment. Tradition is how we are guided to them, through them, and passed them, to the glorious summit beyond. Seeing things this way, I say, is Ekayana.

When Lord Gautama revealed Dharma to the world, he did not set people in differing traditions. He pointed the way to the top of the mountain, and he encouraged every single step toward the top, regardless of what trail those steps may fall upon. Now, if one tradition leads you mostly up the east side of the mountain, and another leads you mostly up the west, you will not be able to follow both traditions. However, following your own way and your own trails up the mountain, it can be very useful to listen to several traditions. This has always been my experience. This is the Ekayana.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:15 pm 
Online
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:49 pm
Posts: 2808
Location: Bay Area, CA, USA
Son wrote:
Just because my concept of tradition is entirely different from your concept, does not mean that my view is the "macro" one. In fact, I take the approach that is neither microscopic nor macroscopic, but simply practical. Ergo, practice, the lifeblood of all tradition.

Again, to be clear, in my concept trails are simply means and practices which help progress our enlightenment. Tradition is how we are guided to them, through them, and passed them, to the glorious summit beyond. Seeing things this way, I say, is Ekayana.


"Means and practices" are very much part of "traditions." For example, we can speak of the Vajrayana Tradition(s), in their totality, having different "means and practices" than the "Theravada Tradition(s)." A teacher in a Theravada tradition will likely not be able to guide someone on the Vajrayana Path, and vice versa. This is not a judgement as to which is better or worse, just a statement that strikes me as fairly obvious, and demonstrates that means, practices, and teachers are all "of" a tradition, or a path.

Son wrote:
When Lord Gautama revealed Dharma to the world, he did not set people in differing traditions. He pointed the way to the top of the mountain, and he encouraged every single step toward the top, regardless of what trail those steps may fall upon. Now, if one tradition leads you mostly up the east side of the mountain, and another leads you mostly up the west, you will not be able to follow both traditions. However, following your own way and your own trails up the mountain, it can be very useful to listen to several traditions. This has always been my experience. This is the Ekayana.


Ignoring historical development, and the quasi-mythological creation stories of Vajrayana, or even Mahayana (Nagarjuna and the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras, for example), I am sure that Gautama gave a variety of instructions to a variety of disciples. In a very general sense, I think he is known to have given various responses and instructions to householders, and to monks, and to kings/rulers/officials, etc. These are not "differing traditions," as much as expedient means to suit a variety of circumstances and beings. I see the various traditions in much the same way, but in a wider, and more historical, sense.

As you've noted, if one tradition leads up the East side, and one up the West side, you won't be able to follow both. This would apply to paths, and to guides as well, wouldn't it?

Trails are by their very nature made by others, by those that have come before you. If you are going to create your own trail, you are by definition creating one that wasn't there before. You are "blazing a new trail," as they say, eh? "Listening to" several traditions, is fine--in my allegory, I referred to looking at the map of the whole mountain while one was already half way up a trail. Appreciating the myriad of ways is wonderful and nourishing, I think. But actually climbing the mountain, well.... if one were blazing their own trail, one would make a decision, based on reviewing the map, that a different trail may in fact be better at a certain point. At that point, you would need to get from Point A/Path A/Tradition A to Point B/Path B/Tradition B. If you've ever blazed a trail up a mountain, I think you can understand that it takes more effort, and likely more time, than following the trails that already exist. Sometimes the effort is worth it, don't get me wrong...sometimes one needs to reconnect, and each person is different. But as you have noted, one can't be in two places at once.

_________________
May any merit generated by on-line discussion
Be dedicated to the Ultimate Benefit of All Sentient Beings.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:02 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:13 pm
Posts: 1014
BUDDHADHARMA: If a student asked you to compare shikantaza, silent illumination, Dzogchen and Vipassana, how would approach that kind of question?

GAYLON FERGUSON: One would have needed to have practiced in all those traditions.

DAI-EN BENNAGE: Correct. To actually taste each of those—that’s a rare person. How can we open our mouths to make a judgment about a style in which we have no experience, no guided training?

TENZIN WANGYAL: There are a few issues we are mixing here. We are talking about formless meditation and we are also talking about the commonality in different traditions. In essence, formless meditation has got to be the same, because formless is formless. What makes the difference is the form, how one is introduced to the form, the development of the form, and how one enters into the formless from there. These are the things that create the differences.

In the buddhadharma, there are many tenet systems, doctrinal systems, and as a result there are differences we have to acknowledge, for example between Madhyamika and Cittamatra. In the monastery, people study these for years and try to understand the fine points of difference. But these differences do not mean one is good and the other is bad. The point is to come to deeper understanding. For example, some aspects of Hinduism and Shaivism seem so similar to Dzogchen. Are they really similar or not? That’s a big question and it could be quite worthwhile to debate it.

When it comes to the formless, every tradition has different ways to do it. I always encourage students to listen to other teachers and to gain more understanding, but it’s always important to have one thing that you follow completely. That’s not a question of one being better than another; it’s more a question of energy and time. If you’re focusing on too many things, you might not have anything in the end.

Formless meditation is supported by all sorts of forms in all sorts of traditions. Not only that, it is supported by everyday human experience. If you carry a big weight and walk for many miles and then you set it down . . . imagine that moment. You say, “Aah,” and in that very moment you can have a great life experience that does not belong to any tradition. It needs no label. A moment of physical or emotional exhaustion can give you great access to stillness. Everybody has that, even if they haven’t heard one word of dharma.


http://www.buddhanet.net/budsas/ebud/ebmed083.htm


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 86 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group