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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 2:09 am 
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Malcolm wrote:
username wrote:
People who in effect deform Dzogchen into a religion, a taught classic pitfall, and/or in effect imply the world would be the same or a better place without Buddhist religion have not realized the first thing about Dzogchen.


It would be inane to assert the latter, just as it would be inane to assert the same about Christianity or Islam (i.e. that the world would be the same or better without them).

M



"As all individuals have their own perception, it is not right to harbor wrong views and speak maligning words. One should maintain pure vision, rejoice, and give praise - thus making a good connection. To slander other people or their deities is the basis for misfortune.

To arouse interest and develop faith in outsiders - Buddhists and ordinary people - and to dispel arguments about this holy place at the same time, I began with an explanation of the history of Maratika." -Chatral Rinpoche

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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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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 2:14 am 
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username wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
username wrote:
People who in effect deform Dzogchen into a religion, a taught classic pitfall, and/or in effect imply the world would be the same or a better place without Buddhist religion have not realized the first thing about Dzogchen.


It would be inane to assert the latter, just as it would be inane to assert the same about Christianity or Islam (i.e. that the world would be the same or better without them).

M



"As all individuals have their own perception, it is not right to harbor wrong views and speak maligning words. One should maintain pure vision, rejoice, and give praise - thus making a good connection. To slander other people or their deities is the basis for misfortune.

To arouse interest and develop faith in outsiders - Buddhists and ordinary people - and to dispel arguments about this holy place at the same time, I began with an explanation of the history of Maratika." -Chatral Rinpoche


The point is that we need, as a species, to move beyond religion because religion, such as it is, brings more suffering into the world than it removes.

M

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 2:53 am 
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Malcolm wrote:
username wrote:

"As all individuals have their own perception, it is not right to harbor wrong views and speak maligning words. One should maintain pure vision, rejoice, and give praise - thus making a good connection. To slander other people or their deities is the basis for misfortune.

To arouse interest and develop faith in outsiders - Buddhists and ordinary people - and to dispel arguments about this holy place at the same time, I began with an explanation of the history of Maratika." -Chatral Rinpoche


The point is that we need, as a species, to move beyond religion because religion, such as it is, brings more suffering into the world than it removes.

M


One should not be carried away by one's own current subjective perception to deny the reality of billions which will remain so and evolve and self-reform. As well as not to confuse and not respect the variety of dharma practitioners' dimensions. Most were brought to Dzogchen by Buddhism whose essence is rigpa anyway. Once Buddhism dies as a social force, chances are this period of Dzogchen will end soon after. I hope in Maitreya's cycle Dzogchen lineages will appear and be taught. There will be a thousand Kaliyugas over possibly millions of years. A variety of organized: religions/spiritualities/ideologies/temporally valid successive scientific dogmas/etc. will be there as social forces for a fact for the majority of those future masses. Changing of a tag from religion to spirituality to ideology to the latest trendy worldview will not change the essence of those organized social forces for/with the largest common mass denominator, just the labels. Our job is something else.

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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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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 3:36 am 
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username wrote:
Once Buddhism dies as a social force, chances are this period of Dzogchen will end soon after.


That is not how I understand things based both on what is stated in Dzogchen tantras and what is said by my guru.

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How can you not practice the highest Dharma
at this time of obtaining a perfect human body?

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 3:44 am 
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Malcolm wrote:
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Once Buddhism dies as a social force, chances are this period of Dzogchen will end soon after.


That is not how I understand things based both on what is stated in Dzogchen tantras and what is said by my guru.


First of all I said chances are. Second as the Karmapa said last year, nothing is certain and all predictions can change and even this planet can be destroyed if we are not careful. As Guru Rinpoche said, changing circumstances will change predictions. And many already have changed. Thirdly you have not realized the scales as by the time deep Kaliyuga is over and Maitreya comes, very little if anything will be left, thanks to future destroyers and cultural revolutionaries who follow advice such as yours. You keep attacking the Buddhist religion and go even further as we see above to tell people here we all have to end (destroy) ALL religions as you stated on this page. All fueled by your latest extreme self consuming ideas as you wish regardless of other people whose dimensions we are taught by my guru to respect as a major social directive, until something else takes you over, again. Good luck to you. The protector and facilitator and in fact mother of Garab Dorje's Dzogchen lineage in this cycle is Shakyamuni.

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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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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 6:48 am 
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When dharma becomes a lived experience then there is no need to worry. Books, prophesies, and dharma centers all become less important. Thinking about how to act becomes quite restrictive and so people in dharma centers often vent their feelings in various ways . But the teacher is responsible for the restrictive atmosphere and so they shouldn't complain. They are part of the problem too.
If I was a teacher entrusted with a lineage then I wouldn't have a center. I would just network and meet in random places. May be a pub or a park or just on the Internet. I wouldn't worry about money because I would have a job. I wouldn't ask for money for charity projects or to help with costs to cover my healthcare.
But then someone like me would never be a lineage holder or teacher. I don't care for generating income. Some people posting on this board are very close with dharma to the extent that they are dharma before they are a person. They have a right to talk about the problems with organized religion.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:13 am 
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Malcolm wrote:
"Dzogchen" can be a religion, sure -- if people start turning Dzogchen into a tribal identity and reduce it to a bunch of conceptual formulations. But in reality, Dzogchen is a personal experience. If you don't have that personal experience, then your Dzogchen is just a fantasy, like priests building stairways to heaven.

As I have pointed out in the past, Buddhadharma is one thing, "Buddhism" is quite another.

I am not that interested in arguing about it, but as far as I am concerned, there is a difference between Dharma and Buddhism; the former is not a social identity, it is an evolving personal truth. That latter is a social identity which enforces a rigid system of belief to participate in that social identity.


I understand that you think you know what religion is and what it isn't, but I am afraid you are wrong about that.

/magnus

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:26 am 
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Yudron wrote:
I'm going to be radical here and say that if the flavor of your Dharma centers are really as folks are describing above, and its been around more than 10 years, it is a failure of the teacher in charge. He or she should put an end to this kind of behavior. If people are becoming more arrogant, jealous and competitive, their practice is going in the wrong direction, and they need to be firmly redirected.


I absolutely agree with you. Unfortunately the Tibetan teachers appear to see things different. I believe this is also why there is so much attentism towards Buddhist scandals on the internet.

Yudron wrote:
If people are becoming more arrogant, jealous and competitive, their practice is going in the wrong direction, and they need to be firmly redirected.


But unfortunately this is not what happens.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:20 am 
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ReasonAndRhyme wrote:
Yudron wrote:
I'm going to be radical here and say that if the flavor of your Dharma centers are really as folks are describing above, and its been around more than 10 years, it is a failure of the teacher in charge. He or she should put an end to this kind of behavior. If people are becoming more arrogant, jealous and competitive, their practice is going in the wrong direction, and they need to be firmly redirected.


I absolutely agree with you. Unfortunately the Tibetan teachers appear to see things different. I believe this is also why there is so much attentism towards Buddhist scandals on the internet.

Yudron wrote:
If people are becoming more arrogant, jealous and competitive, their practice is going in the wrong direction, and they need to be firmly redirected.


But unfortunately this is not what happens.


It is what happens where I come from. The lamas start by simply role-modeling, and if someone don't get the message he or she receives feedback and remedial measures. Of course, Tibetans don't make organized plans, but it happens that way. It's part of their job descriptions to foster harmonious relations in the sangha and to help people get over obstacles to their practice that they are not aware of. The times you can see how things are coming along at a center are when there is a big complicated event that involves lots of cooperation. Kind of an annual check-in about the state of affairs.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:45 am 
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Beyond religion; not to cling to religions but to transcendent the means, or how can I say that, talking is so limited.

There were Theravada people when a group arrived injured and exhausted. They closed their shop and the whole family helped as quick as possible like they were helping their own feet. Wounds could have no better warm and cleaning care.

There was the Muslim lady, sitting on a chair while making a pullover, directly putted her work down, took me by the hand because I lost the way. I said God is great sister.

Then the Christian Doctor his consolating voice when I arrived with a burning eye, screaming of pain, and gave some drops to reduce the pain immediately.

And the Sikh man who offered warm help when a body was frozen and tending to fall 'asleep'.

The Hindu priest sitting on steps by the Ganges, giving massage to a just born unconscious little cow; its head in his hands. It was left alone by its mom in the burning sun. Hours later: both happy, the evening sunrays reflecting on the water.

Then....many more examples......

Clinging to religions and all phenomena, mine-yours partiality and extremes... Religions, as far as I know, have one thing a bit commun: the teaching on love, to recognize by own awareness only.

Selfless love is all embracing. :anjali:

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:14 am 
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muni wrote:
Beyond religion; not to cling to religions but to transcendent the means, or how can I say that, talking is so limited.

There were Theravada people when a group arrived injured and exhausted. They closed their shop and the whole family helped as quick as possible like they were helping their own feet. Wounds could have no better warm and cleaning care.

There was the Muslim lady, sitting on a chair while making a pullover, directly putted her work down, took me by the hand because I lost the way. I said God is great sister.

Then the Christian Doctor his consolating voice when I arrived with a burning eye, screaming of pain, and gave some drops to reduce the pain immediately.

And the Sikh man who offered warm help when a body was frozen and tending to fall 'asleep'.

The Hindu priest sitting on steps by the Ganges, giving massage to a just born unconscious little cow; its head in his hands. It was left alone by its mom in the burning sun. Hours later: both happy, the evening sunrays reflecting on the water.

Then....many more examples......

Clinging to religions and all phenomena, mine-yours partiality and extremes... Religions, as far as I know, have one thing a bit commun: the teaching on love, to recognize by own awareness only.

Selfless love is all embracing. :anjali:


Thank you.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:23 am 
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heart wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
"Dzogchen" can be a religion, sure -- if people start turning Dzogchen into a tribal identity and reduce it to a bunch of conceptual formulations. But in reality, Dzogchen is a personal experience. If you don't have that personal experience, then your Dzogchen is just a fantasy, like priests building stairways to heaven.

As I have pointed out in the past, Buddhadharma is one thing, "Buddhism" is quite another.

I am not that interested in arguing about it, but as far as I am concerned, there is a difference between Dharma and Buddhism; the former is not a social identity, it is an evolving personal truth. That latter is a social identity which enforces a rigid system of belief to participate in that social identity.


I understand that you think you know what religion is and what it isn't, but I am afraid you are wrong about that.

/magnus


Magnus, it seems very clear to me that Buddhadharma and Buddhism are not the same thing. Malcolm says that Dzogchen is a personal experience, but isn't that the whole point of Buddha's teaching? We are given the means to produce the experience (of liberation) in ourselves, but whether we actually do or not is left up to us.

A teaching is a teaching. A religion is the stuff that grows up when people feel the need to justify to others why they are following the teaching and why the others should too. In a sense, when I tune into a DC webcast I am following a teacher, but when I tell a friend that they should watch too, I am being religious. If I buy 'Words of my Perfect Teacher' for myself, I am receiving a teaching. If I recommend it to my friend as a great spiritual text of Buddhism, I am being religious.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:42 am 
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I think that the clause gurus for hire and enlightenment for sale is just what happens in the modern world. On one side buddhist gurus did not fulfill the expectation of their western students, on the other side the audience is also pretty ignorant. In Asia the audience does not think much about dharma... it is just same social phenomenon as religion in the West.

To this what Malcolm said, I can add that religion is a poison and kills its own children. The true essence is often hidden under heavy brocades and powerful positions, which only represent political development of religion in history. Humans just use anything for their corrupted wishes. Dzogchen, zen, dharma it all lost a lot being squeezed between social demands, which are pretty stupid, political aims which are vicious/deadly and general ignorance allowing the situation to grow that way, i.e. pretty wrong.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:06 am 
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I think what is meant is all what is to reject/accept is the domain of misperception. There is no need to reject/accept phenomena religion at all. Rejection/acception is only the tendency of samsara.

Awareness remain aware, then selfless love isn't separate and no any judging can be.( the sunlight isn''t separate of the sun and no sun is judging the beams. Sometimes people use to see judging as needful in a way to discern what is good or bad in accordance with apprehended mind. But wisdoms' discernment is to see through such dream, to help awaken 'beings'.

I think when my preferences land in the bardo of death and are shooting all the needless phenomena, I will not have to stand in the queue for my ticket to samsara but will smoothly continue another dreamlike existence.

Thank you deeply for compassion. :thanks:

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Last edited by muni on Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:06 am 
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To connect this discussion about religion vs. spirituality with the topic of gurus and communities, let's start with definitions first.

Religion is an organised community practice, spirituality is individual. I can be spiritual at home according to my own interpretation of any view, but being a member of a religion requires adhering to a set of doctrines and being part of a community. It's the difference between "I believe in Jesus" and "I am a Roman Catholic". We can see the same thing with Buddhism. There are people who like the Buddha's (Dalai Lama's, Thich Nhat Hanh's, etc.) teachings but even if they consider themselves Buddhists, they are not part of any community and don't follow any specific tradition's teachings completely. And there are those who join a Buddhist congregation, study under a teacher and integrate the lineage's doctrines and methods. The first one is about the individual, about personal spirituality. The second is about community and tradition. This is not about one's faith, views or attainments. It is about social relationships, rules and regulations. Anyone can be a Christian on one's own choice, but you can't be a Roman Catholic without following the necessary requirements and becoming a member of the church. Same in Buddhism. Anyone can be a Buddhist, but for instance ordination is bound to joining a community.

So, when it comes to gurus and Dharma centres, it is religion.

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This face, the face at birth."

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:06 am 
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underthetree wrote:
heart wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
"Dzogchen" can be a religion, sure -- if people start turning Dzogchen into a tribal identity and reduce it to a bunch of conceptual formulations. But in reality, Dzogchen is a personal experience. If you don't have that personal experience, then your Dzogchen is just a fantasy, like priests building stairways to heaven.

As I have pointed out in the past, Buddhadharma is one thing, "Buddhism" is quite another.

I am not that interested in arguing about it, but as far as I am concerned, there is a difference between Dharma and Buddhism; the former is not a social identity, it is an evolving personal truth. That latter is a social identity which enforces a rigid system of belief to participate in that social identity.


I understand that you think you know what religion is and what it isn't, but I am afraid you are wrong about that.

/magnus


Magnus, it seems very clear to me that Buddhadharma and Buddhism are not the same thing. Malcolm says that Dzogchen is a personal experience, but isn't that the whole point of Buddha's teaching? We are given the means to produce the experience (of liberation) in ourselves, but whether we actually do or not is left up to us.

A teaching is a teaching. A religion is the stuff that grows up when people feel the need to justify to others why they are following the teaching and why the others should too. In a sense, when I tune into a DC webcast I am following a teacher, but when I tell a friend that they should watch too, I am being religious. If I buy 'Words of my Perfect Teacher' for myself, I am receiving a teaching. If I recommend it to my friend as a great spiritual text of Buddhism, I am being religious.


And if you recommend listening to a great Dzogchen teachers webcast to a friend you are being religious? Some of the ways religion is defined by science, there is no universally accepted definition so far, would without doubt cover the DC for example. Saying "I don't believe in religion, it is evil" could very easy qualify as a religion also. You got a belief, could be anything, and a few people that agrees and that are ready to defend that belief and there you are. You can not easily separate teaching and the necessary organization that is carrying the teaching. Isn't it so that the Buddhas Dharma carried by the Sangha is defined as religion by others?

/magnus

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:13 am 
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like a rhinoceros.
http://www.hermitary.com/solitude/rhinoceros.html

:popcorn:

:offtopic: For sale one BHUMI Guru as Gnu
Part exchange welcome. Answers to the name 'Buddha'. Comes with full
set of Sutra.
:offtopic: :smile:

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:42 am 
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heart wrote:
Saying "I don't believe in religion, it is evil" could very easy qualify as a religion also.
/magnus


True.

heart wrote:
You can not easily separate teaching and the necessary organization that is carrying the teaching. Isn't it so that the Buddhas Dharma carried by the Sangha is defined as religion by others?
/magnus


It's true that Dharma as carried by the Sangha is generally defined as a religion by others. That doesn't mean we have to regard it as such, or act as if it is. And while it would be self-defeating to separate teaching from its delivery mechanism, it seems as if it might be increasingly possible to redefine what you identify as 'the necessary organization' in some other way. How? I don't have a clue. So far this century we have aggressive fundamentalist evangelism learning to use the internet; ditto the aggressive new secularism. To me this says that, confronted with virtually unlimited potential for communication, we as individuals are falling over each other to lose our identity in membership of one or other group as never before. We could chase our semantic tails endlessly over this, but I believe that, while Buddhadarma affects the concept of religion in a positive way (on balance), the reverse is certainly not true. ie the lamentable record of organized religion is somewhat ameliorated by the inclusion of Buddhadarma (in a conversation critical of religion, someone is almost guaranteed to say "...but, I mean there's always Buddhism. That's different."). But Buddhadarma is not enhanced by the trappings of religion.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:54 am 
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heart wrote:

And if you recommend listening to a great Dzogchen teachers webcast to a friend you are being religious? Some of the ways religion is defined by science, there is no universally accepted definition so far, would without doubt cover the DC for example. Saying "I don't believe in religion, it is evil" could very easy qualify as a religion also. You got a belief, could be anything, and a few people that agrees and that are ready to defend that belief and there you are. You can not easily separate teaching and the necessary organization that is carrying the teaching. Isn't it so that the Buddhas Dharma carried by the Sangha is defined as religion by others?

/magnus

And by any chance do you doubt that there's also a religious phenomenon when it comes to the DC? Do you by any chance think the DC is somehow free of religion? However that doesn't make Dzogchen a religion. Some understand this, some live this, some don't. Our teacher, however, stresses this aspect often. We need to go beyond belief. Dzogchen is only Dzogchen with experience of the real nature. Until then it's a fantasy.

The same probably can be applied to Buddha's Dharma in general. It didn't start as a religion but it became one. It became one because unenlightened beings have this fantastic propensity to cling to things in order to feel in control, to feel safe,to feel oriented and so on and so forth.

One of the biggest obstacles to any Buddhist is actually practicing Dharma. Do you know that line from Dromtonpa"oh... that's good, but even better is practicing Dharma!" in that story of the old man circumbulating the stupa, reading texts and meditating? The base for giving up concerns for this worldy life, that is nothing more than realizing through experience the dream nature of our samsaric experience, is something that goes beyond religion. Religion may be the package for the set of illusions that will help you get there. However, if you get stuck there, stuck at the finger instead of reaching the moon, kaput, you cut your own legs.

At the end what matters seems to be if the practitioner goes beyond religion instead of getting stuck at it. When one clings to a religion, one clings to a belief system, nothing more. Dzogchen, Vajrayana, Buddhism, you choose the name. As long as it is a matter of belief it will simply fall short of what is Dharma. Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche tries to avoid a religious attitude from his students, always stressing the importance of experience, not tenets, not beliefs, not artificial codes and what have you. This is a good thing, I think.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:16 am 
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underthetree wrote:
We could chase our semantic tails endlessly over this, but I believe that, while Buddhadarma affects the concept of religion in a positive way (on balance), the reverse is certainly not true. ie the lamentable record of organized religion is somewhat ameliorated by the inclusion of Buddhadarma (in a conversation critical of religion, someone is almost guaranteed to say "...but, I mean there's always Buddhism. That's different."). But Buddhadarma is not enhanced by the trappings of religion.


:good:

I agree with all you wrote above, but this part of your last post in particular seems to be something that must not be overlooked:

underthetree wrote:
We could chase our semantic tails endlessly


Some of the words we use, especially abstract nouns, tend to get other people's goats really fast. Malcolm's 'religion' and 'evil' proved to be vertitable A-bombs here, even though 'religion' is one of the things we've been discussing (and at times trying to define) at DW since times immemorial, and his views expressed in the thread are not only nothing new, he's also explained and elucidated them many a time now.

It appears that at least some of the anger and frustration people express at Malcolm's (or mine, or underthetree's) posts in this thread is caused by plain old miscommunication rather than by any truly serious difference in opinion. Then there's the will to power issue - in other words, the 'my-definition-of-religion-is-bigger-and-better-than-yours' thing - which only aggravates the matter further. We'll surely never find the definition that will statisfy us all; we may, however, try to understand what another person is trying to convey through their (often confusing and perhaps sometimes confused) use of vague, undefinable, slippery and controversial concepts. It would certainly seem more conducive to some understanding than getting indignant straightaway.

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