Moral discipline is the central practical teaching..?

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Re: Moral discipline is the central practical teaching..?

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Wed Dec 19, 2012 4:18 pm

You peeps are so busy being full stops, but you might want to try being hyphens for a while ...

Could this help us resolve this problem: is there a difference between outer, coarse madhyamaka and inner, subtle madhyamaka?

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Re: Moral discipline is the central practical teaching..?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:59 pm

Of course, KDT, this is correct, but I will have to agree with Raksha that for somebody that is not in rigpa/pure awareness/mahamudra 24-7 moral discipline is 100% necessary to give rise to the causes and conditions for them to develop rigpa/pure awareness/mahamudra 24-7.

I mean, let's talk seriously and practically now: I personally am incapable of maintaining pure vision past a few breaths and require to consciously focus in order to do so, so what does that mean for the rest of my day? If I do not apply moral discipline during the other 23'59'20" of the day then... well I imagine you can all guess what happens in that case. ;)

Can anybody here tell me that they maintain pure view 24-7 and thus are beyond conventional moral discipline?

Any Mahasiddhas out there in DW land?

I'm going to guess that there will be a conspicuous absence of jubilant lions roars of "Yay!" and stick with the original plan of maintaining moral discipline up until the point where I realise that it is no longer necessary. As far as I am concerned promoting any other view on the matter will just be a case of the blind leading the blind. I mean, it's not bad enough paving ones own road to hell with good intentions (and I don't doubt that the intentions are good, delusive for practitioners at our level of development, but good nonetheless) but putting up signposts for others too? Well...
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
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One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Moral discipline is the central practical teaching..?

Postby kirtu » Wed Dec 19, 2012 6:12 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:Can anybody here tell me that they maintain pure view 24-7 and thus are beyond conventional moral discipline?

Any Mahasiddhas out there in DW land?


My Sakya lama shocked me several years ago when he casually said to me "We all get angry everyday, otherwise we'd be high bodhisattvas." So , no need to even to speak of maintaining the view 24-7.

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Re: Moral discipline is the central practical teaching..?

Postby PorkChop » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:05 pm

Konchog1 wrote:Furthermore, Nagarjuna considered love and compassion superior to wisdom. I can provide quotes and citations if you like.


Been having a bit of a tough week with Dharma.
Sometimes I wonder if the attention given to love & compassion is just lip-service to attract the masses.
Thinking of guys like Brad Warner, who state that cleaning your room is all the love & compassion you need to show the world, don't bother trying to help anybody.
In the Lam Rim Chenmo Audio series I've been listening to, the quotes attributed to Nagarjuna are along the lines of "family and friends are temporary, better to abandon them and follow religion".
Nagarjuna's "Letter to a Friend" is giving me some hope at least. Verse 48 is a little borderline, but there is some great advice elsewhere...
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Re: Moral discipline is the central practical teaching..?

Postby Konchog1 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:37 pm

PorkChop wrote:
Konchog1 wrote:Furthermore, Nagarjuna considered love and compassion superior to wisdom. I can provide quotes and citations if you like.


Been having a bit of a tough week with Dharma.
Sometimes I wonder if the attention given to love & compassion is just lip-service to attract the masses.
Thinking of guys like Brad Warner, who state that cleaning your room is all the love & compassion you need to show the world, don't bother trying to help anybody.
In the Lam Rim Chenmo Audio series I've been listening to, the quotes attributed to Nagarjuna are along the lines of "family and friends are temporary, better to abandon them and follow religion".
Nagarjuna's "Letter to a Friend" is giving me some hope at least. Verse 48 is a little borderline, but there is some great advice elsewhere...
http://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=34&t=7511&p=133803#p133770
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

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Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

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Re: Moral discipline is the central practical teaching..?

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:44 pm

Yes, there is definitely a conflicted bit of me that sees a bit of justification of "deadbeat Dadness" possible with Dharma.

Bhante Dhammika makes some good points here on the difference between the household life of then and now:

http://www.buddhisma2z.com/content.php?id=179

There's also all kinds of silliness about what makes a good wife etc. in The Good Hearted Letter..best to read at least some of it with the understanding that we live in different times and circumstances than Nagarjuna lol.
Last edited by Johnny Dangerous on Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Moral discipline is the central practical teaching..?

Postby kirtu » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:51 pm

PorkChop wrote:Thinking of guys like Brad Warner, who state that cleaning your room is all the love & compassion you need to show the world, don't bother trying to help anybody.


Brad Warner said that? He may be going though some difficulty now or he may not have been understood or perhaps he was off on a wild rant.

It's completely false. Sometimes Zen people can be troubling and fall too much on the sravaka side for a while. Over time, if their realization is authentic (always a problematic issue) they will self-right. Zen realization, real realization, however minor, is not the Titanic. In fact it's unsinkable. But people can say and do stupid things while the ship is rolling in the water.

In the Lam Rim Chenmo Audio series I've been listening to, the quotes attributed to Nagarjuna are along the lines of "family and friends are temporary, better to abandon them and follow religion".
Nagarjuna's "Letter to a Friend" is giving me some hope at least. Verse 48 is a little borderline, but there is some great advice elsewhere...


Where does Nagarjuna say to actually abandon family and friends? It's true of course if one is to be a renunciate and it's also true from an attachment perspective but from a yogic perspective there is no compulsion to actually abandon friends and family (although some friends and perhaps family will abandon you). Also the Lam Rim Chenmo is delivered from the renunciate perspective primarily for the purpose of unimpeded merit and wisdom accumulation. But tantra definitely goes beyond the requirement of outward renunciation. Inner or secret renunciation is best - as Atisha said to Dromtonpa "Give up on this life in your mind."

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Re: Moral discipline is the central practical teaching..?

Postby kirtu » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:54 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:Yes, there is definitely a conflicted bit of me that sees a bit of justification of "deadbeat Dadness" possible with Dharma.


Deadbeat Dadness is not necessary (or desirable). Create a yogic familial lineage instead.

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Re: Moral discipline is the central practical teaching..?

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:56 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:Can anybody here tell me that they maintain pure view 24-7 and thus are beyond conventional moral discipline?


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Re: Moral discipline is the central practical teaching..?

Postby PorkChop » Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:16 pm

konchog1 wrote:http://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=34&t=7511&p=133803#p133770

Nice! :)

kirtu wrote:
PorkChop wrote:Thinking of guys like Brad Warner, who state that cleaning your room is all the love & compassion you need to show the world, don't bother trying to help anybody.

Brad Warner said that? He may be going though some difficulty now or he may not have been understood or perhaps he was off on a wild rant.


It's in the audiobook version of Hardcore Zen; I paraphrased a little, but not so much I think (the cleaning your room bit is almost verbatim).
He seemed particularly disdainful of people who volunteer for organizations like Green Peace without first attaining Enlightenment.
I stopped taking him seriously after that.

kirtu wrote:
Pork Chop wrote:In the Lam Rim Chenmo Audio series I've been listening to, the quotes attributed to Nagarjuna are along the lines of "family and friends are temporary, better to abandon them and follow religion".Nagarjuna's "Letter to a Friend" is giving me some hope at least. Verse 48 is a little borderline, but there is some great advice elsewhere...

Where does Nagarjuna say to actually abandon family and friends?


As I said, it's in the Lam Rim Chen Mo audio course I've been listening to.
I believe it's put out by FPMT, as I can hear Lama Zopa Rinpoche inserting some extra guidance & corrections - though he's not the one giving the course.
Similar statements are made throughout, but it's particularly stressed in the sections on renouncing this life.
Eventually I'll buy a hardcopy of the LRCM and if I find the same statement in the actual book, I'll past the reference.

kirtu wrote:Inner or secret renunciation is best - as Atisha said to Dromtonpa "Give up on this life in your mind."

Well, there are two ways to take that.
One means living with your family, performing your duties like a disinterested robot, but secretly growing to resent them if life ever happens to interrupt your practice.
The second way means looking beyond the material goals of this life for refuge & ultimate happiness; which I think I can still do while extending loving kindness to all.
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Re: Moral discipline is the central practical teaching..?

Postby kirtu » Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:51 pm

PorkChop wrote:
kirtu wrote:
Pork Chop wrote:In the Lam Rim Chenmo Audio series I've been listening to, the quotes attributed to Nagarjuna are along the lines of "family and friends are temporary, better to abandon them and follow religion".Nagarjuna's "Letter to a Friend" is giving me some hope at least. Verse 48 is a little borderline, but there is some great advice elsewhere...

Where does Nagarjuna say to actually abandon family and friends?


As I said, it's in the Lam Rim Chen Mo audio course I've been listening to.
I believe it's put out by FPMT, as I can hear Lama Zopa Rinpoche inserting some extra guidance & corrections - though he's not the one giving the course.
Similar statements are made throughout, but it's particularly stressed in the sections on renouncing this life.
Eventually I'll buy a hardcopy of the LRCM and if I find the same statement in the actual book, I'll past the reference.


I have not read the LRCM but it is a traditional presentation of at least Mahayana Buddhism (it may end with an introduction to tantra as other lam rim style teachings do [either just barely ending with tantra in some form or clearly leading into it as part of the commentary]). It will begin with th faults of samsara and the necessity of renunciation. If you look at Lama Tsongkhapa's "Three Principle Aspects of the Path" it begins with renunciation. For a renunciate it means real renunciation. For a person who isn't a renunciate it means not taking refuge in samsara and not expecting samsara to result in a positive experience in itself. However Tsongkhapa (and Phabonka) were monks are are addressing monks primarily. That was their perspective and primary intended audience. Clearly though neither intended to restrict the teachings just to monastics or renunciates. Otherwise Tsongkhapa would not have written all the works on tantra that he did and probably not many other works. And Phabonka would not have bothered with his public teachings.

PorkChop wrote:
kirtu wrote:Inner or secret renunciation is best - as Atisha said to Dromtonpa "Give up on this life in your mind."

Well, there are two ways to take that.
One means living with your family, performing your duties like a disinterested robot, but secretly growing to resent them if life ever happens to interrupt your practice.


I would never have taken that as a valid interpretation of Atisha. That is not intended or healthy. Your family is a form of practice. This is not renunciation either.

PorkChop wrote:The second way means looking beyond the material goals of this life for refuge & ultimate happiness; which I think I can still do while extending loving kindness to all.


Certainly.

Kirt
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Re: Moral discipline is the central practical teaching..?

Postby wisdom » Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:40 pm

Moral discipline is found in every religion. The reason is because otherwise the poisons will arise and proliferate in the mind without end. The true spiritual power latent within you is therefore unlikely to ever manifest, in this case the Buddha nature will remain obscured. Understanding of texts arises from experience, but those experiences are only likely to occur if you have moral discipline in the first place (If you reduce the poisons in the mind).
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Re: Moral discipline is the central practical teaching..?

Postby futerko » Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:59 pm

wisdom wrote:Moral discipline is found in every religion. The reason is because otherwise the poisons will arise and proliferate in the mind without end. The true spiritual power latent within you is therefore unlikely to ever manifest, in this case the Buddha nature will remain obscured. Understanding of texts arises from experience, but those experiences are only likely to occur if you have moral discipline in the first place (If you reduce the poisons in the mind).


This does seem to raise certain issues, because the prevalent idea of what it means to be moral would seem to roughly equate to what Buddhism calls poisons.
Śīla has also been translated as "harmony", which raises similar issues in regard to what is fundamentally a disharmonious society these days, and even in Buddha Shakyamuni's time I'm sure his initial actions in abandoning his "family duties" raised more than a few eyebrows.
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Re: Moral discipline is the central practical teaching..?

Postby viniketa » Wed Dec 19, 2012 11:30 pm

"Harmony" would be saṃjñā, which is typically used in reference to vinaya and sangha. Rather than continue to play on words, why not establish the semantics for clarity?

Both the Latin moralis and the Greek ethikos originally had more to do with "humors" or personality "disposition" rather than any sort of personal "discipline". The two can be used interchangeably but it is more useful to make a distinction.

Morals has to do with the internalization of social mores:

Of or relating to principles of right and wrong in behaviour, especially for teaching right behaviour
http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/moral#Etymology


Ethics has to do with systematic study of such behavior:

(philosophy) The study of principles relating to right and wrong conduct
http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/ethics


Śīla has to do with the mental discipline necessary to establish or maintain clarity of mind. It is neither moral or ethical in that it does not relate to "external", generally accepted standards of "right and wrong".

As such, it is one side of the three-fold practice leading to liberation (see my signature).

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If they can sever like and dislike, along with greed, anger, and delusion, regardless of their difference in nature, they will all accomplish the Buddha Path.. ~ Sutra of Complete Enlightenment
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Re: Moral discipline is the central practical teaching..?

Postby futerko » Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:12 am

viniketa wrote:Rather than continue to play on words, why not establish the semantics for clarity?


Because although I agree with what you say regarding one's own mental clarity, this does seems to pose certain issues at a social level to which I have no simple answer.
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Re: Moral discipline is the central practical teaching..?

Postby viniketa » Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:17 am

futerko wrote:... this does seems to pose certain issues at a social level to which I have no simple answer.


Could you expand, please, on the "certain issues"?

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Re: Moral discipline is the central practical teaching..?

Postby futerko » Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:41 am

viniketa wrote:
futerko wrote:... this does seems to pose certain issues at a social level to which I have no simple answer.


Could you expand, please, on the "certain issues"?

:namaste:


Silakhanda relates to right speech, right action, and right livelihood, so it can't only be considered to apply to an isolated individual, as Greg quoted earlier, "no man is an island", and most of this thread seems to be considering external standards of morality. While I tend more towards your idea of establishing of clairty of mind rather than external considerations, it would nevertheless seem to be problematic. For now I can only point you towards the other current threads concerning modernity, harsh speech, etc, where there does seem to be a clash between individual Buddhist practice and the demands of society, where an already antagonistic relationship may well be exacerbated by increasingly anatgonistic social relations.
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Re: Moral discipline is the central practical teaching..?

Postby viniketa » Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:07 am

futerko wrote:Silakhanda relates to right speech, right action, and right livelihood, so it can't only be considered to apply to an isolated individual, as Greg quoted earlier, "no man is an island", and most of this thread seems to be considering external standards of morality. While I tend more towards your idea of establishing of clairty of mind rather than external considerations, it would nevertheless seem to be problematic. For now I can only point you towards the other current threads concerning modernity, harsh speech, etc, where there does seem to be a clash between individual Buddhist practice and the demands of society, where an already antagonistic relationship may well be exacerbated by increasingly anatgonistic social relations.


O.K. Thank you for clarifying, I see the direction of your finger, now. Śīla is individual whether those individuals are isolated or members of a society. If one follows the eightfold way -- which includes all three prongs: discipline, concentration, and wisdom -- there should be no conflict with society. In cases where there are conflicts between social expectations and śīla (such as in draft or conscription of soldiers) then prajñā guides how śīla can prevail (become conscientious objector, for example). Is this easy or simple? No, which is why all three -- citta, prajñā, and śīla -- are needed.

The threads you references all set-up false dichotomies between the individual and society by starting from the assumption that samsāra is some "external" feature of the world that is grounded in the "badness" or "original sin" of individual humans rather than in the beginningless nature of ignorance. The fact that most individuals live their lives in states of delusion based in ignorance in no way changes the fundamental 4NT. In this respect, there is no difference between practice in Buddha's time or today. Are there more complexities in our social relationships today than in Buddha's day? Yes. Which is why, if anything, the threefold practice is even more important.

There would only seem to be two alternatives to practice: hedonism or nihilism.

:namaste:
If they can sever like and dislike, along with greed, anger, and delusion, regardless of their difference in nature, they will all accomplish the Buddha Path.. ~ Sutra of Complete Enlightenment
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Re: Moral discipline is the central practical teaching..?

Postby PorkChop » Thu Dec 20, 2012 7:15 pm

kirtu wrote:I would never have taken that as a valid interpretation of Atisha. That is not intended or healthy. Your family is a form of practice. This is not renunciation either.
PorkChop wrote:The second way means looking beyond the material goals of this life for refuge & ultimate happiness; which I think I can still do while extending loving kindness to all.

Certainly.
Kirt


Thanks, that helps.
Just finishing up the hell realms with the vajra hells on the audio course by the way...
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Re: Moral discipline is the central practical teaching..?

Postby lowlydog » Sun Dec 23, 2012 1:11 am

gregkavarnos wrote:So what you are saying is: no morality, no wisdom?


Not completly, no morality no liberative wisdom.

Morality creates our environment to practice in, without a proper environment no concentration, hence no wisdom.

Morality is like one leg of a tripod, if one leg is short it falls over.
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