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Is Mahayana perspective useful for Theravada practitioners? - Dhamma Wheel

Is Mahayana perspective useful for Theravada practitioners?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Dan74
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Is Mahayana perspective useful for Theravada practitioners?

Postby Dan74 » Thu Apr 16, 2009 1:26 am

There's been a diversity of views here (as usual!). Some have said that Mahayana is irrelevant or superfluous at best. Some have posted various Mahayana materials as having been useful or inspirational.

So I am wondering if people tend to feel that posts from Mahayana practitioners are unwelcome intrusions (as was recently expressed) or simply irrelevant at best. I knows the admins intentions are to have an inclusive forum particularly in this subforum but I am asking how others feel.

I don't want to detract people from their practice by posting confusing information or even what is perceived as adhamma. :shrug: So if sharing my perspective as a Mahayana practitioner does that, I'd rather cease and desist.

:yingyang:

_/|\_
_/|\_

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Ben
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Re: Is Mahayana perspective useful for Theravada practitioners?

Postby Ben » Thu Apr 16, 2009 1:40 am

Hi Dan

Everyone is welcome here, that is, everyone who has an interest in the Theravada and who is prepared to abide by the Terms of Service and special guidelines for the individual fora. One does not need to be a Theravadin to validate one's membership. There are a couple of fora, such as those within the Classical Theravada, where a particular point of view (Mahavihara) is considered authoritative and external views, including one's own personal opinion, is considered off-topic. Within the other fora, so long as one doesn't insist on prosetylizing and presents their views in a non-confrontational and respectful manner, then there is no problem.

My own personal point of view is that while I am not a Mahayanist, I appreciate the input and perspective of non-Theravadins. And I am sure I'm not the only one who feels the same. And it is because of this reason I invited many of my Mahayanist and Vajrayanist friends to join Dhamma Wheel when we first began in early January this year.

Dan, in future if anyone has a problem with you posting here because you are not Theravadin, please refer them to me or one of my colleagues.
Metta

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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retrofuturist
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Re: Is Mahayana perspective useful for Theravada practitioners?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Apr 16, 2009 1:43 am

Well said, Ben.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Is Mahayana perspective useful for Theravada practitioners?

Postby thornbush » Thu Apr 16, 2009 3:37 am


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mikenz66
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Re: Is Mahayana perspective useful for Theravada practitioners?

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Apr 16, 2009 3:40 am


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kc2dpt
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Re: Is Mahayana perspective useful for Theravada practitioners?

Postby kc2dpt » Thu Apr 16, 2009 4:17 am

I do wish people would be more explicit in stating whether their answer is intended from a Theravadin perspective or Mahayana perspective or a personal opinion perspective. I think that would save us all alot of time posting "That's wrong" or "That contradicts this sutta" or similar. If we just state up front where the answer is coming from then no one mistakenly thinks an answer is intended to represent something it's not.
- Peter


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christopher:::
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Re: Is Mahayana perspective useful for Theravada practitioners?

Postby christopher::: » Thu Apr 16, 2009 9:11 am

Hmmm. While I feel most strongly a connection to Zen Buddhism, there are a number of teachers (as well as groovy dharma practitioners, wink, wink, nudge, nudge) in Tibetan and Theravadin Buddhism who's povs just resonate perfectly with how i view the world and my practice. There are also issues, ideas and teachings in Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism that just don't interest me that much...

Sometimes I feel like a transdharmite, someone who's kinda confused about his gender, err, i mean school....

:juggling:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009

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Dan74
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Re: Is Mahayana perspective useful for Theravada practitioners?

Postby Dan74 » Thu Apr 16, 2009 9:29 am

_/|\_

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Dan74
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Re: Is Mahayana perspective useful for Theravada practitioners?

Postby Dan74 » Thu Apr 16, 2009 9:43 am

_/|\_

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retrofuturist
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Re: Is Mahayana perspective useful for Theravada practitioners?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Apr 16, 2009 9:46 am

Greetings Dan,

And not to shoo you away of course, but don't forget...

Dharma Wheel (Mahayana and Vajrayana forum)
http://www.dharmawheel.net/

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Fede
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Re: Is Mahayana perspective useful for Theravada practitioners?

Postby Fede » Thu Apr 16, 2009 10:20 am

I will tell you how it is with me:

I first encountered Buddhism via the Mahayana/Tibetan Buddhism route.
Much of the preliminary literature I read, was presented from a Mahayana Tibetan/Zen perspective.
had it not been for these, my travels would not have been so fruitful.
It took me a long time for me to decide where to pitch my tent and hoist my pennant.
In the end, after much deliberation and confusion (as many here will attest to) I swerved towards Theravada.
Why? Simply because there were some notions and ideologies in Mahayana I could not easily digest or accept.
This is not to say I considered them wrong, or bad, or even inaccurate.
It is merely to say that they did not sit well with me specifically.

But I take nothing away from that tradition, or path.
I am a cause of exaspertion to myself, in my ignorance of much scholarly knowlege, but my heart, I hope, is in the right place....
I have Mahayana to thank for giving me a good shove in the back and setting me rolling.
Poor Theravada - look what it's ended up with!! :jumping: :jumping:
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


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kc2dpt
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Re: Is Mahayana perspective useful for Theravada practitioners?

Postby kc2dpt » Thu Apr 16, 2009 1:21 pm

- Peter


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Dan74
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Re: Is Mahayana perspective useful for Theravada practitioners?

Postby Dan74 » Thu Apr 16, 2009 1:39 pm

As the night moves on and the silence slowly spreads, I am beginning to realise that I've started a pretty stupid thread.

This notion of two camps, Theravada and Mahayana, "you guys" and "your" attitude to "us", that's just bloody nonsense, isn't it? :cookoo:

Are we not just a bunch of people trying to find our way, using the best guidance we know to the best of our abilities?

We could do worse than dropping all pretense and just sharing honestly, without labels getting in the way.

..........
_/|\_

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christopher:::
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Re: Is Mahayana perspective useful for Theravada practitioners?

Postby christopher::: » Thu Apr 16, 2009 2:26 pm

"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009

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genkaku
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Re: Is Mahayana perspective useful for Theravada practitioners?

Postby genkaku » Thu Apr 16, 2009 3:10 pm

Smile just one smile




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clw_uk
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Re: Is Mahayana perspective useful for Theravada practitioners?

Postby clw_uk » Thu Apr 16, 2009 3:51 pm

Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken

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clw_uk
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Re: Is Mahayana perspective useful for Theravada practitioners?

Postby clw_uk » Thu Apr 16, 2009 4:06 pm

Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken

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mikenz66
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Re: Is Mahayana perspective useful for Theravada practitioners?

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Apr 16, 2009 9:36 pm


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Ngawang Drolma.
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Re: Is Mahayana perspective useful for Theravada practitioners?

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Fri Apr 17, 2009 12:43 am

I'm sort of naive at times, and I know this. But I like to think that when I'm writing here readers just see me as a person.
Not a Mahayana or Vajrayana this or that. Just a practitioner.

:anjali:


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Re: Is Mahayana perspective useful for Theravada practitioners?

Postby pink_trike » Fri Apr 17, 2009 7:59 am

As a long-time practitioner in both Theravada and Mahayana/Vajrayana, I'm aware of how different they are, and how similar much of those differences are under the surface. I find the tension that exists between Theravada and Vajrayana practice to be extremely revealing and fruitful. I mostly post in the lounge, or at least try to - because it is often difficult enough for me to understand that interesting tension and how the combined path forms my view and actions, let alone someone with no experience with Vajrayana - which may be incomprehensible to a non-practitioner...and at this point I often don't even know which perspective is talking, and don't really care anymore, being more interested in practice and its fruits, and less interested in knowing which side we're supposed to part our hair on. So I understand why those who practice a strict approach to Theravada might not want to engage with some of my posts that may have the seemingly crazy stink of Vajrayana on them, whether they are able to identify the name of the stink or not. And I usually don't comment in threads that have too much of the stink of Theravada "Law". Part of the value of an inclusive forum is that we can just listen without commenting - maybe some recognition will follow at some point.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.


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