My teacher said this about our technique, what do you think?

Discuss your personal experience with the Dharma here. How has it enriched your life? What challenges does it present?

Re: My teacher said this about our technique, what do you th

Postby deepbluehum » Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:29 pm

Buddha didn't teach a technique.
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Re: My teacher said this about our technique, what do you th

Postby conebeckham » Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:17 am

Right--he taught 84,000 of them. :smile:
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Re: My teacher said this about our technique, what do you th

Postby muni » Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:21 am

I think it depends a bit on beings karmic habits, whether I put it in a religion box or science box, or other created classification...as long as there is any preference, comparision; ( clinging = aversion, attachment) suffering is.

The label which can help us to trust the teachings/ Dharma and which can help to decrease the habitual clinging, well that one can differ. But how others call it; whether I can rejoice for all practicioners or not, respect or not, will purify my own obscurations or not.

Art of life/ Dharma in practice, with care for all.

When we start to trust, there is no need to call it anything. Guru Rinpoche said: stop labeling.

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Re: My teacher said this about our technique, what do you th

Postby Jikan » Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:09 pm

lowlydog wrote:One thing should be clear-this definitely is not Buddhist religion. At the same time it is definitely the teaching of Buddha. One should understand that Buddha means an enlightened person, a liberated person. Enlightened, liberated persons will never teach a religion, they will teach an art of life that is universal. They will never establish a sect or religion. So there is no such thing as "Buddhist religion"; it is an art of life. So anybody belonging to any community, to any sect, to any religious group can easily practice it because it is an art.


I think that's representative of the U Ba Khin / Goenka form of practice. It's an approach to practice that has proven to be very helpful to many people. What more needs to be said?

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Re: My teacher said this about our technique, what do you th

Postby lowlydog » Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:34 am

conebeckham wrote:Right--he taught 84,000 of them. :smile:


I disagree, the buddha (gotama) taught one technique sila, samadhi, panna. People may have divided this simple practice into 84,000 more complex practices, but if the practice is to liberate one from suffering it must contain the essence of sila, samadhi, panna. Human being is human being, Chinese suffering is the same as greek suffering, christian suffering is the same as muslim suffering, it's universal so the cure must also be universal.
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Re: My teacher said this about our technique, what do you th

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:50 am

lowlydog wrote:
conebeckham wrote:Right--he taught 84,000 of them. :smile:


I disagree, the buddha (gotama) taught one technique sila, samadhi, panna. People may have divided this simple practice into 84,000 more complex practices, but if the practice is to liberate one from suffering it must contain the essence of sila, samadhi, panna. Human being is human being, Chinese suffering is the same as greek suffering, christian suffering is the same as muslim suffering, it's universal so the cure must also be universal.


Militant back-to-basics ism is IMO a form of sectarianism every bit as much as those "more complex practices" are.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: My teacher said this about our technique, what do you th

Postby lowlydog » Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:54 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
lowlydog wrote:
conebeckham wrote:Right--he taught 84,000 of them. :smile:


I disagree, the buddha (gotama) taught one technique sila, samadhi, panna. People may have divided this simple practice into 84,000 more complex practices, but if the practice is to liberate one from suffering it must contain the essence of sila, samadhi, panna. Human being is human being, Chinese suffering is the same as greek suffering, christian suffering is the same as muslim suffering, it's universal so the cure must also be universal.


Militant back-to-basics ism is IMO a form of sectarianism every bit as much as those "more complex practices" are.


What do you mean by militant?
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Re: My teacher said this about our technique, what do you th

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Wed Jan 23, 2013 2:02 am


What do you mean by militant?


Maybe "staunchly passive aggressive" is a better term.

Seriously though, if you aren't trying to be sectarian, why even compare? Plenty of those people doing "more complex" practices invite Dharma teachers of all stripes and some are fairly ecumenical, with others just focusing on their own practice...so whatever technique or school you favor, "authenticity" is in what you do, not what you do in comparison to others.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: My teacher said this about our technique, what do you th

Postby lowlydog » Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:34 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:

What do you mean by militant?


Maybe "staunchly passive aggressive" is a better term.

Seriously though, if you aren't trying to be sectarian, why even compare? Plenty of those people doing "more complex" practices invite Dharma teachers of all stripes and some are fairly ecumenical, with others just focusing on their own practice...so whatever technique or school you favor, "authenticity" is in what you do, not what you do in comparison to others.


When people here talk about chanting or prostrations it goes against what I am taught as the essence of the teachings, but people talk about them anyway, and that's cool with me. My practice involves simplifying the path, why do you find it offensive to read my point of view? If you disagree then state it, but loose the high and mighty attitude. And I am anything but passive aggressive.
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Re: My teacher said this about our technique, what do you th

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:30 am

lowlydog wrote:
Johnny Dangerous wrote:

What do you mean by militant?


Maybe "staunchly passive aggressive" is a better term.

Seriously though, if you aren't trying to be sectarian, why even compare? Plenty of those people doing "more complex" practices invite Dharma teachers of all stripes and some are fairly ecumenical, with others just focusing on their own practice...so whatever technique or school you favor, "authenticity" is in what you do, not what you do in comparison to others.


When people here talk about chanting or prostrations it goes against what I am taught as the essence of the teachings, but people talk about them anyway, and that's cool with me. My practice involves simplifying the path, why do you find it offensive to read my point of view? If you disagree then state it, but loose the high and mighty attitude. And I am anything but passive aggressive.


If it's cool with you then why are you posting a thread with the ostensible purpose of showing how you think those things are "going against the essence of the teachings" on a Mahayana board?

I don't find it offensive per se, I just think you are often disingenuous with your criticism. you could have made a thread about going back to basics, instead you posted a quote from someone famous that you think "proves" the rightness of your view, though certainly Goenka did not say these things in the context of saying other Buddhism is "going against the teachings" in quite the way you indicate here. I think it's not cool to use his words as some kind of evidence for your own gripes with Mahayana, IMO this is a bad use of your teachers words.

I think that kind of presentation is dishonest, and just a way to stir the crap on a Mahayana board, in other places you've made continual reference to the fact that you think various Mahayana practices aren't the real deal, I'm fine with that opinion within itself, but I think they way you present them is divisive and condescending, while trying to appear conciliatory.

So that's pretty much it. I'm sure you're a great guy IRL, and i'm glad you've found what works for you. I just think if you're going to stand on a soapbox about not liking Mahatana, you should do so in more honest fashion.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: My teacher said this about our technique, what do you th

Postby lowlydog » Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:14 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:If it's cool with you then why are you posting a thread with the ostensible purpose of showing how you think those things are "going against the essence of the teachings" on a Mahayana board?

I don't find it offensive per se, I just think you are often disingenuous with your criticism. you could have made a thread about going back to basics, instead you posted a quote from someone famous that you think "proves" the rightness of your view, though certainly Goenka did not say these things in the context of saying other Buddhism is "going against the teachings" in quite the way you indicate here. I think it's not cool to use his words as some kind of evidence for your own gripes with Mahayana, IMO this is a bad use of your teachers words.

I think that kind of presentation is dishonest, and just a way to stir the crap on a Mahayana board, in other places you've made continual reference to the fact that you think various Mahayana practices aren't the real deal, I'm fine with that opinion within itself, but I think they way you present them is divisive and condescending, while trying to appear conciliatory.

So that's pretty much it. I'm sure you're a great guy IRL, and i'm glad you've found what works for you. I just think if you're going to stand on a soapbox about not liking Mahatana, you should do so in more honest fashion.


First of all I don't see a difference between mahayana and theravaden or any other genuine path. This is where the root of this situation is coming from. I don't dislike mahayana or theravaden traditions but in my practice as taught by Goenka he teaches these other practices of rites and rituals to be not entirely useful, and i'm not putting words in his mouth, go sit a course and see for yourself, and from my experience I agree with his practice. If you don't thats fine also, but why can I not have a discussion about what I find relavent about buddhist teachings and what I find is not. As I stated earlier I'm not taking part in conversations about vajrayana transmissions and vomiting my personal beliefs on others who are practicing their own particular brand of dharma. I start my own threads but it is becoming aparent to me that there is a belief here that is felt to be correct and it seems to be protected. I may be mistaken with this conclusion but I feel that if people are going to respond to my threads then they had better remain partially open to my particular flavour of dharma. I am not a guest on a mahayana forum practicing a different teaching, I am a devout practicioner of the buddhas teachings and belong here as much as anyone.
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Re: My teacher said this about our technique, what do you th

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:23 pm

lowlydog wrote:First of all I don't see a difference between mahayana and theravaden or any other genuine path. This is where the root of this situation is coming from. I don't dislike mahayana or theravaden traditions but in my practice as taught by Goenka he teaches these other practices of rites and rituals to be not entirely useful, and i'm not putting words in his mouth, go sit a course and see for yourself, and from my experience I agree with his practice. If you don't thats fine also, but why can I not have a discussion about what I find relavent about buddhist teachings and what I find is not. As I stated earlier I'm not taking part in conversations about vajrayana transmissions and vomiting my personal beliefs on others who are practicing their own particular brand of dharma. I start my own threads but it is becoming aparent to me that there is a belief here that is felt to be correct and it seems to be protected. I may be mistaken with this conclusion but I feel that if people are going to respond to my threads then they had better remain partially open to my particular flavour of dharma. I am not a guest on a mahayana forum practicing a different teaching, I am a devout practicioner of the buddhas teachings and belong here as much as anyone.
This teaching may be of value to you.

Just consider one thing: notice how you get all defensive when somebody posts a counter-opinion to your opinion? Why does it seem strange to you that people get defensive when you post your counter-opinion to their opinion?
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One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: My teacher said this about our technique, what do you th

Postby lowlydog » Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:52 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:Just consider one thing: notice how you get all defensive when somebody posts a counter-opinion to your opinion? Why does it seem strange to you that people get defensive when you post your counter-opinion to their opinion?
:namaste:

Greg, I really do not get offended by what is said by other members, but I am advocating for a spot here where my particular views of the dharma may be shared and discussed openly without having the scrutiny of whether it is dharma. I am quite confident that it is, and am prepared to openly discuss my opinions and viewpoints. But as I stated I am not allowed to discuss these things openly they are censored for a reason that I currently do not fully grasp.

There will always be ego until the ego is completly eradicated, at this point we will probably have no desire to discuss the dharma on a forum, we will be teaching the dharma. Until then :shrug:
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Re: My teacher said this about our technique, what do you th

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:27 pm

lowlydog wrote: Greg, I really do not get offended by what is said by other members, but I am advocating for a spot here where my particular views of the dharma may be shared and discussed openly without having the scrutiny of whether it is dharma.
Discussion is not an exercise in psychoanalysis. And, strangely enough, discussion, on a Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhist forum, in the general Dharma section, will revolve around whether the view being expressed is Dharma or not. Weird, huh?
I am quite confident that it is, and am prepared to openly discuss my opinions and viewpoints. But as I stated I am not allowed to discuss these things openly they are censored for a reason that I currently do not fully grasp.
This is not a comparitive religion forum, this is a Buddhist forum, if you want to discuss comparitive religion there are hundreds of fourms out there that serve this purpose: agnostic forums, new age forums, etc...
There will always be ego until the ego is completly eradicated, at this point we will probably have no desire to discuss the dharma on a forum, we will be teaching the dharma. Until then :shrug:
You cannot eradicate something that does not exist. That's BuddhaDharma.
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: My teacher said this about our technique, what do you th

Postby CrawfordHollow » Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:12 pm

I am not so sure I really get where this conversation is headed, or coming from for that matter. But I would like to point out that the Vajrayana is not a bunch of rituals and rites that distract from Buddha's core teachings. The Vajrayana contains all of Buddha's teachings. I don't understand how prostations go against the essence of anything the Buddha taught. The Buddha did teach about karma and the accumulation of merit, did he not? Have you ever done ngondro or recieved teachings on this practice? Ngondro is the gateway to Vajrayana and is usually required to practice at this level. The heart of ngondro is ingraining the Four Noble Truths in one's mind. It is also about purification and the accumulation of merit. Vajrayana is really a practice of skillful means that allows us to accomplish the widsom of Buddhahood. If you believe that this is not what the Buddha taught then I am afraid you do not understand Vajrayana. But maybe I am not understanding where you are coming from. That may very well be the case. I for one am open to and appreciate the practice of everyone.

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Re: My teacher said this about our technique, what do you th

Postby LastLegend » Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:13 pm

When you prostrate, what does your mind do? Isn't that not meditation in itself?
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Re: My teacher said this about our technique, what do you th

Postby conebeckham » Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:49 pm

lowlydog wrote:
conebeckham wrote:Right--he taught 84,000 of them. :smile:


I disagree, the buddha (gotama) taught one technique sila, samadhi, panna. People may have divided this simple practice into 84,000 more complex practices, but if the practice is to liberate one from suffering it must contain the essence of sila, samadhi, panna. Human being is human being, Chinese suffering is the same as greek suffering, christian suffering is the same as muslim suffering, it's universal so the cure must also be universal.


If boiling it all down to one thing helps you at this point in your path, by all means cling to that assertion. But samadhi, on it's own, is not the final goal of the path-in some traditions, in fact, it can be spoken of as a potential pitfall. Samadhi is not "panna," or "prajna."
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Re: My teacher said this about our technique, what do you th

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:22 pm

Lowly, the bulk of my time in Buddhism has been spent on my own, with no teacher, meditating from Pali texts as best I could. I was a Buddhist when i was doing that, I wouldn't call myself something else because I wasn't in a tradition. I definitely don't think that you aren't practicing Buddhadharma or anything like that. To my mind the four seals make something Dharma, maybe even just seeing in the three marks of existence.. that's pretty much it - it's just about content, not tradition specific.

it really seems like you a projecting a kind hostility that simply isn't here, if anyone is saying that your practice isn't Buddha Dharma it seems to be small minority. It's to be expected though, that when you are hostile towards Mahayana practice and consistently say you think it contains all these useless things (I wonder whether you have any experience at all of practicing these useless things), people with probably react somewhat negatively.
Last edited by Sherab Dorje on Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Removed off topic statement to avoid derailing the thread
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is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: My teacher said this about our technique, what do you th

Postby lowlydog » Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:57 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:Lowly, the bulk of my time in Buddhism has been spent on my own, with no teacher, meditating from Pali texts as best I could. I was a Buddhist when i was doing that, I wouldn't call myself something else because I wasn't in a tradition. I definitely don't think that you aren't practicing Buddhadharma or anything like that. To my mind the four seals make something Dharma, maybe even just seeing in the three marks of existence.. that's pretty much it - it's just about content, not tradition specific.

it really seems like you a projecting a kind hostility that simply isn't here, if anyone is saying that your practice isn't Buddha Dharma it seems to be small minority. It's to be expected though, that when you are hostile towards Mahayana practice and consistently say you think it contains all these useless things (I wonder whether you have any experience at all of practicing these useless things), people with probably react somewhat negatively.


Hey johnny,

Where did I say useless, please do not put words in my mouth, I said "not entirly useful". I am also not hostile towards mahayana or theravaden practice and have learned a different language of practice by researching these teachings. My conclusion is my own and it is that the teachings are the same, but different language is being used to describe the same mental states that every human being will experience as they traverse the noble 8-fold path. But ultimately it boils down to a strict code of moral ethics to create a proper environment to practice, mastery of the mind, and observation of the mind body phenomenon to develope wisdom. This experiencial wisdom is liberative and will lead one from taking action that causes suffering.
Now, some people are not ready to start practicing meditation, they are very attached to the self they have not experienced an awakening, the buddha gave many practices to awaken these particular individuals ie: meditating with decaying bodies as the object, the person would hopefully see that one day their looks will also fade and they will find themself in this same position. The individual may be grounded by this and begin practicing. In todays day and age with t.v. (gory movies, CSI etc...)and if you have already awakened and begun practicing then this is not necessary to do to understand this.
Basically I feel that there are alot of rites and rituals that can help a beginner awaken to the practice, or help them to develope some level of concentration in the beginning. But, and this is where I am at by observing some of the dialog on this forum, please correct me if I am wrong. Most of these rites and rituals seem to have been deeply interlaced with the core teaching, both in theravaden and mahayana and no distinction seems to be made to seperate these. This is what I call religion, and because of these rites and rituals and the diversity of them different sects of buddhism have been created I guess 84,000 as I have been told. 84,000 little wedges that can potentially keep people from the true essential practice. Offerings are made to inanimate statues and people will defend these statues and get themselves worked into a frenzy over them. This in my opinion was not what the buddha had in mind when he began teaching, he did not want his students kneeling and praying before a statue of himself, he did not want to be made into a guru or a god, he wanted people to practice and come out of suffering.

These are my personal observations, I have never been religious, and find these practices a distraction and potentially harmful if not let go of. I am not trying to be rude, but goenka reaffirmed this to me in his discourses, and if he had not I probably would have run away from the buddhas teachings. I understand that having someone say that chanting and offerings to a statue are to be let go of eventually can be disturbing but this is how I have come to understand, and have been taught the buddhadharma.
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Re: My teacher said this about our technique, what do you th

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:21 am

You seem to have no idea what prostrations, mantra, or any of these "non meditative" practices actually are, every time you mention them you make that clear. In addition, you don't even seem that familiar with many of the major ideas that exist the Pali Canon, and are missing some big pieces in terms of what the Buddha actually said (near as we can know) about his own teachings, and whether or not he had achieved something "special" that was to be preserved. Taking refuge in the triple gem, having a monastic community, these are not something that was just made up by Mahayana Buddhists - these things are core parts of most Buddhism. In addition, while Mahayana adds many new concepts, and changed some things, there is nothing in Mahayana that is not in accord with Hinayana.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/tisarana.html

If you think that all that stuff amounts to worshipping Buddha statues and isn't meditation you not only don't know what you are talking about, you are also showing nothing but a stubborn, myopic, view by refusing to at least learn about them. It really does not take that much to get an overall view of the three turnings of Buddhism, you don't have to be any kind of scholar. I think that that should be a prerequisite (at the least) criticizing what you don't like about Mahayana or Vajrayana on a Mahayana board - you know, actually knowing what you are talking about instead of making it up as you go.

These are my personal observations, I have never been religious, and find these practices a distraction and potentially harmful if not let go of. I am not trying to be rude, but goenka reaffirmed this to me in his discourses, and if he had not I probably would have run away from the buddhas teachings. I understand that having someone say that chanting and offerings to a statue are to be let go of eventually can be disturbing but this is how I have come to understand, and have been taught the buddhadharma.


How would you even know? have you ever done them? Do you read Mahayana texts and compare and contrast with Pali texts, have you ever bothered with that kind of thing? If not, it's like a dog telling you how to play cards..the only place he will how to do that is in those cheezy paintings.

No one finds your opinion on the subject "disturbing", I find it what it is - ignorant, in the most literal sense, as in lacking insight or experience of the subjects you are talking about. Even if you feel the way you do, that's great, awesome, I have no quarrel with it, I just have no idea why you think it's ok to come on a Mahayana board and start slinging your opinion that all our traditions involve these "unnecessary" things that you actually don't know anything about.

Offerings are made to inanimate statues and people will defend these statues and get themselves worked into a frenzy over them. This in my opinion was not what the buddha had in mind when he began teaching, he did not want his students kneeling and praying before a statue of himself, he did not want to be made into a guru or a god, he wanted people to practice and come out of suffering.


Again you really have no idea what you are saying here, it's clear just from this little bit of writing that you don't actually understand the first thing about the practices you are criticizing. Once you do, then you can come back and start doing that, until then you should not expect anyone at all to take this nonsense seriously. If you can't even make the good faith effort to learn about or experience Mahayana traditions, there is no reason for anyone to listen to your criticisms of what you simply don't know.

Oh yeah, and before it gets brought up as you like to do, this not being "touchy" or angry or anything like that - this is exactly the kind of behavior I was referring to passive aggressive, seemingly a way to deflect attention from the lack in your own arguments by accusing others of being angry and such.

If there is none of that there, then simply pony up with some better arguments, if you actually do that I think people will be more attentive to whatever it is you are trying to say.
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is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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