Survey

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
[N.B. This is the forum that was called ‘Exploring Buddhism’. The new name simply describes it better.]
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Vidyaraja
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Survey

Postby Vidyaraja » Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:02 pm

I am not sure if this belongs in this forum or not, but I was wondering if I could ask the members of this forum three questions that I think will make for an interesting discussion as well a means for myself or others to discover new texts to read or subjects to study. My three questions are:

1) Why did you choose or what led you to being attracted to Mahayana (or Vajrayana) over Theravada?

2) Why did you choose the particular school of Mahayana that you associate with over the others?

3) What scriptures or traditional Buddhist writings have been most influential to you overall? This of course includes all sutras, tantras, the Pali Cannon, and texts like the Record of Linji....pretty much all non-modern/academic works.

Thanks

alisun
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Re: Survey

Postby alisun » Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:14 pm

To be honest I am not very familiar with the 3 main types of Buddhism. I have been reading up on it and I probably gravitate toward one of the 3 traditions. I'm actually a student of the Shambhala teachings and I am not sure where that would fall on the spectrum. Or perhaps it is just fringe. Regardless, I find this site helpful for my practice and complementary to the Shambhala teachings.

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Ayu
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Re: Survey

Postby Ayu » Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:46 pm

Vidyaraja wrote:I
1) Why did you choose or what led you to being attracted to Mahayana (or Vajrayana) over Theravada?

2) Why did you choose the particular school of Mahayana that you associate with over the others?

3) What scriptures or traditional Buddhist writings have been most influential to you overall? This of course includes all sutras, tantras, the Pali Cannon, and texts like the Record of Linji....pretty much all non-modern/academic works.

1) I was attracted to meditation since young age. Just to see a photgraph of somebody sitting under a tree in meditation made my heart jump. I met some groups on my way, then practiced alone for some years, then in my meditation there came a tiny voice saying "Buddhism". It was something like that.

2) It choosed me. I was in desire for a teacher and the Lama there is a wonderful and very wise person.
And always in my life i have to struggle a little bit with the opposite of what i think i am. So i'm really no intellectual, but i came ashore to the Gelugs. There i have to train what is not my best quality: logical analysis. Sounds like a joke, but it is really very good for me.

3) influential texts? I'm better in listening than in reading.
But right now i study the lamrim (by listening and looking into a book of Tsongkhapa on the side, and i start to learn about the abidharma.
Very influental was also a german buddhistic internet-forum.
And this book was my first touch to buddhism, then i thought "This is it"
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"Jeffrey Hopkins - Mitgefühl & Liebe" Compassion & Love


Thanks

You're welcome. :smile:
"We're fascinated by the words - but where we meet is in the silence behind them."
Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche

:meditate:

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KeithBC
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Re: Survey

Postby KeithBC » Fri Mar 08, 2013 2:47 am

1) Why did you choose or what led you to being attracted to Mahayana (or Vajrayana) over Theravada?

The ideal of sharing enlightenment with all sentient beings appeals to me.

2) Why did you choose the particular school of Mahayana that you associate with over the others?

I consider myself more of a generic Mahayanist than a member of any school. However, the practical matter of selecting a group to practice with was a matter of availability. I ended up in the Tibetan tradition just because that was the first group I found. I stick with it because there is value in continuity of practice.

3) What scriptures or traditional Buddhist writings have been most influential to you overall?

The Lotus Sutra, The Vimalikirti Sutra, The Perfection of Wisdom in 8000 Lines (Prajnaparamita Sutra), The Zen Teachings of Huang Po.

Om mani padme hum
Keith

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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Survey

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Fri Mar 08, 2013 3:32 am

1. I was attracted to all Chinese & Japanese things when I was a kid.
I loved watching the cartoon adventures of Hashimoto Mouse on TV when I was about 3 years old:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiMTeJ7YO5g

and read a book of short Zen stories when I was 11, which influenced me a lot. later I realized that many of the things I thought about very early on as a kid was "buddhist" stuff, such as the idea that things are only what we think they are because of arising conditions.

2. I chose Vajrayana because it was what was available. A lama came to town. So, kind of random. But I was very happy to at last be able to take refuge (formally join the Buddhist path).

3. Most influential text: "On Believing in Mind":
http://www.mendosa.com/way3.htm (I don't know why it is posted on a Diabetes website, but okay)

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

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randomseb
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Re: Survey

Postby randomseb » Fri Mar 08, 2013 3:49 am

1 and 2. I haven't chosen so much as it worked out towards mayahana by virtue of first exploring patriarchal zen, as this was what was available at the small local library, after my initial introduction to buddhism, in the form of that movie Little Buddha, that one with Kenu Reeves as the buddha,that happened to play on tv one night.

So in this way the path chose me, not the other way around.

3. Texts, the big main texts of each of the patriarchs of early chinese zen, the diamond sutra by virtue of it being included in the platform sutra of 6th patriarch Master Hui-neng, the treatise of Hui Hai (A Treatise on the Essential Gateway to Truth by Means of Instantaneous Awakening)

Basically the texts of everyone listed here: http://www.selfdiscoveryportal.com/ChanMasters.htm

Followed by the Threefold Lotus Sutra and various misc sutras later on

Now i am settling into studying tibetan texts in preparation for extended full time practice, so Vajrayana it is.. Ultimately its not so different, it seems so far
Disclaimer: If I have posted about something, then I obviously have no idea what I am talking about!

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LastLegend
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Re: Survey

Postby LastLegend » Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:44 am

Vidyaraja wrote:I am not sure if this belongs in this forum or not, but I was wondering if I could ask the members of this forum three questions that I think will make for an interesting discussion as well a means for myself or others to discover new texts to read or subjects to study. My three questions are:

1) Why did you choose or what led you to being attracted to Mahayana (or Vajrayana) over Theravada?

2) Why did you choose the particular school of Mahayana that you associate with over the others?

3) What scriptures or traditional Buddhist writings have been most influential to you overall? This of course includes all sutras, tantras, the Pali Cannon, and texts like the Record of Linji....pretty much all non-modern/academic works.

Thanks



I realized I will become Buddha. :rolling:

1) Was brought up as a lay Buddhist that means keeping 5 precepts or at least have been trying to. Also mother always told me to recite Kwan Yin or Amitabha when encounter difficulties.

2) Up until recently, my parents started practicing Pure Land and also introduced me to it. Now, I just stick to Pure Land. I think the essence of Dharma is the same for all. The method that we apply is different.

3) I would say most of my knowledge comes from listening to Dharma talks from Pure Land master Chin Kung. He talked about Pure Land, Diamond, Shurangama, and other Sutras. Very in depth and he touched on every word in those Sutras. I also find Linji text to be inspiring.
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)

Bodhidharma [my translation]
―I come to the East to transmit this clear knowing mind without constructing any dharma―

steveb1
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Re: Survey

Postby steveb1 » Fri Mar 08, 2013 6:46 am

vidyaraja wrote:

"1) Why did you choose or what led you to being attracted to Mahayana (or Vajrayana) over Theravada?"

Mahayana seemed to be the natural evolution and "flowering" of Theravada. Its boundless spiritual universe was extremely appealing.
= = = =

"2) Why did you choose the particular school of Mahayana that you associate with over the others?"

My school is Shin/Jodo Shinshu. I came to it by happening to read an essay by Shin scholar Jose Tirado:

http://www.counterpunch.org/2005/01/14/the-christians-i-know/

I was impressed with his sensitivity and then went on to see what Shin practitioners were saying, I got started at Al Bloom's ShinDharmaNet and sampled a bunch of others. I find the Shin concept of Other Power to be particularly applicable to my "Bombu nature", my inability to successfully meditate and to perform the practices of those Shinran said are on "The Path of the Sages". Relying on Amida's Other Power made perfect sense to me, and seemed the perfect vehicle for Dharma-delivery.
= = = =

"3) What scriptures or traditional Buddhist writings have been most influential to you overall? This of course includes all sutras, tantras, the Pali Cannon, and texts like the Record of Linji....pretty much all non-modern/academic works."

The Collected Works of Shinran, the Tanissho.

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Ayu
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Re: Survey

Postby Ayu » Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:54 am

1) Why did you choose or what led you to being attracted to Mahayana (or Vajrayana) over Theravada?

I forgot to tell:
The pain to see the world suffering made me feel like being insentient, because i thought i cannot stand looking at it. I was concerned about feeling nothing when i read the newspapers... This was like a shock about this world and no good state of mind.
And also there was severe suffering in my family. So my first motivation for Mahayana-practice was to help my family. I don't want to reach Sukhavati without them. Now the quantity of people i feel urge to help grows. :smile:
"We're fascinated by the words - but where we meet is in the silence behind them."
Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche

:meditate:

muni
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Re: Survey

Postby muni » Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:21 pm

Vidyaraja wrote:
1) Why did you choose or what led you to being attracted to Mahayana (or Vajrayana) over Theravada?

2) Why did you choose the particular school of Mahayana that you associate with over the others?


No choice, connection.

While 'my feet' stand on same ground with all feet, independence is creating its cosy walls.
All the best in your Dharma-Dhamma-connection. :namaste:
Remember that a thought is only the fleeting conjunction of myriad factors and circumstances. It does not exist by itself. When a thought arises, recognize its empty nature. It will immediately loose its power to elicit the next thought. And the chain of delusion will be broken. ~~Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

Knotty Veneer
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Re: Survey

Postby Knotty Veneer » Fri Mar 08, 2013 3:59 pm

Vidyaraja wrote:1) Why did you choose or what led you to being attracted to Mahayana (or Vajrayana) over Theravada?


Mahayana- it just doesn't seem possible to me that one can be truly free of suffering if other beings are not.

Vidyaraja wrote:2) Why did you choose the particular school of Mahayana that you associate with over the others?


Initially it was convenience - I attended local group. However I came to see that it provided a complete path, had competent teachers, was scandal free, other students were kind and decent. I also wanted a traditional system. I did try a few Western Buddhist groups but they appeared to either trying to invent the Wheel or not really presenting anything like the depth or breadth of understanding of the teachings I found in Tibetan Buddhism.

Vidyaraja wrote:3) What scriptures or traditional Buddhist writings have been most influential to you overall? This of course includes all sutras, tantras, the Pali Cannon, and texts like the Record of Linji....pretty much all non-modern/academic works.


Patrul Rinpoche - Words of My Perfect Teacher
Shantideva - Bodhicharyavatara
Gampopa - Jewel Ornament of Liberation
Chekawa Yeshe Dorje - Seven Point Mind Training
Machig Lapdron - Machik's Complete Explanation: Clarifying the Meaning of Chod
Everyone talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it - Mark Twain.


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