Myth in Buddhism

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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Indrajala » Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:56 am

Sara H wrote:You feel that you know more about Buddhism than Zen Buddhist teachers themselves, and so you feel that you should be able to call yourself a Zen teacher and teach somebody some "outline of consciousness theory."


I neither said nor implied this.

I don't call myself a Zen teacher, nor do I have the desire to.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Namgyal » Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:12 am

A Lama once told me that throughout history 'secrets have never been recorded in books'.
Huseng wrote:This strikes me as coming from a feudal mentality rather than a more democratic one where spiritual autocracy is neither desirable nor suitable.

My Chief :bow:
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Indrajala » Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:13 am

He's stepped down from his political seat of power, though, and has been promoting democracy.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Sara H » Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:37 am

Huseng wrote:He's stepped down from his political seat of power, though, and has been promoting democracy.


Well, I mean, democracy doesn't work in all situations Huseng.

I mean if you were to hold up your hand, and have a vote, in the classrooms where you went to school, and said, "I'd like to take a vote, on whether I should get an "A""

That wouldn't work.

You're not there to vote on whether you think you're great.

You're there to be taught by others.

There is a "right answer". If you get a low test score, you don't get to get an "A", just because you take it to a vote.

That basically makes any concept of accuracy, completely solipsistic.

We have physics in a book too, but in a classroom setting you are still taught by others.

And, credentials are necessary to protect people from fraud.

It doesn't have to be a flawless credentialing system. It just has to work reasonably well most of the time.

You know, I mean even if an architect or engineer is a shitty engineer, I'd rather them have some credentialing before designing a building I am in.

Even if, some engineers bribe their professors or certify-ers to let them pass when they shouldn't, It's still way better than no system at all.

You're problem is you think there isn't any enlightenment at all, or that it's some sortof analytical "consciousness theory" or something like that.

A philosophy basically. Like Aristotle or something.

That's not what this is, this isn't something solipsistic, it's understanding something, from a level of consciousness that you can't from an ordinary mind.

There is a "right answer" even if there are many ways to express it.

And you don't believe that, because you think you've got a consciousness theory that nearly understands what the Buddha taught, and so you think you're almost there.


But the problem is, and here's where your arrogance lies, is that you don't think anyone else has an understanding of enlightenment.

Including very prominent Buddhist teachers, or teachers with a lot of credentials and experience, and years of practice.

And so anything anybody says, that says otherwise to what you understand you "know" must be wrong.

But do you see how arrogant that is? That's not even scientific, science uses the process of peer-review.

I mean Huseng, Occam's Razor suggests that the simplest answer; the one that makes the least assumptions, is that you are simply wrong.

But you're stubbornly going on about this, even though many people have debunked your ideas, shown that your logic is faulty, clearly addressed your concerns, explained the reasons why things are so, and yet you keep going on about it anyway, as if they have said nothing.

That's not rational.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Namgyal » Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:33 am

Huseng wrote:He's stepped down from his political seat of power, though, and has been promoting democracy.
Tibetan royal etiquette is very complicated, there is even a separate dialect for addressing His Holiness. The Tibetan Government-in-Exile is democratic, and it is nevertheless totally devoted to HHDL. Another 'feudal Buddhist teacher' was Lama Zanabazar, monk-artist and Khan of Mongolia.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:40 am

Huseng wrote:This is a prejudice a lot of westerners have, but then you see it with Tibetan folks from Karma Kagyu and Nyingma as well. There is widespread anti-intellectualism amongst said communities. Just the other day a Kagyu monk told me what he thinks of Gelug-pa monks who are all into study, but "don't practice". I've heard similar sentiments around India.
You are jumping to conclusions. The Karma Kagyu tradition emphasises practice over study that is for sure. Actually the study we do (and we do lots of it on our retreats) is the study of practices. The emphasis is not on knowing for the sake of knowing, but knowing for the sake of being able to effectively practice. Knowledge that informs practice. Knowing is good, but practice is what liberates.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
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: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Sherlock » Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:36 pm

When, as in the example of a king appointing a minister,
The accomplishments are granted from above, this is the outer way.
When the kingdom is ruled having been offered by the people,
This is the way of the unsurpassable, self-arisen Dzogchen.


Intellectual study of abhidharma and philosophy is good if one has the capacity for it, more often than not however, a lot of people don't have it, although they may otherwise have great devotion. I've heard a Gelug lama poking fun at practitioners who meditate without much study and saying that study suffices as meditation. I think he was just trying to make a point about study, but these are both extremes and to be avoided IMO. The ideal is to have a balance of study and practice, but if I had to choose between the two, I think only practising with the close instruction of a qualified guru is better than only studying.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:25 pm

Huseng wrote: Somehow Buddhist practice is somehow legitimized by virtue of having a master nowadays. In Zen it comes from the notion that you need a teacher to supervise you. In tantra naturally a guru is a prerequisite. Still, I don't see the need if you just get back to basics and have sufficient literacy and intellectual abilities to read sūtras and śāstras.


I am sure that hundreds, maybe thousands of people have had full realization without a teacher.
Please name one.
.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Indrajala » Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:30 pm

Sara H wrote:You're problem is you think there isn't any enlightenment at all, or that it's some sortof analytical "consciousness theory" or something like that.


Wrong. That's an unwarranted and false statement about me. Let's try addressing what I have actually said rather than straw man arguments.


But the problem is, and here's where your arrogance lies, is that you don't think anyone else has an understanding of enlightenment.

Including very prominent Buddhist teachers, or teachers with a lot of credentials and experience, and years of practice.

And so anything anybody says, that says otherwise to what you understand you "know" must be wrong.


This is unwarranted and unnecessarily hostile. Slander, really.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Indrajala » Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:32 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:You are jumping to conclusions. The Karma Kagyu tradition emphasises practice over study that is for sure.


Am I jumping to conclusions? Said sentiments seem common amongst Kagyu and Nyingma folks, at least in my experience.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Indrajala » Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:33 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:I am sure that hundreds, maybe thousands of people have had full realization without a teacher.
Please name one.
.
.
.


It is sufficient to call the Buddha your teacher and leave it at that.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby plwk » Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:49 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:I am sure that hundreds, maybe thousands of people have had full realization without a teacher.
Please name one.
.
.
.
Let's see, Siddharta Gautama aka Sakyamuni Buddha?

I find it funny huseng on this ancient 'spat' between the Karma Kagyus and the Gelugs considering that both can trace their a line back to the Kadampas and if both sides are taking what the Kadampa master & chief disciple of Atiśa, Dromtönpa said seriously...
When I study, I increase my contemplation and meditation,
When I contemplate, I increase my study and meditation,
When I meditate, I increase my study and contemplation,
I know how to gather them as the one foundation,
And take the Dharma as my Path,
I am a Kadampa and don't do things in parts.
People who wear blinkers are deceived;
Those who well understand the excellent are Kadampas.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby BuddhaSoup » Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:06 pm

I hope that some of the discourse here doesn't dissuade some from continuing to offer insight, openly and honestly. Huseng is offering, IMO, a very interesting and necessary perspective. He's on a thoughtful walkabout in India, and I enjoy his daily posts. I don't find his comments "arrogant" at all, but I do understand that if someone disagrees with his thoughtful comments, he might seem "arrogant" to them. I hope that the discourse here can remain civil, even in the face of disagreement. Nothing worse, to me, that seeing Buddhists pissing on each other. We're supposed to let others do that stuff, and try to help them understand that personal attacks in a debate are not useful or skillful.

On the issue of study/scholarship vs. meditation, my thoughts turn to Ven. Zhiyi's comment about shi and kan being the two wings of a bird, or the two wheels of an oxcart; one is not to be utilized or emphasized over the other. The same might be true of scholarship and meditation.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Namgyal » Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:48 pm

plwk wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:I am sure that hundreds, maybe thousands of people have had full realization without a teacher.Please name one.
Let's see, Siddharta Gautama aka Sakyamuni Buddha?

Shakyamuni's Guru was Kashyapa. All the Buddhas achieve enlightenment by following their Gurus. PadmaVonSamba is correct; even Pratyekabuddhas have at least an instruction poem and 'mind-meld'...
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby greentara » Wed Apr 10, 2013 3:03 pm

Padma, You say "I am sure that hundreds, maybe thousands of people have had full realization without a teacher.
Please name one"
I don't know about thousands of people reaching realization...I do believe it's very rare.
Firstly we may say the Buddha. Then add Marpa had no teacher and I presume he was enlightened because of his famous disciple Milarepa. Ramana Maharshi had no teacher and I believe he was definately enlightened.
I think no teacher can give you enlightenment, it's not an object to be handed out. A realized teacher may remove the obstacles which are hindrances to you seeing things as they really are.
If you are really ripe and plunge deep within maybe an outer teacher is unnecessary, as then we may say the teacher is within.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby plwk » Wed Apr 10, 2013 3:10 pm

I am sure that hundreds, maybe thousands of people have had full realization without a teacher.Please name one.
Let's see, Siddharta Gautama aka Sakyamuni Buddha?

Shakyamuni's Guru was Kashyapa. All the Buddhas achieve enlightenment by following their Gurus. PadmaVonSamba is correct; even Pratyekabuddhas have at least an instruction poem and 'mind-meld'...
Image

Oh of cos if you wanna go back in time... and the Lotus Sutra even opines that He already got 'it' way beyond back then...
But I am looking back in 560, 563, 564, 623 and 624 BCE for the honest skeptics... it's hard enough to even come up with evidence for this Buddha much less for transhistorical ones... and take a look here at what He says on whom He should revere or pay homage to as guru... which in the ends turns out to be the Dharma itself

Interesting huh huseng? I remember you mentioned about how around the time of the Guptas, the traditional authority vested in the Dharma & Vinaya was instead given over to human teachers...
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Wed Apr 10, 2013 3:23 pm

Huseng wrote:
Sara H wrote:You feel that you know more about Buddhism than Zen Buddhist teachers themselves, and so you feel that you should be able to call yourself a Zen teacher and teach somebody some "outline of consciousness theory."
I neither said nor implied this. I don't call myself a Zen teacher, nor do I have the desire to.


Huseng can never be a Buddhist teacher.
Doing so would contradict his philosophy.
As a matter of fact,
propagating his dharma of no teacher,
even as an expression of opinion in a web forum
is cutting it pretty close.
He might just get some followers!!!
:rolling:
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Wed Apr 10, 2013 3:29 pm

greentara wrote:Padma, You say "I am sure that hundreds, maybe thousands of people have had full realization without a teacher.
Please name one"
I don't know about thousands of people reaching realization...I do believe it's very rare.
Firstly we may say the Buddha. Then add Marpa had no teacher and I presume he was enlightened because of his famous disciple Milarepa. Ramana Maharshi had no teacher and I believe he was definately enlightened.
I think no teacher can give you enlightenment, it's not an object to be handed out. A realized teacher may remove the obstacles which are hindrances to you seeing things as they really are.
If you are really ripe and plunge deep within maybe an outer teacher is unnecessary, as then we may say the teacher is within.


Here is one:
http://www.hanmaum.org/eng/
DaeHaeng Sunim. But what did she do? She started teaching.
Everybody on your list did.
That's the obvious flaw in the "no teacher" argument.
When you have realization, you teach the path to that.
So, the "no-teacher" method doesn't last very long.
naturally, there is no lineage of it!
.
.
.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Indrajala » Wed Apr 10, 2013 4:26 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:Huseng can never be a Buddhist teacher.
Doing so would contradict his philosophy.


As I said, ideally a teacher does not call him/herself as such, but instead it is a title used by their students when addressing them.

I'm not propagating a "Dharma of no teacher". I'm questioning the myth of transmission and, more importantly, the question of whether or not having a master is a prerequisite for liberation.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Indrajala » Wed Apr 10, 2013 4:29 pm

plwk wrote:Interesting huh huseng? I remember you mentioned about how around the time of the Guptas, the traditional authority vested in the Dharma & Vinaya was instead given over to human teachers...


Yes, that seems to be what happened, but then the social circumstances changed. With increasing brahmanization of India and active violent hostilities against the Buddhists, many Buddhist communities reformed to emulate the Brahman model in various ways.
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