Myth in Buddhism

No holds barred discussion on the Buddhadharma. Argue about rebirth, karma, commentarial interpretations etc. Be nice to each other.

Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Indrajala » Thu Apr 11, 2013 11:27 am

Namgyal wrote:You are clearly in two minds about this issue.


You have misunderstood me and I will no longer continue discussing with you what I have already said in clear language above.

Moving on...
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:02 pm

shel wrote: It's not like a spiritual guide will be an instant remedy to such a problem. It may take just as long to get 'back on the rails' by own's own power, and indeed this would be far better in any case, because there wouldn't be the crutch of the guide.
If I may ask, can you describe the experience that you had with a teacher, that may have led you to your current view?
Thanks.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby dzogchungpa » Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:57 pm

Huseng wrote: I do have a teacher and I am serving him right now in India.

May I ask what tradition your current teacher belongs to?
ཨོཾ་མ་ཧཱ་ཤུནྱ་ཏཱ་ཛྙཱ་ན་བཛྲ་སྭཱ་བྷཱ་བ་ཨཱཏྨ་ཀོ་྅ཧཾ༔

The thousands of lines of the Prajnaparamita can be summed up in the following two sentences:
1) One should become a Bodhisattva (or, Buddha-to-be), i.e. one who is content with nothing less than all-knowledge attained through the perfection of wisdom for the sake of all beings.
2) There is no such thing as a Bodhisattva, or as all-knowledge, or as a ‘being’, or as the perfection of wisdom, or as an attainment.
To accept both these contradictory facts is to be perfect.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Namgyal » Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:04 pm

Sherlock wrote:I have only received the Khon Vajrakilaya transmission from HHST (which is a "Nyingma" transmission within Sakya) but my impression is that the Sakyapas strike a good balance between practice and study. There seems to be more of a tendency for Gelugpas to emphasize intellectual study at the expense of practice. I think the Nyingmapas are much more varied, it varies from lineage to lineage, monastery to monastery.

Study/Practice: Gelug 70/30, Sakya 60/40, Kagyu 50/50, Nyingma 40/60.
(Received the same teaching from HHST.)
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Karma Dorje » Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:57 pm

Huseng wrote:No, the point of practice is liberation from suffering. Emotions are equatable to suffering.


Negative emotions are a form of suffering, not emotivity itself: i.e. when one reifies objects, oneself and one's relation to objects as real then emotions are either harmful directly or lead to further suffering. These same emotions arise as wisdom through practice however, so according to what I have been taught it is not right to reject them categorically. In fact, rejecting them outright from a perceived pristine intellectual citadel is actually just a manifestation of pride and fear.

As my teacher often told us, real bodhicitta is total heartbreak. One can't think away emotions themselves-- not if you have a heart. Reason can certainly help us disentangle from neurotic behaviour, but distrust of emotions, fear of sexuality and an overemphasis on intellect and reason can all be indicators of deep-seated habits of reification that lead to precisely the sort of suffering one hopes to avoid. Declaring war on the emotions never works, in my experience (I tried).
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Karma Dorje » Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:05 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
Huseng wrote: I do have a teacher and I am serving him right now in India.

May I ask what tradition your current teacher belongs to?


Gelukpa. Obviously.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby dzogchungpa » Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:13 pm

Karma Dorje wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:
Huseng wrote: I do have a teacher and I am serving him right now in India.

May I ask what tradition your current teacher belongs to?


Gelukpa. Obviously.

Is that obvious?
ཨོཾ་མ་ཧཱ་ཤུནྱ་ཏཱ་ཛྙཱ་ན་བཛྲ་སྭཱ་བྷཱ་བ་ཨཱཏྨ་ཀོ་྅ཧཾ༔

The thousands of lines of the Prajnaparamita can be summed up in the following two sentences:
1) One should become a Bodhisattva (or, Buddha-to-be), i.e. one who is content with nothing less than all-knowledge attained through the perfection of wisdom for the sake of all beings.
2) There is no such thing as a Bodhisattva, or as all-knowledge, or as a ‘being’, or as the perfection of wisdom, or as an attainment.
To accept both these contradictory facts is to be perfect.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Karma Dorje » Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:18 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
Karma Dorje wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:May I ask what tradition your current teacher belongs to?


Gelukpa. Obviously.

Is that obvious?


Yes, because the Gelukpa are alone among the Tibetan schools in positing that through reason alone one can become enlightened.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby conebeckham » Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:37 pm

Well, I'll await Huseng's response...but you folks seem certain he's following a Tibetan teacher....???
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby dzogchungpa » Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:26 pm

conebeckham wrote:Well, I'll await Huseng's response...but you folks seem certain he's following a Tibetan teacher....???

I actually kind of assumed it would be a Theravadin.
ཨོཾ་མ་ཧཱ་ཤུནྱ་ཏཱ་ཛྙཱ་ན་བཛྲ་སྭཱ་བྷཱ་བ་ཨཱཏྨ་ཀོ་྅ཧཾ༔

The thousands of lines of the Prajnaparamita can be summed up in the following two sentences:
1) One should become a Bodhisattva (or, Buddha-to-be), i.e. one who is content with nothing less than all-knowledge attained through the perfection of wisdom for the sake of all beings.
2) There is no such thing as a Bodhisattva, or as all-knowledge, or as a ‘being’, or as the perfection of wisdom, or as an attainment.
To accept both these contradictory facts is to be perfect.
- Conze
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby shel » Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:59 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
shel wrote: It's not like a spiritual guide will be an instant remedy to such a problem. It may take just as long to get 'back on the rails' by own's own power, and indeed this would be far better in any case, because there wouldn't be the crutch of the guide.
If I may ask, can you describe the experience that you had with a teacher, that may have led you to your current view?
Thanks.


Taking your question seriously, it's not clear exactly what you're asking, or why it is relevant to the topic. My "opinion" above has already been 'validated', if you will, within the context that it was given. Whatever "going intellectually off the rails" means to Uan, he agrees that plenty of people with teachers have clearly gone off the rails. Some of them are prominent authors, too...

uan wrote:
Huseng wrote:
uan wrote:This is where being self taught can lead to problems - one doesn't know when one is going, intellectually, off the rails.


Plenty of people with teachers have clearly gone off the rails. Some of them are prominent authors, too.


I'd agree.


Let me break that down for you. A prominent author generally means someone who has at least published a substantial popular work. It doesn't necessarily mean the work is brilliant, but it does mean something substantial enough to be renown. Substantial work takes time to produce, it is not instantly produced. Also, it takes time for an author to become renown. The aspect to keep in mind at this point is time. How much time? Let's be generous and say that someone can write a substantial work, get it published, and become a renown author in one month.

So if you're with me so far we have someone with a transmitted teacher who has clearly gone off the rails, and stays off the rails for at least one month. For whatever reason the teacher was not able to instantly get them back on track in that month. I wrote that "It's not like a spiritual guide will be an instant remedy to such a problem." My view is apparently consistent with Uan's view. Does that make sense to you?

Having gotten that out of the way, you were asking about "the experience" with a teacher that may have lead to my views about going intellectually off the rails and a teacher being an instant remedy to that problem. To answer that I should probably first explain what "going intellectually off the rails" means to me personally. You're asking about my views and experience, and I've been encouraged to take your question seriously.

For me the most succinct description for going intellectually off the rails might be simply 'analysis paralysis'. Of course it could mean wrong view or whatever, in a Buddhist context, but the gist of discussion seems to point more towards anti-intellectualism. Not to say that right view in Buddhism is anti-intellectual. Anyway, I've always liked the paradox of Achilles and the Tortoise as it relates to analysis paralysis. It is a clear example of someone who's gone off the rails, or had become dysfunctional, by over-analysis or intellection.

In the paradox of Achilles and the Tortoise, Achilles is in a footrace with the tortoise. Achilles allows the tortoise a head start of 100 metres, for example. If we suppose that each racer starts running at some constant speed (one very fast and one very slow), then after some finite time, Achilles will have run 100 metres, bringing him to the tortoise's starting point. During this time, the tortoise has run a much shorter distance, say, 10 metres. It will then take Achilles some further time to run that distance, by which time the tortoise will have advanced farther; and then more time still to reach this third point, while the tortoise moves ahead. Thus, whenever Achilles reaches somewhere the tortoise has been, he still has farther to go. Therefore, because there are an infinite number of points Achilles must reach where the tortoise has already been, he can never overtake the tortoise.

So our Greek hero has clearly gone off the rails here and lost the race even before he started. :rolleye:

Perhaps all it would take would be a good slap to snap our hero out of his paralysis, but I haven't seen that happen, personally.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Konchog1 » Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:01 pm

Even some well-regarded scholars of the scriptural collections claim, "understand study to be either a mere preliminary to practice or to be a background support--like mountains at the back of a valley--but not the actual instructions. For this reason, you need practice to quickly attain Buddhahood and study to benefit the Buddha's teaching." This is contradictory nonsense. There are just two kinds of teachings: teaching as scripture and teaching that has been put into practice; the former makes known the procedures for practice, and the latter is assimilating the practice after you have understood the procedures. Therefore, doing the practice without error is the best way to uphold the teaching. Moreover, unerringly upholding the teaching in the sense of practice depends upon an unerring understanding of scriptural teaching.

Therefore, it is not right to forget what you have studied at the time of practice, for you must first know many teachings and then put their very meaning into practice when the time comes to do so.

-Lam Rim Chen Mo eng v2 pg. 220 tib. 458
So study and practice are 50/50. But, study is the most important thing for beginners.

Karma Dorje wrote:Yes, because the Gelukpa are alone among the Tibetan schools in positing that through reason alone one can become enlightened.
Citation needed

EDIT: Added quote
Last edited by Konchog1 on Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:31 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Namgyal » Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:04 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
conebeckham wrote:Well, I'll await Huseng's response...but you folks seem certain he's following a Tibetan teacher....???
I actually kind of assumed it would be a Theravadin.

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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby dzogchungpa » Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:46 pm

When I said I thought Huseng might have a Theravadin teacher, it was not meant as some kind of put down. I have a lot of respect for Theravada.
ཨོཾ་མ་ཧཱ་ཤུནྱ་ཏཱ་ཛྙཱ་ན་བཛྲ་སྭཱ་བྷཱ་བ་ཨཱཏྨ་ཀོ་྅ཧཾ༔

The thousands of lines of the Prajnaparamita can be summed up in the following two sentences:
1) One should become a Bodhisattva (or, Buddha-to-be), i.e. one who is content with nothing less than all-knowledge attained through the perfection of wisdom for the sake of all beings.
2) There is no such thing as a Bodhisattva, or as all-knowledge, or as a ‘being’, or as the perfection of wisdom, or as an attainment.
To accept both these contradictory facts is to be perfect.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Indrajala » Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:48 am

dzogchungpa wrote:
Huseng wrote: I do have a teacher and I am serving him right now in India.

May I ask what tradition your current teacher belongs to?


Buddhism.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Indrajala » Fri Apr 12, 2013 3:22 am

Karma Dorje wrote:
Negative emotions are a form of suffering, not emotivity itself: i.e. when one reifies objects, oneself and one's relation to objects as real then emotions are either harmful directly or lead to further suffering.


Emotions only arise and are sustained via reification. If you halt all reification, then there shouldn't be any perceived phenomena, including emotions.

The problem, as I see it, is that emotions only perpetuate reification. Reason on the other hand, while conditioned, can in fact lead to the cessation of reification via analysis. This is the whole aim of reasoning in Madhyamaka.




These same emotions arise as wisdom through practice however, so according to what I have been taught it is not right to reject them categorically. In fact, rejecting them outright from a perceived pristine intellectual citadel is actually just a manifestation of pride and fear.


There is a difference between rejecting them and eliminating the causes for them to arise.

When we talk about emotions here I'm speaking less about general feelings (irritation, contentment, finding something agreeable, etc.) and more about passionate emotions (anger, happiness and craving). The latter are especially potent and tend to influence our thought patterns, making them irrational. The former are reactions, perhaps largely physical, to one's environment.

The age old forbidden love story illustrates how emotions drive people to irrational behaviour: even if there are no social, economic or material benefits (and only harm and damage can be foreseen as a result of the relationship), the couple still pursue their passions at the expense of the community's well-being, and love songs and sagas are consequently written celebrating what was disruptive behaviour.


As my teacher often told us, real bodhicitta is total heartbreak.


That's one interpretation.

I'd like to think if you have genuine compassion then you won't have any passionate emotions associated with what you do for the benefit of others. For example, when you feed yourself you don't inject any emotional meaning into the act. Likewise, in the absence of self and other, even at a shallow level, benevolence comes as naturally as the act of looking after yourself.

In my mind the bodhisattva does not become emotionally compromised. The physician doesn't help their patient by becoming infected with the same disease(s). Likewise, the bodhisattva remains above the fray and from that preferable position is in an optimal position to see through people's BS and try to aid them accordingly.


One can't think away emotions themselves-- not if you have a heart.


I disagree. With proper concentration generated through solid samadhi you can halt mental processes at will.



Reason can certainly help us disentangle from neurotic behaviour, but distrust of emotions, fear of sexuality and an overemphasis on intellect and reason can all be indicators of deep-seated habits of reification that lead to precisely the sort of suffering one hopes to avoid.


If you're charging me with these sins, or implying it, I categorically deny all of it.



Declaring war on the emotions never works, in my experience (I tried).


As the Buddha said, if a man was running with a torch in hand, burning his arm as he went along, he'd have only to drop it to be free of the pain. He might clutch unto it, thinking it is absolutely necessary or that it is his possession, but really he should drop it.

So, quite simply, it is a matter of dropping the causes for mental anguish and the passions, not declaring war on them.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby dzogchungpa » Fri Apr 12, 2013 3:48 am

Huseng wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:
Huseng wrote: I do have a teacher and I am serving him right now in India.

May I ask what tradition your current teacher belongs to?


Buddhism.

Mine too!
ཨོཾ་མ་ཧཱ་ཤུནྱ་ཏཱ་ཛྙཱ་ན་བཛྲ་སྭཱ་བྷཱ་བ་ཨཱཏྨ་ཀོ་྅ཧཾ༔

The thousands of lines of the Prajnaparamita can be summed up in the following two sentences:
1) One should become a Bodhisattva (or, Buddha-to-be), i.e. one who is content with nothing less than all-knowledge attained through the perfection of wisdom for the sake of all beings.
2) There is no such thing as a Bodhisattva, or as all-knowledge, or as a ‘being’, or as the perfection of wisdom, or as an attainment.
To accept both these contradictory facts is to be perfect.
- Conze
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Indrajala » Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:15 am

dzogchungpa wrote:
Buddhism.


Mine too!


Then there is no need for sectarian and/or ethnic concerns in our Buddhism. Let's be ecumenical.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Sara H » Fri Apr 12, 2013 7:47 am

Huseng wrote:
Emotions only arise and are sustained via reification. If you halt all reification, then there shouldn't be any perceived phenomena, including emotions.

The problem, as I see it, is that emotions only perpetuate reification. Reason on the other hand, while conditioned, can in fact lead to the cessation of reification via analysis. This is the whole aim of reasoning in Madhyamaka.


What are you talking about?

Reification.

Reification (also known as concretism, or the fallacy of misplaced concreteness) is a fallacy of ambiguity, when an abstraction (abstract belief or hypothetical construct) is treated as if it were a concrete, real event, or physical entity.[1][2] In other words, it is the error of treating as a concrete thing something which is not concrete, but merely an idea. For example: if the phrase "fighting for justice" is taken literally, justice would be reified.


Emotions actually do exist.

They are a part of our human nature.

You're looking at it as something that is apart from the Buddha Nature which is wrong.

Emotions are something that arise as a part of our training.

Sitting still, is not the absence of emotions, but rather the sitting still within them and allowing them to arise and pass.

They are not simply a figment of our imaginations made real.

You are correct, in a sense, in that the intensity of emotions, or the urge they pull us forward to, is not an accurate reflection of what action is actually good and needed to be done at any given moment:

I.E., just because we are afraid (for example) doesn't mean there is any actual real danger. (such as in the case of hydrophobia, and not wanting to get into a swimming pool).

But that's not to say that the emotions don't exist at all, or that they don't have a very real sway that we must be mindful of.

That's not correct at all.

What we do, do; is sit through them. And practice sitting through them.

It's also not true that just because we are feeling something, that there is nothing there that we need to pay attention to:
We often find that when we sit through them, that underneath them there is a real need hidden there that we did not understand that we can now address.

You're treating emotion as if it's evil. That's not correct, Emotion is just like the wind, it blows and we sit through it.

In itself, it's just a force. What's underneath it is what's important.

Most emotion will just pass if we sit through it, but sometimes there's something that needs to be done and we see that if we've sat through it deeply enough.

Sara
Last edited by Sara H on Fri Apr 12, 2013 7:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Sara H » Fri Apr 12, 2013 7:48 am

Huseng wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:
Buddhism.


Mine too!


Then there is no need for sectarian and/or ethnic concerns in our Buddhism. Let's be ecumenical.


There is more than one path that leads to the top of Mount Sumaru in Buddhism Huseng.

There is nothing wrong with one person walking one path, and the other person walking up the same mountain on the other side of the mountain.

You didn't answer his question.

He asked you a question from the point of view of relative truth.

And you answered from the point of view of a more general truth.
But he wasn't asking a general question, he was asking from a specific, relative point of view.

And so while the answer you gave was a true answer to "some question" it was not a true answer to the question he asked.

He didn't ask you whether you think Buddhism should be ecumenical, he asked you what school your teacher belongs to.

And so the answer you gave was a lie. There is not a specific subcategory school within Buddhism itself that is also known as the "Buddhism School". "The Buddhist school of Buddhism"

No.

That was a lie Huseng.

What school does your teacher belong to?

Intentionally answering someone from a different point of view, when that was not the point of view they were asking from, is being dishonest.

It's one thing to decline to answer, -that's ok. It's another thing to give a dishonest or misleading answer, or answer in a way that is not accurate to the perspective and question asked.

Sara
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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