Seeking advices and answers

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Seeking advices and answers

Postby TeeFah » Sat May 04, 2013 5:50 pm

:namaste: everyone !

I have so much questions and so much need of advices, don't even know where to begin !

I know many "seekers" come into Buddhism and want to rush everything, like practicing rituals, mantra, setting up an altar etc...But I don't want to make any faux pas and misunderstanding of this Path.
I would like to begin to read about teachings of Buddha and Lamrim, before engaging in anything, to know and understand every basic aspects of Buddhist teachings and way to become. Is it good ? I know nothing of the teachings of Buddha, are they compiled in a book ? Various books ? Infinity of books ? Are there different version that varies upon the vehicle ?

Oh no, I'm beginning to flood questions ! :thinking: Sorry. I will try to organize this simply. :quoteunquote: Try :quoteunquote:

--------------------------------------------------

-> Anatman, Vacuity, Eternality, nihilism...So much is said, so less understood :/ Between Nihilism (nothing is real, I do not exist) and Eternality (Everything is real, I never ceased to exist) isn't there a clear definition, or at last a middle path ?

--------------------------------------------------

-> In Sanatana Dharma, it is said that Universe and time have no beginning and no end (multiple cycles of creation, preservation, dissolution etc...) and same is for individual soul.
In Buddhism, since there is no concept of individual soul, what goes from body to body after death ?

Is it potentiality of Budhahood that we all possess ?

Is this potentiality of Buddhahood common to all beings (everyone in one common pool) or individual (One drop ofthe pool for everyone) ?
(Of course "potential Buddhahood" is completely free from Ego)

Is the view of eternal, endless, beginless universe okay in Buddhism ?

--------------------------------------------------

-> In initiation of KalaChakra, there is something that I don't really understand. It talk much about gaining access to our "clear light"

Is it some kind of what others commonly call "Subtle body" ?

What is the clear light spirit within us ?

Is it something that all sentient beings have ?

Is it something present in all the universe, like a stream ?

--------------------------------------------------

-> Renunciation is something very important, and linked to a personal vow I took for future. Unfortunately in Sanatana Dharma, very few schools from the path I follow (let's say none...) accept nuns or initiate womens very far to accept in monasteries. Of course there are monasteries for womens, like for Ramakrshna and others new schools, which I can't fit.

How is the womens situation when they choose to become nuns or renunciate (welcomed or difficulties) ?

How are the womens renunciates and nun viewed by the different schools ?

Does women teachers and lama exist ?

Are the practices in mens monasteries and women monasteries the same ?

What is the view and situation of womens in Buddhism in a broad sense ?

Is it a problem for a lama male to initiate a female ?


--------------------------------------------------

-> Compassion is something very important...Very very, very important for me.

Can Enlightenment be explained, or conceptualized ?

Is it an eternal state, or only temporary (that diseappear after rebirth) ?

Does Buddha teachings, and the goal of Bodhicitta/Awakening, give us the means and powers to help the world and ease the suffering of sentient beings ?

(if yes) Does it give us the mean/power to help the world and ease suffering of sentient beings even between rebirths, or in next rebirths, even if we are beyond Samsara ?

Does Buddha teach compassion to all beings, for every human and every animal ?

--------------------------------------------------

I am very sorry if it seems silly or selfish questions _/\_ I am also sorry if my ignorance hurt anyone, I do not mean to hurt anyone or to seek to anger or provoke any problem here


Thank you very much

AUM
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Re: Seeking advices and answers

Postby LastLegend » Sun May 05, 2013 12:18 am

TeeFah wrote:-> Anatman, Vacuity, Eternality, nihilism...So much is said, so less understood :/ Between Nihilism (nothing is real, I do not exist) and Eternality (Everything is real, I never ceased to exist) isn't there a clear definition, or at last a middle path ?


The clear definition is if there is beginning, there is ending. If there is birth, then there is death. If there is no beginning, then there is no ending. If there is no birth, then there is no death.


-> In Sanatana Dharma, it is said that Universe and time have no beginning and no end (multiple cycles of creation, preservation, dissolution etc...) and same is for individual soul.
In Buddhism, since there is no concept of individual soul, what goes from body to body after death ?


What is mistaken for an individual soul is what seeks rebirth. When no longer mistaken, then no rebirth.

Is it potentiality of Budhahood that we all possess ?

Is this potentiality of Buddhahood common to all beings (everyone in one common pool) or individual (One drop ofthe pool for everyone) ?
(Of course "potential Buddhahood" is completely free from Ego)

Is the view of eternal, endless, beginless universe okay in Buddhism ?


Yes, we all can be free from suffering and can become awakened as Buddha. When we are deluded, we are sentient beings and suffering. When awakened, we are Buddha. Difference between Buddha and us is that.

The terms, "eternal, endless, beginningless" all are relative. See answer to the first question.


-> In initiation of KalaChakra, there is something that I don't really understand. It talk much about gaining access to our "clear light"

Is it some kind of what others commonly call "Subtle body" ?

What is the clear light spirit within us ?

Is it something that all sentient beings have ?

Is it something present in all the universe, like a stream ?


All that exist cannot be separated from the mind. Thus nothing exists "outside" of the mind.


-> Compassion is something very important...Very very, very important for me.

Can Enlightenment be explained, or conceptualized ?

Is it an eternal state, or only temporary (that diseappear after rebirth) ?

Does Buddha teachings, and the goal of Bodhicitta/Awakening, give us the means and powers to help the world and ease the suffering of sentient beings ?

(if yes) Does it give us the mean/power to help the world and ease suffering of sentient beings even between rebirths, or in next rebirths, even if we are beyond Samsara ?

Does Buddha teach compassion to all beings, for every human and every animal ?


From my understanding, enlightenment is when all is one. So rebirth or samsara should not be a hindrance or a limitation. If there is no limitations, what can stop you from helping other sentient beings?

Yes, Buddha teaches compassion to all beings. But humans have better capacities to absorb Buddha's teachings. For other sentient beings, Buddha has to use skillful means.
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)

Linjii
―Listen! Those of you who devote yourselves to the Dharma
must not be afraid of losing your bodies and your lives―
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Re: Seeking advices and answers

Postby randomseb » Sun May 05, 2013 4:41 am

Transmigration: the sum of everything you are now is the stamp that imprints what you become in your future state.

In the context of rebirth: The you that is you at the moment is a function of the body, and this ends at death. But the impulses and neuroses are stamped into your next life, so that while that is a different "you", in a different shape, with a different consciousness, the imprint from a previous existence remains.

In the context of every moment: moment. moment. moment. moment. moment...

C'est juste comme cela.. C'est tout.
Disclaimer: If I have posted about something, then I obviously have no idea what I am talking about!
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Re: Seeking advices and answers

Postby TeeFah » Mon May 20, 2013 10:39 pm

Hello and thank you for the answers _/\_

I am not sure to understand everything but I am still reading about and trying to figure out some concepts that are little obscure to me.

LastLegend wrote:
Yes, we all can be free from suffering and can become awakened as Buddha. When we are deluded, we are sentient beings and suffering. When awakened, we are Buddha. Difference between Buddha and us is that.


The aim is them to become Buddha and to stay Buddha. And this is not work of body or soul or material universe but work of mind alone then.


LastLegend wrote:
All that exist cannot be separated from the mind. Thus nothing exists "outside" of the mind.


Okay so, when in this book they talk about reaching this clear light, it is the mind ? But not the mind as the brain alone. The mind that we have to become aware of, and where we can become Buddha ?
Is all the mind, or nothing the mind ? I wonder, does the mind encompasses all or does the mind except everything and is something else...Considering Samsara is illusory and suffering, I would say the second then (If only the mind is real and eventually lead to end of suffering, then it is not suffering then) But a mind cannot be empty. Yet an empty room can be considered full depending on which levels we are looking for...
Hm.

It's confusing :0

Aum
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Re: Seeking advices and answers

Postby wisdom » Mon May 20, 2013 11:54 pm

TeeFah wrote:-> Anatman, Vacuity, Eternality, nihilism...So much is said, so less understood :/ Between Nihilism (nothing is real, I do not exist) and Eternality (Everything is real, I never ceased to exist) isn't there a clear definition, or at last a middle path ?


Yes, Madhyamaka is the Middle Way.

TeeFah wrote:-> In Sanatana Dharma, it is said that Universe and time have no beginning and no end (multiple cycles of creation, preservation, dissolution etc...) and same is for individual soul.
In Buddhism, since there is no concept of individual soul, what goes from body to body after death ?


The mindstream goes from body to body. The mindstream carries karmic impressions that manifest into a new life. Basically, the mindstream is a collection of seeds that determine what is reborn, where it is reborn, and the manner of its next life. There is no individual soul because an individual is simply a collection of karmic components, all of which are conditioned by other factors and causes, all of which can change, grow, die, increase or decrease. Therefore they come together from numerous factors like molecules are simply combinations of atoms. When you break it down, you can't find any essential, absolute self, just lots of pieces that are always changing and empty of inherent existence. The easiest way to see this is to look at your own life. Who were you when you were 5 years of age? Who are you now? Are they the same person? No, they are not. You are conditioned differently now than you were, you will be conditioned differently 20 years from now. This changing nature of the self implies there is no eternal soul that is always the same, rather there is a collection of many things that come together to make up what we falsely call a "self" but which is ever changing and ultimately insubstantial and unreal, just like every other phenomena in the universe. However intellectually knowing this is only the first step in experiencing real emptiness, which comes about as the result of purifying the minds ignorance, studying, and practicing.

TeeFah wrote:Is it potentiality of Budhahood that we all possess ?


Everyone has Buddha Nature. The path is meant to show a person that nature, how to reach it, and how to remain in it. Buddha Nature is essentially a state of complete selflessness where one is no longer conscious of duality at all.

TeeFah wrote:Is this potentiality of Buddhahood common to all beings (everyone in one common pool) or individual (One drop ofthe pool for everyone) ?
(Of course "potential Buddhahood" is completely free from Ego)


Yes

TeeFah wrote:Is the view of eternal, endless, beginless universe okay in Buddhism ?


Ultimately the Buddha called thinking about the beginning and end of the universe an imponderable because our minds can never encompass the answer. Therefore its considered a distraction to our practice, so its best to leave it alone all together. We are here, now, dealing with this present situation. Our situation is dire, and we need to find a way out. The most important thing is to address this situation in the here and now, and not concern ourselves with trying to grasp something that is essentially infinite, a question we can never really answer.

TeeFah wrote:-> In initiation of KalaChakra, there is something that I don't really understand. It talk much about gaining access to our "clear light"

Is it some kind of what others commonly call "Subtle body" ?


The clear light is a term indicating a level of awareness that one can reach after one has sufficiently purified their mind and seen their Buddha Nature. Recognition of the clear light is recognition of ones own Buddha Nature. The clear light is the naturally manifest luminosity and clarity of mind that appears when we properly apprehend emptiness, which is equal to being totally selfless or recognizing our Buddha Nature.

It is not the subtle body.

TeeFah wrote:Is it something that all sentient beings have ?

Is it something present in all the universe, like a stream ?


Because the clear light is more or less synonymous with Buddha Nature, it is within all sentient beings. Because sentient beings are deluded and confused, they are not normally aware of it. Buddha Nature is our individual experience of the universal ground of all being, and therefore in a sense it pervades all things whatsoever, all phenomena, all creatures, and whatsoever appears in all of the universe.

TeeFah wrote:How is the womens situation when they choose to become nuns or renunciate (welcomed or difficulties) ?


There are many places that will accept women as renunciates, nobody in Buddhism has any real problem with women practicing, and in Tibetan Buddhism women have played a very important role in the transmission and preservation of Dharma. As with all human institutions, Buddhism contains men who are averse towards women for various reasons. However, I've seen women I consider to be enlightened beings and see them no different from men. This, in my opinion, is the proper view towards women in Buddhism.

TeeFah wrote:How are the womens renunciates and nun viewed by the different schools ?


As Buddhist practitioners seeking enlightenment.

TeeFah wrote:Does women teachers and lama exist ?


Yep! They are no less enlightened and no less profound than their male counterparts.

TeeFah wrote:What is the view and situation of womens in Buddhism in a broad sense ?


Depends on who you ask. Most Buddhists are welcoming towards women, think highly of women, treasure and value the unique wisdom that women can manifest into the world, and overall see women as equals. There are of course Buddhists that don't feel this way, but in my opinion they need to strengthen their Dharma practice if they are averse or negative towards women.

TeeFah wrote:Is it a problem for a lama male to initiate a female ?


Not at all.

TeeFah wrote:Can Enlightenment be explained, or conceptualized ?


It can be explained and conceptualized, but it can never be understood by explaining or conceptualization alone. Thinking will not lead to enlightenment, only more thoughts. This means that the explanation always falls short of the truth, and so intellectually thinking about enlightenment will never lead to enlightenment. Enlightenment is a state of mind free from concepts, mental constructs, and mental projections. It is free and non-attached to all mental phenomena and all emotional arisings. It is in essence beyond words and beyond description.

TeeFah wrote:Is it an eternal state, or only temporary (that diseappear after rebirth) ?


This depends on the level of enlightenment. There are levels that can regress back into ignorance, at the higher levels one gains supreme confidence and solidarity on the path and at this stage enlightenment is called "irreversible".

TeeFah wrote:Does Buddha teachings, and the goal of Bodhicitta/Awakening, give us the means and powers to help the world and ease the suffering of sentient beings ?


Nothing in the world is more effective than Buddhism to accomplish this goal.

TeeFah wrote:(if yes) Does it give us the mean/power to help the world and ease suffering of sentient beings even between rebirths, or in next rebirths, even if we are beyond Samsara ?


Complete enlightenment gives us the capacity to endlessly help all sentient beings in whatever situation we desire or choose, wherever the need is greatest. It even allows us to enter hell and help the beings there. There is no limit to the capacity of a Buddha to benefit and lead other sentient beings out of samsara.

TeeFah wrote:Does Buddha teach compassion to all beings, for every human and every animal ?


Every being whatsoever, because all beings share the same essential Buddha Nature, even an ant.

TeeFah wrote:I am very sorry if it seems silly or selfish questions _/\_ I am also sorry if my ignorance hurt anyone, I do not mean to hurt anyone or to seek to anger or provoke any problem here


They are neither silly nor selfish, they are all good questions. No harm done.

Since you mentioned Lam Rim, you might consider picking up the three volume translation of "The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path Towards Enlightenment".
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Re: Seeking advices and answers

Postby LastLegend » Tue May 21, 2013 2:57 am

TeeFah wrote:
The aim is them to become Buddha and to stay Buddha. And this is not work of body or soul or material universe but work of mind alone then.


There is no duality between mind and material when one becomes Buddha. Mind and material are of the same suchness. You can see material things deteriorate after some time-this is what characterizes as emptiness or impermanence. So material things are characteristic or expression of the mind.

Okay so, when in this book they talk about reaching this clear light, it is the mind ? But not the mind as the brain alone. The mind that we have to become aware of, and where we can become Buddha ?


Let me take a guess. That clear light means we are no longer in the darkness of suffering. Basically means we are liberated from suffering.

Is all the mind, or nothing the mind ? I wonder, does the mind encompasses all or does the mind except everything and is something else...Considering Samsara is illusory and suffering, I would say the second then (If only the mind is real and eventually lead to end of suffering, then it is not suffering then) But a mind cannot be empty. Yet an empty room can be considered full depending on which levels we are looking for...
Hm.


The mind is empty in the sense that it cannot be understood by concepts or any language that tries to capture it. But does not mean the mind is nothing (not in a nihilistic sense) because apparently the mind is there, how can we say it is nothing? So the word of choice is empty.

Only people who commit hell karma will experience the effects of hell. Those who don't cannot. So that is created by the mind and everything is.
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)

Linjii
―Listen! Those of you who devote yourselves to the Dharma
must not be afraid of losing your bodies and your lives―
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Re: Seeking advices and answers

Postby Konchog1 » Tue May 21, 2013 3:20 am

My comments will be in bold and in large type

TeeFah wrote::namaste: everyone !

I have so much questions and so much need of advices, don't even know where to begin !

I know many "seekers" come into Buddhism and want to rush everything, like practicing rituals, mantra, setting up an altar etc...But I don't want to make any faux pas and misunderstanding of this Path.
I would like to begin to read about teachings of Buddha and Lamrim, before engaging in anything, to know and understand every basic aspects of Buddhist teachings and way to become. Is it good ? I know nothing of the teachings of Buddha, are they compiled in a book ? Various books ? Infinity of books ? Are there different version that varies upon the vehicle ?

The intro texts do depend on school. The Lam Rim for example is unique to Tibetan Buddhism. Good beginner books would be any book covering Theravada and Mahayana. Either a scholarly book like Richard Gard's Buddhism or anything by the Dalai Lama.

Oh no, I'm beginning to flood questions ! :thinking: Sorry. I will try to organize this simply. :quoteunquote: Try :quoteunquote:

--------------------------------------------------

-> Anatman, Vacuity, Eternality, nihilism...So much is said, so less understood :/ Between Nihilism (nothing is real, I do not exist) and Eternality (Everything is real, I never ceased to exist) isn't there a clear definition, or at last a middle path ?

Exactly, the truth is between Nihilism and Eternalism. For example, Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Gelug sect of Tibetan Buddhism said: "Therefore, those who wish to be free from the views of permanence and annihilation should assert both the lack of intrinsic existence and illusion-like dependent-arising of both pure and afflicted phenomena.”
-Lam Rim Chen Mo eng v03 pg. 317-318 tib pg. 760

--------------------------------------------------

-> In Sanatana Dharma, it is said that Universe and time have no beginning and no end (multiple cycles of creation, preservation, dissolution etc...) and same is for individual soul.
In Buddhism, since there is no concept of individual soul, what goes from body to body after death ?

Every moment of life is a different moment of consciousness. The last consciousness of this life causes the first consciousness of the next life to arise.

Is it potentiality of Budhahood that we all possess ?

Buddha Nature is a quality, is doesn't transfer. It just is.

Is this potentiality of Buddhahood common to all beings (everyone in one common pool) or individual (One drop ofthe pool for everyone) ?
(Of course "potential Buddhahood" is completely free from Ego)

All beings can become enlightened

Is the view of eternal, endless, beginless universe okay in Buddhism ?

It is Buddhism's view. Same as in Sanatana Dharma.

--------------------------------------------------

-> In initiation of KalaChakra, there is something that I don't really understand. It talk much about gaining access to our "clear light"

The base level of mind.

Is it some kind of what others commonly call "Subtle body" ?

No, but it is related

Is it something that all sentient beings have ?

Yes

Is it something present in all the universe, like a stream ?

No, it is the base of every individual mind. It is not something outside of the individual.

--------------------------------------------------

-> Renunciation is something very important, and linked to a personal vow I took for future. Unfortunately in Sanatana Dharma, very few schools from the path I follow (let's say none...) accept nuns or initiate womens very far to accept in monasteries. Of course there are monasteries for womens, like for Ramakrshna and others new schools, which I can't fit.

How is the womens situation when they choose to become nuns or renunciate (welcomed or difficulties) ?

There are woman nuns (except in Theravada). I've heard some nuns complain about their treatment and others say they enjoy being a nun.

How are the womens renunciates and nun viewed by the different schools ?

I doesn't know

Does women teachers and lama exist ?

Yes. Now and in the past.

Are the practices in mens monasteries and women monasteries the same ?

I'd imagine so...

What is the view and situation of womens in Buddhism in a broad sense ?

They're women. View and situation related to what?

Is it a problem for a lama male to initiate a female ?

No

--------------------------------------------------

-> Compassion is something very important...Very very, very important for me.

Tsongkhapa said: "“Lord of Secrets, the sublime wisdom of omniscience comes from compassion as its root. It comes from Bodhicitta as its cause. It is brought to completion by method.”
-Vairocana’s Great Enlightenment Discourse as quoted in the Lam Rim Chen Mo eng v02 pg. 87 tib pg. 341"


Can Enlightenment be explained, or conceptualized ?

No

Is it an eternal state, or only temporary (that diseappear after rebirth) ?

Enlightenment is permanent. However, it is possible to regress from lower attainments.

Does Buddha teachings, and the goal of Bodhicitta/Awakening, give us the means and powers to help the world and ease the suffering of sentient beings ?

Yes

(if yes) Does it give us the mean/power to help the world and ease suffering of sentient beings even between rebirths, or in next rebirths, even if we are beyond Samsara ?

Yes

Does Buddha teach compassion to all beings, for every human and every animal ?

Yes

--------------------------------------------------

I am very sorry if it seems silly or selfish questions _/\_ I am also sorry if my ignorance hurt anyone, I do not mean to hurt anyone or to seek to anger or provoke any problem here


Thank you very much

AUM
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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