Is this useful?

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Is this useful?

Postby Individual » Fri Oct 15, 2010 12:47 am

When you're discussing or thinking about Mahayana Buddhism and you stop to ask yourself the question (as you often should), "Is this useful?"

...would you always say yes?
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Re: Is this useful?

Postby Huifeng » Fri Oct 15, 2010 3:19 am

Individual wrote:When you're discussing or thinking about Mahayana Buddhism and you stop to ask yourself the question (as you often should), "Is this useful?"

...would you always say yes?


Yes.

When you posted this topic, did you ask your self the same question?
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Re: Is this useful?

Postby ground » Fri Oct 15, 2010 3:40 am

Individual wrote:When you're discussing or thinking about Mahayana Buddhism and you stop to ask yourself the question (as you often should), "Is this useful?"

...would you always say yes?


As to "discussing with others" it depends on the puritiy of motivation involved and since my motivation is not always as pure as it should be it is not always useful. At times it would be better to renounce discussion.
As to "thinking about": If I am concentrated and calm "thinking about" is very useful, if I am distracted it is not.

But actually all this is not only valid for "discussing and thinking about" in the context of "Mahayana buddhism". However "discussing and thinking about" is especially wholesome in the context of "Mahayana buddhism" in case motivation is pure and there is concentration and calm.

Kind regards
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Re: Is this useful?

Postby Will » Fri Oct 15, 2010 4:57 am

Being a fan of Je Rinpoche I never ask or think the question. All of the Dharma, no matter the yana, is useful to someone at some time.

Here is one summary of the 4 great qualities of Lamrim:

1. They show that teachings and methods that might at face value appear
contradictory, are in fact not. For example, we may be advised not to follow
certain methods at the beginning of our practice, but those same methods may be
useful at later stages as our understanding develops.
2. They show that all scriptures are instructions for practice. The lam.rim teachings
are uniquely practical. Their main aim is not to increase our knowledge of
philosophy or other intellectual knowledge. Rather they show us how we can
change our perspective on every moment of our lives, transforming all our day to
day experiences – whether they are things that we enjoy or dislike - into
opportunities for personal growth.
3. They enable us to understand how the eighty four thousand Dharmas taught by
Shakyamuni Buddha fit in with one another, and which method will be most
useful for us at any one time.
4. By enabling us to see that all these manifold methods are useful, we become free
of sectarianism, imagining that the traditions or practices that we personally
favour provide the only valid approach to spiritual practice.
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
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Re: Is this useful?

Postby Individual » Fri Oct 15, 2010 11:27 am

Huifeng wrote:
Individual wrote:When you're discussing or thinking about Mahayana Buddhism and you stop to ask yourself the question (as you often should), "Is this useful?"

...would you always say yes?


Yes.

When you posted this topic, did you ask your self the same question?

I don't think I did, but even if I did, I wouldn't be certain on how to answer.
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Re: Is this useful?

Postby ronnewmexico » Fri Oct 15, 2010 5:22 pm

We are after all human...so not always.

When I study I study to exclusion what I find usefull. I cannot even tell you the name of many things nor my practice text, nor if I am buddhist, though I have studied such for many years....such affirms the negative in me,the tendency to label and thusly form conception.....

Discuss....as a means to incite such things that require incitement, and for other purpose spiritually related for the most part. Not totally...we are human.

This internet...if I find it not useful for spiritual purpose I will abandon it entirely. I do so for long periods. This period is one of interaction. In my practice one is advised to go to cities to study mind as well as wilderness.....this is my temporary city. So this serves purpose. When it fails to do so I will abandon it entirely.

Debate serves some similiar purpose as well. So it is engaged at times. Practice necessitates that at times,. my practice.

So I answer about always...not always. Finally considered, in my practices terminology...always...how could it be other?
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Is this useful?

Postby catmoon » Sat Oct 16, 2010 12:44 pm

I ask that "Is this useful?" question all the time. Oddly, the bulk of Mahayana I find to be not useful. However, that is just the current state of affairs for one practioner of little attainment. It should come as no surprise to anyone that HYT is of no use to a beginner.

The important point to realize is that any answer to the question is temporary, impermanent and changeable. What is useless today may be be very useful tomorrow.
Sergeant Schultz knew everything there was to know.
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Re: Is this useful?

Postby Luke » Sun Oct 17, 2010 1:02 pm

Individual wrote:When you're discussing or thinking about Mahayana Buddhism and you stop to ask yourself the question (as you often should), "Is this useful?"

...would you always say yes?

Yes, I would say "Yes" because I believe that Mahayana Buddhism is useful in general for working towards enlightenment, so all parts of it are "useful" from that point of view.

However, the word "useful" often has more worldly connotations, and Mahayana Buddhism is all about being free from the 8 Worldly Concerns:
http://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?titl ... ccupations

So I never ask myself if Mahayana is "useful" in the sense of "Will it allow me to impress more people?", "Will it help me make more money?", etc. Although the answer to these questions is "Sometimes."
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