Uncommon Mahayana Approaches to Dealing With Desire

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Re: Uncommon Mahayana Approaches to Dealing With Desire

Postby Virgo » Wed Jul 10, 2013 6:02 am

jeeprs wrote:As I said, my approach is 'hinayana'. It has to be. I have burned up a lot of karmic credits already, so I don't want to try anything too advanced. I have a couple of introductory books by Lama Yeshe but I haven't been able to find the motivation to read them yet (although I was lucky enough to see Lama Yeshe speak in Sydney not long before he died.)

I am also mindful that in this day and age, the whole business of sexuality is a multi-media global all-singing all-dancing extravaganza. Thar be dragons.

But we don't want just release from samsara-- we want to achieve the non-abiding nirvana which is beyond both samsara and nirvana so that we can be of benefit to beings. we need to realize enlightenment, not release dukkha alone.

So that is why we take that approach.


Have a good one...

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Re: Uncommon Mahayana Approaches to Dealing With Desire

Postby Karma Dorje » Wed Jul 10, 2013 10:38 am

jeeprs wrote:I am also mindful that in this day and age, the whole business of sexuality is a multi-media global all-singing all-dancing extravaganza. Thar be dragons.


Is this a great time to be alive or what? :woohoo:
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Re: Uncommon Mahayana Approaches to Dealing With Desire

Postby 5heaps » Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:31 pm

Malcolm wrote:
5heaps wrote:
Malcolm wrote:this the explanation for someone who has realized the first bhumi in Mahāyāna.
The only vision that is non-karmic is buddhahood.

your position doesnt seem to follow then. since the particular transformations into purity

There is no transformation into purity in sūtra, none at all.

i mentioned one: post equipoise of selflessness (let alone emptiness), one's suffering identity automatically dissolves and one which is free from suffering arises. this comes about due to the power of what happened briefly beforehand: the ascertainment of the fact that it is possible for ones mind to be parted from suffering utterly, etc.

how is this not a transformation practice?

more importantly, how is this not a [vastly] superior transformation practice relative to most people's dopey creation-stage visualizations?
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Re: Uncommon Mahayana Approaches to Dealing With Desire

Postby kirtu » Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:45 pm

5heaps wrote:
Malcolm wrote:There is no transformation into purity in sūtra, none at all.

i mentioned one: post equipoise of selflessness (let alone emptiness), one's suffering identity automatically dissolves and one which is free from suffering arises.


This is not transformation of the samsaric vision into purity. Resting in selflessness alone (presumably personal selflessness) would result in one sided liberation if one were able to do it perfectly.

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Re: Uncommon Mahayana Approaches to Dealing With Desire

Postby Simon E. » Wed Jul 10, 2013 3:27 pm

Can you explain what you mean by a one sided liberation Kirt ?
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Re: Uncommon Mahayana Approaches to Dealing With Desire

Postby 5heaps » Wed Jul 10, 2013 5:46 pm

kirtu wrote:
5heaps wrote:
Malcolm wrote:There is no transformation into purity in sūtra, none at all.

i mentioned one: post equipoise of selflessness (let alone emptiness), one's suffering identity automatically dissolves and one which is free from suffering arises.


This is not transformation of the samsaric vision into purity. Resting in selflessness alone (presumably personal selflessness) would result in one sided liberation if one were able to do it perfectly.

yes that is the result according to everyone except Tsongkhapa, but are liberation and the arya truths not considered purity? are the dissolution of a suffering persona and the arising of an identity beyond suffering not considered purities? by definition selflessness and these which accompany it are beyond samsara, thats why you used the word 'liberation'. so we can call them transformations, from the afflicted (samsara), to the non-afflicted (pure). what is wrong with that?

if you then move the scale from selflessness to emptiness, you now have fullblown buddhahood transformations.
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Re: Uncommon Mahayana Approaches to Dealing With Desire

Postby conebeckham » Wed Jul 10, 2013 6:54 pm

5Heaps, it strikes me that Buddhahood is indeed a transformation...but what we're talking about here is the path. You're referring to a "result" as predicated on sutra-based practice.

We're talking about "transformation" as a method on the "path," and specifically about "desire." The question is, for a person who practices Sutric Mahayana without Tantra, how does one deal with desire on the path, before the result is attained? Certainly, a Buddha has "transformed desire" in a sense, as well as all poisons. But until that point is reached, from the POV of Sutras, desire is to be recognized, and either actively renounced or merely "noted" without attachment. I think?
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Re: Uncommon Mahayana Approaches to Dealing With Desire

Postby Konchog1 » Thu Jul 11, 2013 12:03 am

kirtu wrote:
Nilasarasvati wrote:
But if you didn't attain the bhumis during empowerment then sutra study and practice is good for you and is what most Tibetan masters (those whose bios I have read at least) who also didn't attain the bhumis during empowerment did.


People commonly attain the Bhumis just through empowerment???? :shock: is that a thing?


Not commonly. Sukhasiddhi and who else? A handful of people are said to have done so.

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In Introduction to Tantra by Lama Yeshe, Lama Yeshe says it's possible to attain Enlightenment through empowerment. One of the reasons one should should receive empowerment of his/her yidam as often as possible.

Of course, its also possible that a fish will fall on you during a rainstorm.
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Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
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Re: Uncommon Mahayana Approaches to Dealing With Desire

Postby Malcolm » Thu Jul 11, 2013 4:53 am

5heaps wrote:yes that is the result according to everyone except Tsongkhapa, but are liberation and the arya truths not considered purity? are the dissolution of a suffering persona and the arising of an identity beyond suffering not considered purities? by definition selflessness and these which accompany it are beyond samsara, thats why you used the word 'liberation'. so we can call them transformations, from the afflicted (samsara), to the non-afflicted (pure). what is wrong with that?

if you then move the scale from selflessness to emptiness, you now have fullblown buddhahood transformations.


There is no _path_ of transformation in common Mahāyāna. The method of common Mahāyāna is called the six pāramitās.

Phenomena remain afflictive even for ārya bodhisattvas until they reach the pure bhumis (8-10). After this point, Bodhisattvas only take rebirth in the so called pure abodes, but this takes two incalculable eons to acheive, and an additional one incalculable one to move through the rest of the bhumis while the last trace of the jñeya-avarana is removed. The kleśa-avarana is removed at the end of the seventh bhumi.

In other words, there is no rapid method in common Mahāyāna which ensures liberation within one to sixteen lifetimes.
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Re: Uncommon Mahayana Approaches to Dealing With Desire

Postby kirtu » Sat Jul 13, 2013 3:44 am

Simon E. wrote:Can you explain what you mean by a one sided liberation Kirt ?


One sided liberation technically means Arhatship. This was a statement from my Sakya lama. However I was not able to explore this sufficiently with him and he is now ill and circumstances have separated us. His conception of Zen is not quite correct. He seems to have understood Zen as emptiness teaching and when we met I was a Zen person. The danger as he presented it would be to apply emptiness without bodhicitta but still attain real realization of selflessnesss. This would result in an Arhat's realization.

Personally I think this is a theoretical objection raised in training. My personal experience is that compassion automatically arises with glimpses of emptiness (and this experience is recorded sometimes in the writings/teachings of Zen masters). The other thing is that bodhicitta is in fact cultivated in Zen Buddhism.

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Re: Uncommon Mahayana Approaches to Dealing With Desire

Postby Konchog1 » Sat Jul 13, 2013 5:09 am

That statement reminds me of Tsongkhapa (who's root guru was Sakya) saying much the same thing in his Lam Rim Chen Mo (eng v02 pg 86-99 tib 341-356). He starts the section by attacking Ha-shang's position that any thought is a cause of samsara, but then expands his criticism to people who proclaim that only Emptiness is needed for enlightenment and that conventional states of mind should be ignored by saying (eng v02 pg 88 tib 343): "To say such things contradicts all the scriptures and completely flies in the face of reason, for the goal for practitioners of the Mahayana is a non-abiding nirvana. " He then goes on to explain that both a collection of wisdom and a collection of merit is needed for non-abiding nirvana, citing several sutras and tantras. He also says (eng v02 pg 90 tib 345): "Therefore, meditate on an emptiness that has the supremacy of being associated with all aspects, i.e., an emptiness that is complete in all the facets of method--generosity and so forth. By meditating on emptiness in isolation you will never reach the Mahayana path."

So, what your lama said seems to be a standard line of thought.
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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Re: Uncommon Mahayana Approaches to Dealing With Desire

Postby wisdom » Sat Jul 13, 2013 5:25 am

5heaps wrote:
yes that is the result according to everyone except Tsongkhapa, but are liberation and the arya truths not considered purity? are the dissolution of a suffering persona and the arising of an identity beyond suffering not considered purities? by definition selflessness and these which accompany it are beyond samsara, thats why you used the word 'liberation'. so we can call them transformations, from the afflicted (samsara), to the non-afflicted (pure). what is wrong with that?

if you then move the scale from selflessness to emptiness, you now have fullblown buddhahood transformations.


There is a difference between "transformation" in general, and transforming ones perception of phenomenal experience. Selflessness only implies a recognition that appearances are empty, including any appearance of a truly existing self. It does not suggest the subsequent mental projection upon phenomena that they are pure manifestations of the deitys body, speech and mind which is pure vision. In that state further projections are made upon the individuals which appear in your sensory field that they are buddhas, bodhisattvas, dakinis and so forth.

What you are speaking of is pure in the sense that phenomena are essentially pure, being inseparable from the ultimate nature of reality. This is different than projecting specific attributes of divinity onto phenomenal appearances. So yes, such things are considered pure or divine, but it is still not Vajrayana.

This is at least my feeble understanding of the subject.
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Re: Uncommon Mahayana Approaches to Dealing With Desire

Postby 5heaps » Sat Jul 13, 2013 7:28 am

wisdom wrote:Selflessness only implies a recognition that appearances are empty, including any appearance of a truly existing self. It does not suggest the subsequent mental projection upon phenomena that they are pure manifestations of the deitys body, speech and mind which is pure vision. In that state further projections are made upon the individuals which appear in your sensory field that they are buddhas, bodhisattvas, dakinis and so forth.

very much so, but, that is just a limitation of selflessness. if one had instead realized emptiness, one would be able to start dealing with sense objects as well, just as the one who realizes only selflessness transforms their identities and mental factors.

theres also the case to be made that although you cannot directly deal with sense objects using selflessness, you can deal with them indirectly, in the sense that sense objects are naturally empty / pure of being usable by self-sufficiently knowable persons. this should count as transformation as well, because if Tsongkhapa's opponents are correct, selflessness can lead to nirvana and therefore this natural emptiness is a type of purity and freedom from suffering that we can access right now ie. transform them
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Re: Uncommon Mahayana Approaches to Dealing With Desire

Postby Malcolm » Sat Jul 13, 2013 5:55 pm

5heaps wrote: this should count as transformation as well...



But it does not as a matter of definition.

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Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby Sönam » Wed Jul 24, 2013 10:32 am

Malcolm wrote:
As for Dzogchen, all I can say is that in general Dzogchen practitioners are not governed by rules at all, there are no vows or samayas to follow in particular, no paths and stages, no particular conduct to adopt or reject. As long as you are not indifferent and (are) mindful, you don't need rules, vows and samayas.


:cheers:

(only to underligne this clarification to a long and sometime heavy discussion from a now closed thread)

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