3 Questions

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3 Questions

Postby Sko » Wed Sep 18, 2013 3:11 pm

Hi! I'm a relatively new buddhist and I have never had a proper understanding of 3 things because of the specific school/teachings research I've done. If you could clarify or explain any of these then I would be greatly indebted to you.
    Mantras and how and why and for what they're used
    Practicing reliance on buddhas and bodhisattvas
    The role of prayers
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Re: 3 Questions

Postby Jikan » Wed Sep 18, 2013 3:44 pm

Sko wrote:Hi! I'm a relatively new buddhist and I have never had a proper understanding of 3 things because of the specific school/teachings research I've done. If you could clarify or explain any of these then I would be greatly indebted to you.
    Mantras and how and why and for what they're used
    Practicing reliance on buddhas and bodhisattvas
    The role of prayers


These are all good questions and big questions. The general answer to all of these: mantras, devotional practices, and prayers are all used because they are useful as practices. They are meditation practices in their own right, and they accomplish something if you practice properly. What that "something" is, and how it is said to be done, will depend on your situation and your intentions and aspirations. You will get different explanations depending on the tradition you are working in, for instance.

Mantra practice is generally something you need personal instruction in before you can proceed. There's an oral transmission involved from teacher to student. There are a few exceptions to this, however. Anyone can recite OM MANI PEME HUM, for example. That's a popular one.

One purpose of reciting prayers is to cultivate certain aspirations: for instance, to practice Dharma more effectively, to live a long time so you can have time to practice, and so on. There are many, many, many of these.
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Re: 3 Questions

Postby KonchokZoepa » Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:47 pm

to say something to the answer of relying on buddhas and bodhisattvas

this is my answer. not the truth, some of it maybe but this is just what i do and how i rely on them and why.

basically, buddhas and bodhisattvas are holy beings, free from samsara, free from suffering, they are reflection of our true nature/being or to put it another way, reflections of the enlightened mind.

that being so, relying on them and making karmic contact with them and going for refuge for them is the easiest and fastest way to be freed from samsara and suffering to become a buddha / bodhisattva and also to be able to born in higher realms or pure lands.

this is just to say something very brief. its hard to put into words my faith and experience with buddhas and bodhisattvas. but this is something. i hope you find it useful :smile:
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
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Re: 3 Questions

Postby Sko » Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:17 pm

Thanks to both of you! Jikan, are mantras like Om mani padme hum exclusively practiced during meditation?
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Re: 3 Questions

Postby palchi » Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:47 pm

Sko wrote:Thanks to both of you! Jikan, are mantras like Om mani padme hum exclusively practiced during meditation?


No, you can recite them all the time, even just quietly in your mind.
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Re: 3 Questions

Postby Jikan » Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:16 pm

palchi wrote:
Sko wrote:Thanks to both of you! Jikan, are mantras like Om mani padme hum exclusively practiced during meditation?


No, you can recite them all the time, even just quietly in your mind.


...which is a kind of meditation-in-action.

In my opinion, it's not helpful to have a restricted idea of what meditation is or can be. Washing the dishes, driving the pickup truck, teaching a kid how to read... all these can be forms of meditation if approached with the right intention and a little bit of know-how. Your mileage may vary.
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Re: 3 Questions

Postby Sko » Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:38 pm

Thank you very much for the insight, I was previously in a more limited state of mind regarding my practice. You have greatly broadened my perspective.

:namaste:
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Re: 3 Questions

Postby KonchokZoepa » Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:53 pm

but dont forget formal meditation practice. when your awareness increases in formal meditation you will bring more and more of it in to the daily life.
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
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Re: 3 Questions

Postby Jikan » Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:00 pm

KonchokZoepa wrote:but dont forget formal meditation practice. when your awareness increases in formal meditation you will bring more and more of it in to the daily life.


Yes, that's true. I don't mean to diminish the importance of structured practice. My point is that every moment is a good time to be present, and every moment presents an opportunity for some kind of practice.

:cheers:

For Sko: If you'd really like to get into this, I recommend investigating several different temples and centers in your area. There are many resources available online as well; one of them that addresses some of the questions you've put forward can be found here: http://tendai.eu/ notice there's a place to sign up for a free online class on the right hand side of the page? It might be helpful to give that a try.

Wishing you all the best in practice.
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