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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 5:20 am 
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I agree with what reason and rhyme had to say. This is it, in a nutshell.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 7:04 am 
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Kim O'Hara wrote:
That could be summarised as "Those who can meditate, do. Those who can't, administrate."

:tongue:
Kim


To meditate or administrate. That is the question.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 8:13 am 
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Jikan wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:
i don't remember the details, but I think someone on esangha said that a lama he knew had told him:
Quote:
Get the teachings and RUN!

Sometimes that seems like pretty good advice to me.


I remember making that comment, and I will never forget the moment that advice was given to me. The broader context was that a good student sticks around long enough to learn how to practice with confidence, gets all his/her questions answered, and then gets to work at practice. It's advice against creating samsaric situations around the Dharma center.


" Up to a point Lord Copper "... :smile:

What about the next generation of those seeking to learn to practice, and the one after that ?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 11:44 am 
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My point being that we all turn up and take then leave , who will be the models, sounding boards, and buddies of the next wave ?
And I don't believe that most people can simply be ' lamps unto themselves' without a good deal of the wick-trimming that comes with the rough and tumble of sangha.
If a besetting sin of Asian Buddhadharma is the group mind, a besetting sin of western Dharma is delusions of being independent..or so it seems to me.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:11 pm 
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Simon E. wrote:
My point being that we all turn up and take then leave , who will be the models, sounding boards, and buddies of the next wave ?
And I don't believe that most people can simply be ' lamps unto themselves' without a good deal of the wick-trimming that comes with the rough and tumble of sangha.
If a besetting sin of Asian Buddhadharma is the group mind, a besetting sin of western Dharma is delusions of being independent..or so it seems to me.


I think that's an excellent point. The challenge is to create temple/center cultures in which practice happens, but nonsense does not. It requires clear leadership and direction, but also commitment from all involved in an everyday way to make it happen. One of the reasons I spend most of my time with the Tendai people is because they are particularly good at this, in ways that centers who have spiritual directors visiting only once or twice annually may not be (not to overgeneralize, but that's what I've seen and experienced... your mileage may vary!).

I've taken some inspiration from an article by Peter Hershock on just this point: how our conduct with one another is not only a part of our practice, but is also constitutive of our capacity to awaken. Full text here for those who are interested:

http://blogs.dickinson.edu/buddhistethi ... ock001.pdf

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:13 pm 
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shorter version: the imperative not to create samsaric situations in and around the Dharma center should not be generalized so that everyone who is competent should avoid the Dharma center.

If there's a bunch of nonsense circulating at the temple, it's better to head for the hills, from what I've seen.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:18 pm 
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An interesting article Jikan. I have skimmed it and will return to it later.

:namaste:


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 8:13 pm 
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Simon E. wrote:
My point being that we all turn up and take then leave , who will be the models, sounding boards, and buddies of the next wave ?

I don't know, but it won't be me.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 8:50 pm 
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I think most human beings are becoming less social, and more individual.

I am all for making the dharma accessible over the internet but I feel it is a shame if people make a decision to watch online RATHER than coming to the centre. There is a special energy and camaraderie that comes from sitting in a room with a live teacher, saying prayers together and discussing what was taught over coffee. Though one gets the same information online, I don't think it can be a replacement for making the effort to go to the teaching hall and receive the teachings in person.

At the same time, I agree heartily with this statement:


Quote:
If there's a bunch of nonsense circulating at the temple, it's better to head for the hills, from what I've seen.


If there is no qualified teacher around or the Sangha has unhealthy aspects to it, a cult-type mentality, etc. then one is better off learning online from well respected teachers: HHDL, Karmapa, ChNN etc.

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In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 9:09 pm 
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Alot of the argument against group practice are a little like reasons people give for homeschooling their kid. On the one hand, they might stand a chance of a better education, and less BS...on the other, they might have a serious problem learning the skills to negotiate lifes bumps (in this case, bumps associated with Dharma folks). Maybe that doesn't matter I don't know.

Anyway i'm glad I asked the question, it turns out there was some unresolved stuff under the surface regarding Dharma interactions for me too.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:23 pm 
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It's really a question of understanding one's capacities and limitations.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:30 pm 
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dzogchungpa wrote:
It's really a question of understanding one's capacities and limitations.


Sure, on a personal level though, how sure can we be of those things really?

I can see the observation that places are full of people who wouldn't be one's first choice to hang out with, that's (like I said for me) kind of a given in interacting with groups and organizations..most irritate the hell out of me..but really, that is not just on them right..isn't that how we are supposed to approach it? What I find a little more questionable is the idea that it is only this way, or that this reality is a good reason to avoid it entirely.

It just seems like a misanthropic attitude that conflicts a bit with developing even a "fake it till ya make it" level of altruism, which I gonna go out on a limb is something we probably all have in common at least somewhat, trying to create a more open heart hopefully...

On the other hand, if one already deals with this kind of nonsense at work, etc..I can see that in Dharma practice it would get insanely tiring trying to cope with the same stuff.

Anyway, it seems so easy to access Dharma teachings online now, much like many other aspects of social interaction, I have to wonder if it's a very healthy trend to have people simply believing they no longer need alot of two way interaction with others in terms of Dharma practice.

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Last edited by Johnny Dangerous on Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:39 pm 
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Personally, I've always been very inspired by the pratyekabuddha ideal.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:43 pm 
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dzogchungpa wrote:
Personally, I've always been very inspired by the pratyekabuddha ideal.



Grumpy Realizer, Grumpekabuddha

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 8:40 am 
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Or we could just admit to ourselves that we are social retards.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 10:46 am 
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for me i am a little bit drawn into a city where i could be an active part of the Dharma cetner. help me learn to be with people. but on the other hand i dont need the confusion that comes with it and i find it much more fruitful to practice at home and just go for empowerments and teachings when i have the chance and some retreats. i dont know if the group energy with the practices would be beneficial or not but i think it could potentially be a disturbance. and drive me out of my center. and i tend to feel very strongly peoples vibes and i am not sending the best vibes out either so i get in this mucky energy and that is not good and i have also started to like this yogi idea more than socializing bodhisattva type.

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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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PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 11:11 am 
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dzogchungpa wrote:
Personally, I've always been very inspired by the pratyekabuddha ideal.

But this does not extend to internet activity ?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 11:23 am 
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KonchokZoepa wrote:
for me i am a little bit drawn into a city where i could be an active part of the Dharma cetner. help me learn to be with people. but on the other hand i dont need the confusion that comes with it and i find it much more fruitful to practice at home and just go for empowerments and teachings when i have the chance and some retreats. i dont know if the group energy with the practices would be beneficial or not but i think it could potentially be a disturbance. and drive me out of my center. and i tend to feel very strongly peoples vibes and i am not sending the best vibes out either so i get in this mucky energy and that is not good and i have also started to like this yogi idea more than socializing bodhisattva type.
Your mind is the cause and the effects of everything you just described, in which case...

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:06 pm 
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in which case ... ?

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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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PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:14 pm 
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If you need that question answered then you are definitely on the right forum! :smile:

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Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE


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