switching from vajrayana to theravada for some time

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switching from vajrayana to theravada for some time

Postby KonchokZoepa » Sat Nov 02, 2013 5:35 pm

how it is viewed that if you switch from vajrayana having taken refuge and empowerments and then choose to become a theravada monk?

are there any problems with this ?
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: switching from vajrayana to theravada for some time

Postby philji » Sat Nov 02, 2013 5:58 pm

I don't see what the problem would be ...recently I heard that a better term for Vajrayana should be the triyana..as it should contain the three paths.... Vajrayana should have all the key elements of Hinayana and Mahayana contained in it.
Hinayana......refuge.......renunciation
Mahayana..... Emptiness and compassion
Vajrayana.....all of the above plus creation and completion.
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Re: switching from vajrayana to theravada for some time

Postby KonchokZoepa » Sat Nov 02, 2013 6:02 pm

i agree better term would be triyana. its nothing without the qualities of the ''lower'' vehicles.
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: switching from vajrayana to theravada for some time

Postby Berry » Sat Nov 02, 2013 6:45 pm

philji wrote:Vajrayana should have all the key elements of Hinayana and Mahayana contained in it.
Hinayana......refuge.......renunciation
Mahayana..... Emptiness and compassion
Vajrayana.....all of the above plus creation and completion.


Hi,

Regarding the use of "Hinayana" can I suggest you take a little time to read 'No Hinayana' by Chan Koon San and Kare A. Lie ?

http://www.urbandharma.org/pdf/NoHinayana.pdf

Thank you.

Namaste,

Berry
.
"Don’t burden others with your expectations. Understanding their limitations can inspire compassion instead of disappointment " ~ Chagdud Tulku
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Re: switching from vajrayana to theravada for some time

Postby KonchokZoepa » Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:02 pm

i think hinayana is termed '' lesser vehicle '' as it suggest of the lesser capacity of the practitioner. not able to to have mahayana motivation etc.

but i think the term hinayana is mostly used in tibetan buddhism and there is nothing wrong with that, even there it is said that it is the foundation of all other teachings. and there is nothing bad about it.

if you practice vajrayana buddhism i think it is quite ok to use the term hinayana as it is the first and foundational teachings that you need to integrate, but when you practice vajrayana or mahayana i can understand because i use it myself that in hinayana you dont talk about the correct view or any of the higher teachings. it is the foundation.

anyway i wouldnt misinterpret it as theravada, which for me personally is a much more noble word but refers in my experience only to the way of mendicants lifestyle.

but anyway, may we not derail this thread into discussing is a term used in buddhism approriate or not. it is used anyway.

but also i think it is labeled hinayana because the teachings there are not the end of the teachings as after that you progress to mahayana and vajrayana
as compared to theravada, its a complete path and there is no other vehicles in that.
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: switching from vajrayana to theravada for some time

Postby Lhug-Pa » Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:09 pm

Well Theravada isn't the only 'non-Mahayana' Buddhist school, so Hinayana is a general term for all 'non-Mahayana' Buddhist schools; and I think that it is okay to say Hinayana so long as you understand that Hinayana does not mean 'inferior' (Hinayana means smaller in scope, not "inferior"). And I just realized the other day, that if one wants to avoid offending anyone, you could just use the terms Sravakayana and/or Pratyekayana instead of Hinayana.

Anyway, no problem with becoming a Theravada monk after having taken Vajrayana Empowerments. Just make sure to continue to practice Guru Yoga everyday in order to keep Samaya of Vajrayana. A daily short Deity practice I think can also be a way to keep Samaya that is if one sees it as a form of Guru Yoga.
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Re: switching from vajrayana to theravada for some time

Postby ClearblueSky » Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:34 pm

I think it's fine to become a Theravadin monk, but if you do have vows you've taken seriously it is best to keep those. If you have vajrayana empowerments then you have the Bodhisattva vow, the way I see it you can still practice Theravada without abandoning the view of Bodhicitta. Also if you have particular samaya with a practice it's good to keep that too.
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Re: switching from vajrayana to theravada for some time

Postby KonchokZoepa » Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:39 pm

i havent received bodihsattva vow's only the aspiration vow.
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: switching from vajrayana to theravada for some time

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Sat Nov 02, 2013 8:37 pm

Someone somewhere will always think you are wrong in what you are doing, heh.

An ancient saying, Atula,
not only said today -
‘They are blamed who silent sit,
who often speak they too are blamed,
and blamed are they of measured speech’ -
there’s none in the world unblamed.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: switching from vajrayana to theravada for some time

Postby philji » Sat Nov 02, 2013 9:39 pm

Apologies if any one was offended by my use of the word Hinayana.... I tend to think of it as term used for foundational practices...I will not use it again.
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Re: switching from vajrayana to theravada for some time

Postby KonchokZoepa » Sat Nov 02, 2013 10:37 pm

philji your first comment was good allthough i would like to add shamatha to the level of hinayana.
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: switching from vajrayana to theravada for some time

Postby M.G. » Sat Nov 02, 2013 10:38 pm

I was told by my guru that it is acceptable for those incapable of following the Vajrayana path to move to the Mahayana or even the Hinayana (and I'm not using that term here to refer to the Theravada tradition).

Others teachers may feel differently.
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Re: switching from vajrayana to theravada for some time

Postby KonchokZoepa » Sat Nov 02, 2013 10:42 pm

i find vajrayana practices fruitless at the moment since i dont have the accomplishment of shamatha. and even though it was discussed on this forum that vajrayana meditations are shamatha practice i see it impossible to actually achieve shamatha with vajrayana practices, i think that is preliminary work you need to do before seriously hoping to get a pleasant and fast fruits from vajrayana practice.

and it is said in the 37 practices of bodihsattva that transcending the four formless jhanas is the practice of a bodhisattva
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: switching from vajrayana to theravada for some time

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Sat Nov 02, 2013 11:31 pm

I think it likely depends on the person. For that though, you don't need to switch to Theraveda or anything. The majority of people at my Dharma center seem to favor Sutra practices.

and it is said in the 37 practices of bodihsattva that transcending the four formless jhanas is the practice of a bodhisattva


And alot of Vajrayana texts, especially Dzogen and Mahamudra stuff, point towards forceful techniques as being a waste of time.

Personally, I think there's probably truth to both concepts.

i think that is preliminary work you need to do before seriously hoping to get a pleasant and fast fruits from vajrayana practice.


There are lots of people who feel differently, though the gradualist approach is certainly out there!

Also Shamatha I imagine is pretty individual too, I did not "get it" until getting in person teachings and finding the right technique for me. I could never follow my breath, at all, even intentionally using an object just seemed to end in frustration when I tried. I ended up doing the "just sit" type practice where you stop thinking about past, future, or analyzing present, but you don't focus on anything..for whatever reason that works for me, but the meditations where you force one object just frustrate me horribly...whereas I concentrate on Vajrayana Sadhana ( including visualization) with no problem at all.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: switching from vajrayana to theravada for some time

Postby KonchokZoepa » Sat Nov 02, 2013 11:44 pm

yes me too, vajrayana sadhanas arent a problem to concentrate on. but to comment on your meditation, i dont believe its an achievement of shamatha, unless you can stay there for four hours without any distraction.

Image

i think very very very minute few people of all western practitioner actually have achieved shamatha. i seem to be a bit obsessed about achieving it. without it you cant penetrate to the root of samsara properly, that is practice vipashyana properly as a means to an end.

also i dont think shamatha is a forceful technique at all, nothing works if done forcefully. from that perspective i see either every practice as forceful or forced or the opposite. could you open up a bit what you mean by the term '' forceful technique '' ?
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: switching from vajrayana to theravada for some time

Postby Adamantine » Sat Nov 02, 2013 11:48 pm

KonchokZoepa wrote:i find vajrayana practices fruitless at the moment since i dont have the accomplishment of shamatha. and even though it was discussed on this forum that vajrayana meditations are shamatha practice i see it impossible to actually achieve shamatha with vajrayana practices, i think that is preliminary work you need to do before seriously hoping to get a pleasant and fast fruits from vajrayana practice.

and it is said in the 37 practices of bodihsattva that transcending the four formless jhanas is the practice of a bodhisattva


The most essential thing in Vajrayana is the Guru. He/she should be guiding you. If they are not, you may not be diligently asking them enough questions. Like the one you just posted. There are many forms of Shamatha taught by Tibetan masters, that fall into various categories. It is often emphasized, but because in the fast-paced modern age everyone wants the most fantastical, dramatic, or quickest practices there aren't many people requesting teachings on Shamatha, as opposed to various deity empowerments, etc. But if you tell your Guru you want to focus on this, and request a teaching. . . they would probably be delighted and think that is a great idea for you. You certainly do not need to "switch" to Theravada for these teachings. In fact, there is a great public teaching transcribed online by HH Shenpen Dawa RInpoche focused on Shamatha (in Tibetan it translates as "Shiné". Here is the link http://www.tersar.org/?page_id=2102.

Also, unless you get permission from your Guru, it would be a samaya break to abandon Vajrayana for a lesser vehicle.
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
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Re: switching from vajrayana to theravada for some time

Postby KonchokZoepa » Sat Nov 02, 2013 11:50 pm

well from whom do i ask? i am not in close contact with any of the lamas that i have met. should i ask the one i feel most devoted towards?
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: switching from vajrayana to theravada for some time

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Sat Nov 02, 2013 11:51 pm

KonchokZoepa wrote:yes me too, vajrayana sadhanas arent a problem to concentrate on. but to comment on your meditation, i dont believe its an achievement of shamatha, unless you can stay there for four hours without any distraction.


Well, i'll listen to my own teachers advice on the matter, but thanks.

i think very very very minute few people of all western practitioner actually have achieved shamatha. i seem to be a bit obsessed about achieving it. without it you cant penetrate to the root of samsara properly, that is practice vipashyana properly as a means to an end.


The quality of other people's practice really isn't yours to know.

also i dont think shamatha is a forceful technique at all, nothing works if done forcefully. from that perspective i see either every practice as forceful or forced or the opposite. could you open up a bit what you mean by the term '' forceful technique '' ?


Sure, some sources categorize anything where you are forcing concentration on an object as "forceful", and shamatha where you focus on nothing and simply let the elaboration clear as "natural", to put it roughly. It's not a value judgement of course, but it seems that different approaches work for different folks. I've read similar descriptions as this from everyone from HHDL to Tenzin Wangyal.

Lots, and lots of Mahamudra and Dzogchen texts talk about this sort of thing too...as well as letting go of hope and fear about practice, which frankly you seem pretty caught up in man!

It's not my term either BTW.
Last edited by Johnny Dangerous on Sat Nov 02, 2013 11:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: switching from vajrayana to theravada for some time

Postby Adamantine » Sat Nov 02, 2013 11:54 pm

KonchokZoepa wrote:well from whom do i ask? i am not in close contact with any of the lamas that i have met. should i ask the one i feel most devoted towards?


If you don't have a real relationship with any Lama, where you feel you can ask questions about your practice.. then that is your problem right there.
Ideally, there would be someone you could physically visit or see at least a couple times a year to consult with about your practice, it's direction, your experiences, obstacles, etc. and get their advice on your focus. This is essential. Often this can be achieved by attending group retreats that they are presiding over, or scheduling a private interview. Do you best to achieve this.. and yes, with the one you feel most devoted to of course, if possible!
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
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Re: switching from vajrayana to theravada for some time

Postby ClearblueSky » Sat Nov 02, 2013 11:56 pm

KonchokZoepa wrote:i havent received bodihsattva vow's only the aspiration vow.

Well what I'm pointing out is that technically you would have, as you said you've taken empowerments, and all classes of tantric empowerment include the bodhisattva vows.
But that aside, I do think you you should pursue the path that speaks to you. If you feel one path is giving you no results, and a different path will move you in the direction of Dharma, always choose the one that moves you towards Dharma.
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