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PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 9:37 pm 
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Because a good vow helps people while a bad vow doesn't.


A vow helps only in so far as people make an effort to keep it.

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Blame can be placed either way, but in reality there are no vows and vow-makers.


So in reality nothing exists. That would make you a nihilist wouldn't it?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 9:59 pm 
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Tilopa wrote:
Quote:
Because a good vow helps people while a bad vow doesn't.


A vow helps only in so far as people make an effort to keep it.

Quote:
Blame can be placed either way, but in reality there are no vows and vow-makers.


So in reality nothing exists. That would make you a nihilist wouldn't it?

The beginning and end of my post weren't very good, I guess.

What did you make of this:
Quote:
It's like the student-teacher relationship. A good teacher teaches, a good student learns. If there is a failure in the process, fault can be placed at any point. Some people say, "The teacher is a bad teacher. He doesn't understand the student's specific needs," faulting the teacher for not having clever enough speech tailored in such a way that it automatically inspires practice. Other people say, "The student is a bad student," faulting the student for lacking virtue, like not listening or listening but not practicing. But in reality, it is just cause & effect, and there are no persons for whom blame can be attributed to. The student could and should improve, and so should the teacher. The vow itself is like the teacher and the vow-makers are like its students.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 12:17 am 
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Individual wrote:
What did you make of this:
Quote:
It's like the student-teacher relationship. A good teacher teaches, a good student learns. If there is a failure in the process, fault can be placed at any point. Some people say, "The teacher is a bad teacher. He doesn't understand the student's specific needs," faulting the teacher for not having clever enough speech tailored in such a way that it automatically inspires practice. Other people say, "The student is a bad student," faulting the student for lacking virtue, like not listening or listening but not practicing. But in reality, it is just cause & effect, and there are no persons for whom blame can be attributed to. The student could and should improve, and so should the teacher. The vow itself is like the teacher and the vow-makers are like its students.


I'm not sure I understand the analogy. Do you mean that as we become more familiar with the vows and keep them more purely they have more meaning and become more beneficial to us? If so I would agree.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 12:41 am 
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If we know that realistically many people can't keep a certain vow, then that vow should be re-written to adjust to the specific needs of those who might keep the vow.

When it comes to using a tool, you can't fault the tool for not working how you want it to (like taking a vow, breaking the vow, then blaming the vow for your actions). However, when you hand a tool to others, you can't fault them for being skillful, if such skill falls outside their natural abilities (talking about such vows, sharing them with others, commenting on how they kept or broke it). :)


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 3:06 am 
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Individual wrote:
When it comes to using a tool, you can't fault the tool for not working how you want it to (like taking a vow, breaking the vow, then blaming the vow for your actions). However, when you hand a tool to others, you can't fault them for being skillful, if such skill falls outside their natural abilities (talking about such vows, sharing them with others, commenting on how they kept or broke it). :)


This is incomprehensible gibberish to me but I admit I'm not particularly intelligent.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 3:55 am 
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Tilopa wrote:
Individual wrote:
When it comes to using a tool, you can't fault the tool for not working how you want it to (like taking a vow, breaking the vow, then blaming the vow for your actions). However, when you hand a tool to others, you can't fault them for being skillful, if such skill falls outside their natural abilities (talking about such vows, sharing them with others, commenting on how they kept or broke it). :)


This is incomprehensible gibberish to me but I admit I'm not particularly intelligent.

You seem at least as intelligent as me, if not more so, and I can elaborate. It's just a matter of looking at it from different perspectives.

Firstly, vows are just a tool for liberation. We agree, right? So if you break a vow, you can't blame the vow for not working. If you make the bodhisattva vow and don't become a bodhisattva, you can't blame the bodhisattva vow for not making you a bodhisattva. You already understand this part because you emphasized the important of effort, practice, and keeping the vow. This is the point you were trying to make and I agree.

However, from a larger perspective, outside perspective, a community perspective, from a teacher's perspective -- do you really expect worldlings to take vows and become bodhisattvas? How could it be possible for most of them? They are worldlings. Some few of them will succeed, but most won't because you can't realistically expect anything from them. It's the same in competitive educational, athletic, and military programs. And when one does not succeed, that does not make them a "bad person." For others to say that or for them to think that would only be a burden; a burden which would be an obstacle they would have to overcome to even have the opportunity to make the bodhisattva vow in the future, and strive on diligently.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 4:31 am 
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You seem at least as intelligent as me, if not more so, and I can elaborate. It's just a matter of looking at it from different perspectives.

Firstly, vows are just a tool for liberation. We agree, right? So if you break a vow, you can't blame the vow for not working. If you make the bodhisattva vow and don't become a bodhisattva, you can't blame the bodhisattva vow for not making you a bodhisattva. You already understand this part because you emphasized the important of effort, practice, and keeping the vow. This is the point you were trying to make and I agree.

However, from a larger perspective, outside perspective, a community perspective, from a teacher's perspective -- do you really expect worldlings to take vows and become bodhisattvas? How could it be possible for most of them? They are worldlings. Some few of them will succeed, but most won't because you can't realistically expect anything from them. It's the same in competitive educational, athletic, and military programs. And when one does not succeed, that does not make them a "bad person." For others to say that or for them to think that would only be a burden; a burden which would be an obstacle they would have to overcome to even have the opportunity to make the bodhisattva vow in the future, and strive on diligently.


OK now I get what you're trying to say. You have a very cryptic way of expressing yourself which can be quite confusing to read however this is very clear. Thank you. :thumbsup:


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 4:47 am 
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Tilopa wrote:
You have a very cryptic way of expressing yourself which can be quite confusing to read however this is very clear. Thank you. :thumbsup:

I try with extreme difficulty and greatly appreciate your criticism. :)


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:27 am 
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Vow is obscured, mind not. Always knew it, so now the job is done.


"The life that flows through each of us and through everything around us is actually all connected. To say that, of course, means that who I really am cannot be separated from all the things that surround me. Or, to put it another way, all sentient beings have their existence and live within my life."
http://www.tricycle.com/new-buddhism/bo ... odhisattva

http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/ar ... edges.html

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 5:51 pm 
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From that second link:
http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/ar ... edges.html
Quote:
A vow (sdom-pa) is a subtle invisible form on a mental continuum, which shapes behavior.


From dictionary.com:
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/vow
Quote:
a solemn promise, pledge, or personal commitment:

First is ultimate. Second is conventional.

Ultimate vows cannot be broken, at least not very easily, because they are forms along the mental continuum; breaking one's vows is not the same thing as, in a single life, taking a formal ceremony and then later doing something un-bodhisattva-like.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 9:42 pm 
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Individual wrote:
Ultimate vows cannot be broken, at least not very easily, because they are forms along the mental continuum; breaking one's vows is not the same thing as, in a single life, taking a formal ceremony and then later doing something un-bodhisattva-like.


It is very clear-cut what a vow comprises and how a vow is broken. But breaking a vow is not necessarily a downfall/definite defeat if it is a break that can be mended. But even if it can be mended a break may delay progress on the path for kalpas.
But with a downfall/definite defeat one will be going down to hell and there is no mending and regret is futile if not instantaneous. If one betrays one being the consequences may be very grave what need is there to mention betraying all beings?

If a vow can be studied beforehand as in case of the bodhisattva vow there shouldn't be problem. It is only a problem if somebody takes the vow based on trivial and ordinary motivations.


Kind regards


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 1:45 pm 
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Individual wrote:
doing something un-bodhisattva-like.


:thumbsup:

The non-virtues physical, verbal and mental actions for example.

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