Sects and Sectarianism

No holds barred discussion on the Buddhadharma. Argue about rebirth, karma, commentarial interpretations etc. Be nice to each other.

Re: Sects and Sectarianism

Postby conebeckham » Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:20 pm

As long as we're unenlightened, there will be sectarianism. Even active efforts to circumvent sectarianism, i.e., the "Rimay Movement" can be seen to have sectarian bias, quite frankly. Such is samsara, folks.
May any merit generated by on-line discussion
Be dedicated to the Ultimate Benefit of All Sentient Beings.
User avatar
conebeckham
 
Posts: 2469
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:49 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA, USA

Re: Sects and Sectarianism

Postby Blue Garuda » Tue Mar 15, 2011 7:13 pm

I guess we're always going to need to return to the key issue of 'intent'. I see two aspects to sectarianism - the creation of schisms and the creation of closed self-interested sects.

If a schism is created in order to help others to follow Buddha's path more easily or more successfully then at least it is well-motivated. If the outcome is also positive then so much the better.

If a schism is created in order to punish people and exclude them for being 'wrong', then the motivation is negative. Again, the outcome may still be positive if they then find another successful path.

In terms of protectionism, it is obviously sectarian to prohibit disciples from reading books or attending teachings from outside the sect. It is also sectarian to insist that people from outside are denied entry because of their membership of a different sect.

The worst 'intent' of all is to be divisive for reasons of power and wealth, heedless of harm to others and lacking all compassion.

There are several current situation which are sensitive and upsetting, but this seems always to have been so.

What to do?

Well, I've observed (and carried out) different actions towards sectarianism:

- Work from within to create the changes you see as beneficial to others.
- Work from outside to create changes by various means.
- Criticise adversely but do nothing; except maybe make it it clear how superior you are/your sect is/your guru is.
- Ignore it and focus on your own practice because that is more likely to benefit others.
- Ignore it and work on your practice because you simply don't care and you come first.

The best response IMHO is to examine your own intent and the consequences others may experience as a result of the actions you may take.

If you're anything like me that sequence instead tends quite often to be:

Think I'm right, act, upset people, realise I should have thought it through first, promise myself to do better. Repeat until something or someone presses the 'pause' button and you learn a little compassion and humility. Humble and compassionate people are incapable of sectarianism. We know the path but I know few pure disciples (or even gurus) free from the odd bit of self-cherishing. ;)
Left
Blue Garuda
 
Posts: 2000
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2009 5:23 pm

Re: Sects and Sectarianism

Postby Astus » Tue Mar 15, 2011 7:46 pm

The article "View from the Center" starts with these two quotes:

"Don't be an arahant, don't be a bodhisattva, don't be anything at all – if you are anything at all you will suffer"
Ajahn Chah

A student of Buddhism asked, “Which do you think is the best path: that of the arahant or that of the bodhisattva?”
“That kind of question is asked by people who understand absolutely nothing about Buddhism!”

Ajahn Sumedho
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4128
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Sects and Sectarianism

Postby Tilopa » Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:53 am

Astus wrote:A student of Buddhism asked, “Which do you think is the best path: that of the arahant or that of the bodhisattva?”
“That kind of question is asked by people who understand absolutely nothing about Buddhism!”

Ajahn Sumedho

So there's no path that leads to Nirvana and no path that leads to Enlightenment?
User avatar
Tilopa
 
Posts: 486
Joined: Sun Oct 17, 2010 3:53 am

Re: Sects and Sectarianism

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:53 am

Greetings Tiloka,

I don't think that's what's being implied.

The quotations are about being/becoming (bhava) and if you "be" anything, if you "be" a "being" (satta), you will suffer.

Metta,
Retro. :)
Live in concord, with mutual appreciation, without disputing, blending like milk and water, viewing each other with kindly eyes

Dhamma Wheel (Theravada forum) * Here Comes Trouble
User avatar
retrofuturist
Founding Member
 
Posts: 1255
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 11:54 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Sects and Sectarianism

Postby Heruka » Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:54 am

im not really following the narative with this topic, as i find it always steers in one direction with no resolution, but it kind of reminds me of a way of saying that through ill deeds of sectarianism, one finally regrets and sucumbs to a acquiessense of silence about sectarianism, a false peace of mind, which eventually turns around and bites you. very circular and reinforcing.
Heruka
 
Posts: 1069
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 2:34 am

Re: Sects and Sectarianism

Postby Heruka » Wed Mar 16, 2011 3:05 am

Astus wrote:The article "View from the Center" starts with these two quotes:

"Don't be an arahant, don't be a bodhisattva, don't be anything at all – if you are anything at all you will suffer"
Ajahn Chah



is Ajahn Chah suffering because he is a teacher?
Heruka
 
Posts: 1069
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 2:34 am

Re: Sects and Sectarianism

Postby Caz » Wed Mar 16, 2011 5:17 am

Sectarianism, Sure there plenty of that about Ive noticed. There are people who have stopped talking to neighbours, refused to give them the same service as everyone else, mistreat and scorn them and even go so far as to cross the road when they walk by. This happens all across the world and I ask these people do they really think they are improving their loving compassion or equnimity to treating their kind mothers with such distain, No matter what religious affiliation you profess shouldnt we look past this BS matters and concentrate upon what is most apparent, That people are suffering and it is our duty to help rather then hinder.

Read on a friends FB page he wad denied service in a shop because of sectarian attitudes...some people. :shock:
Last edited by Caz on Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Abandoning Dharma is, in the final analysis, disparaging the Hinayana because of the Mahayana; favoring the Hinayana on account of the Mahayana; playing off sutra against tantra; playing off the four classes of the tantras against each other; favoring one of the Tibetan schools—the Sakya, Gelug, Kagyu, or Nyingma—and disparaging the rest; and so on. In other words, we abandon Dharma any time we favor our own tenets and disparage the rest.

Liberation in the Palm of your hand~Kyabje Pabongkha Rinpoche.
Caz
 
Posts: 539
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 12:49 am

Re: Sects and Sectarianism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:40 am

As long as we use practices, lineages and teachings to bolster our sense of self, as a source of personal identification: I am a......, you are a ......, I believe in......, you believe in......, my practice, your practice ad nauseum...... as long as sentient beings act out of a false sense of dualism then there will be sects and sectarianism. It's that simple.
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 7959
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Sects and Sectarianism

Postby Astus » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:01 am

Tilopa wrote:So there's no path that leads to Nirvana and no path that leads to Enlightenment?


Another way to say the same thing:

"Followers of the Way, make no mistake! All the dharmas of this world and of the worlds beyond are without self-nature. Also, they are without produced nature. They are just empty names, and these names are also empty.
All you are doing is taking these worthless names to be real. That's all wrong! Even if they do exist, they are nothing but states of dependent transformation, such as the dependent transformations of bodhi, nirvana, emancipation, the threefold body, the [objective] surroundings and the [subjective] mind, bodhisattvahood and buddhahood. What are you looking for in these lands of dependent transformations! All of these, up to and including the Three Vehicles' twelve divisions of teachings, are just so much waste paper to wipe off privy filth. The buddha is just a phantom body, the patriarchs just old monks."

(Record of Linji, 2.18, tr. by RF Sasaki, p. 221-222)
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4128
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Sects and Sectarianism

Postby Tilopa » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:12 am

Astus wrote:
Tilopa wrote:So there's no path that leads to Nirvana and no path that leads to Enlightenment?


Another way to say the same thing:

"Followers of the Way, make no mistake! All the dharmas of this world and of the worlds beyond are without self-nature. Also, they are without produced nature. They are just empty names, and these names are also empty.
All you are doing is taking these worthless names to be real. That's all wrong! Even if they do exist, they are nothing but states of dependent transformation, such as the dependent transformations of bodhi, nirvana, emancipation, the threefold body, the [objective] surroundings and the [subjective] mind, bodhisattvahood and buddhahood. What are you looking for in these lands of dependent transformations! All of these, up to and including the Three Vehicles' twelve divisions of teachings, are just so much waste paper to wipe off privy filth. The buddha is just a phantom body, the patriarchs just old monks."

(Record of Linji, 2.18, tr. by RF Sasaki, p. 221-222)

You're right - the same ridiculous nonsense expressed in a slightly different way.
User avatar
Tilopa
 
Posts: 486
Joined: Sun Oct 17, 2010 3:53 am

Re: Sects and Sectarianism

Postby muni » Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:04 pm

Astus wrote:
Tilopa wrote:So there's no path that leads to Nirvana and no path that leads to Enlightenment?


Another way to say the same thing:

"Followers of the Way, make no mistake! All the dharmas of this world and of the worlds beyond are without self-nature. Also, they are without produced nature. They are just empty names, and these names are also empty.
All you are doing is taking these worthless names to be real. That's all wrong! Even if they do exist, they are nothing but states of dependent transformation, such as the dependent transformations of bodhi, nirvana, emancipation, the threefold body, the [objective] surroundings and the [subjective] mind, bodhisattvahood and buddhahood. What are you looking for in these lands of dependent transformations! All of these, up to and including the Three Vehicles' twelve divisions of teachings, are just so much waste paper to wipe off privy filth. The buddha is just a phantom body, the patriarchs just old monks."

(Record of Linji, 2.18, tr. by RF Sasaki, p. 221-222)


Nature, no base for a labeled something.

blackstone (coarse relative mind), even hard trying turns not into gold.
muni
 
Posts: 2737
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:59 am

Re: Sects and Sectarianism

Postby Astus » Wed Mar 16, 2011 3:53 pm

OK, here's another one, perhaps this will be clearer:

"In cultivating the Dharma, you may cultivate Dhyana, the teachings, the precepts, the secret school or the Pure Land, but it is all in order to bring your thoughts to a halt so that you do not produce a single thought."

(Buddhism in the Space Age by Hsuan Hua)
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4128
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Sects and Sectarianism

Postby Indrajala » Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:06 pm

kirtu wrote:
Huseng wrote:There is the irreconcilable difference between Arhatship and Bodhisattvahood.

Unless those Bhikku accept the latter as legit and possible, it will always be a thorny issue between the two major divisions of Buddhism.


Bodhisattvahood is also included in the Southern School but Arhantship is emphasized. Their view seems to be that Bodhisattvahood cannot be accomplished for ordinary beings and it will take 3 eons (which is correct) and that Arhantship could be accomplished in seven lifetimes in the best cases.

So from their POV it's a practical matter of efficiency it would seem.

Kirt


However, the Theravāda conception of Buddhahood is different from that of the Mahāyāna. They do not accept the existence of nirmānakāya, saṃbhogakāya and the dharmakāya, otherwise known as the trikāya. The Mahāsāṃghika did not specify a dharmakāya as far as we know, but they had a conception not unlike it. However, the Theravāda rejects such theories.

Again, if one seeks Arhatship, then the Theravāda tradition offers a solid, tried, tested and true path. However, if one is driven by a motivation to be of great benefit to all beings and continually take rebirth for their sake with a vision of attaining the dharmakāya in mind, then the Mahāyāna is the optimal route.

The issue of sectarianism between Śrāvakayāna and the Mahāyāna is by no fault of the latter. I have never met or heard of a single Mahāyāna leader alive today that would forbid their disciples from reading or studying Theravāda.
Flower Ornament Depository (Blog)
Indrajāla's Contemplations (Blog)
Exploring Classical Chinese (Blog)
Dharma Depository (Site)

"Hui gives me no assistance. There is nothing that I say in which he does not delight." -Confucius
User avatar
Indrajala
Former staff member
 
Posts: 5573
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Location: India

Re: Sects and Sectarianism

Postby Josef » Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:20 pm

Astus wrote:OK, here's another one, perhaps this will be clearer:

but it is all in order to bring your thoughts to a halt so that you do not produce a single thought."

(Buddhism in the Space Age by Hsuan Hua)


No thank you.
A vacuous state of mind is not Buddhahood.
I find this interpretation makes me feel sectarian. :smile:
(supposed to be a joke)
Last edited by Josef on Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Josef
 
Posts: 1565
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:44 pm

Re: Sects and Sectarianism

Postby Astus » Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:24 pm

There are three views regarding the trikaya in Mahayana. 1. there is no trikaya mentioned in the early Mahayana; 2. the dharmakaya is developed by wisdom and the rupakaya is developed by merits; 3. the rupakaya is inherent in dharmakaya, i.e. the buddha-nature is both empty and non-empty. Therefore the difference between Mahayana and Theravada regarding the trikaya occurs only in case of the second view.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4128
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Sects and Sectarianism

Postby Astus » Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:33 pm

Nangwa wrote:A vacuous state of mind is not Buddhahood.


"Far from a mind blank of all thoughts, the “thoughtless” mind is able to see and to know all dharmas free from attachment. It pervades everywhere, functioning freely and smoothly without any fixation, attachment or hindrance. The crucial difference between the wunien state and the ordinary person’s mind is that the thoughts in wunien no longer produce defilement nor attachment in the process of cognition. Huineng emphatically pointed out that suppressing all thoughts and refraining from thinking of anything is a misunderstanding of the dharma, and indeed one who did that was being tied up by the dharma, instead of being liberated by it."
Does No-Thought Mean No Thought?
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4128
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Sects and Sectarianism

Postby Josef » Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:40 pm

Astus wrote:
Nangwa wrote:A vacuous state of mind is not Buddhahood.


Huineng emphatically pointed out that suppressing all thoughts and refraining from thinking of anything is a misunderstanding of the dharma, and indeed one who did that was being tied up by the dharma, instead of being liberated by it."
Does No-Thought Mean No Thought?

That makes me feel better.
Josef
 
Posts: 1565
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:44 pm

Re: Sects and Sectarianism

Postby mañjughoṣamaṇi » Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:13 pm

Hello,

I am a fan of Bhikkhu Bodhi's line of thinking here:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/bodhi/arahantsbodhisattvas.html

Wishing you all the best.
སེམས་རྣམ་པར་གྲོལ་བར་བྱའི་ཕྱིར་བྱམས་པ་བསྒོམ་པར་བྱའོ།
“In order to completely liberate the mind, cultivate loving kindness.” -- Maitribhāvana Sūtra
mañjughoṣamaṇi
 
Posts: 117
Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2011 9:26 pm

Re: Sects and Sectarianism

Postby ground » Thu Mar 17, 2011 6:39 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings TMingyur,

TMingyur wrote:Also: practicing for the benefit of self and others is the Theravada ideal laid down in suttas.

Yes, but the emphasis on "others" in the Theravada sense is not such that the other attains nirvana as a direct or indirect consequence of your actions... but rather that through one's own morality (sila), harmlessness, compassion and kindness, the shravaka bring happiness and joy to those they encounter simply by following the Noble Eightfold Path.

Metta,
Retro. :)


I am aware that the intent on "benefit for others" does entail quite different conclusions in Theravada and Mahayana and that it is this what makes the difference.
When you say that "but rather that through one's own morality (sila), harmlessness, compassion and kindness, the shravaka bring happiness and joy to those they encounter simply by following the Noble Eightfold Path" this holds true for a bodhisattva too because it is not only the verbal teachings that are the manifestations of the skillful means of a bodhisattva but also the way she/he appears to others.

Kind regards
User avatar
ground
 
Posts: 1782
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:31 am

PreviousNext

Return to Open Dharma

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: JKhedrup, Johnny Dangerous and 10 guests

>