Can't Seem To Find Direction... Advice?

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
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Padme
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Re: Can't Seem To Find Direction... Advice?

Postby Padme » Sun Mar 20, 2011 11:42 pm

LastLegend (or anyone):

I was just on Buddhanet reading about Dependent Origin. Maybe you can answer a question for me, because I'm confused:

At the bottom of the list of 12 Links of Dependent Arising, it states this:

**The Theravada tradition uses it to explain the arising of sufferings; that all composite existence is without substantiality. This doctrine is then used the basis for the negation of self.

**In the Mahayana, condition arising is further interpreted to validate the unreality of existence by reason of its relativity.


It actually goes on to interpret other schools, but I just chose these two as common examples. I don't understand the difference between the above Theravada and Mahayana views? Theravada says "all composite existence is without substantiality" and Mahayana says "the unreality of existence by reason of its relativity". What's the difference here? It sounds like different wording of the same opinion.

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Re: Can't Seem To Find Direction... Advice?

Postby LastLegend » Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:45 am

Last edited by LastLegend on Mon Mar 21, 2011 1:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)

Bodhidharma [my translation]
―I come to the East to transmit this clear knowing mind without constructing any dharma―

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Padme
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Re: Can't Seem To Find Direction... Advice?

Postby Padme » Mon Mar 21, 2011 1:11 am


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Re: Can't Seem To Find Direction... Advice?

Postby LastLegend » Mon Mar 21, 2011 1:32 am

NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)

Bodhidharma [my translation]
―I come to the East to transmit this clear knowing mind without constructing any dharma―

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Padme
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Re: Can't Seem To Find Direction... Advice?

Postby Padme » Mon Mar 21, 2011 2:57 am

Thanks LL, maybe I'm understanding more than I thought. And yes, you made perfect sense about the reading and not over-analyzing it. I have done both. I have read and tried very hard to pick it apart, make sure I understand it, etc. Then other times I have read with a more relaxed, less rigid approach and find that I understand things better that way. So I will definitely be mindful to try and not over-analyze when I read.

You said "How can they be different when 12 Conditional Factors were taught by Buddha?" I agree that this should be the case, but I do read about some differences, such as Theravada not believing in "buddha-nature", etc. This confuses me, because as you pointed out earlier, how can there be such a drastic difference from the same original teacher?

And yes, the Pali and Sanskrit vocabulary variations are somewhat frustrating. My only fear is using the wrong term in buddhist circles and looking like an idiot, although I do know that the message is the same.

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LastLegend
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Re: Can't Seem To Find Direction... Advice?

Postby LastLegend » Mon Mar 21, 2011 3:30 am

NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)

Bodhidharma [my translation]
―I come to the East to transmit this clear knowing mind without constructing any dharma―

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Padme
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Re: Can't Seem To Find Direction... Advice?

Postby Padme » Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:13 am


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Madeliaette
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Re: Can't Seem To Find Direction... Advice?

Postby Madeliaette » Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:21 am


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LastLegend
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Re: Can't Seem To Find Direction... Advice?

Postby LastLegend » Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:30 am

NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)

Bodhidharma [my translation]
―I come to the East to transmit this clear knowing mind without constructing any dharma―

DGA
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Re: Can't Seem To Find Direction... Advice?

Postby DGA » Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:14 pm


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LastLegend
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Re: Can't Seem To Find Direction... Advice?

Postby LastLegend » Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:01 pm

NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)

Bodhidharma [my translation]
―I come to the East to transmit this clear knowing mind without constructing any dharma―

DGA
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Contact:

Re: Can't Seem To Find Direction... Advice?

Postby DGA » Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:10 pm

I agree that nembutsu is a profound practice. And I agree there's an element of transmission involved. I recite it as "namu amidabu" (Tendai-style) and use it as a mantra much as a Tibetan practitioner might use OM MANI PEME HUNG: an all-purpose method. I encourage my little group in DC to practice it.

My only point is that it's not a tantric practice in the sense any school of Tantric Buddhism (Tendai, Shingon, Nyingma, Kagyu, Sakya, Jonang or Gelug) would recognize as tantric.

This conversation also comes up in Ch'an/Zen contexts. Is koan practice tantric? Well, it has some of the elements of tantra, but not all of them. That's not to say it's certainly powerful and effective practice for many, however. It works. Nembutsu is like that. It's a powerful practice that works. I think it works because it's a method devised by beings with pure vision, so to speak. It works because it relies on one's inherent potential to become awakened, which is identical in nature to the enlightened mind of the Buddha.

And here's the bigger picture point for Padme, since this thread is supposed to be helping him or her out: it would help to understand what is meant by Buddha-nature in this context. If you want to understand the underlying logic behind Mahayana practices, diverse as they are, it would help a lot to understand this key concept, the basis for practice. A good place to start is The Awakening of Faith (trans. Yoshido Hakeda).

For LastLegend: always good to meet a Pure Land person who brings a tantric attitude to bear on Amitabha practice. :cheers:

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LastLegend
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Re: Can't Seem To Find Direction... Advice?

Postby LastLegend » Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:26 pm

NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)

Bodhidharma [my translation]
―I come to the East to transmit this clear knowing mind without constructing any dharma―

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LastLegend
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Location: Washington DC

Re: Can't Seem To Find Direction... Advice?

Postby LastLegend » Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:22 pm

Here are English Translation of Sutras
http://www.quangduc.com/menu2.html
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)

Bodhidharma [my translation]
―I come to the East to transmit this clear knowing mind without constructing any dharma―

DGA
Former staff member
Posts: 8493
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:04 pm
Contact:

Re: Can't Seem To Find Direction... Advice?

Postby DGA » Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:56 pm

You're welcome LastLegend, but the question of what is and what is not tantra isn't exactly a matter of opinion in Buddhism. Rather than turn this into a threadjack, I posted a separate thread on this matter here for us to use:

viewtopic.php?f=77&t=3587

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Adamantine
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Re: Can't Seem To Find Direction... Advice?

Postby Adamantine » Tue Mar 22, 2011 12:47 am

In terms of understanding Buddha Nature
I just can't emphasize enough what a treasure
those uttaratantra teachings with Dzongsar Khyentse
Rinpoche are that I previously linked to.
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha


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