Articles to read, Living out loud, vs a Rigid Spirituality.

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Re: Articles to read, Living out loud, vs a Rigid Spirituality.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:25 pm

Nangwa wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:
Nangwa wrote:...rigid in their application of the path...
What does this mean?
:namaste:

Being fanatical or too literal in interpretation of things. Basically, being rigid and literal to the point that it limits your ability to actually apply the path.
So give me a non-fanatical, non-literal, flacid, non-limiting interpretation of right livelihood (for example).
: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
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Re: Articles to read, Living out loud, vs a Rigid Spirituality.

Postby Josef » Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:41 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:So give me a non-fanatical, non-literal, flacid, non-limiting interpretation of right livelihood (for example).
:namaste:

Working with your capacity and conditions.
Working a job or career that does as little harm as possible yet allows you to function in your community and society.
Its not that hard.
An example of a rigid view in my opinion would be to say that a 23 year old dharma practitioner living in America is practicing wrong livelihood if he or she works at a wine shop or something like that. That would be rigid and would not accept the current condition of the individual in question or his or her capacity to work with that condition.
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Re: Articles to read, Living out loud, vs a Rigid Spirituality.

Postby Heruka » Sun Apr 24, 2011 3:03 am

Nangwa wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:
Nangwa wrote:...rigid in their application of the path...
What does this mean?
:namaste:

Being fanatical or too literal in interpretation of things. Basically, being rigid and literal to the point that it limits your ability to actually apply the path.


you mean the thing that binds can also set one free?
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Re: Articles to read, Living out loud, vs a Rigid Spirituality.

Postby Josef » Sun Apr 24, 2011 3:16 am

Heruka wrote:
you mean the thing that binds can also set one free?


Sort of. More along the lines of the things that can set us free can bind us if implemented unskillfully.
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Re: Articles to read, Living out loud, vs a Rigid Spirituality.

Postby Malcolm » Sun Apr 24, 2011 1:29 pm

michaelmcalister wrote:With respect, it seems that my counterpoint to Ms. Fox's article is being misrepresented by these responses. If you read my piece, http://www.infinitesmile.org/2011/04/cultivating-a-sloppy-spirituality/, you'll most likely find that I'm arguing for a middle way between rigidity and a sloppy spirituality. If you don't find this to be the case, I'd welcome your critique.

Bows.


From a Buddhist POV, this is the epitome of sloppy spirituality:

"While his teaching is Zen-inspired, he works to integrate several of the Nondual teachings from the contemplative traditions of Vedanta Hinduism, Christianity, Kabbalah, and Sufiism."

Non-dual (advaya) in Buddhism has a completely different meaning than non-duality (advaitā) in Vedanta, etc. The ein, ein sof and ohr ein sof of Kabbalah is not related to emptiness in Buddhism, but it is theological attempt by Kabbalists to explain ex nihilo creation, etc.

The above biographical statement of yours informs this statement:

"We begin to see that this whole beautiful dance is only ever Spirit seeing itself through us..."

While among Vedantists, Sufis, Kabbalists and so on there may be much to discuss, Buddhists will have little to share with them apart from a shared interest in compassion.

There is no middle way in theistic traditions.

N
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Re: Articles to read, Living out loud, vs a Rigid Spirituality.

Postby Malcolm » Sun Apr 24, 2011 2:10 pm

Nangwa wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:So give me a non-fanatical, non-literal, flacid, non-limiting interpretation of right livelihood (for example).
:namaste:

Working with your capacity and conditions.
Working a job or career that does as little harm as possible yet allows you to function in your community and society.
Its not that hard.
An example of a rigid view in my opinion would be to say that a 23 year old dharma practitioner living in America is practicing wrong livelihood if he or she works at a wine shop or something like that. That would be rigid and would not accept the current condition of the individual in question or his or her capacity to work with that condition.



I worked in a wine shop a few years ago to pick up some extra cash while in school. It was fun.

N
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Articles to read, Living out loud, vs a Rigid Spirituality.

Postby Josef » Sun Apr 24, 2011 2:46 pm

Namdrol wrote:
Nangwa wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:So give me a non-fanatical, non-literal, flacid, non-limiting interpretation of right livelihood (for example).
:namaste:

Working with your capacity and conditions.
Working a job or career that does as little harm as possible yet allows you to function in your community and society.
Its not that hard.
An example of a rigid view in my opinion would be to say that a 23 year old dharma practitioner living in America is practicing wrong livelihood if he or she works at a wine shop or something like that. That would be rigid and would not accept the current condition of the individual in question or his or her capacity to work with that condition.



I worked in a wine shop a few years ago to pick up some extra cash while in school. It was fun.

N

Me too. When I first moved from Michigan with my wife.
It was a pretty cool job.
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Re: Articles to read, Living out loud, vs a Rigid Spirituality.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Apr 24, 2011 4:02 pm

It’s funny that you should mention the alcohol thing… scene mists over and flash back begins…
My paternal grandfather died of alcoholism, my maternal grandfather had a kafeneion and my paternal grandfather would walk for hours to go have a drink at his in-laws café.
My father did not drink much, but when he did, I remember as a child, he spent quite a few times “riding the porcelain bus”.
When I was growing up in Australia, well if you couldn’t “down ‘em” then you weren’t really a “bloke”. Three of my friends ended up in alcohol rehab before the age of 25.
I worked in a “wine” shop (bottle shop) too, before I was into Dharma.
Just as I got into Dharma I moved to Greece where I became the owner-operator of an (traditional) ouzo distillery. To make a bit of cash on-the-side I would moonlight as a bar man.
The town I was living in had 3000 inhabitants and 4 distilleries, two of which were the largest in Greece. It is known as the ouzo capital of Greece. The island I live on has 15 permanent distilleries and two wineries plus they issue temporary distilling licenses at the end of the grape season for “grappa” production (we call it tsipouro).
At some point during my 12 years as a distiller (and 14 years in the Dharma) I decided to take the vow to not consume intoxicants. Now what does that mean? A distiller and barman who did not drink? Tried my hardest to sell the distillery to get out of the liquor trade altogether. I managed to finally break free.
In my time as a distiller I saw four people, that I knew personally, die slowly and painfully from alcohol related diseases.
The precepts are not standards by which to judge others, they are standards which we choose to apply to our own lives to the best of our capacities.
So what would I say to the 23 year old Dharma practitioner working at the wine shop? Exactly the same thing that I have said here. I have seen both sides of the alcohol penny from up close: the glamorous bit of the cocktail-shaking bartender getting the chicks (hell, they even did a Thirsty Traveler documentary on me and my distillery) to the unconscious alcoholic lying (dying!) in their piss and shit.
Romanticising and demonization are both equally insidious!
: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
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Re: Articles to read, Living out loud, vs a Rigid Spirituality.

Postby Malcolm » Sun Apr 24, 2011 4:09 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:In my time as a distiller I saw four people, that I knew personally, die slowly and painfully from alcohol related diseases.



Yup -- and I know a bunch of people who have died and are dying of obesity. That will not stop me from eating food. The principle is to recognize your own capacity.

N
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Articles to read, Living out loud, vs a Rigid Spirituality.

Postby Heruka » Sun Apr 24, 2011 4:16 pm

Mezze night with free flowing ouzo.........


oh boy..what a hangover! :cheers:

thank goodness the med has warm seas to relax into.
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Re: Articles to read, Living out loud, vs a Rigid Spirituality.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:22 am

Heruka wrote:Mezze night with free flowing ouzo.........


oh boy..what a hangover! :cheers:

thank goodness the med has warm seas to relax into.

I'm not in the Mediteranean, I am in the Aegean!
:namaste:
PS Namdrol, I think it is misguided and a little dangerous to compare the use of intoxicants to eating food, ie I don't believe your example is valid.
"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
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Re: Articles to read, Living out loud, vs a Rigid Spirituality.

Postby Malcolm » Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:26 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Heruka wrote:Mezze night with free flowing ouzo.........


oh boy..what a hangover! :cheers:

thank goodness the med has warm seas to relax into.

I'm not in the Mediteranean, I am in the Aegean!
:namaste:
PS Namdrol, I think it is misguided and a little dangerous to compare the use of intoxicants to eating food, ie I don't believe your example is valid.



There are, in the US, 300,000 deaths annually from Obesity and about 100,000 deaths a year from Alcoholism. Draw your own conclusion.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Articles to read, Living out loud, vs a Rigid Spirituality.

Postby Josef » Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:31 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:Romanticising and demonization are both equally insidious!
:namaste:

Exactly.
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Re: Articles to read, Living out loud, vs a Rigid Spirituality.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:38 pm

I am not going to deny the problems associated with food (obesity and anorexia) especially in developed nations, but the comparison is invalid because one needs to eat a certain amount of food in order to support bodily function, whereas one does not need intoxicants in order to survive. To apply this line of logic to intoxicants
The principle is to recognize your own capacity.
means that one also has to allow for a responsible use of heroin, or marijuana, or cigarettes, etc... Now it is true that any of these substances can be used medicinally, but when the Buddha formulated the precept on intoxicants did he have medicinal use in mind as well, or just recreational use?

Responsible recreational heroin use based on the recognition of ones capacity??? Just doesn't sit right with me!
: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
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Re: Articles to read, Living out loud, vs a Rigid Spirituality.

Postby Malcolm » Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:04 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:I am not going to deny the problems associated with food (obesity and anorexia) especially in developed nations, but the comparison is invalid because one needs to eat a certain amount of food in order to support bodily function, whereas one does not need intoxicants in order to survive.
:namaste:



You may be quite wrong about this. For example, it used to be very unhealthy to drink plain water in most places. Why? because there were no waste water treatment plants, etc. Alcoholic beverages were free from the risk of many types of microbes that can cause serious illness. This is the reason primarily for example that no-one in the American colonies ever drank plain water. They would only drink various types of fermented beverages.

Wine is a food.

But at this point in my practice, I know what is good for me and what is not, and I don't need a rule to tell me what I can eat and drink and what I can't. The rule against alcohol is a rule for fools that cannot moderate their intake of alcohol.

N
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Articles to read, Living out loud, vs a Rigid Spirituality.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Apr 25, 2011 6:15 pm

You may be quite wrong about this. For example, it used to be very unhealthy to drink plain water in most places. Why? because there were no waste water treatment plants, etc. Alcoholic beverages were free from the risk of many types of microbes that can cause serious illness. This is the reason primarily for example that no-one in the American colonies ever drank plain water. They would only drink various types of fermented beverages.
Oh, I don't know about that, the American Indians seemed to do pretty well on plain water. Actually, if I remember my history correctly alcohol was used as a weapon against them by the settlers.
Wine is a food.
Really? And I thought that wine was produced from grapes (a food) which had fallen prey to a fungal infestation. By your stretch of logic LSD is also a food since it is also the consequence of a fungal infection, of rye. So do we drop a tab along with our meal in place of bread?

But at this point in my practice, I know what is good for me and what is not, and I don't need a rule to tell me what I can eat and drink and what I can't.
Well good for you! You know what? I am also at a point in my practice where I know what is good for me and what is not. I am not going to judge somebody on their decision though am I? Like this:

The rule against alcohol is a rule for fools that cannot moderate their intake of alcohol.
I'm sorry but that is just BS. I, for example, am more than capable of moderating my intake of alcohol (I have moderated it to zero, except for the odd tsok). If you read what I wrote above you will see that I managed to not fall prey to alcoholism even though my environment was literally steeped in alcohol (I have had to dip my arm up to the armpit in pure alcohol for a vairety of reasons). But then you go on to say that everybody that observes the precept on intoxicants is a fool? I believe you are being a little (a lot!) too judgemental here. Take a couple of deep breaths and think it through a bit, you may find that alcoholism is just another one of the myriad ways that sentient beings suffer.
: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
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Re: Articles to read, Living out loud, vs a Rigid Spirituality.

Postby Malcolm » Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:50 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
You may be quite wrong about this. For example, it used to be very unhealthy to drink plain water in most places. Why? because there were no waste water treatment plants, etc. Alcoholic beverages were free from the risk of many types of microbes that can cause serious illness. This is the reason primarily for example that no-one in the American colonies ever drank plain water. They would only drink various types of fermented beverages.
Oh, I don't know about that, the American Indians seemed to do pretty well on plain water. Actually, if I remember my history correctly alcohol was used as a weapon against them by the settlers.


I said colonies, no?




The rule against alcohol is a rule for fools that cannot moderate their intake of alcohol.
I'm sorry but that is just BS.


You understand how the rule came about, no? It came about because some fool did something stupid as an ordained bhiksu.

N
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Articles to read, Living out loud, vs a Rigid Spirituality.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:04 pm

Namdrol wrote:You understand how the rule came about, no? It came about because some fool did something stupid as an ordained bhiksu.
It may well be the case that this was the reason the rule was formulated, but to then say that all that abide by the rule are fools that cannot moderate their alcohol intake?
"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
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Re: Articles to read, Living out loud, vs a Rigid Spirituality.

Postby Josef » Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:07 pm

Namdrol wrote:
You understand how the rule came about, no? It came about because some fool did something stupid as an ordained bhiksu.

N

I would love to hear the story behind this. Is there a reference to a specific drunken bhiksu somewhere?
We usually hear the stories about the great disciples etc. it would be fun to learn more about the foolish ones as well.
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Re: Articles to read, Living out loud, vs a Rigid Spirituality.

Postby Malcolm » Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:31 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Namdrol wrote:You understand how the rule came about, no? It came about because some fool did something stupid as an ordained bhiksu.
It may well be the case that this was the reason the rule was formulated, but to then say that all that abide by the rule are fools that cannot moderate their alcohol intake?


If you like having a rule that tells you not to drink, then follow it. Just understand why and for whom the rule was composed.

N
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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