Tendai and Pretend-ai

DGA
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Tendai and Pretend-ai

Postby DGA » Tue Apr 26, 2011 2:32 pm

I am tired of thinking about this one: a topic that has caused me a peculiar mix of amusement, annoyance, and actual heartache. My purpose with starting this thread is to say in one neutral public place what I have had to say again and again privately to people.

My friend Doko O'Brien, who leads the Blue Mountain Sage Tendai sangha in Denver, came up with the word "Pretendai" to describe groups and teachers that present themselves as Tendai but in reality doing their own thing. I don't object to people doing their own thing. However, it causes harm when people doing their own thing insist on claiming their own thing is something else, in this instance Tendai Buddhism. And this seems to happen a lot in the relatively small English-speaking Tendai universe. I am asked about it often. People come to me with some experience with these groups, and are quickly disappointed to find out that what they learned in a $70 DVD they got from Ronnie's House of Ninjutsu or Bob's Discount Mikkyo is inaccurate and worse than useless when it comes to actual practice.

What motivates people to pretend to be something they are not? I'm not interested in speculating on that. I just prefer they stop using the words Tendai and Mikkyo to describe their fine products so there is less confusion and more practice in the world.

Here are some extant DW threads on this topic. I will add more links later.

viewtopic.php?f=66&t=3945

viewtopic.php?f=40&t=2061

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Astus
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Re: Tendai and Pretend-ai

Postby Astus » Tue Apr 26, 2011 3:23 pm

It is simply using a known name to propagete one's goods. Trade mark works in commerce but not in religion. It reminds me somewhat of off- and on-mountain Tiantai, although that involved monks. Just think about the many uses of Buddha, Buddhism, Zen and Tantra. Perhaps it means Tendai is gaining some popularity.
Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.



DGA
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Re: Tendai and Pretend-ai

Postby DGA » Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:11 pm

I think it means Tendai seems exotic, magical, special... and desirable to some for these reasons. Zen is easy to find by comparison.

Tendai is also obscure. There are not many English-speaking Tendai teachers. So it's easy to play make-believe and get away with it for a while.

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Astus
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Re: Tendai and Pretend-ai

Postby Astus » Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:29 pm

It is not difficult either to sell something as Buddhism, Zen or Tantra. Why so much worry about some Tendai imitators? Have you tried to tell them they should include some actual Tendai teachings too?
Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.



DGA
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Posts: 8493
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Re: Tendai and Pretend-ai

Postby DGA » Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:38 pm


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Seishin
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Re: Tendai and Pretend-ai

Postby Seishin » Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:39 pm

We do not (to my knowledge) have this problem with Tendai in the UK, but it happens to "Buddhism" at large. There are many groups in the UK claiming to be Buddhist but are actually quasi-buddhist - but the robes look so cool :thumbsup: Or there are split groups claiming they have the "true path" etc etc. Then there are those (especially in the martial art world) that throw around buddhist terms and say things like "this is very zen" and then scoff at me when I speak about Buddhism.

I try not to worry too much. When people approach me about these things I try to steer them in the right direction, but don't tell them what they should and shouldn't do. It's also why I set up my blog. All we can do is practice and practice well. Our actions should speak louder than our words.

Gassho,
Seishin.

DGA
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Re: Tendai and Pretend-ai

Postby DGA » Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:42 pm


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Astus
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Re: Tendai and Pretend-ai

Postby Astus » Tue Apr 26, 2011 5:01 pm

Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.



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Seishin
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Re: Tendai and Pretend-ai

Postby Seishin » Tue Apr 26, 2011 5:02 pm

I'm less optimitsic. I think this sort of thing will just continue, but I hope we can minimize it as legitimate groups and organisations grow.

Gassho.

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Seishin
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Re: Tendai and Pretend-ai

Postby Seishin » Tue Apr 26, 2011 5:04 pm


plwk
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Re: Tendai and Pretend-ai

Postby plwk » Tue Apr 26, 2011 5:06 pm

I dunno Jikan, they say perception sells these days, so what have the 'orthodox' ones done to 'cash in' on this?
Seems like the heterodox have used this as their advantage point...

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Re: Tendai and Pretend-ai

Postby DGA » Tue Apr 26, 2011 6:41 pm


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Re: Tendai and Pretend-ai

Postby adept » Tue Apr 26, 2011 8:44 pm


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Astus
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Re: Tendai and Pretend-ai

Postby Astus » Tue Apr 26, 2011 8:56 pm

Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.



DGA
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Posts: 8493
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:04 pm
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Re: Tendai and Pretend-ai

Postby DGA » Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:11 pm


DGA
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Re: Tendai and Pretend-ai

Postby DGA » Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:12 pm


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kirtu
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Re: Tendai and Pretend-ai

Postby kirtu » Wed Apr 27, 2011 1:53 am



"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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kirtu
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Re: Tendai and Pretend-ai

Postby kirtu » Wed Apr 27, 2011 1:57 am



"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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kirtu
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Re: Tendai and Pretend-ai

Postby kirtu » Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:00 am



"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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Seishin
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Re: Tendai and Pretend-ai

Postby Seishin » Wed Apr 27, 2011 10:03 am



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