Conventions contrary to scripture.

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Re: Conventions contrary to scripture.

Postby Malcolm » Sat May 21, 2011 2:44 pm

Jñāna wrote:
... and goes on to refute the claim that it's unnecessary for householders to practice in solitude.

Geoff


I never stated that doing solitary retreats was not important. Of course it is important. I just question your definition of "sustained".

But we do not need to support monastic institutions for this purpose. Monasteries are hardly solitary, and the ratio of monks who actually do real retreat in monastic retreat centers to the number who are just there to do rituals and so on is very low. I am not saying "don't support monasteries" but I am pointing out that the reality of monastic life is quite different from the western fantasy of monastic life.
Last edited by Malcolm on Sat May 21, 2011 3:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Conventions contrary to scripture.

Postby Malcolm » Sat May 21, 2011 2:45 pm

You're promoting an extreme supersessionist ideology.


Take it up with Garab Dorje.
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Re: Conventions contrary to scripture.

Postby Jnana » Sat May 21, 2011 3:13 pm

Namdrol wrote:Monasteries are hardly solitary, and the ratio of monks who actually do real retreat in monastic retreat centers to the number who are just there to do rituals and so on is very low.

Yes, this is generally the case for the Tibetan version of monasticism. In at least a few Western monasteries this is something which is being reformed.

Namdrol wrote:I am not saying "don't support monasteries"

That's good, and probably should be affirmed more -- especially in terms of Western lay support for Western monasteries.

Namdrol wrote:I am pointing out that the reality of monastic life is quite different from the western fantasy of monastic life.

I've stayed in a number of monasteries and lived in one for a couple of years (as a layman). This type of communal life is challenging on many levels, including the almost total lack of privacy much of the time. But a balanced monastic model is one which supports solitude within community (regular daily silent group sitting in addition to chanting, etc., group silent retreats, as well as periodic individual solitary retreat, and so on).

All the best,

Geoff
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Re: Conventions contrary to scripture.

Postby Malcolm » Sat May 21, 2011 3:32 pm

Jñāna wrote:I've stayed in a number of monasteries and lived in one for a couple of years (as a layman). This type of communal life is challenging on many levels, including the almost total lack of privacy much of the time. But a balanced monastic model is one which supports solitude within community (regular daily silent group sitting in addition to chanting, etc., group silent retreats, as well as periodic individual solitary retreat, and so on).
Geoff



I don't like group retreats. Too much bullshit.

"Communal Dharma" living is not for me. Not very interested in supporting such communities either. But people who are into it are free to do as they please.

Solitary retreat is the only way, for me.

I don't mind collective practices now and again, ganapujas etc.

But the monastic model is quite foreign to Dzogchen teachings, oil and water.

There is also no monastic tradition in Dzogchen. Dzogchen, unlike Mahāmudra and Indian Vajrayāna in general, did not develop in proximity to monastic centers.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
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Re: Conventions contrary to scripture.

Postby Jnana » Sat May 21, 2011 3:50 pm

Namdrol wrote:I don't like group retreats. Too much bullshit.

I've always enjoyed Chan and Zen retreats, minus the "Dharma talks" that I've heard from most of the Western Zen teachers. But to each their own.

Namdrol wrote:Solitary retreat is the only way, for me.

My preference as well.

Namdrol wrote:But the monastic model is quite foreign to Dzogchen teachings, oil and water.

Sure, but not for lamrim and lojong, and so on, or even group pūja recitation. All of these teachings and practices can benefit from the challenges of living in a monastic house of mirrors.

All the best,

Geoff
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Re: Conventions contrary to scripture.

Postby Malcolm » Sat May 21, 2011 4:18 pm

Jñāna wrote:Sure, but not for lamrim and lojong, and so on, or even group pūja recitation. All of these teachings and practices can benefit from the challenges of living in a monastic house of mirrors.

Geoff


Not very partial to the Kadampa approach.

N
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
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Re: Conventions contrary to scripture.

Postby catmoon » Sun May 22, 2011 11:51 am

Having said that, the merit is still exceeded by monastics and people very much need merit.
Kirt

People accumulate the most merit by meditating correctly.

N



.....aaaand of course nobody meditates as correctly as the average monastic.... so when are you signing up?
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Re: Conventions contrary to scripture.

Postby Malcolm » Sun May 22, 2011 2:06 pm

catmoon wrote:
People accumulate the most merit by meditating correctly.

N



.....aaaand of course nobody meditates as correctly as the average monastic....


That is completely false.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
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Re: Conventions contrary to scripture.

Postby kirtu » Sun May 22, 2011 3:05 pm

Namdrol wrote:
Jñāna wrote:Sure, but not for lamrim and lojong, and so on, or even group pūja recitation. All of these teachings and practices can benefit from the challenges of living in a monastic house of mirrors.

Geoff


Not very partial to the Kadampa approach.


Well that's it in a nutshell. The Dharma has many flavors. Some of those flavors will disappear over time. You don't like the Kadampa (Atisha) flavor and do primarily like the Dzogchen flavor. Okay. But while dzogchen is unexcelled excellence, it's not a flavor for everyone.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”
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Re: Conventions contrary to scripture.

Postby kirtu » Sun May 22, 2011 3:11 pm

Namdrol wrote:
kirtu wrote:
It doesn't matter as Chandragomin is the model and people cannot be prohibited from privately taking the eight vows daily on their own or, if their teacher supports it taking the eight vows permanently, and thus reestablishing the tradition in a de facto manner.



It has no force. It would be a made up ordination. No lineage. Therefore, useless. But if you want to take the fast day vows everyday for your whole life, I won't stop you.


I added the bold. Living like a gomi has the following force: if one is sincere and serious then it helps purify karma, it is a method of merit accumulation, it is a method of wisdom accumulation, and deposits seeds into one's mindstream that will bear positive fruit esp. wrt encountering the Dharma in the future lives and reengaging in practice and at death one will be reborn in higher realms or in Pure Buddha Lands (and rebirth in the Pure Lands is the primary benefit for oneself in this practice).

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”
Hevajra Tantra
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Re: Conventions contrary to scripture.

Postby Malcolm » Sun May 22, 2011 3:12 pm

kirtu wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
Jñāna wrote:Sure, but not for lamrim and lojong, and so on, or even group pūja recitation. All of these teachings and practices can benefit from the challenges of living in a monastic house of mirrors.

Geoff


Not very partial to the Kadampa approach.


Well that's it in a nutshell. The Dharma has many flavors. Some of those flavors will disappear over time. You don't like the Kadampa (Atisha) flavor and do primarily like the Dzogchen flavor. Okay. But while dzogchen is unexcelled excellence, it's not a flavor for everyone.

Kirt


Milarepa once quipped that Dromton was a great māra who interrupted the proper propagation of Dharma in Tibet. Definitely, the historical record shows that Atisha was far more interested in teaching dohas and so on. But Dromton interfered with this.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
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Re: Conventions contrary to scripture.

Postby Malcolm » Sun May 22, 2011 3:15 pm

kirtu wrote:
Living like a gomi has the following force: if one is sincere and serious then it helps purify karma, it is a method of merit accumulation, it is a method of wisdom accumulation, and deposits seeds into one's mindstream that will bear positive fruit esp. wrt encountering the Dharma in the future lives and reengaging in practice and at death one will be reborn in higher realms or in Pure Buddha Lands (and rebirth in the Pure Lands is the primary benefit for oneself in this practice).

Kirt



This will not cause one to be reborn in pure lands, nor will it assure rebirth in higher realms.

If you want liberation in this life, at the time of the bardo, it is much better to practice Vajrayāna.

There is no point at all in this time of the Kali yuga to waste one's effort with practice connected with lower vehicles at all.

N
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http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
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Re: Conventions contrary to scripture.

Postby kirtu » Sun May 22, 2011 3:17 pm

Namdrol wrote:
kirtu wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
Not very partial to the Kadampa approach.


Well that's it in a nutshell. The Dharma has many flavors. Some of those flavors will disappear over time. You don't like the Kadampa (Atisha) flavor and do primarily like the Dzogchen flavor. Okay. But while dzogchen is unexcelled excellence, it's not a flavor for everyone.

Kirt


Milarepa once quipped that Dromton was a great māra who interrupted the proper propagation of Dharma in Tibet. Definitely, the historical record shows that Atisha was far more interested in teaching dohas and so on. But Dromton interfered with this.


Did Milarepa elaborate on this? Dohas by Atisha - are they recorded?

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”
Hevajra Tantra
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Re: Conventions contrary to scripture.

Postby Malcolm » Sun May 22, 2011 3:21 pm

kirtu wrote:
Did Milarepa elaborate on this? Dohas by Atisha - are they recorded?

Kirt



No, he just described Dromton as a great māra.

Atisha wanted to teach the Dohas of Indian Mahasiddhas like Saraha. But he was prevented from doing so by Dromton.

N
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
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Re: Conventions contrary to scripture.

Postby kirtu » Sun May 22, 2011 3:45 pm

Namdrol wrote:
kirtu wrote:
Living like a gomi has the following force: if one is sincere and serious then it helps purify karma, it is a method of merit accumulation, it is a method of wisdom accumulation, and deposits seeds into one's mindstream that will bear positive fruit esp. wrt encountering the Dharma in the future lives and reengaging in practice and at death one will be reborn in higher realms or in Pure Buddha Lands (and rebirth in the Pure Lands is the primary benefit for oneself in this practice).



This will not cause one to be reborn in pure lands, nor will it assure rebirth in higher realms.

I'm mildly taken aback at this - if you take the eight vows according to the Tibetan ritual an mean it then you are raising bodhicitta, accumulating merit, etc (the etc are the advantages listed in mt post on this minus the result of being reborn in the Pure Lands for the sake of argumentation) - it can be argued that the ritual is mildly esoteric on the basis of the dharani of pure morality recitation and people are instructed to view themselves taking the vows in the presence of all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and can view themselves as taking the vows from them (making the force of the vows stronger). You are also supposed to do purification practice, usually the 35 Buddhas Recitation.

The power of this sincere practice has been describe as a cause of rebirth in higher realms or the pure lands (rebirth in higher or lower realms isn't that difficult as Shakyamuni outlined numerous methods and results of practices). Shakyamni said that the result of doing the uposatha practice is virtuous and would result in higher rebirth and better circumstances including rebirth the deva realms. The teachings concerning nyung nay practice clearly describe the result as a fast track to the pure lands (although not a definite track) and a major component of the nyung nay practice is holding the eight vows, and doing 35 Buddha purification (and it's other major component is praise to Avalokiteshvara).

How then will the practice not result in rebirth in higher realms or the pure lands? Are you denying karma or denying that the practice will deposit positive seeds in one's mindstream?



If you want liberation in this life, at the time of the bardo, it is much better to practice Vajrayāna.

There is no point at all in this time of the Kali yuga to waste one's effort with practice connected with lower vehicles at all.


Properly done the eight vows in the TB tradition is a connection to kriya tanta even though it is strictly speaking a common Mahayana practice. People need a pallet of practices in order to strengthen bodhicitta and compassion and give rise to the manifestation of their buddha mind until they are ready to depart this experience. If everyone were to just do dzogchen then we run the risk of making the same mistake the very great masters of the Kamakura period made. And for people with dzogchen practice then any activity can be proper dzogchen practice anyway (not any activity but any dharmic activity).

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”
Hevajra Tantra
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Re: Conventions contrary to scripture.

Postby kirtu » Sun May 22, 2011 3:57 pm

Namdrol wrote:Atisha wanted to teach the Dohas of Indian Mahasiddhas like Saraha. But he was prevented from doing so by Dromton.


Dromtom muzzled Atisha !? Malcolm that strains credulity. How do you muzzle a mahashiddha? Given the standard teaching practice of the time Atisha could have just taught other people the dohas and kept the bodhicitta emphasis lineage with Dromton. Did he do something like that?

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”
Hevajra Tantra
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Re: Conventions contrary to scripture.

Postby Malcolm » Sun May 22, 2011 4:15 pm

kirtu wrote:
Namdrol wrote:Atisha wanted to teach the Dohas of Indian Mahasiddhas like Saraha. But he was prevented from doing so by Dromton.


Dromtom muzzled Atisha !? Malcolm that strains credulity. How do you muzzle a mahashiddha? Given the standard teaching practice of the time Atisha could have just taught other people the dohas and kept the bodhicitta emphasis lineage with Dromton. Did he do something like that?

Kirt


read Davidson. He explains the situation between Dromton and Atisha quite well.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
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Re: Conventions contrary to scripture.

Postby Malcolm » Sun May 22, 2011 4:19 pm

kirtu wrote:
This will not cause one to be reborn in pure lands, nor will it assure rebirth in higher realms.



I'm mildly taken aback at this - if you take the eight vows according to the Tibetan ritual an mean it then you are raising bodhicitta, accumulating merit, etc (the etc are the advantages listed in mt post on this minus the result of being reborn in the Pure Lands for the sake of argumentation) - it can be argued that the ritual is mildly esoteric on the basis of the dharani of pure morality recitation and people are instructed to view themselves taking the vows in the presence of all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and can view themselves as taking the vows from them (making the force of the vows stronger). You are also supposed to do purification practice, usually the 35 Buddhas Recitation.

The power of this sincere practice has been describe as a cause of rebirth in higher realms or the pure lands (rebirth in higher or lower realms isn't that difficult as Shakyamuni outlined numerous methods and results of practices). Shakyamni said that the result of doing the uposatha practice is virtuous and would result in higher rebirth and better circumstances including rebirth the deva realms. The teachings concerning nyung nay practice clearly describe the result as a fast track to the pure lands (although not a definite track) and a major component of the nyung nay practice is holding the eight vows, and doing 35 Buddha purification (and it's other major component is praise to Avalokiteshvara).



You just answered your own question.


If everyone were to just do dzogchen then we run the risk of making the same mistake the very great masters of the Kamakura period made. And for people with dzogchen practice then any activity can be proper dzogchen practice anyway (not any activity but any dharmic activity).
Kirt


If everyone were to just do Dzogchen then their practice would be perfect, without needing anything else at all.

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

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
Malcolm
 
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Re: Conventions contrary to scripture.

Postby Malcolm » Sun May 22, 2011 4:34 pm

How then will the practice not result in rebirth in higher realms or the pure lands? Are you denying karma or denying that the practice will deposit positive seeds in one's mindstream?


Causes of lower realms are many, cause of higher realms are few. Therefore, one needs a more direct method than fast day vows, etc.

If you do not want to take rebirth in six lokas for example, then it is much more effective to practice purification of six lokas than taking posadha vows.
Last edited by Malcolm on Sun May 22, 2011 4:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
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Re: Conventions contrary to scripture.

Postby Jnana » Sun May 22, 2011 4:34 pm

Namdrol wrote:If you want liberation in this life, at the time of the bardo, it is much better to practice Vajrayāna.

There is no point at all in this time of the Kali yuga to waste one's effort with practice connected with lower vehicles at all.

The Tibetans embedded all of the eight lower yānas within ngöndro, kyerim, and dzogrim. There are numerous commentaries on everything from the four thoughts that turn the mind, on up. Sachen Kunga Nyingpo's Parting From the Four Attachments was one of the first teachings I ever received, followed shortly thereafter by Atiśa's Jewel Rosary and Gampopa's Jewel Ornament. All precious teachings which I still reflect upon; which help one to simplify this life in order to be able to engage in solitary practice.

All the best,

Geoff
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