Conventions contrary to scripture.

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Re: Conventions contrary to scripture.

Postby Malcolm » Sun May 22, 2011 4:36 pm

Jñāna wrote:
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


These things are all fantastic. More fantastic still is to get to the essence of the vehicle beyond cause and result.

People don't have time for numerous commentaries.

N
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Re: Conventions contrary to scripture.

Postby Clarence » Sun May 22, 2011 8:55 pm

Namdrol wrote:People don't have time for numerous commentaries.

N


I have read you saying this before, and I think that is why you are propagating Dzogchen practice so strongly. However, you managed to get a Lopon degree, become a Tibetan doctor, and do a 3-year retreat and you still have 30 yrs of practice left. So, don't you think that if people were really willing, they would find the time? Even for the commentaries.

Do you really think that people who don't have time to engage in study and regular vajrayana practice will be able to make the time to practice dzogchen (asked in serious, non-argumentative tone)? Now, I know in Dzogchen it is all about one thing, but before recognition, still a lot of time needs to be spend on regular, sitting practice, no?
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Re: Conventions contrary to scripture.

Postby catmoon » Mon May 23, 2011 3:45 am

Namdrol wrote:
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.


If it were completely false, then it would follow that nowhere in the world is there even single monastic who meditates as well as the lowliest lay meditator. That's a preposterous assertion. Therefore, what I said is not completely false.
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Re: Conventions contrary to scripture.

Postby ronnewmexico » Mon May 23, 2011 4:25 am

No offense catmoon I have no dog in this fight..but

stateing that is completely false is not the same as saying every word of that statement is completely false. The statement is..... nobody meditates as correctly as the average monastic. What is stated in whole(at least the part that is quoted)is that, not other. The statement itself is claimed false.

A inverse application of the statement to draw a absurd conslusion is not the same as the statement itself with no inverse application being absurd.

I can state a pot is black. All black pots are completely dark. Someone else cannot state as logical conclusion I state all dark pots are completely black.
It is a misread which of course being a misread will draw absurd conclusion. That is not the same as the argument itself being absurd or the thought extended being absurd. There is no logical extension of that thought in this manner. It is a inverse application of the thought.

I think everyone would agree Namdrol yourself and others... that some laypeople may meditate as well as or better than some monastics and some monastics may meditate as well or better than some laypeople.
I'd say most monastics exceed the capacities of the average layperson but I'd doubt I could find absolute proof of these things for debate. But every monastic.... no.
What may be described as a nonmonastic sanga in Tibetan Buddhism has some quite advanced practitioners that are not ordained.

But I am not commenting on the thread itself as the argument seems to be quite far from the initial and quite confusing as other threads appear to have been joined to it. A particular spiritual practice seems the focus now. I won't comment on the practice, but argument.....I will.

If you want to state Namdrols partial quote being partial is misleading or drawing a wrong conclusion from the entire content of what you wrote and is not quoted....that would be a valid counter. Perhaps that is what you mean...if so I'd suggest stateing such. What you state is not that.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Conventions contrary to scripture.

Postby catmoon » Mon May 23, 2011 6:18 am

Ok Ron, I will concede that there are a number of surprisingly confusing and differing ways to parse the foregoing statements.

What I was trying to get at is this: The vast bulk of people in this world who have over 10,000 hours of meditation under their belts are monastics. These people drop into concentration quickly, deeply and are difficult to distract. When distractions arise they typically return to the object almost as fast as is physically possible, in well under a second.

This has been documented in MRI machines by Mathieu Ricard and others. Monastics typically fall many standard deviations off the mean when any reasonable criterion of meditative depth and stability is used.

Taken altogether, this means that monasticism is a powerful tool for the development of meditational skills well beyond the norm. And that means that monasticism is a valid and tremendously useful institution. This makes it highly unlikely that monasticism falls under the category "Conventions contrary to scripture".
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Re: Conventions contrary to scripture.

Postby Malcolm » Mon May 23, 2011 2:05 pm

Clarence wrote:
Namdrol wrote:People don't have time for numerous commentaries.

N


I have read you saying this before, and I think that is why you are propagating Dzogchen practice so strongly. However, you managed to get a Lopon degree, become a Tibetan doctor, and do a 3-year retreat and you still have 30 yrs of practice left. So, don't you think that if people were really willing, they would find the time? Even for the commentaries.


I have had the good fortune to have more time than most people.


Do you really think that people who don't have time to engage in study and regular vajrayana practice will be able to make the time to practice dzogchen (asked in serious, non-argumentative tone)? Now, I know in Dzogchen it is all about one thing, but before recognition, still a lot of time needs to be spend on regular, sitting practice, no?


That is not how things are done in Dzogchen in general -- for example, you may recall that ChNN's text he taught recently recommended doing many very short sessions moving from one place to another rather than staying in a single place i.e. sitting here for five minutes, there for five minutes, moving frequently. This is completely opposite of how meditation is done in most other schools, etc.
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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 ronnewmexico » Mon May 23, 2011 11:36 pm

Catmoom... I agree overall considering the terminology used. Monasticism in any application may not be mentioned in scripture but contrary is subject to interpretation of scripture.
I have no opinion on that as scripture itself seems malable. Reading the Theravadan Brahamajala sutta and then reading the Mayahanan Brahama net sutra beings that to mind for me.


There exists a issue of monasticism that I have heard some discuss. The question raised was the status of monastics. The wandering lifestyle of the monks and nuns of the day seemed to allow for no real establishment of permenant abodes. Though some park areas were donated to the sangha those did not comprise real established monasteries.With the establishment of permenant structures and the necessity of maintance of those structures arose the necessity to establish a continual stream of income. Changing what was buddhist monastic perhaps to something else. The politic then becoming a necessity for the monastic organization. Hence seemingly some would contend with political necessity arose the corruption of buddhism and interpretations of things that perhaps were not formally buddhist to being considered buddhism.

I do hold that view, but as scriptures are mentioned as malable, changeable instruments of at times apparent political intention I find usually conventions do not run contrary to them. They are changed or interpreted to allow for such or perhaps just reinvented to allow for such...what the politic necessitates in some cases that being to maintain the edifice of the monastic. Buddhisms success or failure can be pretty well equated in geographical areas with its success in establishing itself with the governing body, and the revenues that ensue from such a establishment. While events may precipitate or incite such things, events like the MUslim invasion of India, the real death knell for buddhism in India began with a steady erosion of state sponsorship of the religion, as per one example. STudying Buddhism generally it falls or runs with the state.

All that aside I do agree that monasticism does have a result of some attaining meditative capacity. And how can we equate being such as HHDL as being not representative of the order they are in.
I can however see that certain considered relatively advanced spiritual techniques are the only future for buddhism. The application of that however being in a notmentioned context. The ground of devotion, prayer, fasting, singular vehicles such as these some may be described as lower tantras has already largly been taken in the religious community with more effective application by those of theist bent.
My personal conjecture is that if buddhism is indeed just that....it will within the next 250 or so years be unrecognizable from those theism of common content and thusly not exist at all for all intents and purposes. There being in a final consideration being not a whit of difference between amittaba pure land and the heaven of the theists for the vast majority. Object name and perhaps quality of place, are representative of cultural differences only by my take, there being the same exact mechanism.

So in a differing fashion I agree also on the advanced practices and the result of them being the only future for buddhism.
Though this certainly differs from the progression mentioned in this thread of that event.

So I agree and disagree with both sides on this issue.
I have however reinforced my assumption you are a logical able to consider alternate views of issues and discussions even in very fine points of presentation, person. YOur comment to mine is totally appropriate and worthy of consideration. Many would not respond in that fashion. You do so thanks.

On a side note....reading the Brahma net sutra reminded me of the varying attempts of chinese warlords/rulers/emperors at times throughout history attempting to rule by removing all weaponry from the populace; in fact outlawing such, as a part of their governance. Some contend original martial arts resulted from buddhist monks receiving those edicts and attempting to defend themselves from robbers and such by then learning martials arts and emloying the useage of common farm impletments such as wooden staffs but disallowing the very same instruments which are mentioned in detail in (coincidentally most would state)...in the brahma net sutra.
When to burn fields things of that sort....I find this scripture has application in a very broad context but specifically seems to apply govenmental necessities of the day to buddhism. UNcontrolled wildfires being a real challenge to governments of the day and the overall societal need for security.But a line between buddhism and government seems to have become somewhat blurred in such a sutra. Monastic permenant structure would allow for that blurring.But to run contrary to scripture...there appears no need...the needs of government have become scripture. But few perhaps have read that thing....I don't know.

Just my personal opinion, which I now state. I agree and disagree, with both sides.To my take there are seeds of this thing in scripture that which would disallow a formal substantial monastary from arising. HInts of such, things like... monks may not handle gold or money, in scriptures at times(and others). By my take those are residuals of initial impetus to see that buddhism did not become religions of state such as brahamism was back in the day.
When structures of permenance were established they did become religions of state as necessity for continuance, and hence corrupted. So it started with that.

I would suppose that was a very real threat to initial buddhism and was spoken against in varying forms. By my take also then the eventual fall of buddhism in india began not with the muslims but with ashoka and his equilivency of buddhism and state. The corruption of necessity for monastic being... permenant structure leading directly to a necessity of combining church/temple and state and thusly the needs of church/temple and state. Ultimately in those things when state becomes in disfavor as both are identified as part and parcel of eachother when one fails so does the other.

I predict such will happen in america over the next 100 or so years but that is a different subject. The more identified with theism is america(which in times of strife I see as in ascendency) the more will theism in its presently identifiable form be likely to dissolve with the state.
2500 years from now people will be asking...how exactly did america become a area with no identifiable christian theism(hard to say what will supplant it)....this is how.
As ashoka's kingdom crumbled in india(largly through the work of his son) so did buddhism, very very gradually crumble in india. The muslims but sped it on its way. State and religion being equal assured it. All nations eventually fall on bad times. When the times become bad and the form of government replaced so goes the religion....most typically. This may take a thousand years to evolve however. Or as quickly as a hundred years in a very small display such as perhaps evolved in a very small island in the pacific years ago.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Conventions contrary to scripture.

Postby catmoon » Tue May 24, 2011 11:52 am

A couple of additional thoughts...


As our world steadily becomes faster, noisier, and more hectic, the monasteries may become the only places one can go for some spiritual peace.


The tradition of wandering monks came about in a markedly different climate. One cannot practice this way in Winnipeg. A lot of the West has bitter winters that require more shelter than an awning under a tree. Those shelters need to be insulated and heated. They are expensive and require a lot of maintainance. And that requires handling money one way or another. Just the differences in climate require differences in practice.
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Re: Conventions contrary to scripture.

Postby Malcolm » Tue May 24, 2011 12:12 pm

catmoon wrote:A couple of additional thoughts...


As our world steadily becomes faster, noisier, and more hectic, the monasteries may become the only places one can go for some spiritual peace.



Spiritual peace comes from freedom from afflictions, not from buildings, monastic or otherwise.

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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