commonalities and divergences between traditions...

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Re: commonalities and divergences between traditions...

Postby Jikan » Tue Dec 13, 2011 7:16 pm

Yes, the public incident in the Chogye order you cite is embarrassing. How does it relate to any of your claims on Vajrayana?

The other citations you give do not substantiate the specific claims you made before on contemporary practice, for instance on your misgivings regarding ganachakra (as it happens meat and booze are conventionally understood as antidotes to the superior attitude of constipated Brahmins, and therefore not at all metaphorical...), &c.

I said before, your use of evidence is weak. It is not at all clear how the evidence you cite is warranted in some cases, or authoritative or significant in others. Take the June Campbell situation you cited earlier, as though none of us would be familiar with it. Campbell's claims have been debated in detail on this board. What exactly are you trying to say about her claims on Kalu Rinpoche? For instance.
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Re: commonalities and divergences between traditions...

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Tue Dec 13, 2011 7:55 pm

himalayanspirit wrote:Tibetan Buddhists generally dont endure as much hardships as do the Thervadins and the Far Eastern Buddhists. All in all, I feel that there is no easy way or shortcut to enlightenment. If one thinks that just by performing rituals one can attain Buddhahood in this very lifetime, then he or she is certainly under the influence of Mara. But then, Buddha himself had foreseen that in the Dharma-ending age, wicked people will start wearing monks' robes, they will break precepts, and mislead the people in the name of Dharma. I see it all happening before my eyes.

PS- I guess this post would soon be deleted for the strong criticism it contains.


You will always get stories of conflicting experiences. the stories you choose to accept unconditionally are the ones that shape a one-sided opinion.
"...just by performing rituals one can attain Buddhahood in this very lifetime..." is, unfortunately, grossly inaccurate. A big misunderstanding.

"I see it all happening before my eyes."
Yes, sure you do. So you have never met a good lama. Have you ever met a lama? Do you know any lamas?

There are always problems. One can look at the problems as rooted in one tradition or another.
Or, one can see the insidious nature of samsara, of clinging, of confusion.
It is better to look at all these negative examples as inspiration to overcome one's own defects, and to see that a person really needs to put in some effort.

If a learned teacher can fall into the lower realms,
how much easier for someone as stupid as me?
This is better than looking for faults in others.

If you are criticizing as a Pure-Land practitioner, then that is really the worst.
Amitabha has already vowed to save all these beings you despise.
They don't bother him. Why should they bother you?
His heart is wide open. Do you doubt that?
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Re: commonalities and divergences between traditions...

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Tue Dec 13, 2011 8:03 pm

himalayanspirit wrote: Doesn't the Dalai Lama look like a politician or worst yet, a monarch?


You have a preconceived idea about what a politician and a monarch look like. Some lamas acquire great sums of money and give it all away to benefit others. The Buddha was just as comfortable talking to kings as he was talking to cowherds.

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Re: commonalities and divergences between traditions...

Postby ronnewmexico » Tue Dec 13, 2011 9:51 pm

As a matter of issue I can see the necessity for Bodhisattava commitment as means.

But...if bodhisattava is taken in a certain way to exculsion....

The teacher buddha was considered to be approached by a being called Mara, Some take this mara to be a representation of obstruction itself, others take this as real being.

Now if real being is endeavored, that being present at all times and in many shapes and forms, one being, whose chief responsibility it be, that none escape, and none change things....why then that doing?
The only explaination as I see it is the connection between us and other beings perhaps of another sort, which we don't naturally perceive.
If creatures do exist, that eat human emotion/faulted aware conception(preferred that), as we may eat food, must be those human, not allowed to escape rebirth, and for their sustainance must be the most amount of humans possible, in any place.

WEll why then would we suppose they eat us human, emotions/awareness....a being that had cause and concern with us human, that we never escape, how then that could not be its purpose. EAting of course in a aware sense, amounting to growing, that which is bigger, better, and perhaps with concieved eternal aspect. Such is the essential of eating a thing to maintain perceived, continuance.
So the way of things could be maintained only if that be the situation...humans are eaten....as means for concieved eternal sustance.
ONly then could such a thing as no excape be so so important to a being, like a mara, that any means be employed, that even one, did not do that,(escape), and that certainly one who did that, first they did not teach,and then, that their teacheings be corrupted as soon as possible, if one did escape and teach.

So if that is found.... any belief that holds to seeking a rebirth as human, more humans in any fashion, would be with the intention of the azuras.
A class of beings (though the name is arbitrary) that would eat such thing as human to continue a perceived eternal state.

Personally
So I would say on that basis any tradition calling for that thing(I don't know if any are as I know not any tradition)....would be one of question.
Do Tulkus on rebirth generally say...this is it, I have attained my rebirth, and will now work at this thing....generally; I say they do not seem to do that....reconsideration of path is most common. Not dropping the path but seeking other things in it.
So those that may rebirth as human per example to help others...generally they seem to rethink that, after that is done.

A personal opinion certainly, and perhaps many may consider it of no relevence but perhaps a bit it is.
How can we really qualify any tradition as good or bad or find final purpose to it without having it in our core.
WE don't have to stick our hand in a boiling pot to know it will burn us, but also we cannot know things of complexity without knowing their nuance.

So I could see that also on other basis....my answer being........... we shouldn't qualify other traditions but only our own. Perhaps only stateing what we find good in traditions not our own :smile:

Personally I am not buddhist and hold to no tradition getting most of my tools from Tibetan buddhism, a bit of mantra from pure land a bit of this and that from other. I am however not a dillitant in this, considering one tradition choice for tool of first choice being most important.
So qualify my answer as necessary.
But personally also I then find compassion naturally present, if any tradition did call for rebirth as human, I again would avoid that. As compassion seemingly need not that thing to progress in it or be found.
Less spiritual progression(perhaps) in deva or other realm but also perhaps less for them azura to eat.
And thusly with less eating.... less is the harm they then produce with advancing this thing so they may eat. HUman being perhaps preferred food it being so tasty their nuance and emotionality but other also eaten, all sentient being of solid form chosen....

So less(perhaps) spiritual progression.... but then also less harm.
I would choose that on the basis of less harm rebirth as human..... then be avoided at all costs that thing.
But no bodhisattava rebirthing as human to help human.....less harm by this way of thinking would preclude that.
Escape then as means of less harm being the only thing and way to end or deminish this thing. And
all and every effort exerted to accomplish that one thing...escape, as less harm it produces.
On such basis of compassionate intent one would be accomplishing and where one would end up would really not be all that important...as long as where one did end up one did not end up creating this singular notion of self which creates this thing they eat(azuras or those like them).
The idea one could return as human and really change a thing in a personal fashion, being a misconception.

I also then could be in a way signing my death warrent by saying such a thing in such a realm so dominated(or any number of bad occcurance so great their power be here)...but what matter that :smile: mostly none would read nor consider it but again....what matter that....is that not by this thinking as this realm be....idea of escape being the thing, so one remains and endeavors always, that thing, but never really taking a saw to those bars and escaping..... talking about remaining in prison, so one may teach other prisoners to escape.....seemingly faulted that, all then always teaching eachother but remaining in that place. That place the way it is constructed being harmful producing just by being in that place, that prison.


So there may be variance to this thing of tradition,if this be the case considered in this manner.
Then perhaps pure land makes as much sense as tibetan as zen or theravadan, or any other.
As escape, pure escape from this heinous domination of realm of azura, domination.... what tool we choose, hacksaw to cut bar, hiding in laundry basket, becoming member of work detail, and once out, running as fast as one can....not that be at all important in any fashion.
Not sawing on bar.......... seeing other hiding in laundry basket, saying...that is wrong,(how silly that)....escape by any or all means....that be the thing.
Perhaps one could take another, or a couple, in certain types of prison break out, but not more than that. Personally taking them with them.

It being finally considered to do such less harm always, when one escapes.
Once free........... one can then see what one can do to free others, inside not much one can do :smile:
Perhaps projecting video inside prision wall, if one has a certain type of video camera, or give them building plans of the prison, such as on internet,if they had a computer, or some other thing, If they are inclined to dig out....things on how one may escape........ things of that sort....who really knows or cares that thing...the present being before us now....

pure land tibetan theravadan zen whatever....hacksaw, laundry basket, work detail, or climbing wall.
Personally... I then now await them... saying now this thing in public..they knowing it not that they...be prisioners also.... of their eating. By freedom from imprisonment of any, be to their aid as well....eternal be they not....nothing they eat that may assure.
Ignorant they know that not.... as those they imprison know that not. They are the same.
I await them now and care not....escape it is the thing. Shot in escape, fall and break leg....escape it will be nevertheless, in any form or fashion...this thing be ended.......... this imprisionment.

FAst then imposed that thing, of tantric means, perhaps that thing...with the study of that thing,,of less to it then, perhaps they may know....their persistence in this thing...it is for naught. Nevertheless escape it is the thing. Less harm it certainly will bring. That cannot be denied in any form nor fashion.

And perhaps then that....why even one so escaping, it is so much to them. Fully, full to the brimm with food, never knowing that hunger to be, so obscure that so never considered that other..with the full is the not....one escape, a bit of hunger then, perhaps that is why even one, be so important to them...so they may not know that even once...a thing not eaten. Prisioners not knowing this thing to occur, (one perhaps then said simmply dead).. jailers by necesssity must know of that thing so others may not do as that one did. So they may be helped as well....rebirth as human... no. Not if choice is offered.
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Re: commonalities and divergences between traditions...

Postby catmoon » Wed Dec 14, 2011 3:14 am

himalayanspirit wrote:
Your eye-consciousness is the best documentation. Doesn't the Dalai Lama look like a politician or worst yet, a monarch?



No he looks like a monk. He sounds like a monk. He wears robes. He is constantly talking about compassion and kindness. If you want to go by mere appearances, it's hard to imagine anyone who looks less like a politician with the possible exception of Ghandi. On occasion you will see him seated on a throne, or wearing some fancy headgear, but it is well known that he is not fond of such displays.

Maybe you have a problem with the Dalai Lama, but I put it to you that coming here and smearing the Dalai Lama is like going to the Vatican and smearing Jesus or Mary. You cannot reasonably expect such behaviour to be accepted.
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Re: commonalities and divergences between traditions...

Postby Nighthawk » Wed Dec 14, 2011 5:49 am

What do Vajrayanists have to say about the CIA funding that the Dalai Lama received to train militants in Colorado?

http://www.straight.com/article/dalai-l ... tir-debate

:thinking:
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Re: commonalities and divergences between traditions...

Postby catmoon » Wed Dec 14, 2011 6:07 am

Ryoto wrote:What do Vajrayanists have to say about the CIA funding that the Dalai Lama received to train militants in Colorado?

http://www.straight.com/article/dalai-l ... tir-debate

:thinking:


Nothing. It's true.
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Re: commonalities and divergences between traditions...

Postby Shutoku » Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:32 am

I am Jodo Shinshu, and I find a great deal of commonality with Soto Zen.
To me "just sit" and "just say the name" are different in form only.
Both reject any self contrived ideas and favour letting go of the ego.

Regarding Shinran's words in the Tannisho, I think we need to look at that whole chapter, not just the opening sentence, and it becomes more clear why Shinran felt this way.

Even a good person attains birth in the Pure Land, so it goes without saying that an evil person will.

Though it is so, people commonly say, "Even an evil person attains birth, so it goes without saying that a good person will." This statement may seem well founded at first, but it runs counter to the intent of the Primal Vow, which is Other Power. This is because people who rely on doing good through their self-power fail to entrust themselves wholeheartedly to Other Power and therefore not in accord with Amida's Primal Vow, but when they overturn the mind of self-power and entrust themselves to Other Power, they will attain birth in the true and fulfilled land.
It is impossible for us, who are possessed of blind passions, to free ourselves from birth-and-death through any practice whatever. Sorrowing at this, Amida made the Vow, the essential intent of which is the evil person's attainment of Buddhahood. Hence, evil persons who entrust themselves to Other Power are precisely the ones who possess the true cause of birth.
Accordingly he said, "Even the good person is born in the Pure Land, so without question is the person who is evil"

My bolding obviously.
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Re: commonalities and divergences between traditions...

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:08 pm

Ryoto wrote:What do Vajrayanists have to say about the CIA funding that the Dalai Lama received to train militants in Colorado?

http://www.straight.com/article/dalai-l ... tir-debate

:thinking:


context. The CIA also sponsored a traveling art show featuring works by Jackson Pollock. They were trying to find ways to stop a "communist threat".
As the saying goes, "guess ya had to be there!"
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Re: commonalities and divergences between traditions...

Postby Dechen Norbu » Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:10 pm

The only shame were the little results CIA accomplished. Had they helped compressing China back to their borders, that would have been something worthy of notice. With guerrilla tactics the Afghans resisted URSS invasion for decades. They are still independent. Unfortunately, the same result wasn't achieved in Tibet, so they are now devastated and live under the oppression of the Chinese regime.
The Chinese occupation of Tibet is illegal. Tibetans lost their country in result of a militarized illegal invasion that persists today solely due to economic interests, not because there's anything fair or legitimate about it.
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Re: commonalities and divergences between traditions...

Postby Indrajala » Wed Dec 14, 2011 2:05 pm

LastLegend wrote:What sentient beings in Pure Land do is studying Dharma and continuing the path of Bodhisattva.
It's not a party.


It is a paradise according to scripture. Such a paradise is not suitable for bodhisattvas.





I must ask you then how exactly the practice that you mentioned there will lead to samadhi?


It really is basic calm-abiding taken to the level of dhyāna.

Can you please describe the theory and practice such that in your view Pure Land recitation will not lead to samadhi?


I don't think it will lead to dhyāna as there is an active willed intention ongoing throughout recitation.

In other words, what exactly distinguishes meditation practice from Pure Land recitation?


Willed action and dissolving of the will.




Yes.

But Pure Land is not a cessation.


It is a practice whose purpose is to achieve rebirth in a paradise, as I have explained above, hence I think it is escapism.


Why is it not suitable for serious Bodhisattva aspirants?


I just explained at length my position. Reread what I wrote for my answer.


Bodhisattvas in Pure Land do not go liberate sentient beings?


In the Pure Land there is minimal suffering and the work of salvation is left to Amitabha.


The quickest way to become Buddhas is through Pure Land.


Technically it would be Vajrayāna, because the model promises the potential for buddhahood in this lifetime, not in the next. In any case, I don't agree with your statement here.

When you become Buddha, that is the best way to liberate sentient beings. Who are you liberating when you are still deluded yourself? Realistically speaking.


Bodhisattvas even on the first bhumi are not ordinary beings and hence can aid in the liberation of others.


If Pure Land is not for you, it is ok. You can stick to your path. However, before you are disputing Pure Land, at least understand its teachings first.


I do understand its teachings -- I disagree with them and find many views held by Pure Land advocates to be adharmic in many ways. In other words, holding false views that are contrary to reason and scripture.




You are telling me that you have more confidence and aspirations than I do? If so through what ways have you demonstrated that confidence and aspirations?


My opinion is as I outlined above. Serious bodhisattva aspirants stick it out in this world and foster compassion, whereas in a paradise with minimal suffering there is little need to foster compassion.

Keep in mind that it might take you many lives before you can become enlightened given that your conviction is very strong every life. And you cannot liberate anybody until you have liberated yourself first. Skillful to be in samsara when you are still deluded?


The Pure Land is still technically samsara as it is within the three realms and arises due to causes and conditions.



Escaping to Pure Land is a good thing because there all you do is studying Dharma and continuing the path.


You are not really addressing my arguments and are talking past me.

You can obtain wisdom in a paradise, but you will not foster compassion as there is minimal suffering in such environments.


If you choose to be down here for awhile, you will continue to suffer. I must really admire your endurance then. Then I must ask you a personal question: how do you deal with your suffering since you seem to travel a lot.


Good question ... I eat a lot of good food, talk to cute women and take meds when I get diarrhoea (which is quite common in India).



And I will make a false assumption that it is a luxury to travel.


Yes and no. I have a minimal standard of living in many respects. No girlfriend, no wife, no kids, no car, no property, no nice clothes, no expensive haircare products, no drugs, no nightlife... I'm more of a pilgrim than a traveller.


I want to ask you another question: What is suffering to you?


Suffering is of three types. Primarily it can be called sensation which is disagreeable. I agree with Asaṅga (4th century) in his work the Abhidharma-samuccaya as follows.

It is said there are three forms of suffering. The eight kinds of suffering are included in them [birth, ageing, disease, death, association with the unpleasant, separation from the pleasant, not obtaining what one desires and five aggregates of attachment]. In that case are the eight included in the three, or are the three in the eight? They are grouped according to their own order: the sufferings of birth, ageing, disease, death, and association with what is unpleasant are mere sufferings (duḥkha-duḥkhatā); the sufferings of separation from what is pleasant and and not obtaining what one desires are sufferings caused by transformation (vipariṇāma-duḥkhatā); in brief, the five aggregates of attachment are suffering as suffering caused by conditioned states (saṃskāra-duḥkha).


For my own thoughts on this passage see the following:

http://huayanzang.blogspot.com/2011/07/ ... dhism.html




When you lack of merits, you might suffer like those hungry children in Africa and underdeveloped nations, you might want to escape to Pure Land. But Pure Land is not a party house. There you continue your path through learning Dharma and liberating sentient beings.


This of course assumes it is as easy as you think it is to get into Amitabha's Pure Land. In some traditions it is said to require great merit, rather than just refuge alone.


You see in Pure Land, you don't just recite. You also practice every Buddhist teaching maybe except (other forms of meditations). Things such 10 virtuous acts of body, speech, and mind. 6 Parimatas. Precepts. Conducts. Etc. Recitation is the main practice while others are supplementary. That's how you deal with the mind. Practice is wholesome. Does this look like escapism to you?


Yes, because you seek rebirth in a paradise which has minimal suffering. There is no need to foster compassion in such circumstances as one might infer in light of the teachings from the Vimalakīrti Nirdeśa Sūtra as I explained above. You should address what I have said above as it counters most of what you are suggesting here.
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Re: commonalities and divergences between traditions...

Postby Astus » Wed Dec 14, 2011 2:59 pm

Huseng,

I don't think it will lead to dhyāna as there is an active willed intention ongoing throughout recitation.

Active will exists on all levels of dhyana, otherwise it would not be maintained, except during the 9th, but even then it's decided beforehand when the practitioner would exit from it.

It is a practice whose purpose is to achieve rebirth in a paradise, as I have explained above, hence I think it is escapism.
In the Pure Land there is minimal suffering and the work of salvation is left to Amitabha.


Paradises are the realms of gods, the Pure Land is a realm of a buddha. It is not minimal suffering but zero suffering, so it is called the Land of Bliss. Salvation is not left to Amita Buddha, he only provides the environment, the work is left to the individual.

Serious bodhisattva aspirants stick it out in this world and foster compassion, whereas in a paradise with minimal suffering there is little need to foster compassion.

Beings in the Western Pure Land have access to billions of worlds where they can carry out bodhisattva work. Being stuck in a single world doesn't really compare to that. Plus, talking about saving beings without being at least a 1st level arya bodhisattva is pretty deluded.

The Pure Land is still technically samsara as it is within the three realms and arises due to causes and conditions.

It is beyond samsara as it is not created by deluded beings' karma. See Tiantai's ten world teaching on this.
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This face, the face at birth."

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Re: commonalities and divergences between traditions...

Postby LastLegend » Wed Dec 14, 2011 3:07 pm

Huseng wrote:It is a paradise according to scripture. Such a paradise is not suitable for bodhisattvas.


It is a paradise by an enlightened Buddha, but also a school. And it is for Bodhisattvas to become Buddhas eventually. I already explained to you that you cannot help anyone else but yourself first. Otherwise, you have to live with those empty vows.


It really is basic calm-abiding taken to the level of dhyāna.


Explain how Buddha recitation is not calm abiding, and how it works different from meditation.

To keep it simple, what is your definition of meditation?

I don't think it will lead to dhyāna as there is an active willed intention ongoing throughout recitation.


There is no active will involved when you decide to sit down and meditate? Initially, there is active will but over time there will be no active will involved if you get skillful.

There is no active will to get rid of suffering and liberate other sentient beings?

Willed action and dissolving of the will.


I am assuming you have no will to meditate then.


It is a practice whose purpose is to achieve rebirth in a paradise, as I have explained above, hence I think it is escapism.


I also explained to you that you are wrong, and that you don't understand Pure Land teaching. Now once again, the correct understanding is Pure Land is a school and sentient beings there will become Buddhas.

I just explained at length my position. Reread what I wrote for my answer.


I also explained to you that it is your opinion and you have no understanding of Pure Land.

In the Pure Land there is minimal suffering and the work of salvation is left to Amitabha.


No, you are wrong. Sentient beings there can manifest in many forms to help other sentient beings.

Technically it would be Vajrayāna, because the model promises the potential for buddhahood in this lifetime, not in the next. In any case, I don't agree with your statement here.


Yes, but it also depends on your capacities. And you don't have to agree with my statement. But once you are in Pure Land, becoming Buddha is much easier.

Bodhisattvas even on the first bhumi are not ordinary beings and hence can aid in the liberation of others.


Yes. What is your point?

I do understand its teachings -- I disagree with them and find many views held by Pure Land advocates to be adharmic in many ways. In other words, holding false views that are contrary to reason and scripture.


No, your understanding of Pure Land is limited and in fact your understanding of Mahayana is also limited.

My opinion is as I outlined above. Serious bodhisattva aspirants stick it out in this world and foster compassion, whereas in a paradise with minimal suffering there is little need to foster compassion.


I also explained to you already that your Bodhisattva vows are empty when you are still deluded yourself. Who are you going to save?

The Pure Land is still technically samsara as it is within the three realms and arises due to causes and conditions.


To be honest, you don't understand Buddhism at all when you made this statement right here. It's the realm of Buddha, how can it be a samsara? Remember objects exist at all levels depending on sentient beings' states of mind. If objects exist on a Buddha's realm, then it is pure. Don't fall into the nihilistic understanding of Buddhism that only mind exists. If objects exist now, what makes them stop to exist?

You are not really addressing my arguments and are talking past me.


You have no argument but lack of understanding for Pure Land. So I am educating/correcting you.

I am not talking past you. You are talking past yourself as what you speak of does not reflect your own experience or observation. I am not here to argue with you for the sake of knowledge. I am here to make it clear to you that your understanding of Pure Land is not correct.

You can obtain wisdom in a paradise, but you will not foster compassion as there is minimal suffering in such environments.


If you practice compassion, then compassion will manifest. You are correct if you are assuming that people in Pure Land party like heavenly beings from the heavenly realms.

Good question ... I eat a lot of good food, talk to cute women and take meds when I get diarrhoea (which is quite common in India).


It does not look like you suffer as those who cannot afford a proper meal and access to medical treatments.

Yes and no. I have a minimal standard of living in many respects. No girlfriend, no wife, no kids, no car, no property, no nice clothes, no expensive haircare products, no drugs, no nightlife... I'm more of a pilgrim than a traveller.


So you think you know what suffering is?

Suffering is of three types. Primarily it can be called sensation which is disagreeable. I agree with Asaṅga (4th century) in his work the Abhidharma-samuccaya as follows.


I am not asking you for your book learning definition of suffering. I am asking from your own experience.

This of course assumes it is as easy as you think it is to get into Amitabha's Pure Land. In some traditions it is said to require great merit, rather than just refuge alone.


By reciting Buddha, you are gaining merits.

Yes, because you seek rebirth in a paradise which has minimal suffering. There is no need to foster compassion in such circumstances as one might infer in light of the teachings from the Vimalakīrti Nirdeśa Sūtra as I explained above. You should address what I have said above as it counters most of what you are suggesting here.


You explained a lot of nonsense also. I explained to you already Pure Land is not a heavenly realm where you enjoy all your merits there and then fall down to samsara again.

And please continue to study Mahayana Buddhism as you have limited understanding of it.
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Re: commonalities and divergences between traditions...

Postby Indrajala » Wed Dec 14, 2011 5:46 pm

LastLegend wrote:Explain how Buddha recitation is not calm abiding, and how it works different from meditation.

To keep it simple, what is your definition of meditation?


There is an active will and intention during recitation.

Meditation is of many forms. Samadhi and contemplation are two different kinds of meditation.

There is no active will involved when you decide to sit down and meditate?


The active will dissolves.


There is no active will to get rid of suffering and liberate other sentient beings?


The will to liberate sentient beings is not manifest in the samadhi which leads to dhyāna. The point of said meditation is to cultivate the mental stamina.


I am assuming you have no will to meditate then.


You are mistaken.



I also explained to you that it is your opinion and you have no understanding of Pure Land.


No, I sufficiently understand Pure Land Buddhism -- I just disagree with many tenets its proponents put forth and think of the whole thing as a big gamble as far as rebirth is concerned. The classical theories of karma and rebirth don't allow for such easily directed rebirths until one is at a much higher level. In other words, ordinary beings have no say in where they're reborn. At death it comes down to your karma.



Yes, but it also depends on your capacities. And you don't have to agree with my statement. But once you are in Pure Land, becoming Buddha is much easier.


Easier perhaps, but much slower. Master Sheng Yen said this of Pure Land practice in relation to how it compares to Chan.

Bodhisattvas even on the first bhumi are not ordinary beings and hence can aid in the liberation of others.


Yes. What is your point?


You don't need to be a Buddha to liberate beings.


No, your understanding of Pure Land is limited and in fact your understanding of Mahayana is also limited.


You are mistaken.

I also explained to you already that your Bodhisattva vows are empty when you are still deluded yourself. Who are you going to save?


You don't know me well enough to make such judgements.


To be honest, you don't understand Buddhism at all when you made this statement right here. It's the realm of Buddha, how can it be a samsara? Remember objects exist at all levels depending on sentient beings' states of mind. If objects exist on a Buddha's realm, then it is pure. Don't fall into the nihilistic understanding of Buddhism that only mind exists. If objects exist now, what makes them stop to exist?


Technically this world of ours Earth is Shakyamuni's buddha-realm (buddha-kṣetra), and it is samsara. It is in the process of transformation, so to speak. Amitabha's Pure Land is merely one of minimal, if any, suffering and defilements, but nevertheless because it is occupied by sentient beings, who exist by virtue of their defilements, it is samsara.

It is not I who misunderstand Buddhism.


I am not talking past you. You are talking past yourself as what you speak of does not reflect your own experience or observation. I am not here to argue with you for the sake of knowledge. I am here to make it clear to you that your understanding of Pure Land is not correct.


Again, I understand Pure Land Buddhism, I just disagree with much of it and hence I said at the beginning of this thread that I feel least connected to it of all forms of Buddhism.


It does not look like you suffer as those who cannot afford a proper meal and access to medical treatments.


It is all relative. The happiness I experience in life fails to last and that can be suffering. Also, you don't know anything about my past, so don't presume to make such judgements about how much I suffer.


So you think you know what suffering is?


Suffering is disagreeable sensation.


I am not asking you for your book learning definition of suffering. I am asking from your own experience.


Suffering is disagreeable sensation.


You explained a lot of nonsense also. I explained to you already Pure Land is not a heavenly realm where you enjoy all your merits there and then fall down to samsara again.


The descriptions of the Pure Land in the scriptures seems to imply it is quite pleasant.


And please continue to study Mahayana Buddhism as you have limited understanding of it.


Sure.
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Re: commonalities and divergences between traditions...

Postby Indrajala » Wed Dec 14, 2011 5:54 pm

Astus wrote:Active will exists on all levels of dhyana, otherwise it would not be maintained, except during the 9th, but even then it's decided beforehand when the practitioner would exit from it.


This is not so. Even Ajahn Brahm teaches that in the first jhāna there is no active will. I am speaking of the four jhānas as one finds in the Nikayas.



Paradises are the realms of gods, the Pure Land is a realm of a buddha. It is not minimal suffering but zero suffering, so it is called the Land of Bliss. Salvation is not left to Amita Buddha, he only provides the environment, the work is left to the individual.


Technically this Earth of ours is a buddha-realm and this is not a land of bliss for all but liberated beings.



Plus, talking about saving beings without being at least a 1st level arya bodhisattva is pretty deluded.


You can still aid beings despite not being a realized arya.



It is beyond samsara as it is not created by deluded beings' karma. See Tiantai's ten world teaching on this.


Sentient beings reside there, and they exist by virtue of defilements, hence it is samsara.
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Re: commonalities and divergences between traditions...

Postby LastLegend » Wed Dec 14, 2011 6:18 pm

Huseng wrote:There is an active will and intention during recitation.


Yes. There is also an active in any form of meditation until you have become enlightened.

Meditation is of many forms. Samadhi and contemplation are two different kinds of meditation.


I am not asking you about the form of meditations. I am asking your understanding of meditation, how it works.

The active will dissolves.


When you have become enlightened.

The will to liberate sentient beings is not manifest in the samadhi which leads to dhyāna. The point of said meditation is to cultivate the mental stamina.


What is this so called mental stamina?
No, I sufficiently understand Pure Land Buddhism -- I just disagree with many tenets its proponents put forth and think of the whole thing as a big gamble as far as rebirth is concerned.The classical theories of karma and rebirth don't allow for such easily directed rebirths until one is at a much higher level. In other words, ordinary beings have no say in where they're reborn. At death it comes down to your karma.


You might want to question what you study sometimes. There is no separation between one mind and the other. How can this type of compassion not possible? Just because the text says so?

Easier perhaps, but much slower. Master Sheng Yen said this of Pure Land practice in relation to how it compares to Chan.


If you are cycling samsara and still deluded for a long time, it does take you longer to become Buddha.

You don't need to be a Buddha to liberate beings.


Yes. But are you enlightened? How real is your compassion when you are not enlightened? In what direction, are you leading them when you are still deluded?

You are mistaken.


Show me.

You don't know me well enough to make such judgements.


I know you are not enlightened and you are talking about compassion when you are still deluded.

Technically this world of ours Earth is Shakyamuni's buddha-realm (buddha-kṣetra), and it is samsara. It is in the process of transformation, so to speak. Amitabha's Pure Land is merely one of minimal, if any, suffering and defilements, but nevertheless because it is occupied by sentient beings, who exist by virtue of their defilements, it is samsara.


Amitabha Buddha is enlightened, therefore his realm is pure.

Also, make no mistake about this: Pure Land is conditioned relative to the existence of samsara but Pure Land itself is pure because it is the realm of Buddha because Buddha is enlightened.

It is not I who misunderstand Buddhism.


Then I guess it must be me.


I am not talking past you. You are talking past yourself as what you speak of does not reflect your own experience or observation. I am not here to argue with you for the sake of knowledge. I am here to make it clear to you that your understanding of Pure Land is not correct.


Again, I understand Pure Land Buddhism, I just disagree with much of it and hence I said at the beginning of this thread that I feel least connected to it of all forms of Buddhism.


Based on what understanding and reasoning? Hopefully not nihilistic understanding of Mahayana Buddhism as nothing is there.

It is all relative. The happiness I experience in life fails to last and that can be suffering. Also, you don't know anything about my past, so don't presume to make such judgements about how much I suffer.


You are right it is all relative. However, you seemed to speak for others regarding Pure Land as if they have the same capacities as you do to endure suffering like you do. How you understand suffering is definitely different from those who cannot afford a proper meal and access to medical treatments.

Suffering is disagreeable sensation.


To what degree? Obviously to the poor, hunger, and sick it has a different degree.

The descriptions of the Pure Land in the scriptures seems to imply it is quite pleasant.


If you suffer every second, I am sure you want a pleasant moment also. Likewise, in the same manner.

Sure.


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Re: commonalities and divergences between traditions...

Postby Astus » Wed Dec 14, 2011 6:25 pm

Huseng wrote:This is not so. Even Ajahn Brahm teaches that in the first jhāna there is no active will. I am speaking of the four jhānas as one finds in the Nikayas.


Ajahn Brahm has his own specific view of the jhanas (I'm not saying it's good or bad, just that it's quite unique). Since to achieve successive absorptions one has to maintain a focal point (see the system of 40 kammatthana), there are sustained mindfulness, intention and effort involved.

Technically this Earth of ours is a buddha-realm and this is not a land of bliss for all but liberated beings.


This was not created by a buddha, unlike Sukhavati and others.

You can still aid beings despite not being a realized arya.


Sure, but not actually liberate them. Plus, without prajnaparamita all merits are mundane merits.

Sentient beings reside there, and they exist by virtue of defilements, hence it is samsara.


Beings exist there because of Amita Buddha's power - this is the so called other-power, that is a form of merit transference. Otherwise only arya bodhisattvas are capable of going there on their own.

In fact, the basic principles of the Pure Land school rely on the doctrine of merit transference, because that is what makes it possible for buddhas and bodhisattvas to assist beings in many ways. Merit transference requires the recognition of the offered merit, that's why buddha-mindfulness is the essential practice.
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Re: commonalities and divergences between traditions...

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Wed Dec 14, 2011 6:36 pm

Please tell me how far the borders of Amitabha's Pure land extend.
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Re: commonalities and divergences between traditions...

Postby Indrajala » Wed Dec 14, 2011 6:37 pm

LastLegend wrote:Yes. There is also an active in any form of meditation until you have become enlightened.


There is no active will present in the first and other jhānas, and you don't have to be enlightened to achieve jhāna.


The active will dissolves.


When you have become enlightened.


No, see above.


What is this so called mental stamina?


Fitness of the mind capable of cultivating insight.

You might want to question what you study sometimes. There is no separation between one mind and the other. How can this type of compassion not possible? Just because the text says so?


I don't understand what you mean here.

If you are cycling samsara and still deluded for a long time, it does take you longer to become Buddha.


No, because wisdom and compassion can be actively cultivated together while on the bodhisattva career.


Yes. But are you enlightened? How real is your compassion when you are not enlightened?


My compassion is ordinary, and my ability to aid others in a serious way depends on deference to the words of enlightened beings.




You don't know me well enough to make such judgements.


I know you are not enlightened and you are talking about compassion when you are still deluded.


That has nothing to do with my suffering and ability to feel empathy for others.

Technically this world of ours Earth is Shakyamuni's buddha-realm (buddha-kṣetra), and it is samsara. It is in the process of transformation, so to speak. Amitabha's Pure Land is merely one of minimal, if any, suffering and defilements, but nevertheless because it is occupied by sentient beings, who exist by virtue of their defilements, it is samsara.


Amitabha Buddha is enlightened, therefore his realm is pure.


That doesn't negate my position that it is still samsara.

Like I said, this world is Shakyamuni's buddha-kṣetra, and though all buddhas are pure and free of defilements, those who dwell in it (i.e., me, you and all ordinary beings), are not pure.

Hence, just because Amitabha is enlightened does not mean his buddha-kṣetra will be pure. Our world is Shakyamuni's buddha-kṣetra, and this world is clearly not pure.

Also, make no mistake about this: Pure Land is conditioned relative to the existence of samsara but Pure Land itself is pure because it is the realm of Buddha because Buddha is enlightened.


You are mistaken. Again, a buddha-kṣetra is not necessarily pure just by virtue of it being a buddha's realm. Our world is a buddha-realm. It is not pure.



Again, I understand Pure Land Buddhism, I just disagree with much of it and hence I said at the beginning of this thread that I feel least connected to it of all forms of Buddhism.


Based on what understanding and reasoning? Hopefully not nihilistic understanding of Mahayana Buddhism as nothing is there.


Where did I suggest a nihilistic understanding?

It is all relative. The happiness I experience in life fails to last and that can be suffering. Also, you don't know anything about my past, so don't presume to make such judgements about how much I suffer.


You are right it is all relative. However, you seemed to speak for others regarding Pure Land as if they have the same capacities as you do to endure suffering like you do. How you understand suffering is definitely different from those who cannot afford a proper meal and access to medical treatments.


Again, you don't know my background, so cease with such judgements.

I said Pure Land practice is not appropriate for serious bodhisattva aspirants. The Mahāyāna was in ancient times conceived of as a vehicle of Buddhism for a few good men -- one which required extreme dedication and endurance well beyond that which was required to become an arhat. This meant that few would be expected to undertake bodhisattva aspirations as it was long road of toil and effort. To that effect I think a lot of Mahāyāna ideas are not going to be readily adopted and carried out by most people, and in my experience this is actually the case as more often than not the ideals of the Mahāyāna get little more than mere lip service much of the time.

So, those who have bodhisattva aspirations would bite the bullet and take suffering as an opportunity to grow and cultivate themselves for the benefit of others rather than expecting to be saved via the salvation of some greater being.



Suffering is disagreeable sensation.


To what degree? Obviously to the poor, hunger, and sick it has a different degree.


Suffering is still disagreeable sensation to the poor, hungry and sick, just as much as it is to the spoiled kid who laments being unable to buy a new Playstation. The former might receive more pity than the latter, but the experience is still disagreeable sensation no matter how you look at it.
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Re: commonalities and divergences between traditions...

Postby LastLegend » Wed Dec 14, 2011 6:48 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:Please tell me how far the borders of Amitabha's Pure land extend.


To the tip of my nose.
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