The 4 Spheres

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The 4 Spheres

Postby Dave The Seeker » Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:18 pm

Could you all help me to understand what Mahayanas 4 Spheres are.
I haven't found anything to really explain this.
Thanks

Kindest wishes, Dave
Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~
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Re: The 4 Spheres

Postby Jnana » Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:15 pm

The Seeker wrote:Could you all help me to understand what Mahayanas 4 Spheres are.
I haven't found anything to really explain this.

Can you expand a bit on what you're referring to, or provide a reference?
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Re: The 4 Spheres

Postby Dave The Seeker » Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:28 am

I'm sorry that was a way too general question.
At the end of the Light Offering Prayer in the dedication, it says
By the force of this merit, in all my lives may I never be parted from Mahayana's four spheres, and may I reach the end of my journey along the paths of renunciation, bodhichitta, the pure view and the two stages


Thanks

Kindest wishes, Dave
Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~
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Posts: 409
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Location: Reading MI USA

Re: The 4 Spheres

Postby plwk » Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:30 am

I am guessing and thinking it's the Four Immeasurables connected with Bodhicitta?
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Re: The 4 Spheres

Postby Jnana » Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:31 am

The Seeker wrote:I'm sorry that was a way too general question.
At the end of the Light Offering Prayer in the dedication, it says
By the force of this merit, in all my lives may I never be parted from Mahayana's four spheres, and may I reach the end of my journey along the paths of renunciation, bodhichitta, the pure view and the two stages


Ah yes, often translated as the four "wheels" ('khor lo). They are (1) to live in a place where the necessities for practicing the Mahāyāna are easily found, (2) to rely on a holy being who practices and teaches the Mahāyāna, (3) to have great aspirations for the practice of the Mahāyāna, and (4) to have produced great merit in the past.
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Re: The 4 Spheres

Postby LastLegend » Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:16 am

The 4 spheres if I understand you correctly are your parents, Buddhas and Bodhisatvas, all sentient beings, and your nation. When you are offering prayers, you are offering to those. In a way to say you are honoring and thankful to your parents, to Buddhas and Bodhisatvas, all sentient beings, and your nation. Parents have brought you here, Buddhas and Boddhisatvas are your teachers and guidances, you are related to all sentient being through a special relationship such as the clothes you wear were made in China by the Chinese for example or the food that you eat brought to you by the farmers, and lastly your nation or country support you in many ways.
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)
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Re: The 4 Spheres

Postby Dave The Seeker » Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:30 am

Thank you for the replies. :namaste:

I believe I understand this a bit better now.
Another question would be about the two stages as mentioned in the very end of the quote.


Kindest wishes, Dave
Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~
User avatar
Dave The Seeker
 
Posts: 409
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:02 pm
Location: Reading MI USA

Re: The 4 Spheres

Postby Jnana » Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:58 pm

The Seeker wrote:Another question would be about the two stages as mentioned in the very end of the quote.

That would be the creation stage (bskyed rim) and the completion stage (rdzogs rim) of vajrayāna practice.
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