Safe Escape - User Friendly Dharma

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Re: Safe Escape - User Friendly Dharma

Postby Indrajala » Wed May 05, 2010 2:57 pm

Lazy_eye wrote:Huseng,

You're in your 20s, right? I know lust may seem like an insurmountable obstacle at that age, but this will very likely change as you get older -- by the time you hit 50 or 60, you might even find the topic a bit quaint.

Something to consider, possibly.

LE


I hope I don't have to wait until I'm sixty to get into a dhyana. :meditate:
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Re: Safe Escape - User Friendly Dharma

Postby Indrajala » Wed May 05, 2010 3:01 pm

Astus wrote:Huseng,

Here's an interesting one from Bodhidharma's Bloodstream Sermon:

"But since married laymen don’t give up sex, bow can they become Buddhas?
I only talk about seeing your nature. I don’t talk about sex simply because you don’t see your nature. Once you see your nature, sex is basically immaterial. It ends along with your delight in it. Even if some habits remain’, they can’t harm you, because your nature is essentially pure. Despite dwelling in a material body of four elements, your nature is basically pure. It can’t be corrupted."

(Red Pine translation, X63n1218_p0004c08-12)


It sounds like you're looking to have your cake and to eat it too. :smile:

Normally in most Buddhist models of liberation, eliminating kama is a prerequisite for most attainments. As long as kama remains strong, one is tied to the kama-loka, which must be transcended. Also, obtaining the higher knowledges as I understand it requires being free from the kama-loka. While being bound to it, you cannot transcend it, so to speak.

If you can get laid and enlightened at the same time then I tip my hat to you. However, in most cases it doesn't work like that. In Chan as well they were just as "puritanical" as anyone else.
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Re: Safe Escape - User Friendly Dharma

Postby Indrajala » Wed May 05, 2010 3:04 pm

Ngawang Drolma wrote:That said, there is a solution. I make no bones about the fact that I don't believe it's a quick solution. I believe that we're just ordinary and the stages of the path are dauntingly challenging to accomplish.

...

Thank you for your kind reminders; for we are in a serious situation. At the same time that we acknowledge this disenchantment with samsara and the dangers of birthing in other realms, we can practice happiness and direct our minds to places of bodhicitta and joy.

Thanks for listening to my two cents. Or one :)

Kind wishes,
Laura



I can appreciate how especially in Tibetan traditions they emphasize contemplation of death. Just thinking about the whole process of dying, how helpless one becomes and how our past actions become the judge, jury and executioner of our rebirth, leads one to realize what is important and what is not.
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Re: Safe Escape - User Friendly Dharma

Postby Lazy_eye » Wed May 05, 2010 3:39 pm

Huseng wrote:It sounds like you're looking to have your cake and to eat it too. :smile:


Although it's not the best etiquette to link to other forums, there was a very thorough discussion of this at ZFI:

http://www.zenforuminternational.org//v ... f=8&t=4208

The thread contributions by "Dan74" (starting at page 1) and "OmegA" (starting on page 4) are particularly worth looking at, IMHO.
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Re: Safe Escape - User Friendly Dharma

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Wed May 05, 2010 3:44 pm

Lazy_eye wrote:Although it's not the best etiquette to link to other forums, there was a very thorough discussion of this at ZFI:

http://www.zenforuminternational.org//v ... f=8&t=4208

The thread contributions by "Dan74" (starting at page 1) and "OmegA" (starting on page 4) are particularly worth looking at, IMHO.


It's fine to link to ZFI Lazy_Eye :)

Best,
Laura
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Re: Safe Escape - User Friendly Dharma

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Wed May 05, 2010 3:47 pm

Huseng wrote:I can appreciate how especially in Tibetan traditions they emphasize contemplation of death. Just thinking about the whole process of dying, how helpless one becomes and how our past actions become the judge, jury and executioner of our rebirth, leads one to realize what is important and what is not.


Hi Huseng,

It is true that that particular practices work heavily with death, as do certain teachings such as the Bardo Thodol (for example).

So yes, priorities certainly take on a new meaning once someone becomes immersed in the Vajrayana way! Thank you for your thoughtful comments.

Kindly,
Laura
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Re: Safe Escape - User Friendly Dharma

Postby Astus » Wed May 05, 2010 3:54 pm

Huseng,

Getting laid and enlightened simultaneously is an Anuttarayogatantra speciality, not really my cup of tea. As for Chan, it only says that normal laypeople can do it, that's what Bodhidharma and others said. No wonder they liked to quote the Vimalakirti Sutra so often.

I had a debate with myself on the subject whether Chan can really be a path to enlightenment, within this life, or it is rather Pure Land that is more appropriate. I came to the conclusion that Chan does work, it is a fine path even for a lay man like me. But I'm open for any criticism and advice, especially open for a good debate (just like this here, or more intense). Right now I have no doubts about Chan.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Safe Escape - User Friendly Dharma

Postby Indrajala » Wed May 05, 2010 5:41 pm

Astus wrote:Huseng,

Getting laid and enlightened simultaneously is an Anuttarayogatantra speciality, not really my cup of tea. As for Chan, it only says that normal laypeople can do it, that's what Bodhidharma and others said. No wonder they liked to quote the Vimalakirti Sutra so often.


Well, at least according to the scriptures we have that claim Bodhidharma said such things. Keep in mind that it is well possible that Bodhidharma never said any of that and it was later authors who ascribed such statements to him. It was quite common in China to ascribe texts and statements to various famous figures. For example, right now I'm reading the Foxinglun 佛性論 which is ascribed to Vasubandhu and translated by Paramartha. I don't think any scholar actually thinks Vasubandhu wrote the original -- it is neither extant in Sanskrit or any other language nor does it conform to Vasubandhu's thought. If you read the first scroll it is almost entirely a regurgitation of Nagarjuna's Mūlamadhyamaka-kārikā with some modifications. So, it is highly unlikely that Vasubandhu wrote it even though it is ascribed to him. In fact it was probably Paramartha who penned it.

Basically -- even if we have a scroll stating Bodhidharma said such and such, we need to keep in mind whether or not the Chan lineages even took that document seriously throughout their histories. A lot of the Chan works we have were found in Dunhuang and they were hidden away there from the late Tang until a few decades ago, so they had little to no influence over the course of around 1000 years.


I had a debate with myself on the subject whether Chan can really be a path to enlightenment, within this life, or it is rather Pure Land that is more appropriate. I came to the conclusion that Chan does work, it is a fine path even for a lay man like me. But I'm open for any criticism and advice, especially open for a good debate (just like this here, or more intense). Right now I have no doubts about Chan.


I could see myself seriously devoting myself to Chan provided it was orthodox and none of that revisionist nonsense. I feel, however, I would need a genuine teacher if I was to follow that route. We've discussed this before and I think Chan requires a teacher. Being in Japan there are plenty of opportunities to pursue Zen, but I don't personally feel terribly attracted to modern forms of Soto or Rinzai. I used to be though.

I'm at the point where I actually want a genuine Dharma teacher to study under. I have a lot of theoretical knowledge (I have a long ways to go still), but I feel I need the friendship and guidance of a master. I know here in Tokyo a number of bhiksu and bhiksuni (some fairly senior), but I don't really sense a teacher-disciple relationship is possible with any of them unfortunately.

I know many people who study the Chan records as literature and they're pretty good at what they do, but literary studies of Chan records (禪學) is quite different from actually engaging in it.

My bhiksuni friend told me right now I'm learning the theory and in time the practise will come. She also prognosticates that I will be "a Chinese monk" in the future. :smile:

We'll see if that happens... :sage:
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Re: Safe Escape - User Friendly Dharma

Postby Astus » Wed May 05, 2010 9:09 pm

Huseng,

Of course there is no proof that such a text was actually written by Bodhidharma, but it is not a Dunhuang script either (such texts can be found in the "Bodhidharma Anthology" by Jeffrey L. Broughton). Nevertheless, it was preserved in China as a teaching attributed to Bodhidharma, which tells more about its acceptance in the canon rather than its author.

I haven't yet explored this area, but apparently there have always a group of laymen involved in Chan from the early times on. Broughton actually mentions that Huangbo's Wanling record was meant for laymen. And I don't mean such non-monastic people were only interested in theory but enlightenment too.

As in China the literati, so in the west the educated middle-class people are interested in Buddhism the most. And while obviously the Dharma is preserved among the ordained, its practice has never been restricted to them at all, neither its full realisation. An interesting study by Piya Tan based on the Pali Canon: Layman Saints.

Make no mistake, I'm not saying that a lay life would be ideal for the path, nor that ordination is useless. I am only arguing for not excluding lay people. Dahui wrote (Swampland Flowers, p. 33-34): "When has it ever been necessary to leave wife and children, quit one's job, chew on vegetable roots, and cause pain to the body?" He talks exactly about how it is possible to attain enlightenment as a busy layman. As Layman Pang summed up: "Carry water and haul firewood" (運水及搬柴)
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Safe Escape - User Friendly Dharma

Postby kirtu » Wed May 05, 2010 11:39 pm

Huseng wrote:
Lazy_eye wrote:Huseng,

You're in your 20s, right? I know lust may seem like an insurmountable obstacle at that age, but this will very likely change as you get older -- by the time you hit 50 or 60, you might even find the topic a bit quaint.

Something to consider, possibly.

LE


I hope I don't have to wait until I'm sixty to get into a dhyana. :meditate:


It's just not all that important (at least not in the Mahayana). But while I personally have not transcended the attachments to the senses, real dhyana has in fact occurred to me at least twice, once during a long retreat. "Minor" dhyana, unwavering placement of mind commonly happens during retreats.

Don't beat yourself up with setting up an exceptionally high and perhaps unrealistic goal.

Kirt
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“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”
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Re: Safe Escape - User Friendly Dharma

Postby kirtu » Wed May 05, 2010 11:46 pm

Huseng wrote:Normally in most Buddhist models of liberation, eliminating kama is a prerequisite for most attainments. As long as kama remains strong, one is tied to the kama-loka, which must be transcended. Also, obtaining the higher knowledges as I understand it requires being free from the kama-loka. While being bound to it, you cannot transcend it, so to speak.


A Palyul Khenpo taught about 2 years ago that deepening, ripening progress on the path was similar to a strobe light experience where people sort of go back and forth between focusing on real Dharma and involvement in samsara. In good cases the focusing on Dharma becomes stronger and more meaningful and the attachments to samsara become weaker. Then at a point, one really attains the Path of Seeing and from an external POV all the samsaric stuff just drops away.

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: Safe Escape - User Friendly Dharma

Postby Lazy_eye » Thu May 06, 2010 1:55 am

kirtu wrote:
Huseng wrote:
I hope I don't have to wait until I'm sixty to get into a dhyana. :meditate:


It's just not all that important (at least not in the Mahayana). But while I personally have not transcended the attachments to the senses, real dhyana has in fact occurred to me at least twice, once during a long retreat. "Minor" dhyana, unwavering placement of mind commonly happens during retreats.

Don't beat yourself up with setting up an exceptionally high and perhaps unrealistic goal.

Kirt


It might be useful to distinguish between "experiencing dhyana" and "mastery of dhyana". It seems generally agreed that it's possible -- and even not that uncommon -- to go into dhyana even if you have not transcended the sense attachments. Mastery is a different thing. That's when you're able to enter any of the dhyanas at will, plus manipulate the elements, accomplish siddhis, etc.

I don't understand dhyana to be a strictly linear process either, as in you must "master" 1st dhyana to begin 2nd, etc. What a lot of people do say, however, is that after you have started to have dhyana experiences your attachment to sensory pleasures will naturally diminish because there's just no comparison. If you have a spouse or partner who can accompany you on the Way, there might be some wonderful possibilities. :smile:

In short, it wouldn't make sense (pun not intended) to put off practice until the day we have extinguished all our kama. That day may be a long time coming! And besides, the abandoning of the fetters happens because of the inner transformations that occur as a result of practice. If one doesn't practice, how will the transformations take place? One can't just sit in a room and say "desires, begone!" It's an organic process.

At least that's what meditators far more experienced than I am have told me.
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Re: Safe Escape - User Friendly Dharma

Postby m0rl0ck » Thu May 06, 2010 12:06 pm

Huseng wrote:
My bhiksuni friend told me right now I'm learning the theory and in time the practise will come. She also prognosticates that I will be "a Chinese monk" in the future. :smile:



How much actual practice and of what kind do you do?
Ride the horse in the direction its going.

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Re: Safe Escape - User Friendly Dharma

Postby Indrajala » Thu May 06, 2010 12:42 pm

m0rl0ck wrote:
Huseng wrote:
My bhiksuni friend told me right now I'm learning the theory and in time the practise will come. She also prognosticates that I will be "a Chinese monk" in the future. :smile:



How much actual practice and of what kind do you do?


A lot of meditation, confession, everyday compassion, reading, recitation and some volunteering. I also try to save insects from being squashed by not always so compassionate friends.

Can you size me up and make a judgement from that?
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Re: Safe Escape - User Friendly Dharma

Postby m0rl0ck » Thu May 06, 2010 2:37 pm

Huseng wrote:Can you size me up and make a judgement from that?


Well i could try but im fairly confident that it would be incorrect :)

You seem so serious, bordering on pessimism. Sounds like you are doing great tho :)
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Re: Safe Escape - User Friendly Dharma

Postby Astus » Fri May 14, 2010 10:40 am

Something about the lay path debated here for a little:

"They do not want fame, their hearts are not overcome by anger.
As householders they remain constantly unattached to their entire property.
They do not seek to earn their livelihood in the wrong way,
Through bewitchment-spells, or the spells which are the work of women.

Nor do they [earn a living by] tell[ing] plausible lies to men and women.
Practised in the quite detached wisdom, the best of perfections,
Free from quarrels and disputes, their thoughts firmly friendly,
They want [to see] the all-knowing, their thoughts always inclined towards the religion."


PP8000, ch. 17 wrote:When one lives the life of a householder, one has no great love for pleasant things, and one does not want these too much. For, it is realized that it's with fear and disgust one possesses all pleasant things. [fear of the possessed item's loss, and disgust at their decrepitude or lacking being better than what it is]. Situated in a wilderness infested with robbers one would eat one's meals in fear, and with the constant thought [333] of getting away, of getting out of this wilderness, and not with repose.

Just so an irreversible Bodhisattva living the life of a householder, possesses pleasant things simply without caring for too much for them, without eagerness, without attachment. One is not one of these people who care for dear and pleasant forms. These who live the lives of householders and who are involved in the five kinds of sensuous pleasures do not earn their living in an irregular way, but in the right way. Neither do these incur death in a state of sin, nor do these inflict injuries on others. These incite all beings to realize this supreme happiness, -these worthy beings, these great beings, superbeings, excellent beings, splendid beings, powerful of beings, sublime beings, valiant beings, heroes of beings, leaders of beings, waterlilies of beings, lotuses of beings, thoroughbred beings, Nagas of beings, lions of beings, trainers of beings! It is in this spirit which Bodhisattvas live the life of householders, in as much as these are impregnated with the power of perfection of wisdom, and this is another token of their irreversibility.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Safe Escape - User Friendly Dharma

Postby kirtu » Fri May 14, 2010 3:30 pm

Astus -

What sutra or comentary is this from?

Thanks!

Oh - Prajnaparamita in 8000 Lines? Conze?

Kirt

Astus wrote:Something about the lay path debated here for a little:

"They do not want fame, their hearts are not overcome by anger.
As householders they remain constantly unattached to their entire property.
They do not seek to earn their livelihood in the wrong way,
Through bewitchment-spells, or the spells which are the work of women.

Nor do they [earn a living by] tell[ing] plausible lies to men and women.
Practised in the quite detached wisdom, the best of perfections,
Free from quarrels and disputes, their thoughts firmly friendly,
They want [to see] the all-knowing, their thoughts always inclined towards the religion."


PP8000, ch. 17 wrote:When one lives the life of a householder, one has no great love for pleasant things, and one does not want these too much. ... It is in this spirit which Bodhisattvas live the life of householders, in as much as these are impregnated with the power of perfection of wisdom, and this is another token of their irreversibility.
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: Safe Escape - User Friendly Dharma

Postby Astus » Fri May 14, 2010 3:44 pm

Yes, PrajnaParamita in 8000 lines, but PP8000 sounds better.
The verse is of course from the Ratnagunasamcayagatha's relevant part.

However, the PP8000 is not Conze but Richard Babcock.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Safe Escape - User Friendly Dharma

Postby Yogicfire » Fri May 14, 2010 3:57 pm

m0rl0ck wrote:
Huseng wrote:Can you size me up and make a judgement from that?


Well i could try but im fairly confident that it would be incorrect :)

You seem so serious, bordering on pessimism. Sounds like you are doing great tho :)


I will meet up with Huseng at some point, and take him salsa dancing with me. I will report back on what kind of awakenings ripen at that time.....
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Re: Safe Escape - User Friendly Dharma

Postby shel » Fri May 14, 2010 6:52 pm

Huseng wrote:
m0rl0ck wrote:
Huseng wrote:
My bhiksuni friend told me right now I'm learning the theory and in time the practise will come. She also prognosticates that I will be "a Chinese monk" in the future. :smile:



How much actual practice and of what kind do you do?


A lot of meditation, confession, everyday compassion, reading, recitation and some volunteering. I also try to save insects from being squashed by not always so compassionate friends.

Can you size me up and make a judgement from that?


Confession?
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