question about practice in TNH groups

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question about practice in TNH groups

Postby Viriya Karuna » Thu May 06, 2010 2:16 pm

Hello all,
this is my first post here, I am a regular in Dhammawheel (a regular reader, not a writer though).
I am a Theravadin but as there are no local groups where I live, I attend a very small TNH group to get a taste of Sangha. It's good for me, actually I benefit from the more ritual approach (I mean be conscious about how I enter the room, from which direction I approach the Zafu, how I sit down, etc.). I do Vipassana whereas the others do their Zen and everything is fine.
From time to time there are texts read (logically, Mahayana Sutras, some of them very beautiful) and very seldom people talk about Dharma.
So to make it short - yesterday the group responsible (don't know how to call him, he is a lay practitioner but took some vows) told me "we have many things in common, for example, we all believe in an entity - call it as you wish - who punishes or rewards our acts".
I was and still am stunned. I did not know that. Do I really know so little about Mahayana, or more specific TNH Zen?
Do you really believe that in TNH groups?
I only ask so I can learn more about TNH practice. Definitely it is not what I believe, but it's okay, I still will be sitting with them the same way I was before yesterday, nothing wrong with that believe - only I wish to know more about it.
Thank you very much for your help.
Viriya Karuna
 
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Re: question about practice in TNH groups

Postby catmoon » Thu May 06, 2010 2:36 pm

Boy oh boy. You really do have to wonder what he meant by "entity". Perhaps he thought you were a Christian and was trying to be polite?
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Re: question about practice in TNH groups

Postby Viriya Karuna » Thu May 06, 2010 2:54 pm

Thank you very much for your answer.
He knows I am a Theravadin, so I don't think he was being polite - of course I don't know what he understands for "entitiy" and I was too surprised to ask, really.
So you're saying this is not TNH Zen "conform"? Or just open to interpretation?
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Re: question about practice in TNH groups

Postby muni » Thu May 06, 2010 6:20 pm

Thich Nhat Hanh:



"What is non-self, Anatta (Pali)? It means impermanence. If things are impermanent, they don’t remain the same things forever. You of this moment are no longer you of a minute ago. There is no permanent entity within us, there is only a stream of being. There is always a lot of input and output. The input and the output happen in every second, and we should learn how to look at life as streams of being, and not as separate entities. This is a very profound teaching of the Buddha. For instance, looking into a flower, you can see that the flower is made of many elements that we can call non-flower elements. When you touch the flower, you touch the cloud. You cannot remove the cloud from the flower, because if you could remove the cloud from the flower, the flower would collapse right away. You don’t have to be a poet in order to see a cloud floating in the flower, but you know very well that without the clouds there would be no rain and no water for the flower to grow. So cloud is part of flower, and if you send the element cloud back to the sky, there will be no flower. Cloud is a non-flower element. And the sunshine…you can touch the sunshine here. If you send back the element sunshine, the flower will vanish. And sunshine is another non-flower element. And earth, and gardener…if you continue, you will see a multitude of non-flower elements in the flower. In fact, a flower is made only with non-flower elements. It does not have a separate self."



http://www.abuddhistlibrary.com/Buddhis ... y%2028.htm
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Re: question about practice in TNH groups

Postby Viriya Karuna » Thu May 06, 2010 7:37 pm

Thank you Muni, this is a nice quote - but it still leaves me with the same question: Do Interbeing practitioners think there is "something", an "entitiy" which punishes or rewards us for our actions?
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Re: question about practice in TNH groups

Postby bukowski » Thu May 06, 2010 8:26 pm

Hi Viriya Karuna. :smile:

In answer to your question, not as far as i am aware. I have sat with a TNH group in the past, read many of his books and heard him speak. I have no idea what the "entity" is that judges us?
As the given quote show's TNH doesn't talk of a permenant entity of any type.
Of course, different people interperate different teachings in different ways. If i were you i would bring your concerns up when you next sit with the group. I'm sure their will be some logical explanation, such as a missuse of terminoligy, or a misunderstanding of teaching.

metta, bukowski. :anjali:
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Re: question about practice in TNH groups

Postby Viriya Karuna » Thu May 06, 2010 8:40 pm

Thank you very much for your kind answer.
Yes, of course you are right, the best thing is to answer the person himself.
Thanks again,
Metta,
Viriya Karuna
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Re: question about practice in TNH groups

Postby catmoon » Thu May 06, 2010 10:23 pm

I don't know much about TNH, but I'd like to say that I think it very unlikely he would endorse an idea like some kind of Buddha of Justice dispensing rewards and punishments. If he did, I'd be as shocked as you are.
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Re: question about practice in TNH groups

Postby muni » Fri May 07, 2010 8:38 am

Viriya Karuna wrote:Thank you Muni, this is a nice quote - but it still leaves me with the same question: Do Interbeing practitioners think there is "something", an "entitiy" which punishes or rewards us for our actions?


:namaste: In misperception of conceptual boundaries there are lots of "entities outside". It is full of them there!

No something can be outside of own stream of being in the interdependency-emptiness. In the law of nature is no separate punishing something available.

Not sure this can help, but compassion toward belief in concepts can do it.
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Re: question about practice in TNH groups

Postby Viriya Karuna » Fri May 07, 2010 9:44 am

Thank you.
I did not ask in the moment, first because I really didn't know what to say and later because I didn't want to embarrass him. And, there was a third reason, I was kind of "afraid" to say something wrong, because I really don't know too much about Mahayana, sorry.
But it's as you say, or I understand him wrong, then he can correct me when I ask or he has a misconception so he can check that out when I ask - so it's a win win situation for us both.
I really appreciate your help on this :smile:
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Re: question about practice in TNH groups

Postby Viriya Karuna » Fri May 07, 2010 4:44 pm

Hello again - so now I asked and I obviously misunderstood the good man.
He has a view about Karma / Kamma I do not disagree with and no eternal punishing entity in sight, everything is fine.
Thank you again. :smile:
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