Still struggling...

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Still struggling...

Postby beautiful breath » Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:51 am

...I am getting tied up in knots here...LOL! Tantra and the practices in Tibetan Buddhism are not what the historical Buddha taught are they?

He didn't teach Phowa methods, Tantra, visualizations etc...did he? Just Samatha and Vipassana.... or am I wrong?

BB
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Re: Still struggling...

Postby Mr. G » Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:15 pm

Some good posts that are relevant:

Jnana wrote:
Enochian wrote:Mahayana is as old as anything else.

There are a number of good sources on the early development of the Mahāyāna. I'm pretty sure that I mentioned some of them in this thread. Another source which will be available in coming months is Ven. Huifeng's doctoral dissertation and translation of one of the works of Yìnshùn Dǎoshī. Also, here's what Namdrol has said on this subject previously:

    Likewise, while the Mahayana sutras were inspired by the blessings of the Buddha, I don't believe he actually taught a single one of them. Nevertheless, I think the teachings in them are profound and stand on their own. I apply the same standard to gter mas. Some are more profound than others. That has to do with the realization of the gter ton, and very little to do with their imputed source of authorship....

    So for example, it is spiritually meaningful that the PP sutras are set on Vulture's Peak-- but it sure is not a historical reality. Even though Shakyamuni Buddha certainly never actually taught Mahayana, nevertheless, Mahayana stands on its own and is valid as a spiritual path and practice because the folks that wrote the Mahayana sutras down were realized persons. The source of these teachings are all realized beings-- their assumed historical settings are merely skillful means to instill faith in the teachings in those person's who need to crutch of historical literalism....

    In general, if a sutra is crucial to one's own schools exegesis, but is of questionable provenance, it cannot be used in a general discussion to bolster one's own school's position since the text upon which one is basing one's position is not accepted as a valid text by all parties....

All the best,

Geoff


viewtopic.php?f=66&t=2964&start=120#p44886

Jnana wrote:
Enochian wrote:Why was Mahayana the dominant tradition in India for hundreds of years

Buddhist ideas developed to meet the needs of different groups of people at different times, the common theme being that they were inspired by the example of the Buddha's life and hagiographic narratives such as the Jātakas. And in some of the earliest textual remnants presenting the bodhisattvayāna as a unique vehicle we can clearly see a recurring desire to return to the ascetic path initiated by the śramaṇa Gautama Buddha. Other early bodhisattva aspirants likely had different concerns and motivations. In the course of time the bodhisattvayāna resonated with more people than the śrāvakayāna.

Enochian wrote:Why was Vajrayana taught at the great monasteries in India, Nalanda, Vikramashila etc.?

Same as above.

All the best,

Geoff


viewtopic.php?f=66&t=2964&start=120#p44880

From the thread: Defining Buddhism - Theravada/Mahayana/Varayana
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu
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Re: Still struggling...

Postby heart » Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:16 pm

beautiful breath wrote:...I am getting tied up in knots here...LOL! Tantra and the practices in Tibetan Buddhism are not what the historical Buddha taught are they?

He didn't teach Phowa methods, Tantra, visualizations etc...did he? Just Samatha and Vipassana.... or am I wrong?

BB


Nothing was written down while the Buddha was alive and the lineage was kept oral for several hundred years after that. No one know everything he taught. According to the Hinayana he never taught emptiness and compassion either. But if you accept Mahayana there is no reason why you shouldn't accept Vajrayana.

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
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Re: Still struggling...

Postby Caz » Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:24 pm

Sutra's and Tantra's where all written down hundreds of years after the Buddha's death. It depends on your faith as to what you accept.
Abandoning Dharma is, in the final analysis, disparaging the Hinayana because of the Mahayana; favoring the Hinayana on account of the Mahayana; playing off sutra against tantra; playing off the four classes of the tantras against each other; favoring one of the Tibetan schools—the Sakya, Gelug, Kagyu, or Nyingma—and disparaging the rest; and so on. In other words, we abandon Dharma any time we favor our own tenets and disparage the rest.

Liberation in the Palm of your hand~Kyabje Pabongkha Rinpoche.
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Re: Still struggling...

Postby heart » Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:50 pm

Some interesting reading on the oldest known Buddhist texts http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gandh%C4%8 ... hist_Texts

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
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Re: Still struggling...

Postby pemachophel » Mon Apr 30, 2012 3:45 pm

The Three Yana Path as it exists today, culminating in Dzogchen, works. That's really the only important thing. History won't get you enlightened; only practice will, and the practices that we have today in so-called Tibetan Buddhism have demonstrated their skillful means in the lives of thousands and thousands of practitioners. Practitioners have achieved Rainbow Body in the last decade and many others have demonstrated signs of unequivocal accomplishment at the time of their death or cremation. Your Guru is none other than the Buddha. Have faith, practice hard, and the results will come. They will.

Good luck and best wishes. :namaste:
Pema Chophel པདྨ་ཆོས་འཕེལ
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Re: Still struggling...

Postby Lhug-Pa » Mon Apr 30, 2012 3:53 pm

As a Gelugpa, you might find this regarding the Guhyasamaja Tantra by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche to be quite interesting:

http://melong.com/teachings/54-karma-em ... ml?start=4
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Re: Still struggling...

Postby beautiful breath » Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:26 pm

pemachophel wrote:The Three Yana Path as it exists today, culminating in Dzogchen, works. That's really the only important thing. History won't get you enlightened; only practice will, and the practices that we have today in so-called Tibetan Buddhism have demonstrated their skillful means in the lives of thousands and thousands of practitioners. Practitioners have achieved Rainbow Body in the last decade and many others have demonstrated signs of unequivocal accomplishment at the time of their death or cremation. Your Guru is none other than the Buddha. Have faith, practice hard, and the results will come. They will.

Good luck and best wishes. :namaste:



Thanks but this is the type of thing that I am struggling with. Rainbow bodies etc.... it all seems so very 'trippy' and an absolute paradigm apart from the pragmatism I see in the Pali Cannon.
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Re: Still struggling...

Postby heart » Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:36 pm

The pragmatism you "imagine" in the Pali Cannon. There is a current trend in Buddhism that are trying to make the Buddha look like a boring self-help book, I guess that is your inspiration. But what is the point of struggling with Tibetan Buddhism I wonder? I am sure you can find a Theravada temple and go there and study.

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
- Longchenpa
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Re: Still struggling...

Postby Lhug-Pa » Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:42 pm

heart wrote:The pragmatism you "imagine" in the Pali Cannon. There is a current trend in Buddhism that are trying to make the Buddha look like a boring self-help book,


:good:


Lhug-Pa wrote:As a Gelugpa, you might find this regarding the Guhyasamaja Tantra by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche to be quite interesting:

http://melong.com/teachings/54-karma-em ... ml?start=4


And I mean specifically within the context of your said struggle.

:idea:
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Re: Still struggling...

Postby jmlee369 » Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:29 pm

beautiful breath wrote:
pemachophel wrote:The Three Yana Path as it exists today, culminating in Dzogchen, works. That's really the only important thing. History won't get you enlightened; only practice will, and the practices that we have today in so-called Tibetan Buddhism have demonstrated their skillful means in the lives of thousands and thousands of practitioners. Practitioners have achieved Rainbow Body in the last decade and many others have demonstrated signs of unequivocal accomplishment at the time of their death or cremation. Your Guru is none other than the Buddha. Have faith, practice hard, and the results will come. They will.

Good luck and best wishes. :namaste:



Thanks but this is the type of thing that I am struggling with. Rainbow bodies etc.... it all seems so very 'trippy' and an absolute paradigm apart from the pragmatism I see in the Pali Cannon.


I would argue that the Pali Canon itself contains many 'trippy' scenes within itself. Many miracles of the Buddha are recorded in the Pali Suttas, as well as those of his disciples. One that comes to mind is the passing away of Ananda, who flew into the air between the border of two countries and spontaneously cremated himself.
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Re: Still struggling...

Postby Caz » Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:09 pm

Actually your posts have me wondering you shouldn't be experiencing any problems at all whats happened to your practice of Lamrim ? :buddha1:
Abandoning Dharma is, in the final analysis, disparaging the Hinayana because of the Mahayana; favoring the Hinayana on account of the Mahayana; playing off sutra against tantra; playing off the four classes of the tantras against each other; favoring one of the Tibetan schools—the Sakya, Gelug, Kagyu, or Nyingma—and disparaging the rest; and so on. In other words, we abandon Dharma any time we favor our own tenets and disparage the rest.

Liberation in the Palm of your hand~Kyabje Pabongkha Rinpoche.
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Re: Still struggling...

Postby deepbluehum » Tue May 01, 2012 1:16 am

beautiful breath wrote:...I am getting tied up in knots here...LOL! Tantra and the practices in Tibetan Buddhism are not what the historical Buddha taught are they?

He didn't teach Phowa methods, Tantra, visualizations etc...did he? Just Samatha and Vipassana.... or am I wrong?

BB


The historical Buddha taught all kinds of visualizations, from visualizing light and colors, to visualizing aspects of the elements. He also taught a few sutras about protection charms, and one about lights and rays. In Mahayana you begin to see mantra practice, the seed of tantra. Also keep in mind, the tantras were taught by the historical buddha, emanating as Vajradhara.
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Re: Still struggling...

Postby maybay » Tue May 01, 2012 12:55 pm

beautiful breath wrote:Thanks but this is the type of thing that I am struggling with. Rainbow bodies etc.... it all seems so very 'trippy' and an absolute paradigm apart from the pragmatism I see in the Pali Cannon.

Have you met the egg-heads that make the electronics you use everyday? Without them we wouldn't get the trippy pics and music.
People will know nothing and everything
Remember nothing and everything
Think nothing and everything
Do nothing and everything
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Re: Still struggling...

Postby Broken Yogi » Wed May 02, 2012 3:35 am

It's my understanding that Buddhism is not an historically fundamentalist religion, in that it doesn't require originalist adherence to the teachings of the Buddha, but allows for much adaptation to culture, time, place, and an evolutionary understanding of the principles first elucidated by the Buddha.

As I understand it, the name Buddhism is not even derived from "the life and teachings of Gautama Buddha", in the way, say, that Christianity is focused on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. Instead, the name and tradition of Buddhism is derived from "buddh", meaning "awakened mind". Gautama is called the Buddha because he achieved awakened mind, not the other way around. In other words, Buddhism isn't named after Buddha, but after "buddh", and thus buddh is the focus of Buddhism, not Gautama Buddha. So the history of Buddhism includes many teachers who taught from awakened mind, usually in a manner related to and derived from Gautama and his lineages, but also in a spontaneous and creative manner that took many forms that Gautama did not literally teach, but which Buddhists consider to have been latent within his achievement of buddh.

So the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions are considered to be as rooted in "buddh" as anything the Buddha himself taught. And all are founded in the Four Noble Truths. The variations being discussed all come under the heading of the Fourth Noble Truth, the Noble Eightfold Path, which allows for many possible forms of dharma, practice, and expression so long as they meet the basic criteria laid down by Gautama Buddha and serve the purpose of awakening buddh in the student. If they do not serve that purpose, they are false dharmas, even if seemingly consistent with the teachings. Buddhism is very practical, in that the proof is always in the pudding, and if the result is not awakened mind, the teachings or practice can be considered false, regardless of their fidelity to the original teachings of Buddha.
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Re: Still struggling...

Postby retrofuturist » Wed May 02, 2012 3:54 am

Greetings,

heart wrote:According to the Hinayana he never taught emptiness and compassion either.

ImageImage

Multiple strawmen entwined in one sentence... not helpful, really. Misleading and erroneous? Very much so.

If you're genuinely interested in knowing how those things are taught in the Pali Canon, feel free to go over to Dhamma Wheel and ask.

Otherwise, best stick to commenting on what you know.

Maitri,
Retro. :)
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Re: Still struggling...

Postby plwk » Wed May 02, 2012 4:12 am

On the contrary dear retro, 'heart' may be 'right', because the 'Hinayana' that they profess and claim to know are not what the truly informed know on what the actual Theravada and other sister Schools back then teach... probably some even think that the Brahma Viharas and sunyata dated back to a Rinpoche or a pandit than actual Buddhavacana...
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Re: Still struggling...

Postby retrofuturist » Wed May 02, 2012 4:20 am

Greetings plwk,

Well, yes... hence the multiple entwined strawmen I called out and why I rephrased my response in reference to the Pali Canon (which would presumably regarded as "Hinayana Sutras" by heart, I assume) which does quite clearly make reference to both emptiness (sunnata) and compassion (karuna). I also doubt these things are miraculously absent in the Chinese Agamas, Sarvastivada canons etc. and I'm sure some here could provide comment on that.

So unless heart's "hinayana" is an entirely theoretical construct of his own creation (in which case he can define and do with it as he pleases), I still maintain that what is said is both misleading and in error. I have no problem in heart praising his tradition, lauding its origins etc. but I'm sure all that could be done without recourse to blatant falsehoods with respect to other Buddhist traditions.

I doubt there has ever been even one Buddhist tradition of any yana that didn't accept emptiness and compassion and I'd challenge him to name just one. Until then, it's empty boasting devoid of compassion. 8-)

Maitri,
Retro. :)
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Re: Still struggling...

Postby sangyey » Wed May 02, 2012 4:52 am

Skillful means skillful means.......whether you use sutra methods or tantra methods the result of the Rupakaya and Dharmakaya is the same.

It takes time, study, and practice to see the whole picture.
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Re: Still struggling...

Postby heart » Wed May 02, 2012 5:51 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

heart wrote:According to the Hinayana he never taught emptiness and compassion either.

ImageImage

Multiple strawmen entwined in one sentence... not helpful, really. Misleading and erroneous? Very much so.

If you're genuinely interested in knowing how those things are taught in the Pali Canon, feel free to go over to Dhamma Wheel and ask.

Otherwise, best stick to commenting on what you know.

Maitri,
Retro. :)


Hey Retro,

I will stand corrected, I have very little knowledge of the Pali Canon. Always thought the Pali Canon taught no-self and kindness.
So do you think that the Buddha actually taught the root of Mahayana in the Pali Canon? Do you feel the same about Vajrayana?
If so please find a little kindness in your heart and explain it to the OP.

/magnus
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