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 Post subject: Re: Still struggling...
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 6:03 am 
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Greetings Heart,

heart wrote:
So do you think that the Buddha actually taught the root of Mahayana in the Pali Canon? Do you feel the same about Vajrayana?

I think what Mr.G pulled together in the second post of this topic was apt, but I am not learned enough in Vajrayana to comment from my own perspective, as I have always found satisfaction in the Sutta Pitaka of the Pali Canon, and have focused my attentions there.

Maitri,
Retro. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Still struggling...
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 6:39 am 
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The Shravakayana path doesn't have teachings on Buddha Nature, Bodhicitta, and the emptiness of phenomena. References to at least a couple of these three said teachings are most likely found somewhere in the Pali canon, although most non-Mahayana practitioners would probably not give much importance to them.


Last edited by Lhug-Pa on Wed May 02, 2012 7:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Still struggling...
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 6:55 am 
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Greetings,

Lhug-Pa wrote:
The Shravakayana and Pratyekabuddhayana paths don't have teachings on Buddha Nature, Bodhicitta, and the emptiness of phenomena. References to at least a couple of these three said teachings are most likely found somewhere in the Pali canon, although most non-Mahayana practitioners would probably not give much importance to them.

It seems that straw-men run rife here today. :lol:

You're correct about the absence of Buddha Nature and Bodhicitta... both in terms of scripture and in practice in the Shravakayana.

Emptiness of phenomena is found in the suttas in the Pali Canon and there are many of us who give great importance to them.

:popcorn:

Maitri,
Retro. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Still struggling...
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 7:01 am 
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Retro, you will only be complete as a man once you convert to Mahayana. :tongue:


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 Post subject: Re: Still struggling...
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 7:10 am 
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Greetings,

Nighthawk wrote:
Retro, you will only be complete as a man once you convert to Mahayana.

Thanks for the hot tip, Nighthawk. :lol:

In the meantime, perhaps the OP's questions might be best be answered directly from a Vajrayana perspective, rather than via "counter aspersions" against other traditions about what they do or don't teach or value.

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

Maitri,
Retro. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Still struggling...
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 7:21 am 
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Well said retro and I can only wish the best for the OP...

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 Post subject: Re: Still struggling...
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 7:33 am 
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Well apparently I was mistaken about the Pratyekabuddhayana; but according to Longchenpa, the Vaibhashika and Sautrantika schools of the Sravakayana hold that indivisible particles of matter are ultimately real. I don't know if this view is in any way comparable to some western occult school's philosophy regarding Monads (probably not, because a Monad I believe is apparently something like a self that is in sentient beings and all other phenomena), or if it is in reference to something completely different. Nor do I know what the Pratyekabuddhayana and other Shravakayana schools have to say about the emptiness of phenomena.... :anjali:


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 Post subject: Re: Still struggling...
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 8:31 am 
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The following link goes directly to a page in Jigme Lingpa's Treasury of Precious Qualities giving a brief overview of the Vaibhashika and Sautrantika views, for anyone interested:

http://books.google.com/books?id=imLeWk ... CB0Q6AEwAA

The very useful notes for the above overviews:

http://books.google.com/books?id=imLeWk ... _text&cd=1


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 Post subject: Re: Still struggling...
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 9:26 am 
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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. :)


:buddha1:

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 Post subject: Re: Still struggling...
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 2:44 pm 
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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, 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


Sorry, I 'see' pragmatism in the Pali Canon. Also I am not subscribing to any perception of the who the Buddha was. So with respect your predictions are incorrect on both counts.

So anyway...........the fact of the matter is nobody knows? If the Buddha taught Vajrayana then surely we'd know in much the same way that we know he taught whats in the Pali Canon. Don't get all precious people, I am only asking a valid question here. :thanks:

What I am hearing currently is Tibetan Buddhism should really be called "The tibetan take on what the Buddha taught with a prikling of Bon and Hinduism"

Is that fair?


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 Post subject: Re: Still struggling...
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 2:57 pm 
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...ok...another way of putting my question.

The Pali Canon seems to teach a very non-esoteric form of practice. The end result is a by-proxy experience of Emptiness via practices such as Vipassana and the Jhanas for example. No Deities, no mantras, no Bardo, no inner offerings, no long Pujas and unless I am mistaken (not unlikely!) no teachings about the Bardo etc..... There is also evidence in the Theravada that the Pali Canon is the first recordings of what the historical Buddha taught - am I right??

Tibetan Buddhism however is effectively the opposite. There is little in the Mahayana teachings (particularly in Tibetan Buddhism) that resembles the above.

The problem I have is that like the song says "Two men say they're Jesus, one of them has to be wrong". If the teachings re the Bardo and the managing of the post mortem state are valid then we should surely ALL be concentrating on them as a priority. We should ALL be striving towards Vajrayana and the Mahamudra. If however, they are the products of the acid heads of 'Buddhism' (a friends description not mine - but I like it anyways) then we had best steer clear and follow the breath.

How about, Vajrayana is filling the mind with more 'stuff' and Satipatana is the opposite. Two completely contradictory practices.

So, imagine here I am, a complete newbie and I ask. "What should I practice"? ....... what would you say?

BB


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 Post subject: Re: Still struggling...
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 3:53 pm 
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BB,

If you're more inclined to practice Theravada than Vajrayana, then go for it. That's why there's 84,000 teachings. Each teaching is appropriate for a certain kind of person. No foul, no blame.

Good luck and best wishes. :namaste:

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 Post subject: Re: Still struggling...
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 4:09 pm 
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beautiful breath wrote:
How about, Vajrayana is filling the mind with more 'stuff' and Satipatana is the opposite. Two completely contradictory practices.

So, imagine here I am, a complete newbie and I ask. "What should I practice"? ....... what would you say?


I'd say you should investigate for yourself the actual teachings of Tibetan Buddhism and not listen to what outsiders think they are.

It ranges from massively complex pujas and internal yogas to practices that literally could not be more simple. All the teachings about mindfulness of breathing and vipassana are present in Tibetan teachings. It seems to me that some outside the Tibetan schools think that it's just a load of synchretic stuff that's basically some weird voodoo. Not true.

In all of Tibetan Buddhist practices, the view of the four seals of impermanance, emptiness, suffering and nirvana are present - and all with the Mahayana intention to benefit others. It is all a very, very clever way of taking *everything* onto the path - so you do not just find youself limited by having to sit a certain way and so some specific meditation on the breath for example. Everything is used to destroy grasping. It's obviously not the case for every practitioner, but once a person has had insight into the nature of mind, everything should done in that recognition of rigpa. The many practices then are a good way to expand the capacity for a person to see the emptiness of phenomena in all that they do - that way the wisdom gains more and more strength.

Also, there are teachings that mention an in-between state in the Pali canon, although this is rejected by the Therevada Abhidhamma. Look for the term 'antarabhava' online

Have you seen this (free) book? It might be of interest: http://www.abhayagiri.org/main/book/138/

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 Post subject: Re: Still struggling...
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 4:11 pm 
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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?


The Pali says that Shakyamuni Buddha did indeed teach visualizations. It also records that he did teach a form of phowa focused specifically on intentionality and cause and effect (see the Sutta on the Dog Duty Ascetic for example and his warning to people engaged in this kind of practice). He did not teach tantra in the Pali Suttas. This is because this stream of liberation is predicated upon strict renunciation and strict observance of cause and effect.

In a sense Shakyamuni didn't actually teach samatha or vipassana - he just taught methods to get people to realization. Samatha itself doesn't result in realization at any level - it just calms the mind ( :jumping: ). Similarly vipassana itself doesn't result in realization ( :stirthepot: - although this is more difficult to support) although it does (eventually) awaken wisdom, real wisdom (however one of the problems is that people can see wisdom and then walk away from it - this is because our realizations are very shallow).

Kirt

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 Post subject: Re: Still struggling...
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 4:13 pm 
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beautiful breath wrote:
So, imagine here I am, a complete newbie and I ask. "What should I practice"? ....... what would you say?


Compassion.

Kirt

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 Post subject: Re: Still struggling...
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 4:25 pm 
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beautiful breath wrote:
There is also evidence in the Theravada that the Pali Canon is the first recordings of what the historical Buddha taught - am I right??


No not really, the sutras were authored by various people from different lineages all over the expanding Buddhist world from about the Second Council. Mahayana did develop (as did the Sravakayana schools) but the elements of the lineages were in place from the beginning.

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Tibetan Buddhism however is effectively the opposite. There is little in the Mahayana teachings (particularly in Tibetan Buddhism) that resembles the above.


No, non-tanric Mahayana and Tibetan Buddhism do indeed support non-esoteric practice.

Quote:
The problem I have is that like the song says "Two men say they're Jesus, one of them has to be wrong".


Really? The Christian world went through centuries of legitimate argument over Jesus and his teachings. Is Jesus different between, a devote Amish, a Thomas Christian (Indian Christian from St. Thomas's mission to Kerala), an English liberal Christian, and an Eastern Orthodox Christian?

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If the teachings re the Bardo and the managing of the post mortem state are valid then we should surely ALL be concentrating on them as a priority. We should ALL be striving towards Vajrayana and the Mahamudra. If however, they are the products of the acid heads of 'Buddhism' (a friends description not mine - but I like it anyways) then we had best steer clear and follow the breath.


The Buddha gave different teachings for different people. He really did this. He even did this in the Pali (even if most of our Theravadin friends say otherwise).

Quote:
How about, Vajrayana is filling the mind with more 'stuff' and Satipatana is the opposite. Two completely contradictory practices.


Vajrayana does not fill the mind with stuff. Satipatana is also practiced in Tibetan Buddhism.

Kirt

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 Post subject: Re: Still struggling...
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 4:31 pm 
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In reading the Shamatha section of Dudjom Lingpa's Vajra Heart Essence and Alan B. Wallace's commentary in it, it is said that Shamatha alone can also lead to a certain level of clairvoyance. Although of course that in itself isn't Buddhahood, and given the nature of Vipassana (special in-sight), the latter would be more conducive to higher levels of clairvoyance (clear vision).

Anyway, fact is that all major religions have their occult or esoteric aspect, and Buddhism is no exception.

Many exoteric Muslims think that Sufis are shirq or kafiruwn, many exoteric Christians think that Gnostics are Satanic, and many Hinayanaists (exoteric) think that Mahayana (mesoteric) and Vajrayana (esoteric) were not taught by the Buddha Shakyamuni. Of course Vajrayana was not taught publicly by Buddha Shakyamuni, like Sufism wasn't taught publicly by Muhammad.

Even Jesus said in the exoteric gospels that he taught only the exoteric dimension of his teachings to the profane and that he reserved the esoteric teachings for his disciples. I seem to recall that there are similar instances in some Sutras (Mahayana and non-Mahayana) where reference is made to Buddhism having a more esoteric dimension (Mahayana and Tantrayana) which many Vaibhashikas and Sautrantikas won't accept. Regarding that, what Pemachophel said. :anjali:

By the way, the Vajrayana Masters are very capable of defending the positions of Mantrayana using pure logic and reasoning (without having to only appeal to authority & refer to the more so-called "fantastical" aspects of Tantrayana) such as seen in the links in both my previous post and in my posts on page one of this thread.


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 Post subject: Re: Still struggling...
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 6:03 pm 
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http://www.amazon.com/Dalai-Lamas-Tantra-Glenn-Mullin/dp/155939269X

Dalai Lama's on Tantra is an excellent overview of some of the tantric techniques and theories coming from mainly Gelug point of view.


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 Post subject: Re: Still struggling...
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 8:07 pm 
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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


Maybe yes, maybe no.
If it is authenticity of the teachings you are looking for
the only way is to try them out for yourself.
If they lead to perfect liberation from suffering,
then it is authentic dharma.

Only quoting known texts is the method of religious fanatics. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Still struggling...
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 3:50 pm 
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Ok to recap - there is no definitive answer.....ok :shrug:

So, another way of putting this is this: ....My understanding of Tantric teachings is that they're the 'highest' form of teaching available. These are the 'only' way to acheive 'FULL' enlightenment as opposed to a measely 'Liberation' LOL! Also if you cannot control your sleep (clearl light experience etc...) then how are you going to control your death, intermediate state and rebirth? Especially given that swatting a fly out of anger createss the cause to be reborn in 'Hell'...........can you see my point here? If all of the above is true and correct the Theravadins are wasting their time as are other Mahayanists that are not practicing the Vajrayana.

You can't make statements that imply that Vajrayana is the top of the teaching tree mixed with (not so) veiled threats of hell relams and expect people (like me) to be confused?

BB


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