Edgar here, why are you?

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明安 Myoan
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Re: Edgar here, why are you?

Post by 明安 Myoan »

Jeff H wrote: Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:01 pmFrom the first day I was introduced to Tibetan Buddhism I found myself drawn along a series of learning experiences in an unbroken chain that unfolded itself very naturally for 10 years in a predominantly Gelug stream. I was more or less isolated except for online classmates and occasional visits to a not-so-nearby center. After those first 10 years, no natural next step presented itself. The one teacher who provides me with the truly personal connection that is essential for Buddhism is “in-the-air” so to speak. She has spent quite a few years flying around the world teaching at FPMT centers everywhere. I’ve never had a home sangha. So after those first 10 years, I came to DW and began reading regularly and writing occasionally.

It was like the wild west to me. But just as lobsangrinchen says, I feel I am growing from the experience. DW informs me about a much wider world of Buddhist teachings and practices. It exposes me to Buddhists, Buddhists-in-disguise, and non-Buddhists who are interacting with samsara and each other in a myriad of ways. It is well moderated, so discussions don’t go flying off into absurdity or vitriol (too often). And it’s got a remarkable mix of genuine scholars, dedicated, long-term practitioners, gadflies, and goof-offs.

I think the important thing is how you bring your own Buddhism to that party and what effect it all has on you. For me, that is the work of Buddhism.
:good:

When I was new to Buddhism, people here answered my very naive questions.
I got many links to Dharma resources/books, which I wouldn't have found otherwise.
Being extremely introverted, I wasn't about to walk into a local Dharma center and introduce myself the old-fashioned way.

Dharma Wheel is where I first heard of Bokar Rinpoche's "Lord of Love," which changed my life.

Dharma Wheel is where I first encountered Shantideva. His words have transformed how I treat others.

And several times I've been directed to Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition, called FPMT for short here.
FPMT has introduced me to many beneficial mantras, as well as other buddhas I hadn't heard of.
If one believes what the sutras say about these mantras and dharanis, then that simple recommendation has brought about the benefit of many beings.

When I first encountered Amitabha, the people here helped me understand the experience. I've made new friendships with fellow Amitabha devotees.

Finally, you can't go very far on DW without encountering a mantra, a sutra passage, or the name of a buddha.
I think that's beautiful, well worth the down sides that internet forums often have.

I'm late to the party but I hope you enjoy your time here, Edgar. Welcome :hi:
With a heart wandering in ignorance down this path and that, to guide me I simply say Namu-Amida-Butsu. -- Ippen

Reciting the Nembutsu and believing in birth in the Pure Land naturally give rise to the Three Minds and the Four Modes of Practice. -- Master Hōnen
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Re: Edgar here, why are you?

Post by Jeff H »

edgar_d wrote: Sun Dec 09, 2018 4:48 pm
Jeff H wrote: Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:01 pm
From the first day I was introduced to Tibetan Buddhism I found myself drawn along a series of learning experiences in an unbroken chain that unfolded itself very naturally for 10 years in a predominantly Gelug stream. I was more or less isolated except for online classmates and occasional visits to a not-so-nearby center. After those first 10 years, no natural next step presented itself. The one teacher who provides me with the truly personal connection that is essential for Buddhism is “in-the-air” so to speak. She has spent quite a few years flying around the world teaching at FPMT centers everywhere. I’ve never had a home sangha. So after those first 10 years, I came to DW and began reading regularly and writing occasionally.

It was like the wild west to me. But just as lobsangrinchen says, I feel I am growing from the experience. DW informs me about a much wider world of Buddhist teachings and practices. It exposes me to Buddhists, Buddhists-in-disguise, and non-Buddhists who are interacting with samsara and each other in a myriad of ways. It is well moderated, so discussions don’t go flying off into absurdity or vitriol (too often). And it’s got a remarkable mix of genuine scholars, dedicated, long-term practitioners, gadflies, and goof-offs.

I think the important thing is how you bring your own Buddhism to that party and what effect it all has on you. For me, that is the work of Buddhism.
Yes, I agree, the important thing is always how it works in practice, especially when the going gets tough.

Where does reading fit into this, in your practice? Could you share a few examples of how something you learned here, deepened your practice, which then manifested in your life in some way?
For the most part, I established my Buddhist foundation personally isolated and instructionally cloistered. When I came to DW I encountered a vast array of attitudes and views. In some ways that was eye-opening and in other ways confusing. I had to (and continue to have to) apply my own compass to what I observe out here. DW alternately challenges and strengthens my pre-conceptions and expectations about what Buddhism is and how to apply it.

In particular, when I first asked questions, I received replies from people who fundamentally disagree with Tsongkhapa’s method -– but I didn’t initially realize that such a position was the basis of their responses. Nevertheless, they were leading me in a direction toward a form of Vajrayana that made sense to me, in contrast to my understanding of Tantra which I simply couldn’t accept as an FPMT student. It was up to me to build a bridge in my own mind which allowed me to maintain and utilize my foundation in Tsongkhapa as I cultivated this new direction. For that I drew on both my teacher and DW.

While I'm still a beginner, especially compared to many of the regular posters here, my opinion is that DW is not a good place for people newly introduced to Buddhism. It’s a forest of traditions, interpretations, and applications. You have to bring your own compass and be your own pathfinder or you could get lost.

P.S. And since Monlam Tharchin has chimed in, it's a good opportunity to mentioned that it isn't just about new stuff. He started a thread some time ago called "Daily Lojong" which became a particularly powerful, months-long review of Training the Mind in Seven Points for me. If I may switch metaphors, DW is a river of gold for those with the patience to pan for it ... but we still have to watch out for the upstream chemical plants and latrines! :shock:
We who are like children shrink from pain but love its causes. - Shantideva
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Re: Edgar here, why are you?

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

edgar_d wrote: Sun Dec 09, 2018 4:48 pm
Jeff H wrote: Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:01 pm
From the first day I was introduced to Tibetan Buddhism I found myself drawn along a series of learning experiences in an unbroken chain that unfolded itself very naturally for 10 years in a predominantly Gelug stream. I was more or less isolated except for online classmates and occasional visits to a not-so-nearby center. After those first 10 years, no natural next step presented itself. The one teacher who provides me with the truly personal connection that is essential for Buddhism is “in-the-air” so to speak. She has spent quite a few years flying around the world teaching at FPMT centers everywhere. I’ve never had a home sangha. So after those first 10 years, I came to DW and began reading regularly and writing occasionally.

It was like the wild west to me. But just as lobsangrinchen says, I feel I am growing from the experience. DW informs me about a much wider world of Buddhist teachings and practices. It exposes me to Buddhists, Buddhists-in-disguise, and non-Buddhists who are interacting with samsara and each other in a myriad of ways. It is well moderated, so discussions don’t go flying off into absurdity or vitriol (too often). And it’s got a remarkable mix of genuine scholars, dedicated, long-term practitioners, gadflies, and goof-offs.

I think the important thing is how you bring your own Buddhism to that party and what effect it all has on you. For me, that is the work of Buddhism.
Yes, I agree, the important thing is always how it works in practice, especially when the going gets tough.

Where does reading fit into this, in your practice? Could you share a few examples of how something you learned here, deepened your practice, which then manifested in your life in some way?
Reading what? About Dharma, or the forum? Reading/contemplating the Dharma is a foundational practice in pretty much all traditional schools of Buddhadharma, hopefully that is not something that needs to be debated.

Whether or not this forum constitutes reading about the Dharma is another question. Sometimes I think we are only throwing our own confusion out to others, but there can be something valuable in it, even if this is the case, because we gain clarity on our own confusion.

In the best cases, this forum is sangha, or at least a close connection to it. In the more moderate cases this forum provides a place to very much learn "the basics" of Buddhist practice of varying schools simply by gaining a large number of "referrals" from others. One of the reasons we have endeavored to keep Dharmawheel a place that is welcoming to Buddhist tradition is that you can find modernist and personal interpretations of Buddhism ("Buddhism is what I say it is") almost anywhere, it is less common to find resources which will actually point people in the direction of acknowledged teachers, and places where people seriously will discuss sutra, commentary etc., this is a very valuable thing, and is not that easy to find in meat space, much less online.

While we can certainly debate whether or not it is of value to debate and discuss in the manner that we do, it is hard to make a case that we should not be trying to study and contemplate.

In my case ths forum widened my perception of the Tibetan traditions after i'd begun practicing them, and provided suggestions in Dharma education, teachings and teachers that I would not have had otherwise, which has made a huge difference in deepening my practice, and provided true direction in my practice (the teacher, not he forum, but of course I found out about him here). One of the nice things about this forum (again, the somewhat more "traditional" stance) is that with a few exceptions, very few people on here consider themselves teachers, so when they recommend a given thing, it is usually as a peer or student (even if you don't like the tone at the time), and there is no investment in setting themselves up as an authority over other people's practice. On other forums I have seen, there are a lot more people convinced of their own realization, and ready to throw the baby out with the bathwater, as it were. Here that is less so, and people who make bold claims are expected to back them up. This dynamic keeps the forum honest, IMO, and is somewhat unique in the world of online Buddhadharma resources, at least in my experience.

That said, this forum will not fulfill everyone's expectations, nor does anyone intend it to, I don't think.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low
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Re: Edgar here, why are you?

Post by Jeff H »

Johnny Dangerous wrote: Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:50 pm ...
One of the reasons we have endeavored to keep Dharmawheel a place that is welcoming to Buddhist tradition is that you can find modernist and personal interpretations of Buddhism ("Buddhism is what I say it is") almost anywhere, it is less common to find resources which will actually point people in the direction of acknowledged teachers, and places where people seriously will discuss sutra, commentary etc., this is a very valuable thing, and is not that easy to find in meat space, much less online.
...
One of the nice things about this forum (again, the somewhat more "traditional" stance) is that with a few exceptions, very few people on here consider themselves teachers, so when they recommend a given thing, it is usually as a peer or student (even if you don't like the tone at the time), and there is no investment in setting themselves up as an authority over other people's practice.
...
These are very important aspects of DW for me.
We who are like children shrink from pain but love its causes. - Shantideva
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Re: Edgar here, why are you?

Post by edgar_d »

Monlam Tharchin wrote: Sun Dec 09, 2018 7:10 pm
Jeff H wrote: Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:01 pmFrom the first day I was introduced to Tibetan Buddhism I found myself drawn along a series of learning experiences in an unbroken chain that unfolded itself very naturally for 10 years in a predominantly Gelug stream. I was more or less isolated except for online classmates and occasional visits to a not-so-nearby center. After those first 10 years, no natural next step presented itself. The one teacher who provides me with the truly personal connection that is essential for Buddhism is “in-the-air” so to speak. She has spent quite a few years flying around the world teaching at FPMT centers everywhere. I’ve never had a home sangha. So after those first 10 years, I came to DW and began reading regularly and writing occasionally.

It was like the wild west to me. But just as lobsangrinchen says, I feel I am growing from the experience. DW informs me about a much wider world of Buddhist teachings and practices. It exposes me to Buddhists, Buddhists-in-disguise, and non-Buddhists who are interacting with samsara and each other in a myriad of ways. It is well moderated, so discussions don’t go flying off into absurdity or vitriol (too often). And it’s got a remarkable mix of genuine scholars, dedicated, long-term practitioners, gadflies, and goof-offs.

I think the important thing is how you bring your own Buddhism to that party and what effect it all has on you. For me, that is the work of Buddhism.
:good:

When I was new to Buddhism, people here answered my very naive questions.
I got many links to Dharma resources/books, which I wouldn't have found otherwise.
Being extremely introverted, I wasn't about to walk into a local Dharma center and introduce myself the old-fashioned way.

Dharma Wheel is where I first heard of Bokar Rinpoche's "Lord of Love," which changed my life.

Dharma Wheel is where I first encountered Shantideva. His words have transformed how I treat others.

And several times I've been directed to Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition, called FPMT for short here.
FPMT has introduced me to many beneficial mantras, as well as other buddhas I hadn't heard of.
If one believes what the sutras say about these mantras and dharanis, then that simple recommendation has brought about the benefit of many beings.

When I first encountered Amitabha, the people here helped me understand the experience. I've made new friendships with fellow Amitabha devotees.

Finally, you can't go very far on DW without encountering a mantra, a sutra passage, or the name of a buddha.
I think that's beautiful, well worth the down sides that internet forums often have.

I'm late to the party but I hope you enjoy your time here, Edgar. Welcome :hi:
Monlam Tharchin, I appreciate the detailed response.

Indeed you are right - getting introduced to the teachings and practices can be precious, if we have the affinity for them. :bow:
Jeff H wrote: Mon Dec 10, 2018 3:21 pm
edgar_d wrote: Sun Dec 09, 2018 4:48 pm
Jeff H wrote: Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:01 pm
From the first day I was introduced to Tibetan Buddhism I found myself drawn along a series of learning experiences in an unbroken chain that unfolded itself very naturally for 10 years in a predominantly Gelug stream. I was more or less isolated except for online classmates and occasional visits to a not-so-nearby center. After those first 10 years, no natural next step presented itself. The one teacher who provides me with the truly personal connection that is essential for Buddhism is “in-the-air” so to speak. She has spent quite a few years flying around the world teaching at FPMT centers everywhere. I’ve never had a home sangha. So after those first 10 years, I came to DW and began reading regularly and writing occasionally.

It was like the wild west to me. But just as lobsangrinchen says, I feel I am growing from the experience. DW informs me about a much wider world of Buddhist teachings and practices. It exposes me to Buddhists, Buddhists-in-disguise, and non-Buddhists who are interacting with samsara and each other in a myriad of ways. It is well moderated, so discussions don’t go flying off into absurdity or vitriol (too often). And it’s got a remarkable mix of genuine scholars, dedicated, long-term practitioners, gadflies, and goof-offs.

I think the important thing is how you bring your own Buddhism to that party and what effect it all has on you. For me, that is the work of Buddhism.
Yes, I agree, the important thing is always how it works in practice, especially when the going gets tough.

Where does reading fit into this, in your practice? Could you share a few examples of how something you learned here, deepened your practice, which then manifested in your life in some way?
For the most part, I established my Buddhist foundation personally isolated and instructionally cloistered. When I came to DW I encountered a vast array of attitudes and views. In some ways that was eye-opening and in other ways confusing. I had to (and continue to have to) apply my own compass to what I observe out here. DW alternately challenges and strengthens my pre-conceptions and expectations about what Buddhism is and how to apply it.

In particular, when I first asked questions, I received replies from people who fundamentally disagree with Tsongkhapa’s method -– but I didn’t initially realize that such a position was the basis of their responses. Nevertheless, they were leading me in a direction toward a form of Vajrayana that made sense to me, in contrast to my understanding of Tantra which I simply couldn’t accept as an FPMT student. It was up to me to build a bridge in my own mind which allowed me to maintain and utilize my foundation in Tsongkhapa as I cultivated this new direction. For that I drew on both my teacher and DW.

While I'm still a beginner, especially compared to many of the regular posters here, my opinion is that DW is not a good place for people newly introduced to Buddhism. It’s a forest of traditions, interpretations, and applications. You have to bring your own compass and be your own pathfinder or you could get lost.

P.S. And since Monlam Tharchin has chimed in, it's a good opportunity to mentioned that it isn't just about new stuff. He started a thread some time ago called "Daily Lojong" which became a particularly powerful, months-long review of Training the Mind in Seven Points for me. If I may switch metaphors, DW is a river of gold for those with the patience to pan for it ... but we still have to watch out for the upstream chemical plants and latrines! :shock:
Hello again, Jeff.

Thank you for explaining. I do confess though that it still leaves me in the dark as to how any of this manifests in your life.
Johnny Dangerous wrote: Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:50 pm
edgar_d wrote: Sun Dec 09, 2018 4:48 pm
Jeff H wrote: Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:01 pm
From the first day I was introduced to Tibetan Buddhism I found myself drawn along a series of learning experiences in an unbroken chain that unfolded itself very naturally for 10 years in a predominantly Gelug stream. I was more or less isolated except for online classmates and occasional visits to a not-so-nearby center. After those first 10 years, no natural next step presented itself. The one teacher who provides me with the truly personal connection that is essential for Buddhism is “in-the-air” so to speak. She has spent quite a few years flying around the world teaching at FPMT centers everywhere. I’ve never had a home sangha. So after those first 10 years, I came to DW and began reading regularly and writing occasionally.

It was like the wild west to me. But just as lobsangrinchen says, I feel I am growing from the experience. DW informs me about a much wider world of Buddhist teachings and practices. It exposes me to Buddhists, Buddhists-in-disguise, and non-Buddhists who are interacting with samsara and each other in a myriad of ways. It is well moderated, so discussions don’t go flying off into absurdity or vitriol (too often). And it’s got a remarkable mix of genuine scholars, dedicated, long-term practitioners, gadflies, and goof-offs.

I think the important thing is how you bring your own Buddhism to that party and what effect it all has on you. For me, that is the work of Buddhism.
Yes, I agree, the important thing is always how it works in practice, especially when the going gets tough.

Where does reading fit into this, in your practice? Could you share a few examples of how something you learned here, deepened your practice, which then manifested in your life in some way?
Reading what? About Dharma, or the forum? Reading/contemplating the Dharma is a foundational practice in pretty much all traditional schools of Buddhadharma, hopefully that is not something that needs to be debated.

Whether or not this forum constitutes reading about the Dharma is another question. Sometimes I think we are only throwing our own confusion out to others, but there can be something valuable in it, even if this is the case, because we gain clarity on our own confusion.

In the best cases, this forum is sangha, or at least a close connection to it. In the more moderate cases this forum provides a place to very much learn "the basics" of Buddhist practice of varying schools simply by gaining a large number of "referrals" from others. One of the reasons we have endeavored to keep Dharmawheel a place that is welcoming to Buddhist tradition is that you can find modernist and personal interpretations of Buddhism ("Buddhism is what I say it is") almost anywhere, it is less common to find resources which will actually point people in the direction of acknowledged teachers, and places where people seriously will discuss sutra, commentary etc., this is a very valuable thing, and is not that easy to find in meat space, much less online.

While we can certainly debate whether or not it is of value to debate and discuss in the manner that we do, it is hard to make a case that we should not be trying to study and contemplate.

In my case ths forum widened my perception of the Tibetan traditions after i'd begun practicing them, and provided suggestions in Dharma education, teachings and teachers that I would not have had otherwise, which has made a huge difference in deepening my practice, and provided true direction in my practice (the teacher, not he forum, but of course I found out about him here). One of the nice things about this forum (again, the somewhat more "traditional" stance) is that with a few exceptions, very few people on here consider themselves teachers, so when they recommend a given thing, it is usually as a peer or student (even if you don't like the tone at the time), and there is no investment in setting themselves up as an authority over other people's practice. On other forums I have seen, there are a lot more people convinced of their own realization, and ready to throw the baby out with the bathwater, as it were. Here that is less so, and people who make bold claims are expected to back them up. This dynamic keeps the forum honest, IMO, and is somewhat unique in the world of online Buddhadharma resources, at least in my experience.

That said, this forum will not fulfill everyone's expectations, nor does anyone intend it to, I don't think.
My intention was not to debate anything, only to ask why are people here and how their forum activities impact their lives. Discussing sutras can be a wonderful thing, it can also lead to confusion or just waste people's time. Each to their own as long as we have our eyes open.
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Re: Edgar here, why are you?

Post by Grigoris »

edgar_d wrote: Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:52 amMy intention was not to debate anything...
And yet, since your arrival here, the only thing you have been doing is arguing and debating. ;)
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
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Re: Edgar here, why are you?

Post by Admin_PC »

edgar_d wrote: Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:52 amMy intention was not to debate anything, only to ask why are people here and how their forum activities impact their lives. Discussing sutras can be a wonderful thing, it can also lead to confusion or just waste people's time. Each to their own as long as we have our eyes open.
The bolded sentence confuses me. What reason for a Buddhist discussion forum if not for discussing Buddhist teachings? Sure, some sutras like the Diamond Sutra are advanced and can seem obtuse, but many others are written in very clear, lucid, and unambiguous language. Beyond sutras, there's also abhidharma. I think Malcolm once said that if everybody spent time with abhidharma about 90% of the questions that get asked would be unnecessary. With some of the wild interpretations of Buddhism out there among schools that avoid sutras and other standard teachings, it seems pretty clear that a firm grounding in the teachings is a good thing that avoids confusion rather than creating it.
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Re: Edgar here, why are you?

Post by edgar_d »

Grigoris wrote: Tue Dec 11, 2018 12:58 pm
edgar_d wrote: Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:52 amMy intention was not to debate anything...
And yet, since your arrival here, the only thing you have been doing is arguing and debating. ;)
Really?

On the other hand, I can tell my style is not welcome, at least by the most active moderators.

My apologies for the harm caused and thank you all those who gave the time and energy to share something about their forum experience and their practice.
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Re: Edgar here, why are you?

Post by Admin_PC »

edgar_d wrote: Tue Dec 11, 2018 2:21 pmOn the other hand, I can tell my style is not welcome, at least by the most active moderators.

My apologies for the harm caused and thank you all those who gave the time and energy to share something about their forum experience and their practice.
I don't think it's that serious. This is a fairly tough bunch.

Unless the post is in green text, then the post is not an official moderator action and just the views of that particular user. In other words, views expressed by people on the moderation team should not be taken as the official stance of the moderation team, unless the post is in green. We discussed having separate accounts for moderators so they could post without the weight of the "green username" but decided against moderator anonymity.
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Re: Edgar here, why are you?

Post by Grigoris »

edgar_d wrote: Tue Dec 11, 2018 2:21 pmOn the other hand, I can tell my style is not welcome, at least by the most active moderators.
Oh, you are not that abrasive edgar, I've seen way worse than you. :smile:

Once you admit that you tend towards arguments and debate and prescription, then we can all settle down to the bun fight in earnest! :tongue:
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde
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Re: Edgar here, why are you?

Post by KathyLauren »

Hello, Edgar.

I have been coming here for a long time, though I am not as active as I once was. I do not have a local sangha or meditation group, so my contact with other Buddhists is minimal. Yet the Dharma has been a part of who I am for most of my life. Sometimes I just feel a need to connect with others who share the same values. So I keep coming back, even if the nonstop bickering and debate drive me crazy. :tongue:

Om mani padme hum
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Re: Edgar here, why are you?

Post by Jeff H »

edgar_d wrote: Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:52 am Thank you for explaining. I do confess though that it still leaves me in the dark as to how any of this manifests in your life.
Sorry, but I don't get the problem. If your interest in Buddhism is purely academic, then there is no need for it to manifest in your life. But I think most of the people on DW, including the scholars, study Buddhism for the purpose of practicing it, which is to say manifesting it. Only a personal teacher with insight can give you specific advice about how to apply Dharma in your specific life, and such advice is pith guidance. The work is up to you.

Why are you interested in Buddhism? Have you not found any teachings you can apply to your life?
We who are like children shrink from pain but love its causes. - Shantideva
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Re: Edgar here, why are you?

Post by 明安 Myoan »

edgar_d wrote: Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:52 am
Thank you for explaining. I do confess though that it still leaves me in the dark as to how any of this manifests in your life.
The lojong sayings are very practical. It's one reason they're so popular.
With a heart wandering in ignorance down this path and that, to guide me I simply say Namu-Amida-Butsu. -- Ippen

Reciting the Nembutsu and believing in birth in the Pure Land naturally give rise to the Three Minds and the Four Modes of Practice. -- Master Hōnen
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Re: Edgar here, why are you?

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

edgar_d wrote:Thank you for explaining. I do confess though that it still leaves me in the dark as to how any of this manifests in your life.
He explained it directly, it sounds more like his answer simply doesn't line up with your own values and expectations. If someone tells you what is valuable to them, isn't that enough, or does it need to be valuable to you in order to be relevant?
edgar_d wrote: My intention was not to debate anything, only to ask why are people here and how their forum activities impact their lives. Discussing sutras can be a wonderful thing, it can also lead to confusion or just waste people's time. Each to their own as long as we have our eyes open.
You keep posting that you are not here to debate, but then you seem to ask questions which dispute the relevance of the answers you receive, as well as insinuating that people are wasting their time here, and are not gaining value to their practice from the forum.

You're actually welcome to do this, it's certainly possible to waste time here, and it's a decent line of inquiry. I think it would be better for you to be direct about it though, and just explain what you think the problem is, rather than feigning "questions" which in fact appear to be statements.

Questions aren't always a neutral thing, barrages of "why" questions (why are you here, why is this valuable to you, etc.) tend to put people on the defensive, because essentially you are asking them to defend whatever it is they are doing.

But since the cat is out of the bag: Why are you here Edgar?
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low
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