The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

General forum on the teachings of all schools of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. Topics specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
Dharma Flower
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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Post by Dharma Flower »

Though I practice Pure Land practices, I don't consider myself exclusively a Pure Land Buddhist. In countries like China and Vietnam, it's rare that Pure Land Buddhism is seen as its own distinct sect. Instead, there's more of a general Mahayana Buddhism, in which Pure Land practices might be popular, but within the framework of practicing the Bodhisattva path.
Dharma Flower
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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Post by Dharma Flower »

After giving it some thought, I'd like to be a boatman-like Bodhisattva. I like the idea of attaining enlightenment at the same time as all other beings, rather than attaining enlightenment before them all or waiting until afterward. Are there any books or articles for those seeking to be a boatman-like Bodhisattva? I appreciate your help. :thanks:
Dharma Flower
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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Post by Dharma Flower »

Of the three types of Bodhisattvas, it’s a matter of personal choice as to which one gives the individual the motivation they need for practicing the Buddha’s teachings.
A bodhisattva may choose any of three paths to help sentient beings in the process of achieving enlightenment:

the Bodhisattva King aspires to become a Buddha as soon as possible, and then help sentient beings attain enlightenment, guiding them through his example and protecting them with his power;

the Bodhisattva Boatman aspires to become a Buddha simultaneously with other sentient beings, sharing their difficulties and encouraging them along the way;

the Bodhisattva Shepherd aspires to delay his own enlightenment until all other sentient beings become Buddhas, consoling and protecting those who falter.
https://greatmiddleway.wordpress.com/20 ... -shepherd/
joy&peace
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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Post by joy&peace »

Cool.

I like the paramitas.. It's very nice.

A discussion of them is helpful for practice, on any level.. I am certain if one conversed with HH the Dalai Lama, about dana, sila, etc., he would be feeling very blissful.

A nice talk is there by Sunryu Suzuki.. An early Zen master who came to the west.

Just from me;

Dana, is perfection of giving... A Dharma practitioner gives perfectly.. Of course it is expedient to know the best time and place..

Where one bit will do the most good. Also, giving completely with no attachment..

Examples are definitely there in Shantideva and Vimalakirti -

I would talk more later..

Peace :)
Om Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate bodhi svaha
Dharma Flower
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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Post by Dharma Flower »

Imagine if, in the process of helping all other beings attain Buddhahood, I also attained Buddhahood. That's the idea behind the boatman-like Bodhisattva.

It would not be postponing personal enlightenment. Instead, it would be seeing the pursuit of enlightenment as something I'm in together with all other beings.

Imagine this within the backdrop of the doctrine of dependent origination. My attaining of Buddhahood is mutually dependent on the attaining of Buddhahood of all other beings.

Of the three types of Bodhisattvas, whatever motivates the individual to follow the Buddha's teachings is the right motivation.

This is similar to how, in the Pali canon, the Buddha encouraged others to follow his teachings based on whatever internal motivation they might have. Here is an example:
"Dear sir, my father on his deathbed urged me, 'My son, you must worship the directions'. So, dear sir, realizing, honoring, respecting, and holding sacred my father's request, I have risen in the early morning and set out from Rajagaha to worship in this way."

"But, young man, that is not how the six directions should be worshipped according to the discipline of the noble ones."

"Then how, dear sir, should the six directions be worshipped according to the discipline of the noble ones? I would appreciate it if you would teach me the proper way this should be done."

"Very well, young man, listen and pay careful attention while I tell you."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .ksw0.html
Dharma Flower
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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Post by Dharma Flower »

If one wonders why a Bodhisattva would make the free-willed choice to delay one’s Buddhahood for the sake of others, just look at Bodhisattva Maitreya.

He’s not sitting around in Tusita Heaven, passively waiting for his turn at Buddhahood. He’s teaching others and helping others along the way.

Maitreya can be described as a boatman-like Bodhisattva, wishing to attain Buddhahood for oneself and all other beings at the same time, rather than one before the other.

Many people vow to be reborn in Tusita Heaven, so that they will hear his instruction and attain Buddhahood at the same time he does.
Dharma Flower
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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Post by Dharma Flower »

If Buddhism is the truth, then I absolutely refuse to attain Buddhahood before my wife and children do, no matter how many lifetimes it takes. I vow, in my daily life, to follow the Six Paramitas for the sake of their happiness and well-being, to treat them as the Buddhas we all are inside.
joy&peace
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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Post by joy&peace »

Yes, it is correct, Dharma. I am very similar.

The third one is very good, too.

One thing I am reminded of is Dogen who said - when body is dropped, the body of those around one are dropped also.

I.e., when one reaches it, those around do as well.

It is from the Shobogenzo... I did some searching, ... One translation had it in Genjo-koan, but the source I usually go to had it worded differently there.

I remember reading it at that place, so I will keep an eye out for it.
Om Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate bodhi svaha
Dharma Flower
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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Post by Dharma Flower »

Everyone in life has a motivation, whether it's money, sex, drugs, approval, etc. The Bodhisattva motivation is the supreme motivation, because it seeks enlightenment for oneself while, at the same time, practicing compassion and kindness on others. The Bodhisattva motivation is the realization that one cannot attain enlightenment without being kind and compassionate to others.
Dharma Flower
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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Post by Dharma Flower »

Sentient beings are innumerable; I vow to save them all.

Delusions are inexhaustible; I vow to extinguish them all.

The teachings are unfathomable; I vow to master them all.

The Buddha Way is unsurpassable; I vow to attain it.
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Sādhaka
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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Post by Sādhaka »

muni wrote:V 6
"Thus behold the utter frailty of goodness!
Except for perfect bodhicitta
There is nothing able to withstand
The great and overwhelming strength of evil."

Shantideva
http://www.rinpoche.com/quotes/quote35.htm
Sādhaka
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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Post by Sādhaka »

Dharma Flower wrote:
shaunc wrote:
Dharma Flower wrote:There's a misconception in the West which reduces Buddhist practice to silent, seated meditation. In reality, the practice of meditation is for the purpose of cultivating wisdom and compassion. What really matters is the wisdom and compassion we develop in our daily life, not meditation in and of itself.
I completely agree with this sentiment. The test of any religion in my opinion is not whether it makes your life better but whether it makes the lives of those around you better.
Exactly.
Well if this is the measure of whether or not our religion is working; then our practice should be diminishing the negative-influence of monsanto, big-pharma, nasa, zionism, wahhabism, annihilationism, child-abuse, ultra-feminism, racial-prejudice, walmart, the prison-industrial-complex, usury-banksterism, and the military-industrial complex.

If we are practicing with right-motivation, then it is diminishing the negative-influence of these things.
shaunc
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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Post by shaunc »

Sādhaka wrote:
Dharma Flower wrote:
shaunc wrote:
I completely agree with this sentiment. The test of any religion in my opinion is not whether it makes your life better but whether it makes the lives of those around you better.
Exactly.
Well if this is the measure of whether or not our religion is working; then our practice should be diminishing the negative-influence of monsanto, big-pharma, nasa, zionism, wahhabism, annihilationism, child-abuse, ultra-feminism, racial-prejudice, walmart, usury-banksterism, and the military-industrial complex.

If we are practicing with right-motivation, then it is diminishing the negative-influence of these things.
I can only speak for myself but I'm not involved in any political movement or major industry like the ones you've mentioned.
Sādhaka
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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Post by Sādhaka »

shaunc wrote:
Sādhaka wrote:
Dharma Flower wrote:
Exactly.
Well if this is the measure of whether or not our religion is working; then our practice should be diminishing the negative-influence of monsanto, big-pharma, nasa, zionism, wahhabism, annihilationism, child-abuse, ultra-feminism, racial-prejudice, walmart, usury-banksterism, and the military-industrial complex.

If we are practicing with right-motivation, then it is diminishing the negative-influence of these things.
I can only speak for myself but I'm not involved in any political movement or major industry like the ones you've mentioned.
That's great.

Unfortunately for (or rather against) most of us in these degenerate times, we more or less have to be somewhat involved in at least one of them just to survive.

Fortunately our intent counts to some degree, if not to a large degree.
Dharma Flower
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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Post by Dharma Flower »

Sādhaka wrote: If we are practicing with right-motivation, then it is diminishing the negative-influence of these things.
When you have a wife and three daughters like I do, just trying to be kinder, more compassionate to others in your everyday life is enough of a task. At least for me, I'd rather accept the things I cannot change and work on being kinder, more compassionate to the people in my own sphere of influence.
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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Post by Dharma Flower »

What I get the most from the Bodhisattva ideal is this: Since it might take innumerable lifetimes before I attain Buddhahood, I should focus on becoming a more peaceful, kind, and compassionate person here and now.

The Bodhisattva path is about the path as much as it's about the destination. This focus on working to be more compassionate and peaceful here and now, rather than worrying about our future attainments, is the true work of a Bodhisattva.
Bristollad
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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Post by Bristollad »

Dharma Flower wrote:Everyone in life has a motivation, whether it's money, sex, drugs, approval, etc. The Bodhisattva motivation is the supreme motivation, because it seeks enlightenment for oneself while, at the same time, practicing compassion and kindness on others. The Bodhisattva motivation is the realization that one cannot attain enlightenment without being kind and compassionate to others.
No, it's the other way around...it's wanting to help all others and realising the only way to do that is to be fully enlightened, hence why developing great compassion precedes generating bodhicitta.
Chandrakirti's Supplement to the Middle Way wrote:Mercy alone is seen as the seed of a conqueror’s rich harvest,
As water for development, and as
Ripening in a state of long enjoyment,
Therefore at the start I praise compassion. [1.2]
Dharma Flower
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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Post by Dharma Flower »

Bristollad wrote: No, it's the other way around.
Are you saying that you are completely incapable of being more kind and compassionate until after you attain Buddhahood? It's from practicing the Six Paramitas that one attains Buddhahood in the first place. May you be happy and well. :namaste:
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Kaccāni
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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Post by Kaccāni »

Dharma Flower wrote: For a Mahayana Buddhist,
... there may as well be said there is no path, and Buddha was the biggest liar.

Best
Kc
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Dharma Flower
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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Post by Dharma Flower »

Kaccāni wrote:
Dharma Flower wrote: For a Mahayana Buddhist,
... there may as well be said there is no path, and Buddha was the biggest liar.

Best
Kc
It doesn't sound like you are being very clear. Do you mean something by that specifically? May you be happy and well. :namaste:
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