Electronic devices with Dharma materials on them = Dharma materials?

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KiwiNFLFan
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Electronic devices with Dharma materials on them = Dharma materials?

Post by KiwiNFLFan »

What do you think about how to treat a tablet or electronic device with Dharma books on it? Lama Zopa Rinpoche said that it should be treated like it's a Dharma book.However, years ago, when mobile phones that could do more than call and text were gaining popularity, I remember seeing an article about having the Qur'an on a mobile phone. Muslims believe the Qur'an is the divinely dictated words of God and they do not take it into the bathroom as it is also considered unclean in their culture. The article said that as long as the Qur'an was not on the screen when the phone was taken into the bathroom, it was okay. The argument was that the Qur'an was simply in the device's memory, the same way it's in the memory of a hafiz (a person who has memorised the entire Qur'an in the original Arabic). Obviously a hafiz has to go into the bathroom, he or she just simply refrains from reciting the Qur'an in there. So as long as the phone does not display the Qur'an in the bathroom, it's okay.

What do you think about this argument as applied to Buddhist scriptures?
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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Electronic devices with Dharma materials on them = Dharma materials?

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

KiwiNFLFan wrote: Mon Mar 18, 2019 6:05 am What do you think about how to treat a tablet or electronic device with Dharma books on it? Lama Zopa Rinpoche said that it should be treated like it's a Dharma book.However, years ago, when mobile phones that could do more than call and text were gaining popularity, I remember seeing an article about having the Qur'an on a mobile phone. Muslims believe the Qur'an is the divinely dictated words of God and they do not take it into the bathroom as it is also considered unclean in their culture. The article said that as long as the Qur'an was not on the screen when the phone was taken into the bathroom, it was okay. The argument was that the Qur'an was simply in the device's memory, the same way it's in the memory of a hafiz (a person who has memorised the entire Qur'an in the original Arabic). Obviously a hafiz has to go into the bathroom, he or she just simply refrains from reciting the Qur'an in there. So as long as the phone does not display the Qur'an in the bathroom, it's okay.

What do you think about this argument as applied to Buddhist scriptures?
This is really a question of the vehicle you practice, what your teachers say etc. There is no right or wrong answer to this, only skillful one's depending on one's situation and disposition, etc.

My suggestion is that you establish a teacher, teachers, or some senior practitioner that is your "go to" person for questions like this, once you've established that you trust them, you are on the same wavelength etc. A question like this has a bunch of different answers in Tibetan Buddhism, and many will claim to be exclusively correct because well, that's the style.
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Mantrik
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Re: Electronic devices with Dharma materials on them = Dharma materials?

Post by Mantrik »

Never had any advice about it but loads of people now use tablets and phones for practice so I suppose there may be a need.

Taking care to protect secret materials is obviously the same - not allowing access is simple enough on a tablet or phone.

I would probably react the same as with a paper sadhana if I dropped the phone on the floor when using it in practice and had a scripture open.

When it comes to the toilet, I think context is important. Remember what toilets were (and often still are) like in India and how people wipe themselves clean. At least if you drop a modern phone in the shit you can wash it. Modern western toilets shouldn't be a problem.
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lelopa
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Re: Electronic devices with Dharma materials on them = Dharma materials?

Post by lelopa »

but somehow there is no script... only 1001011100110001001000011110001100110010110, etc. :D
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Re: Electronic devices with Dharma materials on them = Dharma materials?

Post by Mantrik »

lelopa wrote: Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:08 pm but somehow there is no script... only 1001011100110001001000011110001100110010110, etc. :D
1 0 Dualism is forbidden! :tongue:
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Re: Electronic devices with Dharma materials on them = Dharma materials?

Post by Cinnabar »

I remember an issue that came up in Orthodox Judaism. People were concerned about erasing the name of God in a virtual medium. So they abbreviated God as G-d. And so you could backspace in a document and not erase the name of God, and you could refresh a hypertext served from a server and not erase the name of God.

From a Buddhist vantage point, I always felt that was a little sketchy, as things exist because of imputation. One knows G-d is God, because one made it so. One established that conceptually. So erasing G-d is erasing God. We've just created a language game to avoid getting at the deeper ontological problemss.

But the Abrahamic traditions assert a different ontology of objects. Things inherently exist, so G-d is not God.

One can go pretty far with this and dharma content.

If it resident on the phone? How about the cache? If it's deleted is the memory wiped? If content is in the cloud is one in some way connected to the cloud?

Some people use devices for dharma texts, images and photos. Some people even have sadhanas on them. In that case, your phone, tablet or laptop would be no different than a pecha. You practice on your phone. By dependent arising, by how one relates to that device-- it is a dharma object. Others might just have an image in cache or some files stored. Temporarily or long term. They may not relate to that device in the same way.

It seems that as everything is established by mind, one could visualize one's phone being a pure realm. I have heard it said that if one absolutely has to step over a dharma object, visualize it rising up into the air above one's head.

It all rests on intention.
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lelopa
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Re: Electronic devices with Dharma materials on them = Dharma materials?

Post by lelopa »

If on a tab, or laptop: dharma-Scriptures, Sadhanas & Mantras, etc. have to be burned when you do not need them any longer.... :mrgreen:
or hang 5 phones with mantras on a string and call them Digitas (digital lungtas)

:rolleye:
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chimechodra
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Re: Electronic devices with Dharma materials on them = Dharma materials?

Post by chimechodra »

A lama of mine (Tulku Namgyal Dawa Rinpoche, grandson of Dudjom Rinpoche) echoed the advice in the original post, which is that when there is dharma being displayed on the device, treat it as a dharmic object. Otherwise, treat it as a mundane object. I think this is good and sane practical advice.
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lelopa
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Re: Electronic devices with Dharma materials on them = Dharma materials?

Post by lelopa »

chimechodra wrote: Wed Mar 20, 2019 12:22 am A lama of mine (Tulku Namgyal Dawa Rinpoche, grandson of Dudjom Rinpoche) echoed the advice in the original post, which is that when there is dharma being displayed on the device, treat it as a dharmic object. Otherwise, treat it as a mundane object. I think this is good and sane practical advice.
this is how i do it!
with a little presence in mind that it contains precious texts, even when it is switched off.
this doesnt mean i put it on a shrine, or so - but treat it as a useful dharmic aid

{Mod.Note, duplicate posts combined}
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javier.espinoza.t
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Re: Electronic devices with Dharma materials on them = Dharma materials?

Post by javier.espinoza.t »

I keep my digital dharma things in a pendrive hidden where i can vigilate it or with me :P
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lelopa
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Re: Electronic devices with Dharma materials on them = Dharma materials?

Post by lelopa »

javier.espinoza.t wrote: Fri Mar 22, 2019 4:09 am I keep my digital dharma things in a pendrive hidden where i can vigilate it or with me :P
:twothumbsup:
pendrives could become the new guru-beads
so far no pendrive has enough memory for all my digital dharma stuff
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明安 Myoan
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Re: Electronic devices with Dharma materials on them = Dharma materials?

Post by 明安 Myoan »

I like to keep an image of a buddha open while I work on my computer. It can turn toil into an offering.
I've attached a nice one of Amitabha that I found online, in the Tibetan style.

When the image is open, I try not to let it get covered with other windows, similar to not putting other books on top of Dharma materials.
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Amitabha-Large-canvas-small.jpg
Amitabha-Large-canvas-small.jpg (366.94 KiB) Viewed 1264 times
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Re: Electronic devices with Dharma materials on them = Dharma materials?

Post by Lingpupa »

lelopa wrote: Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:08 pm but somehow there is no script... only 1001011100110001001000011110001100110010110, etc. :D
This, as I'm sure you know (I did notice the smiley) is just a classic example of emptiness. Go close enough to a written Mani - just some molecules that absorb light and some that don't. Or examine the sound closely enough - just some air molecules bouncing around. In both cases there is somehow no mantra there. Emptiness 101!

But I'm sure you knew that.
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lelopa
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Re: Electronic devices with Dharma materials on them = Dharma materials?

Post by lelopa »

Lingpupa wrote: Thu Mar 28, 2019 10:39 am
lelopa wrote: Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:08 pm but somehow there is no script... only 1001011100110001001000011110001100110010110, etc. :D
This, as I'm sure you know (I did notice the smiley) is just a classic example of emptiness. Go close enough to a written Mani - just some molecules that absorb light and some that don't. Or examine the sound closely enough - just some air molecules bouncing around. In both cases there is somehow no mantra there. Emptiness 101!

But I'm sure you knew that.
:spy:
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