When the Monks Met the Muslims

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Queequeg
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Re: When the Monks Met the Muslims

Post by Queequeg »

tkp67 wrote: Sun Jul 14, 2019 4:56 am There is a great irony that exist that have observed. Many people when they experience another person's belief judge the object of that belief based on that person's interpretation. The only way that would logically have any basis for benefit is if all objects of belief where interpreted exactly the same by all other human beings who held that belief.

is there any Buddhist scripture, practice or teaching that it was impossible to incorrectly interpret?

If the answer is not and If it happens with the most perfect teachings what does that say about human belief in regards to it correctly reflecting the object they base that belief in?
Well, this is the basic reason why a teacher who actually knows is necessary. Otherwise its just the blind leading the blind.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta
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Re: When the Monks Met the Muslims

Post by Queequeg »

PeterC wrote: Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:09 am The view matters.
Yes.

One thing about the Lotus - it does not suggest that the teachings taught in accord with conditions actually themselves lead to bodhi. They may accomplish some beneficial purpose - getting children out of the burning house, letting weary travelers rest, preparing a poor man to receive his legacy, getting children to take their medicine - but those upaya only accord with Dharma when they lead to bodhi, and to lead to bodhi, they have to be abandoned. They only accomplish a limited end and if clung to beyond their utility, lead into an eddy of stagnation, or more often, descent into lower realms, and can no longer be considered Buddhadharma. What is controversial about the Lotus, in ways more controversial than other Mahayana texts, is that it even says the bodhisattva path is incomplete and must be abandoned.

TK, you cited Nichiren, but Nichiren did not in any manner suggest that Confucianism or Brahmanism, or even Hinayana or Provisional Mahayana lead to bodhi and never suggested that dedication to those paths exclusively were beneficial. He echoed the Chinese Buddhist view that Confucianism and Daoism enabled the Chinese to know basic cause and effect and morality, and Brahmanism taught a deeper understanding of cause and effect, but these teachings could only be preparation for the vastly more profound teachings of the Buddha. Once Buddhadharma is heard, then those other teachings are revealed to be incomplete and no longer bring benefit. They are to be dropped.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta
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Queequeg
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Re: When the Monks Met the Muslims

Post by Queequeg »

PeterC wrote: Sun Jul 14, 2019 12:37 pm It’s remarkable how frequently we have discussions here, on a Buddhist discussion forum, with nominal Buddhists who claim equivalence between the Dharma and a host of other religions. That’s not a position that any of the great scholars of the Dharma in the past would ever have agreed with, so neither can I.
Its a function of living in a diverse world. I think its a natural impulse to try and find commonality with our fellows, and if we respectively hold diverse dharmas dearly, we will try to find commonality on those grounds. I don't think the impulse is a bad thing. It is the task of those who know to patiently set the record straight no matter how many times the question is raised. We have members coming and going all the time. I take it as part of the responsibility of participating at DW to engage and talk the issues out. I think it brings benefit to those doing the edifying, too. To remember and restate what we have learned is good for us too. Can, of course, get tedious.

Maybe we need a pinned perennialism thread.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta
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Re: When the Monks Met the Muslims

Post by tkp67 »

PeterC wrote: Sun Jul 14, 2019 12:37 pm
Grigoris wrote: Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:18 am
PeterC wrote: Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:09 amOne of them has a creator god, an immortal soul, no reincarnation, sin. The other has pratityasamutpada, anatman, karma. We could go on but the distinction here is sufficient - this is a gap that cannot be closed by posting some deeper meaning, unless you posit that one side is a provisional teaching, and neither side would accept that statement of their own beliefs.
While at the theoretical level this may be the case, I am a more practical person.

What I see many times is Abrahamists involved in service for the needy (even if just motivated by their own liberation) and Buddhists talking about compassion, but actually acting like complete assholes.

In a similar discussion on the other Wheel site, I mentioned that, generally speaking, since neither Abrahamists nor Buddhists perfect their practices, the theory that their practices are based on is practically irrelevant.

If you have somebody that does not have anatman as their view, but practices selfless actions and you have somebody that theoretically holds the view of anatman, but is a selfish self-centered prick... Which of the two is gathering the merit necessary to take the next step towards liberation (given they are not going to be liberated in this lifetime)?
But we are not talking here about the anecdotal actions of individuals: we’re talking about what the different doctrines actually say. We know that lots of catholic priests molest children. That doesn’t then imply that Catholicism as a religious doctrine encourages or requires this.

In any case: I don’t dispute your observation that there are morally good and bad adherents of pretty much any religion one can choose. That doesn’t mean that they’re practising or believing the same thing. It’s remarkable how frequently we have discussions here, on a Buddhist discussion forum, with nominal Buddhists who claim equivalence between the Dharma and a host of other religions. That’s not a position that any of the great scholars of the Dharma in the past would ever have agreed with, so neither can I.
A mother and father have cause for compassion by proxy of having a child. The buddha and teachers alike use this, the dynamics of the filial relationship, to help us envision and engage the same compassion for others.

So when other non buddhist teachings encourage the same compassion using the same example for inspiration is this a lower or different form of compassion because of the teacher/teachings?

Doesn't this deny dharma as revealing an all encompassing truth in regards to the human condition/experience that is always there yet our minds are too impure to see it by making it provisional to external teachings?

As far as your views that "the great teachers" (which is not qualified in any manner) do not agree I have read many that do not posses the same bias

if you google dissertation + Buddhism + Christianity you will find a wealth of papers written on the topic bu scholars and this is only the tip of the ice berg.

for example

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=PG ... da&f=false

This Nichiren teacher believes Christ to be from the bodhisattva world

Which very much illustrates the potency of the lotus sutra to put all phenomenon in context to the ten realms

an essential of the lotus sutra
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Re: When the Monks Met the Muslims

Post by tkp67 »

there is a philosophical discussion that can aid this outside of any school or religious teaching and it is about the nature of perceived reality and it begins with simple questions?

1) What are the impetus of belief?

2) Is there a benefit to belief outside religion?

3) what does this reveal about the mind and the world it perceives?
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Re: When the Monks Met the Muslims

Post by Queequeg »

tkp67 wrote: Sun Jul 14, 2019 4:05 pm
PeterC wrote: Sun Jul 14, 2019 12:37 pm
Grigoris wrote: Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:18 am While at the theoretical level this may be the case, I am a more practical person.

What I see many times is Abrahamists involved in service for the needy (even if just motivated by their own liberation) and Buddhists talking about compassion, but actually acting like complete assholes.

In a similar discussion on the other Wheel site, I mentioned that, generally speaking, since neither Abrahamists nor Buddhists perfect their practices, the theory that their practices are based on is practically irrelevant.

If you have somebody that does not have anatman as their view, but practices selfless actions and you have somebody that theoretically holds the view of anatman, but is a selfish self-centered prick... Which of the two is gathering the merit necessary to take the next step towards liberation (given they are not going to be liberated in this lifetime)?
But we are not talking here about the anecdotal actions of individuals: we’re talking about what the different doctrines actually say. We know that lots of catholic priests molest children. That doesn’t then imply that Catholicism as a religious doctrine encourages or requires this.

In any case: I don’t dispute your observation that there are morally good and bad adherents of pretty much any religion one can choose. That doesn’t mean that they’re practising or believing the same thing. It’s remarkable how frequently we have discussions here, on a Buddhist discussion forum, with nominal Buddhists who claim equivalence between the Dharma and a host of other religions. That’s not a position that any of the great scholars of the Dharma in the past would ever have agreed with, so neither can I.
A mother and father have cause for compassion by proxy of having a child. The buddha and teachers alike use this, the dynamics of the filial relationship, to help us envision and engage the same compassion for others.

So when other non buddhist teachings encourage the same compassion using the same example for inspiration is this a lower or different form of compassion because of the teacher/teachings?

Doesn't this deny dharma as revealing an all encompassing truth in regards to the human condition/experience that is always there yet our minds are too impure to see it by making it provisional to external teachings?

As far as your views that "the great teachers" (which is not qualified in any manner) do not agree I have read many that do not posses the same bias

if you google dissertation + Buddhism + Christianity you will find a wealth of papers written on the topic bu scholars and this is only the tip of the ice berg.

for example

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=PG ... da&f=false

This Nichiren teacher believes Christ to be from the bodhisattva world

Which very much illustrates the potency of the lotus sutra to put all phenomenon in context to the ten realms

an essential of the lotus sutra
Just because a termite carves the letter A into a piece of wood doesn't mean its literate. Just because a laborer takes advantage of gravity to move things down a hill doesn't mean they understand gravity.

I'm skeptical of these "great teachers" who fail to see distinctions between what the Buddha taught and what others taught.

Ikeda is a spotty authority.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta
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Re: When the Monks Met the Muslims

Post by tkp67 »

Queequeg wrote: Sun Jul 14, 2019 4:46 pm
tkp67 wrote: Sun Jul 14, 2019 4:05 pm
PeterC wrote: Sun Jul 14, 2019 12:37 pm

But we are not talking here about the anecdotal actions of individuals: we’re talking about what the different doctrines actually say. We know that lots of catholic priests molest children. That doesn’t then imply that Catholicism as a religious doctrine encourages or requires this.

In any case: I don’t dispute your observation that there are morally good and bad adherents of pretty much any religion one can choose. That doesn’t mean that they’re practising or believing the same thing. It’s remarkable how frequently we have discussions here, on a Buddhist discussion forum, with nominal Buddhists who claim equivalence between the Dharma and a host of other religions. That’s not a position that any of the great scholars of the Dharma in the past would ever have agreed with, so neither can I.
A mother and father have cause for compassion by proxy of having a child. The buddha and teachers alike use this, the dynamics of the filial relationship, to help us envision and engage the same compassion for others.

So when other non buddhist teachings encourage the same compassion using the same example for inspiration is this a lower or different form of compassion because of the teacher/teachings?

Doesn't this deny dharma as revealing an all encompassing truth in regards to the human condition/experience that is always there yet our minds are too impure to see it by making it provisional to external teachings?

As far as your views that "the great teachers" (which is not qualified in any manner) do not agree I have read many that do not posses the same bias

if you google dissertation + Buddhism + Christianity you will find a wealth of papers written on the topic bu scholars and this is only the tip of the ice berg.

for example

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=PG ... da&f=false

This Nichiren teacher believes Christ to be from the bodhisattva world

Which very much illustrates the potency of the lotus sutra to put all phenomenon in context to the ten realms

an essential of the lotus sutra
Just because a termite carves the letter A into a piece of wood doesn't mean its literate. Just because a laborer takes advantage of gravity to move things down a hill doesn't mean they understand gravit
I'm skeptical of these "great teachers" who fail to see distinctions between what the Buddha taught and what others taught.

Ikeda is a spotty authority.
Analogies can be validated through the capacities of one's own epistemological capacity coupled with due diligence. In this instance I offered that people might start with dissertations as it is a metric for scholarly merit.

The first portion of statement remains, is compassion still compassion by any other name?

if it is not, then if huge swatch of humanity engages in a deep humanitarian practice that encourages and evokes compassion as a means to end suffering and to add merit after this lifetime and they encounter a Buddhist mindset that say we offer the same thing but you are doing it all wrong isn't that counter intuitive and confusing those who don't understand dharma potentially excluding by proxy based on pragmatic reasoning?
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Re: When the Monks Met the Muslims

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tkp67 wrote: Sun Jul 14, 2019 5:25 pm Analogies can be validated through the capacities of one's own epistemological capacity coupled with due diligence. In this instance I offered that people might start with dissertations as it is a metric for scholarly merit.

The first portion of statement remains, is compassion still compassion by any other name?

if it is not, then if huge swatch of humanity engages in a deep humanitarian practice that encourages and evokes compassion as a means to end suffering and to add merit after this lifetime and they encounter a Buddhist mindset that say we offer the same thing but you are doing it all wrong isn't that counter intuitive and confusing those who don't understand dharma potentially excluding by proxy based on pragmatic reasoning?
The Buddha taught Bodhi. That's all. Everything else may be a means to that, but never equates with Bodhi. Only Bodhi is Bodhi.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta
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Re: When the Monks Met the Muslims

Post by Grigoris »

PeterC wrote: Sun Jul 14, 2019 12:37 pmIt’s remarkable how frequently we have discussions here, on a Buddhist discussion forum, with nominal Buddhists who claim equivalence between the Dharma and a host of other religions.
I don't think that Buddhism has a monopoly on Dharma.

Hell, Buddhists even argue among themselves about which Buddhism has the monopoly on Dharma.

I also believe that, ultimately, Dharma is expressed through the actions (of the three doors) of sentient beings, as a consequence of their enlightened nature. Hence the existence of Pratyekabuddha.
"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: When the Monks Met the Muslims

Post by tkp67 »

Queequeg wrote: Sun Jul 14, 2019 5:29 pm
tkp67 wrote: Sun Jul 14, 2019 5:25 pm Analogies can be validated through the capacities of one's own epistemological capacity coupled with due diligence. In this instance I offered that people might start with dissertations as it is a metric for scholarly merit.

The first portion of statement remains, is compassion still compassion by any other name?

if it is not, then if huge swatch of humanity engages in a deep humanitarian practice that encourages and evokes compassion as a means to end suffering and to add merit after this lifetime and they encounter a Buddhist mindset that say we offer the same thing but you are doing it all wrong isn't that counter intuitive and confusing those who don't understand dharma potentially excluding by proxy based on pragmatic reasoning?
The Buddha taught Bodhi. That's all. Everything else may be a means to that, but never equates with Bodhi. Only Bodhi is Bodhi.

if you eliminate means is there ever a reason to understand bodhi?

i.e. if all suffering is a product of the mind, and the mind is empty of suffering is there still means for bodhi?

better yet why do people gratefully live in delusion? is it because they do no perceive it as cause yet? how are they to perceive it as a cause?

in context to Buddhist and Muslim dialog isn't compassion understanding required to reveal cause i.e. the harm that is caused between those communities and implement a catalyst to transcend it regardless of vehicle?
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Re: When the Monks Met the Muslims

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tkp67 wrote: Sun Jul 14, 2019 5:57 pm
Queequeg wrote: Sun Jul 14, 2019 5:29 pm
tkp67 wrote: Sun Jul 14, 2019 5:25 pm Analogies can be validated through the capacities of one's own epistemological capacity coupled with due diligence. In this instance I offered that people might start with dissertations as it is a metric for scholarly merit.

The first portion of statement remains, is compassion still compassion by any other name?

if it is not, then if huge swatch of humanity engages in a deep humanitarian practice that encourages and evokes compassion as a means to end suffering and to add merit after this lifetime and they encounter a Buddhist mindset that say we offer the same thing but you are doing it all wrong isn't that counter intuitive and confusing those who don't understand dharma potentially excluding by proxy based on pragmatic reasoning?
The Buddha taught Bodhi. That's all. Everything else may be a means to that, but never equates with Bodhi. Only Bodhi is Bodhi.

if you eliminate means is there ever a reason to understand bodhi?

i.e. if all suffering is a product of the mind, and the mind is empty of suffering is there still means for bodhi?

better yet why do people gratefully live in delusion? is it because they do no perceive it as cause yet? how are they to perceive it as a cause?

in context to Buddhist and Muslim dialog isn't compassion understanding required to reveal cause i.e. the harm that is caused between those communities and implement a catalyst to transcend it regardless of vehicle?
People live in delusion because 1) they don't know they live in delusion, or 2) they don't know that it can be overcome. That's why the Buddha starts by problematizing ordinary existence. That's the first two Noble Truths. Then he declares that it can be overcome. That's the point of the 3rd Noble Truth.

The issue is not about who one does and does not interact with. Its about supposing that non-Buddhist teachings lead to bodhi. Everything leads to bodhi because 1) We're all destined to buddhahood; 2) Bodhi is inseparable from ignorance; 3) All of this is cause for bodhi. But that doesn't mean receiving communion is a direct path to bodhi. Its important to keep in mind the distinctions and not succumb to muddled thinking that it all leads to the same place. There is right view and there is wrong view.

As PeterC pointed out, this is a Buddhist discussion forum, and certain views are considered correct here and others are considered wrong. There is a whole wide world in which to discuss non-Buddhist views.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta
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Re: When the Monks Met the Muslims

Post by Queequeg »

Grigoris wrote: Sun Jul 14, 2019 5:41 pm
PeterC wrote: Sun Jul 14, 2019 12:37 pmIt’s remarkable how frequently we have discussions here, on a Buddhist discussion forum, with nominal Buddhists who claim equivalence between the Dharma and a host of other religions.
I don't think that Buddhism has a monopoly on Dharma.

Hell, Buddhists even argue among themselves about which Buddhism has the monopoly on Dharma.

I also believe that, ultimately, Dharma is expressed through the actions (of the three doors) of sentient beings, as a consequence of their enlightened nature. Hence the existence of Pratyekabuddha.
BuddhaDharma is BuddhaDharma. Buddhists arguing about authentic BuddhaDharma is a matter of refining. Different than discussing the difference between eternalism of one form or another and Buddhadharma.

Depending on the teachings you follow, Pratyekabuddha may or may not be awakened.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta
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Re: When the Monks Met the Muslims

Post by tkp67 »

Queequeg wrote: Sun Jul 14, 2019 6:23 pm
tkp67 wrote: Sun Jul 14, 2019 5:57 pm
Queequeg wrote: Sun Jul 14, 2019 5:29 pm

The Buddha taught Bodhi. That's all. Everything else may be a means to that, but never equates with Bodhi. Only Bodhi is Bodhi.

if you eliminate means is there ever a reason to understand bodhi?

i.e. if all suffering is a product of the mind, and the mind is empty of suffering is there still means for bodhi?

better yet why do people gratefully live in delusion? is it because they do no perceive it as cause yet? how are they to perceive it as a cause?

in context to Buddhist and Muslim dialog isn't compassion understanding required to reveal cause i.e. the harm that is caused between those communities and implement a catalyst to transcend it regardless of vehicle?
People live in delusion because 1) they don't know they live in delusion, or 2) they don't know that it can be overcome. That's why the Buddha starts by problematizing ordinary existence. That's the first two Noble Truths. Then he declares that it can be overcome. That's the point of the 3rd Noble Truth.

The issue is not about who one does and does not interact with. Its about supposing that non-Buddhist teachings lead to bodhi. Everything leads to bodhi because 1) We're all destined to buddhahood; 2) Bodhi is inseparable from ignorance; 3) All of this is cause for bodhi. But that doesn't mean receiving communion is a direct path to bodhi.Its important to keep in mind the distinctions and not succumb to muddled thinking that it all leads to the same place. There is right view and there is wrong view.

As PeterC pointed out, this is a Buddhist discussion forum, and certain views are considered correct here and others are considered wrong. There is a whole wide world in which to discuss non-Buddhist views.
I don't disagree with your point but don't understand where I ever said those teaching lead us to bodhi specifically and why you feel that this aspect of the conversation needs to be so diligently defined? I truly wish not to make this mistake again.

This article is about Buddhists and Muslims, both ideologies are participants of the same humanity. I don't understand how discussing the aspects of their belief and how it equates or does not equate to Buddhism off topic and secular? I accept my Nichiren comparisons might be inadequate and perhaps this is part of it.

In my mind's eye it simply reveals human nature under the pressures of different beliefs which in and of itself revealing of the various particular causes. I thought causes leading us to seek resolution isn't secular or non buddhist since the resolution is * in my eyes * is in dharma which reveals bodhi

What those particular causes are, what dharma is required and how bodhi is revealed is unique for all of us.

Is this ambiguous or confusing because in my mind it simply is not but I my mind is not a metric I can use to gauge the mind of others so this is quite sincere.

If it is in reference to scholarly discourse between the two topics it was only to illustrate that the totality of belief that all people interpret these practices the same is not reflective of reality. If more was read into it than that I feel I was clear the purpose I was illustrating but out of deep reverence for the perceptions of the participants here apologize deeply.
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Re: When the Monks Met the Muslims

Post by tkp67 »

Queequeg wrote: Sun Jul 14, 2019 6:28 pm
Grigoris wrote: Sun Jul 14, 2019 5:41 pm
PeterC wrote: Sun Jul 14, 2019 12:37 pmIt’s remarkable how frequently we have discussions here, on a Buddhist discussion forum, with nominal Buddhists who claim equivalence between the Dharma and a host of other religions.
I don't think that Buddhism has a monopoly on Dharma.

Hell, Buddhists even argue among themselves about which Buddhism has the monopoly on Dharma.

I also believe that, ultimately, Dharma is expressed through the actions (of the three doors) of sentient beings, as a consequence of their enlightened nature. Hence the existence of Pratyekabuddha.
BuddhaDharma is BuddhaDharma. Buddhists arguing about authentic BuddhaDharma is a matter of refining. Different than discussing the difference between eternalism of one form or another and Buddhadharma.

Depending on the teachings you follow, Pratyekabuddha may or may not be awakened.
Where was there a discussion of eternalism?

I thought it was an observation of like humanity between persons of disparate belief and how that likeness in and of itself is reveals the latent buddha nature in us all.

discussing common grounds among monks and muslims is not a discussion of eternalism but of humanity

in my mind's eye thinking of commonality between muslims and buddhist as eternalism is a projection that puts credence into their belief while denying their buddha potential so apparently I see it from a converse point of view
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Re: When the Monks Met the Muslims

Post by mikenz66 »

Grigoris wrote: Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:18 am If you have somebody that does not have anatman as their view, but practices selfless actions and you have somebody that theoretically holds the view of anatman, but is a selfish self-centered prick... Which of the two is gathering the merit necessary to take the next step towards liberation (given they are not going to be liberated in this lifetime)?
The answer is obvious, isn't it?

As far as I can tell, the Buddhist path(s) don/t claim to have a monopoly on the development of many aspects of the Path. See, here for a Pali-Sutta example: https://suttacentral.net/mn11/en/bodhi#sc12

Clearly all Paths are not the same. They certainly differ at the very highest levels of View, but not so much in the development of virtue and many aspects of non-clinging, which is where most of us need some work...

:heart:
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Re: When the Monks Met the Muslims

Post by Grigoris »

Queequeg wrote: Sun Jul 14, 2019 6:28 pmBuddhists arguing about authentic BuddhaDharma is a matter of refining.
If you consider sectarian BS as refining, I guess so. Because generally that is what the arguments tend to be.
Depending on the teachings you follow, Pratyekabuddha may or may not be awakened.
Which Buddhist tradition does not recognise Pratyekabuddhas as awakened??? :shrug:
"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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The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde
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Re: When the Monks Met the Muslims

Post by Grigoris »

mikenz66 wrote: Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:11 pmThe answer is obvious, isn't it?
I would think so, but when people start to argue about whether Pratyekabuddhas are awakened or not, well...

It seems the obvious is not so obvious!
Clearly all Paths are not the same. They certainly differ at the very highest levels of View...
It seems that some people think you start here and work backwards towards accumulating merit/virtue.

Seems they forget that one achieves liberation via the accumulation of wisdom AND virtue/merit.

I think that people fall into the trap of intellectualisation of the Dharma, rather than recognising it is a praxis.
"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: When the Monks Met the Muslims

Post by SonamTashi »

PeterC wrote: Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:09 am I’m not sure you’re fairly representing either the Buddhist perspective - even the East Asian version, which is way more substantialist than its Indian antecedents - or the Christian/Islamic/Talmudic perspective.

One of them has a creator god, an immortal soul, no reincarnation, sin. The other has pratityasamutpada, anatman, karma. We could go on but the distinction here is sufficient - this is a gap that cannot be closed by posting some deeper meaning, unless you posit that one side is a provisional teaching, and neither side would accept that statement of their own beliefs.

Even when you go into the less mainstream teachings of either side, the gulf remains. The tathagatagarbha teachings do not refute the above points, nor do the Dzogchen tantras - which indeed provide more explanation as to how Buddhas and sentient beings respectively arise. The esoteric forms of the Abrahamic religions (Sufism etc.) similarly do not refute the basic tenets of their beliefs.

One could claim that there are, perhaps, similarities in techniques. But this is not sufficient to say they are “essentially the same” or “pointing to the same thing”. Most of the meditational techniques of Buddhism can be found in the Vedic traditions: however the view is profoundly different between the two, centuries of interaction and debate established them to be incompatible.

The view matters. When HHDL speaks at interfaith conferences he will say reassuring platitudes about all religions seeking the same thing, the fundamental human problem being the same for all people, etc etc. But then when he teaches the Dharma he will prostrate before an image of the Buddha and say something like, I bow before the Buddha who taught the Dharma for the purpose of eliminating wrong views. I forget the exact words he likes to use. My point is that the ecumenical spirit is good, because we have to live together with people who hold different views, and mutual tolerance is necessary. But it is wrong to say that religions are essentially the same.
I happened to post this on another forum in a discussion related to refuge and how taking refuge in the 3 jewels conflicts with also trying to be a Christian, Muslim, etc. Part of it seems to fit here as well. I quoted HHDL, from his book The Essence of the Heart Sutra, where he discusses the need for ecumenicalism, and yet draws a hard line in the sand:

To these Christian brothers and sisters, I have observed that the teaching of emptiness--the teaching that all things are devoid of any absolute existence--is unique to Buddhism, and therefore perhaps a deeply committed Christian practitioner might be wise not to delve too deeply into this aspect of Buddhist teaching. The reason for this caution is that if someone begins to delve deeply into the Buddhist teaching of emptiness and truly pursues it, it can undermine one's faith in a creator--an absolute, independent, eternal being that is, in short, not empty...

if one pursues any path deeply enough, it eventually becomes necessary to embrace one spiritual path together with its underlying metaphysics.
I also quoted Thinley Norbu's A Cascading Waterfall of Nectar, and while some of it may not be totally relevant, I think his careful distinction between Buddhist and non-Buddhist views is worth mentioning:

Are there deceivers? There is no doubt there are a great many. Who are they? They are those who are never worthy of trust because they represent all the causes and results of the suffering of samsaric phenomena. Where do they come from? They are from among all those who hold the various doctrines of eternalist views of this world. Each kind of eternalist has its own way of recognizing the meaning of its own gods, with different ways of describing how its gods created the world and different ways of worshipping its gods...

each is convinced that the essence of their god is permanent, and that their god has created the impermanent universe, all living beings, happiness, suffering, and so on...

To examine this logically according to Buddhist theory: if the essence of a god who created the world were permanent, unchanging, and enduring, it would be impossible for that god ever to perform actions...

If the gods' pleasure and displeasure are dependent on the root and contributing circumstances of other beings, this means that gods are not able to transcend changing phenomena. If a god relies on other beings, and if those beings are impermanent, it means that the god is not permanent or unchanging. This reasoning demonstrates that the concept of establishing the essence of gods as permanent is a mere fabrication that cannot actually exist...

Generally, in Buddhism, gods are considered not ultimate but temporary because gods themselves cannot give up a self. That is why Kunkhyen Rongzompa identifies eternalist gods as worldly deities... There is no view of how to reach the fully enlightened state that is connected with eternalist gods...

Buddha has purified self, so that is why Buddha is fully enlightened. Because eternalism does not give up the view of an existing self, whether a god is considered intermediate or supreme, there is still the cause of passions and karma... Whenever there is cause and effect, a possessor comes, and there is samsara no matter what aspect of gods arises.
My point is that ecumenicalism is a great and necessary thing, but that shouldn't somehow advocate for perrenialism. I know tkp67 disputed the fact that eternalism was brought up, but I think it is an important distinction. But the even more important distinction is the last few lines of the Thinley Norbu quote: gods and their religions are not a means for awakening, but rather for the causes and effects of samsara, and thus cannot be equated with Buddhadharma, ultimate or provisional.

Sin is not karma for example. In the Abrahamic faiths, humans are simply punished by a god. The law of cause and effect is simply said to be the way things are, not the will of a god or Buddha. In addition, karma brings many more effects than just what you could equate to God's punishing of sins. For example, sin and punishment doesn't address habitual tendencies, the way karma affects how you experience things (not just what you experience) etc. One concrete example is this: one karmic effect of lying is that people won't trust you, won't take seriously what you say etc. The punishment for the sin of lying is hellfire. One has results in this lifetime, the other is only a result after this life. The concept of the soul and mind in Buddhism is another good example. After all, an eternal soul is exactly what the Buddha rejected with non-self. If we equate the Christian concept of soul with mind, then why did the Buddha reject the Hindu/Jain theory of Atman? Also, this is why eternalism was brought up. The theory of a soul is an eternalist idea, and is completely rejected in Buddhism.

I also find it unlikely that Nichiren, or any other major teacher, considered non-Buddhist religions to essentially be provisional Buddhist teachings. Does that mean that those religions have no value? Of course not. Many teachings can still lead to rebirth in the higher realms. But being born in the higher realms isn't sufficient cause to make a connection to Buddhism and ultimately escape samsara. They are still just causes of rebirth in the higher realms of samsara.
Last edited by SonamTashi on Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:38 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Grigoris
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Re: When the Monks Met the Muslims

Post by Grigoris »

SonamTashi wrote: Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:27 pmI also find it unlikely that Nichiren, or any otther major teacher, considered non-Buddhist religions to essentially be provisional Buddhist teachings.
It seems to me you are confounding Dharma with Buddhism.

I should also add here that many people use Buddhism to achieve worldly benefit (eg good health, money, a partner, influence, etc...).

And let us get something clear: I am not arguing for ecumenicism. What I am arguing is that afflicted sentient beings generally gain the same benefits from any religion because they rarely perfect the teachings in their respective religions; generally they just live virtuous lives performing meritorious deeds. The "highest view" of their corresponding religion is rarely ever attained and since merit is merit...
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Re: When the Monks Met the Muslims

Post by SonamTashi »

Grigoris wrote: Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:32 pm
SonamTashi wrote: Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:27 pmI also find it unlikely that Nichiren, or any otther major teacher, considered non-Buddhist religions to essentially be provisional Buddhist teachings.
It seems to me you are confounding Dharma with Buddhism.

I should also add here that many people use Buddhism to achieve worldly benefit (eg good health, money, a partner, influence, etc...).

And let us get something clear: I am not arguing for ecumenicism. What I am arguing is that afflicted sentient beings generally gain the same benefits from any religion because they rarely perfect the teachings in their respective religions; generally they just live virtuous lives performing meritorious deeds. The "highest view" of their corresponding religion is rarely ever attained and since merit is merit...
And I'm arguing that sometimes merit is simply the cause for rebirth in the higher realms and nothing more. Yes, I am conflating dharma with Buddhism, and my point is that I think most major teachers would as well.
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