Is a shrine important

Pictures of revered teachers, places, rupas, temples, shrine rooms etc. that bring inspiration to our members. Pilgrimage advice etc.
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Is a shrine important

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Nemo wrote: Sun Apr 04, 2021 4:29 pm
PadmaVonSamba wrote: Sun Apr 04, 2021 4:14 pm
Queequeg wrote: Sun Apr 04, 2021 1:53 pm

Building a stupa, even if you observe the most meticulous instructions, is not difficult. And if you're saying you need some special empowerments and stuff to build one, I'll respectfully disagree. There are degrees of formality, but I would not consider a stupa constructed with all the attention to ritual detail any more meritorious than one made of sand by someone with the most fleeting positive thought about the Buddha.
Nobody said anything about empowerments, or level of difficulty.
Nor was there any mention of formality.
But just as with anything that serves a function,
There just happen to be specific procedures for constructing, filling, and consecrating stupas.
If all you want is a lawn ornament, then that’s different.
You can also shave your head, wrap yourself in a blanket, and call yourself a monk.
If it’s true for you, fine. Go for it.
So a stupa without a life stick is a lawn ornament?
There are 2 types of blessed stupas. Both are holy. One is traditionally consecrated the other is not. To say one only blessed with faith and good intentions does not benefit beings shows a profound poverty of mind. It is elitist nonsense.
It’s not elitist nonsense.
And I didn’t say that one type of stupa or another necessarily lacks benefit or causes harm.
But if you don’t know what you are doing, and you place the remains of someone in a stupa, and it is not placed correctly, or if it is an ordinary person’s remains and people circumnambulate it, this can have negative effects. It can have the opposite effect of benefitting the person.

But, do whatever you want. I’m only relaying what my teacher taught based on centuries of tibetan tradition.
Maybe you know better.
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Re: Is a shrine important

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Sun Apr 04, 2021 4:41 pm

It’s not elitist nonsense.
And I didn’t say that one type of stupa or another necessarily lacks benefit or causes harm.
But if you don’t know what you are doing, and you place the remains of someone in a stupa, and it is not placed correctly, or if it is an ordinary person’s remains and people circumnambulate it, this can have negative effects. It can have the opposite effect of benefitting the person.

But, do whatever you want. I’m only relaying what my teacher taught based on centuries of tibetan tradition.
Maybe you know better.
I know Tibetan teachers who take the first, more informal approach to a question like this. let's not pretend that because one Vajrayana teacher says something they represent all teachers. We had a similar discussion about obscurations acquired via buying used things a while back. There is a very orthodox approach to questions like this, and a less orthodox one, and both appear. You cannot say the orthodox answer is more "traditional" when the traditional contains a spectrum of approaches, and to a degree seemingly always has. We can find hagiographical and traditional stories in Tibetan Buddhism illustrating both these points of view.
"...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."

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Re: Is a shrine important

Post by Hazel »

Johnny Dangerous wrote: Sun Apr 04, 2021 10:00 pm
PadmaVonSamba wrote: Sun Apr 04, 2021 4:41 pm

It’s not elitist nonsense.
And I didn’t say that one type of stupa or another necessarily lacks benefit or causes harm.
But if you don’t know what you are doing, and you place the remains of someone in a stupa, and it is not placed correctly, or if it is an ordinary person’s remains and people circumnambulate it, this can have negative effects. It can have the opposite effect of benefitting the person.

But, do whatever you want. I’m only relaying what my teacher taught based on centuries of tibetan tradition.
Maybe you know better.
I know Tibetan teachers who take the first, more informal approach to a question like this. let's not pretend that because one Vajrayana teacher says something they represent all teachers. We had a similar discussion about obscurations acquired via buying used things a while back. There is a very orthodox approach to questions like this, and a less orthodox one, and both appear. You cannot say the orthodox answer is more "traditional" when the traditional contains a spectrum of approaches, and to a degree seemingly always has. We can find hagiographical and traditional stories in Tibetan Buddhism illustrating both these points of view.
Is Tibetan Buddhism what is at play here? I don't know Queequeg's tradition.
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Re: Is a shrine important

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

Hazel wrote: Mon Apr 05, 2021 1:01 am
Johnny Dangerous wrote: Sun Apr 04, 2021 10:00 pm
PadmaVonSamba wrote: Sun Apr 04, 2021 4:41 pm

It’s not elitist nonsense.
And I didn’t say that one type of stupa or another necessarily lacks benefit or causes harm.
But if you don’t know what you are doing, and you place the remains of someone in a stupa, and it is not placed correctly, or if it is an ordinary person’s remains and people circumnambulate it, this can have negative effects. It can have the opposite effect of benefitting the person.

But, do whatever you want. I’m only relaying what my teacher taught based on centuries of tibetan tradition.
Maybe you know better.
I know Tibetan teachers who take the first, more informal approach to a question like this. let's not pretend that because one Vajrayana teacher says something they represent all teachers. We had a similar discussion about obscurations acquired via buying used things a while back. There is a very orthodox approach to questions like this, and a less orthodox one, and both appear. You cannot say the orthodox answer is more "traditional" when the traditional contains a spectrum of approaches, and to a degree seemingly always has. We can find hagiographical and traditional stories in Tibetan Buddhism illustrating both these points of view.
Is Tibetan Buddhism what is at play here? I don't know Queequeg's tradition.
No, it was just part of the ensuing conversation.
"...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."

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ddorje
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Re: Is a shrine important

Post by ddorje »

Queequeg wrote: Sat Apr 03, 2021 7:25 pm
Malcolm wrote: Sat Apr 03, 2021 4:58 pm
Queequeg wrote: Sat Apr 03, 2021 4:41 pm
No offense to you guys but you are converts and so this sense of continuity is not in your flesh.
It’s not in yours either. And we are not “Buddhist converts.” There is no such thing.

Meeting the Dharma in this life is a function having met the Dharma in a past life. It’s not a genetic thing, nor is it a cultural thing. It’s a karmic thing.
Flesh is karma embodied. Or isn't it? As are the circumstances one encounters Dharma. This is not to say that one appearance is superior or inferior. I believe we each serve unique functions according to our karma. Perhaps being born a Yankee who dabbled in occidental occult on the way to dharma serves the function that can lead and inspire others. I don't presume to know and I'm not belittling it.

This should be obvious though - being born into an environment and among others where Buddha dharma is like the air, it leads to a different outlook. It's not a superior claim to lineage, but merely a statement that it is qualitatively different. It tends to instill a different view.
I feel like what you're saying rings familiar to the discussions to some younger Buddhists I know who've discussed events, writings and topics along the lines of decolonial Dharma and/or "Heritage Buddhism".

If your experience of the dharma in this lifetime arose from being surrounded by it as a child, then I'm glad to know that it led to you going further into the tradition.

I wouldn't want to detract from your experience of it being "in the air", and as you said, its a "different view", but I think I'd second with Malcolm on the idea that it's not about flesh or genealogy but karma. Otherwise, as Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche has said on a few occasions, (paraphrasing) it becomes more about a cultural belonging than Buddha dharma.
'Maybe you collect a lot of important writings, major texts, personal instructions private notes, whatever. If you haven't practiced, books won't help you when you die. Look at the mind - that's my sincere advice' - Longchen Rabjam
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Re: Is a shrine important

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

Culture and genetics might predispose people to the religion of Buddhism, that's a fortunate connection to have. However, a connection to the institutions of Buddhism is no guarantee at all that one will get a glimpse of actual Dharma. The Turtle poking it's head out of the ocean and all that.

Being closer to Buddhism is fortunate for sure, but all it does is increase the odds of coming across genuine teachings, not guarantee them. It certainly does not imbue a person with some kind of preternatural ability to grok this stuff.

In fact, in our present age (according to one of my teachers) Westerners not raised around Buddhism make excellent Dharma students due to lack of familiarity with the teachings, and less of a propensity for taking their connections for granted, simply gaining merit by donating to ordained people, getting ceremonies done, etc.

So one could as easily make an argument that in this age genetic and cultural closeness to Buddhism can be a possible cause of apathy, rather than a factor that makes one somehow "naturally" closer to Dharma. I'll bet we could all come up with examples proving both cases.
"...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: Is a shrine important

Post by Queequeg »

To clarify.

My view: Being born into an environment surrounded by Buddhists certainly guarantees nothing. It certainly can offer grand opportunities. Not being exposed to Buddhism from an early age, like say being born into a devout Muslim family, will likewise not present an insurmountable obstacle to taking refuge. The starting points are, however, very much different and the conditioning in those situations is going to tend in certain predictable directions. One who has the karmic conditions to be steeped in Dharma from the cradle, with the receptive disposition, is in a tremendously wonderful position. To take an extreme case to illustrate - that little boy, Tenzin Gyatso is an embodiment of the grandest merit and blessings. What accomplishment. To suggest there is equivalence to a child born on the same day into a Jehovah's Witness family is silly.

I make no claim about my own place except to say, the concerns voiced here to me evince a certain lack of confidence in the sangha, a confidence in the continuity of this jewel. I think there is always a concern from generation to generation that the teachings will be passed on but its easier to see how it can when you see personally how it goes from generation to generation. You see up close how some take to it, and some don't. This is not some uniquely ethnic Buddhist thing. My wife and her family just celebrated Passover - Jews are all about this sense of continuity.

This also doesn't mean, however, that one path is qualitatively better or worse in terms of accessibility to Dharma. That child born into a devout Muslim family may well be a great bodhisattva who is going to blaze a path for those from similar circumstances to find their way to Refuge.

When people start invoking karma as some deterministic force, I just shake my head. To presume to know how karma plays out, and specifically, to preclude all but one path to Dharma of the seeker who finds their connection through their own inner yearning and ruling out any other factors and possibility, including the role of outreach in helping people "reestablish" their connection in this life, is like declaring the number of angels on the head of a pin. Its ridiculous.

Bringing this back to stupas - they were placed at crossroads and other significant and frequently visited locales precisely to cause the the memory of certain beings to impinge on the minds of passersby. For early Buddhists, stupas were built by lay people for the Buddha and other arhats. Their function was and is to invoke the memory of the Buddha or other great being and cause those who encounter them to be inspired. Worrying about their certain destruction is reasonable to a degree, but excessive concern with demeritorious possibilities is the kind of thinking that paralyzes. If a stupa inspires one person to take refuge, and is destroyed the next day by vandal, it has more than served its purpose. And the person who maliciously destroys it - well, they've made an indelible connection to dharma that will ripen into bodhi eventually.

But to each their own. We all walk our own paths.
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, Upaya Chapter

純一実相。実相外。更無別法。法性寂然名止。寂而常渉照名観。
There is only reality; there is nothing separate from reality. The naturally tranquil nature of dharmas is shamatha. The abiding luminosity of tranquility is vipashyana.

-From Guanding's Introduction to Zhiyi's Great Shamatha and Vipashyana
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Re: Is a shrine important

Post by Malcolm »

Here you go: Gorintō with Lotus Sutra inscriptions.


Image
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Re: Is a shrine important

Post by Malcolm »

Queequeg wrote: Mon Apr 05, 2021 12:15 pm

Bringing this back to stupas - they were placed at crossroads and other significant and frequently visited locales precisely to cause the the memory of certain beings to impinge on the minds of passersby.
There are also guidelines for their placement.
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that name does not exist."
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Re: Is a shrine important

Post by avatamsaka3 »

To suggest there is equivalence to a child born on the same day into a Jehovah's Witness family is silly.
If that person leads a noble life, then it's not silly at all. It's not unusual for people to start with one worldview and end up in another.
a certain lack of confidence in the sangha, a confidence in the continuity of this jewel
None of the human institutions that we call Buddhist can survive without a realistic attitude toward the challenges they face. This has always been true. Regardless, the jewel is much greater than any of us and our petty projects.
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Re: Is a shrine important

Post by Nemo »

It's like generating the shrine. Filling shrine water bowls for the Buddhas is an excellent practice. Preferably every morning and emptied every night. It doesn't need anything else to be a beneficial practice.

But it can get much more complex and meaningful. Invoking Amrita Kundali, purifying the inner and outer world into emptiness, dissolving the space and blessing it with a seed syllable Bhrung(didn't I just do that?), making offerings with Aum to the Buddhas and creating the shrine bowls, using Hung in the bowls to help all sentient being and grant their desires, mudras, incense, lamps, etc. Obviously a teacher should get you up to speed on how to do these add ons.

Don't be the guy who says maybe you shouldn't do that if you don't know how. In ever so slightly more time you could say how and give resources. Generating the altar or stupa consecration are not secret practices and the texts have been translated. Perhaps there is a 1 in 100 chance of something going mildly wrong leading to a mixed result. I don't think the Buddhas are out to punish people for making honest mistakes.

Owning Dharma objects is an omen of your future practice. Owning is actually the wrong word, manifesting or caretaking are better ones. I'm a bit suspicious of people who try to get people less involved. Tibetan Buddhism is innately shamanistic. I think we need to own that and not hoard our beneficial practices. Things like placement, astrological timings and particular substances are important but much less important than motivation and intention.

Obviously if this is not for you just meditating is fine. Personally I find it fun.
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Re: Is a shrine important

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I make no claim about my own place except to say, the concerns voiced here to me evince a certain lack of confidence in the sangha, a confidence in the continuity of this jewel. I think there is always a concern from generation to generation that the teachings will be passed on but its easier to see how it can when you see personally how it goes from generation to generation. You see up close how some take to it, and some don't. This is not some uniquely ethnic Buddhist thing. My wife and her family just celebrated Passover - Jews are all about this sense of continuity.
Judaism also illustrates my example (reminder, my wife is Jewish too), in many ways Jewish Continuity is as much cultural as it is religious. I know Jews who are very into being Jewish, go to temple a lot, and simply are not particularly into the spiritual end. I know the line is fuzzy there, but as I'm sure you're familiar with American Jewish culture generally, I think you will get what I'm saying.

It's a blessing to born in close proximity to Dharma, I don't think anyone denies that.

The idea that Buddhism is anyone's "blood" is absurd though. Is it now in the blood of Japanese people but not Indians, is it some epigenetic thing? Do Indians still have the most Buddhist blood because they have the original gene?

Anyway, there is certainly an important function for cultural Dharma, it is an important container...but to paraphrase DJKR's analogy, it's the cup, not the drink.
"...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."

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Re: Is a shrine important

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Nemo wrote: Mon Apr 05, 2021 3:40 pm Personally I find it fun.
This.

Y'all will have to take my word that I take the ritual formalities seriously, but I see it more along the lines of Nemo. Sure there are things we can do that will enhance the stupa, but that's hardly what I would consider the most critical part. For me, the construction of a stupa involves an expression of joy in the Dharma. The insistence on formality and weighing the karma, etc. etc. that's all well and good, but also can have the effect of snuffing all the joy and spontaneity from the practice.

Enku was an itinerant monk in Japan who went around carving figures out of tree stumps where he found them. Most are crudely done, but the joy behind their creation is apparent. And it was done to bring joy or comfort to others.

One thing about Japanese art, especially Buddhist art, they've had no problem integrating joy and whimsy into it. Sure there are master artists who meticulously follow the iconographic motifs. And then there are the ones that mix whimsy with devotion to wonderful effect, IMHO.

Image

That's the Buddha's parinirvana by a fellow named Ito Jakuchu. He was a devoted zen practitioner and his family were vegetable merchants, so this was actually a tribute to his family.

Buddhist practice does not need to be so austere and formal. There is a place for that. There is a place for a range of devoted expressions and practice. To bring this back to one's shrine, I think the same principles apply - sincerity is the key determinant. I once questioned a friend who had put a pack of cigarettes as an offering to the Buddha, and I regretted it right away when it was clear that was this sincere offering. YMMV.
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, Upaya Chapter

純一実相。実相外。更無別法。法性寂然名止。寂而常渉照名観。
There is only reality; there is nothing separate from reality. The naturally tranquil nature of dharmas is shamatha. The abiding luminosity of tranquility is vipashyana.

-From Guanding's Introduction to Zhiyi's Great Shamatha and Vipashyana
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Is a shrine important

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Different traditions have different procedures and requirements.
It's like driving a car. I can certainly get into a car, shift the gears, press the foot pedals, and turn the steering wheel. And I can also suggest that hey, if doing that gets me somewhere remotely close to where I want to go, then that's a really positive accomplishment.
But it doesn't mean I know how to drive, and being able to drive in America doesn't mean I know how to drive in England, where left and right on the road is reversed.
So, just it's not elitist to suggest to someone who wants to drive that there are in fact certain rules to follow, even if you can make a car go all by yourself, likewise when constructing a stupa there are also rules to follow.

I just want to offer this excerpt from a 3 day teaching by a Khenpo lama, on stupas, tsa-tsas and statues from the writings of Chakme Rinpoche (1613-1678).
You can take it for what it is.

"...Chakme Rinpoche continues, "If we treat the names of ordinary people, or as we saw before, their remains, ashes and bones, and so on, the way we treat the relics of those who have acheived the bodhisattva levels, then it will harm us. We can't support the pressure of that. And if, in the case of someone who has passed away, it will actually harm them rather than help them if their name is included. The earliest, famous, incidents of this occurred during the Buddha's lifetime. During the Buddha's lifetime, a prominent Tirthika spiritual teacher called Osen Dzulche (Tib.) died, and a stupa containing his remains was erected by his disciples at a major crossroads in the town of Sravasti, and then many years went by. Now, among the Buddha's Sravaka disciples, one Maudgalyayana, had the foremost or greatest miraculous abilities and as a result, with those miraculous abilities, every day he would pass through all of the six realms (and) to view them. One day, when he visited a hell realm he encountered Osen Dzulche, the dead Tirthika teacher who called to Maudgalyayana and asked him to bring a message back to Earth for him. He said to him, "It doesn't matter when ordinary people circumnambulate the stupa that has been set up in the middle of the village of Sravasti, but when those who are in the entourage of the Buddha, who adhere to a vehicle higher than mine (so in other words, any buddhists) circumnambulate it, even unintentionally, when they are walking through the town then they circumnambulate, it unintentionally and that harms me terribly. It greatly exascerbates my suffering. So, therefore, arya, I ask that you return to Earth and tell my followers to dismantle that stupa, and to reassemble it and set it up in an isolated place where no buddhists will circumnambulate it".


There is more to the story, but that's what I wanted to share, just to illustrate the fact that there are all sorts of things one might not be aware of. I didn't say never build a stupa (as some have suggested) but rather to be aware, sensitive, and to educate yourself before doing so. Consult with respected teachers of whatever tradition you follow.
Last edited by PadmaVonSamba on Mon Apr 05, 2021 5:17 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Is a shrine important

Post by Queequeg »

Johnny Dangerous wrote: Mon Apr 05, 2021 4:46 pm
I make no claim about my own place except to say, the concerns voiced here to me evince a certain lack of confidence in the sangha, a confidence in the continuity of this jewel. I think there is always a concern from generation to generation that the teachings will be passed on but its easier to see how it can when you see personally how it goes from generation to generation. You see up close how some take to it, and some don't. This is not some uniquely ethnic Buddhist thing. My wife and her family just celebrated Passover - Jews are all about this sense of continuity.
Judaism also illustrates my example (reminder, my wife is Jewish too), in many ways Jewish Continuity is as much cultural as it is religious. I know Jews who are very into being Jewish, go to temple a lot, and simply are not particularly into the spiritual end. I know the line is fuzzy there, but as I'm sure you're familiar with American Jewish culture generally, I think you will get what I'm saying.

It's a blessing to born in close proximity to Dharma, I don't think anyone denies that.

The idea that Buddhism is anyone's "blood" is absurd though. Is it now in the blood of Japanese people but not Indians, is it some epigenetic thing? Do Indians still have the most Buddhist blood because they have the original gene?

Anyway, there is certainly an important function for cultural Dharma, it is an important container...but to paraphrase DJKR's analogy, it's the cup, not the drink.
Yes. People seem to be stuck on the fact that I used "flesh". I didn't mean it in the literal sense. I meant it in the sense that when something permeates you, its part of you.
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, Upaya Chapter

純一実相。実相外。更無別法。法性寂然名止。寂而常渉照名観。
There is only reality; there is nothing separate from reality. The naturally tranquil nature of dharmas is shamatha. The abiding luminosity of tranquility is vipashyana.

-From Guanding's Introduction to Zhiyi's Great Shamatha and Vipashyana
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Re: Is a shrine important

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

Queequeg wrote: Mon Apr 05, 2021 5:14 pm
Johnny Dangerous wrote: Mon Apr 05, 2021 4:46 pm
I make no claim about my own place except to say, the concerns voiced here to me evince a certain lack of confidence in the sangha, a confidence in the continuity of this jewel. I think there is always a concern from generation to generation that the teachings will be passed on but its easier to see how it can when you see personally how it goes from generation to generation. You see up close how some take to it, and some don't. This is not some uniquely ethnic Buddhist thing. My wife and her family just celebrated Passover - Jews are all about this sense of continuity.
Judaism also illustrates my example (reminder, my wife is Jewish too), in many ways Jewish Continuity is as much cultural as it is religious. I know Jews who are very into being Jewish, go to temple a lot, and simply are not particularly into the spiritual end. I know the line is fuzzy there, but as I'm sure you're familiar with American Jewish culture generally, I think you will get what I'm saying.

It's a blessing to born in close proximity to Dharma, I don't think anyone denies that.

The idea that Buddhism is anyone's "blood" is absurd though. Is it now in the blood of Japanese people but not Indians, is it some epigenetic thing? Do Indians still have the most Buddhist blood because they have the original gene?

Anyway, there is certainly an important function for cultural Dharma, it is an important container...but to paraphrase DJKR's analogy, it's the cup, not the drink.
Yes. People seem to be stuck on the fact that I used "flesh". I didn't mean it in the literal sense. I meant it in the sense that when something permeates you, its part of you.
It is no more a part of you than it is of a "convert". You are fortunate to have been born into a Buddhist family, etc. of course.
"...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: Is a shrine important

Post by Queequeg »

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Mon Apr 05, 2021 5:10 pm Different traditions have different procedures and requirements.
It's like driving a car. I can certainly get into a car, shift the gears, press the foot pedals, and turn the steering wheel. And I can also suggest that hey, if doing that gets me somewhere remotely close to where I want to go, then that's a really positive accomplishment.
But it doesn't mean I know how to drive, and being able to drive in America doesn't mean I know how to drive in England, where left and right on the road is reversed.

I just want to offer this excerpt from a 3 day teaching by a Khenpo lama, on stupas, tsa-tsas and statues from the writings of Chakme Rinpoche (1613-1678).
You can take it for what it is.

Chakme Rinpoche continues, "If we treat the names of ordinary people, or as we saw before, their remains, ashes and bones, and so on, the way we treat the relics of those who have acheived the bodhisattva levels, then it will harm us. We can't support the pressure of that. And if, in the case of someone who has passed away, it will actually harm them rather than help them if their name is included. The earliest, famous, incidents of this occurred during the Buddha's lifetime. During the Buddha's lifetime, a prominent Tirthika spiritual teacher called Osen Dzulche (Tib.) died, and a stupa containing his remains was erected by his disciples at a major crossroads in the town of Sravasti, and then many years went by. Now, among the Buddha's Sravaka disciples, one Maudgalyayana, had the foremost or greatest miraculous abilities and as a result, with those miraculous abilities, every day he would pass through all of the six realms (and) to view them. One day, when he visited a hell realm he encountered Osen Dzulche, the dead Tirthika teacher who called to Maudgalyayana and asked him to bring a message back to Earth for him. He said to him, "It doesn't matter when ordinary people circumnambulate the stupa that has been set up in the middle of the village of Sravasti, but when those who are in the entourage of the Buddha, who adhere to a vehicle higher than mine (so in other words, any buddhists) circumnambulate it, even unintentionally, when they are walking through the town then they circumnambulate, it unintentionally and that harms me terribly. It greatly exascerbates my suffering. So, therefore, arya, I ask that you return to Earth and tell my followers to dismantle that stupa, and to reassemble it and set it up in an isolated place where no buddhists will circumnambulate it".


There is more to the story, but that's what I wanted to share, just to illustrate the fact that there are all sorts of things one might not be aware of. I didn't say never build a stupa (as some have suggested) but rather to be aware, sensitive, and to educate yourself before doing so. Consult with respected teachers of whatever tradition you follow.
Nobody as far as I can tell is talking about making a stupa with the remains of an ordinary being.
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, Upaya Chapter

純一実相。実相外。更無別法。法性寂然名止。寂而常渉照名観。
There is only reality; there is nothing separate from reality. The naturally tranquil nature of dharmas is shamatha. The abiding luminosity of tranquility is vipashyana.

-From Guanding's Introduction to Zhiyi's Great Shamatha and Vipashyana
Malcolm
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Re: Is a shrine important

Post by Malcolm »

Queequeg wrote: Mon Apr 05, 2021 5:14 pm
Yes. People seem to be stuck on the fact that I used "flesh". I didn't mean it in the literal sense. I meant it in the sense that when something permeates you, its part of you.
Then there is the proverbial stone in the ocean. No matter how long it is immersed in water, its interior never gets wet.
"Nonduality is merely a name;
that name does not exist."
—Kotalipa
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Queequeg
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Re: Is a shrine important

Post by Queequeg »

Johnny Dangerous wrote: Mon Apr 05, 2021 5:16 pm Right well, it is no more a part of you than it is of a "convert".
What would be the acceptable terminology to identify the distinction?
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, Upaya Chapter

純一実相。実相外。更無別法。法性寂然名止。寂而常渉照名観。
There is only reality; there is nothing separate from reality. The naturally tranquil nature of dharmas is shamatha. The abiding luminosity of tranquility is vipashyana.

-From Guanding's Introduction to Zhiyi's Great Shamatha and Vipashyana
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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Is a shrine important

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

Queequeg wrote: Mon Apr 05, 2021 5:19 pm
Johnny Dangerous wrote: Mon Apr 05, 2021 5:16 pm Right well, it is no more a part of you than it is of a "convert".
What would be the acceptable terminology to identify the distinction?
I don't care how you say stuff, I'm just not accepting an argument based on the idea that an individuals Karmic disposition towards Dharma makes Asian people somehow "more capable" Dharma-wise.

There is more than enough of that kind of attitude in some circles, and I think it's the last thing people should be advocating for..that's why I piped up. I mean, you do you, but I'm not buying a claim like that.
"...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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