Grounds and Paths from Tushita Center

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Researcher
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Grounds and Paths from Tushita Center

Post by Researcher »

Hello everyone,

I have came across a very nice document from Tushita center on grounds and paths of Mahayana.

I have few questions, hoping you could help me with.

Is Original Mahayan broken into different schools, such as Tibetan Mahayana, Zen Mahayana and Chan? If this was the case is there any text left which describe the Original Indian Mahayana paths and practices ?

In this Tushita document, it seems Tibetan Mahayana is based on three main practices study, meditation and compassion, right?
The Jester of Qi
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Re: Grounds and Paths from Tushita Center

Post by The Jester of Qi »

Researcher wrote: Tue May 14, 2024 1:29 pm Is Original Mahayan broken into different schools, such as Tibetan Mahayana, Zen Mahayana and Chan?
If we are talking about original Mahayana as it formed in India- as I understand it, no, at least not in a formal way. A whole bunch of different texts were circulating advocating various practices and doctrines, many complementary, others (at least seemingly) contradictory but I don't think they formed discrete schools. Various systems for organizing and interpreting the texts appeared but this also did not become a sectarian division. Of course distance, history, and geography could lead to somewhat diverging approaches, as when Buddhism went to East Asia and Tibet. You can definitely see schools forming- Chan, Pure Land, etc but they still don't resolve into discrete sects anywhere except Japan, which happens later as a result of certain political factors. Even in Tibet where you have the 4-5 big formal schools they do not (usually) see each other as heterodox or deviant and there is more cooperation and overlap than conflict.
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Re: Grounds and Paths from Tushita Center

Post by Researcher »

Thats too unfortunate.

I find Tibetan Mahayana (Tushita Center) and Boddhidharma teachings to be quite inspiring and comforting.
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Re: Grounds and Paths from Tushita Center

Post by conebeckham »

Researcher wrote: Tue May 14, 2024 6:03 pm Thats too unfortunate.

I find Tibetan Mahayana (Tushita Center) and Boddhidharma teachings to be quite inspiring and comforting.
Not sure what you mean by "Schools." First, Tibetan Buddhism differs from the Buddhism found in East Asian, and Southeast Asian, countries. Zen is Japanese, and is considered a Mahayana tradition. All the Tibetan traditions consider themselves "Vajrayana," and the Tibetan understanding is that Vajrayana is always Mahayana--it other words, the Mahayana Sutras and Sastras are the foundation for all the Tibetan schools, though the Tibetan methods of practice are found mainly in the Tantras.

In East Asia, from one perspective, there could be "schools" of Mahayana Buddhist thought that focus on a single Sutra or a small group of Sutras. For example, we can speak of Tientai Buddhism, Pure Land Buddhism, or Chinese Chan Buddhism. In the Tibetan lineages, you will find an emphasis on Nagarjuna, Candakirti, and the Madhayamika texts, as well as other texts.

I'm not sure what you find "unfortunate" about any of this.
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
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"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
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Re: Grounds and Paths from Tushita Center

Post by Researcher »

conebeckham wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 12:45 am
Researcher wrote: Tue May 14, 2024 6:03 pm Thats too unfortunate.

I find Tibetan Mahayana (Tushita Center) and Boddhidharma teachings to be quite inspiring and comforting.
Not sure what you mean by "Schools." First, Tibetan Buddhism differs from the Buddhism found in East Asian, and Southeast Asian, countries. Zen is Japanese, and is considered a Mahayana tradition. All the Tibetan traditions consider themselves "Vajrayana," and the Tibetan understanding is that Vajrayana is always Mahayana--it other words, the Mahayana Sutras and Sastras are the foundation for all the Tibetan schools, though the Tibetan methods of practice are found mainly in the Tantras.

In East Asia, from one perspective, there could be "schools" of Mahayana Buddhist thought that focus on a single Sutra or a small group of Sutras. For example, we can speak of Tientai Buddhism, Pure Land Buddhism, or Chinese Chan Buddhism. In the Tibetan lineages, you will find an emphasis on Nagarjuna, Candakirti, and the Madhayamika texts, as well as other texts.

I'm not sure what you find "unfortunate" about any of this.
The unfortunate part is the loss of some of these ancient traditions/texts. The dark side of the history that we do not know much about the exchange and migration of different schools and traditions with certainty.

Like you said, Tibetan Buddhism is Vajrayana, and Vajrayana is based on tantrayana and mantrayana and they developed their own Bhumis 13 or 16 which are more than the 10 Bhumis found in Mahayana.
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Re: Grounds and Paths from Tushita Center

Post by Bristollad »

Researcher wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 11:54 am Like you said, Tibetan Buddhism is Vajrayana, and Vajrayana is based on tantrayana and mantrayana and they developed their own Bhumis 13 or 16 which are more than the 10 Bhumis found in Mahayana.
Vajrayana is Mahayana, it's that simple. As His Holiness likes to say, Tibetan Buddhism comes from the Nalanda Tradition. Explanations of the path that include 13 or 16 bhumis are not in contradiction to the explanation with 10. In fact, within the Tibetan Gelug school (and Tushita as part of the FPMT follows that tradition) the 10 bhumi description is the one used.

I'm also not sure why you say, "Vajrayana is based on tantrayana and mantrayana." From a Gelug point of view (i.e., based on the explanations of Tsongkhapa), these three are synonyms. Vajrayana is the overarching term that emphasizes the indestructible and powerful nature of the tantric path; Tantrayana is essentially synonymous with Vajrayana but highlights the scriptural basis (the tantras) of the practices; and Mantrayana emphasizes the mantra aspect of tantric practices.

One of the main texts studied in Tibetan monasteries of all the traditions is the Abhisamayālaṅkāra, a key Mahayana Buddhist text from India that provides a detailed commentary on the Prajnaparamita (Perfection of Wisdom) sutras, outlining the stages and practices necessary for the path to enlightenment.

Maybe you need to do some more study before you jump to so many conclusions.
The antidote—to be free from the suffering of samsara—you need to be free from delusion and karma; you need to be free from ignorance, the root of samsara. So you need to meditate on emptiness. That is what you need. Lama Zopa Rinpoche
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Re: Grounds and Paths from Tushita Center

Post by Researcher »

Bristollad wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 7:37 pm
Researcher wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 11:54 am Like you said, Tibetan Buddhism is Vajrayana, and Vajrayana is based on tantrayana and mantrayana and they developed their own Bhumis 13 or 16 which are more than the 10 Bhumis found in Mahayana.
Vajrayana is Mahayana, it's that simple. As His Holiness likes to say, Tibetan Buddhism comes from the Nalanda Tradition. Explanations of the path that include 13 or 16 bhumis are not in contradiction to the explanation with 10. In fact, within the Tibetan Gelug school (and Tushita as part of the FPMT follows that tradition) the 10 bhumi description is the one used.

I'm also not sure why you say, "Vajrayana is based on tantrayana and mantrayana." From a Gelug point of view (i.e., based on the explanations of Tsongkhapa), these three are synonyms. Vajrayana is the overarching term that emphasizes the indestructible and powerful nature of the tantric path; Tantrayana is essentially synonymous with Vajrayana but highlights the scriptural basis (the tantras) of the practices; and Mantrayana emphasizes the mantra aspect of tantric practices.

One of the main texts studied in Tibetan monasteries of all the traditions is the Abhisamayālaṅkāra, a key Mahayana Buddhist text from India that provides a detailed commentary on the Prajnaparamita (Perfection of Wisdom) sutras, outlining the stages and practices necessary for the path to enlightenment.

Maybe you need to do some more study before you jump to so many conclusions.
I did read and found about different Bhuddhist schools and sectarianism.

Be it Theravada vs Mahayana

or gradual vs sudden enlightment schools,...etc

Tibetan sectarianism is known too followed by (Rime movement).

Even within Dzogchen school I found from personal experience practitioners from Bonpo friendly and approachable but did not have same experience with Nyingma Dzogchen practitioners.

We need to be respectful to others opinions no one is perfect, we all make mistakes.
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Re: Grounds and Paths from Tushita Center

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

Researcher wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 11:54 am
conebeckham wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 12:45 am
Researcher wrote: Tue May 14, 2024 6:03 pm Thats too unfortunate.

I find Tibetan Mahayana (Tushita Center) and Boddhidharma teachings to be quite inspiring and comforting.
Not sure what you mean by "Schools." First, Tibetan Buddhism differs from the Buddhism found in East Asian, and Southeast Asian, countries. Zen is Japanese, and is considered a Mahayana tradition. All the Tibetan traditions consider themselves "Vajrayana," and the Tibetan understanding is that Vajrayana is always Mahayana--it other words, the Mahayana Sutras and Sastras are the foundation for all the Tibetan schools, though the Tibetan methods of practice are found mainly in the Tantras.

In East Asia, from one perspective, there could be "schools" of Mahayana Buddhist thought that focus on a single Sutra or a small group of Sutras. For example, we can speak of Tientai Buddhism, Pure Land Buddhism, or Chinese Chan Buddhism. In the Tibetan lineages, you will find an emphasis on Nagarjuna, Candakirti, and the Madhayamika texts, as well as other texts.

I'm not sure what you find "unfortunate" about any of this.
The unfortunate part is the loss of some of these ancient traditions/texts. The dark side of the history that we do not know much about the exchange and migration of different schools and traditions with certainty.
That’d be nice but it’s not a need unless your goal is religious scholarship. If you want to actually engage in spiritual practice then important thing is finding transmission, teaching and spiritual mentorship.
Like you said, Tibetan Buddhism is Vajrayana, and Vajrayana is based on tantrayana and mantrayana and they developed their own Bhumis 13 or 16 which are more than the 10 Bhumis found in Mahayana.
These are just models, again unless you are going to be a khenpo, scholastic, debater, etc. this is secondary to the actual practice.

People are so weird about this stuff, this kind of study has its place but when confused with actually engaging in the three trainings it’s counterproductive.
Meditate upon Bodhicitta when afflicted by disease

Meditate upon Bodhicitta when sad

Meditate upon Bodhicitta when suffering occurs

Meditate upon Bodhicitta when you are scared

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Re: Grounds and Paths from Tushita Center

Post by Bristollad »

Researcher wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 11:17 pm I did read and found about different Bhuddhist schools and sectarianism.
That wasn't what I meant by studying.

I was referencing the three-part model of listening (connecting with and listening to teachers), contemplating (thinking about and trying to understand what you've heard) and meditating (meditating on what you've understood from your listening and contemplation).

Studying would be those first two activities—the most critical of which is to first connect with a valid source of the teachings.
The antidote—to be free from the suffering of samsara—you need to be free from delusion and karma; you need to be free from ignorance, the root of samsara. So you need to meditate on emptiness. That is what you need. Lama Zopa Rinpoche
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Re: Grounds and Paths from Tushita Center

Post by Kai lord »

Researcher wrote: Tue May 14, 2024 1:29 pm
Is Original Mahayan broken into different schools, such as Tibetan Mahayana, Zen Mahayana and Chan? If this was the case is there any text left which describe the Original Indian Mahayana paths and practices ?
Sandhinirmocana Sutra, Abhidharmasamuccaya , yogacarabhumi, etc.
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