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Aloka
30 Jun 11, 12:15
I came across this article and have placed it in our debating forum because I wondered if members would like to share their opinions about it in a spirit of friendship and support, according to their own personal study and practice.


What the Buddha Taught

"The Buddha offered a progression of teachings appropriate to people's different spiritual needs. The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche outlines the three turnings of the wheel of dharma".


http://www.shambhalasun.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2911&Itemid=244


.

Keith A
30 Jun 11, 13:52
yikes, that isn't gonna fly here! :biglol:

Thanks for the article A-D. I am woefully deficient in my knowledge about Vajrayana Buddhism and I will read this later on. The line you quoted is standard fare in my particular practice tradition. We say the Buddha gave us 84.000 kind of medicine to cure suffering. Like all medicine, if we take it all at once it would probably make us sick. But the different traditions point in the same direction, just different kinds of medicine. (I know, that won't fly either!)

Good luck and thanks for practicing,
Keith

Keith A
30 Jun 11, 14:24
I found this interesting:


At the same time, it is important to realize that understanding relative truth is the cause of understanding absolute truth. Thus relative truth should not be thought of as being something inferior and unrelated to absolute truth. Relative truth may be conceptual, but there is no way to realize nonconceptual absolute truth without it. The understanding of either one of the two truths assists the understanding of the other.

A good example of this idea can be seen in Chapter 3 of the Diamond Sutra says:


"All living beings, whether born from eggs, from the womb, from moisture, or spontaneously; whether they have form or do not have form; whether they are aware or unaware, whether they are not aware or not unaware, all living beings will eventually be led by me to the final Nirvana, the final ending of the cycle of birth and death. And when this unfathomable, infinite number of living beings have all been liberated, in truth not even a single being has actually been liberated."

"Why Subhuti? Because if a disciple still clings to the arbitrary illusions of form or phenomena such as an ego, a personality, a self, a separate person, or a universal self existing eternally, then that person is not an authentic disciple."


From here. (http://www.diamond-sutra.com/diamond_sutra_text/page3.html)

srivijaya
30 Jun 11, 16:16
A Mahayanist article which covers a vast scope of material, the 'first turning' being the only segment one could contrast with the Theravadan suttas. One bit caught my attention:

The writer states:
in his initial presentation of dharma, Buddha did not present the complete teaching on the selflessness of persons; instead, he taught that the self had a composite nature, consisting of the five aggregates.
But earlier he says:

Buddha simply taught that “the self,” or entity identified as “I,” is impermanent in nature and does not exist inherently; it is empty of any true, solid existence. Therefore, in his first teachings on emptiness, Buddha taught the nonexistence of a personal self or individual ego on the ultimate level.

So, from a Mahayana POV, did Buddha present (in the first turning) the complete teachings on the emptiness of persons or not? I'd always thought that the Mahayana asserted that he did. The first quote is clear he didn't but the following indicates he did??

Perhaps I'm misinterpreting that...

Also are we talking about self and other being ontologically empty, or merely not possessing the things we attribute to them? The process of imputation, is a function of the self-grasping mind and should not be equated with pronouncements on the status of phenomena.

At first glance some may equate the "selflessness of persons" with anatta but a deeper inspection demonstrates we cannot. Anatta is an experiential realisation rather than a metaphysical statement on emptiness. Buddha in the Pali suttas assiduously avoided a view on existence/non-existence etc.

So, this is essentially a Mahayana question which does not touch the Theravadan suttas in my opinion.

Well, that'll do for starters.:hands:

Esho
30 Jun 11, 16:23
Anatta is an experiential realisation rather than a metaphysical statement on emptiness. Buddha in the Pali suttas assiduously avoided a view on existence/non-existence etc.

Yes.

:hands:

stuka
30 Jun 11, 17:18
The article certainly illustrates the confusion, misapprehensions, and flawed assumptions that underlie and drive the later sectarian schisms.

While there are a few useful insights in the article, it is rife with factual and historical errors, and of course skewed badly by the writer's hopelessly sectarian view and presumptions and the propaganda of his religion.

Sri has already pointed out confusion in the writer's logic, and there is more there. Pointing out all of the writer's errors would take rather a lengthy analysis.

Aloka
30 Jun 11, 17:24
A Mahayanist article which covers a vast scope of material, the 'first turning' being the only segment one could contrast with the Theravadan suttas

Yes that's true, I don't think Theravadins accept there was a second and third turning of the Wheel of Dhamma by the Buddha, so maybe we should all just focus on the first part.

....or maybe not even that, if its too confusing in general. It was just a suggestion for possible discussion. ;D

Keith A
30 Jun 11, 17:29
srivijaya asked:


So, from a Mahayana POV, did Buddha present (in the first turning) the complete teachings on the emptiness of persons or not? I'd always thought that the Mahayana asserted that he did. The first quote is clear he didn't but the following indicates he did??

Unfortunately, I am not sure there is anyone around here who can answer that properly. I know I certainly can't. Where is Ven. Huifeng or Anders when you need them? (No disrespect of course, to the present company. I could be wrong)

I am a simple Zen practitioner. We are just taught "don't attach to anything", including the notion of a fixed self. That doesn't mean that there is no self or that there is a self. I am not sure when this idea was presented or who taught it (other than the teachers I have direct contact with). I have found it useful, though.

Aloka
30 Jun 11, 17:35
We are just taught "don't attach to anything", including the notion of a fixed self. That doesn't mean that there is no self or that there is a self. I am not sure when this idea was presented or who taught it (other than the teachers I have direct contact with). I have found it useful, though

As a former Vajrayana practitioner I was eventually taught to just relax and let go - which is a similar principle for my Theravada practice..... and of course that includes not getting too serious or intimidated about what others have to say in internet discussions !

:lol:

stuka
30 Jun 11, 17:49
yikes, that isn't gonna fly here! :biglol:

Thanks for the article A-D. I am woefully deficient in my knowledge about Vajrayana Buddhism and I will read this later on. The line you quoted is standard fare in my particular practice tradition. We say the Buddha gave us 84.000 kind of medicine to cure suffering.

Actually, he taught only one: the Noble Eightfold Path.




Like all medicine, if we take it all at once it would probably make us sick. But the different traditions point in the same direction, just different kinds of medicine. (I know, that won't fly either!)

No, it won't. Many point to superstition and irrelevant philosophical speculations, but the Buddha's only pointed toward liberation.


I found this interesting:


At the same time, it is important to realize that understanding relative truth is the cause of understanding absolute truth. Thus relative truth should not be thought of as being something inferior and unrelated to absolute truth. Relative truth may be conceptual, but there is no way to realize nonconceptual absolute truth without it. The understanding of either one of the two truths assists the understanding of the other.

Of course, this idea of "relative truth and absolute truth" is not to be found in the Buddha's teachings, as there is no need to prop up a gigantic card-house of superstition and speculative view. Part of what the Buddha's teachings liberate one from is just the sort of convolution and mental and logical gyration that this sort of contrivance requires.



A good example of this idea can be seen in Chapter 3 of the Diamond Sutra......


....a counterfeit contrivance that the Buddha did not teach, as he did not teach either of the later "turnings of the wheel" that the author claims.

srivijaya
30 Jun 11, 17:50
I am a simple Zen practitioner. We are just taught "don't attach to anything", including the notion of a fixed self.
Sounds very practical Keith. Pretty much my take on it as well. "Stress and its release" are what it's about for me.

Aloka
30 Jun 11, 17:56
Sounds very practical Keith. Pretty much my take on it as well. "Stress and its release" are what it's about for me.

Not much use if we can't apply it to getting attached to the written word as well though- so as I mentioned previously its good for us to remember in these discussions when things get lively !

stuka
30 Jun 11, 18:05
Yes that's true, I don't think Theravadins accept there was a second and third turning of the Wheel of Dhamma by the Buddha, so maybe we should all just focus on the first part.
;D

Neither is anything to be found in the teachings of the Buddha to support these claims.

Aloka
30 Jun 11, 18:13
Neither is anything to be found in the teachings of the Buddha to support these claims.

I might be wrong, but I was under the impression that there isn't in actual historical datings either.

However, I didn't really mean this to become a debate about the authenticity of Mahayana claims, I just thought the article seemed a little muddled - but maybe we should just leave it there now. :hands:

stuka
30 Jun 11, 18:24
Where is Ven. Huifeng or Anders when you need them? (No disrespect of course, to the present company.

I am not convinced that having been a token puppet, or a goon for the Namdroolian propaganda machine (respectively) at the Ant Farm qualifies one to speak for the whole of the "mahayana" movement.

Esho
30 Jun 11, 18:31
We are just taught "don't attach to anything", including the notion of a fixed self.

Curious,

It is enough to not attach to a self; then we will be free about attachments to "anything". Non self includes everything and not otherwise. ;)

Esho
30 Jun 11, 18:33
Where is Ven. Huifeng or Anders when you need them? (No disrespect of course, to the present company. I could be wro

Keith, what do you mean by this? :(

Esho
30 Jun 11, 18:38
Is there any Pali sutta that supports the view about the turning of the "other" wheels that, supposedly, developed later on in Tibetan and Mahayana philosophical religious believes?

IMHO, it is really delicate to put teachings that do not belong to the Pali Dhamma, isn't it?

Keith A
30 Jun 11, 18:38
Sounds very practical Keith. Pretty much my take on it as well. "Stress and its release" are what it's about for me.

Agree..practicality and usefulness are most important to me. I am grateful beyond words for this practice. ;D

stuka
30 Jun 11, 18:40
Keith, what do you mean by this? :(

It's something along the lines of "Gee, wouldn't it be nice if we could turn this forum into E-Stasi?"

Keith A
30 Jun 11, 18:42
Curious,

It is enough to not attach to a self; then we will be free about attachments to "anything". Non self includes everything and not otherwise. ;)

That's interesting that you say that, Kaarine. I know a Soto teacher who says something very similar, so it is possible that is just the way Soto Zen frames it. I do feel it is possible to become attached to the idea of no-self. It's a duality thing. I could be wrong, though. ;D

Esho
30 Jun 11, 18:45
What is then, E-Stasi?

Aloka
30 Jun 11, 18:46
Keith, what do you mean by this? :(

Hi Kaarine - they were posters at the E-sangha forum (which no longer exists)

Personally I only ever posted there about 5 times when I used to be a Vajrayana practitioner...because I found the atmosphere too stifling ! ;)


What is then, E-Stasi?

A nickname for E-sangha.

Keith A
30 Jun 11, 18:47
Keith, what do you mean by this? :(

whoops...I got some explaining to do. This was in no way a reference to e-sangha. Both individuals have been active at Zen Forum International from time to time, where I have been active for a few years. They are both scholarly types who would be helpful in answering srivijava's question. But, I guess that was a bit of faux pas. Sorry about that.
Keith

Esho
30 Jun 11, 18:47
I do feel it is possible to become attached to the idea of no-self. It's a duality thing. I could be wrong, though.

Precisely the historical Buddha teachings are about skillful means [desing on purpose] to prevent such outcome.

;D

Esho
30 Jun 11, 18:48
whoops...I got some explaining to do. This was in no way a reference to e-sangha. Both individuals have been active at Zen Forum International from time to time, where I have been active for a few years. They are both scholarly types who would be helpful in answering srivijava's question. But, I guess that was a bit of faux pas. Sorry about that.
Keith

Thanks Keith! ;)


they were posters at the E-sangha forum (which no longer exists)


Thanks Dazz, I thought that one of them was one of the Chinese ancestors of the Cha'an Tradition ;D

Keith A
30 Jun 11, 18:50
And just to be clear, I offer my comments in the spirit of the OP:


I came across this article and have placed it in our debating forum because I wondered if members would like to share their opinions about it in a spirit of friendship and support, according to their own personal study and practice.


If my comments cause some kind problem for anyone, please feel free to ignore them. :peace:

Aloka
30 Jun 11, 18:50
Sorry about that.
Keith

No problem Keith. Lets leave the subject of other forums behind now and move on ! ;D

stuka
30 Jun 11, 18:55
What is then, E-Stasi?

It is a comparison of the majority of the staff of the now-thankfully-defunct "E-Sangha" to the equally-now-thankfully-defunct communist East German Secret State Police.

Esho
30 Jun 11, 19:04
It is a comparison of the majority of the staff of the now-thankfully-defunct "E-Sangha" to the equally-now-thankfully-defunct communist East German Secret State Police.

Oh sure! :shocked:

Aloka
30 Jun 11, 19:05
Ok lets move on now, in spite of the lack of 'scholars' on our website..... lol only joking ! (Dave, where are you ?)

:washing:

stuka
30 Jun 11, 19:05
If my comments cause some kind problem for anyone, please feel free to ignore them. :peace:

Nice ruse.

Esho
30 Jun 11, 19:12
:topic:

Keith A
30 Jun 11, 20:02
Ok lets move on now, in spite of the lack of 'scholars' on our website..... lol only joking ! (Dave, where are you ?)

:washing:

I meant Mahayana scholarly types Dazz. ;D

stuka
30 Jun 11, 21:12
I meant Mahayana scholarly types Dazz. ;D

Presumably we are excluding those who are "scholarly" enough, and knowledgable enough about "mahayana" teachings to see and cut through the bunkum.

Sri was pointing out direct contradictions in the author's claims with respect to the Buddha's teachings. Not really necessary to call in the E-Stasi hordes to see the confused contradictions for oneself:


The first quote is clear he didn't but the following indicates he did??

Aloka
30 Jun 11, 21:41
I don't think there's much point in continuing with this topic, I made a mistake in introducing it in the first place.

Thanks for the contributions. One of the Global Mods can reopen it if they think there's any benefit in doing so.

Goodnight. :hands: