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plwk
11 Mar 10, 08:56
What is 'spiritual shopping'? To you?
Let's limit this to within Buddhism...'intra-Buddhism' situation, adopting 2 or more Dharma Tradition's practices and teachings...
Now...whats your take on it if:
1. You have a root teacher?
2. You don't have a root teacher?

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/hands.gif

Kevin
11 Mar 10, 11:44
I think there is a relative truth and an ultimate truth respecting adoption of practices and teachings from different traditions. Relative and utimate truths are difficult to speak of, though. What one may be to you, the other might be to me.
Maybe beginning it is important not to "cloud" your mind with too many interpretations. At some point though, there is benefit from comparison. Then wisdom required for judicious selection of certain methods.
I like this quote from Dalai Lama to illustrate (qualified) support:
"I believe that a follower of one tradition can certainly incorporate into his or her own spiritual practice certain methods for spiritual transformation found in other traditions" (Essence of the Heart Sutra, pg. 17, Learning From Other Traditions).
Then having "compared", perhaps commitment to a tradition and its methods is the wise way forward.
It depends too on what goal an individual adopts for their practice. If enlightenment is the goal, there is very little difference between Mahayana and Theravada if you look at the thirty-seven factors of enlightenment:

URL (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodhipakkhiy%C4%81dhamm%C4%81)

Emphasis is different, but not substance.
Bottom line is I don't feel it is up to me to suggest anyone on the Buddhist path is right or wrong. Nobody's right if everybody else is wrong (wasn't that the Beatles?). To me truth is relative, impermanent or constantly changing and Buddhism is an inside job.

I began in the secular (as in not relating to a religion) side of Shambhala. "Sacred Path of the Warrior". The root teacher was Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. There was no stigma attached to studying a diversity of teachings. First I began to explore the fundamental vehicle, Theravada, but now have started Mahayana, the Greater Vehicle, largely through the teachings of Dalai Lama. It is my intention to join a local Nalandabodhi (Tibetan Buddhism) Study Group under the guidance of Dzogchen Punlop Rinpoche.

srivijaya
11 Mar 10, 12:21
What is 'spiritual shopping'? To you?

It can be a never ending pick & mix of ideas and beliefs, or a useful guide to practice, depending on whether we use it for instruction or just the accumulation of interesting stuff to discuss at parties.

As Kevin said (re:thirty-seven factors of enlightenment) we only have what we have and we need to be honest about it, otherwise there can be little progress. We all have the same material to work with - our bodies and minds.

The traditions work with them in different ways. Sometimes we may connect with a certain teaching from one tradition. If it yields results, then roll with it. It will be a gateway into understanding (experientially not intellectually) what the Buddha was pointing at.

In conclusion, if approached rightly, it can be a very helpful thing - especially if practicing alone. Not the great evil it's sometimes made out to be. On the other hand, if it's just one mental 'wild goose chase' after another, then a slap across the face (Zen style) is needed.

Bum on cushion.http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/wink.gif

andyrobyn
12 Mar 10, 03:13
Good question plwk ....

My current understanding gained from practice in one tradition and exploration of the teachings from other traditions is that we can't hold on to a tradition, a teacher or even all or one teaching as an identity or an object, if we understand the message we do not become attached to them because there is nothing to put such a claim on.
There's no situation we can shop for - or in fact buy and take with us. There is only our lives moment by moment, and whether we learn to live them wisely or continue to live in ignorance.
This is all there is, really http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/hands.gif.



On the other hand, if it's just one mental 'wild goose chase' after another, then a slap across the face (Zen style) is needed.

Humourous and true sentiment http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/grin.gif

Aloka
12 Mar 10, 05:47
I like this quote from Dalai Lama to illustrate (qualified) support:
"I believe that a follower of one tradition can certainly incorporate into his or her own spiritual practice certain methods for spiritual transformation found in other traditions" (Essence of the Heart Sutra, pg. 17, Learning From Other Traditions

I have a copy of this book myself and just in case there's any confusion, HHDL isn't talking about other Buddhist traditions in the quote above, he's talking about other religious traditions and goes on to talk about Christians. The section "Learning from other traditions" in chapter 2 is about Christianity and Buddhism.

The topic OP #1 is about different traditions within Buddhism - so therefore this quote isn't relevant, Kevin.

Aloka
12 Mar 10, 06:15
First I began to explore the fundamental vehicle, Theravada, but now have started Mahayana, the Greater Vehicle

I'm not suggesting that you think like this, Kevin, but just as an aside...in general we should definately beware of thinking Mahayana is somehow 'greater' in any way than Theravada. As a Vajrayana practitioner of many years now investigating Theravada, I believe that this expression can be grossly misunderstood by some Mahayana practitioners who think they are somehow with the superior tradition.


http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/hands.gif

Kevin
12 Mar 10, 09:50
from post #6

Of course. It is only the name Mahayana in English.

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/hands.gif

Kevin
12 Mar 10, 09:54
from post #5

But do you think HH would say it was true outside of Buddhism but not inside? If you take the body of his teachings, he is a very "ecumenical" guy.

Aloka
12 Mar 10, 10:39
But do you think HH would say it was true outside of Buddhism but not inside? If you take the body of his teachings, he is a very "ecumenical" guy

I was simply pointing out the fact that your HHDL quote was a reference to Christianity, Kevin. I certainly wouldn't like to speculate about what he might or might not say about something else.

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/hands.gif

Kevin
12 Mar 10, 11:30
from post #9

You are right, Dazzle. Neither would I. Nor did I. Would you like me to provide additional references?

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Aloka
12 Mar 10, 11:33
No, its not necessary . Don't worry about it, Kevin http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/grin.gif

Esho
12 Mar 10, 15:46
Yes, in Soto Zen tradition we have three root ancestors that are: Maha-Kashapa, Boddhidharma and Dogen Zengi. Each one of this three has given us an aspect for our practice: Understaniding, wisdom and meditation in that same order.

Also in a very particular way we have the sutta of the third ancestor from Boddhidharma as the main sutta as being Zen folowers.

But, as any path brings us to the "Great Ocean" I have complete confidence in the tradition I have embraced because with different means we (all traditions) will reach the same shore. Even this same confidence gives me the chance to explore other traditions, like the Theravadin teachings, the Vajrayana of tibetan perspective and the Dogchen teachings with no real danger of being mixing things.

Belive me, it is hard for me to find a real and dangerous differences between traditions to point fingers and to say about wrong or rite. I always have found coincidences, because practice at the end brings you to the same place. Why? Because in this paritcular school we follow the eightfold noble path and the four noble truths as our very root guidence.

This is what makes buddhism so wonderfull!

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/wink.gif

srivijaya
12 Mar 10, 19:32
because practice at the end brings you to the same place. Why? Because in this paritcular school we follow the eightfold noble path and the four noble truths as our very root guidence

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/hands.gif