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Thread: Live online meeting

  1. #111
    Technical Administrator woodscooter's Avatar
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    Here's a preview of what I'm proposing as a topic for Saturday's online meeting.

    In Tibetan Buddhism there is this prayer:

    "May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness,
    "May they all be free from suffering and the causes of suffering,
    "May they never be deprived of true happiness devoid of any suffering,
    "May they abide in great impartiality, free from attachment to loved ones and aversion to others."

    I've seen it worded slightly differently in other translations. Also I think there may be something similar in Theravada, but I can't find an example to quote.

    Anyway, I want to explore what is meant by "happiness" in this context. Isn't it something related to the senses or the earth-bound mind, and why would we wish that to all beings? What are the causes of happiness?

    There's a mention of "true happiness devoid of any suffering", which I take to represent a state related to enlightenment. Is that what it means?

    Comments and answers not on this thread, please, but on Saturday online.

  2. #112
    Global Moderator Element's Avatar
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    The above topic sounds very good. Thank you Woodscooter.

    If it has not been discussed before, for another meeting, I propose the simple topic of what 'Buddha' or 'The Buddha' means to us individually.


  3. #113
    Lovely to see you again for a chat Kathy, Element, Woodscooter and new member Mjaviem - and hope to see you all again next week.

    Maybe more of our members might join in with us too!


  4. #114
    Moderator justusryans's Avatar
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    Sorry I missed the meeting today, was busy cooking today for Father’s Day tomorrow. Just didn’t get done in time.

  5. #115
    Quote Originally Posted by justusryans View Post
    Sorry I missed the meeting today, was busy cooking today for Father’s Day tomorrow. Just didn’t get done in time.
    No Problem, Mike. Hope you can come next week.


  6. #116
    Global Moderator Element's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodscooter View Post
    Here's a preview of what I'm proposing as a topic for Saturday's online meeting.

    In Tibetan Buddhism there is this prayer:

    "May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness,
    "May they all be free from suffering and the causes of suffering,
    "May they never be deprived of true happiness devoid of any suffering,
    "May they abide in great impartiality, free from attachment to loved ones and aversion to others."

    I've seen it worded slightly differently in other translations. Also I think there may be something similar in Theravada, but I can't find an example to quote.

    Anyway, I want to explore what is meant by "happiness" in this context. Isn't it something related to the senses or the earth-bound mind, and why would we wish that to all beings? What are the causes of happiness?

    There's a mention of "true happiness devoid of any suffering", which I take to represent a state related to enlightenment. Is that what it means?

    Comments and answers not on this thread, please, but on Saturday online.
    An opinion about the above is as follows :

    In Tibetan Buddhism, there is no single fixed form of The Four Immeasurables Aspirational Prayer. There are countless variations that interpret and expand the basic list of four items. They are not even always listed in the same order.

    In your passage above the order is: Loving-Kindness, Compassion, Joy, Equanimity. So the phrase you're asking about corresponds to Joy.

    Other variations give different interpretations of Joy. For example this one:

    How wonderful it would be if all sentient beings were never parted from upper rebirth and liberation’s excellent bliss. May they never be parted. I shall cause them never to be parted. Guru Chenrezig, please inspire me to be able to do so.
    As you can see here instead of "the supreme happiness which is without suffering" they speak about "upper rebirth and liberation’s excellent bliss". In both cases the emphasis is on "never be parted" or "never be dissociated".

    I've seen other variations that speak along the same lines. The basic idea is clear: the Immeasurable Joy is what we cultivate towards those who already have some measure of happiness, either the worldly happiness, or the spiritual happiness of encountering the true Dharma, or the pure happiness of Supreme Enlightenment.

    The emphasis is definitely on whatever happiness they have, regardless of how much or how "refined" it is. These beings may be somewhat healthy, live in somewhat comfortable conditions, somewhat not poor, somewhat without a conflict, somewhat educated, somewhat familiar with Dharma etc. - whatever happiness they may have we are happy on their behalf and wish them to never lose that happiness and ideally even increase it, up until "liberation’s excellent bliss".

    Perfectly Enlightened Householder

  7. #117
    Technical Administrator woodscooter's Avatar
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    Thank you, Element, for the summary and clarification.

    When I attended a Theravada-based meditation group over a number of years, the Bramaviharas were explained and discussed.

    But I never realised the connection with "The Four Immeasurables Aspirational Prayer". There's always something new to learn.

  8. #118
    Aside from various interpretations and opinions on the internet, some reliable information about The Four Limitless Contemplations in Tibetan Buddhism can be found on the website of Samye Ling Tibetan Buddhist Monastery UK :


    The Four Limitless Contemplations


    Through practising in this way we break free of the limitations of a small, separate self and start devoting our life to the well-being of everyone. This is expressed in the four limitless contemplations, so called because they inspire us to expand the boundaries of our awareness and compassion so that they become unlimited.

    The Four Limitless Contemplations are:

    1. May all beings be happy and create the causes of happiness. This aspect cultivates limitless love.

    2. May they all be free from suffering and from creating the causes of suffering.This aspect cultivates limitless compassion.

    3. May they attain that sacred happiness which can never be tainted by suffering.This aspect cultivates sympathetic joy.

    4. May they experience universal, impartial compassion free of attachment to loved ones and aversion to others. This aspect cultivates equanimity.

    Through completely opening our hearts and minds to all beings in this way, the jewel of enlightenment gradually reveals itself to us and manifests in our lives.

    https://www.samyeling.org/buddhism-a...tion/mahayana/


  9. #119
    Technical Administrator woodscooter's Avatar
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    The next online meeting is planned for Saturday 26th June.

    The meeting will be at:

    1pm PDT
    3pm CDT
    4pm EDT
    5pm ADT
    9pm BST
    10pm CEST
    1.30am IST (Sunday)
    6am AEST (Sunday)
    8am NZST (Sunday)

    The link to the online chat session remains the same.

    Logged-in members can see the link [here]

  10. #120
    .

    The subject for discussion on Saturday 26th will be the one that was previously suggested by Element in post #112 :

    Quote Originally Posted by Element

    for another meeting, I propose the simple topic of what 'Buddha' or 'The Buddha' means to us individually.


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