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(The failure to) Go West - Page 3 - Dhamma Wheel

(The failure to) Go West

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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pink_trike
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Re: (The failure to) Go West

Postby pink_trike » Tue May 12, 2009 4:44 am

Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

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Dan74
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Re: (The failure to) Go West

Postby Dan74 » Tue May 12, 2009 5:23 am

_/|\_

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retrofuturist
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Re: (The failure to) Go West

Postby retrofuturist » Tue May 12, 2009 5:47 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Cittasanto
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Re: (The failure to) Go West

Postby Cittasanto » Tue May 12, 2009 10:09 am



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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mikenz66
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Re: (The failure to) Go West

Postby mikenz66 » Tue May 12, 2009 11:26 am


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Cittasanto
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Re: (The failure to) Go West

Postby Cittasanto » Tue May 12, 2009 11:56 am



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

MMK23
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Re: (The failure to) Go West

Postby MMK23 » Tue May 12, 2009 12:12 pm

I think the common understanding of the teacher-student relationship, or our modern orthodoxy, has probably been shaped a lot by the Protestant Buddhist trends in Sri Lanka and the lay-meditation movement of Burma, not to mention, particularly in the west, humanism, rationalism and capitalism. The confluence of these influences are the protestant themes of distrust in hierarchy, clergy, teacher-student relationships, scholarly erudition, etc. My personal view is - I think - actually that the Pali Canon places a lot of emphasis on hierarchy within the sangha, and the commentarial texts seem to operate on an assumption that our meditative practice is going to be quite constrained without the wisdom of the good friend.

:coffee:

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Dan74
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Re: (The failure to) Go West

Postby Dan74 » Tue May 12, 2009 12:45 pm

From what I understand, in China during the Golden Age of the Tang dynasty, the various Buddhist schools (Chan, Tien-Tai, Hwa-Yen, Pure Land, Vinaya, etc) had not yet become sectarian and it was common for monks (and serious lay-people) to spend extended time in various temples and schools.

And in the Zen (Seon) tradition in Korea of today, monastics too would sometimes wonder and visit teachers other than their principle Dharma teacher. Probably after getting some solid grounding with him or her, first.

So, it is not an exclusive guru-disciple relationship. Nor is it with Tibetan Buddhists, I believe. They too often have more than one teacher. But there does seem to be a lot more formal ties and vows cementing the relationship than in Zen, which may be as deep, but a lot more informal.

As for being hierarchical, I guess this is more of a cultural/style thing than a Mahayana thing. Some teachers are very informal, others draw a clear line. Both have their pros and cons. And then there is a point when a student becomes an equal or even a master to his former teacher. There are many records of that in Zen lore and it is based purely on the level of insight. So it is not a fixed relationship by any means.

As for the point about meditation and Right View in general, I think a teacher can be extremely helpful and save an enormous amount of time (lifetimes?). I recall my first retreat when a whole bunch of clever nonsense was knocked out of me. :namaste:

Always more where that came from unfortunately! :meditate:

_/|\_
_/|\_

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mikenz66
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Re: (The failure to) Go West

Postby mikenz66 » Tue May 12, 2009 1:05 pm


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Cittasanto
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Re: (The failure to) Go West

Postby Cittasanto » Tue May 12, 2009 2:04 pm



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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mikenz66
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Re: (The failure to) Go West

Postby mikenz66 » Tue May 12, 2009 8:49 pm

Hi Manapa,

Of course I don't mean that my teachers know every little detail, and I could certainly tell them if their robes were falling off, or remind them of teachings that they had overlooked, forgotten, or explain things to others that they are having trouble finding the words for.

My point is that such incidents don't necessarily indicate that there is a dialog among equals going on. In situations that I am familiar with they just indicate that there is some class participation, just like in any healthy teaching environment.

Metta
Mike

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Cittasanto
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Re: (The failure to) Go West

Postby Cittasanto » Wed May 13, 2009 9:58 am



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Ngawang Drolma.
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Re: (The failure to) Go West

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Wed May 13, 2009 3:31 pm



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Aloka
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Re: (The failure to) Go West

Postby Aloka » Wed May 13, 2009 9:16 pm



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