Dalai Lama quote

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Re: Dalai Lama quote

Postby Dan74 » Sun Oct 28, 2012 11:30 pm

I think he simply overstated his case a bit. If we replace "I don't think it is advisable" with "I don't think it is often advisable" then I think this statement can be defended even away from the context. But yes, I think he was moved to overstate his case because of the audience. Besides it sometimes prompts the audience to ponder the alternative rather than get all defensive if what he said had been leaning on the other side.
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Re: Dalai Lama quote

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:18 am

Hi David, if you look at the whole paragraph that I quoted above:
Dalai Lama wrote:"Whenever I give a large teaching, I always make clear that it is safer to follow your own traditions, rather than change to another tradition," he said. "There's less confusion. Here in the West, I do not think it advisable to follow Buddhism. Changing religions is not like changing professions. Excitement lessons over the years, and soon you are not excited, and then where are you? Homeless inside yourself.

and make allowances for him not being a native speaker, I think it's a reasonable thing to be saying to a large audience. If one does not have faith ("excitement" here), or loses it, then, clearly, one is not going to find the Buddhist path very effective.

:anjali:
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Re: Dalai Lama quote

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:46 pm

Regarding teaching people with little or no exposure to Dhamma, here is a relevant sutta:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
Then the Blessed One, having encompassed the awareness of the entire assembly with his awareness, asked himself, "Now who here is capable of understanding the Dhamma?" He saw Suppabuddha the leper sitting in the assembly, and on seeing him the thought occurred to him, "This person here is capable of understanding the Dhamma." So, aiming at Suppabuddha the leper, he gave a step-by-step talk, i.e., he proclaimed a talk on generosity, on virtue, on heaven; he declared the drawbacks, degradation, & corruption of sensuality, and the rewards of renunciation. Then when the Blessed One knew that Suppabuddha the leper's mind was ready, malleable, free from hindrances, elevated, & clear, he then gave the Dhamma-talk peculiar to Awakened Ones, i.e., stress, origination, cessation, & path. And just as a clean cloth, free of stains, would properly absorb a dye, in the same way, as Suppabuddha the leper was sitting in that very seat, the dustless, stainless Dhamma eye arose within him, "Whatever is subject to origination is all subject to cessation."

In suttas such as this, the Buddha, did not start beginners with the noble truths. He made sure they were properly prepared first.

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Re: Dalai Lama quote

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:05 pm

Except the Dalai Lama isn't even doing that; he's starting them off with non-specific platitudes and actively discouraging people from going further!
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
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Re: Dalai Lama quote

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:28 pm

Hi LY,

I would say that the DL is giving the:
he proclaimed a talk on generosity, on virtue, on heaven;

part in his general-public talks. In his other talks (as in the links I provided) he covers the other aspects.

I think all good Dhamma teachers do the same. For general audiences they speak generally, for those who are interested, and request it, they are more specific. Sometimes, like the Dalai Lama, they tend to do this in different talks, sometimes, like Ajahn Brahm, for example, they mix jokey "platitudes" with deep teachings in the same talk.

:anjali:
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Re: Dalai Lama quote

Postby Buckwheat » Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:44 pm

LonesomeYogurt wrote:Except the Dalai Lama isn't even doing that; he's starting them off with non-specific platitudes and actively discouraging people from going further!


How is he actively discouraging people from going further?
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