Is mahayana Buddism?

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby Dan74 » Sun Aug 19, 2012 2:53 pm

This may all be so. I don't see this in Zen practice that I have experienced, but perhaps I have not gone far enough to make any reasonable judgments.

I think it would make a lot of sense to post it where there could be people with comparable experience who could really appreciate what you are saying, be in the position to respond and to benefit from your insights. Like dharmawheel.net perhaps?

This would surely be worthwhile.
Last edited by Dan74 on Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby Nyana » Sun Aug 19, 2012 3:15 pm

suttametta wrote:When viewed in this light, Buddha really was telling the truth in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta when he said he wasn't holding anything back, and wasn't making any distinction between esoteric and exoteric (wasn't using skillful means for the sravakas who can only understand dharma up to their level, but simultaneously giving hidden Mahayana teachings to other higher level students).

Sure. You won't get any argument out of me. The Mahāyāna criticisms of sāvakas and arahants are baseless, and the use of pejorative language (i.e. "hīnayāna") is a problem for contemporary Mahāyāna traditions to deal with, not a problem for Theravāda.
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby whynotme » Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:04 am

suttametta wrote:I would further argue that the methods in Vajrayana which are claimed to be very fast are actually slower than the four mindfulness methods, due to the way Mahayana has misinterpreted the dynamic between samatha and vipassana as temporally staggered, and also misinterpreting samatha to mean focused concentration and vipassana to mean an insight akin to an intellectual understanding. The misunderstanding also turns on a misinterpretation of avidya to be ignorance of knowledge, rather than unconsciousness of a running process. Whereas, what makes the Pali method faster is that samatha and vipassana are seen to be simultaneous, where samatha is an effortless relaxation and vipassana is directly perceiving the process of perception. There is a super-efficiency with the original thrust of the Buddha's method.

Yeah, many thanks, you pointed out very good points.

I saw something similar not only in Vajrayana but Mahayana in general. They misunderstand samatha as focused concentration which lead to a not efficient and also very long way of suppressing the mind. Traditions like zen claimed faster or the fastest by direct panna, but actually slower and inferior due to the lack of right understanding of samatha and the right goal. It is something like tactics vs strategy, mahayana may create some efficient tactics but it set obstacles to the long term strategy, that why the Buddha didn't apply those methods. I.e lying may help you achieve something faster but in general, it blocks long term benefits. The main problem of the mind is unconscious state which is similar to modern psychology, but mahayana made it look like the main problem is of understanding. If it is the problem of knowledge, better to say it is the knowledge about the unconscious. Because lacking the right understanding, most people can't get anywhere so they think it is very hard so they turn their focus to non meat eating, worship,..

What modern psychology lacks is the right understanding of the goal, and also its material view is a problem.

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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby whynotme » Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:36 am

Dear suttameta,

It seems you spent many dedicated time for the spiritual path, are you a bhikkhu?

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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby suttametta » Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:28 pm

whynotme wrote:Dear suttameta,

It seems you spent many dedicated time for the spiritual path, are you a bhikkhu?

Regards


No. But I do dedicate a lot of time to practice.
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby whynotme » Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:36 pm

Thank you, I asked this bc I am interested in what you said about samatha. But it is against the patimokkha for a monk to declare about his achivement if I ever asked.

Have you achieved jhana?

Regards
suttametta wrote:Whereas, what makes the Pali method faster is that samatha and vipassana are seen to be simultaneous, where samatha is an effortless relaxation and vipassana is directly perceiving the process of perception. There is a super-efficiency with the original thrust of the Buddha's method.
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby suttametta » Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:39 pm

whynotme wrote:Thank you, I asked this bc I am interested in what you said about samatha. But it is against the patimokkha for a monk to declare about his achivement if I ever asked.

Have you achieved jhana?

Regards
suttametta wrote:Whereas, what makes the Pali method faster is that samatha and vipassana are seen to be simultaneous, where samatha is an effortless relaxation and vipassana is directly perceiving the process of perception. There is a super-efficiency with the original thrust of the Buddha's method.


I think the patimokkha is against declaring himself to be an Arahant if he isn't. I do try the best I can to steer the topic away from myself and to the practice itself. I think jhana is a pretty normal thing that Buddha wanted people to do all the time. The genius of the Buddha's jhana teachings is that jhana proceeds very naturally. Anyone who follows the instructions will achieve jhana very quickly. Probably the 4th jhana and beyond is more difficult, if the gauge is breathing completely stops. That will take mostly everyone a long time to do. But the point where the breath becomes very subtle, as in the 3rd or 4th jhanas isn't that difficult. And from this very accessible level of jhana the three doors can be investigated quite easily, thus leading to the four fruitions in the time similar to the Satipatthana Sutta's declarations.
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby whynotme » Wed Aug 22, 2012 6:04 pm

Thank you, just checked, the patimokkha is against 4 jhanas, stream enterer, one returner, no returner, arahant and many other things

And did you mean you have achieved 3rd or 4th jhana?

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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby suttametta » Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:24 pm

whynotme wrote:Thank you, just checked, the patimokkha is against 4 jhanas, stream enterer, one returner, no returner, arahant and many other things

And did you mean you have achieved 3rd or 4th jhana?

Regards


The rule is to prevent a trainee from claiming an attainment s/he knows s/he hasn't actually attained. You have to read carefully.
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby whynotme » Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:42 pm

suttametta wrote:
whynotme wrote:Thank you, just checked, the patimokkha is against 4 jhanas, stream enterer, one returner, no returner, arahant and many other things

And did you mean you have achieved 3rd or 4th jhana?

Regards


The rule is to prevent a trainee from claiming an attainment s/he knows s/he hasn't actually attained. You have to read carefully.

No, there are two rules, the one you said is a parajika, while there is another Pācittiyakaṇḍaṃ forbid monks claim what he truly attained.

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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby suttametta » Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:51 pm

whynotme wrote:
suttametta wrote:The rule is to prevent a trainee from claiming an attainment s/he knows s/he hasn't actually attained. You have to read carefully.

No, there are two rules, the one you said is a parajika, while there is another Pācittiyakaṇḍaṃ forbid monks claim what he truly attained.

Regards


That is regarding an ordained telling an unordained about his/her attaiments. Again, you need to read more carefully.
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby whynotme » Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:55 pm

So, coz you are not ordained, have you achieved 3rd or 4th jhana?

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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby suttametta » Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:01 pm

:focus:
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby Anagarika » Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:27 pm

My two cents: It's a very good practice in general to not question and/or not discuss whether one has attained jhanas, or not, or even if they know one way or the other. To make jhana "achievement" a subject of discussion really leads one into a swamp of trying to explain or experience jhanas as attainments or goals to attainment. As I understand jhana practice, it can be taught by a skilled teacher, but it must be experienced very personally. I've never read of a trusted Bhikkhu discussing his own jhana achievements (perhaps others can cite to such a teaching). I feel that one might be able to discuss the first jhana and explain it on a personal level, but beyond that, the practice of jhanas can be studied, but not discussed as a personal achievement.
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Re: Is mahayana Buddism?

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Sat Mar 16, 2013 2:53 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:
suttametta wrote:I am aware of that, but there aren't any traditions living that go with it.

Yes, Mahāyāna traditions generally have had to resort to various novel syncretic interpretive strategies to try to make a coherent bodhisattva path out of the vast and diverse body of Indian Mahāyāna texts. Meaningful scriptural authority is problematic in this context. Even moreso in this modern era where textual criticism and historical evidences have established that the Mahāyāna texts have no direct link to the historical Buddha.

However, as far as quality of teachings is concerned, and internal consistency, nothing else comes even close to matching the Pāli Nikāyas. Personally, this is why the Nikāyas are the only corpus of Buddhist discourses that I consider to be authoritative, or am willing to recommend to others without reservation.


I find any discussion of authenticity of tradition or practice to be problematic in that it invariably (at first, or eventually) leads to wrong (non-harmonious) speech. However, your comment regarding The Suttas of The Tipitaka vs. Sutras of The Tripitaka takes a level of expertise, which effort and scope is beyond my current capacity as a student/scholar of Buddha's documented words. :reading:

My experience has been that all such conversations / debates / discussions / arguments leads to nothing but ill will, therefore I have chosen to avoid same.
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But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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