LonesomeYogurt wrote:Alobha wrote:Just like a doctor who is sick, can still prescribe medicine and tell patients how to get healthy again, so can an unawakened person encourage the practice that leads towards awakening.
There's a huge difference between being unawakened and being actively, unabashedly preoccupied with activities that make awakening impossible. I agree that we should not be the moral police, handing out decrees on who is or isn't Buddhist. However, we also cannot risk letting Buddhism become a social club with no restrictions, no requirements, and no ultimate goal. What is the point of Buddhism, especially in the West, when you can ascribe to the path with one breath and drink, smoke, lie, cheat, kill, and otherwise muddle the mind in the next? No one should be "disqualified" by anyone for slipping up in their practice, but there is quite the difference between occasionally faltering on the path and accepting with open arms thoughts, words, and deeds that are completely opposed in every way to the Buddha's teachings.
I think Western Buddhism has lost quite a bit of moral authority when we can't make a judgement about an alcoholic philanderer who passes his teachings to a man who sexually solicits students despite having AIDS. If we as a community cannot point at that trail of actions and say, "You know, that person is not following the Buddha's path," then we're no longer just non-judgmental and tolerant - we're descending into total spiritual anarchy, so to speak. The Buddha's teachings need to be protected, and while we can't achieve that with witch hunts or needless criticism, we absolutely can have high standards for those in power who claim to be teaching the Buddha's Dhamma.
Just my two cents.
Dan74 wrote:Hmmm... I don't think moral authority is derived from making judgments about others.
As for Trungpa, apparently he used to go to pubs, talk to the alcoholics about the Dharma and they would become his students. Coming to the West in the 60ies as a young and innocent Tibetan monk, I wonder how he could've achieved some real contact with his audience if he stuck steadfastly to his precepts.
I also wonder about the shock this vastly different culture and the permissiveness in particular, would have had on someone raised in a monastery in medieval surroundings. Perhaps this is a failing of Mahayana - if you enter the cesspit, it is hard for the dirt not to rub off. It would surely have been easier for Trungpa to stay in the Himalayas in his monastery where he was worshipped and respected rather than do what he had done.
And though his successor was a disaster by most accounts, we have some great teachers coming out of Shambala, like Pema Chodron, and others and the organisation is very much alive to this day - Naropa University, publishing Dharma books at Shambala, translating and teaching at Vajradhatu. His legacy, whether we like it or not is very powerful and much of it, if not all, is very much in line with the Buddha's teachings as preserved in the Pali Canon, though his own life deviated from the them in some significant respects, it is true.
I think if we all took the medicine, we would not be here.
Perhaps there is more subtlety to the human condition that you seem to be seeing, Gazelle. A person can be a sage in some respects and deluded in others. He could be capable of sublime acts of selfless compassion and yet wallow in the cesspit of self-destruction. Sometimes the most extreme contradictions coexist. Uncomfortable to conceive of, yes. Hard to get a grasp on, yes. But then again, reality rarely fits neatly into any conceptual straight-jacket.
tiltbillings wrote:You do seem to have thing about poor dead Trungpa.
That's good for you.Gazelle wrote:And plus I've had the pleasure of having conversations with pro Trungpa students where I was heavily outnumbered and gunned down.
Gazelle wrote:Your smily thingy suggests that the question is crazy, and I agree. No guessing from me on that.
Ha ha... are you serious? From what we know of the historical Buddha (even though I can't verify 100%) it would be fair to assume that the Buddha would find Trungpa's conduct less than ideal I would think.
Angulimala was not a Buddhist when he was making his necklace. The complaint about Trungpa was that he was a monk, then a lay teacher of Buddhism, all the while acting at times very badly. As I said Trunpa was a complicated, brilliant but seriously flawed man who could be a very skilfull, insightful Dhamma teacher.Buckwheat wrote:I don't know about Trungpa's conduct, but if the Buddha took the time to teach Angulimala,
Gazelle wrote:Hi Dan74,
No that's 'Bodhivana' Monastery in Warburton.... the name is close... I was living at Bodhinyana in Serpentine with Ajahn Brahm.
Gazelle wrote:As to Trungpa, it doesn't bother me if he considered himself a Buddhist or not, it's just words....however what was frustrating was when I had a conversation with a good friend a while ago about Trungpa, I couldn't seem to communicate with her that some of Trungpa's actions were in direct contrast with what many people would agree is the closest we have to the Buddha's words in the Pali Canon. That's not Trungpa's fault obviously, however because of people like him, I feel many get a warped idea of what the Buddha taught. I got the feeling that my friend thinks that I've become some sort of Buddhist conservative freak because I say, heavens forbid, drinking yourself to an early grave and having sex with married women is against the precepts. Trungpa supporters will say it's some sort of Dhamma teaching.... I find it all a bit of a copout.
But whatever.... I can't control others.... I'm off to sleep....
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