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Is Mahayana perspective useful for Theravada practitioners? - Page 5 - Dhamma Wheel

Is Mahayana perspective useful for Theravada practitioners?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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mikenz66
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Re: Is Mahayana perspective useful for Theravada practitioners?

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:09 pm


Sanghamitta
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Re: Is Mahayana perspective useful for Theravada practitioners?

Postby Sanghamitta » Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:17 pm

I am sorry but I dont accept your relativism at all. I am mindful of the fact that this is a Theravada forum which is open to Mahayana practitioners, and that is a fine thing. I am also mindful that good manners is a basic prerequisite in the conduct of students of the Dhamma. I am pleased for you that you benefit from whatever school of Buddhism you practice in. It would be dishonest of me however to suggest or imply that I think that all schools of Buddhism are equal, or lead to the same result. I have no quarrel with you, but having dipped into several schools of Buddhism for me the Theravada is the only needful way. I wish you well in your path. I dont see why this presents a problem. Your Mahayana practice presents no problem to me at all . Its simply not an issue..
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

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Dan74
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Re: Is Mahayana perspective useful for Theravada practitioners?

Postby Dan74 » Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:31 pm

Sanghamitta, you certainly don't need to accept my "relativism"! :smile: I enjoy many of your contributions here and likewise wish you well in your practice.

Mike, my take on this story (and my initial reaction was similar to yours) is that the monk did not engage with the girl but just poetically rejected her advances. While for one of us that may sound like a fine achievement, for someone who has been cultivating intensively for a long time, it was poor. There is a Tibetan story for instance where a nun was attacked by a gang of rapists and used this opportunity to teach them dharma so by the end they had not only repented but became monks and her disciples. Similarly here, had the monk been a true master, he would have shown true loving kindness and compassion to the girl rather than simply saying that he had no sexual desire anymore. And of course to know exactly what he should've done, you need not only to have been there but to have been a master as well! :tongue:

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Ben
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Re: Is Mahayana perspective useful for Theravada practitioners?

Postby Ben » Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:40 pm

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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Re: Is Mahayana perspective useful for Theravada practitioners?

Postby Individual » Mon Aug 03, 2009 8:56 pm

The best things in life aren't things.


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mikenz66
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Re: Is Mahayana perspective useful for Theravada practitioners?

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Aug 03, 2009 9:18 pm


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Re: Is Mahayana perspective useful for Theravada practitioners?

Postby Individual » Mon Aug 03, 2009 9:28 pm

The best things in life aren't things.


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mikenz66
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Re: Is Mahayana perspective useful for Theravada practitioners?

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Aug 03, 2009 10:30 pm


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Re: Is Mahayana perspective useful for Theravada practitioners?

Postby Individual » Tue Aug 04, 2009 12:05 am

The best things in life aren't things.


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Dan74
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Re: Is Mahayana perspective useful for Theravada practitioners?

Postby Dan74 » Tue Aug 04, 2009 1:05 am

I think of Hinayana as a stage in practice.

Most of us start on this path seeking to better our lives. But eventually it shifts to something deeper and more worthwhile, hopefully. If not, then it is a Hinayana attitude. Not bad at all, just still anchored in concern for oneself.

This is where I still am, mostly.

On the other hand, my teacher once said that Ajahn Brahm is probably the greatest Bodhisattva monastic in the country. So it's not about Theravada vs Mahayana at all.

It seems that we fall into this us versus them mentality very easily. Perhaps it is because on the web it can be tricky to judge one another's motives. I try to approach these exchanges as a privilege to hear from fellow practitioners and share some thoughts. I've said it before and I will say it again - I have no interest in beating the mahayana drum or promote some sense of superiority (which I don't even believe in). I am hear to learn and to share what may be useful to others.

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Re: Is Mahayana perspective useful for Theravada practitioners?

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Aug 04, 2009 1:24 am


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Re: Is Mahayana perspective useful for Theravada practitioners?

Postby Dan74 » Tue Aug 04, 2009 1:50 am

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mikenz66
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Re: Is Mahayana perspective useful for Theravada practitioners?

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Aug 04, 2009 2:03 am


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Re: Is Mahayana perspective useful for Theravada practitioners?

Postby Sanghamitta » Tue Aug 04, 2009 7:33 am

The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

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Dan74
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Re: Is Mahayana perspective useful for Theravada practitioners?

Postby Dan74 » Tue Aug 04, 2009 9:23 am

Since they know each other very well, I suspect he already knows! :smile:

And I also strongly suspect that he has far less problem with all these supposed differences than any one of us here. Using your example, I think the Archbishop of Canterbury would take it as a compliment, just as Ajahn Brahm would.

As for any perceived "need to see the world as a melange" that's an interesting metaphor, but that I harbour no such need. I was simply responding to Mike's inquiry whether I see Mahayana as offering something exclusive. I don't. Maybe others do. Others may know more - I am just a beginner.

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Re: Is Mahayana perspective useful for Theravada practitioners?

Postby Sanghamitta » Tue Aug 04, 2009 9:52 am

The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

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Re: Is Mahayana perspective useful for Theravada practitioners?

Postby PeterB » Sat Aug 15, 2009 11:11 am

A personal take. My own introduction to Buddhism was via the Theravada. To be precise the old Wat Buddhapadipa in Sheen before it moved to Wimbledon. I then spent many years in the Vajrayana. Following a major illness I found that, with no intellectual struggle or intent, that the Vajrayana had no more meaning for me, that it did not " speak to my condition " any more . I stress that this was personal, and is not a reflection on the beliefs and practice of anyone who finds the Mahayana suited to their needs. But for me it felt like a return to clearer streams to immerse myself again in the Theravada.

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Aloka
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Re: Is Mahayana perspective useful for Theravada practitioners?

Postby Aloka » Sat Aug 15, 2009 7:29 pm


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Vardali
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Re: Is Mahayana perspective useful for Theravada practitioners?

Postby Vardali » Mon Aug 17, 2009 8:38 pm

I have thought about this question - and the discussion within this thread - for a couple of days now. And while it is beyond me to respond to it in learned or philosophical manner, I have decided to add my view in a simple manner of how I have experienced either perspective.

The first time I got introduced to Buddhism was in my teens (quite a while ago ;) ). In my area, the Tibetan/Mahayana school has been most prevalent so this was my first connection. The philosophy appealed to me, the related practice and especially the prominent and very emphatic focus on a guru-/veneration-based approach was not at all attractive to me (I guess I have some issues with "authority figures"). I wasn't aware of any "other" Buddhist approach by then and frankly, I was totally put off.

20 years later, I found back to engaging the "Buddhist attraction" when my ex-boyfriend unexpectedly died and I got into dealing with his death by reading Sogyal Rinpoche's Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. Again, there was a lot of stuff which I simply cannot accept; but also there was a lot of stuff which I felt was worth exploring in more detail.

This was in 2006 and my journey of understanding more about Buddhism has actually brought me here. Because in starting with the Tibetan style and Mahayana approach (without realizing then or even now the whole scale of Mahayana approaches) , I found the Thai forest tradition. And while my reaction the Tibetan teachings remained ambivalent, the teachings of Ajahn Chah and his disciples spoke to me in a way I could unhesitantly relate to: the teaching elements are there, also the compassion and wisdom, but without the rituals and heavy reliance of guru-/lineage transmission which I personally found so off-putting in the Tibetan texts I read.

I guess you could argue that by following the teachings of Ajahn Chah's disciples "lineage", I am not acting overly differently to the Tibetan lineage selection. But to me, this choice is based on what I am able to understand and work with.

So, to summarise from my perspective of a beginner of Theravada practice, a Mahayana perspective brought me here, in the end. So, either perspective can be useful to guide you to "your" practice, in one way or the other. That's sufficiently useful in my books :)

:namaste:


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