Luminious mind

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Re: Luminious mind

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:13 pm

Lazy_eye wrote:Interesting stuff, Tilt... but would you say "oppositionality" vs "orthodoxy" is enough to define separate religions?
I'd say both considering were the Mahayana doctrines ended up.


Also, is "oppositionality" a feature exclusive to Mahayana?
The Mahayana put its opposition into the mouth of the Buddha.

"Hinayana" is just an (ugly) negative way of affirming the validity of Mahayana, since it basically means "those (whoever they are) who do not accept the Mahayana sutras". Mahayana opposes those who deny Mahayana, thus Mahayana=Mahayana, it's a tautology which resolves nothing and has no use except as a rhetorical weapon. It's in no way essential to Mahayana doctrine per se.
Can't say Mahayana without implying hinayana.

This seems, to me, a far more dramatic split than arguing about buddha nature, bodhicitta or sunyata, all of which have antecedents in the nikayas.
Maybe, but that does not negate the vast divide between such doctrines as a docetic buddha and a abiding vs non-abiding nirvana which renders the arhat as a deluded being.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Luminious mind

Postby cooran » Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:23 pm

Hello tilt

tilt said: Can't say Mahayana without implying hinayana.


Good One, Tilt! But what terms should be used for clear communication?

with metta
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Re: Luminious mind

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:33 pm

cooran wrote:Hello tilt

tilt said: Can't say Mahayana without implying hinayana.


Good One, Tilt! But what terms should be used for clear communication?

with metta
Chris

There is not an easy answer to that. We just need to understand that Theravada is not the stereotyped hinayana of Mahayana construction. Getting Mahayanists to buy that is mixed. Some clearly understand that, but others, no so much. It is almost always going to be a education issue.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Luminious mind

Postby Lazy_eye » Thu Jul 08, 2010 10:57 pm

tiltbillings wrote:Can't say Mahayana without implying hinayana.


Yes, that's true. Great (no pun intended) point!

And yes, Mahayana and Theravada have conflicting premises -- e.g, Mahayana's claim to represent "later, superior teachings of the Buddha" versus Theravada's rejection/non-acknowledgment of same. But perhaps if we remove some of the loaded adjectival stuff the distinction can be made in a way that is less adversarial. That is, we can define Mahayana teachings as extrapolations, and the Mahayana conception of Buddha as a general principle derived from an historical instantiation.

Given that scholarship stands in the way of taking the Mahayana foundational myth literally, I wonder if this is the only viable choice anyway, for the Mahayana side at least.

(Warning: yet another Zen/Theravada sob story to follow...) My encounter with Mahayana has been through teachers who place strong emphasis on the Pali suttas, and my encounter with Theravada has been, in some cases, through teachers who accept/incorporate aspects of Mahayana! All of which makes me think there is some room for accord.

Maybe, but that does not negate the vast divide between such doctrines as a docetic buddha and a abiding vs non-abiding nirvana which renders the arhat as a deluded being.


But nibbana can be a contentious topic within Theravada too, no? I'll have to dig it up, but I remember Joseph Goldstein saying in a talk that he went through a profound crisis occasioned by the disparity between Burmese and Thai Forest traditions on this question.
Last edited by Lazy_eye on Thu Jul 08, 2010 11:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Luminious mind

Postby Goedert » Thu Jul 08, 2010 11:28 pm

Friends,

Actually theravada is the doctrine of analyses, it is more complex to understand abstract feelings, it is similar to Socratic method of understand reality, but theravada has the plus calm abiding for true understanding.

Mahayana and Vajrayana, is a more easier to practice, even people with no instructions in reading or writing, like in Tibet and low class born, can do the sadhana rituals if they can memorize them, and theyre concentration comes with the visualization of the deity and the 8 Noble Path comes with the lipe mantra repetition and sadhana liturgy with visualisations, like a vedanta yoga. It is so, that one day the ignorant person will understand that the deity is not real and with many mantra repetions and clear visualization he can develop one pointed concentration and develop a true understanding of reality.

Both practices are good and work, with the same final goal.

The only problem is the radicalism and translating errors.

What radicalism?

The radicalism of the bodhisattva path of Mahayana and Vajrayana, the Buddha stated that every kind of extremism must be avoided and practiced a middle way. There is a lot of contradictions in the bodhisattva path and the teachings of the Buddha.

I can say one exemple in the teaching of Tibetans. Chagdud Rinpoche said in one of his books in Brazil:
"There was a great ship with many treasures going to a city. In that ship there were only Bodhisattvas aspirants but one of tailores were a bandit. This bandit planned to kill all of the bodhisattvas and steal the treasures. The capitan of the ship, a 10th level bodhisattva, knew his intention and stabed a sword in the heart of the thif tailor, for compassion, because if the thief killed the bodhisattvas he will spend eons in purgatory..."

What someone that know the core of the 4 Noble truth and 8 Noble Path would state?
Personally the might question will come up... Kill for compassion?

It is a extremism and must be avoided. It break the first precept of buddhist teaching...

The Mahayana and Vajrayana practioners (principle in Brazil) keeping relating that Hinayana term with Theravada tradition. In the books also.

But why this extreme necessity to auto-afirm that "My doctrine is superior, my path is the best".

Hinayana died out in India. Theravada (Early Svarstivhada before the Third Concil) moved to Sri Lanka (Mahinda brought the most acceptable teaching of the Concil, the doctrine of analyses) before the first registry of Mahayana doctrines. State Hinayana with Theravada is ridicullous, only a ignorant person with his mind trying to be wise for put him self in a pedestal would do it.

Similarites:
Bodhichitta = 4 Brahma Viharas
sunyata = anatta
buddha natutre = luminous mind "?"

The corruptive bhikkus among the ages also make vinaya practice differ in place to place.

In fact doing mantra repetitions and visulizations work.
In fact doing samatha and vipassyna work.

To understand Theravada well one must have in his back a good education system.
To understand Tantra em Mantra one do not need anything, just be alive.

It is scientific that Theravada is the closest of what the buddha taught.

Theravada is not extremist, you can go only one way, the liberation.

It has a bodhisatta path (Ledy Sayadaw - Manual of Excellent Man);
It has the most authentic teaching, scientifically.

If some one wanna be a bodhisatta or an arahat, the suffering will might him. Don't try to be anything, we are just avatar like beings, just a composition of aggregates.
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Re: Luminious mind

Postby Kenshou » Thu Jul 08, 2010 11:50 pm

I feel like you're setting up a bit of a strawman there, Goedert.
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Re: Luminious mind

Postby Sherab » Fri Jul 09, 2010 12:10 am

luminous mind = elephant
us = blind men
Therefore the different schools/traditions.

Such discussions about the various schools can never be conclusive. I think we should just go with whatever is comfortable and works for each of us and leave it at that.

I started the post to get a Theravadin interpretation, period. I am not comfortable with the direction that this thread is heading.
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Re: Luminious mind

Postby Goedert » Fri Jul 09, 2010 12:59 am

Kenshou wrote:I feel like you're setting up a bit of a strawman there, Goedert.


Friend Kenshou,

Pardon me. Think may it happen.

I have to practice more vipassina because ignorance and delusion is thick in the mind.

Can you clarify the points to help?

The argumentum ad hominem dind't bring the relevant points?

Source A makes claim P.
Group B also make claim P.
Therefore, source A is a member of group B.
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Re: Luminious mind

Postby ground » Fri Jul 09, 2010 3:28 am

There seems to be much attachment to what is called "school" or "tradition", which is nothing but attachment to "I" and "mine".
"Maha-" and "Hinayana" are motivations, kinds of "cetasika". So it is the individuals mind that is decisive as to whether "Maha-" or "Hinayana".
And with reference to teachings "Maha-" or "Hinayana" teachings are those that either explicitely advocate "Maha-" or "Hinayana" motivation or implicitely induce or strengthen "Maha-" or "Hinayana" motivation ("cetasika").
It is just that "Hinayana" motivation is more "ordinary" than "Mahayana" motivation since it is more compliant with the ordinary "I" and "mine".

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Re: Luminious mind

Postby Sanghamitta » Fri Jul 09, 2010 6:32 am

Its fascinating. The prevailing view among many Theravada students is that the Mahayana represents a break from the Dhamma of the Buddha, and the prevailing view of the Mahayana is that it is a matter of semantics and culture. It seems to me that logic and plain commonsense is with the Theravada...This will not of course prevent Mahayana students from insisting on interpreting the Theravada for us... :lol:
Lets face it the reason that these debates have increased in terms of traffic on Dhamma Wheel is because of the demise of E sangha...just like refugees from Vietnam set about recreating Vietnam in their new country.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

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Re: Luminious mind

Postby ground » Fri Jul 09, 2010 6:43 am

Sanghamitta wrote:It seems to me that logic and plain commonsense is with the Theravada...

Interesting. What kind of logic do you refer to? And what is "plain commonsense"? What is its difference from the "commonsense" that keeps beings in samsara?

To me it seems that the words of the Buddha (i.e. the suttas) are neither "Theravada" nor "Hinayana" nor "Mahayana". Why? Because they are the manifestation of the Buddha's perfect skill in means and based on his compassion for beings.

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Re: Luminious mind

Postby Sanghamitta » Fri Jul 09, 2010 6:49 am

T Mingyur...nothing personal and if you came to my house I would serve you a cup of the beverage of your choice and a snack..but I have no interest in your views of the Theravada. I am interested in Buddhist terms only in the views of those who are practising the Theravada way. As i say nothing personal, and I am speaking for myself only.
Normally I don't read your posts I just gloss over them. My reason for partaking on this forum is to become a more focused Theravada student. That's why i joined. Its also why I did not post on E Sangha.
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Re: Luminious mind

Postby Lazy_eye » Fri Jul 09, 2010 8:36 am

Sanghamitta wrote: Lets face it the reason that these debates have increased in terms of traffic on Dhamma Wheel is because of the demise of E sangha....


That may be a large part of the reason, but surely it's not the only reason.

The teachings conveyed in the Pali Canon are foundational to all Buddhism; Theravada is the oldest and most coherent expression of these foundational teachings, and the closest equivalent to the actual words of Siddhartha Gautama. I'd think any serious student of Buddhism, regardless of tradition, would want to learn more about Theravada. And Dhamma Wheel is one of the best resources on the web for that.

Maybe there is also something about Theravada which makes it more amenable to discussion forums? The analytical side of Theravada is often mentioned, and it's easier to have an analytical discussion on a internet forum than it is to express devotion or practice silent illumination.
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Re: Luminious mind

Postby Sanghamitta » Fri Jul 09, 2010 9:01 am

:smile: I think its very understandable and commendable Lazy Eye that those with an interest in Dhamma should use this Forum to debate and discuss and deepen their understanding. However fairly frequently its not like that. What happens on those occasions is that people feel impelled apparently to contextualise the Theravada or to " complete" it. Or to show that everything in the Theravada is present in THEIR tradition.... and then some. Which may in a sense be true. It strikes me that the problem with the Mahayana is not one of omission , but of extraneousness.
I am always reminded of a passage in " Brideshead Revisited " when Charles Ryder one of the chief characters who is a professional painter and artist has an exhibition of his work. An old friend called Anthony Blanche arrives towards the end of showing hours. They talk for a while and then Anthony takes Charles by the arm and says something along the lines of " let us view your paintings Charles dear and I shall EXPLAIN them to you..."
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Re: Luminious mind

Postby ground » Fri Jul 09, 2010 4:31 pm

Sanghamitta wrote:My reason for partaking on this forum is to become a more focused Theravada student.


I rejoice in your endeavour, really.

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