2ndchance

Activities to Cultivate Positive Emotions to achieve Samadhi concentration awareness

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21 minutes ago, dwai said:

Ramana Maharshi, Neem Karoli Baba, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Swami Vivekananda, Nisargadatta Maharaj,  the list can go on and on :) 

 

I know them well and there is only one there who lead a normal like Nisargadatta.
One.
Any more ?
 

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5 minutes ago, rideforever said:

 

I know them well and there is only one there who lead a normal like Nisargadatta.
One.
Any more ?
 

What does "normal life" mean? Didn't these other individuals not live in society, interact with people, lovingly share their knowledge and presence? :) 

 

I'll give you some more --

 

Lahiri Mahasaya and other individuals of the kriya yoga lineage.

Amma (Mata Amritanandamayi)

 

There are others who I know and interact with, who are householders and are fully awakened (but you won't know about them necessarily). There are a few right here on TDB...

 

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59 minutes ago, freeform said:

But in the Daoist and Buddhist lineages I’ve come across, this was specifically warned against as a trap. With strong emphasis and by several high level teachers.

 

"Big love" is warned of as a trap? That's not true in the Buddhism I've come across. That's basically the Mahayana path, and it could be considered equivalent to the Buddha jewel.

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5 minutes ago, dwai said:

There are a few right here on TDB...

I doubt that very much.

 

But yes Lahiri is a 2nd one.   
There are not many, most lived in nappies in the ashram so they could hide from being alive.

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Posted (edited)

You’ve mentioned many Hindu masters, Dwai. Maybe you can include some quotes about ‘divine love’ or other positive feelings and emotions being the fundamental nature of your ‘true self’ - that might help the OP.

 

Aetherous - yes the Buddhist teachers I came across in the West tend to focus on Loving Kindness and related subjects. Although I’m not well versed in Buddhist scripture, there may well be something there about Divine Love being the true self... (Can you find such a quote?)

 

For years I personally assumed that love is a rather special and fundamental aspect of human consciousness.

 

However, as I was introduced to high level, venerated Buddhist teachers (mostly in Myanmar and Thailand but also (surprisingly) in the West) - they went to great lengths to stress that divine love is a stage to go through. Not the destination.

 

Admittedly these teachers don’t teach in public - with some of them I had to go through various introductions (up the ranks of seniority) and had to go through a number of gruelling (and slightly strange) tests before I could even meet them in person... And then had to consume certain ‘pills’ while doing solitary meditation before I was allowed to meditate with them. But I’m glad I persevered - the inner transformations I experienced were nothing short of spectacular. I believe they also set in motion a series of events that brought me to my Daoist teachers who’s levels of attainment I thought were only fairytales.

 

So when all these guys (and ‘girls’, incidentally) tell me something - the same thing, I listen. When Daoist scriptures clearly support that perspective, I take notice. When I’ve met several casualty cases where this advice was not heeded, then I’m compelled to share it with others...

 

But when someone on the Internet who admittedly amalgamates all sorts of practices and traditions tells me something that contradicts them... well I just take it with a pinch of salt - wouldn't you?

Edited by freeform
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33 minutes ago, freeform said:

Aetherous - yes the Buddhist teachers I came across in the West tend to focus on Loving Kindness and related subjects. Although I’m not well versed in Buddhist scripture, there may well be something there about Divine Love being the true self... (Can you find such a quote?)

 

I've really only learned from Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, just a little bit through his online DharmaSun "Tara's Triple Excellence" program (which is quite good), and what I said was my summary of something he teaches.

 

To say more from what I remember: He taught that the Buddha jewel has enlightened qualities, and some of them are unlimited loving-kindness and compassion. That cultivating the four immeasurables, such as loving-kindness and compassion, helps the buddha nature come forth (because those are the qualities of it).

 

If we look at the enlightened qualities (in this link) we see that great compassion (maha karuna) is always one of them. I personally don't differentiate much between compassion and loving-kindness, because they're really like two sides of the same coin (wishing someone doesn't suffer versus wishing someone is happy...there's a difference, but there's not really a difference). Here are some more qualities of a buddha, according to Maitreya, of which "love" is one.

 

The various sects of Buddhism differ, so Theravada wouldn't necessarily agree with this stuff (although someone truly learned and accomplished might). I know that in the Pali canon, the historical Buddha said that the four immeasurables doesn't lead to nirvana (good to read that entire Wikipedia page, because there's more to chew on there regarding this).

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40 minutes ago, Aetherous said:

I know that in the Pali canon, the historical Buddha said that the four immeasurables doesn't lead to nirvana (good to read that entire Wikipedia page, because there's more to chew on there regarding this).

 

Yes - that’s a good find. I believe the Pali texts are the oldest and most closely associated to the Buddha’s actual teachings?

 

...that practice [namely, the mere cultivation of love and so forth, according to the fourfold instructions] is conducive not to turning away, nor to dispassion, nor to quieting, nor to cessation, nor to direct knowledge, nor to enlightenment, nor to nirvana, but only to rebirth in the world of Brahma.

 

That mirrors the classical Daoist view. And so does what you say... that kindness and compassion are qualities of a highly realised being. And I’m certainly not contradicting that! It’s one of the Virtues (De) in Daoism.

 

But it’s important to note that this is not ‘being in a state of divine love’ - it’s talking about the actions of a Zhen Ren (Sage) (which is actually a relatively ‘low’ level attainment - not enlightened and not immortal - is that the same as ‘Brahma’?). But the sage acts virtuously not from any state of Love or Kindness or Wisdom - he acts from stillness, it’s just his actions invariably have these virtuous characteristics. That’s the nature of De. This is Wei Wu Wei - kindness without ‘trying to be kind’...

 

As you say - these are characteristics of a highly realised being - not the focus of practice and neither does it say that Divine Love is the fundamental nature of your ‘true self’. These are new age interpretations. Which may have its root in Hindu forms of cultivation. Dwai would be best placed to talk about that.

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7 hours ago, freeform said:

the original traditions all call the aspirant to go past this to stillness

Not to get into semantics, but for me, it is not so much as "getting past" this love, light, goodness, etc,  but to see that it is all in the stillness,  which is also the fullness, nothing is separated or separable.  but that's my take, could be wrong. 

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46 minutes ago, Aetherous said:

That cultivating the four immeasurables, such as loving-kindness and compassion, helps the buddha nature come forth (because those are the qualities of it).

 

That’s the main area of disagreement. My teachers say that emulating the virtues creates more layers of distortion that move you further from Yuan Shen and create unintended consequences in the world.

 

However - for the general population (not spiritual cultivators) it’s not only perfectly fine, but is of great benefit. I believe that’s why many teachers will teach this. 

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40 minutes ago, freeform said:

 

Yes - that’s a good find. I believe the Pali texts are the oldest and most closely associated to the Buddha’s actual teachings?

 

...that practice [namely, the mere cultivation of love and so forth, according to the fourfold instructions] is conducive not to turning away, nor to dispassion, nor to quieting, nor to cessation, nor to direct knowledge, nor to enlightenment, nor to nirvana, but only to rebirth in the world of Brahma.

 

I'm not an expert on the differences between Tibetan Buddhism and Theravada, or even an expert on either one. But it seems to me like Theravadans value the Pali canon as absolute (they try their best to follow the teachings of the Shakyamuni Buddha pretty much exclusively), while Tibetan Buddhists have other teachings and don't care quite that much for it (although maybe still valuing it)...and I think Tibetans believe there are other Buddhas, not just the one from India. They definitely have their own ways, which are quite distinct from the Theravada/Pali canon stuff, to the point of appearing to be an entirely different thing altogether.

 

40 minutes ago, freeform said:

That mirrors the classical Daoist view. And so does what you say... that kindness and compassion are qualities of a highly realised being. And I’m certainly not contradicting that! It’s one of the Virtues (De) in Daoism.

 

It gets confusing if we mix Daoism with Buddhism...it's good to keep traditions separate and distinct in order to preserve them, although it can be interesting to compare them sometimes.

 

In Tibetan Buddhism, they're not just qualities of a realized being, but are qualities of the Buddha nature (which everyone already has). Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche confirms that to cultivate loving-kindness and compassion is to cultivate the Buddha nature, and enlightenment.
 

40 minutes ago, freeform said:

As you say - these are characteristics of a highly realised being - not the focus of practice and neither does it say that Divine Love is the fundamental nature of your ‘true self’. These are new age interpretations. Which may have its root in Hindu forms of cultivation. Dwai would be best placed to talk about that.

 

The Mahayana path focuses on actually practicing these things.

Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche saying that some qualities of the Buddha nature are unlimited loving-kindness and compassion is not a new age interpretation.

 

30 minutes ago, freeform said:

That’s the main area of disagreement. My teachers say that emulating the virtues creates more layers of distortion that move you further from Yuan Shen and create unintended consequences in the world.

 

However - for the general population (not spiritual cultivators) it’s not only perfectly fine, but is of great benefit. I believe that’s why many teachers will teach this. 

 

You seem to be speaking of Daoist lineages. Buddhism doesn't use the term "yuan shen", and Tibetan Buddhism in the Mahayana vehicle is all about these things. They are spiritual cultivation.

 

It's good to go with what your teachers have told you, but those things are unique to you and your teachers...not to the entirety of Buddhism (especially if those teachings aren't Buddhist, but are Daoist).

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57 minutes ago, Zen Pig said:

Not to get into semantics, but for me, it is not so much as "getting past" this love, light, goodness, etc,  but to see that it is all in the stillness,  which is also the fullness, nothing is separated or separable.  but that's my take, could be wrong. 

 

I think you're right.

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Posted (edited)

On bliss as our true nature (Hinduism in this link, not Buddhism...something I know even less about).

 

On "brahman".

Edited by Aetherous
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1 hour ago, freeform said:

You’ve mentioned many Hindu masters, Dwai. Maybe you can include some quotes about ‘divine love’ or other positive feelings and emotions being the fundamental nature of your ‘true self’ - that might help the OP.

 

I usually don't like to give quotes, but I'll make an exception because you're so "special" :D 

This is just Nisargadatta Maharaj (quotes curated from here -- https://hridaya-yoga.com/nisargadatta-maharaj-about-love/)

Quote

Life is love and love is life
Does love act deliberately? Yes and no. Life is love and love is life. What keeps the body together but love? What is desire, but love of the self? What is fear but the urge to protect? And what is knowledge but the love of truth? The means and forms may be wrong, but the motive behind is always love — love of the me and the mine. The me and the mine may be small, or may explode and embrace the universe, but love remains.

 

***
Is love a state of mind?
Again, it depends what you mean by love. Desire is, of course, a state of mind. But the realization of unity is beyond mind. To me, nothing exists by itself. All is the Self, all is myself. To see myself in everybody and everybody in myself most certainly is love.

 

***
Above the unity of being is the union of love
Q: Can there be happiness in unity? Does not all happiness imply necessarily contact, hence duality?
M: There is nothing wrong with duality as long as it does not create conflict. Multiplicity and variety without strife is joy. In pure consciousness there is light. For warmth, contact is needed. Above the unity of being is the union of love. Love is the meaning and purpose of duality.

 

***
Compassion and love are my very core .Void of all predilections, I am free to love.

 

***
Knowledge and Love
To find water you do not dig small pits all over the place, but drill deep in one place only. Similarly, to find your self you have to explore yourself. When you realize that you are the light of the world, you will also realize that you are the love of it; that to know is to love and to love is to know.

 

***
Q: How can I become universal?
M: But you are universal. You need not and you cannot become what you are already. Only cease imagining yourself to be the particular. What comes and goes has no being. It owes its very appearance to reality. You know that there is a world, but does the world know you? All knowledge flows from you, as all being and all joy. Realize that you are the eternal source and accept all as your own. Such acceptance is true love.

 

***
Without self-realization, no virtue is genuine.
Do not pretend that you love others as yourself. Unless you have realized them as one with yourself, you cannot love them. Don’t pretend to be what you are not, don’t refuse to be what you are.
Your love of others is the result of self-knowledge, not its cause.
Without self-realization, no virtue is genuine. Where you know beyond all doubting that the same life flows through all that is and you are that life, you will love all naturally and spontaneously.
When you realize the depth and fullness of your love of yourself, you know that every living being and the entire universe are included in your affection.

But when you look at anything as separate from you, you cannot love it for you are afraid of it. Alienation causes fear and fear deepens alienation. It is a vicious circle. Only self-realization can break it. Go for it resolutely.

 

***
How to solve your problems
Love of one and love of all merge together in love, pure and simple, addressed to none, denied to none. Stay in that love, go deeper and deeper into it, investigate yourself and love the investigation and you will solve not only your own problems but also the problems of humanity.

 

***
Know what you Love
Please see that I want nothing from you. It is in your own interest that I speak, because above all you love yourself, you want yourself secure and happy. Don’t be ashamed of it, don’t deny it. It is natural and good to love oneself.
Only you should know what exactly do you love. It is not the body that you love, it is Life— perceiving, feeling, thinking, doing, loving, striving, creating. It is that Life you love, which is you, which is all. Realize it in its totality, beyond all divisions and limitations, and all your desires will merge in it, for the greater contains the smaller. Therefore find yourself, for in finding that you find all.
Everybody is glad to be. But few know the fullness of it. You come to know by dwelling in your mind on ‘I am’, ‘I know’, ‘I love’ — with the will of reaching the deepest meaning of these words.

 

***
Love is will, the will to share your happiness with all. Being happy — making happy — this is the rhythm of love.
***
I cannot but see you as my-self. It is in the very nature of love to see no difference.

***
Q: In all the universe is there one single thing of value?
M: Yes, the power of love.

***
Awareness is love in action
Awareness is dynamic, love is being. Awareness is love in action. By itself the mind can actualize any number of possibilities, but unless they are prompted by love, they are valueless. Love precedes creation. Without it there is only chaos.

 

***
Choiceless Love
True awareness (samvid) is a state of pure witnessing, without the least attempt to do anything about the event witnessed. Your thoughts and feelings, words and actions may also be a part of the event; you watch all unconcerned in the full light of clarity and understanding. You understand precisely what is going on, because it does not affect you. It may seem to be an attitude of cold aloofness, but it is not really so. Once you are in it, you will find that you love what you see, whatever may be its nature. This choiceless love is the touchstone of awareness. If it is not there, you are merely interested — for some personal reasons.

 

***
Look at the ‘I am’ as a sign of love between the inner and the outer, the real and the appearance. Just like in a dream all is different, except the sense of ‘I’, which enables you to say ‘I dreamt’, so does the sense of ‘I am’ enable you to say ‘I am my real Self again.

***
Q: Are there levels of awareness?
M: There are levels in consciousness, but not in awareness. It is of one block, homogeneous. Its reflection in the mind is love and understanding. There are levels of clarity in understanding and intensity in love, but not in their source. The source is simple and single, but its gifts are infinite. Only do not take the gifts for the source. Realize yourself as the source and not as the river; that is all.

 

***
The mind is the wife of the heart and the world their home —to be kept bright and happy.

 

***
Truth and love are man’s real nature and mind and heart are the means of its expression.

 

***
The tiny seed of ‘I am’
After all, you are what you are every moment of your life, but you are never conscious of it, except, maybe, at the point at awakening from sleep. All you need is to be aware of being, not as a verbal statement, but as an ever-present fact.
The awareness that you are will open your eyes to what you are. It is all very simple. First of all, establish a constant contact with your self, be with yourself all the time. Into self-awareness all blessings flow. Begin as a centre of observation, deliberate cognizance, and grow into a centre of love in action. ‘I am’ is a tiny seed which will grow into a mighty tree — quite naturally, with-out a trace of effort.

Neem Karoli Baba's message has always been about love. Read Ram Das's books about him to find out.

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa espoused Divine Love above all, even though he was  a jivanamukta (liberated while alive). 

 

Ramana Maharshi -- http://www.arunachala-ramana.org/forum/index.php?topic=6206.0

 

Quote

26th April, 1948

This morning a Tamil youth approached Bhagavan and asked, “Swami, it is good to love God, is it not? Then why not follow the path of Love?”

“Who said you couldn’t follow it? You can do so. But when you talk of love, there is duality, is there not — the person who loves and the entity called God who is loved? The individual is not separate from God. Hence love means one has love towards one’s own Self. 

For this, i.e., loving one’s own Self, examples have been given in the Vasudeva
Mananam, stage by stage. Man loves money most; but he loves his son more than money; his own body more than the son; his indriyas (the organs of the body) more than the body; the eye most among the organs; life more than the eye; and the self (atma) more than life. 

This is exemplified thus: If the son does something untoward and the government decides to punish him for it, the parents offer money and even bribes to set him free. Hence the love towards the son is more than money. 

If, however, the government does not accept money but say that they will let off the son if the father agrees to undergo the punishment himself instead, then the father
will say, ‘Do whatever you like with the boy; I have nothing to do with him’. 

Hence the father loves his own body more than his son. If a man does something for which the powers that be say that his eyes must be plucked out, he tries to save
his eyes by agreeing to bodily torture; so bodily torture is preferred to loss of an organ. 

If, however, they decide to take his life by beheading him, he would be prepared to lose his eyes or any other organ rather than lose his life; so life (prana) is loved more than the organs.  

In the same manner,a person who desires to have Atma-Anandam (bliss of the Self)
would be prepared to lose his life even, if necessary; so the Self is loved more than life. 

Hence the idea of a person in loving God, is only with a view to being happy himself. He is, however, the embodiment of happiness and that happiness is God. Who else is to be loved? Love itself is God,” said Bhagavan.

“That is why I am asking you whether God could be worshipped through the path of love?” said the questioner.

“That is exactly what I have been saying. Love itself is the actual form of God. If by saying, ‘I do not love this; I do not love that’, you reject all things, that which remains is Swarupa, i.e., the innate Self. That is pure bliss. Call it pure
bliss, God, atma or what you will. That is devotion; that is realization and that is everything,” said Bhagavan.

“The meaning of what you say now is that we should reject all outside things which are bad, and also all those which are good, and love God alone. 

Is it possible for anyone to reject everything, saying this is no good, that is no good,unless one experiences them?” said some other.

“That is true. To reject the bad, you must love the good.In due course that good also will appear to be an obstacle and will be rejected. Hence, you must necessarily first love what is good. That means you must first love and then reject the thing you love. 

If you thus reject everything, what remains is the Self alone. That is real love. One who knows the secret of that love finds the world itself full of universal love,” said Bhagavan and resumed silence.

Source: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam VOLUMES I, II & Letters from and Recollections of Sri Ramanasramam By SURI NAGAMMA Translated by D. S. SASTRI

I can share more if you like or you could google each of those names and see what they had to say on the topic - i'm sure there's a slew of such material available online. :) 

 

1 hour ago, freeform said:

Aetherous - yes the Buddhist teachers I came across in the West tend to focus on Loving Kindness and related subjects. Although I’m not well versed in Buddhist scripture, there may well be something there about Divine Love being the true self... (Can you find such a quote?)

 

For years I personally assumed that love is a rather special and fundamental aspect of human consciousness.

Not human consciousness. Pure awareness is unconditional/unconditioned love. Read Nisargadatta's statement in the quote above. 

1 hour ago, freeform said:

 

However, as I was introduced to high level, venerated Buddhist teachers (mostly in Myanmar and Thailand but also (surprisingly) in the West) - they went to great lengths to stress that divine love is a stage to go through. Not the destination.

Maybe they meant "love" in the human sense or it could be what you needed to hear at that stage of your practice.

 

1 hour ago, freeform said:

So when all these guys (and ‘girls’, incidentally) tell me something - the same thing, I listen. When Daoist scriptures clearly support that perspective, I take notice. When I’ve met several casualty cases where this advice was not heeded, then I’m compelled to share it with others...

That's great. By all means, share. That's what a lot of people on this forum do anyway. Daoist scriptures actually explicitly say that "love" is to be discarded? I've studied the Daodejing quite a bit and no where have i found such references. Daodejing of course is the highest book of Daoism imho. It is of the same grade as many Advaita Vedanta or Kashmir Shaivism books (pure non duality). 

1 hour ago, freeform said:

 

But when someone on the Internet who admittedly amalgamates all sorts of practices and traditions tells me something that contradicts them... well I just take it with a pinch of salt - wouldn't you?

:D

You have no idea how much like me (from a few years back) you sound with that statement. It's okay, i'm not asking you to believe me. And I'm not making statements based on faith. This is my everyday lived experience (and of many others I know). 

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On 1/6/2019 at 5:38 PM, rideforever said:

They are not actually angry ... they resist their anger, and the more they resist the more hot it gets.

 

I think that's the key thing, anytime I resist things just get worst, and my standing practice is a microcosm of that, anytime I manage to surrender everything gets simpler.

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1 hour ago, Aetherous said:

those things are unique to you and your teachers...not to the entirety of Buddhism

 

True... along with the Pali Canon... which as far as I understand is the earliest and most complete Buddhist scripture... the others being the more modern Tibetan and Chinese canons.

 

Maybe you could post some text from the Mahayana tradition that talks about cultivating positive states like bliss and love leads to enlightenment - I’d be interested to  read that.

 

Of course there are other views in ‘the entirety of Buddhism’... But not all views are equally valid. That’s very important.

 

Theres also the question of teachings for the general public and teachings for spiritual cultivators. And these are often quite different - even from the same teacher.

 

I’m not sure whether an online course would be revealing inner door practices but I doubt it as they can be dangerous.

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8 minutes ago, freeform said:

Maybe you could post some text from the Mahayana tradition that talks about cultivating positive states like bliss and love leads to enlightenment - I’d be interested to  read that.

 

If people are interested, they can explore (fully) all of the links I posted and then do further research based off of that info. I'm not informed enough about Mahayana texts to recommend anything.

 

8 minutes ago, freeform said:

Of course there are other views in ‘the entirety of Buddhism’... But not all views are equally valid. That’s very important.

 

Tibetan Buddhism is valid, and Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche is a very respected figure in Tibetan Buddhism.

If you want to argue that Tibetan Buddhism isn't valid, and only the Pali canon is...you're entitled to your opinions, and I don't personally have an interest in that discussion.

 

8 minutes ago, freeform said:

Theres also the question of teachings for the general public and teachings for spiritual cultivators. And these are often quite different - even from the same teacher.

 

I’m not sure whether an online course would be revealing inner door practices but I doubt it as they can be dangerous.

 

The general public teachings of Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche are on the Dharmasun website here. Maybe once a year there's also a big event which is posted on the website...sometimes it requires some prior experience, but sometimes it's for the general public. If you're ever in Nepal, I'm sure there are also general teachings given by him in person.

 

The Triple Excellence course gets into specialized training, is meant to be practiced, and isn't general public lectures. It starts with Sutrayana, then goes to Mahayana (which I've only completed 1/3rd of), then goes on to Vajrayana: what are called the three excellences. All three excellences are kind of based on the vajaryana in this program...there are things done similar to generation and completion stage tantric work right off the bat. After a certain stage of the third excellence, you need empowerment and teaching in person to perform the practices and continue. I think there are also methods performed to support the triple excellence which aren't part of the online program, but are done as a group in person (such as Ocean of Amrita). The entire course is taught from a higher perspective (I think an atiyoga or dzogchen  perspective), so for instance even in the beginning when speaking of the three jewels, the Buddha isn't understood as the Shakyamuni Buddha (as it can be in the outer vehicles), but is taught to be one's own Buddha nature.

It really is a great course. Crystal clear teachings. I would even recommend it as a supplement to other Buddhist teachers, just to get a broader and more decisive perspective of the Tibetan Buddhist path. Imagine having a constant stream of very clear teachings, and practice which provides experiential understanding, every day for years...how many of us can say we're being taught by our Buddhist teachers every single day, for like 20-30 minutes each time? I think most Westerners are only able to attend seminars now and then, and they miss out on a lot of the foundation teachings as a result.

Everyone has their own path, but just saying that this is very good. I understand the derision toward an online course most of the time, but that's not applicable in this case.

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10 hours ago, Aetherous said:

If you want to argue that Tibetan Buddhism isn't valid, and only the Pali canon is...

 

No I’m not saying that at all. 

 

I’ve noticed you frequently use the idea that there exist other perspectives to ‘balance’ the argument at hand. I’m saying that of course there are other views but not all views are equally valid.

 

For example, I think it would be wrong of me to say that ‘well your understanding is unique to you coz Mipham Rinpoche or Sogyal Rinpoche represent a different equally valid aspect of Tibetan Buddhism!’

 

Both of them were endorsed by the Dalai Llama and both of them created extremely abusive sex cults.

 

But it doesn’t mean that Tibetan Buddhism is part spiritual practice part sex cult. Both perspectives don’t carry equal weight.

 

So it’s a case of discernment - you must choose who you trust carefully. And just because someone else has a different opinion doesn’t mean that their opinion is as valid.

 

(Without even mentioning the different teachers I’ve trained with - whose validity you can only guess at...) The Pali Canon, the oldest and most complete teachings of the historical Buddha state that cultivating love and compassion etc will not lead one to enlightenment. Quite explicit.

 

Why would it say that so explicitly? Was the Buddha wrong and the modern interpretations correct? Was there a mistake in translation or something?

 

The other side of the equation - well we’re not exactly sure (as none of us are experts - and we have no scriptures to quote), but it seems that maybe in Mahayana Buddhism it’s assumed that cultivating love and compassion will bring you enlightenment... It’s just not an equally weighted opposition... (and it still doesn’t say that Divine Love is the fundamental truth of reality)

 

Not to mention that there may well be a political reason for this change in  interpretations of Buddha’s teachings. Afterall - generous donations to the temple are also seen as paths to enlightenment...

 

On the other hand, Dwai’s argument - that in Hindu traditions Divine Love is the foundation of existence... that seems to be spot on. Clearly many venerated Hindu figures have claimed it so. It’s also been my experience of a Hindu guru. Pretty sound argument.

 

But Dwai’s argument that the Daoists have some cultural or linguistic fault that obscured this ‘obvious truth’... I don’t think I need to point out the ridiculousness of this position.

 

His other argument - that because the Dao De Jing doesn’t explicitly warn against ‘Divine Love’, is proof that Divine Love therefore must be the foundation of existence... The DDJ also doesn’t tell you not to worship Satan... Hope you’re not reaching for the nearest sacrificial goat there mate!  :P

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3 hours ago, freeform said:

 

No I’m not saying that at all. 

 

I’ve noticed you frequently use the idea that there exist other perspectives to ‘balance’ the argument at hand. I’m saying that of course there are other views but not all views are equally valid.

 

For example, I think it would be wrong of me to say that ‘well your understanding is unique to you coz Mipham Rinpoche or Sogyal Rinpoche represent a different equally valid aspect of Tibetan Buddhism!’

 

Both of them were endorsed by the Dalai Llama and both of them created extremely abusive sex cults.

 

But it doesn’t mean that Tibetan Buddhism is part spiritual practice part sex cult. Both perspectives don’t carry equal weight.

 

So it’s a case of discernment - you must choose who you trust carefully. And just because someone else has a different opinion doesn’t mean that their opinion is as valid.

 

(Without even mentioning the different teachers I’ve trained with - whose validity you can only guess at...) The Pali Canon, the oldest and most complete teachings of the historical Buddha state that cultivating love and compassion etc will not lead one to enlightenment. Quite explicit.

 

Why would it say that so explicitly? Was the Buddha wrong and the modern interpretations correct? Was there a mistake in translation or something?

 

The other side of the equation - well we’re not exactly sure (as none of us are experts - and we have no scriptures to quote), but it seems that maybe in Mahayana Buddhism it’s assumed that cultivating love and compassion will bring you enlightenment... It’s just not an equally weighted opposition... (and it still doesn’t say that Divine Love is the fundamental truth of reality)

 

Not to mention that there may well be a political reason for this change in  interpretations of Buddha’s teachings. Afterall - generous donations to the temple are also seen as paths to enlightenment...

 

On the other hand, Dwai’s argument - that in Hindu traditions Divine Love is the foundation of existence... that seems to be spot on. Clearly many venerated Hindu figures have claimed it so. It’s also been my experience of a Hindu guru. Pretty sound argument.

There are several leaps of logic you made in your comments about Mahayana but I’ll leave it for atherous to respond to. From what I know of Mahayana (vajrachara), there is practically very little difference between it and Kashmir shaivism. Also theravadins (strict Pali canon adherents)  are to Buddhism what wahabbis are to Islam. ;) 

 

Quote

But Dwai’s argument that the Daoists have some cultural or linguistic fault that obscured this ‘obvious truth’... I don’t think I need to point out the ridiculousness of this position.

Actually you are employing what is called a false dilemma to dismiss what I wrote. In the context of the tradition of Confucian ethics that governed Chinese behavior for the most part of its ancient history, it might have been imprudent to emphasize “love” over Ren, Yi, Zhi, Xin and Li.  

Quote

 

His other argument - that because the Dao De Jing doesn’t explicitly warn against ‘Divine Love’, is proof that Divine Love therefore must be the foundation of existence... The DDJ also doesn’t tell you not to worship Satan... Hope you’re not reaching for the nearest sacrificial goat there mate!  :P

;) you make “divine love” sound like a dirty or corny thing. It’s not. Again you used a fallacious argument here (slippery slope). Also you keep insisting on “divine love” while I’ve shown via quoted texts what love is in the context it was used. Of course you might disagree or even say they are incorrect and that’s your prerogative but you didn’t really disprove them, or show any evidence as to why they are incorrect. 

:) 

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1 - I’m very much against the type of thinking that says one lineage is basically the same as another... It doesn’t matter if they seem similar to you. They are different. We must treat them differently. Context is key.

 

2 - We can all agree that we’re not Mahayana experts.

 

3 - My leap of logic is not nearly as disastrous as you equating Theravada to Wahhabism. Oh dear.

 

4 - It’s complete speculation that Lao Tzu followed Confusian taboos... firstly they came about around the same time (arguably) so I doubt there was such an all pervading ‘Confucian culture’. But moreover, Taoists are very much anti-Confucian - they’re not afraid of breaking Confucian taboos.

 

5 - You’ve kindly included Hindu discourse that points to love. It’s interesting, and I’ve no issue with it at all. But Hinduism is not Daoism or Buddhism and in my opinion shouldn’t be mixed or presented as such. Context is key.

 

6 - This discussion is yet again running out of juice - If you have something interesting to show us then please go ahead. No point in constantly ‘reacting’ to what I say.

 

It’s all rather simple - I say that in the ‘inner door’, traditions of Daoism and of Buddhism (specifically lineages for spiritual aspirants - not laypeople), Divine Love is not considered the fundamental ground of reality. Show us some evidence (whether textual or even experiential) and we can consider it.

 

I’m also saying that contrived love and compassion will not only not bring about enlightenment, but it may well create other issues for the spiritual cultivator. Of course compassion and love are some byproducts of cultivation. But they’re not the cause. And neither are they the base fabric of reality.

 

Go ahead and disagree constructively. But stop scrambling to try and poke holes in what I say - it’s pointless and only brings out the worst tendencies in you.

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Let me try to cut the knot by means of an extreme simplification. As far as I understood it Mahayana Buddhism promotes the figure of the Bodhisattva and Theravada Buddhism promotes the figure of the Buddha (or arhat). Now the Bodhisattva  refuses to enter nirvana as a Buddha until all other creatures have also reached Buddhahood (and thus the Bodhisattva keeps on reincarnating). So one could indeed say that "universal love" kind of hinders reaching the final stage of nirvana as a Buddha.

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1 hour ago, freeform said:

1 - I’m very much against the type of thinking that says one lineage is basically the same as another... It doesn’t matter if they seem similar to you. They are different. We must treat them differently. Context is key.

Been there, done that...found out that it doesn't matter in the end.

1 hour ago, freeform said:

 

2 - We can all agree that we’re not Mahayana experts.

 

3 - My leap of logic is not nearly as disastrous as you equating Theravada to Wahhabism. Oh dear.

I gave an example, it was not an extrapolation :D. If you read carefully, I said "X is to Y what A is to B". That doesn't mean X = A. 

1 hour ago, freeform said:

 

4 - It’s complete speculation that Lao Tzu followed Confusian taboos... firstly they came about around the same time (arguably) so I doubt there was such an all pervading ‘Confucian culture’. But moreover, Taoists are very much anti-Confucian - they’re not afraid of breaking Confucian taboos.

Yes it is a speculation. But there is an inherent difference between the (ancient) chinese mindset and the modern western one. My suggestion was pointing to that. Love is a victim of said difference imho. When we say love in the western context, it usually gets conflated to a type of clinging/associated with a form of ownership. There's an entire section in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (hindu text) that deals with dispelling misconceptions about what "love" truly is. 

 

http://upanishads.org.in/stories/yajnavalkya-and-maitreyee

 

Quote

Brihad Aranykaka Upanishad, 2.4

 

Yajnavalkya, a great sage of the Upanishadic age, was famous for his unsurpassed spiritual wisdom and power. He was the seer of Shukla Yajurveda Samhita, and is credited with the authorship of the Shatapatha Brahmana (including the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad), Yogayajnavalkya Samhita and Yajnavalkya Smriti.  The third and the fourth chapters of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad abound with the great philosophical teachings of Yajnavalkya.

 

Yajnavalkya, the son of sage Devarata, lived a householder’s life with his two wives: Maitreyee and Katyayani. Of the two, it was Katyayani who kept the household going. It was she who always cared most for her position as a wife. On the other hand, Maitreyee loved to sit near her husband and hear him talk to his pupils. She was more interested in spiritual matter - listening to such discourses and participating in discussions. Therefore, she was known as _brahmavadini,_ the one more interested in the knowledge of Brahman.

 

Towards the last phase of his life Yajnavalkya decided to give up his householder’s responsibilities and live the life of a forest recluse. So, one day he called Maitreyee in and said to her, “Maitreyee, I am forsaking all and leaving home. If you want I can make separate provisions for Katyayani and yourself.” Hearing these words of her husband Maitreyee said to him, “Lord, if all my possessions were to fill the entire earth, would they bring me immortality?”

 

Yajnavalkya replied, “No dear, that could never be. You could live a life of enjoyment like others who have wealth. But, there would be no hope of immortality.” “What then am I to do with that which cannot make me immortal?” exclaimed Maitreyee.

 

On hearing these words of Maitreyee, Yajnavalkya said to her, “You have been always dear to me, now you have become dearer still.” Saying this, Yajnavalkya began to explain to Maitreyee not only the nature of true love but also the greatness of the Absolute Self, the nature of its existence, the way of attaining infinite knowledge and immortality.

 

“My dear Maitreyee, know that a wife loves her husband not for his sake but for her own sake, for the sake of the Self. In loving him she loves the One who is both in her as well as in him. It is really this One whom she loves.

 

Similarly it is so for the husband, and indeed, for all love relationships - father and son, mother and son, mother and daughter, father and daughter, friend and friend, and so on. Whatever is held to be dear is so because of that one Self.

 

It is this Self that has to be seen, heard of, thought about, meditated upon. This being known all else is known. “Dear Maitreyee, as there can be no water without the sea, no touch without the skin, no smell without the nose, no taste without the tongue, no form without the eye, no sound without the ear, no thought without the mind, no wisdom without the hear,  no work without hands, no walking without the feet, no scriptures without the words, so there can be nothing without the Self.

 

“As a lump of salt thrown in water dissolves and cannot be taken out again. Even so the separate self dissolves in the sea of pure consciousness, infinite and immortal. Separateness arises from identifying the Self with the body, which is made up of the elements, when this physical identification dissolves, there can be no more separate self. This is what I wanted to tell you my beloved!”

 

To this Maitreyee replied: “I am confused, O Blessed One, when you say there is no separate self. Could you please enlighten me.” “O beloved Maitreyee”, said Yajnavalkya, “ reflect upon what I have said and you will not be confused. As long as there is separateness, one sees, hears, smells, speaks to thinks of, knows, but when the Self is realized as the indivisible unity of life, who can be seen by whom, who can be smelled by whom, who can be thought of by whom, who can be known by whom? O Maitreyee, my beloved, how can the knower be ever known?” Hearing this Maitreyee had nothing more to say but to reflect on the teachings given to her to so then she merges in the infinite and the immortal.

 

 

1 hour ago, freeform said:

 

5 - You’ve kindly included Hindu discourse that points to love. It’s interesting, and I’ve no issue with it at all. But Hinduism is not Daoism or Buddhism and in my opinion shouldn’t be mixed or presented as such. Context is key.

Of course they aren't. However, are you familiar with the term "categorical framework"?  A categorical framework is one which posits certain "truth claims", based on rules of categorization and hypotheses. The same thing can be proven to be right in one categorical framework and wrong in another. Context indeed is the key. But not from the perspective of just one categorical framework. That is being short-sighted. It is a good idea to stick to one path, until that path no longer is necessary. 

 

As far as Hinduism and Buddhism are concerned - the former is the parent of the latter. So they are related. Buddhism influenced Daoism, so they too are related. 

1 hour ago, freeform said:

It’s all rather simple - I say that in the ‘inner door’, traditions of Daoism and of Buddhism (specifically lineages for spiritual aspirants - not laypeople), Divine Love is not considered the fundamental ground of reality. Show us some evidence (whether textual or even experiential) and we can consider it.

 

I’m also saying that contrived love and compassion will not only not bring about enlightenment, but it may well create other issues for the spiritual cultivator. Of course compassion and love are some byproducts of cultivation. But they’re not the cause. And neither are they the base fabric of reality.

 

Go ahead and disagree constructively. But stop scrambling to try and poke holes in what I say - it’s pointless and only brings out the worst tendencies in you.

I have only shared my thoughts based on your responses to my comment. If you don't want to discuss this further, it's okay. I do believe I have provided enough material for the discerning reader to understand.  An open mind is key. 

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2 hours ago, freeform said:

I’m also saying that contrived love and compassion will not only not bring about enlightenment, but it may well create other issues for the spiritual cultivator. Of course compassion and love are some byproducts of cultivation. But they’re not the cause. And neither are they the base fabric of reality.

 

I'm experientially in agreement with what you've set forth here. 

 

The base is clear, and from it arises attributes. When we see these attributes we may mistake them for 'it', and learn behaviors to mimic what we've perceived - missing the source entirely.

 

It reminds me of chapter 18 of the TTC (Feng/English translation)

 

When the great Tao is forgotten,

Kindness and morality arise. 

When wisdom and intelligence are born,

The great pretence begins. 

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47 minutes ago, wandelaar said:

Let me try to cut the knot by means of an extreme simplification. As far as I understood it Mahayana Buddhism promotes the figure of the Bodhisattva and Theravada Buddhism promotes the figure of the Buddha (or arhat). Now the Bodhisattva  refuses to enter nirvana as a Buddha until all other creatures have also reached Buddhahood (and thus the Bodhisattva keeps on reincarnating). So one could indeed say that "universal love" kind of hinders reaching the final stage of nirvana as a Buddha.

 

I think Bodhisattvas become Buddhas (or strive to if they are "aspiring") for the sake of all beings, and don't hold back an attainment to wait for others. The attainment is the means to liberate others.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, wandelaar said:

Let me try to cut the knot by means of an extreme simplification. As far as I understood it Mahayana Buddhism promotes the figure of the Bodhisattva and Theravada Buddhism promotes the figure of the Buddha (or arhat). Now the Bodhisattva  refuses to enter nirvana as a Buddha until all other creatures have also reached Buddhahood (and thus the Bodhisattva keeps on reincarnating). So one could indeed say that "universal love" kind of hinders reaching the final stage of nirvana as a Buddha.

 

That is misunderstood and not truly the vow.

 

Quote

 

 


The exact wording of the Bodhisattva vows varies from school to school. The most basic form is:
 

May I attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings.

 

A passionate variation of the vow is associated with the iconic figure Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva:

 

"Not until the hells are emptied will I become a Buddha; not until all beings are saved will I certify to Bodhi."

 

In Zen, Nichiren, Tendai, and other Mahayana schools of Buddhism, there are four Bodhisattva vows. Here is a common translation:

 

Beings are numberless, I vow to save them
Desires are inexhaustible, I vow to end them
Dharma gates are boundless, I vow to enter them
Buddha's way is unsurpassable, I vow to become it.
 

 

 

It is love for others that helps one progress from a Bodhisattva to a Buddha.

 

Quote

Shantideva's work includes a number of beautiful prayers that also are bodhisattva vows. Here is an excerpt from just one:

 

 

 

 

May I be a protector to those without protection,
A leader for those who journey,
And a boat, a bridge, a passage
For those desiring the further shore.

May the pain of every living creature
Be completely cleared away.
May I be the doctor and the medicine
And may I be the nurse
For all sick beings in the world
Until everyone is healed.
 

There is no clearer explanation of the bodhisattva path than this. 

https://www.thoughtco.com/taking-the-bodhisattva-vows-450005

Edited by Jonesboy
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6 minutes ago, Jonesboy said:

There is no clearer explanation of the bodhisattva path than this. 

 

Indeed. Thus the Bodhisattva postpones entering nirvana out of love for all suffering beings in the world. The Theravada figure of the arhat is more individualistic, and would see no problem in leaving the world alone.

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