My teacher said this about our technique, what do you think?

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My teacher said this about our technique, what do you think?

Postby lowlydog » Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:20 pm

One thing should be clear-this definitely is not Buddhist religion. At the same time it is definitely the teaching of Buddha. One should understand that Buddha means an enlightened person, a liberated person. Enlightened, liberated persons will never teach a religion, they will teach an art of life that is universal. They will never establish a sect or religion. So there is no such thing as "Buddhist religion"; it is an art of life. So anybody belonging to any community, to any sect, to any religious group can easily practice it because it is an art.
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Re: My teacher said this about our technique, what do you th

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:47 pm

Who is the teacher?
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: My teacher said this about our technique, what do you th

Postby lowlydog » Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:56 pm

Does it matter?
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Re: My teacher said this about our technique, what do you th

Postby conebeckham » Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:57 pm

Not sure it mattters who the teacher is, but it certainly matters what the technique is....

So, what's the technique?
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Re: My teacher said this about our technique, what do you th

Postby lowlydog » Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:04 pm

The technique taught by the buddha.
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Re: My teacher said this about our technique, what do you th

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:16 pm

It sounds like what people usually say when they want to do their own thing, connect it to a religion, but not be subject to any scrutiny by the religion that they claim to not practice, and also to compete with the religion they claim not to practice.

It's "anti religion"...which is actually just religion, and ironically, can sometimes produce actions and views in people that can be much more doctrinaire than some of their overtly religious/traditional counterparts...at least that's been my personal experience with Buddhist circles specifically. Some of the most militant are those that insist Buddhism is never a religion, and that the term religion can only carry negative connotations.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: My teacher said this about our technique, what do you th

Postby conebeckham » Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:40 pm

lowlydog wrote:The technique taught by the buddha.


Last I heard, there were 84, 000 of them....

All hyperbole aside, what technique, in particular, are we discussing?
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Re: My teacher said this about our technique, what do you th

Postby Nothing » Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:47 pm

lowlydog wrote:........
What do you think of it as it is your teacher?
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Re: My teacher said this about our technique, what do you th

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:53 pm

lowlydog wrote:Does it matter?
Yes, if we know who said it then we can understand the context of the statement and thus the logic behind it. So who is the teacher, and why did they make the specific point?
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: My teacher said this about our technique, what do you th

Postby lowlydog » Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:32 am

These are the words of S.N. Goenka and I believe Greg that you spoke highly of his courses in a past thread.
The technique is vipassana.
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Re: My teacher said this about our technique, what do you th

Postby lowlydog » Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:04 am

Nothing wrote:
lowlydog wrote:........
What do you think of it as it is your teacher?


I think it is wonderful to practice a technique free from rites and rituals, the bare essence of the teachings. It offers the freedom to appreciate other religions and teachers that although do not fit into the definition of Buddhist are enlightened to one degree or another. I practice with many people from different religious backgrounds and each one says that this simple technique has helped them to understand their religion at a deeper level.

"Peace of mind is sought by everyone; purity of mind is sought by everyone. Christ was a wonderful person who taught not only peace and harmony but also purity of mind, love, compassion. So those who follow the teachings of Christ certainly like to develop this good quality of purity, love, compassion. When they come to courses, they don't feel that they are coming to any foreign religion. A number of times very senior priests and nuns have told me that we are teaching Christianity in the name of Buddha." S.N.Goenka
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Re: My teacher said this about our technique, what do you th

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:12 am

lowlydog wrote:
Nothing wrote:
lowlydog wrote:........
What do you think of it as it is your teacher?


I think it is wonderful to practice a technique free from rites and rituals, the bare essence of the teachings. It offers the freedom to appreciate other religions and teachers that although do not fit into the definition of Buddhist are enlightened to one degree or another. I practice with many people from different religious backgrounds and each one says that this simple technique has helped them to understand their religion at a deeper level.

"Peace of mind is sought by everyone; purity of mind is sought by everyone. Christ was a wonderful person who taught not only peace and harmony but also purity of mind, love, compassion. So those who follow the teachings of Christ certainly like to develop this good quality of purity, love, compassion. When they come to courses, they don't feel that they are coming to any foreign religion. A number of times very senior priests and nuns have told me that we are teaching Christianity in the name of Buddha." S.N.Goenka


So this is

"My Teacher"

and it's

"Our Technique"

You've posted this (on a Buddhist discussion board) presumably to show you are not concerned with sectarianism, and yet indicated you think these teachings are "free from rites and rituals, the bare essence of the teachings", where presumably actual Buddhist traditions are not, I guess?

Do you not see the contradiction in this? What is your experience practicing in other Buddhist traditions to make such an insinuation anyway?

As far as the retreats, I would for sure do one though, I know all kinds of Buddhists and Non-Buddhists who all have had great experiences at the retreats, and I think it's really great they exist.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: My teacher said this about our technique, what do you th

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Jan 19, 2013 11:28 am

I think Vipassana is fantastic and I think the rites and rituals are fantastic. Best of both worlds I guess?

84,000 Dharma doors, all of which lead to liberation.
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: My teacher said this about our technique, what do you th

Postby Knotty Veneer » Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:05 pm

lowlydog wrote:One thing should be clear-this definitely is not Buddhist religion. At the same time it is definitely the teaching of Buddha. One should understand that Buddha means an enlightened person, a liberated person. Enlightened, liberated persons will never teach a religion, they will teach an art of life that is universal. They will never establish a sect or religion. So there is no such thing as "Buddhist religion"; it is an art of life. So anybody belonging to any community, to any sect, to any religious group can easily practice it because it is an art.


The more time I spend around the Dharma, the more I have come to the conclusion that one size does not fit all. Religious forms of Buddhism do not fit everybody neither do secular forms. Buddhism can be a religion or it can be a philosophy or both or neither. If it liberates from suffering it doesn't matter what form it takes. The problem is I suspect that what it really takes to liberate a person is a mix of things. Many attempts have been made not only recently but over the centuries to distil the various teachings down to an elixir that heals all. No simple successful formula that cures all beings equally seems to exist. The forms of dharma keep changing and being interpreted.

If Buddhism as "an art of life" frees you, great. If devotion and offerings and prostrations to gurus does the same thing, that's also great.

I do get tired of people trying to tell me what Buddhism really is. Like I get tired of people trying to discover what the historical Buddha actually taught. It doesn't matter if the Mahayana or Vajrayana were made up hundreds of years later by someone other than Buddha Shakyamuni. They work. That's all that really matters. Does it work?
Everyone talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it - Mark Twain.
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Re: My teacher said this about our technique, what do you th

Postby Knotty Veneer » Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:00 pm

Well I think you have raised several points. I would be the first to agree that we should not be sectarian. However, we should also not jump to the conclusion that something is Buddhism because it kinda sounds like something a Buddhist teacher or a sutra says. For me a teaching is Buddhist if it fits conforms to the four seals:

All compounded things are impermanent.
All emotions are painful.
All phenomena are empty; they are without inherent existence.
Nirvana is beyond extremes.

Goenka and Tolle's expressions are new and may or may not conform to the four seals - I don't have enough experience to say. New expressions of the Dharma do often meet with a certain sniffiness from vested interests but that should not be discounted out of hand. Existing traditions have the weight of centuries of producing enlightened teachers. The new guy on the block may indeed be enlightened but until he starts producing enlightened students instead of just glowing reports on Oprah, people should be critical. If what Goenka and Tolle have is the real deal, it will flourish because it works. If they haven't, it'll die like every other spiritual fad.
Last edited by Sherab Dorje on Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: My teacher said this about our technique, what do you th

Postby justsit » Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:24 pm

:good:
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Re: My teacher said this about our technique, what do you th

Postby Indrajala » Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:20 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:It's "anti religion"...which is actually just religion, and ironically, can sometimes produce actions and views in people that can be much more doctrinaire than some of their overtly religious/traditional counterparts...at least that's been my personal experience with Buddhist circles specifically. Some of the most militant are those that insist Buddhism is never a religion, and that the term religion can only carry negative connotations.


I constantly struggle to define "religion". I use the word in English fairly easily because we have a general idea of what it entails, but in reality it is an Eurocentric idea that only came to exist in the last few centuries. The idea of a "religion" apart from the "secular" and "science" was an alien concept to Asian cultures until they started translating European works into their native languages and had to create new vocabulary for that express purpose.

So, insisting Buddhism isn't a religion isn't necessarily wrong depending on the cultural paradigm you're basing that statement on. In the contemporary western perspective it qualifies as a religion on most counts (for example, a lot of truth claims being unfalsifiable like karma), though in Asian cultures it might not necessarily have been seen in that light. I think nowadays it is now identified as a religion owing to western influences, though it might only be a skin-deep classification.

For my purposes though in the English language I'll call it religion for ease of communication.

I think, however, that many people don't want their Buddhism to be religious because of negative associations with "religion". This possibly prompts many to refit their spirituality to suit their bias against anything classified as "religion".

Hence the power of language and classifications.
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Re: My teacher said this about our technique, what do you th

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:24 pm

Huseng wrote:I constantly struggle to define "religion". I use the word in English fairly easily because we have a general idea of what it entails, but in reality it is an Eurocentric idea that only came to exist in the last few centuries. The idea of a "religion" apart from the "secular" and "science" was an alien concept to Asian cultures until they started translating European works into their native languages and had to create new vocabulary for that express purpose.
It was alien to Greek culture as well, up until liberation from the Ottoman empire and the importation of Northern European political ideals. Of course in Classical Greece there were philosophers that maintained it was possible, Socrates wa executed for holding these types of views, but from the advent of Christianity and after... and especially during the Byzantine period.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: My teacher said this about our technique, what do you th

Postby Indrajala » Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:35 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Huseng wrote:I constantly struggle to define "religion". I use the word in English fairly easily because we have a general idea of what it entails, but in reality it is an Eurocentric idea that only came to exist in the last few centuries. The idea of a "religion" apart from the "secular" and "science" was an alien concept to Asian cultures until they started translating European works into their native languages and had to create new vocabulary for that express purpose.
It was alien to Greek culture as well, up until liberation from the Ottoman empire and the importation of Northern European political ideals. Of course in Classical Greece there were philosophers that maintained it was possible, Socrates wa executed for holding these types of views, but from the advent of Christianity and after... and especially during the Byzantine period.


The division between the religious and the secular reflects more political struggles and friction than reality I reckon. The power struggle among elites against the Church in Europe was perhaps a most compelling reason to form an idea of secularism. However, elsewhere in the world there were no such concerns.

Strangely, after some Asian cultures adopted an idea of "the secular" apart from religion, they identified targets and went on a rampage -- most notably in communist states like Mongolia, China and so on.

How we classify certain ideas or practices as either "scientific" or "religious" is often problematic. It is well enough to discern this, but those distinctions and classifications are deeply rooted in the cultural paradigm, hence you cannot really dislodge them in common discourse. We are stuck with science and religion for now.
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Re: My teacher said this about our technique, what do you th

Postby Indrajala » Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:38 pm

Knotty Veneer wrote:I do get tired of people trying to tell me what Buddhism really is. Like I get tired of people trying to discover what the historical Buddha actually taught. It doesn't matter if the Mahayana or Vajrayana were made up hundreds of years later by someone other than Buddha Shakyamuni. They work. That's all that really matters. Does it work?


Such essentialist understandings of Buddhism are inevitable, especially when there is no such thing as Buddhism in the singular. :smile:

In reality, there are Buddhisms.
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