A fine line between humility and submission

Discuss your personal experience with the Dharma here. How has it enriched your life? What challenges does it present?

Re: A fine line between humility and submission

Postby smcj » Sun Apr 27, 2014 4:30 pm

odysseus wrote:
Punya wrote:
I find the saying "everyone is doing the best they can" helpful. It reminds me that none of us are perfect and challenges my judgemental mind.

I'm not sure how you see humility as relating to submission odysseus.


I mean instead of being humble, you suddenly lose all energy/force - that´s what I meant by submission.

That is being defeated.

Being humble is willingness to do things as instructed by somebody that knows the correct way of doing something. (Enlightened awareness and the practice of Dharma in this case). It predicated on the understanding that "I'm going to do it MY way!" is faulty and leads to suffering.
A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits. ChNN
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Re: A fine line between humility and submission

Postby Simon E. » Sun Apr 27, 2014 4:51 pm

I see nothing wrong with submission per se. It all depends on who is being submitted to and why.

Vajrayana without submission is a non starter.
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Re: A fine line between humility and submission

Postby duckfiasco » Sun Apr 27, 2014 7:47 pm

Without humility, I don't see how honest insight into one's own egocentric tendencies and therefore gratitude to the Three Jewels are possible.

When Shinran met Honen, Shinran saw a Buddha in him. But the Buddhahood than he saw in Honen was totally different from what he had anticipated. More than anything else, Shinran was moved by the fact that Honen was a humble student. Honen identified himself only as a student of Shan-tao (613-81, the fifth Shin patriarch). Honen said that the only important thing for him was to learn from his teacher. Thus Honen embodied the spirit of a Buddha by the name of Namu Amida Butsu (Bowing Amida Buddha). Namu (Bowing) is a part of the Buddha’s name. The Buddha’s name symbolizes the humblest human spirit. Before Shinran met Honen, he had thought that a Buddha was a teacher, a respected and worshipped person. But now, having met Honen, he realized that a Buddha was actually a student, a respecting and worshipping person.
Further, before Shinran met Honen, he had thought that a Buddha was a good and wise person. But now Shinran realized that such an understanding of Buddhahood was a shallow one. He realized that he had been seeing Buddhahood only objectively, from the outside. He had not known the subjective reality of Buddhahood, what a Buddha would say about himself. Although people would see a Buddha from the outside and describe him by saying, “He is good and wise,” a Buddha would describe himself by saying, “I’m evil and foolish.” Having met Honen, who had deep insight into his own evilness and ignorance and said, “I’m evil and foolish,” Shinran realized that the true essence of Buddhahood was humility, deep insight into one’s own evilness and foolishness.
Thus in the first stage, i.e., before he met Honen, Shinran thought that a Buddha was a good and wise person and made efforts to become such a Buddha. But in the second stage, i.e., after he met Honen, Shinran realized that the essence of Buddhahood was humility, studentship and insight into one’s own evilness and ignorance. Thus, having been moved by Honen’s humble spirit, Shinran also became a humble student. He recognized that he had ineradicable egoism at the basis of his being and that he had no goodness that he could rely on as the basis of his liberation. Thus he stopped all practices designed to transform himself into a holy person. He realized that a wonderful spiritual tradition represented by Honen had already been given to him and that the only thing necessary for him was to listen to it. This realization was his liberation.

source: http://maidacenter.org/docs/1.pdf
The Perfect Way knows no difficulties
Except that it refuses to make preferences;
Only when freed from hate and love,
It reveals itself fully and without disguise.
- Sengcan (tr. Suzuki)
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Re: A fine line between humility and submission

Postby smcj » Sun Apr 27, 2014 7:52 pm

As Kalu R. #1 said, "Arrogance and realization are mutually exclusive."
A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits. ChNN
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Re: A fine line between humility and submission

Postby garudha » Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:48 pm

duckfiasco wrote:Without humility, I don't see how honest insight into one's own egocentric tendencies and therefore gratitude to the Three Jewels are possible.

When Shinran met Honen, Shinran saw a Buddha in him. But the Buddhahood than he saw in Honen was totally different from what he had anticipated.


Wow! What a beautiful little story. It's one to cut out and keep, for sure.

When I constantly read about empowerments and enlightenment I lose faith in the value of Buddhism.

Then I read something like, well exactly what you posted, and I know that Buddhism is (mostly!) the words of eternal wisdom.

Thanks for sharing.
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Re: A fine line between humility and submission

Postby Simon E. » Mon Apr 28, 2014 7:59 am

So why exactly should we be concerned about your reaction to 'empowerments and enlightenment' or be encouraged by your endorsement of 'eternal wisdom ' ?
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Re: A fine line between humility and submission

Postby smcj » Mon Apr 28, 2014 10:00 am

When I constantly read about empowerments and enlightenment I lose faith in the value of Buddhism.

To me that means that path and those practices are not karmically appropriate for you. May I suggest Pure Land instead (which isn't for me but I like the idea). :thumbsup:
A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits. ChNN
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Re: A fine line between humility and submission

Postby muni » Mon Apr 28, 2014 10:56 am

that a Buddha was actually a student


Wisdom calling his being a simple student of the buddha
Wisdom pointing to pride by having nothing clever to say.
Wisdom pointing to low self estime by bowing for such student.
Wisdom pointing by sitting on the same ground of simple nature.

:buddha1:

Me, slippery soap in its trouble water easely loses these pointings. :soapbox:
Last edited by muni on Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A fine line between humility and submission

Postby Simon E. » Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:14 am

I'm sorry muni, but that is gibberish.
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Re: A fine line between humility and submission

Postby muni » Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:29 am

Simon E. wrote:I'm sorry muni, but that is gibberish.

Okay. Wisdoms’ "humility" ( awaken being ) is levelless. In buddha nature are no samenesses or differences is me told.
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Re: A fine line between humility and submission

Postby Simon E. » Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:47 am

:thinking:
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Re: A fine line between humility and submission

Postby muni » Mon Apr 28, 2014 12:09 pm

Simon, how others are there levels than by clinging? Clinging to ones, things? I don't know!
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Re: A fine line between humility and submission

Postby Simon E. » Mon Apr 28, 2014 12:20 pm

Muni I am not disagreeing.
I simply have NO idea what you are saying. It makes no sense as English.
For all I know I might even AGREE with your point.
As it is I have no idea.
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Re: A fine line between humility and submission

Postby garudha » Mon Apr 28, 2014 1:23 pm

smcj wrote:
When I constantly read about empowerments and enlightenment I lose faith in the value of Buddhism.

To me that means that path and those practices are not karmically appropriate for you. May I suggest Pure Land instead (which isn't for me but I like the idea). :thumbsup:


Thank you.
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Re: A fine line between humility and submission

Postby lobster » Mon Apr 28, 2014 4:27 pm

Submission in its lower sense can be learnt by shopkeepers, soldiers, servants and dharma slaves. Humility arises as the value of submission is understood.

In a higher form it entails submission to the needs of the situation not the appearance of virtue. I would suggest that humility is in its highest form hidden, as a humble act.

and now back to the fine line . . . :smile:
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Re: A fine line between humility and submission

Postby Simon E. » Mon Apr 28, 2014 6:25 pm

I am quite happy to stand or kneel beside shopkeepers, soldiers, servants and dharma slaves.
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Re: A fine line between humility and submission

Postby smcj » Mon Apr 28, 2014 7:03 pm

Along the same lines as Simon, I will gladly prostrate before anyone that has Dharma realization--even if it is only partial.
A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits. ChNN
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Re: A fine line between humility and submission

Postby duckfiasco » Mon Apr 28, 2014 8:58 pm

I believe lobster was referring to submission that is more of a power play between superior other and inferior self, often by hoisting this bad self onto a good/saved self pedestal, or at least gaining some advantage for a demanding small self. This is seen for example in much of Christianity. The bad self is made into a good self through the grace of other, often with conditions attached.

Another kind is submission that may resemble this "inferior evil self" initially, but instead of inferiority being improved into superiority, it's taken to be insight into the unsuitability of this egotistic self for liberation. Therefore, it's not something worthy of such cherishing, but something to be abandoned.
This is my understanding of Pure Land for instance, where we give up our schemings to become a good and wise person, since any such polished self we could make would be provisional, and short of incredible insight, have some calculating egotism waiting to mess it all up.
So instead, we submit to Other-Power, or whatever you might call it.

Sorry if that's all abstract and wrong :toilet:
The Perfect Way knows no difficulties
Except that it refuses to make preferences;
Only when freed from hate and love,
It reveals itself fully and without disguise.
- Sengcan (tr. Suzuki)
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Re: A fine line between humility and submission

Postby Gwenn Dana » Mon Apr 28, 2014 10:21 pm

Humm. Me thinks submission is bad as long as it creates superior and inferior beings, which induces fear or craving. As long as all beings stay of the same nature, you can call the concept or practice as you wish :)
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Re: A fine line between humility and submission

Postby garudha » Wed Apr 30, 2014 5:22 am

lobster wrote:...In a higher form it entails submission to the needs of the situation not the appearance of virtue...


:good:
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