We can, we cannot, we may, we may not.... arghhh!

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We can, we cannot, we may, we may not.... arghhh!

Postby Madeliaette » Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:23 pm

One of the few irksome things in my Buddhist studies is knowing when one can or cannot, may or may not share learnings....
Am I alone, or is it confusing finding the borderline between what we can chat about and cannot?

I have no intention to blab out secrets, stuff that should not be shared in public.... but i often remain silent yet yearning to talk about something - wondering if i 'can' or 'cannot'...

Not having a traditional 'sangha' I am trying to find people i can chat to about my general everyday progress - yet as it relates to matters that may or may not be allowed to be shared....i do not know what i can say and what i cannot.
Most people have a 'IRL' sangha - but due to whatever reasons, mine is predominantly online and i am therefore at a loss as to what I can discuss and what not... :shrug:

are there any others who - for whatever reason - cannot join an 'irl' group but want to chat and discuss what one is going thru as one goes thru it?
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Re: We can, we cannot, we may, we may not.... arghhh!

Postby plwk » Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:36 pm

That's why I trust my cats ... they keep the secret samaya so well...
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Re: We can, we cannot, we may, we may not.... arghhh!

Postby oushi » Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:49 pm

are there any others who - for whatever reason - cannot join an 'irl' group but want to chat and discuss what one is going thru as one goes thru it?

There are plenty.
It may sound weird, but you may find chatting with yourself very effective. Open a notepad ask and then answer, ans and answer... Then you can share everything, with full honesty, without fear. Answer are pretty amazing too.
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Re: We can, we cannot, we may, we may not.... arghhh!

Postby Seishin » Mon Jan 21, 2013 5:18 pm

This article by a Tibetan Lama is in reference to Esoteric Buddhism http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php ... 83,0,0,1,0

Gassho,
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Re: We can, we cannot, we may, we may not.... arghhh!

Postby pueraeternus » Mon Jan 21, 2013 5:56 pm

plwk wrote:That's why I trust my cats ... they keep the secret samaya so well...


zenmeow.jpg
zenmeow.jpg (65.7 KiB) Viewed 530 times
If you believe certain words, you believe their hidden arguments. When you believe something is right or wrong, true of false, you believe the assumptions in the words which express the arguments. Such assumptions are often full of holes, but remain most precious to the convinced.

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Re: We can, we cannot, we may, we may not.... arghhh!

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:22 pm

Dear Madeliaette,

You may find this thread of interest.
: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: We can, we cannot, we may, we may not.... arghhh!

Postby Astus » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:18 pm

I find that the worst type of discussions are about posturing. Either in the form of promoting yourself or promoting your teacher/tradition. They generate either pointless debates or ridicule. Asking for advice on your practice is risky but still OK, just be prepared for a wide range of opinions. Discussing Buddhist teachings for the sake of clarification or debate is fine as long as it doesn't degrade into personal attacks. And the important things to always keep in mind here are to remain calm, be kind, be clear and never make it or view it as personal.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: We can, we cannot, we may, we may not.... arghhh!

Postby seeker242 » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:35 pm

What could there be that would need to be kept a secret?
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!
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Re: We can, we cannot, we may, we may not.... arghhh!

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:01 am

I've gotten some really good answers to my questions and explanations of things here, then again it's also managed to confuse me more in some areas, where I would have not had doubt otherwise.

:shrug: :shrug: :shrug:

Just use it as a supplement I guess. I know I've asked a number that in retrospect I just shouldn't have asked, I don't think it was anything secret, just that not everything is answerable on here and my expectations were out of whack.

It's good to have people to talk to for sure, if you don't have them in person and don't want to talk about some things in public, maybe it's possible to correspond through email or PM's with people you trust (as much as it's possible online of course)? Just caveat emptor and all that.

If you don't have an actual teacher or Sangha I don't know why there would be any worry of secrecy on your part, it's just that you have no yardstick to evaluate advice you receive, which makes it more difficult to vet.
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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: We can, we cannot, we may, we may not.... arghhh!

Postby Jikan » Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:55 am

seeker242 wrote:What could there be that would need to be kept a secret?


If you get instructions in a particular practice and your teacher tells you to keep a lid on it, you keep a lid on it.

Keeping private things private is itself a form of practice. Keeping your commitments is also a form of practice.
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Re: We can, we cannot, we may, we may not.... arghhh!

Postby lowlydog » Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:53 am

seeker242 wrote:What could there be that would need to be kept a secret?


Nothing.
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Re: We can, we cannot, we may, we may not.... arghhh!

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:29 pm

Seishin wrote:This article by a Tibetan Lama is in reference to Esoteric Buddhism http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php ... 83,0,0,1,0

Gassho,
Seishin


^^^ Good article.

lowlydog wrote:
seeker242 wrote:What could there be that would need to be kept a secret?


Nothing.


Masters who are lost in the errors
Of not judging the levels of meditative experience
Know nothing of the transworldly meaning.
For every hundred students there are a thousand teachers,
And nobody listens to the divine dharma.
For every village there are ten masters,
And the number of vajra assistants is uncountable.
Everyone thinks “I am accomplished as the deity.”
In the end, since there are so many of this type,
Won’t the vajra body be destroyed?

http://earlytibet.com/2008/04/09/why-sh ... be-secret/

When you have finally found the diamond in the rough, with absolute certainty, you understand the importance of authentic teaching.
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Re: We can, we cannot, we may, we may not.... arghhh!

Postby Jikan » Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:52 pm

lowlydog wrote:
seeker242 wrote:What could there be that would need to be kept a secret?


Nothing.


Nothing you know of, that is.

Unless you assume that Buddhist practice, as you understand it, is the only acceptable or genuine form of Buddhist practice. Is that your position?
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Re: We can, we cannot, we may, we may not.... arghhh!

Postby seeker242 » Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:27 pm

Jikan wrote:
seeker242 wrote:What could there be that would need to be kept a secret?


If you get instructions in a particular practice and your teacher tells you to keep a lid on it, you keep a lid on it.

Keeping private things private is itself a form of practice. Keeping your commitments is also a form of practice.


I would say that is the case if your teacher gives you things and says they must be kept secret. But if you don't have a teacher or guru and they haven't given you any secret teachings, I can't imagine what else would need to be kept secret.

:namaste:
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Re: We can, we cannot, we may, we may not.... arghhh!

Postby Jainarayan » Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:38 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:I've gotten some really good answers to my questions and explanations of things here, then again it's also managed to confuse me more in some areas, where I would have not had doubt otherwise.


Looking back on my initial post, I'm almost embarassed at my ignorance and want to :toilet: But the answers I got, along with some reading did cause a little confusion at first, but it quickly sorted out. Now I'm pretty sure I understand what is acceptable for me and what is not, what is compatible in my practices and what is not.

Just use it as a supplement I guess. I know I've asked a number that in retrospect I just shouldn't have asked, I don't think it was anything secret, just that not everything is answerable on here and my expectations were out of whack.


Again in retrospect, the answers I got were not vague nor were they explicit; that is, giving away secrets. It was enough to set me on my own discoveries.
Worthy, wise and virtuous: Who is energetic and not indolent, in misfortune unshaken,
flawless in manner and intelligent, such one will honor gain. - Digha Nikaya III 273
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Re: We can, we cannot, we may, we may not.... arghhh!

Postby Azidonis » Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:28 pm

Madeliaette wrote:One of the few irksome things in my Buddhist studies is knowing when one can or cannot, may or may not share learnings....
Am I alone, or is it confusing finding the borderline between what we can chat about and cannot?

I have no intention to blab out secrets, stuff that should not be shared in public.... but i often remain silent yet yearning to talk about something - wondering if i 'can' or 'cannot'...

Not having a traditional 'sangha' I am trying to find people i can chat to about my general everyday progress - yet as it relates to matters that may or may not be allowed to be shared....i do not know what i can say and what i cannot.
Most people have a 'IRL' sangha - but due to whatever reasons, mine is predominantly online and i am therefore at a loss as to what I can discuss and what not... :shrug:

are there any others who - for whatever reason - cannot join an 'irl' group but want to chat and discuss what one is going thru as one goes thru it?


A lot of the "secrecy" has to do with 2 things:

1. dilution
2. control

Some, "pure lineages" are more concerned with dilution. The "unpure" ones are concerned with control.

The dharma is free. You can learn from the Buddha without any sort of formal sangha, and then you have no vows to remain quiet about anything.
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Re: We can, we cannot, we may, we may not.... arghhh!

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:43 pm

Azidonis wrote:A lot of the "secrecy" has to do with 2 things:

1. dilution
2. control

Some, "pure lineages" are more concerned with dilution. The "unpure" ones are concerned with control.
This is paranoid, to say the least, and betrays a complete lack of understanding of the Vajrayana.
The dharma is free. You can learn from the Buddha...
A small problem with this is the fact that the Buddha is dead, but anyway...
...without any sort of formal sangha...
According to which tradition? In every tradition I now of one goes for refuge to the three jewels: Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.
...and then you have no vows to remain quiet about anything.
Unless you are practicing Vajrayana.
: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: We can, we cannot, we may, we may not.... arghhh!

Postby Azidonis » Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:38 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Azidonis wrote:A lot of the "secrecy" has to do with 2 things:

1. dilution
2. control

Some, "pure lineages" are more concerned with dilution. The "unpure" ones are concerned with control.
This is paranoid, to say the least, and betrays a complete lack of understanding of the Vajrayana.


The OP said nothing about Vajrayana specifically, and neither did I. And there's nothing paranoid about it.

In the thread you linked, the OP said:

Nyima wrote:Firts of all, I' like to say that I totally understand the reasons for keeping the teachings, practices, ect. secret from "outsiders", but what's bothering me a little bit lately is the secrecy within the circle of "insiders".


And I assert that the reason for this secrecy is to prevent dilution, and also confusion. If a pure lineage exists, the teachings are passed on to each student when they are ready to know, and in a skillful means by which they can understand them. A skillful teacher then can tell 20 students the same thing in 20 different ways, and still not dilute the original message. Confusion comes in when the students do not fully understand the teachings though, and begin to talk about them amongst each other, and eventually the entire set of teachings can lose its meaning. This is what I mean by dilution.

As for control:

Nyima wrote:There are quite a few Vajrayana teachers out there, who, on the one hand, are urging their disciples strongly to keep the secrecy and not to share their experiences even with fellow practitioners, but, on the other hand, are willing to share these secret Vajrayana methods with virtually everyone who's willing to pay for it. And by this way, even a fraud who's teaching completely useless practices is able to continuously gather more and more disciples who never ever going to realize that all they are doing is wasting their time. And even if chances might be low that the Vajrayana teacher you're following is a fraud, it's still well known that this is the way many bogus cult leaders manage to keep their disciples following them. And even if your Lama is actually really a complete fraud, chances are high that you'll never going to know this because within the tibetan "Lama community" even the real and honest teachers generally tend to keep silent about the "bad apples" among them.


This exemplifies the control aspect. The less you know, and the more your teacher appears to know, the more a dependency is fostered. And the more 'esteemed' that teacher becomes, usually through word of mouth from the followers (read followers, not students, for this is not a 'pure lineage', but a con), it only serves to bolster the ego of the 'teacher' in question, keep the followers enchanted, and fatten the pocketbooks for the 'teacher' on the receiving end.

One should hope, that in any tradition, or any walk of life for that matter, that when one accepts someone as a teacher, they receive one who is more concerned about dilution and confusion than about control.

gregkavarnos wrote:
Azidonis wrote:The dharma is free. You can learn from the Buddha...
A small problem with this is the fact that the Buddha is dead, but anyway...


Eh, one can learn from the Buddha's teachings, and use them to realize the Buddha within, without the need for a living teacher.

Let's not forget that without the Buddha, there is no Buddhism. Thus, all of the various (real) branches of Buddhism are branches of the original tree of Shakyamuni Buddha. So if one cannot learn directly from the source (since he's dead), and one cannot learn from the teachings of the source (whether those teachings are from the sutras themselves or from living masters), then how do you suppose one will learn?

All I'm saying is that a teacher, or living master, is not necessary in order to achieve an Awakened state. It might be necessary in order to be a "Vajrayana Buddhist", or in order to adhere to any other of the many sets of teachings and practices perpetuated throughout history, but not necessary for Awakening.

gregkavarnos wrote:
Azidonis wrote:...without any sort of formal sangha...
According to which tradition? In every tradition I now of one goes for refuge to the three jewels: Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.


Of course. If you view the sangha as a separate set of communities, lineages, and cliques, by all means. Then you have "sangha X, sangha Y, sangha Z, sangha ..." ad nauseum.

I don't view it that way. I recognize that there are individual lineages, and various teachings within them, and I'm perfectly okay with that. But I view the sangha on the global scale. I don't decide to pick 10 or 20, or 1,000 people out of the entire human populace, and call them "my sangha" so that I can feel better in my devotional choices.

It's one world, one human population, one sangha. Please note that I did say "formal sangha", which would infers a specific lineage or community.

Since you brought up Vajrayana, the Dalai Lama is quoted as saying, "I am a citizen of the world." Do you think that he views the sangha only as those around him who adhere to Vajrayana Buddhism? Certainly he sees it as a part of the sangha, but the entire ideal of the bodhisattva is to honor every sentient being, is it not? That being the case, such separations between this lineage and that lineage are only useful in a conventional sense.

gregkavarnos wrote:
Azidonis wrote:...and then you have no vows to remain quiet about anything.
Unless you are practicing Vajrayana.


Again, the OP said nothing about Vajrayana, and neither did I.
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Re: We can, we cannot, we may, we may not.... arghhh!

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:43 pm

Azidonis wrote:And I assert that the reason for this secrecy is to prevent dilution, and also confusion. If a pure lineage exists, the teachings are passed on to each student when they are ready to know, and in a skillful means by which they can understand them. A skillful teacher then can tell 20 students the same thing in 20 different ways, and still not dilute the original message. Confusion comes in when the students do not fully understand the teachings though, and begin to talk about them amongst each other, and eventually the entire set of teachings can lose its meaning. This is what I mean by dilution.
Yes, well, now that you expalined what you meant... I may even agre with you! :smile:
All I'm saying is that a teacher, or living master, is not necessary in order to achieve an Awakened state. It might be necessary in order to be a "Vajrayana Buddhist", or in order to adhere to any other of the many sets of teachings and practices perpetuated throughout history, but not necessary for Awakening.
Really? Well I practiced anapanasati for years without a teacher and then, after a number of experiences that I was incapable of explaining and which I could not find explained in any books, it became VERY clear to me that either I found myself a teacher or run the risk of compromising my sanity.
Of course. If you view the sangha as a separate set of communities, lineages, and cliques, by all means. Then you have "sangha X, sangha Y, sangha Z, sangha ..." ad nauseum.

I don't view it that way.
Who said that I do?
Azidonis wrote:Again, the OP said nothing about Vajrayana, and neither did I.
I don't think Madieiaette would be asking these questions or starting this discussion if she did not practice Vajrayana.
: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: We can, we cannot, we may, we may not.... arghhh!

Postby Jikan » Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:12 am

seeker242 wrote:
I would say that is the case if your teacher gives you things and says they must be kept secret. But if you don't have a teacher or guru and they haven't given you any secret teachings, I can't imagine what else would need to be kept secret.

:namaste:


Yes, that's right. You don't really have a pony in this race.

If you're serious about practice, though, I advise you begin practicing under the direction of a teacher who is capable.
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