Edgar here, why are you?

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edgar_d
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Edgar here, why are you?

Post by edgar_d » Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:52 pm

Thought a Buddhist forum would be about facing the delusion and ignorance head-on, but frankly, can't seem to make heads or tails of most threads.

Do you folks come to the forum, looking to awaken or is there another purpose?

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Re: Edgar here, why are you?

Post by Admin_PC » Wed Dec 05, 2018 2:40 pm

Welcome to DharmaWheel!
:anjali:

I think most come here to share information and discuss topics regarding their respective traditions. The forum shouldn't be seen as a replacement for a teacher.
月影の いたらぬ里は なけれども 眺むる人の 心にぞすむ
法然上人

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Re: Edgar here, why are you?

Post by Grigoris » Wed Dec 05, 2018 3:05 pm

I am here to confuse myself and others as much as possible. Welcome to Dharma Wheel! :tongue:
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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edgar_d
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Re: Edgar here, why are you?

Post by edgar_d » Wed Dec 05, 2018 4:01 pm

Admin_PC wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 2:40 pm
Welcome to DharmaWheel!
:anjali:

I think most come here to share information and discuss topics regarding their respective traditions. The forum shouldn't be seen as a replacement for a teacher.
Thank you for the welcome, Admin_PC. I recently went to buy some milk, but got side-tracked into looking at a new bike and forgot all about it, only to remember once I am home what the purpose of my trip actually was. Could be my age! But forgetting milk is pretty harmless.

I agree with you about the teachers. Having contact with seniors on the path with whom you see eye-to-eye is vital. But isn't each and every human contact a practice opportunity?

Sharing information can be helpful, I guess, but shedding nonsense is even more helpful. I've got too much information, if you ask me, but your mileage may vary.

In any case, I will shut my gob and read a bit more of this information.
Last edited by edgar_d on Wed Dec 05, 2018 4:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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edgar_d
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Re: Edgar here, why are you?

Post by edgar_d » Wed Dec 05, 2018 4:04 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 3:05 pm
I am here to confuse myself and others as much as possible. Welcome to Dharma Wheel! :tongue:
Thank you for the honesty, Grigoris! Though you must've surely meant this in jest, I do wonder how much of what we do is confusing ourselves and others? Persisting in confusion is arguably what we do best!

On the other hand when I was a teacher, I used to tell my pupils that being confused is a necessary step in learning. A good step. Maybe we should savour the confusion a little and in time it might make room for actual understanding.

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Re: Edgar here, why are you?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:48 pm

edgar_d wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:52 pm
Thought a Buddhist forum would be about facing the delusion and ignorance head-on, but frankly, can't seem to make heads or tails of most threads.

Do you folks come to the forum, looking to awaken or is there another purpose?
Sorry the forum doesn't meet your expectations, though I wonder, are your expectations somehow different than our confusion?
"it must be coming from the mouthy mastermind of raunchy rapper, Johnny Dangerous”

-Jeff H.

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Re: Edgar here, why are you?

Post by LastLegend » Wed Dec 05, 2018 8:26 pm

edgar_d wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:52 pm
Thought a Buddhist forum would be about facing the delusion and ignorance head-on, but frankly, can't seem to make heads or tails of most threads.

Do you folks come to the forum, looking to awaken or is there another purpose?
Please forgive the human self.
None discriminating nature.

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edgar_d
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Re: Edgar here, why are you?

Post by edgar_d » Wed Dec 05, 2018 8:28 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:48 pm
edgar_d wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:52 pm
Thought a Buddhist forum would be about facing the delusion and ignorance head-on, but frankly, can't seem to make heads or tails of most threads.

Do you folks come to the forum, looking to awaken or is there another purpose?
Sorry the forum doesn't meet your expectations, though I wonder, are your expectations somehow different than our confusion?
Good question, Johnny Dangerous. They are indeed no different. Expectation is perhaps one of the worst forms of confusion, giving rise, as it does, to so much of our suffering.

So here I am, coming to a Buddhist forum with an idea and finding something else. I ask and get some answers. So far, so good. It is as you say, confusion, left right and centre, but with a bit of good faith, maybe some light can be shone on it. What do you say?

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Re: Edgar here, why are you?

Post by amanitamusc » Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:36 pm

edgar_d wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 8:28 pm
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:48 pm
edgar_d wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:52 pm
Thought a Buddhist forum would be about facing the delusion and ignorance head-on, but frankly, can't seem to make heads or tails of most threads.

Do you folks come to the forum, looking to awaken or is there another purpose?
Sorry the forum doesn't meet your expectations, though I wonder, are your expectations somehow different than our confusion?
Good question, Johnny Dangerous. They are indeed no different. Expectation is perhaps one of the worst forms of confusion, giving rise, as it does, to so much of our suffering.

So here I am, coming to a Buddhist forum with an idea and finding something else. I ask and get some answers. So far, so good. It is as you say, confusion, left right and centre, but with a bit of good faith, maybe some light can be shone on it. What do you say?
Welcome! You mentioned you had students.What exactly did you teach?

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edgar_d
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Re: Edgar here, why are you?

Post by edgar_d » Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:48 pm

amanitamusc wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:36 pm
Welcome! You mentioned you had students.What exactly did you teach?
Thank you, amanitamusc. I taught Philosophy, English and Mathematics.

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edgar_d
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Re: Edgar here, why are you?

Post by edgar_d » Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:09 pm

LastLegend wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 8:26 pm
edgar_d wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:52 pm
Thought a Buddhist forum would be about facing the delusion and ignorance head-on, but frankly, can't seem to make heads or tails of most threads.

Do you folks come to the forum, looking to awaken or is there another purpose?
Please forgive the human self.
A good reminder.

Charity starts at home, and forgiveness even more so. We would do well to spend some time each day forgiving ourselves, I think. It seems that most thinking people carry a heavy cross these days..

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Re: Edgar here, why are you?

Post by lobsangrinchen » Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:52 am

edgar_d wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 8:28 pm
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:48 pm
edgar_d wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:52 pm
Thought a Buddhist forum would be about facing the delusion and ignorance head-on, but frankly, can't seem to make heads or tails of most threads.

Do you folks come to the forum, looking to awaken or is there another purpose?
Sorry the forum doesn't meet your expectations, though I wonder, are your expectations somehow different than our confusion?
Good question, Johnny Dangerous. They are indeed no different. Expectation is perhaps one of the worst forms of confusion, giving rise, as it does, to so much of our suffering.

So here I am, coming to a Buddhist forum with an idea and finding something else. I ask and get some answers. So far, so good. It is as you say, confusion, left right and centre, but with a bit of good faith, maybe some light can be shone on it. What do you say?
Hello Edgar! And welcome to the forum.

I am pretty new here myself as a registered member, but have been lurking and reading here for years. Also have been a Buddhist practicioner and academic for a few decades.

I can only speak for myself, but I have found the forum to be largely helpful. There are a few very good contributors here, and after a little while of perusing the forum, you will get to know who they are and notice their postings. This signal to noise ratio here is quite a bit better than many internet fora I have frequented in over 35 years of online life.....yes, I go back to the Arpanet/Compuserve/BBS days of computing.

You seem to discern much more confusion in the forum here than I do, perhaps this is due to my lack of discernment? Or could it possibly be that you are just visiting some very disjointed threads?

My very first professor and class at the college level was Philosophy 101 many years ago, so I will always have a fondness for Philosophy professors. And mine taught me one thing that has stuck with me the entire journey - do not take the "cafeteria approach" to religion/spirituality. Which is why I am a Gelug practicioner and firmly in that tradition. It lessens much confusion and enables one to get on with the WORK as opposed to all the thinking ABOUT the work :applause:

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Re: Edgar here, why are you?

Post by DNS » Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:31 am

Welcome to DW!


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edgar_d
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Re: Edgar here, why are you?

Post by edgar_d » Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:00 am

lobsangrinchen wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:52 am
Hello Edgar! And welcome to the forum.

I am pretty new here myself as a registered member, but have been lurking and reading here for years. Also have been a Buddhist practicioner and academic for a few decades.

I can only speak for myself, but I have found the forum to be largely helpful. There are a few very good contributors here, and after a little while of perusing the forum, you will get to know who they are and notice their postings. This signal to noise ratio here is quite a bit better than many internet fora I have frequented in over 35 years of online life.....yes, I go back to the Arpanet/Compuserve/BBS days of computing.

You seem to discern much more confusion in the forum here than I do, perhaps this is due to my lack of discernment? Or could it possibly be that you are just visiting some very disjointed threads?

My very first professor and class at the college level was Philosophy 101 many years ago, so I will always have a fondness for Philosophy professors. And mine taught me one thing that has stuck with me the entire journey - do not take the "cafeteria approach" to religion/spirituality. Which is why I am a Gelug practicioner and firmly in that tradition. It lessens much confusion and enables one to get on with the WORK as opposed to all the thinking ABOUT the work :applause:
Thank you for the welcome, lobsangrinchen.

Who knows who is more discerning, and if that could even be measured in any meaningful way? I tend to marvel at all the things human beings do in a sort of a mild amusement mixed with incomprehension. So many words.. so many storms in all these different tea-cups. No doubt it is meaningful for the people involved and in some sense cannot be any other way. As for Buddhism, not familiar with Gelug but definitely agree that it is most about the work and not thinking about the work, but that leads to the question: what is the WORK?

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Re: Edgar here, why are you?

Post by edgar_d » Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:49 am

DNS wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:31 am
Welcome to DW!

Thank you for the welcome, David.

I see that you run other Buddhist forums too. My first Buddhist home was Theravada and it is still a home, though attention has shifted somewhat.

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Re: Edgar here, why are you?

Post by Wayfarer » Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:00 am

I started posting on forums because I was annoyed and incredulous about the movement called new atheism in the mid-2000’s. I am not a particularly religious person but I thought their materialism and appalling cynicism about humanity ought to be tackled. I am also interested in Buddhism and practicing Buddhist meditation, which is a separate topic, but that is what lead me to Forums in the first place, and then this forum in the second.

I do benefit from discussion in that I see how different people frame and deal with questions, often in a very different way to myself. I don’t always agree, but then, disagreement can be a learning experience, if you use it as an opportunity to really reflect on what you believe and think.
Only practice with no gaining idea ~ Suzuki Roshi

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Re: Edgar here, why are you?

Post by Jeff H » Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:01 pm

edgar_d wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:00 am
lobsangrinchen wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:52 am
Hello Edgar! And welcome to the forum.

I am pretty new here myself as a registered member, but have been lurking and reading here for years. Also have been a Buddhist practicioner and academic for a few decades.

I can only speak for myself, but I have found the forum to be largely helpful. There are a few very good contributors here, and after a little while of perusing the forum, you will get to know who they are and notice their postings. This signal to noise ratio here is quite a bit better than many internet fora I have frequented in over 35 years of online life.....yes, I go back to the Arpanet/Compuserve/BBS days of computing.

You seem to discern much more confusion in the forum here than I do, perhaps this is due to my lack of discernment? Or could it possibly be that you are just visiting some very disjointed threads?

My very first professor and class at the college level was Philosophy 101 many years ago, so I will always have a fondness for Philosophy professors. And mine taught me one thing that has stuck with me the entire journey - do not take the "cafeteria approach" to religion/spirituality. Which is why I am a Gelug practicioner and firmly in that tradition. It lessens much confusion and enables one to get on with the WORK as opposed to all the thinking ABOUT the work :applause:
Thank you for the welcome, lobsangrinchen.

Who knows who is more discerning, and if that could even be measured in any meaningful way? I tend to marvel at all the things human beings do in a sort of a mild amusement mixed with incomprehension. So many words.. so many storms in all these different tea-cups. No doubt it is meaningful for the people involved and in some sense cannot be any other way. As for Buddhism, not familiar with Gelug but definitely agree that it is most about the work and not thinking about the work, but that leads to the question: what is the WORK?
From the first day I was introduced to Tibetan Buddhism I found myself drawn along a series of learning experiences in an unbroken chain that unfolded itself very naturally for 10 years in a predominantly Gelug stream. I was more or less isolated except for online classmates and occasional visits to a not-so-nearby center. After those first 10 years, no natural next step presented itself. The one teacher who provides me with the truly personal connection that is essential for Buddhism is “in-the-air” so to speak. She has spent quite a few years flying around the world teaching at FPMT centers everywhere. I’ve never had a home sangha. So after those first 10 years, I came to DW and began reading regularly and writing occasionally.

It was like the wild west to me. But just as lobsangrinchen says, I feel I am growing from the experience. DW informs me about a much wider world of Buddhist teachings and practices. It exposes me to Buddhists, Buddhists-in-disguise, and non-Buddhists who are interacting with samsara and each other in a myriad of ways. It is well moderated, so discussions don’t go flying off into absurdity or vitriol (too often). And it’s got a remarkable mix of genuine scholars, dedicated, long-term practitioners, gadflies, and goof-offs.

I think the important thing is how you bring your own Buddhism to that party and what effect it all has on you. For me, that is the work of Buddhism.
We who are like children shrink from pain but love its causes. - Shantideva

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Re: Edgar here, why are you?

Post by Sherab » Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:53 pm

edgar_d wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:52 pm
Do you folks come to the forum, looking to awaken or is there another purpose?
When I started reading the suttas and sutras, I had so many questions and ideas but no efficient way of getting answers and testing those ideas. I went to the predecessor of this forum and then to this forum when the former shut down permanently.

In the process of asking questions and testing my ideas, I get to refine my understanding of the Buddha's teachings. I also get to peek into the personalities of those whom I interacted with, their strengths and flaws. Seeing the strengths and flaws in others is a great reminder for me that I should try and cultivate the same strengths and avoid the same flaws.

These days, I seldom post as I felt I have reached an intellectual limit, but I do lurk from time to time, to see if there are new nuances to my existing understanding or new arguments against my understanding that I can glean from new posts and comments.

If you do decide to hang around to learn like I did, then perhaps this observation of mine might be relevant: Be wary of being stuck on Buddhist terms without really penetrating their meaning. Be alert to yourself merely regurgitating arguments by famous commentators in your replies. It could be hiding your lack of understanding. If you think you have really understood something, that should be a red flag.

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edgar_d
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Re: Edgar here, why are you?

Post by edgar_d » Sun Dec 09, 2018 4:48 pm

Jeff H wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:01 pm

From the first day I was introduced to Tibetan Buddhism I found myself drawn along a series of learning experiences in an unbroken chain that unfolded itself very naturally for 10 years in a predominantly Gelug stream. I was more or less isolated except for online classmates and occasional visits to a not-so-nearby center. After those first 10 years, no natural next step presented itself. The one teacher who provides me with the truly personal connection that is essential for Buddhism is “in-the-air” so to speak. She has spent quite a few years flying around the world teaching at FPMT centers everywhere. I’ve never had a home sangha. So after those first 10 years, I came to DW and began reading regularly and writing occasionally.

It was like the wild west to me. But just as lobsangrinchen says, I feel I am growing from the experience. DW informs me about a much wider world of Buddhist teachings and practices. It exposes me to Buddhists, Buddhists-in-disguise, and non-Buddhists who are interacting with samsara and each other in a myriad of ways. It is well moderated, so discussions don’t go flying off into absurdity or vitriol (too often). And it’s got a remarkable mix of genuine scholars, dedicated, long-term practitioners, gadflies, and goof-offs.

I think the important thing is how you bring your own Buddhism to that party and what effect it all has on you. For me, that is the work of Buddhism.
Yes, I agree, the important thing is always how it works in practice, especially when the going gets tough.

Where does reading fit into this, in your practice? Could you share a few examples of how something you learned here, deepened your practice, which then manifested in your life in some way?

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edgar_d
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Re: Edgar here, why are you?

Post by edgar_d » Sun Dec 09, 2018 5:44 pm

Sherab wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:53 pm
edgar_d wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:52 pm
Do you folks come to the forum, looking to awaken or is there another purpose?
When I started reading the suttas and sutras, I had so many questions and ideas but no efficient way of getting answers and testing those ideas. I went to the predecessor of this forum and then to this forum when the former shut down permanently.

In the process of asking questions and testing my ideas, I get to refine my understanding of the Buddha's teachings. I also get to peek into the personalities of those whom I interacted with, their strengths and flaws. Seeing the strengths and flaws in others is a great reminder for me that I should try and cultivate the same strengths and avoid the same flaws.

These days, I seldom post as I felt I have reached an intellectual limit, but I do lurk from time to time, to see if there are new nuances to my existing understanding or new arguments against my understanding that I can glean from new posts and comments.

If you do decide to hang around to learn like I did, then perhaps this observation of mine might be relevant: Be wary of being stuck on Buddhist terms without really penetrating their meaning. Be alert to yourself merely regurgitating arguments by famous commentators in your replies. It could be hiding your lack of understanding. If you think you have really understood something, that should be a red flag.
Some interesting points you bring up, Sherab.

If I may pick up on a few of them.. You say: "These days, I seldom post as I felt I have reached an intellectual limit." I wonder if a Buddhist forum can be used in ways other than increasing knowledge?

You also give some pointers: "Be wary of being stuck on Buddhist terms without really penetrating their meaning." Yes, superficiality masquerading as understanding and even wisdom, is a common blight of our times. Perhaps many of us would be better off practicing simple generosity and devotional practices rather than filling our heads with all manner of stuff superfluous to our actual reality?

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