An Unfortunately neglected Introduction.

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Leo Rivers
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An Unfortunately neglected Introduction.

Post by Leo Rivers » Sun Jun 08, 2014 11:13 pm

It seems I have served this board poorly by not introducing myself. This shyness comes from my severing, 3 years ago, ties I had with a spiritual tradition forged April 16th, 1984 in Los Angeles when I took refuge in the 3 Jewels. Over 2 decades I watched my Sangha undergo a spiritual and organizational implosion that was addressed, not by a frank discussion of what had transpired, but a little dog and pony show of hiring a "moderaor" to "fascilitate" a divorce of leadership and flock papered over with a Tulku discovery being brought center stage as new Thing We Think about and gather $ for.

I left as gracefully as I could, but carried a load of expectation that some how I was the Bad Guy. I already had dropped off the map by my frank admssion to being an atheist, (I thought that was okay!) I was someone who cringed every time we were told by a Lama to avoid reading "1st Turning Sutras" because "They would confuse us!" I would flinch every time I heard the refrain "why labor to trim all the leaves when you can just cut the tree of Samsara at the root!". Just looking around me, it seemed nobodys 'leaves' ever seemed to be withering. When I mentioned this I would be sniffed at like slightly dated milk and told "That just your obscuration". And the public language about Guru and Lineage just seemed hollow to me, especially when I was told it was only be "seeing" the Guru as pure could I proove my karma was pure. Yet, I guess 25 years of not getting the message about not being in the right place was really no ones fault but my own.

What woke me up and made me write this hello was posting in the academic forum and having someone suggest I was trying to start a flame war. I realized then how uncomprehensible my interests and atitudes must be to everyone else who had no way to know where I am coming from.

So, in short, I see my self not as an ATHEIST - not beliving in supernatural events or a creator god is a derivitive of my beliefs, not a cornerstone. I am a NATURALIST in the sense I belive all naural events are the outcome of natural processes. I accept the scientific standard theory of the physical universe as it is. To call me an Atheist is like driving down a street calling all the Chinese resturants "No Chessburger Restuarants". That may be accurate, but it misses the point of Asian food.

I think Buddhism survived and thrived because it developed an amazing sutta retention culture... but that conservitism jettisoned evolution. Yes the Mahayana movement made their sutras up, by that was a way to preserve and pass on thier brave visionary new insight. And there was maybe 20 new Mahayana ideas like items on a smorgasboard to choose from by mainstream Yogic Buddhists between 150-500 CE. It was a build it your own neural computer Buddha Nerd culture for awhile. I Like that world.

But their diverse new ways of putting new lanes on the Bodhisattva highway and new visionary sight was not successfully integrated into the mainstream. They chose teams and became political camps. Bhava filed for divorce and the Big Name players on both teams signed it. Game over. UNTIL...

Until modern academic research liberated texts in the original matrix from 2000 years of sectarian re-explaination. I like to let the context to speak for the text, not some guy famous for being famous with his fans. I prefer Vasubandhu the Commentator and Kambala as examples of letting the Yogacara speak for themselves... if you need to imagine there was a something called the yogacara.

Dependant Origination is an ethically observed cosmos as observed by someone who has taken a Bodhisattva Vow to impose an altuistic map of compassion on an impersional machinery of cascading consequences in entropy. And me? I am strickly a white dharma displaces a black factor and Buddhas, Sanghas and Dharmas are subject to imperminance guy. For me, the 2nd and 3rd of 5 yogacara theories of ground of transformation and yes, the 3 empty natures, 3 non natures, as well as the 8 consciousness and mind only model continue to function as advertized. For me the Buddha was a genius who dropped an unneccessary factor from his model of the Universe, [The Self], just like Einstein drom a concept of An Absolute[ Frame of Time] to make a Better Universe. SEEING what's right in front of you is a genius ting to do. So for me, Gautama was THE MAN as well as a man.

And I am just another flavor of Buddhist. My vows are no different than yours. I use the set spelled out in the Bodhisattva Bhumi. Right from the source. Still, I'd like to fiddle with them. 1st off, Mainstream Buddhists are okay,( see Ugra...), next, let girls back into the treehouse... just ask the Buddha. He said fiddling about was okay too. If it makes it all work better.

Anyway. Jump on me for the right reaasons. I am not here to start controversy. I am here for the lively company. An Atheist and Socialist and Buddhist in God's Country Oregon... I don't get lynched, but I don't date much either.


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Re: An Unfortunately neglected Introduction.

Post by reddust » Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:17 am

Nice to meet you Leo thank you for sharing your story. Seems a lot of the old timers I meet online are struggling to find a place to hang their Dharma coat. I struggle with a lot of what you wrote about as well, I think it's part of getting older. I think people are always willing to blame others for their problems, it's so easy to do you know. Although I never struggled with doubting Karma, rebirth, big or little vehicle, all my struggles have to do with me and getting along with myself and other people. The Dharma circus and Sangha was a trip. I'm taking a vacation right now. Maybe someday I'll go back until then I hang my Dharma coat in the mudroom. I like reading the post you make on the Dharmawheel. You write very well and always have interesting things to say. :namaste:
Mind and mental events are concepts, mere postulations within the three realms of samsara Longchenpa .... A link to my Garden, Art and Foodie blog Scratch Living

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Re: An Unfortunately neglected Introduction.

Post by Dan74 » Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:48 am

Hi Leo and lovely to read your intro.

I've already benefitted from reading your posts and links elsewhere and have no issue with anything you wrote. I don't subscribe to it all either, but why should we all we the same flavour of Buddhist?

Wishing you some useful exchanges and hope that you find whatever support your practice needs right now, after your 'divorce'.


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Re: An Unfortunately neglected Introduction.

Post by Kim O'Hara » Mon Jun 09, 2014 2:45 am

Hi, Leo,
Like Dan, I have appreciated your posts here. It's nice to know a bit more about your background but I, for one, have never doubted your honesty and good intentions so it won't make a huge difference to how I perceive you.


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Re: An Unfortunately neglected Introduction.

Post by DNS » Mon Jun 09, 2014 4:56 am


Thanks for sharing that info.


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Re: An Unfortunately neglected Introduction.

Post by Admin_PC » Mon Jun 09, 2014 6:49 am

Hey Leo!
You've been helpful to me in the past and I figured I'd give you a warm welcome on your Intro thread.
I always learn something from your posts, thank you. :)
月影の いたらぬ里は なけれども 眺むる人の 心にぞすむ

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Re: An Unfortunately neglected Introduction.

Post by Andrew108 » Mon Jun 09, 2014 7:52 am

I share many of your points of view and can relate to your experiences. I'm glad that you still identify as Buddhist. For me, buddhism can absorb naturalism. The reason that buddhism isn't dead is because it is not a completed project. Those who think it is are the ones who are unwittingly causing its demise.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.

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Re: An Unfortunately neglected Introduction.

Post by plwk » Mon Jun 09, 2014 8:22 am

I must offer my thanks Leo, for by just reading your posts, I have picked up on so many sources and info on many aspects of traditional Buddha Dharma texts and teachings, and especially when 'CD Patton' contributes to your convo as well.

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Re: An Unfortunately neglected Introduction.

Post by Wayfarer » Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:56 pm

Leo wrote:What woke me up and made me write this hello was posting in the academic forum and having someone suggest I was trying to start a flame war.
Hi Leo - I noticed that, it was months ago. I was going to leap in and say 'hey leave Leo alone, he's a perfectly sound contributor' but I thought that the antagonist came across as totally over-reacting and non credible, so I left it. I have generally found your posts pretty substantive and philosophically deep.
In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few ~ Suzuki-roshi

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Re: An Unfortunately neglected Introduction.

Post by Grigoris » Mon Jun 09, 2014 10:06 pm

Hi Leo. I like your beard, actually, it's more of a jealousy thing!!! :tongue: But anyway... Welcome to Dharma Wheel! :smile:
"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."
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Re: An Unfortunately neglected Introduction.

Post by Admin_PC » Mon Jun 09, 2014 11:01 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:Hi Leo. I like your beard, actually, it's more of a jealousy thing!!! :tongue: But anyway... Welcome to Dharma Wheel! :smile:
Reminds me of the beard of an old kung fu teacher I used to have.
Wish my wife would let me grow one.
月影の いたらぬ里は なけれども 眺むる人の 心にぞすむ

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Re: An Unfortunately neglected Introduction.

Post by Luke » Mon Jun 09, 2014 11:17 pm

Welcome, Leo.

Don't worry, most of us are a lot more chilled-out than whoever you were having conflicts with.
Did you used to post at ZFI or am I remembering incorrectly? Anyway, good to have you here.

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