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Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 7:16 pm
by dzogchungpa
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Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 7:17 pm
by smcj
Sorry, there really is no sugar that will mask the taste of rebirth and karma -- it a very strong medicine for a strong disease.
Malcolm, I think I'm just as right wing/hardcore about this subject as you are, but I disagree with your approach. You can't leave people at the bottom of a cliff and say that there is a door to Dharma at the top of the cliff. You've got to give them a way to get there. Simply abandoning them like that could very well be breaking the bodhisattva vow.

Personally I think that people from a 12 step program will have already made a "ramp" of sorts to climb that cliff. Using addiction and the program is one instance where there can be an incremental approach to the subject. Extrapolating out from the cycle of addiction to the cycle of reincarnation is not all that much of a stretch. There may be others, which various teachers are attempting, but that one is my favorite.

Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 7:17 pm
by Johnny Dangerous
Malcolm wrote:
Johnny Dangerous wrote:

You are just having a knee-jerk reaction to one thing he said somewhere though, again, he may departs somewhat from traditional views i'm sure, but he is hugely far from a materialist or secular Buddhist etc.
I am never said he was either. I simply don't like the way he phrases "rebirth" in his talks and later works as if it is some initiation process. He uses that language over and over again in many places.
Well, you are a traditional "as is" teacher. For some people that works, for others it's a huge turn-off...he just knows his audience IMO. Or a portion of it at least...because if someone takes a "this life is all there is" view of the world, their hopes are going to be dashed quickly by some of his talks. I don't see how it's that different from Trungpa using the language of western psychology to get his students to relate.

.

Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 7:18 pm
by dharmagoat
WeiHan wrote:What attracts you to Buddha Dharma?
Thank you for asking, but that is a topic for another thread.

Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 7:23 pm
by WeiHan
dharmagoat wrote:
WeiHan wrote:What attracts you to Buddha Dharma?
Thank you for asking, but that is a topic for another thread.
It is relevant as I can't understand that Rebirth and Karma are central ideas in Buddhism and yet there are people who are attracted to Buddha Dharma but still find it hard to accept the above two concepts.

Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 7:27 pm
by daverupa
WeiHan wrote:
dharmagoat wrote:
WeiHan wrote:What attracts you to Buddha Dharma?
Thank you for asking, but that is a topic for another thread.
It is relevant as I can't understand that Rebirth and Karma are central ideas in Buddhism and yet there are people who are attracted to Buddha Dharma but still find it hard to accept the above two concepts.
Basically, if you can generate hiri & ottappa while remaining agnostic about rebirth, there's no actual problem yet... I think this is easily heading off into Open Dhamma territory, however.

Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 7:34 pm
by Astus
WeiHan wrote:What assumes a type of mental connection that is bound by time?
That the mental state of the person giving the empowerment influences the receiver's mind, as if there were a direct connection between two mind-streams.

Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 7:40 pm
by Malcolm
smcj wrote:
Sorry, there really is no sugar that will mask the taste of rebirth and karma -- it a very strong medicine for a strong disease.
Malcolm, I think I'm just as right wing/hardcore about this subject as you are, but I disagree with your approach. You can't leave people at the bottom of a cliff and say that there is a door to Dharma at the top of the cliff. You've got to give them a way to get there. Simply abandoning them like that could very well be breaking the bodhisattva vow.
Well, when you have medicine that tastes really bad, you have to convince people the disease is worse, that's all.

Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 7:41 pm
by Malcolm
Astus wrote:
WeiHan wrote:What assumes a type of mental connection that is bound by time?
That the mental state of the person giving the empowerment influences the receiver's mind, as if there were a direct connection between two mind-streams.
No, that is never the case, it is more like a stamp and its impression. A recorded empowerment can never be a stamp, it can only be an impression. In this case, an inert impression. A student, who receives an empowerment, is an animate living person upon whom an impression has been made, and when they have realized the meaning, they too can make impressions on others.

This is essentially why, for all who reading, the idea that one can receive an empowerment from a recording is a corrupt idea that will destroy lineages if people take it seriously.

Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 7:44 pm
by dharmagoat
Malcolm wrote:Well, when you have medicine that tastes really bad, you have to convince people the disease is worse, that's all.
That sounds like a recipe for even more suffering. A double dose of negativity.

Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 7:48 pm
by Malcolm
dharmagoat wrote:
Malcolm wrote:Well, when you have medicine that tastes really bad, you have to convince people the disease is worse, that's all.
That sounds like a recipe for even more suffering. A double dose of negativity.
Well, if all you want is someone beaming positive messages at you, try another religion.

Dharma is about how things are, and how things are is sarvadukkham.

Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 7:54 pm
by dharmagoat
Malcolm wrote:
dharmagoat wrote:
Malcolm wrote:Well, when you have medicine that tastes really bad, you have to convince people the disease is worse, that's all.
That sounds like a recipe for even more suffering. A double dose of negativity.
Well, if all you want is someone beaming positive messages at you, try another religion.

Dharma is about how things are, and how things are is sarvadukkham.
Once again, that seems a rather dualistic attitude.

Can the message be something between the two extremes of negative and positive? A middle way, perhaps?

Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 7:56 pm
by smcj
dharmagoat wrote: That sounds like a recipe for even more suffering. A double dose of negativity.
Sometimes a double negative is as positive as the situation allows. For someone that is in a truly negative spiral downward (like an addiction) stopping negative action (getting high) is as positive as they can get. I draw a parallel to that in Dharma with the Pratimoksha Vows of the Shravakayana:

Stop doing negative actions. (Shravakayana)
Start doing positive actions. (Mahayana)
Tame/train the mind. (Vajrayana)

Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 8:00 pm
by Malcolm
dharmagoat wrote: Can the message be something between the two extremes of negative and positive? A middle way, perhaps?
Nope. The Saddharmasmṛtyupasthāna Sūtra states:
  • Hell beings experience the flames of hell.
    Pretas experience hunger and thirst.
    Animals experience eating one another.
    Humans experience short lives.
    Asuras experience conflict and violence.
    Devas experience unconcern.
    There exists no happiness
    in samsara, even the size of a pinpoint.
Vasubandhu says:
  • The childish, like a hand,
    do not see the suffering of the conditioned, like a hair.
    The Āryas, like an eye,
    always flinch because of them.
Maitreyanatha says:
  • Just as there is no sweet smell in feces, there is no happiness in the five migrations.
Nāgārjuna says:
  • The gentle regret this samsara,
    the source of many sufferings of
    impoverishment due to desire, death, illness, aging and so on.
    Also one must hear about its flaws.

Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 8:06 pm
by dharmagoat
You seem to be saying that misery needs to be instilled in us before we can practice the Dharma. Is that correct?

Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 8:09 pm
by Gyurme Kundrol
Fundamentally speaking if you accept that the body arises from the mind and the various karmas stored in the mind, then there is no way to postulate the existence of this present body without postulating the existence of a prior mind that stored karmic impressions that in turn allowed the conditions for this one [this body] to emerge. So logically, how could we reject rebirth without also adopting a completely materialistic, body-makes-the-mind world view? We have to turn Dharma on its head.

I used to think that maybe there was a more skillful way to explain rebirth to westerners as well, but there really isn't. Logically rebirth exists when examined closely enough.

Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 8:11 pm
by Malcolm
dharmagoat wrote:You seem to be saying that misery needs to be instilled in us before we can practice the Dharma. Is that correct?
No, I am saying it is already there. If you are not recognizing it, it is because you have not really understood what suffering is.

Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 8:12 pm
by smcj
dharmagoat wrote:You seem to be saying that misery needs to be instilled in us before we can practice the Dharma. Is that correct?
Not misery, hopelessness. Hopelessness in making samsara (life on my terms, etc.) comfortable or workable. This is the crudest and most fundamental non-attachment there is. Without that, all discussion of non-attachment amounts to little more than empty rhetoric. With that kind of understanding Refuge and the entire rest of the Dharma Path is available.

Like I said, I'm just as right wing/conservative/hardcore as Malcolm on this subject. I just don't think that putting a barricade in front of the door to Dharma is compatible with the bodhisattva vow.

Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 8:15 pm
by dharmagoat
Malcolm wrote:
dharmagoat wrote:You seem to be saying that misery needs to be instilled in us before we can practice the Dharma. Is that correct?
No, I am saying it is already there. If you are not recognizing it, it is because you have not really understood what suffering is.
For those that already recognise the hopelessness/misery of saṃsāra and are suffering, might a degree of positivity in the message be encouraging?

Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 8:17 pm
by smcj
For those that already recognise the misery of saṃsāra and are suffering, might a degree of positivity in the message be encouraging?
i.e. "Refuge" from the ultimate source of danger, one's own erroneous ideas, attitudes, and actions.