The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

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shaunc
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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Postby shaunc » Fri May 19, 2017 9:54 pm

DGA wrote:
Dharma Flower wrote:
DGA wrote:
Good for you. I rejoice in your vow. May you swiftly attain the goal.


Thank you. My immediate goal as a Bodhisattva, at least for the near future, is to be less of a butthead to others, especially to friends and loved ones.

The practice of metta usually starts out with those who are closest to you and then branches out from there:
https://dhammawiki.com/index.php?title=Metta_meditation

Right now, I am really working on being less of an angry butthead.


You mentioned in a different post the practice of the Bodhisattva Never Disparaging. That's a good place to start: recognize in everyone the capacity for Buddhahood, including those people who disagree with, or those you perceive as enemies, and including yourself too. That's a helpful practice. I found it helpful, and others have too.

I'm still very capable of butthead behavior, but I can confirm it's possible to take the edge off at least.


That's the practice I'm working on at the moment with varying degrees of success.

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Queequeg
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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Postby Queequeg » Fri May 19, 2017 10:01 pm

The next time the Lotus Sutra is taught, it may very well include a story about Bodhisattva Butthead.
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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Postby Dharma Flower » Fri May 19, 2017 11:14 pm

shaunc wrote:
Dharma Flower wrote:There's a misconception in the West which reduces Buddhist practice to silent, seated meditation. In reality, the practice of meditation is for the purpose of cultivating wisdom and compassion. What really matters is the wisdom and compassion we develop in our daily life, not meditation in and of itself.


I completely agree with this sentiment. The test of any religion in my opinion is not whether it makes your life better but whether it makes the lives of those around you better.


Exactly.

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dharmagoat
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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Postby dharmagoat » Sat May 20, 2017 12:10 am

Dharma Flower wrote:
shaunc wrote:
Dharma Flower wrote:There's a misconception in the West which reduces Buddhist practice to silent, seated meditation. In reality, the practice of meditation is for the purpose of cultivating wisdom and compassion. What really matters is the wisdom and compassion we develop in our daily life, not meditation in and of itself.

I completely agree with this sentiment. The test of any religion in my opinion is not whether it makes your life better but whether it makes the lives of those around you better.

Exactly.

The most important barrier to overcome is the idea that practice is a means to an end.

The very word "practice" is misleading. It is not training, it is application, "the actual application or use of an idea, belief, or method, as opposed to theories relating to it".

Enjoy your practice... or what else is there?

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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Postby Anonymous X » Sat May 20, 2017 4:40 am

Dharma Flower wrote:There's a misconception in the West which reduces Buddhist practice to silent, seated meditation. In reality, the practice of meditation is for the purpose of cultivating wisdom and compassion. What really matters is the wisdom and compassion we develop in our daily life, not meditation in and of itself.

Hui Neng, the 6th Patriarch:
“13. Good friends, this Dharma teaching of mine is based on meditation and wisdom. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that meditation and wisdom are separate. Meditation and wisdom are of one essence and not two. Meditation is the body of wisdom, and wisdom is the function of meditation. Wherever you find wisdom, you find meditation. And wherever you find meditation, you find wisdom. Good friends, what this means is that meditation and wisdom are the same.”

Excerpt From: Red Pine: “Platform Sutra.”

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smcj
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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Postby smcj » Sat May 20, 2017 5:01 am

Dharma Flower wrote:The test of any religion in my opinion is not whether it makes your life better but whether it makes the lives of those around you better.

I hadn't heard that before. I like it. Did you just make it up?
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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Postby Dharma Flower » Sat May 20, 2017 7:05 am

I am re-posting this here in order to give more context as to what I mean about the Bodhisattva path as it pertains to my own life. Everyone of us on this forum is going to have their own understanding of the path as it applies to them and their own motivation for going further along the path, and that's a good thing.

Dharma Flower wrote:In the Pure Land sect of Buddhism, we seek to attain Buddhahood through entrusting in Amida Buddha. Something I've realized only recently is that if you entrust in Amida, you will entrust in his example and seek to emulate it in your daily life.

The following is Amida’s vow to attain Buddhahood from The Infinite Life Sutra. The following words can be taken literally, as the vow that Amida made in the incalculably distant past, or it can be taken figuratively as the vow we make in our own Bodhisattva path.

These meanings, whether literal or figurative, are not mutually exclusive:

The Sanbutsuge (Praises of the Buddha)

The shining face of the Buddha is glorious;
Boundless is his magnificence.
Radiant splendor such as his
Is beyond all comparison.
The sun, the moon and the mani-jewel,
Though shining with dazzling brightness,
Are completely dimmed and obscured
As if they were a pile of ink-sticks

The countenance of the Tathagata
Is beyond compare in the whole world.
The great voice of the Enlightened One
Resounds throughout the ten regions.
His morality, learning, endeavor,
Absorption in meditation, wisdom
And magnificent virtues have no equal;
They are wonderful and unsurpassed.

He meditates deeply and directly
On the oceanic Dharma of all the Buddhas.
He knows its depth and breadth
And penetrates to its farthest end.
Ignorance, greed and anger
Are forever absent in the World-Honored One.
He is the lion, the most valiant of all men;
His glorious virtue is unlimited.

His meritorious achievements are vast;
His wisdom is deep and sublime.
His light, with awe-inspiring glory,
Shakes the universe of a thousand million worlds.
I resolve to become a Buddha,
Equal in attainment to you, O holy king of the Dharma,
To save living beings from birth-and-death,
And to lead them all to emancipation.

My discipline in giving, mind-control,
Moral virtues, forbearance and effort,
And also in meditation and wisdom,
Shall be supreme and unsurpassed.
I vow that, when I have become a Buddha,
I shall carry out this promise everywhere;
And to all fear-ridden beings
Shall I give great peace.

Even though there are Buddhas,
A thousand million kotis in number,
And multiudes of great sages
Countless as the sands of the Ganges,
I shall make offerings
To all those Buddhas.
I shall seek the supreme Way
Resolutely and tirelessly.

Even though the Buddha-lands are as innumerable
As the sands of the Ganges,
And other regions and worlds
Are also without number,
My light shall shine everywhere,
Pervading all those lands.
Such being the result of my efforts,
My glorious power shall be immeasurable.

When I have become a Buddha,
My land shall be most exquisite,
And its people wonderful and unexcelled;
The seat of Enlightenment shall be supreme.
My land, being like Nirvana itself,
Shall be beyond comparison.
I take pity on living beings
And resolve to save them all.

Those who come from the ten quarters
Shall find joy and serenity of heart;
When they reach my land,
They shall dwell in peace and happiness.
I beg you, the Buddha, to become my witness
And to vouch for the truth of my aspiration.
Having now made my vows to you,
I will strive to fulfilll them.

The World-Honored Ones in the ten quarters
Have unimpeded wisdom;
I call upon those Honored Ones
To bear witness to my intention.
Even though I must remain
In a state of extreme pain,
I will diligently practice,
Enduring all hardships with tireless vigor.


This understanding of trust in Amida as seeking to embody Amida in one's daily life can be found in this paragraph of Heart of the Shin Buddhist Path by Rev. Takamaro Shigaraki:
https://books.google.com/books?id=C_sel ... 22&f=false

shaunc
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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Postby shaunc » Sat May 20, 2017 8:19 am

Yes. I did. That quote is completely original.

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smcj
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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Postby smcj » Sat May 20, 2017 11:41 am

With permission I'm going to quote it. :thumbsup:
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PuerAzaelis
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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Postby PuerAzaelis » Sat May 20, 2017 5:01 pm

shaunc wrote:Yes. I did. That quote is completely original.

I happen to agree with you, but to play devil's advocate for a minute - better, to what end?
To understand everything except one’s own self is very comical. Kierkegaard, Concluding Unscientific Postscript

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smcj
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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Postby smcj » Sat May 20, 2017 9:20 pm

PuerAzaelis wrote:...to play devil's advocate for a minute - better, to what end?

Well the stock answer would be towards the benefit/enlightenment of all sentient beings.
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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Postby Dharma Flower » Sun May 21, 2017 12:11 am

I've been a Buddhist for over two years, but it wasn't until recently that I actually read what the Six Paramitas are.

This is because I had an understanding of Pure Land Buddhism that it simply involved passively saying the Nembutsu and nothing else.

If you look at how Honen and Shinran actually lived their lives, however, this passive understanding of the Pure Land path is not what they intended.

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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Postby shaunc » Sun May 21, 2017 2:39 am

PuerAzaelis wrote:
shaunc wrote:Yes. I did. That quote is completely original.

I happen to agree with you, but to play devil's advocate for a minute - better, to what end?


What I mean by that is as sentient beings we are all stuck in the cycle of samsara. I hope that by practicing my chosen path that I will not be the cause of any unnecessary suffering or adding to their suffering to put it another way.

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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Postby Dharma Flower » Sun May 21, 2017 5:40 am

There is a passage in The Essential Shinran in which there's a village that's suffered a natural disaster or some other tragedy, and Shinran says it would be good to recite the Nembutsu on their behalf. One of the ways that I practice metta meditation is by reciting the Nembutsu while wishing for the well-being of others, especially for family members and other people I encounter in my day-to-day life.

Another thing I like to do is make small donations to the Tzu Chi Foundation in honor of my local Buddhist temple, since I don't have the money to pledge official temple membership. There is an option on the Tzu Chi website to make a donation on another person's behalf, which is the practice of merit transference.

It's these little, everyday things which are the true work of a Bodhisattva. It doesn't have to be an extraordinary miracle. Just learning to be kinder and gentler to others is a miracle enough.

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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Postby PuerAzaelis » Sun May 21, 2017 6:12 am

shaunc wrote:
PuerAzaelis wrote:
shaunc wrote:Yes. I did. That quote is completely original.

I happen to agree with you, but to play devil's advocate for a minute - better, to what end?


What I mean by that is as sentient beings we are all stuck in the cycle of samsara. I hope that by practicing my chosen path that I will not be the cause of any unnecessary suffering or adding to their suffering to put it another way.

What's interesting is that's a little different from what smcj said ... nothing to do with either of you, just something I've been wondering about lately, whether in fact either of those two goals are in fact possible, the bodhisattva goal or the goal of ahimsa (and/or the paramitas). I suppose I'm considering what the outward face of practice can really be. Wrestling with samsara seems pointless, lately.
To understand everything except one’s own self is very comical. Kierkegaard, Concluding Unscientific Postscript

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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Postby dharmagoat » Sun May 21, 2017 6:15 am

PuerAzaelis wrote:What's interesting is that's a little different from what smcj said ... nothing to do with either of you, just something I've been wondering about lately, whether in fact either of those two goals are in fact possible, the bodhisattva goal or the goal of ahimsa (and/or the paramitas). I suppose I'm considering what the outward face of practice can really be. Wrestling with samsara seems pointless, lately.

It is all about the three 'i's: Intention, intention, intention.

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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Postby PuerAzaelis » Sun May 21, 2017 6:23 am

dharmagoat wrote:
PuerAzaelis wrote:What's interesting is that's a little different from what smcj said ... nothing to do with either of you, just something I've been wondering about lately, whether in fact either of those two goals are in fact possible, the bodhisattva goal or the goal of ahimsa (and/or the paramitas). I suppose I'm considering what the outward face of practice can really be. Wrestling with samsara seems pointless, lately.

It is all about the three 'i's: Intention, intention, intention.

Yes. But what is the right intention? Can the paramitas, bodhisattva vow, etc, be just another way of grasping. Like I say it's a devils advocate question, practice is practice.
To understand everything except one’s own self is very comical. Kierkegaard, Concluding Unscientific Postscript

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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Postby dharmagoat » Sun May 21, 2017 6:53 am

PuerAzaelis wrote:
dharmagoat wrote:
PuerAzaelis wrote:What's interesting is that's a little different from what smcj said ... nothing to do with either of you, just something I've been wondering about lately, whether in fact either of those two goals are in fact possible, the bodhisattva goal or the goal of ahimsa (and/or the paramitas). I suppose I'm considering what the outward face of practice can really be. Wrestling with samsara seems pointless, lately.

It is all about the three 'i's: Intention, intention, intention.

Yes. But what is the right intention? Can the paramitas, bodhisattva vow, etc, be just another way of grasping. Like I say it's a devils advocate question, practice is practice.

I firmly believe that our first glimpses of Buddha nature are enough to lead us confidently to right intention. Anyone open to the idea of Buddha nature, and inviting any experience of it, I am sure will see it soon enough. Then the paramitas will be recognised for what they are: signposts along the way, and bodhisattva vows become a fulfillment of a spontaneous and natural expression.

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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Postby Anonymous X » Sun May 21, 2017 10:57 am

dharmagoat wrote:
PuerAzaelis wrote:
dharmagoat wrote:It is all about the three 'i's: Intention, intention, intention.

Yes. But what is the right intention? Can the paramitas, bodhisattva vow, etc, be just another way of grasping. Like I say it's a devils advocate question, practice is practice.

I firmly believe that our first glimpses of Buddha nature are enough to lead us confidently to right intention. Anyone open to the idea of Buddha nature, and inviting any experience of it, I am sure will see it soon enough. Then the paramitas will be recognised for what they are: signposts along the way, and bodhisattva vows become a fulfillment of a spontaneous and natural expression.

Unfortunately, you will never glimpse Buddhanature because it is not glimpsable(is that a word?). Who would be glimpsing it? I think this is a wrong notion. Recognition may also be the wrong word because it is not cognisable. This is the just the mind chattering away, repeating what you've read and heard from others.

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Re: The Six Paramitas and the Eightfold Path

Postby dharmagoat » Sun May 21, 2017 11:08 am

Anonymous X wrote:
dharmagoat wrote:I firmly believe that our first glimpses of Buddha nature are enough to lead us confidently to right intention. Anyone open to the idea of Buddha nature, and inviting any experience of it, I am sure will see it soon enough. Then the paramitas will be recognised for what they are: signposts along the way, and bodhisattva vows become a fulfillment of a spontaneous and natural expression.

Unfortunately, you will never glimpse Buddhanature because it is not glimpsable(is that a word?). Who would be glimpsing it? I think this is a wrong notion. Recognition may also be the wrong word because it is not cognisable. This is the just the mind chattering away, repeating what you've read and heard from others.

The one thing we can experience for ourselves is our own Buddha nature. It reveals itself when the chatter subsides and we cease searching for it elsewhere. When it is known there is no need to repeat the words of others. I make a special point of not parroting the teachings. These are my own words.


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