Mixing Buddhist and non-Buddhist Practices?

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Karma Dorje
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Re: Mixing Buddhist and non-Buddhist Practices?

Post by Karma Dorje » Fri Aug 29, 2014 12:21 am

Malcolm wrote:
Karma Dorje wrote:
Malcolm wrote: Actually, relying on the words of an enlightened guru is not merely someone else's opinion-- it is buddhavacana.
In other words, someone else's opinion. Further, a guru's words are only buddhavacana to the extent that they correspond with the Dharma, as Sakya Pandita makes very clear.
No more than relying on "authoritative texts" is relying on someone else's opinion. When a realized guru speaks from his or her experience it is not speculation. I didn't hear anything from my guru that contradicts the Dharma. What we are talking about is whether realization is possible without having the specific conceptual frameworks of Buddhist dharma. I think that Buddhism provides a particularly clear conceptual framework and corpus of methods to discover the natural state. However, I don't believe those conceptual frameworks to deal with our confusion are of themselves a necessary precursor to realization.

You are free to choose whose opinions you value. I will continue to follow the words of my guru, as they accord with my experience after putting them into practice. Anyway, I know there is little chance of common ground on this issue at this time.
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Re: Mixing Buddhist and non-Buddhist Practices?

Post by DGA » Fri Aug 29, 2014 1:11 am

Karma Dorje wrote: I think that Buddhism provides a particularly clear conceptual framework and corpus of methods to discover the natural state. However, I don't believe those conceptual frameworks to deal with our confusion are of themselves a necessary precursor to realization.
Elsewhere on DharmaWheel, especially in the Dzogchen forum, I've seen members take a similar position: it's not necessary for someone to identify as a Buddhist or be trained in Buddhist doctrine to accomplish the path. How different is that claim from the one quoted above?

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Re: Mixing Buddhist and non-Buddhist Practices?

Post by dzogchungpa » Fri Aug 29, 2014 1:26 am

Jikan wrote:
Karma Dorje wrote: I think that Buddhism provides a particularly clear conceptual framework and corpus of methods to discover the natural state. However, I don't believe those conceptual frameworks to deal with our confusion are of themselves a necessary precursor to realization.
Elsewhere on DharmaWheel, especially in the Dzogchen forum, I've seen members take a similar position: it's not necessary for someone to identify as a Buddhist or be trained in Buddhist doctrine to accomplish the path. How different is that claim from the one quoted above?
I know, not very different, right?
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

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Re: Mixing Buddhist and non-Buddhist Practices?

Post by Mkoll » Fri Aug 29, 2014 1:46 am

Dan74 wrote:
Mkoll wrote:
Dan74 wrote:On the other hand, what I've said in this thread is simply that various aspects of other traditions (and for that matter psychology, etc) can be helpful on our path to liberation.
Might be helpful for some people for a period of time, but ultimately they're unnecessary.

IMHO, if the Dhamma is found to be so inadequate and lacking that a person has to look elsewhere for spiritual teachings or teachings concerning their own mind, there is something wrong.
It's not because 'the Dhamma is found to be so inadequate and lacking' that Buddhist practitioners would practice other teachings, I think, it is simply because of their karmic affinities.
Yes, something is wrong.

If someone is a murderer because of their kammic affinities, something is wrong. I'm aware this is an exaggeration: the point is that saying "it is simply because of their karmic affinities" is a cop-out argument because it can be applied to anyone's actions and thus doesn't argue for anything except to excuse actions.
Dan74 wrote:Say, your grandmother, a kind and even saintly person, used to tell you stories about Jesus when you were a child and pray with you. Later you discover the Dharma and embrace it, but the affinity for aspects of Christianity remains. You come on this thread and are told 'authoritatively' that Christianity is a worldly dharma that is based on wrong view and you have to make a choice. You go on a Christian forum and are told that Buddhism does not lead to salvation but to some horrible annihilation. I say both of these are 'wordly views'. Both of these are just concepts. Whatever we use is a skill in means, to remove obscurations, to let go of ignorance and delusion. If Christian contemplations help - great!
Christianity and Buddhism are not singular concepts but entire unique worldviews, each with their own unique framework and supports. One worldview has the goal as eternal heaven with the Christian God, the other has Nibbana/Buddhahood as its goal. Those are two different goals requiring different methods and different "worldly views".

Unless you take "Maslow's Hammer of Syncretism" to them to gloss over their differences.
Dan74 wrote:If one is a genuine truth-seeker whatever limiting views there may be, they will be let gone of in good time. Christian mystics were not bound by Christian dogma but often transcended it and came into conflict with the Church. The Buddha as is well known was not bound by the wrong views of his teachers either. This shows us that liberation is not necessarily bound by the limiting views that may accompany some practices. On the other hand Dharmic views are often distorted by afflicted mind and made to be just as limiting. A tony light held appropriately can help illuminate the darkness, and if one treads carefully, one reaches the destination. But a good light in the hands of a fool may not save him from stumbling and falling.
You are implying here that Christian mystics were liberated. In what sense? Do you actually believe they were arahants or Buddhas?

And what is the "tiny light" in your analogy? Christian dogma?
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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Re: Mixing Buddhist and non-Buddhist Practices?

Post by Mkoll » Fri Aug 29, 2014 1:49 am

dzogchungpa wrote:
Jikan wrote:
Karma Dorje wrote: I think that Buddhism provides a particularly clear conceptual framework and corpus of methods to discover the natural state. However, I don't believe those conceptual frameworks to deal with our confusion are of themselves a necessary precursor to realization.
Elsewhere on DharmaWheel, especially in the Dzogchen forum, I've seen members take a similar position: it's not necessary for someone to identify as a Buddhist or be trained in Buddhist doctrine to accomplish the path. How different is that claim from the one quoted above?
I know, not very different, right?
Agreed, not very different at all.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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Re: Mixing Buddhist and non-Buddhist Practices?

Post by Lotus_Bitch » Fri Aug 29, 2014 2:09 am

anjali wrote: But these only get us two corners and one side of the Buddhist Trikaya triangle: there is awareness (with self-awareness), Shakti/energy, and the inseparability of awareness and energy. What's missing is the corner of emptiness and the two other sides of the triangle: emptiness-awareness and emptiness-energy.
"Self-reflexive awareness" should be understood on the basis of the Kalakarama Sutta:
http://measurelessmind.ca/anattasanna.html
Thus, monks, the Tathāgata does not conceive an [object] seen when seeing what is to be seen. He does not conceive an unseen. He does not conceive a to-be-seen. He does not conceive a seer.

He does not conceive an [object] heard when hearing what is to be heard. He does not conceive an unheard. He does not conceive a to-be-heard. He does not conceive a hearer.

He does not conceive an [object] sensed when sensing what is to be sensed. He does not conceive an unsensed. He does not conceive a to-be-sensed. He does not conceive a senser.

He does not conceive an [object] known when knowing what is to be known. He does not conceive an unknown. He does not conceive a to-be-known. He does not conceive a knower.
Many meditators know how to meditate,
But only a few know how to dismantle [mental clinging].
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Re: Mixing Buddhist and non-Buddhist Practices?

Post by dzogchungpa » Fri Aug 29, 2014 2:17 am

Lotus_Bitch wrote:"Self-reflexive awareness" should be understood on the basis of the Kalakarama Sutta...
Why is that?
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

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Re: Mixing Buddhist and non-Buddhist Practices?

Post by xabir » Fri Aug 29, 2014 2:33 am

Karma Dorje wrote:What we are talking about is whether realization is possible without having the specific conceptual frameworks of Buddhist dharma.
I personally know of many people who have had prior experience working with the Vedanta path before coming to learn and contemplate and realize the Buddhadharma. They have said that 1) Vedanta path leads to Self-Realization, however, 2) the content of realization is not exactly the same as with Buddhadharma. Certainly, some Buddhists might disagree, because Buddhism in its current state of affairs is a mixed bag of different views, opinions, practices, experiences, etc. But I'd say that their insights shared by these people I mentioned, that contemplated and had experiential realizations from both paths do indeed reflect the definitive view of the Buddha's teachings.

I can give lots of names and articles written about this including my own but will just mention two persons for now since they are lineage teachers and hopefully give some credence in terms of authority (not that it really matters to me, but maybe for some readers it might):

Archaya Mahayogi Shridhar Rana Rinpoche, he used to practice the Hindu tantras and Vedanta under a qualified Vedanta teacher for nine years intensely in the cemetaries, etc. Eventually he realized the Atman-Brahman, the ultimate goal of Hinduism, and his realization was confirmed by his Vedantic masters to be correct and profound. However, still unsatisfied with his realization, he continued searching, first into Zen Buddhism, then later into the teachings of Vajrayana Buddhism, and eventually reached a deep profound state of realization. He recognised from his own experience the difference between the Vedantic and non-substantialist insights of Buddhadharma and Madhyamika. He wrote many well written articles in his site http://www.byomakusuma.org/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; , including the article comparing Vedanta with Madhyamika: http://www.byomakusuma.org/Teachings/Ma ... danta.aspx" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; . He emphasizes that the comparison was done not in order to demean one system of teaching over another but to provide greater clarity on the essential doctrines of each system so that they could each be understood correctly, as he says, "I must reiterate that this difference in both the system is very important to fully understand both the systems properly and is not meant to demean either system."

Soto Zen Teacher/Priest Alex R. Weith, too had a rather similar background, worked with Vedanta and Vedantic masters and was confirmed, but later due to further contemplation in the Buddhadharma he found the profundity and uniqueness of the 'anatta' doctrine when he finally realized it directly for himself. I'll quote some from him:

http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com. ... sutta.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

A few excerpts from the URL:

What I realized also is that authoritative self-realized students of direct students of both Ramana Maharishi and Nisargadatta Maharaj called me a 'Jnani', inviting me to give satsangs and write books, while I had not yet understood the simplest core principles of Buddhism. I realized also that the vast majority of Buddhist teachers, East and West, never went beyond the same initial insights (that Adhyashanti calls "an abiding awakening"), confusing the Atma with the ego, assuming that transcending the ego or self-center (ahamkara in Sanskrit) was identical to what the Buddha had called Anatta (Non-Atma).

It would seem therefore that the Buddha had realized the Self at a certain stage of his acetic years (it is not that difficult after all) and was not yet satisfied. As paradoxical as it may seem, his "divide and conquer strategy" aimed at a systematic deconstruction of the Self (Atma, Atta), reduced to -and divided into- what he then called the five aggregates of clinging and the six sense-spheres, does lead to further and deeper insights into the nature of reality. As far as I can tell, this makes me a Buddhist, not because I find Buddhism cool and trendy, but because I am unable to find other teachings and traditions that provide a complete set of tools and strategies aimed at unlocking these ultimate mysteries, even if mystics from various traditions did stumble on the same stages and insights often unknowingly.

....

This also means that the first step is to disembed from impermanent phenomena until the only thing that feels real is this all pervading uncreated all pervading awareness that feels like the source and substance of phenomena. Holding on to it after this realization can hower become a subtle form of grasping diguised as letting go.

The second step is therefore to realize that this brightness, awakeness or luminosity is there very nature of phenomena and then only does the duality between the True Self and the appearences arising and passing within the Self dissolve, revealing the suchness of what is.

The next step that I found very practical is to push the process of deconstruction a step further, realizing that all that is experienced is one of the six consciousness. In other words, there is neither a super Awareness beyond phenomena, not solid material objects, but only six streams of sensory experiences. The seen, the heard, the sensed, the tasted, the smelled and the cognized (including thoughts, emotions, and subtle thougths like absorbtion states, jhanas).

At this point it is not difficult to see how relevent the Bahiya Sutta can become.

.............

Practically speaking, the above mentioned method works in the same way. One can either split each of the 5 aggregates into 6 streams of consciousness, to see how the sense of "a body" (aggregate of form) arises when all senses working together create the illusion of substantiality, pretty much like the images track and the sounds tracks of a movie that together create the illusion of reality. Using the same method we can also see how the illusion of a solid body dissolves when we look deeply and see that what we had assumed to be a body is nothing more than an illusion created by 6 impermanent, separate-yet-interdependent streams of consciousness.

We can also investigate the sense of self as such.

In the seen, only the seen. We first realize that we cannot know the objects seen as such, but only the seen (shapes, colors, textures, etc.). We also realize that there is no separate entity that sees. There is seeing, but no seer. Seeing is seeing. Same with the other streams of sense consciousness.

Then, what I do is to look for a sense of self, and see whether it is more assocated to one of these 6 streams of consciousness. It is generally associated with a physical sensation around the solar plexus or gut, and is therefore related to the stream of sensing-consciousness. When this is seen for what it is, the sense of self drops. There is nothing beside the spontanious functioning of the senses.

Here the purpose is not to lock and make permanent a special state of consciousness, but only to gain deeper and deeper insights into Anatta and Shunyata until we become absolutely unable to make anything into "me" or "mine".

...

Just for the sake of clarification, I would like to make it clear that I never said that "these luminous self-perceiving phenomena which are craving-free and nondual are the Ultimate", if there could still be any ambiguity about that.

On the contrary, I said that what I used to take for an eternal, empty, uncreated, nondual, primordial awareness, source and substance of all things, turned out to be nothing more than the luminous nature of phenomena, themselves empty and ungraspable, somehow crystallized in a very subtle witnessing position. The whole topic of this thread is the deconstruction of this Primordial Awareness, One Mind, Cognizing Emptiness, Self, Atman, Luminous Mind, Tathagatgabha, or whatever we may call it,

As shocking as it may seem, the Buddha was very clear to say that this pure impersonal objectless nondual awareness (that Vedantists called Atma in Sanskrit, Atta in Pali) is still the aggregate of consciousness and that consciousness, as pure and luminous as it can be, does not stand beyond the aggregates.

"Any kind of consciousness whatever, whether past, future or presently arisen, whether gross or subtle, whether in oneself or external, whether inferior or superior, whether far or near must, with right understanding how it is, be regarded thus: 'This is not mine, this is not I, this is not my self.'" (Anatta-lakkhana Sutta).

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Re: Mixing Buddhist and non-Buddhist Practices?

Post by krodha » Fri Aug 29, 2014 3:42 am

Jikan wrote:
Karma Dorje wrote: I think that Buddhism provides a particularly clear conceptual framework and corpus of methods to discover the natural state. However, I don't believe those conceptual frameworks to deal with our confusion are of themselves a necessary precursor to realization.
Elsewhere on DharmaWheel, especially in the Dzogchen forum, I've seen members take a similar position: it's not necessary for someone to identify as a Buddhist or be trained in Buddhist doctrine to accomplish the path. How different is that claim from the one quoted above?
Those frameworks are necessary for those whose paths are gradual in nature. In the context of Dzogchen when it is stated that the aspirant needn't be versed in Buddhist tenets and principles, that only is the case because (i) Atiyoga is an experiential view which is not acquired through logic, and (ii) the relationship with the guru ensures that the practitioner is on the right path (the path following the experiential view the guru points out). So the Buddhist doctrine is only extraneous if those factors are present - in the context of the path itself.

This doesn't mean Dzogchen lacks a correct conceptual view, it simply means that in terms of the view and praxis: the irrelevancy of the enumerated view is contingent upon the presence of the unenumerated view and the guru.

For all of us who are here in this web forum, discussing, comparing and contrasting different systems, this is a completely different context and it is important to uphold the correct conceptual view.

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Re: Mixing Buddhist and non-Buddhist Practices?

Post by Hieros Gamos » Fri Aug 29, 2014 3:47 am

xabir wrote: ...
:good:

Re: Advaita IMHO it's like this. Abstract and physical entities are both of one taste in consciousness. No entities, abstract or physical, can be distinguished from the milieu. They're both just energies in experience. Since both are merely referents of consciousness, subject and object, since they are also just entities in experience, are also merely referents of consciousness. Since all entities, subjects or objects, are just referents of consciousness, that is, energies in experience, consciousness has no boundaries. Since consciousness has no boundaries, it is non-finite.

So far so good and I think this gets us to "aham brahmasmi" - but I think this is as far as Advaita can go. This also gets Dharma from the energies in experience to the nature of consciousness. But it goes further.

Since the nature of consciousness is non-finite its essence is unknowable, the absolute mystery. What it actually is or is not can't be known, it's the absolute existing in itself. Therefore its essence is unreachable, the abyss. There is no essence. Regarding the essence of consciousness, there is no consciousness. So the source of the energies in experience is not even consciousness, it's what's hidden behind the appearance of consciousness - which is nothing, no consciousness.

I'd be interested to learn whether or how the idea of the previous paragraph is included in the upanishads, etc. But I suspect that nirguna is not it, since nirguna is eternal all-pervading and omnipresent divine consciousness.

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Re: Mixing Buddhist and non-Buddhist Practices?

Post by xabir » Fri Aug 29, 2014 5:09 am

Hieros Gamos wrote:
xabir wrote: ...
So the source of the energies in experience is not even consciousness, it's what's hidden behind the appearance of consciousness - which is nothing, no consciousness.
Actually the very notion of a source, or foundation, behind appearance out of which everything comes out of is itself an erroneous view of inherent existence.

In MN1 (Mulapariyaya Sutta: The Root Sequence), Buddha said:

"He directly knows the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness as the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness. Directly knowing the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness as the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, he does not conceive things about the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, does not conceive things in the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, does not conceive things coming out of the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, does not conceive the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness as 'mine,' does not delight in the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness. Why is that? Because he has comprehended it, I tell you.

"He directly knows the dimension of nothingness as the dimension of nothingness. Directly knowing the dimension of nothingness as the dimension of nothingness, let him not conceive things about the dimension of nothingness, let him not conceive things in the dimension of nothingness, let him not conceive things coming out of the dimension of nothingness, let him not conceive the dimension of nothingness as 'mine,' let him not delight in the dimension of nothingness. Why is that? So that he may comprehend it, I tell you."

Venerable Thanissaro commented:

The Buddha taught that clinging to views is one of the four forms of clinging that tie the mind to the processes of suffering. He thus recommended that his followers relinquish their clinging, not only to views in their full-blown form as specific positions, but also in their rudimentary form as the categories & relationships that the mind reads into experience. This is a point he makes in the following discourse, which is apparently his response to a particular school of Brahmanical thought that was developing in his time — the Samkhya, or classification school.

This school had its beginnings in the thought of Uddalaka, a ninth-century B.C. philosopher who posited a "root": an abstract principle out of which all things emanated and which was immanent in all things. Philosophers who carried on this line of thinking offered a variety of theories, based on logic and meditative experience, about the nature of the ultimate root and about the hierarchy of the emanation. Many of their theories were recorded in the Upanishads and eventually developed into the classical Samkhya system around the time of the Buddha.

Although the present discourse says nothing about the background of the monks listening to it, the Commentary states that before their ordination they were brahmans, and that even after their ordination they continued to interpret the Buddha's teachings in light of their previous training, which may well have been proto-Samkhya. If this is so, then the Buddha's opening lines — "I will teach you the sequence of the root of all phenomena" — would have them prepared to hear his contribution to their line of thinking. And, in fact, the list of topics he covers reads like a Buddhist Samkhya. Paralleling the classical Samkhya, it contains 24 items, begins with the physical world (here, the four physical properties), and leads back through ever more refined & inclusive levels of being & experience, culminating with the ultimate Buddhist concept: Unbinding (nibbana). In the pattern of Samkhya thought, Unbinding would thus be the ultimate "root" or ground of being immanent in all things and out of which they all emanate.

However, instead of following this pattern of thinking, the Buddha attacks it at its very root: the notion of a principle in the abstract, the "in" (immanence) & "out of" (emanation) superimposed on experience. Only an uninstructed, run of the mill person, he says, would read experience in this way. In contrast, a person in training should look for a different kind of "root" — the root of suffering experienced in the present — and find it in the act of delight. Developing dispassion for that delight, the trainee can then comprehend the process of coming-into-being for what it is, drop all participation in it, and thus achieve true Awakening.

If the listeners present at this discourse were indeed interested in fitting Buddhist teachings into a Samkhyan mold, then it's small wonder that they were displeased — one of the few places where we read of a negative reaction to the Buddha's words. They had hoped to hear his contribution to their project, but instead they hear their whole pattern of thinking & theorizing attacked as ignorant & ill-informed. The Commentary tells us, though, they were later able to overcome their displeasure and eventually attain Awakening on listening to the discourse reported in AN 3.123.

Although at present we rarely think in the same terms as the Samkhya philosophers, there has long been — and still is — a common tendency to create a "Buddhist" metaphysics in which the experience of emptiness, the Unconditioned, the Dharma-body, Buddha-nature, rigpa, etc., is said to function as the ground of being from which the "All" — the entirety of our sensory & mental experience — is said to spring and to which we return when we meditate. Some people think that these theories are the inventions of scholars without any direct meditative experience, but actually they have most often originated among meditators, who label (or in the words of the discourse, "perceive") a particular meditative experience as the ultimate goal, identify with it in a subtle way (as when we are told that "we are the knowing"), and then view that level of experience as the ground of being out of which all other experience comes.

Any teaching that follows these lines would be subject to the same criticism that the Buddha directed against the monks who first heard this discourse.



By the way, there are Hindu masters like Nisargadatta Maharaj who have gone beyond realizing 'infinite consciousness' to realizing that 'nothingness out of which consciousness emerge'. This is discussed here. It is also described in 'Stage 3' in http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com. ... ience.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; . But even that realization is tainted by false view of inherent existence. Only the Buddhadharma deals with this through insight into anatta, dependent origination, and emptiness.

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Re: Mixing Buddhist and non-Buddhist Practices?

Post by muni » Fri Aug 29, 2014 8:17 am

What we are talking about is whether realization is possible without having the specific conceptual frameworks of Buddhist dharma. I think that Buddhism provides a particularly clear conceptual framework and corpus of methods to discover the natural state. However, I don't believe those conceptual frameworks to deal with our confusion are of themselves a necessary precursor to realization.
Use and let go, is been said. what is not useful is not useful.

Being in the desert I need water, so ask a group of people where is the water, then all are pointing a finger. Then I can start to analyse those fingers and their pointing directions. Or I can turn my gaze to what they are pointing to. Then I can eventually meet other people guiding me further and so on until the water is find and I can drink. At least then I don’t start to analyse the water but drink. While drinking there is no description.

Whatever can bring our gaze into the direction is great. And some need some more fingers or in different ways. When I am asking the way, they tell me: go to the right, then I start to think: which right? So I can use another finger.

Anyway there is a variety of dust, and so a variety of methods to do the laundry, which is wonderful.
When a realized guru speaks from his or her experience it is not speculation.
Ah! I think this is crucial.
“ Only the development of compassion and understanding for others can bring us the tranquility and happiness we all seek. ”
H H Dalai Lama

"Relax." nirvana-samsara do not stray from spaciousness.

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Re: Mixing Buddhist and non-Buddhist Practices?

Post by muni » Fri Aug 29, 2014 9:29 am

I read few words spoken by Jesus and it is beautiful. But I know not much of Christianity.

By own clinging mind mixing can make a mess and no liberation. Since all practices contradicting being freed of clinging to oneself and all on themselves existing things, cannot liberate from suffering.

I feel no need to compare Buddhism and other religions but to watch own mind.
“ Only the development of compassion and understanding for others can bring us the tranquility and happiness we all seek. ”
H H Dalai Lama

"Relax." nirvana-samsara do not stray from spaciousness.

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Re: Mixing Buddhist and non-Buddhist Practices?

Post by Anders » Fri Aug 29, 2014 9:39 am

Mkoll wrote:What I'm saying is I think something is wrong if someone is jumping from seriously practicing Buddhism to some other spiritual path or to some other teachings concerning their own mind.
I've seen cases like that. Often it looks like some sort of "prodigal son" syndrome that does suggest unresolved issues coming home to roost. So yeah, I'd agree it can often be the case.

OTOH, at least in the Zen tradition, we also have many cases where adepts find the impetus for results in entirely un-Buddhist contexts. The monk who overhears a butcher claiming "all my meat is the best meat", the sharpest ones get it simply the trees and wind blowing! The great ancestor Zhao Zhou made the vow “Even if someone is a hundred years old, if that person is spiritually less advanced than I, I shall offer that person Teaching. And even if someone is seven years old, if that person has spiritually surpassed me, I shall ask that person for Teaching.” I forget his name, but in the nikayas, there is a disciple of the Buddha who was too stupid to conceptually understand even the four noble truths. Yet he became an Arahant from simply following the method of "sweeping the dust". First literally, then his mind. Not very uniquely buddhist at all for that guy.

As such, I'd also expect incidents where encounters with non-Buddhist teachings can provide the openings to "Buddhist" truths that Buddhism could not (Leonard Cohen actually describes just such a thing for himself after many decades of Zen training and encountering a hindu teacher). Which is not a failure of anything - Just that the mind can't always be made to conform to one set of things along neat lines in this saha world. And furthermore, with all the bodhisattva activity the sutras tell us happen in non-buddhist clothing as well, we should expect that Bodhisattvas are actively pursuing such avenues of awakening for sentient beings as well.

I realise I have sort of moved the goalposts here a bit. Because this isn't exactly the same as the original topic and more depicts scenarios of people who are deeply soaked in Buddhist view and training and then find their decisive openings or impetus in non-buddhist sources (as opposed to someone finding their way by juggling Buddhism in one hand and Christianity in the other and trying to make sense of them together). That said, I think the topic deserves a bit of exploration of the side angles of this as well for the full picture.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra

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Re: Mixing Buddhist and non-Buddhist Practices?

Post by DGA » Fri Aug 29, 2014 11:56 am

asunthatneversets wrote:
Jikan wrote:
Karma Dorje wrote: I think that Buddhism provides a particularly clear conceptual framework and corpus of methods to discover the natural state. However, I don't believe those conceptual frameworks to deal with our confusion are of themselves a necessary precursor to realization.
Elsewhere on DharmaWheel, especially in the Dzogchen forum, I've seen members take a similar position: it's not necessary for someone to identify as a Buddhist or be trained in Buddhist doctrine to accomplish the path. How different is that claim from the one quoted above?
Those frameworks are necessary for those whose paths are gradual in nature. In the context of Dzogchen when it is stated that the aspirant needn't be versed in Buddhist tenets and principles, that only is the case because (i) Atiyoga is an experiential view which is not acquired through logic, and (ii) the relationship with the guru ensures that the practitioner is on the right path (the path following the experiential view the guru points out). So the Buddhist doctrine is only extraneous if those factors are present - in the context of the path itself.

This doesn't mean Dzogchen lacks a correct conceptual view, it simply means that in terms of the view and praxis: the irrelevancy of the enumerated view is contingent upon the presence of the unenumerated view and the guru.

For all of us who are here in this web forum, discussing, comparing and contrasting different systems, this is a completely different context and it is important to uphold the correct conceptual view.
That's my own position, actually. I'm all for a Buddhist view.

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Hieros Gamos
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Re: Mixing Buddhist and non-Buddhist Practices?

Post by Hieros Gamos » Fri Aug 29, 2014 2:42 pm

xabir wrote:...is itself an erroneous view of inherent existence.
Yes. The Tibetans call that the inseparability of the kayas.

Of course whether there "is" or "is not" a "source" is just words. Everything that's a construct is an ego. Another reason why I need a teacher's direct pointing, not just books. Which is itself just a path ...

Before I go nuts I need to drink the soup.
xabir wrote:Nisargadatta
Thanks for the links, Nisargadatta used to be my fav. You may agree he and Ramana were not typical Advaitists though, like for instance Chinmayananda.

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Malcolm
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Re: Mixing Buddhist and non-Buddhist Practices?

Post by Malcolm » Fri Aug 29, 2014 3:08 pm

Karma Dorje wrote:What we are talking about is whether realization is possible without having the specific conceptual frameworks of Buddhist dharma. I think that Buddhism provides a particularly clear conceptual framework and corpus of methods to discover the natural state. However, I don't believe those conceptual frameworks to deal with our confusion are of themselves a necessary precursor to realization.

You are free to choose whose opinions you value. I will continue to follow the words of my guru, as they accord with my experience after putting them into practice. Anyway, I know there is little chance of common ground on this issue at this time.
Your Guru was a Buddhist monk correct? A Nyingmapa correct? Someone who spent some time as a Hindu renunciate and then moved on to become a Buddhist practitioner?

This is hardly a ringing endorsement for your view that liberation, freedom from rebirth in samsara, is something your teacher held was possible outside of Buddhadharma.

Some people think realization can come about through meditation alone [this is the Hindu view in general]. But this is definitely not the Buddha's teaching. The Buddha's teaching is that view informs meditation.

Right view is at the head of the path.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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dzogchungpa
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Re: Mixing Buddhist and non-Buddhist Practices?

Post by dzogchungpa » Fri Aug 29, 2014 3:39 pm

Malcolm wrote:Some people think realization can come about through meditation alone [this is the Hindu view in general].
Really? That's the HIndu view in general? Did you take a survey or something?
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

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Malcolm
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Re: Mixing Buddhist and non-Buddhist Practices?

Post by Malcolm » Fri Aug 29, 2014 4:00 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
Malcolm wrote:Some people think realization can come about through meditation alone [this is the Hindu view in general].
Really? That's the HIndu view in general? Did you take a survey or something?
Well, there are some Advaitans who think you can just intellectualize your way to liberation...
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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conebeckham
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Re: Mixing Buddhist and non-Buddhist Practices?

Post by conebeckham » Fri Aug 29, 2014 4:24 pm

...and there are some Buddhists, apparently, who think the intellect is sufficient for an experiental understanding of emptiness.

Just sayin'...
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
སྐལ་ལྡན་ལས་འཕྲོ་ཅན་གྱིས་རྟོགས་པ་སྟེ།
དེ་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ལ་ནི་ལོ་རྟོག་སེལ།།


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")

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