The Truth of the First Noble Truth

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Re: The Truth of the First Noble Truth

Post by LastLegend » Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:17 am

Queequeg wrote:
LastLegend wrote:Rebirth exists because we are wavered by thought in chasing form. Form exists because of thought, thought exists because of form. The moment we conceive a thought, there is an image of form. The moment we see form, we conceive thought.

Rebirth is suffering, First Noble Truth. Still on topic. :lol:
Conceptually, I think I get rebirth. In reality, though... I can't make that full connection.

I do take rebirth in my practice on faith. Enough of what the Buddha taught seems true and reasonable enough that I walk the path in trust. That does not mean I don't have questions and deep reservations.
Well, learn to trust the very you that is present here right now in front of your eyes. That's all, or otherwise you will try to look for yourself and try to explain your own existence, how you got here.

If you have
not yet testified to this, look! Look!


Or you will suffer (First Noble Truth) <-------Not trying to scare you, I am saying this to stay on topic. :lol:
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)

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―I come to the East to transmit this clear knowing mind without constructing any dharma―

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Re: The Truth of the First Noble Truth

Post by Grigoris » Wed Nov 12, 2014 12:38 pm

Queequeg wrote:Yes. Exactly. I asked earlier about the tree falling in the woods - My understanding has been that the tree falling in the woods doesn't make a sound if there is no one there to hear it.

The way I've learned it (and this is a big part of how I came to question the 4NT as subjective - which in retrospect I overstated the case):

Dharmas in themselves are without marks. We see dharmas arise, abide, and break up because we more or less project distinctions onto the world around us. Without a subjective perspective, the dharmadhatu doesn't arise. Things may very well churn along, but without us making distinctions, they are silent in terms of meanings/conceptions/ideation. That might be a little awkward way to put it.

Anyway, when we misapprehend, the projections are generally wrong, and not understanding the true nature of reality, we get hurt in the various ways when the distinctions we mistakenly draw and depend on fail us.

I can understand Samkhara Dukkha as an observation about the churning nature of phenomena. I like it as it precludes the wrong turn into the bad "there is nothing outside of my mind" view. Nonetheless, it seems to me like a skillful distinction that will be released in the ultimate case of an awakened mind. An upaya, a skillful description to draw our attention to this fault in ourselves that in tandem with phenomena is perniciously hurting us no matter how much we succeed in gaining ordinary knowledge.

The Buddha and other advanced beings, as I understand see through this problem. However, they do not refrain from drawing distinctions, but do so skillfully to prompt us to see this problem for ourselves and the way to get out of it. These are true, not false, but not true like a scientific description of matter is received to be true. It is true as a healing truth meant to guide us to a bigger insight, which is True about our ultimate "existential" nature.
I will assume you know the difference between understanding and realisation.

I understand that phenomena are impermanent, etc... But still I act out of attachment and aversion. If I truly realise the impermanent nature of phenomena then I am no longer a worldly being. For worldly beings all phenomena are inherently suffering. It is exactly because, for us, that they are without marks that they are suffering itself. Even if they were permanent (I believe) they would cause suffering, except that now, our suffering would also be permanent.

So, if you are so advanced along the path that you can discard or question the validity of the First Noble Truth, go for it! For me though, it remains a Dharma, because I am still afflicted. But I think a number of us have already said this a number of times?

Realisation is the key, and that, my friend, comes mainly through practice. Without realisation your theory is based on doubt and not insight, and doubt is murderer of insight.
Last edited by Grigoris on Wed Nov 12, 2014 1:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Truth of the First Noble Truth

Post by Malcolm » Wed Nov 12, 2014 1:12 pm

brendan wrote:
The claims are that Buddha/Dharma does eliminate all suffering (or course via Dependent Origination)....but considering the claims..moving the goal posts (lack of a better term) seems a very appropriate term.
Can you present such claims, something found in a sūtra, for example?
Considering the claims of Vajradhara, Garab Dorje, Buddhas etc..at what point is their view of Dependent Origination and their claims of accomplishment not poetic licence and machism.
Which claims? Can you bring them forward?

BTW, you have seemed awfully disappointed in Buddhadharma now for many years, and for some strange reason, you seem to only comment on my posts.
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Re: The Truth of the First Noble Truth

Post by Malcolm » Wed Nov 12, 2014 1:18 pm

brendan wrote:

Yes, of course. As long as sentient beings are afflicted, they will continue to suffer. Who could expect anything else. It is not the Buddha's fault that sentient beings continue to cultivate afflictions. No one ever claimed the Buddha was able to remove the suffering of sentients beings through fiat.
It's just Dependent Origination to suit ones point of view. What's the point of being omniscient having achieved limitless compassion, kindness etc.
Buddhas are omniscient, not omnipotent. The criteria for even being able to meet Buddhadharma are rather slim, themselves requiring long stores of merit.

So what is Vajradhara or Garab Dorje or the Mahayana Buddhas doing this very instant!
Helping some sentient being somewhere. Does this mean they are surgically removing that being's suffering? No, of course not. Are they teaching Dharma? Yes, since that is primary way Buddhas help sentient beings in samsara.
They claim they have perfect omniscience (so they know exactly what is happening this very instant), they claim they have perfect compassion, kindness, generosity etc ( so they have the tools to help any sentient being). They claim they can remember every one of their past lives ( so they clearly know all the problems).....so what more to practitioners have to do.
They have to practice the path, just as the buddhas before them did.
Next you will be suggesting I pray to Tara lol.
It would probably be more beneficial for you than making disappointed complaints about Buddhadharma on the internet.
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Re: The Truth of the First Noble Truth

Post by Grigoris » Wed Nov 12, 2014 1:49 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Next you will be suggesting I pray to Tara lol.
It would probably be more beneficial for you than making disappointed complaints about Buddhadharma on the internet.
:good:

How many sentient beings have achieved realisation through praying to Tara and how many through doubting the Dharma? Do the maths, draw the conclusions.
Last edited by Grigoris on Wed Nov 12, 2014 1:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Truth of the First Noble Truth

Post by Arjan Dirkse » Wed Nov 12, 2014 1:50 pm

To me, Buddha is a therapist to help sentient beings with their suffering. There is suffering, but to say there is only suffering in samsara is mistaken, I think.

Once one fully accepts suffering as a fact, that suffering is reduced, and it can be endured with equanimity. That is the stoic outlook which isn't far removed from Buddhism/Buddhadharma, I think. Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius are pretty close to some of the basic tenets of Buddhism.

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Re: The Truth of the First Noble Truth

Post by Grigoris » Wed Nov 12, 2014 1:53 pm

Arjan Dirkse wrote:To me, Buddha is a therapist to help sentient beings with their suffering. There is suffering, but to say there is only suffering in samsara is mistaken, I think.

Once one fully accepts suffering as a fact, that suffering is reduced, and it can be endured with equanimity. That is the stoic outlook which isn't far removed from Buddhism/Buddhadharma, I think. Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius are pretty close to some of the basic tenets of Buddhism.
Accepting suffering means accepting ignorance. Doesn't sound all that Buddhist to me.
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"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: The Truth of the First Noble Truth

Post by Arjan Dirkse » Wed Nov 12, 2014 2:16 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:
Arjan Dirkse wrote:To me, Buddha is a therapist to help sentient beings with their suffering. There is suffering, but to say there is only suffering in samsara is mistaken, I think.

Once one fully accepts suffering as a fact, that suffering is reduced, and it can be endured with equanimity. That is the stoic outlook which isn't far removed from Buddhism/Buddhadharma, I think. Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius are pretty close to some of the basic tenets of Buddhism.
Accepting suffering means accepting ignorance. Doesn't sound all that Buddhist to me.
If I'm not mistaken, then Marcus Aurelius said that ultimately, suffering is dependent on the mind, because everything is what the mind makes it. However he also made clear he himself was still "in samsara" so to speak, and suffering from its defects.

One quote from Marcus Aurelius's Meditations: "All is as thinking makes it so - and you control your thinking. So remove your judgments whenever you wish and there is calm - as the sailor rounding the cape finds smooth water and the welcome of a waveless bay"

So what can't be avoided are the physical facts of things like old age and sickness, however theoretically at least equanimity can remove the suffering that accompanies them (according to stoic philosophy).

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Re: The Truth of the First Noble Truth

Post by DGA » Wed Nov 12, 2014 2:25 pm

Here's the best answer I've seen to the question, "Is Meditation Therapy?" (or more accurately, is Buddhism a therapy):

http://www.windhorseguild.org/pdf/jcp/v ... herapy.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I was hoping to excerpt a few quotations, but the whole piece is so pithy and brief that I'd have to quote the whole thing. Remember, when Trungpa made these comments, he did so to a room full of psychologists.

I think the article also relates directly to the topic, of relating to the problem of suffering

:cheers:

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Re: The Truth of the First Noble Truth

Post by Pringle » Wed Nov 12, 2014 4:23 pm

Arjan Dirkse wrote:To me, Buddha is a therapist to help sentient beings with their suffering. There is suffering, but to say there is only suffering in samsara is mistaken, I think.

Once one fully accepts suffering as a fact, that suffering is reduced, and it can be endured with equanimity. That is the stoic outlook which isn't far removed from Buddhism/Buddhadharma, I think. Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius are pretty close to some of the basic tenets of Buddhism.
However wouldn't that still be acknowledging that the 'thing' was a cause of suffering to begin with? It maybe that through attaining a state of equinamity that 'thing' that caused suffering to begin with, no longer causes suffering in said person who has attained this state, but it isn't to say that the 'thing' that caused suffering, is not longer a cause of suffering, just that the person who has attained this equinamity is no longer effected by it. As such this still supports the thirst noble truth about Dukkha.

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Re: The Truth of the First Noble Truth

Post by Arjan Dirkse » Wed Nov 12, 2014 4:46 pm

Pringle wrote:
Arjan Dirkse wrote:To me, Buddha is a therapist to help sentient beings with their suffering. There is suffering, but to say there is only suffering in samsara is mistaken, I think.

Once one fully accepts suffering as a fact, that suffering is reduced, and it can be endured with equanimity. That is the stoic outlook which isn't far removed from Buddhism/Buddhadharma, I think. Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius are pretty close to some of the basic tenets of Buddhism.
However wouldn't that still be acknowledging that the 'thing' was a cause of suffering to begin with? It maybe that through attaining a state of equinamity that 'thing' that caused suffering to begin with, no longer causes suffering in said person who has attained this state, but it isn't to say that the 'thing' that caused suffering, is not longer a cause of suffering, just that the person who has attained this equinamity is no longer effected by it. As such this still supports the thirst noble truth about Dukkha.
If you're no longer effected, is it still suffering?

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Re: The Truth of the First Noble Truth

Post by Sönam » Wed Nov 12, 2014 4:58 pm

Every one, individually, has to get rid of his own ignorance ... because every one, individually, posses the nature of a buddha and has to found his own nature. No external buddha can do that for him. Vajrasattva can only help, teaches someone to found his own nature. Buddhas do only what have to be done ... and not what someone expect them to be done.

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Re: The Truth of the First Noble Truth

Post by Pringle » Wed Nov 12, 2014 5:06 pm

Arjan Dirkse wrote:
Pringle wrote:
Arjan Dirkse wrote:To me, Buddha is a therapist to help sentient beings with their suffering. There is suffering, but to say there is only suffering in samsara is mistaken, I think.

Once one fully accepts suffering as a fact, that suffering is reduced, and it can be endured with equanimity. That is the stoic outlook which isn't far removed from Buddhism/Buddhadharma, I think. Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius are pretty close to some of the basic tenets of Buddhism.
However wouldn't that still be acknowledging that the 'thing' was a cause of suffering to begin with? It maybe that through attaining a state of equinamity that 'thing' that caused suffering to begin with, no longer causes suffering in said person who has attained this state, but it isn't to say that the 'thing' that caused suffering, is not longer a cause of suffering, just that the person who has attained this equinamity is no longer effected by it. As such this still supports the thirst noble truth about Dukkha.
If you're no longer effected, is it still suffering?
The 'thing' is still a casue of suffering, it may be that a person has attined a certain level of equinimity and so no longer effects them the same as soemone else, but it may still be a cause of suffering for someone else and they still had to accept it that it was a cuase of suffering in the first place to deal with it in a calm rational manner, and as i don't think anyone has reached this 'equinimity' that your reffering to......then yes everything is still suffering

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Re: The Truth of the First Noble Truth

Post by Queequeg » Wed Nov 12, 2014 5:20 pm

Bakmoon wrote: This is a true point. The Four Noble Truths are conceptual statements that are no longer held onto in the case of a fully awakened being. However, it is important to note that this is true about all formulations of the Dharma whatsoever. The Four Noble Truths are no longer held onto not because they are somehow wrong, but because language is based on abstract concepts, and for a fully awakened being the truth is a matter of direct experience, not intellectual concepts. Specifically in the context of classifications of teachings the Four Noble Truths are a Hinayana teaching, but this is because they are not exclusive to the Mahayana path so by themselves they are inferior in result, not because they are somehow less true, even though in Mahayana they fit into a much larger framework of teachings.

It is correct that the First Noble Truth isn't true in the sense that there are these distinct things called dharmas and they have within them this thing called being fabricated and as a result they also have this other thing called Sankharadukkhata. Rather, they are true in the sense that reality simply behaves in a certain way and it can be described as being Sankharadukkhata, but this is true of all other statements of Dharma as well. Even saying all dharmas are empty works like this as well, as it isn't true that all dharmas have this certain thing in them called emptiness, but rather that they don't have an intrinsic essence and one can refer to this absence with a concept called emptiness.
Its difficult to talk about these matters because the 'balance' is very delicate. Making one comment about dharma, at least for an ignorant, inarticulate slob like me, very often has the tendency of going too far, and then further caveats and footnotes are added to regain the balance but all that happens is this 'imbalance' perpetuates, concatenating into the roaring wheel of samsara. When Vimalakirti is asked to elaborate on the ultimate, he's just silent. That might be best for me... just shut up.

Zhiyi evolved a teaching of Three-Fold Inclusive Truth as a way to emphasize the mutuality/coextensive identity of the conditioned and ultimate truth, to specifically address the problem of balance. Relinquishing the 4NT on awakening is not to abandon or deny them, but rather it seems more like their significance is ameliorated - the problem they solve has been solved - what remains? The chain of events leading to the release are not erased, it is what it is. :shrug:

Call it Truth - yes, it has its value in a particular purpose. When its purpose is fulfilled, the value changes. Still truth, but different than it was before.
The Buddha and other advanced beings, as I understand see through this problem. However, they do not refrain from drawing distinctions, but do so skillfully to prompt us to see this problem for ourselves and the way to get out of it. These are true, not false, but not true like a scientific description of matter is received to be true. It is true as a healing truth meant to guide us to a bigger insight, which is True about our ultimate "existential" nature.
(Emphasis added)
Could you explain this in more detail? I can't quite understand what you mean.
There's this notion among science-ists (It a word I think I'm making up to refer to people who take the yield of scientific inquiry as Ultimate Truth; some scientists are science-ists, but certainly not all) that Science holds the keys to life and everything else (42). It is a view limited to the material. In a way, for science-ists, scientists are something like the priest class of past eras who hold the keys to ultimate knowledge. In this sense, scientific laws are objective Truths, much as God was/is the Truth for some. They seem to believe that knowledge in itself will solve everything. Truth as the ultimate value. You often here theoretical scientists (and perhaps even more true for the highest guild of theorists - the mathematicians) say they pursue knowledge just for the sake of knowledge. I'm skeptical and I think they are addicted to the pleasure of solving puzzles, but that's a different story.

I'm not disputing the reality of scientifically established facts - what is there to dispute when a correlation is established between a defined experiment and a result? What is there to argue with when the correlation is applied to understand situations outside of the experiment? Dharma I see as more or less similar, in most respects. However, there is one major difference. for Dharma, the value of a truth or fact is measured by its therapeutic value to alleviate the dukkha experienced by beings. To me, this makes a world of difference between Buddhist Truth and Scientific Truth. It implies a completely different way to hold and use the truths/facts, as an existential matter.
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Re: The Truth of the First Noble Truth

Post by Grigoris » Wed Nov 12, 2014 5:22 pm

Arjan Dirkse wrote:If you're no longer effected, is it still suffering?
You are not affected by the suffering of others?
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"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: The Truth of the First Noble Truth

Post by Queequeg » Wed Nov 12, 2014 6:28 pm

LastLegend wrote:
Queequeg wrote:
LastLegend wrote:Rebirth exists because we are wavered by thought in chasing form. Form exists because of thought, thought exists because of form. The moment we conceive a thought, there is an image of form. The moment we see form, we conceive thought.

Rebirth is suffering, First Noble Truth. Still on topic. :lol:
Conceptually, I think I get rebirth. In reality, though... I can't make that full connection.

I do take rebirth in my practice on faith. Enough of what the Buddha taught seems true and reasonable enough that I walk the path in trust. That does not mean I don't have questions and deep reservations.
Well, learn to trust the very you that is present here right now in front of your eyes. That's all, or otherwise you will try to look for yourself and try to explain your own existence, how you got here.

If you have
not yet testified to this, look! Look!


Or you will suffer (First Noble Truth) <-------Not trying to scare you, I am saying this to stay on topic. :lol:
Image

What if I were to say that I don't generally have questions about who I am or how I got here? That that grasping part of me has been tamed, though there are certainly these deep rooted tendencies that are difficult to remove and tend to grow back if not pruned carefully. That for the most part, I just do, and the only thing I persevere toward is doing things better than I have - cause less harm to myself and others, be a kind and reliable person for others, do what I can to alleviate all that ails, in myself and others; in terms of religious endeavor, support the community with effort and material resources, trust and find solace in their company; seek and study dharma, and put it into practice; look to the Buddha as a teacher in whom I strive to trust; after all that, I look in myself and there is still no insight into rebirth, and yet proceeding on faith (adhimukti/adhimokkha) as though rebirth is true.

That is a recipe for suffering?

The answer is not going to affect me one way or the other. If you tell me this is suffering because I don't see, well, there's nothing I can do. I could say to you all that "It True!", but that would be an affectation and not what I know. My personal knowledge is harshly circumscribed, and transcending those limitations is possible only in so far as I can transcend them; there is always more beyond, I have found so far. I have not by any stretch gotten to the point where I can say, "There is nothing more. The holy life has been lived."
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Re: The Truth of the First Noble Truth

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Wed Nov 12, 2014 6:50 pm

I never found the FNT controversial...I read Camus a lot as a kid lol. Now, the other truths, took some dealing with.

For me, unfalsiability isn't an issue, by definition empiricism is always an abstraction of truth, it can't be anything but. This is one of the problems IMO to trying to evaluate Buddhadharma with naturalistic lenses, you always end up trying to take your discursive abstractions regarding Dharma, and subject them to "testing". The problem is that you are actually just testing your abstractions though, not the 'real thing" as it were.

The subjective experience of the FNT is where the "truth" is found, not in the statement...focusing on the statement itself, as if it's meant to be a falsiable scientific "proof" of some sort, to me does not make sense.
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Re: The Truth of the First Noble Truth

Post by Arjan Dirkse » Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:18 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:
Arjan Dirkse wrote:If you're no longer effected, is it still suffering?
You are not affected by the suffering of others?
Well, my argument was not about me, but about the ideal of a stoic philosopher...which is pretty far from what I am...

I think a stoic philosopher would say the suffering of others doesn't effect him or herself by causing him or herself to suffer, but it would still effect him (or her) by arousing compassion, or simply a duty to right what is wrong. The stoics were very much about social responsibility.

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Re: The Truth of the First Noble Truth

Post by Queequeg » Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:19 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:I never found the FNT controversial...I read Camus a lot as a kid lol. Now, the other truths, took some dealing with.

For me, unfalsiability isn't an issue, by definition empiricism is always an abstraction of truth, it can't be anything but. This is one of the problems IMO to trying to evaluate Buddhadharma with naturalistic lenses, you always end up trying to take your discursive abstractions regarding Dharma, and subject them to "testing". The problem is that you are actually just testing your abstractions though, not the 'real thing" as it were.

The subjective experience of the FNT is where the "truth" is found, not in the statement...focusing on the statement itself, as if it's meant to be a falsiable scientific "proof" of some sort, to me does not make sense.
Yeah! What he said!

I think...
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Great for solving problems, after it creates the problems."
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Re: The Truth of the First Noble Truth

Post by brendan » Wed Nov 12, 2014 11:39 pm

Malcolm wrote:
brendan wrote:

Yes, of course. As long as sentient beings are afflicted, they will continue to suffer. Who could expect anything else. It is not the Buddha's fault that sentient beings continue to cultivate afflictions. No one ever claimed the Buddha was able to remove the suffering of sentients beings through fiat.
It's just Dependent Origination to suit ones point of view. What's the point of being omniscient having achieved limitless compassion, kindness etc.
Buddhas are omniscient, not omnipotent. The criteria for even being able to meet Buddhadharma are rather slim, themselves requiring long stores of merit.



I understand the difference....the claim is though they are able to see a beings sufferings....and considering they claim they have the tools to eliminate the suffering...and if the beings asks them to do it why not meet their side of dependent origination (so to speak).

So what is Vajradhara or Garab Dorje or the Mahayana Buddhas doing this very instant!
Helping some sentient being somewhere. Does this mean they are surgically removing that being's suffering? No, of course not. Are they teaching Dharma? Yes, since that is primary way Buddhas help sentient beings in samsara.



If the beings asks for it to be removed they should just remove it...apparently they have the skills to remove it non violently. Also why not remove it surgically their is anesthetic isn't there. That's just making excuses for not actually being able to meet ones side of the bargain (so to say).
They claim they have perfect omniscience (so they know exactly what is happening this very instant), they claim they have perfect compassion, kindness, generosity etc ( so they have the tools to help any sentient being). They claim they can remember every one of their past lives ( so they clearly know all the problems).....so what more to practitioners have to do.
They have to practice the path, just as the buddhas before them did.

My above quote was summarizing Buddhas not practitioners.
Next you will be suggesting I pray to Tara lol.
It would probably be more beneficial for you than making disappointed complaints about Buddhadharma on the internet.
What do you mean probably? I'm not frustrated just like pointing out the hypocrisy.
Last edited by brendan on Thu Nov 13, 2014 12:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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