What are the General Mahayana Teachings?

General forum on the teachings of all schools of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. Topics specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
Dharma Flower
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What are the General Mahayana Teachings?

Post by Dharma Flower » Sat Jun 03, 2017 2:16 am

For the sake of inter-sectarian harmony and understanding, what are the doctrines, concepts or teachings common to all (or most) sects and schools of Mahayana Buddhism?

I realize that different sects will have different interpretations of these same concepts or teachings.

But at the most basic level, what are the doctrines or concepts that all (or most) Mahayana schools and sects share in common?

Thank you for your help. :thanks:

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Re: What are the General Mahayana Teachings?

Post by javier.espinoza.t » Sun Jun 04, 2017 5:29 am

Dharma Flower wrote:For the sake of inter-sectarian harmony and understanding, what are the doctrines, concepts or teachings common to all (or most) sects and schools of Mahayana Buddhism?

I realize that different sects will have different interpretations of these same concepts or teachings.

But at the most basic level, what are the doctrines or concepts that all (or most) Mahayana schools and sects share in common?

Thank you for your help. :thanks:
I don't know about schools, but i have certainty that Mahayana is a training, not philosophies :smile:

in this sense is much far more experimental than religious. This comes from my experience, which can be redundant xD

thinking on helping is of no help, what a wasted chance if there's no action!
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Re: What are the General Mahayana Teachings?

Post by smcj » Sun Jun 04, 2017 7:10 am

Karma,& reincarnation, no-self & emptiness, nirvana & enlightenment for starters'
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

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Re: What are the General Mahayana Teachings?

Post by Dharma Flower » Sun Jun 04, 2017 7:18 am

smcj wrote:Karma,& reincarnation, no-self & emptiness, nirvana & enlightenment for starters'
Aren't those things found in Theravada as well? What stands out specifically about Mahayana Buddhism?

I've gone all-in for Mahayana Buddhism, not for any school or sect, but for the Mahayana in general. I've taken the Bodhisattva vow, and I'm not turning back.

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Re: What are the General Mahayana Teachings?

Post by Marc » Sun Jun 04, 2017 7:33 am

The 6 Paramitas

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Re: What are the General Mahayana Teachings?

Post by Dharma Flower » Sun Jun 04, 2017 7:43 am

Marc wrote:The 6 Paramitas
Image

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Re: What are the General Mahayana Teachings?

Post by Bristollad » Sun Jun 04, 2017 8:07 am

Bodhicitta

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Re: What are the General Mahayana Teachings?

Post by Dharma Flower » Sun Jun 04, 2017 1:34 pm

It's kind of weird that I didn't learn about the Six Paramitas until recently, simply because I belonged to a sect which didn't emphasize them. Imagine if there were a sect of Theravada Buddhism that didn't emphasize the Eightfold Path.

All sects and schools have their own practice which they claim lead to Buddhahood, but the path to Buddhahood that embraces Buddhists of all sects and schools, whether we realize it yet or not, is the Six Paramitas.

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Re: What are the General Mahayana Teachings?

Post by Dharma Flower » Tue Jun 06, 2017 6:12 am

Are there more general Mahayana teachings that I should know about? I appreciate your help. :thanks:

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Re: What are the General Mahayana Teachings?

Post by Dharma Flower » Wed Jun 07, 2017 2:03 am

The Bodhisattva path and the Bodhisattva ideal are what make the Mahayana distinct as a school of Buddhism. While concepts like mind-only, emptiness, etc, can help better our understanding of reality, it's putting the Six Paramitas into practice which actually leads to Buddhahood.

The Six Paramitas are where the rubber meets the road, and it's no accident that self-giving is first among the Six Paramitas, because that is the true Bodhisattva way. The Buddha himself attained Buddhahood from many lifetimes of selfless service.

We can have endless debates over metaphysical beliefs and finer points of doctrine, but the Six Paramitas draw the line in the sand as to whether you're living as a person who aspires to Buddhahood, a Bodhisattva, or not.

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Re: What are the General Mahayana Teachings?

Post by PuerAzaelis » Wed Jun 07, 2017 3:23 pm

Marc wrote:The 6 Paramitas
And the extension of the idea of the self to be negated into the objects of phenomena.
Generally, enjoyment of speech is the gateway to poor [results]. So it becomes the foundation for generating all negative emotional states. Jampel Pawo, The Certainty of the Diamond Mind

For posts from this user, see Karma Dondrup Tashi account.

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Re: What are the General Mahayana Teachings?

Post by Dharma Flower » Fri Jun 09, 2017 3:40 am

While there are many different sects of Mahayana Buddhism, I am happy that all (or most) share the Six Paramitas of the Bodhisattva path in common.

The best kind of dialog or discussion is when you are first at least able to recognize what you both value and share in common, even with the possible differences.

Furthermore, if we practice the Six Paramitas, as the Buddha intended for our day-to-day life, any possible discussion will be helpful and peaceful.

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Re: What are the General Mahayana Teachings?

Post by Nebetmiw » Tue Jun 13, 2017 4:00 am

Just a nice Thank you for your posts DharmaFlower. :namaste:

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Re: What are the General Mahayana Teachings?

Post by Dharma Flower » Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:38 am

Even though we have various interpretations, even within the same school or sect, it's important to remember that we all likely agree on the same general principles of Mahayana Buddhism.

What brings us together as fellow practitioners of the Mahayana is much more important and significant than whatever might set us apart. I sincerely believe this to be the case.

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Re: What are the General Mahayana Teachings?

Post by Josef » Wed Feb 28, 2018 7:56 pm

There are a few basic principles that distinguish Mahayana.
Shunyata
Bodhicitta
Buddhahood over Arhatship/nirvana
upaya and the power of intention
Kye ma!
The river of continuity is marked by impermanence.
Ceaseless flowing of appearance.
Beautiful and repulsive.
The dance of life and death is a display of the vast expanse.
With gratitude the watcher and the watched pass through the barrier of duality.

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Re: What are the General Mahayana Teachings?

Post by Kunzang » Thu Mar 01, 2018 5:37 am

Buddhahood is all beings' destiny. There are uncountable beings helping you get there.
Critics slap labels on you and then expect you to talk inside their terms. - Doris Lessing

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Re: What are the General Mahayana Teachings?

Post by muni » Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:55 am

Kunzang wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 5:37 am
Buddhahood is all beings' destiny. There are uncountable beings helping you get there.
Gratitude.
Dharma Flower: For the sake of inter-sectarian harmony and understanding
Yes.
Also among Buddhists, there are different schools, different systems of practice, and we should not feel that one teaching is better, another teaching is worse, and so on. Sectarian feeling and criticism of other teachings or other sects is very bad, poisonous, and should be avoided.

The most important thing is practice in daily life. Doctrine is not meant for mere knowledge but for the improvement of our minds. In order to do that, it must be part of our life.-His Holiness the Dalai Lama
May all be free.
“ 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: What are the General Mahayana Teachings?

Post by Malcolm » Thu Mar 01, 2018 2:42 pm

The Lankāvatāra summarizes this succinctly:

All Mahāyāna is included in
five dharmas, a nature,
eight consciousnesses,
and two selflessnesses.


The five dharmas are name, sign, concept, correct knowledge, and suchness. Those are divided into the three natures: name is the imputed nature; sign and concept are the dependent nature; correct knowledge and suchness are the perfected nature.

The nature is the dharmadhātu.

The eight consciousnesses are the six sense consciousnesses, the afflicted consciousness, and the all-basis consciousness.

The two selflessnesses are the selflessness of persons and the selflessness of phenomena.
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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Re: What are the General Mahayana Teachings?

Post by Coëmgenu » Thu Mar 01, 2018 6:02 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 2:42 pm
The two selflessnesses are the selflessness of persons and the selflessness of phenomena.
If I may, how does the literature in question differentiate between these two selflessnesses?
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.
吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

नस्वातोनापिपरतोनद्वाभ्यांनाप्यहेतुतः
उत्पन्नाजातुविद्यन्तेभावाःक्वचनकेचन

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Re: What are the General Mahayana Teachings?

Post by Grigoris » Thu Mar 01, 2018 6:17 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 6:02 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 2:42 pm
The two selflessnesses are the selflessness of persons and the selflessness of phenomena.
If I may, how does the literature in question differentiate between these two selflessnesses?
My guess is that the selflessness of persons refers to the lack of an essential self in the five skandha whereas the selflessness of phenomena has to do with their dependently arisen nature, but naught to do with the skandha. One could argue that the selflessness of persons is also included in the selflessness of phenomena.

Oh, but you asked for an example from literarue, so you must excuse my interjection.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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