what do we mean by faith?

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smcj
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Re: what do we mean by faith?

Post by smcj » Fri Feb 16, 2018 5:48 am

i don't.
buddha nature is a concept
The validity of which you are taking on faith.
it points to an inexpressible fact

for example:
it is explained that if you really look for the permanent "i", the individual identity, you couldn't find it because it doesn't exist
it is explained that if you really look for the isolated "i", the individual independence, you couldn't find it because independence doesn't exist
such explanations point to that fact
Such examination can only lead you to an understanding of selflessness, of what an individual is not. It cannot show you what an individual is. I'm reasonably confident that you don't see that every being has Buddha Nature, as is taught. You have to take the teachings on Buddha Nature on faith until such time as you have developed yourself sufficiently on a spiritual level to see it for yourself.

As such you could say that you are taking it as a working hypothesis and testing it out. Fair enough. I encourage that kind approach. But do you do Vajrayana practice? Do you believe in Tara?
Last edited by smcj on Fri Feb 16, 2018 5:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Wayfarer
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Re: what do we mean by faith?

Post by Wayfarer » Fri Feb 16, 2018 5:57 am

A point to reflect on: a key principle in Christian religion is orthodoxy - right belief or right worship, from ‘ortho-‘ correct and ‘doxai’, opinion.

The first element of the Buddhist Eightfold Path is samma ditthi, right understanding or right view.

Belief and understanding are not quite the same. In Buddhism, there is a lot of emphasis on understanding - getting insight into - the cause of suffering. In Christianity the emphasis is more on ‘believe, and be saved’.

There is some overlap, because there are ‘devotional’ forms of Buddhism, and schools of Christianity that put more emphasis on understanding. But this distinction between ‘right belief’ and ‘right view’ is still important in thinking about this question, because ‘faith’ is generally associated with ‘belief’. So Buddhism puts more emphasis on understanding and directly seeing the causes of suffering, whereas in Christianity, the emphasis is more on faith in the Saviour.
Only practice with no gaining idea ~ Suzuki Roshi

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Re: what do we mean by faith?

Post by javier.espinoza.t » Fri Feb 16, 2018 6:17 am

smcj wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 5:48 am
i don't.
buddha nature is a concept
The validity of which you are taking on faith.
i never have seen, touched, smelled, etc. a concept. only sense some sort of mind formation, but unreal like anything in mind is.
i insist: it points to an inexpressible fact, not a mind fiction.

smcj wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 5:48 am
it points to an inexpressible fact

for example:
it is explained that if you really look for the permanent "i", the individual identity, you couldn't find it because it doesn't exist
it is explained that if you really look for the isolated "i", the individual independence, you couldn't find it because independence doesn't exist
such explanations point to that fact
Such examination can only lead you to an understanding of selflessness, of what an individual is not. It cannot show you what an individual is. You have to take the teachings on Buddha Nature on faith until such time as you have developed yourself sufficiently on a spiritual level to see it for yourself.

As such you could say that you are taking it as a working hypothesis and testing it out. Fair enough. I encourage that kind approach. But do you do Vajrayana practice? Do you believe in Tara?
actually, through concepts we can't define in fact what something is. it is not possible. we can have some sort of idea or phantasy only.

i do practice vajrayana -in the best way i can, lol-, i know that what's called Tara -and other yidams- are archetypes. however i don't know how we can asume archetypes from concentration and sound... but it happens, has a concrete effect contrastable by direct experience.

i have a question ¿do you expect something from some buddha?
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Re: what do we mean by faith?

Post by smcj » Fri Feb 16, 2018 6:57 am

I have a question ¿do you expect something from some buddha?
Let me answer that by saying that the very traditional monastery I live in spends a good portion of its time doing ceremonies and practices that entail asking the deities for help of one kind or another.
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Re: what do we mean by faith?

Post by catmoon » Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:53 am

Suppose you were to ordain as a monk and travel the world as a dharma teacher. Let us further suppose that every person you taught anything to killed their families and then committed suicide, all on the very day you passed on your teaching. Finally, let us suppose that you taught a hundred people a day for forty years.

Faith is the thing that lets you declare your career a success.
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smcj
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Re: what do we mean by faith?

Post by smcj » Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:21 pm

smcj wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 6:57 am
Let me answer that by saying that the very traditional monastery I live in spends a good portion of its time doing ceremonies and practices that entail asking the deities for help of one kind or another.
Here's a story along those lines:

Some years ago (before I got here) they were building the monastery. The contractor, who wasn't even remotely a Buddhist, had been on site for some time and had gotten the idea that the resident Rinpoche wasn't just an ordinary guy. So one day he looked at the weather report and saw that there was a snowstorm coming on a day that they had scheduled cement to be poured*. If he canceled the scheduled cement trucks he'd have to pay a cancelation fee and it would put the project t behind schedule. So he goes up to the Rinpoche and says, "We can't have it snow tomorrow. See what you can do about it." The next day the storm was approaching, but about 5 miles before it got to the monastery it split into two. One side went east and the other side went west, bypassing the monastery. Later that day when one of the nuns went to the supermarket the snow line was so well defined that half the parking lot had snow it it, and the half that was towards the monastery was clear.

So yeah, deities are "archetypes". By meditating on them you can cultivate within yourself the enlightened awareness that they represent. But don't think that those archetypes are limited into being only imaginary. I never asked the Rinpoche about it, but my assumption is that his "faith" in the deities was necessary for his prayer to work.

Is that kind of faith totally a non-starter for us? All we really want is to become enlightened after all. Snowstorms aren't what it is all about. But what if dismissing yidams as "archetypes" closes the door of faith that is necessary for the "archetype" to work on us? I'm not in a position to say one way or another about that, but what a shame for us if it is!

Having an open mind doesn't cost any money, and nobody needs to know. You can be completely private about it and not get embarrassed that somebody might call you a sucker.

Just sayin'.

_____
*I don't know it it was pouring cement or something else. Whatever the activity was the contractor asked that it not snow that day.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

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Malcolm
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Re: what do we mean by faith?

Post by Malcolm » Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:19 pm

Wayfarer wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:33 am
I was taught that the Buddhist word for faith, ‘sraddha’, means ‘to place ones’ heart upon’. Another definition I found helpful was ‘confidence in the principles of Buddhism’.
It's is more useful to rely on native Buddhist definitions for terms. Śraddha, as I mentioned already is a mental factor. It does not really correspond to the idea of belief, but it does somewhat correspond to the idea of confidence or trust.
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 do we mean by faith?

Post by Kunga Lhadzom » Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:59 pm

:namaste: :namaste: :namaste:

smcj wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:21 pm
his "faith" in the deities was necessary for his prayer to work.
I absolutely love that snow storm miracle :heart:

Something that bothers me though...my faith is such, that i think that the deities SHOULD KNOW what our needs are i think of them as OMNIPOTENT & OMNISCIENT...WHY do we have to PRAY to them to obtain their help ? WHY CAN'T THEY just DO the right thing at the RIGHT time, as we THINK those THOUGHTS (of whatever it is we "pray" for.)

WHY do we have to make all these offerings and elaborate rituals ?????
Sounds like they have some EGO issues....

Also I thought Buddha saw the HINDU's praying to GODS all the time for everything, and making animal sacrifices (TO THE GODS) all the time. Didn't he want to put an end to praying to the God's ????


Thank you :namaste:



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Re: what do we mean by faith?

Post by Monlam Tharchin » Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:14 pm

Buddhas are omniscient but not omnipotent. Karma comes into play, otherwise they would enlighten all beings with the snap of a fingers.

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Re: what do we mean by faith?

Post by Kunga Lhadzom » Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:34 pm

Monlam Tharchin wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:14 pm
Buddhas are omniscient but not omnipotent. Karma comes into play, otherwise they would enlighten all beings with the snap of a fingers.

Ok, but what attributes/powers, do deities and gods have ?

Why do they require such elaborate rituals to communicate our needs to them ?
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Re: what do we mean by faith?

Post by javier.espinoza.t » Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:28 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:19 pm
Wayfarer wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:33 am
I was taught that the Buddhist word for faith, ‘sraddha’, means ‘to place ones’ heart upon’. Another definition I found helpful was ‘confidence in the principles of Buddhism’.
It's is more useful to rely on native Buddhist definitions for terms. Śraddha, as I mentioned already is a mental factor. It does not really correspond to the idea of belief, but it does somewhat correspond to the idea of confidence or trust.
ahhh this is wonderful
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Re: what do we mean by faith?

Post by DGA » Sat Feb 17, 2018 12:39 am

catmoon wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:53 am
Suppose you were to ordain as a monk and travel the world as a dharma teacher. Let us further suppose that every person you taught anything to killed their families and then committed suicide, all on the very day you passed on your teaching. Finally, let us suppose that you taught a hundred people a day for forty years.

Faith is the thing that lets you declare your career a success.
You seem to be using the word "faith" to indicate what I'd call make-believe: the act of actively believing in something in order to satisfy some imperative.

I was wondering how you might respond to this use of the word, as a gloss for sraddha:
Malcolm wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:19 pm
Śraddha, as I mentioned already is a mental factor. It does not really correspond to the idea of belief, but it does somewhat correspond to the idea of confidence or trust.

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Re: what do we mean by faith?

Post by Monlam Tharchin » Sat Feb 17, 2018 12:46 am

Kunga Lhadzom wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:34 pm
Monlam Tharchin wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:14 pm
Buddhas are omniscient but not omnipotent. Karma comes into play, otherwise they would enlighten all beings with the snap of a fingers.

Ok, but what attributes/powers, do deities and gods have ?
Devas, yidams, bodhisattvas, maha-bodhisattvas, and buddhas are all different types of beings that might be called "deities" and they all have different levels of realization which means different attainments, attributes, and powers. If you want to know the technical details, I hope Malcolm, Sherab, or someone else more learned than I can help out.
Why do they require such elaborate rituals to communicate our needs to them ?
Can you give an example? My first thought was it's very easy to connect to Amitabha and Avalokiteshvara. You simply say their names in faith to begin the relationship. Other yidams may require a formal introduction through a lineage-holding lama. Still others respond to certain practices, places, offerings, etc. It all comes down to our karma.

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Re: what do we mean by faith?

Post by javier.espinoza.t » Sat Feb 17, 2018 12:56 am

DGA wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 12:39 am
catmoon wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:53 am
Suppose you were to ordain as a monk and travel the world as a dharma teacher. Let us further suppose that every person you taught anything to killed their families and then committed suicide, all on the very day you passed on your teaching. Finally, let us suppose that you taught a hundred people a day for forty years.

Faith is the thing that lets you declare your career a success.
You seem to be using the word "faith" to indicate what I'd call make-believe: the act of actively believing in something in order to satisfy some imperative.

I was wondering how you might respond to this use of the word, as a gloss for sraddha:
Malcolm wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:19 pm
Śraddha, as I mentioned already is a mental factor. It does not really correspond to the idea of belief, but it does somewhat correspond to the idea of confidence or trust.
trust is different, it is more or less based on direct experience.
belief is more or less based on phantasy.

em i wrong?
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Re: what do we mean by faith?

Post by DGA » Sat Feb 17, 2018 1:20 am

javier.espinoza.t wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 12:56 am
DGA wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 12:39 am
catmoon wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:53 am
Suppose you were to ordain as a monk and travel the world as a dharma teacher. Let us further suppose that every person you taught anything to killed their families and then committed suicide, all on the very day you passed on your teaching. Finally, let us suppose that you taught a hundred people a day for forty years.

Faith is the thing that lets you declare your career a success.
You seem to be using the word "faith" to indicate what I'd call make-believe: the act of actively believing in something in order to satisfy some imperative.

I was wondering how you might respond to this use of the word, as a gloss for sraddha:
Malcolm wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:19 pm
Śraddha, as I mentioned already is a mental factor. It does not really correspond to the idea of belief, but it does somewhat correspond to the idea of confidence or trust.
trust is different, it is more or less based on direct experience.
belief is more or less based on phantasy.

em i wrong?
I agree.

I like "faith" as an English-language gloss for sraddha because it connotes a kind of devotional attitude that I find appealing. I don't imagine everyone responds as I do.

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Re: what do we mean by faith?

Post by rory » Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:06 am

Monlam Tharchin wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 12:46 am

Can you give an example? My first thought was it's very easy to connect to Amitabha and Avalokiteshvara. You simply say their names in faith to begin the relationship. Other yidams may require a formal introduction through a lineage-holding lama. Still others respond to certain practices, places, offerings, etc. It all comes down to our karma.
This is very true, Amida and Kannon-sama are accessable. When I was starting out in Pure Land I read and was inspired by many stories of Pure Land births and Kannon's help. I have experienced the latter in my life; all due to faith... Years ago I asked a 30-something Japanese priest who specialized in mikkyo about the gods, we both agreed that they come out of the Dharmakaya which is like energy and he told me he experienced the reality of Fudo-Myo.
So I have no trouble believing. As the Jodo monk told me all those years ago when I said: "I'd like to believe in Amida and his Western Pure Land, but I don't." He said; "It's enough to have an aspiration that it's true." I could do that and kept practising......
gassho
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The Tai-ching states "the women in the realms of Mara, Sakra and Brahma all neither abandoned ( their old) bodies nor received (new) bodies. They all received buddhahood with their current bodies (genshin)" Thus these verses state that the dharma nature is like a great ocean. No right or wrong is preached (within it) Ordinary people and sages are equal, without superiority or inferiority
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Re: what do we mean by faith?

Post by smcj » Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:35 am

Rory wrote:He said; "It's enough to have an aspiration that it's true." I could do that and kept practising......
:bow:

I believe it is impossible to bully yourself with self-will into having faith. All that is needed is an open and respectful mind, a sincere heart, and gentle, consistent, patient non-grasping practice .
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

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Re: what do we mean by faith?

Post by dzogchungpa » Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:43 am

smcj wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:35 am
Rory wrote:He said; "It's enough to have an aspiration that it's true." I could do that and kept practising......
:bow:

I believe it is impossible to bully yourself with self-will into having faith. All that is needed is an open and respectful mind, a sincere heart, and gentle, consistent, patient non-grasping practice .


I wonder if it would be enough just to aspire to have such an aspiration? Image
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

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Re: what do we mean by faith?

Post by Wayfarer » Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:11 am

Kunga Ladzom wrote:i think that the deities SHOULD KNOW what our needs are i think of them as OMNIPOTENT & OMNISCIENT...WHY do we have to PRAY to them to obtain their help ?
It’s character-building. Otherwise you’d be like some kid who got used to have everything done for you. And besides, sometimes things just don’t work out the way you want, deity or no deity. It’s all part of life’s tapestry.
Also I thought Buddha saw the HINDU's praying to GODS all the time for everything, and making animal sacrifices (TO THE GODS) all the time. Didn't he want to put an end to praying to the God's ????
Buddhists might invoke deities in various cultures, but they never engage in animal sacrifices.
Only practice with no gaining idea ~ Suzuki Roshi

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Re: what do we mean by faith?

Post by catmoon » Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:41 am

DGA wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 12:39 am


You seem to be using the word "faith" to indicate what I'd call make-believe: the act of actively believing in something in order to satisfy some imperative.

I was wondering how you might respond to this use of the word, as a gloss for sraddha:
Malcolm wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:19 pm
Śraddha, as I mentioned already is a mental factor. It does not really correspond to the idea of belief, but it does somewhat correspond to the idea of confidence or trust.
Well, much as I hate to admit it, Malcolm is bang on once again. The point I am getting at is that faith, as conceived in the West, has absolutely nothing in common with faith, as discussed in the dharma. Malcolm just puts a fine academic edge on the blade. BTW nicely done Malcolm.

My implication is that faith, as conceived in the West and applied to Buddhism, is wrong, counterproductive and stupid. Really, really stupid. I mean stupid as in you could cross the universe a million times and not find anything that stupid. Stupid as in, thinking of Buddhist faith in the this sense is stupider than Donald Trump with an AK47 at an abortion clinic preaching the Gospel according to Sun Yung Moon. Only stupider. You see where I'm going with this? Maybe I'm being too subtle.

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