Buddhist Hell seems a bit much

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tobes
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Re: Buddhist Hell seems a bit much

Post by tobes »

Maybe the question is this: can you be a Buddhist without believing/understanding/gaining insight into dependent origination and karma?

I am happy to assert: no.

Then the question is: what follows from this?
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futerko
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Re: Buddhist Hell seems a bit much

Post by futerko »

tobes wrote: Tue Oct 22, 2019 11:35 pm Maybe the question is this: can you be a Buddhist without believing/understanding/gaining insight into dependent origination and karma?

I am happy to assert: no.

Then the question is: what follows from this?
what follows is that we come on Dharma wheel and then endlessly debate our different conclusions... and that is the very definition of hell! :rolling:
Bristollad
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Re: Buddhist Hell seems a bit much

Post by Bristollad »

Matt J wrote: Tue Oct 22, 2019 9:17 pm Straight from the Buddhist pope then. Oh wait... :jumping:

My statement still stands: at least some teachers allow refuge without belief in hell, therefore is is unnecessary to believe in hell to be a Buddhist. To prove the statement, SW must show no Buddhist teacher would approve.
Bristollad wrote: Tue Oct 22, 2019 8:04 pm
Matt J wrote: Tue Oct 22, 2019 7:04 pm This comes up at Western retreats all the time. No Theravada, Zen, or Tibetan Buddhist master that I am familiar with has required belief in hell, or even belief in reincarnation, as a condition of being a Buddhist. In fact, they have all disclaimed such a belief is necessary.

SW’s long posts do not provide any support that one must believe in hell to be a Buddhist, but rather appears to be merely his/her/their personal opinion.
This may be the case for you.
...
So labelling Sonam Wangchug's post merely a personal opinion is incorrect.
Your statement falls - you labelled Sonam’s point mere personal opinion. It isn’t. The Geshe’s I’ve studied with all regarded understanding rebirth essential to having refuge. And having a correct refuge as the mark of a Buddhist.

As for the comment about popes... :shrug:

As long as you cease to do evil, learn to do good and cleanse your own heart, then you are making good use of your human rebirth. Whether you do or don’t accept teachings about rebirth and the hell realms are neither here nor there for me. Stating that it’s completely unnecessary is your opinion.
Simon E.
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Re: Buddhist Hell seems a bit much

Post by Simon E. »

Simon E. wrote: Tue Oct 22, 2019 11:20 pm Citations please to support your contention that “Lam Rim would say that it’s not even Buddhism”...
Bump.
“You don’t know it. You just know about it. That is not the same thing.”

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche to me.
tkp67
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Re: Buddhist Hell seems a bit much

Post by tkp67 »

tobes wrote: Tue Oct 22, 2019 11:35 pm Maybe the question is this: can you be a Buddhist without believing/understanding/gaining insight into dependent origination and karma?

I am happy to assert: no.

Then the question is: what follows from this?
In context to the OP (although I think it works in this case as well) our own personal causes,conditions and capacities are relative to our own liberation. The body of dharma taught that is relative to all causes, conditions and capacities represents absolute enlightenment to everything the buddha(s) taught.

The former does not invalidate the later nor does the later invalidate the former. The former however does not represent the totality of all dharma while the later does.

I don't believe the practice of revealing pure boundless compassionate consciousness is aided by conceptual boundaries that are defined by assurance of knowledge or lack of knowledge. While in our own minds this discrimination is necessary for our own navigation of practice this very same discrimination interpreted by others can seed perpetuation of conceptual paradigms that obfuscate the reality dharma is meant to reveal.
Fortyeightvows
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Re: Buddhist Hell seems a bit much

Post by Fortyeightvows »

Simon E. wrote: Wed Oct 23, 2019 9:34 am
Simon E. wrote: Tue Oct 22, 2019 11:20 pm Citations please to support your contention that “Lam Rim would say that it’s not even Buddhism”...
Bump.
Persons of modest motive search for happiness within samsara; their motive is to achieve high rebirth. Buddhists traditionally consider that this domain includes followers of most non-Buddhist religions who strive for a rebirth in a heaven.
http://thanhsiang.org/en/content/lam-ri ... tudy-class
The initial scope is simply working to improve future lives, and this is a step shared in common with many other religions as well.
Many Buddhist texts say that the border between Dharma and non-Dharma is whether or not we do something to benefit our future lives.
https://studybuddhism.com/en/advanced-s ... g-versions
Fortyeightvows
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Re: Buddhist Hell seems a bit much

Post by Fortyeightvows »

Simon E. wrote: Wed Oct 23, 2019 9:34 am
Simon E. wrote: Tue Oct 22, 2019 11:20 pm Citations please to support your contention that “Lam Rim would say that it’s not even Buddhism”...
Bump.
You can also check out Tsong Khapa's lam rim chen-mo, Pabonkha's liberation, the teachings of Venerable Robina, etc
tkp67
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Re: Buddhist Hell seems a bit much

Post by tkp67 »

according to the Lotus Sutra those modest motives sow the seeds for future rebirths and much of this is reflective of capacity
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Nemo
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Re: Buddhist Hell seems a bit much

Post by Nemo »

Refuge is not the essential point. I think it is karma. Most of us are going to hell. Maybe not you guys but normal folks like me. For us karma and Bodhicitta are the most important things to learn. If a regular person can develop Bodhicitta for a moment and they have a decent teacher they can get out of hell quickly. Without Bodhicitta I don't even know if Karmapa can get you out.

You will make your own hell seem perfectly real. It's kind of the point of hell. If you haven't developed the habit of relying on your teacher in times of trouble and having the motivation to help others you are fraked. If you get to see other people's hell it becomes obvious it is all a projection. The problem is reaching beings so crushed by their own guilt. It's like trying to reach meditators absorbed in experiences infinite light or space. The Deva realms are equally divorced from reality.

Not that you asked for the janitors opinion, but sometimes a different perspective helps. Scriptures are great, but they are only rough descriptions of real things that have many levels of interpretation determined by the expected level of the students understanding.
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Re: Buddhist Hell seems a bit much

Post by Könchok Thrinley »

Nemo wrote: Wed Oct 23, 2019 7:35 pm Refuge is not the essential point. I think it is karma. Most of us are going to hell. Maybe not you guys but normal folks like me. For us karma and Bodhicitta are the most important things to learn. If a regular person can develop Bodhicitta for a moment and they have a decent teacher they can get out of hell quickly. Without Bodhicitta I don't even know if Karmapa can get you out.

You will make your own hell seem perfectly real. It's kind of the point of hell. If you haven't developed the habit of relying on your teacher in times of trouble and having the motivation to help others you are fraked. If you get to see other people's hell it becomes obvious it is all a projection. The problem is reaching beings so crushed by their own guilt. It's like trying to reach meditators absorbed in experiences infinite light or space. The Deva realms are equally divorced from reality.

Not that you asked for the janitors opinion, but sometimes a different perspective helps. Scriptures are great, but they are only rough descriptions of real things that have many levels of interpretation determined by the expected level of the students understanding.
:good:

This. :twothumbsup:

If I remember correctly even Shakyamuni made his first step towards enlightenment when he wanted to take on himself the role of his co-sufferer in a hell realm.
“Observing samaya involves to remain inseparable from the union of wisdom and compassion at all times, to sustain mindfulness, and to put into practice the guru’s instructions”. Garchen Rinpoche

Formerly known as Miroku.
tkp67
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Re: Buddhist Hell seems a bit much

Post by tkp67 »

Miroku wrote: Wed Oct 23, 2019 9:10 pm
Nemo wrote: Wed Oct 23, 2019 7:35 pm Refuge is not the essential point. I think it is karma. Most of us are going to hell. Maybe not you guys but normal folks like me. For us karma and Bodhicitta are the most important things to learn. If a regular person can develop Bodhicitta for a moment and they have a decent teacher they can get out of hell quickly. Without Bodhicitta I don't even know if Karmapa can get you out.

You will make your own hell seem perfectly real. It's kind of the point of hell. If you haven't developed the habit of relying on your teacher in times of trouble and having the motivation to help others you are fraked. If you get to see other people's hell it becomes obvious it is all a projection. The problem is reaching beings so crushed by their own guilt. It's like trying to reach meditators absorbed in experiences infinite light or space. The Deva realms are equally divorced from reality.

Not that you asked for the janitors opinion, but sometimes a different perspective helps. Scriptures are great, but they are only rough descriptions of real things that have many levels of interpretation determined by the expected level of the students understanding.
:good:

This. :twothumbsup:

If I remember correctly even Shakyamuni made his first step towards enlightenment when he wanted to take on himself the role of his co-sufferer in a hell realm.

If I understand the concept correctly one must conform to a realm in order to be liberated from it. In order to do this for self and/or others one must understand the concept from the perspective of experiential reality.

It would seem to me that since these realms are reflected in the human condition that knowing them is essential to liberation.

With that said if we can conceptualize all of this in a moment I think it speaks much about future capacity and potential because I don't think these thoughts are manufactured from pure ignorance(or defilement). i.e. talks about hell realm, effect on sentient beings and liberation for sentient beings.

It seems to be fundamentally dialog to develop Bodhisattva practice.
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Re: Buddhist Hell seems a bit much

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Fortyeightvows wrote: Tue Oct 22, 2019 10:57 pm
PadmaVonSamba wrote: Tue Oct 22, 2019 10:23 pm Buddhism doesn't require belief in anything
Hey... if you are going to address a point, don't ignore the context.
Let's present the entire sentence here. It makes a difference.
I said:
"Buddhism doesn't require belief in anything that one cannot determine is valid by their own experience".
.
.
.
Be kindness
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Buddhist Hell seems a bit much

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

There are four tenets common to all schools and traditions of Buddhism, known as the four seals.
worded various ways, and sometimes in different order, and you can look them up to read various versions and various explanations.

All composite things are impermanent
All phenomena are devoid of independent existence
All that is tainted entails suffering
Nirvana is the cessation of suffering

If you ask, "is there something that all buddhists "believe" ?
This is it.

While rebirth in different realms is certainly what the Buddha talked about,
many buddhists, especially in the west, simply don't have a full conviction in the existence of other realms,
nor does their lack of conviction stop them from practicing dharma, developing compassion and wisdom.
Others, still, believe in various realms but consider the issue a moot point.
They do what they can with virtuous motivation and hope for the best.
For many, worrying about rebirth and other realms is a distracting form of self-obsession: "what will happen to ME?"
so, unless you can read the mind of every sentient being, I don't think you can just flat out say,
"if you don't believe in other realms, you aren't really a buddhist."
What's the point in doing that?
.
.
.
Be kindness
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tobes
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Re: Buddhist Hell seems a bit much

Post by tobes »

tkp67 wrote: Wed Oct 23, 2019 3:09 pm
tobes wrote: Tue Oct 22, 2019 11:35 pm Maybe the question is this: can you be a Buddhist without believing/understanding/gaining insight into dependent origination and karma?

I am happy to assert: no.

Then the question is: what follows from this?
In context to the OP (although I think it works in this case as well) our own personal causes,conditions and capacities are relative to our own liberation. The body of dharma taught that is relative to all causes, conditions and capacities represents absolute enlightenment to everything the buddha(s) taught.

The former does not invalidate the later nor does the later invalidate the former. The former however does not represent the totality of all dharma while the later does.

I don't believe the practice of revealing pure boundless compassionate consciousness is aided by conceptual boundaries that are defined by assurance of knowledge or lack of knowledge. While in our own minds this discrimination is necessary for our own navigation of practice this very same discrimination interpreted by others can seed perpetuation of conceptual paradigms that obfuscate the reality dharma is meant to reveal.
I'm not really sure what you're saying here - is it something like: the Dharma can be reified?

Of course.

But: karma and dependent origination are not conceptual paradigms. They are the content of prajna.
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Re: Buddhist Hell seems a bit much

Post by tkp67 »

tobes wrote: Wed Oct 23, 2019 11:48 pm
tkp67 wrote: Wed Oct 23, 2019 3:09 pm
tobes wrote: Tue Oct 22, 2019 11:35 pm Maybe the question is this: can you be a Buddhist without believing/understanding/gaining insight into dependent origination and karma?

I am happy to assert: no.

Then the question is: what follows from this?
In context to the OP (although I think it works in this case as well) our own personal causes,conditions and capacities are relative to our own liberation. The body of dharma taught that is relative to all causes, conditions and capacities represents absolute enlightenment to everything the buddha(s) taught.

The former does not invalidate the later nor does the later invalidate the former. The former however does not represent the totality of all dharma while the later does.

I don't believe the practice of revealing pure boundless compassionate consciousness is aided by conceptual boundaries that are defined by assurance of knowledge or lack of knowledge. While in our own minds this discrimination is necessary for our own navigation of practice this very same discrimination interpreted by others can seed perpetuation of conceptual paradigms that obfuscate the reality dharma is meant to reveal.
I'm not really sure what you're saying here - is it something like: the Dharma can be reified?

Of course.

But: karma and dependent origination are not conceptual paradigms. They are the content of prajna.
Agreed but on the last point there is this to consider. This truth (contents of Prajna) exists. Our delusion keeps it from being revealed. From a point of personal perspective one person's cause in another person's obstacle. One person's skillful means is another person's lack.

If the mind automatically conformed to the teachings it was exposed to there would be no need for diversity in dharma. The essence of all of this is that practice is a developmental process which builds on own personal causes, conditions and capacities. In this way belief and non-belief in hell can both be used as a personal cause or obstacle depending on the person's own personal causes, conditions and capacities.

This diversity really reflects how boundless the conscious is since it all these conceptual paradigms are born of it. When we don't limit any resolve we are in essence abiding to that boundless capacity even though the resolutions of others may be disparate from those we need in our own path to achieve liberation.

Just because it plays out differently in our own personal existence doesn't invalidates deviations as they might be relative expressions.
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Matt J
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Re: Buddhist Hell seems a bit much

Post by Matt J »

So what do you (or other folks who believe in hell) suppose is a sufficient warrant to justify the belief in hell?

I had an interesting experience in college. I had a series of powerful dreams in which I found myself in hell. It was the most terrifying experience of my life. It was dark, unending, and contentless, with nothing but my own sheer terror. At the time, still in the throes of my Catholic/Christian upbringing, it seemed a confirmation of their teaching on hell.

Later on, when I became a little experienced with meditation, I discovered that what I had previously experienced as hell was in fact the sleeping state between two dreams. After some time with meditation, I now find this not to be an experience of hell, but an experience of peace. The fundamental experience was the same, but the meaning was not. Of course it is that way, because all appearances are empty and can be interpreted in many (perhaps an infinite) number of ways.

I am loathe to draw ontological conclusions from individual phenomenological bases, no matter how powerful or vivid those bases might be. In order to approach something that we may accept provisionally as "objective," we would need a wide consensus that does not depend on being born, raised, or indoctrinated into specific cultures. When you look at the available literature on NDEs and children with past life memories, there is not a sufficiently coherent patterns that points to the existence of hell.

Simon E. wrote: Tue Oct 22, 2019 7:48 pm Yes, but still problematic.
If anyone follows my posts ( not something I would particular recommend ) they will know that I am not keen on folk religion and very opposed to cultural appropriation even when the culture being appropriated is that of a Buddhist country..
But I have no doubt that the hell/purgatorial realms exist and are literal. I have seen them briefly.
I think portraying them as rendered in Asian art is not helpful. I suspect that they take whatever form exists in our own subconscious states.
I don’t want to go into my own experience, but something EJ Gold wrote might be useful for moderns..
He said if you find yourself in car endlessly driving round and round and round a multi story car park and unable to find the exit you might want to ask yourself if in fact you have died...
"The essence of meditation practice is to let go of all your expectations about meditation. All the qualities of your natural mind -- peace, openness, relaxation, and clarity -- are present in your mind just as it is. You don't have to do anything different. You don't have to shift or change your awareness. All you have to do while observing your mind is to recognize the qualities it already has."
--- Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche
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Matt J
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Re: Buddhist Hell seems a bit much

Post by Matt J »

Dependent origination and karma are core Buddhist beliefs, backed up by numerous references in Suttas and Sutras and a near-unanimity amongst Buddhist teachers in all cultures. Hell is not.
tobes wrote: Tue Oct 22, 2019 11:35 pm Maybe the question is this: can you be a Buddhist without believing/understanding/gaining insight into dependent origination and karma?

I am happy to assert: no.

Then the question is: what follows from this?
"The essence of meditation practice is to let go of all your expectations about meditation. All the qualities of your natural mind -- peace, openness, relaxation, and clarity -- are present in your mind just as it is. You don't have to do anything different. You don't have to shift or change your awareness. All you have to do while observing your mind is to recognize the qualities it already has."
--- Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche
Simon E.
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Re: Buddhist Hell seems a bit much

Post by Simon E. »

I understand completely not drawing an ontological conclusion from a sample of one....However if one IS that one..so to speak, it is a different matter. I am not trying to convince others of the reality of hell realms. Just recounting why I accept their reality.
“You don’t know it. You just know about it. That is not the same thing.”

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche to me.
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Re: Buddhist Hell seems a bit much

Post by tkp67 »

Matt J wrote: Thu Oct 24, 2019 6:05 pm I am loathe to draw ontological conclusions from individual phenomenological bases, no matter how powerful or vivid those bases might be. In order to approach something that we may accept provisionally as "objective," we would need a wide consensus that does not depend on being born, raised, or indoctrinated into specific cultures. When you look at the available literature on NDEs and children with past life memories, there is not a sufficiently coherent patterns that points to the existence of hell.
The collective of all individual phenomenological experience should be viewed as a spectrum of expression in ontological terms that defines the purview of sapient consciousness. This is not to say this defines potential or capacity of consciousness just the expression thus far.

In this regard there does not seem to be a disconnect between the teachings and reality except in individual interpretation. i.e. it dead ends at can't be proven/unproven.

Personally I abandon perspective as these as a my own limitation and try not to refill that perspective with understanding as it seems to unfold as required not as desired.
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tobes
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Re: Buddhist Hell seems a bit much

Post by tobes »

tkp67 wrote: Thu Oct 24, 2019 12:22 am
tobes wrote: Wed Oct 23, 2019 11:48 pm
tkp67 wrote: Wed Oct 23, 2019 3:09 pm

In context to the OP (although I think it works in this case as well) our own personal causes,conditions and capacities are relative to our own liberation. The body of dharma taught that is relative to all causes, conditions and capacities represents absolute enlightenment to everything the buddha(s) taught.

The former does not invalidate the later nor does the later invalidate the former. The former however does not represent the totality of all dharma while the later does.

I don't believe the practice of revealing pure boundless compassionate consciousness is aided by conceptual boundaries that are defined by assurance of knowledge or lack of knowledge. While in our own minds this discrimination is necessary for our own navigation of practice this very same discrimination interpreted by others can seed perpetuation of conceptual paradigms that obfuscate the reality dharma is meant to reveal.
I'm not really sure what you're saying here - is it something like: the Dharma can be reified?

Of course.

But: karma and dependent origination are not conceptual paradigms. They are the content of prajna.
Agreed but on the last point there is this to consider. This truth (contents of Prajna) exists. Our delusion keeps it from being revealed. From a point of personal perspective one person's cause in another person's obstacle. One person's skillful means is another person's lack.

If the mind automatically conformed to the teachings it was exposed to there would be no need for diversity in dharma. The essence of all of this is that practice is a developmental process which builds on own personal causes, conditions and capacities. In this way belief and non-belief in hell can both be used as a personal cause or obstacle depending on the person's own personal causes, conditions and capacities.

This diversity really reflects how boundless the conscious is since it all these conceptual paradigms are born of it. When we don't limit any resolve we are in essence abiding to that boundless capacity even though the resolutions of others may be disparate from those we need in our own path to achieve liberation.

Just because it plays out differently in our own personal existence doesn't invalidates deviations as they might be relative expressions.
Yes to the notion of relativity and upaya.

No to the notion that the Dharma is in the final analysis, subjective idealism.
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