"Forgiveness Is Not Buddhist" Article by McLeod in Tricycle

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climb-up
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Re: "Forgiveness Is Not Buddhist" Article by McLeod in Tricycle

Post by climb-up » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:46 am

conebeckham wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:08 pm
climb-up wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:10 pm
Making such a bold statement, even though the essence seemed wrong, I just assumed he was right about the debt thing not being historically part of Buddhism!
Well, there you go!
Let's just say that certain people are quick to distance themselves from concepts and attitudes found in the religion of their cultural upbringing, and to ascribe divergent views regarding those concepts and attitudes to their newly adopted faith.

Karma is certainly equated with debt, but it is debt to oneself, largely.
Forgiveness toward others seems to be consistent with Mind Training, in my view, but it does not absolve the other, it merely benefits oneself when one forgives. And as for self-forgiveness, I see this in some sense as LoJong as well--"starting with oneself" when practicing active application of compassion.

I don't understand McLeod's mention of "Grace," however.
Yes, exactly.
When I think of forgiveness I think of forgiving others; which seems very good and totally appropriate for Buddhism.

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Re: "Forgiveness Is Not Buddhist" Article by McLeod in Tricycle

Post by climb-up » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:47 am

Grigoris wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:12 pm
I believe that as long as we are trapped in relative/conditioned reality, with a concept of self and other, higher and lower, victim and perpetrator, then forgiveness plays a positive role. Mainly because of absolving guilt. Guilt can be a rather unforgiving trap, that does not allow us to progress emotionally and spiritually.

Forgiveness can be part of the purification process. Forgiveness can also be self-forgiveness, this helps us overcome self-flagellation and can assist one in overcoming grasping to a situation that strengthens the sense of self. There is no reason why forgiveness cannot be coupled with regret.

And what is with this idea that something "is not Buddhist"? Does that mean that some things are intrinsically Buddhist?
We'll put!!!! :good:

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Re: "Forgiveness Is Not Buddhist" Article by McLeod in Tricycle

Post by DGA » Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:40 am

Josef wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:19 pm
If anyone is seriously practicing Buddhism they would be remiss to assume their karmic role in an event was complete after an apology.
The four opponent factors and at the very least some kind of genuine regret for a negative act are basic antidotes that we all have as practitioners. The only setting I can see his "concern" playing out in is the American neo-zen communities that dont accept karma and rebirth.
Apropos of which...

Usually writers of articles published in periodicals such as Tricycle try for something timely. They try to tackle topics and issues that are current and relevant now. How do they know what's current now? By the kinds of conversations they have with people, and what they observe around them.

Suppose that you're someone like Ken McLeod and you find yourself having the same conversation over and over again when you engage with the people around you. You get the idea that this thing you are correcting a lot these days... maybe this is A Thing? So you pitch it to Trike.

In other words: I agree with all of your post except the "neo-zen" part. I suspect that the community this is really addressed to can be better defined as "those persons who put questions to Ken McLeod." Or "those persons Ken McLeod disagrees with about A Thing."

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Re: "Forgiveness Is Not Buddhist" Article by McLeod in Tricycle

Post by Wayfarer » Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:39 am

Malcolm wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:38 pm
Wayfarer wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:52 am
But I think that McLeod is arguing that in the Buddhist tradition, that sense of indebtedness was never foundational in the first place so that importing forgiveness is introducing an essentially external attitude into the tradition.
He is wrong of course; the Buddha himself likened karma to a debt, and so too does Nāgārjuna. Given that Buddhism arose within the context of a civilization that was influenced by the Vedas, concern with debt was huge:
[E]ven the very earliest Vedic poems, composed sometime between 1500 and 1200 bc, evince a constant concern with debt— which is treated as synonymous with guilt and sin.
Graeber, David. Debt: The First 5,000 Years (p. 56). Melville House. Kindle Edition.

The Buddha also describes debt as a kind of suffering in many places.
Noted. I am also interested in that idea of the Bodhisattva in some sense willingly takes on the suffering of others. I recall a remark about that in Thomas Cleary’s book on Hua Yen Buddhism, Entry into the Inconceivable. But I think the idea is also found in other Mahāyāna sources.
Meditating is learning to love nothing.

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Re: "Forgiveness Is Not Buddhist" Article by McLeod in Tricycle

Post by Grigoris » Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:30 am

DGA wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:40 am
Usually writers of articles published in periodicals such as Tricycle try for something timely. They try to tackle topics and issues that are current and relevant now. How do they know what's current now? By the kinds of conversations they have with people, and what they observe around them.
Personally I reckon the writer is battling with his own personal issues regarding forgiveness and is looking to justify his particular moral/ethical stance.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
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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: "Forgiveness Is Not Buddhist" Article by McLeod in Tricycle

Post by shaunc » Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:20 am

Forgiveness is in some respects a selfish act. We forgive people for our own peace of mind, not for their benefit. When we forgive someone that doesn't necessarily mean that we welcome them back into our lives with open arms, it just means that we don't harbour ill will towards them. After all, it's pretty hard to be happy in your life while you're hating someone else.
Good luck and best wishes.
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Re: "Forgiveness Is Not Buddhist" Article by McLeod in Tricycle

Post by Grigoris » Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:49 pm

shaunc wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:20 am
Forgiveness is in some respects a selfish act.
It can be, but it needn't be.
We forgive people for our own peace of mind, not for their benefit.
I disagree. If you owe me something and are tormented by what you owe me, when I forgive your debt you gain peace of mind too. Actually, I may even lose something by forgiving you. For example: If you owe me you are under my sway, if I forgive you I lose that power.
When we forgive someone that doesn't necessarily mean that we welcome them back into our lives with open arms, it just means that we don't harbour ill will towards them.
Of course not, but if we continue to harbor a grudge this is hardly welcoming either.
After all, it's pretty hard to be happy in your life while you're hating someone else.
This is true.
"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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Re: "Forgiveness Is Not Buddhist" Article by McLeod in Tricycle

Post by Coëmgenu » Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:12 pm

Lingpupa wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:18 am
As I understand it, the (typically Christian?) concept of forgiveness does "not advise asking others to absolve us from our misdeeds" either. Surely Christian teachings ask us to forgive others, not ask them to forgive us - don't they?
I think part of the issue is where does "the Christian view" start and "views of Christians" end. The Christian view on forgiveness is that the practitioner forgives them that trespass against him, and more importantly petitions the Lord that "He" may forgive them that trespass against "us" (presuming for the sake of example a Christian "we"). The views of Christians on forgiveness can have any degree of variability, much like that there is no guarantee that a "Buddhist" will hold proper "Buddhist views".

For instance, perhaps the author, who I will presume is not greatly educated in Christianity based on his article, grew up in a "Christian society" and various Christians around him held the view that if someone does not forgive you for X action you did, they are wicked and possibly destined for damnation, thus shifting the focus from "I should forgive" to "You should forgive (or you will be in trouble)".
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.

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