Response to Wrong Views?

Discuss the application of the Dharma to situations of social, political, environmental and economic suffering and injustice.
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Malcolm
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Re: Response to Wrong Views?

Post by Malcolm » Fri Jul 22, 2016 7:13 pm

Queequeg wrote:
I agree, particulary with the second paragraph, though the third paragraph seems a little too timid. Not that I know what a good stronger approach would be. Just quietly practicing doesn't seem particularly effective, especially in the West where people will have no idea that a person is exemplifying Buddhist ideals. The role model might need a little more marketing around it.
There is absolutely no need to evangelize the Dharma. A precious human birth is something that arises from past merit accumulation. If you have the merit to meet Buddhadharma, it is inevitable that you will. If you don't, you won't. The Nicherin evangelical trip always struck me as odd.
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Simon E.
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Re: Response to Wrong Views?

Post by Simon E. » Fri Jul 22, 2016 7:19 pm

:thumbsup:

This.
"Any major dude with half a heart
Will surely tell you my friend,
Any minor world that breaks apart
Can fall together again.
Any major dude will tell you."

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Queequeg
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Re: Response to Wrong Views?

Post by Queequeg » Fri Jul 22, 2016 7:54 pm

Malcolm wrote: There is absolutely no need to evangelize the Dharma. A precious human birth is something that arises from past merit accumulation. If you have the merit to meet Buddhadharma, it is inevitable that you will. If you don't, you won't. The Nicherin evangelical trip always struck me as odd.
In some ways it strikes me as odd, too, but nobody is really interested in discussing its details so, putting it aside.

I raised the argument above that there is something fatalistic in this view of karmic destiny. Kind of Calvinist. :shrug:

It also does not in any way undermine evangelizing activities, because it can equally be said that the chance encounter with the Buddhist preacher on the corner was the particular manner in which that person's encounter with Buddhadharma was conditioned to happen in this life.
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Simon E.
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Re: Response to Wrong Views?

Post by Simon E. » Fri Jul 22, 2016 8:16 pm

But it's not Calvinistic, it's not arbitrarily predestined. We do it ourselves, action by action.
"Any major dude with half a heart
Will surely tell you my friend,
Any minor world that breaks apart
Can fall together again.
Any major dude will tell you."

Steely Dan.

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Queequeg
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Re: Response to Wrong Views?

Post by Queequeg » Fri Jul 22, 2016 8:21 pm

Simon E. wrote:But it's not Calvinistic, it's not arbitrarily predestined. We do it ourselves, action by action.
Obviously. Hence, the modifier, "kind of".
“Once you have given up the ghost, everything follows with dead certainty, even in the midst of chaos.”
-Henry Miller

"Language is the liquid that we're all dissolved in.
Great for solving problems, after it creates the problems."
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Malcolm
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Re: Response to Wrong Views?

Post by Malcolm » Fri Jul 22, 2016 8:28 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Malcolm wrote: There is absolutely no need to evangelize the Dharma. A precious human birth is something that arises from past merit accumulation. If you have the merit to meet Buddhadharma, it is inevitable that you will. If you don't, you won't. The Nicherin evangelical trip always struck me as odd.
In some ways it strikes me as odd, too, but nobody is really interested in discussing its details so, putting it aside.

I raised the argument above that there is something fatalistic in this view of karmic destiny. Kind of Calvinist. :shrug:

Not at all -- if one should waste this opportunity, there is no knowing when one will meet it again. The Calvinist point of view, by contrast, was that there is an elect who are preordained for salvation.
It also does not in any way undermine evangelizing activities, because it can equally be said that the chance encounter with the Buddhist preacher on the corner was the particular manner in which that person's encounter with Buddhadharma was conditioned to happen in this life.
Sure it does. What it means is that there is no point to evangelical activities in Buddhadharma because people will always meet the Dharma in this world for as long as there are fortunate people and the Dharma has not disappeared. And even if the Dharma has disappeared, since suchness is always present and waiting to be discovered, even if there are no buddhas, there is always the possibility of awakening.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


Relax, don’t worry about all the problems of samsara. Everything is relative. But try to be present.


— Chogyal Namkhai Norbu

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Queequeg
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Re: Response to Wrong Views?

Post by Queequeg » Fri Jul 22, 2016 9:26 pm

Malcolm wrote:[
Sure it does. What it means is that there is no point to evangelical activities in Buddhadharma because people will always meet the Dharma in this world for as long as there are fortunate people and the Dharma has not disappeared. And even if the Dharma has disappeared, since suchness is always present and waiting to be discovered, even if there are no buddhas, there is always the possibility of awakening.
I get what you're saying, but there being no point to evangelical activities is not the same as establishing that its wrong. We do a lot of pointless things, many neither advance us on the path nor deter us. If a Bodhisattva stands around in Time Square next to the desnudas handing out hand painted cards with A in a thigle... :shrug: How's that different than carving mantras on the side of a mountain?

Some person might instantly be mesmerized by that image, overpowered by its familiarity, and follow up with the telephone number on the back, who's to say that wasn't their karma to encounter Buddhadharma that way... because that's how their encounter in this life happened.

Doing those activities with some expectation that it will amount to something, to expecting or even demanding that people respond positively, I can see being wrong.

So in that light, maybe its better to not use the word "evangelism" and rather talk about public, interactive practice out in the Buddha's wheat field.
“Once you have given up the ghost, everything follows with dead certainty, even in the midst of chaos.”
-Henry Miller

"Language is the liquid that we're all dissolved in.
Great for solving problems, after it creates the problems."
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Malcolm
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Re: Response to Wrong Views?

Post by Malcolm » Fri Jul 22, 2016 10:00 pm

Queequeg wrote:How's that different than carving mantras on the side of a mountain?
A mantra carved in a mountain in liberation through seeing. There are six liberations, seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touch and thinking. Liberation through propaganda is no where mentioned.

So in that light, maybe its better to not use the word "evangelism" and rather talk about public, interactive practice out in the Buddha's wheat field.
There are some Buddhist groups that engage (mistakenly) in evangelism. But the Dzogchen point of view is broader, more subtle, and far, far more effective at providing the causes of liberation to sentient beings.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


Relax, don’t worry about all the problems of samsara. Everything is relative. But try to be present.


— Chogyal Namkhai Norbu

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Queequeg
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Re: Response to Wrong Views?

Post by Queequeg » Fri Jul 22, 2016 10:09 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Queequeg wrote:How's that different than carving mantras on the side of a mountain?
A mantra carved in a mountain in liberation through seeing. There are six liberations, seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touch and thinking. Liberation through propaganda is no where mentioned.
Why is a mantra on a card handed out in time square not liberation through seeing?
“Once you have given up the ghost, everything follows with dead certainty, even in the midst of chaos.”
-Henry Miller

"Language is the liquid that we're all dissolved in.
Great for solving problems, after it creates the problems."
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Re: Response to Wrong Views?

Post by narhwal90 » Fri Jul 22, 2016 11:26 pm

I think the evangelical Nichiren angle, at least from an SGI standpoint, is intended to bring about the case where those mechanisms of liberation can be seen to work by the practitioner thru their own experience; the evangelism is there to facilitate and is not the liberation. We discussed this subject in the study mtg I attended last week; a member asked how she could phrase her comments to convey how the practice works to others ie shakabuku. The response in general is that people have to be convinced through their own experience, not through being told about how the sounds of mantras & recitation are conceived to work. A couple times I've heard it mentioned that people have tried the practice to prove it wrong, the ones I've heard about were those who stayed, don't know about others lol

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Re: Response to Wrong Views?

Post by Wayfarer » Sat Jul 23, 2016 5:17 am

Buddhism has been a proselytising religion from the beginning. That is the point of the Nikaya story about the Brahma Sahampati beseeching the Buddha to 'teach for the benefit of many, for the sake of those with a little dust in their eyes'. Recall that prior to this intervention, the Buddha was inclined not to teach, but afterwards, decided to go forth and teach, which he did, and which is the reason that Buddhism spread throughout the ancient East and remains the force for good that it is today.
In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few ~ Suzuki-roshi

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Re: Response to Wrong Views?

Post by Queequeg » Sat Jul 23, 2016 1:27 pm

Wayfarer wrote:Buddhism has been a proselytising religion from the beginning. That is the point of the Nikaya story about the Brahma Sahampati beseeching the Buddha to 'teach for the benefit of many, for the sake of those with a little dust in their eyes'. Recall that prior to this intervention, the Buddha was inclined not to teach, but afterwards, decided to go forth and teach, which he did, and which is the reason that Buddhism spread throughout the ancient East and remains the force for good that it is today.
How do those who think karma takes care of everything interpret this story?
“Once you have given up the ghost, everything follows with dead certainty, even in the midst of chaos.”
-Henry Miller

"Language is the liquid that we're all dissolved in.
Great for solving problems, after it creates the problems."
-Modest Mouse

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Re: Response to Wrong Views?

Post by Simon E. » Sat Jul 23, 2016 1:37 pm

I think we need to be clear about our own motivation.
I know that in times past when I have been gung-ho about evangelising it was actually about my own needs for certainty and about wanting others to be more like me.

Just saying.. :smile:
"Any major dude with half a heart
Will surely tell you my friend,
Any minor world that breaks apart
Can fall together again.
Any major dude will tell you."

Steely Dan.

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Malcolm
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Re: Response to Wrong Views?

Post by Malcolm » Sat Jul 23, 2016 2:35 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Queequeg wrote:How's that different than carving mantras on the side of a mountain?
A mantra carved in a mountain in liberation through seeing. There are six liberations, seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touch and thinking. Liberation through propaganda is no where mentioned.
Why is a mantra on a card handed out in time square not liberation through seeing?
It depends on the mantra. Not all mantras are liberation through seeing.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


Relax, don’t worry about all the problems of samsara. Everything is relative. But try to be present.


— Chogyal Namkhai Norbu

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Re: Response to Wrong Views?

Post by Jeff H » Sat Jul 23, 2016 2:35 pm

Someone close to me was a drug addict. Often he could go into a new town or a new neighborhood where he’d recognize and be recognized by other addicts and dealers. Jesus said the sheep know their shepherd’s voice. Buddhism says when the student is ready the teacher will appear.

Perhaps what’s missing from this discussion is skillful means. Karma is the law of cause and effect applied to intention: when we intend the good we strengthen our reserves of virtuous merit. When a practitioner’s store of merit reaches appropriate levels, they can hear or see differently the meanings behind things they’ve heard and seen before. Teachers are those who are sensitive to the capabilities of less advanced persons and can apply a gesture, an action, or a teaching that will provide an opportunity for the practitioner to advance, if they choose to take advantage of it. So there is a combination of outreach, karma, and free will working together.

What I think of as proselytization or evangelism is much less subtle than that. Those activities refer to broad proclamations and individual browbeating intended to sway someone who may or may not yet be ready.
We who are like children shrink from pain but love its causes. - Shantideva

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Malcolm
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Re: Response to Wrong Views?

Post by Malcolm » Sat Jul 23, 2016 2:42 pm

Wayfarer wrote:Buddhism has been a proselytising religion from the beginning. That is the point of the Nikaya story about the Brahma Sahampati beseeching the Buddha to 'teach for the benefit of many, for the sake of those with a little dust in their eyes'. Recall that prior to this intervention, the Buddha was inclined not to teach, but afterwards, decided to go forth and teach, which he did, and which is the reason that Buddhism spread throughout the ancient East and remains the force for good that it is today.

The Buddha did not stand on a street corner broadcasting his message like a radio, with no consideration of who was listening. Instead, Buddhadharma has spread on the basis of Dharma teachers teaching those who are interested that which they were interested to hear, and that which they were able to employ in their lives.

Nor did the Buddha and his disciples stand on a street corner handing out handbills, with hopes that people would show up at his teachings.

Proselytizing, the attempt to convert someone to one's own religion or set of beliefs, is the very opposite of the Buddha's project. Evangelism, in this instance the zealous advocacy of a cause or set of views, is also the very opposite of the Buddha's project.

Buddhadharma has spread in the world due to the merit of sentient beings, and when that merit is finally exhausted, the Dharma will vanish at the same time.
Atikosha
Tibetan Medicine Blog
Sudarsana Mandala, Tibetan Medicine and Herbs
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


Relax, don’t worry about all the problems of samsara. Everything is relative. But try to be present.


— Chogyal Namkhai Norbu

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Queequeg
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Re: Response to Wrong Views?

Post by Queequeg » Sat Jul 23, 2016 10:11 pm

Simon E. wrote:I think we need to be clear about our own motivation.
I know that in times past when I have been gung-ho about evangelising it was actually about my own needs for certainty and about wanting others to be more like me.

Just saying.. :smile:
Congratulations you recognized your ego. Sounds like you're still struggling with that.
Just saying.. :smile:
“Once you have given up the ghost, everything follows with dead certainty, even in the midst of chaos.”
-Henry Miller

"Language is the liquid that we're all dissolved in.
Great for solving problems, after it creates the problems."
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Queequeg
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Re: Response to Wrong Views?

Post by Queequeg » Sat Jul 23, 2016 10:17 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Queequeg wrote: Why is a mantra on a card handed out in time square not liberation through seeing?
It depends on the mantra. Not all mantras are liberation through seeing.
Assuming it is, then what?
“Once you have given up the ghost, everything follows with dead certainty, even in the midst of chaos.”
-Henry Miller

"Language is the liquid that we're all dissolved in.
Great for solving problems, after it creates the problems."
-Modest Mouse

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Queequeg
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Re: Response to Wrong Views?

Post by Queequeg » Sat Jul 23, 2016 10:18 pm

Jeff H wrote: What I think of as proselytization or evangelism is much less subtle than that. Those activities refer to broad proclamations and individual browbeating intended to sway someone who may or may not yet be ready.
So distinguish that out of the consideration.
What then?
“Once you have given up the ghost, everything follows with dead certainty, even in the midst of chaos.”
-Henry Miller

"Language is the liquid that we're all dissolved in.
Great for solving problems, after it creates the problems."
-Modest Mouse

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Queequeg
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Re: Response to Wrong Views?

Post by Queequeg » Sat Jul 23, 2016 10:36 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Wayfarer wrote:Buddhism has been a proselytising religion from the beginning. That is the point of the Nikaya story about the Brahma Sahampati beseeching the Buddha to 'teach for the benefit of many, for the sake of those with a little dust in their eyes'. Recall that prior to this intervention, the Buddha was inclined not to teach, but afterwards, decided to go forth and teach, which he did, and which is the reason that Buddhism spread throughout the ancient East and remains the force for good that it is today.

The Buddha did not stand on a street corner broadcasting his message like a radio, with no consideration of who was listening. Instead, Buddhadharma has spread on the basis of Dharma teachers teaching those who are interested that which they were interested to hear, and that which they were able to employ in their lives.

Nor did the Buddha and his disciples stand on a street corner handing out handbills, with hopes that people would show up at his teachings.

Proselytizing, the attempt to convert someone to one's own religion or set of beliefs, is the very opposite of the Buddha's project. Evangelism, in this instance the zealous advocacy of a cause or set of views, is also the very opposite of the Buddha's project.

Buddhadharma has spread in the world due to the merit of sentient beings, and when that merit is finally exhausted, the Dharma will vanish at the same time.
Ok. But what wayfarer points out is not negated. There is an effort to reach others.

This passive Buddha you seem to describe does not jive with what I've understood as the path, and before you ascribe this to one assumption about me or another, I'd point out the active, proactive Buddha is a feature in East Asia in general. It's expressed in the ideal of Bodhisattvas like Avalokitesvara and Ksitigarbha. It's in the Lotus where the Buddha is constantly contriving to approach beings and lead them on the path. The Buddha's hand is always extended, always active, guiding beings whether they are aware or not.

This impulse to serve others is a capacity understood to be intrinsic to us -just as a parent is selflessly concerned for their child. it follows that when we find a path out, even if we have not completed it, we see others struggling and know they could be freed, we might want to share that. Just as I would stop and offer a jump to a stalled driver, or give directions to someone who is lost. There's no ego in that, just the simple fact that someone needs help and I can. Car jump started, or person sent in the right direction, and off I go.

It seems you guys are guided by a modesty, but the house is on fire and the restraint you practice could be viewed as callous.
“Once you have given up the ghost, everything follows with dead certainty, even in the midst of chaos.”
-Henry Miller

"Language is the liquid that we're all dissolved in.
Great for solving problems, after it creates the problems."
-Modest Mouse

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