How do we know our practice is working?

Malcolm
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Re: How do we know our practice is working?

Post by Malcolm » Sun Dec 02, 2018 10:08 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 8:22 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:48 pm
Dzogchen does not suffering from dogmatism because it based in personal experience which is absolutely unmistakable, the same is true for the rest of Vajrayāna practice. Progress in Dzogchen teachings is based on unmistakable phenomena which one cannot fake or imagine. This is true also of general Vajrayāna. In other words, if your vajra and bell are not floating, you are not making much progress.
Mine fall down all the time from my small practice table... Does that count as progress? :tongue:
Only if they are blown off to the side by the wind while they are levitating during your practice.

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: How do we know our practice is working?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Sun Dec 02, 2018 10:33 pm

Arnoud wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 9:12 pm
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 8:25 pm
Sometimes chaos in life is a good marker I think, particularly in how we can handle and integrate obstacles that arise in said chaos. Then just the standard stuff, are you less quick to anger, less self-centered etc. etc.
Although I somewhat agree with these signs, especially when I see some people who I think need therapy, I also think a good sleeping schedule and less financial and emotional stress would reduce anger and self-centeredness quite easily. Also, anyone who practices just regular mindfulness will be less quick to anger and less self-centered. Seems a lot of them have actually better results than people practicing sadhana's if results were weighed solely based on anger and self-centeredness and the other most often mentioned afflictive emotions.
Would like your opinion on that.
Well, not sure what my opinion counts for, but sure:

Honestly some Vajrayana/Dzogchen people seem to practice for questionable reasons - some sense of gaining spiritual power or self-aggrandizement-, and often they also refuse to get a basic grounding in Mahayana as well. I've even seen some put the Mahayana as a whole down nonstop because it's "too conceptual"..

Under these kinds of circumstances, your average "mindfulness" practitioner is better set up - simple practice, minimal proliferation, rumination, and arguing with an intellectual edifice of one's own creation - something which sadly seems to come up when "higher" practitioners stall out.

This is particularly true if your mindfulness person is practicing with a kind of "pre-Bodhicitta"..at least a basic sense of empathy and compassion that permeates their practice. Compared to someone who refuses outright to practice relative Bodhicitta (when every external indication is that they probably should) because they see it as "beneath them", it's obvious why the results would be as they are.

There is something to be said for not looking too much at external phenomena of course, but I think this basic trend is observable in places. It might be that in the long term the Vajrayana practitioner might be making leaps that the "mindfulness" person will not, and may surpass them, including in outward manifestations of compassion, etc... But I feel like in at least some cases, people simply jump into Vajrayana without a real base, and tend to disregard the Mahayana.

I've seen both ends though, "mindfulness" people can also be incredibly arrogant and self-aggrandizing about their "simplicity", as well as very saccharin about their ethics. The most earnest group of practitioners I've met in terms of day to day behavior in a while are some of the Prisoners (most of whom do not identify as Buddhist) I've done Dharma stuff with. Generally speaking the worst are middle-class "secular Buddhist" types, followed closely by young people collecting Vajrayana practices at a feverish pace...lol.

Really we're all a mess though, honestly.
His welcoming
& rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
Knowing the dustless, sorrowless state,
he discerns rightly,
has gone, beyond becoming,
to the Further Shore.

-Lokavipatti Sutta

Malcolm
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Re: How do we know our practice is working?

Post by Malcolm » Sun Dec 02, 2018 10:45 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 10:33 pm


Honestly some Vajrayana/Dzogchen people seem to practice for questionable reasons - some sense of gaining spiritual power or self-aggrandizement-, and often they also refuse to get a basic grounding in Mahayana as well. I've even seen some put the Mahayana as a whole down nonstop because it's "too conceptual"..
It is too conceptual. This is a valid criticism. And without siddhis one will not benefit many people at all.
But I feel like in at least some cases, people simply jump into Vajrayana without a real base, and tend to disregard the Mahayana.
We depend on Mahāyāna for view and motivation, but not for methods.
young people collecting Vajrayana practices at a feverish pace...
These young people will, if they maintain their samayas, attain full buddhahood eons before mindfulness practitioners. I salute them.
Really we're all a mess though, honestly.
Sentient beings are buddhas,
obscured by transient afflictions.


-- Hevajra Tantra.

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Miroku
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Re: How do we know our practice is working?

Post by Miroku » Sun Dec 02, 2018 10:47 pm

:good: Thx Johnny and Malcolm
“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

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Re: How do we know our practice is working?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Sun Dec 02, 2018 10:52 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 10:45 pm

It is too conceptual. This is a valid criticism. And without siddhis one will not benefit many people at all.

If the people i'm thinking of were in range of acquiring siddhis, that'd be a concern. As it is, some of them can't even manage basic uncomfortable social interactions without problems, and lack basic life management skills, the ability to treat people decently, etc. I don't think many of the people i'm thinking of are near acquiring siddhis.
We depend on Mahāyāna for view and motivation, but not for methods.
Sure, most of the time. Again, failure to cultivate relative Bodhcitta or to perform good deeds when one is karmically in an obvious position to do so either is IMO not a meritorious quality, regardless of doctrinal claims or views.

These young people will, if they maintain their samayas, attain full buddhahood eons before mindfulness practitioners. I salute them.
Plenty are already breaking their vows through their conduct, unless they are doing some massive repairs that I don't see, then they are breaching samaya.
Sentient beings are buddhas,
obscured by transient afflictions.


-- Hevajra Tantra.

Sure, but when you live in the afflictions, you better take the best way out, even if it's deleterious to your ego. People who can't do that are IMO, creating a new, shinier samsara out of their practice, it's not just Mindfulness people who do that, I think that "higher" practitioners do it too, in their own particular way. I'm not saying i'm any better, just that I've observed it. I should note, just in case, I am not talking about people on this forum, I am more thinking of meatspace experiences.
His welcoming
& rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
Knowing the dustless, sorrowless state,
he discerns rightly,
has gone, beyond becoming,
to the Further Shore.

-Lokavipatti Sutta

Malcolm
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Re: How do we know our practice is working?

Post by Malcolm » Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:13 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 10:52 pm
I am more thinking of meatspace experiences.
We cannot judge anyone's practice. Look at Milarepa, he spent twenty years running around wanting to learn sorcery, studying with this and that teacher, and even, according to legend, killed sentient beings, fellow Vajrayāna practitioners. Who could have had worse samaya to repair than Milarepa?

There are many examples of this nature.

In any case, many tantras state that in the Kali Yoga, only mantrayāna is an effective means of liberation. If one does not accept this, then there is no point in following Vajrayāna at all.

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Re: How do we know our practice is working?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:19 pm

Ok man. Malcolm says don't judge anyones practice :D
His welcoming
& rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
Knowing the dustless, sorrowless state,
he discerns rightly,
has gone, beyond becoming,
to the Further Shore.

-Lokavipatti Sutta

Malcolm
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Re: How do we know our practice is working?

Post by Malcolm » Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:28 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:19 pm
Ok man. Malcolm says don't judge anyones practice :D
Yes, we really cannot judge anyone's practice of Vajrayāna based on external criteria. In order to judge, we would need to be able to be able to know the minds of others.

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Re: How do we know our practice is working?

Post by Lukeinaz » Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:20 am

anjali wrote:
Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:50 pm
Lukeinaz wrote:
Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:32 pm
if dzogchen, our real nature, is beyond cause and effect, what is left to be ignored?
Nothing, if you can abide in that state 24/7. I don't know about you, but I still have to look both ways when crossing the road. :smile:
is this looking, crossing, and road somehow seperate from dzogchen?
You are truly astonishing--going to look for yourself when you already are yourself! --Longchen Rabjam

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Re: How do we know our practice is working?

Post by anjali » Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:31 am

Lukeinaz wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:20 am
is this looking, crossing, and road somehow seperate from dzogchen?
No, but the view shouldn't be mixed with conduct. As Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche says regarding Padmasambhava's famous quote,
Guru Rinpoche also said, "Though the view should be as vast as the sky, keep your conduct as fine as barley flour." Don't confuse one with
the other. When training in the view, you can be as unbiased, as impartial, as vast, immense, and unlimited as the sky. Your behavior, on the other hand, should be as careful as possible in discriminating what is beneficial or harmful, what is good or evil. One can combine the view and conduct, but don't mix them or lose one in the other. That is very important.

'View like the sky' means that nothing is held onto in any way whatsoever. You are not stuck anywhere at all. In other words, there is no discrimination as to what to accept and what to reject; no line is drawn separating one thing from the other. 'Conduct as fine as barley flour' means that there is good and evil, and one needs to differentiate between the two. Give up negative deeds; practice the Dharma. In your behavior, in your conduct, it is necessary to accept and reject.
I'm good with that.
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Re: How do we know our practice is working?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Mon Dec 03, 2018 2:10 am

Yep. pretty much sums it up IMO.
His welcoming
& rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
Knowing the dustless, sorrowless state,
he discerns rightly,
has gone, beyond becoming,
to the Further Shore.

-Lokavipatti Sutta

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Grigoris
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Re: How do we know our practice is working?

Post by Grigoris » Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:11 am

Malcolm wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 10:08 pm
Only if they are blown off to the side by the wind while they are levitating during your practice.
The only wind in my shrine room is from the tofu I munch on... :tongue:

Mainly they are knocked off by my clumsy mitt when I reach to change pages on the sadhana or go for my mala...
"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

Lukeinaz
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Re: How do we know our practice is working?

Post by Lukeinaz » Mon Dec 03, 2018 2:40 pm

anjali wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:31 am
Lukeinaz wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:20 am
is this looking, crossing, and road somehow seperate from dzogchen?
No, but the view shouldn't be mixed with conduct. As Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche says regarding Padmasambhava's famous quote,
Guru Rinpoche also said, "Though the view should be as vast as the sky, keep your conduct as fine as barley flour." Don't confuse one with
the other. When training in the view, you can be as unbiased, as impartial, as vast, immense, and unlimited as the sky. Your behavior, on the other hand, should be as careful as possible in discriminating what is beneficial or harmful, what is good or evil. One can combine the view and conduct, but don't mix them or lose one in the other. That is very important.

'View like the sky' means that nothing is held onto in any way whatsoever. You are not stuck anywhere at all. In other words, there is no discrimination as to what to accept and what to reject; no line is drawn separating one thing from the other. 'Conduct as fine as barley flour' means that there is good and evil, and one needs to differentiate between the two. Give up negative deeds; practice the Dharma. In your behavior, in your conduct, it is necessary to accept and reject.
I'm good with that.
yes, i very much like these quotes. obviously, in our relative condition we have to accept nutritious foods and reject poison.
You are truly astonishing--going to look for yourself when you already are yourself! --Longchen Rabjam

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Re: How do we know our practice is working?

Post by Arnoud » Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:28 pm

Thanks JD and Malcolm. Much appreciated.

Malcolm, is there not such a thing as liberation of the mind which does not spill over into physical phenomena?

Malcolm
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Re: How do we know our practice is working?

Post by Malcolm » Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:46 pm

Arnoud wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:28 pm
Thanks JD and Malcolm. Much appreciated.

Malcolm, is there not such a thing as liberation of the mind which does not spill over into physical phenomena?
No. Not really. The process of successive rebirths over three incalculable eons has to do with increasingly better physical bodies, etc., and gathering the various major and minor marks of a perfect, complete buddha.

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Re: How do we know our practice is working?

Post by ford_truckin » Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:28 pm

What kind of siddhis is a first year bodhisattva supposed to manifest?
"We should not express outwardly signs of wisdom, goodness, or diligence, for inwardly we are filled with falsity."
- Shinran Shonin

Malcolm
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Re: How do we know our practice is working?

Post by Malcolm » Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:34 pm

ford_truckin wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:28 pm
What kind of siddhis is a first year bodhisattva supposed to manifest?
A first year bodhisattva? None.

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Re: How do we know our practice is working?

Post by ford_truckin » Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:36 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:34 pm
ford_truckin wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:28 pm
What kind of siddhis is a first year bodhisattva supposed to manifest?
A first year bodhisattva? None.
Sorry I meant first level/bhumi.
"We should not express outwardly signs of wisdom, goodness, or diligence, for inwardly we are filled with falsity."
- Shinran Shonin

Malcolm
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Re: How do we know our practice is working?

Post by Malcolm » Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:49 pm

ford_truckin wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:36 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:34 pm
ford_truckin wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:28 pm
What kind of siddhis is a first year bodhisattva supposed to manifest?
A first year bodhisattva? None.
Sorry I meant first level/bhumi.
The signs of progress of bodhisattvas on the stages is detailed in the Dasabhumi Sūtra.

ford_truckin
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Re: How do we know our practice is working?

Post by ford_truckin » Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:53 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:49 pm
ford_truckin wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:36 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:34 pm


A first year bodhisattva? None.
Sorry I meant first level/bhumi.
The signs of progress of bodhisattvas on the stages is detailed in the Dasabhumi Sūtra.
I'll check it out thanks.
"We should not express outwardly signs of wisdom, goodness, or diligence, for inwardly we are filled with falsity."
- Shinran Shonin

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