Guru Yoga & Lamanism: Speculations on Shingon and Nichiren Schools

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smcj
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Re: Guru Yoga & Lamanism: Speculations on Shingon and Nichiren Schools

Post by smcj » Tue Jun 28, 2016 4:59 pm

MiphamFan wrote:ChNN has no problem with Lamaism in itself either. I'm not talking about the term though, I'm just talking about using Waddell as a source.
Yes, ChNN is a much better source.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

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Re: Guru Yoga & Lamanism: Speculations on Shingon and Nichiren Schools

Post by JazzIsTvRicky » Tue Jun 28, 2016 5:50 pm

DGA wrote:With regard to "Lamanism": It's a term used to describe Vajrayana Buddhism of the Himalayan region by people who don't know what they're talking about--unless there's another "Lamanism" about that I am ignorant of. Hint: the word "lama" is a Tibetan word. It describes a Tibetan phenomenon. The author of the blog post I linked above, a blog post that has been reproduced and linked in more than a few places online, claims that Shingon-shu is an "offshoot" of this Lamanism, which is to say that Shingon is an offshoot of Tibetan Buddhism. This claim assumes that Tibetan Buddhism precedes Shingon. That is wrong; the tradition preserved in Shingon shu predates the traditions practiced in Tibet.

Shingon is not an "offshoot" of a hypothesized "lamanism." Rather, both Tibetan Vajrayana and Shingon are offshoots, so to speak, of Indian Mahayana. They are sister traditions from a common source. To claim that either represents a degeneration of the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha is to engage in sectarian polemic, and that's fine if have convinced yourself it does you or anyone else any good, but it's a mistake to conflate sectarianism with historical inquiry. That's why I am bringing some of these issues up here.
Tibetan Buddhism [チベット仏教] ( Chibetto-bukkyō):
"Tibetan Buddhism is sometimes (incorrectly) referred to as Lamaism, due to its system of “reincarnating” lamas. The title lama means a venerable teacher. Some lamas of certain Tibetan monasteries are believed to be successively reincarnated, each head lama being considered a reincarnation of the last in the lineage. In these traditions, sets of instructions are handed down that lead to the identification of a child believed to be the reincarnation of a previous lama. When signs point to a certain child (always a boy), he is tested, and upon passing the tests, is recognized as the reincarnated lama. He then receives monastic training and education and takes on full responsibilities as a lama at a specified age." NBL

I believe this topic is aimed as an inquiry on the 'Master Disciple' principle. It is talked about by Nichiren within his works and can be researched quite thoroughly. Various Nichiren Sects have their take on this principle but as the Buddha says, "Rely on the Law" should be our guideline.

Sincerely, JazzIs :reading:
A فوتاري أوف ذي غوهونزون أوف نام ميوهو رينج كيو

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Re: Guru Yoga & Lamanism: Speculations on Shingon and Nichiren Schools

Post by Queequeg » Wed Jun 29, 2016 12:08 am

DGA wrote:What I would like to probe are the kinds of continuities he claims are at work from the Shingon tradition he describes (does he describe it accurately?) to contemporary Nichiren Buddhist offshoots such as SGI.
Not SGI, but I grew up with it.

In SGI, there is what they call the "Mentor-Disciple Relationship." That's present translation of the concept. In the past it was "Master and Disciple" but too many Americans had a problem with "Master". In reaction, I think they have toned it down considerably, to the point that the relationship is almost secular in nature.

From sgi.org:
In any field, a person who aids the development of another may be regarded as a mentor. In Buddhism, which is concerned with human happiness and development, the mentor-disciple relationship is fundamental. The foundation of the relationship between mentor and disciple in Buddhism is the shared pledge to work together for the happiness of people, to free them from suffering.

The Lotus Sutra, the Buddhist scripture that is the basis of Nichiren Buddhism, contains a vivid allegorical description of the moment when the Buddha’s disciples make this pledge. The sutra describes how, during an occasion when Shakyamuni Buddha is preaching, the earth splits open and a multitude of resplendent bodhisattvas (individuals who have made compassionate action the foundation of their being) emerge. These so-called “Bodhisattvas of the Earth” are firmly resolved to continue to live out Shakyamuni’s teachings after his passing, in the difficult and corrupted age to come. They vow to exert themselves to save people from suffering in this period of great social and spiritual turmoil, facing head-on whatever hardships they may encounter.

This grand, cinematic description portrays the profundity of the shared commitment of mentor and disciple to working for people’s happiness throughout time. It is a metaphor for the transformation of the Buddha’s disciples from passive recipients of the teachings to people committed to advancing on the path of compassionate action pioneered by the Buddha.
It goes on to describe what they mean in further detail. http://www.sgi.org/about-us/buddhism-in ... ciple.html

The idea of transmission in Nichiren Lotus Buddhism is beyond the scope of this thread, and properly belongs in the Nichiren forum, so, I'll put that aside and in any event won't comment on SGI's present interpretation except to say...

In the past, I think the Master Disciple relationship was more in line with a mind to mind transfer that you find throughout Japanese Buddhism. In Nichiren Shoshu, the sect of Nichiren Buddhism from which SGI splintered, there is a doctrine of lineage from abbot to abbot of the main temple, Taisekiji, that is claimed to be unbroken from Nichiren himself. They call it kechimyaku - which means blood lineage and is a term that I understand is common in describing the lineages in Japanese Zen.

The quotes from Josei Toda, the second president of Soka Gakkai who died around 1960, in Mark's blog post, in sentiment sound like the Master-Disciple idea that was current in Soka Gakkai until the 1990s, though I'm not sure the particular terms yuig yoga or hossui were regularly used.

Whether all this is consonant with Shingon and Vajrayana in general, I have no idea.
First claim: Shingon-shu is an "offshoot of lamanism." What's lamanism? That is, is there such a thing as a historical phenomenon called "lamanism" apart from the category constructed by early European scholars of Mahayana Buddhism? And if so, how is Shingon-shu an offshoot of it?
Actually, he writes that lamanism is an offshoot of Shingon. I think when Mark talks about Shingon, he is generally referring to Tantric Buddhism. Leaving aside whether "lamanism" is a correct referent for Tibetan Vajrayana, I think he's right.
Second claim: There is a practice in Shingon-shu called "guru yoga." ... Is there any merit whatsoever to this claim?
I think the best person to ask about this is Rev. Eijo who makes appearances here from time to time.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

smcj
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Re: Guru Yoga & Lamanism: Speculations on Shingon and Nichiren Schools

Post by smcj » Wed Jun 29, 2016 1:10 am

Actually, I'm fairly certain many tirthikas do this.
Oh well, there goes my theory. :crying:
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

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Re: Guru Yoga & Lamanism: Speculations on Shingon and Nichiren Schools

Post by jake » Wed Jul 06, 2016 10:07 pm

Queequeg wrote:
First claim: Shingon-shu is an "offshoot of lamanism." What's lamanism? That is, is there such a thing as a historical phenomenon called "lamanism" apart from the category constructed by early European scholars of Mahayana Buddhism? And if so, how is Shingon-shu an offshoot of it?
Actually, he writes that lamanism is an offshoot of Shingon. I think when Mark talks about Shingon, he is generally referring to Tantric Buddhism. Leaving aside whether "lamanism" is a correct referent for Tibetan Vajrayana, I think he's right.
Second claim: There is a practice in Shingon-shu called "guru yoga." ... Is there any merit whatsoever to this claim?
I think the best person to ask about this is Rev. Eijo who makes appearances here from time to time.
If the writer, Mark Rogow, means to link Tibetan and Shingon as kinds of vajrayana Buddhism then yes, they do share a common ancestor (like all Buddhist traditions) though are separated in time and means of transmission. Probably could have been worded a bit more carefully and the diction is unusual but I don't think the intended audience for the blog post are folks like us. Frankly, I've no idea why the term lamaism is used as it is as accurate as Monty Python's portrayal of Llamas, what with their beaks for eating honey and fins for swimming in the Amazon... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBaUmx5s6iE

I've never formally trained in Shingon but have read a good bit and have never encountered "guru yoga." Perhaps the writer meant deity yoga which is something, obviously, Shingon uses. I agree with our friend QQ that Rev. Eijo would be the best person to respond.

As an aside, I understand that Kukai has a few lectures on the Lotus Sutra and Shingon has esoteric practices for the Lotus Sutra. If anyone knows of reasonably scholarly works on the same in Tendai or how Nichiren may have been influenced by these esoteric practices during his training in Tendai I'd be interested in reading that. Trying to get a better understanding of the background of Nichiren.

Thanks folks,

Llamas!
“The white zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only. There is no stopping in the red zone."

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Re: Guru Yoga & Lamanism: Speculations on Shingon and Nichiren Schools

Post by narhwal90 » Thu Jul 07, 2016 2:29 am

There is this one

https://www.jstor.org/stable/30233631?s ... b_contents

Nichiren's Attitude toward Esoteric Buddhism, Lucia Dolce

recently mentioned here on DW, I've not read it yet- but its in the to-be-read-soon folder

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Re: Guru Yoga & Lamanism: Speculations on Shingon and Nichiren Schools

Post by jake » Sun Jul 10, 2016 7:22 am

DGA wrote:Second claim: There is a practice in Shingon-shu called "guru yoga." Our author doesn't specify particularly what that practice is or how it works, but he does assume it involves a kind of authoritarianism (the same authoritarianism he finds in SGI). Is there any merit whatsoever to this claim?
I've checked and can definitively say there is no guru yoga in Tendai or Shingon. Guru yoga, as I'm guessing all our Tibetan Buddhist colleagues know, is from Anatturayoga tantra ("Highest Yoga") and these do not exist in Japanese buddhism. I'm not clear what the original writer was trying to convey but it doesn't hold water.
narhwal90 wrote:There is this one
https://www.jstor.org/stable/30233631?s ... b_contents
Nichiren's Attitude toward Esoteric Buddhism, Lucia Dolce
recently mentioned here on DW, I've not read it yet- but its in the to-be-read-soon folder
I want to thank you for suggesting this article, it was rather interesting and really helped to answer a number of my questions (e.g. why do Fudo myoo and Aizen myoo appear on the Nichiren mandala). The main premise, as I understand it, is that Nichiren drew upon a lot from Taimitsu when shaping his theory and praxis. Frankly, after what we've witnessed in the subforum this past week or so I don't expect the article to get a lot of support from some people but I do really recommend it.

thanks again.
“The white zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only. There is no stopping in the red zone."

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Re: Guru Yoga & Lamanism: Speculations on Shingon and Nichiren Schools

Post by Belcher » Fri Oct 07, 2016 10:33 am

DGA wrote:In circulation in the blogosphere and on discussion boards not unlike Dharmawheel, one can find masterpieces such as this:

http://www.wordsiseek.com/

Here, it is claimed that there is a historical continuity from Shingon-shu to some Nichiren schools such as SGI. Our author seems to think this indicates a problem if true--a degeneration or departure from the Real Deal--but that is a doctrinal matter appropriate to a different DW subforum. What I would like to probe are the kinds of continuities he claims are at work from the Shingon tradition he describes (does he describe it accurately?) to contemporary Nichiren Buddhist offshoots such as SGI.

First claim: Shingon-shu is an "offshoot of lamanism." What's lamanism? That is, is there such a thing as a historical phenomenon called "lamanism" apart from the category constructed by early European scholars of Mahayana Buddhism? And if so, how is Shingon-shu an offshoot of it?

Second claim: There is a practice in Shingon-shu called "guru yoga." Our author doesn't specify particularly what that practice is or how it works, but he does assume it involves a kind of authoritarianism (the same authoritarianism he finds in SGI). Is there any merit whatsoever to this claim?

:reading:
I have never tried the Yoga but i want to, is there anyone who can help me to plan my daily yoga plan?

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Re: Guru Yoga & Lamanism: Speculations on Shingon and Nichiren Schools

Post by Coëmgenu » Fri Oct 07, 2016 11:06 am

If Nichiren is a "Lamaist" school, than the Lotus Sutra is the "Lama" in question, more than any given person, even Nichiren. Just my two cents.
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.

नस्वातोनापिपरतोनद्वाभ्यांनाप्यहेतुतः
उत्पन्नाजातुविद्यन्तेभावाःक्वचनकेचन

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Re: Guru Yoga & Lamanism: Speculations on Shingon and Nichiren Schools

Post by DGA » Sat Oct 08, 2016 8:40 pm

Belcher wrote:
I have never tried the Yoga but i want to, is there anyone who can help me to plan my daily yoga plan?
There is no Guru Yoga in Japanese Buddhism. Guru Yoga is a Tibetan practice.

Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche teaches it frequently, and his teachings are available by webcast in the comfort of your own home. Google around for "dzogchen community webcast."

sorry mods for the :offtopic:

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Re: Guru Yoga & Lamanism: Speculations on Shingon and Nichiren Schools

Post by DGA » Sat Oct 08, 2016 8:45 pm

By the way, there's no such thing as "Lamanism," and nothing like it in Japanese Buddhism at all.

The author of the piece I quoted at the start of this thread doesn't know what he's talking about.

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Re: Guru Yoga & Lamanism: Speculations on Shingon and Nichiren Schools

Post by crazy-man » Sat Oct 08, 2016 9:52 pm

DGA wrote:Is there any such thing as guru yoga in the Shingon tradition?
perhaps one finds elements in the tachikawa-ryu because this ryu arose later, when the anuttara yogatantra was already established
http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/en ... chikawaryu
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tachikawa-ryu

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Re: Guru Yoga & Lamanism: Speculations on Shingon and Nichiren Schools

Post by Coëmgenu » Mon Feb 06, 2017 11:03 am

Forgive me for my possible ignorance, but isn't "Lamaism" just supposed to mean something along the lines of "treating the Lama as the Buddha himself"?
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.

नस्वातोनापिपरतोनद्वाभ्यांनाप्यहेतुतः
उत्पन्नाजातुविद्यन्तेभावाःक्वचनकेचन

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Re: Guru Yoga & Lamanism: Speculations on Shingon and Nichiren Schools

Post by Kim O'Hara » Mon Feb 06, 2017 12:03 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:Forgive me for my possible ignorance, but isn't "Lamaism" just supposed to mean something along the lines of "treating the Lama as the Buddha himself"?
Umm ... go back and read the first page of the thread? There are multiple problems with the term, and even more with the quoted text in the OP.

:namaste:
Kim

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Re: Guru Yoga & Lamanism: Speculations on Shingon and Nichiren Schools

Post by Coëmgenu » Mon Feb 06, 2017 3:23 pm

Kim O'Hara wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:Forgive me for my possible ignorance, but isn't "Lamaism" just supposed to mean something along the lines of "treating the Lama as the Buddha himself"?
Umm ... go back and read the first page of the thread? There are multiple problems with the term, and even more with the quoted text in the OP.

:namaste:
Kim
Oh its a dated term for certain, like "Amidism" for Pure Land, like "Mohammedan" for Muslim, etc, but I had always thought that the reason why people made up that term in the first place was in reaction to the notion that when you take refuge in the Three Jewels, in traditions that were called "Lamaist" by old Buddhologists, you also take refuge in 3 aspects of the Guru/Lama, who is treated as the Buddha. That is the root of this term is it not?
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.

नस्वातोनापिपरतोनद्वाभ्यांनाप्यहेतुतः
उत्पन्नाजातुविद्यन्तेभावाःक्वचनकेचन

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Re: Guru Yoga & Lamanism: Speculations on Shingon and Nichiren Schools

Post by DGA » Mon Feb 06, 2017 3:25 pm

look carefully at the expert writings quoted in the OP: What is Lamanism?

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Re: Guru Yoga & Lamanism: Speculations on Shingon and Nichiren Schools

Post by Malcolm » Mon Feb 06, 2017 3:32 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:Oh its a dated term for certain, like "Amidism" for Pure Land, like "Mohammedan" for Muslim, etc, but I had always thought that the reason why people made up that term in the first place was in reaction to the notion that when you take refuge in the Three Jewels, in traditions that were called "Lamaist" by old Buddhologists, you also take refuge in 3 aspects of the Guru/Lama, who is treated as the Buddha. That is the root of this term is it not?
No, it is was meant originally as a way of delegitimizing Tibetan Buddhism.
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: Guru Yoga & Lamanism: Speculations on Shingon and Nichiren Schools

Post by Coëmgenu » Mon Feb 06, 2017 4:00 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:Oh its a dated term for certain, like "Amidism" for Pure Land, like "Mohammedan" for Muslim, etc, but I had always thought that the reason why people made up that term in the first place was in reaction to the notion that when you take refuge in the Three Jewels, in traditions that were called "Lamaist" by old Buddhologists, you also take refuge in 3 aspects of the Guru/Lama, who is treated as the Buddha. That is the root of this term is it not?
No, it is was meant originally as a way of delegitimizing Tibetan Buddhism.
Like the term Amidism with Pure Land practice. Unfortunately though, that is not a realistic account of the genesis of these terms, which treat the branches of Buddhism as seperate religions, each with their own "ism". Nowadays they are associated with incompetent British Buddhology, but they are named so in reaction to salient surface-level features that stick out to foreigners unfamiliar to the tradition. No one made up "Lamaism" because they hated Tibetans. It's associated with old British divisive Buddhologies, but that is not it's genesis.
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.

नस्वातोनापिपरतोनद्वाभ्यांनाप्यहेतुतः
उत्पन्नाजातुविद्यन्तेभावाःक्वचनकेचन

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Re: Guru Yoga & Lamanism: Speculations on Shingon and Nichiren Schools

Post by Malcolm » Mon Feb 06, 2017 4:19 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:No one made up "Lamaism" because they hated Tibetans.
False, the term was coined by Waddel, who hated Tibetans as much as he was fascinated by them.
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: Guru Yoga & Lamanism: Speculations on Shingon and Nichiren Schools

Post by Coëmgenu » Mon Feb 06, 2017 4:59 pm

Malcolm wrote: Waddel,
Googling
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.

नस्वातोनापिपरतोनद्वाभ्यांनाप्यहेतुतः
उत्पन्नाजातुविद्यन्तेभावाःक्वचनकेचन

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