Shakabuku Woes

RengeReciter
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Shakabuku Woes

Post by RengeReciter » Tue Nov 07, 2017 12:10 am

We as Nichiren Buddhists have an explicit duty to share our practice with other sentient beings. I was first introduced to this school of Buddhism through the Soka Gakkai. As one who had been exposed to more normative Mahayana prior to my contact with the organization, it was inevitable that I would eventually find certain aspects of Gakkai instruction to be problematic. I have since adopted teachings within the Nichiren umbrella that I can confidently say adhere more closely to the Lotus Sutra itself and Nichiren's own writings. Unfortunately, despite being more confident than ever before in my faith and in my practice, I do not shakabuku.

Truthfully, I don't know how.

The SGI, for all of its faults, is the only organization in my area that I know of with the infrastructure and resources to support new members and to keep them consistent in their practice. Yet, introducing people to the organization is something of a gamble. On the one hand, I continue to interact with members who, despite practicing incorrect teachings, appear to receive benefit for their efforts (perhaps their ignorance of the true teachings protects them from retribution--I don't know). On the other, I am at the stage of understanding that literally prohibits me from receiving benefit by upholding a false doctrine (I could write paragraphs detailing the many ways that my life takes a poisonous turn when I engage in slander).

Thus you see that I am between a rock and a hard place. Do I bring people to the SGI knowing that they may be ignorantly and innocently embracing slander (but hopefully without receiving the consequences of that slander), or do I try to shakabuku according to the correct teaching while stripping any converts of the organizational support that I had benefitted from at one point in time?

Thank you.

narhwal90
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Re: Shakabuku Woes

Post by narhwal90 » Tue Nov 07, 2017 3:38 am

I don't pursue shakabuku personally, though if the topic arises I share my experience in SGI etc- what the practice means to me and its effects. I try to stay out of judgements about slander, unless I walk in another's shoes I'm not qualified to say what or what isn't their experience. I wonder sometimes about the things I hear in meetings but its not only not my business, but if people are getting results then they're probably doing something right.

As far as the Lotus Sutra, the more I learn and study the more I realize I don't know. There are many different takes on the Lotus Sutra besides Nichiren- clearly I am not qualified to make statements about which are correct. I often wonder if questions of correct/incorrect are the wrong ones to be asking, a view of right or wrong is still a view with all that entails. Which is not to say I think all forms are equivalent, I seem to be more comfortable in my practice and in the world when I'm not making judgements where I'm not being asked to.

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Minobu
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Re: Shakabuku Woes

Post by Minobu » Tue Nov 07, 2017 5:52 pm

Am I wrong in assuming that the whole deal is about shakubuku?

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Queequeg
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Re: Shakabuku Woes

Post by Queequeg » Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:36 pm

RengeReciter wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 12:10 am
We as Nichiren Buddhists have an explicit duty to share our practice with other sentient beings. I was first introduced to this school of Buddhism through the Soka Gakkai. As one who had been exposed to more normative Mahayana prior to my contact with the organization, it was inevitable that I would eventually find certain aspects of Gakkai instruction to be problematic. I have since adopted teachings within the Nichiren umbrella that I can confidently say adhere more closely to the Lotus Sutra itself and Nichiren's own writings. Unfortunately, despite being more confident than ever before in my faith and in my practice, I do not shakabuku.

Truthfully, I don't know how.

The SGI, for all of its faults, is the only organization in my area that I know of with the infrastructure and resources to support new members and to keep them consistent in their practice. Yet, introducing people to the organization is something of a gamble. On the one hand, I continue to interact with members who, despite practicing incorrect teachings, appear to receive benefit for their efforts (perhaps their ignorance of the true teachings protects them from retribution--I don't know). On the other, I am at the stage of understanding that literally prohibits me from receiving benefit by upholding a false doctrine (I could write paragraphs detailing the many ways that my life takes a poisonous turn when I engage in slander).

Thus you see that I am between a rock and a hard place. Do I bring people to the SGI knowing that they may be ignorantly and innocently embracing slander (but hopefully without receiving the consequences of that slander), or do I try to shakabuku according to the correct teaching while stripping any converts of the organizational support that I had benefitted from at one point in time?

Thank you.
Pardon the mind dump on the subject.

Starting at the beginning, I think it helps to understand what propagation means.

First, there seems to be a notion among Buddhists that active propagation is not a Buddhist thing to do. That instead, Buddha dharma should spread passively - like osmosis. I think this is incorrect. I think this is a perspective from a Buddhist cultures that have not used the propagation muscles for so long that the capacity is atrophied. After all, if everyone is Buddhist in a country, what opportunity is there for propagation? Buddhism reached the Pacific Ocean and had no where to go for centuries. In the other direction, tirthikas aggressively and violently persecuted anyone who did not accept monotheism. For centuries, Buddhism faced limitations for propagation and so the energy was directed to individual perfection. Now, the world has opened up, and its time to once again develop "practice for others."

So, to frame this properly, we need to go back to the beginning. Buddhism started shortly after the Buddha's awakening in Gaya when he resolved to teach.
Now while the Blessed One was alone in retreat this thought arose in him: "This Dhamma that I have attained to is profound and hard to see, hard to discover; it is the most peaceful and superior goal of all, not attainable y mere ratiocination, subtle, for the wise to experience. But this generation relies on attachment, relishes attachment, delights in attachment. It is hard for such a generation to see this truth, this is to say, specific conditionality, depended arising. And it is hard to see this truth, that is to say, stilling of all formations, relinquishing of the essential of existence, exhaustion of craving, fading of lust, cessation, Nibanna. And if it taught the Dhamma others would not understand me, and that would be wearying and troublesome for me."

Thereupon there came to him spontaneously these stanzas never heard before:

Enough of teaching of the Dhamma
That even I found hard to reach;
For it will never be perceived
By those that live in lust and hate.
Men dyed in lust, and whom a cloud
Of darkness laps, will never see
What goes against the stream, is subtle
Deep and hard to see, abstruse.

Considering thus, his mind favoured inaction and not teaching Dhamma.

Then it occurred to Brahma Sahampati, who became awre in his mind of the thought in the Blessed One's mind: "The world will be lost, the world will be utterly lost; for the mind of the Perfect One, accomplished and fully enlightened, favours inaction and not teaching the Dhamma."

Then as soon as a strong man might extend his flexed arm or flex his extended arm, Brahma Sahampati vanished in the Brahma-world and appeared before the Blessed One. He arranged his robe on one shoulder, and putting his right knee on the ground and raising his hands palm together towards the Blessed One, he said: "Lord, let the Blessed One teach the Dhamma. Let the Sublime One teach the Dhamma. There are beings with little dust on their eyes who are wasting through not hearing the Dhamma. Some of them will gain final knowledge of the Dhamma."

When Brahma Sahmpati had said this, he said further:

In Magadha there has appeared till now
Impure Dhamma thought out by men still stained:
Open the Deathless Gateway: let them hear
The Dhamma the Immaculate has found.
Ascend, O Sage, the tower of the Dhamma;
And, just as one sees all the folk around
Who stand upon a solid pile of rock,
Survey, O Sorrowless All-seeing Sage,
This human breed engulfed in sorrowing
That birth has at its mercy and old age.
Arise, O Hero, Victor, Knowledge-bringer,
Free From All Debt, and wander in the world.

Proclaim the Dhamma, for some,
O Blessed One, will understand.

The Blessed One listened to Brahma Sahampati's pleading. Out of compassion for beings he surveyed the world with the eye of a Buddha. Just as in a pond of blue, red or white lotuses, some lotuses that are born and grow in the water thrive immersed in the water without coming up out of it, and some other lotuses that are born and grwo in the water rest on the water's surface, an some other lotuses that are born and grow in the water come right up out of the water and stand clear, unwetted by it, so too he saw beings with little dust on their eyes and with much dust ont their eyes, with keen faculties and dull faculties, with good qualities and bad qualities, easy to teach and hard to teach, and some who dwelt seeing fear in the other world and blame as well. When he had seen this, he replied:

Wide open are the portals of the Deathless.
Let those who hear show faith. If I was minded
To tell not the sublime Dhamma I know,
It was that I saw vexation in the telling.

Then Brahma Sahampati thought: "I have made it possible for the Dhamma to be taught by the Blessed One." And after he had paid homage to him, keeping him on his right, he vanished at once.
Life of the Buddha by Bhikku Nanamoli

From there, the Buddha resolved to teach others, and that is when the Dharma began to flow. The Buddha spent the next forty years wandering and teaching others, actively engaging others and teaching them dharma. If he had simply decided to go into retreat and dwell in individual bliss, the world would have never known the Buddha Dharma. Maybe a few people would have encountered him and learned from him passively.

But instead, early on, not only did the Buddha resolve to teach others, he taught others to teach others as well. The Buddha instructed the Bhikkus in what would become an essential part of Buddhist practice:

"Bhikkus, I am free from all shackles whether human or diving. You too are free from all shackles whether human or divine. Go now and wander for the welfare and happiness of many, out of compassion for the world, for the benefit, welfare and happiness of gods and men. Teach the Dhamma that is good in the beginning, good in the middle and good in the end, with the meaning and the letter. Explain a holy life that is utterly perfect and pure. There are beings with little dust on their eyes who be lost through not hearing the Dhamma. Some will understand the Dhamma."
Life of Buddha

This instruction to spread the Dharma is expanded in the Mahayana. One does not need to be a monk or nun, but all are urged -
During the period of [the last] five hundred years after my parinirvāṇa you must spread [this sutra] far and wide in Jambudvīpa and not allow it to be destroyed. You must not give Māra and his men, or the devas, nāgas, yakṣas, and kum bhāṇḍa demons any chance of destroying it.
Lotus Sutra, Chapter 23
After my parinirvāṇa, if there are any sons and daughters of a virtuous family who expound even a single line of the Lotus Sutra in private to even a single person, they should be acknowledged as the ambassadors of the Tathāgata. They have been dispatched by the Tathāgata and carry out the Tathāgata’s work. As for those who extensively teach among the common people, know that they are yet greater ambassadors.
Lotus Sutra, Chapter 10

In these passages, you can hear the echo of the Buddha's instruction to the Bhikkus. In the Lotus, however, all of us are instructed to propagate the Buddhadharma, not just the monks and nuns.

Zhiyi, Tendai Daishi, urged that we should not only practice for ourselves, but that we should practice for others. Practice for ourselves means realizing the Buddha's teaching as our own practice, while practice for others is sharing the teaching with others. He further explained that there are two methods for teaching others - shoju and shakubuku. "There are two ways to spread the Buddha’s teachings. The first is called shōju and the second is called shakubuku. When the ‘Peaceful Practices’ chapter says that one should not speak of the shortcomings of others, it is referring to the shōju method. But when the Nirvana Sutra says that one should carry swords and staves or that one should cut off their heads, it is referring to the shakubuku method. They differ in approach in that one is lenient and the other severe, but they both bring benefit." Shoju is a passive method in which one teaches without critiquing wrong views, instead adapting teachings to people's inclinations and capacities. Wrong views are not directly confronted, and instead, right views are gently taught. Shakubuku is a method in which one declares the Buddha Dharma in full without regard to the inclinations and capacities of the listener. Wrong views are directly critiqued based on right views. In the Nirvana Sutra, a king upholds the Dharma by actively removing those with wrong views from the Sangha. One method is considered gentle while the other is vigorous.

We should note that although shakubuku is described in martial terms, this is not how it is understood to be practiced. As Nichiren wrote in Rissho Ankoku Ron:
According to the Buddhist teachings, prior to Shakyamuni slanderous monks would have incurred the death penalty. But since the time of Shakyamuni, the One Who Can Endure, the giving of alms to slanderous monks is forbidden in the sutra teachings. Now if all the four kinds of Buddhists within the four seas and the ten thousand lands would only cease giving alms to wicked priests and instead all come over to the side of the good, then how could any more troubles rise to plague us, or disasters come to confront us?
To cut off the head is understood to mean cutting off patronage of teachers who spread wrong views.

Nichiren taught that Japan, in the 13th century, shakubuku was the appropriate method, though he also practiced shoju, depending on the immediate circumstances. Shakubuku is appropriate where confusion prevails and is actively promoted by people who intentionally or unintentionally seek to destroy the Buddhadharma. In such a case, regardless of the listener's receptivity, one declares the Buddhadharma in order to plant the seeds of Buddhadharma. Even if the teaching is rejected by the listener, they thereby establish a connection to the Buddhadharma that will germinate and grow into enlightenment. This is like the people who attacked Bodhisattva Sadaparibhuta who greeted people by honoring their Buddha nature - all of them eventually became his disciples and attained enlightenment through his teachings.

In terms of determining which method is correct, Nichiren counseled:
In the Latter Day of the Law, however, both shōju and shakubuku are to be used. This is because there are two kinds of countries, the country that is passively evil, and the kind that actively seeks to destroy the Law.
A country that is passively evil is merely a country where people without wisdom prevail. In Buddhist terms, this is a country where Buddhadharma has not yet spread and people are inadvertently ignorant. A country that actively seeks to destroy the law is one where Buddhadharma has spread and people actively seek to destroy the Buddhadharma by willfully spreading wrong teachings or persecuting the Buddha's envoys.

Most modern countries, whether Buddhism has spread there or not, are only passively ignorant. This is certainly the case in countries outside the areas where Buddhism had already spread. Most of the West is only passively ignorant. Therefore, IMO, shoju is generally the appropriate method of propagation. On the other hand, confusion prevails in much of the world and fact and truth are actively undermined everywhere. If we see Buddhadharma as more than simply the teachings of the Buddha and more generally to mean True Aspect of Reality, then all expressions that are not consistent with the True Aspect are active wrong teachings. In such a case then shakubuku is the appropriate method - though I would add the caveat, that if we broadly define Buddhadharma as the True Aspect of Reality, we need to adjust the particular means of shakubuku accordingly.

Whether shoju or shakubuku, we still have to consider the practical means of propagation...
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Saddharmapundarikasutra, Upaya Chapter

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Queequeg
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Re: Shakabuku Woes

Post by Queequeg » Wed Nov 08, 2017 5:52 pm

Further thoughts...

Please note that the terms and views I apply are a Buddhist view. In terming Western countries ignorant, this refers specifically to Buddhadharma - the Buddha's teachings have not spread to any significant degree beyond a few words and images - karma, dharma, Buddha, bodhisattva, etc. The actual teachings themselves have not penetrated to any discernible degree.

Shakubuku is a very particular approach to propagation. It can only be undertaken where the two sides have common ground. Further, it requires the person undertaking shakubuku to have a deep understanding of the teaching, including the view that is being critiqued. It makes no sense to merely parrot critiques without understanding their meaning and the views of the other to whom the criticism is delivered.

Nichiren undertook shakubuku in a context where refuge in the Three Jewels was a given and Buddhist study made up the base line of knowledge. In that context, debate about interpretation and practice had its place.

In our context, even in Buddhist circles, Buddhist study is relatively limited. The points of critique are hardly familiar to anyone, the person undertaking shakubuku as well as the person against whom criticism is delivered. The result never transcends samsara - it is a lot of uninformed squabbling and stoking of ill will, and at best egotistical domination-subordination dynamics.

Once I started understanding the meaning of terms like shakubuku and shoju, it did not sit right with me that SGI used the term "shakubuku" to refer to propagation activities. In the early days of Soka Gakkai, I think there was activity that, at least superficially, appeared to look like shakubuku, but it was undertaken by people with limited understanding against others whose understanding was often no better. On one hand, the energetic approach led to remarkable growth and propagation of the Daimoku. However, the propagation came with shortcomings, many of which Soka Gakkai is still trying to undo. Soka Gakkai continues to be a bit of a pariah in Japanese society, despite its connection to the ruling government coalition and mainstreaming in recent decades. The reputation they gained for their "shakubuku" still haunts them, though it seems to be fading somewhat. Probably a lot to do with the basic indifference toward religion that is permeating Japanese society.

In any event, shakubuku outside of the Japanese context, especially in the West, really has no place. There is no Buddhadharma common ground. There are none, or very few well informed practitioners capable of undertaking the practice. Notwithstanding, what is often called "shakubuku" in SGI is these days actually "shoju". I have not heard of SGI encouraging actual shakubuku practice, but instead, only an energetic shoju approach. I have dissociated from SGI, but it behooves them to get their terminology correct and if they are going to use a foreign word to refer to their propagation activities, they ought to call it "shoju", the least being that when people actually read the gosho, they won't be confused by the references to shoju and shakubuku.

***

When causing others to hear the Daimoku, does it make sense to bring them to SGI?

Minobu has been asking this question, too.

Pros: at the district level, a person can be introduced to others who put the Lotus Sutra into practice and see how it is done (in the SGI way). In my experience, and depending on the people in the local group, it can be a warm and supportive environment - the kind of atmosphere needed to nurture a new practice and understand the Buddhist way of life as normative - especially in a place where Buddhist communities are not prominent. In term of practice for others, SGI has a well developed program, at least at the introductory to intermediate phases.

Cons: the doctrines taught in SGI leave much to be desired.

Alternatives include Nichiren Shu. The shortcoming with Nichiren-shu is their relative limit - there are not many Nichiren Shu communities in the West. They are an example of a community that I think has let their "practice for others" muscles atrophy. That said, I think many communities are making efforts to reach out, and many, even if you cannot attend their services in person, have been making online access to services available. Its not ideal, but given how spread out we are, its one viable option.

Still, for a newbie, it helps to have a flesh and blood community of people to be around.

All that is to say, these are my thoughts - I have no answers.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Saddharmapundarikasutra, Upaya Chapter

justsomeguy
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Re: Shakabuku Woes

Post by justsomeguy » Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:04 pm

Alternatives include Nichiren Shu. The shortcoming with Nichiren-shu is their relative limit - there are not many Nichiren Shu communities in the West. They are an example of a community that I think has let their "practice for others" muscles atrophy. That said, I think many communities are making efforts to reach out, and many, even if you cannot attend their services in person, have been making online access to services available. Its not ideal, but given how spread out we are, its one viable option.
Hi all! I'm new to this forum (and to Buddhism really), so please forgive any semblance of ignorance on my part.

That said, I've been trying to read as much as possible and this is a common thing I have noticed - That when an alternative to SGI is offered, Shoshu is typically left out of the array of options. I myself stumbled into a Shoshu temple that is close to where I live, and have since taken up the practice of Nichiren Buddhism there, so I'm definitely aware of what has happened and is happening between SGI and Shoshu. I have to admit, it's exhausting and unfortunate. Anyway, I have yet to see Shoshu presented as an alternative to SGI. Is this because of the drama between the two or are their doctrinal reasons why folks don't suggest Shoshu?

Thanks for your patience and time. :) I've really enjoyed reading your posts over the last few weeks.

-Bobby

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Queequeg
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Re: Shakabuku Woes

Post by Queequeg » Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:17 pm

Hi Bobby,

For me it's doctrine. Essentially, SGI and Shoshu have the same doctrines, the former deriving from the latter.

Nichiren=Buddha is pretty much a non-starter. Add to that all the DaiGohonzon stuff and Kechimyaku claims. No.

Qq
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Saddharmapundarikasutra, Upaya Chapter

markatex
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Re: Shakabuku Woes

Post by markatex » Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:21 pm

I would imagine the history between SGI and Nichiren Shoshu is the main reason for some. Doctrinal issues definitely play a part for others.

I pretty much agree with what QQ said. Shakubuku isn’t quite what SGI says it is, and shoju is more appropriate in most cases. It was always my understanding that shakubuku shouldn’t be attempted by practitioners who don’t really know what they’re talking about. Otherwise, stick with shoju.

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Re: Shakabuku Woes

Post by justsomeguy » Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:52 pm

Thanks to you both. Yeah, both positions seem pretty reasonable. I can understand wanting to get away from the SGI/Shoshu history. I can attest that, as a new practitioner, it's next to impossible to find any good reading material without the bickering from both sides being injected somehow.

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Re: Shakabuku Woes

Post by Minobu » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:38 pm

justsomeguy wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:52 pm
Thanks to you both. Yeah, both positions seem pretty reasonable. I can understand wanting to get away from the SGI/Shoshu history. I can attest that, as a new practitioner, it's next to impossible to find any good reading material without the bickering from both sides being injected somehow.
may i suggest you continue with your Nichiren shoshu practice and hanging out with them...i've been there as well and some truly great people dwell there...

check this site out for it's in depth conversations that happen in this section from time to time...they have been invaluable to me...
ignore the we are the better than the other crapola...and learn...just learn and practice...

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Malcolm
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Re: Shakabuku Woes

Post by Malcolm » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:03 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:36 pm

First, there seems to be a notion among Buddhists that active propagation is not a Buddhist thing to do. That instead, Buddha dharma should spread passively - like osmosis. I think this is incorrect.
It is completely correct. People who have the merit to meet Buddhadharma will meet it. It is that simple. No amount of convincing others will bring them to the Dharma. Not only this, there are myriad other places in the universe where one can meet the Dharma, not only here on this planet. Jambudvipa incidentally, refers only to India.
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: Shakabuku Woes

Post by Queequeg » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:16 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:03 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:36 pm

First, there seems to be a notion among Buddhists that active propagation is not a Buddhist thing to do. That instead, Buddha dharma should spread passively - like osmosis. I think this is incorrect.
It is completely correct. People who have the merit to meet Buddhadharma will meet it. It is that simple. No amount of convincing others will bring them to the Dharma. Not only this, there are myriad other places in the universe where one can meet the Dharma, not only here on this planet. Jambudvipa incidentally, refers only to India.
Yeah, we've been down this path before. You can't say that an active and engaging approach to the propagation of dharma is incorrect for the simple fact that people have connected to dharma through such methods.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Saddharmapundarikasutra, Upaya Chapter

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Re: Shakabuku Woes

Post by Malcolm » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:57 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:16 pm
You can't say that an active and engaging approach to the propagation of dharma is incorrect for the simple fact that people have connected to dharma through such methods.
They had the merit to meet the Dharma. Plain and simple. If they had not cultivated roots of merit to meet the Dharma they 1) would not be born in a place where the Dharma existed 2) would not be interested in the Dharma even slightly.

This does not mean of course, that one should silently remain in one's house. But it does mean that only those people with the roots of merit to meet the Dharma will meet it and embrace it. In places where it is hard for the Dharma to take root, one can presume that that place is not a place where there are people with merit to take up the Dharma in this life.
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: Shakabuku Woes

Post by Queequeg » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:02 pm

Yeah, Malcolm. I get what you are saying. It still doesn't add up to an answer.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Saddharmapundarikasutra, Upaya Chapter

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Re: Shakabuku Woes

Post by Malcolm » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:10 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:02 pm
Yeah, Malcolm. I get what you are saying. It still doesn't add up to an answer.
Sure it does. Karma is unerring.

One cannot convert people to the Dharma. One can only provide an opportunity for them to hear it, if they so choose. That is all the Buddha did, and that is all we can do as well. If they have the merit to follow the Dharma, they will, and there is virtually nothing we need to do from our side other than make it available.
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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Queequeg
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Re: Shakabuku Woes

Post by Queequeg » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:17 pm

No, that still doesn't offer a definitive answer. We can go back and forth on this all day.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Saddharmapundarikasutra, Upaya Chapter

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Re: Shakabuku Woes

Post by DGA » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:18 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:17 pm
No, that still doesn't offer a definitive answer. We can go back and forth on this all day.
It would be worthwhile, perhaps, to consider what it is about Malcolm's response that is, from your perspective, inadequate or provisional.

Any takers?

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Queequeg
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Re: Shakabuku Woes

Post by Queequeg » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:22 pm

All Malcolm is saying, "If the time is right, the time is right."

Says nothing about the particular circumstances of the time.

Our progress on the path is both prompting from without and from within. Nothing that Malcolm proposes has any definitive say on what prompting from without out looks like.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Saddharmapundarikasutra, Upaya Chapter

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Re: Shakabuku Woes

Post by DGA » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:31 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:22 pm
All Malcolm is saying, "If the time is right, the time is right."

Says nothing about the particular circumstances of the time.

Our progress on the path is both prompting from without and from within. Nothing that Malcolm proposes has any definitive say on what prompting from without out looks like.
I think you and Malcolm are closer than you might think. See below, the bolded part:

Malcolm wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:10 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:02 pm
Yeah, Malcolm. I get what you are saying. It still doesn't add up to an answer.
Sure it does. Karma is unerring.

One cannot convert people to the Dharma. One can only provide an opportunity for them to hear it, if they so choose. That is all the Buddha did, and that is all we can do as well. If they have the merit to follow the Dharma, they will, and there is virtually nothing we need to do from our side other than make it available.
How is that not "the particular circumstances of the time"?

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Re: Shakabuku Woes

Post by Malcolm » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:38 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:22 pm
All Malcolm is saying, "If the time is right, the time is right."

Says nothing about the particular circumstances of the time.

Our progress on the path is both prompting from without and from within. Nothing that Malcolm proposes has any definitive say on what prompting from without out looks like.
Time is also a function of our own merit. We have the merit to be born during the dispensation of a supreme nirmanakāya. But that merit does not come from outside. It comes from our own roots of virtue.

In terms of the eighteen qualities of a perfect human birth, there are ten endowments; five are personal, five are external. According to Nāgārjuna, the five personal endowments are:

A human, born in the central country, complete sense organs,
not engaging in wrong livelihood, faith in the object


The five external endowments are:

The Buddha has arrived, he has taught the Dharma,
the doctrine exists, there are followers of that,
and there is kindheartedness towards others.


In order to enjoy these ten endowments, one must have the eight freedoms:

Birth as one holding wrong views, as animals, pretas, and hell beings,
as one without the teaching of the victor, or in a border country,
birth as a barbarian, as one stupid and dumb,
or birth as any of the long-lived gods
are the eight faults of lacking freedom.
Having acquired the freedom that is liberated from those states.
one must make effort in order to avoid them.


As such, converting others is impossible.
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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