Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

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Minobu
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Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by Minobu » Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:20 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:13 pm
Minobu wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 4:49 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 4:42 pm
- the very real fact that there are people who prefer to become arhats, and eschew, for various reasons, entering the bodhisattva path with Mahāyāna bodhicitta. They prefer the inferior bodhicitta of śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas for this and that reason.
really is this what happens?
like people can actually choose to become arhats, or, prefer the inferior bodhicitta of śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas prefer the inferior bodhicitta of śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas ..

i've never met a person here on earth who has done such a thing consciously .

is that factual , have you met people that have done this?
I have. They study Mahāyāna, and decide, usually based on a bias towards text critical methodology, that Mahāyāna is not "the original" and select for Theravada, where the bodhisattva path is not TAUGHT, even though it theoretically exists.
is it something you read or have you met a bunch of arhats and people that prefer the inferior bodhicitta of śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas
Anyone who can choose between Mahāyāna and Theravāda, and chooses the latter over the former, is choosing to follow the śrāvaka path. This is noncontroversial.
ok i did not see what you said using that context...

as always i learn from you....

but when they choose theravada Buddhism do they do so because they want to be arhats and inferior bodhicitta of śrāvakas and pratyekabuddha..


is this like wow i can become a lower being instead of reaching Buddhahood... lets go find a teacher ...how much will it cost....


or is this just what they end up from some so called Mahayanist view.

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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Thu Feb 06, 2020 1:36 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:13 pm
Anyone who can choose between Mahāyāna and Theravāda, and chooses the latter over the former, is choosing to follow the śrāvaka path. This is noncontroversial.
From the viewpoint of doctrine, this is true. But from the viewpoint of the practitioner, isn’t this really a difference of motivation and goal?
For me, in terms of actual practice, the different paths don’t have to exclude one another. Although I practice vajrayana, I don’t reject the Theravāda teachings. It’s good to study the Pali sutras (”suttas”). I have heard lamas bemoan the fact that the knowledge and practice of so many western students of vajrayana only includes the visualization practices and so on that they’ve learned at their local Tibetan Buddhism center, when there is so much more to Buddhist practice and study. So many people have never read Mahayana sutras or anything from the enormous wealth of the Pali teachings.

I find the terms, “superior” and “inferior” misleading, and perhaps this relates to the attitude of “cliquishness”.
It creates the idea that one path is better than the other.
I see it like this: you can certainly argue that a college education is superior to a primary school education. But that doesn’t mean the primary school education is bad, or wrong, or should be discarded. Without the primary school education, the college education is impossible.

Yes, it can be argued that one goes into deeper analytics than the other. But to assert that makes it superior is sort of like suggesting that being a surgeon is superior to being a general practitioner doctor. If the patient doesn’t require surgery, cutting them open won’t cure their illness.

I am a vajrayana practitioner for about 35 years. However, my family is moving soon, and our new house will be very close to a Theravāda temple, and very far from a Tibetan Buddhist center. I happen to know a couple of the Thai monks there very well, and look forward to spending time there, learning and studying, and meditating. My motivation is not any different. It is still to eventually attain full awakening for the benefit of all sentient beings.
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tkp67
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Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by tkp67 » Thu Feb 06, 2020 2:09 pm

If you where to read the entirety of Nichiren's works you will find that the concept of inferior/superior vehicles is relative to things such as cause, capacity and conditions. These vehicles all have a time and place and are meant to be understood as part of the process (of course this is specific to this tradition). The measure of superior/inferior in terms of facilitating liberation.

Specifically in regard to Malcom's comment if we read the LS the assembly is represented by those of many vehicles encountering the LS. This dynamic continues today. This is to say that even thought Nichiren's teachings are available to the world many people have yet to know it. Other vehicles are the ONLY vehicles available to others.

How can we evaluate teachings in terms of superior.inferior if it isn't relative to cause, capacity and conditions? Simply put there may be less choice for others and to assume they have same choices as as us unreasonable. I think without a level of intimacy in regards to "other people's practices" that comparative practices are best left to the practitioner them self. IMHO NMRK works well in this capacity.

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Minobu
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Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by Minobu » Thu Feb 06, 2020 9:17 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 1:36 pm

I find the terms, “superior” and “inferior” misleading, and perhaps this relates to the attitude of “cliquishness”.
It creates the idea that one path is better than the other.
I see it like this: you can certainly argue that a college education is superior to a primary school education. But that doesn’t mean the primary school education is bad, or wrong, or should be discarded. Without the primary school education, the college education is impossible.

But what of the practitioner or in this case the one who only gets a primary school education ?
tkp67 wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 2:09 pm
If you where to read the entirety of Nichiren's works you will find that the concept of inferior/superior vehicles is relative to things such as cause, capacity and conditions.
I guess I am so ingrained to Nichiren Shonin's Buddhist Culture that the previous post sparked that response.

I see the primary student and the higher educated student a product of
cause, capacity and conditions.
thinking.

weird ! ? !!!!

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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Thu Feb 06, 2020 9:56 pm

Minobu wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 9:17 pm
PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 1:36 pm

I find the terms, “superior” and “inferior” misleading, and perhaps this relates to the attitude of “cliquishness”.
It creates the idea that one path is better than the other.
I see it like this: you can certainly argue that a college education is superior to a primary school education. But that doesn’t mean the primary school education is bad, or wrong, or should be discarded. Without the primary school education, the college education is impossible.
But what of the practitioner or in this case the one who only gets a primary school education ?
It doesn’t matter.
Whatever is one’s propensity, one’s connection,
according to that, one path with work and another won’t.
If you feel a strong connection to Nichiren Buddhism,
Then you probably established that connection in s previous life. Likewise with zen or pure land or vajrayana or theravada. A person can study and chant and meditate for their whole life and never gain any awareness. Another person gets full realization seeing buddha hold up a flower.
.
.
.
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Minobu
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Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by Minobu » Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:31 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 9:56 pm
Minobu wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 9:17 pm
PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 1:36 pm

I find the terms, “superior” and “inferior” misleading, and perhaps this relates to the attitude of “cliquishness”.
It creates the idea that one path is better than the other.
I see it like this: you can certainly argue that a college education is superior to a primary school education. But that doesn’t mean the primary school education is bad, or wrong, or should be discarded. Without the primary school education, the college education is impossible.
But what of the practitioner or in this case the one who only gets a primary school education ?
It doesn’t matter.
Whatever is one’s propensity, one’s connection,
according to that, one path with work and another won’t.
If you feel a strong connection to Nichiren Buddhism,
Then you probably established that connection in s previous life. Likewise with zen or pure land or vajrayana or theravada. A person can study and chant and meditate for their whole life and never gain any awareness. Another person gets full realization seeing buddha hold up a flower.
.
.
.
cause, capacity and conditions

narhwal90
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Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by narhwal90 » Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:11 am

I was just reading in the Jewel Cloud sutra, there is interesting detail there regarding the causes and conditions and capacities and the development of same as proper conduct of the bodhisattva. The bodhisattva supports the sravaka path for those who are led to liberation by it, likewise varieties of mahayana doctrine for others.

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Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by Malcolm » Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:40 am

Theravadins generally have no interest in Mahayana bodhicitta, on the other hand, there nothing about starting in Theravada that prevents one from generating Mahayana bodhicitta if they are so inclined.
PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 1:36 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:13 pm
Anyone who can choose between Mahāyāna and Theravāda, and chooses the latter over the former, is choosing to follow the śrāvaka path. This is noncontroversial.
From the viewpoint of doctrine, this is true. But from the viewpoint of the practitioner, isn’t this really a difference of motivation and goal?
For me, in terms of actual practice, the different paths don’t have to exclude one another. Although I practice vajrayana, I don’t reject the Theravāda teachings. It’s good to study the Pali sutras (”suttas”). I have heard lamas bemoan the fact that the knowledge and practice of so many western students of vajrayana only includes the visualization practices and so on that they’ve learned at their local Tibetan Buddhism center, when there is so much more to Buddhist practice and study. So many people have never read Mahayana sutras or anything from the enormous wealth of the Pali teachings.

I find the terms, “superior” and “inferior” misleading, and perhaps this relates to the attitude of “cliquishness”.
It creates the idea that one path is better than the other.
I see it like this: you can certainly argue that a college education is superior to a primary school education. But that doesn’t mean the primary school education is bad, or wrong, or should be discarded. Without the primary school education, the college education is impossible.

Yes, it can be argued that one goes into deeper analytics than the other. But to assert that makes it superior is sort of like suggesting that being a surgeon is superior to being a general practitioner doctor. If the patient doesn’t require surgery, cutting them open won’t cure their illness.

I am a vajrayana practitioner for about 35 years. However, my family is moving soon, and our new house will be very close to a Theravāda temple, and very far from a Tibetan Buddhist center. I happen to know a couple of the Thai monks there very well, and look forward to spending time there, learning and studying, and meditating. My motivation is not any different. It is still to eventually attain full awakening for the benefit of all sentient beings.

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Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Fri Feb 07, 2020 5:35 pm

People often mistakenly think that greater and lesser vehicles
(Mahāyāna/Hinayana) means better-than/not as good as.
It doesn’t mean this at all.

Core teachings are like the hub of the wheel.
Mahāyāna are like the spikes that reach out in all directions.
Vajrayana is like the rim of the wheel which takes everything as path.

Each one is useful to the one for whom it is useful.

Two people come to a master because their houses have leaky roofs when it rains. The master gives one person a bucket and the other person a hammer.
Both solutions are good. It’s just the different students have different inclinations.


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Minobu
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Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by Minobu » Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:20 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 5:35 pm
People often mistakenly think that greater and lesser vehicles
(Mahāyāna/Hinayana) means better-than/not as good as.
It doesn’t mean this at all.

Core teachings are like the hub of the wheel.
Mahāyāna are like the spikes that reach out in all directions.
Vajrayana is like the rim of the wheel which takes everything as path.

Each one is useful to the one for whom it is useful.

Two people come to a master because their houses have leaky roofs when it rains. The master gives one person a bucket and the other person a hammer.
Both solutions are good. It’s just the different students have different inclinations.


Thank you, thank you , thank you.

i'm in love.

this is my view exactly...using terms like lesser and greater vehicles literally , is demeaning and shows a lack of bodhicitta .
Only through amassing bodhicitta can one overcome blind bigotry . If one is puffed up on Mahayana to the point they want to teach it as some elitist club and post scorn against Buddha's Suttas as if they are useless...well ..not me cuppa...

Ta Very Much !
d

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Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by tkp67 » Sat Feb 08, 2020 4:01 am

I think it could be said using that example that the LS seeks to act as a hub to the spikes (other mayahana paths) for the purpose of recognizing them all because that completes individual path, the recognition of those other than one's own.

That is part of the "complete and supreme" and it really lends to equanimity from the perspective of buddha field it does not denote individual superiority over others. I think it could be said the minds that default are still developing equanimity as a trait.

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Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by Simon E. » Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:43 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 5:35 pm
People often mistakenly think that greater and lesser vehicles
(Mahāyāna/Hinayana) means better-than/not as good as.
It doesn’t mean this at all.

Core teachings are like the hub of the wheel.
Mahāyāna are like the spikes that reach out in all directions.
Vajrayana is like the rim of the wheel which takes everything as path.

Each one is useful to the one for whom it is useful.

Two people come to a master because their houses have leaky roofs when it rains. The master gives one person a bucket and the other person a hammer.
Both solutions are good. It’s just the different students have different inclinations.


All that has truth.
But I would be evasive if I failed to point out that only one vehicle holds out the possibility of Enlightenment in this lifetime.
“The difference between us and Tara is that she knows she doesn’t exist”.

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Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by Queequeg » Sat Feb 08, 2020 2:40 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:43 am
PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 5:35 pm
People often mistakenly think that greater and lesser vehicles
(Mahāyāna/Hinayana) means better-than/not as good as.
It doesn’t mean this at all.

Core teachings are like the hub of the wheel.
Mahāyāna are like the spikes that reach out in all directions.
Vajrayana is like the rim of the wheel which takes everything as path.

Each one is useful to the one for whom it is useful.

Two people come to a master because their houses have leaky roofs when it rains. The master gives one person a bucket and the other person a hammer.
Both solutions are good. It’s just the different students have different inclinations.


All that has truth.
But I would be evasive if I failed to point out that only one vehicle holds out the possibility of Enlightenment in this lifetime.
If everyone is talking about a single vehicle that leads to enlightenment in this life, in this body, must be the same one. But called different names, explained differently, practiced differently... Anything else and the Buddha must be a liar.

Time to give it a rest.
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

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Sat Feb 08, 2020 2:46 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:43 am
...I would be evasive if I failed to point out that only one vehicle holds out the possibility of Enlightenment in this lifetime.
Yes, we like to say that in vajrayana. My lamas have said it. And they also have said that we have the great fortune to be connected to the Dharma in this lifetime because we had made that connection in previous lifetimes. And I agree, taking all obstacles as path to realization would certainly eliminates all obstacles to realization!

But in all the schools, it is possible to attain realization in this very lifetime ...if in this single lifetime your karma has ripened to the point that you attain realization.

It’s like the hungry person who is eating donuts, and keeps one after another because he is still hungry, and then, eating the last one, and suddenly feeling full, thinks “oh, I only needed to eat that one.”


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Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by Malcolm » Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:02 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 2:46 pm


But in all the schools, it is possible to attain realization in this very lifetime ...if in this single lifetime your karma has ripened to the point that you attain realization.
Realization, yes; full buddhahood in a single lifetime, from soup to nuts? No.

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Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by tkp67 » Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:08 pm

Quite apropos Malcolm.
The Lotus Sutra is the king of sutras, the direct path to enlightenment, for it explains that the entity of our life, which manifests either good or evil at each moment, is in fact the entity of the Mystic Law.

If you chant Myoho-renge-kyo with deep faith in this principle, you are certain to attain Buddhahood in this lifetime
On Attaining Buddhahood in This Lifetime

https://www.nichirenlibrary.org/en/wnd-1/Content/1

More dialog from the gosho referenced.
You must never think that any of the eighty thousand sacred teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha’s lifetime or any of the Buddhas and bodhisattvas of the ten directions and three existences are outside yourself. Your practice of the Buddhist teachings will not relieve you of the sufferings of birth and death in the least unless you perceive the true nature of your life. If you seek enlightenment outside yourself, then your performing even ten thousand practices and ten thousand good deeds will be in vain. It is like the case of a poor man who spends night and day counting his neighbor’s wealth but gains not even half a coin. That is why the T’ien-t’ai school’s commentary states, “Unless p.4one perceives the nature of one’s life, one cannot eradicate one’s grave offenses.”2 This passage implies that, unless one perceives the nature of one’s life, one’s practice will become an endless, painful austerity. Therefore, such students of Buddhism are condemned as non-Buddhist. Great Concentration and Insight states that, although they study Buddhism, their views are no different from those of non-Buddhists.

Whether you chant the Buddha’s name,3 recite the sutra, or merely offer flowers and incense, all your virtuous acts will implant benefits and roots of goodness in your life. With this conviction you should strive in faith. The Vimalakīrti Sutra states that, when one seeks the Buddhas’ emancipation in the minds of ordinary beings, one finds that ordinary beings are the entities of enlightenment, and that the sufferings of birth and death are nirvana. It also states that, if the minds of living beings are impure, their land is also impure, but if their minds are pure, so is their land. There are not two lands, pure or impure in themselves. The difference lies solely in the good or evil of our minds.

It is the same with a Buddha and an ordinary being. When deluded, one is called an ordinary being, but when enlightened, one is called a Buddha. This is similar to a tarnished mirror that will shine like a jewel when polished. A mind now clouded by the illusions of the innate darkness of life is like a tarnished mirror, but when polished, it is sure to become like a clear mirror, reflecting the essential nature of phenomena and the true aspect of reality. Arouse deep faith, and diligently polish your mirror day and night. How should you polish it?

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Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by Simon E. » Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:13 pm

We are free to doubt.
We are free to assume that other or all vehicles have the capacity to bring us to Enlightenment in this present life.

It remains a fact that one vehicle among mainstream vehicles of Buddhadharma, makes that claim for itself.
“The difference between us and Tara is that she knows she doesn’t exist”.

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Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by Caoimhghín » Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:29 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:13 pm
It remains a fact that one vehicle among mainstream vehicles of Buddhadharma, makes that claim for itself.
No, that's not clear at all it seems. Why is it a fact for you? For instance, at least one śrāvaka Buddhist sect believes that its arhatva is completely equivalent to the Buddha's buddhatva. Hint: they are the only śrāvaka school left. There's only one of them.
歸命本覺心法身常住妙法心蓮臺本來莊嚴三身徳三十七尊住心
城遠離因果法然具普門塵數諸三昧無邊徳海本圓滿還我頂禮心諸佛

In reverence for the root gnosis of the heart, the dharmakāya,
for the ever present good law of the heart, the lotus terrace,
for the inborn adornment of the trikāya, the thirty-seven sages dwelling in the heart,
for that which is removed from seed and fruit, the upright key to the universal gate,
for all boundless concentrations, the sea of virtue, the root perfection,
I prostrate, bowing to the hearts of all Buddhas.

胎藏金剛菩提心義略問答鈔, Treatise on the teaching of the gnostic heart of the womb and the diamond, T2397.1.470c5-8

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Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by Simon E. » Sat Feb 08, 2020 4:17 pm

It’s a strange thing when you are notified that someone who knows you have placed them in ‘foes” has answered you anyway..
Are they playing to the gallery ? Or do they think you didn’t really mean it? :shrug:

Anyway, moving on...
.
“The difference between us and Tara is that she knows she doesn’t exist”.

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Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by Queequeg » Sat Feb 08, 2020 4:23 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:13 pm
We are free to doubt.
We are free to assume that other or all vehicles have the capacity to bring us to Enlightenment in this present life.

It remains a fact that one vehicle among mainstream vehicles of Buddhadharma, makes that claim for itself.
Oh, is that so?

To quote the notorious Donald Rumsfeld...
There are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say there are things that we now know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we do not know we don't know.
"Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?"

Christ. smh
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

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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