What is Mixed Practice?

Dharma Flower
Posts: 868
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:03 am
Contact:

Re: What is Mixed Practice?

Post by Dharma Flower » Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:53 am

Admin_PC wrote: The Infinite Life (Larger Sukhavati) Sutra itself says that "after one more life" is not set in stone.
I understand that some Bodhisattvas, according to the Infinite Life Sutra, voluntarily choose to remain in the saha world for more than one more life after being reborn in the Pure Land.

What I am asking is, for those who will be reborn for only "one more life" after their birth in the Pure Land, where is that life going to be? Is that "one more life" in the Pure Land itself or somewhere else?
Life in Pure Land will end when the Stage of Becoming Buddhas After One More Life is attained, whereupon one will leave Pure Land, to choose a suitable place in the human realm to manifest walking the last portion of the Bodhisattva path towards Buddhahood. Buddhahood is not manifested in Pure Land, as it is always manifested where there are unenlightened beings to whom great compassion and wisdom can be expressed to inspire and guide them to enlightenment.
http://purelanders.com/2011/12/18/is-li ... d-eternal/
It's worth asking whether Chinese Pure Land Buddhism might be closer to what Master Sheng-Yen describes in his video than it is to Japanese Pure Land traditions.

In the mainstream of Chinese Pure Land Buddhism today, Shandao is one teacher out of a line of Pure Land masters that extended beyond Shandao, including masters not recognized in Japanese Pure Land Buddhism.

This doesn't mean that one tradition is better than another. It's just the teachings are different, especially due to different historical contexts and circumstances.

User avatar
Admin_PC
Site Admin
Posts: 3953
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:17 pm
Location: Texas, USA

Re: What is Mixed Practice?

Post by Admin_PC » Thu Jun 15, 2017 3:12 pm

Dharma Flower wrote:What I am asking is, for those who will be reborn for only "one more life" after their birth in the Pure Land, where is that life going to be? Is that "one more life" in the Pure Land itself or somewhere else?
That "one more life" can be any human realm that there is no Dharma dispensation. In taking that "one more life" one will descend from the Pure Land into the mother's womb, with the sign of the elephant with six tusks. One will then be birthed from the side, take 7 steps in each direction as a newborn, and declare in heaven and on earth that there is nothing higher than Buddha. The whole of one's life from that birth will follow the archetypal pattern of a Supreme Nirmanakaya manifestation of Buddha. One will not suffer a single moment in that life.
Dharma Flower wrote:It's worth asking whether Chinese Pure Land Buddhism might be closer to what Master Sheng-Yen describes in his video than it is to Japanese Pure Land traditions.
What's important is what the sutras say. What you quoted is largely consistent with what the Pure Land sutras say, with the caveats I mentioned earlier. The Jodo Shu interpretation is consistent with Genshin, and thus with the sutras themselves. Even in Shin, there is "Genso Eko" - the "going and returning", the idea that Buddha activity is manifested for the sake of the unawakened. The idea that any school of Pure Land teaches that one hangs out in Sukhavati as a Buddha is a misinterpretation.
Dharma Flower wrote:In the mainstream of Chinese Pure Land Buddhism today, Shandao is one teacher out of a line of Pure Land masters that extended beyond Shandao, including masters not recognized in Japanese Pure Land Buddhism.
Shandao's writings were lost in China from the end of the Tang dynasty until the early 1900s. Shandao was only known in name-only in China and most of mainland asia. Master Yin Kuang was one of the greatest Chinese Pure Land masters of the last 100+ years, recognized as a Chinese Pure Land Patriarch, and he's largely consistent with Shandao. When you quote Yin Shun and his student Sheng Yen, you're quoting people who were meditation masters first and had somewhat cursory knowledge of Pure Land doctrine & the Pure Land sutras. Yin Shun in particular put his particular interpretation of the Vimalakirti Sutra as primary over the Pure Land sutras in relating Pure Land doctrine. If you want to understand real Chinese Pure Land Buddhism today, look at masters like Yin Kuang ("Pure Land-Zen, Zen-Pure Land") and Ven Chin Kung.
月影の いたらぬ里は なけれども 眺むる人の 心にぞすむ
法然上人

Dharma Flower
Posts: 868
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:03 am
Contact:

Re: What is Mixed Practice?

Post by Dharma Flower » Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:10 pm

Admin_PC wrote: In taking that "one more life" one will descend from the Pure Land into the mother's womb, with the sign of the elephant with six tusks. One will then be birthed from the side, take 7 steps in each direction as a newborn, and declare in heaven and on earth that there is nothing higher than Buddha.
Is this literally true or a form of skillful means, an illustration to emphasize the Buddha's significance?

As for the Eternal Buddha of the Lotus Sutra, I interpret that as referring Dharmakaya, especially since the Lotus Sutra refers to the other Buddhas coming to witness his teaching of the sutra as his manifestations.

As for where the Buddha was before his final rebirth on this earth:
Tushita or Tusita is one of the six deva-worlds of the Kamadhatu, located between the Yama heaven and the Nirmanarati heaven. Like the other heavens, Tusita is said to be reachable through meditation. It is the heaven where the Bodhisattva Svetaketu (Pali: Setaketu "White Banner") resided before being reborn on Earth as Gautama Buddha, the historical Buddha;[1] it is, likewise, the heaven where the bodhisattva Natha ("Protector") currently resides, who will later be born as the next Buddha, Maitreya.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tushita

User avatar
Admin_PC
Site Admin
Posts: 3953
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:17 pm
Location: Texas, USA

Re: What is Mixed Practice?

Post by Admin_PC » Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:05 pm

Dharma Flower wrote:
Admin_PC wrote: In taking that "one more life" one will descend from the Pure Land into the mother's womb, with the sign of the elephant with six tusks. One will then be birthed from the side, take 7 steps in each direction as a newborn, and declare in heaven and on earth that there is nothing higher than Buddha.
Is this literally true or a form of skillful means, an illustration to emphasize the Buddha's significance?
Traditionally, the details of the Buddha's life were held to have actually occurred.

Again, the Naga girl story in the Lotus also shows that awakening can happen before the display of the life events of a Supreme Nirmanakaya. She hands the Buddha her jewel and is able to display the entire lifespan in a moment.

Note: Akanistha as the place of a Buddha's enlightenment is from the Guhyagarbha Tantra
月影の いたらぬ里は なけれども 眺むる人の 心にぞすむ
法然上人

User avatar
Admin_PC
Site Admin
Posts: 3953
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:17 pm
Location: Texas, USA

Re: What is Mixed Practice?

Post by Admin_PC » Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:30 pm

Some more quotes from the Infinite Life (Larger Sukhavati) Sutra:
“Ānanda, sentient beings reborn in that land are all endowed with a great man’s thirty-two physical marks. Fulfilled in wisdom, they delve into dharmas and understand their essence. Their transcendental powers are hindrance free, and their faculties are brilliant and keen. Those of inferior capacity achieve the first two of the Three Endurances, and those of superior capacity achieve the asaṁkhyeya Endurance in the Realization of the No Birth of Dharmas.

“In addition, these Bodhisattvas, on their way to Buddhahood, will never again go down the evil life-journeys. They have command of transcendental powers and know the past lives of themselves and others. However, if they choose to be reborn elsewhere, in an evil world with the five turbidities, resembling my world, they will manifest themselves to resemble the inhabitants there.”

The Buddha told Ānanda, “Bodhisattvas in that land, by virtue of that Buddha’s power, in the time of a meal, can visit innumerable worlds in the ten directions to make offerings to the Buddha-Tathāgatas there. According to their thoughts, innumerable, countless offerings instantly appear like magic, such as flowers, incense, instrumental music, silky canopies, and banners, which are precious and extraordinary, not of this world. These Bodhisattvas offer such objects to the multitude of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and voice-hearers there, which then change into flower canopies in the sky. The flower canopies are radiant and colorful, wafting fragrances everywhere. Each flower canopy is 400 lis in circumference, and continues to double in size until it covers the Three-Thousand Large Thousandfold World. These flower canopies then vanish, one after another. Delighted, these Bodhisattvas play celestial music in the sky and, with wonderful tones, they hymn Buddhas’ virtues. They hear and accept the Dharma with infinite joy. After making offerings to those Buddhas, before mealtime, they effortlessly lift off and return to their own land.”
The Buddha told Ānanda, “When Bodhisattvas reborn in that Buddha Land speak, they always pronounce the true Dharma in accord with their wisdom, with no contradictions or mistakes. For the myriad things in that land, they hold no concept of belonging or attachment. Without emotional bondage, they come and go, move or stop, completely at ease. Unfettered by endearment or alienation, with no sense of self versus others, neither competitive nor disputative, they have the altruistic mind of great lovingkindness and compassion for sentient beings. Gentle and docile, they have no anger. Free from the mental coverings, they have a pure mind. Never weary or indolent, they retain in their minds equality, excellence, profundity, and concentration, as well as love, appreciation, and joy of the Dharma. Having eradicated afflictions and purified the mind bent on the evil life-journeys, they take all Bodhisattva actions and acquire immeasurable merit.

“Equipped with profound samādhi, transcendental powers, and illuminating wisdom, they practice the Seven Bodhi Factors, training their minds in accordance with the Buddha Dharma. Their physical-eye is pure and perceptive, able to distinguish all things. Their god-eye reaches an immeasurable, boundless distance. Their dharma-eye observes the ultimate Way. Their wisdom-eye sees the truth, which can cross them over to the opposite shore. Their Buddha-eye completely penetrates dharma nature.

“With hindrance-free wisdom, they expound the Dharma to others. Seeing that all things in the Three Realms of Existence are equal in their emptiness, they resolve to seek the Buddha Dharma. Equipped with eloquence, they annihilate the afflictions that trouble all sentient beings. Born from the Tathātaga, they understand the true suchness of dharmas. Equipped with a good understanding of nirvāṇa and with verbal skills, they do not enjoy worldly talks but delight in true discussions [of the Dharma]. They develop their roots of goodness and resolve to attain Buddha bodhi. Knowing that all dharmas are in nirvāṇa, they end both their afflictions and their cycle of birth and death. When they hear the profound Dharma, they have no fears or doubts in their minds and are able to train themselves accordingly. Their great compassion is so profound, far-reaching, and wonderful that it embraces all sentient beings without exception, and they carry them all aboard the ultimate One Vehicle to the opposite shore.

“As they resolutely shatter the web of doubts, wisdom arises in their minds, completely encompassing the Buddha Dharma. Their wisdom is like the immense ocean, and their samādhi is like the king of mountains. The radiance of their wisdom surpasses that of the sun and the moon, as they master the pure ways.

“They are like the snow mountain because they sparkle with merits that are equal in purity; like the great earth because they do not discriminate between purity and impurity, good and evil; like the pure water because they wash away afflictions, like filth; like the fire-king because they burn way afflictions, like firewood; like the powerful wind because they travel across worlds unhindered; like the open sky because they are not attached to anything; like the lotus flower because they live in the world untainted; like the Mahāyāna because they carry sentient beings out of their cycle of birth and death; like the thick clouds because they rumble the great Dharma thunder to awaken those asleep; like the torrential rain because they pour down sweet nectar to water sentient beings; like the vajra mountain because they cannot be moved by māras or non-Buddhists; like the Brahma-kings because they are foremost in upholding virtuous dharmas; like the banyan tree because they shelter all; like the udumbara flower because they are rare to encounter; like the golden-winged garuḍa because they subdue adherents of the wrong views; like the soaring birds because they do not accumulate things; like the ox-king because they are invincible; like the elephant-king because they are skilled tamers; like the lion-king because they are fearless; like the vast sky because their lovingkindness is given equally.

“They annihilate the mind of jealousy, not wanting to overtake others. They delight in seeking the Dharma, never satiated. They widely expound the Dharma, never tiring. They beat the Dharma drum and erect the Dharma banner. They invoke the sun of wisdom to shine and dispel the darkness of delusion. They live by the six elements of harmony and respect. They always give the Dharma as alms. They make boldly energetic progress, never feeling weak or discouraged. They serve as the world-illuminating lamp and as the supreme fortune field. They serve as the guiding teacher who teaches all equally without likes or dislikes. They delight in only the true Way without elation or dejection. They pull out the thorns of desire to give comfort to sentient beings. Their merit is so outstanding that no one fails to respect them. They destroy the hindrances caused by the three afflictions and playfully demonstrate their transcendental powers.

“They have the power of causes, conditions, mind, resolve, skillful means, persistency, virtue, samādhi, wisdom, hearing much of the Dharma, and the six pāramitās—almsgiving, observance of precepts, endurance of adversity, energetic progress, meditation, and wisdom—and the power of right mindfulness, right observation, the six transcendental powers, the Three Clarities, and taming sentient beings in accordance with the Dharma. Such power is complete in them!

“Adorned with merit and eloquence, their physical features are majestic. No one can compare with them. They reverently make offerings to innumerable Buddhas, and they are always praised by Buddhas. They perfect their practice of pāramitās required for Bodhisattvas as they train in the Three Samādhis—emptiness, no appearance, and no wish—and go through Samādhi Doors, such as no birth and no death. They stay far away from the ground of voice-hearers and Pratyekabuddhas.

“Ānanda, those Bodhisattvas are adorned with such immeasurable merit, which I have only briefly described to you. If I elaborate, I cannot finish even in a billion kalpas.”
月影の いたらぬ里は なけれども 眺むる人の 心にぞすむ
法然上人

User avatar
Losal Samten
Posts: 1208
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2014 4:05 pm

Re: What is Mixed Practice?

Post by Losal Samten » Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:55 pm

Admin_PC wrote:Note: Akanistha as the place of a Buddha's enlightenment...
For clarification is from the Lankavatara, Red Pine trans. p. 59:
  • [Mahamati asked the Buddha]

    Why there is no enlightenment
    In the realm of desire

    And as for why it happens
    In Akanishtha Heaven
p.81:
  • And we will finally let go of the five dharmas and the modes of reality and adorn ourselves instead with the knowledge of a tathagatha's dharma body, leave behind illusory realms, and ascend to the Tushita and Akanishtha heavens of every buddhaland, where we will attain the ever-present body of a tathagatha.
Lacking mindfulness, we commit every wrong. - Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔
ཨཱོཾ་མ་ཏྲི་མུ་ཡེ་སལེ་འདུ།།

User avatar
Admin_PC
Site Admin
Posts: 3953
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:17 pm
Location: Texas, USA

Re: What is Mixed Practice?

Post by Admin_PC » Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:18 pm

Losal Samten wrote:
Admin_PC wrote:Note: Akanistha as the place of a Buddha's enlightenment...
For clarification is from the Lankavatara, Red Pine trans. p. 59:
Thanks! I had an idea it was in there, but the only copy I have is an abridged pdf. Will have to pick that up!
月影の いたらぬ里は なけれども 眺むる人の 心にぞすむ
法然上人

Dharma Flower
Posts: 868
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:03 am
Contact:

Re: What is Mixed Practice?

Post by Dharma Flower » Sat Jun 17, 2017 1:50 am

When you look at the overall thrust of the Buddha's teachings, both in the Pali and in the Mahayana scriptures, it's that our personal conduct in this life determines our destination for after death.

This is not traditionally different in Pure Land Buddhism, in which one directs their good deeds and pure acts toward rebirth into the Pure Land:
The man proceeding on the path toward the West is comparable to one who directs all of his actions and practices toward the West[ern Paradise].
http://web.mit.edu/stclair/www/shantao.html
(18) If, when I attain Buddhahood, sentient beings in the lands of the ten quarters who sincerely and joyfully entrust themselves to me, desire to be born in my land, and call my Name, even ten times, should not be born there, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment. Excluded, however, are those who commit the five gravest offences and abuse the right Dharma.
(20) If, when I attain Buddhahood, sentient beings in the lands of the ten quarters who, having heard my Name, concentrate their thoughts on my land, plant roots of virtue, and sincerely transfer their merits towards my land with a desire to be born there, should not eventually fulfill their aspiration, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment...
http://web.mit.edu/stclair/www/larger.html
I feel like the "safest bet" is to improve my personal conduct in this life, which will, according to the Buddha's teachings, provide for my happiness both in this life and the next.

User avatar
Admin_PC
Site Admin
Posts: 3953
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:17 pm
Location: Texas, USA

Re: What is Mixed Practice?

Post by Admin_PC » Sat Jun 17, 2017 3:07 am

I suggest you read the section in the Infinite Life sutra on those with doubt (absence of faith), regardless of good deeds. If you're still unconvinced about the position of faith in Mahayana, you need to spend more time with the Avatamsaka - it's practically in every chapter. If that still doesn't convince you, there are a number of Pali Suttas that stress faith as well - such as the Sarakaani Sutta, which says:
"Take the case of another man. He is not even endowed with unwavering devotion to the Buddha, the Dhamma, the Sangha. He is not joyous and swift in wisdom and has not gained release. But perhaps he has these things: the faculty of faith, of energy, of mindfulness, of concentration, of wisdom. And the things proclaimed by the Tathaagata are moderately approved by him with insight. That man does not go to the realm of hungry ghosts, to the downfall, to the evil way, to states of woe.

"Take the case of another man. He is not even endowed with unwavering devotion to the Buddha, the Dhamma, the Sangha. He is not joyous and swift in wisdom and has not gained release. But he has just these things: the faculty of faith, of energy, of mindfulness, of concentration, of wisdom. Yet if he has merely faith, merely affection for the Tathaagata, that man, too, does not go to... states of woe.
"Why, Mahaanaama, if these great sal trees could distinguish what is well spoken from what is ill spoken, I would proclaim these great sal trees to be Stream-Winners... bound for enlightenment, how much more so then Sarakaani the Sakyan! Mahaanaama, Sarakaani the Sakyan fulfilled the training at the time of death.'
(Sarakaani died a drunk by the way...)
Sorry to say, but you're acting out the "faith vs works" argument of Catholicism here on Buddhism.
The truth of the matter is that establishing faith can cause a turning of the mind.
Much of our circumstances, including the way we act, is the result of our karma.
That point is central to Shinran's entire doctrine.
月影の いたらぬ里は なけれども 眺むる人の 心にぞすむ
法然上人

Dharma Flower
Posts: 868
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:03 am
Contact:

Re: What is Mixed Practice?

Post by Dharma Flower » Sat Jun 17, 2017 3:49 am

Admin_PC wrote: Sorry to say, but you're acting out the "faith vs works" argument of Catholicism here on Buddhism.
I am not a legalist. It is my own personal conduct that I am concerned about, not everyone else's. It's not my right to judge what karma will sort out on its own.

As it says in the Dhammapada, "Purity and impurity depend on oneself. No one can purify another." I take this to mean we should clean our own side of the street, instead of judging others.

As far as what I have faith in, at a bare minimum, this is what I have faith in:
What is the accomplishment of faith?
"Herein a householder is possessed of faith, he believes in the Enlightenment of the Perfect One (Tathagata): Thus, indeed, is that Blessed One: he is the pure one, fully enlightened, endowed with knowledge and conduct, well-gone, the knower of worlds, the incomparable leader of men to be tamed, the teacher of gods and men, all-knowing and blessed. This is called the accomplishment of faith.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nara.html
I can go into more detail about my personal beliefs, such as my belief in the Lotus Sutra, but at a bare minimum, I believe in the above passage.

User avatar
Admin_PC
Site Admin
Posts: 3953
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:17 pm
Location: Texas, USA

Re: What is Mixed Practice?

Post by Admin_PC » Sat Jun 17, 2017 5:20 am

Dharma Flower wrote:I am not a legalist. It is my own personal conduct that I am concerned about, not everyone else's. It's not my right to judge what karma will sort out on its own.
...and yet you're posting here, presuming to educate us on mixed practice, the differences between Chinese & Japanese Pure Land, the "advancements" beyond Shantao, and how personal conduct is supposedly more important than faith. If you can enact perfect conduct, good on yah, but that's not who Pure Land is aimed at. It's aimed at the mess-ups, the alcoholics, those who can't find a single redeeming quality in their actions, regardless the number of sentient beings who benefit. If you like the writings of masters from other schools, that's great, but don't presume to come here to the Pure Land subforum and educate on Pure Land. Don't throw shade against Pure Land elsewhere and act like some authority here. Coming here and diminishing the status of Shantao or proclaiming that conduct, aka "works" are more appropriate than the Pure Land standards of "Faith, Vows, and Practice" is paramount to proselytizing and is inappropriate on this forum. Neither of us is an authority (you've made that clear), but I never come here to tell people they are wrong (as you did with your conduct post), I merely come here to quote what authorities have said. You would do well to understand that your own personal beliefs are not authoritative.
月影の いたらぬ里は なけれども 眺むる人の 心にぞすむ
法然上人

Dharma Flower
Posts: 868
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:03 am
Contact:

Re: What is Mixed Practice?

Post by Dharma Flower » Sat Jun 17, 2017 5:21 am

Admin_PC wrote: (Sarakaani died a drunk by the way...)
But the Buddha remarked that, "Sarakani the Sakyan undertook the training at the time of his death." Samyutta Nikaya 55.24 The lay person Sarakani practiced the moral precepts in full before his death, thus, confirming that one cannot be a stream-entrant or higher if one violates the moral precepts. In the more positive way, one who follows the precepts and practices diligently, stream-entry or higher can be attained.
https://dhammawiki.com/index.php?title=Sotapanna
Given the wreckage of my past, I am happy about the difference which the fifth precept has made in my life. It is my responsibility alone to abide by it, not to judge others for making their own life decisions.

Chinese Pure Land Buddhism is traditionally more observant of the fifth precept than Japanese Pure Land Buddhism:
http://thedailyenlightenment.com/2016/0 ... important/

Also, in Chinese Pure Land Buddhism, there's more encouragement of vegetarianism, as to better observe the first precept, but I am not a vegetarian.

My main concern when it comes to ethical conduct is whether or not I am causing harm to others in my words and actions. I need to always be more mindful of the effect that my words and actions have on others, both physically and emotionally.

User avatar
rory
Posts: 1358
Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 8:08 am
Location: SouthEast USA

Re: What is Mixed Practice?

Post by rory » Sat Jun 17, 2017 7:58 am

Dharma Flower: I feel like the "safest bet" is to improve my personal conduct in this life, which will, according to the Buddha's teachings, provide for my happiness both in this life and the next.
Well you're doing a poor job as your words and conduct here have created strife, which is considered very bad in Buddhism, really bad.

Leave this subforum and go the various Ch'an or Mahayana ones and post freely there; disturbing fellow Buddhists' faith is considered a grievous sin.
And do some repentance at your altar for the bad karma you created
gassho
Rory
Namu Kanzeon Bosatsu
Chih-I:
The Tai-ching states "the women in the realms of Mara, Sakra and Brahma all neither abandoned ( their old) bodies nor received (new) bodies. They all received buddhahood with their current bodies (genshin)" Thus these verses state that the dharma nature is like a great ocean. No right or wrong is preached (within it) Ordinary people and sages are equal, without superiority or inferiority
Paul, Groner "The Lotus Sutra in Japanese Culture"eds. Tanabe p. 58
https://www.tendai-usa.org/

Dharma Flower
Posts: 868
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:03 am
Contact:

Re: What is Mixed Practice?

Post by Dharma Flower » Sat Jun 17, 2017 8:36 pm

rory wrote:
Dharma Flower: I feel like the "safest bet" is to improve my personal conduct in this life, which will, according to the Buddha's teachings, provide for my happiness both in this life and the next.
Well you're doing a poor job as your words and conduct here have created strife, which is considered very bad in Buddhism, really bad.

Leave this subforum and go the various Ch'an or Mahayana ones and post freely there; disturbing fellow Buddhists' faith is considered a grievous sin.
And do some repentance at your altar for the bad karma you created
gassho
Rory
If I've said anything in this thread which contradicts the mainstream of Chinese Pure Land Buddhism, then I am sorry.

Dharma Flower
Posts: 868
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:03 am
Contact:

Re: What is Mixed Practice?

Post by Dharma Flower » Sun Jun 18, 2017 3:15 am

In this thread, I've been trying to share things that I've learned from Dharma masters Hsing Yun, Sheng-Yen, Yin-Shun, Cheng-Yen, and Chin Kung. I'm sorry if I've been presenting their teachings improperly.

I also have a pamphlet from the local Vietnamese Buddhist temple. Please let me share some of its contents.

It places emphasis on the importance of following the Six Paramitas, and there's a picture of the fires of hell on the back cover, to warn those who are violating the Five Precepts.

It also says in the pamphlet, "I vow to be born in pure-lands, to attain Buddhahood, and to rescue all beings," but it doesn't specify which Pure Land one should be reborn into.

User avatar
rory
Posts: 1358
Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 8:08 am
Location: SouthEast USA

Re: What is Mixed Practice?

Post by rory » Sun Jun 18, 2017 5:55 am

Okay let me post this:
Five Cardinal Sins (five heinous crimes, five contrary acts, five boundless actions or five gravely wrong acts) are variously defined, but the most common is:

(1) killing one’s father,
(2) killing one’s mother,
3) killing an arhat,
(4) shedding the blood of a buddha, and
(5) causing a schism or destroying the harmony of the sangha.

They are sometimes also referred to as the five immediate misdeeds since they bring about almost immediate karmic retribution either in the same life or upon death.
http://www.chinabuddhismencyclopedia.co ... dinal_Sins

No. 5# is incredibly serious as I told you, please don't upset people in a Buddhist forum, don't create such terrible karma for yourself. I'm glad you're sorry but you need to do below to expiate your karma at your altar or any quiet place at home:
6. Repentance Prayer (懺悔偈)

The evil karmas I have done with my body, voice, and mind are caused by greed, anger, and delusion, which are without a beginning in time. Before Buddhas I now supplicate for my repentance.
往昔所造諸惡業 皆由無始貪瞋癡 從身語意之所生 今對佛前求懺悔
The evil karmas I have done with my body, voice, and mind are caused by greed, anger, and delusion, which are without a beginning in time. I repent of all sins, the cause of hindrances.
往昔所造諸惡業 皆由無始貪瞋癡 從身語意之所生 一切罪障皆懺悔
The evil karmas I have done with my body, voice, and mind are caused by greed, anger, and delusion, which are without a beginning in time. I repent of all the roots of sin.
往昔所造諸惡業 皆由無始貪瞋癡 從身語意之所生 一切罪根皆懺悔
http://www.buddhism.org/Sutras/3/prayers.html
I do this repentance every day. (the Long Prayer for Rebirth is beautiful too - as you can see I've given you Chinese Buddhist links)
gassho
Rory
Namu Kanzeon Bosatsu
Chih-I:
The Tai-ching states "the women in the realms of Mara, Sakra and Brahma all neither abandoned ( their old) bodies nor received (new) bodies. They all received buddhahood with their current bodies (genshin)" Thus these verses state that the dharma nature is like a great ocean. No right or wrong is preached (within it) Ordinary people and sages are equal, without superiority or inferiority
Paul, Groner "The Lotus Sutra in Japanese Culture"eds. Tanabe p. 58
https://www.tendai-usa.org/

Dharma Flower
Posts: 868
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:03 am
Contact:

Re: What is Mixed Practice?

Post by Dharma Flower » Sun Jun 18, 2017 6:00 am

rory wrote:I'm glad you're sorry but you need to do below to expiate your karma at your altar or any quiet place at home
I am sorry if I've misrepresented others' teachings, because that would be spreading deception and falsehood.

User avatar
Admin_PC
Site Admin
Posts: 3953
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:17 pm
Location: Texas, USA

Re: What is Mixed Practice?

Post by Admin_PC » Sun Jun 18, 2017 5:13 pm

Again, this whole "faith vs works" argument you're carrying it on is entirely inappropriate for this subforum.
You claim "Chinese Pure Land" but then quote masters who are by no means Pure Land practitioners:
Hsing Yun = Humanistic Buddhism (Ch'an)
Sheng-Yen = Humanistic Buddhism (Ch'an)
Yin-Shun = Humanistic Buddhism (Ch'an)
Cheng-Yen = Humanistic Buddhism (Ch'an)
Chin Kung = the only Pure Lander on this list and you have shared teachings that aren't in line with what he teaches.
The Humanistic Buddhist idea of creating a Pure Land on this world is pretty much antithetical to Pure Land Buddhism.
"But the Buddha remarked that, "Sarakani the Sakyan undertook the training at the time of his death." Samyutta Nikaya 55.24 The lay person Sarakani practiced the moral precepts in full before his death, thus, confirming that one cannot be a stream-entrant or higher if one violates the moral precepts.
The sutra doesn't actually bear this out. In fact it explicitly says Sarakani failed in his training and took to drink right before his death. If anything, it supports the idea that one can become a stream-winner while an alcoholic. Just read it. This issue is a bit of a sticky wicket for some in the Theravada school. Some have created commentary to explain-away what the sutra because it goes against their doctrines. So you'll see explanations such that "the alcohol was medicinal" and other completely unfounded statements. The passage you quoted is an example of this.

What do the Pure Land Sutras say about people who cannot follow the precepts? The sutras supercede whatever traditions there are in some schools in China, rendering your entire argument moot.

First and foremost, the 18th Vow:
Infinite Life Sutra wrote:18. After I become a Buddha, in worlds in the ten directions, there will be sentient beings that, with earnest faith and delight, wish to be reborn in my land, even if by only thinking ten thoughts [of that wish]. If they should fail to be reborn there—excepting those who have committed any of the five rebellious sins or maligned the true Dharma—I would not attain the perfect enlightenment.
The five rebellious sins are serious business:
five rebellious acts or sins (五逆). These are (1) patricide, (2) matricide, (3) killing an Arhat, (4) shedding the blood of a Buddha (including maligning His Dharma), and (5) destroying the harmony of a Saṅgha. They are also called the karma of the five no interruptions because any of them drives one into Avīci Hell, the hell of the five no interruptions.
The circumstance for committing a number of these are fairly rare.
Visualization Sutra wrote:The Buddha told Ānanda and Vaidehī, “A middling rebirth in the low rank can be achieved by sentient beings that have violated any of the five precepts, the eight precepts, or the complete monastic precepts. Such fools have stolen from the Saṅgha and robbed monks. They have made defiling statements with no sense of shame or dishonor. They adorn themselves with their evil ways. These sinners, because of their evil karmas, should fall into hell. When such a person’s life is ending, the fires of hell will arrive at once. Nevertheless, he may encounter a beneficent learned friend who will describe the awesome virtues of Amitāyus Buddha’s Ten Powers, explain in detail His radiance and spiritual powers, and praise samādhi, wisdom, liberation, and the knowledge and views of liberation. After he has heard these things, his sins which would entail 80 koṭi kalpas of birth and death will all be expunged. The raging fires of hell will be transformed into cool winds, which bring celestial flowers down from the sky. Seated on these flowers will be magically manifested Buddhas and Bodhisattvas who have come to receive this person.
So we can see quite clearly that perfect conduct is by no means a requirement.

What do the sutras say about faith?
Infinite Life Sutra wrote: “Buddha-Tathāgatas in worlds in the ten directions, who are as numerous as the sands of the Ganges, each praise Amitāyus Buddha’s inconceivable awesome spirit and merit. If sentient beings that hear His name elicit faith and joy in but one thought and, with an earnest wish for rebirth in that land, transfer their merits to others, they will be reborn there and attain the spiritual level of no regress. Excepted are those who have committed any of the five rebellious sins or maligned the true Dharma.”
Faith is pretty primary here and in the 18th vow quoted above.

Here, we can see that the 3 minds (of faith) supercede precepts:
Visualization Sutra wrote: The Buddha told Ānanda and Vaidehī, “Sentient beings reborn in the Western Pure Land are classified into nine grades. Those who wish to achieve a high rebirth in the high rank in that land must invoke three minds in order to succeed. What are these three? First, an earnest mind; second, a profound mind; and third, a mind wishing for rebirth in the Pure Land as one transfers one’s merits to other sentient beings. Those with these three minds will definitely be reborn in that land.

“Moreover, there are three kinds of sentient beings that will be reborn there. What are those three? First, those who, with the mind of lovingkindness, refrain from killing sentient beings and fully observe the precepts for their conduct. Second, those who read and recite Mahāyāna vaipulya sūtras. Third, those who practice the six remembrances and, with a wish for rebirth in that Buddha Land, transfer their merits to others.
Even sutras that aren't primary for Pure Land talk about faith:
The Avatamsaka Sutra wrote:Faith is the basis of the Path, the mother of virtues Nourishing and growing all good ways... Faith can assure arrival at enlightenment.
(T. Cleary, tr. The Flower Ornament Scripture. Vol. I, p. 331.)
There's no getting around faith in the context of Pure Land Buddhism. If you want to drop faith, or criticize some straw man of "cheap grace" in the context of Pure Land, then it would probably be better to post on a different subforum. Here, it comes off as proselytizing.
月影の いたらぬ里は なけれども 眺むる人の 心にぞすむ
法然上人

User avatar
Admin_PC
Site Admin
Posts: 3953
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:17 pm
Location: Texas, USA

Re: What is Mixed Practice?

Post by Admin_PC » Mon Jun 19, 2017 3:38 am

月影の いたらぬ里は なけれども 眺むる人の 心にぞすむ
法然上人

Dharma Flower
Posts: 868
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:03 am
Contact:

Re: What is Mixed Practice?

Post by Dharma Flower » Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:11 am

I agree that faith in Buddhism is important. The meaning of the term faith is different than it is in other religions:
“Faith,” saddh. There are 2 kinds of faith (saddh): (1) “rootless faith” (amlika,saddh), baseless or irrational
faith, blind faith. (M 2:170); (2) “faith with a good cause” (kravati,saddh), faith founded on seeing (M 1:320,8
401,23); also called avecca-p,pasda (S 12.41.11/2:69). “Wise faith” is syn with (2). Amlaka = “not seen, not
heard, not suspected” (V 2:243 3:163 & Comy). Gethin speaks of two kinds of faith: the cognitive and the affective
(eg ERE: Faith & Jayatilleke, Early Buddhist Theory of Knowledge, 1963:387): “Faith in its cognitive dimension is
seen as concerning belief in propositions or statements of which one does not—or perhaps cannot—have knowledge
proper (however that should be defined); cognitive faith is a mode of knowing in a different category from that
knowledge. Faith is its affective dimension is a more straightforward positive response to trust or confidence towards
something or somebody…the conception of saddh in Buddhist writings appears almost, if not entirely affective,
the cognitive element is completely secondary.” (Gethin 2001:207; my emphases).
http://dharmafarer.org/wordpress/wp-con ... 4-piya.pdf
In a Buddhist context, "faith" most often refers to confidence and trust based on personal experience and one's exercise of reason.

Locked

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 12 guests