Bhaisajyaguru and Liberation.

DharmaBub
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Bhaisajyaguru and Liberation.

Post by DharmaBub »

Hello,

I introduced myself to the Dharma Wheel community last year. I identified myself as a Zen practitioner who was currently without a sangha, but hoping to connect with others.

And then I didn't post anything else. Despite several years of experience with Zen, I don't think I was ever really suited to its austere, iconoclastic style, and despite what I posted, I really wasn't sure if I wanted to continue with it. So I couldn't think of anything to say.

But over the following year I began to move in the direction of Tendai. I finally read the Lotus Sutra, and then some books explaining the Lotus Sutra, and some studies of Zhiyi's thought. And I began to build my Buddhist practice around Bhaisajyaguru.

My motivation for taking up Buddhism in the first place is that I have been dealing with very toxic family relationships that have left me depressed and triggered. Zazen helped to alleviate this (I think I had an experience of kensho), but my father's alcoholism or my mother's passive-aggression could still set me off. So I recently began chanting the Medicine Buddha Mantra and using an image of the Medicine Buddha as a visual focus for meditation. Though I have been doing this regularly for just a short time, I have found it has greatly improved my emotional stability.

The efficacy of the Bhaisajyaguru-puja for me has depended upon an understanding of what is going on. As I see it, the 'woundedness' that the Medicine Buddha reminds us to heal from is papanca, which I understand as 'impulsive conceptualization,' the tendency to react to sensory stimuli in an immediate and uncontrolled way. It is the process that leads to the arising of asavas, mental outflows such as lust and anger. And it is papanca and the asavas together that are the source of the dukkha that keeps us cycling through samsara. By venerating a figure symbolizing healing, I continually develop the skill to cut off papanca when confronted with a negative stimulus and prevent the arising of asavas.

Anyway, that has been my experience with venerating Bhaisajyaguru. I would be curious to hear anyone's thoughts on this, and hopefully will be a regular participant in Dharma Wheel from here on out.
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Re: Bhaisajyaguru and Liberation.

Post by Queequeg »

DharmaBub wrote: Tue Oct 22, 2019 12:41 am Hello,

I introduced myself to the Dharma Wheel community last year. I identified myself as a Zen practitioner who was currently without a sangha, but hoping to connect with others.

And then I didn't post anything else. Despite several years of experience with Zen, I don't think I was ever really suited to its austere, iconoclastic style, and despite what I posted, I really wasn't sure if I wanted to continue with it. So I couldn't think of anything to say.

But over the following year I began to move in the direction of Tendai. I finally read the Lotus Sutra, and then some books explaining the Lotus Sutra, and some studies of Zhiyi's thought. And I began to build my Buddhist practice around Bhaisajyaguru.

My motivation for taking up Buddhism in the first place is that I have been dealing with very toxic family relationships that have left me depressed and triggered. Zazen helped to alleviate this (I think I had an experience of kensho), but my father's alcoholism or my mother's passive-aggression could still set me off. So I recently began chanting the Medicine Buddha Mantra and using an image of the Medicine Buddha as a visual focus for meditation. Though I have been doing this regularly for just a short time, I have found it has greatly improved my emotional stability.

The efficacy of the Bhaisajyaguru-puja for me has depended upon an understanding of what is going on. As I see it, the 'woundedness' that the Medicine Buddha reminds us to heal from is papanca, which I understand as 'impulsive conceptualization,' the tendency to react to sensory stimuli in an immediate and uncontrolled way. It is the process that leads to the arising of asavas, mental outflows such as lust and anger. And it is papanca and the asavas together that are the source of the dukkha that keeps us cycling through samsara. By venerating a figure symbolizing healing, I continually develop the skill to cut off papanca when confronted with a negative stimulus and prevent the arising of asavas.

Anyway, that has been my experience with venerating Bhaisajyaguru. I would be curious to hear anyone's thoughts on this, and hopefully will be a regular participant in Dharma Wheel from here on out.
:anjali:

I have no experience with Yakushi-nyorai (Bhasajyaguru Tathagata) but I can relate to the effect of chanting.

You mentioned that you were following Zen before and now are tending toward Tendai. I looked at your past post and you mentioned that you were not affiliated with any community previously.

Have you connected with a Tendai community?
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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FromTheEarth
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Re: Bhaisajyaguru and Liberation.

Post by FromTheEarth »

Hi DharmaBub, welcome!

Your dharma trajectory sounds very familiar :tongue:

Being a practitioner of Medicine Buddha practices for a long time, the first thing I was intrigued about Tendai actually was its affinity to Yakushi Nyorai.
A common trait of Tendai & Shingon, at least in their early ages, is their veneration of Medicine Buddha, usually worshiped as the principal Buddha in major temples, including on Mt. Hiei.
Saichō moved to Mt. Hiei and devoted himself to the study of Buddhism. Gradually, many monks gathered around him. In the year Enryaku 7 (788), Saichō decided to establish the Hieizanji Temple on Mt. Hiei as a new fundamental practice hall based upon Tendai teachings. Saichō carved an image of Yakushi Nyorai (Medicine Buddha), and enshrined it in the hall. On this occasion, he lit a lamp, dedicated it to Yakushi, and prayed that this light would burn eternally. This Dharma Lamp has been burning over 1,200 years in the Konpon Chūdō Hall. It is called the Fumetsu-no-Hōtō which means the inextinguishable Dharma Lamp. At first this hall was called Ichijō-shikanin, and later became Konpon Chūdō.
from Tendai Shu official website

I guess there are some secret blessings from Him or karmic connections in your turning to Tendai. :twothumbsup:
DharmaBub
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Re: Bhaisajyaguru and Liberation.

Post by DharmaBub »

I was a practitioner of Rinzai Zen. I live in the Northeast about 150 miles from the Tendai Buddhist Institute, but haven't been there as yet. I wanted to get a good understanding of Tendai before contacting them.
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Re: Bhaisajyaguru and Liberation.

Post by rory »

I've reposted this topic as it's of so much importance! Saicho established Yakushi Nyorai, Medicine Buddha, as the honzon of Enryakuji. Yakushi Nyorai is the protector of the nation as it was a thousand years ago so it is today.

"Saicho had statues of Yakushi in each of the four ships on his way to and from China and prayers were said for a safe trip."
https://darumapilgrim.blogspot.com/2006/04/saicho.html
gassho
Rory
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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/
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Re: Bhaisajyaguru and Liberation.

Post by Tatsuo »

rory wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:06 am Yakushi Nyorai is the protector of the nation as it was a thousand years ago so it is today.
I never quite understood the focus on nation-protecting. Shouldn’t a Buddha or Bodhisattva protect all sentient beings, including humans from other nations? That concept of Buddhism being used to defend the country seems a little small-minded in modern times, doesn’t it?

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Re: Bhaisajyaguru and Liberation.

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

Tatsuo wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:22 am
rory wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:06 am Yakushi Nyorai is the protector of the nation as it was a thousand years ago so it is today.
I never quite understood the focus on nation-protecting. Shouldn’t a Buddha or Bodhisattva protect all sentient beings, including humans from other nations? That concept of Buddhism being used to defend the country seems a little small-minded in modern times, doesn’t it?
It depends on how you look at it. Today we have nations and cultures being picked apart by multi national corporations, wars, etc. In that sense, simply having positive aspirations for "one's people" without excluding others (or better yet, including them explicitly) does not have to be a negative thing.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low
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Re: Bhaisajyaguru and Liberation.

Post by rory »

Johnny Dangerous wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:45 am
Tatsuo wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:22 am
rory wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:06 am Yakushi Nyorai is the protector of the nation as it was a thousand years ago so it is today.
I never quite understood the focus on nation-protecting. Shouldn’t a Buddha or Bodhisattva protect all sentient beings, including humans from other nations? That concept of Buddhism being used to defend the country seems a little small-minded in modern times, doesn’t it?
It depends on how you look at it. Today we have nations and cultures being picked apart by multi national corporations, wars, etc. In that sense, simply having positive aspirations for "one's people" without excluding others (or better yet, including them explicitly) does not have to be a negative thing.
I live in the US and am praying that Yakushi Nyorai protect China, the nation, from the coronavirus epidemic. It doesn't get simpler or more compassionate than that.
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/
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Tatsuo
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Re: Bhaisajyaguru and Liberation.

Post by Tatsuo »

rory wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 4:44 am I live in the US and am praying that Yakushi Nyorai protect China, the nation, from the coronavirus epidemic. It doesn't get simpler or more compassionate than that.
I agree that it is a compassionate act to pray for people who are suffering, though I consider direct help or donations to an aid organization to be more helpful but that is beside the point. I was not referring to individual practices but to traditional practices of nation-protecting Buddhism.
Johnny Dangerous wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:45 am Today we have nations and cultures being picked apart by multi national corporations, wars, etc. In that sense, simply having positive aspirations for "one's people" without excluding others (or better yet, including them explicitly) does not have to be a negative thing.
I agree, that other nations should be included when talking about protection in Buddhism. However, I do not think that this is a part of traditional protection rituals. If it’s otherwise, then why talk about nation-protecting at all?

I also wonder who is the proper recipient of a nation-protecting ritual? Is it also the leaders and soldiers of a nation? Were the militaristic leaders and soldiers of imperial Japan protected by Yakushi Nyorai as they committed atrocities in other countries? Or was the civilian population of Japan protected when it supported the total war of aggression against other nations? In short, is a nation-protecting ritual always a good thing even if supporting the nation means supporting its evil actions? Or does a nation-protecting ritual help a nation to abstain from evil? I imagine that this interpretation wasn’t dominant throughout religious history in Japan though and for sure we would then question the effectiveness of the rituals since rulers in Japan were involved in many evil actions (as were most rulers of every country worldwide). And lastly, isn’t it sometimes more ethical to conduct a nation-protecting ritual for an opposing nation (in favor of the USA in the Pacific War, for example, instead of support for imperial Japan)

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Re: Bhaisajyaguru and Liberation.

Post by Seishin »

From what I know of the ritual and Saicho's teaching it can be boiled down as this; if you're practicing Buddhism correctly you are protecting the nation. "Do good, avoid evil and purify the mind". As Japan is a nationalistic country I am sure there many within Japan who believe these things don't extend past their country. And I'm sure there were people who prayed for success during wars. However I don't believe this was Saicho's intention and meaning as Saicho knew the politics of the time and played them very well in order to establish Tendai. Therefore, I feel as Tendai comes west we should be looking at "nation" not as a specific country or sovereign but all sentient beings. I feel that Tendai in Japan is doing that in their own way, with their "Interreligious Gathering of Prayer for World Peace", but Japan is still a nationalistic country.
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Re: Bhaisajyaguru and Liberation.

Post by Queequeg »

In Japan, three sutras were held to be a source of protection for the nation - Saddharmapundarika-sutra (Lotus), Suvarnaprabhasa-sutra (Golden Light), and the Benevolent Kings Sutra (probably apocryphal Chinese). Buddhism was integrated into the state in Japan as a source of support and protection for the state. The gist of these sutras is that a sovereign who upholds Buddhadharma will win the protection of the Dharma Protectors, particularly the the heavenly kings. One of the ways that Buddhist institutions could win support from the state was to conduct rituals to ensure the protection of the nation.

One thing to keep in mind - the idea of nation for the Japanese back then had a familial meaning in that all were said to be descended from the kami. The protection of the nation meant keeping epidemics of disease at bay, ensuring good harvests, and keeping marauding barbarians away. It was also inflected with Confucian ideas of "brotherly love" and the mutual responsibility between rulers for subjects, mandate of heaven, and all that.

Saicho abided in this context. You can look at his writings and see his concern for the people of the nation, and for him, that meant serving the state by propagating Dharma.

In modern times, we've become jaded and cynical about the state, and for good reasons so maybe the logic doesn't hold.

Personally, I detest Trump, but I still offer my merit for his health and awakening, because, like it or not, we're along for the ride with him. I offer my merit for the prosperity of the US and the world because it offers opportunities to practice and the propagation of Dharma... these opportunities would not be available if we lived in a state of desolation and war.
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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rory
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Re: Bhaisajyaguru and Liberation.

Post by rory »

Tatsuo: I agree that it is a compassionate act to pray for people who are suffering, though I consider direct help or donations to an aid organization to be more helpful
Why do you consider it more helpful? Don't you have faith in the bodhisattvas; are you a nihilist? Have you actively chanted sutras, mantras and had the bodhisattvas help you, as Kannon-sama has helped me.

Ch. 25 of the Lotus Sutra: Kannon's famous chapter states;
Living beings are beset with hardships,
And oppressed by limitless sufferings.
The power of Guanyin�s wondrous wisdom
Can rescue the world from suffering.

Complete with the power of spiritual penetrations,
Vastly cultivating wisdom and expedient means,
Going throughout countries in the ten directions,
He manifests everywhere in all places.
http://www.buddhistdoor.com/OldWeb/reso ... otus25.htm

The bodhisattvas have great powers, if you haven't experienced them. Try, practice, not only will your faith increase but you will also grow in compassion and wisdom. So sure go send a donation, then sit in front of your altar and with the intention to develop great faith chant "Namu Yakushi Nyorai"
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/
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Re: Bhaisajyaguru and Liberation.

Post by Caoimhghín »

rory wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:06 pm Why do you consider it more helpful? Don't you have faith in the bodhisattvas; are you a nihilist?
This strikes me as an unfair and largely unhelpful black and white zero sum game of spiritual one-upmanship, a fundamentalist God-or-Satan, absolute faith or absolute skepticism, game of binaries, one that adults shouldn't play.
savi saghara aṇica di, savi saghara dukha di, savi dhama aṇatva di:
yada paśadi cakhkṣuma tada nivinadi dukha eṣo mago viśodhia.

"All formations are inconstant," he said.
"All formations are stressful," he said.
"All phenomena are selfless," he said.
When one sees this, one becomes adverse to stress, and this is the path of purity.

(Gāndhārī Dharmapada fragments)
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Re: Bhaisajyaguru and Liberation.

Post by rory »

Caoimhghín wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:18 pm
rory wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:06 pm Why do you consider it more helpful? Don't you have faith in the bodhisattvas; are you a nihilist?
This strikes me as an unfair and largely unhelpful black and white zero sum game ...
Kevin, many people who practice Buddhism do it as a philosophy and are nihilists. It's a big norm in Western Buddhism. I was wondering if this was the case. And this is the Tendai forum - which also has a huge tradition of esoteric buddhism. I regard performing a goma as a wonderful Buddhist practice which actively helps others. Do you? If not, why not? I'm quite interested.

Also if someone is a Buddhist and given to nihilism I suggested this: "The bodhisattvas have great powers, if you haven't experienced them. Try, practice, not only will your faith increase but you will also grow in compassion and wisdom. So sure go send a donation, then sit in front of your altar and with the intention to develop great faith chant "Namu Yakushi Nyorai"
gassho
Rory
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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/
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Re: Bhaisajyaguru and Liberation.

Post by tkp67 »

Seishin wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 4:47 pmTherefore, I feel as Tendai comes west we should be looking at "nation" not as a specific country or sovereign but all sentient beings. I feel that Tendai in Japan is doing that in their own way, with their "Interreligious Gathering of Prayer for World Peace", but Japan is still a nationalistic country.
:good:
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Re: Bhaisajyaguru and Liberation.

Post by Caoimhghín »

It seems like you presented a binary to Tatsuo, one that maybe you want to further strengthen by associating one side of that binary with Westerly Buddhisms and the other with Easterly. Furthermore, apparently these Westerly Buddhist practices or conceptions are often rooted in nihilism, it allegedly being a big norm for Western Buddhism.

Under such draconian conditions, if you believe "direct help or donations to an aid organization to be more helpful," then maybe you don't believe in the bodhisattvas, and maybe you are a nihilist, and maybe you should be questioned: "Why do you consider it more helpful? Don't you have faith in the bodhisattvas; are you a nihilist?" Notice how the question is phrased as a negative: do you not have faith in the bodhisattvas? It sounds like you're bullying and pressuring others to adopt your views.

It reminds me of the story, adapted from Protestantism, about the sage who wishes to meet Amitābha. He stays up in his cell all night, refusing to move until he sees Amitābha. In the morning, he bitterly confesses having not seen him, and him having not came and visited.

"What do you mean?" say his spiritual father, "Amitābha came to the monastery gates last night as an old beggar woman, and you would not see him in your determination to see him."

I've seen that old Christian story adapted twice independently by Amidists for their purposes, because it is a good functional story.

What if when Tatsuo donates to aid organizations and/or offers direct help, he himself is being a bodhisattva instead of just believing in the bodhisattvas? There are more than two mutually exusive ways to look at something.

And, gasp, what if Tatsuo believes in the superior efficacy of direct help and donation-based aid and also still has faith in the bodhisattvas and isn't a nihilist? Surely, impossible.
savi saghara aṇica di, savi saghara dukha di, savi dhama aṇatva di:
yada paśadi cakhkṣuma tada nivinadi dukha eṣo mago viśodhia.

"All formations are inconstant," he said.
"All formations are stressful," he said.
"All phenomena are selfless," he said.
When one sees this, one becomes adverse to stress, and this is the path of purity.

(Gāndhārī Dharmapada fragments)
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Re: Bhaisajyaguru and Liberation.

Post by rory »

Caoimhghín wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:25 pm

What if when Tatsuo donates to aid organizations and/or offers direct help, he himself is being a bodhisattva instead of just believing in the bodhisattvas? There are more than two mutually exusive ways to look at something.

And, gasp, what if Tatsuo believes in the superior efficacy of direct help and donation-based aid and also still has faith in the bodhisattvas and isn't a nihilist? Surely, impossible.
First of all Kevin, I think these are your feelings, which is fine. But we shouldn't use Tatsuo's name. He can speak for himself.
So tell me Kevin, what are your thoughts on the matter?

You also reference Christianity a great deal, it means nothing to me, but clearly has an influence on how you perceive Buddhism. I don't see Buddhism through the lens of Christianity.

I was brought up in Reform Judaism, my rabbi is an atheist. I was an atheist at 9.I had exactly 0 faith in Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, but 20 years ago my kind Jodo teacher, a monk, showed me how to develop an aspiration for faith. It took me years and lots of practice and then almost dying in the hospital. But now I have great faith and share it with others. In fact I posted my experience back in the Pure Land forum and everyone appreciated it. Since then I have a Tendai Sensei who is wonderful. I feel very appreciative...

I posted this below as advice: I think it's helpful. I think we all can agree that it's a good thing both to donate and chant to Yakushi Nyorai! But only one will develop your wisdom and compassion!

Try, practice, not only will your faith increase but you will also grow in compassion and wisdom. So sure go send a donation, then sit in front of your altar and with the intention to develop great faith chant "Namu Yakushi Nyorai"
gassho
Last edited by rory on Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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/
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Re: Bhaisajyaguru and Liberation.

Post by Caoimhghín »

rory wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:45 pm Kindly cease using Christian references, they are meaningless to me
Kindly address the substance rather than the flavour. Your response might be equally meaningless to me. I'm sure you find your journey to whatever you believe and whatever you have faith in a thrilling story.
rory wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:45 pm I'm sorry it makes you angry. I posted this as advice:Try, practice, not only will your faith increase but you will also grow in compassion and wisdom. So sure go send a donation, then sit in front of your altar and with the intention to develop great faith chant "Namu Yakushi Nyorai"
gassho
The arrogance and projection here, though, is rather unreal to me. Now I am angry and maybe have have yet to try patience and have yet to have my faith, compassion, and wisdom increase.

I am maybe angry, Tatsuo is maybe a nihilist. You seem to have a lot of your own speculative of ideas concerning other people that maybe you have a lot of misplaced faith in.

Work harder on practicing what you preach.
Last edited by Caoimhghín on Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
savi saghara aṇica di, savi saghara dukha di, savi dhama aṇatva di:
yada paśadi cakhkṣuma tada nivinadi dukha eṣo mago viśodhia.

"All formations are inconstant," he said.
"All formations are stressful," he said.
"All phenomena are selfless," he said.
When one sees this, one becomes adverse to stress, and this is the path of purity.

(Gāndhārī Dharmapada fragments)
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Re: Bhaisajyaguru and Liberation.

Post by Caoimhghín »

rory wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:45 pm You also reference Christianity a great deal, it means nothing to me, but clearly has an influence on how you perceive Buddhism. I don't see Buddhism through the lens of Christianity.
I'm not sure what you are talking about here. I'll re-post what I said so you can read it again, in case you were confused about the content of what I was saying and focussed instead on what you perceived to be the flavour of it.
Caoimhghín wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:25 pm It reminds me of the story, adapted from Protestantism, about the sage who wishes to meet Amitābha. He stays up in his cell all night, refusing to move until he sees Amitābha. In the morning, he bitterly confesses having not seen him, and him having not came and visited.

"What do you mean?" say his spiritual father, "Amitābha came to the monastery gates last night as an old beggar woman, and you would not see him in your determination to see him."

I've seen that old Christian story adapted twice independently by Amidists for their purposes, because it is a good functional story.
Emphasis added. This is not my story. I'm not an Amidist. I am not a Christian. You are an maybe Amidist, unless you have stopped identifying with Pure Land Buddhism. It's certainly possible. You used to spend a lot of time here talking about Amida and the Pure Land, but maybe you aren't so into that anymore. I wouldn't know. Your community has adapted this story twice (?!) and presented it as an Amidist story in the Pure Land subforums here, which I do read. It is your faith community on this forum that apparently has a profound relationship with this story, not me.

In case you were confused or barely read what I posted, I thought I would give you some clarification.

Please stop these projections. You don't know much about any sort of Christianity that I may or may not have grown up with, and similarly you don't know much concerning any sort of relation it may or may not have to Buddhism for me. This could be more of you having a lot of your own speculative of ideas concerning other people, speculations that maybe you have misplaced faith in.
savi saghara aṇica di, savi saghara dukha di, savi dhama aṇatva di:
yada paśadi cakhkṣuma tada nivinadi dukha eṣo mago viśodhia.

"All formations are inconstant," he said.
"All formations are stressful," he said.
"All phenomena are selfless," he said.
When one sees this, one becomes adverse to stress, and this is the path of purity.

(Gāndhārī Dharmapada fragments)
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Caoimhghín
Posts: 2815
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:35 pm
Location: Whitby, Ontario

Re: Bhaisajyaguru and Liberation.

Post by Caoimhghín »

Do you know what? I remember the story better now. It took a while to come back to me.

The monk is in some sort of crisis, a disaster, and wants to be saved by Amitābha. He waits for Amitābha, but he is not saved from he disaster by Amida. The moral is, at the end, that Amida is revealed to have been the various mundane people trying to help him, the people he rejected waiting for Amida to appear to him and save him.

There, even more relevant.

People who give direct aid and donate to charities are Amida in this story, and the monk who waits for Amida is the one who looks for bodhisattvas in something other than the mundane actions of the people around themselves, who looks for spectacular bodhisattvas who operate by spooky motion at a distance, so to speak, rather than normal-seeming bodhisattvas who just help like ordinary people. It is a story for those who can't see the magic in the ordinary, who don't see the bodhisattva in the aid worker, instead looking for celestial deva-bodied marvels who operate exclusively by means of the magic of their bodhisattva grounds.
savi saghara aṇica di, savi saghara dukha di, savi dhama aṇatva di:
yada paśadi cakhkṣuma tada nivinadi dukha eṣo mago viśodhia.

"All formations are inconstant," he said.
"All formations are stressful," he said.
"All phenomena are selfless," he said.
When one sees this, one becomes adverse to stress, and this is the path of purity.

(Gāndhārī Dharmapada fragments)
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