First four of six perfections

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tomschwarz
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First four of six perfections

Post by tomschwarz » Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:51 am

Hello again,

The six perfections of Buddhism typically map to the three practice areas of Buddhism: ethics meditation and wisdom. So the first four (sometimes under other names of similar meaning), are Buddhist ethics. They are:
Generosity
Discipline
Patience
Moral strength

Question: are there other important aspects of your life that you believe in which contradict these ideas? For example, do you believe in "getting something off your chest", "catharsis", "keeping it real", "telling it like it is", or "being youself"? "Putting someone in their place"? Clearly these can be good things. But how/when should i harmonize/do not harmonize them with Buddhist ethics?
i dedicate this post to your happiness, the causes of your happiness, the absence of your suffering the causes of the absence of your suffering that we may not have too much attachment nor aversion. SAMAYAMANUPALAYA

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fuki
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Re: First four of six perfections

Post by fuki » Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:42 pm

tomschwarz wrote:
Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:51 am
Hello again,

The six perfections of Buddhism typically map to the three practice areas of Buddhism: ethics meditation and wisdom. So the first four (sometimes under other names of similar meaning), are Buddhist ethics. They are:
Generosity
Discipline
Patience
Moral strength

Question: are there other important aspects of your life that you believe in which contradict these ideas? For example, do you believe in "getting something off your chest", "catharsis", "keeping it real", "telling it like it is", or "being youself"? "Putting someone in their place"? Clearly these can be good things. But how/when should i harmonize/do not harmonize them with Buddhist ethics?
Wonderful question tom thanks!

Generosity for me means giving up clinging to thoughts of duality
(in accordance with the practise of non-dwelling "explained" by Hui Hai)
https://www.ymba.org/books/entering-tao ... ightenment

as to your question;
adressing the situation instead of the person (self-other)

so one can point out "wrong" behaviour when adressing the situation or relation, relation=emptiness (of self-other) in this way adressing a wrong situation like sexual abuse in a Sangha is in accordance with Buddhist ethics, speaking from vexations is "wrong" conduct. Not adressing a wrong situation under misinterpretating from buddhist ethics can be dangerous. i.e. spiritual bypassing, not pointing out wrong behaviour of teachers/gurus.

so there's a time to speak and a time to remain silent, always check the motive before talking or remaining silent. There can be an agenda even if we think there's none. But we make errors ofcourse, even bodhisattvas, only Buddhas are perfect in wisdom and blessings. So when "getting things of our chest" from "wrong" motivation, no problem, another oppurtunity for practise/seeing.

edit: perhaps seeing someone kicking a dog is a better example then the sangha example.
ofcourse one "speaks up" and adresses the situation then to the kicker, not from vexation towards the kicker from the injection of a self.
meldpunt seksueel misbruik in boeddhistische gemeenschappen nederland.
https://meldpuntbg.nl/

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Vasana
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Re: First four of six perfections

Post by Vasana » Sat Mar 10, 2018 5:25 pm

The idea is to enjoin one's Bodhichitta motivation with all acts of body, speech and mind; always doing that which matures other's on the path while simultaneously avoiding acts of body, speech and mind that inflame your own or other's afflictive tendencies .

Beyond that there is no hard and fast rule book.
'When alone, watch your mind. When with others, watch your speech'- Old Kadampa saying.

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Re: First four of six perfections

Post by Vasana » Sat Mar 10, 2018 5:26 pm

  • Nine Considerations and Criteria for Benefiting Beings
    by Dza Patrul Rinpoche

    This concerns the ways in which bodhisattvas act to benefit beings.

    Bodhisattvas who genuinely take the bodhisattva vow of ethical discipline do nothing but act for the benefit of beings, either directly or indirectly, but unless one is skilful in benefiting these beings, no matter how much one does, it might not benefit beings, but could actually be a direct or indirect cause of harm. Take account, therefore, of these nine considerations and criteria as you act for others' benefit:
    1. Consideration of the benefit to both oneself and others

    Anything that would be of direct or indirect help and benefit to both yourself and others should be done.

    Anything that would not benefit but harm both you and others, directly or indirectly, should not be done.

    Anything that would benefit you but cause harm to other beings should not be done.

    If something would harm you but help others, then act in accordance with your situation. If you are a beginner, the main thing is to protect yourself from harm. Like the shoot of a medicinal plant, protecting yourself from harm will be the source of benefit to others. If you are a bodhisattva at the stage of "devoted conduct"[1], weigh up the priorities. From the point of obtaining the bodhisattva levels[2] onwards, the main thing is to act solely for others' benefit.

    You should also examine the amount of help or harm that would be caused. If, directly or indirectly, it would be of considerable help to others and little harm to yourself, you should act to benefit them. If it would be of little help to others but would seriously harm you, do not act. If the amount of help and harm would be equal, act in accordance with your situation. If you are a beginner, mainly protect yourself from harm. From the stage of "devoted conduct" onwards, mainly act to help others.
Points 1-9 found below

http://www.lotsawahouse.org/tibetan-mas ... iderations
'When alone, watch your mind. When with others, watch your speech'- Old Kadampa saying.

Jeff H
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Re: First four of six perfections

Post by Jeff H » Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:33 pm

Vasana wrote:
Sat Mar 10, 2018 5:26 pm
  • Nine Considerations and Criteria for Benefiting Beings
    by Dza Patrul Rinpoche

    This concerns the ways in which bodhisattvas act to benefit beings.

    Bodhisattvas who genuinely take the bodhisattva vow of ethical discipline do nothing but act for the benefit of beings, either directly or indirectly, but unless one is skilful in benefiting these beings, no matter how much one does, it might not benefit beings, but could actually be a direct or indirect cause of harm. Take account, therefore, of these nine considerations and criteria as you act for others' benefit:
    1. Consideration of the benefit to both oneself and others

    Anything that would be of direct or indirect help and benefit to both yourself and others should be done.

    Anything that would not benefit but harm both you and others, directly or indirectly, should not be done.

    Anything that would benefit you but cause harm to other beings should not be done.

    If something would harm you but help others, then act in accordance with your situation. If you are a beginner, the main thing is to protect yourself from harm. Like the shoot of a medicinal plant, protecting yourself from harm will be the source of benefit to others. If you are a bodhisattva at the stage of "devoted conduct"[1], weigh up the priorities. From the point of obtaining the bodhisattva levels[2] onwards, the main thing is to act solely for others' benefit.

    You should also examine the amount of help or harm that would be caused. If, directly or indirectly, it would be of considerable help to others and little harm to yourself, you should act to benefit them. If it would be of little help to others but would seriously harm you, do not act. If the amount of help and harm would be equal, act in accordance with your situation. If you are a beginner, mainly protect yourself from harm. From the stage of "devoted conduct" onwards, mainly act to help others.
Points 1-9 found below

http://www.lotsawahouse.org/tibetan-mas ... iderations
Thanks for the link, Vasana! :reading:
We who are like children shrink from pain but love its causes. - Shantideva

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Re: First four of six perfections

Post by KathyLauren » Sat Mar 10, 2018 10:12 pm

tomschwarz wrote:
Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:51 am
Hello again,

The six perfections of Buddhism typically map to the three practice areas of Buddhism: ethics meditation and wisdom. So the first four (sometimes under other names of similar meaning), are Buddhist ethics. They are:
Generosity
Discipline
Patience
Moral strength

Question: are there other important aspects of your life that you believe in which contradict these ideas? For example, do you believe in "getting something off your chest", "catharsis", "keeping it real", "telling it like it is", or "being youself"? "Putting someone in their place"? Clearly these can be good things. But how/when should i harmonize/do not harmonize them with Buddhist ethics?
Your question suggests that somehow those actions are in conflict with the Paaramitas. Certainly they can be, but they are not inevitably in conflict.

And this gives us guidance for how to act. When they can be done in accordance with the Paramitas, and with compassion, they should be. If they would be done in contradiction to the Paramitas, or without compassion, they should not. For example, "being yourself" is generally a good thing, but not if you are an a**h*** about it. "Putting someone in their place" is seldom a good thing, unless it is done carefully, with humility and compassion.

Om mani padme hum
Kathy

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Re: First four of six perfections

Post by tomschwarz » Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:03 pm

KathyLauren wrote:
Sat Mar 10, 2018 10:12 pm
"being yourself" is generally a good thing
hello kathy. i am so happy to discuss this topic with you, because i am such an american (usa). when i was young, i was very concerned with being myself. then when i was 15 i found buddhism and slowly learned about this "golden ticket" that was always in my pocket, that i could use for peace of mind, that i was due this peace, that i actually deserved it. the counter force that forgets about that available ticket, is the "me" idea. that i have an identity that needs to be expressed and that i need to be true to it.

so what do you think about that? there are these three poisons in buddhism, anger, desire and belief in self. so how can being myself be a good thing? do you mean overcoming the fear of rejection/fear of failure and communicating something positive?
i dedicate this post to your happiness, the causes of your happiness, the absence of your suffering the causes of the absence of your suffering that we may not have too much attachment nor aversion. SAMAYAMANUPALAYA

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Re: First four of six perfections

Post by KathyLauren » Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:08 pm

Tom, I think you are getting the ultimate nature of reality and the conventional view of reality confused. The true nature of reality is that nothing has any inherent existence, and that no perceived object (including people) has any entity that can be called a self.

This is all very nice. Being able to see first-hand the truth of those statements is a worthy goal. If we are fortunate, we might attain that view in our lifetimes. In which case, you would not need to ask those questions: all would be self-evident. Yet, you do ask, so you are not there yet, and neither am I.

What was confusing you is on the one hand the psychological reality (in the conventional world) of having a self, versus the ultimate view of no-self. Until we "get" the ultimate view, we pretty much have to accept it on faith, confident that eventually, we will get it. Ultimate reality is a Master's level subject, while we are still in grade school.

The three poisons are generally considered to be ignorance, attachment, and aversion. Or sometimes, ignorance, greed, and anger. And while ignorance refers primarily to ignorance of the true nature of reality, that just means that we are not yet at the Master's level. As long as we are still at the grade school level, we need to understand ourselves within the context of conventional reality.

One other thing that we should accept on faith, that is often overlooked, is that the conventional view and the ultimate view are not in conflict with each other. So even when they seem contradictory to our grade-school sense, they are expressing the same reality.

So, to return to your question, why do you believe that your self (in the conventional, psychological sense) is not a good thing? [I'll just stick with the conventional view of reality for the remainder of this conversation, so I don't have to keep adding "(in the conventional sense)" all the time.]

Being something other than your true self is a very harmful thing. (Trust me, I know this from first-hand experience.) I don't think you can follow the bodhisattva path fully unless you are comfortable being your true self. Pretending to be someone other than your true self will impair everything you do to some extent. And often, we are not aware of the pretense, which is why it is such a challenge. You cannot truly express compassion for others until you have learned to express it towards yourself.

Because it is such a challenge, we have guidelines, such as the Six Paramitas. Or the Eightfold Path, which covers the same territory in different divisions. The purpose of those guidelines is to help us sort out which aspects of ourselves are helpful and which are harmful.

Om mani padme hum
Kathy

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Re: First four of six perfections

Post by tomschwarz » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:13 pm

KathyLauren wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:08 pm
Pretending to be someone other than your true self will impair everything you do to some extent. And often, we are not aware of the pretense, which is why it is such a challenge.
Pretend to be someone other than ones true self, can you give me an example of that?

And how can people find their true and false selves?

There is a Christian group that has a brotherhood and a string of hospitals. It was founded 500 years ago by St Johannes von Gott and is called Barmherzliche Brüder. On there home page there is a link about how to become a Barmherliche Brüder. I read it today, and it's all about feeling the calling of God. And they write over and over and over about how you have to validate this calling which should naturally arise from your heart like missing something (sehnsucht). Is this what you are referring to as true self? Like strong inner feelings and emotions that do not change?
i dedicate this post to your happiness, the causes of your happiness, the absence of your suffering the causes of the absence of your suffering that we may not have too much attachment nor aversion. SAMAYAMANUPALAYA

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Re: First four of six perfections

Post by KathyLauren » Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:35 am

tomschwarz wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:13 pm
KathyLauren wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:08 pm
Pretending to be someone other than your true self will impair everything you do to some extent. And often, we are not aware of the pretense, which is why it is such a challenge.
Pretend to be someone other than ones true self, can you give me an example of that?

And how can people find their true and false selves?

There is a Christian group that has a brotherhood and a string of hospitals. It was founded 500 years ago by St Johannes von Gott and is called Barmherzliche Brüder. On there home page there is a link about how to become a Barmherliche Brüder. I read it today, and it's all about feeling the calling of God. And they write over and over and over about how you have to validate this calling which should naturally arise from your heart like missing something (sehnsucht). Is this what you are referring to as true self? Like strong inner feelings and emotions that do not change?
Paying attention to strong inner feelings and emotions that do not change would be a good way to find your true self. If something you are doing feels fake or forced, it is not part of your true self.

Finding authenticity is difficult, and is a task easily pre-empted by the minutae of daily life.

I will give you an example from my own life. I spent 60 years pretending to be a boy/man because my parents said that's what I was. After a great deal of dukkha arising from clinging to that declaration, and considerable introspection, I realized that that was not who I am.

Om mani padme hum
Kathy

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Re: First four of six perfections

Post by tomschwarz » Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:58 pm

KathyLauren wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:35 am

Paying attention to strong inner feelings and emotions that do not change would be a good way to find your true self. If something you are doing feels fake or forced, it is not part of your true self.

Finding authenticity is difficult, and is a task easily pre-empted by the minutae of daily life.
This is exactly the discussion I wanted to have. And I know exactly what you are talking about. And I too have gone through this "finding myself" process. So no question this is an essential step on the path for westerners like us. Maybe for all humans....

But that "ultimate truth", "advanced " stuff about no self and loosing your self is actually also very real and present and actually some hundreds of trillions percent, in my experience, more positive than the also positive process of searching for and finding myself.

So really the segue from self discovery to self abandonment is the subject of this thread. And what I can say about that transition from egoism to Buddhist ethics, for me, is that it dawns, when we begin to feel the dead end of self-centered life, and the infinite strength of subtle and endless caring for the joyfullness in others.
.
i dedicate this post to your happiness, the causes of your happiness, the absence of your suffering the causes of the absence of your suffering that we may not have too much attachment nor aversion. SAMAYAMANUPALAYA

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Re: First four of six perfections

Post by PSM » Sat Mar 17, 2018 11:48 pm

tomschwarz wrote:
Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:51 am
Question: are there other important aspects of your life that you believe in which contradict these ideas? For example, do you believe in "getting something off your chest", "catharsis", "keeping it real", "telling it like it is", or "being youself"? "Putting someone in their place"? Clearly these can be good things. But how/when should i harmonize/do not harmonize them with Buddhist ethics?
I find that as I've become emotionally healthier, which has been a process of becoming a more integrated, healthy adult, the easier Buddhist ethics have been to implement. It's not been fun, and I've found that modern culture has meant it's been like swimming up stream to get where I am.

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Re: First four of six perfections

Post by KathyLauren » Sun Mar 18, 2018 3:25 pm

tomschwarz wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:58 pm
KathyLauren wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:35 am

Paying attention to strong inner feelings and emotions that do not change would be a good way to find your true self. If something you are doing feels fake or forced, it is not part of your true self.

Finding authenticity is difficult, and is a task easily pre-empted by the minutae of daily life.
This is exactly the discussion I wanted to have. And I know exactly what you are talking about. And I too have gone through this "finding myself" process. So no question this is an essential step on the path for westerners like us. Maybe for all humans....

But that "ultimate truth", "advanced " stuff about no self and loosing your self is actually also very real and present and actually some hundreds of trillions percent, in my experience, more positive than the also positive process of searching for and finding myself.

So really the segue from self discovery to self abandonment is the subject of this thread. And what I can say about that transition from egoism to Buddhist ethics, for me, is that it dawns, when we begin to feel the dead end of self-centered life, and the infinite strength of subtle and endless caring for the joyfullness in others.
.
To me, it is not a segue. The relative truth of finding one's true self coexists in parallel with the ultimate truth of non-self. You don't abandon the former search just because you have discovered the latter.

I think that this is the meaning of the boddhisattva's career of "staying in samsara" while saving immumerable sentient beings. Similarly, it is why the historical Buddha chose to teach followers after attaining enlightenment, when he could have just gone off by himself to remain in meditation.

Compassion dictates that we not abandon conventional reality just because we have encountered absolute reality.

Om mani padme hum
Kathy

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Re: First four of six perfections

Post by tomschwarz » Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:13 pm

True that PSM. A bit older a bit more mellow ))).

Agreed Kathy, we don't want to totally abandon much of anything... ....but we do need to "Change our minds" (see same named thread) no?

And where did you get the idea that "I think that this is the meaning of the boddhisattva's career of "staying in samsara" "? Appropo of thread also here "may I too remain... ...where?"
i dedicate this post to your happiness, the causes of your happiness, the absence of your suffering the causes of the absence of your suffering that we may not have too much attachment nor aversion. SAMAYAMANUPALAYA

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