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Re: Why follow one tradition of Buddhism?

Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:01 am
by Son
tomamundsen wrote:Why follow one tradition? Because then you avoid the pitfall of picking and choosing what already accords with your own understanding and create a new form of YouDharma instead of BuddhaDharma.
The point is that the tradition anyone follows is actually the same tradition as everyone else's, it's just that their perspectives are different, and most Buddhist therefore see only one side of things, whereas there are many many sides to see. The point of of Ekayana is that there are no pitfalls, and that's why it's called the Supreme Vehicle, because it houses all truth-seekers and all of tradition regardless of different perspectives. In this way, I think that perspective--especially tradition perspective--is something we all must see past, in the end. To reach a path beyond perspective, and to walk directly upon the truth of things.

The Supreme Vehicle is what facilitates this end, and allows us to make our accomplishments. Not to say that differing traditions don't lead to accomplishment. What it says is, choosing the Supreme Vehicle is certainly not lesser than choosing to fix your perspective in one tradition. Pitfalls we find in our own practice does not come from tradition, any tradition or from teachings. Pitfalls come from our own mind, from our own perspectives.

Re: Why follow one tradition of Buddhism?

Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:15 am
by zangskar
I think it's also a matter of when/if we find what we are looking for. Some people are introduced to something and it "works" in so far as it quells their thirst in some way. If you have complete faith in what you're doing/who you're doing it with, then you might not feel compelled to look for complementarities or alternatives. Others feel they haven't yet found exactly what they were looking for so will go on looking. Others yet again may want to know many or even AS many stories/traditions/techniques/methods/sadhanas as possible, for instance because they enjoy studying, or just out of curiosity, or to receive blessing or establish karmic connection.

I think it's difficult to make meaningful generalizations about whether to study one, two, ten or hundred traditions. Knowledge is good, but I don't think the goal of Buddhism is to become familiar with several or all of its schools. On the other hand the goal isn't to confine oneself either. One can probably study too much, too wide, as well as too little or too narrow. :)
Best wishes
Lars

Re: Why follow one tradition of Buddhism?

Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:16 am
by Son
zangskar wrote:I think it's also a matter of when/if we find what we are looking for. Some people are introduced to something and it "works" in so far as it quells their thirst in some way. If you have complete faith in what you're doing/who you're doing it with, then you might not feel compelled to look for complementarities or alternatives. Others feel they haven't yet found exactly what they were looking for so will go on looking. Others yet again may want to know many or even AS many stories/traditions/techniques/methods/sadhanas as possible, for instance because they enjoy studying, or just out of curiosity, or to receive blessing or establish karmic connection.

I think it's difficult to make meaningful generalizations about whether to study one, two, ten or hundred traditions. Knowledge is good, but I don't think the goal of Buddhism is to become familiar with several or all of its schools. On the other hand the goal isn't to confine oneself either. One can probably study too much, too wide, as well as too little or too narrow. :)
Best wishes
Lars
Definitely insightful.

Re: Why follow one tradition of Buddhism?

Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:22 am
by Osho
dharmagoat wrote:
Osho wrote:'Jack of all trades is master of none'.
We are actually talking about one trade being practiced by a variety of guilds.
..............................
Exactly. And guilds came into being why?

Re: Why follow one tradition of Buddhism?

Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:32 am
by dharmagoat
Osho wrote:
dharmagoat wrote:
Osho wrote:'Jack of all trades is master of none'.
We are actually talking about one trade being practiced by a variety of guilds.
..............................
Exactly. And guilds came into being why?
Please tell.

Re: Why follow one tradition of Buddhism?

Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:07 am
by Dave The Seeker
Osho wrote:
dharmagoat wrote:
Osho wrote:'Jack of all trades is master of none'.
We are actually talking about one trade being practiced by a variety of guilds.
..............................
Exactly. And guilds came into being why?
In my opinion/observations so far, the 'guilds' are formed more by regions and the beliefs that region has.
Also from the opinions of what is the more important teaching to a group following a teacher.

Re: Why follow one tradition of Buddhism?

Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:08 am
by Dave The Seeker
Son wrote:
zangskar wrote:I think it's also a matter of when/if we find what we are looking for. Some people are introduced to something and it "works" in so far as it quells their thirst in some way. If you have complete faith in what you're doing/who you're doing it with, then you might not feel compelled to look for complementarities or alternatives. Others feel they haven't yet found exactly what they were looking for so will go on looking. Others yet again may want to know many or even AS many stories/traditions/techniques/methods/sadhanas as possible, for instance because they enjoy studying, or just out of curiosity, or to receive blessing or establish karmic connection.

I think it's difficult to make meaningful generalizations about whether to study one, two, ten or hundred traditions. Knowledge is good, but I don't think the goal of Buddhism is to become familiar with several or all of its schools. On the other hand the goal isn't to confine oneself either. One can probably study too much, too wide, as well as too little or too narrow. :)
Best wishes
Lars
Definitely insightful.
Yes that is great! Thank you

Re: Why follow one tradition of Buddhism?

Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:17 am
by Dave The Seeker
Astus wrote:If you look into what are called traditions you find that they are combinations and systematisations of other traditions of teachings and practices. And within a single tradition there are smaller and greater differences among individual teachers. So, if we go on with our analysis of the concept of tradition, we find that it is indeed not a single thing but a manifold, constructed and dependently arisen phenomenon. Practitioners have always tried to benefit from whatever they had at hand and as teachers they transmitted those that were the most helpful on their path. It is only natural that since in English we have teachings from several sources we make use of them.
Thank you Astus, that is a great explanation.

Re: Why follow one tradition of Buddhism?

Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:46 am
by Indrajala
Osho wrote:'Jack of all trades is master of none'.
Very few Buddhists ever get to master status anyway. Might as well do broad study if you have the interest while engaging in practices suitable to you. It won't hurt to pursue your interests within the realm of Buddhism.

Re: Why follow one tradition of Buddhism?

Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:44 am
by PadmaVonSamba
You have to define what it is you mean by the term, "follow".

If you mean engaging in a particular course of practice, people usually go with what they feel some connection to, or if they feel they have found a good teacher, then they see the teaching manifest as real in that teacher. Sometimes people join whatever dharma source is available to them. For example, if the only temple in town in vajrayana, then that is where they go and it becomes what they do.

But this doesn't mean one can't also learn something from zen and pure land and theravada teachings.

The question is similar to asking why it is that a crab approaches the beach from the sea, while a mouse approaches it from the ground, while a seagull approaches it from the sky, since it is all the same beach, why does each animal choose that particular path? It has to do with one's karma, one's situation.

All authentic teachings point directly to Mind itself.
.
.
.

Re: Why follow one tradition of Buddhism?

Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 7:08 am
by Jnana
Huseng wrote:Might as well do broad study if you have the interest while engaging in practices suitable to you. It won't hurt to pursue your interests within the realm of Buddhism.
Yes -- plus a person might then come to see that there are comprehensive manuals in every tradition that cover much of the same material.

Re: Why follow one tradition of Buddhism?

Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 8:30 am
by Jnana
For example:


Theravāda:

Vimuttimagga
Visuddhimagga

Sarvāstivāda & Sautrāntika:

Abhidharmahṛdaya
Abhidharmakośabhāsya

Yogācāra:

Yogācārabhūmiśāstra
Abhidharmasamuccaya

General Indian Mahāyāna:

Suhṛllekha
Ratnāvalī
Śikṣāsamuccaya
Bodhicaryāvatāra

East Asian Mahāyāna:

Zuochan Sanmei Jing
Dazhidulun

Tibetan Mahāyāna:

Dakpo Targyen
Lamrim Chenmo

Re: Why follow one tradition of Buddhism?

Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:20 am
by Osho
The more facets a diamond has, the better it sparkles.
Provided of course that the diamond cutter was a time-served craftsperson in that trade and not someone from the plumbers' guild just having a go.

Re: Why follow one tradition of Buddhism?

Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:55 am
by JKhedrup
I think it is good to have roots in a tradition. But one's branches should reach out for nourishment in all directions.

I realize that there are a number of lamas who insists on lineage affiliation, and I am sure they have their reasons. However, as a practitioner I find this view
rather dated and I think not very effective in the era of globalization and cross fertilization. I would go with His Holiness the Dalai Lama's advice on this topic, not just
because he is such a holy being but because he himself has studied and practiced the various traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, and engaged with Buddhist masters from other
forms of Buddhism as well. So his opinion comes from a breadth of experience that many lamas who studied only in their monastery don't have.

Answers sometimes surprise me! I remember very clearly one time someone asked me what Geshe Sonam's lineage was. I answered Gelug. Geshe la overheard and scolded me gently. "I honestly can't say that Khedrup! I am a Sera monk. But even at Sera Jey our main yidam practice is that of Hayagriva, which comes through the Nyingma. And I study and enjoy various Sakya commentaries, and have taken teachings from HH on Dzogchen."

Geshe la teaches mostly from the ancient Indian texts and also from the standard Gelug commentaries. But his personal reading encompasses much much more than that. I asked him why he didn't use the texts in his teachings and he humbly answered he wasn't qualified enough.

So, if a Geshe Lharampa who devoted 18 years of his life to study and 10 years to being petrigegan (scripture teacher to the monks) at Sera monastery doesn't see these labels as the be all and end all, and HH consistently gives that advice, as well as HH Karmapa, I feel pretty comfortable holding this view.

Re: Why follow one tradition of Buddhism?

Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:19 pm
by Dave The Seeker
Osho wrote:The more facets a diamond has, the better it sparkles.
:twothumbsup:
Provided of course that the diamond cutter was a time-served craftsperson in that trade and not someone from the plumbers' guild just having a go.
:spy: :lol:

Thank you all for your input and interest. There are some great replies and insight in this thread.

Re: Why follow one tradition of Buddhism?

Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:29 pm
by Dave The Seeker
PadmaVonSamba wrote:You have to define what it is you mean by the term, "follow".

If you mean engaging in a particular course of practice, people usually go with what they feel some connection to, or if they feel they have found a good teacher, then they see the teaching manifest as real in that teacher. Sometimes people join whatever dharma source is available to them. For example, if the only temple in town in vajrayana, then that is where they go and it becomes what they do.
Yes, that is what I mean for the most part. But for someone who has no real access to a temple or group because of location or time constraints, why just stick with one traditions teachings of the way to practice?
But this doesn't mean one can't also learn something from zen and pure land and theravada teachings.
How true, each tradition has so much to offer.
The question is similar to asking why it is that a crab approaches the beach from the sea, while a mouse approaches it from the ground, while a seagull approaches it from the sky, since it is all the same beach, why does each animal choose that particular path? It has to do with one's karma, one's situation.
Because a crab and mouse can't fly. :rolling:
It is their Karma that has put them into the realm their born into. Hence their situation is limited to their abilities to 'approach' the sea.
All authentic teachings point directly to Mind itself.
.
.
.
Thanks for the reply my friend :namaste:

Re: Why follow one tradition of Buddhism?

Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:30 pm
by Caz
JKhedrup wrote:I think it is good to have roots in a tradition. But one's branches should reach out for nourishment in all directions.

I realize that there are a number of lamas who insists on lineage affiliation, and I am sure they have their reasons. However, as a practitioner I find this view
rather dated and I think not very effective in the era of globalization and cross fertilization. I would go with His Holiness the Dalai Lama's advice on this topic, not just
because he is such a holy being but because he himself has studied and practiced the various traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, and engaged with Buddhist masters from other
forms of Buddhism as well. So his opinion comes from a breadth of experience that many lamas who studied only in their monastery don't have.

Answers sometimes surprise me! I remember very clearly one time someone asked me what Geshe Sonam's lineage was. I answered Gelug. Geshe la overheard and scolded me gently. "I honestly can't say that Khedrup! I am a Sera monk. But even at Sera Jey our main yidam practice is that of Hayagriva, which comes through the Nyingma. And I study and enjoy various Sakya commentaries, and have taken teachings from HH on Dzogchen."

Geshe la teaches mostly from the ancient Indian texts and also from the standard Gelug commentaries. But his personal reading encompasses much much more than that. I asked him why he didn't use the texts in his teachings and he humbly answered he wasn't qualified enough.

So, if a Geshe Lharampa who devoted 18 years of his life to study and 10 years to being petrigegan (scripture teacher to the monks) at Sera monastery doesn't see these labels as the be all and end all, and HH consistently gives that advice, as well as HH Karmapa, I feel pretty comfortable holding this view.
I would consider someone who Identifies with a certain lineage as someone who has particularly strong devotion to their respective founder and practice, So Geshe Sonam doesn't have this toward Je Tsongkhapa ?

Re: Why follow one tradition of Buddhism?

Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:27 pm
by Blue Garuda
One tradition may contain enough fodder for a lifetime, but what if a person simply finds it isn't producing results?
One can mix traditions concurrently or consecutively, and I can't see that becoming a master is any swifter or more complete through limiting study to one tradition.

I was once told in a very grandiose manner that I should abandon one master in order to be accepted by another. Apparently I could not 'ride two horses at once'.
I replied some weeks later by informing the guy that I was actually only riding one horse, and this one horse with 4 legs seemed a better proposition than a horse with one, and turned down his offer.

Caz - within the Gelugpa people may have several Root Gurus, possibly with extreme differences in their teachings at different times. I don't see it as a lack of faith in one lineage for anyone to receive teachings from another, although it is polite to check with your Guru first, who may offer recommendations.

The Buddhas don't belong to traditions or sects and I don't think they mind which lineage teaches their practices and gives you empowerments. We, however, need to be mindful that a lineage may appear 'pure' on the surface only, and its Guru may even have invented 'heart' relationships with dead masters, recognition as a tulku etc.

Caveat emptor - IMHO taking teachings from several masters with a good reputation from several schools is less likely to result in becoming too comfortable, too limited or too attached.

Re: Why follow one tradition of Buddhism?

Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:42 pm
by Caz
Blue Garuda wrote:One tradition may contain enough fodder for a lifetime, but what if a person simply finds it isn't producing results?
One can mix traditions concurrently or consecutively, and I can't see that becoming a master is any swifter or more complete through limiting study to one tradition.

Results depend upon how purely one practices do they not ? particularly in Vajrayana Strong unchanging faith in the Guru proceeds all accomplishments.

I was once told in a very grandiose manner that I should abandon one master in order to be accepted by another. Apparently I could not 'ride two horses at once'.
I replied some weeks later by informing the guy that I was actually only riding one horse, and this one horse with 4 legs seems a better proposition than a horse with one, and turned down his offer.

:smile:

Caz - within the Gelugpa people may have several Root Gurus, possibly with extreme differences in their teachings at different times. I don't see it as a lack of faith in one lineage for anyone to receive teachings from another, although it is polite to check with your Guru first, who may offer recommendations.

Is having multiple masters with extreme difference in view productive to correct practice I wonder seeing as the path begins....cue music.


The Buddhas don't belong to traditions or sects and I don't think they mind which lineage teaches their practices and gives you empowerments. We, however, need to be mindful that a lineage may appear 'pure' on the surface only, and its Guru may even have invented 'heart' relationships with dead masters, recognition as a tulku etc.

I thoroughly agree with you of course Buddha's have don't mind which lineage we connect with it is all for our benefit according to our karma.

Im not so concerned with becoming attached just rather gaining attainment through putting effort into practice without having to travel many miles to receive something slightly different.

Caveat emptor - IMHO taking teachings from several masters with a good reputation from several schools is less likely to result in becoming too comfortable, too limited or too attached.

Re: Why follow one tradition of Buddhism?

Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:57 pm
by Blue Garuda
Caz wrote:
Blue Garuda wrote:One tradition may contain enough fodder for a lifetime, but what if a person simply finds it isn't producing results?
One can mix traditions concurrently or consecutively, and I can't see that becoming a master is any swifter or more complete through limiting study to one tradition.

Results depend upon how purely one practices do they not ? particularly in Vajrayana Strong unchanging faith in the Guru proceeds all accomplishments.

I was once told in a very grandiose manner that I should abandon one master in order to be accepted by another. Apparently I could not 'ride two horses at once'.
I replied some weeks later by informing the guy that I was actually only riding one horse, and this one horse with 4 legs seems a better proposition than a horse with one, and turned down his offer.

:smile:

Caz - within the Gelugpa people may have several Root Gurus, possibly with extreme differences in their teachings at different times. I don't see it as a lack of faith in one lineage for anyone to receive teachings from another, although it is polite to check with your Guru first, who may offer recommendations.

Is having multiple masters with extreme difference in view productive to correct practice I wonder seeing as the path begins....cue music.


The Buddhas don't belong to traditions or sects and I don't think they mind which lineage teaches their practices and gives you empowerments. We, however, need to be mindful that a lineage may appear 'pure' on the surface only, and its Guru may even have invented 'heart' relationships with dead masters, recognition as a tulku etc.

I thoroughly agree with you of course Buddha's have don't mind which lineage we connect with it is all for our benefit according to our karma.

Im not so concerned with becoming attached just rather gaining attainment through putting effort into practice without having to travel many miles to receive something slightly different.

Caveat emptor - IMHO taking teachings from several masters with a good reputation from several schools is less likely to result in becoming too comfortable, too limited or too attached.

Think your quote marks got mixed up a bit there. ;)

Deep faith or confidence in the Guru is not exclusive and is no more rationed than love. It can be given to more than one person. As Gelug is your focus, such faith in the Guru is applied, for example, to each Root Guru who gives you a different HYT empowerment. Hence you may have deep faith in HHDL with respect to Kalachakra and deep faith in another Root Guru with respect to Vajrayogini. Equally, that applies across traditions. Why impose limits on faith? The only person who would benefit from doing so would be a Guru who wishes to control his followers for selfish reasons.