Cultivation

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thornbush
Posts: 609
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 6:21 am

Cultivation

Postby thornbush » Mon Apr 20, 2009 8:51 am

What do you make of this axiom:
http://www.ymba.org/BWF/bwf23.htm#seek
"If we cultivate without striving for liberation,
then our cultivation in this life,
is in fact an enemy during our third rebirth."

Expansion on this axiom:
http://www.ymba.org/BWF/bwf113.htm#F
In the first lifetime, the practitioner engages in mundane good deeds which bring ephemeral worldly blessings (wealth, power, authority, etc.) in the second lifetime.
Since power tends to corrupt, he is likely to create evil karma, resulting in retribution in the third lifetime.
Thus, good deeds in the first lifetime are potential "enemies" of the third lifetime.

In a mundane context, these three lifetimes can be conceived of as three generations.
Thus, the patriarch of a prominent family, through hard work and luck, amasses great power, fortune and influence (first lifetime).
His children are then able to enjoy a leisurely, and, too often, dissipated life (second lifetime).
By the generation of the grandchildren, the family's fortune and good reputation have all but disappeared (third lifetime).

What do you think? Opinions? :thanks:

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Nicholas Weeks
Posts: 2833
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:21 am
Location: California

Re: Cultivation

Postby Nicholas Weeks » Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:37 pm

A related point by Master Hsuan Hua about one's eagerness to help like a bodhisattva causing one to ignore the lessening or removal of ones own afflictions.

Before you have attained the fruition of sagehood, you must study the Buddhadharma. Before you have realized Buddhahood, you must cultivate. Cultivating means “diligently cultivating precepts, samadhi, and wisdom and putting an end to greed, anger, and delusion.”

Every day you must look within and examine your own faults; don’t find fault with others. Don’t be like a mirror that only reflects externals, thinking, “This Bhikshu doesn’t cultivate; that Bhikshuni doesn’t practice either. Who knows what they do from morning to night?” You manage to wash the clothes of the Bhikshus and Bhikshunis until they are sparkling clean, but your own clothes are still dirty. You don’t know how to wash your own dirty laundry. You say, “But I want to practice the Bodhisattva path. I want to help others do their laundry, so I haven’t bothered to do my own.” Well, if you don’t pay attention to your own laundry, you’ll become filthy. You should first wash your own laundry—benefit yourself, and then you can proceed to help others do their laundry—benefit others. But if you only know how to benefit others and forget to benefit yourself, you are rather deluded. People like that are pitiful.
A bodhisattva does not become weary of evil beings nor does he commit the error of bringing forth thoughts inclined to reject them and cast them aside. Avatamsaka Sutra, ch. 25

ItsRaining
Posts: 64
Joined: Fri May 12, 2017 7:45 am

Re: Cultivation

Postby ItsRaining » Thu Aug 03, 2017 10:01 am

thornbush wrote:What do you make of this axiom:
http://www.ymba.org/BWF/bwf23.htm#seek" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"If we cultivate without striving for liberation,
then our cultivation in this life,
is in fact an enemy during our third rebirth."

Expansion on this axiom:
http://www.ymba.org/BWF/bwf113.htm#F" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
In the first lifetime, the practitioner engages in mundane good deeds which bring ephemeral worldly blessings (wealth, power, authority, etc.) in the second lifetime.
Since power tends to corrupt, he is likely to create evil karma, resulting in retribution in the third lifetime.
Thus, good deeds in the first lifetime are potential "enemies" of the third lifetime.

In a mundane context, these three lifetimes can be conceived of as three generations.
Thus, the patriarch of a prominent family, through hard work and luck, amasses great power, fortune and influence (first lifetime).
His children are then able to enjoy a leisurely, and, too often, dissipated life (second lifetime).
By the generation of the grandchildren, the family's fortune and good reputation have all but disappeared (third lifetime).

What do you think? Opinions? :thanks:


Seems like quite a good point. Buddhism in the end aims for liberation and just pleasant conditions in samsara.

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Nicholas Weeks
Posts: 2833
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:21 am
Location: California

Re: Cultivation

Postby Nicholas Weeks » Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:16 pm

If we wish to return to the source, we must first end our own birth and death. If we don’t end birth and death, we won’t be able to return to the source. If we wish to end birth and death, the very first thing to do is to put an end to thoughts of lust. If we don’t put an end to lust, we won’t be able to end birth and death or get out of the Three Realms.

The Surangama Sutra clearly states, “If one does not get rid of lust, one cannot transcend the world.” To not get rid of lustful thoughts and still wish to realize the Way is like cooking sand hoping to get rice. How could anyone cook sand and expect it to turn into rice? That’s impossible. Not to cast out lustful thoughts and still wish to transcend the Three Realms and end birth and death exemplifies the same principle. That is what the Surangama Sutra says. People who have heard the Surangama Sutra, who have lectured on it, and who have investigated it should pay close attention to this point. Neither monastics nor laypeople should forget this principle.

Why do people have false thoughts? It happens because they have forgotten this very principle. They may pay lip service to it, but subsequent to that they lapse into idle thinking. The Buddha spoke the Dharma to teach us not to indulge in idle thoughts. Without idle thoughts, the darkness is gone, and our thinking clears up and becomes pure. Pure thoughts are the Pure Land. This is the dharma for returning to the source.


Master Hua commenting on Avatamsaka Sutra ch. one.
A bodhisattva does not become weary of evil beings nor does he commit the error of bringing forth thoughts inclined to reject them and cast them aside. Avatamsaka Sutra, ch. 25


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