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... leaves in the forest

lobsterlobster Veteran
edited August 24 in Mindfulness

The Buddha (PBUH) once mentioned that he only taught a few leaves of a forest of dharma. Traditionally dharma has 84 000 inroads ...
http://www.thinkbuddha.org/article/50/a-handful-of-simsapa-leaves

As far as I know dharma can be transmitted indirectly, for example through emotion, the written word, body movement or stillness, gardening eg flower arranging, arts and crafts, social interaction, social withdrawal etc ...

What have you found?

“There is a moment in the career of the seeker when he may have to face the problem of joining some special organization. …For most beginners, association with such an organization may be quite helpful, but for most intermediates it will be less so, and for all proficients it will be definitely detrimental. Sooner or later the seeker will discover that in accepting the advantages of such association he has also to accept the disadvantages, and that the price of serving its interests is partnership in its evils. He discovers in time that the institution, which was to help him reach a certain end, becomes itself that end. Thus the true goal is shut out of sight, and a false one is substituted for it. He can keep his membership in the organization only by giving up something of his indiividual wholeness of mind, and personal integrity of character. The organization tends to tyrannize over his thoughts and conduct, to weaken his power of correct judgement and to destroy a fresh, spontaneous inner life. He will come in time to refuse to take ANY organization at its OWN valuation for he will see that it is not the history behind it, but the service it renders that really matters…. Few are willing to sacrifice their desire for the gregarious support offered by joining an organization and therefore few see how this binds them to its dogmas, imprisons them in its practices or methods and obstructs their free hearing of the intuitive voice of their own soul or “inner guru” (sic)…. Group emotion is worked up until it becomes a substitute for personal inspiration. Either through ignorance of or inability to practice meditation (properly sic) or both, the group members are happy to share, and are satisfied with, a common experience on the shallowest level. But nothing will replace individual work at self-development leading to deeper experience and higher knowledge. .When too much is made of an organization or institution and too little of the idea behind it, the leaders become tyrannical and the followers fanatical. That is , their character is corrupted. Two of the grave and discriminative defects of the Indian methods (and thus Tibetan which inherited the overlay of the Brahmin priestly caste system (sic)) is turning men into GODS, and glorifying of imperfect institutions.
Why should many who are unable as individuals to lift themselves in meditation, devotion or prayer by able to do so as a group? It is illogical to believe that they can, auto suggestive to believe that they do…
The biggest deceiver in religio-mystical life is the institutional establishment, the organizational group. For here the followers have the experience of being nourished when in actuality only the social need is being nourished…

Paul Brunton, Notebooks.
 http://radiofreeshambhala.org/2010/12/the-wheel/
(comments)


personkarastiKeromeShoshinDavidRefugee

Comments

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    The writing reminds me a lot of some of the things Osho used to say about institutional religion. One thing he said was that no man's religiousness would survive organised religion, that there is a downward spiral into becoming a religious administrator. And I have seen cases in which it has turned out to be true.

    Then again... Buddha makes much of the Sangha, and Thich Nhat Hanh says that meditating in a group with others, in an atmosphere of mindfulness, has many positive properties. So I think the group is not to be discarded lightly.

    It seems the key might lie in how organised and hierarchical such a group might be, and how strongly people hold on to the group's leader as a totem.

  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited August 26

    It's an odd bit of human nature to want to belong. We form these groups of like minded individuals but tend to forget that in reality there is only one group and you can't help but belong. Especially in the Buddhist vein of non-separation.

    Nobody is going to have the exact same perspective as anyone else in the absolute sense and so any sort of conformity is doomed from the get-go.

    We are unique aspects of the same process and every individual is a different way to see the world.

    I think any religion worth it's salt will take that into consideration.

    lobster
  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    I thought the Paul Brunton quote was particularly apt about how people relate to a lot of spiritual organisations, and have shared it in a few other places.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    As far as I know dharma can be transmitted indirectly, for example through emotion, the written word, body movement or stillness, gardening eg flower arranging, arts and crafts, social interaction, social withdrawal etc ...
    What have you found?

    Thus have I heard...The Dharma can also be transmitted sexually by the Tantric method...
    ....it's known as a STD Sexually Transmitted Dharma :winky:

    lobsterKeromedhammachick
  • Now the Blessed One spoke to the Venerable Ananda, saying: “It may be, Ananda, that to some among you the thought will come: ‘Ended is the word of the Master; we have a Master no longer.’ But it should not, Ananda, be so considered. For that which I have proclaimed and made known as the Dhamma and the Discipline, that shall be your Master when I am gone.
    – DN 16 Maha-parinibbana Sutta

    To a visitor who asked to become his disciple the Master said, "You may live with me, but don't become my follower."
    "Whom, then, shall I follow?"
    "No one. The day you follow someone you cease to follow Truth.

    Anthony de Mello

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @David said:
    We are unique aspects of the same process and every individual is a different way to see the world.

    Exactly so.
    Very quickly we find the useful and unique resonates and the useless and confused in ourselves is equally exposed. In this sense good company is listening to others unique perspective and ignoring [lobster raises guilty claw] their befuddlement ...

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