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Names for Enlightenment

What name do you prefer (if any) for Enlightenment? And how do you interpret the different names? Do you differentiate between the Buddha’s Enlightenment and that achievable by us normal folk?

More specifically, can anyone explain these names for me: the unconditioned, and the deathless?

All thoughts appreciated (and then let go of... 😉)

Comments

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    For 'Unconditioned', I suggest you gird your loins and plough through this thread...

    The Deathless = Unbinding (nibbana / nirvana), which gives release from the cycle of death and rebirth. "Mindfulness is the way to the Deathless (Nibbana), unmindfulness the way to Death. Those who are mindful do not die, and those who are not are as if already dead."

    I have "AHaah!" moments. But I wouldn't say I'm enlightened, or even a little bit enlightened.

    That's like being pregnant/a little bit pregnant.

  • NamadaNamada Veteran

    I'm a little bit pregnant, my wife is quite happy.

    lobster
  • adamcrossleyadamcrossley Veteran
    edited January 16

    @federica
    Ah yeah, I guess I should amend my original question. I was getting Enlightenment and Nirvana confused 🤦🏻‍♂️

    So the deathless is referring to liberation from the death-rebirth cycle. Why not the birth-less? Or am I just splitting hairs?

    It’s just that “deathless” to me sounded a lot like immortality. But that is almost the opposite of Liberation as I’ve heard it described.

    “Those who are mindful do not die.”

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited January 16

    Yes birthless too.

    There is a teaching on dependent origination that shows the links leading from ignorance to birth and death. Twelve Nidanas "links"

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pratītyasamutpāda

    Also I would say to you would it make sense a birthless and deathless "nothing"?

    When do you say "enlightened" or "awakened" what does that refer to? A birthless deathless awakening sure but wold you use the word awake to refer to 'nothing'?

    Also it's not saying that there is no birth and death in the sense there is no sperm and egg and infant, child, adult, body, organs, disease, age, death, and corpse and so forth. Rather it is saying something else than denying those obvious things that we observe.

  • FosdickFosdick in its eye are mirrored far off mountains Alaska, USA Veteran

    @adamcrossley

    What name do you prefer (if any) for Enlightenment?

    I am very wary of the term, Enlightenment, and avoid it where possible. It seems too solid, a thing distinct from other things, and as soon as you speak it, delusion is there too. Liberation might be a better choice - though one could make the same observation about that, it seems a little less problematic and seems to point more towards a process.

    Do you differentiate between the Buddha’s Enlightenment and that achievable by us normal folk?

    No.

    “Those who are mindful do not die.”

    The only way I can understand this is as referring to the internal workings of the mind. A mental state is born, grows old, passes away, and then another mental state is born. With enlightenment (that word again!) this process no longer recurs. Such is my undoubtedly imperfect understanding.

    lobsteradamcrossley
  • Such is my undoubtedly imperfect understanding.

    Sounded doubtless no better than my agreement.

    • Buddha woke up as do normals
    • I like the term Bodhi or Unfolding at the moment
    • I consider the Bourne Supremacy sequels to be samsara fantasy

    ... the mental state unborn and therefore deathless is my understanding of liberation

    Fosdick
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    @adamcrossley said:
    And how do you interpret the different names?

    I interpret them all as being identical. Which leaves no room for any preference for any particular one. =)

    lobster
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited January 17

    Also I think the Buddha wanted us to ponder ideas for ourselves and see if we can understand them. He said I have realized the truth of these ideas and you can too. I don't think he meant 'these ideas are tradition so you should believe them'. Or believe these ideas because I am enlightened so you should believe them. I think he wanted us to approach these ideas day by day bit by bit and see if we can understand them ourselves. And at times we might disagree or not understand too. And something can be wrong or not true even though we are convinced otherwise or would like/enjoy it to be otherwise. And something can be worthwhile even though it is difficult.

    lobsteradamcrossley
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator

    @adamcrossley said:
    What name do you prefer (if any) for Enlightenment? And how do you interpret the different names? Do you differentiate between the Buddha’s Enlightenment and that achievable by us normal folk?

    More specifically, can anyone explain these names for me: the unconditioned, and the deathless?

    All thoughts appreciated (and then let go of... 😉)

    I like awakening, as it implies the aspect of realization that comes with it, whether it's seeing through the illusion of self, insight into conditionality, or apprehending the luminous mind, freed from incoming defilements.

    adamcrossley
  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited January 17

    Awakening from the dream of existence.

    "When asked, 'Are you a deva?' you answer, 'No, brahman, I am not a deva.' When asked, 'Are you a gandhabba?' you answer, 'No, brahman, I am not a gandhabba.' When asked, 'Are you a yakkha?' you answer, 'No, brahman, I am not a yakkha.' When asked, 'Are you a human being?' you answer, 'No, brahman, I am not a human being.' Then what sort of being are you?"

    "Just like a red, blue, or white lotus — born in the water, grown in the water, rising up above the water — stands unsmeared by the water, in the same way I — born in the world, grown in the world, having overcome the world — live unsmeared by the world. Remember me, brahman, as 'awakened.'

    https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an04/an04.036.than.html

    "I, too, monks, before my Awakening, when I was an unawakened bodhisatta, being subject myself to birth, sought what was likewise subject to birth. Being subject myself to aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement, I sought [happiness in] what was likewise subject to illness... death... sorrow... defilement. The thought occurred to me, 'Why do I, being subject myself to birth, seek what is likewise subject to birth? Being subject myself to aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement, why do I seek what is likewise subject to illness... death... sorrow... defilement? What if I, being subject myself to birth, seeing the drawbacks of birth, were to seek the unborn, unexcelled rest from the yoke: Unbinding? What if I, being subject myself to aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement, seeing the drawbacks of aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement, were to seek the aging-less, illness-less, deathless, sorrow-less,, unexcelled rest from the yoke: Unbinding?'

    https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.026.than.html

    lobsterColinAadamcrossley
  • Unbinding, Unfolding, Awakening... I like all these.

    I suppose I find the terms for the Nirvana-state particularly confusing, because I struggle to comprehend what it might be like. Describing it via negativa makes the most sense to me, intuitively. But any term that describes it qualitatively just leaves me baffled, because then I’m not thinking about what it’s not; I’m thinking about what it is, and that’s way beyond my (or probably anyone’s) imagination.

    Have I made any sense? I really struggle to write down my thoughts on this kind of topic.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @adamcrossley.. Imaging driving along a coast road in a convertible, with the sea to one side, and a cliff to the other... it is a balmy, serene, pleasant evening, with virtually no breeze... the sea is rippled-glass-like, and it's evening... you round a bend, and suddenly, before you, is the most stunning, most amazing, most breathtaking, most awesome, most beautiful sunset you've ever seen. You stop the car, and just gaze in awe and wonder at the multi-coloured, multi-hued vision, and every thought in your head is swept aside and out, by the simple, sheer gorgeous view.

    You're just filled with no-thought complete satisfaction and joy.

    That's what it is.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Names for Enlightenment

    To perceive the pure wisdom displayed in the arising of every phenomena
    ( taken from a Red Tara dedication prayer )

    I guess Mind Blowing would be a good description ....

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited January 18

    @seeker242 said:
    I interpret them all as being identical. Which leaves no room for any preference for any particular one. =)

    <3

    In yogi training (some consider Buddhism a refined yogic tradition) we yoke or bind ourselves to training. Unbinding is the final freeing ...
    Mind blown away, shattering another image reflecting nothing but old leaves ...

    Look at the many Buddha images, a hand opening after grasping. A face unborn as the zenniths escape death to let us know.

    So we could call enlightenment a clear sky of unknowing or a luminous light unshone. We could call it a perfect paradox beyond its own existence ...

    We might hear it unsaid, whispering its Silence. We might be in awe of its every day wonder.

    We might prefer un-lightened, a heavy load unburdened.

    ... we might relax .. and listen to those that Wave ... from the Empty Fair Shore

    ... is that knot-it undone ...

    Have I made any sense? I really struggle to write down my thoughts on this kind of topic.

    Of course you make sense. That is the dharma. Making sense of the sense-less.

    Some of us resort to stories, prose, even a type of crazy poetic expression.

    There is in us a Perfected One. A Buddha Nature. In Sufism and Jazz a Jam without a sandwich.

    Long live the dharma. Heresy for All. Enlightenment for Nun.

    adamcrossley
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Describing a state beyond words with words is rather futile. I have heard it is a state of no-mind, a being filled with a great energy, a feeling of awareness and happiness of greater concentration than any you’ve ever known, a freeing laughter. There are those who say that with it comes a cosmic knowledge too.

    ColinA
  • @Kerome said:
    Describing a state beyond words with words is rather futile.

    True, but @federica gives it a pretty good try.

    @lobster said:
    We might prefer un-lightened, a heavy load unburdened.

    Ah, lobster. I basically registered with this forum because of your posts 🙏

    The punning has never been stronger.

  • FoibleFullFoibleFull Canada Veteran

    There is no difference between the Buddha's enlightenment and what WE can achieve too. Although certainly I'm not going to reach enlightenment in THIS life ... at 69 all I can hope is that
    (1) I am now setting strong-enough imprints from doing my practice that I will be drawn to a human rebirth, and one where the dharma teachings are available, and
    (2) that rebirth DOES happen ... oh wait ... if it doesn't happen, if there is no life after death, then it won't matter.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    ShoshinadamcrossleylobsterKundo
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited January 20

    Names for Enlightenment

    How about Alberta if it's a girl and Albert if it's a boy ? :) ( which BTW means "Noble & Bright" )

    ColinA
  • AmanakiAmanaki Norway Explorer

    An other name for Enlightenment is awakening. or Buddha. Buddha means the awaken one.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited January 20

    Yes, that has been mentioned... :)

  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    @Amanaki said:
    An other name for Enlightenment is awakening. or Buddha. Buddha means the awaken one.

    my reaction was,my budd-ha coffee,must have!wonk-wonk bad attempt at humor.sorry.

    seriosly,coffee can jumpstart enlightenment.coffee addict here.
    nice to meet you.

  • AmanakiAmanaki Norway Explorer

    Nice to meet you too.

  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    amanaki,i have a fondness for theravada buddhism.my lay-life in theravada is ok.grateful for the foundational work.now im doing this zen ,albeit ,on my own.

    the four immeasurable in the sutt.a,is good for thera. and mahaya. open the mind towards the uncondition,as this topic suggest

  • AmanakiAmanaki Norway Explorer

    Why do you mix teaching from different Buddhist paths? And not even the same Buddha or Bodisattva? One path is difficult enough so why the mix?

  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator

    @Amanaki said:
    Why do you mix teaching from different Buddhist paths? And not even the same Buddha or Bodisattva? One path is difficult enough so why the mix?

    Why not? Wisdom is valuable no matter where we find it.

    ShoshinColinA
  • AmanakiAmanaki Norway Explorer

    @Jason said:

    @Amanaki said:
    Why do you mix teaching from different Buddhist paths? And not even the same Buddha or Bodisattva? One path is difficult enough so why the mix?

    Why not? Wisdom is valuable no matter where we find it.

    Depending of if you see buddhism as only a belief system or following at a cultivation path. Mixing teachings can never give you enlightenment because the teaching come from different masters with different enlightenment levels. example an Tathagata like Buddha Sakyamuni will be able to give deeper insight then a Bodisattva who are not fully enlighten, meaning not yet reached tathagata level.

    And mixing Theravada with Mahayana also is difficult since the teachings are not same forms.

    But if you want to do it this way nothing is stopping you from doing it :) I would not judge you for going your own way within Buddhism

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    I can't begin to tell you how much I disagree with your statement.

    If you LIMIT yourself to just one specific school of teaching, you miss out so much that embellishes, supports, illustrates and enhances one's understanding of The Path.
    Many Roads lead to Rome.
    Taking the same route, day in day out without diverting or deviating, means you miss out on such wondrous, different and varied scenery.

    Enlightenment does not distinguish between Genders.
    Nor does it distinguish between teachers.

    The Teachings of Theravada and Mahayana may well be different. But just as there are two sides to a coin, so each side complements the other.
    To fill your cup with just one brand of tea, means missing out on so many different and equally delicious flavours.
    And if your cup is too full, how can you accommodate more tea...?

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Amanaki said:
    Why do you mix teaching from different Buddhist paths? And not even the same Buddha or Bodisattva? One path is difficult enough so why the mix?

    Have you ever stopped to consider that it is precisely BECAUSE you have "limited" yourself to only one Path, that it is so difficult...?
    Being scholarly and focused does not mean Enlightenment is any easier.
    It's like sticking to plain boiled rice, when there is a plentiful banquet to choose from....

  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    @Amanaki said:
    Why do you mix teaching from different Buddhist paths? And not even the same Buddha or Bodisattva? One path is difficult enough so why the mix?

    i grew up theravada.years of struggle and practice.now why the mix with thera and zen.there was a sutta that buddha suggest a lay person can be enlighten. inspired seed. then encountered the suttra cosmic bodisattva vow.deep tears ,seal my fate.the spirit of buddha,service.thera,serve self,mahaya,serve others.

    also im nonsectarian.im also nutty,zen floats my boat.heres the nutty part my diety suggest i am able to mix them.

  • AmanakiAmanaki Norway Explorer

    It is ok you do not agree
    The reason one should only follow one path/ one teacher at one time is that if you mix teachers and path the enlightenment status or frutation will not start. You will be learning same wisdom over and over again, but not raise higher wisdom.
    But if you got enlighten in Theravada then you could cultivate an other path to go higher, but only if the Buddha who founded that path has higher enlightenment wisdom then Buddha Sakyamuni.

  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    one of my insight thanks to shaki,my hero,there is always someone more powerful in life ,but peace and love is priceless,the root basis of contentment,in my opinion.

    another insight , there is no higher or lower in enlightenment.is just source and refinement.imo. buddha just is,an appt.statement.the credit goes to my diety,and shaki,in the sutta,no high no low,no heaven no hell,states of mind.

  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator

    @Amanaki said:
    It is ok you do not agree
    The reason one should only follow one path/ one teacher at one time is that if you mix teachers and path the enlightenment status or frutation will not start. You will be learning same wisdom over and over again, but not raise higher wisdom.
    But if you got enlighten in Theravada then you could cultivate an other path to go higher, but only if the Buddha who founded that path has higher enlightenment wisdom then Buddha Sakyamuni.

    Yes, I used to have the same view, precisely because that's what many sectarians would tell me. I've since found that being open to the wisdom and practices of other traditions and paths to be not only possible, but complimentary. As such, I have no trouble talking to someone from a different tradition and understanding where they're coming from and gaining value from our exchanges. But to each their own.

  • AmanakiAmanaki Norway Explorer

    @Jason said:

    @Amanaki said:
    It is ok you do not agree
    The reason one should only follow one path/ one teacher at one time is that if you mix teachers and path the enlightenment status or frutation will not start. You will be learning same wisdom over and over again, but not raise higher wisdom.
    But if you got enlighten in Theravada then you could cultivate an other path to go higher, but only if the Buddha who founded that path has higher enlightenment wisdom then Buddha Sakyamuni.

    Yes, I used to have the same view, precisely because that's what many sectarians would tell me. I've since found that being open to the wisdom and practices of other traditions and paths to be not only possible, but complimentary. As such, I have no trouble talking to someone from a different tradition and understanding where they're coming from and gaining value from our exchanges. But to each their own.

    To talk with others who hold different view or different tradition is fine, even other religions, but follow only one teaching at the time.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @Amanaki

    The Four Noble Truths & Eight Fold Path are taught by 'all' schools of Buddhism ....If one has a grounding in these, it doesn't really matter which schools or sects of Buddhism one chooses to follow...

    All Dharma teachers ( in their own way) regurgitate the Buddha's words and a mind that is open to all styles, will benefit from any Dharma talk from any school/sect of Buddhism ...

    Some practitioners like yourself, no doubt benefit from one particular style of teaching, that which suit your style of learning...

    A wise Zen Master once said ...

    " The most essential method which includes all other methods is to behold the Mind-The Mind is the root from which all things grow-If one can understand the Mind-Everything else is included"
    ~Bodhidharma~

    As the old saying goes "Different Strokes( styles of learning) for Different folks"

    ColinAadamcrossley
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator

    @Amanaki said:

    @Jason said:

    @Amanaki said:
    It is ok you do not agree
    The reason one should only follow one path/ one teacher at one time is that if you mix teachers and path the enlightenment status or frutation will not start. You will be learning same wisdom over and over again, but not raise higher wisdom.
    But if you got enlighten in Theravada then you could cultivate an other path to go higher, but only if the Buddha who founded that path has higher enlightenment wisdom then Buddha Sakyamuni.

    Yes, I used to have the same view, precisely because that's what many sectarians would tell me. I've since found that being open to the wisdom and practices of other traditions and paths to be not only possible, but complimentary. As such, I have no trouble talking to someone from a different tradition and understanding where they're coming from and gaining value from our exchanges. But to each their own.

    To talk with others who hold different view or different tradition is fine, even other religions, but follow only one teaching at the time.

    No thank you. I'd rather follow the shared wisdom of all paths and traditions that serve to enrich my life. It better reflects my belief in a universal truth which underlies the foundation of all spiritual traditions in some shape or form. As I said in the other thread, I take a very ecumenical approach to spirituality. I think it's a good practice in general. Feel free to limit yourself, but not me, please.

    ColinAlobster
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited January 20

    @Amanaki said:
    To talk with others who hold different view or different tradition is fine, even other religions, but follow only one teaching at the time.

    This forum/site is called newbuddhist precisely because it is here to welcome those who are venturing on the Path, or have a burgeoning interest. There is no notion or idea to persuade anyone to stick to just one school or tradition. Quite the contrary.
    To explore, investigate, examine, peruse and research everything they come across is highly recommended. Even if it means straddling more than one Path.

    If you read some of @Jason's posts, you will see the writings of a man who is erudite, educated, informed, intelligent and very widely read. I have yet to come across anyone who is as well-versed in theravada as he is.
    However, the broad scope of knowledge he often dips into, which is saturated with a broad and diverse understanding of all manner of teachings from different sources and religions, only serves to underpin his authoritative and well-founded contributions....

    Generally speaking we do not advocate that anyone fixedly stick to one course. Certainly not as a New Buddhist.

    ColinAlobster
  • ColinAColinA Explorer
    edited January 20

    @federica said:

    @Amanaki said:
    To talk with others who hold different view or different tradition is fine, even other religions, but follow only one teaching at the time.

    This forum/site is called newbuddhist precisely because it is here to welcome those who are venturing on the Path, or have a burgeoning interest. There is no notion or idea to persuade anyone to stick to just one school or tradition. Quite the contrary.
    To explore, investigate, examine, peruse and research everything they come across is highly recommended. Even if it means straddling more than one Path.

    If you read some of @Jason's posts, you will see the writings of a man who is erudite, educated, informed, intelligent and very widely read. I have yet to come across anyone who is as well-versed in theravada as he is.
    However, the broad scope of knowledge he often dips into, which is saturated with a broad and diverse understanding of all manner of teachings from different sources and religions, only serves to underpin his authoritative and well-founded contributions....

    Generally speaking we do not advocate that anyone fixedly stick to one course. Certainly not as a New Buddhist.

    I am only just beginning but I am really grateful for all the links, encouragement and advice so far. I am also grateful for the advice to keep an open, beginners mind and learn and seek wisdom from the different traditions. This forum and its members have so much to offer me and I really appreciate the welcome and the advice. The key for me will be to establish a good solid meditation practise and learn from all traditions.
    Am I right in thinking the basics ( 4NT, 8Fold Path and Precepts etc) are common to all schools of buddhism?

    ShoshinKeromeKundo
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited January 21

    The key for me will be to establish a good solid meditation practise and learn from all traditions.

    Seems like a plan.
    We could call enlightenment, The Ultimate Plan of Existence.
    Then it would seem like a thing.

    Far better to have an empty book as a solid cushion.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @ColinA said:

    @federica said:

    @Amanaki said:
    To talk with others who hold different view or different tradition is fine, even other religions, but follow only one teaching at the time.

    This forum/site is called newbuddhist precisely because it is here to welcome those who are venturing on the Path, or have a burgeoning interest. There is no notion or idea to persuade anyone to stick to just one school or tradition. Quite the contrary.
    To explore, investigate, examine, peruse and research everything they come across is highly recommended. Even if it means straddling more than one Path.

    If you read some of @Jason's posts, you will see the writings of a man who is erudite, educated, informed, intelligent and very widely read. I have yet to come across anyone who is as well-versed in theravada as he is.
    However, the broad scope of knowledge he often dips into, which is saturated with a broad and diverse understanding of all manner of teachings from different sources and religions, only serves to underpin his authoritative and well-founded contributions....

    Generally speaking we do not advocate that anyone fixedly stick to one course. Certainly not as a New Buddhist.

    I am only just beginning but I am really grateful for all the links, encouragement and advice so far. I am also grateful for the advice to keep an open, beginners mind and learn and seek wisdom from the different traditions. This forum and its members have so much to offer me and I really appreciate the welcome and the advice. The key for me will be to establish a good solid meditation practise and learn from all traditions.
    Am I right in thinking the basics ( 4NT, 8Fold Path and Precepts etc) are common to all schools of buddhism?

    AFAIK, yes, although Zen might be an exception. You'd have to ask a person who is more Zen than I... I think Zen cuts to the chase and just goes for the Clarity/Insightful angle.... ;)

    ColinA
  • adamcrossleyadamcrossley Veteran
    edited January 21

    I was talking to a nun from the New Kadampa Tradition recently, and for her it made sense to focus on just the one path. The NKT has a particularly narrow focus, as all the texts they study are written by their guru. Even the old classics are read in his translation. I found this a bit odd, and thought that I’d miss out on a lot if I went down that path, but as I say, for her it made sense.

    Could an argument be made that at ordination level, it’s wise to focus one’s efforts on one path, whereas for lay followers, the ecumenical approach is better?

    I’m just thinking aloud really. I know that TNH is a very ecumenical thinker, and that kind of goes against the argument.

    And just to point out to @Amanaki, all Buddhist traditions believe that they draw their wisdom directly from the Buddha. For Theravadins, that’s to be found in the Pali Canon. For Nichirens, it’s in the Lotus Sutra.

    One school claiming primacy over the others is futile.

  • One school claiming primacy over the others is futile.

    In Borg Dharma, 'Resistance is Futile'. However they do believe in cultural assimilation as in Hinduism, so can't be all bad ...
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gautama_Buddha_in_Hinduism

    adamcrossleyKundo
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @adamcrossley said:
    Could an argument be made that at ordination level, it’s wise to focus one’s efforts on one path, whereas for lay followers, the ecumenical approach is better?

    It could certainly be said that when you ordain you start to focus your efforts very much on the tradition that you’ve ordained within. Many traditions have a specific set of texts that they teach from, often from that traditions main teacher. I’ve noticed the same with the local Kadam Chöling school here and the teachings of the Dagpo Rinpoche.

    It’s like each tradition creates a little walled garden where the truth is given a certain inflection, although it is all noticeable as a derivative of Buddhism. Because a lay person lacks the allegiance a monk has to a particular school, he or she is free to choose to read different teachings.

    I’m just thinking aloud really. I know that TNH is a very ecumenical thinker, and that kind of goes against the argument.

    I think that TNH also has his own very particular style. If you go through some of his retreat talks on YouTube, you’ll notice that his stating of the 4NT for example is quite different from the English translation on Wikipedia.

    One school claiming primacy over the others is futile.

    You have to find which approach resonates with you. Theravāda is different from Pure Land which is again different from Zen.

  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited January 21

    @adamcrossley said:
    Could an argument be made that at ordination level, it’s wise to focus one’s efforts on one path, whereas for lay followers, the ecumenical approach is better?

    One could be made, but one of my teachers was a Thai Theravada monk who also ordained in a Taiwanese Chan lineage, so I'm certainly not the one to make it.

    adamcrossley
  • Good point, @Jason. And I’ve definitely heard of other monastics who trained in multiple traditions.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Jim Pym ('You don't have to sit on the Floor' and Listen to the Light') is both a Zen Monk AND a Celebrant in the Society of Friends (better known as Quakers)...

  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator

    @federica said:
    Jim Pym ('You don't have to sit on the Floor' and Listen to the Light') is both a Zen Monk AND a Celebrant in the Society of Friends (better known as Quakers)...

    I also know of a Trappist priest who is also a Zen roshi, Kevin Hunt.

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited January 21

    @adamcrossley regarding 4NT in other traditions my teacher (Tibetan) points out that the 8 fold path is the noble 8 fold path and it is not a beginning teaching. You can learn it as a beginning teaching of good effort, lifestyle, ethics etc but you could have a version of that that didn't even involve Buddhism.

    The sermon about the 4NT and 8FP was buddas first sermon. However the audience was all of his friends who had practiced austerity for a long time as part of the shramana movement in India. So they had a lot of experience with meditation and practicing with great consistency and intensity.

    I'm not saying reading about the 4NT or 8FB is a bad idea just that it doesn't really start to be the noble eightfold path until 'right view'.

    Also my teacher has her own formulation of how she puts it all together. And I asked her "why don't you teach the 8FP" at one time and she sent me quite a response including what I have also said above but she also pointed out that in her formulation she DOES teach the 8FP but doesn't teach it all in "one go" as "and now I will teach the 8fP". Instead at times she is teaching about meditation and at times about feeling and heart wish. So her point was that each of the directions of the 8FP she could say 'well I did teach that here, here, and here'. And I would say what my teacher does teach is in the direction to right view so eventually it gets to right view. And that in turn gets to the 8FP and the FNT.

    lobsterKundoShoshinadamcrossley
  • One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them, One ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.

    adamcrossley
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them, One ring to bring them all and in the darkness Enlightness bind them.

    That's a new word.
    Becuz I sed so.

    lobsterJeffreyKundo
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