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... but how do you help the Devas? How does that work out?
The Buddhas in the Purelands (Bless their Twinkling) will never tweet us BUT they will aid and protect serious practitioners and devotees.
So ... we should help the three jewels, in particular making use of the Sangha if available. I keep all my Buddhas on standby. When required they do their thing. Here for example is Manjushri ...
oṃ arapacana dhīḥ
He's beautiful. I looked up to find Bodhisattva who represent love, kindness, piety (well, not quite), and virtue. I wonder if their is a Bodhisattva who represents creativity. I shall look that up.
Interesting tradition of lay people wearing robes. In 17 years of active Buddhism (within dharma communities) I have not encountered this before.
One piece of advice .. neither the robes nor a dharma name make you a Buddhist, nor do they hasten your learning. In fact, the more attached we become to having a dharma name or to robes or to these things defining ourselves, the more these things will obstruct our progress. Use with care, I guess.
Btw, the dharma name is usually a quality the teacher perceives us as lacking .. so it is something we need to work on. It helps to not invest our ego too much into our dharma name, but rather to invest humor and humility to it.
That makes sense. Im a ritual person. If I could become a monk, I would but my circumstance and mindset right now would make it inappropriate. Im sure monks arent attached to their robes either.
I think it has more to do with culture. The other temple I practiced in for three years did not give us robes. The priest had robes, though. I didnt become an inititate at their temple because they literally have a "you Must follow our rules". It was literally political in nature. No other religion I know has this onetheless Buddhist.
What was nice is the sister who invited me to the monastary invited me to stay the night o the holidays since I live so far out. Also, she says if I need help with keeping the precepts I took refuge in, just let her know. I dont know about other temples outside the other I practiced in above, but they really put emphasis on cultural appropriate in relation to the Dhamma. I wish I knew Vietnamese to have a good conversation with our master. We did get a chance to ask questions before taking the refuges (intepreter present). The master didnt know me to give me a name more associated with what I need and dont. Though, it is nice because that is the one aspect of many of the Dhamma I would practice.
I was reading about monks taking the vow of povety and laity help monks and the poor. They receive marits in return. The Sangha gave me a lot just that one day I ca t find a way to give back my gratitude.
It goes beyond meditation. Its a real lifestyle.
Please be kind. I have a couple of questions. They probably been asked before but still...
Yesterday, rather, was a long day. I took the The Refuges at a Zen Vietnamese temple near me. We celebrated the Ullambana ceremony where we gave our respects to the deceased for their well being and liberation. Our Master of the Sangha gave us newbies a Dhamma name.
It's in vietnamese. My name is Phò Hiêñ Hanh.
They said in English it means Loving-Kindness or Kind Virtue. I looked it up to learn more about it. I think I'm spelling it wrong because I got resturant results instead. Also, the "n" has a straight line but it wasn't in the special characters option.
If you're fluent in Vietnamese and/or native Vietnamese, can you let me know if I'm spelling this right or does this phrase have multiple meanings?
When do lay practitioners wear their robes received during initiation?
I know we wear them during prayer, meditation, and visiting monasteries such as the one my master is in, but I've also seen monks wear them outside as well. She is the one that invited me to the temple.
I didn't think of it in time to ask our master and any of the sisters.
I've been reading some of the discussions here lately, and have been wondering about people's views regarding the learning of sutra's. There seem to me to be different ways of learning the teachings. One is about learning and memorising sutra's, imprinting them until you have a full recollection of large numbers of these. That means you have a good grasp of the text and the structure of the lore.
However, it seems to me to be more important to actually put these things into practice, to actually fully absorb and commit to each important teaching that you come across. Doing this can actually take a while, sometimes I end up walking around with a sutra or teaching in my head for weeks until I've more or less internalised it. Sometimes much longer, coming back to topics over and over.
Often I end up forgetting the actual sutra names afterwards, it seems I have limited brain space or some part of me thinks it is not important to remember them as long as I retain the essence. After all I am not a monk, expected to transmit the dharma by quoting sutra's to the infidels
Where do you put the emphasis in your practice? Do you explore the sutra's and learn them, or try to internalise them, or some other method?
I've been in college half of my adult life (over ten years) and from the beginning of time study has always been then path to my spiritual development. I don't collect thousands of sutras and suttas knowing I can't possibly read them all, but I do put a lot of emphasis on reading and studying the Dharma. I do this not for memory but I found that when I can find application and how it relates to my daily life, study is not separate from meditation nor is it different from chanting. It starts to become second nature to just pick up one of the Buddha's discourses, read it, and just jot down things that happen in the past, things that I had trouble with and blessings I experienced in the present, and just in general but not strictly using the lessons to guide me for the future.
Studying the Buddha Dharma grounds me. So, I put a lot of emphasis on it. As for memorizing them, that is too doctrinal (if that's a word) for me. I'm spontaneous so I have notes, read as often as I can, and find grounding when I need to.
I've tried Zazen before and that worked well; so, I do that every so often. I don't meditate as much even though that's the core of The Buddha's teachings; so, I'm trying to brush up on that. The school I also practice from, The Buddha says we should "Read, recite, and preach" the sutra to help others to enlightenment. So basically, like he came to help others from suffering, with our Buddha-mind, we do the same.
Also, study helps me articulate The Dharma well and explaining my beliefs become easier since I am much into communication and having people understand what I'm saying without jumping to conclusions. So, it's very important.
My favourite Buddhist paths are Tantra and Zen.
They are this life time dharma. No time to waste on being a Boddhisatva in one thousand life cycles of wandering. Too severe?
As I am a techno-geeky nerd it has to be Cyber-Zantra.
When it comes to meditation, I am old school. My main practice is Shikantaza. Just sit meditation.
How do you describe your style of practice?
I prefer freedom of expression. So, I don't set times to mediate et cetera because it stiffens the practice itself. My practice is the Bodhisattva's practice. The closest I get to that is by my teaching language, helping people understand things in their view so they can communicate within our environment. My practice involves study and reflection. I started with Zen years ago for a good couple of years. I took a long break then went to Nichiren since that's the only Buddhist school in my area. So, my practice involves some chanting and Gongyo. Zen and Nichiren are opposed to each other; but, I tend to lean on the Zen side because our true nature doesn't have any "extras". We just are. Gongyo, or the Lotus Sutra just talks about the nature of rebirth and how to help people from suffering. So that's basically what I do, I practice this in my career and education.
That's my style of practice.