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Dakini Veteran


Last Active
  • Re: Chogyam Trungpa Died Of Alcoholism

    @dhammachick said:

    @Dakini said:
    I don't think expecting a teacher to keep their genitals to themselves equals expecting them to be god-like. All it is, is expecting them to behave in a professional manner, and observe normal professional boundaries. That's not to much to ask.

    No it's not, but neither then is asking people to use some common sense and not view other humans as deities. Right?

    Do you see where I'm going with this?

    This comes back to the fact that some people seeking out spiritual guidance are highly psychologically vulnerable. They come from dysfunctional families with histories of abuse. They tend to view the teacher, especially one that is high-status in his tradition, or has been presented as having spiritual attainments, as the "healthy parent" they never had. This may not pertain to any of us here, but there definitely are many people like that in spiritual circles. Such people don't have common sense about these things, and easily fall prey to manipulation. These are the people who would benefit greatly from discussions about being discerning, being aware of potential pitfalls in the spiritual community, and so forth. IMO compassionate practice moves us to take steps to forewarn the more vulnerable among us.

    Sanga leadership can play a role in this, as well. The response of some Western sangha leaders to scandals hitting the fan in the 80's and 90's, after meeting with the Dalai Lama to discuss the problem, was to adopt ethics guidelines and include those in their literature regarding their mission, activities, and so forth, so that potential members could see that the leadership took a clear stance on the issue, had enacted a policy and safeguards, and delineated boundaries for students as well as teachers.

    There was a big learning curve regarding the potential for inappropriate behavior to arise, beginning with the first teachers to come from Japan and Tibet, and it's taken quite some time for sangha leaders and followers to come to grips with it.

  • Re: Impermanence, DO, etc.

    OP, in Mahayana Buddhism there definitely is permanence. The Buddha's Parinirvana Sutras were all about that. Buddhanature is permanent, for example. Enlightenment, once attained, is permanent.

    That is why the quest for Enlightenment is not futile.

  • Re: Catalog consciousness

    OP, I think it boils down to the idea that developed sometime....IDK when, in the latter half of the 20th Century, of shopping as entertainment. Vacation destinations, for example, will advertise their shopping opportunities. Really? We're going on vacation to shop? But sophisticated venues and destinations do consider that to be a "thing". I get unsolicited catalogs in the mail (doesn't everyone, these days?) I put some of them in the recycle bin at my mailbox location, but I'll take a couple of them home, just to look at, like free fashion magazines to amuse myself with. I have no intent to buy, but if someone is sending me "free stuff" (the catalogs), I'll enjoy them for a passing moment, then let them go.

    I think it's good to be mindful of these things. You're on the right track. :)

    I just wish there were some way to stop the constant flood of these things into our mailboxes. Think of all the trees that are cut down, for those millions of catalogs sent out every month! Not only that, but paper mills are terrible polluters. The residue from paper manufacturing gets dumped into lakes and waterways.

    I never thought about it, until I recently saw a photo of a paper mill, dumping chemical waste into Lake Baikal, the sacred sea of the Mongol people, in Siberia. Baikal holds 1/5 of the world's fresh water, and harbors many rare or unique life forms, like one of only three types of freshwater seals in the world. In the 80's and 90's, the Republic of Buryatia, a Mongol (and Buddhist) territory in the Russian Federation, bordering the lake, was holding environmental conferences regularly, seeking to eliminate what little pollution there was back then, and to develop a plan for environmentally-sustainable economic development for the future.

    Their efforts appear to have been in vain. The west side of the lake is firmly under Moscow's control, so an old paper mill on the lake's edge is still operating. The caption on the photo I saw of this, said that the demands for paper in the many offices, educational institutions, and businesses in the region had grown, so the paper mill will stay open, in spite of decades of activism seeking to close it. Baikal's legendary clarity, the deepest lake in the world, and a UNESCO World Heritage site, is endangered. By the need for office paper, xerox paper. (Russia isn't on to direct-mail free catalogs, yet, thank heaven! They're too expensive to mass-produce, as yet.) Chemicals from the mill have been found in the fatty tissue of diseased, dead seals.

    Our mindless little habits have consequences. More mindfulness could have positive consequences that reach beyond our individual little lives. Keep up the good work, OP!

  • Re: Enlightenment in one lifetime

    @JaySon said:
    Tibetans like to say that Tantra is the only vehicle that can allow you to attain enlightenment in a single life and that, otherwise, it would take a few eons of collecting merit.

    Yet we've seen others in recent years attain enlightenment through "lesser practices" in one lifetime such as Ajahn Chah with Anapanasati and Vipassana, and I believe Thich Nhat Hanh with mindfulness practice and practicing looking deeply into the nature of things. Well, maybe they did spend a few eons collecting the right amount of merit. Who knows...

    So... What's the truth?

    This is a perfect example of an "imponderable". You shouldn't waste time thinking about it. Just keep chopping your wood, and hauling water. Keep practicing.

    P.S. A LOT of Tibetans get derailed, taking the dangerous "quick path" to Enlightenment. Most lay Tibetans are well aware that it's dangerous, and don't attempt it, wisely.

  • Re: Why are monks/nuns not allowed to eat after noon?

    The digestive process interferes with meditation.