Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Welcome home! Please contact lincoln@newbuddhist.com if you have any difficulty logging in or using the site. New registrations must be manually approved which may take up to 48 hours. Can't log in? Try clearing your browser's cookies.

Great Western Vehicle

JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matterNetherlands Veteran

Have people come across this site on western buddhism before? They seem to have some interesting articles.

https://greatwesternvehicle.org/budddhistpsych.html

FleaMarketrocala

Comments

  • FleaMarketFleaMarket Newbie, not Veteran

    I am having difficulty putting energy into myself at the moment and processing information/thinking critically seems to be a slog. However I found these articles easy to digest and sparked an emotion which reminded me why I try.

    I am now very absorbed in the articles on that site. Thank you for sharing.

    Bunks
  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran

    There is a forum that goes with it as well, though it isn’t heavily populated…

    https://fruitofthecontemplativelife.org/forum/index.php

  • FleaMarketFleaMarket Newbie, not Veteran

    This explanation blew my mind. Much of this lines up with my understanding but I have never seen it explained in such a clear and direct way.

    https://www.greatwesternvehicle.org/experiencemeditation.htm

    "Another interesting property of my life, is I can't seem to gain my balance. I often feel ever so slightly off balance. I believe this "vertigo" is related to the heightened awareness I have developed in my senses. One of the most over looked senses is our sense of balance, which comes from sensors in the inner ear. It is this sense of balance though that is critical to our species method of bipedal locomotion. I believe the sense of euphoria one experiences during the ecstasies is a charism characteristic of a heightened awareness the sense of balance. It is this, perhaps overly acute, awareness of the sense of balance that keeps me feeling slightly off balance, almost as though I am drunk, or in euphoria."

    I really enjoy the level of depth they explain their experiences.

    Bunks
  • FleaMarketFleaMarket Newbie, not Veteran
    edited March 23

    I do not have an answer, except I believe we, the community of contemplatives (sangha), are better off with full disclosure. I know intense practice can produce lucid spiritual experiences that can be either very pleasant or very unpleasant. I have found these experiences are essential to making progress, and I know they ultimately lead to cessation (nibbana) or annihilation (fana) of the self and ineffable peace and fulfillment. And, it is our commitment to the greater good and our religious institutions (Buddha, Dharma and Sangha) that sets up the necessary conditions for equanimity, which supports further growth, and that it is essential to find a skilled contemplative or teacher as a guide, as well as finding a supportive community (sangha) to serve.

    This is one point I do not see discussed often enough for how impactful it appears to be. The experiences one goes through on this process can be quite overwhelming and/or frightening. I'm grateful for having faced what I have so far without much guidance as the novel experiences as they take place have been nothing short of life-changing but coming out with most of my sanity still in tact has been no small effort. I don't see much discussion or guidance on dealing with these things...especially if I can barely explain what is taking place myself. It is either a finger back to beginners guides, or an assertion such things require a teacher but no teacher is provided, or worse that such phenomena should be avoided/is unnatural, or some vague remark about how I already know the answer. But I want to practice, discuss, and improve with people!

    lobsterJeroen
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @FleaMarket said:
    This explanation blew my mind. Much of this lines up with my understanding but I have never seen it explained in such a clear and direct way.

    https://www.greatwesternvehicle.org/experiencemeditation.htm

    "Another interesting property of my life, is I can't seem to gain my balance. I often feel ever so slightly off balance. I believe this "vertigo" is related to the heightened awareness I have developed in my senses. One of the most over looked senses is our sense of balance, which comes from sensors in the inner ear. It is this sense of balance though that is critical to our species method of bipedal locomotion. I believe the sense of euphoria one experiences during the ecstasies is a charism characteristic of a heightened awareness the sense of balance. It is this, perhaps overly acute, awareness of the sense of balance that keeps me feeling slightly off balance, almost as though I am drunk, or in euphoria."

    I really enjoy the level of depth they explain their experiences.

    In a similar vain, I once had a Buddhist teacher tell me that one sign that you were nearing enlightenment was a ringing in your ears.

    lobsterFleaMarketVimalajātiShoshin1
  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran

    @Bunks said:
    In a similar vain, I once had a Buddhist teacher tell me that one sign that you were nearing enlightenment was a ringing in your ears.

    Aha! Then there is hope for me yet.

    But I agree, @FleaMarket, it is an interesting site. I hope you get something out of it.

  • FleaMarketFleaMarket Newbie, not Veteran

    You posted another link recently, http://www.engaged-zen.org/articles/Kobutsu-New_Age_Legacy.html which I believe ties in here.

    I find myself conflicted with my fascination of experiencing Jhana states, understanding phenomena during meditation, better seeing answers to challenges, and improving these skills, etc.
    While my pursuit is majority selfless, there does feel like a part could be driven by narcissism and a spiritually materialistic pursuit. I want to be better at those skills because I like them and they are fun to experience. I also want to be better at those skills because I see how they lead to enlightenment, relinquishing of identity, and inter-being. Does it matter they both combine to drive further intrigue and pursuit of understanding? I suppose it depends on where one is going and what one seeks? Does the preoccupation pull away from the intended purpose? I think I see more clearly where some smaller groups of spiritual fusion come from.

  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran

    If you’re interested in these things I would recommend Ajahn Brahm’s book Mindfulness, Bliss and Beyond. As its subtitle implies, it is more a meditators handbook than a book about mindfulness. He goes into considerable detail in it, and he is clearly an accomplished meditator.

    As far as spiritual materialism is concerned, it is important to keep in mind that these things are passing phenomena, fleeting, and that as such you should be ready to let go of them on short notice. It comes, it goes. My own encounters with jhana were interesting but can be counted on the fingers of one hand, I’ve never been able to consistently duplicate entering that state.

    Getting accomplished in this area comes with a greater risk of attachment, pride, a series of negative things to be overcome. It can develop into a genuine hindrance.

    Perhaps @how might like to say a few words, he probably has more experience to bring to bear.

  • ShanJieshi2ShanJieshi2 bahia blanca Veteran

    In a similar vain, I once had a Buddhist teacher tell me that one sign that you were nearing enlightenment was a ringing in your ears.

    Tinnitus as a sign of being a PratyekaBuddha.
    So.. after a few rounds of .45 without earprotection and..gate gate paragate..

    Vimalajāti
  • ShanJieshi2ShanJieshi2 bahia blanca Veteran
    edited March 24

    (Jeffrey S. Brooks) is a self-ordained =) Western Buddhist monk in the Great Western Vehicle

    Vimalajāti
  • ShanJieshi2ShanJieshi2 bahia blanca Veteran

    Last updated 12-13-06

  • VimalajātiVimalajāti Whitby, Ontario Veteran
    edited March 24

    @ShanJieshi2 said:
    (Jeffrey S. Brooks) is a self-ordained =) Western Buddhist monk in the Great Western Vehicle

    He also identifies himself as a stream-entrant. In the Buddhadharma that I am familiar with, it is a contravention of both bodhisattvaśīla and the prātimokṣa to make such an announcement. Maybe he is a special fancy-fancy man. Maybe he is a charlatan with a good way with words. Maybe he is just a "normal guy" who abnormally thinks he is a stream-entrant trying to do his best with the best of intentions. Either way, IMO, that self-identification is a potential point of concern.

  • VimalajātiVimalajāti Whitby, Ontario Veteran
    edited March 24

    @Bunks said:
    In a similar vain, I once had a Buddhist teacher tell me that one sign that you were nearing enlightenment was a ringing in your ears.

    I have had Buddhist teachers tell me that the Awakened can see the Buddha's halo permeating all of the world.

    They say that the Buddhas utter one sound in order to speak with all sounds. This is substantiated in the Great Wisdom Treatise (Mahāprajñāpāramitopadeśa), the Prajñāpāramitā itself, as well as within the great Flower Garland.

    The Far-Reaching Prajñāpāramitā in a Single Syllable is one such sound, namely "Ā," the seed-syllable of Mahāvairocana Dharmakāya. The non-dual "Bodhi sound" is likely IMO what they were referring to, versus just any old mundane ringing.

    BunksFleaMarket
  • ShanJieshi2ShanJieshi2 bahia blanca Veteran

    Well my friends...this is Argentina. I am surrounded by self enlightened and self proclaimed Buddhas, as well as Churches that are the True Word that split off from another and another and another.
    My Master once summed it up well by saying: "this is a world of commerce and opinion", that is, people proclaim themselves Buddha either for money or for acceptance. And they call themselves Apostles or Rabbis or Senseis or Sifus.
    The other day I discovered a young man who is also a self ordained monk. He has a monastery which is a beautiful property and of course...all the Zen paraphernalia you can buy on the internet.
    His youth and his psychology degree whispered softly in his ear that he could dive into the pool of being a guru.
    It is a copy of what happens in the martial arts with their supreme masters.

  • FleaMarketFleaMarket Newbie, not Veteran

    @Jeroen said:
    If you’re interested in these things I would recommend Ajahn Brahm’s book Mindfulness, Bliss and Beyond. As its subtitle implies, it is more a meditators handbook than a book about mindfulness. He goes into considerable detail in it, and he is clearly an accomplished meditator.

    As far as spiritual materialism is concerned, it is important to keep in mind that these things are passing phenomena, fleeting, and that as such you should be ready to let go of them on short notice. It comes, it goes. My own encounters with jhana were interesting but can be counted on the fingers of one hand, I’ve never been able to consistently duplicate entering that state.

    Getting accomplished in this area comes with a greater risk of attachment, pride, a series of negative things to be overcome. It can develop into a genuine hindrance.

    I'll add that book to my list, thanks!

    I have diagnosis bipolar and I believe I tap into some of the more elevated elements of my mood shifts to use as propulsion to reach states of awareness, one pointedness, compassion, and bliss. At first it was quite uncontrollable but I see now how meditation gives me more permissions. Unfortunately on the downside, it tends to be hard to even want to bother.

    From the article

    "He has, however, been ostracized from the lay and monastic Buddhist community because he speaks openly about his personal experiences with meditative absorption (jhana/kundalini). The orthodox monastic community believes this is a serious violation of the monastic code (Vinaya)."

    Is it frowned upon to talk in detail about our experiences like this?

    @Shanjieshi2 said:
    (Jeffrey S. Brooks) is a self-ordained

    I can think of worse groups to be ordained by. It also sounds like he didn't get much help from those he sought help from and is in pain because of it. He clearly has a passion for it and developed his own community since his passion was not cultivated by any of the teachers he reached out to.

    Here is his about me if anyone is interested. He has flaws but one does not throw away a whole fruit because of a bruise.

    https://greatwesternvehicle.org/jhanananda.html

  • VimalajātiVimalajāti Whitby, Ontario Veteran

    @FleaMarket said:
    Is it frowned upon to talk in detail about our experiences like this?

    Yes. It contravenes both the prātimokṣa and bodhisattvaśīla. Please give me a while to find you a good quote (I'm on my phone).

    The gist is that the Saṃgha cannot become an order of charlatans, fortune-tellers, and wizards. Gautama Buddha was very concerned about his Saṃgha devolving into a bunch of dilettantes who compete for the attention of the laity by proclaiming attainments. He made a vinaya ruling to that effect.

  • FleaMarketFleaMarket Newbie, not Veteran
    edited March 24

    @Vimalajāti said:
    Yes. It contravenes both the prātimokṣa and bodhisattvaśīla. Please give me a while to find you a good quote (I'm on my phone).

    The gist is that the Saṃgha cannot become an order of charlatans, fortune-tellers, and wizards. Gautama Buddha was very concerned about his Saṃgha devolving into a bunch of dilettantes who compete for the attention of the laity by proclaiming attainments. He made a vinaya ruling to that effect.

    How is anything then practiced to depth communally without coming across as self-aggrandizing if the act of discussing personal experience can be interpreted both as such or as not such to anyone perceiving?

    "I is, is you?"

  • ShanJieshi2ShanJieshi2 bahia blanca Veteran

    No problem...i prefer to order a Mindar for my personal liturgy

    Vimalajāti
  • VimalajātiVimalajāti Whitby, Ontario Veteran
    edited March 24

    @FleaMarket said:

    @Vimalajāti said:
    Yes. It contravenes both the prātimokṣa and bodhisattvaśīla. Please give me a while to find you a good quote (I'm on my phone).

    The gist is that the Saṃgha cannot become an order of charlatans, fortune-tellers, and wizards. Gautama Buddha was very concerned about his Saṃgha devolving into a bunch of dilettantes who compete for the attention of the laity by proclaiming attainments. He made a vinaya ruling to that effect.

    How is anything then practiced to depth communally without coming across as self-aggrandizing if the act of discussing personal experience can be interpreted both as such or as not such to anyone perceiving?

    "I is, is you?"

    I am still not at a computer, so my quotes are still forthcoming. Apologies for that, but it's out of my control presently.

    The Saṃgha is allowed to discuss attainments internally. They are not allowed to disclose these to the general public. Amongst the Bodhisattvas, the same applies. A Bodhisattva, in the company of other Āryans, is perfectly free to discuss their attainments. Among non-Āryans and non-Bodhisattvas, they are not allowed. Because this man is publishing an essay addressed to the general public, he is in the company of non-Āryans. If he is a Bodhisattva, he is in contravention of his śīla. If he is a mistaken worldling, then he is potentially guilty of impersonating an Āryan. That is a significant fault, but it depends upon if he is "lying to himself" or not. If he is simply a layman who has mistakenly overestimated his attainment and announced so, if he is not lying and believes that he has these attainments, there is still wrongdoing, but it is much less severe than if he were to lie.

  • FleaMarketFleaMarket Newbie, not Veteran
    edited March 25

    @Vimalajāti said:
    I am still not at a computer, so my quotes are still forthcoming. Apologies for that, but it's out of my control presently.

    The Saṃgha is allowed to discuss attainments internally. They are not allowed to disclose these to the general public. Amongst the Bodhisattvas, the same applies. A Bodhisattva, in the company of other Āryans, is perfectly free to discuss their attainments. Among non-Āryans and non-Bodhisattvas, they are not allowed. Because this man is publishing an essay addressed to the general public, he is in the company of non-Āryans. If he is a Bodhisattva, he is in contravention of his śīla. If he is a mistaken worldling, then he is potentially guilty of impersonating an Āryan. That is a significant fault, but it depends upon if he is "lying to himself" or not. If he is simply a layman who has mistakenly overestimated his attainment and announced so, if he is not lying and believes that he has these attainments, there is still wrongdoing, but it is much less severe than if he were to lie.

    There certainly seems to be more behind what lead him to where he is. I suppose before one can understand someone fully, one must examine enough to become the them.

    So would this forum be an allowable place to discuss such things? It is public-facing but also digital sangha. If not here, then I too am left with no one to talk to about it; no one to cultivate it with or determine whether the experience is as it should be.

  • VimalajātiVimalajāti Whitby, Ontario Veteran
    edited March 25

    @FleaMarket said:
    So would this forum be an allowable place to discuss such things?

    If by "such things" you mean "if I am an Āryan or not," then no. "No" would be the "traditional answer." This is a non-traditional space. You yourself are free to discuss anything you want within the parameters of the forum, as is anyone. I am going to decline further responses for now, because I want to be able to be at a computer to post the quotes that I want to post. You are, of course, free to post in the meantime. I'm not a fancy-fancy man who needs the world to stop for him so that he can find the quotes and get to a computer.

  • VimalajātiVimalajāti Whitby, Ontario Veteran
    edited March 25

    "How can you for the sake of your stomachs praise one another’s superhuman qualities to lay people? It would be better for your bellies to be cut open with a sharp butcher’s knife than for you to praise one another’s superhuman qualities to lay people.

    Why is that? Because for that reason you might die or experience death-like suffering, but you wouldn’t because of that be reborn in a bad destination. But for this reason you might."

    (Pāli vinaya, Vibh. Pr 4)

    I found this and could easily copy-and-paste it to here from my phone. More to come, however...

  • FleaMarketFleaMarket Newbie, not Veteran
    edited March 25

    @Vimalajāti said:
    If by "such things" you mean "if I am an Āryan or not," then no. "No" would be the "traditional answer." This is a non-traditional space. You yourself are free to discuss anything you want within the parameters of the forum, as is anyone. I am going to decline further responses for now, because I want to be able to be at a computer to post the quotes that I want to post. You are, of course, free to post in the meantime. I'm not a fancy-fancy man who needs the world to stop for him so that he can find the quotes and get to a computer.

    Such things as am I following meditation correctly and is what I am experiencing a helpful part of the process or not a helpful part of the process. Exploring questions such as the difference between meditation techniques or sensations or ways to enter states or right hands on left hands.

    I did not think you were such a man. I am looking forward to your quotes though so I have no mind waiting.

  • VimalajātiVimalajāti Whitby, Ontario Veteran
    edited March 25

    @FleaMarket said:
    I did not think you were such a man. I am looking forward to your quotes though so I have no mind waiting.

    Ah, yes. I didn't mean to imply that I thought that you thought that I was such a man. I have been told by close family and friends, people I trust dearly, that I have a tendency to come across as "overly severe" when I am disagreeing with something. I just wanted to make sure that I wasn't coming across as if I thought I was "the big cheese," so-to-speak. I'm not "the big cheese." I'm just sour milk.''

    Look at me, blatantly a liar. I said that I'd decline further responses. This is just further proof that I'm "sour milk!"

    <3

    FleaMarketBunksKotishka
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the liminal space Veteran

    @FleaMarket said:
    So would this forum be an allowable place to discuss such things? It is public-facing but also digital sangha. If not here, then I too am left with no one to talk to about it; no one to cultivate it with or determine whether the experience is as it should be.

    @Vimalajāti isn't saying you can't talk or ask about your meditation experiences. I'll let him talk for himself but I think he's limiting his comments to claims of high attainment.

    And then, correct me if I'm wrong, but is the negative in talking about attainments and powers more against monastic vows or just in general bad karma?

  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran

    @person said:
    And then, correct me if I'm wrong, but is the negative in talking about attainments and powers more against monastic vows or just in general bad karma?

    That was my impression also, that it was part of the discipline for monks. And even then you get cases like Ajahn Maha Bua who wrote a autobiography that more or less declares them an arhat.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    If one can not even understand how a discussion on one's spiritual experience can make others suffer, then what does that say about that speaker's understanding of empathy, sympathy, tenderness or compassion for others.

    Indeed.

    The function we can each understand is bringing others to wisdom, humility, virtue, insight and the many descriptions of helpful behaviour and practices.
    https://thewisemind.net/what-are-buddhist-virtues/

    Sitting around like self congratulating fruit does not serve others. It is clearly narcissistic inflation.

    I knew that.
    I must be some kind of … person with common sense. o:) Yeah beginner for ever … B)

    FleaMarkethowKotishka
  • FleaMarketFleaMarket Newbie, not Veteran

    My own innate inadequacy reveals itself in my understanding but reluctant acceptance of what has been shared above. I am grateful the community here puts up with my unskillful ways as I continue to improve upon them and attempt to understand what I am experiencing. A mind is clearly tricky and ravenous for control in ways which continue to reveal.

    BunksShoshin1lobster
  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran

    I think it has to be handled with sensitivity. Discussion of these things with a teacher or if one isn’t available a more experienced meditator in the lay community has to be possible, especially if the person in question has a mental health condition, like @FleaMarket who has bipolar.

    I can understand members of the monastic sangha not being able to engage on this topic if it’s counter to the vinaya or against guidance in the sutra’s, but surely the right thing to do is to give what guidance we can.

    FleaMarket
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    A mind is clearly tricky and ravenous for control in ways which continue to reveal.

    Oh you noticed! ;)

    We are attracted to [insert list - can include chocolate] ;)
    BUT not everything that glitters is spiritual gold

    There are many teachers, in many forms, past, present and future that will provide genuine insight.

    Eventually we may listen and absorb and understand the benefits of our past delusions as we see them shining or misguiding others …

  • VimalajātiVimalajāti Whitby, Ontario Veteran
    edited March 26

    Apologies for how long it took me to post this. I knew that I had a textual citation in the Nectar of Mañjuśrī's Speech, but I also wanted a sūtra citation, and I actually had to use some Internet sources to find it (StackExchange, DharmaWheel, etc.) because I hadn't yet had the free time, till now, to be at a computer for an extended period of time. Because this post turned out to be too long for a single post here, material from the other forum will be added in a little post at the end.

    Ultimately, we do not know the realization or intentions of this man who has proclaimed himself self-ordained and a stream-entrant on this website. Nonetheless, any teacher proclaiming himself to be a Person of the Path, a Buddhist saint, or a member of the Āryasaṃgha, should not be taken at his word. Why is this? Such a proclamation is not conducive to the path on either the part of the teacher claiming nor the believers following per se. More on this to come. I would like to establish in this post some precedents for advising caution with such teachers. I make no value judgement on the teachings presented in the website linked to by the OP.

    So we have three situations I alluded to earlier. Just for the sake of a recap:

    1) There is a Bodhisattva in contravention of his śīla, but with noble intention (no wrongdoing).
    2) There is a worldling guilty of impersonating an Āryan (severe wrongdoing).
    3) There is a worldling who has overestimated his progress. If he is not lying, there is still wrongdoing, but it is much less severe than if he were to lie (minor wrongdoing).

    I want to try to use these three to try to tie this large post together. Three instances, one of no wrongdoing, one of severe wrongdoing, and one of minor wrongdoing.

    When we encounter these difficult teachers who praise themselves on Internet documents or fora with names like "Venerable," "Master," "Arhat," "Śrotāpanna," etc., we have three options loosely corresponding to the three outlined situations above:

    1) A Bodhisattva does good and bad with good intentions (i.e. "praises himself to help others:" "praising oneself" is bad, but "helping others" is good) (no wrongdoing)
    2) A faux-Bodhisattva does good and bad with bad intentions, but is either too narcissistic or too confused to be able to adequately self-reflect and analyse his own intentions. (either minor or severe wrongdoing)
    3) A faux-Bodhisattva does good or bad with bad or unknown intentions (i.e. "praises himself to gain followers while also helping others"), but either cannot see his own intentions or wrongly believes himself to be in a noble position. (either minor or no wrongdoing)

    From Venerable Khenpo Kunzang Palden's The Nectar of Mañjuśrī's Speech, we find outlined on p. 142 the "18 root downfalls of the Bodhisattva." These transgressions of śīla cause the Bodhisattvas to "forfeit the entirety of their previously generated roots of virtue" (Ākāśa­garbha­sūtra translated by the Sakya Pandita Translation Group). In layman's terms, these transgressions mean "start again, at the beginning." From the text:

    (11) To praise oneself for sake of fame and wealth,
    And likewise openly to criticize another;
    (12) To claim untruthfully that one has gained
    The realization of the view profound;
    (13) To victimize the monks [...]

    (p. 142)

    So we can see that this applies to the cases of severe and minor wrongdoing. It does not apply to the case of no wrongdoing. That will be dealt with later.

    From a passage that comments on these downfalls:

    What this actually refers to is a situation in which one has not gained realization of emptiness, but makes a pretense of having realized this and tells people, "You must meditate very well on emptiness and if you do, you will gain direct realization like I have." As soon as one utters these words, deceiving others in this way, and the words are understood by them, this root downfall is committed.

    (commentary from Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey)

    This covers the severe and minor wrongdoings listed above. It does not cover the instance of no wrongdoing.

    "Praising oneself" is "ātmotkarṣaṇa" in Sanskrit. From the Great Wisdom Treatise (Mahāprajñāpāramitopadeśa):

    Question. – According to a rule of human decency, even the sage cannot boast. How then could a being free of egotism boast of his ten powers? Indeed, it is said:

    To boast about oneself, to blame oneself,
    To boast about another and to blame another
    Those are four things
    Which the sage does not do.

    Answer. – Although free of egotism and attachment, the Buddha possesses innumerable powers and, out of his great compassion to save beings, he speaks of only ten powers: that is not boasting.

    Thus, the good caravan leader, seeing robbers deceiving his merchants and inviting them to take the wrong road, is moved by compassion and says to his merchants: “It is I who am truthful; do not follow these hypocrites!” And also, when charlatans are deceiving the sick, the good physician, out of compassion for these [sick people], tells them: “I have the good remedy and I am able to cure your illness; do not believe these impostors! You will become even more sick.”

    Furthermore, the qualities of the Buddha are profound and distant; if the Buddha did not speak about himself, nobody would know him, and the little that he does say is very useful to beings. This is why the Buddha himself speaks about his ten powers.

    Furthermore, there are beings to be converted to whom it is necessary to speak, and among the things to say to them, he must, at the proper time, speak of the ten powers. If one did not speak about them, [these people] would not be converted. This is why the Buddha himself tells them about them.

    Thus when the sun and the moon rise, they do not think: “By lighting up the world, we will have glory.” The mere fact of their rising is worthy itself of glory. It is the same for the Buddha: he thinks not at all about collecting glory when he speaks about his own qualities. When the Buddha is preaching the Dharma in a pure voice and the brilliance of his rays destroys the shadows of ignorance among beings, he derives great glory from that automatically. Therefore there is nothing wrong in the Buddha himself speaking of his ten powers and his other qualities.

    (translated by Venerable Migme Chodron)

    So this is what applies to the great Saṃbuddhas. But what of the Bodhisattvas, the Mahāyāna stream-entrants, the Āryans, the Persons of the Path? They are not yet at the stage of wonderous enlightenment or "anuttarā samyaksaṃbodhi" as it is called in the Mahāyāna sūtras. What of these, these ex-worldlings who are Buddhas-to-be, not yet Buddhas and no longer ordinary beings? From the Mahāsaṃnipāta (大方等大集經), we have the Inquiries of Gaganagañja which discusses the conduct of these:

    [...] he becomes one who has unfailing eloquence concerning the dharma since he accomplishes the dharma of his own merits; he becomes one whose eloquence is adorned like the congregations of gods since he never praises himself or blames others, and he gives away everybody’s favorite objects; [...]

    (from "The Inquiries of Gaganagañja" hosted at Bibliotheca Polyglotta)

    "Everyone's favourite objects" is a bit of a clumsy translation here. It is accurate, but not specific enough. It refers to possessions that are needed by others but held by oneself. The Bodhisattva gives away everything, in the end. I digress, however. This quirk of the translation was not the main point of this post. The point of this quotation was the establish a precedence for the instance of "no wrongdoing" outlined at the beginning of this past. To praise oneself is a transgression of bodhisattvaśīla. As the Buddha says in the Flower Garland, "Only I am honoured." This has an esoteric meaning, and is not meant to be interpreted as "You cannot honour the Nobles."

    Nonetheless, to praise oneself to help others is both good and bad, and when performed with pure intention, the Bodhisattva is capable of it, in the manner of a Buddha, and no wrongdoing has occurred. Naturally though, it follows that not everyone who praises themselves will be doing so in such a way.

    personFleaMarketKotishkalobster
  • VimalajātiVimalajāti Whitby, Ontario Veteran
    edited March 26

    Lastly, moving on to the citation that took me longer, as I wasn't at a computer to look this up on the 84,000 website (a website that hosts buddhavacana). These quotations come to us from a user named jmlee369:

    Having recited [the Mahāyāna sūtras], they extensively teach these sūtras to others. They say, ‘I have understood these teachings with my own intelligence; I teach them to you in this way because I am compassionate. Therefore, you must meditate on this profound Dharma in order to directly perceive it and you too will come to behold primordial wisdom, just as I do now.’ Instead of stating, ‘I have not actualized this most profound Dharma, but teach it by merely reading it out,’ they promote themselves for the purpose of gain and honor. Therefore, in the eyes of the tathāgata, arhat, perfectly complete buddhas of the three times, bodhisattva mahāsattvas, and noble beings they have become stained by faults. A heavy transgression has occurred.

    The text elaborates with a simile:

    The analogy here is of someone who travels out into the great secluded wilderness, where he suffers hunger, thirst, and exhaustion. He then approaches a tree, intending to eat of the great fruit it bears. However, ignoring the tree with its fine aroma and delicious fruit, he climbs instead a poisonous tree bearing fruit devoid of taste, and eats its poisonous fruit. In doing so, he causes his own death. Such a beginner bodhisattva committing the sixth transgression is said to be like the person in this analogy.

    Furthermore, the text elaborates with an exegesis:

    Having deceived gods and humans using the Mahāyāna, there will be no śrāvaka vehicle of the Buddha for those bodhisattvas, much less the Mahāyāna, or the particular realizations which are the entry into the Mahāyāna, or unsurpassable, perfectly complete enlightenment.

    (from the translation of the Sakya Pandita Translation Group from earler)

    This applies in the case of minor and severe wrongdoing IMO.

    The user included some commentary from Venerable Tsongkhapa:

    Having taught the doctrine of emptiness, he adds, "This I have made evident to myself. I teach it to you out of mercy, but you must cultivate it in the same way until it becomes evident and you become like myself." While having made no such personal discovery, he makes the false claim--the sense of which must be understood by the other person--with an attitude conjoined with defilement (but not including envy).

    personFleaMarketKotishkalobster
  • FleaMarketFleaMarket Newbie, not Veteran

    Thank you @Vimalajāti for taking the time to research this information. I don't see anything directly in conflict with discussing confusing meditative experiences/feelings/sensations from the point of learning and understanding what they mean as an lay practitioner. I only see warning against those more experienced or claiming to be when responding to such discussions with their own direct knowledge or claims of direct knowledge.

    Hopefully I understood that correctly.

    There was some confusion around a couple points of the material provided. Hopefully some more light could be shed on them?

    Nonetheless, any teacher proclaiming himself to be a Person of the Path, a Buddhist saint, or a member of the Āryasaṃgha, should not be taken at his word.

    What is the action involved in not taking someone at his word? Is he tested? Is there a traditional process for vetting another's attainments?

    Thus, the good caravan leader, seeing robbers deceiving his merchants and inviting them to take the wrong road, is moved by compassion and says to his merchants: “It is I who am truthful; do not follow these hypocrites!” And also, when charlatans are deceiving the sick, the good physician, out of compassion for these [sick people], tells them: “I have the good remedy and I am able to cure your illness; do not believe these impostors! You will become even more sick.”

    This would lead me to believe one could easily tell the good caravan leader apart from the robbers when the time comes. Who are these merchants that so easily believe one from another when both had been previously hidden and now both seek the merchants trust?
    Would the merchant's choices be determined individually through direct knowledge?

  • VimalajātiVimalajāti Whitby, Ontario Veteran

    @FleaMarket said:
    What is the action involved in not taking someone at his word? Is he tested? Is there a traditional process for vetting another's attainments?

    Traditionally, the Saṃgha would vet claimants to these sorts of things internally. Sorry I've not yet been able to answer. There is more to say, but I can't say it now.

    FleaMarket
  • FleaMarketFleaMarket Newbie, not Veteran
    edited March 31

    @Vimalajāti said:
    Sorry I've not yet been able to answer.

    No answer is required. It was a question that arose which I didn't understand. You already provide so much in the way of context and substance.

Sign In or Register to comment.