FPMT (Keeping the Mahayana Tradition Alive)

Discussion in 'Buddhism' started by Hermes, Apr 7, 2015.

  1. Nicholas Weeks

    Nicholas Weeks Bodhicitta

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    I have been a supporter of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition for years. Lama Yeshe and his disciple Lama Zopa, who is now the head of FPMT are good bodhisattvas and deserve assistance.
     
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  2. Nicholas Weeks

    Nicholas Weeks Bodhicitta

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  3. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    When I heard it from her I thought it ludicrous. Well maybe not that but unlikely. But she planted a seed, I didn't make it a goal but often repeated it. I look back and I am not far off.

    I don't see it as optimistic anymore...i see it as a worthy plan however long I live. I may not make it to 75 but I can chop wood carry water till I do....lol not really, I spend a lot of my day napping...and learning how to get others to chop wood and carry water for all of us.
     
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  4. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    I had never heard of this, but just last week I was reading "Captain Shigemoto's Mother" by Tanizaki Jun'ichirĊ, a tenth-century tale in which "the Contemplation of Impurity" involved one of the characters spending the night contemplating a decomposing corpse in a field.

    So I had a look round. This from an essay on jstor:

    The body and mind, both of which are seen as inextricably interlinked, generate desire. A key means to come to a realisation of this and thus overcome desire, is through meditation on the body... The meditational practices involving the body that emerged in early Buddhism also included contemplation of corpses in order to understand properly the foulness of the body. Recognition of the inevitable trajectory of human life where the body deteriorates through illness ... the unsightly process of the putrefaction and dissolution of the corpse, was held to offer indisputable proof of the impurity and impermanence of the self and the deluded nature of one's attachment to it.

    Although these associations did not require that the body be marked by its gender, in Buddhist narratives there was often a significant shift or slide from a discourse on the impurity of the body in general to a more clearly gendered discourse on specifically the impurity of the female body. Once the body was identified with the female body, it became a sexual body. And among the many attachments to the body, it was sexual attachment or lust that became the prime object of discussion within Buddhist writings. Women became the targets of criticism as the generators of lust and attachment and as the root cause of male delusion. Meditating on the female corpse was a way of curing men who were seduced by the illusion of female beauty.

    The idea of meditating on the foulness of the body, and of the female body in particular, which received elaborate treatment in India, came to be interpreted in the Buddhist tale literature (setsuwa) of medieval Japan. A Collection of Tales of Religious Awakening attributed to the poet/priest Kamo no Chomei (1155?-1216) and A Companion in Solitude attributed to Keisei (1189-1268)

    If the Indian narratives engage in a ruthless, hard-edged demystification of the female body through lurid accounts of its decay and fundamental foulness, the Japanese texts perform a remarkable displacement whereby the body is sidelined, and what emerges is a self-consciously sensitive and elegiac lament on the ephemerality of nature and all things within the material world. In this version, the dissolution of the female body unwittingly comes to serve a rather different pedagogical function from the one envisioned in the Indian Buddhist texts: rather than creating an unambiguous aversion to all forms of sexual and amorous attachment, it leads to an aestheticised rendition of the evanescence of beauty and love reminiscent of that found in early medieval (Heian era) courtly romances. In effect, rather than impurity it is impermanence that becomes the dominant theme of these texts.


    Looking at the second paragraph, it seems that wherever we go, the patriarchal overview colours all our views, even the interpretation of Dharma!
     
  5. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

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    It goes back all the way. From one of the most ancient collections of discourses by the Buddha:

    https://suttafriends.org/sutta/an1-1/

    To be fair, the Buddha follows up by stating that it goes the other way, too... but he starts out by warning the male disciples against the attraction to women.
     
  6. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Isn't there also a story about him meditating under the bodhi tree and his brother trying to entice him out of the meditation with dancing girls? And the Buddha later saying it was a good thing he found enlightenment when he did because his brothers antics almost worked?
     
  7. stranger

    stranger wolfwing, a feral angel

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    I'm not a familiar to any of this, but to play devil's advocate for a moment. What if the Buddha had not found enlightenment in time? Who would the universe find at fault, the Buddha who never was, or the brother who used dangerous tactics? One? The other? None?

    Not to cross streams here but this reminded me of something from Irish mythology. Except in that case, enticement was used to assuage a battle frenzy that threatened to destroy friend and foe alike.

    Now, we can banter about these things all day. We are all just skinwalkers unless empowered by the universe (IMO). Who is to say if and when that empowerment might come? Soon? Never, perhaps? Whether or not it all remained a game would seem to hinge on the universe.
     
  8. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

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    Hm... possibly the story of the Daughters of Mara? Mara, the personification of death and destruction, the "evil one" (in Theravada) is to the Buddha what the Devil is to Jesus, tempting him after the 40 days in the desert. He tried to get the Buddha-to-be to stop meditating during his final night before enlightenment. And after enlightenment, Mara's daughters tried to console their father by attempting to seduce the freshly enlightened Buddha.

    http://www.suttas.com/chapter-4-mara-samyutta-mara.html

    Scroll down all the way to section 4.25 in the above link
     
  9. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

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    I think a Buddhist might point out that there were Buddhas before Gotama Buddha (the historical one), and there will be Buddhas in the future.

    No blame involved, Gotama had been trying for many lifetimes before it clicked for him. One more or less...
     
  10. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    This is exactly what we will go through, during the testing that proves we are ready for enlightenment.
     
  11. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    There were other Buddhas ready to step in if needed. The thing about Gautama was, he was the first person from our own human race to reach such a lofty rank. This is what makes Gautama and his efforts so special.
     
  12. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    When it comes to enlightenment vs sexy ladies tempting me...i keep choosing a later flight.

    I'm not ready.
     
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  13. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Just as long as you are ready before the end of the world!
     
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  14. stranger

    stranger wolfwing, a feral angel

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    My mind tells me I'm not ready, but the rest of me (including my heart) says I'm ready. Choice no longer has a say.

    I have been terribly wronged due to my emotional "condition" (lose the emotional reality/memory)... But I have found that the heart has it's own memory and it keeps hitting me into submission. At this moment I believe I love and am loved and that the heart has seen through all the baloney. I can't let go of that. The heart just keeps bringing it. :( Makes me want to do some one thing good (for once in my life).

    edit: What I mean to say is that the heart thinks I am ready for enlightenment, no matter what form it takes.
     
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  15. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    It is fascinating to consider what enlightenment must be like.
     
  16. stranger

    stranger wolfwing, a feral angel

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    Hi Nick... Well, as with many posts here at IO, it can be taken a number of ways. I just react from my own perspective, which is partly timely and partly fresh out of time.

    I'm sure Gautama must have been inspired to look back and see all those other Buddhas lined up behind him, wraithing patiently just in case he failed to perform. Then again, it could have been more like a reluctant hero facing a dragon looking back only to find his comrades had taken the last train for the coast. :)

    Seen another way, putting oneself in Gautama's shoes, one could scarcely imagine what kind of pressure he must have been under, being the first and all. The fear, the trembling, the uncertainty. The realization of his own weakness and human ruin. The failures that always come back to haunt us. And yet, the hope against hope of something better, something henceforth unknown.

    I have something akin to empathy for that position, an unknown position, never seen before. The love driving him forward with all his inadequacies... To what? It must have taken considerable faith and lots of love. To know you are totally unworthy and yet to move forward toward the unknown. Only people in love with something can do that.
     
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  17. stranger

    stranger wolfwing, a feral angel

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    Indeed
     
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  18. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    I do not think people who exist at the Nirvanic or Buddhic levels of consciousness are able to suffer from emotional inadequacies. That is one of the nice things about achieving Nirvana and then Buddhahood.
     
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  19. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

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    How about the people around them? If an enlightened being doesn't suffer from any unresolved issues, their unenlightened companions still get to bear the consequences, I imagine.

    What are your thoughts on the topic of "enlightened beings with a personality disorder"? Can this happen? If not, what prevents it?
     
  20. stranger

    stranger wolfwing, a feral angel

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    I am of the school of thought that it indeed can happen. The thing that might prevent it is if the sufferer stays "earthbound"; that is to say, is not able to progress beyond his/her earthly reality. The spirit (some say astral) is not bound by disorder. This person, however, would be incredibly tormented and torn between the two worlds. He/she would need lots (and lots) of love from his/her Beloved one. He/she would probably long for that love and be so grateful for it that he/she would find a way, if possible, to give back more than he/she gets. (I use gender-neutered language because of the presence of animas and animuses in the psyche of humans).
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2021
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