The Concept of Surrender in Buddhism

seattlegal

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If we suffer in this life, it is from accumulation of bad karma. This results from our own sin; sin, which from the Buddhist view is seen as conceit / wrong view.
By confessing your negative deeds and hiding your good ones, you purify your karma. In Vajrayana, confession takes the form of a meditation on the deity Vajrasattva. Vajrasattva is considered the embodiment of all the Buddhas. In the presence of the pure Vajrasattva, you can confess all your negative karma. If you aren't empowered to practice Vajrasattva, you can still confess to friends or colleagues, but some people find it easier with Vajrasattva.

In a way, confession is just one form of surrender in Buddhism, and an integral part for entry in Vajrayana.
(I had a confession blog on another forum, but I find confessing in writing somehow seals things. When I confess in speech, then Vajrasattva forgives me, and I never have to look back.)

Guru Yoga is the pinnacle of Vajrayana practice, and is the complete surrender to a single, living person (a difficult thing to do) and ultimately, to your own enlightened nature.

This is an interesting thought. It reminds me a bit of the "priesthood of the believer" concept in certain Christian philosophies.

InPeace,
InLove
I agree that this is very interesting. It is also entirely biblical. (1 John 1:8-9, Matt 6:1) To not confess our sins, we deceive ourselves (and others), and by showcasing our good deeds, we seek deceive others (and ourselves.)
 

Ciel

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I agree that this is very interesting. It is also entirely biblical. (1 John 1:8-9, Matt 6:1) To not confess our sins, we deceive ourselves (and others), and by showcasing our good deeds, we seek deceive others (and ourselves.)


The ego of the sinner, oh Lord........ no.

To infinity and beyond lives the positive, to grow, to expand to be........
and past karma dissolves as a snowflake touched by warm love.

- c -
 

InLove

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Hi All--

I really appreciate the comments on this thread. Thanks for the great links, earl! I put the Ascent article in "Favorites". I am beginning to understand the difference (and similarities) between "Zen" and "Shin". The key word here is beginning, for although I have been somewhat exposed to Buddhism through my community, and have been reading about it in CR, I do not yet speak the language well enough to ask questions without some degree of awkwardness. I hope y'all will bear with me as I attempt to learn more. :)

So, in said awkwardness, here's a question that I can just about bet has been asked over and over throughout the ages. It seems relative to the discussion: Is "karma" simply the consequences of our actions?

The reason I ask is because I am a little confused by the following statement:

Ciel said:
The ego of the sinner, oh Lord........ no.

To infinity and beyond lives the positive, to grow, to expand to be........
and past karma dissolves as a snowflake touched by warm love.

Hi Ciel.:) The reason I am confused is that when I substitute the word "sin" as I understand it for the term "karma" as I currently understand it, I find no conflict with my Christian view, which is that God is Love. (I'm not trying to make my own point here, just trying to understand.) I do realize that karma does not mean "sin", by the way.

See what I mean by my awkwardness? There is so much more I want to ask, but I can't figure out how to say it. Something along the lines of what Seattlegal suggested, I think--SG, would you say that "surrender" would include not focusing on the rewards that come from works, but the love that is generated by them, which would be reward in itself. Is that something like "karma" in your opinion?

Geez, this is deep. I love it.

InPeace,
InLove
 

seattlegal

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Vajradhara just posted an Buddhist explaination of karma here. :)

See what I mean by my awkwardness? There is so much more I want to ask, but I can't figure out how to say it. Something along the lines of what Seattlegal suggested, I think--SG, would you say that "surrender" would include not focusing on the rewards that come from works, but the love that is generated by them, which would be reward in itself. Is that something like "karma" in your opinion?
By surrendering to this love, not only will you will also be rewarded with love, but also, as an unsought after side benefit, with an abundance of what you gave up in surrendering to this love. See Mark 10:23-31.

After all, we are all interdependent. Isn't that what love is all about?

{My apologizes if we are bringing too much Christianity into the Buddhism board. We need to learn the language, like InLove said.}
 

InLove

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Thank you so very much, SG. And a nod of thanks to Vajradhara, as well, if you are reading this. I have printed out the material you posted for ongoing reference. :)

Perhaps my words will become less awkward as I learn more.

InPeace,
InLove
 

Ciel

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I agree that this is very interesting. It is also entirely biblical. (1 John 1:8-9, Matt 6:1) To not confess our sins, we deceive ourselves (and others), and by showcasing our good deeds, we seek deceive others (and ourselves.)


Some showcase good to inspire. And they do.

- c -
 

Ciel

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Hi All--

Hi Ciel.:) The reason I am confused is that when I substitute the word "sin" as I understand it for the term "karma" as I currently understand it, I find no conflict with my Christian view, which is that God is Love. (I'm not trying to make my own point here, just trying to understand.) I do realize that karma does not mean "sin", by the way.

See what I mean by my awkwardness? There is so much more I want to ask, but I can't figure out how to say it. Something along the lines of what Seattlegal suggested, I think--SG, would you say that "surrender" would include not focusing on the rewards that come from works, but the love that is generated by them, which would be reward in itself. Is that something like "karma" in your opinion?

Geez, this is deep. I love it.

InPeace,
InLove


InLove you already know, the only worthwhile surrender in this life is to ...love.

- c -
 

samabudhi

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Is "karma" simply the consequences of our actions?
That would be onesided - only the effect. But karma is intention as well, the cause.
Cause and effect, or thusness. The state of conditionality (causes and conditions) which sentient beings ascribe to.
The law governing samsara and the state of suffering.

I'm making it sound complicated, but it's actually really simple. So simply that only Buddha's can know it fully. The rest of us are swept away by it.
 

samabudhi

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By surrendering to this love, not only will you will also be rewarded with love, but also, as an unsought after side benefit, with an abundance of what you gave up in surrendering to this love. See Mark 10:23-31.

After all, we are all interdependent. Isn't that what love is all about?

{My apologizes if we are bringing too much Christianity into the Buddhism board. We need to learn the language, like InLove said.}

As you say, common language is important. For some Buddhists, like Milarepa for example, 'love' is just covert egoism. If you're in love with someone or something, it's only because you see aspects of your self reflected in them.

So you're more likely to hear Buddhists talking about karuna (compassion) and maitri/metta (loving-kindness).
Whole treatises have been written on their meanings alone and more practice done just understanding what these terms really mean.

I think it's important to consider the words we use well, otherwise they end up with slanted meanings, and then understanding between people is lost. The sentimental tones love and compassion have picked up are good examples.
 

seattlegal

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That would be onesided - only the effect. But karma is intention as well, the cause.
Cause and effect, or thusness. The state of conditionality (causes and conditions) which sentient beings ascribe to.
The law governing samsara and the state of suffering.

I'm making it sound complicated, but it's actually really simple. So simply that only Buddha's can know it fully. The rest of us are swept away by it.
Well, if you take the concept of linear time out of the equation, where effect follows cause, it is easy to make the connection.

As you say, common language is important. For some Buddhists, like Milarepa for example, 'love' is just covert egoism. If you're in love with someone or something, it's only because you see aspects of your self reflected in them.

So you're more likely to hear Buddhists talking about karuna (compassion) and maitri/metta (loving-kindness).
Whole treatises have been written on their meanings alone and more practice done just understanding what these terms really mean.

I think it's important to consider the words we use well, otherwise they end up with slanted meanings, and then understanding between people is lost. The sentimental tones love and compassion have picked up are good examples.
OK, it seems that both "karuna" and "metta" would both be part of the intention aspect of "karma." "Karuna" being more associated (attached?) with "righteousness," (like the Christian eleos?) and "metta" being more unattached, (like the Christian agape?) So, would "karuna" be love with the intention to set things right, while "metta" would be love with the intention that things continue along in their rightful manner?

I've noticed that karuna and metta are two of the four sublime states:
  • Metta/Maitri: loving-kindness towards all; the hope that a person will be well
  • Karuna: compassion; the hope that a person's sufferings will diminish
  • Mudita: altruistic joy in the accomplishments of a person, oneself or other
  • Upekkha/Upeksha: equanimity, or learning to accept both loss and gain, praise and blame, success and failure with detachment, equally, for oneself and for others

Wouldn't Upekkha/Upeksha be considered to be surrender?
 

Snoopy

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Is "karma" simply the consequences of our actions?

Hi InLove,

Karma is volitional action and vipaka is its result. 2500 years ago in northern India, belief in notions such as karma and reincarnation were widespread; life was viewed as cyclical. In such a culture would the Buddha have been immersed. The teaching of the Buddha (including a different understanding of karma to that at the time, and the lack of an unchanging eternal soul) may therefore be seen from this POV as a heretical derivation of Hinduism. I think I’m just saying be aware of the “normal” beliefs in the society at the time. Buddhism is sometimes called Hinduism without the gods!

s.
 

Vajradhara

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Namaste all,

interesting discussion thus far.

the comparative discussion can be quite difficult if we are not mindful to remain within the frames of reference in the discussion, in my view.

the idea of surrender, per se, is based upon a distinctly non-Buddhist idea, namely, that there is a being which is surrendering and a being to which surrender is rendered. in a nutshell, the idea that there is some self which must surrender is a view which is predicated upon Atman whereas the Buddhist view is Anatman.

the outer form, so to speak, of Buddhist praxis does seem to be somewhat similiar to other forms of practice where beings may be worshipped or venerated. perhaps it is the case that some Buddhists share this view as well. that said, when we have a clear understanding of the exposition of Anatman from the Buddhist view it becomes clear that the praxis is really quite different in its content.

the idea of surrender also connotes a rather fatalistic view in that it seems to imply that we cannot or are not the heirs of our karma and, due to our own intentional actions, thoughts and deeds, the creators of our future. we can, at this moment, engage in practice which will mitigate and, in some cases, eliminate, the negative vipaka (fruit) of our karma.

there are many techniques for working with and breaking through the ego. each being needs to discover what that is for themselves, in my view, and thus there are many methods which are taught throughout the Buddhist paradigm, though they all have the same outcome when they are culminated.

metta,

~v
 

Francis king

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time n time n time again, I've told ya once, I'm not tellin ya again... ten points to anyone who knows the song...lol...

karma is just one small part of existence, and whether ur happy/comfortable with that existence, karma is just one part of 12 parts which make "existence"... the 12 parts can be found in the rice seedling sutra, and is sometimes known as- pratityasamutpada, aka the chain of causation... regardless- karma is a composite of two root or "pada" words, ka-, doing, acting, and ma-, making or measuring... so, ur karma, basically, is the product of ur consciousness, the result of ur actions and judgements, and so if u are making "bad karma" (making bad judgements, or doing the bad actions), then dont be suprised if ur in "samsara's ocean" of misery, as its sam- (complete(ly) sa (your own, ones own) ra (desire(s)...
 

Francis king

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earl, sorry to be so ignorant of ur post... yes, amidism or pure land buddhism , or the pure land sect does state that u need to learn nothing but chant the name of amida or amitabha and u will be born in a pure land (amida will look after u, etc)

namo amida butsu! lol

or, namah amitabha svaha...

cheers earl
 

Francis king

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yes, I'm all over the place but- vajradhara- ur right-

the outer form, so to speak, of Buddhist praxis does seem to be somewhat similiar to other forms of practice where beings may be worshipped or venerated

but this, to my mind at least, is the same unfortunate occurance of all long established religions- (i.e., man becomes god, and his accomplishments become harder and harder for us mortals to attain as the years roll by) but this wasn't taught by the buddha... or so I have heard...

btw, all those who follow these buddhist type threads, susma said in another post that they were gonna start a thread on doctrine/semantics, etc, and I think I'd mentioned it b4 independently of this and vajradhara had said s/he would start one up, so, lets hope susma/vajradhara does the buisness...

gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha
 

samabudhi

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So, would "karuna" be love with the intention to set things right, while "metta" would be love with the intention that things continue along in their rightful manner?

All Buddhist doctrine has it's roots in the Four Noble Truths, the fundamental exposition of the nature of samsara; its arising; its cessation; and the path that leads to that cessation. That nature is suffering.
The antidote to any suffering is compassion. So that's Karuna in a nutshell.
Compassion is not just an intention though. For enlightened beings, it is the nature of their action, of their intention, and of their view - or we would say, body speech and mind. So not just intention.

Maybe example - Someone loses their house in a fire. You have compassion for them and want to relieve their suffering because you empathise. You have an idea of what that would be like, and you feel compelled to help, as you would like to be helped.
So you've heard Buddhism is a path. Then compassion is the nature of that path, because that's all that Buddhism is - a path to end suffering. If you help others to be free from suffering, then you also have empathy for yourself. 'How can I let myself suffer like this? This is not right, I must do something.' Compassion becomes your path, you stop ignoring yourself and find out what it is you really need to be happy. What you need is the same as what others need. So compassion is the most important.

Here's a translation of a Tibetan stanza on the four immeasurables

May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness
May all beings be free from suffering and the causes of suffering
May all beings never be separated from the happiness that knows no suffering
May all being abide in equanimity, free from attachment and anger that holds some close and others distant


Metta is the first, giving happiness to others
And karuna is next, taking suffering from others
Then mudita, sharing in the happiness of others (like not being jealous of other's happiness or overly involved in your own suffering)
And upeksa, not being swayed by circumstances of others, such as not being appreciated when you are kind, or being taken advantage of when you help. This is the unattached emphasis, so you don't get pulled back into the swamp of samsara when you try to help others.

The four immeasurables balance each other like this. They're simple, but simple meditations are often the most profound.
 
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