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Topics - Chaz

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Open Discussion / The Application of Mindfulness of the Sacred Dharma
« on: February 16, 2021, 08:38:43 PM »
 From BuddhistDoor:

Quote
On the occasion of the Lunar New Year, the global nonprofit 84000: Translating the Words of the Buddha is announcing publication of a new translation of an important sūtra known as The Application of Mindfulness of the Sacred Dharma. This scripture, one of the longest texts of the Tibetan Buddhist Canon, has never before been made fully available in English.

https://read.84000.co/translation/toh287.html

This looks real interesting.


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Open Discussion / Cultural Baggage
« on: February 10, 2021, 08:00:51 PM »
People sometimes express a certain displeasure with the "cultural baggage" they see in Buddhism today.  This is often directed towards Tibetan Buddhism. 

It's certainly true that there are a lot of culturally relevant trappings associated with those traditions and lineages.  Is this really "baggage", or rather a way to ethnocentricly describe the cultural context in which TB is presented?

Additionally, wouldn't these assertions of "baggage" acctually have roots in cultural baggage as well?

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Meditation / Headspace Guide To Meditation
« on: January 03, 2021, 10:22:35 PM »
I started watching a new Netflix series, Headspace  Guide To Meditation.  It's a 8-part series presented by a fellow named Andy Puddicombe.

It's good.

I've watched the first episode.  It's made up, mostly, of what I would call basic Shamatha/Vipassanna instruction.  From what I gather, the rest of the episodes will follow basic Mindfullness practice in a largely secular setting.  I'll finish the series.  Should be good.

I can whole-heartedly recommend.  If you have Netflix, definitely check it out.  Or, get a 7-day netflix trial and binge.

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Open Discussion / This time of year .....
« on: December 27, 2020, 07:14:58 PM »
This time of year always give me pause to consider the elements that have gone into present day religion and how such processes may affect western Buddhism in the future.

Lets take the most obvious - Christmas.  As a Christian holidayit has elements of Germanic Yule, Latin Saturnalia and Celitc Solstice observances along with traditional Christian tradition.  You could, if you wanted, throw Mithraism and Egyptian mythos into the mix.

The process by which this happened was first described to me as Purposive Evolution.  Simply put, this is a status quo, like Germanic religions, encounters a revolutionaryforce in Christianity.  Conflict arises.  The result is something new arises, containing elements of both the status quo and the revolutionary. 

This is why eastern and western christianity differ.  This is why they are in some ways the same.  The same is said for Buddhism.  As Buddhism spread it encountered new cultures and was adapted by those cultures.  Sometimes Buddhism prevailed, sometimes not.

This makes defining "pure" religions difficult because they are all have strong cultural influences and all the a]way back.  Like Christianity.  Christianity has Judaism as it's basis. Judaism contains elements of Mesopotamian and Egyptian mythology.  The same goes for whatever flavor of Buddhism you care to name.

You often see discussions about the future of western Buddhism.  These commonly about what people think should be added or subtractedas if there could be a collectively conscious decision to make.  It doesn't work that way.  Like the Chridtmas tree.  This tradition is about as non-Christion as it gets, yet there is is in Chistian homes world-wide.  There was no meeting to add that to Chritian tradition, it just worked its way in.  Why?  Because it worked.  Tibetan Buddhism is a fusion of Bon and Tantric Buddhism.

Sadly, none of us will live long enough to seewhat Western Buddhism will be, but it's still fun to speculate.

Personally I thing Buddhism in the west will begin with a fusion with monastic/contemplative Chistianity.

Your thoughts?

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Open Discussion / Fear, Attatchment, and Suffering
« on: November 21, 2020, 01:04:18 AM »
M&B posted something that bears discussion on it's own.

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so am I supposed to believe an attachment believe an infant and a mother always without a doubt leads to suffering?

I'm reading "believe" as "between".

The answer to that is unequivocally, yes.

My guru gave a teaching where he said the fear was the cause of suffering.  Where are afraid the good things will go away and bad things will stay.  so we become attached to that.  Thus there is suffering.

A mother, naturally fears for her child.  She is afraid that her child will get sick.  The child will die.  Leave her.  Not love her.  This cause the mother to cling to the chaild in the forlorn hope that the changes she fears will not come to pass.  That is suffering.  The mother isn't bad for feeling the way she does.  The suffering she experiences isn't bad either.  Just the same it is attachment and it is suffering.

I have an example.  about 50 years ago something happened with/to me that caused my mother such anguish and fear for my well-being that she had a breakdown and ended up in the hospital.  Wht she was feeling wasn't bad, and quite understandable, but it she was suffering on my account.  It was so bad that the family never really recovered from it and  that's on me.  A lot of suffering from a lot of love. 

That's an extreme case, but event the natural care and love a mother will have for her child, will be suffering.  It's inescapable.

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Meditation / Lojong Teachings streamed Live
« on: November 16, 2020, 03:49:56 AM »
Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche's Mangala Shri Bhuti  group will be having live streamed event on Logong practice Dec 5 & 6.  It will be free.

https://wp.mangalashribhuti.org/product/DJN2020L?fbclid=IwAR3E8gi_dghTGtxCgPFsuUsqEbtcq5_Ff32RjBWmDuoqhmXkOSuuVTp5Y1M

As I understand it, there will be three talks led by Dungse Jampal Norbu. I'm not familiar with Norbu, but with the connection to Dzigar Kongtrul I'm sure this will be great

7
Meditation / Life Turns
« on: October 25, 2020, 03:39:04 PM »
I find that life has it's turns.  They are often unexpected, and not always welcome, but by the end, alwasys interesting in how things worked out.

It seems that Gibbon started something.  He asked about my Ngondro practice in a thread a couple weeks ago, and it truned into a brain worm of sorts.  I've been thinking about Ngondro a lot.

I stopped my practice about 4 years ago.  The main reason was that I had lost interest in my goal - fulfillment of the prelininaries to tantric/Vajrayana practices.  Reasons aside, I decided that I wasn't going to be that kind of practitioner, and if so, the practice on Ngondro wasn't particularly important, so I stopped.

I've always felt bad about that.  The empowerments given for practices of this sort come with the obligation to perform the practice faithfully, untill released by the Guru.  While there are no deadlines involved (it takes as long as it takes.  One mentor I had took 15 years), you don't move on intil your finished.  Traditionally, that means 100,000 repetitions of 4 practices - Refuge, Vajrasattva, Mandala and Guru Yoga.  Many western lineage holders are asking students for 20,000 each. Mine does, but that's still a pretty big number..........anyway ......... I felt bad about stopping practice.  I had agreed to contunine and I wasn't.  That's not very good Karma. But still, they don't come and take away your Super Secret Vajra Decoder Ring over it.  Life, such as it is, goes on.

Well, Life it seems has gone (back?) to a place where resuming the practice seems likely.  I'm gathering materials.  Talking with an old friend about it.  Studying the liturgry.  It's good.

Along with Gib's gentle push, this forum has served as well.  My feelings about FreeSanga have changed since Wonky and I put the forum back together.  We turned a page.  The forum has the same name and the same look , but it's still new and that means new possibilities. Something can be built here. It's exciting.  It has me thinking about things in a way I haven't seen in a long time.  We're getting off to a slow start, but that's ok.

I'm glad you're all here.

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Open Discussion / The Dalai Lama Global Vision Summit
« on: October 17, 2020, 06:56:50 PM »
I just found an announcement for this this even at https://promo.lionsroar.com/dalai-lama-summit-register/?_ga=2.115262407.1906553536.1602948319-228141637.1595798668#aff02

Check this out.  10/21 - 10/27  There will be me over 40 talks including 21 teachers as well as HHtDL.

It's free  and should be an interesting series.

TBH, I don't know if I'll attend or not.  I'm prepping for a big car and craft show.

Be forewarned. This is said too be free, which I take for "no charge".  I suspect there will be occaisional pitches for contribution for dana.  The last time I responded to something from HH, i started getting seasonal fund-raising material.  Back then it was a brochure describing what they were trying to raise money for.  These included a package 5 strung prayer flags, which were actually rather nice.  I have a couple sets strung on the monitors in my office. They stopped contacting me after a few years. I don't know about you, but  from involvement in my chosen political caucus, as well as NPOs, I don't mind being approached for fund-raising.  The trick is knowing how to say "No".  The point is, in the near term, it won't be "free".  They will like something in return, but they won't, or at least shouldn't, make it a hard sell.

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Meditation / Jeffrey the Meditator
« on: October 08, 2020, 01:52:22 AM »
Back in the day, when Pterodactyls ruled the skies, I had a meditation teacher named Jeffrey Stevens.  He was well-known in Buddhist circles around Denver as one of the best MIs anywhere.

Fast forward to today.

My old friend struck out on his own a few years back and founded a meditation community holding group meditation without all the fluff of lineage.

For the record, Jeffrey comes from a Tibetan/Shambhala background.

A couple weeks ago he started a YouTube channel for .... welll .... meditation.  He's got a couple videos posted and will be releasing more.   Jeffrey's style has changed since our hunter/gatherer days together.  Today, he reminds of Ze Frank ....... if Ze Frank were to teach meditation ...... which he doesn't ..... but would still be pretty good if he did.


I recommend checking it out:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOyzwLLkhhrvLu4nJsOsn3w

Like and Subscribe


 

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Bother / Amenephistus Plese Read
« on: September 16, 2020, 03:38:30 AM »
There was a problem and your account was removed.

My bad.

Please open another account.

11
Meditation / Thoughts about a practice group
« on: September 16, 2020, 12:13:34 AM »
Since moving to South Carolina 3 years ago, I've been without a sangha for group practice.  Back in Denver they were commonplace - Zen, Shambhala, various Tibetan groups and so on offered programs that were compatible (hate to use that term) with my main practice.  Here, not so much.  There are a few groups nearby but for one reason or another, don't offer a practice container I'd be comfortable in.

I've been considering taking steps toward starting a practice group myself.

Teaching meditation presents a challenge.  I've been practicing Shamatha/Vipassna for 15 years.  I guess after all that time I could get a beginner started.  The problem I face is that in my practice lineage you have to have completed Ngondro and have the guru's permission/blessing after specific training.  Those prelims aren't gonna happen.  So if I abide by tradition, a local practice group ain't gonna happen unless somebody else does it and I doubt that will happen any time soon.

So, do I break with tradition and move ahead or wait.   Is it better to ask forgiveness than permission?

It may seem to be a simple thing, but believe me it is not.

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Meditation / Restricted Practices
« on: September 02, 2020, 05:26:17 AM »
In the Buddhist world the are what's called Restricted Practice.  Such practice is undertaken with the permission of a teacher empowered guide the practitioner.  Discussion of such practice is usually limited to the the practice community. 

You may ask questions about these practices, but answers may not be forthcoming.  Please respect this.  It may also be that there is no one who can answer the question

If you seek information on resyricted practice we can help you find the answers.

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Bother / Introductions
« on: September 02, 2020, 01:04:06 AM »
No bother, but if you're new, introduce yourself!!

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Secular Buddhism / Thoughts about Secular Buddhism Discussion
« on: September 01, 2020, 10:06:41 PM »
I can say that Secular Buddhist practice is a "tradition" at least in the strict sense.   Another generation of practice is needed if you ask me.

That said .....

Secular Buddhism discussions tend to get a little heated.  This seems to happen most often where the discussion involves comparison/contrast language.  So, how about we discuss secular practice on it's own merits and leave other traditions out of it?

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Danger Zone / A few notes about the Danger Zone
« on: September 01, 2020, 04:03:45 PM »
Ok, I get it.  I like a vigorous discussion of controversial issues as much as the next guy or gal.

And yes, this is FREE Sangha.

Free, in this context, doesn't mean complete, and unbridled freedom to post whatever you want and that also applies to the "DZ".  Some controversial topics are, well, just too controversial for the kind of dicussion we want see.

A few rules of thumb to consider.

Political topics, especially US politics, might be best served elsewhere.

Diet discussions, especially vegetarianism, always seem to go south within a few posts.  Such subjects will be monitored closely and locked/deleted as deemed necessary.

Scandals should be treated gently.  Let's discuss them like the reasonable adults we hopefully are.

Issues such as the Dorje Shugden controversy, the 2 Karmapas and so on should be discussed in a measured manner.  Not everyone is a Kagyu or enthralled by the Dalai Lama.

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