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Open Discussion / Re: Practicing absolute humility when other's refuse it
« Last post by Chaz on July 07, 2021, 05:50:32 PM »
Does anyone still wonder this here who would like to read what I hope is a proper direction? I am not above words or entirely immune, but I have a life which has broken down a little bit of this lesson for me. I can describe how compassion and  letting go works and copes while being berated, threatened and otherwise verbally and even physically assaulted and abused. I do difficult work in an American prison and the understanding has come with sweeping and trying changes that slowly bring understanding that is, I hope, useful knowable phenomenon. I would offer what I have seen about this to anyone who wants to read it. My time on earth has challenged my ego and it can for anyone who is paying attention and knows what they are looking for but is also willing to accept.

A little late, but I've been thinking that yes you should share what you've learned. 

The thing is, it won't be for everyone.  That I can assure you, but it will be for someone, and that's what's really important.  The Buddha knew that what he taught would not connect with everyone who heard.  He taught for those who could and left a seed for those who couldn't.
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Open Discussion / Re: Practicing absolute humility when other's refuse it
« Last post by Anemephistus on June 13, 2021, 06:42:37 AM »
Through a lot of my meditations and studies of Buddhist books, I've come to the conclusion that I would be better off if I were able to be un-affected by insults, yet the problem is I have always wanted that and been able to do it. Of course, I need to move in that direction through mindfulness...but it seems that on the internet, whether i react to the insult or not doesn't really make any difference. Of course in real life, it's easier to make a show of indifference especially when there are things more important than your ego at stake, yet I think I'm still really bad at this overall.

How does one mostly live for the benefit of others? That seems to be what hindu and buddhist wisdom keeps telling other people to do. It is true that if you feel like you are the protagonist in your life that just leads to suffering because you get attached to self-preservation.

Does anyone still wonder this here who would like to read what I hope is a proper direction? I am not above words or entirely immune, but I have a life which has broken down a little bit of this lesson for me. I can describe how compassion and  letting go works and copes while being berated, threatened and otherwise verbally and even physically assaulted and abused. I do difficult work in an American prison and the understanding has come with sweeping and trying changes that slowly bring understanding that is, I hope, useful knowable phenomenon. I would offer what I have seen about this to anyone who wants to read it. My time on earth has challenged my ego and it can for anyone who is paying attention and knows what they are looking for but is also willing to accept.
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Open Discussion / Re: Teaching Experience
« Last post by Gibbon on June 10, 2021, 11:08:53 PM »
Yes, open heart, that's the essence of it all.  Fortunate is he who meets his teacher in this life.  We meet our teacher as the result of ripening of previously created merit.  If there is a strong reaction upon meeting him for the first time, as is the case here, it probably means you studied with him in the past.

After meeting the teacher, we do work in opening the heart even further, such as making offerings constantly and performing service without any expectation of gain for the self.  Such an expectation closes the heart right back again.

"Well realizing that the root of the path,
The foundation for every realization,
Is to properly rely on my kind Guru,
Bless me to do so with great effort and devotion." -- Tsongkhapa

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Open Discussion / Teaching Experience
« Last post by Chaz on June 09, 2021, 10:40:15 PM »
I was reading a thread on another forum and it got me to thinking who is the most influential teacher in my life right now.

For me it's a no-brainer - my Root Guru.

As a matter of personal policy I never reveal his name on social media, and I won't change that here, but suffice it to say that the first teaching he gave me was enough, that if I were to never have another teaching from him in my life, I would need no more.

I had recently joined his sangha and had a group interview with him during a teaching visit.  When my turn came I asked about something I had read.  I read it in a poem written buy one of his gurus, Dilgo Khyentse, Rinpoche.  It was the term "Genuine Devotion".  I also recalled that the term was also found in the Mahamudra Lineage Supplication.  I had a pretty good idea what it wasn't but was uncertain of what it was.  So I asked, "What is Genuine Devotion".

He pondered this for a moment.  He looked right at me and said. "Open Heart".  He paused as if reconsidering and then said, "Yes, an Open Heart."  That was it.  That was all.  It was all that was needed.

So as it says,
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Devotion is the head of meditation, as is taught.
 The guru opens the gate to the treasury of oral instructions.
 To this meditator who continually supplicates him
 Grant your blessings, so that genuine devotion is born in me.

This has been my guiding light since then.

Has anyone else had a "moment" with a teacher or a teaching?
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Open Discussion / Aghatavinaya Sutta: Removing Annoyance
« Last post by Chaz on June 08, 2021, 06:13:45 PM »
Saw this discussed on another forum, thought I'd share my thoughts on the sutta.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an05/an05.161.nymo.html

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Loving-kindness can be maintained in being toward a person with whom you are annoyed: this is how annoyance with him can be removed.

This, I think is most important, but is not something you can simply turn on and off like a light switch.  To say, or think, "I have loving kindness towards this anoying person." is not enough.  These are merely words and thoughts, and not loving-kindness.  There is more to it than that.

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Compassion can be maintained in being toward a person with whom you are annoyed; this too is how annoyance with him can be removed.

The same would apply here.  In the Mahayana compassion is tied to the experience of emptiness.  You don't just turn on the compassion.

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Onlooking equanimity can be maintained in being toward a person with whom you are annoyed; this too is how annoyance with him can be removed.

This is what I believe is the key - equanimity.  Practice leads to equanimity - having no extremes to cling to - love/hate, compassion/revultion and so on.  As long as you cling to hate for someone you can't love them and you can't just stop hating.  Or Loving if that's the case.  Either way it's clinging and until you achieve equanimity you won't let go.

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The forgetting and ignoring of a person with whom you are annoyed can be practiced; this too is how annoyance with him can be removed.

This sounds like one of those things:  When all else fails you can just ignore them. Like covering your ears and chanting "lalalalalala".  Simple enough but is that really ignoring the person?  Probably not.  It's more likely to be some mental noise used to drown out other noise.  As some level you're still annoyed even though you claim to be ignoring.


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Ownership of deeds in a person with whom you are annoyed can be concentrated upon thus: 'This good person is owner of his deeds, heir to his deeds, his deeds are the womb from which he is born, his deeds are his kin for whom he is responsible, his deeds are his refuge, he is heir to his deeds, be they good or bad.' This too is how annoyance with him can be removed.

This will come out of compassion.  You have to really believe that the person is basically good.  You can't just say it.  If you have that sort of compassion, you won't be annoyed with someone.

What are your thoughts?
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Secular Buddhism / Re: I almost hate to say it, but ........
« Last post by Gibbon on June 08, 2021, 06:00:40 PM »
In a perverse way I am happy for you, Chaz.  You have been cut off from the physical Sangha yet your determination to practice has not waned.  Keep practicing, good things are coming your way in the future.
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Secular Buddhism / Re: I almost hate to say it, but ........
« Last post by Chaz on June 07, 2021, 05:30:20 PM »
"secular buddhism" is somewhat oxymoronic,

That's really true.  Buddhism, at the end of the day IS a religion.  More to it than just that, though.  My Guru calls it "science of the mind" and I agree with that, but it's also religion.  "Secular Buddhism" is like saying "Irreligious Religion".

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yet one doesn't have to label oneself anything in order to practice...

Very true!

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i think all the religious ornaments have the quality of bringing together people in a group, that's their power.

It's a cultural thing - part for the structure of a society.  It aids in identification with the group.  If you look at the material culture of Tibetan Buddhism  - it all has meaning.  And the intent is to convey that.  A Thanka isn't so much an image of a particular being existing somewhere in time and space.  Rather it's a graphic representation of the various qualities and attributes of enlightened being.  This meaning is intended for the community (Sangha) as much as for the individual.

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Secular Buddhism / Re: I almost hate to say it, but ........
« Last post by MarasAndBuddhas on June 07, 2021, 05:13:16 PM »
Yeah, well, "secular buddhism" is somewhat oxymoronic, yet one doesn't have to label oneself anything in order to practice...

i think all the religious ornaments have the quality of bringing together people in a group, that's their power. If i had to choose any label it would be "confused buddhist", because i just don't have much in the way of "beliefs" except a vague sketch of what is polite and incorrect or impolite and rude.

I've learned a lot from this "global pandemic", yet it has been pretty horrible for my ability to meditate. I resolved recently i'm just going to shorten my time to 10 minutes, we'll how see how that works out.
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Secular Buddhism / I almost hate to say it, but ........
« Last post by Chaz on May 27, 2021, 09:25:20 PM »
........... I am, slowly, but surely, becoming a secular Buddhist.

This isn't a matter of choice, to a loss of faith, or a inability to relate to the religious aspects of the path.

It's a matter of evolution.

I'm fine with everything has gone before.  However, having left the comfort of my Colorado sangha, having not found anything as a suitable replacement, and nothing on the horizon, things have changed.  The "religious" aspects of my practice, things that are heavily dependent on a sangha for support, have taken on less importance that in previous years.  I don't do the practices and rituals.  I don't make observances.  I'm still strong with the less religious aspects of the path - sitting meditations in the simplest of forms.

And it's ok.  This is where karma has taken me.

There have been and there still are issues I have with "Secular Buddhism" - things I don't agree with. I'm not fond of the label. However, my practice is becoming more secular than religious.

Go figure?
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Danger Zone / Re: east and west
« Last post by MarasAndBuddhas on May 22, 2021, 01:21:54 AM »
I personally think that arguing with people on Facebook is pointless.  It reminds me of the old cartoon -- a man unable to go to bed because someone is WRONG on the internet! 

The advantage of Free Sangha is that everyone, at least in theory, is trying to follow the right speech guidelines. -- not because of moderation but because this is an integral part of Dharma practice.  Of course, we fail at this all the time, because we are human, but the thing to do is pick oneself up and try again.   

If traveling to the Far East, my pick would be Taiwan instead of mainland China.  It has preserved more traditional attitudes to culture and religion.  Be forewarned that, if you want to learn enough Chinese for religious practice, it would take a major effort on your part.

yeah, there are a couple of different forms of chinese, and in order to translate the original "Tao Te Ching" I would need to also learn caligraphy, none of this is easy but i could make a stab at it with all the right preparations.
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