Buddha Nature ?

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Re: Buddha Nature ?

Postby meindzai » Wed Mar 17, 2010 12:34 am

Stephen wrote:If by "Buddha nature" you mean the potential to reach the same awakening, Nibbana, then naturally it need not be pointed out anywhere in the suttas because it is the entire point of the Buddhist teachings to reach this state of enlightenment.

I'd try not to call the Buddha "Lord", as it makes it seem like he's being worshiped or thought of as some kind of deity by anyone who doesn't understand Buddhism fully (which is a lot of people in the West). Perhaps better to say either Buddha, Master, Teacher or Tathagata (as he referred to himself, also meaning Teacher). Anything but "Lord". ;)


Stephen,

"Lord," is just an honorific, like "sir." It does not denote anything supernatural. You're getting your definition from the Christian usage most likely.

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Re: Buddha Nature ?

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Mar 17, 2010 12:36 am

Aloka wrote: I'm quite comfortable saying 'Lord',thanks, Stephen.

I agree. Those who automatically associate "lord" with "God" might like to think:
"lord" as in "lord of the rings"... :tongue:

In fact, there are seven definitions of "lord" given here: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/lord before God is even mentioned...

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Re: Buddha Nature ?

Postby ground » Wed Mar 17, 2010 3:21 am

Aloka wrote:.The reason why I asked is because after many years as a Vajrayana practitioner and knowing hardly anything at all about any other tradition,...


Aloka

may I ask what tradition you have been following?
I am asking because not all Mahayana tradition are so focused on "Buddha nature" teachings which may be the wrong impression caused by this thread.


Kind regards
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Re: Buddha Nature ?

Postby PeterB » Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:12 am

Aloka wrote:
Stephen wrote:I'd try not to call the Buddha "Lord", as it makes it seem like he's being worshiped or thought of as some kind of deity by anyone who doesn't understand Buddhism fully (which is a lot of people in the West). Perhaps better to say either Buddha, Master, Teacher or Tathagata (as he referred to himself, also meaning Teacher). Anything but "Lord". ;)



I'm quite comfortable saying 'Lord',thanks, Stephen.

I wouldn't like to speculate about how many other people understand Buddhism in the west because I'm dealing with my own practice at the moment.

Thank you for your concern. .

Kind regards,

Aloka

I am quite happy with " Lord Buddha " too.
Lets not be nervous of honourifics.
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Re: Buddha Nature ?

Postby Aloka » Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:29 am

TMingyur wrote:
Aloka wrote:.The reason why I asked is because after many years as a Vajrayana practitioner and knowing hardly anything at all about any other tradition,...


Aloka

may I ask what tradition you have been following?
I am asking because not all Mahayana tradition are so focused on "Buddha nature" teachings which may be the wrong impression caused by this thread.


Kind regards


Hi,

I already stated the tradition - Vajrayana (Tibetan) - and I don't want to start getting into a discussion about it because its not appropriate to the forum - suffice to say that Buddha Nature was mentioned a lot by some teachers (offline)

I don't think I've given the wrong impression .I'm speaking not from internet readings, but from extensive personal experience over a number of years. I don't intend going into any further personal details though - ok ?


All the best,

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Re: Buddha Nature ?

Postby PeterB » Wed Mar 17, 2010 10:06 am

I dont want to be contentious just for the sake of it, but one of the reasons I drew away from the Vajrayana after investing a lot of time and energy in its practice, is because of a growing sense of unreality around the whole issue of Buddha Nature.
As a concept it seemd to raise more problems than it solved.
The fact that it is uncanonical is also of some importance... :smile:
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Re: Buddha Nature ?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Mar 17, 2010 10:39 am

Greetings,

PeterB wrote:The fact that it is uncanonical is also of some importance... :smile:


Yes. Doubly so given we're in the Discovering Theravada forum!

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Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Buddha Nature ?

Postby PeterB » Wed Mar 17, 2010 10:58 am

Quite so.... :smile:
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Re: Buddha Nature ?

Postby ground » Wed Mar 17, 2010 5:11 pm

Aloka wrote:
TMingyur wrote:
Aloka wrote:.The reason why I asked is because after many years as a Vajrayana practitioner and knowing hardly anything at all about any other tradition,...


Aloka

may I ask what tradition you have been following?
I am asking because not all Mahayana tradition are so focused on "Buddha nature" teachings which may be the wrong impression caused by this thread.


Kind regards


Hi,

I already stated the tradition - Vajrayana (Tibetan) - and I don't want to start getting into a discussion about it because its not appropriate to the forum - suffice to say that Buddha Nature was mentioned a lot by some teachers (offline)

I don't think I've given the wrong impression .I'm speaking not from internet readings, but from extensive personal experience over a number of years. I don't intend going into any further personal details though - ok ?


All the best,

Aloka


Well then I guess yours is Karma Kagyu. ;)

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Re: Buddha Nature ?

Postby ground » Wed Mar 17, 2010 5:15 pm

PeterB wrote:I dont want to be contentious just for the sake of it, but one of the reasons I drew away from the Vajrayana after investing a lot of time and energy in its practice, is because of a growing sense of unreality around the whole issue of Buddha Nature.
As a concept it seemd to raise more problems than it solved.
The fact that it is uncanonical is also of some importance... :smile:


This can be avoided if one follows the advice of teachers that teach to first focus on the path common to Mahayana and non-Mahayana.
If one jumps into Vajrayana right away, what do you expect other than confusion?

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Re: Buddha Nature ?

Postby PeterB » Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:11 pm

I actually started off in the Theravada T Mingyur, then after meeting Chogyam Trungpa spent many years in the Vajrayana befrore going back to the Theravada. I didnt experience confusion. Just a sense of the superfluous.
I dont regret my years in the Vajrayana. Neither do I think I learned anything of value I would not have learned if I had stayed in the Theravada.
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Re: Buddha Nature ?

Postby christopher::: » Thu Mar 18, 2010 1:28 am

Hopefully there was a connecting thread there with your dhamma practice year-to-year, Peter, not dependent on the group you belonged to or the conceptions held, no?

As Kim posted elsewhere:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basic_Poin ... e_Mahayana

TMingyur wrote:
This can be avoided if one follows the advice of teachers that teach to first focus on the path common to Mahayana and non-Mahayana.
If one jumps into Vajrayana right away, what do you expect other than confusion?

Kind regards


I think the same kind of problems arise for Zen practitioners, and agree in terms of the optimal "cure"...

:anjali:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: Buddha Nature ?

Postby Wind » Thu Mar 18, 2010 5:00 am

Stephen wrote:I'd try not to call the Buddha "Lord", as it makes it seem like he's being worshiped or thought of as some kind of deity by anyone who doesn't understand Buddhism fully (which is a lot of people in the West). Perhaps better to say either Buddha, Master, Teacher or Tathagata (as he referred to himself, also meaning Teacher). Anything but "Lord". ;)


When I hear "Lord" I think of Jesus. My favorite nickname for the Buddha is The Blessed One.
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Re: Buddha Nature ?

Postby PeterB » Thu Mar 18, 2010 8:37 am

When I hear The Blessed One I think of Jose Mourinho.
You avoid your least favourite epithet for the Buddha and i will avoid mine.. :tongue:
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Re: Buddha Nature ?

Postby PeterB » Thu Mar 18, 2010 8:51 am

christopher::: wrote:Hopefully there was a connecting thread there with your dhamma practice year-to-year, Peter, not dependent on the group you belonged to or the conceptions held, no?

As Kim posted elsewhere:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basic_Poin ... e_Mahayana

TMingyur wrote:
This can be avoided if one follows the advice of teachers that teach to first focus on the path common to Mahayana and non-Mahayana.
If one jumps into Vajrayana right away, what do you expect other than confusion?

Kind regards


I think the same kind of problems arise for Zen practitioners, and agree in terms of the optimal "cure"...

:anjali:

The commonalities were the 4NT, The 8fp, Vipassana, Samatha ,DO etc. Which is why I said that I would not have missed anything ( other than an exposure to an extraordinary personality ) if I had stayed in the Theravada Chris.
Because those are of the essence.
"Buddha nature" Tulkus, even "Bodhicitta " as seen in TB, and the Bodhisattva vow, arent of the essence imo.
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Re: Buddha Nature ?

Postby christopher::: » Thu Mar 18, 2010 10:18 am

PeterB wrote:The commonalities were the 4NT, The 8fp, Vipassana, Samatha ,DO etc. Which is why I said that I would not have missed anything ( other than an exposure to an extraordinary personality ) if I had stayed in the Theravada Chris.
Because those are of the essence.
"Buddha nature" Tulkus, even "Bodhicitta " as seen in TB, and the Bodhisattva vow, arent of the essence imo.


Well, yes, that's what i meant. Most importantly do you feel your practice suffered because of the "add ons" or was your "core" understanding of the dhamma strong enough that helpful things happened during those years?

I dunno. What concerns me the most is how quite a few Mahayana teachers and students seem to have lost track of some of the essential commonalities. Not all, probably not even the majority.

I'm just of the opinion that if a person combines both, belief in "buddha nature" or "bodhichitta" should not be a problem. It's when the core is ignored or treated as secondary that real difficulties start to manifest....

in my highly nonexpert layperson's opinion...

:anjali:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: Buddha Nature ?

Postby PeterB » Thu Mar 18, 2010 10:30 am

Did you listen to Thannisaro Bhikkhus talk Chris, in particular the obscuring of clarity that can occur when certain unCanonical concepts are given prominence ?

In my own case, and perhaps because I had spent a while in the Theravada before exploring the Vajrayana, I always took concepts like Buddha Nature and even ( sorry guys ) the Bodhisattva Vow with a very large pinch of salt.. certainly not as relating to literal events or processes.

Also I had a thorough grounding in Vipassana before encountering the Vajrayana . In fact because he knew my first Theravada teacher Dhiravamsa, from his time in London, Trungpa Rinpoche taught me a method that combined Vipassana and Samatha.

So really it was all about the experiential for me. I never really bought into the Mahayana/Vajrayana mythos.
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Re: Buddha Nature ?

Postby christopher::: » Thu Mar 18, 2010 12:36 pm

PeterB wrote:
So really it was all about the experiential for me. I never really bought into the Mahayana/Vajrayana mythos.


i hear ya...

Thanks for reminding me to listen to Thannisaro Bhikkhu's talk, Peter... i had not before, but yes now i have listened to it. He's very very clear... I... have some minor disagreements... but for the most part the potential dangers with the concept are now much clearer.

Will take some more time to reflect on his talk before commenting again.

There was so much static though, anyone know of a clearer version of that talk, or was it a problem with my download, should i try again?

Domo arigato!
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: Buddha Nature ?

Postby altar » Thu Mar 18, 2010 4:04 pm

I'm not sure anyone's brought this up.

To say that all people have Buddha nature is a more qualified version of, that people all have the same nature (of some type or other). Or people have different natures, but individually there is some given nature to each of them (or their minds).
So, I won't divide in this kind of philosophical manner much further, but based on this line of division, it seems that a sensible thing to do, if you believed that there was some "nature of the mind," instead of looking for Buddha nature, one should just observe the mind and actions, and if some nature is discerned, then you know it, and if it's Buddha nature, then you know that, too.
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Re: Buddha Nature ?

Postby PeterB » Thu Mar 18, 2010 4:12 pm

I rather thought Altar that the Theravada view is that people do not have a "nature" but rather they are an ever- changing set of aggregates called the Khandas.
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