Where is the line between Buddhism and Dhamma?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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bridif1
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Re: Where is the line between Buddhism and Dhamma?

Post by bridif1 »

Dhamma can be understood as the natural laws and processes that influence and explain the events leading to dukkha, its arising and its cessation.

Also, Dhamma can be the "duties" or deeds that come by understanding the above, and which indicate the most optimal, efficient and effective way to put at end to dukkha for good.

Dhamma can be used to refer to the Teachings that talk about these two things described before.

Buddhism is the name used by our modern standards to define a religious-philosophical-practical system, whose founder is Gotama Buddha. But this is just a moderm concept rather than a precise description of what the Dhamma is.

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Re: Where is the line between Buddhism and Dhamma?

Post by mikenz66 »

binocular wrote: Fri Jun 14, 2019 12:27 pm Where is the line between Buddhism and Dhamma?
In people's minds... :tongue:

There is a path/raft. Call it whatever suits you. Call it a religion, call it a way of life, call it a set of instructions... Your raft may include more or less grass and twigs than other rafts, and may have a different name... It may be more or less effective...

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Ceisiwr
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Re: Where is the line between Buddhism and Dhamma?

Post by Ceisiwr »

The Dhamma is found in the suttas and the present moment. All the rest is commentary and interpretation.
"Analysis and synthesis are praised by the wise,
liberation in the Sāsana comes from analysis and synthesis;
the purpose of the method of analysis and synthesis is the ultimate"


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Dan74
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Re: Where is the line between Buddhism and Dhamma?

Post by Dan74 »

Everything can be Dhamma, if one pays right attention.

For instance, participating in a ritual at a temple with its choreographed beauty, aware of one's movements and breath and other participants around, can be great practice as one brings the mindfulness, the equipoise, the devotion and other positive qualities into it or it can be a waste of time, nothing to do with the Dhamma, etc depending on one's attitude.

Giving Dana, prostrations, chanting, etc etc all contain wonderful opportunities for practice, if one is inclined to seeing them. But if Dhamma practice is implicitly taken to be a solitary cerebral exercise, sort of like Western philosophy, then what is and isn't practice is much more narrowly defined.
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mikenz66
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Re: Where is the line between Buddhism and Dhamma?

Post by mikenz66 »

Dan74 wrote: Sat Jun 15, 2019 7:09 am Everything can be Dhamma, if one pays right attention.
Thanks Dan, those are exactly the sort of thing that I was thinking of. "Essential Dhamma" varies with the person.

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Re: Where is the line between Buddhism and Dhamma?

Post by DooDoot »

binocular wrote: Fri Jun 14, 2019 12:27 pmWhere is the line between Buddhism and Dhamma?
Dhamma is natural truth or natural law. Buddhism appears to be a social construct, generally a "religion".
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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SDC
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Re: Where is the line between Buddhism and Dhamma?

Post by SDC »

Dan74 wrote: Sat Jun 15, 2019 7:09 am Everything can be Dhamma, if one pays right attention.

For instance, participating in a ritual at a temple with its choreographed beauty, aware of one's movements and breath and other participants around, can be great practice as one brings the mindfulness, the equipoise, the devotion and other positive qualities into it or it can be a waste of time, nothing to do with the Dhamma, etc depending on one's attitude.

Giving Dana, prostrations, chanting, etc etc all contain wonderful opportunities for practice, if one is inclined to seeing them. But if Dhamma practice is implicitly taken to be a solitary cerebral exercise, sort of like Western philosophy, then what is and isn't practice is much more narrowly defined.
(Added emphasis)

I think you're highlighting an important point and it is along the lines of what I was trying to say. There is no doubt the understanding is private; that the details of one's own development cannot automatically be transferred to others just by virtue of them being available (the others need to develop the attitude and inclination you spoke about above), but when you are with others, the different degrees of dedication and commitment to what is happening are a great opportunity to test and develop that understanding. And it is a great opportunity for those who have much learning to do, to be inspired and that can rouse their faith. Again, it is still a private understanding, but the public setting can be conducive to it being shared.

Can it be done in solitary? Sure the Buddha praised that. Told monks to find empty huts and tree roots to contemplate and abide. Of course there is the paccekabuddha who develops totally on their own in a world void of Dhamma descriptions. So, yes it can, but I think there is more to consider. We can't forget that we all found this practice because of the choice, first of the Buddha, and then of others, to share it, to make it public. Perhaps the public part will be less required as the work gets more subtle, but it is nonetheless the access to the opportunity.

So maybe that is the line: Buddhism is access to the opportunity to understand the Dhamma.

I think another question that is being constantly addressed, yet never actually asked is, what homage is owed to the public aspects, once the access has been gained? What do the young people in SE Asia owe their elders for giving them access? What does SE Asia owe to Northern India? What do monks owe their abbots? What do westerners owe the east? What did the arahats owe the Buddha? What is required to be given back in order to develop understanding?

B, let me know if you think that last paragraph belongs in another topic.
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Re: Where is the line between Buddhism and Dhamma?

Post by binocular »

Dan74 wrote: Sat Jun 15, 2019 7:09 am Everything can be Dhamma, if one pays right attention.

For instance, participating in a ritual at a temple with its choreographed beauty, aware of one's movements and breath and other participants around, can be great practice as one brings the mindfulness, the equipoise, the devotion and other positive qualities into it or it can be a waste of time, nothing to do with the Dhamma, etc depending on one's attitude.

Giving Dana, prostrations, chanting, etc etc all contain wonderful opportunities for practice, if one is inclined to seeing them. But if Dhamma practice is implicitly taken to be a solitary cerebral exercise, sort of like Western philosophy, then what is and isn't practice is much more narrowly defined.
In other words: taking things for granted. Taking for granted that one is in the right religion, the right lineage, the right group. Taking for granted.
If one starts off with the belief "This is the real deal, this is the right thing!" one will -- no surprise there -- be convinced one has the real deal, the right thing.
Hic Rhodus, hic salta!
binocular
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Re: Where is the line between Buddhism and Dhamma?

Post by binocular »

SDC wrote: Sat Jun 15, 2019 3:41 pmI think another question that is being constantly addressed, yet never actually asked is, what homage is owed to the public aspects, once the access has been gained? What do the young people in SE Asia owe their elders for giving them access? What does SE Asia owe to Northern India? What do monks owe their abbots? What do westerners owe the east? What did the arahats owe the Buddha? What is required to be given back in order to develop understanding?

B, let me know if you think that last paragraph belongs in another topic.
I think conceptualizing things in terms of "homage", "owing", "indebtedness" steers us in the wrong direction unless these terms are further qualified.

I'm talking about the connection, a sense of commonality that simply, naturally develops when one receives and accepts something. This has nothing yet to do with gratitude, or homage, not even with specifically acknowledging sources or provenance. It's simply there.
When it comes to non-material things that were given and accepted, this connection can be called, among other things, epistemic dependence (this is a googleable term, although no Wiki entry so far).

For example, you know whom you've learned English from. Your parents, other family members, teachers, textbooks. Perhaps you have forgotten most of their names or how the lessons went. Perhaps you don't have fond memories of them; or perhaps you do. Maybe you're grateful to them for teaching you English, maybe you're not.
But one thing that remains a constant regardless of how grateful or ungrateful you feel, how indebted or not, is the knowledge that you have learned English, that it didn't just magically appear in your head, poof, overnight. You also didn't invent English on your own. Your knowledge of English somehow ties you, bonds you with other speakers of English, for better or worse.

And it's similar with religion. One learns it from someone, through someone. Sure, one may do a lot of things on one's own, under the banner of religion, but it's never an isolated activity. Not even if one were to go live all by oneself in the wilderness, without any religious book. It suffices to have a memory of past exchanges or ideas, even if they were just things one has read in a book.

The rugged Dhamma individualist is like someone who wants to learn English, but determines to deny any connection to English speakers, English textbooks, and whatever other source of English there may be.


I'll start a topic on this when I'll have formulated it, thanks.
Hic Rhodus, hic salta!
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Sam Vara
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Re: Where is the line between Buddhism and Dhamma?

Post by Sam Vara »

binocular wrote: Sat Jun 15, 2019 4:23 pm
I'm talking about the connection, a sense of commonality that simply, naturally develops when one receives and accepts something. This has nothing yet to do with gratitude, or homage, not even with specifically acknowledging sources or provenance. It's simply there.
When it comes to non-material things that were given and accepted, this connection can be called, among other things, epistemic dependence ...
And it's similar with religion. One learns it from someone, through someone. Sure, one may do a lot of things on one's own, under the banner of religion, but it's never an isolated activity. Not even if one were to go live all by oneself in the wilderness, without any religious book. It suffices to have a memory of past exchanges or ideas, even if they were just things one has read in a book.
Yes. This is an aspect of the fact that our reality is saṅkhata, put together, conditioned by other things. As such, we need to think about what conditions we associate with.
Dan74
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Re: Where is the line between Buddhism and Dhamma?

Post by Dan74 »

binocular wrote: Sat Jun 15, 2019 3:57 pm
Dan74 wrote: Sat Jun 15, 2019 7:09 am Everything can be Dhamma, if one pays right attention.

For instance, participating in a ritual at a temple with its choreographed beauty, aware of one's movements and breath and other participants around, can be great practice as one brings the mindfulness, the equipoise, the devotion and other positive qualities into it or it can be a waste of time, nothing to do with the Dhamma, etc depending on one's attitude.

Giving Dana, prostrations, chanting, etc etc all contain wonderful opportunities for practice, if one is inclined to seeing them. But if Dhamma practice is implicitly taken to be a solitary cerebral exercise, sort of like Western philosophy, then what is and isn't practice is much more narrowly defined.
In other words: taking things for granted. Taking for granted that one is in the right religion, the right lineage, the right group. Taking for granted.
If one starts off with the belief "This is the real deal, this is the right thing!" one will -- no surprise there -- be convinced one has the real deal, the right thing.
Is that what it takes? What is really there to take or not take for granted? Like much of the flow of life, playing with children or a walk in the forest, prostrating in the temple hall or offering Dana, the experience of it, the participation, the communion, do not need to be burdened by self-conscious awareness or a critical observer keeping a respectful distance, do they? I mean I am not advocating delighting in a Nuremberg rally here. Or am I bringing everything down to the superficial again?
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Re: Where is the line between Buddhism and Dhamma?

Post by Dan74 »

SDC wrote: Sat Jun 15, 2019 3:41 pm
So maybe that is the line: Buddhism is access to the opportunity to understand the Dhamma.

I think another question that is being constantly addressed, yet never actually asked is, what homage is owed to the public aspects, once the access has been gained? What do the young people in SE Asia owe their elders for giving them access? What does SE Asia owe to Northern India? What do monks owe their abbots? What do westerners owe the east? What did the arahats owe the Buddha? What is required to be given back in order to develop understanding?

B, let me know if you think that last paragraph belongs in another topic.
Homage.

Something very rarely heard in these parts.

The Homage to the Three Jewels Chant is one of the main chants in Zen liturgy. Homage to all the Dharma ancenstors and protectors. It's something that is quite difficult for the Western mindset to really digest, I think. A deep and profound sense of gratitide and indebtedness for the Dhamma. I guess when this begins to manifest, it feels me up with a healing warmth and a sense of holding something truly precious. And as I type these words I realise how impoverished my practice typically is in this regard. Thank you for bringing it up, SDC.
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Re: Where is the line between Buddhism and Dhamma?

Post by Sam Vara »

Dan74 wrote: Sat Jun 15, 2019 5:34 pm
Homage.

Something very rarely heard in these parts.

The Homage to the Three Jewels Chant is one of the main chants in Zen liturgy. Homage to all the Dharma ancenstors and protectors. It's something that is quite difficult for the Western mindset to really digest, I think. A deep and profound sense of gratitide and indebtedness for the Dhamma. I guess when this begins to manifest, it feels me up with a healing warmth and a sense of holding something truly precious. And as I type these words I realise how impoverished my practice typically is in this regard. Thank you for bringing it up, SDC.
:goodpost: :anjali:

It's there implicitly, as it's part of the daily chanting for some of us, but it rarely gets discussed here. On the topic of gratitude (Kataññu-katavedita) have you seen this?
https://www.cittaviveka.org/index.php/t ... ever-wrong
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Re: Where is the line between Buddhism and Dhamma?

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Sam Vara wrote: Sat Jun 15, 2019 5:59 pm It's there implicitly, as it's part of the daily chanting for some of us, but it rarely gets discussed here. ...
And that's unfortunate, isn't it. The homage and recollection aspect keeps me going. It's a very important inspiration for the rest of my practice.

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Re: Where is the line between Buddhism and Dhamma?

Post by Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta »

Image


There...

    • Dhamma

        • vs

            • Buddhisms

Image
.


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