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  #11  
Old 15-08-2017, 01:18 PM
Jyotir Jyotir is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gem
Practice and philosophy compliment each other. ... philosophy and practice go together.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ground
I'm enthusiastically smiling and nodding in agreement too, Ground, since not only are they complimentary...I would argue that they are inseparable and indispensable to each other in order to be progressively effective. Otherwise, practice without theory is just killing time, and theory without practice is just still-born intellectual speculation, like your thread, "Why buddhism?[sic]" suggests and clearly demonstrates.

It's the direct experience of application on a moment-to-moment basis which continuously prepares, examines, and reveals the efficacy of the theory if in fact it does represent universal truth - within any context, including and especially in, with, and for any given practitioner.

~ J

Last edited by Jyotir : 15-08-2017 at 02:46 PM.
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  #12  
Old 15-08-2017, 01:23 PM
Jyotir Jyotir is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueSky
True but my point is that one has to understand the theory and see something in it that motivates them in order to begin a practice.
Buddhism as a whole doesn't do that for me. Parts of it does but buddhism as a practice is more like a vow which requires faith in the theory.
Hi BlueSky,

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueSky
True but my point is that one has to understand the theory and see something in it that motivates them in order to begin a practice.
Ok, that’s a given….but that ‘understanding’ can range from a rational agreement in principle intellectually; to a visceral reactive rejection of status quo ignorance, pain and suffering; to a spontaneous intuitive so-called ‘blind faith’ in higher ‘reality’, or any combination thereof.

In any case, that impetus - whatever it is - has to be continuously sustained for a practice to occur in any meaningful way. Thus the issue of ‘vow’, or consecration - whether formal/institutional, in which case there may be a required application of the whole formal ‘program’, or self-initiated and internal, in which case ‘free-lance’ practitioners can pick and choose aspects compatible with their own program. The downside of the latter is an implied lack of availability of direct formal teaching and monitoring by those who have achieved mastery in the given tradition - which is a distinct advantage of ashram affiliation - like Gem suggests. Still - that’s a very personal choice and not everyone is prepared for, or willing to enact that as necessity. That’s why many traditions have an accommodation for the laity. But importantly…it’s all hopefully going in a progressive direction.

Quote:
Buddhism as a whole doesn't do that for me. Parts of it does but buddhism as a practice is more like a vow which requires faith in the theory.
Me neither - as a whole.
But that second part (bolded) is true of any legitimate practice from any tradition which is appropriate to application whether the impetus is intellectual or wholly irrational - or ‘outside’ of what is formal Buddhism of whatever type.

What makes it practical is the objectification of the theory into embodied principle - actual realization through practice and direct experience. Any practice therefore requires time and effort and therefore ‘vow’ or something like it, like consecration, dedication, etc. on a minute-to-minute basis in order to sustain and produce meaningful, noticeable results, which are discernible by the same ‘mechanisms’ that (btw) account for the original impetus to practice in the first place, which I believe was also another one of Gem’s points, i.e., ‘living practice’.

What we're talking about is the progressive embodiment of truth in and through each individual being. That same truth provides - and is - the impetus (when awakened/revealed) towards any practice. It's just seen as different forms by the aspirant, according to their previous experience, disposition, inclinations, etc. But it's the same truth-consciousness emergent.

In other words, like my original point, there is nothing inherent to Buddhism per se in this regard which is necessarily exclusive of any other practice of yoga.



~ J




Last edited by Jyotir : 15-08-2017 at 02:44 PM.
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  #13  
Old 15-08-2017, 04:18 PM
BlueSky BlueSky is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jyotir
Hi BlueSky,

Ok, that’s a given….but that ‘understanding’ can range from a rational agreement in principle intellectually; to a visceral reactive rejection of status quo ignorance, pain and suffering; to a spontaneous intuitive so-called ‘blind faith’ in higher ‘reality’, or any combination thereof.

In any case, that impetus - whatever it is - has to be continuously sustained for a practice to occur in any meaningful way. Thus the issue of ‘vow’, or consecration - whether formal/institutional, in which case there may be a required application of the whole formal ‘program’, or self-initiated and internal, in which case ‘free-lance’ practitioners can pick and choose aspects compatible with their own program. The downside of the latter is an implied lack of availability of direct formal teaching and monitoring by those who have achieved mastery in the given tradition - which is a distinct advantage of ashram affiliation - like Gem suggests. Still - that’s a very personal choice and not everyone is prepared for, or willing to enact that as necessity. That’s why many traditions have an accommodation for the laity. But importantly…it’s all hopefully going in a progressive direction.

Me neither - as a whole.
But that second part (bolded) is true of any legitimate practice from any tradition which is appropriate to application whether the impetus is intellectual or wholly irrational - or ‘outside’ of what is formal Buddhism of whatever type.

What makes it practical is the objectification of the theory into embodied principle - actual realization through practice and direct experience. Any practice therefore requires time and effort and therefore ‘vow’ or something like it, like consecration, dedication, etc. on a minute-to-minute basis in order to sustain and produce meaningful, noticeable results, which are discernible by the same ‘mechanisms’ that (btw) account for the original impetus to practice in the first place, which I believe was also another one of Gem’s points, i.e., ‘living practice’.

What we're talking about is the progressive embodiment of truth in and through each individual being. That same truth provides - and is - the impetus (when awakened/revealed) towards any practice. It's just seen as different forms by the aspirant, according to their previous experience, disposition, inclinations, etc. But it's the same truth-consciousness emergent.

In other words, like my original point, there is nothing inherent to Buddhism per se in this regard which is necessarily exclusive of any other practice of yoga.



~ J



Thank you for your response. It's interesting you mention hopefully things are progressing, the thing is progress is dependent on a goal and measured accordingly.
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  #14  
Old 15-08-2017, 11:25 PM
naturesflow naturesflow is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gem
At the ashram the teachers told us there is law that distinguishes what is dhamma from what isn't, and that law is, dhamma is universal. That means it doesn't matter what sect anyone is, Christians Jews Muslims and what their respective beliefs are. Dhamma applies to everyone, just like breathing does.

Buddhism isn't really a knowledge that is learned - it is like you don't know if you are breathing or not unless you check, and you find out that you are, but when you aren't checking, you don't know. In this sense, you can't acquire the dhamma - you have to be aware, but you don't know if you are aware unless you check on it, and as soon as you do, you discover that you are. Dhamma is immediate, it exists only in this moment of recognition. Only a memory can be written down, so the text without recognition is stale. Last time I used the term 'the living dhamma' I was ridiculed by the resident arbiter of authentic texts, but dhamma is how nature is, and nature is living, so we can touch on life, but only in the moment it lives, and if we check to see, 'this' is what it is to be alive.

In the moment we notice, there is no seeking, because there is no time, I check I see in the same moment. 'This' is breathing. 'This' is awareness. Dhamma is kinda like that.

Wow that was amazingly clear in me reading this.

It just makes so much sense now in ways I couldn't quite articulate as you have done, but within me it felt this way. Which is why I often feel so much conflict in those who keep pushing the text but lose sight of how it can be "recognised" beyond how they themselves see it needs to be viewed.
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  #15  
Old 16-08-2017, 04:30 AM
Ground Ground is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gem
Buddhism isn't really a knowledge that is learned - ...
Of course it is. If buddhism weren't knowledge and hadn't to be learned then the buddha of the suttas would not have given teachings and there would be no suttas transmitted by tradition.
However learning the language of buddhism and valid knowledge of it is one thing but another is to either validate or disprove it in order to attain valid knowledge of its appropriateness or inappropriateness.
How does one validate or disprove the linguistic expressions of buddhism? Through direct perception and valid inference.
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  #16  
Old 16-08-2017, 03:44 PM
sky123 sky123 is offline
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There are two types of knowledge, one comes from outside like something we learn from others/teachers or books etc: but we also have internal knowledge. If you make sense of something in your mind through insight or intuition or mybe contemplating then thats also knowledge imo.
Does it matter if you realize Dharma through inside or outside knowledge, they both work together. The only problem with outside knowledge is you can't always trust your memory.... but thats another story
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  #17  
Old 17-08-2017, 12:58 PM
Jyotir Jyotir is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueSky
Thank you for your response. It's interesting you mention hopefully things are progressing, the thing is progress is dependent on a goal and measured accordingly.
Hello BlueSky,

I mention ‘hopefully’ because practitioners - especially the ‘freelance’ type who operate outside of traditional formalized programs, which will become more prominent in the coming decades - may construe those components in different and sometimes regressive ways because of the pervasive familiarity of ignorant constructs. However…

An important principle to consider, and those genuinely conversant with Buddhism (and not just discussion website amateur theoreticians!), would be able to say whether this is legitimately part of Buddhism and delineated within the formal teaching or not… that being that:
‘progress’, ‘goal’, and ‘measure’ in the context you are using it,
are all simply different component aspects of Truth
as relatively manifested in the individuated being.
Therefore, it is not entirely accurate, or more accurately - not especially useful - to comparatively juxtapose the relativities of ‘progress’, ‘goal’ and ‘measure’ as any one dependent on the other. It just appears that way.

Rather, notably and profoundly, everything is dependent on that Truth (even Ignorance). Which is why, the most pwerful force in spirituality is the emerging aspiration, which as a dynamic aspect of truth in the being, when recognized and employed consciously, renders realization or enlightenment as inevitable - because it is itself the emergent/emerging form of that enlightenment.

This goes back to some of the original points Gem made in his OP.


~ J
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  #18  
Old 18-08-2017, 12:03 PM
Gem Gem is online now
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When I studied meditation at the ashram I wasn't particularly concerned with the nightly dhamma discourses, and I don't give much importance to the texts. Much of it seems childish to me, with all the little parables thrown in, but the dhamma talks relate directly to the meditation practice, which is what makes them relevant. During the first retreat I related to the teachings a bit, during the second retreat I related to a bit more, and on it went, so after maybe 20 retreats I had a good handle on the philosophy as it relates to mindfulness practice - which we call insight meditation or vipassana. That's probably why I prefer to speak in ways apart from citing texts, because the texts are quite crude overviews compared to the living meditation itself. For example, The difference between knowing all things are transient, and actually touching on the nature of transience, are two entirely different things. So, to me it doesn't matter if I understand what texts say - some of it I understand, some of it I don't understand, and some of it I suspect is just nonsense anyway. People will understand it in their own way, in accordance with their own insight, and there is no ‘one true meaning’ hidden in there somewhere.

All that is by the way, because the insight into the true nature of things is the only way of understanding. It can be articulated in different ways, and isn’t bound to a Buddhist lexicon. At the intellectual level where it 'makes sense' there's a good possibility that it might be true, but it will only ever become true according to insight - realisation. The text is quite menial in light of real life discovery, so it becomes unimportant.


The text can get into your head and become an authoritative voice of knowledge, which one starts to obey by confining themselves within the parameters of the discourse. You will see people people act this out on the threads as well, and it is certainly a pitfall in Buddhism and other religions.

Buddhist philosophy is about the fact of suffering and how to bring it to an end, and we feel adverse toward our disomforts and desire pleasing sensations; but this aversion toward what we think is suffering is only misconstruing suffering, blaming our pain and discomforts, when these are not what suffering is. Being adverse to this while desiring a more pleasing substitute is what they call of ‘dukkha’. I say, in modern terms, suffering is personal psychological reactivity. It is quite obvious obvious that reactivity unsettles the mind, but what I say is only meaningless intellectual drivel unless one checks for themselves what it is that disturbs their peace of mind, disrupts their meditation, or upsets their balance of equanimity.

The meditation is not more than the cessation of aversion and desire (which I call ‘reactivity’), so contentment is not attained as acquirement, but is rather the cessation or absence of that which disrupts mindfulness, namely 'reactivity'. In the meditation program people first learn the degree to which their minds are imbalanced and prone to agitation, then how they generate such reactivity themselves, and how habitual and out of control it might be. By learning all that insightfully (rather than intellectually), they understand why they are miserable, how they do it to themselves, how they spread it around to the detriment of other folk, and how it’s a simple matter of not doing that anymore – simple in principle, but difficult in practice.

That said, it doesn't mean anyone is expected to be perfect. On the contrary, nothing is judging anyone or remembering their sins... In ashram there are no comparisons between the novices squirming in discomfort in the back row of the hall and the experienced meditators sitting like a row of Buddha statues in front. There is no path from the back to the front in that sense there are white belts progressing to a black belt. It's just 'the truth of yourself' at all times.

That's why the vows of morality are taken, as the precept to not lie establishes a degree of honesty which delusion cannot withstand. When self-honest, there is that essence of knowing the truth, not as correct information, but as 'what it’s like' to be truthful. It is obscure, but any reader here immediately knows the thing itself, because we don't have to think up the truth in the way we concoct fabrications.
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