Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

Posts: 2470 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
I didn't even realize there WAS a Dharma Battleground section on DhO, or maybe I noticed it and knew it wasn't for me, as a working class medtation slob just trying to make a living wage until the next dharmic impoverishment. But it turns out (someone mentioned it recently) that I've been frequenting the Dharma Battleground for a while, on the Adaita and Buddhism thread. So I'm a combat veteran after all, and it turns out i actually really like it when the shit is hitting the fan. You learn things under fire that you just don't learn anywhere else.

I busted my ass on the Advaita and Buddhism thread to try to sift through to the truth of what everyone was trying to say (nod to AA), and to consider whether the war i was fighting in meant anything at all (many Vietnam vets served under that same horrific suspicion of the blood and guts and sacrifice and heroism being for naught or worse), and for quite a while I suspected that the thing would inevitably spiral down into fruitless ugly word-chopping in mutually alien languages that no real human being could possibly find a rosetta key or common language for, that we should all just stick harmlessly as possible to our peculiar spiritual languages and idioms, and shut up pretty quickly at the first signs that it was becoming a point of pointless suffering with a speaker of a different language. The closed-sesame, if you will, of this approach is "Agreed, 100%," as some sage put it right smack in the middle of no-man's land during the height of the Advaita-Buddhist interactions.

The thing was, you could see real people who I knew were not just aspiring toward an actual fruitful discussion, but were capable of it. And indeed I think there are dozens of beautiful collegial exchanges throughout the A-B thread. This got me to thinking about what IS worth "fighting" for? What are, as curious opened the A-B thread, "fighting words"? Because I really could recognize the readiness in myself to tear someone a new asshole, at various points, and not just in the A-B thread of course, but I'm working on those issues, seriously, and my therapist is pleased with my progress.

So what would make me take the karmic and dharmic risk of making things worse, of possibly "doing harm" generating ill-will, exhibiting something potentially ugly and dukha-inducing, dukha-worsening, and stirring the pot of that evil brew while inviting others tp share in the poisonous feast? And I retired, far out in the forest, for eons, under corona virus quarantine, and it came to me: the only thing worth arguing about that is is even potentially worth the dukha risk is dukha itself. The first noble truth of Buddhism, for starters.

So I am tentatively framing it thus, for those who wish to venture into the hellish bardo of creative new asshole tearing: the Boddhisattva takes the suffering, not just of her/himself but of all sentient beings, as real enough and serious enough to vow to return into rebirth until all sentient beings are free of it. Enters the hell voluntarily, if you will, in the extreme case of a Bodhisatta vow by a Buddha, fetter-free among the fetters. Most of us are still dragging along some degree of clanking chains, of course, but the crux of the Boddhisattva vow, the reality of suffering, and the related question of skillful means amid sufferers, still applies: we learn by first learning how we create suffering. At some point (i think it is high Equanimity) we can glimpse a different kind of possible activity, something that is neither creating more suffering nor doing nothing until oblivion or nirvana snuffs our flame. It is being active in some way, and not i but Chris in me, among the damned, amid samsara, in hell, frankly. Incarnation after incarnation, for eons (Ambitabha Buddha did five eons before he crapped out and created the R % R camp of the Pure Land. Wussy). And then there are those who have another view. I'm not even going to try to articulate it, beyond saying that when i hear someone say that suffering is unreal once you see it, I will do my utter best here in the mixed martial arts section of DhO to tear them a new asshole. Beyond that, I'll take it the same way as that Supreme Court Justice who said that he couldn't define pornography, but he could recognize it when he saw it.

There is also plenty of room here to tear new assholes on the kind of Boddhisattva wannabes who think their shit don't stink in the present incarnation.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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I think this question is interesting, so even though I can't see why it would be something to fight over, I'll chime in for the sake of poking my own fetters (not that I buy into the fetters' model in any litteral sense).

 I'm interested in different takes on what a Bodhisattva vow would even implicate, given that nothing is permanent and there are no separate and continuous entities that can be reborn as such. I suppose many just think of this as some religious residue, and maybe it is, maybe it isn't.  As I understand it (and I'm definitely no Buddhist scholar, so those who are, are very welcome to enlighten me), what is supposedly reborn according to the Buddha is karma itself, not anyone who has it. That can be interpreted as cause and effect of one's actions. I think that's a popular view within Pragmatic Dharma (again, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong). Another interpretation has to do with remaining tendences that continue to pop up in awareness until they are resolved, kind of like the western idea about ghosts having unfinished business but without the actual ghost, or like those demons in Korean netflix series. Assuming the we buy this hypotheis, just for the sake of exploring it, I suppose those karmic tendencies could very well be spread out among many different individuals and continue to have ripples as long as there are people feeding them with drama. So what would this mean for the Bodhisattva vow? Would a Bodhisattva just be tendencies for spiritual development? Or would those tendencies somehow have a life of their own?

I like Daniel's version of Ken Wilber's different bands of operating in the world. I haven't read Ken Wilber so I have no idea if I would like the way he presents them. I just listened to some podcast where Daniel talked about it, and it made perfect sense. I'm thinking that since the different bands have different internal logics, there can be different truths here. In some band, the tendencies can manifest as a being, and that's how people can get real insights from invoking some Bodhisattva. Or one version of it. In a more science-based band, the reason for that working is simply that the symbolic language speeks to one's subconscious. 

Now for the sake of exploring this further, let's assume that the tendencies can actually manifest as a Bodhisattva on some level. Would that then be the same Bodhisattva through eons and eons? That would go against the three characteristics, and I'd assume that a Bodhisattva would not buy into the delusion of actually experiencing being the same entity throughout all those eons and suffer from it. That would be a pretty crappy Bodhisattva, wouldn't it? They would probably see through the three C:s and even through the concept of time. It would probably all be just this moment for them. That suddenly doesn't sound so tough. However, if it were to be the case that it will never come to the point that everybody awakens, that would according to some interpretation mean that they don't get to experience Nibbana. Then again, what is Nibbana anyway? It seems to be not existing at all and not experiencing not existing. So is there something to lose? 

One thread to explore further is whether everybody will at some point awaken. Another thread to explore is what the Bodhisattva vow vs non-vow would mean for the relative world, and yet another thread is whether that matters. 

My current view (yes, it is a view - I don't know) is that emptiness has an innate tendency to become aware and thus somehow manifest as existence. I don't see how that would suddenly not happen, especially since time is a construct and there is no linearity outside it anyway, just time and beyond time. That's what referred to as the dance of the stillness, as I understand it. The very idea that there are separate beings that can awaken or not doesn't even fit into that. It seems to be more like a kaleidoscope, but without the actual substance. Still, as human beings it is hard to imagine anything beyond linear time, which is why the Bodhisattva issue arises. If it were the case that tendencies for spiritual development either continue to arise or die forever when an arahant or Buddha dies, that sounds pretty hopeless. I think the world desperately needs spiritual maturity (as well as psychological maturity and compassion). This is where the Bodhisattva vow resonates with me as an idea. For now, however, I find it likely that the world would be better off without maintenance of my unskillful tendencies, and I'm not convinced that my spiritual development so far necessarily makes up for the suffering that my karma would also induce. Actually, I think very few of us if any are even close to the Bodhisattva ideal. Would we improve the average karma? Dunno. But if we get there - I'd hope that it would continue to make a change for the better. Call it clinging if you wish, but I care about the suffering in this world, even if it's all just a delusion. Then again, there have definitely been points where I would have done anything to just get some rest from all of it. Or at least I thought I would. 

For a while I said I wanted a vacation life next time, as a well-fed mallard (fed by people who both know and care about the fact that bread is harmful for mallards and give them birdseeds instead) or something. I guess I screwed that up, if I am to believe in some teachings. 
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spatial, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Tim Farrington:
And then there are those who have another view. I'm not even going to try to articulate it, beyond saying that when i hear someone say that suffering is unreal once you see it, I will do my utter best here in the mixed martial arts section of DhO to tear them a new asshole.

Why can't you just have both? Suffering is unreal once you see it, and you're going to take it upon yourself to remain in hell with others and help them see it?

(I could write a book on the amount of dukkha I experienced while trying to tease the questions out of the lengthy posts even in just this thread!)
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Chris Marti, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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I removed myself from two online dharma places because of this very issue. I just fucking hate the idea that one can discard one's humanity in the form of thinking, feeling or whatever, i.e.; that suffering is unreal. The first time around it was obvious to me that Actual Freedom was actually bullshit. The second time around it was obvious to me that while you can suppress your mind's natural processing of things for a while, that process inevitably returns, and often with a vengeance.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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You just became my hero. 
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Chris Marti, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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That's probably too much responsibility for you to bestow on me, but I have fought many a battle over this. You can ask shargrol. He picks up after me sometimes.
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Chris Marti:
That's probably too much responsibility for you to bestow on me, but I have fought many a battle over this. You can ask shargrol. He picks up after me sometimes.


Then recuse yourself as jikijitsu on this thread and get shargrol to play catcher in the rye, just so you can join in the mayhem fun. I'm here to put a world of hurt on any motherfucker saying suffering is unreal. I just tore spatial a new one, and i love the guy. Plus he is keeping my darkest secret so far. So i hurt myself when i hurt him, i tear myself when i tear him, and my new asshole feels, uh, it's giving me both pain AND suffering.

(edit) i mean, of course, humbly request that sri shargrol-ji replace you within this thread as the one with the onus of responsibility for keeping things, uh, between the buoys, even on the Dharma Battleground, so that you can explore how much room there is between those buoys with the full gusto you have earned karmically from your previous exercise of restraint, with all the skillful means at your present disposal, and knowing that a learning curve finds the lines that cannot be crossed only by crossing them at least once.)
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Chris Marti, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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I've asked shargrol to take on this role quite a few times. Every time I ask he refuses and threatens never to speak to me again. I'll just have to manage.
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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One thread! One fucking thread! Ask him again, tell him i threatened you, and you're not sure you're capable of keeping me in line.
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Chris Marti:
 Every time I ask he refuses and threatens never to speak to me again. 


Well I'm threatening you too! And i'm threatening HIM, that ariya-puggala-to-be-determined motherfucker, trotting around fetter free while you bust your ass trying to cat herd volatile shits like me. One thread! One fucking sutra! What are you, man, Sisyphus? You never get to go out and let that shit rip? Stick a chock under the rock, park the thing, and toss that piece of lazy shit the keys.
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Chris Marti, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Are you calling me a sissy?
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Chris Marti:
Are you calling me a sissy?


Only if it might work. Tell shargrol that i have disqualified him in the jokes thread, despite his joke being the early leader, because he is an assole who's left all the dirty work to you. One thread! One fucking thread! What use is moksha if you never get to moke?
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Chris Marti:
That's probably too much responsibility for you to bestow on me, but I have fought many a battle over this. You can ask shargrol. He picks up after me sometimes.

Don't worry. I prefer my heroes to be human with human limitations. Besides, Tim is my new hero. He just hacked that damn play theory in his bar joke thread. You can have a vacation.
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Milo, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Chris Marti:
I removed myself from two online dharma places because of this very issue. I just fucking hate the idea that one can discard one's humanity in the form of thinking, feeling or whatever, i.e.; that suffering is unreal. The first time around it was obvious to me that Actual Freedom was actually bullshit. The second time around it was obvious to me that while you can suppress your mind's natural processing of things for a while, that process inevitably returns, and often with a vengeance.


Before the Advaita thread, I was blissfully ignorant of all the ghosts of dho past I was fighting whenever this came up. May you keep up the good fight so we don't all have to quit our jobs to become full time pit fighters in the dharma battleground thunderdome.
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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spatial:
Tim Farrington:
And then there are those who have another view. I'm not even going to try to articulate it, beyond saying that when i hear someone say that suffering is unreal once you see it, I will do my utter best here in the mixed martial arts section of DhO to tear them a new asshole.

Why can't you just have both? Suffering is unreal once you see it, and you're going to take it upon yourself to remain in hell with others and help them see it?

(I could write a book on the amount of dukkha I experienced while trying to tease the questions out of the lengthy posts even in just this thread!)

Forgive me, but I am compelled by the logic of this thread to tear you a new asshole, spatial, even as i fall on my face in the dust from the fear of God and grief and remorse for having put you through the dukha of reading my part of this thread. SUFFERING IS NOT UNREAL ONCE YOU SEE IT. Because even if you are in the luck zone of denial on your own suffering, you can see it in others, through the human miracles of projection at worst, and informed empathy at best. There is no heaven if anyone is in hell, because if you can see people in hell, you're just in a different circle of hell yourself, to the extend that you see clearly.
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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I must say, I'm finding this mixed martial arts dharma battlground mode truly refreshing, fun, fun, fun, at least until Daddy take the T-bird away. 
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Stirling Campbell, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Tim Farrington:

I'm not even going to try to articulate it, beyond saying that when i hear someone say that suffering is unreal once you see it, I will do my utter best here in the mixed martial arts section of DhO to tear them a new asshole. Beyond that, I'll take it the same way as that Supreme Court Justice who said that he couldn't define pornography, but he could recognize it when he saw it.

So, here is how it looks to me. Maybe I lose friends with some Mahayana buddies, and that's fine. This is just my humble opine.

Taking the Boddhisattva Vow at the beginning of the path (which I have, AND I attempt to honor still) is to take on an idea have no way of ever properly understanding, and thus promising a set of actions we, as people, can never actualize. The pursuit of enlightenment is precisely the same. No-one who takes tentative steps on the path to enlightenment has ANY idea what it really means or entails. 

Despite this, the Vow as a promise to cultivate having compassion for all "sentient" beings (or as it was expressed to me by some teachers, "all appearances") is still a very useful vow to take in this regard, and can have some impact on maintaining moral training/perspective and reducing self-cherishing or self re-creation even post Stream Entry. 

On Stream Entry, a glimpse of Absolute Reality is your gift, and that glimpse makes it clear that there has never been a "self" or anyone to enlighten. It is proof that the ideal of the Boddhisattva is actually preposterous, and impossible as originally stated. Still, in what you might think of as a "healthy" Stream Enterer, compassion arises for the suffering of those "beings" that lack Wisdom/Prajna and the wish to be of service naturally arises, since you are still somehow surrounded by them despite your insight. 

Me? I'm a fan, despite the charade. I think it sets a seeker up for future success. The pursuit of bodhichitta is challenging, and transformative as either a path element, or a central theme. 

Is the Boddhisattva Vow worth fighting for or against? It's an idea, so I vote "no", but I'm happy to receive my new asshole if need be. 
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Stirling Campbell:
Tim Farrington:

I'm not even going to try to articulate it, beyond saying that when i hear someone say that suffering is unreal once you see it, I will do my utter best here in the mixed martial arts section of DhO to tear them a new asshole. Beyond that, I'll take it the same way as that Supreme Court Justice who said that he couldn't define pornography, but he could recognize it when he saw it.

So, here is how it looks to me. Maybe I lose friends with some Mahayana buddies, and that's fine. This is just my humble opine.





Hi Stirling, 

first things first, David R on the "moral cost of awakening" thread is specifically looking for you to elaborate on one of your responses on that thread. Rather than telling him you would probably be unable to respond because of the gaping tear of your new asshole, i thought i'd just let you have the head's up on that.

And so to the spiritual mixed martial arts portion of the program: The fact that you are feeling that it might be that you lose some Mahayana buddies simply by trying to be honest, here or anywhere, is heartbreaking to me. I've been burned enough along the way, I'm sure most of us have, to know that you are not being entirely paranoid on that. Sometimes, they really are out to get you. There's been some fascinating historical discussion around here of late of DhO schisms and such, the big hot wars of the past, some old vets reminiscing--- with love, humor, and rueful self-awareness of past sins, invariably; and i've seen actual old battle wounds apologized for and forgiven, healing in plain sight, in real time. Bridges get burned, becauses we are all assholes to some degree, except that one person i haven't met yet. Bridges may also eventually get rebuilt. There are also those learning to walk on water, and using these siddis wisely. That's part of what I'm most interested in, skillful means: what are they, and why would we use them? What does any learning curve point to? As Bruno A said to me lately, "¿Dónde está la biefe?" Where's the beef?

I already have a take on you, as the value of such takes go, from previous interactions,  and even this early in this Battleground conversation, this session on the dojo mat, it is pretty clear to me that while i may delight in practicing all kinds of other moves and even beginning to learn some new ones, I probably wouldn't tear you a new asshole, simply because i just don't think you're coming from the place i find worth fighting all the way about. You value collegial exchange, for one thing. You value anything, for another thing. You are willing to concede value, learning curves, teleological coherence even, though you can that break that one (or any one) down in dialectic to your heart's content and mine. This thread may even reveal that no one is coming from the place i now think is worth fighting about, and lighten my general load considerably. I am only determined to tear a new asshole on someone who shows up here as a consenting adult in the light of that warning up front and is prepared to insist anyway that there is no suffering worthy of anyone's consideration, and so nothing to be learned along the way about what to do, and even what is good, or even best, state of the art, to do,  in the face of suffering. Those guys won't suffer when i tear them a new one anyway, so the Bodhisattva ideal holds up in practice anyway.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Nah, he only says such things when he thinks he knows from his enlightened teacher position that someone needs that kind of poking. I call bullshit, honestly. emoticon
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Nah, he only says such things when he thinks he knows from his enlightened teacher position that someone needs that kind of poking. I call bullshit, honestly. emoticon


Need to know which "such things" you mean here. Could you try again, with at least a tiny reply-with-quote box for bullshit alert orientation?

Although, in pure logical terms, (a bow to your divinity, Ma Lobotomy-ji), the particulars here may not matter, (which i acknowledge belatedly you had already figured out, apparently; forgive my slowness), because assuming you are talking about Stirling, if he is saying ANYTHING from his enlightened teacher position because he thinks that someone needs that kind of poking, he and i are on the same skillful means page anyway. You would only think someone needs that kind of poking if you were truly concerned with what they might actually need. The tearing of new assholes, as my state of the art sense of it goes at this point, would be reserved by me for people who say don't nuthin need nuthin, don't nobody need nuthin, don't nuthin do no good.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Well, he can speak for himself, and my trying to convey it will only distort it, but he was very insistant that there are no conditions and it pretty much sounded like people's suffering is just bullshit. It was in Olivier's thread, I believe. 
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Well, he can speak for himself, and my trying to convey it will only distort it, but he was very insistant that there are no conditions and it pretty much sounded like people's suffering is just bullshit. It was in Olivier's thread, I believe. 


Well then, this is why we're here as consenting adults in the dojo, practicing our mixed spiritual martial arts on this particular mat. He most certainly can speak for himself. But admit it, this is "fun with boredom," isn't it, at the very least? "Bullshit" is such a wonderful move, whatever form you practice it in. Calling it, getting better at calling it, is beautiful skillful means, a learning curve worthy of any Bodhisattva stuck wwith learning curves until they close down the bar in hell.

Bullshit, Sitirling! She calls bullshit, bullshit, bullshit!
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Tim Farrington:

if he is saying ANYTHING from his enlightened teacher position because he thinks that someone needs that kind of poking, he and i are on the same skillful means page anyway. You would only think someone needs that kind of poking if you were truly concerned with what they might actually need. 

Then I call bullshit on you too, because caring means respecting things like consent rather than for paternalistic reasons shoving something down somebody's throat if they are not asking for it. Especially if it has to do with how suffering does not matter. And actually, that is key to Dzogchen teachings. 

This was battleground, right?

Anyway, I'm content with just saying that. All fine. 
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Tim Farrington:

if he is saying ANYTHING from his enlightened teacher position because he thinks that someone needs that kind of poking, he and i are on the same skillful means page anyway. You would only think someone needs that kind of poking if you were truly concerned with what they might actually need. 

Then I call bullshit on you too, because caring means respecting things like consent rather than for paternalistic reasons shoving something down somebody's throat if they are not asking for it. Especially if it has to do with how suffering does not matter. And actually, that is key to Dzogchen teachings. 

This was battleground, right?

Anyway, I'm content with just saying that. All fine. 

Still IS battleground, goddess-ji. 

Okay, now i really do need more specific references, as a sharer of the bullshit position, and one of the ones getting a new asshole torn on my own damn asshole-tearing thread (excellent karmic touch, there actually).

1. I was using "poking" in a positive sense of engaging, in an environment where consent is implied by participation. Yes?
2. "paternal reasons"?
3. "Shoving down somebody's throat"--- shoving what?
4. "if they are not asking for it" see #1.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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I'm going to talk about this in a general and principal way, okay?

I have no problem with playful debate inbetween participants who are engaging with it together. What I think can be harmful is when somebody decides that they can take on them to provoke a specific development in somebody else because they know what needs to be done, and then go about doing it in an intrusive way without checking if that is okay. Stirling and I got into a discussion about this, and we may have misunderstood each other, I don't know. My position on this is that an approach like that can be dangerous, and if one doesn't acknowledge that, then one is not yet ready to teach. This pertains especially to things like saying to people that their brain damage or trauma does not matter because there are no conditions. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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So bottom line: when it comes to caring about suffering, I will take a stand. 

I don't necessarily think that the dividing line has so much to do with the Bodhisattva vow, though. I'm not going to pick a fight specifically over the vow. I might pick a fight over people saying that suffering doesn't matter. 
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Stirling Campbell, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Nah, he only says such things when he thinks he knows from his enlightened teacher position that someone needs that kind of poking. I call bullshit, honestly. emoticon

I don't intend to derail this conversation, but let me first say that if something I said upset you I deeply apologize. Upsetting you would never be the intention. I hope to be helpful, but I guess it doesn't always come off that way. Mea Culpa. My comment from what I recall was on something you publicly shared here, and I imagine because you shared it that it was something that could be discussed. I apologize if I misread this - hurting anyone's feeling was not my intention.

IMHO, speaking more generally, our feelings are invitations to inquiry - what we hold tightly about our identity is what is most in our way. It is what reifies the illusory self.  I believe this was the crux of my comment to you. I have been fortunate since I landed here to have various pitfalls pointed out numerous times publicly and privately, and I am very grateful to have had this happen (a nod to Chris here for an offline discussion that oriented me in the right direction when I thought I was "stuck"). You can think of my comment as being from someone trying to honestly pass on the favor. If it backfired, if I read the situation incorrectly, that was never the intention.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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I believe you. I don't think you meant any harm, but rather the opposite, and I'm not disliking you. It's just that out of the blue you made comments about your impression of me in somebody else's log and then you kept going on and on. When I explained how I need to establish common ground because being autistic I always get misinterpreted, you treated that as something that needed to be poked on and went on about how that's a teacher's role. When I said that poking might need somebody's consent (and you weren't my teacher after all), you answered ironically to somebody who is autistic. When I misunderstood that, because I'm autistic, you made it clear that you had been making fun of me for bringing that up. You kept insisting that conditionings including diagnoses don't matter. Yet you clearly could not see where I was coming from. For more than fourty years people have been saying to me that my different needs don't matter. I understand very well what point you were trying to make, and I have found that without your help, and I still don't feel comfortable about having it shoved down my throat that my different conditioning doesn't matter. It's not for you to say. 

I needed to say this. I'm not that angry at you specifically, really. At least most of the processings aren't, I think. But this is something that happens systematically, not only to me, but to all my autistic friends in basically all contexts. It's a shared trauma. And even if I'm working with deconstructing all this, most of the others aren't. And when it comes to my deconstructing, I decide who gets to do the poking. I don't need any poking from you. You don't have the sensitivity to know what kind of poking is needed and what is not needed. Not with me. I'm sure it works great with others, but if you don't take my brainwiring seriously while at the same time basically roll your eyes because I take what you say literally, then it just won't work. So please, no poking. You suck at it, and you need to realize your limitations there, even if you are on some honeymoon with your latest realizations. (I guess some processings were really pissed off. Sorry.)

Anyway, I appreciate your constructive reply here, and I do appreciate many of your posts. You seem like someone who really wants to be helpful. That's all good. I appreciate your acknowledging that you might have read the situation incorrectly. That does help. 

I appplogize for bringing this up in this way. It was not the best way of doing it. 
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Stirling Campbell, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:

Anyway, I appreciate your constructive reply here, and I do appreciate many of your posts. You seem like someone who really wants to be helpful. That's all good. I appreciate your acknowledging that you might have read the situation incorrectly. That does help. 

I appplogize for bringing this up in this way. It was not the best way of doing it. 

You sound as though you might still be angry about this. If you decide some of that is still at me, I am completely open to dialoguing about it. Feel free to message me if you like. If not, I'm glad we worked this out. emoticon
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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I don't know if I'll take you up on that. I'm in the midst of a grieving process. Things have gone incredibly fast (I only started my daily practice on September 20th, 2018, and I'm in the middle paths, probably somewhere inbetween second and third), so I don't need for someone to poke my traumas to speed things up. I think I mainly need to raise the issue that a certain amount of realization does not mean that someone automatically has skillful means and can decide for others what they need. That assumption is harmful, even with the best intent. 
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Stirling Campbell, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:

That assumption is harmful, even with the best intent. 

I agree that assumptions are harmful, Linda. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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That was kind of my point, from the beginning.
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Stirling Campbell, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Tim Farrington:

The fact that you are feeling that it might be that you lose some Mahayana buddies simply by trying to be honest, here or anywhere, is heartbreaking to me. I've been burned enough along the way, I'm sure most of us have, to know that you are not being entirely paranoid on that. 

I'm not really worried about it, if it makes you feel better. I'm interested in the bedrock of it all, and if that means letting go of some beliefs or ideas, I'm fine with that.

That's part of what I'm most interested in, skillful means: what are they, and why would we use them? 

My understanding is that skillful means arise spontaneously out of prajna, and when mind is as clear as possible of "self" and the seeds/conditions are ripened - from "Beginners Mind".

What does any learning curve point to? As Bruno A said to me lately, "¿Dónde está la biefe?" Where's the beef?

Clarify? Not sure what you mean. emoticon
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Stirling Campbell:
Tim Farrington:

The fact that you are feeling that it might be that you lose some Mahayana buddies simply by trying to be honest, here or anywhere, is heartbreaking to me. I've been burned enough along the way, I'm sure most of us have, to know that you are not being entirely paranoid on that. 

I'm not really worried about it, if it makes you feel better. I'm interested in the bedrock of it all, and if that means letting go of some beliefs or ideas, I'm fine with that. . . . emoticon

It really does make me feel better, actually. It frees me up to say, Fuck you, Stirling, and the imperturbable horse you rode in on.

p.s. great response to David R.
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Stirling:

My understanding is that skillful means arise spontaneously out of prajna, and when mind is as clear as possible of "self" and the seeds/conditions are ripened - from "Beginners Mind".


Agreed, 100%. Upaya arises spontaneously from prajna, at the maximum of anatta (to say that sort of stupidly, pure first draft), and when seeds/conditions are ripened. So to leap into the risky realm of translation, now (i actually feel pretty safe here, in darkness, and secure, as John X puts it): the parable is this: the sower sows the seed. It is a God seed that ripens, and it is the will of God--- not my will, but Thine--- that is done through upaya. To take my interest in this one spiral deeper: given that you and i seem to agree that it is not "I" who does this, is it possible to have a learning curve on skillful means? "We" don't do it, but can we get better at it?
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Stirling Campbell, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Tim Farrington:

To take my interest in this one spiral deeper: given that you and i seem to agree that it is not "I" who does this, is it possible to have a learning curve on skillful means? "We" don't do it, but can we get better at it?

"This" is always already enlightened to its own nature, and has never not been, IMHO. 

You obviously seek in order to avoid the present, and yet the present alone holds the answer: to seek forever is to miss the point forever. You always already are always enlightened Spirit, and therefore to seek Spirit is simply to deny Spirit. - Ken Wilber

There are, strictly speaking, no enlightened people, there is only enlightened activity. - Shunryu Suzuki Roshi

Time is what eternity looks like when viewed by the mind. - Rupert Spira

"The very idea of going beyond the dream is illusory. Why go anywhere? Just realize that you are dreaming a dream you call the world, and stop looking for ways out. The dream is not your problem. Your problem is that you like one part of the dream and not another. When you have seen the dream as a dream, you have done all that needs to be done." - Nisargadatta Maharaj


All of these quotes strike me as 100% correct.
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Stirling, you are beautiful. If your means were not generally so skillful, however the hell you think of that or don't,  if you were not so damned Polite and state of the art collegial and generally diplomatic, attentive to what others are saying, if not always perfect, and--- it may be controversial to say this--- often kind, if you hadn't clearly burned the Bodhisattva vow and compassion so deep in your mind and heart and nerve endings before you became an automatonic drone of This, it would break my heart to have to tear you a new asshole.

emoticon

(edit) "tearing a new asshole" is, to put this in a larger context, a dharma battle ground technical term in my peculiar idiom, by which i mean simply that as my opening post on this thread tries to make clear, i actually do think there's something that is, however relatively, worth fighting about. I haven't actually "torn anyone a new one" on this thread, except sort of tongue in cheek with spatial, whom i felt would take it well, in light of the fact that we both knew that wjat i was tearing was an outdated photographic image of a ghost. i tore nintheye a new one as seriously as i can tear on another thread, and he just laughed it off, and Chris Marti had to give me a yellow card to boot.

I do continue to feel that conversation and dialogue around skillful means is worth the effort of all the word-chopping, dicing, and mincing, in any numbers of not-entirely-well translated spiritual vocabularies. During the great "quantum theory: what the hell does it mean?" debates of the 1920s and 30s, Einstein, who was sort of taking on all comers at that point from the Copenhagen school, would often throw out thought experiments, gedankenexperimenten, to try to point out fallacies or provoke a new angle of thinking. So here's something along the lines of a gedankenexperiment on upaya: consider the position of someone realized, for "whom" everything arises out of the ripeness of all without a doer other than Atman or sunyata or God or whatever. That mind-body complex sets out to learn a new language, or how to play a musical instrument. Or even, sees a deaf person who wants Truth, and the mind-body process of the non-doer starts learning sign language. What's the deal, in your take, on that?

And one more angle, from the over-ripe snake-eating pit of my rabid mind: I would bet anything that if you are honest, you could tell me in many and varied specific instances whether a purported use of skillful means is more or less skillful, by your lights.
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Stirling Campbell, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Tim Farrington:

So here's something along the lines of a gedankenexperiment on upaya: consider the position of someone realized, for "whom" everything arises out of the ripeness of all without a doer other than Atman or sunyata or God or whatever. That mind-body complex sets out to learn a new language, or how to play a musical instrument. Or even, sees a deaf person who wants Truth, and the mind-body process of the non-doer starts learning sign language. What's the deal, in your take, on that?

Everything always arises of its own accord naturally, including aspiration. If the conditions exist for learning a new skill at the same time as the aspiration it becomes possible. 

And one more angle, from the over-ripe snake-eating pit of my rabid mind: I would bet anything that if you are honest, you could tell me in many and varied specific instances whether a purported use of skillful means is more or less skillful, by your lights.

I don't think I can. Ideally there is allowing silence to speak and not self. Ideally there is the intention to be helpful, but whose intention is it? 

So okay, what is the difference between a regular person and a sage?

Just the Understanding, my friend. Only the seeing, the knowing; that is all. Just the Peace that passes all understanding. And what good is it? None at all, you could say. Buddha said, "Truly, I obtained nothing from enlightenment." And Huang Po wrote, "There is just a mysterious tacit understanding and no more." The sage is not a super-human, a regular person with something added. The sage is a regular person with something less; the sense of being a separate self, a separate individual, is gone: there is no one home.

I've heard that in the sage, everything happens spontaneously.

Yes. And do you want to know what else? In everyone, everything happens spontaneously. In you, everything happens spontaneously.

I don't experience it like that.

Exactly. That's the difference.

- Perfect Brilliant Stillness, David Carse

Ultimately something that is said or done may or may not be helpful now. Either way, the conditions arise and someone speaks, or doesn't. When are things good or bad?

Taoist Farmer Story:
There is a Taoist story of an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically.

“Maybe,” the farmer replied.

The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. “How wonderful,” the neighbors exclaimed.

“Maybe,” replied the old man.

The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy for what they called his “misfortune.”

“Maybe,” answered the farmer.

The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son's leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out.

“Maybe,” said the farmer.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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So basically it was conditions that enabled the insistence that there are no conditions. How very convenient. emoticon

I think the idea that there is no moral agency, even if true, together with long time perspectives of something eventually leading up to something good, is a set of conditions that enables spiritual bypassing if intentions allow it. I agree with Daniel that it is best to assume that moral agency exists for the purpose of doing morality work in the relative world. 
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Stirling Campbell, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
So basically it was conditions that enabled the insistence that there are no conditions. How very convenient. emoticon

If you want a story about how something happens you need chess pieces. Conditions are chess pieces. The story is yours. Ultimately the "conditions" you create are empty of intrinsic existence... there ARE no chess pieces... no story. A story about the absolute might be: "This, happening now.", but even that is poorly rendered. You can choose to see from the perspective of the story, or the underlying reality.

I think the idea that there is no moral agency, even if true, together with long time perspectives of something eventually leading up to something good, is a set of conditions that enables spiritual bypassing if intentions allow it.

See above. 

I agree with Daniel that it is best to assume that moral agency exists for the purpose of doing morality work in the relative world. 

Something we agree on, although I would be more comfortable with "best to act with the intention of embodying moral agency". At best, this is always with the hope of "failing well".
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Stirling Campbell:

If you want a story about how something happens you need chess pieces. Conditions are chess pieces. The story is yours. Ultimately the "conditions" you create are empty of intrinsic existence... there ARE no chess pieces... no story. A story about the absolute might be: "This, happening now.", but even that is poorly rendered. You can choose to see from the perspective of the story, or the underlying reality.


Yes, I know. That’s what I was saying before. And yet all relative happenings have consequences in the only world we know.

I think the idea that there is no moral agency, even if true, together with long time perspectives of something eventually leading up to something good, is a set of conditions that enables spiritual bypassing if intentions allow it.

See above. 


I know. Still valid, if one cares about the world we are living in with its partly shared stories, aka people’s lives.


I would be more comfortable with "best to act with the intention of embodying moral agency". At best, this is always with the hope of "failing well".


Fine by me. I think that is well put. 
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Tim
What does any learning curve point to? As Bruno A said to me lately, "¿Dónde está la biefe?" Where's the beef?


Stirling:

Clarify? Not sure what you mean.

emoticon


It was in the context of ongoing practice talk, swapping perspectives. Bruno A is from Argentina, and getting the joke partly depends on being familiar with an old tv commercial where some weird woman (i think, there may have been a variation with a man too, it was an ongoing ad campaign) says, in a totally unique weird voice, "Where's the beef?" meaning, in in the advertising context, what's the pay-off? Why buy TTHIS? So Bruno and I were using "¿Dónde está la biefe?" as a humorous shorthand way to talk about what we aspired to in practice. Like, "What is enlightenment?" "The shit pile in the courtyard," kind of thing.

(edit) the culturally enlightened Christ Marti offers this: it was a wendy's commercial--- 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=riH5EsGcmTw ---

Only Bruno knows how the hell that wendy's commercial has anything to do with Argentina.

(second edit) upon further Spanish review: donde esta el bife! no wonder i haven't found it, i've been asking for it with the wrong fucking word!
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Chris Marti, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Ni Nurta, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Tim Farrington:
the Boddhisattva takes the suffering, not just of her/himself but of all sentient beings, as real enough and serious enough to vow to return into rebirth until all sentient beings are free of it.

What about beings that are not sentient?
If you start excluding beings to reduce their numbers you won't get far in this Bodhisattva business...
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Ni Nurta:
Tim Farrington:
the Boddhisattva takes the suffering, not just of her/himself but of all sentient beings, as real enough and serious enough to vow to return into rebirth until all sentient beings are free of it.

What about beings that are not sentient?
If you start excluding beings to reduce their numbers you won't get far in this Bodhisattva business...
emoticon. Okay, rocks are in. Although I have a sneaking suspicion about the sentience of rocks, actually. But name me a non-sentient being, and the tent's open to them.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Tim Farrington:
Ni Nurta:

What about beings that are not sentient?
If you start excluding beings to reduce their numbers you won't get far in this Bodhisattva business...
emoticon. Okay, rocks are in. Although I have a sneaking suspicion about the sentience of rocks, actually. But name me a non-sentient being, and the tent's open to them.


I can name one: corona virus.
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svmonk, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Hi Tim,

Couldn't help responding here. Suffering is real to the beings who are experiencing it. Telling them that it is not real is kind of like telling someone who is about to die from coronavirus pneumonia that they are better off dead because global warming is going to fry the world in another 20 years anyway.

I've got a sort of interesting relationship with the Bodhisattva Vow. I practiced with it for around 8 years as a Zen monk, reciting it at retreats and sittings, but then gave back my robes to my Zen teacher, because she moved too far away for me to regularly visit, and started practicing vipassana/jhana. In 2009, I was at a 10 day jhana retreat, had gone into retreat a couple days early, and had come to a pretty solid state of access concentration during my sits. When I was walking to the retreat hall for a talk, the Bodhisattva Vow sort of grabbed me by the back of my neck and shook me. It wasn't just words anymore. I literarlly felt in my whole body the vow to keep getting reborn endlessly in ways that could help relieve suffering. Now, the interesting point is, I don't and didn't actually believe in rebirth, mainly because I don't think it really matters if I believe in it or not. What matters is how I live my life right now. So I don't know how I could actually achieve the vow in any real sense. I still have that feeling now and then of the Bodhisattva Vow, and various stuff comes up in meditation around the Bodhisattva Vow and Avalokitashvara, the Bodhsattva of Compassion.
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Stirling Campbell, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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svmonk:

 I don't and didn't actually believe in rebirth, mainly because I don't think it really matters if I believe in it or not. What matters is how I live my life right now. So I don't know how I could actually achieve the vow in any real sense. I still have that feeling now and then of the Bodhisattva Vow, and various stuff comes up in meditation around the Bodhisattva Vow and Avalokitashvara, the Bodhsattva of Compassion.

Agreed! BTW, I sometimes forget your story, but I live not far from you in the Santa Cruz mountains and would love to compare notes if/when you feel inclined. emoticon
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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Maybe the vow fills the function of keeping the practicioner from spiritual bypassing?

I'm not part of any scene so I haven't taken any official vows, but for some reason the Avalokitashvara/Chenrezig archetype has come to be meaningful for me in my practice. I start my day with the Avalokitashvara heart dhurini mantra.
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Bodhisattva vow versus everthing else

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svmonk:
Hi Tim,

Couldn't help responding here. Suffering is real to the beings who are experiencing it. Telling them that it is not real is kind of like telling someone who is about to die from coronavirus pneumonia that they are better off dead because global warming is going to fry the world in another 20 years anyway.


Hi, Fra Silicon Valley,

I am trying out a new siddhi that just came today, with multiple response boxes within a single reply. Yeah, baby, watch me work!

I've got a sort of interesting relationship with the Bodhisattva Vow. I practiced with it for around 8 years as a Zen monk, reciting it at retreats and sittings, but then gave back my robes to my Zen teacher, because she moved too far away for me to regularly visit, and started practicing vipassana/jhana. In 2009, I was at a 10 day jhana retreat, had gone into retreat a couple days early, and had come to a pretty solid state of access concentration during my sits. When I was walking to the retreat hall for a talk, the Bodhisattva Vow sort of grabbed me by the back of my neck and shook me. It wasn't just words anymore. I literarlly felt in my whole body the vow to keep getting reborn endlessly in ways that could help relieve suffering.

Amen. 

Now, the interesting point is, I don't and didn't actually believe in rebirth, mainly because I don't think it really matters if I believe in it or not. What matters is how I live my life right now. So I don't know how I could actually achieve the vow in any real sense. 

Yeah, I have no idea how any of it could possobly "actually" work, even without getting started about the Three Characteristics. I think of it sometimes as a way to frame the reality of activity amid suffering, of acknowledging skin in the game--- "let's make it interesting," as the gamblers say, meaning, up the stakes. For me, in that sense, the Bodhisattva thing is the most interesting game in town, the table I want to play at.

 and Avalokitashvara, the Bodhsattva of Compassion.

Given my cradle Catholic love for the devotional/bhakti side of things, Avalokitashvara, pray for us.


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