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Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture?

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Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture? C4 Chaos 3/11/09 4:30 PM
RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture? C4 Chaos 3/11/09 4:34 PM
RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture? Jackson Wilshire 3/11/09 6:03 PM
RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture? triple think 3/11/09 7:26 PM
RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture? Wet Paint 3/11/09 9:46 PM
RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture? Hokai Sobol 3/11/09 10:48 PM
RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture? Wet Paint 3/11/09 10:57 PM
RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture? beta wave 3/11/09 11:48 PM
RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture? beta wave 3/11/09 11:49 PM
RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture? Wet Paint 3/12/09 12:07 AM
RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture? Wet Paint 3/12/09 12:56 AM
RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture? Hokai Sobol 3/12/09 1:17 AM
RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture? John Finley 3/12/09 1:56 AM
RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture? Wet Paint 3/12/09 2:00 AM
RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture? beta wave 3/12/09 2:07 AM
RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture? Hokai Sobol 3/12/09 2:22 AM
RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture? Jackson Wilshire 3/12/09 3:41 AM
RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture? Florian 3/12/09 4:41 AM
RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture? Jackson Wilshire 3/12/09 5:03 AM
RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture? Wet Paint 3/12/09 6:06 AM
RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture? C4 Chaos 3/12/09 6:41 AM
RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture? C4 Chaos 3/12/09 6:41 AM
RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture? John Finley 3/12/09 7:00 AM
RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture? Jackson Wilshire 3/12/09 7:07 AM
RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture? C4 Chaos 3/12/09 7:15 AM
RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture? Jackson Wilshire 3/12/09 7:21 AM
RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture? C4 Chaos 3/12/09 7:49 AM
RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture? Jackson Wilshire 3/12/09 7:56 AM
RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture? triple think 3/12/09 9:30 AM
RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture? Jackson Wilshire 3/12/09 10:32 AM
RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture? Wet Paint 3/12/09 10:42 AM
RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture? Wet Paint 3/12/09 10:46 AM
RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture? Kenneth Folk 3/12/09 10:50 AM
RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture? C4 Chaos 3/12/09 10:54 AM
RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture? Florian 3/12/09 11:07 AM
RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture? Wet Paint 3/12/09 11:20 AM
RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture? Wet Paint 3/12/09 11:28 AM
RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture? Kenneth Folk 3/12/09 11:34 AM
RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture? triple think 3/12/09 1:27 PM
RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture? tarin greco 3/12/09 1:28 PM
RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture? Wet Paint 3/12/09 2:41 PM
RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture? Wet Paint 3/12/09 3:23 PM
RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture? tarin greco 3/12/09 8:50 PM
RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture? Frater Geur 3/12/09 10:10 PM
RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture? C4 Chaos 3/13/09 6:45 AM
RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture? Wet Paint 3/13/09 7:29 AM
RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture? Jackson Wilshire 3/13/09 7:45 AM
RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture? Wet Paint 3/13/09 8:16 AM
RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture? tarin greco 3/13/09 8:18 AM
RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture? Wet Paint 3/13/09 8:28 AM
RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture? Wet Paint 6/14/09 11:05 AM
RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture? Wet Paint 6/14/09 11:42 PM
Forum: Practical Dharma

just watched this old interview with the Dalai Lama on ABC. here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Zpf1DdArek

in the interview, the Dalai Lama was asked about the Buddhist view of heaven, nirvana, and enlightenment. i find that the Dalai Lama's answers don't fit with my contemporary understanding of Buddhism (as interpreted by other Buddhist teachers in other schools and lineage). for example, the Dalai Lama is very confident with the concept of reincarnation (e.g. animals reincarnating as humans and vice-versa). also, the Dalai Lama's definition of Buddhahood is "the highest Nirvana" wherein all negative emotions are all "completely eliminated." (that's his exact words). hmm, this seems to be inconsistent with the idea i understand from Theravada, wherein negative emotions are not totally eliminated but are seen as what they are so they are not a problem.

however, what really surprised me was when the Dalai Lama was asked directly by Barbara Walters, "are you enlightened your Holiness?" to which his answer was: "no. i do not know what will happen tonight." and then he laughs. and then he goes off saying that an enlightened person remembers everything. hmm. was the Dalai Lama referring to a "higher" level of enlightenment (e.g. Buddhahood)? according to the story the Buddha remembered everything after his enlightenment, including his past lives. maybe that's the kind of enlightenment the Dalai Lama was referring to.

is this one reason why other Buddhist (Tibetan, Zen, or Theravada) don't claim that they are enlightened? do they equate enlightenment with Buddhahood? if the Dalai Lama doesn't claim "enlightenment" then i can imagine why other "awakened" teachers won't even claim "enlightenment", how dare they? and so, from this perspective, is the Dalai Lama a big contributor to the Mushroom culture?

RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture?
Answer
3/11/09 4:34 PM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
P.S. for those who are not familiar with the term "Mushroom Culture", it's based on Ingram's "Mushroom Factor". see this link: http://bit.ly/16XSbQ

RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture?
Answer
3/11/09 6:03 PM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
I saw the interview when it first aired. I was more in to the mushroom culture back then, so his statements on enlightenment and Buddhahood didn't really bother me.

Honestly, I'm still torn on whether or not he's doing or saying anything all that wrong. One the on hand, he's from a completely different culture than my own which carries significant differences in worldview and ideology. His saying that he is not a Buddha is not him saying that he isn't a skilled meditator, or that he hasn't gotten some insight. I've read some statements by the Dalai Lama regarding his ability to keep up with even the most renowned Dzogchen masters, which to me says he acknowledges some level of attainment.

And there's the problem... on the other hand, you have this colorful foreign gentleman talking about Buddhahood as if there are no stages in between. Even Daniel has said (in one of the Buddhist Geeks episodes) that he thinks that Buddhahood is a beautiful ideal and goal, if that's what someone wants to aspire to. But when any level of "enlightenment" gets confused with some ideal of a highly perfected being, problems in view arise. The models are a mess, and unfortunately, even highly realized masters (on the insight front) may be totally ignorant of this fact.

I guess my beef lies more with the Western teachers who perpetuate this stuff rather than place it in its proper context. Your thoughts?

RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture?
Answer
3/11/09 7:26 PM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
In my opinion, he is a heavy, heavy Dharma cat who treads very, very lightly. I'm pretty convinced. Can't explain why.

RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture?
Answer
3/11/09 9:46 PM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
Author: GhostLLP

The Dalai Lama is a very wise and valuable teacher of Tibetan Buddhism.

The answers he gave are perfectly in line with Buddhist thought, and with his own realizations I'm sure.

I'm certainly not aware of any authentic school of Buddhism which does not teach reincarnation. I'm also not aware of any authentic school of Buddhism in which Enlightenment does not entail elimination of negative emotions.

The Dalai Lama does not claim he is Enlightened simply because he is in fact not enlightened. This has nothing to do with any kind of "mushroom culture."

I'm not so sure a "mushroom culture" even exists. It seems to be a phrase meant to water down enlightenment to the point where we can all go around pretending to be highly realized Arahats while at the same time feeling no relief from the suffering we have supposedly escaped.

Peace
Lucas

RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture?
Answer
3/11/09 10:48 PM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
H.H. is a genius and a very advanced practitioner even by most lofty Mahayana standards (i.e. ten Bodhisattva bhumi). He's also the Dalai Lama, an emanation of Avalokiteshvara. He's also a spokesman for a traditional, conservative Buddhist establishment in exile, trying his best to help preserve what's left of his culture, including it's values and ideals.

On the other hand, the mushroom culture is very real. I'm much less bothered with traditional models of full awakening, than with bizarre ideas like flying humans and miracle working as basis for a homemade model of awakening - hybrids of pseudo-Buddhist beliefs and Asian mythology and folk-psychology and Western newage thinking - parading as a "view" on awakening. The problem with mushroom culture is that it won't admit it exists, it won't take a no-nonsense, clear stand on the reality of awakening, and so it won't provide an antidote for such bizarre ideas. Thus, mushrooms...

Traditional Buddhists, modern Buddhists, postmodern Buddhists, and then those who wish to ride the wave of emergent Dharma, will certainly not hold the same view on either mushrooms or awakening. At every one of these levels there is legitimacy of models, and a method of establishing legitimacy. Therefore, every one of these should come up with their own definition of mush-culture, right?

Now, H.H. is very aware and inquisitive of all Buddhist doctrines, bold in affirming evolution and science, but also thoroughly embedded (trained and supervised from early childhood) in a specific cultural and social system. I wouldn't say he "contributes" to the mushroom culture as such. I would say he doesn't help with our mostly postmodern version of it, but then he isn't supposed to. This is the task of new generations of practitioners everywhere, students and teachers equally. Fresh minds, fresh thinking, fresh awakening.

RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture?
Answer
3/11/09 10:57 PM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
Author: garyrh

If the answer is yes or no how has any cause been furthered speculating what the Dalai Lama may or may not believe. If you get him in a different context the answers would likely be different. He maybe making allowances for the masses popular view on enlightenment. He might have considered the consequences of saying I am enlightened while attempting to change the masses model of enlightenment.
That said, he may not hold the views of DhO, just like many Budhist traditions do not. In so far as the Dalai Lama's relevance to the "mushroom factor" he is the keeper of a particular tradition not any more than that.
It is fair enough to ask any question but to answer this one the divisiveness is for little gain.
Obviously just my opinion emoticon

RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture?
Answer
3/11/09 11:48 PM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
I think that's basically right and understandable, ultimately. But one of the shadows cast by doing that is the one that fosters mushroom culture.

cont.

RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture?
Answer
3/11/09 11:49 PM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
This is a true story. A few years ago, when I was ready to give up meditation and my obsessive reading of anything related to practical enlightenment I could find, I found a DL book on the stages of meditation. Sounded perfect! And it was well written and not too cryptic (especially compared to what I was finding), but it ended somewhere well before stream entry. As such, it really wasn't helpful at all. It was a very classic example of how traditional schools will hold back material. As a result, it subtly suggest this stuff is mythical and unattainable except by people who live it 24/7.

I'm pretty sure I gave up after that... until I found Brad Warner's book -- which basically said it could be done by a typical dude. Brad's book doesn't say what really doing it and getting it done is, unfortunately. And then I found Daniel's book -- which described the path in full. At that point, I didn't have any overarching doubts. It was real, it could be done, and there was a way to do it.

I think DL has to tell a lot of white lies to keep his tradition and mythology (for the religious tibetian buddhists) established. He probably knows that there is a baby and dirty water and getting rid of the latter without losing the former is difficult. Yet he pushes scientific objectivity and rejection of things like the actual existance of hell realms and other traditional elements. It's got to be a hard job and a difficult balance. It's funny, I personally don't dig the public-version of the guy -- in a hip-shot, snap judgement way. It's easy for me to think of him as part of the anti-woman, anti-gay contingent of traditional religion. But I think he carries a heavy load, so I try to recognize the bigger picture and show some compassion -- ironically, for the embodiment of compassion.

(I'm getting deja vu -- did we have this discussion before?)

RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture?
Answer
3/12/09 12:07 AM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
Author: garyrh

There is plenty of mushroom culture out there, there is little value in singling out DL. Further why single out the "mushroom factor" with Budhism. What about the dogma of Christianity, Islam ...

There is nothing left of a mushroom after the sun shines on it for a few days. The best part of your story was the sun!

RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture?
Answer
3/12/09 12:56 AM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
Author: josh0

My, admittedly perhaps incomplete and/or flawed, understanding of rebirth and enlightenment would suggest that the Dalai Lama, who presumably expects and is expected to die and be reborn to continue the Tibettan spiritual lineage is therefore, by definition, not enlightened (we're talking nibbana here). If he were, he wouldn't be reborn, no?

RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture?
Answer
3/12/09 1:17 AM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
A bit off topic, perhaps, however, awakened individuals can choose to be reborn and do so by power of their previous determination. Freedom from ("wisdom") and freedom to ("compassion") are generated, developed, cultivated, and (or ought to be) perfected alongside from the very beginning of one's training in all "northern" schools of Buddhism. Therefore, there's no contradiction in being enlightened and reborn. What is destroyed with full awakening in this context is unconscious or compulsive rebirth, and has itself been classified in three stages of accomplishment in accordance with the three stages of rebirth process, depending on the stage until which full lucidity is retained. In short, the basis for the two (awakening and rebirth) being inclusive seems broad and acceptable. However, there are very few actual i.e. conscious tulku-continuums in the whole Tibetan tradition, the Karmapa usually being offered as the prime representative.

RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture?
Answer
3/12/09 1:56 AM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
Forgive me for showing my ignorance here, but I understood that attainment to the level of arahat was, ipso facto, the attainment of buddhahood.

Granted, I am not yet as well-read in traditional buddhist writtings as I probably should be, but I remember reading of a conversation between the Buddha and an inquisitor that went something along the lines of, "Well, if you're not a god, what are you?" To which her responded, "I am awake."

I took that to mean that the measure of buddhahood is awakening, e.g.., "there is nothing more to be done", "housebuilder, you will build no more", etc.

Am I mistaken?

RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture?
Answer
3/12/09 2:00 AM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
Author: josh0

Ah, thanks for the clarification. This is all a little outside my general area of knowledge. emoticon

RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture?
Answer
3/12/09 2:07 AM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
Right! Mushroom Culture is equally applied to all mystical traditions that have become obscured or hidden by needless secrecy. And there's hope for all traditions because the heart of it is still there to be discovered or re-discovered.

RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture?
Answer
3/12/09 2:22 AM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
You're not necessarily mistaken, depending on the meaning of "buddhahood" and "arahathood", at least not in the broad sense. But strictly speaking, those two are not identical, even in the Pali Canon, not to mention later traditions.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhahood

See also "Buddhahood and buddha bodies" by John Makransky http://www.johnmakransky.org/article_10.html

RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture?
Answer
3/12/09 3:41 AM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
The vast majority of the participants in this forum are not claiming to be arahats. The ones that do claim to have attained arahatship do not do so lightly.

I still don't understand why proclaiming that awakening is possible, while also attempting to demystifying the whole process, ruffles the feathers of so many people, especially those who practice some form of Buddhism -- which is all about awakening!

RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture?
Answer
3/12/09 4:41 AM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
Nice discussion. I like Hokai's reference to View. I share Triplethink's gut feeling, knowing that it's (just) a gut feeling.

I think repeating Daniel's definition of "mushroom culture" at this point would put some of the points raised here into perspective: "students are kept in the dark, and fed manure". That's mushroom culture in the sense the term is used in MCTB.

I didn't watch the interview; but I have read an anthology of HH's writings (Christmas gift... I don't really like anthologies), and while those bits I read don't always shine the full force of sunlight on all that is touched, they are certainly not manure either. More like collecting mushrooms in the forest than cultivating them in the cellar? Tasty, but hard to find?

@Lucas "mushroom culture seems to be a phrase meant to water down enlightenment to the point where we can all go around pretending to be highly realized Arahats while at the same time feeling no relief from the suffering we have supposedly escaped." - Actually, I think here you almost gave a rather nice definition of "mushroom culture", instead of debunking it. It's the "pretending but not getting it" that is at the heart of mushroom culture. Not pretending about attainments, though: Pretending they are not within reach of real, live human beings, and perpetuating that position in order to solidify some comfortable delusion.

Cheers,
Florian

RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture?
Answer
3/12/09 5:03 AM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
Well said, Florian.

I think that "comfortable delusion" is a great way to put it. It would seem that the ideas surrounding outrageously unreasonable enlightenment models are to the tune of, "I couldn't possibly reach this, so I'm off the hook!" This outlook brings a sense of rest to one's practice and life in general, which is very comfortable in a mundane sort of way. The "tension" that says there's more to be done is uncomfortable, which makes it tempting to conceptualize that enlightenment is out of reach in order to bring resolution to the unsettling predicament.

I would suggest (as would most others here) that it is better to resolve the tension by practicing well and gaining insight. But in order for that to be an option, someone (or some community) must be willing to present the option and speak clearly about what is possible and what it takes to get it done... hence the reason why the DhO exists.

RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture?
Answer
3/12/09 6:06 AM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
Author: GhostLLP

I agree. So let's talk about what's possible.

Freedom from negative emotions is possible. Contentment is possible. It is possible to never feel bad ever. To never feel sadness, to never feel depression. These emotions can be completely removed from our psyche.

I am here to tell you this is possible. The Dalai Lama is here to tell you this is possible.

Most people here seem to be under a mistaken impressions that this kind of enlightenment is too extraordinary, it's too lofty. It is not possible, so let's lower our expectations.

So my question is, who is really contributing to a mushroom culture? eh? haha

Peace
Lucas

RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture?
Answer
3/12/09 6:41 AM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
hi everyone, thanks for riffing on this topic.

first of, i have nothing but utmost respect and admiration for HHDL. this thread is not meant to take potshots at the dude. he carries a heavy load for his people, the future of Buddhism, and the world. anyone who has that load has to play and walk the fine line of politics. HHDL has to be careful with whatever he say because he is playing on the world stage.

that said, i agree with Hokai. HHDL doesn't directly contribute to the mushroom culture. but to me, due to his position, it's unavoidable to not "indirectly" contribute to it. so instead of putting another load on HHDL, the task of refining the dharma to fit our postmodern culture is on the shoulders of the new generation of practitioners and teachers who are not beholden to any cultural instance of the dharma. this doesn't mean that traditional forms of Buddhism are not to be honored. it just means that the new generation should be able to give birth to a new instance and form of Buddhism that is not loaded with cultural baggage of the past, and which will be compatible with modern science. in short, we need a new language and vocabulary to describe and talk about the dharma.

(continued...)

RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture?
Answer
3/12/09 6:41 AM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
btw, HHDL is also doing this on the side. he's outspoken when it comes to science and *secularizing* the dharma. so i think maybe he plays different personas depending on his audience (a true mark of an enlightened being emoticon). see Mind & Life Institute - http://www.mindandlife.org

however, a big problem when talking about attainments and enlightenment (at least in pop culture) is that the terms are not well-defined. there's just "enlightenment" and "non enlightenment" no levels in between.
no stages of awakening, just a flatland of spirituality. in short, like Ingram said, "the models are a mess."

people like Ken Wilber is hashing out the language but it also adds to the complexity due to additional jargons (can't help it). another good example is Shinzen Young's approach. those of you who have already listened to "The Science of Enlightenment" (TSoE) had a glimpse of how the dharma stripped of cultural baggage would look like. Shinzen's no-nonsense approach to the dharma is very compatible with the postmodern era. just the title alone already implies that "enlightenment is real", it can be done, and you're invited to do it. for me, that's how the dharma should be taught in our postmodern society, not only to appeal to the masses, but especially to appeal to the scientific community who could take the dharma much further than we can ever imagine.

my two cents.

~C

RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture?
Answer
3/12/09 7:00 AM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
@Lucas: "...Freedom from negative emotions is possible. Contentment is possible. It is possible to never feel bad ever. To never feel sadness, to never feel depression. These emotions can be completely removed from our psyche.

I am here to tell you this is possible. The Dalai Lama is here to tell you this is possible.

Most people here seem to be under a mistaken impressions that this kind of enlightenment is too extraordinary, it's too lofty. It is not possible, so let's lower our expectations.

So my question is, who is really contributing to a mushroom culture? eh? haha"

Lucas, I'm not disputing your claim that it's possible -- never say "never", right? But it would be interesting to see some examples of people who have attained to this level of development.

RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture?
Answer
3/12/09 7:07 AM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
Hi Lucas,

It's quite obvious that we disagree, so I won't try to change your mind. Though, I would like to offer another perspective on the matter.

Are you familiar with Ken Wilber's theory of Horizontal and Vertical Enlightenment? His idea is that Horizontal Enlightenment is the insight type, whereby one gradually (and sometimes suddenly) moves through deeper and wider states and stages until one has reached a continuous and complete non-dual perspective. This can be fully achieved in one's life time, with no further possible reduction.

Vertical Enlightenment, however, has to do with everything else related to personal development, including worldview development, emotional development, etc. This, he says, is infinitely vast. One may reach extraordinary levels of Vertical Enlightenment, but the work is never done.

So from this perspective, one may progress through the Horizontal stages while at any of the Vertical stages, and vice versa. Progress on one axis does not imply progress on the other. I can see that working toward both ideals can be good. But, insisting that one hasn't attained Horizontal Enlightenment because they're not very far along in regards to Vertical Enlightenment is just silly.

In other words, Horizontal (Insight) Enlightenment is about the characteristics of content, and Vertical Enlightenment is about the content itself.

What do you think of all this?

Jackson

RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture?
Answer
3/12/09 7:15 AM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
Jackson,

just a quick note that with regards to horizontal and vertical, i think you've got them reversed. vertical is the insight, horizontal is the relative emoticon

~C

RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture?
Answer
3/12/09 7:21 AM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
Hey C,

In his interview on Buddhist Geeks, he used Horizontal for Insight and Vertical for relative. Though, he did say that these were only arbitrary designations ;-) Who knows, he could have mixed them up during the interview. Silly intellectual philosophizing uber-geek.

The interview can be found here... http://tinyurl.com/5k7bhh

Jackson

RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture?
Answer
3/12/09 7:49 AM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
you're right. my bad. gah. i guess i was confused by his terminology of "depth and span" where depth is (vertical) and span is (horizontal). also, i always associate "enlightenment" with vertical development because i refer to it as a "stage" and not as "state." anyway, like you said, it's arbitrary emoticon

~C

RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture?
Answer
3/12/09 7:56 AM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
I'm more inclined to see it that way as well, given that MCTB refers to concentration attainments as states and insight attainments as stages. I just feel obligated to use Wilber's terminology when describing this idea to others, mostly because it's not my idea.

RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture?
Answer
3/12/09 9:30 AM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
Not a gut feeling. Perhaps a heart feeling to a given extent, but that would not cover it either. Not having been put through school by the Tibetans I don't know what to call it but I imagine they have a name for it. The best I could do is try to rationalize it and end up with something pseudo-scientific so I'll pass. But this is not a 'normal' feeling at all and I experience it every time HHDL is within about 300km of my body. It is like waves of qi or chi super saturated with compassion. Pretty much what you would expect from someone who is awake and holding on for everyone else's sakes. I didn't want to go here really because I can't point to the needle on a compassionometer or something like that. There is a current of very charismatic energy as well, similar to something like Obama has going on but again more pure hearted. Sorry if this appears to entirely mushroom-like, best I can do. I didn't learn to employ this kind of sensitivity from Tibetans.

RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture?
Answer
3/12/09 10:32 AM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
So, just to clarify, this is a feeling you get when HHDL is within a certain proximity to your body, prior to having received knowledge of his whereabouts?

RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture?
Answer
3/12/09 10:42 AM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
Author: GhostLLP

Neem Karoli Baba and Ramana Maharshi come to mind as more modern examples.

RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture?
Answer
3/12/09 10:46 AM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
Author: GhostLLP

I have disagreements with this model. (I could explain but that would be rather off topic to this particular thread.)

This is not to say I have any sort of issue with others believing this. However it is clear that if we are talking about Buddhism, The Buddha certainly did not teach any sort of "two types of enlightenment" model.

Peace
Lucas

RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture?
Answer
3/12/09 10:50 AM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
Lucas,

It's probably good for us to have someone at DhO who holds what is, after all, the conventional view on enlightenment, however exasperating it is to those of us who don't share it.

I submit that the "watered down" version of enlightenment presented here may be even better than your seemingly more ambitious vision. To be able to retain all of the qualities, both positive and negative, that make us human, while simultaneously being able to see their illusory nature... is this not the true freedom?

If enlightenment is freedom... and I believe it is, in the profoundest sense of the word... we should ask ourselves what freedom would look like. I would argue that freedom that does not include the ability to feel angry or sad is not freedom at all.

Rather than speculating about this or adopting any particular faith-based view, may I be so bold as to recommend that you:

1) Find out for yourself (DhO is full of practical advice for doing this).
2) Read what others have said. A good place to start would be Bill Harris' well-written and informative essay on the Five Ranks of Tozan:

http://tinyurl.com/amm7yk
http://tinyurl.com/5hbymq

The vision of enlightenment that you have offered corresponds only to the third of the five ranks.

Kenneth

RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture?
Answer
3/12/09 10:54 AM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
it's precisely the reason we have to flesh out the models because the Buddha didn't teach it emoticon

even the Buddha could not integrate neuroscience, cognitive psychology, and other models of development (not to mention the discoveries of quantum mechanics) because those forms of knowledge were not available during his time.

~C

RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture?
Answer
3/12/09 11:07 AM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
Hi Lucas,

The Buddha is reported to have said that he taught only suffering, and the end of suffering (as opposed to enlightenment).
In the sense that there is "conventional" suffering on one hand, such as birth, sickness etc (and I would include emotional suffering from anger and so on here) caused by physical and emotional factors, and on the other hand "phenomenological suffering" caused by not realizing the truth of the impermanence, not-self, and unsatisfactoriness of phenomena.
If I were to separate these two senses of suffering (analogous to the "two types of enlightenment"), then I can see how developing sila applies directly to the conventional form of suffering, and developing panna applies to the phenomenological sort (and samadhi helps with both). Sila, samadhi, panna, the noble eightfold path, the fourth noble truth. The fourth noble truth is a single truth, but there's a lot to it.
That's how I would fit the various dimensions of enlightenment in with my (perhaps unorthodox) Theravada View.

Thoughts?

Cheers,
Florian

RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture?
Answer
3/12/09 11:20 AM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
Author: GhostLLP

Hey Kenneth

If one is caught up in depressions, hate, lust, etc, then I ask, what are they free from? Certainly not suffering. Certainly not illusion.

Are you suggesting that you feel hate, lust and other negative emotions only when you "choose" out of your own free will? If so, then sure, I'd call you free. But if not, then again I ask, what are you free from?

You say negative emotions are part of what makes us human. I see two problems with this. One, it is quite an arbitrary statement. Two, the "I" that is us is in fact not human, this is a basic realization.

I hold onto none of these idea out of faith. I am by nature a mystic and I have only my experiences to go by.

Peace
Lucas

RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture?
Answer
3/12/09 11:28 AM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
Author: GhostLLP

Hey Florian

I would say that "the end of suffering" is enlightenment.

I am not aware of the Buddha teaching two kinds of suffering in this way. Rather, it seems clear to me, and in the teachings, that the root of all suffering is ignorance, even the more "conventional" suffering.

If suffering is like fire, then ignorance is like oxygen. If you get rid of the oxygen, it is impossible for the fire to still burn, as you have taken away it's fuel.

Peace
Lucas

RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture?
Answer
3/12/09 11:34 AM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
Could it be that you have reached the third of the Five Ranks of Tozan? If so, that is a rare and remarkable achievement, and I salute you.

Now, soldier on. You've lots of work left to do.

:-)

Mudita,

Kenneth

RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture?
Answer
3/12/09 1:27 PM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
Feeling is kind of vague. There are given sensations and there are given mental qualities. Yes. I know when he is stepping off the plane. Prior to any news releases. I noticed this a few years ago. He is not the only person I sense in this way and no two people are alike in these ways. I learned these modes of perception outside of a buddhist context and I am still learning how to integrate this correctly. I think the mushroom factor has been a real problem for me in these areas so I am taking this kind of integration very slowly, very carefully. I am making some slow and steady progress but I'm in no position to offer a complete model. It doesn't seem as if anyone is yet on the verge of a post modern abhidhamma that would satisfy all of our observations.

RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture?
Answer
3/12/09 1:28 PM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
since there've been so many off-topic posts here already replying to ghostllp's controversial assertions i figure i might as well jump in.

ghost:
i agree that it should be possible to live a life that is permanently free of afflictive experience. but i completely disagree that 1- the buddha taught it or 2- that either neem karoli baba or sri ramana achieved it. the myth of what enlightenment will deliver has been long perpetuated by those who want to believe in the sanctity of the sages of the past (pick one or two of your choice), sages who were not under constant observation and could just manifest love and compassion and still their negative emotions whenever it was appropriate or necessary.. or, at least, rationalise them away.

your high expectations for a good life are well-motivated, but your belief that spiritual practice leads to the elimination of negative emotions is unfounded and clueless. spiritual practice is not the answer and negative emotions cannot be eliminated without the substance of which they are formed being eradicated. i do not wish to go further into this here.

--

ajahn maha boowa, the most revered forest master in thailand these days, has been widely regarded as an arahant for decades. then a few years ago he caused a stir by crying on a live television broadcast. people who looked to him as a living buddha didnt like that an arahant could cry. his response? he got pissed off and called them shitheads. and said it was compassion.

--

ps wrt some authentic schools of buddhism and what they teach:
-ajahn buddhadasa, founder of suan mokkh monastery and one of the most famous and influential thai teachers of the 20th century, would not answer the question directly when asked if he believed in and taught rebirth or not. i take that to mean no, he did not.
-zen does not teach the elimination of negative emotions. nor does all (japanese) zen teach rebirth.

RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture?
Answer
3/12/09 2:41 PM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
Author: GhostLLP

I can't help but notice on the bottom of my posts that you guys don't seem to find my posts valuable, so this will be my last on the matter. But I did just want to respond to this particular part.

First, you are profoundly misunderstanding Ajahn Maha Bua's silence in regards to the question.
Second, as far as Zen not teaching the elimination of negative emotions, this is just simply false. The Breakthrough Sermon comes to mind as a good place to start.

Peace
Lucas

RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture?
Answer
3/12/09 3:23 PM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
Author: garyrh

Hi Lucas,
One or two votes is hardly significant! If you think you have a valid point make it. You speak for others who hold your view.
While you are courageous and not arrogant others will respect this.
Gary

RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture?
Answer
3/12/09 8:50 PM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
actually i was wrong, it turns out ajahn buddhadasa (not maha boowa - read carefully) did indeed flat-out deny rebirth and claim it was introduced into buddhism later by brahmin scholars.

as for your claim about zen, this is completely contrary to what every zen master i've read or spoken with has said. but perhaps you have a point, as i have not read the breakthrough sermon, cannot find a copy of it online, and will so leave your claim be contested by other people who know more about zen than me.

don't feel too discouraged by people giving you 'no' votes, they're just grumpy and kinda dogmatic. any social context will have some element of social bargaining in it, so figure out how to bargain here and get and give what you can. you don't see me parade my interest in actualism and actual freedom around here, do you? no, people would think i was a heavily deluded nut who was polluting their spiritual forum with my useless, irrelevant, or confusing views. so i don't say stick around just for the sake of shaking things up (they'll happen anyway no need to go looking for it imo), but stick around on the chance that you might learn something about what enlightenment really is and does, and how this is different from the myths about it, including some of the stories that some enlightened folk themselves turn around and tell.

i'm half-thai by the way, like not just ethnically but 1st generation thai (fluent, part of the culture, live there sometimes), and have spent a lot of time around some seriously highly enlightened monks. your notion of elimination does not hold up..

www.strippingthegurus.com is a really funny read.

RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture?
Answer
3/12/09 10:10 PM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
Aren't we simply rehashing the debate over whether someone who is ethically, culturally and intellectually clueless (which is of course a relative perspective) can be enlightened?

I think yes, they certainly can. I've even met a teacher that I felt was clueless in all these respects, yet I was at the same time convinced of his arahatship.

The Dalai Lama is definitely not assisting in the vision of open and honest practice geared toward the West that is espoused by the majority of people using this site. In this case, he is helping grow mushrooms. (Someone needs to send him the URL.)

But this does not reflect on his attainments or status. Merely on his perspective. Which Wilber - I think - in Integral Spirituality specifically singles out as at the 'orange' level.

Quite probably, someone at the orange level will view 'reincarnation' as having to do with the literal rebirth into fleshly existence of beings. Whenever I've come across this in the suttas, it has always seemed to me as if the Buddha were trying to talk about themes that in our time and culture we'd probably choose to address with our ideas of 'evolution' or DNA.

For all you fans of literal reincarnation out there - what's your answer to the classic question of *what* exactly gets reborn, given that the Buddha wasn't big on the notion of soul, essence or self? (You see why I favour the DNA angle?)

RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture?
Answer
3/13/09 6:45 AM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
regarding the somewhat off-topic discussion of whether enlightened beings exhibit negative emotions or not, i think a big disconnect here is a matter of perspective and our definition of "enlightenment."

for this discussion, i'll use a description of enlightenment by Shinzen Young. his description of enlightenment is "happiness independent of conditions." i like that definition because it's very simple, yet very profound.

by that definition, GhostLLP has a point that enlightened beings *don't* experience negative emotions coz they're always happy emoticon

however, that may be true from the *first person* perspective of that enlightened being. but there's no way for us to know exactly because once an emotion (whether negative or positive) is observed it becomes a thing or a *third person* perspective. we can only project or deduce the *first person* perspective.

in other words, an enlightened being may express negative emotion from our point of view, but deep inside, that enlightened being is seeing the "negative" emotion as it is, hence, no suffering.

here's a good example of a story from Shinzen Young regarding his experience with his teacher, Zen Master Sasaki Roshi. (see page 6) - http://bit.ly/4qtAw5

we tend to project our idealized versions of enlightenment on other people, or some other teachers from time immemorial. i can site another concrete example in the Christian tradition.

a lot of Christians project on Christ's perfection. no negative emotions, accepting the Will of God, etc. but people forget the story of Christ's anger when he whipped the money traders in front of the temple. was that a negative emotion? from the outside, yeah it seems like it. but how does it look like from the first person of Christ? our answer to this question would depend on our level of development.

~C

RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture?
Answer
3/13/09 7:29 AM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
Author: xsurf

I do believe in rebirth in the literal sense and think this is the stance of Buddhist sutras -- the Buddha himself remembered a great number of past lives and spoken about it. Personally I have many friends & teachers who accessed a big number of past lives vividly in meditation (these memories accessed in absorption are live-like, sometimes feels like you are there in your whole body, not vague at all like dreams, the meditator is as certain of his past life as having a cup of tea this morning). These memories are not mere hallucinations can be tracked, traced and proven. There are also many interesting cases of studies done on rebirth (check Dr. Ian Stevensons), here's two youtube videos of the reincarnation of a US fighter pilot:

(Part One) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EWwzFwUOxA
(Part Two) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5965wcH2Kx0

The question about how does rebirth occur without an Atman is another question altogether, which I have dealt extensively in a reply in another forum... it's too long for me to paste here, so I'll just leave a link for interested readers: http://www.thetaobums.com/lofiversion/index.php/lofiversion/t8789-0.html

(by xabir2005, Feb 13 2009, 07:21 AM)

RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture?
Answer
3/13/09 7:45 AM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
In regard to explaining re-birth in the context of no-self, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche was once asked by one of his students, "If there is no self, what is it that is re-born?" He replied "I hate to tell you, but it's mostly your bad habits" (not a direct quote). Some say it is simply our karma that gets re-born. It wouldn't surprise me if this was true, because the habit patterns of mind can be pretty damn strong.

I'm agnostic on the issue, as I have never had any past-life experiences. I've heard some pretty amazing stories though, which leads me to believe that it's certainly possible, if not downright true. That said, I don't think one needs to believe in re-birth to get enlightened. I also think it's quite possible to get fully enlightened (e.g. attain arahatship) and still be agnostic about re-birth, but that's just my opinion, as I am not an arahat.

RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture?
Answer
3/13/09 8:16 AM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
Author: xsurf

I was just reading an interesting article, which showed cases that the Buddha DID get angry, felt sad and cried, felt joyful and happy, had enjoyment, had affection, lied, had a job, dealt with adversities, got slandered by others, and sometimes felt helpless. Furthermore in a past life as a Bodhisattva, he killed a bandit to save others' lives. Though the actions/emotions by Buddha did arose out of 'skillful' or 'righteous' reasons. But these examples are somewhat in contradiction with the limited emotion and limited action models of enlightenment.

Article: http://www.blia.org/english/publications/booklet/pages/08.htm

I think we should not take a too literal understanding of 'getting rid of negative emotions'. Even in many of the scriptures, especially elaborated in the Dzogchen tradition, liberation is explained as not so much of emotions, thoughts or sensations not arising, but by perceiving the nature of sensate reality accurately, arising emotions and sensations self-liberates spontaneously in its own accord.

From a Mahayana scripture, Vimalakirti Nirdesa Sutra:

"Goddess: "Liberation is freedom from desire, hatred, and folly" that is the teaching of the excessively proud. But those free of pride are taught that the very nature of desire, hatred, and folly is itself liberation."

RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture?
Answer
3/13/09 8:18 AM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
xsurf - i just updated the part of my writing you quoted to better reflect memory, check it out

RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture?
Answer
3/13/09 8:28 AM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
Author: chrisb483

I think there are hints in the Burning House Parable that part of Tibetan Buddhism is to make the path attractive to simple people so they at least get on the "large vessel".

http://acc6.its.brooklyn.cuny.edu/~phalsall/texts/lotus1.html

Once outside of their buring house one should be told what the real goal is, like it explains in the parable. So yes, to me he is a mushroom farmer. Maybe he needs the Theravadians to harvest them? :^)

RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture?
Answer
6/14/09 11:05 AM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
Author: bboyYen

If the literal rebirth is not real then why would the Buddha say, I paraphrase "on the break up of the body, after death"

Or why would he describe hell in the Devaduta Sutta to such an extent, what about devas and hell and all that?


This is all my philosophical speculation:

One is the view that we are in fact eternal souls that get re-incarnated.

The other is the view that we did not exist before and were spontaneously created only to die at death and cease to exist.

Reality is in fact disappointing and the middle way.

The truth is there is no self or soul or eternal person, but byy the same token we do not cease to exist at death, and there is rebirth.

Now if the five aggregates are desire incarnate then all the pain of life is like a half actualized self.

The person keeps desiring existence, keeps desiring a self, keeps trying to actualize himself, through form by having a body, through consciousness as experience et..c

But all the pain and suffering occurs because this is impossible, the person desires after self, desires to have a self, but it is impossible because there is no self and thus his suffering.

There will never be one.

It is like a person, convinced he can have great physical pleasure or non painful feeling by gripping a sword extremely tightly and tries harder and harder, only causing himself more pain.

RE: Is the Dalai Lama Contributing to the Mushroom Culture?
Answer
6/14/09 11:42 PM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
Author: garyrh

In "How to see yourself as you really are" the DL advises the reader "Now cutivate total commitment ...(and say) Therefore it is realistic for me to work to achieve enlightenment and to help others do the same."

Having read the book; tthis statement is consistent with the whole of the book and the instructions there in.