Buddhism wrote:In other words, true Buddhist learning should be based on the practitioners’ conditions and capacities; practitioners themselves are the one who can decide their own cultivation path in Buddhism. Again, practitioners’ capacities and conditions rely on their past lives' merits and virtues of auxiliary dharma, which contribute to form their mentalities of this life. As we see deeper, the Buddhist cultivation is exactly like a spiderweb that interconnects into every directions. (part 4/end)
SauLan wrote:@Buddhism, thank you by the way, for the materials you sent--that was very generous, and I am reading through them and listening to the CD now. I would be happy to send you some postage in return. Thanks again.
SauLan wrote:However, using union practice is not "sex," any more than prostrations are "exercise," or chanting mantras is "music."
Mantras may appear to be music, prostrations may appear to be physical exercise, and union practices may appear to be sex, but that doesn't make it so. We are human beings, and anything at all that we do may be therefore mistaken for mere, ordinary activity; but it is our motivation and reasoning which determines whether our activity is actually mundane or spiritual.
A person may appear to be simply walking; but if they are engaged in walking meditation, they are actually meditating, not simply walking.
A clearer example might be a person who is fasting, taking only water, and no solid food: when taking a drink, someone from the outside may say, "Look, that person is drinking, and fostering a craving for satisfying thirst," when in fact the practitioners is avoiding food, specifically to reduce his craving for food overall. Again, it's the motivation, especially over time, which makes the difference, rather than the superficial appearance of one, specific act.
Buddhism wrote:The Three-Vehicle Bodhi 三乘菩提are:
1. Sound-Hearer Bodhi: Buddha Sakyamuni began by teaching this method to help practitioners build up their confidence in the Buddha dharma. The practitioner must observe that his physical body is illusory and that the sensation aggregate, perception aggregate, formation aggregate, and vijnana aggregate, which all derive from this body, are illusory as well. After the practitioner hears the Buddha’s teachings, he will observe mindfully to verify the non-substantiality of the above five aggregates, and he will realize that all these will eventually cease to exist and thus cannot be relied on. As a result, he will feel a sense of aversion and the urge to detach himself from everything. Eventually, as he fully believes in the Buddha’s teachings that every individual possesses the eighth vijnana, which neither arises nor ceases. He will then calmly and entirely abandon selfhood and become an Arhat. After his death, the Arhat will not take another rebirth. He will not appear in the human or heavenly realm. The Arhat is therefore liberated from the cycle of births and deaths and will enter nirvana. (Teachings from the Four Agama Sutras).
SauLan wrote:... I feel the same way about ngondro practice, prostrations, etc.; it may not be for everyone, but for me, it's very effective. Sometimes prostrations are the only way to focus my mind at certain times of day--it's like even I, the hyperactive one, can slow down my thinking when my whole body is involved in practice.
I believe the Buddha taught a basic philosophy which is not limited by the conditions of his time--instead, because of his brilliant distillation of ideas, he was able to get his philosophy down to something so basic that we can literally apply it broadly across times, cultures, and mentalities. Its greatest genius, in a way.
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