Archive for January, 2009

Incitement ?

January 31, 2009

Subforum: News/Announcements > Buddhism News and Articles
Thread title: Dalai Lama Unwell
Date: Wednesday, 27 August 2008,

Forum member:

Dharamshala: His Holiness the Dalai Lama has been experiencing some discomfort in the past couple of days. His personal physicians attributed this to exhaustion and have advised him to cancel his engagements for the time being and instead complete the remaining medical tests that began earlier this month in Mumbai.

It has therefore been decided that all his schedules for the next three weeks, including the visit to Mexico and the Dominican Republic, are being canceled with immediate effect.

Namdrol (Former E-sangha global moderator):

We can all thank the Shugden people for HHDL’s present state of ill health.

Forum member:

Hi,

I was hoping you could expand on this and explain the connection.
Kind regards

Namdrol (Former E-sangha global moderator):

Imagine thousands of people calling you a liar for months on end and in public…

Forum member:

Hi,

But how is it different to what the Chinese Government have been doing since His Holiness fled occupied Tibet in 1959?
Again, many thanks for your patience.

Namdrol (Former E-sangha global moderator):

The Chinese Gvt. does not stand outside of HHDL’s teachings holding up placards and chanting for days on end. Also, the Chinese Gvt. does not propitiate spirits with severe antipathy to HHDL.

Further, the leaders of the Pro-Shugden movement all have samaya with HHDL, and they have totally broken their samaya, and their students also have samaya with HHDL through their teachers. These teachers have instructed their students to tell the world that HHDL is a liar. This is a violation of the the first root downfall.

When a large number of people break samaya, it is bad for the teacher in question.

These Shugden people worship a Damsri, a samaya breaking spirit, and are themselves all samaya breakers.

A second forum member:

Shugden supporters are probably pating themselves on the back for a job well done. No doubt most will feel HH the Dalai Lama is ill because he banned a great Buddha. All the while they where making prayers to the spirit to silence HH the Dalai Lama by any means necessary. I know when I worshipped the dreadful spirit I made prayers to it believing HH the Dalai Lama was trying to destroy Tsongkapas doctrine. I felt at the time HH was evil, and must be stopped. That’s how brainwashed Shugden followers can become. I now realize how wrong I was, and I’m deeply ashamed I ever got involved with such people. I wish HH a speedy recovery. I ask in prayer every night that he is protected from the spirit. It upsets me deeply I used to ask the spirit to harm him. That’s what Shugden supporters are doing whether they realize it or not.

3rd forum member:

Hi there,
You said when you were a Shugden follower you prayed for him to harm the Dalai Lama.
This means that although you did pray for the Dalai Lama to be harmed at that time you were not, by virtue of this bad intention or prayer, a Shugden follower except in name.
I do follow Trijang Rinpoche and love his pure example. Due to this I would never pray for anyone to be harmed: so I am not clear where you are coming

4th forum member:

It’s a shame to hear that the Kundun is feeling tired and unwell. The best case situation being that we can hope for his recuperation and that he will be able to work for many years to come. However this may not be the case and it may be that he dies. IN this unfortunate case, it will be necessary that the people here and in the world in general have the right attitude. His death will be tragic, but it may end the debate over the Dorje Shugden and the NKT’s complaints of persecution in India. I have to say that the mention of Dorje Shugden is a very strong explosive for me. I really do get pissed when I see it or someone defending it. I recomend Phowa with a Colt 45 to be used on any practitioner of the Dorje Shugden cult of the NKT…yeah right just kidding! Still though, they do worse with their own selves and others. The worship of the demon brings death and destruction to the regions of whoever accepts this infernal practice. It cannot be allowed to exist and given no recognition.

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Brad Warner

January 31, 2009

Subforum: Traditions > East Asian Buddhism > Chan/Zen/Seon General Forum
Thread title: Brad Warner
Date: 8th Sept 2007

Namdrol (Former E-sangha global moderator):

Brad Warner is a materialist i.e. he denies rebirth; and therefore, the only conclusion he can assert is that the mind is merely an ephiphenomena of brain activity. That is principally why knowledgable Buddhists take issue with him.

That being so, he isn’t teaching Buddhism, but instead teaching a Worldly dharma that he and his teacher call “Zen.”

Forum member:

Namdrol has made his opinion known. I have not read Brad Warner’s books, but I have read a few of his articles and blog entries, and listened to a some of his interviews. While I was initially put off by his ‘bad/punk boy’ image which he has cultivated, once past that initial reaction I find him refreshingly down-to-earth.

What are the opinions of the participants of this (Chan/Zen) forum regarding Brad Warner, who is now the designated dharma heir of his teacher, Master Gudu Nishijima?

Forum member:

Just curious, is Brad out on a limb with his interpretation or have there been “respected” Zen teachers who have presented this view as well?

Namdrol (Former E-sangha global moderator):

Who cares, the Buddha clearly defined this view as annihilationism [ucchedavada].

There are no nuns

January 31, 2009

Subforum: Traditions > Tibetan Buddhism > Tibetan Buddhism General Forum
Thread title: Geshe Michael Roach
Date: Jan 13 2006

During a discussion of the faults of Geshe Michael Roach, we learn the following from Namdrol (Former E-sangha global moderator):

They are not fully ordained nuns– they are religious lay women who have decied to be celibate– unless they have received the Dharmaguptaka ordination from the Chinese Buddhist tradition, which seems unlikely, but it is possible.

You see, none of the preceptors that brought the ordination of Sarvastivada, Not Shantarakshita, Kamalshila, etc., as mentioned by Gorampa brought the bhikshuni or even the sharmanerika or shikshamana ordinations to Tibet— such an ordination absolutely does not exist in Tibetan Buddhism.

Therefore, within Tibetan Buddhism, there is no nuns ordination at all, just as there is no celibate lay ordination [i.e. gomi] ordination in Sarvastivada at all, as stated very clearly by Master Vasubandhu in the Kosha.

While I do not wish to criticize the motivations of these women who are living in these retreat centers, they are not true Buddhist nuns since they do not have any of three ordinations of a Budhdist nun, shikshamana, shramanerika or bhiklshuni.

Amida Trust

January 31, 2009

Subforum: Traditions > East Asian Buddhism > Chinese Buddhism > Pure Land
Thread title: Amida Trust ordinations
Page no: 1
Date : Dec 17 2007

Forum member:

in regards to lineage and amida trust.

it is true that lineage is not needed to read the sutras and practice nien fo. lineage is needed however if you are going to ordain as a bikshu or bikshuni. the vinaya is very specific about who and what needs to be present for ordination. this has been since the time of the buddha so indeed he did establish lineage. not a lineage based on birth (not for what we are talking about here anyway) but a lineage based on vows, teachers, and students. you can not ordain bikshus and bikshunis on your own, you need other people as well.

this leads me to the question, is amida trust ordaining bikshus and bikshunis? are they following vinaya? or are they some other type of position like priest or yogi etc. what exactly is this ordination.

that is well and good if dharmvidya does not believe lineage is of importance but it should be important to thos looking at this school because without some form of ordination lineage what makes this an authentic path and not a cult?

Namo Amitabha!

Dicussion follows and then we have:

Namdrol (Former Esangha Global Moderator):

The position of E-Sangha is extremely clear. If someone has not received the vows of a shramana up to Bhiskhu or Bhikshuni, they are not a Buddhist monk or a nun; they are lay clergy.

There are no Vinaya traditions within Buddhism other than Theravada, Mulasarvastivada and Dharmaguptaka.

Anyone claiming to be a Buddhist monk or a nun, who has not properly received ordination into one of these three vinayakramas [systems of vinaya] is a fraud. One cannot validly refer to themselves as a Buddhist monk or nun without receiving ordination into one of these three systems.

Because of the controversy surrounding Amida Trust, until further notice, all further discussion of Amida Trust will cease.

Stephen Batchelor – Nihilist

January 30, 2009

Subforum: Traditions > East Asian Buddhism > Chan/Zen/Seon General Forum
Thread title: Split from Ch’an Masters on Rebirth
Page No: 1

A forum member starts a discussion of rebirth off with:

As “Magic Primate” says, Rebirth is seen as just a metaphor in Zen, it is about this life… A lot of Zen masters explictly said “There is no rebirth after this life”. Zen denies the rebirth which Gautama Buddha taught in Pali Canon, Zen says “this is the only life we have” then complete end (annihilation). That’s why Zen is not a convincing way at all at least for me… If I believed “no rebirth” and commplete annihilation, I would prefer Science/Materialism over Zen.

Discussion follows until a member posts:

This is nihilism similar to the likes of Stephen Batchelor and Brad Warner.

Rebirth is literal in all Buddhist traditions. It is not a metaphor, allegory, analaogy, simile, or metonymy.

Which results in another member asking:

Assuming you’re categorizing Batchelor & Warner as nihilists, can you present any coherent argument that that is an accurate classification?

Namdrol (Former E-sangha global moderator), joins in:

you have been given all the necessary arguments.

And yes, Brad Warner does have a nihilistic view, as does Stephen Batchelor.

So, if you can’t figure this out– why are you still hanging around?

Forum member:

Isn’t Brad Warner the heir apparent of a legitimate order?

If that is true, and he is nihilistic as people are saying here, where does that leave the legitimacy of tradition? What went wrong?

Namdrol:

Isn’t Brad Warner the heir apparent of a legitimate order?

Not of an entire order.

If that is true, and he is nihilistic as people are saying here, where does that leave the legitimacy of tradition? What went wrong?

We live in a decadent age.

Forum member:

Warner and Batchelor evidentially both have belief systems, therefor that in itself precludes them from being nihilists, strictly speaking. Of course that doesn’t at all mean they are Buddhists, but whether or not they are Buddhists wasn’t my question.

Namdrol:

Nihilist = annihilationist i.e. ucchedavadins, to be completely precise.

Reginald Ray

January 30, 2009

Subforum: Traditions > Tibetan Buddhism > Tibetan Buddhism General Forum
Thread title: Reginald Ray, Qualified Dharma Teacher?
Date: Oct 4 2008
Page No: 3

Namdrol (Former E-sangha global moderator):

Ok, that’s it for me.

I heard a statement by Ray tonight:

“The whole belief in past lives is something that Buddhism inherited from Indian Tradition. And I think, as with many things in Asian Buddhism, we need to take a critical look at this and see…you know, the Buddha said to his own students “…anything that I teach you, don’t take it at face value, don’t believe it just because even I said it– you have to look at it and evaluate it within your own framework and see if it makes sense. And if it doesn’t make sense, dump it, get rid of it.” And I think that incarnation, ah… reincarnation, as a literal teaching, I don’t find it helpful for anybody because it takes your focus away from this life. But if incarnation is viewed as a sort of metaphor for the fact that we humans are on some kind of extremely long spiritual journey that happened before we were born, and it’s going to keep on going, then I think it’s helpful.”

This person is not a qualified Buddhist teacher.

Forum member:

Do you feel that you are qualified to say who is a qualified teacher? If so, how?

Namdrol (Former E-sangha global moderator):

Yes. How? Because I know what Dharma is and what it is not, and dispensing with rebirth as a metaphor is not Dharma and is harmful to the Dharma.

Forum member:

When you say that you know what Dharma is, do you mean that you have become the Dharma and that it is now how you experience the world, or that you are familiar with what has been taught about the Dharma. If it is how you experience the world, would you be so kind as to look around where you are and from your own experience tell me how objects appear to you.

Namdrol (Former E-sangha global moderator):

I mean that I know the difference between Dharma and Adharma. That is sufficient. Teaching that rebirth outdated, that it is better to focus on this life, is simply wrong.

Forum member:

You mean that you know intellectually between the Dharma and Adharma. That is not sufficient, because what you know intellectually may in fact be far removed from the actual experience of Dharma. Opinions about things are not the things themselves. A realized person knows that realization can be found only now. Could Reggie have been trying to accentuate that point? Could he have been trying to point to the fact that what is here and now is all there is and to spend one’s time on an idea which for most is unproven by experience, such as rebirth, may be an inferior way to spend one’s time? i don’t know and i don’t really care that much; i’m not a knee jerk Buddhist. But what i do care about is smearing a teacher on an international forum. Reggie Ray, who i know personally and who is not my teacher, has devoted his life to the Dharma; he introduced a very close friend of mine to the Dharma while he taught at CU and he has done so with many, many others both at Shambhala Mountain Center and in Crestone. I have read two of his published works on Tibetan Buddhism and found them helpful. Do you really feel comfortable dismissing out of hand a teacher who has made those kind of contributions to the Dharma, because he doesn’t fullfill one intellectual stance that you have chosen to assume.

Namdrol (Former E-sangha global moderator):

You mean that you know intellectually between the Dharma and Adharma.

No. I mean that I know Adharma when I see it.

Do you really feel comfortable dismissing out of hand a teacher because he thinks that rebirth is something that can be discarded?

Absolutely.

The very fiber of the Dharma absolutely depends on the Buddha’s teaching of rebirth. If you do not understand this, then you do not understand Buddhism.

This one point is the basic one upon which the entire Dharma hangs, the realizations of stream entrants through Arhats, the realizations of Mahayana bodhisatvas that require three incalculable eons to perfect; or even the profound teachings of Vajrayana which concern how to achieve complete liberation in the bardo, and if not that, then at least within 16 lifetimes.

Basically, as Dzogchen Khyentse Rinpoche recently pointed out, it is quite impossible to have Buddhism without rebirth, and if you are someone who does not believe in literal rebirth, it is much better for you _not_ to be a Buddhist.

So, having said that– I will repeat myself. Reginald Ray is not a qualified Dharma teacher because he teaches that rebirth something which may be dumped out, thrown away.

That one thing is sufficient to render all of the rest of his so called Dharma complete and utter nonsense. He is not a teacher who can lead one to liberation. He is just another one of those Barnes and Noble “Buddhist” teachers like Stephen Batchelor, Kalsang Gyatso and so on who do far more harm to students than good.

Various forum members join in the complaints against Reginald Ray:

there seems to be a blur in Dr. Ray’s thinking between literal acceptance of rebirth and the utility of rebirth as a stimulus to practice.

Namdrol, warming to his theme, continues:

In fact, his comments expose the presence of a form of intellectual racism against a so called “Asian Buddhism”, a constant theme in is his discussions of Buddhist topics.

It is a little strange to insist on such a distinction– as of this writing there isn’t a single highly realized teacher of western origin, not even one.

The so called “American Buddhism” movement is characterized by a deep hubristic immaturity.

Mad Cows and the Fall of Tibet

January 28, 2009

Subforum: Traditions > Tibetan Buddhism > Tibetan Buddhism General Forum
Thread title: alternatives to Pabongka Rinpoche works?
Page no: 5
Date July 5th 2006

A discussion of Pabongkha and Lama Zopa leads to:

Forum Member:

You’re missing the point, maybe you should read it again?? The point was that a mistake from your Lama is actually not a mistake. Unless you are a Lama yourself, we cannot really judge them!

Namdrol (Former E-sangha global moderator):

No, the mistake is yours actually for assuming that Lama Zopa’s advice applies to anyone outside of his Sangha.

Pabhongkha is not my Lama, he is not my Lama’s Lama, nor my Lama’s Lama’s Lama.

The idea that “Lamas” as a class of persons is beyond the judgment of mortals corrupts the heart of the Dharma.

Your Lama should be exempt from being criticized by you personally, unless his acts are too egregious to ignore. But this does not mean that other persons are automatically prevented from offering properly motivated criticisms of your Lama’s mistakes– then your challenge is a to maintain a pure view.

It would be nice to have a pure view; but that has to be real, not some fantasy realm that looks like a Tibetan Thangkha.

I don’t hate Pabhongkha; I don’t hate Dolgyal. But I think that Dolgyal is harmful and that because of him, the Tibetan Goverment fell, the Chinese were able to easily invade, and these sorts of things are predicted in many texts.

It may be hard for you to beleive, but the strong presence of Dolgyal practitioners in Northern England led to the Mad Cow disease outbreak; the burning of the millions of bovine corpses incited the anger of the Mamos, and they in turn caused these wars in which we are now ensconced– so this is no joke–really!

Forum member:

From my side I see that Lama Zopa wasn’t talking about protectors per se, he was talking about guru devotion in the context of the Lamrim.

Namdrol (Former E-sangha global moderator):

I understand perfectly what Lama Zopa was talking about, and I understand perfectly where he stands on this issue. He has said so himself. It is obvious he does not beleive that Dolgyal is as harmful as the Dalai Lama beleives.

But we are, as I said, all entitled to our opinions.

Pabongka

January 28, 2009

Subforum: Traditions > Tibetan Buddhism > Tibetan Buddhism General Forum
Thread title: alternatives to Pabongka Rinpoche works?
Page No: 3

A discussion of alternatives to Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand is interrupted with:

Namdrol (Former E-sangha global moderator):

If you open books composed by Pabhongkha you are inviting Dogyal.

Christianity

January 28, 2009

Subforum: Topics in Buddhism > Personal experience
Thread title: Formal Apology Thread, I need your forgiveness, folks.
Page no: 1

Forum Member:

I want to make one thing clear before I make my actuall apology. I am not a good person and not a very sensible individual as I have fallen into some rather extreme beliefs and ideas. I want to say I am sorry if I have ever made any insinuations that Buddhism is a idol worshiping cult or any such statements. I want to make it clear that even if it is what my religion believes, I should n’t try to force it on all of you. My real issue is that I see America and the West in general as having abandoned it’s former Christian self. To see Buddhism coming to the West is a interesting thing and yet, it is a scary thing. The westerner had the Gospel, the message of salvation through faith. Our ancestors came over from Europe out of the Catholic Dark Ages to bring this to a land where they could practice this belief. The dharma is not wrong folks, it is just that it is the abandonment of the former belief and rebellion that is associated with it that I do not like. It is a great thing that many Lamas and Tibetans have found a home in places like the United States. I do not oppose that we are allowing these persecuted peoples to live in a land that is free like ours. I oppose it that we are going to other faiths for our spiritual needs. I am offended that people would say some things that I hear about God. I don’t like how some have said that the Christian God is a Brahma being and thus not a real powerful deity. I find this offensive and not right in the way it is said. I wish you wouldn’t have such opinions, but like I said before I won’t force my beliefs on you. I know you all come from various backgrounds and cultural environments. I hope you all can see me as a mere nuisance and not a enemy of yours. I can only ask for your forgiveness, this is what my religion teaches that I should do. I do not consider you my enemies, but even if I did I would treat you well. My religion teaches that I would have to treat you well and pray for you out of compassion. I want you guys to know that I am sorry for anything that I have said in the past and hope for your forgiveness once again. Thank you for reading this.

Namdrol (Former E-sangha global moderator):

We don’t believe in a creator god. In fact, we don’t believe in any sort of monotheistic god at all. We reject this belief because it does not accord with the universal principle of dependent origination.

There is no way to accommodate a belief in a supreme creator in Buddhism.

I have never found any personal value in Christianity, and I was not baptized. I was not raised Christian, so I am not abandoning anything.

Rebirth

January 27, 2009

Subforum: Traditions > East Asian Buddhism > Chan/Zen/Seon General Forum
Thread title: Right View… the Beginning of the Path…, what is it? and who’s is it?
Date: Sept 2nd 2006

Namdrol (Former E-sangha global moderator):

That’s up to you. What you beleive is one thing. What Buddhism teaches is quite another.

Zen without Buddhism has no place on this forum. There is no Buddhism without a teaching on rebirth.

Thus, those who wish to have their Zen without Buddhism should go elsewhere– they will be unhappy here.

Forum member:

I think that’s for them to decide. Your statement definitely reads as an implication that they are unwelcome heretics. In practice, mainstream Zen teaching does not necessarily conform to Buddhist doctrine, even if it has its origins there. I think it is unfortunate that non-Zen practitioners are taking this almost ‘witch-hunt’ attitude towards Zen, both Japanese and Western, ancient and modern.

I for one am far more interested in actual reality than in whether I am permitted to call myself ‘a Buddhist’ or post on what is supposed to be a Zen forum.

Namdrol (Former E-sangha global moderator):

People may say whtaever they like, but if they are going to teach Buddhism, then rebirth is completely integral to the path the Buddha taught.

For example, there are Once-returners and never-returners, these terms refer to the number rebirths a practitioner must undergo within the desire realm before reaching final nirvana as an arhat.

The Buddha taught these terms, and doctrines. Rebirth, i.e. appropriating new series of aggregates after the breakup of this life’s aggreegates, is a non-trivial essential doctrine of Buddhism; anyone who teaches it is not is proclaiming a mistaken view. Any so called “Buddhist” teacher who teaches that rebirth is not a vital component or teaches that there is no rebirth for common ordinary people on a conventional level is a materialist and should be ignored.