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Is the buddhahood-in-this-lifetime concept dangerous?

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Is the buddhahood-in-this-lifetime concept dangerous?

Postby TonyD on Thu Dec 17, 2015 5:35 pm

Hi,

In certain schools of Buddhism (e.g. Zen, Nichiren, Tantric schools), it is thought that if you perform the practices and rituals correctly, with enough concentration and dedication, under the supervision of a teacher, a person can attain buddhahood in this very body, in this lifetime.

In these same schools, we sometime see cases of gurus, roshis, teachers etc abusing their authority (and their students). It's not common, but it does happen. Apparently there develops a misguided perception that a particular teacher has transcended ordinary morality (he's a buddha after all). Predictably, bad consequences ensue.

In other schools of Buddhism, say Theravada or Pure Land, enlightenment in this lifetime is considered either extremely unlikely or impossible. I am not aware of scandals or abuses in these schools like the ones mentioned above, but I may simply be ignorant of them.

What do you think? Is the Buddhahood here-and-now concept a little too advanced for some people? Should some people stick to the safe-but-boring donkey-cart of gradual cultivation rather than hopping on the potentially hazardous express train of rapid enlightenment? Your thoughts, please.

Gassho
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Re: Is the buddhahood-in-this-lifetime concept dangerous?

Postby fukasetsu on Thu Dec 17, 2015 5:43 pm

TonyD wrote:
What do you think? Is the Buddhahood here-and-now concept a little too advanced for some people? Should some people stick to the safe-but-boring donkey-cart of gradual cultivation rather than hopping on the potentially hazardous express train of rapid enlightenment? Your thoughts, please.

Gassho


Any concept for any people when granted reality is a potential hazard.
When the teachings are understood, they become worthless.
Awakening is not a concept
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You can have a tremendously transformational experience, and it doesn’t immediately get rid of all of your contradictions and confusions. Sometimes your deepest shadow comes up after your deepest awakening.
Often we have to begin by admitting what is still churning within us.
~Adyashanti :heya:
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Re: Is the buddhahood-in-this-lifetime concept dangerous?

Postby macdougdoug on Thu Dec 17, 2015 6:01 pm

Howdy

We see stuff and due to our genes and upbringing interpret in certain ways; mix this together with various other beliefs held as truth, we logically come to conclusions. This reminds me of the blind guy feeling up an elephants leg and concluding that elephants are a bit like trees.

Would it help if I say that I have heard of Tibetan gurus, Indian Hindu Gurus, and nondenominational gurus also abusing their star struck disciples? In my interpretation the problem is more to do with the worshipping of special people than with particular schools - more to do with being like Michael Jackson than with the metaphysical theories they hold forth.

PS. Has someone really said that I can become a Buddha if I perform certain acts under the guidance of a certain person?
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Re: Is the buddhahood-in-this-lifetime concept dangerous?

Postby Caodemarte on Thu Dec 17, 2015 6:25 pm

Theravada has its full share of abuses of the laity. As an example, one Cambodian monk in the United States is now a fugitive as he runs from (repeated) rape charges. I don't follow Pure Land closely, but I am utterly convinced that if I did I am sure I could find similar problems. However, the same is true of any group of humans from plumbers to priests to doctors. If the group is large enough there will be some amount of abusers or criminals.
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Re: Is the buddhahood-in-this-lifetime concept dangerous?

Postby TonyD on Thu Dec 17, 2015 6:26 pm

macdougdoug wrote:PS. Has someone really said that I can become a Buddha if I perform certain acts under the guidance of a certain person?


Thanks. Well I thought the whole point of Zen is that you can become enlightened right now (not sure if that is exactly the same as being a buddha) if you have the requisite breakthrough, kensho, satori, etc. And I know Shingon (type of Tantric Buddhism) teaches that buddhahood can be obtained here and now.
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Re: Is the buddhahood-in-this-lifetime concept dangerous?

Postby TonyD on Thu Dec 17, 2015 6:28 pm

Caodemarte wrote:Theravada has its full share of abuses of the laity. As an example, one Cambodian monk in the United States is now a fugitive as he runs from (repeated) rape charges. I don't follow Pure Land closely, but I am utterly convinced that if I did I am sure I could find similar problems. However, the same is true of any group of humans from plumbers to priests to doctors. If the group is large enough there will be some amount of abusers or criminals.


Thanks, I did not know that.
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Re: Is the buddhahood-in-this-lifetime concept dangerous?

Postby macdougdoug on Thu Dec 17, 2015 6:47 pm

TonyD wrote:
macdougdoug wrote:PS. Has someone really said that I can become a Buddha if I perform certain acts under the guidance of a certain person?


Thanks. Well I thought the whole point of Zen is that you can become enlightened right now (not sure if that is exactly the same as being a buddha) if you have the requisite breakthrough, kensho, satori, etc. And I know Shingon (type of Tantric Buddhism) teaches that buddhahood can be obtained here and now.


Ahh so... :ghug:

To truly understand whats what about becoming a Buddha in this lifetime, one must first see what all this wanting to become a buddha is all about, who is wanting, why, can one concept "I" become another concept "buddha" and if so has anything really happened at all?
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Re: Is the buddhahood-in-this-lifetime concept dangerous?

Postby desert_woodworker on Thu Dec 17, 2015 9:51 pm

T.,

I'd say, "If not now, when?"

It's a good principle.

Christians, and even non-believers, say:

"God helps those who help themselves".

Yeah. Don't rely on the suspected- or guessed-availability of any future times, or upon help from putative deities.

In Zen Buddhism, definitely awakening is known to be possible, and actual. But the awakened person does not then withdraw from Life. As a Mahayana school of practice, Zen Buddhism trains Bodhisattvas... or, rather, brings them to birth. Bodhisattvas are not "in it" for themselves. As, ...well, ...there is no self, per se. A self is just an applique (like a decal) upon Original Nature, and is skin-deep, and does not go to the core. Yet, it's a necessary conventionalization in order to live as a Bodhisattva. It's just not as original as the underlying deep ocean, nor is it the source of great resources, but it is the recipient and (active!) agent of them, able to enact, transfer, and apply talents and energies that the underlying Mind keeps in store.

Yes, it is possible to uncover, and to live-from, the Original Mind, now.

This is the single most under-appreciated miracle of the past 2500 years, I'd say (with all due apologies to Christianity: sorry).

Because of the momentousness of this potential development in one, and because of the many wrong turns possible, one needs a teacher, and sangha, to tread this path safely, competently, and with skillful support. It's all been done before! But maybe not by us. Thus, look for someone who's already accomplished what we'd like to accomplish... .

And now -- knowing that it's possible and practicable -- why not do it? :tongueincheek:

--Joe
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Re: Is the buddhahood-in-this-lifetime concept dangerous?

Postby TigerDuck on Fri Dec 18, 2015 5:20 am

Buddhahood in single lifetime is possible, because enlightenment is actually just a Paradigm shifting, a shifting of perception.

For example, all sentient beings do not have self by default even right now.

So, we do not make self to no self, but we change our perception of it from understanding reality. It never exists and cannot possibly exist.

There is nothing can be done except changing perception.

Water is already wet, we can't make it wetter.

So, buddhahood in a single life time is not an advertisement propagated by some schools. It is actually a fact of reality.

Whether or not some Teachers misuse/mislead that, it is another story.

Both can be used to mislead if we want to.

Through nonconceptuality, he is immovable.

[Nagarjuna]
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Re: Is the buddhahood-in-this-lifetime concept dangerous?

Postby Avisitor on Fri Dec 18, 2015 7:06 am

Is the buddhahood-in-this-lifetime concept dangerous?

Sorry, don't understand the question.
Anyone who attains Buddhahood would do it in a life (in the time of one's life)
So why would something like that be dangerous?

Can Attaining Buddhahood happen over two lifetimes?
One life would not know about the other lifetime
And every being comes from the same source

Now, you talk about people who get into a position of power or respect and then abuse such power?
Who are these people? How can they be called Buddha or even teacher if they abuse the power given to them by others?

Anyone who has ever experienced something of their own true nature realizes the truth that one never stops practicing
It is due to the very nature of our being, our bodies, our minds ... and so we continue to practice
Buddhahood is not an end. It is not a goal.
One doesn't sit and practice to reach enlightenment

There is danger in thinking that Zazen will bring enlightenment
It doesn't. But, it does clear the mind and bring one closer to our natural state
Which (with the right effort) then allows one to see the very truth of our nature

Wait ... what was the question again??
Disclaimer: There is no intent to be offensive in my posts. None was intended and none should be interpreted as such.
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Re: Is the buddhahood-in-this-lifetime concept dangerous?

Postby Linda Anderson on Fri Dec 18, 2015 7:22 am

dear heart,

A mature spiritual practice is at ease without knowing. Many here have said that in various ways. It seems you have been on the way for a while now. Have you thought about trusting yourself. The most dangerous thing is that you look to others for an answer... that is not the spirit of zen or many other schools of Buddhism, tho not all. You are not alone in wondering. Still none of this matters, and if anyone did know, it would not matter to the rest of us. It is irrelevant what any religion says until you realize it and feel it for yourself. Take what is good for you as a practice and disregard all the rules of religion.

There are awakened beings in this life and if you meet one, you will see, without question. Meanwhile, we do the best we can. Savor your life, dont' waste it. It's enough to treasure your life. So please, think about relaxing and going beyond these structures. They are only structures.

linda
Not last night,
not this morning;
Melon flowers bloomed.
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Re: Is the buddhahood-in-this-lifetime concept dangerous?

Postby desert_woodworker on Fri Dec 18, 2015 1:24 pm

Av,

Avisitor wrote:Anyone who attains Buddhahood would do it in a life (in the time of one's life)

That's an excellent, excellent point. :heya: Truly, awakening is not theoretical, nor does it occur only in some distant heaven, or distant time. It can be an event in everyday life, and then can continue, extended and taken-care-of through proper ongoing practice.

Indeed. Let's say that reincarnation in some way is a real process. Maybe a person now has had many lives, preparing him or her finally to "wake up" in this life, "finally". So, this life is the one in which to wake up. Dangerous?, why, no.

Perhaps some putative danger could be suspected in a person practicing alone, not having the touchstone of a teacher and sangha. People DO indeed go off on tangents, without course-corrections, like spacecraft. Those tangents are called "outer-paths", other-religions, and outer-paths neither result in the same awakening as Shakyamuni's, nor do they spring from it. They are means to other (unbeknownst) ends, and not to the same experience that the Buddha had. In that way, outer-paths are "other" than Buddhist. So, yes, "Danger!", and "Cautions!", if awakening through Buddhist practice is what one leans toward, but one is on an outer-path, by some likely chance.

The aspiration toward awakening as the Buddha did is called "Bodhichitta". When that arises, it's time to see a teacher, and to make a beginning, ...and continue.

--Joe
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Re: Is the buddhahood-in-this-lifetime concept dangerous?

Postby Seeker242 on Fri Dec 18, 2015 2:52 pm

What do you think? Is the Buddhahood here-and-now concept a little too advanced for some people?


I think that "you can't get Buddhahood in this lifetime" is much more dangerous. There is always going to be something that is too advanced for some people. If there weren't any teaching that isn't too advanced for some people, there would hardly be any teaching at all!
Kill a cat, with a dried shit stick, under a cypress tree in the courtyard, while eating three pounds of flax! Only a cow goes Moooo!
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Re: Is the buddhahood-in-this-lifetime concept dangerous?

Postby desert_woodworker on Fri Dec 18, 2015 3:19 pm

T.,

TonyD wrote:What do you think? Is the Buddhahood here-and-now concept a little too advanced for some people?

I dunno about the "concept". But the practical attainment of awakening can be very, very difficult.

The difficulty is not that it is "advanced", but exceedingly simple. Now, most people cannot get themselves to be so simple. They look for sophistication and cleverness wherever possible. It's just a way of aggrandizing the small-self. Not many people can cut that out! (stop it).

Again, this is where the support and help of a sangha and teacher are pivotal. Pivotal in learning practices. And pivotal in practicing and cultivating practices correctly. CAN many people do this? Yes. Will very many of them do it? No.

There's nothing exalted, refined, "advanced", or developed about buddhahood. It's just the original-equipment that beings come with, the original body-mind-face, and which shines, before all the after-market hardware has been added to the chassis, and before the engine has been tricked-out. Will many people fight to return to a bland, plain-vanilla, state? No. And it's a pity, because it's a state that is light, agile, efficient, and as-designed. Nothing added, nothing lacking. But its original endowments are then available, without clutter from the trim-kit add-ons.

But stripping the after-market gear is a challenge for most of us. One could just let it rust away, and rust off, by simple neglect. But people always want to polish it, instead. Oh, well.

So much for "most" people. If we ourselves practice, we'll be contributing to "a culture of awakening". I see that such a culture is developing in the West, and maybe again in the East. Early-days!, all over again.

Good morning!,

--Joe
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Re: Is the buddhahood-in-this-lifetime concept dangerous?

Postby Quiet Heart on Sat Dec 19, 2015 6:43 am

:) Who is this YOU that wants to obtain Buddhahood" in one lifetime?
And what is this "Buddhahood" YOU wish to obtain, anyhow?
How does this :Buddhahood" thing you wish to obtain differ from your "true nature" now?
And what is it that you must "obtain" or " lose" to find this "Buddhahood"?
If you could answer those questions ,why would there be any danger?

Think about it.
:)
In Quietness is the beginning of all Things
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Re: Is the buddhahood-in-this-lifetime concept dangerous?

Postby TTT on Sat Dec 19, 2015 10:02 am

a particular teacher has transcended ordinary morality (he's a buddha after all).


Yeah,
Buddha can be a moral person in this viwe. But not neceseraly soo.
Lord Sakyamuni Buddha was a Buddha and he was a human.
Humanitarien behavior does not have soo much to do with Buddhism or with Enlightenment?

The good go to hevan, etc.. And more trauma to come...

This is a viwe that we hold for true but it is not necceseraly soo.

Heven culd be that end! Precepts and meditation is just somthing that results, maybe, in a clarity and oneess of mind. And what is "enlightenment" for thet matter? can one make transmission etc..
There is different viwes on this, if you study for example the doctrin of the Three Points Viwe, meditation and activity you will see what is true here? What is the correct price on te in china and that stroy!

Thanks.
When
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Re: Is the buddhahood-in-this-lifetime concept dangerous?

Postby cam101+ on Sat Nov 05, 2016 1:08 am

Concepts are dangerous. They are some of the most dangerous things one can encounter on this path.

Buddhahood is right now. How could that be dangerous? It is only dangerous if we do not realize it, then we have lost everything w/o knowing that we had anything..
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Re: Is the buddhahood-in-this-lifetime concept dangerous?

Postby desert_woodworker on Sat Nov 05, 2016 2:44 am

Tony,

TonyD wrote: ...under the supervision of a teacher, a person can attain buddhahood in this very body, in this lifetime

Yes.

In the Zen Buddhist tradition, the Zen Buddhist practices are said to be a rather rapid way, at that, toward awakening.

And practice remains necessary after awakening, both to maintain awakening, and to deepen it. As a Bodhisattva, one also progressively develops skilful-means over time as practice continues, for helping others (all beings), and for minimizing the harm that we do.

Well, some say there are no others, and that there is one being, if that many. I'm one of those, too. ;)

--Joe

p.s. (Tony, are you still around? ) -J.
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Re: Is the buddhahood-in-this-lifetime concept dangerous?

Postby Lunarious1987 on Sat Nov 05, 2016 9:52 am

My mother told me, in Islam, then believers souls are separated GENTLY from their bodies. Disbelievers violently. I guess because the buddhanature seed is good with believers, they understand spoken language.


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- Imam Hussein was once asked: what is affluence? He said : Decreasing your wishes , and being satisfied with what is enough for you.”
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Re: Is the buddhahood-in-this-lifetime concept dangerous?

Postby Caodemarte on Sat Nov 05, 2016 1:27 pm

Any concept can be (and most have been) used and abused to justify bad acts.
Last edited by Caodemarte on Sat Nov 05, 2016 5:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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