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Skilful Means -- the Book by Pye

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Skilful Means -- the Book by Pye

Postby desert_woodworker on Wed Apr 06, 2016 9:55 pm

I await the arrival of the book by Michael Pye, Skilful Means: A Concept in Mahayana Buddhism; 2nd Ed., 2004.

Below is a snip from the several pages that Amazon allows us to read online at their site.

--Joe

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Re: Skilful Means -- the Book by Pye

Postby fukasetsu on Thu Apr 07, 2016 1:16 am

Claro, nothing new, but nothing ever was. :)
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Re: Skilful Means -- the Book by Pye

Postby desert_woodworker on Thu Apr 07, 2016 4:22 pm

F.,

fukasetsu wrote:Claro, nothing new, but nothing ever was. :)

Harry Truman, 33rd president of the U.S.A., said: "The only thing new in the world is the history you don't know." ***

There are some books by modern Tibetan teachers, but Pye's book is rather more general, I think, and written by a native English speaker (I don't know if the author is a practitioner, or exclusively a scholar).

The book's second edition was in 2004, and we may wonder how the author's thinking and understanding may have continued to evolve in the past dozen years or so. Perhaps there will be a third edition.

-- Joe

*** He also said:

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." And:

"I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it."
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Re: Skilful Means -- the Book by Pye

Postby partofit22 on Thu Apr 07, 2016 6:04 pm

It's all new!
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Re: Skilful Means -- the Book by Pye

Postby fukasetsu on Fri Apr 08, 2016 2:47 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit."


Very true. :)
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Re: Skilful Means -- the Book by Pye

Postby fukasetsu on Fri Apr 08, 2016 2:48 pm

partofit22 wrote:It's all new!


It's always fresh indeed but when you go, all goes with it. :heya:
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Re: Skilful Means -- the Book by Pye

Postby cam101+ on Sat Nov 05, 2016 12:58 am

"Skilful Means: A Concept in Mahayana Buddhism".

Excellent! It only took him till the fourth word to miss the mark. This is indeed quick work of it. I have much work to do.
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Re: Skilful Means -- the Book by Pye

Postby desert_woodworker on Sat Nov 05, 2016 2:47 am

cam,

He wrote his book for academic scholars, not for people who know better. :tongueincheek:

--Joe (when a scholar addresses "a concept", the scholar means "a reality".)

p.s. Wonderful and beautiful book! I received the 1978 First Edition on Apr. 7, 2016. The author's voice is the voice of a Bodhisattva throughout, introducing details of this little-disclosed element of Buddhadharma to a new people on new continents, some 40 years ago, when Buddhism was even newer in some places than it is now. Thank you, Prof. Pye! -J.
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Re: Skilful Means -- the Book by Pye

Postby desert_woodworker on Fri Apr 28, 2017 1:36 am

Do folks and practitioners here work to develop skillful means?

--Joe
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Re: Skilful Means -- the Book by Pye

Postby lobster on Tue May 02, 2017 10:20 am

desert_woodworker wrote:Do folks and practitioners here work to develop skillful means?

--Joe


Skilful means as opposed to what? :peace:
Of course they do. :ghug:

However we have levels of skills. For example the level of the confused and ignorant is at best trying to follow the wise and awake to the best of their Mahayana Mayhem :blush:

Then we have the clear and transparent, trying to help, provide information, developing clarity of mind, body and speech. :buddha:

Then we have the skills of the newly awake. :Namaste: They may not have patience/honed skills/depth or a shovel for burying useless behaviour. :p:

Then we have the flowers :daisy: They seem to be doing well on the skill front ... :hugs:
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Re: Skilful Means -- the Book by Pye

Postby desert_woodworker on Tue May 02, 2017 3:23 pm

lob.,

lobster wrote:Skilful means as opposed to what?

Yes, thanks: habitual, deluded, ways of perceiving, experiencing, and behaving.

"Skillful Means" is a good Buddhist technical- and religious-term, with known meaning(s), better-known the more one informs oneself about it.

(you may tell us what else you may be mulling-over, there, instead; or maybe not, if it's OT).

lobster wrote:Of course they do.

Oh? Speaking for yourself. What's 'doing', with you. Got any two 'for-instances'?

lobster wrote:However we have levels of skills. For example the level of the confused and ignorant is at best trying to follow the wise and awake to the best of their Mahayana Mayhem :blush:

You be the Judge, yerhonor.

I'd advise anyone thinking that way to reverse, and don't hang up and bog-down on "levels" (nor "however" 's). That's just microscopic-, momentary-, thinking. And when it's expressed and disseminated, it is, in effect, dis-information.

In the practice-career of a Bodhisattva, I'd say, there's a progression, a progress made; an evolution of skill-in-means that's a better and better fit to Reality (a fit of appropriateness, and depth of functioning, in skill(s) ). This evolution and progress and progression proceeds naturally as one cultivates, becoming yet more intimate with elements of Dharma and the world: i.e., Life and the world as they become progressively further clarified -- to one / within one / about one -- via one's continuing practice following awakening, or in awakening.

That clarification and progression is part of 'what it means' (what it is... ) to be (to practice and cultivate as... ) a Bodhisattva.

The first paragraph in the partial page-image from Prof. Pye's book in the OP is very good, I'd say, in setting out the scope of his study.

I repeat that it's a good book, a good study. It's informative on what's been in the background, and even about what we are doing. That is, even if we didn't know. And if we did, or do, know, Pye gives it a(n) historical perspective. This is rare!, when it comes to the topic of skillful means (which elsewhere is usually glossed-over), and is one part of why this book is a treasure.

Rated Five-Stars, by this Astronomer. ;)

--Joe
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Re: Skilful Means -- the Book by Pye

Postby lobster on Wed May 03, 2017 7:52 am

Whether we level our progress or progress through levels is little more than mind occupying semantics. A bit like swimming in shallows or depth. Still the same ocean. Yes there is a subtle difference for those who wish to wave out others kinks, their own or just bob along ... :heya:

If without kinks :rbow: Then you can do my ironing for sure ... :tee: :>.>:

Of course you have the skill to make your own judgement and draw on your own experience. So it would be skilful to provide you with nothing at all ...
:hide:
However you are too much fun to be left with answered questions, so perhaps you can share instead ... :hugs: :ghug:
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Re: Skilful Means -- the Book by Pye

Postby desert_woodworker on Wed May 03, 2017 2:02 pm

lob.,

lobster wrote:Whether we level our progress or progress through levels is little more than mind occupying semantics.
Always the fall-back position of the defeated. :lool:

lobster wrote:...semantics...

Make no mistake: That's where the meaning is.

:lol2: This is a discussion forum, not a mind-reading non-discussion forum.

Thus... Got 'semantics'?

If so, mean away (but not meanly). :lol2: Otherwise, no use in your posting.

Back to topic:

No levels. There is a progression of a Bodhisattva's behavior's "fittingness" as the Bodhisattva hones and attunes skillful means and clarifies realization through yet further practice. Thus, no snap-shot of this "evolution" is a "level": it is instead a view (by another; someone else) of the Bodhisattva's continuing adjustment of dynamic "alignment with '...the Tao' ", with the error-margin of alignment narrowing progressively ("in the aggregate", at least, would be good... ).

And let's not hang-up even there, though (as I suggest). Moving along, now, and,

Strong practice, All,

--Joe
Last edited by desert_woodworker on Wed May 03, 2017 2:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Skilful Means -- the Book by Pye

Postby lobster on Thu May 04, 2017 1:48 am

desert_woodworker wrote:lob.,
Back to topic:


:heya:

No levels
No semantics
No progression
Nothing to hone
No discussion
No pointing
Unfit
Defeated
Attuned
No snap shot, no movie. :lool:

Tao and Practice. :>.>:
A plan without qualities. :dance:

Sounds good to me. :)X
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Re: Skilful Means -- the Book by Pye

Postby desert_woodworker on Thu May 04, 2017 2:08 am

lob.,

Sounds wrong to me. For discussion. For development of skillful means. And for saving sentient beings.

Hold your applause 'til the end. You hint that you've seen nothing, yet.

Meanwhile... good book, as I've been saying: Prof. Michael Pye's SKILFUL MEANS.

Maybe some here have looked into it? Further than the paragraph in the OP, anyone?

_/\_,

--Joe
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Re: Skilful Means -- the Book by Pye

Postby Avisitor on Fri May 05, 2017 2:54 am

Sorry, too many books to read, to learn, it just puts more ideas into my head
Got too much crap going on in there already.
And then if I sit down for too long then the wife says, "You got to do this or to do that ..."
No peace in this house


Now strong practice everyone ... lol
Disclaimer: There is no intent to be offensive in my posts. None was intended and none should be interpreted as such.
Sorry, got a message that I was not being PC.
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Re: Skilful Means -- the Book by Pye

Postby desert_woodworker on Fri May 05, 2017 12:59 pm

hi, Av,

Avisitor wrote:Sorry, too many books to read, to learn, it just puts more ideas into my head

Yes; understood.

Have a look at one of those videos by my teacher Sheng Yen, with your Mother-in-Law. Do you retain some Chinese? (I mean, speak Mandarin?).

What you hear in the videos is what I heard in person: he always spoke in Chinese, except sometimes a few words in English in private "interview" (dokusan). Especially on 7-day Ch'an retreats (I attended many), it became so that I could understand some Chinese. This was helped of course by the excellent translator who always translated Sheng Yen's words to us immediately after he delivered them. But most often he'd speak for five minutes and then the translator would deliver the translation for five minutes! The translators all had excellent memories and could listen a long time, retain what was said, and then deliver the translation in sequence, all (I suppose!) without leaving things out.

(Some of these translators were: Wang Ming Yee; Guo Jen [Paul Kennedy]; Guo Shien [Karen Swaine]; Dan Stevenson; and Guo Gu).

Avisitor wrote:Sorry, too many books to read, to learn, it just puts more ideas into my head
Got too much crap going on in there already.
And then if I sit down for too long then the wife says, "You got to do this or to do that ..."
No peace in this house

Av, Gandhi said: "There is no path to Peace; Peace is the way". :tongueincheek:

:peace: ,

--Joe

p.s. As for "reading", well, you have a snippet of Prof. Pye's book in the OP. It may be enough to read that first paragraph of his. Keep coming back to it, if you like. Or copy the image of the text when you have it on the screen; it's a graphics file. You could print it. Glue it onto a 4 x 5 filing card. Laminate it. Make it into a bumper magnet for the kitchen refrigerator! Well, there may be other texts that you'd like to do this to, instead. Enjoy what there is of peace, and what there is not. -J.
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