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Thirteen Orphans
Dec 2, 2012

The principles expressed in the martial arts make up the backbone of my philosophy.

How do Tibetan Buddhists treat dreams? Are dreams containing deities, Buddhas, and other spiritual beings considered sacred or extra important? Also, how ubiquitous is dream yoga in Tibetan Buddhism and who practices it?

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Thirteen Orphans
Dec 2, 2012

The principles expressed in the martial arts make up the backbone of my philosophy.

Very interesting, thank you!

Thirteen Orphans
Dec 2, 2012

The principles expressed in the martial arts make up the backbone of my philosophy.

Achmed Jones posted:

Our dog died last month, and lately I've been doing a five Buddha mandala bardo practice with my four-year-old for him. It's probably dumb to do bardo stuff for a dog but it makes us both feel better and he was a very good boy

It's my first interaction with vajrayana stuff broadly speaking, so that's been interesting what with the visualization and all.

Senju believes our dog, because of his merit because he was a good boy was reborn as a human. If I was Buddhist I think Iíd agree.

Thirteen Orphans
Dec 2, 2012

The principles expressed in the martial arts make up the backbone of my philosophy.

Yorkshire Pudding posted:

I'm about finished with Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind and I am not thrilled with it. Most of my knowledge of Zen comes from works by Miyamoto Musashi, and I found these little snippets by Suzuki to be not all that interesting. The whole theme of "Don't try to hard, but your posture and breathing is super important, also everything is zen" didn't really land with me. I've never really had a specific transmission I've followed, but Suzuki has made me think Zen isn't my cup of tea.

My previous read was Thich Nhat Hanh's The Heart of the Buddha's Teachings, which I thought was an excellent overview of general Buddhist belief. I have The Book of Living and Dying next, which I started but never finished some time ago. I also ordered Walking an Uncommon Path as Paramemetic recommended, but it won't be here for a few weeks.

Thanks for listening to my book report.

Thich Nhat Hanh and his Sangha are Vietnamese Zen!

Thirteen Orphans
Dec 2, 2012

The principles expressed in the martial arts make up the backbone of my philosophy.

Isnít there a story in the Pali Canon where the Buddhaís mother enters the Sangha? I may be fuzzy on the details...

Thirteen Orphans
Dec 2, 2012

The principles expressed in the martial arts make up the backbone of my philosophy.

Paramemetic, how did you come about finding your Guru? Not in a wholly spiritual sense, like a conversion story, but more like, did you start showing up at the temple and eventually you crossed paths and you asked him, are most people at your temple disciples of the same Guru so you just joined, etc? Would you say your experience is common for Western converts? Hopefully my question isnít too personal, Iím interested in the mechanics of finding the Vajrayana Guru for Westerners.

Thirteen Orphans
Dec 2, 2012

The principles expressed in the martial arts make up the backbone of my philosophy.

Qu Appelle posted:

last night, I watched the Sunday Morning Service from a Jodo Shinshu temple.

My sister is Jodo Shinshu so Iíve been to a few Buddhist Churches of America services. The temple is beautiful and their bowl gong (whatís this called?) is exquisite. It really has that special feel of a sacred space.

Thirteen Orphans
Dec 2, 2012

The principles expressed in the martial arts make up the backbone of my philosophy.


Beautiful.

I have a question, I know there is sacred literature outlining the previous lives of the Buddha and I know a Buddha, being omniscient, will know all of their past lives. But is recalling oneís previous lives part of Buddhist practice either as a goal or a side effect of practice?

Thirteen Orphans
Dec 2, 2012

The principles expressed in the martial arts make up the backbone of my philosophy.

Iím looking to learn more about Nichiren-Shu and the writings of Nichiren. Iím having a hard time finding resources outside of the website for my ďlocalĒ temple. Also, should I be concerned about Soka Gakkai? The Nichiren establishment seems extremely concerned by them.

EDIT: I should clarify, I meant concerned about them as a source, not as a sangha to join.

Thirteen Orphans fucked around with this message at 01:16 on Sep 4, 2020

Thirteen Orphans
Dec 2, 2012

The principles expressed in the martial arts make up the backbone of my philosophy.

Hiro Protagonist posted:

From what I hear, Soka Gakkai has a perception off being fairly intense and confrontational with other major Buddhist groups, particularly in Japan, and promoting intense devotion that makes the more religiously-skeptical elements of Japanese culture suspicious at best. How much that reflects the truth, both in Japan and abroad, is up for debate. I haven't had many interactions with the group, but I imagine that, like almost every Buddhist community in the Western world, a more ecumenical approach is going to be necessary just to survive, which would likely sand down some of the edges there, so to speak. Take from that what you will.

Thanks for the feedback! I hadn't thought about the relationship between strong religiosity and the general Japanese attitude toward religious practice.

Thirteen Orphans
Dec 2, 2012

The principles expressed in the martial arts make up the backbone of my philosophy.

At work (I work in a cafe inside a bookstore) we have an ant problem. They often congregate on the counter, and theyíre had to see, so Iíll wipe down the counter and pick up a dozen of those little guys. Iím stuck; I donít want to kill the ants, but I canít let them get around and into the food and drinks, for obvious reasons. It isnít my authority to call a professional, but can they do anything outside of termination? To me that sounds like being complicit in taking life. Iím curious about the Buddhist(s) perspective to this moral quandary. For the sake of the argument presume I took the precept vow not to take life.

Thirteen Orphans
Dec 2, 2012

The principles expressed in the martial arts make up the backbone of my philosophy.

Nessus posted:

I think that your answer is ant repellent and keeping up cleanliness. If you inadvertently squash some ants while going about your business then I think that this is not held to have nearly as much karmic impact as doing so willingly.

I remember hearing a similar talk about a retreat center that had a mouse infestation that was getting to the point of nearly getting their building condemned or something. I believe they found some other way to resolve the issue (repellents? a cat? though a cat is just moving the problem around!) but the discussions were basically "Well, one of us is gonna have to do it, I guess we'll draw lots to see who has to go buy and deploy the mousetraps."

Oh we heavily clean. These little SOBs are resilient! Iím not in the position to start using repellant, though thatís something I should bring up with the GM.

Thirteen Orphans
Dec 2, 2012

The principles expressed in the martial arts make up the backbone of my philosophy.

Paramemetic posted:

The Mormon thing with baptism of the dead is generally believed to be non-intrusive to Mormons and hinges on people still having free will. If you accept the Mormon doctrine on death, when you croak your soul goes to a spiritual purgatory similar to a prison or if you want to take a nicer view of it, not unlike a pure land for unenlightened beings where you hang out and get taught by Buddhas. For Mormons, you're taught by spiritual missionaries who tell you about the plan of salvation and so on.

But, for Mormons the physical proceedings are absolutely essential. You need a physical baptism by immersion. The baptism for the dead is a baptism by proxy where you offer your physical body in place of the dead person and get baptized in their stead. It's entirely up to them whether or not to accept that baptism, so it's not exactly forcing them. The theory goes that obviously they would accept it because they've been hipped to the whole thing with a more perfect and direct understanding, but they don't necessarily always do so.

For Mormons pretty much everyone gets some degree of paradise with very few exceptions (you have to have a full understanding of the plan of salvation and then consciously and willfully reject it), but to get Very Best Heaven you have to be baptized and then sealed in the temple to a wife who will be your god partner to make god babies so as to do the whole thing over again on another planet in the future.

There's a whole lot of really wild space for theological speculation within the esoteric canon (e.g., do all planets do the same plan? Are there planets that don't have a plan of salvation? Are all gods equal or is our heavenly father bigger than others? Are there megagods bigger than him?) But the answer to those is basically the same as Buddha's answer to unanswerable questions: don't worry about it, you're on earth now where we're doing the Jesus Plan, so do that as best you can, you can figure that rest out when you're a god.

There are a lot of things about the LDS that are strange but one thing I'll say in their favor is it's an internally consistent and reasonable take. They don't usually accept "because that's how it is" as an answer because that was Joe Smith's whole problem with mainstream christianity in the first place. It tends to be very literal as a result and the "deep doctrines" are not discussed up front in favor of the more standard "get baptized and accept Jesus so you can get saved" and they're generally not discussed in any public format but they can get absolutely wild. They also have a living prophet who they claim speaks directly to Jesus/the Shekinah in the temple in order to update revelations and make stuff work which gives them a degree of practicality.

Like other Christian sects, you can't really make it work 100% with Buddhism for a number of reasons (belief in an eternal soul, belief that you can be saved through the efforts of others, etc) but they wouldn't see an outright hostility. The Mormon inclination towards proselytizing is also consistent with the beliefs: if you know you can only get Very Best Heaven through baptism and temple rituals, then the compassionate thing to do is to try to make that available to as many people as possible.

Their answer to "why doesn't God just let everyone get to very best heaven" is answered in the Pearl of Great Price iirc, and it's back to that free will thing. Free will means the freedom to gently caress up, and the Jesus Plan is basically "let people gently caress up and I'll take the hit for them if they do all the stuff that needs to happen to become gods." Because the rituals are believed to be what makes it work, there's no way to do it except for to give people the freedom to get the rituals done and follow the rules. Another plan, one that doesn't involve free will, would only result in people being lame gods and not the best gods, because they'd lack the free will that is a characteristic of a god.

But yeah basically the whole idea hinges on "cows will never have lambs, apple seeds will never yield oranges, and so if we're the children of God then we obviously must grow up to become gods."



Man, Mormon Deification (do they have a word for that?) vs Deification/Theosis in the Catholic/Orthodox understand is, as you said, WILD.

Thirteen Orphans
Dec 2, 2012

The principles expressed in the martial arts make up the backbone of my philosophy.

thorsilver posted:

Recently, alongside my readings of sutras and commentaries, I've been trying to learn more about the history of Tibetan Buddhism and some of the most famous figures in it, like Padmasambhava, Milarepa, Naropa, and so on. I got the bright idea to search 'Padmasambhava' on YouTube and see if I could find any interesting Dharma talks about him, but instead I found this documentary:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HStACYTbvgA

Right from the start they hit you with the 'Guru Rinpoche produces eight quantum energy fields' or some poo poo. But it really starts to come alive when we hear about the universal vibrational power of mantras from the woman with a PhD from someplace called 'Energy Medicine University'.

Also, it feels significant that the entire film has Chinese subtitles, and every time the main weirdo goes somewhere new, the on-screen map does not label Tibet but instead calls everything China.

So, does anyone have any links to actual good videos/talks/books/etc. about Padmasambhava, rather than... whatever that was?

Not what youíre looking for, but it reminds me of a bluegrass song about Padmasambhava. The songís composer is a Tibetan Buddhist and so he is very respectful.

https://youtu.be/1V9ZcQ3-Egk

Thirteen Orphans fucked around with this message at 02:51 on Dec 18, 2020

Thirteen Orphans
Dec 2, 2012

The principles expressed in the martial arts make up the backbone of my philosophy.

thorsilver posted:

Not quite what I was looking for, no, but nevertheless it's nice to hear music inspired by Padmasambhava Thanks for sharing it.

On that note, I'd be interested to hear other recommendations for Tibetan-Buddhist-inspired music too!

So this Westerner, Lama Surya Das, traveled East and became a Lama. He came back and wrote a book and made a CD of chants set to music. To be honest when he first published all this I was pretty incredulous about it. Oh you go and become a religious leader and the first thing you do is sell books and CDs? I then learned that in his lineage just saying the words of the mantra (even just hearing it) accumulates merit. So by making these catchy melodies for mantras heís bringing good into the world. The music isnít my taste, but I still catch myself singing some of the mantras. You can find the whole album itís called ďChants to Awaken the Buddhist Heart.Ē

https://youtu.be/V6llZ55MSPY

Thirteen Orphans fucked around with this message at 21:52 on Dec 18, 2020

Thirteen Orphans
Dec 2, 2012

The principles expressed in the martial arts make up the backbone of my philosophy.

Thereís a local Tibetan Sangha (Kagyu lineage) thatís doing instruction and empowerments over Zoom. Is that becoming more common?

Edit: Zoom/Skype/Etc empowerments, I mean.

Thirteen Orphans fucked around with this message at 01:23 on Jan 19, 2021

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Thirteen Orphans
Dec 2, 2012

The principles expressed in the martial arts make up the backbone of my philosophy.

Crossposting from the Religion Thread. Namo Trump Butsu

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