Author Topic: Taking lay vows in more than one tradition  (Read 874 times)

Offline Rasputin

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Taking lay vows in more than one tradition
« on: October 31, 2018, 05:23:58 am »
I got my start in Buddhism through the Tibetan tradition. I have become more involved recently. Tuesday I am taking lay vows in the Zen tradition. I practice at both places because each offers me personally different benefits. At some point I intend to take vows with the Tibetan group as well. Has anyone here practiced in two separate traditions like this? To e they do not conflict and each offers me something different, yet helpful.

Offline Chaz

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Re: Taking lay vows in more than one tradition
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2018, 06:18:40 am »
I got my start in Buddhism through the Tibetan tradition. I have become more involved recently. Tuesday I am taking lay vows in the Zen tradition. I practice at both places because each offers me personally different benefits. At some point I intend to take vows with the Tibetan group as well. Has anyone here practiced in two separate traditions like this? To e they do not conflict and each offers me something different, yet helpful.

It shouldn't make much difference in the long run.  An old friend used to do that.  He'd jump around traditions, taking vows and empowerments everywhere.  He's a member of a Bon community right now. Next I suspect he'll become a member of a group taking pumpkin spice beverages intravenously.

Anyway ...

Go ahead, the worst that can happened is you might get a little confused later on.  Just go for it.

BTW, what lay vows are you taking?

Offline Rasputin

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Re: Taking lay vows in more than one tradition
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2018, 08:49:52 am »
I got my start in Buddhism through the Tibetan tradition. I have become more involved recently. Tuesday I am taking lay vows in the Zen tradition. I practice at both places because each offers me personally different benefits. At some point I intend to take vows with the Tibetan group as well. Has anyone here practiced in two separate traditions like this? To e they do not conflict and each offers me something different, yet helpful.

It shouldn't make much difference in the long run.  An old friend used to do that.  He'd jump around traditions, taking vows and empowerments everywhere.  He's a member of a Bon community right now. Next I suspect he'll become a member of a group taking pumpkin spice beverages intravenously.

Anyway ...

Go ahead, the worst that can happened is you might get a little confused later on.  Just go for it.

BTW, what lay vows are you taking?

Cha’an. I also follow Gelug lineage of Vajrayana.

Offline Chaz

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Re: Taking lay vows in more than one tradition
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2018, 09:57:55 am »
I got my start in Buddhism through the Tibetan tradition. I have become more involved recently. Tuesday I am taking lay vows in the Zen tradition. I practice at both places because each offers me personally different benefits. At some point I intend to take vows with the Tibetan group as well. Has anyone here practiced in two separate traditions like this? To e they do not conflict and each offers me something different, yet helpful.

It shouldn't make much difference in the long run.  An old friend used to do that.  He'd jump around traditions, taking vows and empowerments everywhere.  He's a member of a Bon community right now. Next I suspect he'll become a member of a group taking pumpkin spice beverages intravenously.

Anyway ...

Go ahead, the worst that can happened is you might get a little confused later on.  Just go for it.

BTW, what lay vows are you taking?

Cha’an.

Hmmm..... would that be Refuge Vows?  Lay Discipleship (6 vows)?  Precepts?

Offline Rasputin

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Re: Taking lay vows in more than one tradition
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2018, 10:01:34 am »
I got my start in Buddhism through the Tibetan tradition. I have become more involved recently. Tuesday I am taking lay vows in the Zen tradition. I practice at both places because each offers me personally different benefits. At some point I intend to take vows with the Tibetan group as well. Has anyone here practiced in two separate traditions like this? To e they do not conflict and each offers me something different, yet helpful.

It shouldn't make much difference in the long run.  An old friend used to do that.  He'd jump around traditions, taking vows and empowerments everywhere.  He's a member of a Bon community right now. Next I suspect he'll become a member of a group taking pumpkin spice beverages intravenously.

Anyway ...

Go ahead, the worst that can happened is you might get a little confused later on.  Just go for it.

BTW, what lay vows are you taking?

Cha’an.

Hmmm..... would that be Refuge Vows?  Lay Discipleship (6 vows)?  Precepts?

I believe precepts and refuge.

Offline Chaz

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Re: Taking lay vows in more than one tradition
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2018, 12:13:14 pm »
I got my start in Buddhism through the Tibetan tradition. I have become more involved recently. Tuesday I am taking lay vows in the Zen tradition. I practice at both places because each offers me personally different benefits. At some point I intend to take vows with the Tibetan group as well. Has anyone here practiced in two separate traditions like this? To e they do not conflict and each offers me something different, yet helpful.

It shouldn't make much difference in the long run.  An old friend used to do that.  He'd jump around traditions, taking vows and empowerments everywhere.  He's a member of a Bon community right now. Next I suspect he'll become a member of a group taking pumpkin spice beverages intravenously.

Anyway ...

Go ahead, the worst that can happened is you might get a little confused later on.  Just go for it.

BTW, what lay vows are you taking?

Cha’an.

Hmmm..... would that be Refuge Vows?  Lay Discipleship (6 vows)?  Precepts?

I believe precepts and refuge.

OK, cool! 

Those vows you only take once.  Doesn't matter what lineage or tradition you go to.

Offline zafrogzen

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Re: Taking lay vows in more than one tradition
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2018, 01:07:05 pm »
I see nothing wrong with practicing in more than one tradition. But eventually I think you'll want to settle into one.

But taking vows in more than one tradition seems like it would dilute their significance. Why the rush?
My first formal meditation training was with Shunryu Suzuki in the 60's and later with Kobun, Robert Aitken and many other teachers (mainly zen). However, I've spent the most time practicing on my own, which is all I do now. I'm living in a rather isolated area so I miss connecting with other practitioners. Despite my interest in zen I've made an effort to remain secular. You can visit my website at http://www.frogzen.com

Offline Rasputin

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Re: Taking lay vows in more than one tradition
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2018, 05:21:48 pm »
I see nothing wrong with practicing in more than one tradition. But eventually I think you'll want to settle into one.

But taking vows in more than one tradition seems like it would dilute their significance. Why the rush?

No rush. Just asking as a general question.

Offline Chaz

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Re: Taking lay vows in more than one tradition
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2018, 08:56:48 am »
I see nothing wrong with practicing in more than one tradition. But eventually I think you'll want to settle into one.

But taking vows in more than one tradition seems like it would dilute their significance. Why the rush?

No rush. Just asking as a general question.

Cool.

Vows can be a sticky wicket, especially if you're in the practice if splitting time between 2 or more groups.

The vows you mentioned  - refuge and precepts - are, more or less universal.  Very Portable.

On the other hand, if you were to take up Vajrayana practice, the 6-fold refuge used there would be meaningless in the context of zen/chan, and could even cause some problems. 

Taking vows can be a problem if they can't be kept, and if they can't, it's best to not take them at all.  So being circumspect with vows-taking is always the wise course.  Try to understand both what they are and what the implications could be.  I bailed on the ceremony the first time I went to take refuge vows.  I simply could not get comfortable with what was going on.  When the preceptor asked me why I wanted to take refuge, I could only answer "I don't know.".  I figured it was not a good time, so I skipped the ceremony, and I'm glad I did.

Offline Rasputin

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Re: Taking lay vows in more than one tradition
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2018, 09:43:37 am »
I see nothing wrong with practicing in more than one tradition. But eventually I think you'll want to settle into one.

But taking vows in more than one tradition seems like it would dilute their significance. Why the rush?

No rush. Just asking as a general question.

Cool.

Vows can be a sticky wicket, especially if you're in the practice if splitting time between 2 or more groups.

The vows you mentioned  - refuge and precepts - are, more or less universal.  Very Portable.

On the other hand, if you were to take up Vajrayana practice, the 6-fold refuge used there would be meaningless in the context of zen/chan, and could even cause some problems. 

Taking vows can be a problem if they can't be kept, and if they can't, it's best to not take them at all.  So being circumspect with vows-taking is always the wise course.  Try to understand both what they are and what the implications could be.  I bailed on the ceremony the first time I went to take refuge vows.  I simply could not get comfortable with what was going on.  When the preceptor asked me why I wanted to take refuge, I could only answer "I don't know.".  I figured it was not a good time, so I skipped the ceremony, and I'm glad I did.

Confirmed. Refuge and 5 lay vows.
I like certain aspects of Tibetan, as well. Like Lojong. When I consider the 8 verses for training the mind, it helps me to conduct myself in a more compassionate manner.

Offline paracelsus

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Re: Taking lay vows in more than one tradition
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2018, 09:12:52 pm »
In theory the results of all branches of Buddhist practice are the same in that unexcelled enlightenment is the ultimate end, but in practice (short term)  I think the personal experiences will all be unique to the practitioner and differing branches will provide a different support for different personalities.

I  enjoy the Tibetan flavour but find it a bit rich, and a little of the Theravadin but it is too learned and dry, so I spend most of my practice in the Zen tradition, but lightly and happily amongst the stories and teachings of its ancients. The greatest pleasure is in having my intellect, such as it is, thwarted. There's nothing like complete incomprehension to shut it up.

So although hopping around among traditions isn't normally recommended I'd say its ok provided it is backing up a consistent focus on Dharma practice. It will be better than not practicing and may eventually settle into the most suitable.

And the vows, they are for sinners. I can't direct you to where but there is a story of the Precepts Sect who kept all 274 precepts and then some, and when attending a gathering of seekers, proudly advertising their virtue, were roundly castigated for bragging of their woeful lack of moral fibre (for needing so many vows to keep them in line).





Offline Dairy Lama

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Re: Taking lay vows in more than one tradition
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2018, 02:42:55 am »
So although hopping around among traditions isn't normally recommended I'd say its ok provided it is backing up a consistent focus on Dharma practice. It will be better than not practicing and may eventually settle into the most suitable.

I've hopped around quite a lot over the years, mainly Buddhist traditions but also some others.  It has at least been interesting:teehee:
"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream"

 


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