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A Mosaic of Traditions - One Virtual Sangha => Buddha Basics - Beginner Zone => Topic started by: Solodris on September 16, 2017, 09:25:39 pm

Title: The Triple Understanding (Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana)
Post by: Solodris on September 16, 2017, 09:25:39 pm
I was thinking through some techniques that would fit in an attempt on the practice of giving, and the notion of The Triple Understanding came to me. Is it possible to gather the essence of each of the three traditions at the same time? Let's entertain the thought that this is a possibility:

1. Theravada: The Pali suttas are very much like a library that teaches the core of buddhist practice in demonstrating how to activate a mindset of renounciation. Most suttas present a circumstance providing a hindrance or an affliction that arises in the mind, with the means on how to practice the attitude of non-attachment that will start the investment of merits. These merits go into the subconscious bank among natural behaviors and responses as an alternative resource, where dilligence to practice this resource will raise the value in each of the different merit feeded into the bank account. Now picture the bank as the holder of the commodity of non-attachment, you feel it lessen the burden on your mind, and you feel like you're resting, clarity in calm-abiding is tapped into. Merits grow, then you put it into practice, you come to the conclusion that you must fight the natural behaviors of either your own making or the mindless behaviors of others. But then you strike that conclusion since fighting is a stress-response, and you are mindful again. Treat it like a commodity, practice and fill your bank account, it can't fill your head, but it will make it heavier by calm-abiding. Almost like effortless meditation.

2. Mahayana: The practice of the Mahayana tradition is aggregate perception training. Imagine sitting in a forest watching a bird walking around pecking for food, envision the aggregate of perception and see it as an extension of that bird's inherent Buddha-Nature. Perception aggregate or animal realm, same thing, the bird is walking around mindlessly looking for edible things on the ground and sometimes pecks on the ground, you see how the bird have an inherent operation of perception that makes the decisions, not only that, you can see the feeling aggregate/ghost realm, it is hungry, that is the main focus of it's perception and that is why the behavior is set to search for food. So we can tell, birds have sentience because to see that perception really focused on the feeling, and attached to it. How are they different from us in that inherent attachment to their own aggregates? If it's difficult to see, try to imagine the aggregates as different colors that operates inside the bird while it's moving. Now introduce calm-abiding, and you are practicing two traditions at the same time.

3. Vajrayana: The tibetan tradition has great emphasis on visualizing waves of sensations or feelings through envisioning the inherent emptiness in your body, and letting the waves fill the emptiness, again and again until it is effortless. There is also a training in empowerments, embrace the pulsation of something getting kicked behind you, put hard effort in standing up because your sitting down and you're a mad stone-cold soldier ready to face the opponent, turn around and stare him in the eyes for upsetting your peaceful moment ready to kill just to really feel the movement of emotions stirring up a determination to stay still. You look down and notice it is a bird that flew into a trashcan, see the colors of perception and feeling as it stumbles away dazed. Slow down, rest in calm-abiding, abandon and practice non-attachment like a boring bank-investor counting the money for the third time.

Can you feel the three traditions working together as one?
Title: Re: The Triple Understanding (Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana)
Post by: Spiny Norman on September 17, 2017, 02:34:02 am
Can you feel the three traditions working together as one?

Not really.  My experience of practising in these different schools is that assumptions and methods are very different, and trying to put them together gets very confusing.  That's one of the reasons I didn't stay with FWBO/Triratna years ago, they have a mix-and-match approach which I just thought was a muddle.
Title: Re: The Triple Understanding (Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana)
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on September 17, 2017, 04:50:10 am
I do think it possible to extract ( cafeteria style ) what appeals to each individual and to leave the rest.

My experience with each has been that they attract different personalities for that reason.  Some personalities are drawn towards what each tradition has to offer.

What you are missing is that Mahayana includes many cultures from Vietnam, Japan, China, Nepal, Tibet and The Western Nations

Theravada comes from primarily South-East Asia and seems to only attract scholarly types due to its dependence upon documentation and memorization.

(Just my own personal observations.)
Title: Re: The Triple Understanding (Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana)
Post by: IdleChater on September 17, 2017, 04:56:00 am
Can you feel the three traditions working together as one?

Most Vajrayana lineages do this already.  They don't  use the word Theraveda for the foundational teachings, and the focus is Buddhahood.
Title: Re: The Triple Understanding (Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana)
Post by: Spiny Norman on September 18, 2017, 01:25:10 am
3. Vajrayana: The tibetan tradition has great emphasis on visualizing waves of sensations or feelings through envisioning the inherent emptiness in your body, and letting the waves fill the emptiness, again and again until it is effortless.

I'm curious, which Tibetan school teaches this method?
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