Author Topic: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana  (Read 19369 times)

Offline Caz

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Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
« Reply #30 on: March 25, 2010, 04:02:08 pm »
People wash over the differences with their own brush.  Sanghas of different traditions often unify Buddhism by collapsing the other streams into the truth claims of their own.  It's like a warp field.   All Buddha Dharma is one when differences are respected.  Recently on a Zen forum the question was asked " Is Zen in danger of losing touch with Buddhism"  This was essentially code for "losing touch with Theravada".  This kind of thing is common. Each is True Dharma by its own measure, each is different.  No problem.  :buddha:

 

Well spoken.
Of course there are a few fundementals that every tradition holds in common to be considered as Buddha Dharma.  :pray:
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Offline Kojip

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Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
« Reply #31 on: March 25, 2010, 04:07:40 pm »
People wash over the differences with their own brush.  Sanghas of different traditions often unify Buddhism by collapsing the other streams into the truth claims of their own.  It's like a warp field.   All Buddha Dharma is one when differences are respected.  Recently on a Zen forum the question was asked " Is Zen in danger of losing touch with Buddhism"  This was essentially code for "losing touch with Theravada".  This kind of thing is common. Each is True Dharma by its own measure, each is different.  No problem.  :buddha:

 

Well spoken.
Of course there are a few fundementals that every tradition holds in common to be considered as Buddha Dharma.  :pray:
Indeed.   This Zen refuge name "Kojip" is Korean for Four Noble Truths.   

Offline Anders Honore

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Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
« Reply #32 on: March 26, 2010, 07:02:09 am »
People wash over the differences with their own brush.  Sanghas of different traditions often unify Buddhism by collapsing the other streams into the truth claims of their own.  It's like a warp field.   All Buddha Dharma is one when differences are respected.  Recently on a Zen forum the question was asked " Is Zen in danger of losing touch with Buddhism"  This was essentially code for "losing touch with Theravada".  This kind of thing is common. Each is True Dharma by its own measure, each is different.  No problem.  :buddha:

 

Theravada and Zen (in fact, pretty much all east-asian Mahayana) only ever had historical contact from the 20th century onwards.
Deaf, he hears his own nature.
Blind, he sees his Original Mind.
The empty, clear moon
In the water rises
Where heart and mind are forgotten.


- Jungkwan Ilson (1533-1608)

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
« Reply #33 on: March 28, 2010, 09:17:47 pm »
There is much in common between Mahayana's teachings regarding The Dhamma and Theravadan Teachings regarding The Dhamma.

Both venerate The Buddha, and The Buddhas.

Both utilize The Sangha.

Each have monks and sisters and very similar vinaya rules for monastics and laypersons.

Each take refuge and celebrate significant/memorable events from Buddhist History.  (versions may vary)

Each call themselves Buddhists and practice meditation and mindfulness.

Each seek unbinding and release.

Some wish to return to be of assistance.  Others don't.

(That's all (I)'ve got.)
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline Kojip

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Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
« Reply #34 on: March 29, 2010, 03:43:08 pm »
In Zazen, the perception of timeless equilibrium and non-arising, and the perception of endless disequilibrium and arising,  are the "back" and "front" of this single field. One is not primary to the other. One is not generative of the other.  They issue from this traceless middle.

This is different than the teachings I received from teachers in the Thai Forest tradition, and out of respect for them I won't try and shoehorn  what they say into a Zen template.  Realizing the not-two-ness of Nirvana and Samsara seems to line up with "Nibbana with remainder" but maybe not.  Maybe other more informed people can line them up. 

The best unifying factor I know is  the virtue manifest in diligent practitioners of all traditions. 

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
« Reply #35 on: March 29, 2010, 09:49:43 pm »
(I) think of the not two-ness nature of samsara and nibbana (not a dichotomy) like this:

Nibbana is like a beautiful, untarnished, golden vase, and samsara is like dust, dirt, grime, grease, dung, and tarnish which covers up nibanna's luster and beauty.  If we simply remove the grunge nibbana will be revealed beneath; there all the time; just not recognizable, because of the surface blemishes, corrosion, and soil.

In Zazen, the perception of timeless equilibrium and non-arising, and the perception of endless disequilibrium and arising,  are the "back" and "front" of this single field. One is not primary to the other. One is not generative of the other.  They issue from this traceless middle.

This is different than the teachings I received from teachers in the Thai Forest tradition, and out of respect for them I won't try and shoehorn  what they say into a Zen template.  Realizing the not-two-ness of Nirvana and Samsara seems to line up with "Nibbana with remainder" but maybe not.  Maybe other more informed people can line them up. 

The best unifying factor I know is  the virtue manifest in diligent practitioners of all traditions. 
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline FaDao

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Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
« Reply #36 on: April 11, 2010, 07:10:52 am »
Common ground is easy to find.

It takes a lot of wasted effort to find differences to quibble over.

Namo Amitofo
Fa Dao

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
« Reply #37 on: April 11, 2010, 11:57:52 pm »
Common ground for Mahayana:  Nichiren, Tibetan, Zen;  Theravada;  Christian, Islam, Jew; Hindu, Brahman;  Athiest, Agnostic:

http://www.findagrave.com/




Common ground is easy to find.

It takes a lot of wasted effort to find differences to quibble over.

Namo Amitofo
Fa Dao
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline FaDao

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Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
« Reply #38 on: April 15, 2010, 10:45:26 am »
Technically, even the most vitriolic Classical Mahayana writings (yes, there are some) do not discuss the relationship between modern Theravada and Mahayana.

The classical Mahayana sutras and shastras discuss "Hinayana" teachings -- ie "Lesser Vehicle" teachings -- however. Modern Theravada was a sort of "return to the roots" movement that post-dates most of the classical Mahayana writings about "Hinayana" teachings.

In the early days of Buddhism, Teachings of Buddha were exported into China and Tibet -- after which, Buddhism in India was effectively suppressed in India. This left the centers of Buddhist study in Tibet and China. Thus was established the "Mahayana" School and the original Indian tradition essentially died out.

Thereafter, monks in Sri Lanka (Ceylon) established the "Teachings of the Elders" as an interpretation of the Indian tradition that did not necessarily equate with the Mahayana interpretations.

Lankan "Theravada", however, did not exist when most of the writings about "Hinayana" first appeared.

Given that the original Mahayana writings about "hinayana" teachings had to do with Indian interpretations that disappeared before the establishment of a "Theravada" school of teaching; how does one choose to equate "Theravada" with "Hinayana"?

I never could figure that out.

Namo Amitofo
- Fa Dao -


Offline Anders Honore

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Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
« Reply #39 on: April 17, 2010, 05:48:30 am »
Some of the Hinayana critiques in Mahayana scriptures do apply to the Theravadin Abidhamma, but it is worth noting there were a lot of schools in India predating the Mahayana and that a lot of the critiques of 'Hinayana' were directed towards some of these now extinct schools and don't apply equally to all pre-Mahayana schools.

Theravada, being in Sri Lanka, would probably have been largely on the sidelines in all these debates happening on the mainland.
Deaf, he hears his own nature.
Blind, he sees his Original Mind.
The empty, clear moon
In the water rises
Where heart and mind are forgotten.


- Jungkwan Ilson (1533-1608)

Offline ABC

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Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
« Reply #40 on: April 17, 2010, 08:44:00 pm »
The "arguments" between Theravada and Mahayana are silly samsaric quibbling best left in the dust bin of history.
The very reason why different schools exist is due to different comprehensions and expressions of the teachings.

Discussing the differences allows one to fine tune one's vision.

I would not regard it as quibbling.

 :reading:
Therefore, Ananda, engage with me friends and not as opponents. That will be for your long-term well-being & happiness - MN 122

Offline catmoon

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Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
« Reply #41 on: April 17, 2010, 10:58:14 pm »
When quibbling, the very first thing one loses is the awareness that one is quibbling. Expert quibblers, without exception, regard their quibbles as crucial, essential, and uncompromisable. By attaching with limpet-like tenacity to a view, they begin the process of exaggeration that greatly magnifies the apparent importance of the subject matter. This leads to intolerance, sectarianism and eventually, anger and hatred.
Sergeant Schultz was onto something.

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
« Reply #42 on: April 18, 2010, 05:37:56 am »
My suggestion would be to have arm wrestling competitions before lunch.
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline catmoon

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Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
« Reply #43 on: April 18, 2010, 01:08:07 pm »
LOL -  "It's intense here, folks, nothing less than the nature of emptiness is at stake. Ajahn Brahm is looking fit and mean, but the Tibetan has over 500,000 prostrations under his belt and the high altitude training advantage. We have a new referee to replace the one that accidentally stepped between them during the introduction and stare down. The injured referee is recovering in the Tokyo burn clinic and is expected to back in the ring in a week or two."

  "Well Bob the crowd is shockingly rowdy today. The noise is incredible, you can hardly hear yourself think over the roar of seventy thousand clicking malas and the Tibetan cheering section has brought their "musical instruments" and is chanting up a storm. And the contestants are on the floor!"

   "Ajahn Brahm has been introduced to a thunderous cheer from the Theravadans and is now strutting the arena and displaying the famous 19-inch biceps. Wait there's a delay. The Tibetan is jumping up and down and seems visibly upset. Oh no, it's happening again, the referee cannot pronounce the Tibetan's name!"


"Yes Bob, you'll recall this happened last year in Bangkok too. You'd think they would have had this covered after last year's fiasco. I mean how hard can it be to say Thwrandrnkgpathblna uh... Thwangkghatherbble nama... well how hard could it be anyhow?

"Ajahn Brahm has stepped up to the post and so has Lama Thwrazngopla... er Thrwarganplngwangar.. uh the Tibetan looks ready to go! "

tbc
Sergeant Schultz was onto something.

Offline J. McKenna

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Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
« Reply #44 on: April 18, 2010, 01:35:08 pm »
Yet all across the remainder of the Universe not one iota is wasted in caring what Man claims is or isn't ..... :hi:
...i found there was no "i" anywhere.....

 


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