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A Mosaic of Traditions - One Virtual Sangha => The Dharma Express => Topic started by: Dharmakara on January 17, 2010, 12:06:03 pm

Title: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Dharmakara on January 17, 2010, 12:06:03 pm
Through the years there have been several statements in regard to the fundamental beliefs shared in common by all Buddhists, Theravada and Mahayana alike, beginning with Col. Henry Steel Olcott toward the end of the 19th century:

1. Buddhists are taught to show the same tolerance, forbearance, and brotherly love to all men, without distinction; and an unswerving kindness towards the members of the animal kingdom.

2. The universe was evolved, not created; and it functions according to law, not according to the caprice of any God.

3. The truths upon which Buddhism is founded are natural. They have, we believe, been taught in successive world-periods, by certain illuminated beings called Buddhas, the name Buddha meaning "Enlightened".

4. The fourth teacher in the present world-period was Gautama Buddha, who was born to a royal family in India about 2600 years ago. He is an historical personage and his name was Siddhartha Guatama.

5. Gautama Buddha taught that ignorance produces desire, unsatisfied desire is the cause of rebirth, and rebirth, the cause of sorrow. To get rid of sorrow therefore, it is necessary to escape rebirth; to escape rebirth, it is necessary to extinguish desire; and to extinguish desire, it is necessary to destroy ignorance.

6. Ignorance fosters the belief that rebirth is a necessary thing. When ignorance is destroyed the worthlessness of every such rebirth, considered as an end to itself, is perceived, as well as the paramount need of adopting a course of life by which the necessity for such repeated rebirths can be abolished. Ignorance also begets the illusive and illogical idea that there is only one existence for men, and the other illusion that this one life is followed by states of unchangeable pleasure or torment.

7. The dispersion of all this ignorance can be attained by the persevering practice of an all embracing altruism in conduct, development of intelligence, wisdom in thought, and destruction of desire for the lower personal pleasures.

8. The desire to live is the cause of rebirth, when that is extinguished rebirths cease and the perfected individual attains by meditation the highest state of peace called Nirvana.

9. Gautama Buddha taught that ignorance can be dispelled and sorrow removed by the knowledge of the four noble truths, which are:
 
(1) The miseries of existence;

(2) The cause productive of misery, which is the desire ever renewed of satisfying oneself without being able ever to secure that end;

(3) The destruction of that desire, or the estranging of oneself from it;

(4) The means of obtaining this destruction of desire. The means which he pointed out is called the Noble Eightfold Path: Right Belief; Right Thought; Right Speech; Right Action; Right Means of Livelihood; Right Exertion; Right Remembrance; Right Meditation.

10. Right Meditation leads to spiritual enlightenment, or the development of a Buddha-like faculty which is latent in every man.

11. The essence of Buddhism, as summed up by the Buddha himself, is:

To cease from all error,
To get virtue,
And to purify the heart.

12. The universe is subject to a natural causation known as Karma. The merits and demerits of a being in past existences determine his condition in the present one. Each man, therefore, has prepared the causes of the effects which he now experiences.

13. The obstacles to the attainment of good karma may be removed by the observance of the following precepts, which are embraced in the moral code of Buddhism: (1) Kill not; (2) Steal not; (3) Indulge not in sexual misconduct; (4) Lie not; (5) Take no intoxication or stupefying drug or liquor. Five other precepts which need not be here enumerated should be observed by those who would attain, more quickly than the average layman, the release from misery and rebirth.

14. Buddhism discourages superstitious practices. The Buddha taught it to be the duty of parents to have their children educated in science and literature. He also taught that no one should believe what is spoken by any sage, written in any book, or affirmed by tradition, unless it accords with reason.



Clearly having an influence on all the attempts that followed, it was later espounded upon by the Ven. Walpola Rahula as the Basic Points Unifying the Theravada and the Mahayana at the the World Buddhist Sangha Council, first convened in Sri Lanka in 1966 with the hope of bridging differences and working together:

1. The Buddha is our only Master.

2. We take refuge in the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha.

3. We do not believe that this world is created and ruled by a God.

4. Following the example of the Buddha, who is the embodiment of Great Compassion (mahaa-karu.naa) and Great Wisdom (mahaa- praj~naa), we consider that the purpose of life is to develop compassion for all living beings without discrimination and to work for their good, happiness, and peace; and to develop wisdom leading to the realization of Ultimate Truth.

5. We accept the Four Noble Truths, nameley Dukkha, the Arising of Dukkha, the Cessation of Dukkha, and the Path leading to the Cessation of Dukkha; and the universal law of cause and effect as taught in the pratiitya-samutpaada (Conditioned Genesis or Dependent Origination).

6. We understand, according to the teaching of the Buddha, that all conditioned things (sa.mskaara) are impermanent (anitya) and dukkha, and that all conditioned and unconditioned things (dharma) are without self (anaatma).

7. We accept the Thirty-seven Qualities conducive to Enlightenment (bodhipak.sa-dharma) as different aspects of the Path taught by the Buddha leading to Enlightenment.

8. There are three ways of attaining bodhi or Enlightenment, according to the ability and capacity of each individual: namely as a disciple (sraavaka), as a Pratyeka-Buddha and as a Samyak-sam-Buddha (perfectly and Fully Enlightened Buddha). We accept it as the highest, noblest, and most heroic to follow the career of a Bodhisattva and to become a Samyak-sam-Buddha in order to save others.

9. We admit that in different countries there are differences with regard to the life of Buddhist monks, popular Buddhist beliefs and practices, rites and ceremonies, customs and habits. These external forms and expressions should not be confused with the essential teachings of the Buddha.





Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Yeshe on January 17, 2010, 01:36:25 pm
Hi.

What do you mean by the 'universe evolved'.

Just to clarify:

Do you mean that the universe is timeless (without beginning or end) and continues to evolve, or that there was a starting point from which it evolved?
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: TMingyur on January 17, 2010, 01:59:28 pm
...
5. ...To get rid of sorrow therefore, it is necessary to escape rebirth; ...

6. Ignorance fosters the belief that rebirth is a necessary thing. When ignorance is destroyed the worthlessness of every such rebirth, considered as an end to itself, is perceived,
This is not necessarily a common ground at closer inspection. There are interpretations in Mahayana that rebirth caused by deluded, ignorant actions is to be stopped but not necessarily all "kinds of rebirth". Also the 3 kalpas of practice by a Bodhisattva is to be considered which of course implies rebirths. However there are also several rebirths involved in the path of an arhat.

8. ... the perfected individual attains by meditation the highest state of peace called Nirvana.
A Mahayana-Bodhisattva does not strive for the peace of nirvana. But there are also different usages of the term "nirvana".


1. The Buddha is our only Master.
Not necessarily true in Mahayana. It is also spoken of "the Buddhas" (plural).


Kind regards
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Dharmakara on January 17, 2010, 02:15:06 pm
Not my words guys. You'll need to contact the parties involved or discus it among yourselves... just posted it as a resource. I've even raised questions in regard to some of it :)
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Yeshe on January 17, 2010, 02:21:51 pm
Now lookie here, buster...I expect a robust and preferably didactic defence of this stuff!

Seriously.... I do find a great deal to applaud in the infant gropings of the early Theosophists as they encountered Buddhism.
 
Blavatsky's works are intellectually stimulating and a work of some genius.

I speak as a TS member, of course. ;)
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Dharmakara on January 18, 2010, 12:46:47 am
Now lookie here, buster...I expect a robust and preferably didactic defence of this stuff!

Seriously.... I do find a great deal to applaud in the infant gropings of the early Theosophists as they encountered Buddhism.
 
Blavatsky's works are intellectually stimulating and a work of some genius.

I speak as a TS member, of course. ;)

Don't care much for the writings of Blavatsky, too occult orientated, but certainly Olcott is well respected in Sri Lanka... there's even a national holiday in his honor for his contributions to Buddhism.

I can't offer a didactic defence for this stuff, as "didactic" infers that some moral lesson was intended, but with that said, should anyone find fault with the Basic Points endorsed by the World Buddhist Sangha Council, it should be noted that official delegates from Ceylon, Vietnam, Malaysia, Republic of China, Hongkong, Nepal, Cambodia, Korea, Pakistan, India, Singapore, Thailand, and Laos were present, as well as a special delegation representing the interests of the Dalai Lama, and after careful deliberation and exhaustive examination, they not only unanimously adopted the Constitution of the World Buddhist Sangha Council, but also unanimously endorsed the Basic Points Unifying the Theravada and the Mahayana.

Was this the type of defense you were expecting on my part?  :lmfao:

As for your earlier question, it might be best to cite the Ven. Sayadaw U Thittila on this matter, as he dealt with it nicely:

According to Buddhism the universe evolved, but it did not evolve out of nothingness, it evolved out of the dispersed matter of a previous universe; and when this universe is dissolved. its dispersed matter, or its residual energy which is continually renewing itself, will in time give rise to another universe in the same way. The process is therefore cyclic and continuous, and the universe itself is composed of millions of world systems, each with its various planes of existence.


Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: TMingyur on January 18, 2010, 01:13:33 am
... the Basic Points endorsed by the World Buddhist Sangha Council, it should be noted that official delegates from Ceylon, Vietnam, Malaysia, Republic of China, Hongkong, Nepal, Cambodia, Korea, Pakistan, India, Singapore, Thailand, and Laos were present, as well as a special delegation representing the interests of the Dalai Lama, and after careful deliberation and exhaustive examination, they not only unanimously adopted the Constitution of the World Buddhist Sangha Council, but also unanimously endorsed the Basic Points Unifying the Theravada and the Mahayana.
A "World Buddhist Sangha Council" that would not be able to agree on a convention of this kind would be a shame.
But those who do not have to be so "globally representative" may - quite inofficially and confidentially, probing a little "deeper", i.e. the meanings/interpretations - come to the conclusion that the "Basic Points Unifying the Theravada and the Mahayana" are the 1st and the 3rd noble truths. Or is this too daring?
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Dharmakara on January 18, 2010, 01:28:10 am
TM, there's an extended version of the Basic Points, but I don't recall if those even addressed the issues you have raised. If I'm able to find it I'll post it as well.

PS: No, it's not too daring to suggest such... bringing all these various traditions together certainly included some give and take by all parties.
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Dharmakara on January 18, 2010, 01:43:00 am
Here's the later extended version that was offered as an alternative... I grabbed it from Wiki, but I've ran accross it on other sites associated with WBSC:

- Whatever our sects, denominations or systems, as Buddhists we all accept the Buddha as our Master who gave us the Teaching.

- We all take refuge in the Triple Jewel: the Buddha, our Teacher; the Dhamma, his teaching; and the Sangha, the Community of holy ones. In other words, we take refuge in the Teacher, the Teaching and the Taught.

- Whether Theravāda or Mahāyāna, we do not believe that this world is created and ruled by a god at his will.

- Following the example of the Buddha, our Teacher, who is embodiment of Great Compassion (mahākaruṇa) and Great Wisdom (mahāprajñā), we consider that the purpose of life is to develop compassion for all living beings without discrimination and to work for their good, happiness and peace; and to develop wisdom leading to the realization of Ultimate Truth.

- We accept the Four Noble Truths taught by the Buddha, namely, Dukkha, the fact that our existence in this world is in predicament, is impermanent, imperfect, unsatisfactory, full of conflict; Samudaya, the fact that this state of affairs is due to our egoistic selfishness based on the false idea of self; Nirodha, the fact that there is definitely the possibility of deliverance, liberation, freedom from this predicament by the total eradication of the egoistic selfishness; and Magga, the fact that this liberation can be achieved through the Middle Path which is eight-fold, leading to the perfection of ethical conduct (sila), mental discipline (samadhi) and wisdom (panna).

- We accept the universal law of cause and effect taught in the Paṭiccasamuppada (Skt. pratītyasamutpada; Conditioned Genesis or Dependent Origination), and accordingly we accept that everything is relative, interdependent and interrelated and nothing is absolute, permanent and everlasting in this universe.

- We understand, according to the teaching of the Buddha, that all conditioned things (samkhara) are impermanent (anicca) and imperfect and unsatisfactory (dukkha), and all conditioned and unconditioned things (dhamma) are without self (anatta).

- We accept the Thirty-seven Qualities conducive to Enlightenment (bodhipakkhiyadhamma) as different aspects of the Path taught by the Buddha leading to Enlightenment, namely:

Four Forms of Presence of Mindfulness (Pali: satipatthana; Skt. smrtyupasthana);
Four Right Efforts (Pali. sammappadhana; Skt. samyakpradhana);
Four Bases of Supernatural Powers (Pali. iddhipada; Skt. rddhipada);
Five Faculties (indriya: Pali. saddha, viriya, sati, samadhi, panna; Skt. sraddha, virya, smrti, samadhi, prajna);
Five Powers (bala, same five qualities as above);
Seven Factors of Enlightenment (Pali. bojjhanga; Skt. bobhyanga);
Eight-fold Noble Path (Pali. ariyamagga; Skt. aryamarga).

- There are three ways of attaining Bodhi or Enlightenment according to the ability and capacity of each individual: namely, as a Sravaka (disciple), as a Pratyekabuddha (Individual Buddha) and as a Samyaksambuddha (Perfectly and Fully Enlightened Buddha). We accept it as the highest, noblest and most heroic to follow the career of a Boddhisattva and to become a Samyksambuddha in order to save others. But these three states are on the same Path, not on different paths. In fact, the Sandhinirmocana-sutra, a well-known important Mahayana sutra, clearly and emphatically says that those who follow the line of Śrāvakayāna (Vehicle of Disciples) or the line of Pratyekabuddha-yana (Vehicle of Individual Buddhas) or the line of Tathagatas (Mahayana) attain the supreme Nirvana by the same Path, and that for all of them there is only one Path of Purification (visuddhi-marga) and only one Purification (visuddhi) and no second one, and that they are not different paths and different purifications, and that Sravakayana and Mahayana constitute One Vehicle One Yana (ekayana) and not distinct and different vehicles or yanas.

- We admit that in different countries there are differences with regard to the ways of life of Buddhist monks, popular Buddhist beliefs and practices, rites and rituals, ceremonies, customs and habits. These external forms and expressions should not be confused with the essential teachings of the Buddha.
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Yeshe on January 18, 2010, 04:31:22 am

The process is therefore cyclic and continuous, and the universe itself is composed of millions of world systems, each with its various planes of existence.[/i]


That is a neat encapsulation of it.  Thanks. ;)

I also like this point:

'9. We admit that in different countries there are differences with regard to the life of Buddhist monks, popular Buddhist beliefs and practices, rites and ceremonies, customs and habits. These external forms and expressions should not be confused with the essential teachings of the Buddha.'


One path, different shoes, LOL :)
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on January 18, 2010, 05:50:27 am
Hi, DK.  Excellent composition and summary.

A few questions:

1.  Is this an original composition and/or compilation on your part?

2.  If not original, would you please cite a resource for further examination and research?

3.  My understanding regarding the current traditions which associate themselves with The Mahayana are in order of total population:

a.  Chan
b.  Zen
c.  Nichiren
d.  Tibettan
e. Vajrayana

4. You mentioned which countries were represented:

Quote
...the World Buddhist Sangha Council, it should be noted that official delegates from Ceylon, Vietnam, Malaysia, Republic of China, Hongkong, Nepal, Cambodia, Korea, Pakistan, India, Singapore, Thailand, and Laos were present, as well as a special delegation representing the interests of the Dalai Lama,...   

5.  Is/was there a reason why The Western Countries were excluded?


IMHO the fruits of this work or yours will no doubt be very beneficial and of great social utility as a result of its focus upon the practices and beliefs in agreement between The Sangha of The Elders (Theravadans) and The diverse cultural expressions and manifestations which comprise The Mahayana.

Thank you for your efforts and for any additional work done to respond to my queries.  _/\_ Ron
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Anders Honore on January 18, 2010, 10:43:23 am
- There are three ways of attaining Bodhi or Enlightenment according to the ability and capacity of each individual: namely, as a Sravaka (disciple), as a Pratyekabuddha (Individual Buddha) and as a Samyaksambuddha (Perfectly and Fully Enlightened Buddha). We accept it as the highest, noblest and most heroic to follow the career of a Boddhisattva and to become a Samyksambuddha in order to save others. But these three states are on the same Path, not on different paths. In fact, the Sandhinirmocana-sutra, a well-known important Mahayana sutra, clearly and emphatically says that those who follow the line of Śrāvakayāna (Vehicle of Disciples) or the line of Pratyekabuddha-yana (Vehicle of Individual Buddhas) or the line of Tathagatas (Mahayana) attain the supreme Nirvana by the same Path, and that for all of them there is only one Path of Purification (visuddhi-marga) and only one Purification (visuddhi) and no second one, and that they are not different paths and different purifications, and that Sravakayana and Mahayana constitute One Vehicle One Yana (ekayana) and not distinct and different vehicles or yanas.

I am not sure all mahayanists would agree to that particular statement...
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Dharmakara on January 18, 2010, 10:57:36 am
1. No, not my composition, just brought all the material together in one thread.

2. The Fourteen Propositions authored by Olcott is contained most editions of The Buddhist Catechism, a work originally intended to re-educate the children of Sri Lanka of their Buddhist heritage and was also sanctioned by Hikkaduwe Sumangala and Ministry of Cultural Affairs.

You can download a free copy of the book here:

http://www.archive.org/details/abuddhistcatechi0000olcouoft

As for the Basic Points Unifying the Theravada and Mahayana, it can be found in the book "The Heritage of the Bhikkhu" by the Ven. Walpola Sri Rahula Mahat (Grove Press 1974). You can also visit the website of the World Buddhist Sangha Council here:

http://www.wbsc886.org/

3. Yes, correct order I believe, though some Vajrayana practitioners might consider their tradition unique to the Mahayana. The world population of Buddhists is said to be 6% and only 6% of that base population is Tibetan in practice.

4-5. Representatives from England were also present at the First Congress of the WBSC, just didn't include them in the reply. Today you'll find representatives from all countries in the WBSC.



Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Dharmakara on January 18, 2010, 11:05:15 am
- There are three ways of attaining Bodhi or Enlightenment according to the ability and capacity of each individual: namely, as a Sravaka (disciple), as a Pratyekabuddha (Individual Buddha) and as a Samyaksambuddha (Perfectly and Fully Enlightened Buddha). We accept it as the highest, noblest and most heroic to follow the career of a Boddhisattva and to become a Samyksambuddha in order to save others. But these three states are on the same Path, not on different paths. In fact, the Sandhinirmocana-sutra, a well-known important Mahayana sutra, clearly and emphatically says that those who follow the line of Śrāvakayāna (Vehicle of Disciples) or the line of Pratyekabuddha-yana (Vehicle of Individual Buddhas) or the line of Tathagatas (Mahayana) attain the supreme Nirvana by the same Path, and that for all of them there is only one Path of Purification (visuddhi-marga) and only one Purification (visuddhi) and no second one, and that they are not different paths and different purifications, and that Sravakayana and Mahayana constitute One Vehicle One Yana (ekayana) and not distinct and different vehicles or yanas.

I am not sure all mahayanists would agree to that particular statement...

Neither would some Theravada practitioners, but on the other hand most practitioners on either side can't seem to grasp the idea that one does not forsake the Mahayana, no sooner than one forsakes the Theravada, for such distinctions are contrary to the equanimity of the Bodhisattva spirit and the unity of the greater Buddhist community at large.
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Shi Hong Yang on January 22, 2010, 08:01:30 pm
Sadhu! Sadhu! Ven. Dharmakara, I've only been saying that for years on various forums for many years.

Quote
Neither would some Theravada practitioners, but on the other hand most practitioners on either side can't seem to grasp the idea that one does not forsake the Mahayana, no sooner than one forsakes the Theravada, for such distinctions are contrary to the equanimity of the Bodhisattva spirit and the unity of the greater Buddhist community at large.
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: FaDao on January 30, 2010, 05:31:02 am
Now lookie here, buster...I expect a robust and preferably didactic defence of this stuff!

Seriously.... I do find a great deal to applaud in the infant gropings of the early Theosophists as they encountered Buddhism.
 
Blavatsky's works are intellectually stimulating and a work of some genius.

I speak as a TS member, of course. ;)

Never had a quarrel with Blavatsky, Rhiess-Davies et al as regards their efforts to bring the dhamma to the west. In historical context, I understand their translations of sutta -- even thought I don't always agree with the translations themselves.

Words are funny things -- they shift meanings across time and culture. Even in English, I still assume that people who are discussing "cougars" are discussing large mountain-cats. Silly me.

Namo Amitofo
 - Fa Dao -
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Monkey Mind on January 30, 2010, 10:50:07 am
Is it better for the Theravada and Mahayana to find common ground, or better for these two groups to accept their inherent differences?
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Dharmakara on January 30, 2010, 11:48:28 am
Maybe a little both? :)
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on January 30, 2010, 11:57:42 am
All the chatter regarding differences and similarities amounts to naught.  It reminds me of a song from back in The 60's:  "Today We Have Naming of Parts":

Quote
To-day we have naming of parts. Yesterday,
We had daily cleaning. And to-morrow morning,
We shall have what to do after firing. But to-day,
To-day we have naming of parts. Japonica
Glistens like coral in all of the neighboring gardens,
          And to-day we have naming of parts.

This is the lower sling swivel. And this
Is the upper sling swivel, whose use you will see,
When you are given your slings. And this is the piling swivel,
Which in your case you have not got. The branches
Hold in the gardens their silent, eloquent gestures,
          Which in our case we have not got.

This is the safety-catch, which is always released
With an easy flick of the thumb. And please do not let me
See anyone using his finger. You can do it quite easy
If you have any strength in your thumb. The blossoms
Are fragile and motionless, never letting anyone see
          Any of them using their finger.

And this you can see is the bolt. The purpose of this
Is to open the breech, as you see. We can slide it
Rapidly backwards and forwards: we call this
Easing the spring. And rapidly backwards and forwards
The early bees are assaulting and fumbling the flowers:
          They call it easing the Spring.

They call it easing the Spring: it is perfectly easy
If you have any strength in your thumb: like the bolt,
And the breech, and the cocking-piece, and the point of balance,
Which in our case we have not got; and the almond-blossom
Silent in all of the gardens and the bees going backwards and forwards,
          For to-day we have naming of parts.


Part II. "Judging Distances" »


Henry Reed and Frank Duncan reading "Naming of Parts":

source:  http://www.solearabiantree.net/namingofparts/namingofparts.html

As DK pointed out there are but three paths for the released, the unbound, and the enlightened, and but one path for the Bodhisatta, One seeking release, unbinding, and enlightenment.  It is the same path that Buddha revealed to his original sangha:  "The Noble Eight Fold Path."
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: FaDao on January 31, 2010, 06:29:31 am
Sadhu! Sadhu! Ven. Dharmakara, I've only been saying that for years on various forums for many years.

Quote
Neither would some Theravada practitioners, but on the other hand most practitioners on either side can't seem to grasp the idea that one does not forsake the Mahayana, no sooner than one forsakes the Theravada, for such distinctions are contrary to the equanimity of the Bodhisattva spirit and the unity of the greater Buddhist community at large.

The "arguments" between Theravada and Mahayana are silly samsaric quibbling best left in the dust bin of history.

If the dhamma is the point, the point is the dhamma. Wha of a given teachng proves true according to dhamma? Neither "canon" is free of error or ego.

Namo Amitofo
-Fa Dao -
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Boodust on March 12, 2010, 09:25:29 am
 :namaste:

It seems to me that the common ground is the Buddha. All else seems personal and interpretive.

 :dharma:
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: lowonthetotem on March 12, 2010, 09:37:30 am
I was reading the final dialogue in a sutra this morning, which stated in pretty plain language that the Buddha did not present two teachings.  Of course, it was a Mahayana sutra, so therein lies the rub.
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Sonam Wangchug on March 12, 2010, 11:22:44 pm
 :buddha: :grouphug: 
 :anjali:
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: retrofuturist on March 12, 2010, 11:31:36 pm
Greetings Anusaya,

Is it better for the Theravada and Mahayana to find common ground, or better for these two groups to accept their inherent differences?
I think so... and I don't think that's necessarily a bad, negative, or defeatist situation either.

A lot of inter-sectarian quibbling I've seen online has been attributable to one party thinking and assuming that their beliefs and understandings ought to be shared by others. If we can understand what the inherent differences are, we can better understand where other people are coming from. When we understand their perspective, then we're in a better position to benefit from what they have to say.

Metta,
Retro. :)
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Monkey Mind on March 13, 2010, 03:17:10 am
I think so... and I don't think that's necessarily a bad, negative, or defeatist situation either.
Not defeatist, but practical or pragmatic. Thank you for your thoughts.
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on March 13, 2010, 11:48:02 am
As a Theravadin my only concern for those Mahayana folks is their vehicles are just too big, given rising fuel costs and green house gases accumulating in our atmosphere.  Consider that there was a reason Buddha required monks to walk during alms rounds.

But, this just might be "vehicle envy" on my part.   :curtain:
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Boodust on March 13, 2010, 09:20:26 pm
 :namaste:

Maybe some drive a Great Cloud Vehicle.  :teehee:

 :dharma:
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Javamahasattva on March 13, 2010, 09:40:01 pm
As long as it's not a Toyota  :lmfao:
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Spiny Norman on March 14, 2010, 03:30:43 am
Is it better for the Theravada and Mahayana to find common ground, or better for these two groups to accept their inherent differences?

Definitely both.  But both are very difficult unless practitioners take the trouble to find out about other traditions in an open-minded way.

Spiny
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Kojip on March 25, 2010, 03:48:03 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:

 
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Caz 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:
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Kojip 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.   
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Anders Honore 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.
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Ron-the-Elder 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.)
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Kojip 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. 
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Ron-the-Elder 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. 
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: FaDao 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
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Ron-the-Elder 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
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: FaDao 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 -

Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Anders Honore 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.
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: ABC 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:
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: catmoon 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.
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on April 18, 2010, 05:37:56 am
My suggestion would be to have arm wrestling competitions before lunch.
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: catmoon 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
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: J. McKenna 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:
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Kojip on April 18, 2010, 02:32:19 pm
Yet all across the remainder of the Universe not one iota is wasted in caring what Man claims is or isn't ..... :hi:
  Nor is there an absence of caring.
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: J. McKenna on April 18, 2010, 03:59:33 pm
Caring or not, is an affectation of Man. The Universe is not interested in Man and his games ....
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on April 18, 2010, 04:02:45 pm
Dr. Carl Sagan would disagree:

"Man is The Universe becoming aware of itself."

...whereas Buddha emphasized awareness of no-self.
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: J. McKenna on April 18, 2010, 04:07:44 pm
Dr. Carl Sagan would disagree:

"Man is The Universe becoming aware of itself."

...whereas Buddha emphasized awareness of no-self.

We have disagreed before ..... no big deal!  :)
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: catmoon on April 18, 2010, 04:08:08 pm
I'm sitting here trying to compare the truth of the previous few posts and having a hard time of it.

It seems Carl Sagan was being admirably non dualistic, and quite insightful.

However, what he said does not seem to change the unhappy fact that a universe, containing parts that are self- and universe- aware, generally doesn't seem to give a hoot about our welfare.

And that's about as far as I can get.
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Kojip on April 18, 2010, 04:15:14 pm
Caring or not, is an affectation of Man. The Universe is not interested in Man and his games ....
  The Universe is niether interested nor not-interested. Perception of an indifferent universe is just as much an affectation as perception of a caring one.   Choose you projection.     
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Kojip on April 18, 2010, 04:25:23 pm
There was a thread on another forum where people came together to clarify that there is no ultimate unchanging reality (someone proposed the usual sneaky Brahmanism). It was nice to see them come together, but the interesting part was that they where defining one.

Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: J. McKenna on April 18, 2010, 04:30:29 pm
Caring or not, is an affectation of Man. The Universe is not interested in Man and his games ....
 The Universe is niether interested nor not-interested. Perception of an indifferent universe is just as much an affectation as perception of a caring one.   Choose you projection.    

IMAX is me choice, today.
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Kojip on April 18, 2010, 04:45:59 pm
Oh .. It looked like your choice was nihilism ;D
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: catmoon on April 18, 2010, 05:07:13 pm
Oh .. It looked like your choice was nihilism ;D

Sigh. And all these years Laura has been practicing Noodleism and didn't know it was just slip of the tongue.
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: heart on June 01, 2010, 06:32:16 am
All (most?) Theravada texts are the common ground between Mahayana and Theravada Buddhist. Mahayana simply added material that is considered a clarification and revelation of the Buddhas full intention. This is shown clearly in Tibet where the full Tripitaka is consider the cornerstone of all kind of Buddhist teaching and practice. The Mahayana teachings don't contradict the Theravada only elaborate on it.

/magnus
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on June 01, 2010, 06:43:53 am
Let me see if I am following your logic:

Mankind is a part of The Universe, which has become sapient (self aware).  Mankind cares about itself in that most human societies have various means of caring for members in need of care.  Buddha, for example, set the example for his Bhikkhus who were stepping over a fellow monk who had been left on the floor dying, sick, and stinking from his lack of treatment.  Buddha bent over to care for him and his Bhikkhu's suddenly became interested in caring for the stinking monk.  Christ did something similar with his apostles by washing their feet, as did the good Samaritan in another New Testiment parable told by Christ.

So, since we humans are a part of The Universe, you are saying that this part of The Universe, loving, caring, and compassionate doesn't count.

Or, did I misunderstand you?


Caring or not, is an affectation of Man. The Universe is not interested in Man and his games ....
  The Universe is niether interested nor not-interested. Perception of an indifferent universe is just as much an affectation as perception of a caring one.   Choose you projection.     
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Kojip on June 01, 2010, 02:19:22 pm
eh?   Well we could look at the Buddha or Jesus and say that the universe has the nature of loving Kindness. Or we could  look at a psychopath who keeps his daughter in a cellar for decades and repeatedly rapes her, so that she gives birth to his inbred children who are raised in the dark, lack all pigmentation, and have never stood upright.

Take your pick.
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on June 01, 2010, 09:49:27 pm
Or, you could look at the society which arrested the perpetrator, tried him, put him in jail, fed him, and rehabilitated him.  The same society that provided social services for the child he raped and returned her to the family from which she was taken by the perpetrator, who loved her and cared for her, and spent the necessary time with her allowing her physical and mental pains to heal.

It is our choice to look for and cling to good or evil, just as much as it is our choice to do good, or to do evil.  Kamma and its effects belong to each one of us, who are The Universe become aware of Buddha's teachings.

eh?   Well we could look at the Buddha or Jesus and say that the universe has the nature of loving Kindness. Or we could  look at a psychopath who keeps his daughter in a cellar for decades and repeatedly rapes her, so that she gives birth to his inbred children who are raised in the dark, lack all pigmentation, and have never stood upright.

Take your pick.
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Spiny Norman on June 02, 2010, 01:50:42 am
Mahayana simply added material that is considered a clarification and revelation of the Buddhas full intention.

It's known as re-inventing the wheel :teehee:
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Spiny Norman on June 02, 2010, 01:52:30 am
The Universe is niether interested nor not-interested. Perception of an indifferent universe is just as much an affectation as perception of a caring one.   Choose your projection.     

Well said.

Spiny
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: heart on June 02, 2010, 02:14:04 am
Mahayana simply added material that is considered a clarification and revelation of the Buddhas full intention.

It's known as re-inventing the wheel :teehee:

You can put it anyway you like my point was that the common ground between Mahayana and Theravada was as big as the Theravada teaching itself. It is Buddha own teaching that is the ground of all Buddhism. There is no tradition that subtract and reject the Buddhas teaching (apart from modern day Westerners that is).

/magnus
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Kojip on June 02, 2010, 08:03:43 am
Or, you could look at the society which arrested the perpetrator, tried him, put him in jail, fed him, and rehabilitated him.  The same society that provided social services for the child he raped and returned her to the family from which she was taken by the perpetrator, who loved her and cared for her, and spent the necessary time with her allowing her physical and mental pains to heal.

It is our choice to look for and cling to good or evil, just as much as it is our choice to do good, or to do evil.  Kamma and its effects belong to each one of us, who are The Universe become aware of Buddha's teachings.
Or you could look at the society that worshipped someone even more depraved and followed him into mass violence that killed millions. We can go around....  The point is that the rock dislodged from a cliff by erosion that tumbles down onto your head is neither indifferent or not-indifferent, neither caring or uncaring. It just is.   This whole notion of the universe as One Being awakening to itself  through a morality play towards inevitable consummation in re-union and eternal bliss.....   is the Theosophy I believed in before coming to Buddhism, but I do not hold that view now.  It is a really good one though.
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Kojip on June 02, 2010, 08:06:26 am
The Universe is niether interested nor not-interested. Perception of an indifferent universe is just as much an affectation as perception of a caring one.   Choose your projection.     

Well said.

Spiny
Thanks Spiny. Its a touchy subject to touch, without touching.          ....or something.
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on June 02, 2010, 08:46:44 am
OK.  Now I am going to state the obvious.  Rocks are not sentient, and certainly not sapient.  Therefore they haven't a care one way or/nor the other.

Guys like Mao, Stalin, Po Pot, Gengis Khan, Adolph Hitler (now the thread is going to end due to some debating rule, which name I cannot remember) do bad stuff. They do really bad stuff.  But even they had their moments of compassion.  They had children, they had loved ones, they had mothers and fathers who they cared about.  However the one's that Carl Sagan was talking about were the scientists like Capernicus, Galileo, Keppler, Einstein, and etc..  Even the butchers of humanity would occasionally look up at the sky and be amazed and feel wonder.

In any event, you can pick a bad guy for every good guy that I point out as you say, but even you must admit that they were all sapient:  Aware of their own existence, and therefore aware of the existence of The Universe.......or not.   :fu:


Or, you could look at the society which arrested the perpetrator, tried him, put him in jail, fed him, and rehabilitated him.  The same society that provided social services for the child he raped and returned her to the family from which she was taken by the perpetrator, who loved her and cared for her, and spent the necessary time with her allowing her physical and mental pains to heal.

It is our choice to look for and cling to good or evil, just as much as it is our choice to do good, or to do evil.  Kamma and its effects belong to each one of us, who are The Universe become aware of Buddha's teachings.
Or you could look at the society that worshipped someone even more depraved and followed him into mass violence that killed millions. We can go around....  The point is that the rock dislodged from a cliff by erosion that tumbles down onto your head is neither indifferent or not-indifferent, neither caring or uncaring. It just is.   This whole notion of the universe as One Being awakening to itself  through a morality play towards inevitable consummation in re-union and eternal bliss.....   is the Theosophy I believed in before coming to Buddhism, but I do not hold that view now.  It is a really good one though.
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Kojip on June 02, 2010, 01:24:01 pm
 ;D  Godwin's law.  That's why I didn't say the "H" word.


We are sapient for sure (even my brother Dave sometimes).  Rocks are not.  Lovingkindness is a sapient quality not a rock quality.
 We could say that our capacity for loving kindness is inherent in rocks as well if you like. Thats a nice thought.
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: catmoon on October 16, 2010, 03:43:18 am
;D  Godwin's law.  That's why I didn't say the "H" word.


We are sapient for sure (even my brother Dave sometimes).  Rocks are not.  Lovingkindness is a sapient quality not a rock quality.
 We could say that our capacity for loving kindness is inherent in rocks as well if you like. Thats a nice thought.

Wow, this thread is a living demonstration of Godwin's law in action. The H word appeared and the thread has now been dead four months!
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: GoGet on October 16, 2010, 08:19:18 am
All (most?) Theravada texts are the common ground between Mahayana and Theravada Buddhist.

To be clear, they are't "Theraveda texts".  To assert that is to say that the texts you speak of originated in/with the Theraveda, which they did not.

It is certainly used by Theraveda but the Pali Canon is not theirs any more that it is Mahayana's.
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: swampflower on October 16, 2010, 12:15:41 pm
OK.  Now I am going to state the obvious.  Rocks are not sentient, and certainly not sapient.  Therefore they haven't a care one way or/nor the other.

Oh well, still off topic I am, however "Rocks are not sentient" ...maybe not that obvious. 
A Rock  after all is merely the lump of existence called "rock".  We and our consciousness...and rock... spring/arise from the same open empty nature of existence.  We may simply not be aware or choose not to be aware of the awareness of the luminous nature within all existence.
Well maybe this is a difference in view between Theravadan and Mahayanan after all.
 :namaste:
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: LastLegend on February 13, 2011, 11:36:42 am
Really we should not be concerned about the distinction between the two. In other words, don't attach attachments to create conflicts between the two when Buddhism is about eliminating attachments and conflicts to arrive at peace.  All roads lead to the same goal which is to be truly detached or enlightened.
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Disney Land on February 27, 2011, 10:11:46 pm
Quote
- We accept the Four Noble Truths taught by the Buddha, namely, Dukkha, the fact that our existence in this world is in predicament, is impermanent, imperfect, unsatisfactory, full of conflict; Samudaya, the fact that this state of affairs is due to our egoistic selfishness based on the false idea of self; Nirodha, the fact that there is definitely the possibility of deliverance, liberation, freedom from this predicament by the total eradication of the egoistic selfishness; and Magga, the fact that this liberation can be achieved through the Middle Path which is eight-fold, leading to the perfection of ethical conduct (sila), mental discipline (samadhi) and wisdom (panna).

The only slight different in Theravada and Mahayana is that the Four Noble Truths in Theravada is recognizing the wisdom of self-liberation while Mahayana is the recognition of the perfect wisdom of four noble truths in both self & others. Normally, even in Mahayana practice, one has to liberate themselves before liberating others. However, there are exceptional cases where liberating others and self go in the same path   :namaste:
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: LastLegend on February 28, 2011, 12:43:47 am
Quote
- We accept the Four Noble Truths taught by the Buddha, namely, Dukkha, the fact that our existence in this world is in predicament, is impermanent, imperfect, unsatisfactory, full of conflict; Samudaya, the fact that this state of affairs is due to our egoistic selfishness based on the false idea of self; Nirodha, the fact that there is definitely the possibility of deliverance, liberation, freedom from this predicament by the total eradication of the egoistic selfishness; and Magga, the fact that this liberation can be achieved through the Middle Path which is eight-fold, leading to the perfection of ethical conduct (sila), mental discipline (samadhi) and wisdom (panna).

The only slight different in Theravada and Mahayana is that the Four Noble Truths in Theravada is recognizing the wisdom of self-liberation while Mahayana is the recognition of the perfect wisdom of four noble truths in both self & others. Normally, even in Mahayana practice, one has to liberate themselves before liberating others. However, there are exceptional cases where liberating others and self go in the same path   :namaste:

You spoke well.

According to Dependent Originiation, one thought of ‘self’ has lead us to become selfish. Mahayana speaks of compassion (no self) as the way out, the opposite of ‘self.’ Theravada practices detaching from self to become truly free. The only difference is the emphasis to help others to become Buddhas also.
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Caz on March 04, 2011, 01:09:19 am
Quote
- We accept the Four Noble Truths taught by the Buddha, namely, Dukkha, the fact that our existence in this world is in predicament, is impermanent, imperfect, unsatisfactory, full of conflict; Samudaya, the fact that this state of affairs is due to our egoistic selfishness based on the false idea of self; Nirodha, the fact that there is definitely the possibility of deliverance, liberation, freedom from this predicament by the total eradication of the egoistic selfishness; and Magga, the fact that this liberation can be achieved through the Middle Path which is eight-fold, leading to the perfection of ethical conduct (sila), mental discipline (samadhi) and wisdom (panna).

The only slight different in Theravada and Mahayana is that the Four Noble Truths in Theravada is recognizing the wisdom of self-liberation while Mahayana is the recognition of the perfect wisdom of four noble truths in both self & others. Normally, even in Mahayana practice, one has to liberate themselves before liberating others. However, there are exceptional cases where liberating others and self go in the same path   :namaste:

You spoke well.

According to Dependent Originiation, one thought of ‘self’ has lead us to become selfish. Mahayana speaks of compassion (no self) as the way out, the opposite of ‘self.’ Theravada practices detaching from self to become truly free. The only difference is the emphasis to help others to become Buddhas also.


Nicely put LL  :namaste:
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Disney Land on March 29, 2011, 11:56:16 pm
Both is the same on liberation from samsara to emptiness. It is the aptitude of the beings rather than schools itself. For instance, a class of students in the secular context has different aptitudes and achievement at any point in time  :namaste:
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: nirmal on March 30, 2011, 09:32:28 am
Common ground in meditation

Breathing with sunyata corresponds to breathing in Theravada.

The 'victorious bodhicitta' corresponds to 'the merciful mind'

The 'unattainability of mind in the three times' corresponds to 'mind is impermanent'

The 'eight negatives' correspond to 'discrimination of elements'

The 'three wheels of sunyata' correspond to 'all dharmas without self'

The 'six similes of the Diamond Sutra' correspond to "dependent origination', 'all feelings are painful' and 'the body is impure'

The 'four unborns' corresponds to 'all dharmas without self'

The 'eight negatives' corresponds to 'discrimination of elements'

Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Sonam on July 16, 2011, 04:32:12 pm
May I suggest a possibility for common ground?  Vajrayana explains rebirth as a process in which the "very subtle mind" (distinguishing between the gross mind, the subtle mind, and the very subtle mind) separates from the body at death, then enters the bardo to eventually find a rebirth.  Some Theravadans have said that the "very subtle mind" can be equated with the alaya vijnana, which carries over to a future rebirth. Can anyone add to this? Is there agreement on this point, or disagreement? Thank you.
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Karma Dondrup Tashi on July 19, 2011, 06:56:14 am
I am surprised it is a concept which appears in Theravada I thought it originated with Yogacara Buddhism.
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Dharmakara on July 19, 2011, 11:33:00 am
Sonam, I've come across that a few times during discussions, because the alaya consists of all the seeds resulting from action, ect., though it's not something you hear a lot of Theravada practitioners speaking about. If I recall correctly, there were one or two postings at the New Buddhist Forum.
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Monkey Mind on July 19, 2011, 01:22:23 pm
I'd forgotten about this thread... A couple of weeks ago I had an opportunity to meet with Ajahn Pasano, Thai Forest monk and abbot of the Abhayagiri Monestary in California. My current practice is in the Goenka/ U Ba Khin tradition, and I meet regularly with a Zen monk. Another person in this small group has an active Vajrayana practice. And there was a guy with a Japanese Pure Land practice. And some followers of a non-sectarian Western Buddhist movement. And a Dharma Punk. Come to think of it, no one in this small group represented the Thai Forest sect, except Ven. Pasano himself and three monks from his monastery. And once again, congruent with all of my "real world" Buddhist experiences, sect and tradition did not matter very much. The woman with the Vajrayana practice did not throw blood or spit at the Ajahn, the Pure Land guy did not storm out in a huff. Instead we had a very enthusiastic discussion about the Dharma/ Dhamma. Am I wrong in asserting (again) that this stuff only matters to Internet Buddhists?
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Dharmakara on July 19, 2011, 05:11:35 pm
I know what you mean, though it's proabably due to a lack of a physical relationship with an actually community in general, sometimes referred to as "arm-chair Buddhists".

That's not to say that the perception of discord is unwarranted in some instances, but this has more to do with spats between competing teachers than anything fundamental to any particular branch of the Buddhist tradition. A good example is the nonsense between a few of Japanese teachers in Los Angeles during the early 1930's, almost comical in nature when examined today.

Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: daimond on May 26, 2012, 06:09:13 pm
in the culapsthanka story in jataka athakata.

Member of sangha have a tendency to divide themself ;one part member of sangha think more intelegent and more knowing than other part member of sangha, cause of that he expeled the other part member of sangha from sangha.

But Buddha come and speak cause you came and be member of sangha in the Buddhq there no one capable expell you (even if it true your are not clever, intelegent and do not have greatknowledge)

Buddha speak to laypeople in culapathanka story in jataka athakata to always invite and wait both member of sangha who have diffrent understanding  without discrimination, even one side would expeled and no admited other member of sangha.
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on June 17, 2012, 06:07:11 pm
May I suggest a possibility for common ground?  Vajrayana explains rebirth as a process in which the "very subtle mind" (distinguishing between the gross mind, the subtle mind, and the very subtle mind) separates from the body at death, then enters the bardo to eventually find a rebirth.  Some Theravadans have said that the "very subtle mind" can be equated with the alaya vijnana, which carries over to a future rebirth. Can anyone add to this? Is there agreement on this point, or disagreement? Thank you.
Myunderstanding from The Suttas:  Buddha taught that only karmic effects move on after death.  No portion of mind, subtle or otherwise moves on after death.  Otherwise this would purport a permanent entity, such as a soul or entity which is contrary to Buddha's teachings.
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Spiny Norman on June 19, 2012, 02:20:05 am
Somebody asked me recently what the various Buddhist traditions had in common, and I said "The Four Noble Truths".  But was that a good answer? :wink1:
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: GoGet on June 19, 2012, 04:25:14 am
Somebody asked me recently what the various Buddhist traditions had in common, and I said "The Four Noble Truths".  But was that a good answer? :wink1:

That's a very cynical attitude.
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: truemoves on June 19, 2012, 09:03:31 am
I'd like to express my gratitude to everyone from all traditions for their efforts and sharing of their insights and traditions.
Perhaps a few essential commonalities are the pursuit of wisdom and good will for all beings. Two things that can be valued in any tradition, Buddhist or otherwise. Thank you all for you good intentions.

Best wishes
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Spiny Norman on June 20, 2012, 02:16:27 am
Somebody asked me recently what the various Buddhist traditions had in common, and I said "The Four Noble Truths".  But was that a good answer? :wink1:

That's a very cynical attitude.

Eh?  Why cynical?  It was the first answer that came to me, then I wondered if it was correct. 
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: GoGet on June 20, 2012, 05:20:53 am
Somebody asked me recently what the various Buddhist traditions had in common, and I said "The Four Noble Truths".  But was that a good answer? :wink1:

That's a very cynical attitude.

Eh?  Why cynical?  It was the first answer that came to me, then I wondered if it was correct.

You should know the answer to that already ......
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: truemoves on June 21, 2012, 07:23:28 am
I'd forgotten about this thread... A couple of weeks ago I had an opportunity to meet with Ajahn Pasano, Thai Forest monk and abbot of the Abhayagiri Monestary in California. My current practice is in the Goenka/ U Ba Khin tradition, and I meet regularly with a Zen monk. Another person in this small group has an active Vajrayana practice. And there was a guy with a Japanese Pure Land practice. And some followers of a non-sectarian Western Buddhist movement. And a Dharma Punk. Come to think of it, no one in this small group represented the Thai Forest sect, except Ven. Pasano himself and three monks from his monastery. And once again, congruent with all of my "real world" Buddhist experiences, sect and tradition did not matter very much. The woman with the Vajrayana practice did not throw blood or spit at the Ajahn, the Pure Land guy did not storm out in a huff. Instead we had a very enthusiastic discussion about the Dharma/ Dhamma. Am I wrong in asserting (again) that this stuff only matters to Internet Buddhists?

Not surprised by that at all, sounds like a great example of people sharing what they Love. I attended a conference in Seattle some years ago and it just seemed like a lot of monks from various traditions were polite, respectful and curious about each other. A very good look for Buddhist leaders and practitioners.  I think it's an internet thing in general. People express themselves without skilfully relating to the others and without thinking out the power of their words.

What is the non sectarian group you referred to?

Title: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Monkey Mind on June 21, 2012, 10:45:55 am
What is the non sectarian group you referred to?
I think two of the people attended retreats at Spirit Rock, and had a local study group.
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: GoGet on June 21, 2012, 10:55:36 am
Am I wrong in asserting (again) that this stuff only matters to Internet Buddhists?

No, I don't think you're wrong at all.

Most Buddhists recognize what they have in common with other Buddhists and emphasize that in their dealings with them.  If the see differences at all those differences are largely ignored.

It doesn't work that way on the 'net.  It's here people take exception to Mahayanists  using terms like Hinayana.  It's here that people give a sh1t Dorje Shugden.  It's here people use the Pali canon against their fellow Buddhist, offering defacto condemnations of heresey and accusations that their Dharma Siblings aren't Buddhist at all.

Out in the "real world" it doesn't seem to work like that.

Not far from my house a new Buddhist center opened and the members did a ton of work on the grounds.  I stopped by one Sunday afternoon to see the work they had done.  I was immdiately approached by a young woman who showed me around.  As it turned out, this center was set up to serve the Vietnamese immigrant community.  This Sangha was getting together for a pot-luck after Sunday practice and the young woman took me over to introduce me to the monk leading the Sangha.  A very nice fellow, who asked if I was a Buddhist (yes) where I practiced (Kagyu Sangha in Boulder), my name and so on.  Very pleased with my simply being there, he invited me to sit down and have lunch.  The members of the Sangha (all Vietnamese) were very insistant that I take a seat and eat with them.   Nothing really mattered save that I had taken refuge and I had stoped by for a visit.  The fact that I was of a different ethnicity/race and a much different lineage of practice was immaterial.  They were saddened when I turned down lunch because of prior committments but still happy that I stopped by to say high.

Out in the real world much of what 'Net Buddhists labor over endlessly, simply doesn't matter.

Nor should it.
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Mahasiddha Bodhisattva on June 21, 2012, 03:32:42 pm
Properly understood, all differences are resolved in ultimate understanding. Ultimate understanding is achieved by questioning, syncretism, esotericism, and direct realization. Universal Buddhism is the Buddhism of the post-mappo, post-singulatarian future. Its prototype is Dzogchen.
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Spiny Norman on June 22, 2012, 07:03:00 am
I think it's an internet thing in general. People express themselves without skilfully relating to the others and without thinking out the power of their words.

I think you're right about that, but I also think that the tensions which get highlighted in these forums do also exist in the real world. 
I've found that at one-off events people tend to be on their best behaviour, but when you get to know them they say what they really think. :wink1:
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Spiny Norman on June 22, 2012, 07:04:39 am
Its prototype is Dzogchen.

So if Dzogchen is just the prototype, what will the finished article look like?  :wink1:
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: GoGet on June 22, 2012, 09:33:51 am
Its prototype is Dzogchen.

So if Dzogchen is just the prototype, what will the finished article look like?  :wink1:

Norm - you REALLY don't want to go there.  Think of the old maps that said "Beyond this point there be dragons".

If you're interested in Dzogchen, learn it from a qualified Dzogchen teacher such as a bonafied lineage holder.  There are plenty of them out there and you don't need to go this route.
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: GoGet on June 22, 2012, 10:59:54 am
I think it's an internet thing in general. People express themselves without skilfully relating to the others and without thinking out the power of their words.

I think you're right about that, but I also think that the tensions which get highlighted in these forums do also exist in the real world. 
I've found that at one-off events people tend to be on their best behaviour, but when you get to know them they say what they really think. :wink1:

I think that the net provides a level of anonimity that seems to empower bad behavior in people.

In a net forum you aren't as likely to suffer the social consequenses of bad behavior.  Letting go with some off-hand remark on FreeSangha will never result in getting a punched in the face or a swift kick to the 'nads or any other of the many tools has society has to "keep the peace".  In the Real World, if one of those self-styled WebTheravedins attended a party where some Tibetan Buddhist types were discussing the "Hinayana" class they're taking and offered the all-too common objection to the term, our Theravedin friend might quickly find himself drinking alone for the rest of the night.  You don't have to be beaten to a bloody pulp to be shown the door so to speak.

There are something simply not worth hassling over in the Real World because of the social ramifications.  It's a lot more fun hanging out with people than it is to watch them hanging out without you.  Most of us aren't so anti-social that we're willing to risk being socially outcast as a result of voicing an unpopular opinion.  You are entitled to your opinion but that doesn't mean I have to hang out with you.

Take discussion about eating meat as an example.  The kind of discussions you see online are completely different from the Real World.  I can't speak for everyone, but in my experience, discussions about that subject last only minutes if not seconds.  I attended a Konchok Chidu tsok practice one evening.  This practice involves eating both read meat and liquor.  An attendee decided it was time to bring up his vegetarian leanings, condemning the prescribed use of meat in the practice based on statements by the Karmapa.  That conversation lasted about 5 seconds and we still went on to have a wonderful practice anyway.  Our vegetarian Sangha Brother hasn't attended Konchok Chidu since then and that's fine - if our guru instructs us to perform the practice in the traditional way - with read meat - then that's what we do and if our friend objects to that then he should excuse himself from the practice.  And that's ok.  The convo need not drag on, pointlessly, for days.  On the 'Net, this subject has been hammerded to death, over and over again, for frikkin YEARS!

The 'Net doesn't have the behavioral constraints that we have out in the Real World.  It's a social medium that is still in it's infancy.  It still has some growing up to do.
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Mahasiddha Bodhisattva on June 22, 2012, 03:18:39 pm
Its prototype is Dzogchen.

So if Dzogchen is just the prototype, what will the finished article look like?  :wink1:

According to my view, it will look like whatever the Dharma Transmission to the West becomes, in the context of singulatarian technocracy.

Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Spiny Norman on June 23, 2012, 01:55:02 am
If you're interested in Dzogchen, learn it from a qualified Dzogchen teacher such as a bonafied lineage holder. 

Been there, done that. :)
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Spiny Norman on June 23, 2012, 01:57:51 am
In the Real World, if one of those self-styled WebTheravedins attended a party where some Tibetan Buddhist types were discussing the "Hinayana" class they're taking and offered the all-too common objection to the term, our Theravedin friend might quickly find himself drinking alone for the rest of the night. 

But that makes it sound like the real world is just as mean-spirited as the net. 
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: GoGet on June 23, 2012, 06:06:29 am
In the Real World, if one of those self-styled WebTheravedins attended a party where some Tibetan Buddhist types were discussing the "Hinayana" class they're taking and offered the all-too common objection to the term, our Theravedin friend might quickly find himself drinking alone for the rest of the night. 

But that makes it sound like the real world is just as mean-spirited as the net.

Nah, it's just social dynamics at work. 

In my little scenario the subject in question truly isn't worth being given the time of day.  If someone is being boorish about it, why should I hang around?  I could tell the offending bore to f*** off, but that would be impolite.  Better to excuse myself and go find a convo that doesn't include a boorish twit.

It works the other way, too.  If a Tibetan Buddhist were to enter into a convo with Theravedins it would be best to leave delicate subject matter out in the car so to speak.

In the Real World we generally abide by the unwritten rules of social intercourse we have learned over many years of getting our faces slapped, asses kicked and drinking alone.  Oftentimes we we do this without thinking.  Not so on the net.
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Richard on January 11, 2013, 11:17:54 am
I think, and I speak on a very gross level here because I am unaware of many of the subtleties within various Mahayana schools, but I look at the differences in two ways.

Firstly on the philosophical level we can talk about the Bodhisattva ideal and how it may or may not be the 'ultimate' understanding of the Buddha's teaching. I find such debates a detriment to practice from both sides of the coin and those that wish to engage in them may do so freely without my own involvement.

Secondly however, from the experiential level it seems to me that criticism of the Theravada by the Mahayanist philosophers is somewhat skewed.

Strictly from my own experience the major criticism of the Theravada is that it does not contain universal compassion nor does it point to 'direct' experience.

I think if such critics (and they are thankfully, not to be found universally within Mahayana) took time to actually read the Pali Canon they would find example after example of both the above criticisms.

In short I see very little difference in those of both schools who truly grasp the teachings, or the teachings themselves. Those who find such difficulties I think may be stuck too much in the philosophical.

I invite those with wider knowledge to clarify.

 :namaste:
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: anando on May 09, 2013, 04:21:58 am
Hi,
there is  a certain amount of knowledge that both sides share. The difference is that Mahayana has a here and a beyond,
with Brahma and gods in differnt realms,even the devil and 7  mighty magic powers.
The common ground works until nirvana.

sakko
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Hanzze on May 13, 2013, 07:00:15 am
If the OP was actually meant as common ground and not common ground between, I guess there is one:

Suffering and the way to put it to an end.
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: ground on May 13, 2013, 09:09:22 pm
Both are religions and their followers are eager to believe this or that.  :fu:
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Hanzze on May 13, 2013, 09:38:23 pm
Some even believe that there is neither suffering nor a way out  :wink1:
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: ground on May 15, 2013, 11:32:03 am
Some even believe that there is neither suffering nor a way out  :wink1:
If there is no seeing then belief arises, yes.  :fu:
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: songhill on May 15, 2013, 12:48:35 pm
Some even believe that there is neither suffering nor a way out  :wink1:
If there is no seeing then belief arises, yes.  :fu:

So what do you see?
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: ground on May 15, 2013, 01:15:00 pm
Some even believe that there is neither suffering nor a way out  :wink1:
If there is no seeing then belief arises, yes.  :fu:

So what do you see?

I does not see, if sense of "I do see" arises there is no seeing but there has arisen belief. :fu:
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: former monk john on May 15, 2013, 02:11:04 pm
In all my years of going to temples Therevada aqnd Mahayana, this is exactly the kind of confusing talk I never heard from Monks explaining Dharma to lay people, what exactly are you trying to prove, that you understand something that is not understandable, Its seems that there's this air of superiority associated with making statements that don't really make outward sense, If you really understand these difficult topics, wouldn't you be able to express them in simple terms that we could all understand, Just my opinion.
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: ground on May 15, 2013, 08:57:02 pm
In all my years of going to temples Therevada aqnd Mahayana, this is exactly the kind of confusing talk I never heard from Monks explaining Dharma to lay people, ...
A musician makes music, a painter paints paintings. Do you visit a painter if you want to hear music and complain that he does not play music?

what exactly are you trying to prove,
Nothing.  Why are you visiting a painter if you want to hear music?

... Its seems that there's this air of superiority associated with making statements that don't really make outward sense, ...
It may be that there is a feeling of inferiority associated with making such statements. 

If you really understand these difficult topics, wouldn't you be able to express them in simple terms that we could all understand, ...
1. How many are you?
2. If words used would meet your expectations would this then appear to you as "in simple terms"? If so it is best you are applying the words you are expecting yourself and do not expect others to apply the words you would apply.

Just my opinion.
The number of opinions is without limit.


Now ... referring to the topic of this thread ... "What is the common ground between your words and mine?"

:fu:
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: former monk john on May 15, 2013, 10:39:57 pm
Case in point......
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: ground on May 15, 2013, 10:45:03 pm
Sun shines, flowers grow.  :fu:
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Spiny Norman on May 16, 2013, 02:29:30 am
Sun shines, flowers grow.  :fu:

 :focus:
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: ground on May 16, 2013, 10:24:56 am
Human creativity shines, religious beliefs grow. We have found the common ground. :fu:
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on September 25, 2013, 02:56:07 pm
So far, over the last few years since 1963 (50 years, give or take a few months) I have found the following in common between Theravada and Mahayana (perhaps not all Mahayana, but most):

I.  The Buddha was enlightened.
II.  The Buddha had many previous lives.
III. The Buddha taught:
A.  The Four Noble Truths
 1. Which included The Fact of Dukkha
 2.  The cause of dukkha
  3.  That there was a means of eliminating dukkha.
 4.  That means was The Noble Eight Fold Path.
B.  Dependent Origination
C.  Kamma / Karma
D.  Impermanence
E.  Emptiness
F.  Rebirth
G.  The 31 Planes of Existence within the 31 Realms.
H.  The Khandas / Skandas
I.  The aggregates
J.  Meditation
K.  Mindfulness
L.  The Five Basic Precepts
M.  The Six Sense Doors
N.  Mara (The Tempter / The Lord of Delusion / The King of Death)
O.  Rebirth
P.  Nibbana / Nirvana
Q.  Study of Documents written about The Buddha ( Suttas / Sutras )
R.  Celebration of Puja's / Buddhist Holidays.
S.  The coming of the next Buddha  (Maitreyah)
T.  Chanting

That's it for me off the top of my head.
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: sakko on December 21, 2013, 04:32:22 am
Hi,
there is acertain common amount of buddhist teaching. The measure are the 8 Jhanas. In Theravade only the sixth have to be reached: Nibbanam. Nuber 7 and 8 are left to the other
directions of buddhism. Number seven is called : Borderline of possible perception and the 8th Jhana is: Dissolving of all perceptions.

sakko
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Dharmakara on December 21, 2013, 10:31:50 am
Not correct. The Anguttara Nikaya (AN 9.36) of the Pali Canon actually lists nine jhanas:

1. Delightful Sensations
2. Joy
3. Contentment
4. Utter peacefulness
5. Infinity of space
6. Infinity of consciousness
7. No-thingness
8. Neither perception nor non-perception
9. Cessation

For anyone interested in reading more, Dhammawiki has an excellent description of each jhana:

http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?title=9_Jhanas (http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?title=9_Jhanas)
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: pudgala2 on December 21, 2013, 01:30:11 pm
Theravada is the bone
Mahayana is the flesh
Zen is the Spirit
in
The B(http://i1138.photobucket.com/albums/n530/leo9lives/BlueWhiteO.png)dhisattva Vow

(http://i1138.photobucket.com/albums/n530/leo9lives/tinyface.png)
pudgala2
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: sakko on December 22, 2013, 04:18:52 am
Hello,
yes there is a common ground between Theravada and Mahayana. My thing is the Pali-Canon and there is a measure in how far both sides agree.
The Theravadas declare the 6th Jhana as the end. In Pali-Canon the are 8 Jhanas.

sakko
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Dharmakara on December 22, 2013, 06:06:04 am
The Buddha describes eight and nine jhanas in the Pali Canon, the number depending on the particular sutta being examined.

As for what Theravada practitioners "declare" and what they don't "declare", a wise man wouldn't make a blanket statement as you have, first and foremost because you certainly do not speak for all Theravada practitioners --- there are more than a few dedicated Theravada practitioners who would actually disagree with you, including David Snyder.

The issue surrounding the number of jhanas recognized within the Theravada tradition is really no different than the number of paramitas recognized within the Mahayana tradition, whether it should be six or ten paramitas --- for example, I prefer the ten paramitas as expounded upon within the Avatamsaka Sutra.
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: andyebarnes67 on January 19, 2014, 05:32:16 am
I think the analogy of the clay pot can just easily be applied to the Theravada/Mahayana as it can to the individual.
No matter the present (Past or future) form of the pot, the clay remains the same.
It may be useful also to remember that in the original schism of the Sangha, it was simply a matter of disagreement about some of the vinaya rules. All else simply followed as the two sides evolved separately.
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Marcus Epicurus on January 23, 2014, 05:31:36 pm
It seems to me we have more in common that differences.
We all have Buddha as our ultimate teacher.
Nuff said. :twocents:
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: andyebarnes67 on October 28, 2014, 02:38:29 am

As for your earlier question, it might be best to cite the Ven. Sayadaw U Thittila on this matter, as he dealt with it nicely:

According to Buddhism the universe evolved, but it did not evolve out of nothingness, it evolved out of the dispersed matter of a previous universe; and when this universe is dissolved. its dispersed matter, or its residual energy which is continually renewing itself, will in time give rise to another universe in the same way. The process is therefore cyclic and continuous, and the universe itself is composed of millions of world systems, each with its various planes of existence.

Wow. This must be the best quote I've come across that shows the correlation of much of Buddhist Dhamma with the newer theories coming from respected cosmologists on the origin of our universe. bookmarked with much gratitude.
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: flaneur on February 16, 2015, 05:16:56 pm
Ultimately Dharma is Dharma. I've never understood the metaphysics, cosmologies, dogmas etc.

The Buddha said his goal was to end suffering.


A HANDFUL OF LEAVES
The Blessed One was once living at Kosambi in a wood of simsapa trees. He picked up a few leaves in his hand, and he asked the bhikkhus, ‘How do you conceive this, bhikkhus, which is more, the few leaves that I have picked up in my hand or those on the trees in the wood?

‘The leaves that the Blessed One has picked up in his hand are few, Lord; those in the wood are far more.’

‘So too, bhikkhus, the things that I have known by direct knowledge are more; the things that I have told you are only a few. Why have I not told them? Because they bring no benefit, no advancement in the Holy Life, and because they do not lead to dispassion, to fading, to ceasing, to stilling, to direct knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbana. That is why I have not told them. And what have I told you? This is suffering; this is the origin of suffering; this is the cessation of suffering; this is the way leading to the cessation of suffering. That is what I have told you. Why have I told it? Because it brings benefit, and advancement in the Holy Life, and because it leads to dispassion, to fading, to ceasing, to stilling, to direct knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbana. So bhikkhus, let your task be this: This is suffering; this is the origin of suffering; this is the cessation of suffering; this is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.’

[Samyutta Nikaya, LVI, 31]
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Kodo308 on May 18, 2017, 08:13:12 am
So far, over the last few years since 1963 (50 years, give or take a few months) I have found the following in common between Theravada and Mahayana (perhaps not all Mahayana, but most):

I.  The Buddha was enlightened.
II.  The Buddha had many previous lives.
III. The Buddha taught:
A.  The Four Noble Truths
 1. Which included The Fact of Dukkha
 2.  The cause of dukkha
  3.  That there was a means of eliminating dukkha.
 4.  That means was The Noble Eight Fold Path.
B.  Dependent Origination
C.  Kamma / Karma
D.  Impermanence
E.  Emptiness
F.  Rebirth
G.  The 31 Planes of Existence within the 31 Realms.
H.  The Khandas / Skandas
I.  The aggregates
J.  Meditation
K.  Mindfulness
L.  The Five Basic Precepts
M.  The Six Sense Doors
N.  Mara (The Tempter / The Lord of Delusion / The King of Death)
O.  Rebirth
P.  Nibbana / Nirvana
Q.  Study of Documents written about The Buddha ( Suttas / Sutras )
R.  Celebration of Puja's / Buddhist Holidays.
S.  The coming of the next Buddha  (Maitreyah)
T.  Chanting

That's it for me off the top of my head.

The 4 Brahmaviharas, too. Because srs'ly, you can't leave those out.  :D
Title: Re: Finding Common Ground Between the Theravada and Mahayana
Post by: Dharma Flower on May 18, 2017, 11:50:19 pm
Of all Buddhist sects around today, I believe that Theravada is closest to the Buddha’s original teachings. Why would I say this as a Mahayana Buddhist? Because Mahayana adapted the Buddha’s original teachings for a broader audience, and there’s nothing wrong with that. 

Even in the Pali canon, which is believed to represent the oldest Buddhist scriptures, the Buddha taught in different ways to different people in different circumstances. This principle of adaptability is called upaya or skillful means:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upaya (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upaya)

As a Mahayana Buddhist, I've long believed the celestial Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, such as Amitabha and Avalokitesvara, to be symbolic of our own potential for enlightenment and of the unconditioned true nature of all things, rather than literal god-like beings:
https://www.thoughtco.com/atheism-and-devotion-in-buddhism-449718 (https://www.thoughtco.com/atheism-and-devotion-in-buddhism-449718)

In the following article, Tibetan Buddhist scholar Rita M. Gross gives a scholarly evaluation as to the origin of the Mahayana scriptures, explaining how their spiritual value is not dependent on literal historicity:
https://internationaljournaldharmastudies.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/2196-8802-1-5 (https://internationaljournaldharmastudies.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/2196-8802-1-5)
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