Author Topic: What is self cherishing? What are the disadvantages?  (Read 7381 times)

Offline ABC

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What is self cherishing? What are the disadvantages?
« on: October 23, 2010, 09:48:23 pm »
Dear Dharma friends

In Theravada Buddhism, the Buddha taught all things whatsover are not-self (sabbe dhamma anatta ti). I learned this from Retro's Pali chanting. Therefore, there is no self.

But in Mahayana, I have often heard about "self-cherishing", including from Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso.

What is self-cherishing? Does self-cherishing have disadvantages?

Like the Buddha said in the Sallekha Sutta

Quote
Others will misapprehend according to their individual views, hold on to them tenaciously and not easily discard them; we shall not misapprehend according to individual views nor hold on to them tenaciously, but shall discard them with ease — thus effacement can be done.

Was the Buddha referring to self-cherishing here?

If so, does this kind of self-cherishing also have disadvantages?

Does all self-cherishing have disadvantages or can some kinds of self-cherishing be advantageous & beneficial?

Is the matter of self-cherishing something common to both Mahayana and Theravada?

Thanks

 :anjali:
« Last Edit: October 23, 2010, 09:55:28 pm by ABC »
Therefore, Ananda, engage with me friends and not as opponents. That will be for your long-term well-being & happiness - MN 122

Offline catmoon

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Re: What is self cherishing? What are the disadvantages?
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2010, 10:07:42 pm »
Suppose I want a cup of tea but the fire is going out. A person utterly devoid of self cherishing (and let's say all forms of self care too) might throw himself on the fire as fuel so that I can have my tea. I am not convinced that this would be a wise course of action.
Sergeant Schultz was onto something.

Offline Caz

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Re: What is self cherishing? What are the disadvantages?
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2010, 08:55:43 am »
Self-Cherishing ? Its plain to see, the love and concern for oneself above the welfare of others.
http://emodernbuddhism.com/

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We would like to request you to please respect this precious Dharma book, which functions to free living beings from suffering permanently. If you continually read and practice the advice in this book, eventually your problems caused by anger, attachment and ignorance will cease.

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Offline nirmal

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Re: What is self cherishing? What are the disadvantages?
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2010, 11:39:55 am »
Om Mani Padme Hom

Something interesting from Google

    Recently, the Dalai Lama met with a group of 50 professionals from many different spiritual traditions in Dharamsala, India. According to one of the participants, Rev. Mary Manin Morrissey, he taught them a spiritual practice to increase compassion and love on the planet. He encouraged them to "Tell everyone you know about it." We read her account of it, and now share it with you.

    The Dalai Lama said, "You must begin by cherishing yourself. It is essential to the progress of the world. To cherish oneself is not easy."

    "We are each of us a child of the universe, a child of God. We must cherish the life we are given and cherish the life of others."

    There are four parts to the Dalai Lama’s practice.

        * First, he said, remember that we all want the same thing: to avoid suffering and find happiness.

        *   Second, begin each day with five minutes of "compassionate breathing": "Breathe in cherishing of the self; breathe out cherishing of others."

        *   Third, extend that compassion throughout the day. He said, "Everyone is my teacher."

        *   And finally, no matter what happens, stay in the practice. Be faithful to it even when you don’t see results. "Tell everyone you know about it."

    Reference: An article in The Oregonian newspaper by Nancy Haught, October 25, 1999.

Commentary:

    In his 1991 book Path to Bliss:  A Practical Guide to Stages of Meditation, the Dalai Lama reflects on the disadvantages of the self-cherishing attitude. He sums up his comments with the following verse from Lama Choepa:

        "This chronic disease of cherishing myself
        Is the cause of unwanted suffering;
        Perceiving this, may I be inspired
        To blame, begrudge and destroy
        This self-cherishing demon."

    Now, we are told, he teaches us we must cherish ourselves. How are we to understand this?

    The traditional Buddhist teaching warning about cherishing the self refers to the illusionary self that we imagine as separate from other sentient beings and somehow more special and deserving. This is the selfish self, the one filled with attachments and craving. In this sense, self cherishing would be to place an unwarranted value on our own happiness to the detriment of others. It would be an elevation of ego that would lead to selfish behavior that generates pain and suffering in the world.

    Now, if we are to practice compassionate breathing, in which we "Breathe in cherishing of the self; breathe out cherishing of others," we must be cherishing something other than the problematical "Self-cherishing demon." Rather we can cherish the self as equal part of the whole. It is not just "I" that is important. We are all in this together. When we breathe out cherishing others, we activate our heart of compassion. We are sending our love out into the world. We come to understand that the needs and desires of others are as important as ours. When we express love in the world, it comes back to us. The consequence of love expressed is joy.

    As we breathe in self cherishing, we can cherish the self that is a manifestation of divine consciousness. We may visualize it as our Buddha nature, or as Christ consciousness, or as a spark of the Universal Soul. We are  individuals in relationship with others as the in-breath is in relationship to the out-breath. Inhaling and exhaling are distinguishable from each other, but they are part of an integrated process. Our self identity and the identity of others are distinguishable, but we are necessarily in relationship together, as we are with the entire cosmos and the whole of consciousness.

    Breathing in, I cherish the life I have been given
    Breathing out, I cherish the life of others.

    I breathe in cherishing of the self.
    I breathe out cherishing of others.
 \

Om Mani Padme Hom

Offline Thao

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Re: What is self cherishing? What are the disadvantages?
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2010, 05:40:45 am »
The Dalai Lama said, "You must begin by cherishing yourself. It is essential to the progress of the world. To cherish oneself is not easy."

    "We are each of us a child of the universe, a child of God. We must cherish the life we are given and cherish the life of others."


I certainly believe in self-cherishing, but I think that catmoon has a very good point, not throwing yourself in the fire. I can only use an experience of my own to explain more on how I feel about this. I had a so-called friend for the past two years that was in the Garden Club that I had quit after a few meetings, but who still wanted me to go get mulch with her around the neighborhood by picking up grass bags so she could mulch the city park. I actually felt this to be frivolous work, but she was running out of helpers, and so I felt bad for her. (People actually left the Garden Club because she overworked them and she would call them up to a year to get them to come and help, even though they refused. I kept running into people in our small town that clued me in.) She never took No for an answer with me but continued until I gave in. I was dragged out 2 to 3 times a week for an hour or two at a time. One year I ended up in the chiropractor’s office, and she still nagged until I gave in, and then next I got inflammation on my knees--all from lifting heavy bags. Then she nagged me into coming back to the Garden Club 2 months ago, and I went to one meeting, and because I had joined again, she asked me to come help weed the park. I said, “No.” This month I told her that I was too tired to go to a meeting, and she told me that it was a “commitment” and spent the next hour, while we were gathering bags, browbeating me. I kept saying no, came home to an email that was saying the same things. I finally rebelled with a reply via email and was as nice as I could be about it but worried that I was not reacting as a Buddhist should. But being in an email she acted like I had never written it, as she had before when I brought up a certain email I had written to her. When confronted in person, she called it a  “rant”, laughed and dropping the subject. I am still trying to get her out of my life because she is still writing and calling. But I thought about compassion during all this, and it dawned on me that I had to have some for myself first.

mangalam,

Urgyen
« Last Edit: October 25, 2010, 05:53:32 am by Fragrant Herbs »

Offline heart

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Re: What is self cherishing? What are the disadvantages?
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2010, 08:28:05 am »
The Dalai Lama said, "You must begin by cherishing yourself. It is essential to the progress of the world. To cherish oneself is not easy."

"We are each of us a child of the universe, a child of God. We must cherish the life we are given and cherish the life of others."

Fat chance HHDL said that "we are each of us a child of the universe, a child of God"!   :cheesy:

/magnus

Offline Thao

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Re: What is self cherishing? What are the disadvantages?
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2010, 10:04:20 am »
http://www.interluderetreat.com/meditate/cherish.htm

it doesn't sound like him to say you are each a child of the universe. sounds new agey.

the above is the only place i can find that on the internet. Maybe ABC has a different source.

Offline catmoon

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Sergeant Schultz was onto something.

Offline kwanseum

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Re: What is self cherishing? What are the disadvantages?
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2010, 09:22:14 pm »
it doesn't sound like him to say you are each a child of the universe. sounds new agey.

If we assume that by universe we are talking about Buddha-nature then it is not new agey at all but true blue Mahayana Buddhism. Buddha-nature is possessed by all sentient beings. Buddha nature is the eternal refuge of the Dharmadhatu/Buddha-dhatu and perceives both non-Self and the Self, Emptiness ("sunyata") and non-Emptiness.

I don't think it is at all out of context to say we are a root or child of the foundation (call that foundation what you will).
Many true words said in 'silence'

Offline heart

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Re: What is self cherishing? What are the disadvantages?
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2010, 02:54:30 am »
it doesn't sound like him to say you are each a child of the universe. sounds new agey.

If we assume that by universe we are talking about Buddha-nature then it is not new agey at all but true blue Mahayana Buddhism. Buddha-nature is possessed by all sentient beings. Buddha nature is the eternal refuge of the Dharmadhatu/Buddha-dhatu and perceives both non-Self and the Self, Emptiness ("sunyata") and non-Emptiness.

I don't think it is at all out of context to say we are a root or child of the foundation (call that foundation what you will).

"A child of God" is that Mahayana Buddhism?  :D

/magnus

Offline catmoon

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Re: What is self cherishing? What are the disadvantages?
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2010, 03:53:12 am »

"A child of God" is that Mahayana Buddhism?  :D

/magnus

Oh yes. It's what Mahayana Buddhism looks like when it is being kind to Christians.
Sergeant Schultz was onto something.

Offline t

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Offline heart

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Re: What is self cherishing? What are the disadvantages?
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2010, 08:42:07 am »

"A child of God" is that Mahayana Buddhism?  :D

/magnus

Oh yes. It's what Mahayana Buddhism looks like when it is being kind to Christians.

No, that is beyond kind, just plain stupid. He didn't say that for sure.

/magnus

 


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