Author Topic: If we are serious about our practice  (Read 14724 times)

Roberto

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If we are serious about our practice
« on: July 15, 2011, 01:44:00 AM »
So the question goes like this we find the Dharma after many years in samsara we could have children, mortgage, house, car, boat, retirement fund, we even have found a Guru and Lineage.

Wouldn't the ultimate progression be to give it all away like the Buddha and become ordained to walk the path to enlightenment?
Do we need to be ordained to become enlightened in one lifetime?

Big Uncle

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Re: If we are serious about our practice
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2011, 08:43:24 PM »
If you go out and preach that one must be ordained to become enlightened, you will only get people slamming their doors on you. No, there were many great masters who were lay people and yet became highly attained or fully enlightened. The great 84 Mahasiddhas were all lay people although some were monastics before.  Atisha's heart disciple was a lay disciple - Dromtonpa.

However, if you want Buddhadharma to grow in an area, you must have monastics, you must have monastics. None of us are accomplished yogis or practitioners and so we definitely do not commit much to the Dharma and nothing we do is comparable to the commitment shown by a Sangha member. What's a monastic's commitment? Their sacred vows and it is these vows that separate monastics and lay people and sets them free from many of the delusions, problems and dilemmas that plague us. However, if people decide to be a monastic for the reason of escape, cannot last very long because the motivation is wrong.

Hence, it takes a lot of merit to have the resolution to become a monk or nun. Therefore, the monastics are further ahead on the spiritual path when compared to us. Hence, they are the third Sangha Jewel and we are very fortunate to have the authentic lineage still existing for us to collect merit with and to aspire to the same level of commitment.

WoselTenzin

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Re: If we are serious about our practice
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2011, 05:25:11 PM »
So the question goes like this we find the Dharma after many years in samsara we could have children, mortgage, house, car, boat, retirement fund, we even have found a Guru and Lineage.

Wouldn't the ultimate progression be to give it all away like the Buddha and become ordained to walk the path to enlightenment?
Do we need to be ordained to become enlightened in one lifetime?

From historical track record, Buddhism has never been extreme in any ways.  That is why there has never been a war in the name of Buddhism.  Buddhism has always been about moderation and the middle path.

To be able to give all away spontaneously and become ordained to walk the path of enlightenment does not happen over night.  It takes lifetimes of practice and accumulation of merits.  The causes has to be created for that to happen.  That is why you don't see many people giving up everything to become ordained to walk the path of enlightenment. 

A being at the brink of attaining enlightenment (someone who will become enlightened in his lifetime) would have been a very high bodhisattva already.  Whether they manifest as an ordained or lay person depends on which will form will be more beneficial for the beings they have affinity with.  At that level of attainment, a Bodhisattva do not need to be ordained to progress on their path to enlightenment.   Their attainments would be very stable and they do not need ordination vows to keep them on track.



dsiluvu

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Re: If we are serious about our practice
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2011, 06:21:33 PM »
No I do not think that one MUST be a monk then only one can become enlightened.

We can take the examples of many mahasiddhas who did not become a monk who became Enlightened for example the great Padmasambhava who actually took on a consort, the infamous Virupa who is none other then our protector's lineage line, Dromtonpa etc etc... these are the famous ones and there are many more.

It clearly show and agree with WT that it is basically your internal being/mind that is the key to become enlightened not whether or not you are a monk. For some it may be even better to take on a consort like Chogyam Trungpa who benefited so many people and up till today his wonderful institute still stands and produces so many great works.

You can also be a monk and not achieve anything and infacr you could even generate. So bottom line is, Enlightenment is your mind, internize it...nothing to do with your outer appearances.

Roberto

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Re: If we are serious about our practice
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2011, 08:04:01 PM »
dsiluvu, wosel tenzin,

I can accept that, and didn't know that one can become enlightened without being ordained. Interesting that Lama's can have "consorts" you mean wives or partners, something I also didn't know existed.

Extremes can make people do things they may not otherwise if they were not put into extreme situations, but giving away a life to be ordained is a big step. I enjoyed reading the story of Buddha, I think it was called Sidharta written by some German guy. I wondered to myself could it be like that even today?

Guy is sheltered in another part of the world, and decides to go out into the world travelling looking for the meaning of life, suffering and the cessation of suffering. What part of the world would he end up in etc....?

dorjedakini

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Re: If we are serious about our practice
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2011, 10:04:46 AM »
Those lama are showing us that being a lay person we can still practice Dharma, no excuse for us. We always use our wives, husbands, relationship, car etc and other commitment as an excuse saying that we are very busy and have no time practice or even recite a short mantra.

Many times I came across with people who have time to go for Movie, TV show,  facial, but to recite Dorje Shugden short Mantra for 21 times daily, no time and too busy. We busy making ourselves sinking into samsara deeper and deeper, avoiding the fact that we will die one day and we will lost everything in the end.

When we have problem, we told the Lama we will follow all the instructions he gave, but when the Lama given us the instructions we start to bargain and say we do not have time, but we want the full result. just like how we tell the doctor i want to be healed but i don't want to take the cough mixture. We are so selfish and lazy...sigh

Aurore

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Re: If we are serious about our practice
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2011, 10:43:54 PM »
I agree with what have been said above.

The key is to develop a boddhicitta mind whether we are in a monk or lay person.
The exception is that being a monk, you hold vows, you collect more merits by the vows you hold.
A monk denounced worldly attachments which can hold one back from enlightenment.

To me, it would be better to be a monk and hold vows. Especially if we are really serious about our practice. Why not?

But no, you do not need to be a monk to gain an enlightened mind.

ratanasutra

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Re: If we are serious about our practice
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2011, 11:20:43 PM »
the best to become a monk and hold monk vows and do a practice well.

if we could not become a monk with whatever reason then we should be a good laypeople or practitioner by holding lay people vows ie refuge vows, 8 precepts, bodhisattva vows as the same time our actions is towards to benefit others.

if we serious about our practice then we will hold vows well and apply dharma to actions ie not lie, hurt, spend time and do thing for other according to vows. if we work towards to become enlightenments even tho we as a lay person we are serious about our practice.

well.. if we still enjoy with our free time and spend time for our own, i dont think we are serious about our practice..


negra orquida

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Re: If we are serious about our practice
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2012, 04:49:23 PM »
Mahasiddhas are evidence that laypeople can also gain enlightenment. Enlightenment is not restricted to ordained people... but perhaps a monastic lifestyle may be considered as a more conducive environment to specialise in Dharma skills.

I think.. before deciding to take a step further in Dharma practice by becoming ordained, we need to know what is the purpose / benefits of becoming ordained, and check this against our personal motivation.

Many people especially those in countries which do not have a mass Buddhist consciousness, have the misconception that becoming a monk means leaving your responsibilities, your family, your worries behind... some even say it is being very irresponsible. 

Some have a grand idea that if they are a monk or nun, everyone will pay respect to them, serve them for free, give them everything they want for free and put them on a pedestal because they art more holier than thou.

I think being serious with our practice includes seriously abandoning the 10 non-virtues and 8 worldly concerns, and applying the 8 verses of thought transformation in whatever we do... taking the Lamrim as personal instructions... doing the 5 preliminary practices... being honest with and devoted to the guru... and these can be done whether we are ordained or lay people.  However becoming ordained is a public shoutout that we are much much more committed to our practice.

RedLantern

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Re: If we are serious about our practice
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2012, 04:28:11 AM »
It is extremely important that all the actions that we do; sitting,walking,going,coming,eating and so forth-
become Dharma.It's also crucial that we transform as many of our actions during the day and night as we
possibly can into virtue,into Dharma practice.As we continue with our usual daily activities,remind ourselves
again and again of the motivation we generated.
To take SERIOUSLY the teachings our Guru have compassionately given to us and put them into practice.
Determination and devotion conquers all.

Positive Change

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Re: If we are serious about our practice
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2012, 06:01:26 AM »
Of course the ultimate would be to renunciate everything, take on the monk vows and continue to pursue our spiritual goals. Of course for us up to our necks in samsara find it extremely difficult. But is it?

Sure it sounds "scary" to give up everything you hold dear in your life (at least what you have been told from a child), but if we think of how we came into this world and how we ARE going to leave it, it really is a no brainer!

Of course it is easy to hypothesis and say this, that and the other, but the crux of the matter is, the only thing that is holding us "back", so to speak, from continuing our spiritual journey in that ultimate path is our sense of greed, selfishness and pride. No ifs, whats or buts about it really!

Sometimes I ponder on these very attachments I have and I think of what it would be like to actually renounce all I have. I ask myself these questions which I would like to put out here for us to all ponder on from our samsaric views:

1. Would I be able to do it?
2. Am I "losing" anything?
3. What do I gain?
4. What is it to really "renounce" in this day and age?

The last question is a very valid and pertinent question as we all have varying "degrees" of attachments (or so we think? :)). For example, some of us are married with kids and of course "abandoning" them for our spiritual goal is not exactly the right thing to do. As the saying goes, "you make you bed, you lie in it".

dsdisciple

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Re: If we are serious about our practice
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2012, 07:43:51 AM »
Qn: Mmmm...To be or not to be?

Monk, Nun, Mahasiddha or Layperson?

Answer: YES - All is good or should I say possible

But the real challenge is can you hold your VOWS peerlessly for all 24 hours in the day!

No infractions in whatever environment you so happen to find yourself in? ...Maybe?

1) Start where you are now...

2) What is your Motivation for doing so?

3) What sort of mind are you generating?

4) Are you really creating the merits to support your practice? as a lay or ordained person.

SERIOUS PRACTICE IS....Today, this very second, not Tomorrow or Some far away place or time...

Real practice is dirty, noisy, hard work, painful, happy, sad, good, bad...Will not be achieved in one lifetime or one day...

Real practice is NOT scary, Real Practice is consistent, inspirational, REAL PRACTICE is not from anything external or someone else but from a mind that decides to ALWAYS BENEFIT and NOT HARM.

The Real Practice is YOU.

The Best Opportunity for Practice is YOU.

The Best Time for Practice is NOW.

Are you up for the task of awakening your Bodhicitta Mind...

xo







pgdharma

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Re: If we are serious about our practice
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2012, 02:39:36 PM »
Many of us claimed to be serious in our practice.  If this is true, why is it that our Guru still has to beg and push us to do so? Why is it that instructions from our Guru are not taken seriously?   We do not need to be a monk or nun to be serious in our practice. What we should do is to follow and carry out our Guru’s instructions and hold on to our refuge, bodhisattva or tantric vows well. Vows are not for bodhisattvas or enlightened beings but for ordinary lay people like us who find it hard to have altruistic intention/motivation. By holding the vows well, we collect the merits to realize bodhichitta as well as purify tremendous negative karma. It is important that  we seriously follow the teachings our Guru who have compassionately given to us and put them into practice.

Serious practice takes time, effort, devotion, consistency and determination.  It is up to oneself to choose whether to practice seriously or not.

Q

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Re: If we are serious about our practice
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2012, 03:21:47 PM »
So the question goes like this we find the Dharma after many years in samsara we could have children, mortgage, house, car, boat, retirement fund, we even have found a Guru and Lineage.

Wouldn't the ultimate progression be to give it all away like the Buddha and become ordained to walk the path to enlightenment?
Do we need to be ordained to become enlightened in one lifetime?

It is not necessary to be ordained to become enlightened... but being ordained as a monk or nun is a more direct path and we will be more focused towards spirituality. Take the examples of the Mahasiddhas of our time, about 90% of the Mahasiddhas are lay people that is fortunate enough (like us) to meet a Guru with pure lineage, and to have a certain realization that whatever it is that's going on with their current situation, they will follow their Guru's instructions to the dot. Which they did and proved the sayings on the Dharma text: "Enlightenment can be achieved by the most zealous disciples'

I used to think also that ultimately, we'd have to become a monk or a nun to fully practice the Dharma. Personally, I wish to take the nun vows to be a nun myself, and I still feel strongly that way (unfortunately, not enough merits to be one yet haha!). But after contemplating on it further, I thought, if I can bring the Dharma to more people as a lay person, then being a lay person is what I should be... I'm not saying that being a monk will make us unable to bring the Dharma to many, not at all... however, in this time and place, being a lay person that practices Dharma can inspire so many people and to set a good example to other people that is less spiritually inclined.

Also being a lay person doesn't mean we can't practice the Dharma perfectly... if we need to force on vows to ourselves to start practicing, then that's not real practice because we're not being sincere about it.

vajratruth

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Re: If we are serious about our practice
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2012, 04:15:53 PM »
There is a lot we can do to sincerely express our practice before hoping straight into ordination as a monk or a nun. These are modern times we live in and there are a lot more distractions that take people's attention away from spiritual development. It becomes a highly noble occupation for the serious practitioner to develop a wish to take Dharma to the people rather than waiting for people to come for the Dharma.

That is not to say that an ordained person cannot bring Dharma to the people. Of course they can but most people would see a monk as "of another calibre or level" and may not identify personally with the message.

A layperson spreading dharma is easier to identify with. He is proof that one can live an ordinary life and yet be very dharmic and virtuous. A layperson, I presume, would also not be as restricted in his or her movements and may reach a lot more people faster. It may also be easier for a layperson to convey a message of dharma and spirituality to those who have mental blocks against what they believe to be attempts at religious indoctrination if the person delivering the message is a monk or a priest.

Giving up all to be ordained is definitely noble. As is the will and motivation to re-arrest all that is samsaric to serve the Dharma.