Author Topic: Being Open Minded  (Read 18410 times)

DSFriend

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Being Open Minded
« on: July 20, 2011, 09:35:40 AM »
Before meeting the Dharma, I used to understand being open minded as not being judgmental to any thing or anyone which may contradict what I stand for. This usually entails how much i am able to be open minded enough to "include" or "exclude" that person into my world....talking about equanimity!

Well after meeting the Dharma, the meaning of being open minded doesn't quite have the connotation above. It relates directly to our minds being open to teachings/instructions which we may not immediately understand logically/accept emotionally. Thus, lack of open mindedness here means how much we reject the teachings.

"An open, questioning mind is not regarded as a drawback to followers of the Buddha-dharma. However, a mind that says, “This is not part of my mental framework, therefore I don't believe it,” is a closed mind, and such an attitude is a great disadvantage for those who aspire to follow any spiritual path. But an open mind, which questions and doesn't accept things simply because they are said, is no problem at all.
~ Ani Tenzin Palmo"

In your spiritual journey and from observing your own minds, what are your challenges in staying in a state of openess?
What helps you to be open especially when your principles are being challenged by a vajra master.

WoselTenzin

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Re: Being Open Minded
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2011, 01:50:43 PM »

In your spiritual journey and from observing your own minds, what are your challenges in staying in a state of openess?
What helps you to be open especially when your principles are being challenged by a vajra master.

For myself personally faith is the key.  You must have complete faith in your Guru/Vajra Master.  You must trust that he has a wisdom that is higher than yours and you allow him to use his wisdom to work on you.  Based on your complete faith in your Guru/Vajramaster, in instances where your principles are being challenged by him, you surrender to his wisdom.

The above is assuming that you have "check out" your Guru/Vajramaster before engaging in a Guru/Disciple relationship.

Furthermore, who are you trying to kid? The principles you have applied in the past must have not worked. Otherwise, a real Guru/Vajramaster would not have challenged it. Even at a very logical level, if that is the case, isn't it high time you try another principle, a principle prescribed by someone with higher wisdom?


dsiluvu

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Re: Being Open Minded
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2011, 08:31:29 PM »
"An open, questioning mind is not regarded as a drawback to followers of the Buddha-dharma. However, a mind that says, “This is not part of my mental framework, therefore I don't believe it,” is a closed mind, and such an attitude is a great disadvantage for those who aspire to follow any spiritual path. But an open mind, which questions and doesn't accept things simply because they are said, is no problem at all.
~ Ani Tenzin Palmo"

In your spiritual journey and from observing your own minds, what are your challenges in staying in a state of openess?
What helps you to be open especially when your principles are being challenged by a vajra master.

This is so true... often I encounter my narrow mind when somethings does not make sense in my reality. Ignorance is bliss till someone like your Guru points it out. And perhaps even after that you analyse it so that you can acknowledge it and put in to practise. So to me the process goes more then just faith although that plays an important part in the beginning, It is also contemplating and understanding it, actually feeling it that makes it strong in the mind that what was said to me is true.

So when I am being challenged by my vajra master, first step is to acknowledge that it is true, you have a problem! Not go around asking people if that is true. Then second step is to contemplate where you have done this, how you have affected yourself and others, and finally to have a strong will and conviction to change. Then the change will be more sincere and not another for the moment situation.

KhedrubGyatso

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Re: Being Open Minded
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2011, 03:09:48 AM »
Open mindedness is a very broad term. It can mean open one's mind to new knowledge, ideas, discoveries  etc. It is also opening ones's heart to  new experiences and feelings.
I agree with WT that faith and trust is very important if one is to seek new experiences and higher qualities of happiness. The biggest challenge I guess would be doubts which undermines one's faith in one's Guru. We should at least have positive or balanced doubt. This  kind of doubt does not reject any idea but reserve space  for accepting after subjecting the object to more study and investigation.

There are 3 kinds of faith which we need to cultivate once we have established a relationship with our Guru.
Pure faith - we develop admiration for our Guru's good qualities and skills and not letting human faults of our Guru distract us.
Longing faith - we wish to have our Guru's qualities and follow his advice and instructions earnestly
Trusting /Believing faith - we have no doubt of our Guru's abilities and qualities which can guide us to enlightenment and becomes a perfect vessel to receive all his blessings/ transmissions.Our mind begins to mix with his mind like water to water.

Positive Change

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Re: Being Open Minded
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2011, 07:02:17 AM »

In your spiritual journey and from observing your own minds, what are your challenges in staying in a state of openess?
What helps you to be open especially when your principles are being challenged by a vajra master.

For myself personally faith is the key.  You must have complete faith in your Guru/Vajra Master.  You must trust that he has a wisdom that is higher than yours and you allow him to use his wisdom to work on you.  Based on your complete faith in your Guru/Vajramaster, in instances where your principles are being challenged by him, you surrender to his wisdom.

The above is assuming that you have "check out" your Guru/Vajramaster before engaging in a Guru/Disciple relationship.

Furthermore, who are you trying to kid? The principles you have applied in the past must have not worked. Otherwise, a real Guru/Vajramaster would not have challenged it. Even at a very logical level, if that is the case, isn't it high time you try another principle, a principle prescribed by someone with higher wisdom?


I am in full agreement with WT... however to add, i feel for me, my basic stumbling block is my knowledge of the Dharma in terms of factual context, facts, the Sutras. There is so much out there and yet I feel inadequate when it comes to Dharmic discourses as I cannot quote texts or have much factual context in relation to the Sutras. I am in awe when I hear of a Dharma borther or sister being able to share stories or factual content from the Sutras. What I do know is what I feel and experience and put into my own words.

However this is by no means an excuse... I am like a dry sponge and I believe I am able to absorb a lot more "water" and will do whatever is needed to gain that knowledge. Listen attentively, take notes and read. Rather elementary really but certainly worthwhile!

kurava

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Re: Being Open Minded
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2011, 02:06:45 AM »

I am in full agreement with WT... however to add, i feel for me, my basic stumbling block is my knowledge of the Dharma in terms of factual context, facts, the Sutras. There is so much out there and yet I feel inadequate when it comes to Dharmic discourses as I cannot quote texts or have much factual context in relation to the Sutras. I am in awe when I hear of a Dharma borther or sister being able to share stories or factual content from the Sutras. What I do know is what I feel and experience and put into my own words.


Dear Positive Change,

Intellectual knowledge is important but it's not THE most important requirement in the spiritual practice.

There are many "Buddhists" who are very well versed in scriptural knowledge but their practice stops at that. They are walking dictionaries of dharma texts and their knowledge cannot make a connection with their hearts.

I personally feel that after meeting a qualified Guru, we must have total faith in the Guru because he can give us the real "taste" of dharma through direct experiential teachings - the realisation that mere intellectual learning cannot bring forth fruition.

Often the Guru will challenge our habitual mental framework. In such instances faith will help us in keeping an open mind to receive the teachings.


WoselTenzin

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Re: Being Open Minded
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2011, 10:15:22 AM »

Dear Positive Change,

Intellectual knowledge is important but it's not THE most important requirement in the spiritual practice.

There are many "Buddhists" who are very well versed in scriptural knowledge but their practice stops at that. They are walking dictionaries of dharma texts and their knowledge cannot make a connection with their hearts.

I personally feel that after meeting a qualified Guru, we must have total faith in the Guru because he can give us the real "taste" of dharma through direct experiential teachings - the realisation that mere intellectual learning cannot bring forth fruition.

Often the Guru will challenge our habitual mental framework. In such instances faith will help us in keeping an open mind to receive the teachings.




I agree with Kurava that being open to change is not totally dependent on scriptural knowledge although having scriptural knowledge does help to a certain extent.  What's more important is having the right attitude of wanting to learn and improve ourselves and faith in our Guru. 

If we have faith in our Guru's wisdom, faith in our Guru's motivation and the strong desire to improve ourselves, then we will naturally be open to teachings and feedback from our Guru.  We will be able to put aside our own judgement of things in favour of that of our Guru's.

If we are not open to our Guru's instruction or feedback, it means that we think that we know better and we do not have confidence and faith in our Guru.  Therefore, the bottom line of being open to our Guru's teachings and instructions still boils down to faith in our Guru plus our wish to improve ourselves.


dondrup

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Re: Being Open Minded
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2011, 07:40:14 PM »
In your spiritual journey and from observing your own minds, what are your challenges in staying in a state of openess?
What helps you to be open especially when your principles are being challenged by a vajra master.

If we have found our guru, He is the Buddha. A Buddha is a superior being that accomplished Buddhahood for the sake of all sentient beings. A Buddha's job function is to benefit us 100%.  Hence we can and should have complete trust and reliance on Him to guide us to Full Enlightenment.

Whenever our guru assigns us a task, rest assured that task is tailored to transform our mind.  We will at the outset totally dislike what was being assigned to us.  However, if we take up the task with the correct view that our guru knows us best, then when we surrender to our guru, our mind will be able to transform and achieve another milestone on the path.

Everything that happens to us within the holy mandala of our guru has a deeper meaning.  Due to our ignorance, most of the time, we will fail to understand why certain events or things happened.  But if we have the patience to accept and follow what is being told by our guru, then eventually we will fully understand and appreciate the kindness of our Guru in manifesting those actions.

Big Uncle

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Re: Being Open Minded
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2011, 05:47:16 AM »
I like Buddhism because it is very adaptive of new ideas and even current discovery of psychology and study of the mind is surprisingly concurring with many Buddhist beliefs of how the mind operate. You will notice that wherever Buddhism has taken root, it will adapt to the culture there and it never enforces its beliefs on the people. In fact, Buddhism will grow according to the cultural identity of the people. Hence, even the Buddha looks very different in various Buddhist countries, from Thailand to Japan. Each traditional depiction of the Buddha image represents the evolution and assimilation of Buddhism within that cultural identity. I find that amazing.

WoselTenzin

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Re: Being Open Minded
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2011, 03:07:50 AM »
I like Buddhism because it is very adaptive of new ideas and even current discovery of psychology and study of the mind is surprisingly concurring with many Buddhist beliefs of how the mind operate. You will notice that wherever Buddhism has taken root, it will adapt to the culture there and it never enforces its beliefs on the people. In fact, Buddhism will grow according to the cultural identity of the people. Hence, even the Buddha looks very different in various Buddhist countries, from Thailand to Japan. Each traditional depiction of the Buddha image represents the evolution and assimilation of Buddhism within that cultural identity. I find that amazing.

Buddhism is the truth.  The truth is timeless and will apply to any culture, race and place.  The face of Buddhism or the external form it takes may be different but the essence of the teachings remains.  Buddhism is meant to help people find the truth.  Hence, it will take whatever form necessary to assist the process. 

Buddhism is not about making everybody follow a certain doctrine and adopt a certain way of presentation of the practice even if it came from the Buddha himself.  Buddhism allows adaption to change of time and place to appeal to the beings who have karmic affinity with it as long as the essence of the teachings which is to bring sentient beings out of suffering remains.

That is why the external forms and traditions of Buddhism may differ from country to country.  All these are to cater the teachings to beings of different dispositions and of different aptitude.

Klein

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Re: Being Open Minded
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2011, 09:39:35 PM »
In your spiritual journey and from observing your own minds, what are your challenges in staying in a state of openess?
What helps you to be open especially when your principles are being challenged by a vajra master.
[/quote]

The challenge that I face in staying open is not understanding the methods used by the vajra master. What helps is just believing that the vajra master has higher wisdom than me and he would know what's best for me. So I trust the vajra master, let go and have an open state of mind. This helps me.

pgdharma

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Re: Being Open Minded
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2011, 02:29:18 PM »
I personally feel that faith and trust in one's Guru is very important because he has much more wisdom than us. Just let go and follow his teachings and instructions with an open mind and when assigned with a task, just do it. We must understand and accept that whatever task is given to us, it is for our benefit as our Guru who embodies compassion, wisdom and pure motivation will tailor a task suitable for us which will eventually help us to transform and moved on to the next level.

DSFriend

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Re: Being Open Minded
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2011, 04:49:04 PM »

However this is by no means an excuse... I am like a dry sponge and I believe I am able to absorb a lot more "water" and will do whatever is needed to gain that knowledge. Listen attentively, take notes and read. Rather elementary really but certainly worthwhile!

Thanks for bringing up this point.

The effort to learn is an extremely virtuous practice in itself....and as spiritual students and practitioners, we ought to put in effort just as much or even more as we go along the path.

Tenzin K

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Re: Being Open Minded
« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2011, 07:02:30 PM »
To me being "Open Minded" is not to "Reject".
Basically it's not an easy thing to accept things that against our believe due to our own perception (most of the time from our experience) on how things work but at the minimum we don't "Reject".

We may not understand our vajra master teaching at the beginning but we don't reject. As the Guru, he has the knowledge from his compassion & kindness to learn from the monastery and teach us, we should pay the respect to listen. Most of the time we will get it at the later stage but by not rejecting it it save us from being ignorance and give us time to learn up and experience the true teaching.



     

buddhalovely

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Re: Being Open Minded
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2012, 07:53:40 AM »
Having an open mind of something when ones uneasy with his/her emotions would be a tough to understand. In other words, it takes a longer time for a person who is sensitive to be open minded. In my terms of a definition, being open minded means accepting what others are and as you said it's categorical terms under religion is different. It takes time and trust and lots of faith no matter how much it disturbs,disappoints or degenerate you. You need to be willing to accept others as they are. To avoid any relation of being a prejudice and be confident that you have done what you did - acceptance. If you are about to accept a new religion into your lifestyle, it is crucial that you stay with trust and always be alert in the things you do. Never deny or let down your guru's advice or instructions or you would be stuck in an unwanted position. Most of us enter our lives into a religious one because we seek for change. Without being open minded, you will not go anywhere in your life journey, in fact you might even be downgraded.