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Beautiful Desire — 2 Comments

  1. I began thinking about the three yanas after first listening to HHPCR at Tai Pan – 2 years ago. It seemed clear to me that what HHPCR was considering as Hinayana was not what I considered to be Theravada Buddhism. I am intentionally being subjective here because of my knowledge limitations, both of Theravada and Tibetan. I have never liked the term Hinayana, as a lesser yana compared to a greater yana, so have always preferred the term, Theravada. In a previous thread someone referred to another term used by Ringu Tulku Rimpoche, but I can’t find the reference – a much better term.

    What became clear to me is that what Tibetans refer to as Hinayana is not the same as what Theravadans refer to as Theravada. I tend to see that where Theravada and the Hinayana yana of Tibetan coincide is that both refer to details, it is necessary to be mindful of details. In a discussion about Zen – Mahayana, the Zen practitioner said that not much attention was paid to the 4 Noble Truths and much more attention was paid to Nirvana/Nibbana and Buddha Nature. If this is the case this might indicate why there are some western Zen teachers who have crossed the line, it is doubtful whether Genpo Roshi has the right to claim he has sila. I contend that Theravada and Mahayana are only discussing emphasis, there was a discussion here (http://littlebang.org/2009/05/06/buddha-nature-in-theravada/) about Buddha Nature, Unconditioned and Amata. The way Tibetans define Hinayana and Mahayana there appears to be a clear delineation, a delineation that does not apply when I consider Theravada Buddhism. Perhaps it is necessary to look beyond the words.

    As for Vajrayana I believe that refers mainly to the meditation techniques used by Tibetan Buddhists – Mahamudra and Dzogchen – meditation techniques that make desire beneficial? I understand that Tibetans believe these techniques are better. Maybe they are, but as Bhante says “the Vajrayana teachings …. come from the original Buddhism, as recorded in the Pali texts”. We could be discussing the same Buddhism rather than differences. It is necessary to look beyond language whilst at the same time being careful how language is used. I am sure that Tibetan Buddhists would not like it thought that they consider Theravada Buddhists “buffoons”, careful language usage could avoid that.

  2. It’s good to know that everything changes .. what might be beneficial in one set of circumstances might be harmful in another. This applys to both religious practices(Buddhism’s ability to adapt to different cultures has helped keep it alive) .. & desire, for that too, as an expression of primal source energy must remain flexible so as not to die .. perhaps the goal is the creative process rather than an an end(of desire?), otherwise Buddhism would be nihilistic, would it not?