Engineered form of Buddhism

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Dharmasherab
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Engineered form of Buddhism

Post by Dharmasherab » Sun Nov 19, 2017 1:44 am

This is a hypothetical question.

Lets say that important monastics, ordained members and scholars of all (most) traditional lineages of Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana met in the form of a council and decided to engineer a form of Buddhism by combining all the important practices and teachings of all types of Buddhism then how should this happen?

What are the obstacles and caveats for this process of compiling all the different teachings and practices in all types of Buddhism together?

Notice that this post has got nothing to do with forcing people to accept this 'hypothetical form of engineered Buddhism'. So comments along those lines wont be necessary.

Also please note that I mentioned 'traditional' (this means that it does not include 'New Buddhist movements' such as Secular Buddhism)

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DNS
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Re: Engineered form of Buddhism

Post by DNS » Sun Nov 19, 2017 1:59 am

Chan Buddhism, the precursor to Zen (in Japan) is sort of like a "One Dharma" or "Buddhayana" all-inclusive Buddhism.

They have monastic clergy members of monks and nuns (similar to Theravada).
They chant Amitabha (Pure Land).
They practice Chan meditation (similar to Zen and Theravada meditations).
They are Mahayana and have beautiful temples, lots of colors, statues (similar to Vajrayana-Tibetan Buddhism).

So without creating something too drastically new, they are pretty close to what might be called Buddhayana. I like Chan Buddhism and have practiced and visited at some of their temples, even though I am primarily Theravada.

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Dharmasherab
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Re: Engineered form of Buddhism

Post by Dharmasherab » Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:59 pm

Ah that is interesting. Usually people assume that Chan is a different form of Zen/Seon/Thien (noticing that Chan is the likely precusror of all these latter schools). But I personally was not aware of this till you told me.

Its just that there are various different practices seemed to be beneficial in different schools/sects of Buddhism. Like Nyingma/Bon have the Dzogchen practice, Kagyu has Mahamudra, Gelug have their LamRim, there is Ngondro practice in all schools of Tibetan Buddhism as preliminaries. Then in Chan/Zen they have their version of sitting meditation (Zazen) and a lot more. In Theravada there are the Satipatthana meditations and Vipassana. Also in the different schools of Buddhism have their own texts. I do appreciate there can be overlaps between the pathways of practice but surely there are differences too which is what makes these different schools/sects distinct.

I do understand that these different schools have their own view which may not be shared by other schools and one element in one pariticular school can be defined in a different manner in another school. So this can be an obstacle to engineer a form of Buddhism where the views of one aspect of one type of Buddhism has to be compromised to accomodate the views of another.

Its just that it appears the different practices and theories have their benefits in different ways. That hypothetically speaking if a form of Buddhism was engineered to encompass all these beneficial practices then the followers would get the maximum benefit from following them.

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Nicholas
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Re: Engineered form of Buddhism

Post by Nicholas » Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:02 pm

As David mentioned, it has already happened. Both Je Tsongkhapa & my late Master Hsuan Hua pointed out that because Buddha taught 84,000 dharma doors, each targeted to a specific type of mind, any sadhana will lead toward bodhi. Of course, the appeal must be there, so a person in one lifetime may be attracted to X cultivation method. In their next life method Z may appeal more.

The danger I see in a engineered system by a council of Buddhist elders is it being premature. Already there are regular meetings of varied ethnic & sectarian groups & Sangha members. But there is still too much natural favoritism for the lineage each Sangha knows and loves. After all, if great Sages pop up in all sects, then no need to fix what is not broken.

Right now the main external dangers to the Buddha's dispensation is money, secularism & Islam. So mutual support yes, but never mind now a global councils of elders deciding on the best cultivation practices.
Wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost. -- Buddha

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PuerAzaelis
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Re: Engineered form of Buddhism

Post by PuerAzaelis » Sat Dec 09, 2017 1:45 am

Would someone like to comment further on Ch’an. Are there any Esoteric-style visualization methods? I am primarily practicing Mahamudra at the moment in the context of TB.
And nobody in all of Oz. No Wizard that there is or was.

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Iconodule
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Re: Engineered form of Buddhism

Post by Iconodule » Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:17 pm

PuerAzaelis wrote:
Sat Dec 09, 2017 1:45 am
Would someone like to comment further on Ch’an. Are there any Esoteric-style visualization methods? I am primarily practicing Mahamudra at the moment in the context of TB.
Chan by and large absorbed the other Chinese Buddhist schools, so a plethora of different practices have continued. I imagine it is possible that some kind of tantric practice is being done somewhere. Strictly speaking, though, Chan is sutric and the idea that the Vajrayana is a quicker path for more advanced disciples would probably not get much traction.
The ladder that leads to the Kingdom is hidden within you, and is found in your soul. Dive into yourself, and in your soul you will discover the rungs by which you are to ascend. - St. Isaac of Syria

Herb Caplan
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Re: Engineered form of Buddhism

Post by Herb Caplan » Sun Feb 03, 2019 2:45 am

Then you will have yet another form of Buddhism.

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If you meet the Buddha (blessed be the arahant) on the road, kill him.

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Re: Engineered form of Buddhism

Post by DNS » Sun Feb 03, 2019 4:54 pm

Yes, that's a good point. I think all major religions have made attempts at reconciling all of their sects and denominations into one 'super' denomination that is all-encompassing (as much as possible). And what results is just another form of that religion.

Best to go with Chan, if that is what one wants, as that has been in place for centuries and is very all-encompassing and has some great doctrines and practices too.

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