8

While different traditions might emphasize one over the other, they all need a certain level of development for both: "These two qualities have a share in clear knowing. Which two? Tranquillity (samatha) & insight (vipassana). "When tranquillity is developed, what purpose does it serve? The mind is developed. And when the mind is developed, what ...


6

The only truly important lineage is the lineage of the Buddha. Unfortunately, everyone has their own idea of what that means. Even the eightfold noble path (described by the historical Buddha himself as the indication of a true lineage in DN 16) is interpreted differently by different schools. As a result, lineage becomes somewhat important, in that it ...


6

Often mediators will get stuck in Samatha thinking that they have become permanently enlightened. Samatha takes away all the defilments but it's only temporary. Also mediators could get addicted to the bliss and calm that samatha brings. So, yes there is vipassana only approaches called "dry insight meditation" like in the Mahasi tradition that is perfect ...


6

The mechanism behind merit transfer is this: There is an element of Metta which benefits one self and other as it creates positive vibes. When you do good followed by strong volition to share this positivity this creates more positivity. Also this vibes can be sometimes telepathic. Also being in some other realms (not all realms even then not always) can ...


6

Would an advanced practitioner ever stop meditating? If we take the Buddha & his disciples as an example, I would say, no. I would also not see a reason why. In the texts, the jhānas are referenced as pleasant abidings here-&-now and that is what the arahats do. "Bhikkhus, if wanderers of other sects ask you: 'In what dwelling, friends, did the ...


6

I've been practicing with the Triaratna Community for over 7 years and over that time I've been through a fair number of texts with various study groups. I'll try to summarise the most relevant texts here but different order members/centres certainly have their favourites so someone else in the community might give a slightly different list. As a bit of ...


6

I think one would find it nearly impossible not to gain stream entry if they've been observing their emotions and reality for two or more decades. I'm even inclined to take the Buddha's estimate of 7 days and nights to a maximum of 7 years to gain arhatship on face value. I don't think it's that difficult, most people spend 15 years studying hard to become ...


6

At a Theravada monastery: You have to be familiar with taking refuge in the Triple Gem and taking of the five precepts: http://refuge.sirimangalo.org/ Remove shoes and hats when you enter the monastery. Wear conservative clothing. White color clothes are more appropreate. Avoid shouting, idle chatter and laughter(can smile when appropriate) while you are ...


5

I've been part of the Triratna Community for maybe 15 years. I do know that people can find it controversial but that's more from a secular perspective - some ethical stuff that was going on early on in the movement wasn't great. Regarding how other schools regard it - I would point you to this book The thought of Sangharakshita. A critical evaluation There'...


4

In every single branch of Buddhism I have looked into, going for refuge is seen as the defining feature of what makes you a Buddhist. The Theravada school holds to this position, every form of East Asian Mahayana Buddhism I've read about holds this position, and Tibetan Buddhism also puts great stress on going for refuge to the point where reciting the ...


4

The term Zazen (Chinese 坐禪, zuò chán) just means seated meditation. It doesn't itself specify what kind of meditation is being practiced. Just Sitting refers to Shikantaza, which is the type of meditation taught by Dōgen Zenji, the founder of the Sōtō school of Japanese Zen. He famously explained it in the Fukanzazengi saying : Once you have adjusted ...


4

There are a number of Thera- and Therī-gāthā poems which feature men and women with many years experience and no realisation. Anon (Thī 67-71) begins: paṇṇavīsativassāni, yato pabbajitā ahaṃ. nāccharāsaṅghātamattampi, cittassūpasamajjhagaṃ. 25 rainy season since I went forth and, Peace of mind has eluded me, even for a finger snap. Also Sāmā (Thī 39-41) ...


4

This can depend greatly on where you go. Buddhism is in some important ways more diverse than Christianity. For example Tibetan Buddhism and Zen Buddhism, while they both grow from the same central Buddhist tenants (e.g., the Four Noble Truths), have very different approaches and trappings. Additionally some places are going to be more formal and rigid in ...


3

You should not have an emphasis on which should develop fist but let it take its natural course. Both are important as wisdoms has concentration as the base and concentration has morality as the base. Like a roof over your head cannot exist without walls and a foundation.


3

In Tibetan Buddhism, according to Chogyam Trungpa prostration is a practice of surrendering one's ego, to the triple treasure exemplified by the guru. A student full of oneself is compared to an upside down pot or else to a full cup, and prostration is seen as either turning the pot right side up or emptying the cup. In Korean Zen, the purpose is supposedly ...


3

Some texts attribute the original authorization of prostration to the Buddha himself, although they are clear to differentiate between the Hindu Bhakti and guru worship. http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/khantipalo/wheel206.html However, He did lay down three forms of reverence for bhikkhus; wearing the robe with the right shoulder bared, ...


3

The merit cannot be transferred through anyway to the passed one or man to man. But the merit can be shared to the departed one and also man to man. In the Tirokuddo Sutta, has no mentioned that the merit can be transferred to passed one or others. in this Sutta, in the last verse, the word 'puñña's has mentioned but that is acquired by the donor himself. ...


3

I kinda agree, 20 years should be enough if you are serious. The problem is, not many people are that serious, so it takes them longer.


2

SGI, for example, describes itself as a "lay Buddhist organization". I'm not sure I'd want to call it orthodox Buddhist, though. Traditionally there might have been a split in lifestyle between monastery (and a literate life) and fields (and manual labour). I think I remember seeing a TV documentary with teenagers, monk-candidates, studying texts in a ...


2

The first paramita in Mahayana is paramita of generosity. And what generosity could we talk about if we are keeping our merit to ourselves? As many Buddhist practices, this transfer of merit thing works on multiple levels. One of them is prophylactics against spiritual materialism. You don't want to get caught up in the idea of accumulating anything for ...


2

What I have learned from Theravada tradition (based on a Buddha's discourse) is that you can only transfer merits to beings in the hungry ghost realm, if a relative of yours has passed away and you have reasons to believe he/she is in the ghost realm (manifestations, signs etc.*) you can burn food, incense, clothes or donate food and clothes to the sangha ...


2

According to the Theravadian Buddhist tradition, I find it difficult to fathom the principle of accumulating 'Merit' or 'Punya kamma', as well as the popular practice of transferring 'merits' to one's departed loved ones. Like many other things in Buddhist practices and rituals, 'Punya kamma' also has the hallmark of a vestigial remnant of Hinduism. ...


2

This originated in the observation that to rejoice in other successes was a virtuous deed. So if I did something well, in the Buddhist sense, I don't know, maybe I ordained into the sangha, I could send you a post card and you would be happy to know about it. At that point my merit lead to you gaining more merit. (Wikipedia said so, I don't have the link at ...


2

This is normal and even expected on very advanced stages of Vajrayana. Basically, as your meditation gets non-contrived, and your post-meditation awareness grows strong, the two converge. This is known as meditation of nonmeditation. Check out Lamp of Mahamudra by Tsele Natsok Rangdrol.


2

There is much material available that describes these practices such as https://thebuddhistcentre.com/system/files/groups/files/Triratna%20Resource%20Pack%20for%20Newcomers%20-%20texts.pdf Here is a brief summary https://thebuddhistcentre.com/text/what-triratna-buddhist-community The Triratna Buddhist Order and Community is a worldwide movement of ...


2

The Buddha and the Dharma are not very controversial, although there is some disagreement among the sects about how awesome the Buddha was (was he god-like or just a really great guy) SGI has dispensed with the ordained, monastic sangha. This probably was a result of history-- the split between the SGI organization and the Nichiren Shu sangha, probably not ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible