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Everything posted by just_me

  1. Tashi Delek! Someone once asked me about giving back genyen vows. I referred the person to their lama, but i have wondered about what the reply was and have never quite dared ask before. Everyone assumes the person asking is just saying "someone asked me" out of embarrassment or something and that they are the "someone" on whose behalf they are asking. Not so in this case, but... I wonder about people who are all enthusiastic and take the 5 vows and then find one to be something they can not, at that time at least, keep. Also, it can be encouraged for those seeking ordination to take them with the additional stipulation of celibacy. If that person then decides that they do not wish to be ordained, is it the same process or not... I always feel i know things until someone asks me questions! Thank you!!!! Helen
  2. Are you saying that all of the past life experiences related by realized beings are allegorical? I may not be following you. Sorry if i make bad assumptions. I don't know any western Buddhists who take it as a metaphor or allegory. Perhaps it is more common where you are. I am a westerner and was raised by a Christian family. The Eastern approach is different, as you say. It also makes much more sense to me (or i suppose i would not be posting here ). It is like those laws of physics i was taught many years ago; conservation of mass and energy and cause-and-effect. They are very basic rules, at least they were when i went to university. Reincarnation and karma seem to agree with these. It is not a foreign notion to me. I reached this conclusion by reasoning. I don't see the two as conflicting. As to relating this to the topic, we are all here for a long, long time. We get conditioned to think that this life is "it." That puts a lot of pressure on us to "do everything now!" and to think that the long way around is "wasting time." In the long run, to do things correctly based on real wisdom and compassion takes a longer period of time than one lifetime, according to what i have read. Based on my experience, jumping in and trying to help without enough information and training tends to do more harm than good and takes a long time to fix. Middle way. It's all about baby steps. Do what you can, but don't neglect the "real" work. As Lama.la said. The same with the teachings. Accept what you can for now, test the rest. Don't dismiss them, just let it sit for a while and stick with what makes sense to you at this time. Ask questions and observe. And look for why you fight that point of teaching maybe. I have done and will continue to do that. And, no a concept is not a metaphor. Very different things. Metaphors are comparisons of concepts, i suppose. A concept is just an idea or thought, without the arguments of why or how. Metaphors are attempts to explain by comparison. The use of one concept to explain another. As i understand it.
  3. depends on whether or not you have the wisdom to know what to do now to help them for the future, perhaps. If it will not lead them to freedom from suffering, to enlightenment, is it helping? Makes them feel better, makes you feel better, but is it help? Is it really compassion? I am talking to myself as much as anyone else here, as i struggle with this. I am torn between really wanting to do a long retreat and feeling that i should get out and be actively among folks who suffer. I also await the reply. Perhaps the answer is in the middle...
  4. LOL!!! I just noticed the forums say i am a thinker (i know the ratings and all, it just seems really funny to me at the moment). Think too much, probably. Ah, yes, question related to mowing and such... So, mowing. My parents just put "grub-x" on the lawn. I cried my eyes out. Grub killer. Lovely. And then rejoice that they will be dead. Even better. *sigh* They have no clue and i can tell them nothing, i am their daughter and that limits it. My question is not about that. It is about accidental kiliing/injuring or even bugs i never knew got hurt or killed. Most of the parts of the action are absent, so i assume the result is less strong? I have never said so many mani's before in my life. Probably good for me on that level. Anyway, i am wondering the results of the maimings and killings i don't even realize happen due to my actions. And the ones that happen where i never even saw the bug in question. Thanks, Lama.la!
  5. um.... what soul? there's a permanent partless thing called soul hanging out? So much for impermanence... sorry if it sounds harsh, but this really sounds like nonsense, as Lama.la said.... at least to my ignorant mind that has no concept of an ultimate soul or harmony or sound and thinks those are still dualistic terms...
  6. The Geshe at the FPMT center i used to be part of would not perform them, but would bless the couples after they were married. It was explained by another member that marriage creates attachment (therefore suffering and all the rest), which he did not want to be part of creating. Or words to that effect. It is late here and i am tired, but i know that he did not take part in them. My Tibetan wedding (some time ago and long over) had a couple of monks in attendance. They basically said some prayers after the civil ceremony was done, but did not take part in it. Tibetans don't do the wedding thing the way westerners do. It is a different type of thing. A whole other topic... The cultural differences and contexts can be useful sometimes. Not really important here, i don't think. Did lead to some interesting disagreements, though. Ah, the level of misunderstandings never ceased to amaze me... The link was interesting. Thanks for providing it. I had no idea such a document existed.
  7. My own little view of words. With non-Buddhists especially, there is confusion among definitions of words we use all the time such as compassion, kindness and niceness. What they tend to think is compassion or kindness is something that helps them or makes them feel better (either directly or indirectly). I do not think that kindness or compassion necessarily involves the other person feeling good. What is helpful, what teaches, what is the kindest/most compassionate thing may not feel good for that person at all. At least not in that moment. So, in relationships, too, what is honest, best, really kind, may not feel good or be taken as such by the other person at that time. That's where the skilfull means come in, i think. I am not particularly good with those sometimes. I also do not have the insight or wisdom to know what is truly best to do, so i just do my best to not harm. All of that talk about definitions holds true for the word detachment, too. Talking with a girlfriend or boyfriend about detachment would require some really careful wording. Not just saying detached, because that has similar meaning to "apathy" with most people. And, it should be understood early in the relationship before expectations develop too much. At least i think that is part of what went wrong in mine the last couple of times...
  8. I found this confusing, so i googled, since i was sure the insect/insecticide thing was probably a misquote somehow (it seemed to say the same thing twice). I found a lot that worries me (and makes me glad i eat homegrown!) and the following from www.syngenta.com/en/downloads/Bt_sweet_corn_update_3-04_final.pdf It says it has the following properties: "A synthetic Bt gene (Cry1Ab), which was derived from the common soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis, widely used as a biological control agent against various insect pests. The presence of the Bt protein (Cry1Ab) protects the plant from insect damage. ¦#149; A marker gene, (called pat), which gives the plant a tolerance to phosphinothricine, the active ingredient of glufosinate ammonium herbicides. This gene is derived from the soil bacterium Streptomyces viridochromogenes. The herbicide tolerance gene allowed selection of transformed plants in the development stage and although it is present in plants, glufosinate ammonium herbicides are not registered for use with Bt sweet corn. Bt-11 insect-protected sweet corn produces the Bt protein in its leaves, silks, stalks and ears throughout its life, enabling it to provide season-long protection against these devastating insect pests. " That was just the factual part. There were plenty of other sites that gave the downside. I am sorry you must now contend with this also. I don't suppose they give the cows hormones there, do they? Everything is messed with here. Ah, the USA. Leading the way in mutations. The fact that it is derived from a form of strep bothers me. At least, that's what it looks like to me. It seems to say that it is giving a tolerance to a herbicide that isn't even used on sweet corn. What gets me is that New Zealand has permitted it. They are very against this sort of thing. The insect resistance means that the bacteria in the corn leaves, etc. that is ingested by the corn borers is toxic and kills them. More nasty karma of killing, too. It just gets better. Herbicide resistance is so weed killers don't kill it. I didn't see anything about isecticides in what i read. Just herbicides and insects. The plant sort of becomes the insecticide. Thank you for posting this. Good information.
  9. You're welcome. There is a mantra that can be said in the morning to bless the feet (om kraytsara ghana hum hri soha). I have heard it can be used for other modes of transport as well (mentioned during a retreat with Lama Zopa Rinpoche, but not by him, i think. Probably Ven. René). Would it be useful for lawn mowers? I can't water 3 acres of grass first. My dad would kill me (bad for the machine) and no hose that long! However, manis are definitely do-able. More reasons for the folks to laugh at the bug rescuer. Cool. 8) Thank you.
  10. Tashi Delek! Ok, i haven't had to do either of those things very much in a while, but now i have to help out with mowing and gardening where i am staying. I am concerned about killing bugs and other small beings when i do these things, especially mowing. No matter how slow i go, i am sure somebody gets cut up. What should i do? Thank you! me
  11. Thanks, Lama. Of course, having said all that, i still sleep with my stuffed bear Milui Rin. His name is Elvish (actually Sindarin... Tolkien fan) for loving remembrance. Gift from my sister. My opinion has also been influenced by experience, so don't think that Dharma is the only factor. After three divorces and other disasters, i figured it was best for me, my family and the entire male population to give it a rest. It took a long time for me to figure out i was ok on my own. I still think about it sometimes. But then i have a long talk with married friends and family and remember the down side. This works for me. For others, maybe having a partner is something they are good at or handle better than i did. The trick is the whole attachment side, which i could never get past. Ok, i also made some really bad and stupid choices. In the words of my mom: "go ahead and save the universe, just don't keep marrying them!" Good thing mom has a sense of humor. This topic got me thinking about historical examples. Wasn't Marpa married? As i recall he was and his wife interceded with him about Milarepa. Stray thought.
  12. For me, it is about the expectations of such a relationship. Mine and everyone else's. To be the partner of one is to somehow put them ahead or prefer them above others. Love songs are full of references to giving everything for this one person. I just can't prefer one being that much. The attachment is just a karmic manifestation and not real in any substantial sense. And, i can't quite believe that happiness is caused by some other person out there. Even one for whom i have great affection and attachment. That would actually seem to make them a greater source of suffering in my eyes. Again, this is all just my opinion and why i decided not to look around for such things. If all beings are my kind mothers, than to pick one seems impossible to me. Everyone is different and some can balance that out. I just can't. I am trying to get less attached and i find the whole relationship thing just feeds every habit and ma.rig.pa (what is english, Lama?) that i am trying to destroy. Be well.
  13. Hello, Lama.la! Ah, the "except in your head" thing again! Lama, for ngöndro, then, it would be the second one, i think, yes? That practice is structured for the other visualization, although i imagine it could... hmmm... I'll have to study that a bit. If ever school ends i will also chat with the Lama giving me the instructions. I just find western terms to be generic somehow. Then i mess myself up. They are all Dharma. Yes, this i know. Different styles for different beings with different preferences and such. I just... it's been a long year. :? Part of me wonders at the necessity of going there and doing this at all. But, i think that direct contact with a teacher in person is probably the thing i lack most and perhaps something i should work on. I have had such obstacles around this... Ah, karma. So, Lama, once that connection is established, is it better not to do what i am doing? You know the other junk in my head. At some point i will return to the original lineage, i think, anyway. (Darth Vader voice: It is your destiny. ) I know that. You know that. I'm just not there yet. Better to not jump too deep elsewhere? I have strong connections here, too. Ah, there i go again. Silly me, always making mountains out of mustard seeds and seeing as existent that which is merely arising... I don't want to do the typical Western "Lama shopping" thing. I am not in this to do that, to jump around so i can claim lots of teachers or even lots of teachings. But i think that having a physically present teacher is important somehow. So, thoughts on that? You don't have to (and won't, i know) say what i should do. Just, in general, which is better: solo study based on teachings received (or distance learning if communication is available) or having a teacher with whom one can sit and talk. The texts favor the latter, i think. Thank you. I know i am long-winded, but this is an important topic, i think, and one that i also get asked about sometimes. Besides, everyone knows Americans talk too much! Thank you again! me
  14. Well, that topic seems broad and vague. Sorry for that. Here's a hypothetical situation (and we all know that this means that it is my experience, but i am trying to generalize to include other similar instances). Let's say someone has a teacher who has pretty much always been there for them and with whom they feel closeness, but they (for whatever reasons) become geographically distant from each other. The person also has some affinity for another of the lineages and the only local accessible Lama is of that other lineage. So, she goes there and receives teachings and instruction there. The closeness and connection with the other teacher is very much intact (except physically, obviously). However, when doing practices for this "new" (to her) lineage, she is advised that the central figure should be the teacher from whom the teaching came (which makes a certain amount of sense). Some of the visualizations (refuge tree for example) are quite different, so it is important to follow the new instructions. The central figure in these visualizations is called the root guru. If she has always pretty much considered the first person her root guru, how does she reconcile that? Have one for each lineage or have the new one be the "root of this teaching" guru? I do have a way of making things complicated, don't i? Does that make any sense? I am pretty much specifically referring to basic practice visualizations, like the refuge tree, here. With implied questions on Lamas and Root Guru and the use of that term in visualizations (basic ones, like refuge and merit field stuff). Thank you! me
  15. Hi! Fairly new at the forums. Hope i am not interrupting anything. I just had a couple of thoughts. The hardest part for me is really identifying the motivation. On the surface i can convince myself that i am doing whatever i am doing or not doing whatever i am choosing not to do to help the other person. But... Always there is a but! If i follow things around enough it usually comes back to being about me. I can say that i am not eating meat out of compassion for my kind mothers, but is it that or because i would feel bad if i did and dislike feeling bad? It is like when i hear people talking about their old pets who have recently been euthanized because the owner "didn't want them to have to suffer anymore." I tend to think that it is the owner who didn't want to feel bad about the animal suffering. It's so hard, at least with my messy mind to even really see why i am doing something. I just try to weed out the obvious and try to think about others more at this point. I am easily distracted by shiny objects. About the subject name. This has interested me. Correct me if i am wrong, but no one can be responsible for another's reactions, only for their own actions. The other person's reactions pretty much are their own reponsibility, right? Thanks!
  16. Hi Lama and everybody, I have been given myriad answers to this one, even by the same person :? , so i want to get your opinion, although, based on past talks i probably know your answer. Whenever and wherever possible, i do not eat meat. However, my parents are not vegetarian and gets offended if i am there for dinner and do not eat what is fixed. They are very much the american farm family. I have gotten around it by taking whatever i think is the smallest acceptable amount and praying for the poor animal. I tried explaining about being vegetarian, but they (at least my parents, not my siblings) are unwilling to change anything. I tried not eating the meat part of the meal and my mother cried. I get all confused about how to accommodate my wish not to consume the flesh of my kind mothers and to follow other vows that deal with accepting what is offered me. So, Lama, to offend my parents seems a worse offense against vows i hold in such cases somehow. And they have kicked me out of the family and declared me dead to them before. I don't want that to happen because then any shot of creating connections between them and Dharma is gone and i am pretty much the only Buddhist around here. Also, if they develop anger at Dharma thinking that i am ungrateful because of it, that is not so good, either. I would rather take the negative karma of eating the meat than have them turn on the Dharma. I think i am complicating it too much, but what else is new! They are still holding grudges that i refuse to go on family fishing outings. If they knew i didn't catch fish as a child because i was off liberating worms they would be really upset! Thanks, Lama. Oh, and about slaughter houses, the videos will do it, but the smell is what really got me. Raised in farm country where lots of people do their own. Not pleasant. At all.
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