Author Topic: Conflicted about tradition  (Read 1991 times)


Conflicted about tradition
« on: May 09, 2012, 12:30:49 AM »
I'm very conflicted about which Buddhist path to take. I've been practicing in both Zen and Theravada. Both have their pro's and cons.
Most people tell me it's better to just practice one, but I feel like I'll be really missing out if I do that.
What do you guys think? Do any of you cross traditions?


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Re: Conflicted about tradition
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2012, 02:10:40 AM »
Welcome Greg,

Perhaps listing the pros and cons will help.


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Re: Conflicted about tradition
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2012, 09:30:39 AM »
Hi Greg,

Welcome to the forums.

Even the Buddha on his path explored many teachings. He explored each to the full depth it offered then concluded it did not deliver the release promised. Eventually he found his own path. That path has become perverted, distorted, twisted, misunderstood, ill-comprehended and thus we have hundreds of interpretations of "Buddhism", indeed the splits in the Sangha started soon after Buddha's death. Many of these interpretations are contradictory with each other and seemingly some of the basic teachings of the Buddha.

Many of these interpretations came about as Buddhism travelled and hit new shores and was merged with existing belief systems as a result.

The fruits of the practice are the yardstick to use IMHO. From what I see none of the traditions are producing the kinds of fruit the Buddha did with his Sangha (about 1 in 20 members were Arahants at his death), hence I suspect the Buddha's teaching that his path/teachings would remain intact for 500 years to be a truth. That is to say, the path is lost by the traditions. It's still there .. just not where people are walking.

Personally my root teacher Khandro Rinpoche is Tibetan and another major influence was Zen through Kobun Chino Roshi. Both are forms of Mahayana Buddhism but now my practice and approach is far more Therevadin, though not classically that either.

Some time soon someone will rediscover the ancient path and cut through the plethora of crap labelled Buddhism. It might be yourself, or Andrew or the girl next door.

"Buddhism: it's a D.I.Y thing" - find your way - not through reading too much or listening to too many teachers ... though that has a place for inspiration and techniques to an extent - mainly just by listening to your bodymind, seeing how you are in the world (with self-honesty), and using your discernment and your growing wisdom.


~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~


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Re: Conflicted about tradition
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2012, 10:34:15 AM »
Hello Poet,

Personally, I see traditions as comparable to persons: they have a character, they lay worth on different things, the one demands more kindness, the other more discipline. A difference between traditions and persons is, that the first are generally stronger and longer lived.

For teachers it is often hard to handle if the pupil does things form other traditions also: the situation is less predictable for the teacher. In my view, a good teacher should be able to handle unexpected things.
I do very different things, and I find that very enriching: vipassana mediation, dance, rowing, being a lousy housekeeper, praying with a peace pipe.

I do feel, that some traditions have conflicts with one another. Like some Gods say that they are the only one, and other gods feel they also exist.
Gods and traditions tend to make persons part of them, and have them take sides in the conflict they have. I try to stay clear from such conflicts. I see traditions more as part of the landscape that I walk through.

Indeed, I do not follow a path that some teacher or tradition has pointed out to me or has trodden. I just walk.
I see sharing - like here on the forum - as an important part in seeing where I am, and that helps to be safe.
I suppose that this attitude is possible after having seen a lot.

I hope this helps.



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