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What is the Point of Making a Division between What Is Genuine Buddhist and What Is Not

Tonight we prayed to the protectress Palden Lhamo, made a burnt offering to beings in the bardo and recited the chod text using sadhanas from the Bonpo traditions. There’s nothing non-Buddhist in these texts. How can we call a practice which generates loving kindness and compassion to all sentient beings Shamanistic?

After we make a burnt offering, we visualize that the beings are happy and satisfied. We pray for them to realize the primordial state of their mind which is enlightened from the beginning. We pray for them to attain Buddhahood. And once they become Buddha, we request them not to leave Samsara but stay here for the sake of sentient beings.

I felt sad every time I thought about prejudices and stereotypes against this great tradition. What is the point of making a division between what is genuine Buddhist and what is not? I do believe the real nature of Buddha mind knows no division. It’s the “self” that we hold onto which separates us from others, which makes us feel that we are better than others, that we are genuine and others are not. If we fall trap in this kind of division, there’s little hope that peace will exist in our mind, let alone talking about peace elsewhere in the world.

Yontan related a story that he was once asked whether he was a black Bon or white Bon. He said he didn’t know whether it was black or white. What he knows is that this lineage leads way to enlightenment.

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Nuankham #

    Buddha said that there is much more foolish people than wise people in this world. I am not saying that I am smart to have faith in Buddha but only that I want to live in a peaceful world where people are good to each other. And I also want that for future generations. Buddha’s teachings teach us towards that path. That’s my main reason of being a Buddhist.
    You should not be sad when thinking of some people’s prejudices. True, it’s easier said than done, but prejudices like these are the reason why we have to study hard and practice Buddha’s teachings. Sometimes we find these prejudices in the highest educated people (who hardly ever think about spiritual things)
    I think that in fighting these prejudices we need:
    1. right faith as stable as mt.Sumeru
    2. a huge reserve of loving kindness and mercy
    3. wisdom – because good but not wise people sometimes do harmful things
    I think you already possess these qualities and you’re also a devout practitioner. May your praying and offering help wipe away your sadness and people’s prejudices. People in this world communicate through their senses. This is also the way people judge things. Other people have to judge by seeing and perceiving what you do. They cannot see your thoughts or know your mind. I guess you have a heavy task of putting up with some people’s prejudices.
    About the “self” that causes division, what Ajarn Soraj told us in the lecture last Sunday is very good. I want to share a verse by Shantideva which I really like. I can’t remember the exact wording but it went something like this:
    All the happiness in this world is caused by wishing others to be happy.
    And all the sorrow in this world is caused by wishing oneself to be happy.
    which I find really true. Sorry that my comment is very long but this is what I really like to share.

    November 15, 2007
  2. Tsamdrol #

    I’m a grade 8 student.
    Since my classmates know I’m interested in Tibetan culture and Vajrayana Buddhism ,they think I’m a black magician.(haha…)
    In my free time ,I pray in Tibetan and meditate,my classmates don’t know about Tibetan Buddhism ,That’s make they think I’m using black magic.They think I’m weird or crazy.Some classmates avoid me because they think I can use black magic on them.

    I think a lot of people don’t understand Tibetan Buddhism.They think Tibetan Practice is animistic.

    November 16, 2007

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