the stink of traditions

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  • clyde
    • Jun 2024

    the stink of traditions

    Originally posted by disastermouse
    The behavior by the mods of that forum have forever turned me away from Tibetan Buddhism and Tibetan Buddhists. I no longer even read Tibetan Buddhist books or scriptures of any kind because no one from the Tibetan community has reigned in the bigotry on that site.
    As Zennists, we understand the phrase “the stink of Zen” and have all either suffered from it at one time (or even now!) or seen it. I think all traditions have their equivalent. Some months ago, I attempted to initiate a thread on E-sangha to discuss this – but it was immediately deleted. Here is what I posted:
    The phrase “the stink of Zen” is sometimes used to describe someone or something. The phrase has been used, described and defined by many Zennists and non-Zennists. We know what it means, and we sometimes properly use the phrase to describe a post that reeks of Zen.

    I wonder, do other traditions “stink”? Is there a “stink of Theravada”? Or a “stink of Varja”? And what would that mean? Or is there a tradition whose sh*t don’t stink?
    The behavior that disastermouse has observed, that I have observed, and that others have observed is, I think, the ‘stink of Varja’ and just as we would not want Zen judged on the basis of someone who is exhibiting the ‘stink of Zen’, we should not judge Varjayana on the basis of those who ‘stink of Varja’.

    I am not well-versed in Varjayana, but I have not read a Varja text nor heard a teaching given by an established Varjayana teacher that displays the arrogance I sense in some Varja students. Let us not dismiss Varjayana because of the conduct of some followers.

    Do no harm,
    clyde
  • roky
    Member
    • Jul 2008
    • 311

    #2
    Re: the stink of traditions

    yeah, it can all stink, having been around the 3 schools -- and before that, hindu stuff(ananda village, swami kryananda -- muktananda, sri chinmoy) -- but i assume you mean the "look at my enlightenment" stink -- not the "love me and die" stink as in osel tendzin, a lot more serious stuff

    anything that involves some kind of "guru yoga", as in vajryana, is going to be ripe for the more serious abuse, cause of the god/mortal power differential -- you know the old thing about not putting any head above your own -- and anytime acquisition of "powers" are part of the deal, same thing

    hey clyde, how's sacramento? -- lived there for years, worked on skid row with the sacramento singlemen's selfhelp group, probably now long gone, organized for the california homemaker's association, ran a program called s.t.e.p.s., and another called drydock(alchohol related) -- always loved the trees

    gassho, bob
    "no resistance"
    thaddeus golas

    Comment

    • Jinho

      #3
      Re: the stink of traditions

      Hi all,

      As I have read it in various medieval zen texts, I believe that the "stink of zen" refers to radiating a personal sort of glow after one's first kensho experience and one runs around basking in the Oneness of It All (with many capital letters). Rather like the glow of Falling In Love. In the texts I read it seemed to be a rather affectionate term with a kindly :roll: and :wink:

      However, this is just a side note to your posts.

      gassho,
      rowan
      reliably petty minded at all times

      Comment

      • disastermouse

        #4
        Re: the stink of traditions

        Originally posted by roky

        anything that involves some kind of "guru yoga", as in vajryana, is going to be ripe for the more serious abuse, cause of the god/mortal power differential -- you know the old thing about not putting any head above your own -- and anytime acquisition of "powers" are part of the deal, same thing.
        This line really resonated with me. It's a large part of why the TB path puts me off. I've never been fond of 'arguments from authority'. I'm so fucking punk-rock! /self-deprecation

        Comment

        • Aswini
          Member
          • Apr 2008
          • 108

          #5
          Re: the stink of traditions

          Coming from a Theravadin background, a universally respected monk (ajahn brahm) once joked that theravadins are sometime "terror-vadins". He was alluding to the view some Theravadins have that they are the school that follows the original teachings and precepts and as such are............"orginal". Basically the monk was saying, yes the practice is pure, but just keep to the practice without getting ur ego getting all puffed up.

          The above term might have sounded odious if it had not come from a well loved monk.

          Comment

          • Keishin
            Member
            • Jun 2007
            • 471

            #6
            Re: the stink of traditions

            In my experience, the use of the term 'the stink of zen' would be the equivalent to the 'holier than thou' used in Christian/secular context.
            my two cents

            Comment

            • Dainin
              Member
              • Sep 2007
              • 380

              #7
              Re: the stink of traditions

              Originally posted by Keishin
              In my experience, the use of the term 'the stink of zen' would be the equivalent to the 'holier than thou' used in Christian/secular context.
              my two cents
              That's my understanding as well. That makes 4 cents, Keishin.

              Best,
              Keith

              Comment

              • Dosho
                Member
                • Jun 2008
                • 5784

                #8
                Re: the stink of traditions

                Make it 6!

                Comment

                • Bansho
                  Member
                  • Apr 2007
                  • 532

                  #9
                  Re: the stink of traditions

                  Hi Clyde,

                  Originally posted by Clyde
                  I wonder, do other traditions “stink”? Is there a “stink of Theravada”? Or a “stink of Varja”? And what would that mean? Or is there a tradition whose sh*t don’t stink?
                  What is a 'tradition'? Is it anything apart from the actions of those people who practice(d) it in the past, present and future? I don't think so. Tradition which isn't lived out is just an ideal, a dry concept which neither stinks nor doesn't stink.

                  Originally posted by Clyde
                  I am not well-versed in Varjayana, but I have not read a Varja text nor heard a teaching given by an established Varjayana teacher that displays the arrogance I sense in some Varja students. Let us not dismiss Varjayana because of the conduct of some followers.
                  Yes, I agree completely with that.

                  Gassho
                  Ken
                  ??

                  Comment

                  • disastermouse

                    #10
                    Re: the stink of traditions

                    Originally posted by Kenneth
                    Hi Clyde,

                    Originally posted by Clyde
                    I wonder, do other traditions “stink”? Is there a “stink of Theravada”? Or a “stink of Varja”? And what would that mean? Or is there a tradition whose sh*t don’t stink?
                    What is a 'tradition'? Is it anything apart from the actions of those people who practice(d) it in the past, present and future? I don't think so. Tradition which isn't lived out is just an ideal, a dry concept which neither stinks nor doesn't stink.

                    Originally posted by Clyde
                    I am not well-versed in Varjayana, but I have not read a Varja text nor heard a teaching given by an established Varjayana teacher that displays the arrogance I sense in some Varja students. Let us not dismiss Varjayana because of the conduct of some followers.
                    Yes, I agree completely with that.

                    Gassho
                    Ken
                    I call bullshit on this. The teachers should be reigning in this behavior - and whoever gave Namdrol teaching credentials should definitely have his head checked.

                    Comment

                    • clyde

                      #11
                      Re: the stink of traditions

                      Kenneth; By “tradition” I mean the living practice in addition to doctrinal views. By ‘stink’ I mean cause suffering. It’s easier to see actions as causing suffering (stink), but concepts may ‘stink’ in so far as they lead to actions which cause suffering.

                      disastermouse; Does the bullsh*t stink Seriously, I agree that Buddhist teachers of all traditions have a responsibility to teach their students Right Speech, but it is the student who is responsible for their speech and actions. Regarding Namdrol, I do not know who his teachers are and if they are aware of his conduct. My view (that we should not dismiss a tradition because of the conduct of a follower) is unchanged even if his teachers are aware and approve. Teachers are followers too and so I would not dismiss Buddhism because of the actions of one or even a few Buddhists. What matters to me is what Buddhism, as I understand and practice, does for me.

                      Do no harm,
                      clyde


                      p.s: Bob, it’s August in Sacramento, so it’s HOT. We moved here about 8 years ago from Alameda and live along the Sacramento River in the ‘Little Pocket’ area, about 15 minutes south of downtown.

                      Comment

                      • chicanobudista
                        Member
                        • Mar 2008
                        • 864

                        #12
                        Re: the stink of traditions

                        Originally posted by clyde
                        Regarding Namdrol, I do not know who his teachers are and if they are aware of his conduct.
                        Maybe he will pop in and tell us. :mrgreen: I know that N visits this site and reads the posts. Heck, he might be even be a member. :P
                        paz,
                        Erik


                        Flor de Nopal Sangha

                        Comment

                        • disastermouse

                          #13
                          Re: the stink of traditions

                          Originally posted by chicanobudista
                          Originally posted by clyde
                          Regarding Namdrol, I do not know who his teachers are and if they are aware of his conduct.
                          Maybe he will pop in and tell us. :mrgreen: I know that N visits this site and reads the posts. Heck, he might be even be a member. :P
                          Yeah, I saw him bust you in the thread on e-sangha...

                          It's actually what brought me here.

                          I wouldn't mind him posting here - he'd be at the same level as the rest of us.

                          Comment

                          • chicanobudista
                            Member
                            • Mar 2008
                            • 864

                            #14
                            Re: the stink of traditions

                            Originally posted by disastermouse
                            Yeah, I saw him bust you in the thread on e-sangha...
                            :mrgreen:

                            He didn't answer my question, though. Ah. Well.
                            paz,
                            Erik


                            Flor de Nopal Sangha

                            Comment

                            • disastermouse

                              #15
                              Re: the stink of traditions

                              Originally posted by chicanobudista
                              Originally posted by disastermouse
                              Yeah, I saw him bust you in the thread on e-sangha...
                              :mrgreen:

                              He didn't answer my question, though. Ah. Well.
                              He rarely does - he uses contempt as a subterfuge to avoid it.

                              Comment

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