Is there room to err in Buddhism?

  • Is there room to err in Buddhism?

    Posted by BodhiSocrates on July 16, 2022 at 4:07 pm

    On the Student Pathways page, I read this:

    Commit not a single misdeed,
    Cultivate a wealth of virtue,
    Completely tame your mind,
    This is Buddha’s teaching.

    —Buddha Shakyamuni

    I respect the ideal, but I cannot believe yet that it is possible. How can perfectionism be compatible with self-compassion and compassion for all sentient beings? It seems to me that these two notions contradict each other (with logical appropriateness).


    tsunmajamyangdonma replied 1 year, 3 months ago 3 Members · 8 Replies
  • 8 Replies
  • danieleminns

    July 23, 2022 at 8:27 am

    I suppose we are being given the ideal, something to strive for?

    • BodhiSocrates

      July 23, 2022 at 4:17 pm

      Are you (Daniele) or anyone else able to provide textual evidence from Buddhist canon as to that theory?

      • danieleminns

        July 27, 2022 at 1:46 pm

        I found some relevance to the conversation in this interview:

      • BodhiSocrates

        July 27, 2022 at 2:01 pm

        Great find! So it appears the intentional essence of the teaching is to be meaningful to oneself and to others. In reasoning, it does look tough to be perfect all the time as well. But the concern may persist regardless as to what constitutes ‘meaningfulness’. Sentential meaning? Introspective meaning? Bodily meaning? What sort of ‘meaning’ does Buddhism espouse?

      • danieleminns

        July 27, 2022 at 3:07 pm

        I’m not sure what you mean by ‘meaning’ 🙂 Someone more advanced might be able to respond to that. As I said, I am a beginner, but from my learnings so far it seems the main thing is

        to wish to leave the endless cycle of rebirths (samsara) by practicing dharma, and achieve Buddahood in order to benefit all sentient beings.

        To this end, achieve the realisation of ‘emptiness’ and dependent arising, and develop ultimate compassion. To stop self cherishing and grasping at the self as an independently arising entity.

        I imagine there are courses on here that will explain it much better than I can!

      • BodhiSocrates

        July 31, 2022 at 2:22 pm

        Hey Danielle,

        I was referring to the use of ‘meaningful’ in the link you shared where Kalu Rinpoche shares his thoughts. He says the following:

        “Therefore I tell my students
        not to be perfect
        but to be meaningful to themselves
        and meaningful to others
        I find that very important”

        I believe some vagueness in semantics and reasoning exists here from the analytic philosophy perspective.

  • danieleminns

    July 24, 2022 at 8:09 am

    Hello! I was only suggesting it as an idea – I’m not an authority at all, so maybe best to ask someone more knowledgeable

  • tsunmajamyangdonma

    August 17, 2022 at 9:10 pm

    If we consider that one’s pure aspiration and intention is what determines whether a deed is a good one or not … this phrase really is emphasizing the need for knowing one’s mind.

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