From Braarvig's trans. of Aksayamatinirdesasutra page 566...
Further, reverend Saradvatiputra, the bodhisattvas' way traversed alone is also imperishable.
What then is the way traversed alone?
On the way traversed alone the bodhisattvas are not dependent on any other. The way traversed alone: alone, without a second, without a companion, the bodhisattva puts on armour for the sake of incomparable complete awakening. With determination in which his own vigour, strength and power are included, beyond situations created by others, autonomous, he distinguishes himself in power by his own power, thus he is armoured in strong armour:
"Whatever living beings will attain, that I will attain; what all the holy ones and all the bodhisattvas who have recently entered the way will attain, that I will attain.
Generosity is not my companion, I am rather the companion of generosity; morality, tolerance, vigour, meditation and insight are not my companions, I am rather the companion of morality, tolerance, vigour, meditation and insight; I am not to be served by the perfections, the perfections are rather to be served by me.
I am not to be served by the means of attraction, the means of attraction are rather to be served by me; I am not to be served by all the good moments of existence [dharmas], all the good moments of existence are rather to be served by me.
By the said moments of existence I will wake up to the incomparable complete awakening by insight connected to the moment of thought, without a companion, autonomous, beyond situations created by others, alone, without a second, established without a companion on the adamantine place on earth, having subdued the Evil One with his forces and army."
Thus he wakes up.
This, reverend Saradvatiputra, is called the bodhisattvas' imperishable way traversed alone.submitted by lvl_5_laser_lotus
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This is a question that gets asked of various religions, but it's usually theistic ones, since they're often geo-centric yet the deity in question should be universal. But, in my reading, it seems rarely asked of Buddhism.
Obviously, the aliens would also be trapped in samsara just as we are, and have the same potential for enlightenment. Would we expect to find records of alien Buddhas, assuming they were of comparable intelligence, if not greater, to our own? Could aliens be the devas known in Buddhist thought (or, if you like, some of them)?
Any other thoughts you have would be welcomed.submitted by NewLeaf37
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Hello r/Buddhism. My wife and I have started on a spiritual journey of understanding and enlightenment to better ourselves. I need to give you some background before I can ask my question. Up until a few months ago, I was a pastor for a non-denominational ministry. After have some health issues and issues with the other leaders of the ministry, I left. Let it be known that I did try to resolve these issues, however, they become very belligerent and hostile towards me, I chose to leave. Anyway, my wife and I began seeking in a way we have never tried before. Thinking about how my grandfather lead his spiritual life (he was very spiritual and wise when it came to many different religions), I wanted to explore how he came to the place he was in. Unfortunately, he passed in 2003, so I can not ask him for guidance. I know I can never be like him or have the same journey he had.
We decided to head out on our own, and try to get as far as we can. We don't call ourselves Christians. For one, it has become a "dirty word". Christianity has become so sullied, we feel that it has become negative. Second, we believe in God and Christ, but we do not believe Jesus is God. We also do not believe the Christianity is the answer. I do know that my grandfather would say that it doesn't matter if you are Christian, Buddhist, Jewish, ect. It is the understanding of your spirituality. My dad (his son) and my Godmother (grandfather's best friend and secretary) would always tell me that he had such a respect and understanding for all religions and faiths, that no one has ever matched it. I was put through 10 years of Catholic school, only to leave angry. I grew up, found a calling with my previous ministry, went through the training, and became a pastor. My Godmother is Catholic and very active in the Catholic community. When she asked why I didn't return to the Catholic church, I told her of my issues and she wholeheartedly understood it... My wife was raised in a household with a drunk and abusive father, who blamed God for the death of his brother, mother, mental handicap of his sister, and drunken abuse of by his own father. But he would get extremely angry if someone came against Christianity. Her mother raised her children with the idea that everything is of the devil unless it comes from the grandparents, who are very religious, or the church. She stopped doing this when my wife was around 14, but it caused a very sheltered and confusing life, spiritually. My stopped caring about a lot when it came to religion. She just started seeking again around 4 years ago. Now she is on this path with me.
We want to learn about all faiths and get an understanding of all faiths. We have both been attracted to Buddhism and would like to start our spiritual journey with Buddhism. I apologize if this seems insulting to many, but I can explain myself better if I need to. I do not mean to insult. I only want to grow... I would like to know if anyone has any recommendations of books or questions to ask? Should I find someone in my area to speak with? I have a copy of "Living Buddha, Living Christ" that I am beginning to read, and my wife has found a small book of Buddhist teachings. We want to better ourselves. We want to have a better respect and understanding of all faiths. In I way, I want to have a glimpse of my grandfather's spiritual journey. I guess the best way to put it is: Where do we start?
If anyone has any questions or needs clarification on anything, please ask. It is a lot for me to express in a small space, so I may be confusing. Once again, I do apologize if I have insulted anyone. It is not my intention.
Thank You Allsubmitted by RavenWing88
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Question: Discernment / Understanding vs. Focus / Concentration During Meditation (?n?p?nasati Sutta)
Hello friends, I have a question regarding what is meant by 'discerns' (or 'understands' or 'knows' in some translations) in the ?n?p?nasati Sutta.
The ?n?p?nasati Sutta (P?li) or ?n?p?nasm?ti S?tra (Sanskrit), "Breath-Mindfulness Discourse," is a discourse that details the Buddha's instruction on using awareness of the breath (anapana) as an initial focus for meditation.
From the text (tr. Thanissaro Bhikkhu):
" Breathing in long, he discerns, 'I am breathing in long'; or breathing out long, he discerns, 'I am breathing out long.'  Or breathing in short, he discerns, 'I am breathing in short'; or breathing out short, he discerns, 'I am breathing out short.'  He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to the entire body.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to the entire body.'  He trains himself, 'I will breathe in calming bodily fabrication.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out calming bodily fabrication.'
I have read somewhere that concentration during meditation can be counter-intuitive and can actually work to constrict the mind. I feel that the key to mindfulness is to 'discern' that one is breathing rather than to focus on the breath.
Could anyone help me understand this better? During meditation, I tend to focus and concentrate on breath, sensations, and mental activity. My progress is slow lately and I'm looking for some insight into proper practice. Am I correct in thinking that 'understanding' is the middle way between focus and non-focus? Should I simply view 'understanding' as passive and 'concentration' as active? Am I being too critical about this?
Thank you. May you be free from suffering.submitted by du__ub
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