Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Postby Wayfarer » Wed Apr 16, 2014 3:32 am

My belief about the idea that beings karma literally 'creates the Universe' is that it comes from the necessity of denying 'the creator God' which is doctrinally forbidden to Buddhists for obvious reasons.

But I still think that the Buddha, at least as he is represented in the early texts, didn't have much to say about 'the origin of the Universe'. His talks always were directed at 'the origin of suffering', the factors which cause repeated rebirth time and time again. Whether the Universe has an origin or not, was one of the 'undetermined questions', as I recall it.

Later on, as Buddhist monks and philosophers debated questions of cosmology with the Brahmins and others, it became necessary to distinguish the Buddhist account of the origin of the Universe from their account. But there was no unanimity or settled orthodox view even amongst Hindu sages. There are numerous creation mythologies, including the interesting suggestion that the universe emerged from a 'single point' (bindu or cosmic egg) which is plainly suggestive of the 'big bang' idea (and long before anyone had radio-telescopes, too.)

The second point, regarding what if anything is 'beyond' the Big Bang, science itself can't say anything about that for the obvious reason that everything described as 'natural law' cannot have have existed before the so-called 'big bang' - as there was no 'before', because the event itself was the origin of time and causality, and so on.

And, in any case, all of that is purely speculative, none of it has much bearing on the work that practitioners have to attend to.
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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Postby Malcolm » Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:00 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Malcolm wrote: We all inhabit the same universe, the universe comes about because of our collective actions. It is as if we all build one house, but then we live on separate floors, using separate entrances.

If all beings inhabit the same universe,
Yet experience different 'realities' of different realms,
some pleasant, some torturous, and so on,
then what they experience cannot be the result of any sort of combined consciousness


I never said it was.

but rather, due to their own karma,


Yes.

each being experiences the same basic properties of an already existing physical universe in their own way


It already exists, but was brought into existence through the collective karma of all beings. Really, this is non-controversial and is explained in Abhidharma as well as Yogacara and Vajrayāna.
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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Postby monktastic » Wed Apr 16, 2014 6:06 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:...each being experiences the same basic properties of an already existing physical universe...


Without bringing the contentious issue of "observers" into this, it is rather well-accepted in standard QM that observable properties of the physical world do not have well-defined values prior to their measurement.

That is to say: while the idea of "already existing basic properties" is a fine approximation on most macroscopic scales (certain biological systems notwithstanding), current scientific theories posit no such thing about physical systems in general.

Just a minor heckle from the peanut gallery. Back to your regularly scheduled programming :tongue:.
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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Postby Andrew108 » Wed Apr 16, 2014 7:26 am

monktastic wrote: Without bringing the contentious issue of "observers" into this, it is rather well-accepted in standard QM that observable properties of the physical world do not have well-defined values prior to their measurement.


Do you have a reference for that?

monktastic wrote: That is to say: while the idea of "already existing basic properties" is a fine approximation on most macroscopic scales (certain biological systems notwithstanding), current scientific theories posit no such thing about physical systems in general.


What do you mean by 'physical system'?
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Postby Andrew108 » Wed Apr 16, 2014 7:38 am

Malcolm wrote:It already exists, but was brought into existence through the collective karma of all beings. Really, this is non-controversial and is explained in Abhidharma as well as Yogacara and Vajrayāna.


A term like collective karma is fundamentally useless. If you assert collective karma then you are asserting collective consciousness. It is a highly controversial idea.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:12 am

Andrew108 wrote:
Malcolm wrote:It already exists, but was brought into existence through the collective karma of all beings. Really, this is non-controversial and is explained in Abhidharma as well as Yogacara and Vajrayāna.


A term like collective karma is fundamentally useless. If you assert collective karma then you are asserting collective consciousness. It is a highly controversial idea.
I think you are confusing the use of the terminology. I do not believe Malcolm means collective karma in the vapid, new age, hippy sense but in the sense that say, for example, a house arises due to the collective karma of the builders, plumbers, electricians, etc... This does not in any way imply a collective consciousness though it does include a shared (collective) intention etc...
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Postby Gwenn Dana » Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:38 am

In my eyes it's really only a tautology. If karma causes that which reflects back on consciousness, since what is experienced as universe is that which reflects back on consciousness, then the universe arose on karma.
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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Postby Sönam » Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:56 am

jeeprs wrote:My belief about the idea that beings karma literally 'creates the Universe' is that it comes from the necessity of denying 'the creator God' which is doctrinally forbidden to Buddhists for obvious reasons.



This is because of a total non understanding of the Buddha Dharma ... Buddha Shakyamuni never denies "the created god" and never set any doctrinal interdictions.

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By understanding that any and all mental activity is meditation, you are freed from arbitrary divisions between formal sessions and postmeditation activity.
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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Postby Sönam » Wed Apr 16, 2014 10:01 am

Andrew108 wrote:Do you have a reference for that?


Just to observe than some are scotched to references ... what more can a reference bring? What would it changes with or without?

Sönam
By understanding everything you perceive from the perspective of the view, you are freed from the constraints of philosophical beliefs.
By understanding that any and all mental activity is meditation, you are freed from arbitrary divisions between formal sessions and postmeditation activity.
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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Postby Gwenn Dana » Wed Apr 16, 2014 10:16 am

When you "collect" twigs, you're getting a bundle, not one trunk.
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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Postby Andrew108 » Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:10 am

Sherab Dorje wrote:
Andrew108 wrote:
Malcolm wrote:It already exists, but was brought into existence through the collective karma of all beings. Really, this is non-controversial and is explained in Abhidharma as well as Yogacara and Vajrayāna.


A term like collective karma is fundamentally useless. If you assert collective karma then you are asserting collective consciousness. It is a highly controversial idea.
I think you are confusing the use of the terminology. I do not believe Malcolm means collective karma in the vapid, new age, hippy sense but in the sense that say, for example, a house arises due to the collective karma of the builders, plumbers, electricians, etc... This does not in any way imply a collective consciousness though it does include a shared (collective) intention etc...


He is saying that the universe is brought into being through the collective karma of all beings. Karma, like consciousness, doesn't exist outside of the skandhas. There is no collective karma. There is only 'individual' karma. So to say that there is collective karma (even as a convention of speech) is still an assertion of collective consciousness.

The only assertion worth making about karma (and it is limited in it's explanatory value) is that an individual's karma conditions how they see the world out there - how they react to the 'objective condition'. This 'objective condition' wasn't made bit by bit due to the karma of individual beings and neither was it made in one go due to a singular consciousness and neither was it made by a multitude of consciousness. So the model that Malcolm has posted as to how the universe forms is illogical.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Postby Andrew108 » Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:12 am

Sönam wrote:
Andrew108 wrote:Do you have a reference for that?


Just to observe than some are scotched to references ... what more can a reference bring? What would it changes with or without?

Sönam


Sorry Sönam, I don't understand what you mean.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Postby Gwenn Dana » Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:18 am

@Andrew: Me thinks there is a misunderstanding of "collective". Collective does mean you collect the pieces togehter which are dependently connected. You get a collection. It does not imply melting them down to some ether soup. You don't get mash.
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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Postby thigle » Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:57 am

Andrew108 wrote:
thigle wrote:
LTN wrote:If you follow vision with your own consciousness they become more and more solid ["solid" in contrast to "knowledge"] , like water becoming ice; ice is hard like a rock, and we think it is a real object [the reified-concepts "object" like "subject" are just the result of reified-conceptualisation/grasping, therefore everything seems to appear in that way in the modus of ignorance], we don 't think about water. It is the same when we always follow vision as objects; everything becomes sort of solid and that is our life [again and again .. but this has nothing to do with a reified "stream"]


But that should not prevent one from talking about science. The holographic principle in cosmology can be a nice metaphor as science in general. But it's just a metaphor in the context of our topic. And sometimes .. solid vision and it's "science" based on ignorance, appear like an distant echo of true nature. Maybe you're a trace-seeker, Andrew?


Hi Thigle,
Religious truth, like scientific truth, should be obvious. [iu]It should be a truth that stands by itself without recourse to faith.[/u] Dzogchen likewise with it's promise of rainbow body shouldn't need faith, it should be a factual aspect of the world. A part of nature that all can see as a truth regardless of their religious/philosophical backgrounds. Truth here means that which can be experienced by anyone without recourse to belief. Most of the time religions are amplifying subjectivity. It is then no wonder so-called 'realization' is an amplified/reified subjective experience only that has no relevance for others.


Maybe you're right in an subtle way. But in an less subtle way .. do you insist objectivity for knowledge/transparency/potentiality? Do you insist an access for consciousness to knowledge/transparency/potentiality? Maybe trough the described echoes? Or do you insist just: "Immediate-obvious knowledge .. for everyone"? But everyone ignores it in any possible way .. how can you deal with this fact? It's true, many so-called realizations are just reified subjective experiences .. but our life to. And just because of that reified subjective experiences you're talking, an objectice relevance plays an important role. But in fact, such a view/idea/wish doesn't matter naturaly from itself, because such a view/idea/wish is based on grasping, reified conceptualisation, consciouscness, ignorance. This is the beginning of the so-called "suble way", I'm talking about in the beginning, because the expiry of subjectivity and objectitiy is not an reified expiry of subjectivity and objectivity (like in reified subjective experiences).
Last edited by thigle on Wed Apr 16, 2014 12:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Postby Andrew108 » Wed Apr 16, 2014 12:09 pm

thigle wrote:Maybe you're right in an subtle way. But in an less subtle way .. do you insist objectivity for knowledge/transparency/potentiality? Do you insist an access for consciousness to knowledge/transparency/potentiality? Maybe trough the described echoes? Or do you insist just: "Immediate-obvious knowledge .. for everyone"? But everyone ignores it in any possible way .. how can you deal with this fact? It's true, many so-called realizations are just reified subjective experiences .. but our life to. And just because of that reified subjective experiences you're talking, an objectice relevance plays an important role. But in fact, such a view/idea/wish doesn't matter naturaly from itself, because such a view/idea/wish is based on grasping, reified conceptualisation, consciouscness, ignorance.


I am in agreement with a lot of what you say. I'll write some more latter this evening. There is a thread on psychotherapy and Dharma. In that thread Jeeprs posted that he saw realization and realized individuals as 'supernormal'. I would agree with this. That these individuals are highly integrated. One wonders how some one who constantly reified a subjective experience could be integrated at all?
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Apr 16, 2014 12:17 pm

Andrew108 wrote:He is saying that the universe is brought into being through the collective karma of all beings. Karma, like consciousness, doesn't exist outside of the skandhas. There is no collective karma. There is only 'individual' karma. So to say that there is collective karma (even as a convention of speech) is still an assertion of collective consciousness.

The only assertion worth making about karma (and it is limited in it's explanatory value) is that an individual's karma conditions how they see the world out there - how they react to the 'objective condition'. This 'objective condition' wasn't made bit by bit due to the karma of individual beings and neither was it made in one go due to a singular consciousness and neither was it made by a multitude of consciousness. So the model that Malcolm has posted as to how the universe forms is illogical.
If you take the literal and not the figurative meaning of the word karma then you don't need to complicate the matter to the degree that you are doing.

Anyway, beings do not exist isolated and in a vacuum, you know. There are interactions.

And what is this objective condition that you are referring to?

This "reaction" to the "objective condition" you are talking about is samskara, samskara is formed by karma but it is not karma per se.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Postby Malcolm » Wed Apr 16, 2014 12:32 pm

Andrew108 wrote:
Malcolm wrote:It already exists, but was brought into existence through the collective karma of all beings. Really, this is non-controversial and is explained in Abhidharma as well as Yogacara and Vajrayāna.


A term like collective karma is fundamentally useless. If you assert collective karma then you are asserting collective consciousness. It is a highly controversial idea.


It is a convention used to describe the aggregate of similar karmas belonging to individual beings. It is only in this sense that the term "collective" is used. It does not mean there is a collective consciousness, because of course, there is not.

Of course, when people do not take the time to study the fundamentals of Buddhadharma as presented in Abhidharma and so on, it is very likely they will misunderstand terms like "collective karma" to refer to karma generated by a collective consciousness.
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Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Postby Malcolm » Wed Apr 16, 2014 12:42 pm

Andrew108 wrote:
He is saying that the universe is brought into being through the collective karma of all beings. Karma, like consciousness, doesn't exist outside of the skandhas. There is no collective karma. There is only 'individual' karma. So to say that there is collective karma (even as a convention of speech) is still an assertion of collective consciousness.


Not so. For example, Vasubandhu goes the example of a soldier in an army. All who share in the goals of that army (killing enemies) share in the karma of every action undertaken by the members of that army times the number of people who belong to that that army, whether or not they directly engage in killing enemies.

This 'objective condition' wasn't made bit by bit due to the karma of individual beings and neither was it made in one go due to a singular consciousness and neither was it made by a multitude of consciousness. So the model that Malcolm has posted as to how the universe forms is illogical.


"The variety of the world is due to action"
-- Vasubandhu.

If you are a realist dualist Buddhist, i.e. you belong to one of the two lower tenet systems (and your views are very much in line with those apart from the fact that you reject rebirth, and thus in reality you are a Carvaka in your view), the differentiation in the world that you observe comes about because of the actions of intelligent creatures acting in the world.

The universe was formed by the multitude of consciousnessess in the following manner — to put it in more modern terms, it is the affliction in the consciousness of sentient beings that caused the instability in the proposed singularity at the observable beginning of this universe.

Until physics can model the general role of consciousness in the formation of the universe mathematically, its explanation of cosmology will always be incomplete and there will always be unanswered questions.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:02 pm

Malcolm wrote:(and your views are very much in line with those apart from the fact that you reject rebirth, and thus in reality you are a Carvaka in your view)
And so we arrive again at my earlier conclusion that the materialist view is neither new, nor modern, nor exclusively western and that the Buddha's view was irreconcilable with the materialist view then, and will continue to be so now. And, of course, that realistically it does not need to be reconciled (in general, though for materialist who are trying to be Buddhists it may need to be reconciled at an individual level, or one of the two views will need to be dropped).
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Postby Gwenn Dana » Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:21 pm

Who knows?
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