Cross Buddhist Upaya

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Cross Buddhist Upaya

Postby kindergarden » Wed Dec 25, 2013 6:28 pm

I have taught several subjects in grade school (3rd-12th) and some college classes in math and psychology. I have studied Zen and other Buddhism traditions for 40 years. I confess that most of that has been without a physical teacher. As a result I am a bit eccentric. People that know me in the chat might agree with that. In any case, it is time to air out my idiosyncratic version of "dawning" and test it.

The learning theory most precious to me is called "multiple intelligences," by Howard Gardener. Instead of the 1 or 2 types of intelligences that are typically focused on in our schools in the USA, linguistic and mathematical/scientific. he adds at least 6 more. They are musical, bodily/kinesthetic, visual/spatial, interpersonal, intrapersonal (knowledge of self) and naturalist. Existential/spiritual/philosophical intelligence is being studied as a possibility.

Buddha is quoted as saying there are 84,000 upaya. He named speech first. In each of these 9 intelligences, I have found upaya. I am going to present an example of each, if time/space permits. I shall begin with Tibetan sand mandalas. I will provide a link that shows sand painting and how they would look in 3 dimensions.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBfqraGn ... 4D2BA82593

This practice includes visual/spatial, interpersonal (team work is very important) intrapersonal and linguistic.

Feel free to bring up any kind of upaya. I suspect that intelligences each contain more than one upaya but I am not adept enough to tease them all out.

Kinder-garden :alien: :soapbox: :group:
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Re: Cross Buddhist Upaya

Postby kindergarden » Wed Dec 25, 2013 7:24 pm

:stirthepot: :yinyang:

For the upaya in music, let me share the Mantra of Avalokitsetesvara: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dq4xzgK41M

Of course, it is a combination of musical and linguistic skills.

Your creative comments are highly prized. :heart:

Kinder garden

:stirthepot: :yinyang:
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Re: Cross Buddhist Upaya

Postby kindergarden » Wed Dec 25, 2013 8:56 pm

:alien: :sage:

The next example of Upaya in an intelligence will be the naturalist. Many of us love to meditate, sitting or walking, in natural surroundings. My favorite is to chant near a water falls. One of my favorite skillful means is to write poetry, particularly, haiku. Figures, eh? being a man from Zen. Basho is a favorite. He draws imagery of nature with words. Here is a youtube that demonstrates his way while traveling:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXvzgR3A9_I

There are many examples in Buddhism. Please share your experiences and those of your teachers, living and/or dead.

:namaste: :meditate:

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Re: Cross Buddhist Upaya

Postby kindergarden » Wed Dec 25, 2013 10:00 pm

The next upaya set will be around the bodily/kinesthetic intelligence.

My navigation of Asian wisdom began around the age of 3-4. My first step began with a movie from India called "The River." There was a dance and music segment in it. I loved the art and learned some of the storytelling gestures. The fish, whale and bird are quite easy. It was a romantic dance, involving Krishna. I do not have a youtube for it but I have one of Krishna. One of his signs is playing the flute. I think he is having a romantic discussion with Gopis, but I am not sure:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgiLOzFQh14

If you have given up on romantic interludes, try this one about Shiva:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDidNcTEjtA

To me, namaste is never better expressed than in these dances.

But this is a Buddhist link!!! Ok. How about a Tibetan Buddhist dance for good luck, something we all will need in this coming new year:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SOzfMod3Co Tibetan Buddhist good luck dance...something we all need.

I believe that meditating itself involves bodily intelligence. Certainly, we become more disciplined with our bodies. We learn things about it. Movement must begin with stillness. Yoga teaches a great deal about the body. Tai Chi and Ki meditation is remarkable for how much It can teach us about our bodies. Even the martial arts can be used as a skillful means, though with some caution I admit. Here is an example of Kyudo or Japanese archery. Note that I am not sure if the Suzuki Sensei is of the Shinto or Zen tradition. However, the moving meditation in what he does is clear, IMO.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUzNoTrVA1U

Thank you for listening and, if you choose, adding and refining what has been said here.

:stirthepot: :yinyang:

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Re: Cross Buddhist Upaya

Postby kindergarden » Wed Dec 25, 2013 11:02 pm

The eighth intelligence based upaya ( maybe all are but I do not know) that I will present for your amusement and beyond is mathematical/logical. This one provides lots of possibilities for discussion, particularly, logic. We use it when we look sutras and other Buddhist works. We deny it but what is it? We smack our version of it around. We try to pick out propaganda with it. The quadrilemma can amuse for hours (that is, for instance: the statement is the truth; it is not the truth; it is both true and not true; and, it is neither true nor not true). Indeed, in my tradition, the koan attacks logic directly...I think. But what of mathematics?

I read a Zen anecdote about a 17th monk practicing in a temple that welcomed guests to find peace there. The monks practiced several arts for that purpose, for instance, the tea ceremony, flower arranging, moving and sitting Zen. A very fierce looking warrior arrived. For several months, the monks and the samurai tried every method they knew but nothing gave the man peace of mind. HIs war experiences and what the warrior role were just too strong. Almost in jest, the monk suggested mathematics. The samurai had never had a chance to learn even basic mathematics. However, to the surprise of all involved, he learned unusually quickly. Indeed, he was a bit of a wonder. In a few months, he has mastered all they could teach him. In the process, peace came upon his mind. In gratitude, he formulated a geometric proof. I would give you that proof if I could but I can tell you that it had to do with circles that could be put in a triangle and how to use them to figure out the triangle's area. At peace at last, he received word that his warlord needed him. He went into battle a few weeks later. Unfortunately, he fought for the losing side and died trying to save a wounded friend.

Sangaku, visualizing the sacred temple geometry of Japan.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHOTupAUVIs

and if you want a lesson here is a longer link called "Buddha loves geometry."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3DrTbB3W_8

I will present a little more on geometry in #9.

As to whether there are connections between western science, particularly physics, and Buddhism, I shall let that be open to discussion but HHDL is open to the idea.

:alien: :buddha1:

Kinder garden


and if you want a lesson here is a longer link called "Buddha loves geometry." :buddha2:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3DrTbB3W_8
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Re: Cross Buddhist Upaya

Postby kindergarden » Thu Dec 26, 2013 12:18 am

Gardener is not sure about a 9th intelligence. He calls it "existential." Some have called it philosophical or spiritual. I am inclined to call it mind or consciousness. Gardener is unsure because of his view of what characterizes an intelligence. First, it must be a skill valued by a culture. Second, it must have a focal location in the brain. That foci is not the only place where it resides but, if damaged, the skill is all or greatly destroyed. While existential thinking is prized in several cultures, past and present, there seems to be no area in the brain that, if injured, results in a severe loss of this thinking. The third characteristic is that the skill has an evolutionary/adaptive reason for emerging.

The other 8 intelligences all have some relationship to the 5 western senses. Most are obvious. However, in Buddhist tradition, at least in Mahayana Buddhism, there is a 6th sense: Mind or consciousness. I am unclear about mind being beyond consciousness. You might want to express your ideas about this question. The Buddha mind might well be beyond the senses. However, consciousness is something that has evolutionary significance. It directs attention as needed. I also submit that it senses time, the 4th dimension. One can lose the ability to have consciousness. So, I am suggesting that consciousness of the internal and external world is an intelligence, a meta-intelligence. It can even be used to experience what cannot be sensed (as can mathematics, by the way).

The time consciousness link is inferred from Dogen's essay on Uji:

http://www.thezensite.com/ZenTeachings/ ... gs/Uji.htm

We can then look at our navigation in a more western sense in the following link, particularly, from 11:00 on:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rG6aIVGquOg

if you like, here is a bit of western mysticism:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOqg5bPZ0HE


One last note, what about cooking? Dogen seems to think that it is upaya (Dogen's Notes to the Cook). Well, what do you think? And what about "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Repair?" Jeesh.

Thank you for your time. Please comment.

:anjali:

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Re: Cross Buddhist Upaya

Postby Astus » Thu Dec 26, 2013 4:17 pm

Skilful means are means of liberation. Could you demonstrate how all you listed are methods to bring enlightenment?
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Cross Buddhist Upaya

Postby kindergarden » Fri Dec 27, 2013 3:35 am

Dear Astus,

Your question deserves a great deal of thought. It is a very important question, not just to test my understanding. It is important for any of us looking for a teacher and a path. At the same time, you deserve an immediate reply. I will speak about it as long as you understand that this is a work in progress. Since no enlightened being has told me that I am enlightened, fully or partially, my answers will have to be somewhat theoretical, much like a man describing the moon without having been there. It will also have to be third hand, because I can only read about it. I don't know anyone that is enlightened in the grandest sense.

First, let us look at the word "enlightenment." Is it something one finds in oneself or discovers outside and brings it in? In my tradition (Rinzai Zen), as I understand it, one rediscovers it within. Is it gradual or sudden or a combination? I believe that it is gradual but punctuated by sudden jumps. I have reason to believe that I have made progress but looking for deeper experiences. Since I rarely have a teacher at hand, I must have faith in the insights that I have gained from my experiences. I know that I have more insight than I used to, and that my insights are not common, even rare, compared to those that haven't a meditation practice. I know that each intelligence has played a part. Some jumps have occurred, usually, marked with a sudden release from the "training wheels" that the skills provided.

Let us suppose that I was going to write a book about my theory that Gardener's notions on intelligences give us a map for finding upaya and upaya masters. How would I research that question? It is not easy. We have spotty anecdotes about what stimulated a sudden jump. I recall everything from hearing a particular part of a sutra (Hui Neng) to having a finger cut off to hearing a bird song or a frog jump in a pond. We might get some details in the life of an enlightened one before that wonderful moment. What were the means in that life and which experiences weren't? Can we ever know? Is the process unique? Is it a mix of unique and universal? Many meditated for years first. Others never seemed to at all. One was Dogen's cook. Cooking falls roughly under naturalist, by the way. Even to get a rough estimate, I would have to interview and read a great deal. Has research been done in this? We have Austin's Zen and the Brain. He suggests that there are many ways to prepare but not much on how to finally make it crystallize.

According to basic research methodology, I might combine interviews with questionnaires. I would have to have a clear understanding of the stages of enlightenment, perhaps, modeling them after Jhana, a doctrine I would have to study, as there has been little mentioned of it in my practice. I would ask how enlightened beings have attained enlightenment. It could be direct or second hand. I would need to know how they were prepared for it. What upayas were used and if they fit into one of the 9 intelligences. I could ask practitioners for anecdotes that they have heard and try to categorize them. I would have to check their reliability. This may or may not make any sense in the end.

Shall we start? What do you know of upaya, Astus? As far as I know, Buddha only mentioned speech but said there are 84000.

I truly look forward to your answer and anyone's contribution.

Thank you,

Kinder garden
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Re: Cross Buddhist Upaya

Postby muni » Fri Dec 27, 2013 10:05 am

kindergarden wrote::stirthepot: :yinyang:

For the upaya in music, let me share the Mantra of Avalokitsetesvara: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dq4xzgK41M

Of course, it is a combination of musical and linguistic skills.

Your creative comments are highly prized. :heart:

Kinder garden

:stirthepot: :yinyang:


Hello Kindergarden, :namaste:

To love to listen to this music and devotional voice is in some sense a prove that all people want to have peace but don't know how. By mind following the beauty of music is it easier to be swept away in some peace but it is a conditioned form. Its warming in direction of oneself, a moment of positive emotion. But then nobody may disturb this or I shoot!
There is no other way for peace than what Avalokiteshvara is expressing and that is opening the heart-mind, which is not available in any emotion. As for as I understand emotion is 'located', while Compassion not.
As is said in teaching, "the bird has two wings: Wisdom and Compassion", Without these the bird cannot fly and remains in its self fabricated cage (metaphorical).
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Re: Cross Buddhist Upaya

Postby Astus » Fri Dec 27, 2013 11:13 am

kindergarden wrote:First, let us look at the word "enlightenment." Is it something one finds in oneself or discovers outside and brings it in? In my tradition (Rinzai Zen), as I understand it, one rediscovers it within. Is it gradual or sudden or a combination?

Shall we start? What do you know of upaya, Astus? As far as I know, Buddha only mentioned speech but said there are 84000.


In Japanese Rinzai Zen, although they distinguish five levels of koan practice, it is not necessarily a clearly established path (Zen Sand, p 29). I think that Zen is not a good approach for devising methods, paths and stages of enlightenment, as it is rather against/without such schemes. Other Buddhist schools fit the requirements better for extensive analysis of the path to enlightenment, complete with methods, stages and definitions. Major works like the Mahaprajnaparamita-upadesha and the Yogacarabhumi-shastra in East Asia cover that, however, because of lack of complete English translations, one better looks at Tibetan Mahayana where we already have complete works in English (from Tsongkhapa, Mipham, Jamgon Kongtrul, et al).

I don't know if such a list of skilful means exists. If I think of teachings like the Vimalakirti and the Upayakausalya Sutra, they show how bodhisattvas work in a way to meet the needs of the individual. That's what skilful means is about, that's what the knowledge of aspects/characteristics (sarvakarajnata/道種智), also called discriminatory wisdom, is about. It is the same thing that Linji says (Sasaki, p 13) about meeting various people and teaching them accordingly. But while most of the Buddhist schools have an established structure for training (stages and methods), Zen rather leaves it to the individual teacher to act freely (although in practice there are traditional sets of methods, but no sophisticated philosophy).
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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