Dealing With Desire

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Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby treehuggingoctopus » Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:00 pm

Astus wrote:
treehuggingoctopus wrote:What do you mean by 'realizing emptiness', Astus?


To see that no appearance has a self(-nature), attaining the view that is free from the extremes. Just the usual.


Insofar as I know, 'realizing emptiness' in Vajrayana and Dzogchen means quite a different thing.
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Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby LastLegend » Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:15 pm

Astus wrote:
To see that no appearance has a self(-nature), attaining the view that is free from the extremes. Just the usual.


Is this for all practitioners of different levels/capacities?


How does one enter the gate directly?
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Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby Astus » Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:22 pm

treehuggingoctopus wrote:Insofar as I know, 'realizing emptiness' in Vajrayana and Dzogchen means quite a different thing.


Something else than non-fabrication is fabrication. There is only one suchness, no matter what tradition.

As the 3rd Karmapa wrote (An Aspirational Prayer for Mahamudra, tr. J. Rockwell; PDF),

"Free from mental fabrication, it is Mahamudra.
Free from extremes, it is Great Madhyamaka.
This is also called the Great Perfection, the consummation of all.
May we have confidence that understanding one realizes all."
"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)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“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; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby Astus » Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:43 pm

LastLegend wrote:Is this for all practitioners of different levels/capacities? How does one enter the gate directly?


It really depends on who you ask. Different traditions say different things. Ask a Soto Zen teacher and they say you just have to do zazen. Ask a Dzogchen teacher and they advise you to do the preliminary practices and/or receive introduction. Ask a Jodoshu teacher and they might say you better just focus on the recitation of the name of Amita Buddha and aspire for birth in the Pure Land. The Lankavatara Sutra tells you that everything is only mind, and the prajnaparamita sutras teach you that all appearances are nothing but conceptualisations.

Some say that their practice is only for people of the highest capacity to boost your enthusiasm, while others say that it is accessible to all to strengthen your confidence. Usually both are said at the same time.
"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)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“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; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby treehuggingoctopus » Mon Jun 10, 2013 8:10 pm

Astus wrote:
treehuggingoctopus wrote:Insofar as I know, 'realizing emptiness' in Vajrayana and Dzogchen means quite a different thing.


Something else than non-fabrication is fabrication. There is only one suchness, no matter what tradition.

As the 3rd Karmapa wrote (An Aspirational Prayer for Mahamudra, tr. J. Rockwell; PDF),

"Free from mental fabrication, it is Mahamudra.
Free from extremes, it is Great Madhyamaka.
This is also called the Great Perfection, the consummation of all.
May we have confidence that understanding one realizes all."


Astus,

I'm not talking about emptiness, it's the word 'realization' that seems to be the source of misunderstanding here. To draw a parallel: it's one thing to recognise the natural state; realizing it is quite a different matter.

Have a look here:

an interview with Karma Lodrö Chökyi Senge wrote:Question: What is the relationship between the experience of emptiness - the fact that there is no self - and the very painful feelings I have when I go to the dentist? When I go to the dentist, I wish I didn’t have a self. Is there a connection between pain and ego?
Rinpoche: Since one hasn’t realized emptiness, one believes in a self, an “I.” One experiences pain and suffering due to belief in a self. If one has realized emptiness, one doesn’t cling to a subject experiencing pain and then there is no pain.
Question: That means a Buddha doesn’t get sick, doesn’t get a toothache?
Rinpoche: He doesn’t experience pain. In order to show the truth of suffering and the truth of cause and effect, Lord Buddha demonstrated many things. There is a story that Buddha Shakyamuni had a thorn in the palm of his hand. He showed it to his pupils, although he didn’t feel hurt.
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Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby Astus » Mon Jun 10, 2013 8:52 pm

treehuggingoctopus,

Then let's say instead of "realising" it is experiencing emptiness, that is, I don't mean an intellectual comprehension of it but first hand personal experience. And that experience is the same for everyone.
"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)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“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; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby Malcolm » Mon Jun 10, 2013 10:05 pm

Astus wrote:
...that the afflictions are not rejected but they are actually required.


That is not how I understand the passage.




You don't change afflictions, you train in pure vision. By slowly transforming your vision, since ordinary vision is caused by afflictions which generate concepts, counteract that with sadhana practice, completion stage etc.
You use afflictions just as they are, but by changing how you relate to the world, by transforming your world, slowly you realize the state of Mahāmudra without giving anything up at all.


With establishing prajnaparamita as the correct view there is nothing to improve or get rid of.


It is not a statement about means.

As it says in chapter 22 in PP8000, purification means simply the extent one uses prajnaparamita. To this you may say that this is again the ultimate view, and that in order to reach that one has to follow a sravaka-style practice by renouncing the world, etc. As I see it, to hop on the Great Vehicle, one needs prajnaparamita (ch. 1, PP8000).


Pāramitāyāna is a gradual path, one that requires infinite lifetimes to complete. If you are a very fortunate person close to your last rebirth, you might be able to hop on the Prajñāpāramitā express, but in reality we can see that this is not the case for most sentient beings.

We all have prajñā, but whether than prajñā has been brought to the level of being a pāramitā is completely another question.

This is how prajnaparamita is a universal solution for all defilements, because it removes the root of the problem.


Actually, prajñā takes many eons to perfect according to Mahāyāna.
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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.

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Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Jun 11, 2013 7:23 am

Malcolm wrote:Pāramitāyāna is a gradual path, one that requires infinite lifetimes to complete. If you are a very fortunate person close to your last rebirth, you might be able to hop on the Prajñāpāramitā express, but in reality we can see that this is not the case for most sentient beings.
This is a silly argument because whether one is infinite-1, or infinte, or one life away from enlightenment they have still passed through infinite lives to get here. Two times infinity is still infinity (infinite lives to get "here" plus infinite lives to reach "there"). Infinity-1 = infinity. Infinity+1 = infinity. Simple mathematics.
"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."
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Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby Astus » Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:43 am

Malcolm wrote:It is not a statement about means.


Prajnaparamita is the basis of the bodhisattvayana, and there are no methods to apply without it. It is prajnaparamita that liberates all beings and it includes all means. Isn't the inseparability of compassion and wisdom the essential realisation of a bodhisattva?

Pāramitāyāna is a gradual path, one that requires infinite lifetimes to complete.


The bodhisattva liberates all beings without conceiving any person that liberates or is liberated. How can you complete such a path? Let me quote a bit from the "Sūtra of Mahā-Prajñā-Pāramitā Pronounced by Mañjuśrī Bodhisattva" that was, and still is, popular in East Asia.

The Buddha asked Mañjuśrī, “When a Bodhisattva sits in a bodhimaṇḍa, does he attain anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi?”
Mañjuśrī replied, “When a Bodhisattva sits in a bodhimaṇḍa, he does not attain anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi. Why not? Because the appearance of bodhi is true suchness. Not finding a speck of dharma to capture is called anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi. Because bodhi has no appearance, who can sit and who can rise? For this reason, I see neither a Bodhisattva sitting in a bodhimaṇḍa nor anyone realizing anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi.”
Mañjuśrī said to the Buddha, “World-Honored One, bodhi is the five rebellious acts, and the five rebellious acts are bodhi. Why? Because bodhi and the five rebellious acts are free from duality. Hence there is neither learning nor learner, neither perceiving nor perceiver, neither knowing nor knower, neither differentiating nor differentiator. Such appearances are called bodhi. In the same way one should view the appearances of the five rebellious acts. If there are those who say that they see bodhi and have attained it, we should know that they are the ones with exceeding arrogance.”


Actually, prajñā takes many eons to perfect according to Mahāyāna.


The Buddha told Śāriputra, “If good men and good women, having heard this profound prajñā-pāramitā, can come to resoluteness in their minds, not shocked, not terrified, not baffled, and not regretful, know that they stand on the Ground of No Regress. If those who have heard this profound prajñā-pāramitā are not shocked, not terrified, not baffled, and not regretful, but believe, accept, appreciate, and listen tirelessly, they have in effect achieved dāna-pāramitā, śīla-pāramitā, kṣānti-pāramitā, vīrya-pāramitā, dhyāna-pāramitā, and prajñā-pāramitā. Moreover, they can reveal and explicate [the teachings] to others and can have them train accordingly.”
The Buddha asked Mañjuśrī, “In your opinion, what is meant by attaining anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi and by abiding in anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi?”
Mañjuśrī replied, “I have no anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi to attain, nor do I abide in the Buddha Vehicle. Then how should I attain anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi? What I describe is only the appearance of bodhi.”
"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)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“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; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:00 am

Malcolm wrote:
Given you accept changes in the form of additions why do you not accept subtractions (or modifications)? What makes this even stranger is that your current teacher is actually quite opposed to ossification and very much in support of development,innovation and modificiation. Is this purposeful reticence on your behalf?


My current teacher is the most conservative Dzogchen teacher alive, actually. He is even more conservative than Chatral Sangye Dorje. Why? Because he teaches Dzogchen that way Garab Dorje said to teach Dzogchen, not the way Tibetan Lamas say to teach Dzogchen.
Your teacher is a terton and terma are (currently) the penultimate expression of the modification and transformation of the Buddhist corpus. Mush more so than commentaries since terma are considered the direct manifestation of the wisdom of enlightened beings (like the old "Thus I have heard" of the Mahayana Sutras).
"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: Dealing With Desire

Postby Malcolm » Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:47 pm

Astus wrote:
Malcolm wrote:It is not a statement about means.


Prajnaparamita is the basis of the bodhisattvayana, and there are no methods to apply without it. It is prajnaparamita that liberates all beings and it includes all means. Isn't the inseparability of compassion and wisdom the essential realisation of a bodhisattva?



No, Astus -- bodhicitta is the basis of the bodhisattvayāna, and that has both relative and ultimate aspects.

Your bodhisattvayāna is a bird that is wounded in one wing.

In any event, this stream of replies and responses is far away from the original point, which is that Mahāyāna is a path of renunciation, just like Śravakayāna.
Last edited by Malcolm on Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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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: Dealing With Desire

Postby Malcolm » Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:49 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:Your teacher is a terton and terma are (currently) the penultimate expression of the modification and transformation of the Buddhist corpus. Mush more so than commentaries since terma are considered the direct manifestation of the wisdom of enlightened beings (like the old "Thus I have heard" of the Mahayana Sutras).


Greg:

If termas are the manifestation of the wisdom of an awakened person, what can be more conservative than this?

Apart from that, termas must correspond to kama. If they do not, they are not termas. Termas are not meant to be innovative, they are meant restorative.

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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: Dealing With Desire

Postby mandala » Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:02 pm

:offtopic:

don't throw tomatoes at me...just saying...
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Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby Astus » Tue Jun 11, 2013 3:19 pm

Malcolm wrote:bodhicitta is the basis of the bodhisattvayāna, and that has both relative and ultimate aspects.
Your bodhisattvayāna is a bird that is wounded in one wing.


"When one is endowed with the meaning of emptiness, there is not a single thing which in not included in this path."
(The Jewel Ornament of Liberation, p. 252)

Bodhicitta without the ultimate aspect is a heap of good intentions, but that is not the same as saying that everything else is rejected.

Having generated the great mind to realize bodhi, it is necessary to recognize what constitutes the essence of the bodhi mind. Now, as for the substance of the bodhi mind, if one fails to generate it from one’s true mind, there is no source through which one might succeed in reaching bodhi. On account of this, it is essential that one differentiate clearly [what it is]. Only then does this result in Dharma practice which corresponds to correct causality.
...
The Buddhas of the ten directions, all beings, and this mind of mine—“in these three, there are no distinctions.” It is this which is identical with the essence of the bodhi mind. One forsakes this and, failing to recognize it, one instead recognizes [only] one’s own false thoughts. Consequently one engages in a continual process of dying and being reborn again and thus endures suffering shoulder- to-shoulder with the various species of birds and beasts. How could it be that one who is truly a man would not feel shamed by this?

(Peixiu: Exhortation to Resolve on Buddhahood, p. 6-7; tr. Bhikshu Dharmamitra)

Also,

"Since it is the mother of the Bodhisattvas,
It is also the mother of the Buddhas:
The prajñāpāramitā
Is foremost among the provisions essential for enlightenment."

(Nagarjuna: Guide to the Bodhisattva Path, v. 5; tr. Bhikshu Dharmamitra)

In any event, this stream of replies and responses is far away from the original point, which is that Mahāyāna is a path of renunciation, just like Śravakayāna.


The topic is about dealing with desires, and you restrict Mahayana to a single approach that desires can only be rejected. My position is that Mahayana is more than that and encompasses several methods.

"For the bodhisattva, afflictions accord with his nature.
He is not one who takes nirvāṇa as his very nature.
It is not the case that the burning up of the afflictions
Allows one to generate the seed of bodhi."

(Nagarjuna: Guide to the Bodhisattva Path, v. 79)
"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)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“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; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby Nilasarasvati » Tue Jun 11, 2013 3:48 pm

Malcolm wrote:bodhicitta is the basis of the bodhisattvayāna, and that has both relative and ultimate aspects.
Your bodhisattvayāna is a bird that is wounded in one wing.


Really, Malcolm? :thinking: I'm glad I was already a student of Nyingma teachers and had an intellectual understanding of the tradition before I read your Dzogchen opining. I hope others who are less acquainted don't think that you are representative of anybody but yourself.
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Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Jun 11, 2013 4:13 pm

Malcolm wrote:If termas are the manifestation of the wisdom of an awakened person, what can be more conservative than this?
And the Mahayana Sutras are the words of Shakyamuni Buddha himself. Like pull the other one (on both counts) it plays jingle bells! Both are just attempts at legitimisation within a certain type of framework. Not that the works themselves (terma or Sutra) are not legitimate in and of themselves (like the writings of Nagarjuna), well some of them anyway (according to my limited wisdom), but it is quite clear that both are just attempts to seek legitimacy.
Apart from that, termas must correspond to kama. If they do not, they are not termas. Termas are not meant to be innovative, they are meant restorative.
What do you mean by "must correspond to kama"? Restorative of what? Coz it seems to me that one traditions restoration is another traditions innovation. ;)
"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: Dealing With Desire

Postby LastLegend » Tue Jun 11, 2013 4:58 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Your bodhisattvayāna is a bird that is wounded in one wing.


Why? It does not produce enlightened beings?
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Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby Karma Dorje » Tue Jun 11, 2013 5:31 pm

Nilasarasvati wrote:
Malcolm wrote:bodhicitta is the basis of the bodhisattvayāna, and that has both relative and ultimate aspects.
Your bodhisattvayāna is a bird that is wounded in one wing.


Really, Malcolm? :thinking: I'm glad I was already a student of Nyingma teachers and had an intellectual understanding of the tradition before I read your Dzogchen opining. I hope others who are less acquainted don't think that you are representative of anybody but yourself.


You are reading this incorrectly. Bodhisattvayana relies on the two wings of relative and ultimate bodhicitta. Astus is flapping only the wing of ultimate bodhicitta. It was a comment on what Astus is presenting, not the bodhisattvayana itself. Malcolm's comment is not at all controversial.
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Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby Pero » Tue Jun 11, 2013 5:42 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:What do you mean by "must correspond to kama"? Restorative of what? Coz it seems to me that one traditions restoration is another traditions innovation. ;)

It means that in termas there isn't anything what wasn't in the kama, there isn't anything "new", it is all based on kama. Like if you revealed a terma which would explain how God created the world and sent his son to redeem us of our sins, it wouldn't correspond to kama. :D
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Although many individuals in this age appear to be merely indulging their worldly desires, one does not have the capacity to judge them, so it is best to train in pure vision.
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Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby Malcolm » Tue Jun 11, 2013 5:45 pm

Astus wrote:
The topic is about dealing with desires, and you restrict Mahayana to a single approach that desires can only be rejected. My position is that Mahayana is more than that and encompasses several methods.

"For the bodhisattva, afflictions accord with his nature.
He is not one who takes nirvāṇa as his very nature.
It is not the case that the burning up of the afflictions
Allows one to generate the seed of bodhi."

(Nagarjuna: Guide to the Bodhisattva Path, v. 79)


This is not a refutation of my point. This is merely an sectarian observation that standard presentation of the śravaka path is not a path that results in the generation of full buddhahood.

As for your other points -- the path of Mahāyāna really no different than that of śravakayāna -- and is a path based on the renunciation of sense objects and has no other path than that.

You can dance on books all day and you will never alter this fact. I can give you a hundred citations from the very sutras and texts you cite [that the bodhisattva path is path of renouncing sense objects], and still you will never retreat from your point of view.

It is good that you are devoted to prajñāpāramitā, but the pāramitā path just a path of renouncing sense objects.

I will leave it here — The Sāgaramatiparipṛcchā-sūtra states:

"Bodhisattvas who possess prajñā are to be reproached about the accumulation of merit; without the method, they do not endeavor in generosity, discipline, patience, diligence and concentration. They indulge in proliferation, thinking ‘the perfection of prajñā is extraordinarily supreme, the other perfections are inferior’."

M
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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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