Instantaneous awakening.

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Instantaneous awakening.

Postby White Lotus » Thu Apr 17, 2014 12:12 pm

This topic was central to the Buddhist school of Hui Neng, the sixth Chinese patriarch.
When Hui Neng transmitted the dharma transmission and recognition of a students enlightenment he would give the following gatha (poem)
The mind ground holds the seeds
which sprout when falls the all pervading rain,
the wisdom flower of instantaneous awakening
cannot fail to bear the bodhi fruit

instantaneous awakening is however still a dharma, but is the gateway to go beyond enlightenment. it has no requirements or conditions. it is just instant. right here, right now. just as you are.

going beyond instantaneous awakening one comes to no dharma whatsoever, not even no dharma is to be attached to. this simplest of all realisations is also the hardest to accept. this is since the ego is always searching for something bigger and better, faster and cooler. the Buddha Siddharta Shakyamuni also had a transmission Gatha that he handed to Mahakasyapa. it goes as follows:
The Dharmas fundamental dharma is no dharma,
the dharma of no dharma is dharma too,
now the dharma of no dharma is transmitted,
has there ever been a dharma?


no teaching transmitted whatsoever by Siddharta, not even instanteneous enlightenment (which is still a teaching). since this is so the buddha fundamentally has no teaching and whosoever says he has slanders the buddha (Vajracchedica/diamond sutra). one has never been in bondage. there is no enlightenment to be realised. this is fundamental realisation. though there may be many stages and realisations, fundamentally not a thing is taught or realised. its mysterious.

some have said on these threads that in order to have an instanteneous awakening first one must pass through many stages. i believe that is not so. the mind is buddha, this ordinary mind right now as you have it. nothing special.

when we know this it is time to just live.

i hope you are all well, hope this is helpful.

rgds, Tom.
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.
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Re: Instantaneous awakening.

Postby theanarchist » Thu Apr 17, 2014 12:44 pm

White Lotus wrote:This topic was central to the Buddhist school of Hui Neng, the sixth Chinese patriarch.
When Hui Neng transmitted the dharma transmission and recognition of a students enlightenment he would give the following gatha (poem)
The mind ground holds the seeds
which sprout when falls the all pervading rain,
the wisdom flower of instantaneous awakening
cannot fail to bear the bodhi fruit

instantaneous awakening is however still a dharma, but is the gateway to go beyond enlightenment. it has no requirements or conditions. it is just instant. right here, right now. just as you are..



There is nothing beyond awakening. Apart from that it sounds suspiciously like the western satsang movement where "self-awakened" wannabe enlightened people teach whatever they see fit

Instantaneous awakening is a big topic in dzogchen. But it requires transmission.
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Re: Instantaneous awakening.

Postby theanarchist » Thu Apr 17, 2014 12:45 pm

White Lotus wrote:no teaching transmitted whatsoever by Siddharta, not even instanteneous enlightenment (which is still a teaching). .



This is a nihilistic view.
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Re: Instantaneous awakening.

Postby Gwenn Dana » Thu Apr 17, 2014 1:15 pm

White Lotus wrote:
The Dharmas fundamental dharma is no dharma,
the dharma of no dharma is dharma too,
now the dharma of no dharma is transmitted,
has there ever been a dharma?


no teaching transmitted whatsoever by Siddharta, not even instanteneous enlightenment (which is still a teaching).


This is merely an expression of the recursive nature of the problem when walking a certain path. You will have to go beyond it. And even going beyond it contains a trap because it is opposition.

A Dao that can be trodden is not the eternal Dao.


Oops, that was borrowed from Lao Tse. That problem does not only exist with Buddha's teachings.
Or to put it modernistic: A method that can be applied is not the way of the world.
Last edited by Gwenn Dana on Thu Apr 17, 2014 1:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Instantaneous awakening.

Postby Simon E. » Thu Apr 17, 2014 1:21 pm

theanarchist wrote:
White Lotus wrote:This topic was central to the Buddhist school of Hui Neng, the sixth Chinese patriarch.
When Hui Neng transmitted the dharma transmission and recognition of a students enlightenment he would give the following gatha (poem)
The mind ground holds the seeds
which sprout when falls the all pervading rain,
the wisdom flower of instantaneous awakening
cannot fail to bear the bodhi fruit

instantaneous awakening is however still a dharma, but is the gateway to go beyond enlightenment. it has no requirements or conditions. it is just instant. right here, right now. just as you are..



There is nothing beyond awakening. Apart from that it sounds suspiciously like the western satsang movement where "self-awakened" wannabe enlightened people teach whatever they see fit

Instantaneous awakening is a big topic in dzogchen. But it requires transmission.


It does.

And one sign of the absence of that transmission is the speed with which opinions are expressed by those who show no evidence of it.
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Re: Instantaneous awakening.

Postby santa100 » Thu Apr 17, 2014 3:11 pm

White Lotus wrote:some have said on these threads that in order to have an instanteneous awakening first one must pass through many stages. i believe that is not so. the mind is buddha, this ordinary mind right now as you have it. nothing special.
when we know this it is time to just live.

Wouldn't that be nice! Unfortunately, our "current" mind is, at best, 50% Buddha and 50% Mara. And it is far from being "ordinary" in the sense meant above. It is full of greed, aversion, and delusion. As far as the Buddha's transmission gatha, He only gave that to Mahakasyapa, yes, the Mahakasyapa. For the rest of us, He did spend more than 40 years traveling all over the place, employing teachings like the 3 Characteristics, the 4 Noble Truths, the 8-fold Noble Path, the 12 links of Dependent Co-arising, and many other skillful means to teach people. So, No, to "just live"'s not gonna cut it. To use that catchy dharma/no-dharma lingo, we can say that the "ordinary" mind can only be attained through "extraordinary" effort.
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Re: Instantaneous awakening.

Postby Gwenn Dana » Thu Apr 17, 2014 4:08 pm

santa100 wrote:! Unfortunately, our "current" mind is ... full of greed, aversion, and delusion.


It is? Oh poor beings.
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Re: Instantaneous awakening.

Postby smcj » Thu Apr 17, 2014 4:19 pm

Unfortunately, our "current" mind is, at best, 50% Buddha and 50% Mara.

Just to add the normal comment to make the statement more complete:

Of course it depends on who you're talking about. Some people have more dust on their eyes than others.

However since the percentage that is Buddha has the advantage be being the actual nature of things. So even if someone is extremely deluded and is 99% Mara and 1% Buddha, the Buddha part still is the reality of the situation. It is sort of like being "a little bit pregnant". You're either pregnant or not, it is just a matter of how far along you are. In the same way, you're either Buddha or not, it is just a matter of effective degree.

Everybody that posts here regularly pretty much knows that, but in case there is a newbie perusing this thread... :namaste:
A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits. ChNN
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Re: Instantaneous awakening.

Postby Meido » Thu Apr 17, 2014 4:45 pm

White Lotus wrote:some have said on these threads that in order to have an instanteneous awakening first one must pass through many stages. i believe that is not so. the mind is buddha, this ordinary mind right now as you have it. nothing special.


Just a few comments from a Zen corner of the room:

The conclusion arrived at by many lineages who take Huineng as a lineage ancestor is, rather, that some students of sufficient capacity/roots may indeed arrive at awakening (i.e. seeing nature) with little or no prior cultivation. The Sixth Patriarch himself was one of these, since it is reported that he was spontaneously awakened upon hearing a verse from the Diamond Sutra chanted aloud.

However, it is also recognized that this initial awakening is - in the vast majority of cases - not sufficient. Seeing one's nature does not necessarily mean one has fully clarified it and cut the traces of habitual delusion. Recognizing that "the mind is buddha" is not itself necessarily actualization of a Buddha's functioning. Therefore, subsequent cultivation is generally required to clarify and embody what one has recognized, however deep or shallow: to return to it again and again, to mature it, and to integrate it with activity. Again, the Sixth Patriarch himself was an example of this, as his initial awakening was not completion of the Way at all: he cultivated afterward, and as you know only arrived at the end of his training much later during private encounter with the 5th Patriarch.

I have not seen discounted anywhere in Zen teaching the possibility that someone could suddenly awaken to full liberation. It is just considered to be so rare that, practically speaking, it's not worth talking about. On the other hand, there are many cases of someone having some small experience of awakening and mistakenly believing it to be liberation. So Zen literature is, in fact, filled with warnings about that.

In general, the experience of recognizing one's nature, however arrived at - seemingly spontaneously, through transmission, with the use of practices such as wato/koan, upon reading or hearing a text, etc. - is not considered uncommonly difficult in Zen; so many methods exist precisely because a wide variety of people could be able to have this recognition. The subsequent cultivation required by most, however, is difficult. In the vast majority of cases it requires a great deal of exhaustive practice. Phrases we find describing the necessary rigor of this post-awakening practice are "breaking one's bones" and "sweating white beads".

This is the part of Zen training that popular books - and derivative new age types- don't talk about much. The moment of awakening, for most, is considered only the gateway to authentic practice, when one for the first time can call his/her practice "Zen". But it certainly is not yet a time to "just live". In Rinzai practice all of this is discussed in terms of initial recognition of one's own Dharmakaya wisdom, which though crucial is still (for most) very far from actualization of the 3 bodies and 4 wisdoms. Tozan's formulation of the 5 Ranks maps onto these.

santa100 wrote:To use that catchy dharma/no-dharma lingo, we can say that the "ordinary" mind can only be attained through "extraordinary" effort.


I would say this sums up the mainstream Ch'an/Zen view as I've encountered it. Hierarchical formulations and triumphalist rhetoric about the Supreme One Vehicle, and talk of attaining liberation in one lifetime, are fine. But the actual ramifications on one's life of undertaking to practice such a vehicle holding forth the possibility of full liberation in one lifetime, are another matter.

~ Meido
Last edited by Meido on Thu Apr 17, 2014 4:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Instantaneous awakening.

Postby santa100 » Thu Apr 17, 2014 4:50 pm

smcj wrote:..However since the percentage that is Buddha has the advantage be being the actual nature of things. So even if someone is extremely deluded and is 99% Mara and 1% Buddha, the Buddha part still is the reality of the situation. It is sort of like being "a little bit pregnant". You're either pregnant or not, it is just a matter of how far along you are. In the same way, you're either Buddha or not, it is just a matter of effective degree.

Everybody that posts here regularly pretty much knows that, but in case there is a newbie perusing this thread...

Thanks for bringing up the pregnancy simile. While it's certainly true on a theoretical level, on a practical level, everybody knows how vital it is to distinguish the various stages of pregnancy to make sure the doctor prescribes the exact diet, excercise, activity regimens, etc.. suitable for that particular stage. Ignoring the stages will lead to the difference between a strong healthy baby or a weak sickly one, or even death!
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Re: Instantaneous awakening.

Postby Astus » Thu Apr 17, 2014 10:19 pm

"Instantaneous awakening to the ordinary mind being buddha." - that single sentence encompasses such a complicated conceptual system that in order to comprehend it intellectually can take years. And then comes actualisation of such an understanding, working for who knows how many years or even lives.

Let's put this idea of "instantaneous awakening" into ordinary English, so that those who know nothing about Buddhism can make sense of it. How would that sound?
"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: Instantaneous awakening.

Postby theanarchist » Fri Apr 18, 2014 12:14 am

White Lotus wrote:some have said on these threads that in order to have an instanteneous awakening first one must pass through many stages. i believe that is not so. the mind is buddha, this ordinary mind right now as you have it. nothing special..



You forget about two nasty little things called habit and karma.

Even if the average person has a genuine experience of awakening, a moment later habit will kick in and delusion along with all it's sticky emotional friends will be back at the helm. Been there, done that.
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Re: Instantaneous awakening.

Postby White Lotus » Sat Apr 26, 2014 2:48 pm

Let's put this idea of "instantaneous awakening" into ordinary English, so that those who know nothing about Buddhism can make sense of it. How would that sound?

clever! it just cant be done. this points to the necessity of having travelled some way along the path in order to appreciate such expressions. there needs to be prior experience in order to appreciate the term: "Instantaneous Awakening". can anyone here put it into simple understandable language. I doubt it!

I will try anyway : what is the answer?: you.

but some people arnt ready for such a simplification.

once again, falling into names and forms and grasping 'me' ness. does anyone else have a suggestion?
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.
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Re: Instantaneous awakening.

Postby Gwenn Dana » Sat Apr 26, 2014 7:50 pm

Try that and be slaughtered by the real authentic lined, envisioned, pure, scriptured buddhist practitioners(TM) who insist that you got itall wrong and it has nothing to do with Buddhism, because you use the wrong (modern colloquial english) terms. ;)

Yes good idea. Just dont expect too much from it. But do it anyway if it comes to you. Any attempt is better than nothing. Leave the criticism on the plate for them to eat whats left.

Best wishes
Gwenn
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Re: Instantaneous awakening.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:22 am

White Lotus wrote:I will try anyway : what is the answer?: you.
Show me "you" and I will show you enlightenment.
"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: Instantaneous awakening.

Postby White Lotus » Sun Apr 27, 2014 2:22 pm

Show me "you" and I will show you enlightenment.


you are 'me', whether you are me personally or impersonally, you are still me: with a sense of me'ness. this me that I am is the me that you are. this me that you are is the me that I am. a sense of me'ness. there is only one 'me'. I have shown you me (you). there is no need for me to show you enlightenment. you already have it. 'you' is enlightenment. always has been.

what is the answer?: Me. (not instantaneous awakening).

who is no self? who is no mind? who is no body?: who is self? who is mind? who is body? who sees emptiness? who doesn't see emptiness? just Me. the beads of experiences are strung on the thread of awareness, which is worn around the neck of 'me'.

me'ness is consciousness/emptiness. it needn't be personal, nor need it be impersonal. it is not even So.

I have shown you 'you'/me and now I would like you to show me enlightenment! (being cheeky!) :pig:

me is still a name, still a form; so we don't attach to me, we forget it and take our stance nowhere in particular. liberation means freedom and so one should be free to take many stances or none at all.

you.
a bumble bee attached to its nest knows sorrow.
letting go, it can start again. the warm sun is coming soon.


best wishes, Tom.
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.
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Re: Instantaneous awakening.

Postby lobster » Sun Apr 27, 2014 2:28 pm

Therefore, subsequent cultivation is generally required to clarify and embody what one has recognized, however deep or shallow: to return to it again and again, to mature it, and to integrate it with activity.


Exactly so. Good post from Meido.

:twothumbsup:

Quite minor realisation, institutionalised adeptship, and armchair dharma is no substitute for experience and it's deepening.

'Instantaneous awakening' is so prone to abuse, misuse or total unhingement unless mellowed, matured and placed within an evolving context.

:popcorn:
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Re: Instantaneous awakening.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Apr 27, 2014 5:45 pm

White Lotus wrote:you are 'me', whether you are me personally or impersonally, you are still me: with a sense of me'ness. this me that I am is the me that you are. this me that you are is the me that I am. a sense of me'ness. there is only one 'me'. I have shown you me (you). there is no need for me to show you enlightenment. you already have it. 'you' is enlightenment. always has been.

what is the answer?: Me. (not instantaneous awakening).

who is no self? who is no mind? who is no body?: who is self? who is mind? who is body? who sees emptiness? who doesn't see emptiness? just Me. the beads of experiences are strung on the thread of awareness, which is worn around the neck of 'me'.

me'ness is consciousness/emptiness. it needn't be personal, nor need it be impersonal. it is not even So.

I have shown you 'you'/me and now I would like you to show me enlightenment! (being cheeky!) :pig:

me is still a name, still a form; so we don't attach to me, we forget it and take our stance nowhere in particular. liberation means freedom and so one should be free to take many stances or none at all.
I can't show you enlightenment, you are too attached to "me and you".
"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: Instantaneous awakening.

Postby White Lotus » Sun Apr 27, 2014 6:40 pm

clearly i have not been very helpful. it was my intention to introduce this topic because i know it was significant after the sixth patriarch, but however has been forgotten about or diluted with talk of gradual realization (a path which i do not deny). if one speaks of reqirements and demands of practice one will never be able to appreciate that enlightenment can be instantaneous. in hui neng's day many doubted the authenticity of instanteneous awakening. it is clearly the same today.

sorrow in my heart. it cannot be understood.
too simple for complex folks. lets just stick to our
sutras and sastras. we will get there eventually.
a reed in the wind, bent, but not broken.
take your sitting posture and be patient.
what comes for free is simply too dear, it is rarely
appreciated.

rgds, Tom.
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.
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Re: Instantaneous awakening.

Postby Gwenn Dana » Sun Apr 27, 2014 8:17 pm

Ugh. What was that?!
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