Sunyata and dependent origination

General forum on Mahayana.

Re: Sunyata and dependent origination

Postby PMTF » Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:14 pm

Namdrol wrote:What are the twelve different limbs
the Muni taught as dependent origination?

Those are exhaustively included in three,
defilement, action and suffering.
The first, eighth and ninth are defilement;
the second and tenth are action;
also the remaining seven are suffering;
twelve dharmas are gathered into three.

There are no sentient beings at all,
empty dharmas are entirely produced
from dharmas strictly empty,
dharmas without a self and [not] of a self.

Hello Namdrol

I agree this verse distinguishes the Great Vehicle from the Hinayana. In the Mahayana, defilement, action and suffering are viewed within emptiness. Therefore the numberless beings receive forgiveness for their defiled actions that produce harm & suffering. This exemplifies the compassion of the Great Vehicle. Where in Hinayana, my studies have revealed, it is taught emptiness is the mind empty of sensuality, empty of becoming and empty of ignorance. In Hinayana, emptiness is the mind abiding empty of self-cherishing. But in the Great Vehicle, even defiled self-cherishing is emptiness. I agree the verse you posted distinguishes the Great Vehicle from the Hinayana and exemplies the great compassion of the Great Vehicle. I can now see how Lama Choedak, who was an extremely enthusiastic proponent of Emptiness, remained so unaffected by his immoral behaviour. Lama Choedak actually taught all karma is just Emtpiness.

:thanks:
User avatar
PMTF
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2011 9:55 pm

Re: Sunyata and dependent origination

Postby 5heaps » Sun Jun 19, 2011 7:34 am

Lazy_eye wrote:
empty of eternal and unchanging nature

...is in response to some school or another that argued in favor of an eternal and unchanging nature. Forgive my ignorance here, but did the Sarvastivadins or another sect play a role here? In other words, did Mahayana sunyata evolve out of a dialectical process involving contrasting arguments among sects?
all buddhist schools negate an eternal unchanging nature--emptiness is far more radical, and so mahayanist are accused of misunderstanding dependent arising in the sense of being too nihilistic (ie. "you mahayana guys negate causes and conditions")

so, yes, mahayana texts are all about people who accept findable characteristic marks (self-existence) vs those who dont accept them
5heaps
 
Posts: 432
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:09 am

Re: Sunyata and dependent origination

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sun Jun 19, 2011 4:07 pm

5heaps wrote:so, yes, mahayana texts are all about people who accept findable characteristic marks (self-existence) vs those who dont accept them


I was once in a conversation with someone in another forum who seems to abhor anything remotely Mahayana, and when I asked this person whether or not he himself experiences any sensation (illusory or otherwise) of a continuous 'self' , merely avoided the question.

I think that Mahayanists at least acknowledge the reality of the experience, just as they acknowledge that dreams occur during sleep. This is not the same as asserting that the events which compose that experience have any substance, or that a 'self' truly exists who is having that experience.

My guess was that what that guy practices is a sort of denial of his own actual experience.
Is this sort of thing common among Buddhists who do not practice Mahayana or Vajrayana?
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
User avatar
PadmaVonSamba
 
Posts: 2845
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

Re: Sunyata and dependent origination

Postby 5heaps » Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:02 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:My guess was that what that guy practices is a sort of denial of his own actual experience.
Is this sort of thing common among Buddhists who do not practice Mahayana or Vajrayana?

its dangerous to think you can know for sure when you cant see their mind. but yes, the first obstacle which is also one of the easiest to remove is investing in wrong systems of thought.

in other words, a long time before we see emptiness directly in meditation we start to unwind our wrong ways of thinking that we have learned just form being alive, experiencing things day-to-day, and from bumping into different assertions of how things works
5heaps
 
Posts: 432
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:09 am

Re: Sunyata and dependent origination

Postby Malcolm » Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:27 pm

5heaps wrote: a long time before we see emptiness directly in meditation s


You will never see emptiness in meditation directly for emptiness is a not a thing that can be seen.

N
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
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
User avatar
Malcolm
 
Posts: 12331
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Sunyata and dependent origination

Postby 5heaps » Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:39 pm

Namdrol wrote:
5heaps wrote: a long time before we see emptiness directly in meditation s
You will never see emptiness in meditation directly for emptiness is a not a thing that can be seen.
is a thing that cannot be cognized? what would you say you are supposed to do with it then?
5heaps
 
Posts: 432
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:09 am

Re: Sunyata and dependent origination

Postby Malcolm » Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:02 pm

5heaps wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
5heaps wrote: a long time before we see emptiness directly in meditation s
You will never see emptiness in meditation directly for emptiness is a not a thing that can be seen.
is a thing that cannot be cognized? what would you say you are supposed to do with it then?



Emptiness cannot be cognized directly. It has no characteristics, no shape, color, form, duration, etc.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
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
User avatar
Malcolm
 
Posts: 12331
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Sunyata and dependent origination

Postby 5heaps » Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:28 pm

Namdrol wrote:
5heaps wrote:is a thing that cannot be cognized? what would you say you are supposed to do with it then?

Emptiness cannot be cognized directly. It has no characteristics, no shape, color, form, duration, etc.

only hinayanists have a problem with saying that negatives cant be cognized explicitly..but even they would say it can be cognized directly, where directly is taken to mean free of conceptuality ie. without conceptual consciousness, needing to rely on a mental image. do you understand what i mean by explicit vs implicit?
5heaps
 
Posts: 432
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:09 am

Re: Sunyata and dependent origination

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Mon Jun 20, 2011 12:21 am

When you clean a glass window, when it is really, really clean, you can't see it. But that is how you experience it.
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
User avatar
PadmaVonSamba
 
Posts: 2845
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

Re: Sunyata and dependent origination

Postby mudra » Mon Jun 20, 2011 1:20 am

PMTF wrote:
Namdrol wrote:What are the twelve different limbs
the Muni taught as dependent origination?

Those are exhaustively included in three,
defilement, action and suffering.
The first, eighth and ninth are defilement;
the second and tenth are action;
also the remaining seven are suffering;
twelve dharmas are gathered into three.

There are no sentient beings at all,
empty dharmas are entirely produced
from dharmas strictly empty,
dharmas without a self and [not] of a self.

Hello Namdrol

I agree this verse distinguishes the Great Vehicle from the Hinayana. In the Mahayana, defilement, action and suffering are viewed within emptiness. Therefore the numberless beings receive forgiveness for their defiled actions that produce harm & suffering. This exemplifies the compassion of the Great Vehicle. Where in Hinayana, my studies have revealed, it is taught emptiness is the mind empty of sensuality, empty of becoming and empty of ignorance. In Hinayana, emptiness is the mind abiding empty of self-cherishing. But in the Great Vehicle, even defiled self-cherishing is emptiness. I agree the verse you posted distinguishes the Great Vehicle from the Hinayana and exemplies the great compassion of the Great Vehicle. I can now see how Lama Choedak, who was an extremely enthusiastic proponent of Emptiness, remained so unaffected by his immoral behaviour. Lama Choedak actually taught all karma is just Emtpiness.

:thanks:


When 'emptiness' is confused with 'nothing exists' (no matter how subtle or veiled that view maybe in the mind of the so-called practitioner) samsaric behaviour disguised as buddha dharma will arise.

Those who commit negative karmas don't 'receive forgiveness' because "karmas are emptiness". It's quite different from recognizing that because karmas are empty of inherent self therefore they can be purified/neutralized, or conversely continue to grow in weight.

Emptiness is not a thing, a big self existing void so to speak.

The empty dharmas mentioned by Nagarjuna exist, just not how we think they do. You don't simply avoid suffering by pretending they don't. And the 'seven' sufferings exist (even if not how we think they do) and are experienced as a result of negative karma, despite the fact that karmas are empty.

As to the "hinayana" teachings you are referring to, I am not sure which school you mean.

In the schools of individual liberation such as Theravada, I always had the impression that they discuss "selflessness/anatta" - mainly that of persons. I don't recall any reference to "emptiness/sunyatta" of sensuality etc. Perhaps they use another term. Any quotes to back this up?
User avatar
mudra
 
Posts: 453
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2010 3:55 am

Re: Sunyata and dependent origination

Postby Lazy_eye » Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:59 am

Nagarjuna warned against turning sunyata into a "view":

Buddha taught sunyata as the refutation of all [any] views. But those who hold sunyata as a view are called irremediable.


How do we avoid holding it as a view?

It seems to me that any declarative statement -- e.g "phenomena arise due to causes and conditions", or "emptiness is form, form is emptiness" -- necessarily amounts to a statement of view. Declarative statements, though, are required in order to convey the teaching.

How do we resolve this apparent paradox? Is it a problem of linguistic constraints?
User avatar
Lazy_eye
 
Posts: 305
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 4:32 am
Location: Laurel, MD

Re: Sunyata and dependent origination

Postby ground » Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:46 am

Lazy_eye wrote:
Buddha taught sunyata as the refutation of all [any] views.

That of course is not true.

Lazy_eye wrote:How do we avoid holding it as a view?

Cultivate right view.

Kind regards
User avatar
ground
 
Posts: 1782
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:31 am

Re: Sunyata and dependent origination

Postby Lazy_eye » Mon Jun 20, 2011 1:16 pm

TMingyur wrote:
Lazy_eye wrote:
Buddha taught sunyata as the refutation of all [any] views.

That of course is not true.


TMingyur,

I think what Nagarjuna has in mind here are the 62 wrong views noted in the (Pali) Brahmajala sutta, the tetralemma (existence, non-existence, both existence and non-existence, neither existence nor non-existence), eternalism and annihilationism, and "speculative view" in general.

A criticism could be made that in the process of countering these speculative views, Madhyamaka sets up emptiness as a speculative view, thus contradicting himself and creating an ontological monster. Hence my question.
User avatar
Lazy_eye
 
Posts: 305
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 4:32 am
Location: Laurel, MD

Re: Sunyata and dependent origination

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Mon Jun 20, 2011 1:45 pm

You can't maintain refutation of any view, because the very idea that it is erroneous to cling to views, that idea itself, is a view.
In the book, Essence Of The Heart Sutra, HHDL stresses that sunyata is only a concept that functions in the context of describing phenomena, and that otherwise, there is no "thing", which is 'sunyata'. So, 'those who hold sunyata as a view' refers to those who be making that mistake.
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
User avatar
PadmaVonSamba
 
Posts: 2845
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

Re: Sunyata and dependent origination

Postby Malcolm » Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:40 pm

5heaps wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
5heaps wrote:is a thing that cannot be cognized? what would you say you are supposed to do with it then?

Emptiness cannot be cognized directly. It has no characteristics, no shape, color, form, duration, etc.

only hinayanists have a problem with saying that negatives cant be cognized explicitly..but even they would say it can be cognized directly, where directly is taken to mean free of conceptuality ie. without conceptual consciousness, needing to rely on a mental image. do you understand what i mean by explicit vs implicit?


One cannot cognize that which lacks characteristics. It's impossible.

N
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
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
User avatar
Malcolm
 
Posts: 12331
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Sunyata and dependent origination

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Mon Jun 20, 2011 4:17 pm

Namdrol wrote:One cannot cognize that which lacks characteristics. It's impossible.
N


At this point, it might be helpful if everybody agrees about the meaning of the term "cognize" being used here.

Are we referring to consciously, mentally witnessing an event from a subjective perspecitive

...or by cognition are we referring to a specific skhanda, or perhaps step in the 12 links of dependent arising?

Can one "have" an experience without cognizing it? (we would need to agree on what "have" means in terms of experience)

If not, then can one really experience any cessation of thought?
And if so, then does that experience fall under the definition of 'cognition'?'
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
User avatar
PadmaVonSamba
 
Posts: 2845
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

Re: Sunyata and dependent origination

Postby Malcolm » Mon Jun 20, 2011 4:25 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
If not, then can one really experience any cessation of thought?
And if so, then does that experience fall under the definition of 'cognition'?'


"To cognize" means to have a mental recognition. That can only occur based on characteristics.

One cannot experience a cessation. By definition, cessation is a suspended mind. This is undesirable from a Mahāyāna pov.

"Realizing" emptiness means the mind becomes free from the proliferation of the four extremes [is, isn't, both, neither]. That is not a cognitive event since it [the mind] has now become free from all apprehended characteristics. At this point, the mind has been transcended.

N
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
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
User avatar
Malcolm
 
Posts: 12331
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Sunyata and dependent origination

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Mon Jun 20, 2011 6:05 pm

Namdrol wrote:
"To cognize" means to have a mental recognition.


Uhhhhhhh....yeaahhhhhh --but....what...exactly...does...that....mean...?
Conceptual recognition? Spontaneous reaction?
Can you provide a hypothetical example of one?
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
User avatar
PadmaVonSamba
 
Posts: 2845
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

Re: Sunyata and dependent origination

Postby Malcolm » Mon Jun 20, 2011 6:50 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
"To cognize" means to have a mental recognition.


Uhhhhhhh....yeaahhhhhh --but....what...exactly...does...that....mean...?
Conceptual recognition? Spontaneous reaction?
Can you provide a hypothetical example of one?



It means you must have a sense organ, an object and a consciousness meeting together.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
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
User avatar
Malcolm
 
Posts: 12331
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Sunyata and dependent origination

Postby conebeckham » Mon Jun 20, 2011 7:08 pm

Namdrol wrote:"Realizing" emptiness means the mind becomes free from the proliferation of the four extremes [is, isn't, both, neither]. That is not a cognitive event since it [the mind] has now become free from all apprehended characteristics. At this point, the mind has been transcended.

N


So, is there such a thing, in your view, as a "direct cognition of emptiness?"

Or, another way of asking, what is it that "realizes" emptiness if not the mind?
May any merit generated by on-line discussion
Be dedicated to the Ultimate Benefit of All Sentient Beings.
User avatar
conebeckham
 
Posts: 2756
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:49 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA, USA

PreviousNext

Return to Mahāyāna Buddhism

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: lorem, Lotus_Bitch and 15 guests

>