Basic Question

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Basic Question

Postby sangyey » Fri Apr 09, 2010 3:46 pm

Hi everybody, :smile:

I have a basic questions that I would like to ask:

What is the correlation between the three priniple paths and the two types of Bodhicitta (conventinal and ultimate)?

It seems that the principle path of Bodhicitta is correlated to convential Bodhicitta and the priniple path of wisdom is correlated to ultimate Bodhicitta.

Is this so?

:thanks:
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Re: Basic Question

Postby sangyey » Fri Apr 09, 2010 11:34 pm

I'm just trying to put this into a context.

I know you have -

Method
and
Wisdom

And method comprises of Bodhicitta. But with Bodhicitta you have conventinal Bodhicitta and Ultimate Bodhicitta so I am just wondering if this ultimate Bodhicitta is included within the wisdom aspect?

:thanks:
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Re: Basic Question

Postby mudra » Sat Apr 10, 2010 2:19 am

Hi Sangyey,

The Three Principles of the Path basically is a super abbreviated Lam Rim that points to three most important qualities needed to reach the state described by your name, Sangyey, or Buddha(hood).

1. Renunciation (of Samsara)
2. Bodhicitta (spirit of enlightenment, here denoting "Conventional Bodhicitta") "Method" aspect
3. Superior Wisdom realizing Emptiness/Shunyata (Ultimate Bodhicitta as it deals with the ultimate nature of phenomena) "Wisdom" aspect
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Re: Basic Question

Postby 5heaps » Sat Apr 10, 2010 2:37 am

ultimate bodhichitta is a codeword for emptiness. similar to 'natural nirvana' (another codeword for emptiness).

whether ultimate bodhichitta is a type of bodhichitta is a good debate ie. consider ultimate bodhichitta, it isn't bodhichitta, because it's something that even rocks have.
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Re: Basic Question

Postby mudra » Sat Apr 10, 2010 2:53 am

5heaps wrote:ultimate bodhichitta is a codeword for emptiness. similar to 'natural nirvana' (another codeword for emptiness).

whether ultimate bodhichitta is a type of bodhichitta is a good debate ie. consider ultimate bodhichitta, it isn't bodhichitta, because it's something that even rocks have.


????

Ultimate Bodhicitta is the mind realization of Emptiness, not "Emptiness" itself (btw, "emptiness itself"=oxymoron)

Let's not start a debate with confusion, unless it is intentional as a "position to be negated"

It's my impression that if one wants to have meaningful debate, whatever position one takes, then one has to understand basic definitions. Citta refers to mind, bodhi refers to enlightenment. Ultimate here refers to the ultimate nature of all phenomena (including the mind) which is that it lacks inherent existence.

My (slightly obvious) position would be: Rocks not being sentient and not having mind, therefore they cannot have bodhicitta of any kind.
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Re: Basic Question

Postby sangyey » Sat Apr 10, 2010 3:01 am

Okay, thanks a lot for the clarification.
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Re: Basic Question

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Sat Apr 10, 2010 7:41 am

mudra wrote:
5heaps wrote:ultimate bodhichitta is a codeword for emptiness. similar to 'natural nirvana' (another codeword for emptiness).

whether ultimate bodhichitta is a type of bodhichitta is a good debate ie. consider ultimate bodhichitta, it isn't bodhichitta, because it's something that even rocks have.


????

Ultimate Bodhicitta is the mind realization of Emptiness, not "Emptiness" itself (btw, "emptiness itself"=oxymoron)

Let's not start a debate with confusion, unless it is intentional as a "position to be negated"

It's my impression that if one wants to have meaningful debate, whatever position one takes, then one has to understand basic definitions. Citta refers to mind, bodhi refers to enlightenment. Ultimate here refers to the ultimate nature of all phenomena (including the mind) which is that it lacks inherent existence.

My (slightly obvious) position would be: Rocks not being sentient and not having mind, therefore they cannot have bodhicitta of any kind.


Yes thank you, Mudra. Let's not create unnecessary confusion. Rocks don't experience dukkha, generate compassion, experience birth, and so on according to the Buddha's Dharma. As for "code words" that 5heaps referenced, I'd urge Sangyey to ignore that as well because the definitions of bodhicitta are clear and straightforward, lacking in codes or mystery.

Best,
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Re: Basic Question

Postby 5heaps » Sat Apr 10, 2010 8:04 am

mudra wrote:Ultimate Bodhicitta is the mind realization of Emptiness, not "Emptiness" itself.

ok, but what does the nonconceptual cognition of emptiness have to do with bodhichitta?

It's my impression that if one wants to have meaningful debate, whatever position one takes, then one has to understand basic definitions. Citta refers to mind, bodhi refers to enlightenment. Ultimate here refers to the ultimate nature of all phenomena (including the mind) which is that it lacks inherent existence.

yes it's all about definitions. but your definition seems a bit contradictory. for example, how can bodhichitta be both a 'mind of enlightenment' and the lack of inherent existence? the first is a positive phenomena the other a negative phenomena. one object can't be both, since they're a dichotomy.
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Re: Basic Question

Postby muni » Sat Apr 10, 2010 8:24 am

The two wings of the bird Bodhichitta; the indivisibility of wisdom and skilful means by uniting both=emptiness with compassion as its' essence.
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Re: Basic Question

Postby mudra » Sat Apr 10, 2010 8:43 am

Thanks Muni for putting it into context. As you point out there are two aspects to the mind of enlightenment.

5heaps, not sure how to approach this because it is really rooted in Madhyamika philosophy which not everybody is into.

But if you do understand that Bodhicitta is the mind of enlightenment (which I hope by now is established) then you should be able to see that mind is an existing phenomena - yes, it is shunya/empty, but nevertheless existing. There is no contradiction, for what anything is empty (shunya) of is independent/inherent existence of its own. Existence isn't being denied, it's the "independent" mode that is being refuted. This is basic Middle Way philosophy, albeit somewhat reduced.

What mind is, is the capacity to cognize/comprehend/apprehend - whether it does this conceptually or not. It can do this because it can interact, change etc (in fact it never stops doing so for an instant). Alias it does not have a fixed, independent mode of existence.

If one were to follow your logic:

how can bodhicitta be both a 'mind of enlightenment' and the lack of inherent existence? the first is a positive phenomena the other a negative phenomena. one object can't be both, since they're a dichotomy.


it would contradict the Buddha's most basic teaching that is dependent arising, which thankfully He taught. Nagarjuna explained quite thoroughly that dependent arising and emptiness are two sides to the same coin. He and others praised effusively the Buddha for teaching dependent arising.
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Re: Basic Question

Postby heart » Sat Apr 10, 2010 9:55 am

5heaps wrote:yes it's all about definitions. but your definition seems a bit contradictory. for example, how can bodhichitta be both a 'mind of enlightenment' and the lack of inherent existence? the first is a positive phenomena the other a negative phenomena. one object can't be both, since they're a dichotomy.


Lack of inherent existence or emptiness don't need to be considered a negative phenomena. For this reason in the Mahayoga emptiness is referred to as purity and in Dzogchen it is referred to as primordial purity. Without emptiness change is not possible and without emptiness there is no space at all. Without emptiness how could there be compassion?

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
- Longchenpa
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Re: Basic Question

Postby muni » Sat Apr 10, 2010 11:40 am

heart wrote:
5heaps wrote:yes it's all about definitions. but your definition seems a bit contradictory. for example, how can bodhichitta be both a 'mind of enlightenment' and the lack of inherent existence? the first is a positive phenomena the other a negative phenomena. one object can't be both, since they're a dichotomy.


Lack of inherent existence or emptiness don't need to be considered a negative phenomena. For this reason in the Mahayoga emptiness is referred to as purity and in Dzogchen it is referred to as primordial purity. Without emptiness change is not possible and without emptiness there is no space at all. Without emptiness how could there be compassion?

/magnus


Yes. In that way all thoughts here which are passing, arise and dissolve into primordial purity/Dharmakaya/emptiness. While recognizing that, we realize they never come into being and so don't cease.

In that pure awareness is the spontaneously present compassion and no inherent solidity can be possible other than solidifying passing thoughts. (like grasping a handful of wind).
The Bodhichitta bird can fly without traces.
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Re: Basic Question

Postby Heruka » Sat Apr 10, 2010 4:28 pm

sangyey wrote:Hi everybody, :smile:

I have a basic questions that I would like to ask:

What is the correlation between the three priniple paths and the two types of Bodhicitta (conventinal and ultimate)?

It seems that the principle path of Bodhicitta is correlated to convential Bodhicitta and the priniple path of wisdom is correlated to ultimate Bodhicitta.

Is this so?

:thanks:



Hello sangay, on conventional level we engage in three paths as you say and all time we are purifying through these actions and aspirations and so on. We are not divorced from our real nature, just simply ignorant of it. So conventional is not divorced from ultimate, and ultimate not divorced from conventional. I think its helpful that we understand that bodhicitta also means different things in sutra, tantra and dzogchen etc, so we will get various answers from coarse to fine in explanation and presentation. Also remain aware of those that claim to know, i.e. realize, and are harsh on others that present it through a different lens, bodhicitta is infinite in its manifestation and not limited to text book learning.

:smile:
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Re: Basic Question

Postby sangyey » Sat Apr 10, 2010 5:01 pm

Is there a proper sequential order that is recommended for Bodhicitta to be developed? I am not yet familiar with the different techniques such as lojong and tonglen etc., I have just been working on developing loving-kindness towards others as an initial start.

I also had another question and I am wondering what the two obscurations are and what the (two presumably) methods there are for removing the obscurations?

Thank you.
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Re: Basic Question

Postby muni » Sat Apr 10, 2010 6:10 pm

muni wrote:
heart wrote:
5heaps wrote:yes it's all about definitions. but your definition seems a bit contradictory. for example, how can bodhichitta be both a 'mind of enlightenment' and the lack of inherent existence? the first is a positive phenomena the other a negative phenomena. one object can't be both, since they're a dichotomy.


Lack of inherent existence or emptiness don't need to be considered a negative phenomena. For this reason in the Mahayoga emptiness is referred to as purity and in Dzogchen it is referred to as primordial purity. Without emptiness change is not possible and without emptiness there is no space at all. Without emptiness how could there be compassion?

/magnus


Yes. In that way all thoughts here which are passing, arise and dissolve into primordial purity/Dharmakaya/emptiness. While recognizing that, we realize they never come into being and so don't cease.

In that pure awareness is the spontaneously present compassion and no inherent solidity can be possible other than solidifying passing thoughts. (like grasping a handful of wind).
The Bodhichitta bird can fly without traces.

Mean here with realize they never come into being; we can come to some understanding.
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Re: Basic Question

Postby sangyey » Sat Apr 10, 2010 6:27 pm

How can an adventitous stain arise from something innately pure? How is it possible?
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Re: Basic Question

Postby muni » Sat Apr 10, 2010 6:59 pm

sangyey wrote:How can an adventitous stain arise from something innately pure? How is it possible?


Should say no arising other than delusion. A compassionate one can explain the emotional and cognetive obscurations.
As a basic question are preliminaries and taking refuge not to overlook.
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Re: Basic Question

Postby mudra » Sun Apr 11, 2010 1:46 am

sangyey wrote:Is there a proper sequential order that is recommended for Bodhicitta to be developed? I am not yet familiar with the different techniques such as lojong and tonglen etc., I have just been working on developing loving-kindness towards others as an initial start.

I also had another question and I am wondering what the two obscurations are and what the (two presumably) methods there are for removing the obscurations?

Thank you.


Hi Sangyey

In reality practices such as Lojong and the tonglen which it incoporates are extremely difficult, and are not really possible to practice without proper foundation of at the very least Bodhicitta generated with effort. So yours is an excellent question!

From what I have understood:

As the Three Principles of the Path indicate, first and foremost is a sense of renunciation towards samsara. This doesn't mean deprivation, whipping yourself, putting yourself in a hair shirt - it just means that you see through the samsaric delusion and realize that the process samsara will always be disappointing and full of pain. So you turn away from it (which is the meaning here of renunciation). You continue to work, eat etc but you don't invest in the meaningless desires etc.

Once you understand the suffering that is samsara and evince a wish to be free from the whole process of ignorance-elaboration-disturbing delusions (kleshas)-karma-suffering cycle, then and only then can you really understand the suffering of others. And that is the basis of the whole beginning of generation of what we are calling here 'conventional' bodhicitta.

It is usually presented in a way that ultimate bodhicitta then comes after this. In reality however most masters tend to agree that both forms of bodhicitta complement each other even as they are developing, and for various reasons probably too technical to go into here they ideally develop hand in hand. One without the other will not lead to Buddhahood.

As to your other question, there are obscurations which are the active disturbing mental factors (klesha) and there are others which are the residue of having had those kleshas active, kind of like a memory effect. These are much subtler and though don;t necessarily hold you in samsara they do hinder omniscience.
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Re: Basic Question

Postby heart » Sun Apr 11, 2010 8:49 am

sangyey wrote:How can an adventitous stain arise from something innately pure? How is it possible?


The adventitious stain is to not recognize the innately pure nature.

/magnus
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Re: Basic Question

Postby sangyey » Thu Apr 15, 2010 2:54 am

I also have an additional question on Bodhicitta while I am trying to put Bodhicitta into a framework.

I understand that there is:

* Convential Bodhicitta and Ultimate Bodhicitta

* 2 Aspects of Bodhicitta - as the altruistic intention of love and compassion ~ and as the wish to attain enlightenment

* Bodhicatta in intention ~ and Bodhicitta in action


Would these things cover Bodhicitta?

Thank you

S
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