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Great doubt, great enlightenment... - Dhamma Wheel

Great doubt, great enlightenment...

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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retrofuturist
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Great doubt, great enlightenment...

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Sep 10, 2009 11:15 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Cittasanto
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Re: Great doubt, great enlightenment...

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Sep 10, 2009 12:01 pm

I suppose it is refering to not the Enlightenment, but the experiance of enlightenment in a theravada context it would be at the Sotapanna stage when this is applicaple more than the rest, so it may be if the doubt is great that the progress is faster once reaching that level? remembering there are four ways to progress


He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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genkaku
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Re: Great doubt, great enlightenment...

Postby genkaku » Thu Sep 10, 2009 2:44 pm

To me, it simply means that practice is endless and anything short of that endlessness falls short.

In my mind the saying is not meant as a criticism or even necessarily as an encouragement. Rather, it is a straightforward observation of fact...like saying, "the car is blue," when it is indeed blue.

Most of us have a stop-and-go practice -- taking breaks with one belief or another, one hope or another, one certainty or another. Sometimes it is a lifelong affection that develops at one particular pit stop or another. But life (or the Dharma, if you like) does not stop. Look around, if you disbelieve me.

Endless is how we began and endless is how we (don't) end. Doubt drives the car and enlightenment is the gas in its tank.

Just my take, obviously.
Smile just one smile




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pink_trike
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Re: Great doubt, great enlightenment...

Postby pink_trike » Thu Sep 10, 2009 6:57 pm

Imo, replacing "doubt" with "uncertainty" may be helpful in understanding this phrase. The degree that we are aware of the inherent uncertain (impermanent, dynamic, insubstantial, conditioned) nature of the entire phenomenal world is the degree that we experience clarity (cleared, emptied, light, spacious, aha!, the lightbulb in the head switches on). The more we are cleared of the cluttering, clouding, en-darken-ing, confining confusion of certainty, the more awake we are - the less we perceive ourselves as separate, solid, self. Awareness of the uncertainty of circumstances, practicing, and studying (the Path) is none other than awakening, integrating, en-lighten-ing, clear-ing, empty-ing (the Fruit). Great Uncertainty is Great Awakening.
Last edited by pink_trike on Thu Sep 10, 2009 11:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

rowyourboat
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Re: Great doubt, great enlightenment...

Postby rowyourboat » Thu Sep 10, 2009 10:22 pm

I agree with pink trike- otherwise if we were talking purely of doubt (vicikicca) it would not make sense -certainly not from a theravada perspective as doubt is gotten rid of at the sotapanna level.
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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Fede
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Re: Great doubt, great enlightenment...

Postby Fede » Thu Sep 10, 2009 10:24 pm

The deeper you fall, the higher your climb, but it's worth the effort.
But if you stroll it downhill, the sense of liberation and achievement is not going to be as great - or as life-changing.

Is how I see it.
Simply put.
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


http://www.armchairadvice.co.uk/relationships/forum/

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christopher:::
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Re: Great doubt, great enlightenment...

Postby christopher::: » Thu Sep 10, 2009 11:43 pm

Yeah, i too like the way pink trike put it. Doubting all we have been taught, by society. Doubting the pleasure seeking habits we've developed, samsaric thoughts, belief in self. That's like the egg cracking....

The lotus bud rising above the muck.

:heart:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009

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pink_trike
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Re: Great doubt, great enlightenment...

Postby pink_trike » Thu Sep 10, 2009 11:58 pm

Yes, with no separation between muck and lotus.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

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tiltbillings
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Re: Great doubt, great enlightenment...

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Sep 11, 2009 3:15 am

Here is a talk by Joseph Goldstein on the Five Hindrances:



He takes them in reverse order, starting with doubt, talking about the hindrances in terms of actual practice. The whole talk is well worth listening to.

A lengthier talk in the context of the Satipatthana Sutta:


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retrofuturist
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Re: Great doubt, great enlightenment...

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Sep 11, 2009 5:00 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Great doubt, great enlightenment...

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Fri Sep 11, 2009 5:40 am



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Ngawang Drolma.
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Re: Great doubt, great enlightenment...

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Fri Sep 11, 2009 5:45 am



kannada
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Re: Great doubt, great enlightenment...

Postby kannada » Fri Sep 11, 2009 12:30 pm

Just a view - nothing more...

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tiltbillings
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Re: Great doubt, great enlightenment...

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Sep 11, 2009 2:07 pm

Just to add a bit of emphasis, it would be well worth the few minutes it would take to listen to the doubt section (the opening) of this talk (if not the whole talk). Goldstein speaks not as a theoretician, but as a solid practitioner deeply grounded in the Dhamma teachings, making sometime dry formulaic doctrinal statements come alive as actual ways doing and understanding practice.

http://www.dharmaseed.org/teacher/96/talk/1382/

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christopher:::
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Re: Great doubt, great enlightenment...

Postby christopher::: » Sat Sep 12, 2009 1:37 am

"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009

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Re: Great doubt, great enlightenment...

Postby Jechbi » Sat Sep 12, 2009 8:42 am


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Prasadachitta
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Re: Great doubt, great enlightenment...

Postby Prasadachitta » Mon Sep 14, 2009 2:15 am

Hi All,

Great enlightenment sounds good. Small enlightenment sounds good. I certainly wouldn't want to stop short but I can get behind enlightenment whatever shape size or variety we can manage.


Gabe
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332

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Re: Great doubt, great enlightenment...

Postby BudSas » Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:31 am


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retrofuturist
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Re: Great doubt, great enlightenment...

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:40 am

Greetings BudSas,

I like the translation you give, and it reflects the way I understood the other translation.

Thanks.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

Paññāsikhara
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Re: Great doubt, great enlightenment...

Postby Paññāsikhara » Tue Oct 20, 2009 12:06 pm

My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: .


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