Jewel Ornament - Question about Dharmakaya

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Jewel Ornament - Question about Dharmakaya

Postby Konchog1 » Sun May 05, 2013 5:14 am

In the Jewel Ornament of Liberation in the first section, which discusses Buddha-nature, it says
"all sentient beings are pervaded by the emptiness of Dharmakaya" means that the ultimate Buddhahood is Dharmakaya, Dharmakaya is all-pervading emptiness, and emptiness pervades all sentient beings. Therefore, all sentient beings are of the Buddha-nature.

--pg. 50 Konchog Gyaltsen Rinpoche edition
Please explain this whole passage. What is the Dharmakaya? How is the Dharmakaya described above and the Dharmakaya of a Buddha related? Also, I thought emptiness was a mere characteristic of phenomena (Heart Sutra). So how can it pervade everything?
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Jewel Ornament - Question about Dharmakaya

Postby alpha » Sun May 05, 2013 9:32 am

The way i understand it is that this has to be seen in the context of our own mind.
Dharmakaya is the base of the entire manifestation and it pervades everything without obstacles.
Whatever manifestation appears is indistinguishable from the space of mind in which it appears and is of the same essence with the space of the mind.
The phenomenal manifestations can be considered an ornament of that space and the fact that they appear at all is the result of an unceasing, continuous potential energy of that space.
Freedom arises from the recognition of this display as own display.
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Re: Jewel Ornament - Question about Dharmakaya

Postby Konchog1 » Sun May 05, 2013 7:27 pm

alpha wrote:The way i understand it is that this has to be seen in the context of our own mind.
Dharmakaya is the base of the entire manifestation and it pervades everything without obstacles.
Whatever manifestation appears is indistinguishable from the space of mind in which it appears and is of the same essence with the space of the mind.
The phenomenal manifestations can be considered an ornament of that space and the fact that they appear at all is the result of an unceasing, continuous potential energy of that space.
Freedom arises from the recognition of this display as own display.
Ok, so there is no Dharmakaya outside of the mind?

But, what about "Form is emptiness, emptiness is form"? Doesn't 'emptiness is form' mean that there is no emptiness aside from the emptiness of forms (and the other four aggregates)? Am I understanding that the Dharmakaya is some emptiness separate from phenomena? Is the Dharmakaya impermanent and empty?
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Jewel Ornament - Question about Dharmakaya

Postby Astus » Sun May 05, 2013 7:47 pm

Dharmakaya is a word for the emptiness of the mind. For the emptiness of everything in general the word is dharmadhatu. While both mean emptiness, the difference is regarding to the emptiness of what.
"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: Jewel Ornament - Question about Dharmakaya

Postby Konchog1 » Sun May 05, 2013 8:07 pm

Astus wrote:Dharmakaya is a word for the emptiness of the mind. For the emptiness of everything in general the word is dharmadhatu. While both mean emptiness, the difference is regarding to the emptiness of what.
Thank you. You may be pleased to know that you explain these concepts far better than any book or glossary I've ever read.

So if the Dharmakaya is of the mind then what is meant by "Dharmakaya is all-pervading emptiness"?
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Jewel Ornament - Question about Dharmakaya

Postby conebeckham » Sun May 05, 2013 8:54 pm

All Phenomena are mind.
Mind is empty--it is Dharmakaya, ultimately.
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Re: Jewel Ornament - Question about Dharmakaya

Postby Jinzang » Mon May 06, 2013 1:30 am

From the Aspiration Prayer of Mahamudra:

It is not existent--even the Victorious Ones do not see it.
It is not nonexistent--it is the basis of all samsara and nirvana.
This is not a contradiction, but the middle path of unity.
May the ultimate nature of phenomena, limitless mind beyond extremes, he realised.

If one says, "This is it," there is nothing to show.
If one says, "This is not it," there is nothing to deny.
The true nature of phenomena,
which transcends conceptual understanding, is unconditioned.
May conviction he gained in the ultimate, perfect truth.

Not realising it, one circles in the ocean of samsara.
If it is realised, buddha is not anything other.
It is completely devoid of any "This is it," or "This is not it."
May this simple secret, this ultimate essence of phenomena,
which is the basis of everything, be realised.

Appearance is mind and emptiness is mind.
Realisation is mind and confusion is mind.
Arising is mind and cessation is mind.
May all doubts about mind be resolved.
Lamrim, lojong, and mahamudra are the unmistaken path.
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Re: Jewel Ornament - Question about Dharmakaya

Postby Wayfarer » Mon May 06, 2013 2:35 am

Ok, so there is no Dharmakaya outside of the mind?


The way I understand it, it is never an object of mind. It is never known, but is always 'what is knowing'. This is not the same as Atman, because it cannot be conceived as a permanently existing self, substance or object. It is never a 'that'.

That is why it can only be approached through 'not-knowing'. As my signature line says:
Learn to do good, refrain from evil, purify the mind ~ this is the teaching of the Buddhas
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Re: Jewel Ornament - Question about Dharmakaya

Postby 5heaps » Mon May 06, 2013 3:27 am

Konchog1 wrote:Also, I thought emptiness was a mere characteristic of phenomena (Heart Sutra). So how can it pervade everything?

what is your qualm? doesnt phenomena pervade all existing phenomenon? likewise the emptiness of the chair is one part of emptiness...unless you want to say that it is more or less empty than some other object
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Re: Jewel Ornament - Question about Dharmakaya

Postby Wayfarer » Mon May 06, 2013 3:38 am

doesn't phenomena pervade all existing phenomenon?


:shrug:

That is like saying 'water pervades water'. I think any attempt to understand Śūnyatā as 'pervading' is a reification. Phenomena are empty not because emptiness is something that pervades them, but because they have no self-nature or are dependently-originated.
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Re: Jewel Ornament - Question about Dharmakaya

Postby Konchog1 » Mon May 06, 2013 4:18 am

So the emptiness of the mind is Dharmakaya. Then what is the difference between my Dharmakaya and the Dharmakaya of a Buddha.

5heaps wrote:
Konchog1 wrote:Also, I thought emptiness was a mere characteristic of phenomena (Heart Sutra). So how can it pervade everything?

what is your qualm? doesnt phenomena pervade all existing phenomenon? likewise the emptiness of the chair is one part of emptiness...unless you want to say that it is more or less empty than some other object
Ok, your wording made me understand. Without phenomena there would be no Dharmakaya right?
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Jewel Ornament - Question about Dharmakaya

Postby alpha » Mon May 06, 2013 10:54 am

Konchog1 wrote:
alpha wrote:The way i understand it is that this has to be seen in the context of our own mind.
Dharmakaya is the base of the entire manifestation and it pervades everything without obstacles.
Whatever manifestation appears is indistinguishable from the space of mind in which it appears and is of the same essence with the space of the mind.
The phenomenal manifestations can be considered an ornament of that space and the fact that they appear at all is the result of an unceasing, continuous potential energy of that space.
Freedom arises from the recognition of this display as own display.
Ok, so there is no Dharmakaya outside of the mind?

But, what about "Form is emptiness, emptiness is form"? Doesn't 'emptiness is form' mean that there is no emptiness aside from the emptiness of forms (and the other four aggregates)? Am I understanding that the Dharmakaya is some emptiness separate from phenomena? Is the Dharmakaya impermanent and empty?


I somehow regret my answer to your question.
Not because you don't understand but because my answer is just words and nothing more.They can't help you directly see the reality of your condition beyond these intellectual trappings.

Because you have to rely on direct instruction and transmission from a teacher who can transmit this knowledge to you.
You may have had this instruction or not.
I have no way of knowing but the main trap we are continually falling into is that we believe that we can think our way beyond mind.

My constant challenge is to totally trust my teacher and constantly rely on that single piece of advice he gave me and not to give in the extraneous preoccupations with the dry intelectual infrastructure.
It is simple , very simple because it is only one thing of concern.
And this simplicity is the main challenge .
Constantly reducing and destroying the complexity of my mind.

But there is hope that at some point this complexity will be integrated and that will be seen as the play of unceasing potentiality of my own condition.

Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche explains this very eloquently by saying that if we dont understand that whatever manifests, be it samsara or nirvana, is the energy manifestation of our own human vision ,even if we declare that we have discovered our own condition or nature ,we have to understand that this does not correspond to the real meaning because the knowledge of our own condition means that we have UNDERSTANDING and CERTAINTY that samsara and nirvana are the nature of primordial purity(Dharmakaya)
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Re: Jewel Ornament - Question about Dharmakaya

Postby Astus » Mon May 06, 2013 11:14 am

Konchog1 wrote:So if the Dharmakaya is of the mind then what is meant by "Dharmakaya is all-pervading emptiness"?


As Cone said, all things are mind, and mind is empty. Don't forget that emptiness is not something in and of itself but the quality, the nature of phenomena. Dharmakaya is used in the context of the trikaya teaching (the term dharmakaya has other uses too, but they are not important here). So in order to say that the nature of the mind of every sentient being is the same as the mind of buddhas they use the term dharmakaya. Emptiness is a universal quality, so we can say that dharmakaya is the same as the emptiness of everything else, because the mind being empty is no different from other things being empty.

In the JOL (p. 289) all-pervading emptiness is explained under the 4th category: "Oneness. It is indivisible because the Dharmadhatu and primordial wisdom cannot be differentiated." That is, non-conceptuality includes not making differences between this and that, not grasping the extremes of sameness and difference, therefore it is all-pervading.
"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: Jewel Ornament - Question about Dharmakaya

Postby 5heaps » Mon May 06, 2013 12:20 pm

Konchog1 wrote:Without phenomena there would be no Dharmakaya right?

sure without a dependent arising there is no emptiness. more importantly emptiness is an ultimate truth that is true of all things, so how could emptiness not be all-pervasive in this sense? thats why i dont understand what your qualm could be.

Then what is the difference between my Dharmakaya and the Dharmakaya of a Buddha.

the pervasive element is kind of easy, the cool part is where it says "the ultimate Buddhahood is Dharmakaya", because jut the as emptiness of my mind is not ascertainable to me, neither is the living awareness which can see all emptinesses and which accompanies that emptiness of my mind ie. other buddhas in their complete form.

jeeprs wrote:That is like saying 'water pervades water'.

nah thats totally different. for starters if both usages of the word water here refer to particular substances, then 2 substances of similar type cannot occupy the same space by definition ie. they cannot pervade one another. the knowable entity 'water' however does apply to all instances of water and therefore does 'pervade' them in this sense. the whole point of buddhism in a sense is to understand how pervasion is not due to essential natures which are either independent of their parts/instances nor one with their parts/instances.
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Re: Jewel Ornament - Question about Dharmakaya

Postby Konchog1 » Mon May 06, 2013 6:18 pm

I'll have to puzzle over your answers and study more.

Thanks everyone.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Jewel Ornament - Question about Dharmakaya

Postby conebeckham » Mon May 06, 2013 8:48 pm

I think it's important to point out that Dharmakaya is not merely "Emptiness."

Thus, it's not merely the fact that all sentient beings are pervaded by emptiness that allows for us to say that "All sentient beings are of the Buddha Nature." This "emptiness" that pervades sentient beings, which is called Dharmakaya, is a referent for a specific "thing" (which is a "non-thing") but which is different than the emptiness of a rock, or a table. Perhaps it's better to say it's a referent of a "quality" of Buddha.

In addition to the Dharmakaya, there are Samboghakaya and Nirmanakaya. In the Three Kaya framework, which is a conceptual attempt at describing the Nature of Buddha, it's essential to understand that the Three Kayas are at all times, primordially, inseparable. If we talk about the "energy" or "awareness" aspects of the Buddha, the "luminosity" or "Wisdom," or a Buddha's "Physical Manifestation" or form, we cannot divorce these aspects from the Empty Nature that is Dharmakaya.

When it's said that "Dharmakaya is the benefit for oneself," this is because no sentient being can see another sentient being's "Dharmakaya." In a sense, there is no such thing as "another sentient being's Dharmakaya," because the two (sentient beings, and Dharmakaya) are mutually exclusive. The "Form Bodies" are said to be for the "benefit of others," meaning for the benefit of sentient beings, but they are temporary, and therefore not "True." Nonetheless, though temporary, they are ultimately primordially inseparable from Dharmakaya, the unconditioned.

From Gampopa's POV, as I understand it, a glimpse of Tathagatagarbha, or Sugatagarbha, is like the clouds temporarily clearing from the clear blue sky. You can say that's a "glimpse of Dharmakaya." Perhaps we can say that the Sambhogakaya is like the "light" that illuminates the blue sky during the Noon Hour (and, to a lesser extent, the starlight that illuminates the night sky). The "Awareness." The Cognizant quality of the Wisdom Mind. And the clouds that float by, arise and disperse, we can say are the Nirmanakaya, the forms that appear in and to the cognizant quality.

But the Dharmakaya is like seeing the primordially inseparable nature of the clouds and the clear blue illuminated sky. The Svabhavakaya, the unification of the Form Bodies and the Truth Body. The Real and the Seeming. The unity of the Unconditioned, and Phenomena.
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