Laughter and the Buddha

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Re: Laughter and the Buddha

Postby Astus » Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:40 am

TMingyur wrote:This is not comprehensible for me and it appears as if an inherent contradiction.
Why is there this "burst out laughing"? Who is it who laughs? And about what is this laughter?

If there is no "I" who appropriates a discrepancy between illusion and non-illusion then why is there laughter?
But if there is an "I" who appropriates this discrepancy then this laughter is a manifestation of delusion.
Who could there be to compare illusion and non-illusion and burst out laughing about that?

Isn't this actually differentiating "good" and "bad" and "acceptance" and "rejection" in that it discerns that which is laughable?


With this concept you could argue that a buddha can't talk and eat either for then there should be an "I" to conceive an other and make distinction between food and non-food (not to mention acceptable and unacceptable food). It is a buddha who can't even breathe.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
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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: Laughter and the Buddha

Postby Anders » Wed Feb 23, 2011 11:34 am

TMingyur wrote:
Anders Honore wrote:
TMingyur wrote:Laughter is excitement and agitation. I cannot see how this could be in line with enlightenment. I cannot even see who this could be in line with mindfulness.

"laughing about" stands for "not taking seriously". How could anything not be taken seriously? Error, truth, delusion, fault, clear knowing, not-knowing, mistakes ... what is there that cannot be taken seriously?


Kind regards


Since everything is but an illusion,
Perfect in being what it is,
Having nothing to do with good or bad,
Acceptance or rejection,
One might as well burst out laughing!

- Longchen Rabjam (1308-1363)


This is not comprehensible for me and it appears as if an inherent contradiction.
Why is there this "burst out laughing"? Who is it who laughs? And about what is this laughter?

If there is no "I" who appropriates a discrepancy between illusion and non-illusion then why is there laughter?
But if there is an "I" who appropriates this discrepancy then this laughter is a manifestation of delusion.
Who could there be to compare illusion and non-illusion and burst out laughing about that?

Isn't this actually differentiating "good" and "bad" and "acceptance" and "rejection" in that it discerns that which is laughable?

Kind regards


Dude, have you considered that maybe you have just fallen into a slightly extreme view concerning non-self and what constitutes liberation? Awakened ones aren't void of emotion and perception altogether, they are liberated from emotion.

fwiw, this question was raised against the late Luangta mmaha bua when he tearfully recounted how he had become an arahantship 50 years before. You can read his account of it here
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra
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Re: Laughter and the Buddha

Postby KwanSeum » Wed Feb 23, 2011 1:04 pm

TMingyur wrote:
KwanSeum wrote:Once apun a time I read about Christian scholars debating how many angles could dance on a pins head. Could this topic be the Buddhist equivalent?


Only if one does not accept scriptural evidence could one come to that conclusion.
How so?
'Accepting things as they are' and striving to improve them is living the Dharma while causing or accepting suffering because 'that's the way things are' is Nihilism.
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Re: Laughter and the Buddha

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Wed Feb 23, 2011 3:46 pm

TMingyur wrote:
Rael wrote:
TMingyur wrote:That a Buddha bursts out laughing, this is impossible.



Kind regards

was that some sort of sarcasm?
seriously


No an expression of my view.

Kind regards


The Dalai Lama seems to contradict this view. it seems like he always has to stop himself from constantly giggling.
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Re: Laughter and the Buddha

Postby Rael » Wed Feb 23, 2011 6:02 pm

TMingyur wrote:
KwanSeum wrote:Once apun a time I read about Christian scholars debating how many angles could dance on a pins head. Could this topic be the Buddhist equivalent?


Only if one does not accept scriptural evidence could one come to that conclusion.

Kind regards


could scriptural evidence be up to interpretation...
like maybe also no one thought people would be really concerned about such a thing....so the absence of ..... :zzz:
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Re: Laughter and the Buddha

Postby Rael » Wed Feb 23, 2011 6:04 pm

TMingyur I bet the Buddha would say you are a hard room.....rofl!!!
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Re: Laughter and the Buddha

Postby conebeckham » Wed Feb 23, 2011 7:03 pm

Dude, have you considered that maybe you have just fallen into a slightly extreme view concerning non-self and what constitutes liberation?


This. I'm not sure about Awakened Ones being void, or not void, of perception and emotion, frankly.....but if you read the sutras, the Buddha certainly expressed "emotion" at least as defined by spectators, those who were not awakened....he expressed what appeared to be displeasure, as well as pleasure. Don't even get me started about the Tantras and laughter.....Hevajra, anyone?
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Re: Laughter and the Buddha

Postby Blue Garuda » Wed Feb 23, 2011 7:17 pm

it's all far too clever for me.

Maybe when he laughed and cried he was only giving the appearance of it to help communicate to the unenlightened masses.

In the same way 'wrath' is sometimes described as the appearance of anger, but without being angry.

If enlightened beings have no emotions, positive or negative, then I'd rather settle for the objective of abiding in constant bliss free from craving.

Are there degrees of bliss which may allow an enlightened being to crack a smile, or should I now get busy with the paintbrush and alter the expressions on my rupas?
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Re: Laughter and the Buddha

Postby ground » Wed Feb 23, 2011 7:28 pm

TMingyur wrote:That a Buddha bursts out laughing, this is impossible.

Rael wrote:was that some sort of sarcasm?

TMingyur wrote:No an expression of my view.

Karma Dondrup Tashi wrote:The Dalai Lama seems to contradict this view. it seems like he always has to stop himself from constantly giggling.


I do not understand what you want to express ...

That the Dalai Lama does not hold the view that it is impossible that a Buddha bursts out laughing?

And why do you mention that he is giggling?

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Re: Laughter and the Buddha

Postby Luke » Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:14 pm

Rael wrote:i dunno...all the people i meet who i think are highly realised laugh a lot...more than most...

I think there are great spiritual masters who are jolly and others who are just as great, but who are not jolly.

I once met a great rinpoche who was both and khenpo and a highly-realized yogi and he smiled, joked, and laughed all the time.

I've never met Jetsun Khandro Rinpoche in person, but at least in videos, she seems quite serious and seldom laughs. However, I think that it would be a mistake to interpret this to mean that her realization is less than that of a lama who laughs a lot.
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Re: Laughter and the Buddha

Postby Rael » Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:38 pm

Luke wrote:
Rael wrote:i dunno...all the people i meet who i think are highly realised laugh a lot...more than most...

I think there are great spiritual masters who are jolly and others who are just as great, but who are not jolly.

I once met a great rinpoche who was both and khenpo and a highly-realized yogi and he smiled, joked, and laughed all the time.

I've never met Jetsun Khandro Rinpoche in person, but at least in videos, she seems quite serious and seldom laughs. However, I think that it would be a mistake to interpret this to mean that her realization is less than that of a lama who laughs a lot.


yeah i agree ..A teacher of mine who laughed a lot and was a Tulku, talked of some of his teachers as not being the same but in fact quite stern...

he talked of Milaripa's teacher. Apparently Marpo was quite erm cruel to Milaripa it would seem..he said once that some of these teachers whop taught young monks in days gone past would be considered child abusers....

He explaiend it as a karmic thing...helping out and doing things only a master would understand...

but to a modern day observer...cruel and unusual punishment...

but if the Buddha need to laugh to teach...he would have .....

Well aware of his actions .....and the consequence of....every step a lotus blossom bloomed under His feet....think about what that implies...
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Re: Laughter and the Buddha

Postby conebeckham » Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:41 pm

Speaking of Milarepa...he was fully enlightened, and he certainly laughed. By all accounts, he was a pretty funny guy!
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Re: Laughter and the Buddha

Postby ground » Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:46 pm

conebeckham wrote:Speaking of Milarepa...he was fully enlightened, and he certainly laughed. By all accounts, he was a pretty funny guy!


"enlightened" does not necessarily mean "buddha". But I am well aware that "lineage spirit" requires one to regard each member of a lineage as "buddha" ... but that is just a convention of lineages.

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Re: Laughter and the Buddha

Postby conebeckham » Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:43 pm

TMIngyur, I think you'd find that Milarepa is considered to be the epitome of Complete Enlightenment in a Single Lifetime, amongst all the lineages. It's fine if you don't think so, but it's not just a "convention" of my own lineage. Amongst Tibetans of all lineages, only Sakyamuni and Guru Rinpoche would be held in higher esteem, I'm comfortable to say.

You may disagree, and that's fine, but let's just leave it there, shall we?

It seems painfully obvious to me that many great masters, both of our current age and those in the Namthars of all lineages, have "demonstrated" a sense of humor, far outstripping my own, in fact. If you feel that the "behavior" of such great masters is antithetical to scripture, or your own idea of what is appropriate for a Buddha, that is your business--but it is clearly unsupported by the evidence. Forgetting, for a moment, whether any great masters of the last Century were "Enlightened," we can agree, I hope, that their "accomplishments" were and are far greater than our own? Because His Holiness the Dalai Lama laughs, for example, do you find that to be a "failing" or a sign of lack of accomplishment?
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Re: Laughter and the Buddha

Postby Luke » Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:53 pm

TMingyur wrote:"enlightened" does not necessarily mean "buddha". But I am well aware that "lineage spirit" requires one to regard each member of a lineage as "buddha" ... but that is just a convention of lineages.

My understanding is that in Buddhism, or at least in Vajrayana, that "enlightened person" and "buddha" (or perhaps "high level Bodhisattva") are equivalent terms. Of course, some people may always doubt whether a person was a buddha or not.

But I know that in common English usage that the word "enlightened" can simply mean "open-minded and very intelligent." Modern Zen books seem to have their own meaning for the word as well.

"Enlightenment" is an overused word in popular culture, but the term still has profound meaning in Buddhism.
********************
On the subject of laughing, here's a report on "laughter yoga" in India:


Anything which awakens compassion for other beings within you is a good thing from the Buddhist perspective, I think.
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Re: Laughter and the Buddha

Postby ground » Fri Feb 25, 2011 2:02 am

Really the title of this thread is "Laughter and the Buddha" ... people however are posting about humorous people here and there, that laughing is nice, that there are famous people who giggle and that there have been realized people whom transmission wants to have laughed at this or that occasion.
It reads "the Buddha"and not "a Buddha" therefore from my perspective neither Śrāvakabuddhas nor Pratyekabuddhas nor bodhisattvas or sravakas of any path or bhumi nor ordinary persons/practitioners are included.

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Re: Laughter and the Buddha

Postby KwanSeum » Fri Feb 25, 2011 5:26 am

Luke wrote:"Enlightenment" is an overused word in popular culture, but the term still has profound meaning in Buddhism.
Earlier this year I was in Korea talking to some friends and they asked me what is 보리 in English and they were very surprised that it was Enlightenment because that was the name of a philosophical movement and not at all how they understood it. My point is that Enlightenment is a far from perfect word and leads to a lot of confusion to a lot of people.

The same confusion comes about with the word Buddha. People sometimes ask me, "am I a Buddha" by which they generally mean am I Buddhist and the answer is yes. However, I am a Buddha and so are they (even if they don't realise it). We all have Buddha-nature (including Joshu's dog and Schroedinger's cat).

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Re: Laughter and the Buddha

Postby ground » Fri Feb 25, 2011 6:46 am

KwanSeum wrote:We all have Buddha-nature (including Joshu's dog and Schroedinger's cat).


With that you are referring to "whatever one seeks to find one cannot find it", right?

... because the thought is just the thought, the seen just the seen etc. ... and impermanent beyond that.

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Re: Laughter and the Buddha

Postby MJH » Mon May 16, 2011 4:07 pm

Luke wrote:I've never met Jetsun Khandro Rinpoche in person, but at least in videos, she seems quite serious and seldom laughs. However, I think that it would be a mistake to interpret this to mean that her realization is less than that of a lama who laughs a lot.


I'm really sorry to bump an old post. I just wanted to respond to this quote (which I know was not made with any malice). H.E. Khandro Rinpoche does laugh quite a bit, and can hilarious. In fact she had me rolling on the floor yesterday! :smile: But of course she can be quite serious at other times. It really depends on the moment and what she is trying to get across to her students.
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Re: Laughter and the Buddha

Postby ground » Mon May 16, 2011 4:49 pm

This thread is about the Buddha and not about Rinpoche [this or that].

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