Mystical Unity and Kensho

Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Astus » Mon Jul 08, 2013 4:20 pm

oushi wrote:1. Show me in which point carpe diem refers to permanence. It doesn't, because it doesn't have to. As I said, for atheists there is nothing permanent, and still they fall into ignorance.
2. In one hand you promote impermanence, and in the other you rebuke pleasure because it changes. If everything is impermanent what is a reliable source of satisfaction?

Impermanence is very useful if we apply it to the goal of the whole life. Still, that will not refute carpe diem. Impermanence needs to go hand in hand with Anatta and Dukkha refute it.
In a long run it will become a view and then we can ask, is impermanence permanent?


The permanence in carpe diem:
- assuming that there is a permanent self
- assuming that there are permanent things to enjoy
- assuming that there is a permanent desire
(Note: permanence is anything that lasts, that stays from moment to moment)

There is no reliable source of satisfaction, that the insight to be gained from contemplating impermanence.

From impermanence both no-self and suffering are established.

Impermanence is permanent (this is like saying that emptiness and buddha-nature are permanent). However, there is no such thing as impermanence as it is only the characteristic of phenomena. It is only a conceptual idea, and in that sense it is also impermanent.
"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)
User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4238
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby oushi » Mon Jul 08, 2013 4:38 pm

Note: permanence is anything that lasts, that stays from moment to moment

1. We are grasping moment here, so it does not have to last longer the for a moment. People go for pleasure knowing it will end. It is enough for the pleasure to be perceivable.
2. How do you define moment? Like Dogen?

However, there is no such thing as impermanence as it is only the characteristic of phenomena.

Then why dwell on it?
Say what you think about me here.
User avatar
oushi
 
Posts: 1596
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:18 am

Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Astus » Mon Jul 08, 2013 5:06 pm

oushi wrote:1. We are grasping moment here, so it does not have to last longer the for a moment. People go for pleasure knowing it will end. It is enough for the pleasure to be perceivable.
2. How do you define moment? Like Dogen?
However, there is no such thing as impermanence as it is only the characteristic of phenomena.

Then why dwell on it?


A moment cannot be grasped. A moment is the present experience, and I use it in a similar way as point is used in Euclidean geometry, a conceptual element of time.

Why dwell on it? Just because something is conceptual it doesn't mean it is meaningless. In fact, concepts are the only things that have any meaning and they are probably the most important things we have.
"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)
User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4238
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby oushi » Mon Jul 08, 2013 5:11 pm

A moment cannot be grasped. A moment is the present experience

When does the present experience end?
Just because something is conceptual it doesn't mean it is meaningless.

Because something is conceptual it is meaningful.
In fact, concepts are the only things that have any meaning and they are probably the most important things we have.

Then keep them, maybe you will find satisfaction in them. You choose grasping concepts from true abiding.
Say what you think about me here.
User avatar
oushi
 
Posts: 1596
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:18 am

Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Astus » Mon Jul 08, 2013 5:27 pm

oushi wrote:When does the present experience end?


Now.
"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)
User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4238
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Koji » Tue Jul 09, 2013 5:13 am

If the five skandhas cannot be transcended mystical unity and kensho are impossible.
User avatar
Koji
 
Posts: 116
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2013 1:26 am

Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Astus » Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:16 am

Koji wrote:If the five skandhas cannot be transcended mystical unity and kensho are impossible.


There is nowhere to transcend them to. As the Heart Sutra says, they are to be recognised as empty.
"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)
User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4238
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Koji » Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:09 pm

Astus wrote:
Koji wrote:If the five skandhas cannot be transcended mystical unity and kensho are impossible.


There is nowhere to transcend them to. As the Heart Sutra says, they are to be recognised as empty.


Skandhas are the problem. Transcending them is the obvious solution. While it is true that the transcendent cannot present itself in the flux of inner, impermanent appearances, for example, the 3rd, 4th and 5th skandhas, we can, however, penetrate through such appearances, including even the 5th and, in doing so, recognize the transcendent, purely, on its own terms.

There is no mysticism with regard to the conceivable, impermanent mundane truth. There is only mysticism in recognizing the inconceivable trans-mundane truth.
User avatar
Koji
 
Posts: 116
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2013 1:26 am

Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Astus » Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:45 pm

Koji wrote:Skandhas are the problem. Transcending them is the obvious solution. While it is true that the transcendent cannot present itself in the flux of inner, impermanent appearances, for example, the 3rd, 4th and 5th skandhas, we can, however, penetrate through such appearances, including even the 5th and, in doing so, recognize the transcendent, purely, on its own terms.

There is no mysticism with regard to the conceivable, impermanent mundane truth. There is only mysticism in recognizing the inconceivable trans-mundane truth.


Skandhas are not the problem, attachment is. If there is something beyond the skandhas, how could it be recognised? The skandhas include all mental functions, consciousness among them. If the transcendent you talk about is beyond the aggregates, it lacks all forms of perception and cognition.

"You who come here from here and there all have a mind to seek buddha, to seek dharma, to seek emancipation, to seek escape from the three realms. Foolish fellows! When you’ve left the three realms where would you go?"
(Record of Linji, p. 22-23; tr. Sasaki)
"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)
User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4238
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Wayfarer » Tue Jul 09, 2013 11:13 pm

Astus wrote:If the transcendent you talk about is beyond the aggregates, it lacks all forms of perception and cognition.


Whatever 'it' is, is certainly beyond the realm of discourse. But beyond that, it is hazardous to say what 'it' might be. If you say that 'there is nothing beyond the aggregates and discursive thought' then you are throwing away they key to liberation. But if you assert that what is beyond it has substantial existence then you're guilty of reification.

What a bind!

The way I interpret that Lin Ji saying is the mistake of 'seeking elsewhere'. It is in line with his constant teaching 'what you are seeking is right here'. The method is to 'turn the mind around' as discussed by D.T.Suzuki:

Paravritti literally means "turning up" or "turning back" or "change"; technically, it is a spiritual change or transformation which takes place in the mind, especially suddenly, and I have called it "revulsion" in my Studies in the Lankavatara, which, it will be seen, somewhat corresponds to what is known as "conversion" among the psychological students of religion.

It is significant that the Mahayana has been insistent to urge its followers to experience this psychological transformation in their practical life. A mere intellectual understanding of the truth is not enough in the life of a Buddhist; the truth must be directly grasped, personally experienced, intuitively penetrated into; for then it will be distilled into life and determine its course.

This Paravritti, according to the Lanka, takes place in the Alaya-vijnana or All-conserving Mind, which is assumed to exist behind our individual empirical consciousnesses. The Alaya is a metaphysical entity, and no psychological analysis can reach it. What we ordinarily know as the Alaya is its working through a relative mind The Mahayana calls this phase of the Alaya tainted or defiled (klishta) and tells us to be cleansed of it in order to experience a Paravritti for the attainment of ultimate reality.
Learn to do good, refrain from evil, purify the mind ~ this is the teaching of the Buddhas
User avatar
Wayfarer
 
Posts: 1931
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 8:31 am
Location: Sydney AU

Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Koji » Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:32 am

Astus wrote:
Koji wrote:Skandhas are the problem. Transcending them is the obvious solution. While it is true that the transcendent cannot present itself in the flux of inner, impermanent appearances, for example, the 3rd, 4th and 5th skandhas, we can, however, penetrate through such appearances, including even the 5th and, in doing so, recognize the transcendent, purely, on its own terms.

There is no mysticism with regard to the conceivable, impermanent mundane truth. There is only mysticism in recognizing the inconceivable trans-mundane truth.


Skandhas are not the problem, attachment is. If there is something beyond the skandhas, how could it be recognised? The skandhas include all mental functions, consciousness among them. If the transcendent you talk about is beyond the aggregates, it lacks all forms of perception and cognition.

"You who come here from here and there all have a mind to seek buddha, to seek dharma, to seek emancipation, to seek escape from the three realms. Foolish fellows! When you’ve left the three realms where would you go?"
(Record of Linji, p. 22-23; tr. Sasaki)


The skandhas *are* suffering which is the first noble truth. They are also the killer (Mara). I would prefer to attach to the Buddha's teachings rather than the skandhas! If, as you imply, there is nothing beyond the skandhas, we are in deep doo-doo. :tongue:
User avatar
Koji
 
Posts: 116
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2013 1:26 am

Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Astus » Wed Jul 10, 2013 9:55 am

Koji wrote:The skandhas *are* suffering which is the first noble truth. They are also the killer (Mara). I would prefer to attach to the Buddha's teachings rather than the skandhas! If, as you imply, there is nothing beyond the skandhas, we are in deep doo-doo. :tongue:


There is a difference between the five aggregates and the five clinging aggregates (SN 22.48). The first noble truth is defined like this:

"the five clinging-aggregates are stressful. And which are the five clinging-aggregates? The form clinging-aggregate, the feeling clinging-aggregate, the perception clinging-aggregate, the fabrication clinging-aggregate, & the consciousness clinging-aggregate." (MN 28)

Seeing the three characteristics of aggregates leads to liberation from clinging, but not annihilation (SN 22.85). Indeed, the aggregates themselves are empty (SN 22.95). When there is no identification, no obsession, then there is no problem (SN 22.36). If, as you say, the aggregates themselves were suffering, the Buddha himself suffered since he had had all five aggregates.
"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)
User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4238
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Astus » Wed Jul 10, 2013 10:59 am

jeeprs wrote:Whatever 'it' is, is certainly beyond the realm of discourse. But beyond that, it is hazardous to say what 'it' might be. If you say that 'there is nothing beyond the aggregates and discursive thought' then you are throwing away they key to liberation. But if you assert that what is beyond it has substantial existence then you're guilty of reification.

What a bind!

The way I interpret that Lin Ji saying is the mistake of 'seeking elsewhere'. It is in line with his constant teaching 'what you are seeking is right here'.


If it is "beyond the realm of discourse" you can't say anything about, nor can you argue for or against it. Can't even think of it. Then how can you say it is "beyond the realm of discourse"?

As for something being outside the aggregates, the Lankavatara Sutra (2.18) says, "those who do not understand the teachings of the Tathagatas of the past, present, and future, concerning the external world, which is of Mind itself, cling to the notion that there is a world outside what is seen of the Mind and, Mahamati, go on rolling themselves along the wheel of birth-and-death."

At another section (2.53): "... the Nirvana which is attained when there takes place the severance of the bondage conditioning the continuation of individuality and generality of the Skandhas. ... [this view] of Nirvana belong to the philosophers and are not my teaching." Similar misunderstandings regarding Nirvana is stated in 3.74.

Also, as it is taught in Yogacara and followed by many (e.g. Hakuin), for buddhas the 8 consciousnesses transform (paravrtti) into the 4 wisdoms, thus from contaminated aggregates we get pure ones (see Xuanzang quote here).
"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)
User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4238
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Koji » Wed Jul 10, 2013 9:15 pm

Astus wrote:
Koji wrote:The skandhas *are* suffering which is the first noble truth. They are also the killer (Mara). I would prefer to attach to the Buddha's teachings rather than the skandhas! If, as you imply, there is nothing beyond the skandhas, we are in deep doo-doo. :tongue:


There is a difference between the five aggregates and the five clinging aggregates (SN 22.48). The first noble truth is defined like this:

"the five clinging-aggregates are stressful. And which are the five clinging-aggregates? The form clinging-aggregate, the feeling clinging-aggregate, the perception clinging-aggregate, the fabrication clinging-aggregate, & the consciousness clinging-aggregate." (MN 28)

Seeing the three characteristics of aggregates leads to liberation from clinging, but not annihilation (SN 22.85). Indeed, the aggregates themselves are empty (SN 22.95). When there is no identification, no obsession, then there is no problem (SN 22.36). If, as you say, the aggregates themselves were suffering, the Buddha himself suffered since he had had all five aggregates.


Getting back to my main point, can we transcend the khandhas? It's a pertinent question given what the subject is about, viz., Mystical Unity and Kensho. If you are trying to say, in a round about way, that the five khandhas cannot be transcended it seems odd to me that the Tathgata has nothing to do with them, nor does a learned disciple. They reject them completely, in other words. So if they've left the burning house of the khandhas, where are they?

By the way, the Mahâsatipatthana Sutta says the 5 khandhas of grasping (upâdâna) *are* suffering.
User avatar
Koji
 
Posts: 116
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2013 1:26 am

Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Wayfarer » Thu Jul 11, 2013 1:00 am

There are some interesting quotes here. In that linked post on the question of 'which skandha is tathagatha' I noticed this phrase:

"Therefore, that the grasses, trees, thickets and groves are impermanent is the buddha nature; that humans and things, body and mind are impermanent — this is because they are the buddha nature.


I was going to comment at the time that I think it is incorrect to draw the conclusion from this that, therefore, 'buddha nature is impermanent'. I don't think it is true - but neither is its opposite - because I don't think it is correct to think about the subject in terms of 'duration' or 'persistence through time'. I think there is a sense in which that which is 'everlasting' is not something durable, which exists 'in itself', so to speak. It is imperishable in not being subject to change and decay, but it is not something completely separate to the realm of change and decay either - outside of time, rather than persisting through time. (This parallels the theological notion of God being both immanent and transcendent, as something both 'within' and 'beyond' worldly existence.)

The Yamaka Sutta is interesting also. I noted this phrase:

an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person — who has no regard for noble ones, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma; who has no regard for men of integrity, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma — assumes form (the body) to be the self, or the self as possessing form, or form as in the self, or the self as in form.


The meaning seems to be, he imputes permanence to the aggregates, or 'does not discern' that the aggregates as impermanent, but takes them to be 'the self'. But they are not the self. However, the sutta also says that at the view that 'the Teaching explained by the Blessed One, a monk with no more effluents, on the break-up of the body, is annihilated, perishes, & does not exist after death' is incorrect. In fact the whole sutta is aimed at refuting this view, which is basically nihilism. But if you ask the question, 'what is it that is not annihalated at death', this question is not directly addressed. Rather the point is that 'These five clinging-aggregates — not attached to, not clung to — lead to his long-term happiness & well-being.' In other words, 'unbinding' is 'seeing the impermanent as impermanent' - not entertaining speculations about 'what is permanent'.

How this relates to the OP is another matter, though. If your intention is to demonstrate that 'insight into impermanence' is not 'mystical', I don't think you can do that, because it is not as if such questions are clear and obvious for all to see. As DN1 says, such matters are only 'perceivable by the wise', which implies that learning to see this, is the process by which wisdom is acquired, and being able to perceive it constitutes the differention between the 'noble disciple' and the 'uninstructed run of the mill person'.

:namaste:
Learn to do good, refrain from evil, purify the mind ~ this is the teaching of the Buddhas
User avatar
Wayfarer
 
Posts: 1931
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 8:31 am
Location: Sydney AU

Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Wayfarer » Thu Jul 11, 2013 3:35 am

I meant 'differentiation'.
Learn to do good, refrain from evil, purify the mind ~ this is the teaching of the Buddhas
User avatar
Wayfarer
 
Posts: 1931
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 8:31 am
Location: Sydney AU

Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Astus » Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:36 am

Koji wrote:If you are trying to say, in a round about way, that the five khandhas cannot be transcended it seems odd to me that the Tathgata has nothing to do with them, nor does a learned disciple. They reject them completely, in other words. So if they've left the burning house of the khandhas, where are they?
By the way, the Mahâsatipatthana Sutta says the 5 khandhas of grasping (upâdâna) *are* suffering.


If transcending the skandhas means not clinging to them, it is the very goal. If it means eliminating them and attaining a state beyond the skandhas, that is a false view of a self.

As in the above definition of the first noble truth, the "aggregates with grasping" are suffering. That's because of the grasping. Without grasping there is no suffering either. Just to make sure it is clear, the skandhas are simply the functions of seeing, hearing, feeling and knowing. A buddha without skandhas means that he can't see, hear, feel or perceive; no different from dead matter.
"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)
User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4238
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby flavio81 » Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:55 am

Astus wrote:As in the above definition of the first noble truth, the "aggregates with grasping" are suffering. That's because of the grasping. Without grasping there is no suffering either. Just to make sure it is clear, the skandhas are simply the functions of seeing, hearing, feeling and knowing. A buddha without skandhas means that he can't see, hear, feel or perceive; no different from dead matter.


:good:
User avatar
flavio81
 
Posts: 164
Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2013 5:25 am
Location: Lima, Peru

Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Astus » Thu Jul 11, 2013 10:58 am

jeeprs wrote:I think there is a sense in which that which is 'everlasting' is not something durable, which exists 'in itself', so to speak. It is imperishable in not being subject to change and decay, but it is not something completely separate to the realm of change and decay either - outside of time, rather than persisting through time.


It sounds like instead of choosing "yes" or "no" you select "yes and no". Alas, it's an impossible thing for something to be permanent and impermanent at the same time. What Dogen is saying, following Huineng (and Tiantai teachings), is that right here this impermanent, ephemeral world is buddha-nature itself. Same as Nagarjuna explained the non-difference of samsara and nirvana. Huineng's criticism of someone who proposed a separate dharmakaya:

"According to what you say, there is a Dharma-body that exists apart from physical form and a tranquil extinction to be sought apart from production and extinction. Moreover you propose that there is a body which enjoys the permanence and bliss of Nirvana. But that is to grasp tightly onto birth and death and indulge in worldly bliss."
(Platform Sutra, ch. 7)

But if you ask the question, 'what is it that is not annihalated at death', this question is not directly addressed.


It is answered. "And so, my friend Yamaka — when you can't pin down the Tathagata as a truth or reality even in the present life — is it proper for you to declare..." As Nagarjuna writes (MMK 22.15-16), "Those who make fixations about Buddha who is beyond fixations and without deterioration -- all those who are damaged by fixations do not see the tathagata. Whatever is the own-nature of the tathagata, that is the own-nature of this world. The tathagata has no own-nature. This world has no own-nature."

If your intention is to demonstrate that 'insight into impermanence' is not 'mystical', I don't think you can do that, because it is not as if such questions are clear and obvious for all to see.


My point is summed up with this: "as long as "kensho" is considered some special experience, it is mystified. How can a sense of unity with every being or the entire world make a difference in our attachment to thoughts and emotions?" As related to the linked article. It is arguing against the image of a special experience of unity with something transcendental. Not against that it takes time and effort to walk the path.
"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)
User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4238
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Wayfarer » Thu Jul 11, 2013 12:15 pm

Astus wrote:t sounds like instead of choosing "yes" or "no" you select "yes and no". Alas, it's an impossible thing for something to be permanent and impermanent at the same time.


That is a very fundamental point in Buddhist philosophy. We are not discussing 'something' here, but 'the buddha-nature' which is beyond affirmation and negation and all the other dichotomies. That is why the point is often made that it can't be said either 'to exist' or 'not to exist'. It is literally 'beyond existence' and so escapes all logical categorization.

Consider this phrase from the quote of Nagarjuna's you provide:

Buddha who is beyond fixations and without deterioration


What is the meaning of 'without deterioration'? I would think a good English equivalent would be 'imperishable' or 'that which is not subject to decay'. That is clearly not anything compound, manifest, phenomenal, so is not an object of the 'six sense gates'. I say that this is not *really* something that can be expressed at all except for within certain 'realms of discourse' such as Buddhist philosophy. But as we established in this thread, the Buddha nature is not an object of cognition, not something that can be known in an objective sense.

Astus wrote:As long as "kensho" is considered some special experience, it is mystified.


But James Ford doesn't really say (here) that it is not a 'special experience'. He says that some teachers 'suggest kensho is totally alien to the Zen experience and a problem to be avoided…..I find this last bit very sad, a selling of one’s inheritance for a bowl of mush.

Here’s the deal. Zen without kensho is not Zen. It’s that important.'


He doesn't really say what it consists of, but he does say that:

'there are several distinguishing features to these insights that separate them out from all the others we have in our lives. They always point to a deep unity. And they always have some lasting consequence in our lives.'

He also notes that 'Kensho or satori are the experiences (although some will challenge, and for good reasons, the use of that word experience)' . And I think that is an important thing to point out, because in this context, a distinction can be fruitfully made between realization and experience. There aren't many teachers who have made that distinction, but one is Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche who wrote:

The distinction between spiritual experiences and realisations is emphasised in Buddhist thought. …Spiritual experiences are usually more vivid and intense that realisations because they generally have physiological and other changes attached to them. On the other hand, realisations may be felt, but their tone is less pronounced Realization is about acquiring insight; while realisations arise out of our spiritual experiences, they are not the same as them. Spiritual realisations are considered vastly more important because they cannot fluctuate
(my bolds.) (Luminous Bliss, p 59 [published in the US market as Mind at Ease: Self-Liberation through Mahamudra Meditation].)

I think, in the Buddhist context, 'kensho' is described in some places as 'realising emptiness' or, in others, as 'realising the true nature'. And at that point the individual mind intuitively realises its non-difference from Mind - hence, 'true nature'. I don't think that is a controversial way of expressing it. So whether that is 'an experience' is, I agree, a difficult question, but I think no Zen student could deny that 'the realisation of the true nature' is fundamental to Zen Buddhism. I still can't see why that ought not to described as a sense of 'mystical unity', although as an expression that might not be to everyone's liking.
Learn to do good, refrain from evil, purify the mind ~ this is the teaching of the Buddhas
User avatar
Wayfarer
 
Posts: 1931
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 8:31 am
Location: Sydney AU

PreviousNext

Return to Zen

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests

>