Mystical Unity and Kensho

Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Astus » Thu Jul 11, 2013 2:44 pm

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


So, let's look at that verse then.

Kalupahana in his commentary (p. 310) says regarding the expression Batchelor translated as "without deterioration": "The term avyaya in the present context expresses the same idea of stability and steadfastness achieved by a Buddha. This is not to assume his permanent existence." Tsongkhapa says (Ocean of Reasoning, p. 450), "being essentially unarisen, does not extinguish by essentially passing on". That is, just as the previous verse states, there is nothing that could be called existing or non-existing - not because there is something beyond those two, or because it cannot be said - but because it is not a thing but the lack of substance. As the Chinese commentary (tr. B.C. Bocking) says, "From the very beginning the Thus-Come was utterly empty; how much more so after his decease?" Same as the Yamaka sutta's "you can't pin down the Tathagata".

He doesn't really say what it consists of


He says that is is an experience of unity with lasting effect and leaves a vivid memory. If you compare that to the quote from Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche, it is clear that such strong experiences are not insights but only visions. In Zen they count as afflictions, klesha, bonno. How could that equal to kensho?

And at that point the individual mind intuitively realises its non-difference from Mind


It sounds a like talking about the unity of jivatman and paramatman.
"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)

“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; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Koji » Thu Jul 11, 2013 5:43 pm

Astus wrote:
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.


Transcending means, by definition, to go beyond the limits of the skandhas. Now this brings up an interesting question: Is the position of the one who is not clinging to the skandhas inherently transcendent or skandhic? If the latter, this implies the skandhas have somehow conspired not to cling to themselves! :rolleye:

One more point, in this passage it seems the Buddha is saying in so many words, eliminate the skandhas.

"These are the five aggregates subject to clinging. This Noble Eightfold Path is to be developed for direct knowledge of these five aggregates subject to clinging, for the full understanding of them, for their utter destruction, for their abandoning." The Connected Discourses of the Buddha (volume II), by Bhikkhu Bodhi, page 1565
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Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby jeeprs » Thu Jul 11, 2013 10:45 pm

Astus wrote:Tsongkhapa says (Ocean of Reasoning, p. 450), "being essentially unarisen, does not extinguish by essentially passing on". That is, just as the previous verse states, there is nothing that could be called existing or non-existing - not because there is something beyond those two, or because it cannot be said - but because it is not a thing but the lack of substance


Well I think this view is uchedavada but further debate is clearly futile.
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Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby jeeprs » Fri Jul 12, 2013 1:43 am

D'oh! Can't resist having one more attempt.

Astus wrote:Kalupahana in his commentary (p. 310) says regarding the expression Batchelor translated as "without deterioration": "The term avyaya in the present context expresses the same idea of stability and steadfastness achieved by a Buddha. This is not to assume his permanent existence."


Kalupahana has been criticized for a positivist intepretation of Buddhist scriptures. Bachelor likewise is a professed sceptic regarding core tenets of Buddhism whose main undertaking seems to be re-defining it in such a way as to be acceptable to scientific materialism. But, more to the point, this statement conflicts with the Yamaka Sutta which you have already quoted, apparently in defense of your own views, which states Yamaka's view as:

"As I understand the Teaching explained by the Blessed One, a monk with no more (mental) effluents, on the break-up of the body, is annihilated, perishes, & does not exist after death."


He is rebuked as follows:

"Don't say that, friend Yamaka. Don't misrepresent the Blessed One. It's not good to misrepresent the Blessed One, for the Blessed One would not say, 'A monk with no more effluents, on the break-up of the body, is annihilated, perishes, & does not exist after death.'"


The fact that the tathagatha cannot be 'pinned down' does not amount to a description of a 'continually existing entity'. But that 'something is indefineable' or 'cannot be pinned down' is obviously not 'a definition' at all. Ideas of 'what exists' and 'what is permanent' can only be conceived in terms of 'the sense aggregates', and it is true that nothing in the realm of the sense aggregates is eternal or self-existent. But to say therefore that the Tathagata is impermanent, is to categorize the Tathagata with other phenomena.

The main point of the whole sutta is the idea that the view that 'the monk is nothing more than the total of the aggregates, and therefore ceases to exist at death, is a mistaken view - actually a grievously mistaken view ("evil supposition").

So I'm struggling to see how your views expressed in this thread differs from this same view which is being rejected in this sutta.
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Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby jeeprs » Fri Jul 12, 2013 1:53 am

Koji wrote:Now this brings up an interesting question: Is the position of the one who is not clinging to the skandhas inherently transcendent or skandhic?


Such a one does not have 'a position'.

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origin, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origin, such its disappearance; such is perception... such are mental fabrications... such is consciousness, such its origin, such its disappearance.' Because of this, I say, a Tathagata — with the ending, fading out, cessation, renunciation, & relinquishment of all construings, all excogitations, all I-making & mine-making & obsession with conceit — is, through lack of clinging/sustenance, released."


In so doing, the Tathagata passes beyond any worldly conception of 'what exists' or 'what doesn't exist':

the Tathagata is deep, boundless, hard to fathom, like the sea. 'Reappears' doesn't apply. 'Does not reappear' doesn't apply. 'Both does & does not reappear' doesn't apply. 'Neither reappears nor does not reappear' doesn't apply.


Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta

This whole debate is cast in the terms that we think we can imagine what that is.
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Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Koji » Fri Jul 12, 2013 2:54 am

jeeprs wrote:
Koji wrote:Now this brings up an interesting question: Is the position of the one who is not clinging to the skandhas inherently transcendent or skandhic?


Such a one does not have 'a position'.

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origin, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origin, such its disappearance; such is perception... such are mental fabrications... such is consciousness, such its origin, such its disappearance.' Because of this, I say, a Tathagata — with the ending, fading out, cessation, renunciation, & relinquishment of all construings, all excogitations, all I-making & mine-making & obsession with conceit — is, through lack of clinging/sustenance, released."




I think my question is pertinent. The word "position" is perfectly justified in this particular question. I didn't find the word "postion" used in other translations. The passage you've provided is a Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation. Horner uses the term "speculative view." This, by the way, is the term Bhikkhu Nanomoli and Bhikkhu Bodhi also use in their book, The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha (p. 592).
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Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby jeeprs » Fri Jul 12, 2013 3:28 am

I think your question is pertinent, and actually I agree with what you're saying in this thread, but I am drawing attention to a particular point about 'positions' and 'views' - whether described using either word.
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Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Astus » Fri Jul 12, 2013 10:10 am

Koji wrote:Transcending means, by definition, to go beyond the limits of the skandhas. Now this brings up an interesting question: Is the position of the one who is not clinging to the skandhas inherently transcendent or skandhic? If the latter, this implies the skandhas have somehow conspired not to cling to themselves! :rolleye:

One more point, in this passage it seems the Buddha is saying in so many words, eliminate the skandhas.

"These are the five aggregates subject to clinging. This Noble Eightfold Path is to be developed for direct knowledge of these five aggregates subject to clinging, for the full understanding of them, for their utter destruction, for their abandoning." The Connected Discourses of the Buddha (volume II), by Bhikkhu Bodhi, page 1565


The skandhas are what? All the experience there exists. It means seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, touching. It means feeling, recognising, comprehending and knowing.

You propose that the experience of seeing is suffering, that being aware of something is suffering, that being able to speak and hear is suffering; therefore a buddha must be without all of this, incapable of any perception and comprehension. Even if there were something else beyond the skandhas, it would be without all forms of perception and understanding, it would be completely insentient and dead.

What I say is that the problem is not with the fact of sensing and knowing but with attachment. As your quote itself says, the "aggregates subject to clinging" must be eliminated. Aggregates not subject to clinging, that is the result, that is liberation.
"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)

“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; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Astus » Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:18 am

jeeprs wrote:The fact that the tathagatha cannot be 'pinned down' does not amount to a description of a 'continually existing entity'. But that 'something is indefineable' or 'cannot be pinned down' is obviously not 'a definition' at all. Ideas of 'what exists' and 'what is permanent' can only be conceived in terms of 'the sense aggregates', and it is true that nothing in the realm of the sense aggregates is eternal or self-existent. But to say therefore that the Tathagata is impermanent, is to categorize the Tathagata with other phenomena.

The main point of the whole sutta is the idea that the view that 'the monk is nothing more than the total of the aggregates, and therefore ceases to exist at death, is a mistaken view - actually a grievously mistaken view ("evil supposition").

So I'm struggling to see how your views expressed in this thread differs from this same view which is being rejected in this sutta.


"Cannot be pinned down" is anupalabbha/anupalabdha/無所得. A central term, in Mahayana especially, as an equivalent of emptiness. It is often translated as unobtainable, unattainable and ungraspable.

In chapter 71 of the Lankavatara Sutra this "unobtainability" is explained as, "That [transcendental] knowledge is unobtainable is due to the recognition that there is nothing in the world but what is seen of the Mind, and that these external objects to which being and non-being are predicated are non-existent." And inn chapter 83, "by "right knowledge" is meant this: when names and appearances are seen as unobtainable owing to their mutual conditioning, there is no more rising of the Vijnanas, for nothing comes to annihilation, nothing abides everlastingly; and when there is thus no falling back into the stage of the philosophers, Sravakas, and Pratyekabuddhas, it is said that there is right knowledge. Further, Mahamati, by reason of this right knowledge, the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva does not regard name as reality and appearance as non-reality."

In the Heart Sutra there is this line, "Because there is nothing to be attained, the bodhisattva relying on prajna paramita has no obstruction in his mind." And Lok To writes in his introduction: "The Prajna Paramita Hrydaya Sutra is the core of the Maha Prajna Paramita in six hundred scrolls. Its teaching is the teaching of supramundane Void as the only true existence, the true Void being mysteriously concealed in the existing. Therefore one might say the substance of this sutra is the characteristic of Void of all dharmas; non-obtaining is the purpose. There is nothing to be obtained from the manifestation of dharmas, all dharmas being void, or empty."

Because the aggregates are empty, there is no self found (unobtainable), there is liberation. It is indeed mistaken to think that someone perishes because there is no permanent self inside or outside the skandhas. Emptiness is not the same as annihilation, it is not an eternal substance either, but the dependent origination of all phenomena. Ignorance is taking the skandhas - that is, our realm of experience - as essentially real and graspable. Realising that everything is empty, unobtainable, is becoming free from suffering. But to think that there is something beyond this realm of experience as a place of escape is still grasping and self-construction.
"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)

“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; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby jeeprs » Fri Jul 12, 2013 12:43 pm

Astus wrote: But to think that there is something beyond this realm of experience as a place of escape is still grasping and self-construction.


So you are in fact saying 'As I understand the Teaching explained by the Blessed One, a monk with no more (mental) effluents, on the break-up of the body, is annihilated, perishes, & does not exist after death."
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Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Astus » Fri Jul 12, 2013 1:35 pm

jeeprs wrote:So you are in fact saying 'As I understand the Teaching explained by the Blessed One, a monk with no more (mental) effluents, on the break-up of the body, is annihilated, perishes, & does not exist after death."


No. Where did I say that the mind-stream is annihilated at death? Nowhere. All I'm saying is that looking for buddha outside the mind is mistaken.
"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)

“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; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Koji » Fri Jul 12, 2013 6:10 pm

Astus wrote:
Koji wrote:Transcending means, by definition, to go beyond the limits of the skandhas. Now this brings up an interesting question: Is the position of the one who is not clinging to the skandhas inherently transcendent or skandhic? If the latter, this implies the skandhas have somehow conspired not to cling to themselves! :rolleye:

One more point, in this passage it seems the Buddha is saying in so many words, eliminate the skandhas.

"These are the five aggregates subject to clinging. This Noble Eightfold Path is to be developed for direct knowledge of these five aggregates subject to clinging, for the full understanding of them, for their utter destruction, for their abandoning." The Connected Discourses of the Buddha (volume II), by Bhikkhu Bodhi, page 1565


The skandhas are what? All the experience there exists. It means seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, touching. It means feeling, recognising, comprehending and knowing.

You propose that the experience of seeing is suffering, that being aware of something is suffering, that being able to speak and hear is suffering; therefore a buddha must be without all of this, incapable of any perception and comprehension. Even if there were something else beyond the skandhas, it would be without all forms of perception and understanding, it would be completely insentient and dead.

What I say is that the problem is not with the fact of sensing and knowing but with attachment. As your quote itself says, the "aggregates subject to clinging" must be eliminated. Aggregates not subject to clinging, that is the result, that is liberation.


I am not following the last part of your response to me "aggregates not subject to clinging, that is the result, that is liberation." By this you seem to be implying pañcakhandhâ are untainted and not subject to clinging. Taking this a few steps farther, you are saying, in other words, the pañcakhandhâ are arahant khandhâ, for obvious reasons.

However there are suttas in the Pali canon in which only pañcakhandhâ are addressed, not pañc' upâdânakkandhâ. One particular sutta is this one (there are others like this one which speak of Mara).

"Form Radha, is subject to Mara. Feeling ... Perception ... Volitional formations ... Consciousness is subject to Mara." (Bhikkhu Bodhi, The Connected Discourses of The Buddha, p. 986).


What then your theory implies is that the pañcakhandhâ, which are those of an arahant, are subject to Mara. The sutta doesn't mention upâdânakkandhâ are subject to Mara. So are we to conclude that upâdânakkandhâ are not subject to Mara and arahant pañcakhandhâ are? :rolleye:
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Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Astus » Fri Jul 12, 2013 8:58 pm

Koji wrote:What then your theory implies is that the pañcakhandhâ, which are those of an arahant, are subject to Mara. The sutta doesn't mention upâdânakkandhâ are subject to Mara. So are we to conclude that upâdânakkandhâ are not subject to Mara and arahant pañcakhandhâ are? :rolleye:


There are definitive and provisional teachings. The Mara Sutta of SN 23.11 requires further interpretation in my view. To decide that, please clarify to me two things. According to your opinion:

- Where is suffering in sight (e.g. seeing a cloud) when there is no attachment?
- If the skandhas are to be abandoned, how can an arhat see, hear, sense and think?
"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)

“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; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Koji » Fri Jul 12, 2013 10:44 pm

Astus wrote:
Koji wrote:What then your theory implies is that the pañcakhandhâ, which are those of an arahant, are subject to Mara. The sutta doesn't mention upâdânakkandhâ are subject to Mara. So are we to conclude that upâdânakkandhâ are not subject to Mara and arahant pañcakhandhâ are? :rolleye:


There are definitive and provisional teachings. The Mara Sutta of SN 23.11 requires further interpretation in my view. To decide that, please clarify to me two things. According to your opinion:

- Where is suffering in sight (e.g. seeing a cloud) when there is no attachment?
- If the skandhas are to be abandoned, how can an arhat see, hear, sense and think?


Probably understanding what abandon means in Pali might help. Even the eye is to be abandoned according to the Buddha.
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Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby jeeprs » Sat Jul 13, 2013 12:28 am

Astus wrote: It is indeed mistaken to think that someone perishes because there is no permanent self inside or outside the skandhas


But there is, as you acknowledge, 'a mindstream' which functions as a quasi-self (or, more likely, a rhetorical device necessitated by a dogmatic intepretation of 'anatta'.)

So when it is said that 'the Tathagata is deep, boundless, hard to fathom, like the sea' is this a reference to mere absence of lack of substance?

You propose that the experience of seeing is suffering, that being aware of something is suffering, that being able to speak and hear is suffering; therefore a Buddha must be without all of this, incapable of any perception and comprehension. Even if there were something else beyond the skandhas, it would be without all forms of perception and understanding, it would be completely insentient and dead.


Not so. There is a state beyond ordinary sensory perception, but it cannot be discovered by 'the self'.


The Blessed One said, "What is the All? Simply the eye and forms, ear and sounds, nose and aromas, tongue and flavors, body and tactile sensations, intellect and ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." (Sabba Sutta SN 35.23 trs Thanissaro, Access to Insight.)


This can be read as a direct repudiation of anyone who claims to speak of something ‘beyond the sense-gates’ as being ‘beyond range’. It might be tempting to say that this represents a kind of proto-naturalism, or even positivism - a repudiation of anything beyond empirical observation. However, that would be mistaken, for the Buddha, having established the identity of ‘the All’, then advises the monks to abandon it:


"The intellect is to be abandoned. Ideas are to be abandoned. Consciousness at the intellect is to be abandoned. Contact at the intellect is to be abandoned. And whatever there is that arises in dependence on contact at the intellect — experienced as pleasure, pain or neither-pleasure-nor-pain — that too is to be abandoned. (Pahanaya Sutta, SN 35.24, trs Thanissaro, Access to Insight).



Does this say, then, that beyond the ‘six sense gates’ and the activities of thought-formations and discriminative consciousness, there is nothing, the absence of any kind of life, mind, or intelligence?

Then Ven. Maha Kotthita went to Ven. Sariputta and, on arrival, exchanged courteous greetings with him. After an exchange of friendly greetings & courtesies, he sat to one side. As he was sitting there, he said to Ven. Sariputta, "With the remainderless stopping & fading of the six contact-media [vision, hearing, smell, taste, touch, & intellection] is it the case that there is anything else?"
[Sariputta:] "Don't say that, my friend."
[Maha Kotthita:] "With the remainderless stopping & fading of the six contact-media, is it the case that there is not anything else?"
[Sariputta:] "Don't say that, my friend."
….
[Sariputta:] "The statement, 'With the remainderless stopping & fading of the six contact-media [vision, hearing, smell, taste, touch, & intellection] is it the case that there is anything else?' objectifies non-objectification.The statement, '... is it the case that there is not anything else ... is it the case that there both is & is not anything else ... is it the case that there neither is nor is not anything else?' objectifies non-objectification. However far the six contact-media go, that is how far objectification goes. However far objectification goes, that is how far the six contact media go. With the remainderless fading & stopping of the six contact-media, there comes to be the stopping, the allaying of objectification. (Kotthita Sutta, AN 4.174, trs Thanissaro, Access to Insight; .)


The phrase ‘objectifies non-objectification’ (vadaṃ appapañcaṃ papañceti) is key here. As Thanissaro Bikkhu notes in his commentary, ‘the root of the classifications and perceptions of objectification is the thought, "I am the thinker." This thought forms the motivation for the questions that Ven. Maha Kotthita is presenting here.’ The very action of thinking ‘creates the thinker’, rather than vice versa. In effect, the questioner is asking, ‘is this something I can experience?’ And to do so, tends towards eternalism. To speculate about what lies ‘out of range’, as the Buddha has declared it - to name it, or speculate about it, all amount to ‘objectifying non-objectification’. This is the very kind of activity that leads to papañca (the endless proliferation of ideas), and thereby disputes, debates, vexations, and the ‘writhings, thickets, and tangles of views’ criticized in various dialogs (e.g. MN 72). Whatever the experience is of what is ‘beyond the sense gates’ - or even if it is ‘an experience!’ - it is something one has to discover for oneself. When it is made, this discovery is also co-incident with the complete end of the sense of ‘I and mine’. It is in this that the real meaning of anattā is revealed, as it requires, and amounts to, a completely different mode of understanding of the nature of experience - one which is no longer oriented around a sense of separate selfhood, but is, as we noted at the start, ‘gone to the unconditioned’.
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Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby LastLegend » Sat Jul 13, 2013 3:29 am

There is transcendental special experience which have not experienced yet. Yet that transcendental special experience exists within the mind. Also, if people know the time and day that they supposed to leave this world/body, then that might be their special experience.
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Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Koji » Sat Jul 13, 2013 4:13 am

LastLegend wrote:There is transcendental special experience which have not experienced yet. Yet that transcendental special experience exists within the mind. Also, if people know the time and day that they supposed to leave this world/body, then that might be their special experience.


This world is blind. Only a few can see here.
Like birds escaped from a snare a few go to heaven.
---Dhammapada 174
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Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Astus » Sun Jul 14, 2013 11:36 am

Koji wrote:Probably understanding what abandon means in Pali might help. Even the eye is to be abandoned according to the Buddha.


I'm simply asking for your explanation of the views you have put out here. Since at the moment I don't see it as in agreement with what is taught in the Pali Canon (and Mahayana especially), I don't see how it could be matched with any Pali term. But if you have one for it and references, please bring them 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)

“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; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Astus » Sun Jul 14, 2013 1:59 pm

jeeprs wrote:But there is, as you acknowledge, 'a mindstream' which functions as a quasi-self (or, more likely, a rhetorical device necessitated by a dogmatic intepretation of 'anatta'.)


Mind-stream simply refers to the mental aggregates. It's not some separate entity, but the flow of the moments of mental phenomena.

So when it is said that 'the Tathagata is deep, boundless, hard to fathom, like the sea' is this a reference to mere absence of lack of substance?


What is buddha? The mind is buddha. What is mind? The mental aggregates that are without substance. To believe that they have substance is the ignorance of self-view.

There is a state beyond ordinary sensory perception, but it cannot be discovered by 'the self'.


There is no self of any kind (provisional or ultimate). If there is a state that one is unable to discover how do you know about it? How can anyone know about it?

The phrase ‘objectifies non-objectification’ (vadaṃ appapañcaṃ papañceti) is key here.


Fabrication (prapanca) is the root of grasping the aggregates, and without it there is no grasping either. This is taught clearly in Madhyamaka and in Zen too. However, there is not something beyond to look for, otherwise we claim that there is buddha outside the mind.

"When the views of the self and being mine are extinguished,
With respect to the internal and the external,
Appropriation ceases.
Through this having been eliminated, birth is eliminated.
Through the elimination of karma and affliction there is nirvana.
Karma and affliction come from conceptual thought.
These come from mental fabrication.
Fabrication ceases through emptiness.
...
Not dependent on another, peaceful and
Not fabricated by fabrications,
Not conceptualized, without distinctions:
That is the characteristic of things as they really are."

(MMK 18.4-5, 9; Ocean of Reasoning, p. 376-376, 385)

And the buddha is nothing but the ending of fabrication, as quoted earlier from MMK 22.15-16.

The Sutra of Perfect Enlightenment also says (ch. 2, tr. C. Muller), "the cessation of illusion is called 'unchanging.'" And in the next chapter explains, "the unchanging purity of the nature of enlightenment completely pervades—it includes everything without restriction. Therefore you should know that the six faculties completely pervade the realm of reality. Since the faculties completely pervade, you should know that the six sensory fields completely pervade the realm of reality. Since the sensory fields completely pervade, you should know that the Four Elements completely pervade the realm of reality."
"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)

“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; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Koji » Sun Jul 14, 2013 4:36 pm

Koji wrote:
Astus wrote:
Koji wrote:What then your theory implies is that the pañcakhandhâ, which are those of an arahant, are subject to Mara. The sutta doesn't mention upâdânakkandhâ are subject to Mara. So are we to conclude that upâdânakkandhâ are not subject to Mara and arahant pañcakhandhâ are? :rolleye:


There are definitive and provisional teachings. The Mara Sutta of SN 23.11 requires further interpretation in my view. To decide that, please clarify to me two things. According to your opinion:

[...]


This just caught my eye. I don't read SN 23.11 as falling within the four corners of neyârtha that seen from the ultimate standpoint is inadequate and requires further clarification. The Buddha uses many such terms to paint a strongly negative picture of the five khandhas, for example, they are murderous, without protection, being empty, being harm, being anattâ, etc. While the typical profane person hangs on to them, the ariya disciple doesn't.
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