Mind versus Self?

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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:07 pm

The problem, I think is that "Buddha nature" and "Tathagatagarbha" refer to the absence of confusion, or absence of the defilements, or whatever you want to call what essentially amounts to the experience of samasara. It's like asking
"what does not yelling sound like?"

So, you know, "not yelling" could sound like meditating, or reading a book, or walking the dog, or watching a movie or whatever
because "not yelling" is not in itself a thing, yet it is experienced, without any shape or form, as the various situations arise in which nobody is yelling.

If we think of, in this example, yelling as a metaphor for confusion, or for the defilements or habitual patterns that perpetuate samasara, and "not yelling" as liberation from samasara, then we can suggest that, simply, when the causes of samasara are removed, when they cease, what remains is "not samsara" and "not samsara" is expressed as a negative ('not') essentially "Buddha nature" or "Tathagatagarbha" is "not samsara" expressed as a positive.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Astus » Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:16 pm

If buddha-nature is simply the lack of defilements then it is no different from how nirvana is defined in the four noble truths and other basic teachings. However, it is meaningless to say that "nirvana is hidden in every being", unless we are using a metaphoric or poetic language, or all we mean is the ability of beings to attain nirvana, which has not been denied in the first place, therefore the statement's sole function is to give some motivation to those lacking confidence.
"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: Eckhart Tolle on christmas

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:18 pm

Astus wrote: Then what is the single element called buddha-nature?

There isn't any element called Buddha nature.
That is the difference between this understanding according to the Buddhadharma and according to Vedanta.
The vedanta understanding is that there is a thing (self) that remains,
a thing (self) that is purified. "Godhead" or whatever.
Like somebody stepping out of the bathtub all nice and clean with all the dirt having been removed.
If somebody wants to see "Buddha nature" like that, I say go ahead,
but that isn't the understanding according to the Buddhadharma.
As long as you keep the idea of a self, dirty, purified, or otherwise
there will always be a place for the dirt to collect
and you'll just have to take another bath again, later on.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:19 pm

Astus wrote: However, it is meaningless to say that "nirvana is hidden in every being", unless we are using a metaphoric or poetic language


Yeah, that's pretty much what it is.
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Re: Eckhart Tolle on christmas

Postby songhill » Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:20 pm

Astus wrote:
songhill wrote:Strictly speaking, BN is not, satisfactorily, definable because it is inconceivable. But this may help.

O good man! Buddha-Nature is birthlessness and deathlessness; it is not going, not coming. It is not past, not future, and not present. It is not something that arises out of a cause; it is not the making of any cause. It is not something made; it is not a maker. It is not any outer form, nor is it not any form; it is not something with a name, nor is it something with no name; it is no name and no matter. It is not long, not short. It is not something that has come out [arisen] in the five skandhas, the 18 realms, and the 12 spheres. Hence, we say eternal.


There's another word for that definition in Buddhism: emptiness. The very lack of any substance, self, essence, being.


This nature, as in Buddha-nature, is not a sheer vacuum:

The atman is the Tathagatagarbha. All beings possess a Buddha Nature: this is what the atman is. This atman, from the start, is always covered by innumerable passions (klesha): this is why beings are unable to see it. — Mahaparinirvana-sutra
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Re: Eckhart Tolle on christmas

Postby Astus » Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:26 pm

songhill wrote:This nature, as in Buddha-nature, is not a sheer vacuum:

The atman is the Tathagatagarbha. All beings possess a Buddha Nature: this is what the atman is. This atman, from the start, is always covered by innumerable passions (klesha): this is why beings are unable to see it. — Mahaparinirvana-sutra


Then give the definition of what buddha-nature is and not what it is not.
"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: Mind versus Self?

Postby Astus » Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:27 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Astus wrote: However, it is meaningless to say that "nirvana is hidden in every being", unless we are using a metaphoric or poetic language


Yeah, that's pretty much what it is.


And that's why I said buddha-nature is a skilful means.
"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: Eckhart Tolle on christmas

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:36 pm

The atman is the Tathagatagarbha. All beings possess a Buddha Nature: this is what the atman is. This atman, from the start, is always covered by innumerable passions (klesha): this is why beings are unable to see it. — Mahaparinirvana-sutra


**This is not in any translation of the Mahaparinirvana Sutra that I've ever seen.

When Atman is referred to, it is being pointed out that this is what is mistakenly regarded as a self,
meaning that beings who are striving for liberation mistakenly think of "buddha nature' as a kind of "self".

So, it's like saying "I am trying to find out who I really am" and when it is pointed out that in fact
there is ultimately no "me" who "I really am", that's "really" "who I am".
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**(I have gone back after first posting this and highlighted here because I was mistaken, it is in that sutra, however, the context needed some clarification, see subsequent post further on)
Last edited by PadmaVonSamba on Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:40 pm

Astus wrote: And that's why I said buddha-nature is a skilful means.

You mean the use of the term "buddha nature" is a skillful means?

I can see why that would be one's impression.
I don't think that is totally accurate, but I'm okay with that,
as long as one doesn't actually confuse "buddha nature" with "atman"
because that wouldn't be skillful means at all...
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.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:42 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:The problem, I think is that "Buddha nature" and "Tathagatagarbha" refer to the absence of confusion, or absence of the defilements, or whatever you want to call what essentially amounts to the experience of samasara. It's like asking
"what does not yelling sound like?"

So, you know, "not yelling" could sound like meditating, or reading a book, or walking the dog, or watching a movie or whatever
because "not yelling" is not in itself a thing, yet it is experienced, without any shape or form, as the various situations arise in which nobody is yelling.

If we think of, in this example, yelling as a metaphor for confusion, or for the defilements or habitual patterns that perpetuate samasara, and "not yelling" as liberation from samasara, then we can suggest that, simply, when the causes of samasara are removed, when they cease, what remains is "not samsara" and "not samsara" is expressed as a negative ('not') essentially "Buddha nature" or "Tathagatagarbha" is "not samsara" expressed as a positive.
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:good: :good:
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:56 pm

Ohhh...I see where that comes from.
What this refers to is that all beings possess the seed of, or the potential for enlightenment, and always has had that potential. It is not something that somebody has to acquire, meaning that enlightenment doesn't come from somewhere else, externally, like a blessing from a god or something, but it is innate, that the mind's original state is free from confusion, free of suffering. It means that you already have it within your power, and you just have to know how and where to go digging for it (as illustrated in this story).

But it does not mean a "self" in the Vedic sense.


The Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra
Chapter Twelve: On the Nature of the Tathagata
Kasyapa said to the Buddha: "O World-Honoured One! Is there Self in the 25 existences or
not?" The Buddha said: "O good man! "Self" means "Tathagatagarbha" [Buddha-Womb,
Buddha-Embryo, Buddha-Nature]. Every being has Buddha-Nature. This is the Self. Such Self
has, from the very beginning, been under cover of innumerable defilements.
That is why man
cannot see it. O good man! [Imagine that] there is a poor woman here. She has true gold
concealed in her house. But none of the people of her house, whether big or small, know of it.
But there is a stranger, who, through expediency, says to the poor woman: "I shall employ you.
You must now go and weed the land!" The woman answers: "I cannot do this now. If you let
my son see where the gold is hidden, I will soon work for you." The man says: "I know the way.
I shall point it out to your son." The woman further says: "Nobody of my house, whether big or
small, knows [of this]. How can you?" The man says: "I shall now make it clear." The woman
says further: "I desire to see. Pray let me." The man digs out the gold that had lain hidden. The
woman sees it, is gladdened, and begins to respect that person. O good man! The case is the
same with the Buddha-Nature which man has. Nobody can see it. This is analogous to the gold
which the poor woman possessed and yet could not see. O good man! I now let persons see the
Buddha-Nature that they possess, which is overspread by defilements. This is analogous to the
poor woman who cannot see the gold, even though she possesses it. The Tathagata now reveals
to all beings the storehouse of Enlightenment, which is the Buddha-Nature, as it is called. If all
beings see this, they are gladdened and will take refuge in the Tathagata. The good expedient
is the Tathagata, and the poor woman is all the innumerable beings, and the cask of true gold
is the Buddha-Nature.
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby greentara » Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:32 pm

Astus, I know you are very sincere.... but can you please put in in your own words without overly using 'buddhist talk' I would feel you're speaking from some sort of direct experience no matter if it were just the merest hint or inkling.
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Re: Eckhart Tolle on christmas

Postby Son of Buddha » Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:37 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
As mentioned in the Tsongkhapa quote..emptiness is a non-affirming negation..i.e. it does not presuppose something else in place of what is negated.

Is there any mainstream, accepted Buddhist doctrine that claims something other than this about emptiness? If so I would love to read an actual philosophical explanation of this "substantial emptiness".

You guys should stop skirting around Greg's question I think though, if this thing "is" in an inherent sense, then why cannot you define some characteristic of it?

The whole concept of emptiness is that of inherent existence being empty, a "true self" by definition has inherent existence, and is therefore absurd when placed in the context of emptiness.



MAHAPARINIRVANA SUTRA chapter 7

"Moreover, emancipation is termed that which severs all conditioned phenomena [samskrta-dharmas], gives rise to all untainted [anasrava], wholseome qualities / phenomena and eliminates the various paths/ approaches, that is to say, Self, non-Self, not-Self and not non-Self. It merely severs attachment and does not sever the view of the Self/ the seeing of the Self/ the vision of the Self [atma-drsti]. The view of the Self is termed the 'Buddha-dhatu' [Buddha-Nature]. The Buddha-dhatu is true emancipation, and true emancipation is the Tathagata.

"Also, emancipation is the "not-empty-empty". "Empty-empty" is non-possession. Non-possession is the emancipation which the tirthikas and Nirgrantha Jnatiputras [Jains] presume upon [base themselves upon]. But, in truth, the Nirgranthas do not possess emancipation. So we say "empty-empty". Not-empty-empty is true emancipation. True emancipation is the Tathagata.

"Also, emancipation is the "not-empty". The pot in which we put water, drink, milk, cream, butter, honey, etc., can well be called the water pot and suchlike, even when there is no water, drink, cream, butter, honey or any other thing in it. And yet, we cannot say that the pot is either empty or not-empty. If we say empty, there cannot be any colour, smell, taste or touch. If we say not-empty, what we see is that there is nothing in it such as water, drink or any other thing. We can say neither matter ["rupa"] nor non-matter ["arupa"]; we can say neither empty nor not-empty. If we say empty, there can be no Eternity, Bliss, Self, and Purity. If not-empty, who is the one blessed with Eternity, Bliss, Self, and Purity? Thus, we should say neither empty nor not-empty. Empty will entail [the notion] that the 25 existences, all illusions, suffering, the phases of life, and all actual actions do not exist. When there is no cream in the pot, we may say empty. Not-empty points to Truth, to whatever is Good, Eternal, Bliss, Self, Pure, Immovable and Unchanging. It is as in the case of taste and touch regarding the pot. That is why we say not-empty. In consequence, we may say that emancipation is as in the case of the pot. The pot will break in certain circumstances. But this is not so with emancipation. It cannot break. What is indestructible is true emancipation. True emancipation is the Tathagata."

this is known as the two Emptinesses which is also extensively commentaried on By Dol-bo-ba Shay-rap-gyel-tsen in his writings (Mountain Doctrine)
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Re: Eckhart Tolle on christmas

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:38 pm

Astus wrote:Then give the definition of what buddha-nature is and not what it is not.
I originally asked this question on page 4, anjali asked it on page 8 and now you are asking it on page 12. And you know what? Still no answer!

This is the enormous hole that exists in this theory: The incapacity to answer how something that is completely and utterly devoid of any duality could be defined as, or used to identify as, a "self" or "Self".

Luckily in the Mahamudra tradition we have direct introduction (I do believe something of the sort exists in some Zen schools too?), if the student has the karma vipakka to successfully receive the introduction, this whole discussion disappears up its own...
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Astus » Sat Jan 05, 2013 12:04 am

greentara wrote:Astus, I know you are very sincere.... but can you please put in in your own words without overly using 'buddhist talk' I would feel you're speaking from some sort of direct experience no matter if it were just the merest hint or inkling.


Direct experience is what is right in front of us. What is that? The physical and mental impressions experienced by us, There are sights, sounds, odours, tastes, tactile sensations and thoughts. Is there anything permanent of them? No. Some believe that awareness/consciousness is permanent, based on the idea that behind all experiences there is a single thing experiencing them all. But is there an awareness independent of something to be aware of? Not possible. If there is not something to be aware of we can't say that there is an awareness of it, just like if we don't see blue we don't say that nevertheless there is the seer of the blue. And in general, without seeing anything, when there is no visual perception at all, the act of seeing is not present either. That's why an independent awareness is not possible. Could there be anything else beyond our present experiences? Even if there were it would be nothing else but our imagination of such a thing as we have no other experience of it.
"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: Mind versus Self?

Postby Son of Buddha » Sat Jan 05, 2013 12:04 am

gregkavarnos wrote:
Son of Buddha wrote:If you read Songhills qoute it states BN is not form(an individual object)
I didn't ask what it is not, I asked what it is. Actually I asked what it is that allows it to be used as a point of reference for a self. It is not candy floss, does not answer my question.
:namaste:



I was writing in response to what you wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:Again I see my question has been ignored. It is constantly ignored mainly because to answer it would be to admit that Tathagatagarbha cannot be taken as an object for defining the individual".

as you can see you stated we would have to "admit that the BN cannot be taken as an object for defining the individual"

I was simply pointing out that nobody was claiming it an OBJECT,if you would of read Songhills statement you would see that nobody is making that claim
(songhill)It is not any outer form, nor is it not any form; it is not something with a name, nor is it something with no name; it is no name and no matter


and your question has already been answered BN is Enlightenemnt that is undercover of defilements.

Queen srimala sutra (The Dharmakaya and the meaning of voidness)

"This Dharmakaya of the Tathagata when not free from the store of defilement is referred to as the Tathagatagarbha"
Buddha nature is simply the term that is used to discribe Enlightenment that is still under the cover of GREG(YOU) and TIM (ME)"i'/5 aggregates)when the "i' ends the pure mind/ENlightenement will be the only thing left.

I think everyone need to read Nirvana sutra chapter 45:on Kaundinya 1

and look for the conversation between the Bhagavan Buddha and SENIKA this should clear up many misconceptions.
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Re: Eckhart Tolle on christmas

Postby Astus » Sat Jan 05, 2013 12:09 am

gregkavarnos wrote:Luckily in the Mahamudra tradition we have direct introduction (I do believe something of the sort exists in some Zen schools too?), if the student has the karma vipakka to successfully receive the introduction, this whole discussion disappears up its own...


I don't think there is any need for special tricks. The dialectical teachings of abhidharma, madhyamaka and yogacara should suffice perfectly.
"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: Mind versus Self?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Jan 05, 2013 12:15 am

Son of Buddha wrote:Buddha nature is simply the term that is used to discribe Enlightenment that is still under the cover of GREG(YOU) and TIM (ME)"i'/5 aggregates)when the "i' ends the pure mind/ENlightenement will be the only thing left.
So what you are saying is that enlightenment is the characteristic by which "Self" is defined? I am "Self" because I am enlightened?
Astus wrote:I don't think there is any need for special tricks. The dialectical teachings of abhidharma, madhyamaka and yogacara should suffice perfectly.
Direct introduction is not a trick, it is a technique, like the dialectical teachings of... are a technique. Like sadhana is a technique. Like ad nauseum...
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Eckhart Tolle on christmas

Postby Son of Buddha » Sat Jan 05, 2013 12:17 am

gregkavarnos wrote:
Astus wrote:Then give the definition of what buddha-nature is and not what it is not.
I originally asked this question on page 4, anjali asked it on page 8 and now you are asking it on page 12. And you know what? Still no answer!

This is the enormous hole that exists in this theory: The incapacity to answer how something that is completely and utterly devoid of any duality could be defined as, or used to identify as, a "self" or "Self".

Luckily in the Mahamudra tradition we have direct introduction (I do believe something of the sort exists in some Zen schools too?), if the student has the karma vipakka to successfully receive the introduction, this whole discussion disappears up its own...
:namaste:



Nirvana sutra
states "WITH REGARD TO SELF:,it is the phennomenon that is true,real,permenant,abiding,sovereign,immutable,and unchangeable is called the "self"like a doctor skilled in medicinal milk.

the Self is simply the Buddha or every positive attribute that can be listed to that of which is a Buddha.
but either way look up SENIKA in the Nirvana sutra this will show you what i mean(hopefully)
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Re: Mind versus Self?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Jan 05, 2013 12:20 am

So this "Self" is Buddhahood?
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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