Buddhism 4 elements and fasting

Whether you're exploring Buddhism for the first time or you're already on the path, feel free to ask questions of any kind here.

Buddhism 4 elements and fasting

Postby San Feng zhen ren » Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:04 am

Hey Guys im emailing about something that im trying to find out and im posting it here because i think totally applies to Buddhism as it could be in Buddhism or taoism because the Master patriach was a Buddhist and Taoist.
Its on fasting of the body and fasting of the eyes,which is the where my question lies
Any suggestions on what he means by Body fasting and turning the gaze within?
ive been confused about this one for a while(over 6 months) so any suggestions will help :thanks: in advance

I have also put the chinese characters beside the text for all you guys may know Chinese to check if you would like to

I was reading Song of Enlightenment by Hsuan Hua and came to a phrase that said

LET THE FOUR ELEMENTS GO. DO NOT GRASP AT THEM. We people are made from the combining of the solidity of earth, the moisture of water, the wormth of fire, and the breath of wind. We should not grasp and become attached to these characteristics or to the complications which arise from having a self.

So then i put 2 and 2 together and bean to think this is what the patriach means by the phrase
一.四大不着而身斋。
The first fast. The four elements do not grasp - then the body is purified.

He speaks about the first fast being the body, so i was confuse whether he means 4 elements 四大 or 4 limbs of the body not moving, because there are many texts in taoism that speak of the body not moving by being physical immobility while cultivating
However i am inclined to believe that he accords with Buddhism in this one because of the fact that his language is often similar to Hsuan Huas but i could be wrong because the Text was written in the 1700's
Before i was reading "Hsuan Hua's" song of enlightenment i had been puzzled of the meaning of the body fasting in this context.


Here is an exerpt of the text below for your interest
A Patriarch is talking to his student and there is a dialogue and the student asks "i beg of you to explain how i can cultivate" and he Patriarch responds



一.四大不着而身斋。
The first fast. The four elements do not grasp - then the body is purified. ------(alternative translation is...the four extremes(of the body) do not move.
二.诸虑具息而意斋。
The second fast. All thought devices rest(stop) - then the intellect is purified.
三.回光反照而眼斋。
The third fast. The light is turned back - then the eyes are purified.
四.声音不入而耳斋。
The fourth fast. The sounds do not enter - then the ears are purified.
五.香臭不到而鼻斋。
The fifth fast. The perfume and the stink does not reach - then the
nose is purified.
六.是非不动而舌斋。
The sixth fast. By the truth or the falsity being not moved - then the
tongue is purified.
六斋已毕,复进而请曰:弟子斋矣。敢问其道?
After bringing to fruition the six fasts, the student has returned and
asked: the student is purified now. Dare I ask about this Dao?
San Feng zhen ren
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:54 am

Re: Buddhism 4 elements and fasting

Postby wisdom » Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:25 pm

San Feng zhen ren wrote:一.四大不着而身斋。
The first fast. The four elements do not grasp - then the body is purified. ------(alternative translation is...the four extremes(of the body) do not move.


I interpret this as being fasting from attachment to the body itself (but I don't read Chinese!). This can also be hunger and thirst. Whatever the body desires, whether it is to seek or avoid a thing, hence "do not move". In other words when these things happen to the body, any discomfort, the desire is to move. Towards heat, away from cold, towards food, away from an uncomfortable position. To move the body is to move the mind, to move the mind is to move the energy, to do this with attachment or aversion is to continue in ignorance. So the first thing is the fast of the body. We grasp with the four extremes because all of these things are sought out or prevented with our four limbs. Feet move us towards or away from desirable situations, hands grasp our push away desirable things. The body has a desire, the feet carry us there, the hands grasp it- fasting from all this is the fast of the body.
User avatar
wisdom
 
Posts: 473
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2011 4:33 am

Re: Buddhism 4 elements and fasting

Postby San Feng zhen ren » Fri Dec 14, 2012 1:44 am

that one response is very clear now,i think i have a picture of the meaning ,i think i see why he is saying that now
thanks for that reply Wisdom
San Feng zhen ren
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:54 am

Re: Buddhism 4 elements and fasting

Postby San Feng zhen ren » Fri Dec 14, 2012 3:33 am

I interpret this as being fasting from attachment to the body itself (but I don't read Chinese!). This can also be hunger and thirst. Whatever the body desires, whether it is to seek or avoid a thing, hence "do not move". In other words when these things happen to the body, any discomfort, the desire is to move. Towards heat, away from cold, towards food, away from an uncomfortable position. To move the body is to move the mind, to move the mind is to move the energy, to do this with attachment or aversion is to continue in ignorance. So the first thing is the fast of the body. We grasp with the four extremes because all of these things are sought out or prevented with our four limbs. Feet move us towards or away from desirable situations, hands grasp our push away desirable things. The body has a desire, the feet carry us there, the hands grasp it- fasting from all this is the fast of the bod

. To move the body is to move the mind, to move the mind is to move the energy, to do this with attachment or aversion is to continue in ignorance. So the first thing is the fast of the body. We grasp with the four extremes because all of these things are sought out or prevented with our four limbs

May i ask your advice on how to proceed to do this?
i found ti interesting how you said ......moving the body(desires of the body,right?) moves the mind and moving the mind moves the energy(how does one stop the desires of body like cold and hunger and comfort moving and shaking the mind?---because clearly if one freezes to death or is starving then one will think of food,right?)
as soon as the mind moves the energy then that would provoke attachment due to instability of energy,right?
Ok,maybe im making connections here that are incorrect but im interested in your thoughts because in your language was clarity

:guns:
San Feng zhen ren
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:54 am

Re: Buddhism 4 elements and fasting

Postby wisdom » Fri Dec 14, 2012 9:30 am

It means to literally fast from the bodies control over your actions and eventually mind and will. Your body wants food, the mind thinks of food, you desire food, you grasp for food, your body stands up and seeks food. So if you don't move, literally you stop the process. Eventually you can get it to where the bodies needs remain strictly with the body, and the mind can remain quiescent, holding the body still and relaxed, despite the bodies demands.
User avatar
wisdom
 
Posts: 473
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2011 4:33 am

Re: Buddhism 4 elements and fasting

Postby San Feng zhen ren » Fri Dec 14, 2012 10:41 am

Are you indicating body immovability here in meditation?
how does one confine this so that they remain strictly in the body? sitting meditation? gradual cultivation? stopping thoughts of food ? stopping thoughts of comfort? but yet Some of taoist patriachs say conquer mind but gradually guide desires along ,leading them along ...im trying to find the meaning of this .
I would like to practice but i am trying to find out the way to practice correctly

So if you don't move, literally you stop the process. Eventually you can get it to where the bodies needs remain strictly with the body, and the mind can remain quiescent, holding the body still and relaxed, despite the bodies demands.
San Feng zhen ren
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:54 am


Return to Exploring Buddhism

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests

>