What's all this nonsense about sitting still?

Re: What's all this nonsense about sitting still?

Postby oushi » Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:06 pm

conebeckham wrote:If one is the "Buddha," there is no self, and thus, no "inappropriate behavior."

Self is just a view composed on a set of activities. In awakening, this view disappears but not the background on which it was created. The person still exists, eats, talks, laughs... There is a self for those who project it upon him. Like Bodhidharma said "Buddha is an idle person", and still there is a person that has name, address, bills to pay... It is ridiculous to think that on awakening everything that constituted a person, collapses. It is not the "self" which is awakened, neither is it destroyed on awakening.
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oushi wrote:"Regardless of what we do, our karma has no hold on us."

Which is the view.

So if we are all already enlightened go stick a fork in your hand and let us know how your view is going.

“In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But in practice, there is.”
― Yogi Berra

Sorry but learning to identify the view-addicts is Nagarjuna 101.

Heard of "emptiness sickness"? Heard of "spiritual materialism"?

If we have the view without stabilizing it in practice we are just getting off on samadhi-w*nking.

Are you stabilized in the view 24/7? I mean really? You don't crave anything, ever? You are not attached to anything, ever? You can say with all honestly that you are completely free of all deluded experience, always, forever?

Be honest.

What you don't seem to get is that practice itself can be an ego-pit. You're just pumping up your ego with Mahayana-vitamins.

It's like how American Protestantism has degenerated Christianity into the happy-clappy-going-to-heaven-club? Heard of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's "cheap grace"? Same syndrome in all religions.

That was a quote from Bodhidharma. You criticized him. That fine, but I will not try to defend him.

To answer your question, "Self" is not the Buddha, not the one who stands behind that "we" in the quote. It is better to leave "self" alone, as it is just a karmic entity shaped by conditions. It seem that you are looking for some kind of awakened "I" that can pass fork test without blinking an eye... some kind of a saint. Here, have a look on this:
Bodhidharma wrote:A Buddha doesn't observe precepts. A Buddha doesn't do good or evil. A Buddha isn't energetic or lazy. A Buddha is someone who does nothing, someone who can’t even focus his mind on a Buddha. A Buddha isn't a Buddha. Don’t think about Buddhas.

And a quote from a contemporary master which name I do not remember: "There is Buddha for those who do not know what he is really, there is no Buddha for those who knows what he is really"
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Re: What's all this nonsense about sitting still?

Postby conebeckham » Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:15 pm

Oushi, your definition of "Buddha" is not the same as my definition. Then again, I differentiate between "Awakening" and "Enlightenment." but I suppose this may all be out of place in the Zen forum.
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Re: What's all this nonsense about sitting still?

Postby oushi » Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:34 pm

conebeckham wrote:Oushi, your definition of "Buddha" is not the same as my definition. Then again, I differentiate between "Awakening" and "Enlightenment."

It may be so.
Defining Buddha is always a hard task, as it is something that always clouds the nature. How can we explain something that is opposite, or even beyond explanation? It is like talking about silence. We can know and talk about everything, but neither is Buddha a thing, nor can he be known.
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Re: What's all this nonsense about sitting still?

Postby Dan74 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:01 pm

oushi wrote:
Recognizing the freedom from the self is a long way from the skillful functioning of the original mind.

Long before, or after?

Beside this, you didn't make a comment on my previous post and quotes it contains. We are walking into some weird ground of "awakening is not the same as awakening".

"Regardless of what we do, our karma has no hold on us."
Either you discard this teaching, or you confirm that appearances don't say much about awakening of the person. How is it then?


An awakened man does not disregard the karma - remember the Baizhang's fox?

All great masters when speaking of awakened conduct do not deviate from the Buddhas early teachings - liberation from delusion, from the eight worldly winds, from being swayed by the comings and goings, complete freedom. If you are still caught up in your habits and swayed by the circumstance, this is not complete awakening,

There is awakening and there is cultivation. Without awakening permeating every pore of ones being, every moment, cultivation is not complete. Awakening is not complete. They are not two, of course.

To put it another way, there is seeing the gate, there is peering inside, there s entering the gate and there is being the lord of the domain. Again though these distinctions are empty and ultimately illusory, they are reflected in the clinging and obscurations present.

As for the Ox, read Hongzhi again.
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Re: What's all this nonsense about sitting still?

Postby randomseb » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:16 pm

If you are conceptualizing something, you are adding a mental construct on top of the "raw experience" of reality, an extra filter for your brain to have to process before responding to any given situation. As your raw experience is nothing more than your own mind, you are obstructing your mind with your mind, layers upon layers upon layers of dust on the mirror.

To quote the Bodhidharma anthology: understanding such as this is also wrong

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Re: What's all this nonsense about sitting still?

Postby Dan74 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:18 pm

randomseb wrote:If you are conceptualizing something, you are adding a mental construct on top of the "raw experience" of reality, an extra filter for your brain to have to process before responding to any given situation. As your raw experience is nothing more than your own mind, you are obstructing your mind with your mind, layers upon layers upon layers of dust on the mirror.

To quote the Bodhidharma anthology: understanding such as this is also wrong

:namaste:


Who is conceptualizing?

(well, TBH, most likely we all are!)
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Re: What's all this nonsense about sitting still?

Postby randomseb » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:30 pm

Dan74 wrote:
randomseb wrote:To quote the Bodhidharma anthology: understanding such as this is also wrong


Who is conceptualizing?


I surmise that if I am conceptualizing, then I am giving rise to the "I" entity in relation to object of my mental attentions, establishing a firmament between "the earth and the heavens", but if there is no conceptualizing, then there is just straightforward action with upright wisdom.

On the floor here are my shoes, and when they are in my awareness field, I can think "oh, my shoes, I needs to put them on so as to keep my feet clean and safe while I go outside", or I can just put them on without any further notions, and without triggering a cascade of brain activity related to outside, feet, dirty, etc, etc

Who thinks about that? We, or at least most of us I assume, just put on the shoes with straightforward action, not disturbing the brain with all sorts of pointless extra content!

On topic: You don't become a master archer by not training! If sitting still is the kind of wall-gazing that trains you on the function of your own mind, then do so?
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Re: What's all this nonsense about sitting still?

Postby Dan74 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:40 pm

randomseb wrote:
Dan74 wrote:
randomseb wrote:To quote the Bodhidharma anthology: understanding such as this is also wrong


Who is conceptualizing?


I surmise that if I am conceptualizing, then I am giving rise to the "I" entity in relation to object of my mental attentions, establishing a firmament between "the earth and the heavens", but if there is no conceptualizing, then there is just straightforward action with upright wisdom.

There is a lot of concepts in this short paragraphs, my friend.

On topic: You don't become a master archer by not training! If sitting still is the kind of wall-gazing that trains you on the function of your own mind, then do so?


Indeed!
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Re: What's all this nonsense about sitting still?

Postby randomseb » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:43 pm

Dan74 wrote:There is a lot of concepts in this short paragraphs, my friend.


Very much so! This is why I included:

To quote the Bodhidharma anthology: understanding such as this is also wrong

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Re: What's all this nonsense about sitting still?

Postby oushi » Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:54 am

Dan74 wrote:
oushi wrote:
Recognizing the freedom from the self is a long way from the skillful functioning of the original mind.

All great masters when speaking of awakened conduct do not deviate from the Buddhas early teachings - liberation from delusion, from the eight worldly winds, from being swayed by the comings and goings, complete freedom. If you are still caught up in your habits and swayed by the circumstance, this is not complete awakening,

Still, you didn't answer my questions... I will keep on asking then.
Who is the one that is caught up or not?
Is it the self being caught up, and then attaining complete awakening, or is it Buddha caught up, and then attaining it?
Or maybe it's the self that is caught up, and Buddha who attains complete awakening?
Lastly, the Buddha can be caught up and the self attains complete awakening.
It seems that I exhausted all possibilities, so which one is it?
randomseb wrote:To quote the Bodhidharma anthology: understanding such as this is also wrong

:namaste:

Bodhidharma: "Only when you understand nothing is it true understanding.". One cannot be that which comes and goes for him. Identification comes and goes, same thing with understanding. What can be said about "understanding nothing"? Nothing.
Bodhidharma wrote:A Buddha doesn't observe precepts. A Buddha doesn't do good or evil. A Buddha isn't energetic or lazy. A Buddha is someone who does nothing, someone who can’t even focus his mind on a Buddha. A Buddha isn't a Buddha.

And he still can do it all.
All those characteristics are grasped to through understanding. We can say that Buddha is you devoid of understanding, but it automatically means that there is no "you" without it. Self is gone when there is no understanding, that is why it is true understanding. Delusion is based on understanding and meaning. Out of them form is created and the consciousness of the form. Then comes clinging...
Bodhidharma wrote:Hence the Sutras tell us to move without moving, to travel without traveling, to see without seeing, to laugh without laughing, to hear without hearing, to know without knowing, to be happy, without being happy, to walk without walking, to stand without standing. And the sutras say, "Go beyond language. Go beyond thought." Basically, seeing, hearing, and knowing are completely empty. Your anger, Joy, or pain is like that of puppet. You search but you won’t find a thing.


randomseb wrote:On topic: You don't become a master archer by not training! If sitting still is the kind of wall-gazing that trains you on the function of your own mind, then do so?

Samsara.
How many times in the past was it explained that it is not about becoming, but ending becoming? People don't want to be Buddhas, they want to become one. They don't want to be liberated, they want have liberation.

Enough said.. not much will be taken seriously anyway.
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Re: What's all this nonsense about sitting still?

Postby Dan74 » Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:01 am

oushi wrote:
Dan74 wrote:
oushi wrote:All great masters when speaking of awakened conduct do not deviate from the Buddhas early teachings - liberation from delusion, from the eight worldly winds, from being swayed by the comings and goings, complete freedom. If you are still caught up in your habits and swayed by the circumstance, this is not complete awakening,

Still, you didn't answer my questions... I will keep on asking then.
Who is the one that is caught up or not?
Is it the self being caught up, and then attaining complete awakening, or is it Buddha caught up, and then attaining it?
Or maybe it's the self that is caught up, and Buddha who attains complete awakening?
Lastly, the Buddha can be caught up and the self attains complete awakening.
It seems that I exhausted all possibilities, so which one is it?


Neither self, nor Buddha.

To explain more - all such answers are only to remove bonds. Sometimes you work with the self. Sometimes you are ready to relinquish the self and then one says "Buddha".

Don't fall into a position or grasp on to a view - there is no use. Best to investigate, right?
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Re: What's all this nonsense about sitting still?

Postby Matylda » Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:05 am

oushi wrote:
Bodhidharma wrote:If one can relinquish the false and turn to the true, fix the mind in “wall meditation”, understand that there are neither self nor others, that mortals and saints are equal and one—abiding this way without wavering, clinging not even to the scriptures, then one is implicitly in accord with the Principle.

You can call it principle, but still it is "understanding" as we can see above. I see "reason" more fitting here. We can say that understanding the principles of the doctrine is done through reason.


RI as you read in Chinese-Japanese dharma language has no connotation of 'understanding' or 'reason' or anything like that.. check carefully in Buddhist Chinese dictionaries and lexicons.. the character itself in this context means final truth or absolute level. So to enter the way means either realization of the single truth, i.e. buddhanature, or through complex means of more elaborate path of skillful means, and the rest is about it.

There is no understanding, or anything intellectual in character RI specially as it was used in Tang and earlier.

To rely on modern translations is very risky since they do not provide proper language and interpretation context which is crucial for such texts and teachings... specially zen literature in the West suffers a lot from incompetent translations.
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Re: What's all this nonsense about sitting still?

Postby oushi » Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:31 pm

Matylda wrote:
oushi wrote:
Bodhidharma wrote:If one can relinquish the false and turn to the true, fix the mind in “wall meditation”, understand that there are neither self nor others, that mortals and saints are equal and one—abiding this way without wavering, clinging not even to the scriptures, then one is implicitly in accord with the Principle.

You can call it principle, but still it is "understanding" as we can see above. I see "reason" more fitting here. We can say that understanding the principles of the doctrine is done through reason.


RI as you read in Chinese-Japanese dharma language has no connotation of 'understanding' or 'reason' or anything like that.. check carefully in Buddhist Chinese dictionaries and lexicons.. the character itself in this context means final truth or absolute level. So to enter the way means either realization of the single truth, i.e. buddhanature, or through complex means of more elaborate path of skillful means, and the rest is about it.

There is no understanding, or anything intellectual in character RI specially as it was used in Tang and earlier.

To rely on modern translations is very risky since they do not provide proper language and interpretation context which is crucial for such texts and teachings... specially zen literature in the West suffers a lot from incompetent translations.

Thank you for clarification, but what part of the text are you referring to?
I can only relate to the logic of your translation which appears to be flawed. It would mean that you can enter the Way (by practice) without realizing the final truth or absolute level, as it is the other way. The text contains explanation of both ways, can you provide your translation of the first one? I am asking about this part:

Entering the Way by Principle means to awaken to the Truth through the doctrine, with a deep faith that all sentient beings have the same true nature. Obscured by the fleeting dust of delusions, this nature cannot manifest itself.
If one can relinquish the false and turn to the true, fix the mind in “wall meditation”, understand that there are neither self nor others, that mortals and saints are equal and one—abiding this way without wavering, clinging not even to the scriptures, then one is implicitly in accord with the Principle. Being non-discriminative, still, and empty of effort is to Enter by Principle.

I marked parts that requires understanding.
Dan74 wrote:Neither self, nor Buddha.

How so? You wrote " If you are still caught up in your habits and swayed by the circumstance", and now you say that "You" is neither self, nor Buddha. What is it then?
Sometimes you are ready to relinquish the self and then one says "Buddha".

Same question about what is "You". Is it something different then self? You relinquish self, and then one says...
How many of "yous" are there? One, two, tree, or maybe four?
Those are simple questions aiming to clarify you position, so "zen" answers will not help. What is "You"?
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Re: What's all this nonsense about sitting still?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:04 pm

The translator of the Book Zen Teachings of Bodhidharma is, or was, a subscriber to this forum.
Red Pine, where are you?

The passage referred to above is written in the context of there being
two ways of entering the dharma, "reason" and "practice".
In Tibetan Buddhism, this is often referred to as scholars and yogis.

One does not enter the Buddhist path with much understanding at all.
The path of reason, of intellectual analysis, will give you a conceptual understanding
but that is all.
Practice gives you direct realization.
So, you can read, for example, that there is no difference between Buddhas and ordinary sentient beings
and mistakenly conclude "oh then, I must already be enlightened".

oushi wrote: I can only relate to the logic of your translation which appears to be flawed. It would mean that you can enter the Way (by practice) without realizing the final truth or absolute level, as it is the other way.

Nobody enters the practice already realizing the final truth or absolute level. There would be no need to.


To say that say that "You" is neither self, nor Buddha
simply means that attaining realization requires letting go of
any notion you cling to as defining yourself one way or another.
"What is you?" becomes a nonsense question
because there is nothing that IS you.

The difference between intellectual understanding and direct experience is the difference between
becoming the world's leading authority on oranges, but not actually ever tasting one,
...and actually tasting one.

Bodhidharma isn't saying that intellectual study is a bad thing
otherwise, he wouldn't have given us anything to study!
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Re: What's all this nonsense about sitting still?

Postby oushi » Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:24 pm

Entering the way is not the way. You don't know how orange testes, and understanding will not tell you, but will lead you to a orange tree. That is why it is "entering" the way. On entering, understanding is abandoned as empty. No-mind was always there, but covered by meaning. There is no hidden meaning to be found, but "no-meaning" to be realized, which appears only when we stop looking. When meaning is gone, Buddha shines.

To say that say that "You" is neither self, nor Buddha
simply means that attaining realization requires letting go of
any notion you cling to as defining yourself one way or another.

Including "You"/"Me" right? Remember how Bodhidharma answered when questioned about that?
There is one that walks, talks, eats and sleeps. This is the only "you" there is, and he is conditioned entity. I am this conditioned entity, which will never become anything else, so looking is futile. Conditions may change, and this I will change, but "I" will always be conditioned. Enlightenment is not switching from this "self" to another greater "you". It is seeing the emptiness of it, and it can be done through understanding. "I" comes and goes, but "I" cannot say, that there is no "I". I can say that everything that is changing is not-self, because that which does not change, will not say "I am" this.
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Re: What's all this nonsense about sitting still?

Postby Simon E. » Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:47 pm

Orange testes sounds a bit alarming.
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Re: What's all this nonsense about sitting still?

Postby oushi » Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:57 pm

Simon E. wrote:Orange testes sounds a bit alarming.

This is the world of meaning. It contains, oranges, thoughts, Buddhas, and awakenings. All this should be alarming.
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Re: What's all this nonsense about sitting still?

Postby Simon E. » Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:25 pm

oushi wrote:
Simon E. wrote:Orange testes sounds a bit alarming.

This is the world of meaning. It contains, oranges, thoughts, Buddhas, and awakenings. All this should be alarming.

I was making a joke oushi...you referred to orange testes, ( you probably meant ' taste '
Orange testes in Polish would be jadra pomarancza...

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Re: What's all this nonsense about sitting still?

Postby oushi » Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:29 pm

:rolling:
Certainly looks alarming, and seeing a doctor would be highly recommended.
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Re: What's all this nonsense about sitting still?

Postby Simon E. » Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:34 pm

:lol:
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