The Third Eye

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Re: The Third Eye

Postby Namgyal » Wed Mar 20, 2013 2:07 pm

Andrew108 wrote:There are no separate conventional and ultimate views and that's what 'purity' means.

'On the relative and conventional level you have death, impermanence, the suffering of samsara and so forth, all of which are deceptive appearances, nevertheless experienced as such. On the ultimate level the mode of existence of the appearances is voidness, they lack true inherent existence.' Wangchuk Dorje.
I hope you noticed the line, '...nevertheless experienced as such.' Referring to all those who are not enlightened. For us, conventional appearances are quite obviously real. It is a serious mistake to apply the so-called ultimate view to conventional reality.
:namaste:
Last edited by Namgyal on Wed Mar 20, 2013 2:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Third Eye

Postby CrawfordHollow » Wed Mar 20, 2013 2:09 pm

"Such visualizations should not be clung to as true, as entities with their own characteristics. In actuality they are the self-appearance of the wisdom mandala. As such they are devoid of the conceptual characteristics of color, shape, face, hands, and the rest, yet the various attributes of the support and supported do manifest as signs that symbolize the qualities of self-appearing buddhahood to those who are to be tamed... Three eyes symbolize seeing throughout the three times..."

Kunkyen Tenpe Nyima
The Compendium of Oral Instructions

Vajra Wisdom
Dharmachakra Translation Committee

So it seems at least from the perspective of generation stage that the third eye is a symbol for purity and not part of any subtle body to be worked with. I am by no means an expert here so I could be totally wrong, I just wanted to include some references. I am not saying that there is no subtle body at all. As far as I know the channels and winds do exist relatively and must be worked with during advanced stages of practice. I have just never heard of any "third eye" being included here.

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Re: The Third Eye

Postby Andrew108 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 2:41 pm

Namgyal wrote:
Andrew108 wrote:There are no separate conventional and ultimate views and that's what 'purity' means.

'On the relative and conventional level you have death, impermanence, the suffering of samsara and so forth, all of which are deceptive appearances, nevertheless experienced as such. On the ultimate level the mode of existence of the appearances is voidness, they lack true inherent existence.' Wangchuk Dorje.
I hope you noticed the line, '...nevertheless experienced as such.' Referring to all those who are not enlightened. For us, conventional appearances are quite obviously real. It is a serious mistake to apply the so-called ultimate view to conventional reality.
:namaste:

Having knowledge and experience of purity does not imply a magical accomlishment has been achieved or unlocked. But this is off topic. Perhaps you could start a thread as to why the most profound teachers of today can't fly, walk through walls or it seems (according to the criteria you use) realize experientially that relative and ultimate truths are not in fact two seperate things.
By the way, if my teacher put his hand into a candle flame and held it there for 5 minutes and then asked me to do the same, I wouldn't hesitate.
Last edited by Andrew108 on Wed Mar 20, 2013 2:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & 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.
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Re: The Third Eye

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Wed Mar 20, 2013 2:41 pm

Andrew108 wrote:I don't establish a third eye as being anything at all ...

It isn't and neither is your stomach but I have a feeling you'll be eating lunch today.
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Re: The Third Eye

Postby Andrew108 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 2:52 pm

Karma Dondrup Tashi wrote:
Andrew108 wrote:I don't establish a third eye as being anything at all ...

It isn't and neither is your stomach but I have a feeling you'll be eating lunch today.

Well then we better make sure our 'third eye' doesn't suffer from indegestion. Right? And then after that we should perhaps look for the secret 'fourth eye'. I bet you don't know about that one.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & 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.
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Re: The Third Eye

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:05 pm

Andrew108 wrote:
Karma Dondrup Tashi wrote:
Andrew108 wrote:I don't establish a third eye as being anything at all ...

It isn't and neither is your stomach but I have a feeling you'll be eating lunch today.

Well then we better make sure our 'third eye' doesn't suffer from indegestion. Right? And then after that we should perhaps look for the secret 'fourth eye'. I bet you don't know about that one.

I know plenty of people who are as addicted to lunch as who are addicted to spirituality, Buddhism, ideology - or sanctimony. And I am all of them. Once I get finished driving all blames into one I'll get back to you on how many stomachs I want to have once I am reborn as a cow. In the meantime I just stuck a fork in my hand and guess what - I saw stars. And don't even get me started on consuming bodily excreta. Maybe instead of pushing me off the cliff so I land back at the bottom of the mountain it would be a good idea to walk me down easy and tell me to have a nice hot cup of tea with my guru. Or are you one of those already-enlightened crazy-wisdom types?
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Re: The Third Eye

Postby CrawfordHollow » Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:15 pm

I still don't see any real evidence that the third eye is any more than a symbol in Vajrayana Buddhsim. Some deities also have four arms and three faces, but that doesn't mean that we need to grow extra appendages to reach enlightenment. I will happily be proved wrong, and I am not trying to be difficult, but from everthing that I have seen it seems like the third eye is no more than a symbol of purity. In either case I don't think that anyone would argue that the "practice"that the OP gleamed off the internet has absolutely no relevance to Buddhsim. Even the quote from Robert Beer that was presented earlier puts the "third eye" in quotations, implying that this is no more that a western idea that he is applying to Buddhsim for the clarity of his readers. Again, I could be completely wrong.
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Re: The Third Eye

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:30 pm

Everything is a symbol including enlightenment.

:quoteunquote:

No-one is disputing that there is a view.

The question as with many difficult questions is finding the exceedingly tiny balancing point between the two truths for purposes of skillful means.
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Re: The Third Eye

Postby kirtu » Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:45 pm

Andrew108 wrote: If Motova wants to concretize his experience and others want to give him further reason to do that...


People should not visualize aspects of the deity superimposed on themselves even in self-generation. This is not the correct way to generate the deity.

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Re: The Third Eye

Postby CrawfordHollow » Wed Mar 20, 2013 4:29 pm

I guess I still feel that the "opening of the third eye" is not a Buddhist concept (for lack of a better word), symbolic or otherwise. The practices of tsa lung work with the channels and winds, but are there any practices that one can point to that specifically work to open this third eye? Otherwise I would say that we are mixing up ideas and traditions here. But perhaps the conversation has moved beyond this point.
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Re: The Third Eye

Postby tobes » Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:40 pm

CrawfordHollow wrote:I still don't see any real evidence that the third eye is any more than a symbol in Vajrayana Buddhsim. Some deities also have four arms and three faces, but that doesn't mean that we need to grow extra appendages to reach enlightenment. I will happily be proved wrong, and I am not trying to be difficult, but from everthing that I have seen it seems like the third eye is no more than a symbol of purity. In either case I don't think that anyone would argue that the "practice"that the OP gleamed off the internet has absolutely no relevance to Buddhsim. Even the quote from Robert Beer that was presented earlier puts the "third eye" in quotations, implying that this is no more that a western idea that he is applying to Buddhsim for the clarity of his readers. Again, I could be completely wrong.


I think there is a strange displacement going on here (on this thread generally, but expressed above very clearly). The displacement is the notion that the 'third-eye' is a western new age construction which has no relationship at all with Tibetan Buddhism.

I think we'd all agree that the new agey interpretation of 'the third-eye' (and chakras etc) is highly problematic for a manifold of reasons.

However, one needs to ask where the new age movement really begun, and where it drew its ontology from. Most good histories trace the movement back to the theosophists, who were clearly and unambiguously adopting (and reinterpreting) both orthodox and heterodox Indian ideas (about subjectivity, soteriology, metaphysics and so forth). A lot of the important theosophists moved to India, and some explicitly adopted (however badly) Buddhist vows and practices.

Now where do you think Tibetan Buddhism came from?

The question is really about the degree to which Vajrayana conceptions of the subtle body are distinct from more orthodox Indian Yogic schools. And I would agree that there are some very important points of distinction, many of them related to the doctrine of emptiness (as opposed to example, to Purusha and prakriti). However, it seems to me pretty fallacious to deny the points of continuity whilst doing that.

There is never any shortage of Vajrayana practitioners who wish to treat the Vajrayana as totally unique, self-enclosed and absolutely distinct from any other tradition - but this just plainly not the case.

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Re: The Third Eye

Postby tobes » Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:50 pm

And to Motova - I'm sorry the thread has become somewhat distracted from your OP. I hope you have found it interesting nonetheless.

I think what perhaps we'd all agree on is that Buddhism - all forms of Buddhism - does not deny what you might call paranormal phenomena.

And in some respects, it may see such phenomena as expressive of more heightened states of consciousness than everyday empirical awareness. But these states are not privileged in any way; they are generally treated as mundane - and are often considered a distraction from what is genuinely spiritually fruitful and wholesome.

My own personal view - which others may not agree with - is that it is far better to be open and inquisitive about non-empirical states of awareness than not. And that it is good to investigate. You're trying to find what is there, what you are, what you are capable of. That is the kind of spirit that can lead you to wholesome paths.

All the best in your pursuit of such a thing.

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Re: The Third Eye

Postby CrawfordHollow » Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:33 am

I agree with you that the third eye is not the sole property of a western new age tradition. What seems "new agey" to me is that you can get practices like this from a source like the internet and perform them without a teacher or lineage. Forgive me if I was closed-minded, I was just being honest. I have truly never encountered the idea that there is a third eye that can worked with and opened through practice in Vajrayana Buddhism. I have had teachings on the channels and winds, but no third eye. It just doesn't sound Buddhist to me, but again I could be wrong. I gave a quote from Kunkyen Tenpe Nyima that clearly states that the three eyes of the deities are attributes of enlightenment, in this case symbolizing the ability to see into the three times. So I don't think that my position is all that strange really.

To the OP, since you asked about Buddhism, I would of course encourage you to seek out a teacher and learn as much as you can about the Dharma. There are so many practices that you can start right now, including shamatha, tonglen, and analytical meditation. Here are some resources that may help you: http://www.rinpoche.com and http://www.shenpen-osel.org
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Re: The Third Eye

Postby Motova » Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:00 am

Thanks everyone, I appreciate all the feedback and discussion. :cheers:
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Re: The Third Eye

Postby Andrew108 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:45 am

tobes wrote:And to Motova - I'm sorry the thread has become somewhat distracted from your OP. I hope you have found it interesting nonetheless.

I think what perhaps we'd all agree on is that Buddhism - all forms of Buddhism - does not deny what you might call paranormal phenomena.

And in some respects, it may see such phenomena as expressive of more heightened states of consciousness than everyday empirical awareness. But these states are not privileged in any way; they are generally treated as mundane - and are often considered a distraction from what is genuinely spiritually fruitful and wholesome.

My own personal view - which others may not agree with - is that it is far better to be open and inquisitive about non-empirical states of awareness than not. And that it is good to investigate. You're trying to find what is there, what you are, what you are capable of. That is the kind of spirit that can lead you to wholesome paths.

All the best in your pursuit of such a thing.

:anjali:

Some practitioners are looking for special things in Tibetan Buddhism. They take on practices trying to develop channels and so on. They hope for results. Some even do three year retreats and follow practices such as the 6 yogas and so on. Some practitioners gain some understanding and others do not. Some practitioners even turn their back on buddhism and criticise it when their fantasies don't come true.
Here is what I think. Your two ordinary eyes are worth more than diamonds. Your tongue worth more than gold. Your skin and body that feel, are worth more than a thousand mansions. Your ears worth more than the beauty of the most beautiful woman in the world.
It's all here. Right now. That's the point. There are no mundane experiences. Precious human birth. Just stay with that. Then move on to the other three noble thoughts because the whole dharma is in those 4 thoughts.
When you look up at a mountain you see all the peaks and crags. When you look down from a mountain you see where you were standing is really quite beautiful and part of a larger panorama. Buddhists who keep looking at peaks and crags miss the point. In the end they become depressed and confused. So climb the mountain but keep looking back to the beauty of what you are.
That's my advice and final word on this subject.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & 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.
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Re: The Third Eye

Postby Namgyal » Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:41 am

Andrew108 wrote:Some practitioners are looking for special things in Tibetan Buddhism. They take on practices trying to develop channels and so on. They hope for results. Some even do three year retreats and follow practices such as the 6 yogas and so on. Some practitioners gain some understanding and others do not. Some practitioners even turn their back on buddhism and criticise it when their fantasies don't come true...When you look up at a mountain you see all the peaks and crags. When you look down from a mountain you see where you were standing is really quite beautiful and part of a larger panorama.

I'm amazed that you can quote this old Chinese Buddhist saying when it obviously applies to you. When you climb to a new peak of understanding you look down at your former views as a mere hillock, but don't forget to look behind you at ever greater mountain ranges ascending into the clouds. Vajrayana practices are not 'fantasies' they simply belong to a mountain range higher than your own.
Andrew108 wrote:Perhaps you could start a thread as to why the most profound teachers of today can't fly, walk through walls

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZL3M5P8NSQ
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Re: The Third Eye

Postby conebeckham » Thu Mar 21, 2013 4:31 pm

CrawfordHollow wrote:I guess I still feel that the "opening of the third eye" is not a Buddhist concept (for lack of a better word), symbolic or otherwise. The practices of tsa lung work with the channels and winds, but are there any practices that one can point to that specifically work to open this third eye? Otherwise I would say that we are mixing up ideas and traditions here. But perhaps the conversation has moved beyond this point.



Well, the conversation has veered in many directions, but it strikes me that, unless someone can provide a textual source from the original Tibetan (or Sanksrit) making reference to a "Third Eye" relating to anything more than a detail of generation stage visualization, it's just a superimposition.

So far, all I've seen is commentary on how the three eyes see the three times. Whether or not the Avadhuti exits the forehead, or the crown, and whether or not the three nadis meet in the space between the eyebrows, or not, does nothing to support any reference to a Third Eye in the original Tantric sources, or in the Tibetan commentaries. So far, all I can see is a superimposition, which is not necessary, and may be detrimental or misleading.
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Re: The Third Eye

Postby Simon E. » Thu Mar 21, 2013 4:38 pm

Well put.
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Re: The Third Eye

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Thu Mar 21, 2013 4:55 pm

conebeckham wrote:... relating to anything more than a detail of generation stage visualization ...

Just before falling asleep, visualize a white small round bed [thig-le] of five-colored rainbow light in the space between our eyebrows, the third eye chakra. This is visualized clearly about the size of a pea. In the Dzogchen, the practice is never to bring 'white' light into another chakra except the HEART because a white tiny sphere of light is visualized gives the senses too much presence and one may not be able to fall asleep with over stimulation to keeping the mental body awake in a sensory way. We visualize the rainbow color in the forehead center because this gives automatic control over all our vital energies known as prana [rlung or the accumulation of bringing all the charka's into one point to exit the waking into the dreaming realms].
Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche, The Cycle of Day and Night.
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Re: The Third Eye

Postby conebeckham » Thu Mar 21, 2013 5:03 pm

Interesting quote, Karma Dondrup Tashi. Perhaps it's a special Dzogchen term for a chakra I'm not familiar with. Would love to see a primary source, in Tibetan, though, but CNNR using the term does give it some credence.
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