The Origin of "Not Finding"

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The Origin of "Not Finding"

Postby Astus » Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:18 pm

In Zhiyi's Little Samatha-Vipasyana we find "即當反觀行心,不見相貌。當知行者及行中一切法,畢竟空寂,是名修觀。" which in Ven. Dharmamitra's translation is "One should then immediately turn back the attention and contemplate the mind which is engaged in walking. One then fails to perceive any characteristic appearance associated with it. One should then realize that the one who walks as well as all dharmas involved in walking are both ultimately empty and still. It is this which constitutes the cultivation of [insight] contemplation."

In Tibetan meditation instructions it is a regular theme that one should look for the self/mind and find nothing, and this finding nothing is emptiness. What I'd like to know is the precedents of this kind of instruction. I haven't yet looked up in Nagarjuna's upadesa, perhaps there's something. But any other early quote is appreciated too.
"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)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“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; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: The Origin of "Not Finding"

Postby ronnewmexico » Wed Oct 13, 2010 6:36 pm

I have difficulty understanding what is being stated(I am but a uneducated layperson but there are no responses) ....it seems a incorrect inferal.

Emptiness is found in everything a mind may be our closest neighbor and be usefull in study for that reason but all is empty not just mind. External reaity is not described as nothingness if that is what is being stated.....I don't know.

That said..... a practice manual I study though versed several hundred years ago states these things which seem to be related, from source materials. I expect the exact wordings may have chnged in time.

The Mulamadhyamaka-harika comments:

When one says that no self exists
Except for the rebirth-seeking aggregates
It means that these aggregates are identical with the self.
Then the self is indeed nonexistent.

the Bhavanakrama:
There is no personality to be perceived apart from the aggregates elements,and sense faculties. The self is not the essence of the aggregates, etc., because they are essentially transient and composite, whereas personality has been defined by others(such as those of the Brahamanic tradition) as an external and independent essence. This self or another undefinable self cannot possibly exist as substantial entities, since there is no reality of substance. Establish all that is conceived to "I" and "mine" in the transient world as a total delusion.

The Madhyamakavatara:

The self does not emerge from oneself, nor from others,
Nor even from the fusion of the two factors.
There exists nothing that does not depend on causes,
Therefore,all realities are devoid of self-entity.

The Lankavatara:
The mind stirred by hidden defilement
Causes the appearance of external reality.
But for the mind, the reality does not exist.
To perceive external phenomena as reality
Is distortion.

The Lankavatara:
External reality is neither substantive nor nothingness,
Even the mind is not an entity.
Elimination of all views is the criteria
For nonarising(emptiness).

The first Bhavanakrama summmerizes:
Contemplate the three planes of existence as being of mental origin, since they are designated by the mind. By analyzing the mind, the meditator examines the essence of all things.

The Ratnakuta:
Buddha: Kasyapa, as one explores the mind,it cannmot be discovered.This unknowable naure cannot be cognized.That which is uncongnized does not havea past, a future, noreven a present.

The Sutralamkara:
Know that,apart from the mind,nothing exists,
And that even the mind itself does not exist.
Understand intelligent meditator, the nonreality of the two, And settle--withouit duality--in all-embracing emptiness.

Dharmakirti
By examining things one will find
That there is no substance in them.
They arise devoid of a unitary
Or multiple innate nature.

I don't concern myself with this at all. So my materials may not be of interest or relevent as I am uneducated to this. And in part..... I don't agree with your statement as being reflective of view(it seems perhaps not).
So maybe that helps but probably not.
The names of the materials may be quaried if necessary I would assume.
I can provide many many more of these things if desired and this fits the bill.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: The Origin of "Not Finding"

Postby Astus » Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:47 pm

I'm looking specifically for meditation instructions applying the mentioned method and pointing out that not finding anything as the essence of mind, or mind itself is the whole point.

Something similar can be found in this classic Zen story, but even this is not exactly it:

Bodhidharma sat facing the wall. The Second Patriarch stood in the snow. He cut off his arm and presented it to Bodhidharma, crying, "My mind has no peace as yet! I beg you, master, please pacify my mind!" "Bring your mind here and I will pacify it for you," replied Bodhidharma. "I have searched for my mind, and I cannot take hold of it," said the Second Patriarch. "Now your mind is pacified," said Bodhidharma. (Gateless Gate, case 41, tr. by Katsuki Sekida)

Also a passage that comes close to it from the MPPU (chapter on the Mahayana form of smrtyupasthana, mindfulness of mind):

智者雖觀是心生滅相,亦不得實生滅法,不分別垢淨而得心清淨。以是心清淨故,不為客煩惱所染。 (T25n1509_p0204a07-09)
"And although the wise person considers the characteristics of birth (utpāda) and cessation (nirodha) of this mind, he will find no true birth, no true cessation. Not finding any defilement (saṃkleśa) or purification (vyāvadan) in it, he discovers this luminosity of the mind (cittasya prabhāsvara), a luminosity by virtue of which the mind is not defiled by the adventitious passions (na khale āgantukair upakleśair upakliṣyate)." (tr. by Gelongma Karma Migme Chodron of Lamotte's translation, vol. 3, p. 979 / PDF p. 118)

What I'm looking for actually fits the "emptiness of non-perception":

何以故名不可得空?為智力少故不可得?為實無故不可得? 答曰: 諸法實無故不可得,非智力少也。 (T25n1509_p0295c13)
"Why do you assert this emptiness of non-perception? If dharmas are not perceived, is this due to weakness of knowledge (jñānadaurbalya) or because they do not truly exist?
Answer. – It is because dharmas really do not exist that they are not perceived, and not due to weakness of knowledge."
(vol. 4, p. 1762 / PDF p. 358)

However, the 18 emptinesses are used more as theoretical teachings rather than practical ones.

"What is unascertainable emptiness? Those dharmas which are past, future, and present, are not got at. And why? In a past (dharma) the future (dharmas) cannot be got at: nor in a future the past; nor in a present (dharma) can the past and future (dharmas) be got at: nor in the past and future (dharmas) the present ones. The unascertainable emptiness is the non-apprehension of these, because they are pure from the very beginning, on account of their being neither unmoved nor destroyed. For such is their essential nature." (Large PP Sutra, I. 9, 12, §15. PDF p. 184)

"As soon as this present moment appears, at that very moment it will exhaust or cease to exist. The past is gone; the future has not yet come, so they are not entities. This is what we call ‘not apprehended’. But there is no such phenomenon about which you can conclude that it is an unapprehended phenomenon, because ‘unapprehended’ itself is empty. This is ‘emptiness of unapprehended’." (Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche's commentary to Madhyamakavatara 6:216-217 in "Introduction to the Middle Way", PDF p. 334)

It is not exactly like how Thrangu Rinpoche puts it:

"it has been resolved that objects of mind and mind itself are not to be found, and that the not-finding-anything when you look for the mind is not because you have failed to find it; nor is it because the mind exists but is somehow too subtle to be found in that way; nor is it because it is too far away from you, too distant to be seen after all it is your mind. The reason that you do not find anything is that in not finding anything you are finding what the mind is, which is emptiness, and this is a matter of direct experience." (Ocean of Definitive Meaning, p. 75)
"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)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“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; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: The Origin of "Not Finding"

Postby Huifeng » Thu Oct 14, 2010 3:24 am

Hi Astus,

There are so many examples of this that one may only be brief. Here are a couple, in rough historical order:

《雜阿含經》卷10:
「恭敬合掌白尊者阿難言:「正應如是。如是智慧梵行,善知識教授教誡說法。我今從尊者阿難所,聞如是法,於一切行皆空、皆[3]悉寂、不可得、愛盡、離欲、滅盡、涅槃,心樂正住解脫,不復轉還,不復見我,唯見正法。」」(CBETA, T02, no. 99, p. 67, a11-16)
[3]悉寂=寂悉【宋】【元】【明】。


《佛說法印經》卷1:
「「復次,離我見已,即無見無聞,無覺無知。何以故?由因緣故,而生諸識,即彼因緣,及所生識,皆悉無常,以無常故,識不可得。識蘊既空,無所造作,是名無作解脫門。入是解脫門已,知法究竟,於法無著,證法寂滅。」」(CBETA, T02, no. 104, p. 500, c20-24)

《方廣大莊嚴經》卷5〈13 音樂發悟品〉:
「譬如種子,  能生於[2]牙,
 [*]牙與種子,  不即不離。
 從於無明,  能生諸行,
 無明與行,  亦復如是。
 不即不離,  體性空寂,
 於因緣中,  求不可得。」
(CBETA, T03, no. 187, p. 568, b15-20)
[2]牙=芽【宋】*【元】*【明】*。[*2-1]牙=芽【宋】*【元】*【明】*。

《佛本行集經》卷14〈15 空聲勸厭品〉:
「諸方求覓已,  去來不可得,
 因及有緣者,  諸行如是生。
 有諦了之人,  空觀應如是,
 陰入及諸界,  內外悉皆寂。」
(CBETA, T03, no. 190, p. 717, b1-4)

《小品般若波羅蜜經》卷6〈15 大如品〉:
「爾時須菩提白佛言:「世尊!是法隨順一切法。何以故?世尊!是法無障礙處,無障礙相,如虛空。世尊!是法無生,一切法不可得故。世尊!是法無處,一切處不可得故。」」
(CBETA, T08, no. 227, p. 562, b14-18)


《小品般若波羅蜜經》卷9〈23 稱揚菩薩品〉:
「是故當知是菩薩所為甚難,無眾生而為眾生,發大莊嚴。如人與虛空共鬪。佛說眾生不可得,眾生離故,可[10]度者亦離;眾生離故,色亦離;眾生離故,受、想、行、識亦離;眾生離故,一切法亦離。若菩薩聞如是說,不驚不怖,不沒不退,當知是為行般若波羅蜜。」
佛問須菩提:「菩薩何因緣故,不驚不怖,不沒不退。」「世尊!空故,不沒;無所有故,不沒。何以故?沒者,不可得;沒法,亦不可得;沒處,亦不可得。若菩薩聞如是[11]說,不驚不怖,不沒不退,當知是為行般若波羅蜜。」」
(CBETA, T08, no. 227, p. 576, b1-12)
[10]度=得【宋】【元】【明】。[11]〔說〕-【聖】。

《摩訶般若波羅蜜經》卷1〈3 習應品〉:
「舍利弗!如我但有字,一切我常不可得。[16]眾生、壽者、命者、生者、養育眾數人者,作者、使作者,起者、使起者,受者、使受者,知者、見者,是一切皆不可得。不可得空故,但以名字說。菩薩摩訶薩亦如是行般若波羅蜜,不見我、不見眾生,乃至不見知者、見者,所說名字亦不可見。菩薩摩訶薩作如是行般若波羅蜜,除佛智慧,過一切聲聞、辟支佛上,用不可得空故。」
(CBETA, T08, no. 223, p. 221, c15-23)
[16](如)+眾【宋】【元】【明】【宮】。


《摩訶般若波羅蜜經》卷3〈9 集散品〉:
「須菩提言:「色色空,是色生、成就不可得。受想行識識空,是識生、成就不可得。乃至實際實際空,是實際生、成就不可得。」
(CBETA, T08, no. 223, p. 236, c22-24)

《坐禪三昧經》卷2:
「復次觀心[5]為屬誰。觀想思[6]惟念欲等諸心相應法不相應法。諦觀其主主不可得。何以故。從因緣生故無常。無常故苦。苦故不自在。不自在故無主。無主故空。前別觀身痛心法不可得。今更總觀四念止中主不可得。離此處求亦不可得。若常不可得。無常亦不可得。若常應當常苦常樂亦不應忘。」
(CBETA, T15, no. 614, p. 279, a12-19)
[5]〔為〕-【元】【明】【宮】。[6]惟=憶【元】【明】【宮】。


《月燈三昧經》卷6:
「眾生壽人不可得  一切諸法悉虛妄
 譬如虛空電幻化  又如野馬水中月」
(CBETA, T15, no. 639, p. 587, c5-6)

《月燈三昧經》卷7:
「十方遍推求  本際不可得
 一切法空故  菩薩無所著
 興行為菩提  其行不可得
 如鳥飛虛空  足[4]跡不可得」
(CBETA, T15, no. 639, p. 592, a27-b1)
[4]跡=迹【聖】。

And whole tracts from the Upadesa.

The term is "na upalabhyate" or similar.

Following some of Nattier's thoughts on the Heart sutra, I also personally suspect that originally the 以無我得 in the Heart sutra (usually translated as "Because of non-attainment ...") actually comes from this too, and that it refers to what precedes it in the text, not what follows. But this is another story. One day I'll write it into an essay somewhere.
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Re: The Origin of "Not Finding"

Postby Will » Thu Oct 14, 2010 4:52 am

When someone has time, an at least partial translation of the Chinese into English would be helpful.

This Pali sutta goes through all the skandhas and does not find a self. This would push back "not finding" to Buddha himself. http://www.aimwell.org/Books/Suttas/Ana ... khana.html

Near the end of the sutta it says:

“Thus, monks, any material form whatsoever that is past, future, or present; internal or external; gross or subtle; inferior or superior; far or near: every material form is to be seen as it really is with wisdom as: ‘This is not mine. This is not my self. I am not this.’


In order to "not find" one has to be looking for something; in this case it is self that is not found, while looking for same.
Last edited by Will on Thu Oct 14, 2010 5:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
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Re: The Origin of "Not Finding"

Postby ground » Thu Oct 14, 2010 5:15 am

This one would not exactly match since its wording does not imply "not finding" the "phenomenon as such" but "not finding" any "substance" in it. So we may infer that this wording does not refer to the result of examination in meditative equipoise but to the retrospective descriptive concept arising from "not finding" in post-meditation phase.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
...
To him — seeing it, observing it, & appropriately examining it — it would appear empty, void, without substance: for what substance would there be in form?
...
To him — seeing it, observing it, & appropriately examining it — it would appear empty, void, without substance: for what substance would there be in feeling?
...
To him — seeing it, observing it, & appropriately examining it — it would appear empty, void, without substance: for what substance would there be in perception?
...
To him — seeing them, observing them, & appropriately examining them — they would appear empty, void, without substance: for what substance would there be in fabrications?
...
To him — seeing it, observing it, & appropriately examining it — it would appear empty, void, without substance: for what substance would there be in consciousness?


Kind regards
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Re: The Origin of "Not Finding"

Postby Huifeng » Thu Oct 14, 2010 7:46 am

And also look out for "na vidyate", too. Beware the possible double meaning in this term, though.
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Re: The Origin of "Not Finding"

Postby Astus » Thu Oct 14, 2010 12:56 pm

Master Huifeng, thanks for that. Very resourceful. So you just looked up 不可得? Would that be correct for "not finding"? Maybe the Tibetan term could be helpful too. Well, it seems that is the original idea behind the meditation instruction. But is there any meditation advice connected to it, or I should be content with the fact that different sutras describe that there is nothing to be found which is emptiness itself?

For the English translations, here are two.

For the first quote (SA 262, corresponds to SN 22.90) there is a translation here:

Respectfully saluting by joining palms, he said to the venerable Ānanda:
"It is just so! As it is the noble life of wisdom, a good friend teaches the discipline and the dharma.
"Now, I have heard the dharma from the venerable Ānanda thus: All activities are empty, tranquil, not to be grasped at; and the destruction of craving, the fading away of desire, cessation, is nirvāṇa.
"The mind is joyful, one dwells rightly in liberation, and there is no returning, no more seeing self; one sees only the true dharma."


The quote from the Sutra of the Collection of the Original Acts of the Buddha (佛本行集經 - second poem) in my crappy translation:

"Look for it in all directions
But you don't find any dharma.
Because of conditions
The samskaras are born.
Examining yourself
Empty observation meets suchness.
Skandhas enter all the objects
Within and without all is peaceful."
"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)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“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; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: The Origin of "Not Finding"

Postby Huifeng » Thu Oct 14, 2010 1:16 pm

Astus, you have some talent for translation. A few mistakes, but you have the basics.

I searched 不可得 near (10 characters) 空.

For the Agama stuff, I recommend a copy of Akanuma's Agama / Nikaya correspondence tables, so you can easily check the Pali, pull out the Pali itself or an English trs, and read together like that. Very easy, and very profitable.

Not quite so easy for the Skt stuff, but if you have the resources, check the Skt.
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Re: The Origin of "Not Finding"

Postby Astus » Thu Oct 14, 2010 9:58 pm

Master Huifeng,

Thanks, I'm trying. How do you search like that? Is that Google search for CBETA? Don't you think suttacentral is fine? That's what I use, plus it's online.
"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)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“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; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: The Origin of "Not Finding"

Postby Individual » Fri Oct 15, 2010 12:44 am

I'd give up. I don't think you'll find it.
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Re: The Origin of "Not Finding"

Postby Huifeng » Fri Oct 15, 2010 3:16 am

Astus wrote:Master Huifeng,

Thanks, I'm trying. How do you search like that? Is that Google search for CBETA? Don't you think suttacentral is fine? That's what I use, plus it's online.


Are you still using the online version of CBETA? If so, forget that! Download the whole beast onto your PC, and use the CBReader to search for this stuff. It has a range of great options, Boolean operands, range delineation and much more.

http://www.cbeta.org/download/cbreader.htm
CBReader V3.8
It's one big ZIP file. Just download the Zip, Unzip it, and then run the little green colored .exe file called CBReader. No need to install this, just run it. You can change the language settings in the software to English.

And then go and play!

I have some other nifty search methods, too. My present favorite is that I downloaded the entire GRETIL Sanskrit site onto my hard-drive, and use the Google Desktop search to then search through that huge number of Skt texts. Incredibly helpful!

Searching in Chinese only has the problem of differences in translation idiom, searching in Sanskrit has the problem of different declensions of nouns or conjugations of verbs. Unfortunately I haven't worked out how to use wildcards in Google Desktop. The CBETA Reader is much more sophisticated.

And, by the way, CBETA has already put in the corresponding Pali text names for the Agamas. And some amount of Pali and Skt for other texts, too. eg. the MMK.
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Re: The Origin of "Not Finding"

Postby 5heaps » Sun Oct 17, 2010 9:15 pm

Astus wrote:In Tibetan meditation instructions it is a regular theme that one should look for the self/mind and find nothing

its not really "nothing". even empty space which is a sheer absence is actually qualified as the sheer absence [of physical obstruction]. likewise emptiness is not nothing its the sheer absence (nonfinding) of the mode of existence which ignorance conceives to be true.

"mode of existence" is gibberish for "how things exist". do characteristics possess selfidentity because of some findable nature amongst mind and matter, or is their nature such that they have no nature and are dependent. 2 different "modes of existence".
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