Dealing With Desire

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Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby Konchog1 » Wed Jun 12, 2013 1:22 am

You can dance on books all day and you will never alter this fact. I can give you a hundred citations from the very sutras and texts you cite [that the bodhisattva path is path of renouncing sense objects], and still you will never retreat from your point of view.

I will leave it here — The Sāgaramatiparipṛcchā-sūtra states:

"Bodhisattvas who possess prajñā are to be reproached about the accumulation of merit; without the method, they do not endeavor in generosity, discipline, patience, diligence and concentration. They indulge in proliferation, thinking ‘the perfection of prajñā is extraordinarily supreme, the other perfections are inferior’."
What does that quote have to do with sense objects? It's just another way of saying "“Lord of Secrets, the sublime wisdom of omniscience comes from compassion as its root. It comes from Bodhicitta as its cause. It is brought to completion by method. (Maha-vairocanabhisambodhi-dharma-paryaya)” or "mahasattva bodhisattvas should strive for the collections of sublime wisdom and merit (tathagatacintya-guhya-nirdesa-sutra)"
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

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Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby LastLegend » Wed Jun 12, 2013 1:58 am

Two monks, going to a neighbouring monastery, walked side by side in silence. They arrived at a river they had to cross. That season, waters were higher than usual. On the bank, a young woman was hesitating and asked the younger of the two monks for help. He exclaimed, 'Don't you see that I am a monk, that I took a vow of chastity?'

'I require nothing from you that could impede your vow, but simply to help me to cross the river,' replied the young woman with a little smile.

'I...not...I can...do nothing for you,' said the embarrassed young monk.

'It doesn't matter,' said the elderly monk. 'Climb on my back and we will cross together.'

Having reached the other bank, the old monk put down the young woman who, in return, thanked him with a broad smile. She left her side and both monks continued their route in silence. Close to the monastery, the young monk could not stand it anymore and said, 'You shouldn't have carried that person on your back. It's against our rules.'

'This young woman needed help and I put her down on the other bank. You didn't carry her at all, but she is still on your back,' replied the older monk.


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Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby MalaBeads » Wed Jun 12, 2013 3:04 am

LastLegend wrote:
Two monks, going to a neighbouring monastery, walked side by side in silence. They arrived at a river they had to cross. That season, waters were higher than usual. On the bank, a young woman was hesitating and asked the younger of the two monks for help. He exclaimed, 'Don't you see that I am a monk, that I took a vow of chastity?'

'I require nothing from you that could impede your vow, but simply to help me to cross the river,' replied the young woman with a little smile.

'I...not...I can...do nothing for you,' said the embarrassed young monk.

'It doesn't matter,' said the elderly monk. 'Climb on my back and we will cross together.'

Having reached the other bank, the old monk put down the young woman who, in return, thanked him with a broad smile. She left her side and both monks continued their route in silence. Close to the monastery, the young monk could not stand it anymore and said, 'You shouldn't have carried that person on your back. It's against our rules.'

'This young woman needed help and I put her down on the other bank. You didn't carry her at all, but she is still on your back,' replied the older monk.


Quite so. Attachment is the problem not sense objects.

"O monks, even if you have insight that is pure and clear but you cling to it, fondle it and treasure it, depend on it and are attached to it, then you do not understand that the teaching is like a raft that carries you across the water to the farther shore but is then to be put down and not clung to. "
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Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jun 12, 2013 4:28 am

MalaBeads wrote:
Quite so. Attachment is the problem not sense objects.


Yes, and the essence of paths of renunciation is abandoning sense objects in order to eliminate attachments. That, after all, is the point of paths of renunciation.
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Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby MalaBeads » Wed Jun 12, 2013 4:34 am

Malcolm wrote:
MalaBeads wrote:
Quite so. Attachment is the problem not sense objects.


Yes, and the essence of paths of renunciation is abandoning sense objects in order to eliminate attachments. That, after all, is the point of paths of renunciation.


In that case, seeing, hearing, tasting, touching must be all abandoned since they all present as sense objects. It is impossible to abandon all sense objects unless you are dead.
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Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jun 12, 2013 4:45 am

MalaBeads wrote:= It is impossible to abandon all sense objects unless you are dead.


No, that is not the case.
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Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby JKhedrup » Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:26 am

I disagree it is not the path of renouncing sense objects, but the path of renouncing attachment to sense objects. If they renounce sense objects, they would not be eating and drinking.


Exactly, we have to understand what the spang bya (སྤང་བྱ་) is, the object of abandonment. It is not the sense object themselves but the attachment and other delusions that arise connected with those sense objects.

The thing is, as our understanding of emptiness increases we can apply it to our experience of different objects, including the ones that cause our attachment and aversion. For example, if we can see our enemy as a dependent arising, or something merely designated, then already this will greatly decrease our experience of anger or aversion when we encounter them. Similarly, it will allow us to reduce our attachment to pleasant objects. Before that realization, Chandrakirti and other masters advise maintaining distance, or space, between oneself and the object of attachment/aversion.

We can apply emptiness right from the get go. However, the realization of emptiness itself requires a vast collection of merit and sharp faculties. If we wish to be able to develop this emptiness to the level of a complete realization, a vast accumulation of merit is required. If we want that realization of emptiness to lead to full enlightenment, we need to develop compassion and bodhicitta along with it. In order to build up compassion and bodhicitta, we need to be willing to train in generosity for example to get rid miserliness and its imprints, as well as cultivate patience because without patience one will experience endless obstacles in trying to benefit other sentient beings, who are difficult to tame.

In the teachings on developing concentration/shamatha, the texts speak of developing two factors, little desire ('dod chung འདོད་ཆུང) and contentment (chog shes ཆོག་ཤེས). Actually these two attitudes are aimed at developing enough renunciation to be able to maintain the seclusion and simple lifestyle necessary for developing concentration. As we know, a complete penetration of emptiness is not possible without developed concentration. So I would say that I agree that some renunciation of the sense objects is necessary, but more importantly is a renunciation of the attitude of attachment associated with them. Without the attachment to the sense objects it is possible to be surrounded by them and still progress on the path- as we see with some of the great bodhisattva kings in Mahayana literature.
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Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Jun 12, 2013 8:53 am

Malcolm wrote:
MalaBeads wrote:= It is impossible to abandon all sense objects unless you are dead.


No, that is not the case.
Malcolm is right. The sense organ of mind still functions during death and given that all sense organs pass through mind by default, then essentially it is like having all your sense organs working.
"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."
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Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby JKhedrup » Wed Jun 12, 2013 9:17 am

I should add that what I posted above is according to a standard Mahayana Paramitayana approach.

Of course, when one takes specific vows one must avoid the activities one promises to abandon so for example when you take the Tekchen Sojong vows you would abandon high beds for the fixed period promised. However, sleeping on high beds is not necessarily non-virtuous in and of itself, so it is considered a proscribed misdeed rather than a natural misdeed. Still, because one made a promise, if one sleeps on a high bed one would incur a fault.
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Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby Indrajala » Wed Jun 12, 2013 10:26 am

In response to our earlier discussion in this thread about the Vinaya I felt compelled to write something about the historical disregard for the Vinaya in certain contexts:

http://huayanzang.blogspot.com/2013/06/ ... inaya.html
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Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby kirtu » Wed Jun 12, 2013 10:30 am

Nilasarasvati wrote:
Malcolm wrote:bodhicitta is the basis of the bodhisattvayāna, and that has both relative and ultimate aspects.


Really, Malcolm? :thinking: I'm glad I was already a student of Nyingma teachers and had an intellectual understanding of the tradition before I read your Dzogchen opining. I hope others who are less acquainted don't think that you are representative of anybody but yourself.


No, Malcolm is exactly correct that bodhicitta is the basis of the Bodhisattvayana.

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Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby Astus » Wed Jun 12, 2013 12:49 pm

Something regarding precepts (and renunciation):

"How is “keeping the precepts purely”? That means in twelve hours, stop all involvement outwardly, and still your mind inwardly.

Because the mind is still, you are peaceful while seeing a scene. Your eyes don’t slip outward when consciousness arises by the seen, and your consciousness doesn’t slip inward by the scene you see. The outward and the inward don’t interfere each other, so we call blockade. We say blockade, but it doesn’t mean “to block.” The senses of ears, nose, tongue, body and mind are just like that.

That is called the Mahayana precepts, the unsurpassed precepts, also the unequalled precepts. All the monks, young or old, must keep the precepts purely like that."


(Phap Loa)
"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: Dealing With Desire

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jun 12, 2013 1:09 pm

JKhedrup wrote:
I disagree it is not the path of renouncing sense objects, but the path of renouncing attachment to sense objects. If they renounce sense objects, they would not be eating and drinking.


Exactly, we have to understand what the spang bya (སྤང་བྱ་) is, the object of abandonment. It is not the sense object themselves but the attachment and other delusions that arise connected with those sense objects.



Śariputra: likewise, bodhisattva mahāsattvas welled trained in the illusions of Mahāyāna attain the experience of illusory phenomena. Though free from all afflictions, they enjoy the five desire objects [pañcakāmaguṇa] from the perspective of great compassion in order to ripen sentient beings to be disciplined, but they do not associate with those [five desire objects], they are not moved by those.

Śariputra: bodhisattva mahāsattvas describe the faults of desire objects with many similes: desire objects are a conflagration. Desire objects are totally inferior. Desire objects are murderers. Desire objects are enemies. Desire objects are invaders. Desire objects are like straw huts. Desire objects are like the kimpakā fruit. Desire objects are like the edge of a razor. Desire objects are like cinders. Desire objects are like poison leaves. Desire objects are like sparrows. Desire objects are like cesspools.

As such, Śariputra, though bodhisattva mahāsattvas comprehend desire objects thoroughly, for the purpose of ripening sentient beings who lack skillful means, [they] are remorseful from the five desire objects, and in order to free those [sentient beings] from the five desire objects, [bodhisattva mahāsattvas] expound upon [the faults] of the five desire objects in detail.


-- Śatasāhasrika-prajñāpāramitā

The point, dear friends, is that in Mahāyāna, just as in Śravakayāna, order to give up attachment to the five desire objects, the five desire objects themselves are given up as part of the path. This is why in Vajrayāna tradition, common Mahāyāna [as opposed to uncommon Mahāyāna Vajrayāna] is clearly described as a path of renunciation because it is a path of renunciation.

Honestly, why is this so hard to understand?

M
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Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby Astus » Wed Jun 12, 2013 1:29 pm

Malcolm wrote:to give up attachment to the five desire objects, the five desire objects themselves are given up as part of the path.

Honestly, why is this so hard to understand?


Because it means, as I read it from your words, that one gives up what is seen, heard, smelled, tasted and touched. That is, the person becomes completely insensitive and incorporeal. I doubt that either sravakas or bodhisattvas would aim for that.
"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: Dealing With Desire

Postby oushi » Wed Jun 12, 2013 1:53 pm

In Mahāprajñāpāramitā Mañjuśrīparivarta Sūtra we read:
Buddha spoke to Mañjuśrī, saying, “As the tathāgatas thus speak of self-wisdom, what is that ability of belief?” Mañjuśrī said, “Such wisdom is neither a dharma of Nirvāṇa nor a dharma of birth and death; it is the practice of silence, the practice of stillness; it neither severs desires, hatred, and delusion, nor does it not sever them. Why? It is without creation and without destruction; it is neither apart from birth and death, nor with it; it is neither the cultivation path, nor different from the cultivation path. Such understanding is called right belief.” The Buddha spoke to Mañjuśrī, saying, “Excellent, excellent! Thus have you explained the profound meaning of this principle.”


How would you people interpret the underlined part?
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Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby Astus » Wed Jun 12, 2013 2:16 pm

oushi wrote:How would you people interpret the underlined part?


"Why? It is without creation and without destruction..." i.e. empty, without any essence. You just let it come and let it go, not grasping and not rejecting. So, you don't sever it and you don't not sever 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: Dealing With Desire

Postby oushi » Wed Jun 12, 2013 2:23 pm

Yes.
So, there is no renunciation, but rather detachment. Still, there are texts promoting renunciation, and the way to deal with it, is to create even deeper division into two truths. Nonsense.
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Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jun 12, 2013 2:36 pm

Astus wrote:
Malcolm wrote:to give up attachment to the five desire objects, the five desire objects themselves are given up as part of the path.

Honestly, why is this so hard to understand?


Because it means, as I read it from your words, that one gives up what is seen, heard, smelled, tasted and touched. That is, the person becomes completely insensitive and incorporeal. I doubt that either sravakas or bodhisattvas would aim for that.


When the householder bodhisattva possesses three Dharmas, having stayed at home, until perfect unsurpassed awakening, he never enjoys the five desire objects, and in that way develops the root of virtue.

Trisambaranirdeśaparivarta-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra


Because of this sūtra in the past, having abandoned the five desire objects, I will always take the [Mahāyāna] vows [samvara] at the six times.

Ārya-prabhāsādhana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby MalaBeads » Wed Jun 12, 2013 2:59 pm

Malcolm wrote:why is this so hard to understand?

M


Because understanding is not the whole of practice, Malcolm. Because we have body, speech and mind. Because if the three are not integrated, then there is no realization of what is being taught.
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Re: Dealing With Desire

Postby Astus » Wed Jun 12, 2013 3:20 pm

Malcolm wrote:When the householder bodhisattva possesses three Dharmas, having stayed at home, until perfect unsurpassed awakening, he never enjoys the five desire objects, and in that way develops the root of virtue.

Trisambaranirdeśaparivarta-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

Because of this sūtra in the past, having abandoned the five desire objects, I will always take the [Mahāyāna] vows [samvara] at the six times.

Ārya-prabhāsādhana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra


Not enjoying a sunset is not the same as not seeing a sunset. So, what is abandoned is attachment and desire, not the sense data. Even when contemplating the foulness of the body the point is not to see no bodies at all but not to see it as desirable.
"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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