Huseng wrote:Knock it off already.
Individual wrote:We are already Tathagathas. Whenever you meditate, you have already arrived at Suchness: seeing red as red, hard as hard, cold as cold, etc., and all the things of the world. And if you don't have this confidence in yourself, why and how do anything? If your five senses and mind don't even have a foothold on the world, how could you ever do anything? That's it right there!
We are already liberated. Because you have arrived here by karma and your karma has been your own choice. You always have a clear perception of the consequences of your actions, but you choose them anyway. You should own up to these actions and not disown them. You suffer, not because of what's external -- rebirth in Samsara -- but because of what's internal: it has been your choice to suffer, your decision to stay in Samsara. You can call this crazy -- innate Buddhahood and the idea that you choose to suffer -- but I'd say you're the one who's crazy. Because you are the one who says, "I desire to be free from suffering and help other be free from suffering," while carrying out all the actions which contradict what you are saying. And then, if somebody points it out, you contradict them too. The highest wisdom: Be honest with yourself and don't argue with others when they speak the truth. Don't delude yourself or be caught in others' delusions.
Does this seem clear enough, or am I rambling incoherently? Let me know.
So, what are your thoughts on Buddha-nature? Perhaps some people here could share some neat quotes from the classic texts.
Individual wrote:If it makes me happy and my mom happy, who are you to tell me what's wrong and right? It's thinking like a "normal person" that is dangerous.
Smashing kittens with a car battery makes my mom and I happy. Who are you to tell me it's wrong or right, on the basis of thinking like a normal person
Jikan wrote:Individual wrote:If it makes me happy and my mom happy, who are you to tell me what's wrong and right? It's thinking like a "normal person" that is dangerous.
By that reasoning, one might claim:Smashing kittens with a car battery makes my mom and I happy. Who are you to tell me it's wrong or right, on the basis of thinking like a normal person
See the problem? Some things are true; some things are pleasing; these two categories don't always coincide.
I think the doctrine of Buddha nature is indeed true and indeed joy-inducing.
Individual wrote:But what if it leads to the kind of joy which involves smashing kittens?
Sherab wrote:One should take the medicine of emptiness before taking the milk of Tathagatagarbha:
TMingyur wrote:I think this quote shows pretty well that Tathagatagarbha has been taught for those who misunderstand emptiness. so the misunderstanding is in the first place then comes the Tathagatagarbha teaching.
Huifeng wrote:There are a couple of very different ways of understanding notions such as "buddha nature".
Those very brief posts above only represent one of them, which tends towards the Tathagatagarbha theory side of things. Even this teaching has several forms, so a single textual citation will be too brief. But in general, it takes the Tathagatagarbha / Buddha nature idea as definitive over the other teachings, such as non-self. It may claim in some cases that non-self is applicable to certain phenomena, eg. the aggregates, but not to the Tathagatagarbha, which is subtle and difficult to perceive. However, the idea is that every living being has this buddha nature within them, a fully awakened buddha ready to be uncovered. This means that this type of buddha nature theory is only applicable to sentient beings, but not the insentient.
The other main explanation is that "buddha nature" refers to the emptiness, dependently originated nature of all phenomena. It thus makes the emptiness teachings definitive over such teachings as a true self Tathagatagarbha, etc. It considers that this buddha nature is not some thing within the heart / mind of each living being, but is merely potentiality. ie. because phenomena are empty, they can be enlightened. This notion of buddha nature as emptiness may thus be applicable to all phenomena, not just sentient beings.
Both of these two main schools of buddha nature thought have many subtle sub-schools and ideas, too.
Some schools, such as Huayan in East Asia, and mid-period Chan / Zen, will tend towards the first type as definitive. Others, such as most Madhyamaka based schools, will take the latter. They are in many ways very very different takes on the same words / terms. Often people will discuss this topic, and fail to notice the main differences. They then tend to talk past each other. It is thus worth clarifying before continuing further with such discussions.
Individual wrote:Venerable Huifeng, while those may be important academic, historical clarifications, they do not seem to be vital distinctions for my experience.
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