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Parinibbana - practicing for cessation - Dhamma Wheel

Parinibbana - practicing for cessation

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
Cafael Dust
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Parinibbana - practicing for cessation

Postby Cafael Dust » Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:28 am

Hi, and firstly, apologies for my misguided attempts at syncretism some years back.

My question.

Is the goal of the original Buddhism, as I seem to be finding, after hopeful Mahayanan speculation is stripped away, the end of suffering and the end of joy?

Are we giving up eternal conscious struggle, sometimes pleasant, sometimes unpleasant, and in doing so choosing to lose the smooth with the rough? Do we practice the dharma for the final right to die, even if cessation comes after a swansong.

Or is it not as simple as that? Thanks for your help in advance. This is keeping me wobbling and vascillating at the top of the 100 foot pole. I find it easy to see greed, hatred, attachment, as things which should cease. I even see the need to let go of my will to exist at all, and I understand that such a leap must necessarily be made in the dark. But I find it hard in my heart to accept the view that extinction is necessary, that life itself is an error. If it is so, well, I trust in the Buddha's teachings a great deal, and I know suffering, I know that this way leads to greater kindness and tolerance in me where before there was greater irritation and selfishness. That's enough to go on. I guess I've solved my own dilemma.

But it's a big one, choosing to destroy consciousness once and for all, if it is that. Or maybe it's deep like the ocean, without limit. Or maybe we get shiny Dharmakayas after all. Here goes nothing...

Any thoughts?
Not twice, not three times, not once,
the wheel is turning.

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retrofuturist
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Re: Parinibbana - practicing for cessation

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:44 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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kirk5a
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Re: Parinibbana - practicing for cessation

Postby kirk5a » Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:48 am

"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

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SDC
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Re: Parinibbana - practicing for cessation

Postby SDC » Mon Feb 27, 2012 1:07 am


Cafael Dust
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Re: Parinibbana - practicing for cessation

Postby Cafael Dust » Mon Feb 27, 2012 1:13 am

Retro, Kirk5a

I though the idea was that various bits of linking consciousness had wandered on and on until the illusory story of a being becoming tired of samsara gets told on the inside of the magic lantern, we have a joyful final few years, die and no further consciousness arises.

It's kinda like saying one can end suffering, but in this case life can't be sustained beyond one incarnation, because one doesn't cling anymore and the cause of the chain is ended. Catch 22 really - didn't the Buddha say there couldn't be an eternal blissful consciousness? Isn't that the difference between Buddhism and every other religion, that they all end every craving but the will to live itself, and thus however deeply we realise annatta and loving kindness, we will end up joining the game again?

Just to add, I don't necessarily subscribe to this belief, what I'm doing here is facing it. I am aware of the alternative readings, such as Ven Thannisaro's, and Dogen's, which is extremely elegant. But if it's time to bid all a good night, I won't wreck the place by clutching at the curtain as it falls.
Not twice, not three times, not once,
the wheel is turning.

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LonesomeYogurt
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Re: Parinibbana - practicing for cessation

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Mon Feb 27, 2012 1:16 am

The dhamma is far less about losing both suffering and joy, and far more about realizing that the things we think cause joy actually cause suffering. As Retrofuturist said above, joy is an important part of our path to enlightenment.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta


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retrofuturist
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Re: Parinibbana - practicing for cessation

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Feb 27, 2012 1:18 am

Greetings CD,

It seems your (self confessed) "misguided attempts at syncretism" have left you a little disorientated.

I'd recommend setting aside what you've learned, and dive into a comprehensive guide to Theravada Buddhism, and (for the first time?) look at it, in its own right, on its own terms.

Examples of such books which may be of assistance in this regard include:

Walpola Rahula's "What The Buddha Taught"
Bhikkhu Bodhi's "In The Buddha's Words"
Narada's "The Buddha And His Teachings"

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

Cafael Dust
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Re: Parinibbana - practicing for cessation

Postby Cafael Dust » Mon Feb 27, 2012 1:19 am

Not twice, not three times, not once,
the wheel is turning.

Cafael Dust
Posts: 194
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:55 pm

Re: Parinibbana - practicing for cessation

Postby Cafael Dust » Mon Feb 27, 2012 1:21 am

Retro, thanks, but I've read all three. edit, sorry no I haven't read Bhikkhu Bodhi's "In The Buddha's Words", though I've read a lot of other stuff by him. I am aware of the spectrum of views on this topic, from Ven Nananda to Ajahn Bram to the Forest Tradition monks... very different views.

And your own Alex, whose threads I've read many times recently. And of course Tilt, who takes the tetrallemma at face value, while others see it as a riddle solved by no being having been to not be.

Retro, I can reconcile Theravada with Dogen, but as you say, rather than doing so, I want to take Theravadan views on their own terms and ask whether the enlightenment I had sought was in fact a conditioned state, and if the ultimate goal is oblivion. Which makes the world a much sadder adventure. But this isn't a game, and there may therefore be no prize.
Not twice, not three times, not once,
the wheel is turning.

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kirk5a
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Re: Parinibbana - practicing for cessation

Postby kirk5a » Mon Feb 27, 2012 1:43 am

"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

Kenshou
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Re: Parinibbana - practicing for cessation

Postby Kenshou » Mon Feb 27, 2012 1:44 am

The end of experience only seems sad from the standpoint of grasping.

Cafael Dust
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Re: Parinibbana - practicing for cessation

Postby Cafael Dust » Mon Feb 27, 2012 1:53 am

Yes. I have practiced enough to see this dimly at least.

It would still be nice if deathless meant, you know, not dying, rather than dying and not minding.

So you don't think nibbana after death is indescribable except in the sense of being complete absence?

Because the more I practice, the more I see beauty in simple things, the less I cling, the more joyful experience becomes.
Last edited by Cafael Dust on Mon Feb 27, 2012 1:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
Not twice, not three times, not once,
the wheel is turning.

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SDC
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Re: Parinibbana - practicing for cessation

Postby SDC » Mon Feb 27, 2012 1:54 am


Cafael Dust
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Re: Parinibbana - practicing for cessation

Postby Cafael Dust » Mon Feb 27, 2012 1:58 am

'work out' meaning eternal blissful impermanence, eternally not-clung to. Which seems to be the Mahayana position. Nibbana is birth and death, death is just the blinking of a light, another impermanent moment, not differentiated from going to sleep at night and waking in the morning.
Not twice, not three times, not once,
the wheel is turning.

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reflection
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Re: Parinibbana - practicing for cessation

Postby reflection » Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:07 am

Like living forever would be such a bliss.. :sage:

Cafael Dust
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Re: Parinibbana - practicing for cessation

Postby Cafael Dust » Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:10 am

Why not? If living for an hour, a year or a hundred years can be bliss? And there is so much work to be done.

Living forever is as easy to form aversion to as oblivion. Actually, it took me some time to come to terms with the idea that there is no escape, so one may as well make the best of things. This has an elegance to it as well, which resonates with me. That to want to get out of samsara is perpetuating samsara, and that nibbana is samsara correctly engaged with. That we have to say yes to life unconditionally.
Last edited by Cafael Dust on Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:15 am, edited 2 times in total.
Not twice, not three times, not once,
the wheel is turning.

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SDC
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Re: Parinibbana - practicing for cessation

Postby SDC » Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:11 am


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reflection
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Re: Parinibbana - practicing for cessation

Postby reflection » Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:19 am

Last edited by reflection on Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

Cafael Dust
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Re: Parinibbana - practicing for cessation

Postby Cafael Dust » Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:19 am

Last edited by Cafael Dust on Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
Not twice, not three times, not once,
the wheel is turning.

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reflection
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Re: Parinibbana - practicing for cessation

Postby reflection » Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:26 am



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