Mystical Unity and Kensho

Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Astus » Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:26 am

jeeprs wrote:What do you think is the significance of 'supernatural' in this quotation?


Its significance is in refuting the idea that one should attain paranormal powers. It points to the actual goal of Buddhism in attaining liberation in this body. That's why "walking upon the earth", a most ordinary activity, is supernatural.

Substitute the word Juingong with 'God' and any Christian would say the same. ... That seems to be the kind of 'God' that many people pray to and atheists deny. But the mystical understanding of 'God' is completely different to that.


That is, only a handful of esoteric oriented Christians would consider God as one's own mind, not mainstream Christian churches. But this is going to a "comparative religion" area that is not for this forum.

But she herself says in that passage I quoted, that it might be thought of as God. She doesn't have a problem with that, even if you do.


She says that one can call it god, father, mother, etc. It doesn't matter, because it's just a name. She is not talking about mashing up religious doctrines.

'The true nature', 'big mind', 'buddha nature', these are concepts from within a religious tradition, namely, Buddhism. I don't see how you can keep quoting them, referring to them, and saying 'this is what they mean', without acknowledging that elementary fact.


This discussion is taking place in the Zen forum. I happily acknowledge the contextual nature of terminology. As you say, context is very important. And, as far as I'm concerned, the entire topic has meaning only in a Buddhist context. Other contexts (philosophies, religions, literature, etc.) are irrelevant. And that's why bringing in Western mysticism and equating it with Zen - as done in Ford's article - is disregarding the context.
"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: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Astus » Fri Jul 19, 2013 11:23 am

jeeprs wrote:And if you spoke to a non-Buddhist about 'the nature of your own mind' what would that mean to them? If I stopped the man in the street and said 'look here, trust in the true nature of your own mind', how would he respond?


And what if you go to someone who knows nothing about Buddhism and ask them: Isn't it true that things change? Isn't it true that we give names to objects? Isn't it true that while things necessarily change we hold on to their concepts? Isn't it true that we have the freedom to grasp and let go of ideas? Isn't it true that holding on to unrealistic thoughts causes suffering? Isn't it true that if you find a view false you don't hold on to it any longer? Isn't it true that having a correct understand how we can see clearly what thoughts and emotions move us we can learn to avoid suffering and attain peace?
"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: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby White Lotus » Fri Jul 19, 2013 2:01 pm

no need to be a horse, racing along attaining level after level stage after stage. being a donkey will do just fine. "donkeys and horses pass over the stone bridge of Chao Chu". this ordinary mind is all you will ever have regardless of whether or not you see a self. mind is all we are left with. then again abiding in mind is not helpful. to abide in mind is to tether a donkey to a pole for eternity. just live, just breathe, just be, just act, just do.

there are those who say that kensho (seeing nature) is not mystical. i disagree. it is. however enlightenment is not mystical. even a donkey has it. ordinary mind is it. ordinary life is the way. attainments are unnecessary. your mind already has all the merits of a budda just as it is. to abide in this knowledge is to abide in enlightenment, however just to forget enlightenment is best. eat when hungry, sleep when tired.

you already know it, you always have. do you see? do you hear? do you know? yes to all these points. you taste water, its just water. this is buddha mind.

to let go of Mind is to forget enlightenment. just be a donkey, Master donkey. ''the mind seal of chao chu is found in the area of a yaks tail.''

best wishes, Tom.
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.
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Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Koji » Fri Jul 19, 2013 4:23 pm

White Lotus wrote:no need to be a horse, racing along attaining level after level stage after stage. being a donkey will do just fine. "donkeys and horses pass over the stone bridge of Chao Chu". this ordinary mind is all you will ever have regardless of whether or not you see a self. mind is all we are left with. then again abiding in mind is not helpful. to abide in mind is to tether a donkey to a pole for eternity. just live, just breathe, just be, just act, just do.

there are those who say that kensho (seeing nature) is not mystical. i disagree. it is. however enlightenment is not mystical. even a donkey has it. ordinary mind is it. ordinary life is the way. attainments are unnecessary. your mind already has all the merits of a budda just as it is. to abide in this knowledge is to abide in enlightenment, however just to forget enlightenment is best. eat when hungry, sleep when tired.

you already know it, you always have. do you see? do you hear? do you know? yes to all these points. you taste water, its just water. this is buddha mind.

to let go of Mind is to forget enlightenment. just be a donkey, Master donkey. ''the mind seal of chao chu is found in the area of a yaks tail.''

best wishes, Tom.


What do you think about passages like this?

He considers whatever phenomena exist there pertaining to form, feeling, perception, volitional activities, and consciousness as impermanent, suffering, an illness, a boil, a dart, misery, affliction, alien, disintegrating, empty, and non-self. He turns him mind away from these phenomena and directs it to the deathless element thus: ‘This is peaceful, this is sublime, that is, the stilling of all activities, the relinquishing of all acquisitions, the destruction of craving, dispassion, cessation, nibbana” The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha by Bhikkhu Bodhi pages 1298-99
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Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Koji » Fri Jul 19, 2013 4:36 pm

Astus wrote:
jeeprs wrote:And if you spoke to a non-Buddhist about 'the nature of your own mind' what would that mean to them? If I stopped the man in the street and said 'look here, trust in the true nature of your own mind', how would he respond?


And what if you go to someone who knows nothing about Buddhism and ask them: Isn't it true that things change? Isn't it true that we give names to objects? Isn't it true that while things necessarily change we hold on to their concepts? Isn't it true that we have the freedom to grasp and let go of ideas? Isn't it true that holding on to unrealistic thoughts causes suffering? Isn't it true that if you find a view false you don't hold on to it any longer? Isn't it true that having a correct understand how we can see clearly what thoughts and emotions move us we can learn to avoid suffering and attain peace?


I wouldn't consider that to be extraordinary or mystical. It's just the kindergarten part of the Buddha's teaching. Life sucks. We all get it. So what is the solution? Eat drink and me merry or become a boring pessimist? It better be something mystical like the attainment of nirvana which takes us beyond the kindergarten teaching.
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Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Astus » Fri Jul 19, 2013 4:54 pm

Koji wrote:It better be something mystical like the attainment of nirvana which takes us beyond the kindergarten teaching.


Kindergarten is a pretty good place.

All the dharmas of this world and of the worlds beyond are without self-nature. Also, they are without produced nature. They are just empty names, and these names are also empty. All you are doing is taking these worthless names to be real. That’s all wrong! Even if they do exist, they are nothing but states of dependent transformation, such as the dependent transformations of bodhi, nirvana, emancipation, the threefold body, the [objective] surroundings and the [subjective] mind, bodhisattvahood, and buddhahood. What are you looking for in these lands of dependent transformations! All of these, up to and including the Three Vehicles’ twelve divisions of teachings, are just so much waste paper to wipe off privy filth. The Buddha is just a phantom body, the patriarchs just old monks.
(Record of Linji, p 19; tr. Sasaki)
"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: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Koji » Fri Jul 19, 2013 6:53 pm

Astus wrote:
Koji wrote:It better be something mystical like the attainment of nirvana which takes us beyond the kindergarten teaching.


Kindergarten is a pretty good place.

All the dharmas of this world and of the worlds beyond are without self-nature. Also, they are without produced nature. They are just empty names, and these names are also empty. All you are doing is taking these worthless names to be real. That’s all wrong! Even if they do exist, they are nothing but states of dependent transformation, such as the dependent transformations of bodhi, nirvana, emancipation, the threefold body, the [objective] surroundings and the [subjective] mind, bodhisattvahood, and buddhahood. What are you looking for in these lands of dependent transformations! All of these, up to and including the Three Vehicles’ twelve divisions of teachings, are just so much waste paper to wipe off privy filth. The Buddha is just a phantom body, the patriarchs just old monks.
(Record of Linji, p 19; tr. Sasaki)


It is good practice for prithagjanas who wrongly pursue flatus vocis who, obviously, have not attained the "Mind Dharma" which according to Linji pervades all the ten directions of space, revealing its presence by means of its function (Ch'an and Zen Teaching (Second Series) by Lu K'uan Yü (Charles Luk, p. 115).

From Ch'an and Zen Teaching (Second Series) by Lu K'uan Yü (Charles Luk)

Virtuous Ones, there is no peace in the three worlds which are like a house on fire. It is not a place for a long stay because the murderous demon of impermanence will in an instant (ksana) make no choice between the noble and the humble and between the old and the your. If you do not want to differ from the Patriarch and the Buddha, it will suffice for you to seek nothing outside. If in the time of a thought your pure and clean mind shines, this is your own Dharmakâya Buddha. If in the time of a thought, your passionless mind shines, this is your Sambhogakâya Buddha. If in the time of a thought, your non-differentiating mind shines, this is your Nirmanakâya Buddha. (112)


When you leave the house on fire, are you in the world of dependent originations? Are you still under the powers of the murderous demon of impermanence? Is there anything in the house on fire that can save you or other sentient beings?
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Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Astus » Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:28 pm

Koji wrote:When you leave the house on fire, are you in the world of dependent originations? Are you still under the powers of the murderous demon of impermanence? Is there anything in the house on fire that can save you or other sentient beings?


Why leave? Linji says in your quote, "it will suffice for you to seek nothing outside."
"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: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Koji » Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:54 pm

Astus wrote:
Koji wrote:When you leave the house on fire, are you in the world of dependent originations? Are you still under the powers of the murderous demon of impermanence? Is there anything in the house on fire that can save you or other sentient beings?


Why leave? Linji says in your quote, "it will suffice for you to seek nothing outside."


Go for it Astus! Stay in the burning house and practice externally, don't dare look within. :tongue:
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Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby desertman001 » Sun Jul 21, 2013 6:09 am

In dependent arising the first condition is ignorance, followed by mental formations then consciousness then mind and matter. This is all before the senses and before birth. So what is it that is being ignorant? Does this imply a mind prior to form? Is the condition prior to mental formation emptiness?
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Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby LastLegend » Sun Jul 21, 2013 7:43 am

desertman001 wrote:In dependent arising the first condition is ignorance, followed by mental formations then consciousness then mind and matter. This is all before the senses and before birth. So what is it that is being ignorant? Does this imply a mind prior to form? Is the condition prior to mental formation emptiness?


My understanding is birth of a thought is ignorance.
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)
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Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby undefineable » Sun Jul 21, 2013 3:52 pm

White Lotus wrote:this ordinary mind is all you will ever have regardless of whether or not you see a self. mind is all we are left with. then again abiding in mind is not helpful. to abide in mind is to tether a donkey to a pole for eternity.

It looks to me as if simply 'abiding in mind' tends to have future-life consequences just as 'samsara-heavy' as 'abiding in the world'. This is easy to lose sight of for anyone whose first experience of 'religion' was christian-influenced. {Just my opinion; not trying to assert a speculation _ }

The 'karma-vipaka' may look different, but the suffering is still suffering.
White Lotus wrote:just live, just breathe, just be, just act, just do.

Deceptively meaningful :namaste:
"Removing the barrier between this and that is the only solution" {Chogyam Trungpa - "The Lion's Roar"}
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Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Astus » Sun Jul 21, 2013 5:34 pm

desertman001 wrote:In dependent arising the first condition is ignorance, followed by mental formations then consciousness then mind and matter. This is all before the senses and before birth. So what is it that is being ignorant? Does this imply a mind prior to form? Is the condition prior to mental formation emptiness?


The 12 links don't describe some primal origination, it is an ongoing process from moment to moment, and from life to life.
"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: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby desertman001 » Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:01 am

Astus, ok thanks I didn't know that.
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Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby White Lotus » Thu Aug 01, 2013 2:11 pm

yes... deceptively simple, but still contrived still complex. actually it is undefinable, not even breathing or living. to attach to breath or any explanation misses it. one should abide nowhere at all. not even in Mind. no post to hang onto. there are various teachings, but at the end of the day the teaching is just the teaching. nothing more, nothing less and zen is just zen. o wisdom, gone gone gone to the further shore, arrived at the further shore: this is the summary of the prajnaparamita in 100,000 verses. the donkey triumphs even over the dragon. there is a zen saying: ''when the donkey arrives, the horse is already in the stable.''

best wishes, Tom.
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.
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Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Koji » Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:05 pm

desertman001 wrote:In dependent arising the first condition is ignorance, followed by mental formations then consciousness then mind and matter. This is all before the senses and before birth. So what is it that is being ignorant? Does this imply a mind prior to form? Is the condition prior to mental formation emptiness?


If you get the chance, get Th. Stecherbatsky's translation of the Madhyanta-Vibhanga: Discourse on Discrimination Between Middle and Extremes. On page 132 the 12 Nidanas are explained from a spiritual-biological perspective. In a nutshell, the 12 Nidanas are about incarnation. But let me backup to the footnote on page 128. Here it is.

1. Transcendental Illusion (avidyâ) the ruling general condition of the whole series with the removal of which there are not more incarnations, i.e. no phenomenal life.
2. Prenatal Biotic Fores (samskâra=karma).
3. Intermediate existence of consciousness (vijñâna) in an ethereal incarnation (gandharva).
4. The embryo (nâma-rûpa=5 skandha-s) with undeveloped sense organs.
5. The embryo with developed sense-organs (sad-âyatana).
6. Sensation (sparsa).
7. Feeling (vedanâ).
8. Sexual desire (trisnâ).
9. Attachment to life (upâdâna).
10. Fully developed life (bhava), responsible activity (new karma).
11. Old age and death (jarâ-maranam).
12. Reincarnation (jâti).
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Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby desertman001 » Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:35 am

Thanks koji.
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Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby desertman001 » Mon Aug 12, 2013 8:23 am

Astus, when I said "at its core" back on page one, I have to say the experience of recognizing Mind as having unconditioned nature is also why I called it a "core". This insight passes but it can take a portion of the self concept with it and leaves with you a permanent( if practice continues) effect. It also also allows you recognize true nature just by returning to the moment because "this mind is Buddha". Whether it is halucunation or recognizing true nature it is both an experience and a continuing recognition when in the moment. So to your question "How can a sense of unity with every being or the entire world make a difference in our attachment to thoughts and emotions? " I would say if the Kensho rises to a certain level it creates a new view, less bound by self identification and able recognize nature as unconditioned .
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Re: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Astus » Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:08 am

desertman001 wrote:Astus, when I said "at its core" back on page one, I have to say the experience of recognizing Mind as having unconditioned nature is also why I called it a "core". This insight passes but it can take a portion of the self concept with it and leaves with you a permanent( if practice continues) effect. It also also allows you recognize true nature just by returning to the moment because "this mind is Buddha". Whether it is halucunation or recognizing true nature it is both an experience and a continuing recognition when in the moment. So to your question "How can a sense of unity with every being or the entire world make a difference in our attachment to thoughts and emotions? " I would say if the Kensho rises to a certain level it creates a new view, less bound by self identification and able recognize nature as unconditioned .


This idea that there is something at the core is the basic self-view, the belief in substance. As the metaphor of the plantain tree illustrates, there is no core. The mind itself is made up of various instances of consciousness. What is called insight is the insight into the emptiness of phenomena, i.e. that they are without core, without self, without essence. And this unborn nature (unborn because there is no "thing" to become or cease) is the unconditioned, the fact that everything is conditioned.
"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: Mystical Unity and Kensho

Postby Wayfarer » Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:37 am

And the fact that 'everything is conditioned' is the reason why kensho is mystical. It is mystical, because it is an insight into something that doesn't exist. Why? Because if it existed, it would be conditioned. So what is un-conditioned is also not existent.
Learn to do good, refrain from evil, purify the mind ~ this is the teaching of the Buddhas
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