The path with no goal aka nirvana

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Re: The path with no goal aka nirvana

Postby jeeprs » Tue Jul 30, 2013 10:35 am

maxaroni13 wrote:
This is a most bizzare concept. I think it's important to note that this world we know as proposed by the mind only school is self sustained... By attachment to discriminations of mind... Belief in samsara or nirvana is all relative to buddhist practitioners... The mind only school even says that the dharma is like illusion just as much as anything else... So "samsara and nirvana" are relative to belief in a self in the first place which as taught by Buddha is mistake no self is the way right? If there's no solid me there's no solid samsara/nirvana either


If you said to a Zen teacher 'there is no solid me', they might well give you a whack with a stick, which would prove the contrary in no uncertain terms.
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Re: The path with no goal aka nirvana

Postby maxaroni13 » Tue Jul 30, 2013 8:25 pm

jeeprs wrote:
maxaroni13 wrote:
This is a most bizzare concept. I think it's important to note that this world we know as proposed by the mind only school is self sustained... By attachment to discriminations of mind... Belief in samsara or nirvana is all relative to buddhist practitioners... The mind only school even says that the dharma is like illusion just as much as anything else... So "samsara and nirvana" are relative to belief in a self in the first place which as taught by Buddha is mistake no self is the way right? If there's no solid me there's no solid samsara/nirvana either


If you said to a Zen teacher 'there is no solid me', they might well give you a whack with a stick, which would prove the contrary in no uncertain terms.


That in a way makes sense but I'm speaking of self or five aggregates. Does that change the zen masters opinion to hit me or does he really believe we're solid? Idk
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Re: The path with no goal aka nirvana

Postby jeeprs » Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:28 am

It's a practical matter. Dukkha is real, it is not a theoretical issue, trying to think our way out of it by philosophizing doesn't work. That is why Zen consists of training, it is a 'philosophy of action'.
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Re: The path with no goal aka nirvana

Postby undefineable » Wed Jul 31, 2013 7:02 pm

oushi wrote:Striving to grasp more and more, so finally one day we know everything, we have everything figured out, is suffering.
Unusual twist - Isn't the Buddha supposed to be *omniscient* in some sense?

I understand there's no 'second-hand' knowledge in Buddhist enlightenment as there is in 'scientific enlightenment'/science - Things are eventually known directly/intuitively, since:
oushi wrote:Few relationships between phenomena we labeled with words.
{The sunyata teachings give us a labour-saving 'clue' as to how anything may be understood, yeah?}
oushi wrote:Not only one needs to remove the fear of unknown, but he needs to start loving it.
In the sense of exploring the unknown without feeling the urge to leap ahead and form abstract theories about it :thumbsup:
"Removing the barrier between this and that is the only solution" {Chogyam Trungpa - "The Lion's Roar"}
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Re: The path with no goal aka nirvana

Postby oushi » Wed Jul 31, 2013 8:18 pm

undefineable wrote:
oushi wrote:Striving to grasp more and more, so finally one day we know everything, we have everything figured out, is suffering.
Unusual twist - Isn't the Buddha supposed to be *omniscient* in some sense?

Only in a very specific sense. Omniscience is knowledge, Buddha had wisdom. Wisdom to direct anyone straight toward liberation. He did not know what causes rabies, or how to build an airplane.
{The sunyata teachings give us a labour-saving 'clue' as to how anything may be understood, yeah?}

Sunyata will not help you understand anything. It's not a tool to learn math ;) . We can say that because everything is empty, the only thing that is understood by sunyanta is... suynata, and it is sunyata.
In the sense of exploring the unknown without feeling the urge to leap ahead and form abstract theories about it.

Yes. Deluded mind has a tendency to grasp and learn, to know. But as everything is empty, there is nothing to grasp, and nothing to know. Empty before and empty after. Still, there is a great pressure put on knowing in our world, and we fear not to know. In my signature you can read a piece of maha prajnaparamita sutra: "Without knowing and without being affected by anything, this is the awareness of the buddhas". So, if we are afraid of unknowing, we are afraid of buddhas awareness.
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Re: The path with no goal aka nirvana

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Jul 31, 2013 9:21 pm

oushi wrote:Only in a very specific sense. Omniscience is knowledge, Buddha had wisdom. Wisdom to direct anyone straight toward liberation. He did not know what causes rabies, or how to build an airplane.
Apaprently he had KNOWLEDGE of any phenomena that he decided to turn his mind to.
Sunyata will not help you understand anything. It's not a tool to learn math ;) . We can say that because everything is empty, the only thing that is understood by sunyanta is... suynata, and it is sunyata.
Understanding and realising the emptiness of all phenomena will help you understand a lot of things.
Yes. Deluded mind has a tendency to grasp and learn, to know. But as everything is empty, there is nothing to grasp, and nothing to know. Empty before and empty after. Still, there is a great pressure put on knowing in our world, and we fear not to know. In my signature you can read a piece of maha prajnaparamita sutra: "Without knowing and without being affected by anything, this is the awareness of the buddhas". So, if we are afraid of unknowing, we are afraid of buddhas awareness.
And what of knowing how to tie ones shoe laces? Ultimately empty, but relatively very useful. Knowing how to tie ones shoelaces does not exclude one from realising the wisdom of the Buddhas.
"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."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: The path with no goal aka nirvana

Postby undefineable » Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:42 pm

oushi wrote:Omniscience is knowledge, Buddha had wisdom. Wisdom to direct anyone straight toward liberation. He did not know what causes rabies
oushi wrote:But as everything is empty, there is nothing to grasp, and nothing to know.
Did Buddha know whether the bacteria that cause rabies are sentient beings, given his supposed clairvoyance of directly perceiving the minds of other beings?
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
oushi wrote:Sunyata will not help you understand anything. It's not a tool to learn math ;)
As I see it, 'understanding' and 'math' are incompatible just as 'sunyata' and 'math' (or even 'literature' and 'math') are - except in the sense that math is an almost-too-obvious example of insubstantiality. What you understand by terms like 'understand', then, seems to cause apparent disagreement where none may actually exist :)
oushi wrote:In my signature you can read a piece of maha prajnaparamita sutra: "Without knowing and without being affected by anything, this is the awareness of the buddhas"
{My emphasis} I wouldn't interpret this so literally as you seem to be doing - Awareness seems to reside behind both knowing and unknowing in a way that keeps it from being affected by either (a clunky way of putting it that reflects my level of insight :emb:).
oushi wrote:So, if we are afraid of unknowing, we are afraid of buddhas awareness.
Agreed; the Tibetan Book of the Dead makes a theme of this. Don't forget that dharma irks different people in different ways, even as they 'grasp' that enlightenment would make the relevant issues inconsequential - 'Accepting what is' is one teaching that jars with me; someone else might fear lack of understanding (in any sense of the word ;) ). {Somehow, this might get this thread back to topic!!}

Gregkavarnos wrote:Knowing how to tie ones shoelaces does not exclude one from realising the wisdom of the Buddhas.
-To say the very least _ :namaste: -
Last edited by undefineable on Wed Jul 31, 2013 11:02 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: The path with no goal aka nirvana

Postby shel » Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:53 pm

jeeprs wrote:'Nihilist views' are the views of those who believe that at death and the breaking up of the body, the process of birth and death comes to a complete stop.


That's an annihilationist. A nihilist, through no fault of their own, has a sense of loss in regard to meaning. A pedophile priest, for example, could cause nihilistic thoughts and feelings in others, because the representative of the religion makes that religion appear to be meaningless.
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Re: The path with no goal aka nirvana

Postby jeeprs » Thu Aug 01, 2013 2:57 am

The omniscience of the Buddha, and what it means, is the subject of discussion that has been going on in the tradition since the origin. There is no general consensus as to whether it means literal knowledge of all the empirical facts in the world (for instance the number of insects or grains of sand) or whether indeed knowledge of such facts is even significant from the soteriological viewpoint.

As regards the original question, I think there is a good reason why advanced teachings were kept quiet or even secret in the early stages of the tradition. It seems abundantly obvious to me that they easily misunderstood, and then used to rationalize all kinds of strange ideas and behaviours.

I think from the perspective of the Western lay-practitioner of Buddhist meditation, it is best to take a conservative approach - to maintain a conservative ethical stance, and accept that Buddhist meditation is quite a hard discipline to persist with and become proficient at. After some time with that, the sense in which there is 'no goal' might become clear, but at the beginning stages, the notion of 'goal and path' is, I think, pragmatically indispensable.

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Re: The path with no goal aka nirvana

Postby dimeo » Thu Aug 01, 2013 3:53 am

maxaroni13 wrote:They are only the same thing (existence/non-existence) perceived differently right?
:anjali:


"The characteristic of the mind is that it appears as samsara and nirvana. Because it is not a solid entity the mind can appear as samsara and as nirvana. "


Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche


"The whole world, or what we may call samsara is nothing but a reflection of the unresolved mind.
When the mind finally does resolve itself, it is released from those emotive conditions and can turn everything into nirvana. One of the basic Lamdre teachings is the indivisibility of samsara and nirvana. It is all just in a flip of the mind, really. We tend to have a much more stable relationship with
the samsaric flip, and lack the flexibility to turn it around. If nirvana is just the other side of the coin, we have everything we need. We just need to learn how to flip it over! Lamdre teaches that the result is in the path. Therefore samsara is inherently nirvana. We cannot attain nirvana without realising samsara. "

Lama Choedak Yuthok
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Re: The path with no goal aka nirvana

Postby oushi » Thu Aug 01, 2013 7:08 am

gregkavarnos wrote:
oushi wrote:Only in a very specific sense. Omniscience is knowledge, Buddha had wisdom. Wisdom to direct anyone straight toward liberation. He did not know what causes rabies, or how to build an airplane.
Apaprently he had KNOWLEDGE of any phenomena that he decided to turn his mind to.

To not drag it for too long I will ask, If you would show a jet plain to Buddha, would he be able to explain how does it fly and why?

Understanding and realising the emptiness of all phenomena will help you understand a lot of things.

Emptiness makes us understand everything, otherwise we wouldn't understand anything. But realization of emptiness is knowing the nature of things, not more about those things. If you know nothing about math, realizing emptiness will not help you understand it.
Yes. Deluded mind has a tendency to grasp and learn, to know. But as everything is empty, there is nothing to grasp, and nothing to know. Empty before and empty after. Still, there is a great pressure put on knowing in our world, and we fear not to know. In my signature you can read a piece of maha prajnaparamita sutra: "Without knowing and without being affected by anything, this is the awareness of the buddhas". So, if we are afraid of unknowing, we are afraid of buddhas awareness.

And what of knowing how to tie ones shoe laces? Ultimately empty, but relatively very useful. Knowing how to tie ones shoelaces does not exclude one from realising the wisdom of the Buddhas.

The fear of unknowing does.
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Re: The path with no goal aka nirvana

Postby oushi » Thu Aug 01, 2013 8:17 am

undefineable wrote:Did Buddha know whether the bacteria that cause rabies are sentient beings, given his supposed clairvoyance of directly perceiving the minds of other beings?

You mean seeing the world like Neo did in The Matrix, but in place of sights there would be minds? I would say it is rather like feeling warmth of fire with closed eyes.
undefineable wrote:What you understand by terms like 'understand', then, seems to cause apparent disagreement where none may actually exist

In math, it would be an ability to remember and recreate the same rules in different conditions. For example, understanding how subtraction works.
undefineable wrote:{My emphasis} I wouldn't interpret this so literally as you seem to be doing - Awareness seems to reside behind both knowing and unknowing in a way that keeps it from being affected by either (a clunky way of putting it that reflects my level of insight ).

It is not only this one pointing. Actually the entire Mahaprajnaparamita Manjusriparivarta sutra, is about it... and not only this sutra.
Awareness is indistinguishable from unknowing. For example, in absolute unknowing, how can you separate awareness from unknowing? To separate it you need to know characteristics, boundaries, which by definition you don't have. On the contrary, if we have knowing of concepts like awareness and knowing, those can be distinguished and separated. Now tell me, which one is duality and which one is non-duality?

So, awareness seems to reside behind knowing, but now unknowing, as it is indistinguishable from unknowing.
To not be accused of promoting dullness, I will say that unknowing (or no mind) has it's own way of dealing with things, and it is wisdom.

Now, if we see it like that, it is obvious that as every goal is knowing oriented, it cannot go along with awareness of buddhas.
What is a goal without knowing? I don't know, and by definition is cannot be known. Tathagata is not simply not-knowing, but a great mystery unconditioned by knowing, that was given a second hand label of not-knowing.
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Re: The path with no goal aka nirvana

Postby undefineable » Thu Aug 01, 2013 12:25 pm

oushi wrote:To not drag it for too long I will ask, If you would show a jet plain to Buddha, would he be able to explain how does it fly and why?
Even assuming he wouldn't have been able to do so:
jeeprs wrote:There is no general consensus as to whether it [the omniscience of the Buddha] means literal knowledge of all the empirical facts in the world (for instance the number of insects or grains of sand) or whether indeed knowledge of such facts is even significant from the soteriological viewpoint.
{My emphasis}
oushi wrote:Emptiness makes us understand everything, otherwise we wouldn't understand anything. But realization of emptiness is knowing the nature of things, not more about those things. If you know nothing about math, realizing emptiness will not help you understand it.
Assuming that the realisation of emptiness would clarify what the nature of any given math would be, it would thereby aid in *understanding* the whole, despite being of little use with the particular parts.
oushi wrote:
undefineable wrote:What you understand by terms like 'understand', then, seems to cause apparent disagreement where none may actually exist
In math, it would be an ability to remember and recreate the same rules in different conditions. For example, understanding how subtraction works.
It's true that the term 'understanding' can be stretched to cover maths in this way, but many would use the term more to describe why those mathematical rules are recreated in different conditions in the ways that they are. Emptiness might remind us it's all just playing around.
oushi wrote:You mean seeing the world like Neo did in The Matrix, but in place of sights there would be minds? I would say it is rather like feeling warmth of fire with closed eyes.
That sounds more realistic.
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Re: The path with no goal aka nirvana

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Aug 01, 2013 12:51 pm

oushi wrote:To not drag it for too long I will ask, If you would show a jet plain to Buddha, would he be able to explain how does it fly and why?
Apaprently so... there is a section in the Milindpanha where King Milinda asks Nagasena a similar question but I cannot find it right now.
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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: The path with no goal aka nirvana

Postby undefineable » Thu Aug 01, 2013 1:37 pm

oushi wrote: Awareness is indistinguishable from unknowing. For example, in absolute unknowing, how can you separate awareness from unknowing? To separate it you need to know characteristics, boundaries, which by definition you don't have. On the contrary, if we have knowing of concepts like awareness and knowing, those can be distinguished and separated. Now tell me, which one is duality and which one is non-duality?

So, awareness seems to reside behind knowing, but now unknowing, as it is indistinguishable from unknowing.
To not be accused of promoting dullness, I will say that unknowing (or no mind) has it's own way of dealing with things, and it is wisdom.

Now, if we see it like that, it is obvious that as every goal is knowing oriented, it cannot go along with awareness of buddhas.

To take this argument literally -out of any abstruse context in which you may have meant it- then the most enlightened beings are by definition those with the most rudimentary mind/brain :jawdrop:

How about: Awareness is indistinguishable from unknowing and from actual knowing. It depends what you mean by 'awareness' and '[un]knowing', and I'm not sure I get what you mean by either. Yes, some potential or even actualised 'wisdom' may stand alone in a state of unknowing before the delusions of 'trying to figure out' bury it, but as an example, autistics who understand nothing of other people cannot always deal with them in the wisest possible way. This doesn't mean that ordinary knowledge of others' minds, then, isn't indirect and conceptual (being derived as it is from coded messages by the subconscious mind), but it does mean you're unlikely to fully actualise wisdom if you don't start from the vantage points that such fields of knowledge provide.

The non-duality you mentioned is said in other teachings to be 'realised' by people who have already 'grasped' both the concepts you mentioned and how distant those concepts are from reality, which may be seen as non-dual. {I don't need to understand 'non-duality' to be aware of this, and don't feel it warrants a reference.} It's self-evident that even conceptual understanding and abstract knowledge will still 'go along', however marginally and tenuously, with anyone who realises the nature of such phenomena, and of anyone who is able teach dharma. After all, as quoted above,
We cannot attain nirvana without realising samsara
, and there are countless references in the literature to ordinary thought as a [distorted] expression of awareness.

Finally, in implying that enlightened awareness excludes all knowledge, you seem ironically to be over-analysing a situation in which you say there's no place (on the part of the enlightened being in question) for analysis, as well as confusing readers who lack your knowledge of dharma. There must be some place -however distinct you prefer to see it as being- for knowledge within the mind of an enlightened being; once [s]he 'enters parinirvana', I'd have thought all bets should be off!
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Re: The path with no goal aka nirvana

Postby justsit » Thu Aug 01, 2013 1:48 pm

So is this statement from a poster on another forum correct? Does it apply to "pure" awareness??

"There is cognition in the process of awareness..."
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Re: The path with no goal aka nirvana

Postby porpoise » Thu Aug 01, 2013 1:55 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:If Nirvana was somehow seperate to samsara (which is where we are right now) then it would be unattainable.


But if Nirvana wasn't somehow separate ( different ) from samsara, then it would be the same experience as samsara.
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Re: The path with no goal aka nirvana

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Aug 01, 2013 2:25 pm

porpoise wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:If Nirvana was somehow seperate to samsara (which is where we are right now) then it would be unattainable.


But if Nirvana wasn't somehow separate ( different ) from samsara, then it would be the same experience as samsara.
I didn't say they were the same thing, I just said that they are not seperate. Heads is not the same as tails, but it is not seperate to tails.
"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."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: The path with no goal aka nirvana

Postby oushi » Thu Aug 01, 2013 2:37 pm

undefineable wrote:To take this argument literally -out of any abstruse context in which you may have meant it- then the most enlightened beings are by definition those with the most rudimentary mind/brain


It does not work like that. There is no more or less. Either there is buddha awareness, or not. Unless you are free from concepts, less is worse because you have less tools to work with you ignorance.
Do you think that scientist is more awakened then an infant? Certainly child brain is more rudimentary. That would explain and justify the chase after omniscience.

"Unfortunately we are not 100% idiots." -Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche".
Because of that we need to learn few things to unlearn those things that make us clever. Buddha is not something attained, but revealed.
Anyway, we can provide quotes from both sides but this will not help. You got my point, and that was my only aim.
:namaste:
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Re: The path with no goal aka nirvana

Postby shel » Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:27 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
oushi wrote:To not drag it for too long I will ask, If you would show a jet plain to Buddha, would he be able to explain how does it fly and why?
Apaprently so... there is a section in the Milindpanha where King Milinda asks Nagasena a similar question but I cannot find it right now.


I didn't know they had jet planes back then. Or by similar you mean knowing things that don't yet exist? Even omniscience doesn't go that far.
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