Early Buddhism and Mahayana

General forum on the teachings of all schools of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. Topics specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
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oushi
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Re: Early Buddhism and Mahayana

Postby oushi » Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:22 am

muni wrote:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gvo-CCtC3Zs :namaste:

There is no need to go into elaborate explanations. Just allowing oneself to rest in peace. :smile:
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Re: Early Buddhism and Mahayana

Postby Astus » Mon Sep 30, 2013 9:40 am

Koji wrote:Let's look at conceptual appearances. Upon what, specifically, do these "dependent appearances" depend?


The six senses depend on mentality-materiality, mentality-materiality depends on consciousness, consciousness depends on formations. In short, interdependence, and not dependence on an ultimate ground/base/substance as some believe.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Re: Early Buddhism and Mahayana

Postby Astus » Mon Sep 30, 2013 9:52 am

anjali wrote:The question on the table is whether the knowing quality of the mind can turn back on itself (self-reflexive knowing)? To hijack a zen phrase, is it possible to "turn the light and illuminate back?" From the perspective of self-reflexive knowing, this can be interpreted as taking the light of one's awareness and turning it back on itself. There are folks who say this can be done, and describe it as a singular experience.


The Zen phrase does not mean a self-contained knowing, it means to see the mental states we just follow and not recognise, that is, acting out of emotions and convictions. And in some sense this is in fact mind seeing mind, and in ordinary language it is appropriate to call it self-reflection.

There is no knowing quality on its own. Consciousness does not exist alone. Therefore, there is nothing to turn back on itself. In other words, mind is not a singular entity.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Re: Early Buddhism and Mahayana

Postby muni » Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:33 am

Astus wrote:
There is no knowing quality on its own.



Knowing is not single not many. Not nihilism.

I apreciate how people can express themselves like mind and consciousness and so on. Then mind can be as the pool of the frog or the vast beginningless-endless ocean.

Edit for changing ocean in sky and then again in ocean, fits better. :smile:
Last edited by muni on Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:47 am, edited 2 times in total.
Start identifying with that which knows and stop identifying with the known.

What you must do is to rest in the spaciousness
Of the equality of appearance emptiness.

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Re: Early Buddhism and Mahayana

Postby Wayfarer » Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:42 am

Astus wrote:Consciousness does not exist alone. Therefore, there is nothing to turn back on itself. In other words, mind is not a singular entity.


I have heard the argument that mind, being of the nature of clarity and awareness, must have clarity and awareness as its substantial cause, as like must come from like. This argument also says that mind is not something that can be produced or artificially created. So that would suggest that mind is not something that can be reduced or explained in terms of something else, would it not?
Learn to do good, refrain from evil, purify the mind ~ this is the teaching of the Buddhas

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Re: Early Buddhism and Mahayana

Postby muni » Mon Sep 30, 2013 11:47 am

ps self-reflection regarding google:

"Self reflection is when you see your self in another object"

"Self reflection is basically introspection. It refers to the process of consciously observing one's self in a deeper sense to try and evaluate the kind of life one is living. This will involve looking at one's thoughts, history and feelings".

"Introspection".
Start identifying with that which knows and stop identifying with the known.

What you must do is to rest in the spaciousness
Of the equality of appearance emptiness.

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Re: Early Buddhism and Mahayana

Postby futerko » Mon Sep 30, 2013 12:27 pm

Astus wrote:
Koji wrote:Let's look at conceptual appearances. Upon what, specifically, do these "dependent appearances" depend?


The six senses depend on mentality-materiality, mentality-materiality depends on consciousness, consciousness depends on formations. In short, interdependence, and not dependence on an ultimate ground/base/substance as some believe.


Correct me if I'm wrong here, but aren't formations (and hence the rest) dependent on ignorance? In other words, there is no first cause, and no origination.
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche

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Re: Early Buddhism and Mahayana

Postby Astus » Mon Sep 30, 2013 1:03 pm

jeeprs wrote:I have heard the argument that mind, being of the nature of clarity and awareness, must have clarity and awareness as its substantial cause, as like must come from like. This argument also says that mind is not something that can be produced or artificially created. So that would suggest that mind is not something that can be reduced or explained in terms of something else, would it not?


There is a mental continuum, series of thoughts, emotions, habits, etc. The idea is that the cause of rebirth lies in ingrained habits (taints/asrava and defilements/klesa; summed up as alayavijnana in Yogacara) and they are mental phenomena/dharma, therefore the demise of the physical body does not hinder the generation of further births. But stating a radical separation of mind and matter (nama-rupa) is unnecessary, as in the 18 dhatu system we see how external phenomena take part in forming various consciousnesses, and in the mind only systems we find the explicit inclusion of all appearances into a single realm of experience. The substantiation of mind as an independent awareness goes against the general meaning of dependent origination and postulates an ultimate self.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Re: Early Buddhism and Mahayana

Postby Astus » Mon Sep 30, 2013 1:06 pm

futerko wrote:Correct me if I'm wrong here, but aren't formations (and hence the rest) dependent on ignorance? In other words, there is no first cause, and no origination.


Yes, as you say. Formations come from ignorance, ignorance is interdependent with ingrained habits, and both are maintained and generated by further actions, deeds that are themselves motivated by ignorance.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Re: Early Buddhism and Mahayana

Postby futerko » Mon Sep 30, 2013 1:18 pm

Astus wrote:
futerko wrote:Correct me if I'm wrong here, but aren't formations (and hence the rest) dependent on ignorance? In other words, there is no first cause, and no origination.


Yes, as you say. Formations come from ignorance, ignorance is interdependent with ingrained habits, and both are maintained and generated by further actions, deeds that are themselves motivated by ignorance.


...the point being that this does not thereby refute the idea of the base/ground as the alternative to the causal chain of ignorance.
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche

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Re: Early Buddhism and Mahayana

Postby Astus » Mon Sep 30, 2013 2:17 pm

futerko wrote:...the point being that this does not thereby refute the idea of the base/ground as the alternative to the causal chain of ignorance.


Such a ground is necessarily without cause, therefore does not agree with interdependence. A ground also has other problems, like a single cause of many results, independent while creating dependent things, permanence generating impermanent things, etc.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Re: Early Buddhism and Mahayana

Postby anjali » Mon Sep 30, 2013 4:51 pm

Astus wrote:
anjali wrote:The question on the table is whether the knowing quality of the mind can turn back on itself (self-reflexive knowing)? To hijack a zen phrase, is it possible to "turn the light and illuminate back?" From the perspective of self-reflexive knowing, this can be interpreted as taking the light of one's awareness and turning it back on itself. There are folks who say this can be done, and describe it as a singular experience.


The Zen phrase does not mean a self-contained knowing, it means to see the mental states we just follow and not recognise, that is, acting out of emotions and convictions. And in some sense this is in fact mind seeing mind, and in ordinary language it is appropriate to call it self-reflection.

There is no knowing quality on its own. Consciousness does not exist alone. Therefore, there is nothing to turn back on itself. In other words, mind is not a singular entity.


Yes, the knowing quality of the mind is fundamentally empty. As far as I know, no one is saying otherwise. However, this doesn't preclude the possibility self-reflexive knowing. This is why, in a reply to daverupa, I noted that we need to be clear on the distinction between self-reflexive knowing and self-grasping. Self-knowing is just that, knowing that knows itself. Nothing more. Relative to the trikaya model, it is only the ignorance of self-grasping that imputes a substantial (instead of empty), isolated (instead of unified with it's radiance) self-knowing.
All things are unworthy of clinging to (sabbe dhammā nâla abhinivesāyā). --Shakyamuni Buddha
If there is clinging, you do not have the view. --Drakpa Gyaltsen

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Re: Early Buddhism and Mahayana

Postby Astus » Mon Sep 30, 2013 5:24 pm

anjali wrote:Yes, the knowing quality of the mind is fundamentally empty. As far as I know, no one is saying otherwise. However, this doesn't preclude the possibility self-reflexive knowing. This is why, in a reply to daverupa, I noted that we need to be clear on the distinction between self-reflexive knowing and self-grasping. Self-knowing is just that, knowing that knows itself. Nothing more. Relative to the trikaya model, it is only the ignorance of self-grasping that imputes a substantial (instead of empty), isolated (instead of unified with it's radiance) self-knowing.


We know that we are sentient beings simply because we sense things and we are aware of this process. This is self-awareness. Would you call this knowing that knows itself? If so, this is not a problematic idea at all. Only if you suppose some independent knowing that knows itself is there a problem.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Re: Early Buddhism and Mahayana

Postby Malcolm » Mon Sep 30, 2013 5:36 pm

Astus wrote:
anjali wrote:Yes, the knowing quality of the mind is fundamentally empty. As far as I know, no one is saying otherwise. However, this doesn't preclude the possibility self-reflexive knowing. This is why, in a reply to daverupa, I noted that we need to be clear on the distinction between self-reflexive knowing and self-grasping. Self-knowing is just that, knowing that knows itself. Nothing more. Relative to the trikaya model, it is only the ignorance of self-grasping that imputes a substantial (instead of empty), isolated (instead of unified with it's radiance) self-knowing.


We know that we are sentient beings simply because we sense things and we are aware of this process. This is self-awareness. Would you call this knowing that knows itself? If so, this is not a problematic idea at all. Only if you suppose some independent knowing that knows itself is there a problem.


what do you mean by independent knowing?
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Re: Early Buddhism and Mahayana

Postby anjali » Mon Sep 30, 2013 7:37 pm

Astus wrote:We know that we are sentient beings simply because we sense things and we are aware of this process. This is self-awareness.

Yes, it's one kind of self-awareness. This is known as self-reflective awareness. Among other names in Sanskrit, it is known as paraprakasa: illuminated (revealed) by another (awarensess).

Astus wrote:Would you call this knowing that knows itself?

Not in the sense that I'm referring to. There is another kind of self-awareness that is known as self-reflexive awareness. The basic notion is that dualistic awareness reveals itself as well as its object. Thus it is known as svaprakasa: self illuminating. (Hence my zen reference to illuminating back.)

In response to devarupa, I commented that this is also known as self-awareness direct perception (rang rig mngon sum), and is defined here as, "the unmistaken non-conceptual reflexive awareness that accompanies all states of mind".

A further assertion is that self-reflexive knowing is primal. When the ignorance of self-grasping becomes wisdom, the self-illumining quality remains.

Astus wrote:If so, this is not a problematic idea at all. Only if you suppose some independent knowing that knows itself is there a problem.

No independent self-knowing is proposed.
Last edited by anjali on Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
All things are unworthy of clinging to (sabbe dhammā nâla abhinivesāyā). --Shakyamuni Buddha
If there is clinging, you do not have the view. --Drakpa Gyaltsen

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Re: Early Buddhism and Mahayana

Postby smcj » Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:13 pm

I gotta stop reading this thread. It's driving me nuts!
My posts are for entertainment purposes only. Please don't take anything I say seriously unless you verify it with a real teacher first.

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Re: Early Buddhism and Mahayana

Postby futerko » Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:43 pm

Astus wrote:
futerko wrote:...the point being that this does not thereby refute the idea of the base/ground as the alternative to the causal chain of ignorance.


Such a ground is necessarily without cause, therefore does not agree with interdependence. A ground also has other problems, like a single cause of many results, independent while creating dependent things, permanence generating impermanent things, etc.


For interdependence to be "truly true", as opposed to merely the play of appearances of that which is uncaused, you need to posit a first cause.

What you refer to here as, "many results", created "dependent things", and generated "impermanent things", all have their "first cause" as ignorance.
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche

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Re: Early Buddhism and Mahayana

Postby Astus » Mon Sep 30, 2013 9:59 pm

Malcolm wrote:what do you mean by independent knowing?


Knowing without an object, pure subjectivity, self-contained awareness. Consciousness that does not require conditions to bring it about.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Re: Early Buddhism and Mahayana

Postby Astus » Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:17 pm

anjali wrote:In response to devarupa, I commented that this is also known as self-awareness direct perception (rang rig mngon sum), and is defined here as, "the unmistaken non-conceptual reflexive awareness that accompanies all states of mind".

A further assertion is that self-reflexive knowing is primal. When the ignorance of self-grasping becomes wisdom, the self-illumining quality remains.


Xuanzang in the Cheng Weishi Lun (Keenan: p 61-64, ch 3.11-12/ Wei Tat: 139-143, 2.3.2-3) describes a maximum of four aspects (bhaga) of consciousness. The seen (nimitta), the seeing (darsana), self-knowing (svasamvitti), and self-knowing knowing (svasamvitti-samvitti). The object is known by the subject, that by self-knowing what is known by the self-knowing knowing, and that is known by self-knowing itself to avoid infinite regression. That is: object <-- seeing <-- self-knowing <--> self-knowing knowing. Self-knowing and its knowing are both direct perceptions. An important point here is that there is know subject/seeing/knowing without object. Also, the four parts can be reduced to three (seen, seeing, self-knowing), two (seen and seeing) and even one (consciousness). These functions are not defined by whether one grasps a self or not.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Re: Early Buddhism and Mahayana

Postby Astus » Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:20 pm

futerko wrote:For interdependence to be "truly true", as opposed to merely the play of appearances of that which is uncaused, you need to posit a first cause.

What you refer to here as, "many results", created "dependent things", and generated "impermanent things", all have their "first cause" as ignorance.


What do you mean by "truly true"? Appearances are like a dream, a mirage, an illusion, etc., as many sutras say, both Nikayas and Mahayana texts.

Ignorance is not a "first cause" because it has its causes too. If ignorance were without a cause it could not be ended.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"


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