Buddha-nature

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Re: Buddha-nature

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Tue Nov 16, 2010 11:30 pm

TMingyur wrote:
Pema Rigdzin wrote:As a further example of your blanket statements, I'll continue to use your own words: "it is a matter of assessing the skillfulness of concepts. If the aim is to liberate all beings then from my point of view the "exegesis emphasizing emptiness" is the "exegesis" of choice."

Here it reads "from my point of view". How can you assert this to be a "blanket statement"?

In this statement, you said that "from your point of view," if one aims to liberate all beings, the exegesis of choice is that which emphasizes emptiness (Prasangika-Madhyamaka). If one understands English, your statement makes clear that the only thing about it that is "from your point of view" is that Prasangika is the method of choice for all beings, which would contradict your admission that certain provisional teachings are necessary for certain beings, and that they are skillful because they do in fact act as a step to steer beings closer to a correct view. So perhaps the above is just a miscommunication and you didn't actually mean that Prasangika is the exegesis of choice for all beings, but simply for those who are ready for it and have the capacity for it. If that's the case, then we agree and I'd just ask you to consider more carefully how you say certain things so that what you mean = what you say.

TMingyur wrote:
Pema Rigdzin wrote:Here especially, I'm trying to honestly debate you by trying to ascertain and focus on the core of your actual position.

Assertions should be dialectically traceable.
One may assert everything and obscure reason with some alleged meditational experience.

See if your meditation proves yourself that your view is right then you can be content with that.
Or do you want to argue in a way like "I am right and you are wrong because my view is based on my meditational expirience"? Or "My gurus said this and he is a good meditator and if others do not agree then it is just because they are bad meditators"
I trust that you would not want to consider such "reasoning" "honestly debating".

Here you are just assuming my intentions. Actually, I wasn't prepared to bring my own meditational experience into the debate. I was attempting to determine whether you are under the impression that the meditations of an adherent to Prasangika and an adherent to buddha nature are somehow different, i.e. whether one's meditation is free of extremes while the other is not. Can we agree that one's authentic view during meditation and what is thought and said in post-meditation are two entirely different things? Is it possible, in your opinion, for a Prasangika and a buddha nature exponent to have exactly the same non-conceptual meditation beyond all extremes yet present the path to others from differing angles in their post-meditation?

TMingyur wrote:Really I have already addressed this to conebeckam and would like to address this to you, too:

It is not about who is right and who is wrong.

It is about different approaches.


About this we will always be able to genuinely agree.
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Re: Buddha-nature

Postby 5heaps » Wed Nov 17, 2010 3:56 am

conebeckham wrote:But there's a reason this Buddha Nature was taught--and it is precisely because, although inconceivable in truth, it cannot be equated with a mere "lack," "Absence," or "Voidness." So, the teaching of "Buddha Nature" is a method.

It's not merely that some are scared of emptiness, and therefore need some sort of "positive" to counteract the "negative." We're talking about two separate things, really.....Existence and Awareness are, from a certain POV, like Color and Shape. They're different categories.
but the way gelugs understand negatives and the way your system does are not the same. you believe that things are established in dependence upon their parts. we say even the parts are set up by conceptuality.

so when you say emptiness isnt just an absence it doesnt quite come close to our meaning of what it means to be an absence. there is nothing on the side of an absence that makes it an absence. just as there is nothing on the side of the mind that is in any way identifiable as the person. person is entirely set up by conceptuality in dependence on the mind.

the mind is free of marks which can be established as being a person. the nongelug prasangikas complain and say that this means anything could be established as being anything ie. if there is nothing about the mind which is the person then a rock can be a person.
Last edited by 5heaps on Wed Nov 17, 2010 9:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Buddha-nature

Postby ground » Wed Nov 17, 2010 8:49 am

Pema Rigdzin wrote:
TMingyur wrote:
Pema Rigdzin wrote:As a further example of your blanket statements, I'll continue to use your own words: "it is a matter of assessing the skillfulness of concepts. If the aim is to liberate all beings then from my point of view the "exegesis emphasizing emptiness" is the "exegesis" of choice."

Here it reads "from my point of view". How can you assert this to be a "blanket statement"?

In this statement, you said that "from your point of view," if one aims to liberate all beings, the exegesis of choice is that which emphasizes emptiness (Prasangika-Madhyamaka). If one understands English, your statement makes clear that the only thing about it that is "from your point of view" is that Prasangika is the method of choice for all beings, which would contradict your admission that certain provisional teachings are necessary for certain beings, and that they are skillful because they do in fact act as a step to steer beings closer to a correct view. So perhaps the above is just a miscommunication and you didn't actually mean that Prasangika is the exegesis of choice for all beings, but simply for those who are ready for it and have the capacity for it. If that's the case, then we agree and I'd just ask you to consider more carefully how you say certain things so that what you mean = what you say.

It is the exegesis of choice for all beings if they are to be liberated. It is the message to be brought home to all beings. And the fact that you have to be ready for it is what is implied with (al least) my first post in this thread which I re-quoted again just above.

It would be unusual to repeat everything that one has already written in a given thread when posting something new. On the other side nobody expects that everybody reads all of everybody else's postings before starting communicating with them. This is the source of many misunderstandings in discussion forums like this one.

Pema Rigdzin wrote:Can we agree that one's authentic view during meditation and what is thought and said in post-meditation are two entirely different things?

This seems to be too categorical a differentiation. I would prefer that there is "interdependence". Also there is the dynamics of "progress". What you call "authentic view" might not be the final view.

Pema Rigdzin wrote:Is it possible, in your opinion, for a Prasangika and a buddha nature exponent to have exactly the same non-conceptual meditation beyond all extremes yet present the path to others from differing angles in their post-meditation?

Assuming that the three turnings of the wheel of dharma are traceable to the Buddha we then also must assume that the Buddha has had his meditative "locus" but presented the path (or at least aspects thereof) from differing angles. Consequently followers that follow one of these differing angles should be in a position to "meet" the same meditation "locus" at the final end of the path.

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Re: Buddha-nature

Postby conebeckham » Wed Nov 17, 2010 5:22 pm

but the way gelugs understand negatives and the way your system does are not the same. you believe that things are established in dependence upon their parts. we say even the parts are set up by conceptuality.


Where did you get your information about how "my system" understands negatives? I can assure you, from this statement above, that you've been given some wrong information.

so when you say emptiness isnt just an absence it doesnt quite come close to our meaning of what it means to be an absence. there is nothing on the side of an absence that makes it an absence. just as there is nothing on the side of the mind that is in any way identifiable as the person. person is entirely set up by conceptuality in dependence on the mind.
Well, I mostly agree....no quarrel with the first part of your statement..though "person" isn't merely set up on the mind, but on the skandhas, etc.

the mind is free of marks which can be established as being a person. the nongelug prasangikas complain and say that this means anything could be established as being anything ie. if there is nothing about the mind which is the person then a rock can be a person.
Again, not sure where you got this info about the "nongeluk prasangikas."
:shrug:
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Re: Buddha-nature

Postby conebeckham » Thu Nov 18, 2010 4:19 am

...and, You know, we've got a thread on "Tibetan Madhaymika"--how is it that this thread has morphed into a thread about Madhyamika?
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Re: Buddha-nature

Postby ground » Thu Nov 18, 2010 4:59 am

conebeckham wrote:...and, You know, we've got a thread on "Tibetan Madhaymika"--how is it that this thread has morphed into a thread about Madhyamika?


It is because many tibetan buddhists are obsessed with conceptual proliferations.

I admit that I have fallen prey to these proliferations offered by tibetan buddhist teachings, too.

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Re: Buddha-nature

Postby Individual » Thu Nov 18, 2010 7:12 am

"Does a dog have Buddha-nature?"

The classic answer to this koan is no, but I have to disagree. At least, with my dog. ;)

If my dog doesn't have Buddha-nature... if she is merely a "being within the realm of ignorance," then why is it that... She sleeps when it's time to sleep, eats when it's time to eat, doesn't seem to think too much about "self" and "other," (although she does think a lot about SQUIRREL!! SQUIRREL!!) or trouble herself with deep existential questions. She eats the same food every day without complaint, does the same activity every day without any thought of anything else. Her very presence just makes people laugh and smile. And when she sleeps, she sleeps very soundly. Even I am not capable of doing this stuff all the time.

Image

What else could a Buddha be? A web-toed freak with a giant tongue, a head-lump, and blue body hair?
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Re: Buddha-nature

Postby ground » Thu Nov 18, 2010 7:43 am

Individual wrote:"Does a dog have Buddha-nature?"


We may become millionaires.

Do we therefore have "millionaire nature"?


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Re: Buddha-nature

Postby Individual » Thu Nov 18, 2010 10:38 am

TMingyur wrote:
Individual wrote:"Does a dog have Buddha-nature?"


We may become millionaires.

Do we therefore have "millionaire nature"?


Kind regards

There is no svabhava. And you could say it depends on how you won that million. A thief does not have millionaire nature. :)
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Re: Buddha-nature

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:05 am

Individual wrote:"Does a dog have Buddha-nature?"

The classic answer to this koan is no, but I have to disagree.


I'm not too familiar with koans, but I do know that the Buddha's teachings on buddha nature say that all sentient beings possess buddha nature.
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Re: Buddha-nature

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:15 am

TMingyur wrote:
Individual wrote:"Does a dog have Buddha-nature?"


We may become millionaires.

Do we therefore have "millionaire nature"?


Kind regards


Becoming a millionaire is dependent upon a cause, is a temporary and conventional result, and can in many ways be a supporting cause for suffering to arise.

Buddhahood on the other hand is not dependent upon causes, is unborn and unceasing, is permanent and of an ultimate nature, and cannot be a cause of suffering. It is not the creation of something but rather the removal of adventitious stains. So I'd say that there is no valuable meaning to the concept of "millionaire nature" and you're comparing apples and oranges.
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Re: Buddha-nature

Postby Individual » Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:32 am

Pema Rigdzin wrote:
TMingyur wrote:
Individual wrote:"Does a dog have Buddha-nature?"


We may become millionaires.

Do we therefore have "millionaire nature"?


Kind regards


Becoming a millionaire is dependent upon a cause, is a temporary and conventional result, and can in many ways be a supporting cause for suffering to arise.

Buddhahood on the other hand is not dependent upon causes, is unborn and unceasing, is permanent and of an ultimate nature, and cannot be a cause of suffering. It is not the creation of something but rather the removal of adventitious stains. So I'd say that there is no valuable meaning to the concept of "millionaire nature" and you're comparing apples and oranges.

Tmingyur made the term up, so I went along with it and tried to make it useful. Here, you don't like the idea, so sure... That sounds just fine. Millionaire nature is a silly, unnecessary idea for you. And why should I be "adding dirt to a mountain"? :)
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Re: Buddha-nature

Postby ground » Thu Nov 18, 2010 7:45 pm

Pema Rigdzin wrote:Buddhahood on the other hand is not dependent upon causes,


Is is not possible for omniscience to be produced without causes, because if it were everything could always be omniscient. If things were produced without reliance on something else, they could exist without constraints - there would be no reason why everything could not be omniscient. Therefore since all functional things arise only occasionally, they depend strictly on their causes. Omniscience too is rare because it does not occur at all times and in all places, and everything cannot become omniscient. Therefore it definitely depends on causes and conditions.

Also from among these causes and conditions you should cultivate correct and complete causes. If you put the wrong causes into practice, even if you work hard for a long time, the desired goal cannot be achieved. It will be like milking a [cow's] horn.
Likewise the result will not be produced when all causes are not put into effect. For example, if the seed or any other cause is missing, then the result, a sprout, and so forth will not be produced. Therefore, those who desire a particular result should cultivate its complete and unmistaken causes and conditions.

Kamalashila, Stages of Meditation.
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Re: Buddha-nature

Postby conebeckham » Thu Nov 18, 2010 10:10 pm

Omniscience is not Buddhahood. It is, however, one of the qualities of Buddhahood.

There's some disagreement about what it means--for example, there's the view that takes "omniscience" as knowing the true nature of all things....the Truth that all phenomena are ultimately emptiness. Therefore, when one realizes the Truth, one knows the truth of all things. This should be familiar to many of you.

There are other definitions of "omniscience," as well. The Avatamsaka Sutra says:

The stage of Omniscience has no bounds;
all the various mentalities of beings
the Buddha perceives with complete clarity:
This immense door the World Observer enters.


Conventionally, it is taught that removing obscurations, and accumulating virtue, are the causes of Buddhahood. But there are some who say that this is just the conventional way of looking at this--that, in actuality, the Dharmakaya is the full revelation of the Buddha Nature, after all adventitious stains have been removed. As such, the Dharmakaya is "revealed," and not "caused." There are references to this in the Avatamsaka Sutra, as well as in the Ratnagotravibhaga, the Lankavatara Sutra, The Samadhiraja Sutra, and other places, which we could trot out.....But I anticipate objections with claims of "Expedient Meaning" so I won't bother.
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Re: Buddha-nature

Postby ground » Thu Nov 18, 2010 10:19 pm

C'mon. Let's take the short cut.

Kagyus are Buddhas and non-Kagyus are not Buddhas.

Let's agree and everythings fine, okay? :)

I am no Buddha and that's okay for me. Otherwise my practice would be finished.

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Re: Buddha-nature

Postby conebeckham » Thu Nov 18, 2010 10:23 pm

It's not that simple!

For example, would I say Rangjung Dorje is Buddha, but Pawo Tsuklag Trengwa isn't? Their "explanations" often contradict each other, after all....heck, 8th Karmapa and 3rd Karmapa can be said to contradict!

:smile:

Some Lama I can't recall, a Nyingmapa no doubt :smile: , said "As for View expressed in words, any one will do.....but the important thing is to practice correctly."
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