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Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism - Page 5 - Dhamma Wheel

Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.
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David N. Snyder
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Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat Jun 16, 2012 9:32 pm

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Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

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Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Jun 16, 2012 10:24 pm



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

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Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

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Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby danieLion » Sun Jun 17, 2012 5:20 am


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Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

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Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

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Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby polarbear101 » Sun Jun 17, 2012 10:39 am

To what extent is this just wandering through the wilderness of views. transcend

:namaste:
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby Alex123 » Sun Jun 17, 2012 2:23 pm

"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby Alex123 » Sun Jun 17, 2012 2:26 pm

"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby gavesako » Sun Jun 17, 2012 8:20 pm

Unexplained communication between brain hemispheres without corpus callosum

Could the brain be using electromagnetic fields to communicate between hemispheres — the electromagnetic field theory of consciousness?

http://integral-options.blogspot.com/20 ... brain.html
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

- Theravada texts
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Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

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Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

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Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

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Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby Rui Sousa » Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:18 am

I have not watched the video, but read through the thread.

As a former skeptical atheist, saddha was a difficult concept for me to understand. At first it disgusted me to think that in Buddhism I would find the same attitudes that made me feel so far away from other religions, I thought I could just ignore the thing and keep learning how to meditate and to explore my mind. And so I did. I thought "I don't need monks, I don't need faith, I don't need statues or any of that". As I deepened my interest in Meditation my ignorance and my stress were getting more and more visible, it was clear to me that more knowledge was needed. So I started reading more and more Suttas, and started to see the other aspects of the Buddhadhamma, like Sila. By keeping my precepts I could see many benefits in my live, this had nothing to do with meditation as I understood it. Latter on I realized the Buddha had given guidance on how to live daily life, advising Sigalovada to buy adorns to his wife. That was so practical and thoughtful!

I started to believe the Buddha's words out of confidence, because I was observing how good and wise his words were. I also developed a different view on monks vwhen I realized if it weren't for them keeping the Dhamma Wheel turning all these centuries, I would be lost in my suffering.Now I have no problem with Saddha. I understand how important the existence of the Buddha was for me, and how much I owe the Sangha. So I put my confidence in the Dhamma, I thrown away a lot of misconceptions I had and embraced this attitude of humble thankfulness and trust.

Based on my path, from skeptical atheist to practicing the six recollections, I think there are a lot of things to drop on the way. There is a deeply different attitude in skeptical atheism, that I think is a certain faith (pun intended) in reasoning and the abilities of the logical and rational brain, and in Buddhism, were there is confidence in the teachings of a teacher who has offered us a path for us to follow.
With Metta

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Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby manas » Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:28 am

Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

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Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby danieLion » Mon Jun 18, 2012 1:16 am


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Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

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Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby polarbear101 » Mon Jun 18, 2012 4:22 am

does saying the mind is separate from the body (brain), or saying it isn't, or saying it both is and isn't, or saying it neither is nor isn't lead to dispassion, not to passion, to being unfettered, not being fettered, to shedding, not to accumulating; to modesty, not to self-aggrandizement; to contentment, not to discontent; to seclusion, not to entanglement; to aroused persistence, not to laziness; to being unburdensome, not to being burdensome': does it lead to release through non-clinging. If so, then one of these positions is held by the Buddha, but i'd think not because...


I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying in Savatthi, at Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. Then the wanderer Vacchagotta went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, exchanged courteous greetings with him. After an exchange of friendly greetings & courtesies, he sat to one side. As he was sitting there he asked the Blessed One: "How is it, Master Gotama, does Master Gotama hold the view: 'The cosmos is eternal: only this is true, anything otherwise is worthless'?"

"...no..."

"Then does Master Gotama hold the view: 'The cosmos is not eternal: only this is true, anything otherwise is worthless'?"

"...no..."

"Then does Master Gotama hold the view: 'The cosmos is finite: only this is true, anything otherwise is worthless'?"

"...no..."

"Then does Master Gotama hold the view: 'The cosmos is infinite: only this is true, anything otherwise is worthless'?"

"...no..."

"Then does Master Gotama hold the view: 'The soul & the body are the same: only this is true, anything otherwise is worthless'?"

"...no..."

"Then does Master Gotama hold the view: 'The soul is one thing and the body another: only this is true, anything otherwise is worthless'?"

"...no..."

"Then does Master Gotama hold the view: 'After death a Tathagata exists: only this is true, anything otherwise is worthless'?"

"...no..."

"Then does Master Gotama hold the view: 'After death a Tathagata does not exist: only this is true, anything otherwise is worthless'?"

"...no..."

"Then does Master Gotama hold the view: 'After death a Tathagata both exists & does not exist: only this is true, anything otherwise is worthless'?"

"...no..."

"Then does Master Gotama hold the view: 'After death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist: only this is true, anything otherwise is worthless'?"

"...no..."

"How is it, Master Gotama, when Master Gotama is asked if he holds the view 'the cosmos is eternal...'... 'after death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist: only this is true, anything otherwise is worthless,' he says '...no...' in each case. Seeing what drawback, then, is Master Gotama thus entirely dissociated from each of these ten positions?"

"Vaccha, the position that 'the cosmos is eternal' is a thicket of views, a wilderness of views, a contortion of views, a writhing of views, a fetter of views. It is accompanied by suffering, distress, despair, & fever, and it does not lead to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation; to calm, direct knowledge, full Awakening, Unbinding.

"The position that 'the cosmos is not eternal'...

"...'the cosmos is finite'...

"...'the cosmos is infinite'...

"...'the soul & the body are the same'...

"...'the soul is one thing and the body another'...

"...'after death a Tathagata exists'...

"...'after death a Tathagata does not exist'...

"...'after death a Tathagata both exists & does not exist'...

"...'after death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist'... does not lead to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation; to calm, direct knowledge, full Awakening, Unbinding."

"Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origin, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origin, such its disappearance; such is perception... such are mental fabrications... such is consciousness, such its origin, such its disappearance.' Because of this, I say, a Tathagata — with the ending, fading out, cessation, renunciation, & relinquishment of all construings, all excogitations, all I-making & mine-making & obsession with conceit — is, through lack of clinging/sustenance, released."

"But, Master Gotama, the monk whose mind is thus released: Where does he reappear?"

"'Reappear,' Vaccha, doesn't apply."

"In that case, Master Gotama, he does not reappear."

"'Does not reappear,' Vaccha, doesn't apply."

"...both does & does not reappear."

"...doesn't apply."

"...neither does nor does not reappear."

"...doesn't apply."

"How is it, Master Gotama, when Master Gotama is asked if the monk reappears... does not reappear... both does & does not reappear... neither does nor does not reappear, he says, '...doesn't apply' in each case. At this point, Master Gotama, I am befuddled; at this point, confused. The modicum of clarity coming to me from your earlier conversation is now obscured."

"Of course you're befuddled, Vaccha. Of course you're confused. Deep, Vaccha, is this phenomenon, hard to see, hard to realize, tranquil, refined, beyond the scope of conjecture, subtle, to-be-experienced by the wise. For those with other views, other practices, other satisfactions, other aims, other teachers, it is difficult to know. That being the case, I will now put some questions to you. Answer as you see fit. What do you think, Vaccha: If a fire were burning in front of you, would you know that, 'This fire is burning in front of me'?"

"...yes..."

"And suppose someone were to ask you, Vaccha, 'This fire burning in front of you, dependent on what is it burning?' Thus asked, how would you reply?"

"...I would reply, 'This fire burning in front of me is burning dependent on grass & timber as its sustenance.'"

"If the fire burning in front of you were to go out, would you know that, 'This fire burning in front of me has gone out'?"

"...yes..."

"And suppose someone were to ask you, 'This fire that has gone out in front of you, in which direction from here has it gone? East? West? North? Or south?' Thus asked, how would you reply?"

"That doesn't apply, Master Gotama. Any fire burning dependent on a sustenance of grass and timber, being unnourished — from having consumed that sustenance and not being offered any other — is classified simply as 'out' (unbound)."

"Even so, Vaccha, any physical form by which one describing the Tathagata would describe him: That the Tathagata has abandoned, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. Freed from the classification of form, Vaccha, the Tathagata is deep, boundless, hard to fathom, like the sea. 'Reappears' doesn't apply. 'Does not reappear' doesn't apply. 'Both does & does not reappear' doesn't apply. 'Neither reappears nor does not reappear' doesn't apply.

"Any feeling... Any perception... Any mental fabrication...

"Any consciousness by which one describing the Tathagata would describe him: That the Tathagata has abandoned, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. Freed from the classification of consciousness, Vaccha, the Tathagata is deep, boundless, hard to fathom, like the sea. 'Reappears' doesn't apply. 'Does not reappear' doesn't apply. 'Both does & does not reappear' doesn't apply. 'Neither reappears nor does not reappear' doesn't apply."

When this was said, the wanderer Vacchagotta said to the Blessed One: "Master Gotama, it is as if there were a great sala tree not far from a village or town: From inconstancy, its branches and leaves would wear away, its bark would wear away, its sapwood would wear away, so that on a later occasion — divested of branches, leaves, bark, & sapwood — it would stand as pure heartwood. In the same way, Master Gotama's words are divested of branches, leaves, bark, & sapwood and stand as pure heartwood.

"Magnificent, Master Gotama! Magnificent! Just as if he were to place upright what was overturned, to reveal what was hidden, to show the way to one who was lost, or were to carry a lamp into the dark so that those with eyes could see forms, in the same way has Master Gotama — through many lines of reasoning — made the Dhamma clear. I go to Master Gotama for refuge, to the Dhamma, and to the Sangha of monks. May Master Gotama remember me as a lay follower who has gone to him for refuge, from this day forward, for life."




I would liken mind/body dualism as simply a modern manifestation of soul/body dualism, abandon all views concerning it
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."


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