Great doubt, great enlightenment...

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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Dexing
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Re: Great doubt, great enlightenment...

Postby Dexing » Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:21 pm

nopalabhyate...

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BFS
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Re: Great doubt, great enlightenment...

Postby BFS » Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:50 pm

I can't comment on Chan practices, and so will not. What I say more than likely has absolutely nothing to do with their presentation of " Great doubt, great enlightenment.....

From my own perspective and practice, I would say that grasping and just believing in a teaching because you like it, or because it sounds right, is not the way to go. Investigating with an open curious mind, on and off the cushion, and examining and testing as a goldsmith tests the quality of gold, is essential.

I don't know that I would call that "doubt".

Doubt is also known in the teachings as one of the eight great fears:


Roaming in the space of darkest confusion,
Tormenting those who strive for ultimate aims,
It is viciously lethal to liberation,
The carnivorous demon of doubt

So for me, it is not about remaining in doubt and uncertainty, I don't want to just make that home, I want to actively investigate.

I like what B Alan Wallace had to say about uncertainty.



"While we are at sea in the midst of uncertainty about the nature and potentials of our existence, we can cling to agnosticism and skepticism as we would cling desperately to an anchored buoy. This can provide us with a bit of security and an easy answer: “who knows?” Intellectually there seems to be safety here, immune to the ridicule of others. But there’s also immobility to this position. We are at sea in the midst of confusion, and there we remain.
The Buddha is like one who swims out to meet us and shows us the way to shore. He says he has been there, and many discoveries lie in wait for us on land if we will let go of the buoy of uncertainty, our faint - heartedness, and our skepticism. Of course, there is nothing to compel us to place our trust in him or in any later Buddhist teachers. We can remain agnostic and skeptical as long as we like. But if we choose to accept the challenge of the Buddhist path of contemplative exploration, we need to let go our insecurities and take the plunge into practice. And this requires that we accept some of the Buddha’s assertions on faith as a working hypotheses.
If we are not up to this challenge we can always slide back into the stagnant comfort of agnosticism. "

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Re: Great doubt, great enlightenment...

Postby ground » Sat Jan 23, 2010 6:24 am


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Huifeng
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Re: Great doubt, great enlightenment...

Postby Huifeng » Sat Jan 23, 2010 11:20 am



White Lotus
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Re: Great doubt, great enlightenment...

Postby White Lotus » Sat Jan 23, 2010 1:15 pm

to ask 'why', perhaps there needs to be doubt of a sort, to seek to improve things there needs to be doubt about the thing that needs to be improved.
if you have seen 'No' "_____" beyond words, beyond symbols. you will then stale mate the no either with 'yes', or with 'why?". but if you stale mate the No, not having yet tasted it, you are eating a carrot with foot long chopsticks. no is beyond the word No, No is only a pointer to a reality. the dark phase of the moon, that comes after the light phase.

No is a sticky little one isnt it, until. crack! and you taste it.

my doubt is such that i cannot say that i am a buddha, inspite of sartoris etc. the doubt continues to propel me forward, still not having attained, the buddha i am supposed to be. struggling to taste 'so'.

love, white lotus. xxx (ex flakey). :yinyang:

no faith, no doubt.
no one to have faith, no one to have doubt.
No. why No... because the most basic, the most fundamental is the beginning of all things, the end of all things can be found in the beginning... the void. emptiness. the eternal spiral between the yes and the no. does not exist.
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: Great doubt, great enlightenment...

Postby BFS » Sat Jan 23, 2010 3:15 pm


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Re: Great doubt, great enlightenment...

Postby ground » Sat Jan 23, 2010 8:08 pm


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Re: Great doubt, great enlightenment...

Postby BFS » Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:14 pm


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Re: Great doubt, great enlightenment...

Postby ground » Sun Jan 24, 2010 7:06 am


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Re: Great doubt, great enlightenment...

Postby White Lotus » Tue Jan 26, 2010 4:57 pm

my doubt is not doubt, it 'is', but it tells me that there is no enlightenment, and no one to be enlightened. if there is no enlightenment or anyone to be enlightened, how will 'I' ever be enlightened?! no awareness. do i need to become enlightened? a friend of mine who is, i respect highly, says i do. but im not sure its possible for me, especially since there is no me.

some may say to me that i am enlightened, but i am inclined to say no. realizations mean nothing to me. fearlessness, no-self, no-other, all one, not even one, and yet apparently many. there is no honour or shame, no compliment nor criticism. it is all the same to me. if someone said to me that this is 'enlightenment', it would mean nothing to me. so how can i ever be enlightened.

if you say to me that i am enlightened, i will probably still insist that i am not. i cant help it. its just the way i am.


love, white lotus. xxx :thinking:

snow-drops, a baby birth.
blue clouds, fading slightly.
i cannot come now. i never can.
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: Great doubt, great enlightenment...

Postby ground » Tue Jan 26, 2010 5:33 pm


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ronnewmexico
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Re: Great doubt, great enlightenment...

Postby ronnewmexico » Tue Jan 26, 2010 7:45 pm

The normal answer to this is...
"but it tells me that there is no enlightenment, and no one to be enlightened. if there is no enlightenment or anyone to be enlightened, how will 'I' ever be enlightened?!

The I is not what becomes enlightened.

We may as well ask what becomes understanding.
The I certainly conventionally exists, and it is the I that is deluded. Knowing such I does not exist and one becomes nondelusional, infers then that the conventional I ceases to exist....I don't think so.

Cause and effect do not cease to exist because we know the implications of their existance ultimately deny them as solid objects of consideration. That we know we are floating in a river of immensity, does not deny single drops of water, as consequence of other cause, may be floating in this river as well.

Or as has been stated by others...it is the I that becomes enlightened it is not that everything becomes enlightened.
Or to my view....it is the I that becomes undeluded, in knowing its ultimate nonexistance, not that the conventional I then ceases to exist.
The conventional being not denied in its existance but the way it exists is but understood.
If such initial contention is true the logical conclusion is that no spiritual path exists.

In a practical sense much more sustance is being allowed for delusion and delusional products (billions of rebirths) but no sustance allowed for understanding and products of understanding..but that is a aside.
The way we are as evidenced by our life of sorrows is not enlightened but deluded. That is how we are. If one thinks they will escape such things by simply knowing all is of even flavor....seems unlikely, evenness being but one part of the perceptive(empty) nature of our awareness.

The ultimate view holds all things as equal but not that all things do not hold consequence or that all things are equal in effect, That is drawing a furthur illogical conclusion of a relatedly logical one. I know water is wet, I then contend all things are wet as I find water is always wet. Water may or may not be present everywhere,when it presents it is wet.....that is the logical conclusion, not that wetness is everywhere.

To my personal view and personal opinion.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.

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Re: Great doubt, great enlightenment...

Postby White Lotus » Wed Jan 27, 2010 4:00 pm

I have my own ideas on the I, believe that there is a mundane I, and different types of I, but that in the process of things the I may be replaced by pure awareness/emptiness, among other things and then even the awareness may cease to be.
the computer i am typing at is no less 'i' than me. i am using conventional terms such as i and me, but i really think that when one becomes one with fundamental emptiness that the i ceases to be, this state is oneness with awareness, so what is left when awareness ceases to be. surely the self that once was has become no-self. not even emptiness.

i think that many, in the course of their path will know no-self, having once known self. this happens when one becomes one with awareness/emptiness. infact there are different occasions when the self is dissolved or transformed. it can be re-formed, and then dissolved again. but... that which exists is impermanent.

love, White Lotus. xxx

:smile:
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: Great doubt, great enlightenment...

Postby meindzai » Wed Jan 27, 2010 6:09 pm

Doubt in Theravada is considered a hindrance, but I don't think that it is the same kind of doubt. The hindrance would be doubt in the teachings, which is never good. But doubting your own understanding of the teachings is probably beneficial, meaning "I don't understand it all yet, so I'll keep learning and practicing," no matter how much you learn and practice. As soon as you think you know it all then your cup is full, so to speak.

Speaking as asectarianly (if that's a word) as possible I would think we could agree that the Buddha had great doubt about the underlying assumptions people had about the world. The idea that there is a self, and that that self is an entity that can be satisfied by obtaining certain things, doing certain rituals, etc. He had to doubt the very idea that craving was something that could be satisfied. These may not seem like a big deal now since we have been subjected to years of philosophy and have read his teachings already. But I'd say at that moment it was a huge deal to even question those assumptions.

Other philosophers have attempted similar things, like Descarte, and then messed up by making other fundamentally bad assumptions. (Cogito ergo sum). Seems to me that the Buddha's doubt was much greater.

-M
"The Dharma is huge." - Rael

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Re: Great doubt, great enlightenment...

Postby ronnewmexico » Wed Jan 27, 2010 7:22 pm

On doubt....I do not deny that train of thought and in fact to strongly affirm that thinking.

However there is a partticular nuance in particular schools of Buddhist thought that differs in some regard, and not to state that is in any manner shape nor form a superior form, as it is but equal.

A lama will characteristically call into doubt a students belief in a subject to test the students actual knowledge of the subject and see if it is a intellectual knowledge or a realized knowledge derived from meditational means. If doubted when stated by the lama to be so....it is considered to be a intellectual knowledge, as to the lamas relationship to the student the student must rethink.

So ( I can personally attest to these methods employment)....I may say to a Lama....all appearence is mind. The Lama laughs and says...all appearence is not mind, and ends the discussion. I do not respond...you are full of crap I will find another lama, I know appearence is mind. I instead get very queesy and reread some book somewhere... I may in fact spend years studying and meditating on the issue to determine if this is so or not.

See the doubt shows I don't have it integrated. Such integration that produces no doubt not a whit of doubt, is thought to be the kind of understanding that will serve us well in death as well as in life. All they say...... are dharma followers when the belly is full. When we die what we truly know to be and are undboubting and certain about, is what will sustain our spiritual progress, not what we intellectually understand. In death and beyond.

So in that form it is very important to know such things as commonly as we know that we will have bread and jam with our morning meal. If it is challenged by circumstance(or lama as substitution for circumstance to speed things up).....we will not only be able to respond...you are full of crap but know in our heart of hearts this thing is certainly as things are. Mind continually will throw up circumstance to cause us to doubt our intellectual assertations until we have them fully integrated and are beyond doubt to my personal expreience(not to state I personally am in any manner accomplished, I am certainly not). When we know them really know them...the circumstances for the most part stop.

ON I.....I was thinking years and years ago I find I in everything I see. I am in the clouds I am in the person I meet I am in the object I find introduced into my environment.
The thinking progressed till eventually I came to the conclusion I is not in everything but everything is in what I consider to be I. The tree the cloud the being they are all not I in it but they are in this thing I call I. I could be reduced to finding all out in and no in at all.

So it is a differing perspective. I don't know exactly why..but upon reading the I post, that occured to me. Perhaps it may be in some way relevent....I don't know. But it is interesting(to me at least) anyway!!.

I find the idea of I in everything to me personally now repugnant, and for me at least a great great egotism. I think that may venture into some Hindu ideology but am not certain. Not to state that is what is being stated but only what popped up in my mind at reading that. It reminded me of myself in the past.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.

muni
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Re: Great doubt, great enlightenment...

Postby muni » Thu Jan 28, 2010 10:14 am

He who experiences the unity of life sees his own Self in all beings, and all beings in his own Self, and looks on everything with an impartial eye.

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Re: Great doubt, great enlightenment...

Postby White Lotus » Thu Jan 28, 2010 6:01 pm

there is a time when one sees oneself in all things and all things in oneself, a sameness of all things without me and you, this and that. a sameness, this state is called samata in therevadan terminology, moksa in hinduism. when the i has dissolved into the oceanic I. there is no loger a small isolated i. at this time I is still present, but in everything. it is no loger possible to feel 'mine'.

as time goes on, one embraces and becomes one with emptiness, at this time sameness dissolves, according to your blessing. there is no longer an i to speak of, only awareness. it is no longer possible to feel me, or mine (this is a constant certainty). looking at the computer is no different from examining oneself... just awareness. when awareness collapses, difference between subject and object is nil, its finer than a razor, actually theres no difference. at this time you see without touching mentally the object you see. infact though seeing and hearing, it is impossible to mentally touch anything, since awareness and consciousness are gone. this is the most basic state i can concieve, non-awareness... no awareness, no emptiness, no unawareness, no fullness. and yet... i am still typing and thinking, though being no-one, there are no thoughts, and yet the thinking continues. thinking without thinking. i know its impossible! but it happens.

i am a lousy student, i will follow the advice of my teacher if given the grace to do so! as for being a buddhist, isnt anyone who seeks to understand reality a buddhist, whatever he or she may call herself. one neednt be a buddhist in order to seek enlightenment, there are different paths, but many of them lead to enlightenment. enlightenment is just called different things.

love, white lotus. xxx

doubt can be a very positive thing. a stick has two ends to it. a painful end and a comfortable end. :|
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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ronnewmexico
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Re: Great doubt, great enlightenment...

Postby ronnewmexico » Thu Jan 28, 2010 7:31 pm

A differing perspective it is, not to state one is wrong or the other right. Certainly all religions are personal issues in that regard. My personal issue has no self in what I see but what I see comprising self. Personally for me at least I find the Hindu view deficient.

Buddhism..... whose to say what is or is not in this present time. Some peoples say all sorts of things some quite absurd. Commonly we can describe Buddhism as abscribing to certain ideals and containing certain concepts, and I would state in a common sense it is strictly defined. The personal...of course it is not, and consequently can be many things to many peoples in variable forms, each as equally valid. When we take the personal interpretation and confuse it with the common interpretation or general concensus view, or even the other way around, when we confuse those two, is when we run into trouble to my opinion. In the latter case when we state concensus view as the only acceptable view is when, to my opinion, we have the creation of dogma, and things followed on the basis solely of authority. When we take the personal and try to apply(since we derive great personal benefit from this form), that form to concensus or commonly held view globally and state concensus when none is present ....well that is a untruth.

So we can run into problems from both ends, one supporting creation of dogma, the other supporting creation of falsehood. Allowing both in their proper perspective seems the better choice.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.


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