Zen and the dogma of non-duality

Re: Zen and the dogma of non-duality

Postby catmoon » Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:46 am

Namdrol wrote:This is also the view of Dzogchen i.e. everything, including buddhahood, etc., is completely equivalent to an illusion; not "like an illusion", as some people in Mahāyāna with a poor understanding hedge -- completely equivalent.


Now who would these people of poor understanding be? Who uses the term illusion-like? Well, the Dalai Lama and Geshe Kelsang Gyatso come to mind.
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Re: Zen and the dogma of non-duality

Postby AlexanderS » Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:06 am

Namdrol wrote:
AlexanderS wrote:This is one of the reasons I find it very hard to know what we working towards in buddhism and impossible to explain to anyone else.


All traditions are of buddhism are working towards the same goal, freedom from afflictions that are the cause of suffering. Some buddhist traditions, from Mahayāna on up, also aim at omniscience.

Omniscience is not as scary as it sounds. A Buddhas omniscience is predicated on the fact that all objects of knowledge, including buddhahood itself, are completely illusory.

This is also the view of Dzogchen i.e. everything, including buddhahood, etc., is completely equivalent to an illusion; not "like an illusion", as some people in Mahāyāna with a poor understanding hedge -- completely equivalent.


Thank you very much for this precise description.
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Re: Zen and the dogma of non-duality

Postby Malcolm » Mon Sep 26, 2011 1:51 pm

catmoon wrote:
Now who would these people of poor understanding be? Who uses the term illusion-like?


Sometimes [quite often] teachers will speak the level of their students, when their own view is in fact higher or different. Why? Because sometimes teachers realize that they must feed the truth to their students in small doses.

Some people, hearing that all phenomena are completely equivalent with illusions freak out. Some people who hear that phenomena are empty, freak out. This is why it is a bohdhisattva downfall to teach emptiness to the immature.

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Re: Zen and the dogma of non-duality

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:53 pm

Why push nihilism side so hard?
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Re: Zen and the dogma of non-duality

Postby Kai » Mon Sep 26, 2011 3:52 pm

Namdrol wrote:Omniscience is not as scary as it sounds. A Buddhas omniscience is predicated on the fact that all objects of knowledge, including buddhahood itself, are completely illusory.

This is also the view of Dzogchen i.e. everything, including buddhahood, etc., is completely equivalent to an illusion; not "like an illusion", as some people in Mahāyāna with a poor understanding hedge -- completely equivalent.


This is more extreme than some Yogacara originated schools, certainly a POV that Theravada and other Nikaya schools will never accept.........
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Re: Zen and the dogma of non-duality

Postby Malcolm » Mon Sep 26, 2011 4:08 pm

Kai wrote:
Namdrol wrote:Omniscience is not as scary as it sounds. A Buddhas omniscience is predicated on the fact that all objects of knowledge, including buddhahood itself, are completely illusory.

This is also the view of Dzogchen i.e. everything, including buddhahood, etc., is completely equivalent to an illusion; not "like an illusion", as some people in Mahāyāna with a poor understanding hedge -- completely equivalent.


This is more extreme than some Yogacara originated schools, certainly a POV that Theravada and other Nikaya schools will never accept.........


This is the standpoint of Haribhadra presented his perfection of wisdom commentaries, so it is pretty standard Mahāyāna.
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Re: Zen and the dogma of non-duality

Postby Malcolm » Mon Sep 26, 2011 4:09 pm

Karma Dondrup Tashi wrote:Why push nihilism side so hard?



Who's pushing nihilism? Not me, sir.

As Buddhapalita quips "We do not advocate non-existence. We simply remove claims that existents exist."
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Re: Zen and the dogma of non-duality

Postby alwayson » Mon Sep 26, 2011 4:43 pm

alwayson wrote:If omniscience is predicated on understanding the illusion, then is it possible for Theravadins to also become omniscient?

I would assume they also try to understand the illusion.



Just to clarify this question.

I am well aware that Theravdins don't seek omniscience (Buddhahood).

I am also well aware that Theravadins lack the infinite aspiration that sustains the Sambhogakāya.

I guess it was a stupid question LOL
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Re: Zen and the dogma of non-duality

Postby Kai » Mon Sep 26, 2011 4:45 pm

Namdrol wrote:
Kai wrote:
Namdrol wrote:Omniscience is not as scary as it sounds. A Buddhas omniscience is predicated on the fact that all objects of knowledge, including buddhahood itself, are completely illusory.

This is also the view of Dzogchen i.e. everything, including buddhahood, etc., is completely equivalent to an illusion; not "like an illusion", as some people in Mahāyāna with a poor understanding hedge -- completely equivalent.


This is more extreme than some Yogacara originated schools, certainly a POV that Theravada and other Nikaya schools will never accept.........


This is the standpoint of Haribhadra presented his perfection of wisdom commentaries, so it is pretty standard Mahāyāna.


Haribhadra, the same guy who wrote the famous Abhisamayalankara commentary? Since he was a follower of Shantarakshita, an well known advocate and founder of Yogacara Svatantrika Madhyamaka philosophical system. I can understand where he is coming from........

I am also well aware that Theravadins lack the infinite aspiration that sustains the Sambhogakāya.


Nah, its more like they have a entirely different Bodhisattva system. They don't believe in Sambhogakāya btw, they thought that it sounds rather vedantic..
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Re: Zen and the dogma of non-duality

Postby Malcolm » Mon Sep 26, 2011 4:47 pm

Kai wrote:
Haribhadra, the same guy who wrote the famous Abhisamayalankara commentary?


indeed.
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Re: Zen and the dogma of non-duality

Postby ajax » Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:04 pm

Acchantika wrote:
ajax wrote:I believe this also expresses a devaluation of moral reasoning or as he puts it "simplistic moralism."


What I think you are not open to is that you are trying to analyse a system of thought in terms of it being a mere organisation of concepts, which it isn't.

Hello Acchantika

What are you trying to say? A system of thought is organized thought, hence the word system.

There are no moral absolutes in Buddhism.

And that being the case doesn't it make the development of moral reasoning all the more important. Moral reasoning would be unnecessary if everything were static or black and white.

Instead, Buddhism proposes that we are all inherently capable of being moral but it is our delusions and confusions that prevent us from doing so in every situation. Namely, ideas like "self" vs. "other" i.e. duality.

This is why I suggest that the Western Zen dogma regarding realization may be amiss. Eido Roshi is believed to be realized, yet some of his behavior is morally subpar. How can that be if he is realized and has been, as you put it, freed from the delusion and confusion of self vs other?

Hence, the focus is on removing delusion and confusion instead of moral reasoning, which is utterly useless. It is useless because it is a confused and deluded mind doing the reasoning expecting a non-confused and non-deluded result. This is not reasonable.

I'm not suggesting that only discernment and moral reasoning be developed. I'm suggesting a fuller expression of Buddhist practice that doesn't over emphasize emptiness and devalue discernment and moral reasoning.
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Re: Zen and the dogma of non-duality

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:57 pm

Namdrol wrote:
Karma Dondrup Tashi wrote:Why push nihilism side so hard?



Who's pushing nihilism? Not me, sir.

As Buddhapalita quips "We do not advocate non-existence. We simply remove claims that existents exist."


Aren't you being a teenyweeny bit sneaky now Loppon? You said:

Namdrol wrote:The view of dzogchen is "gnas lugs med pa" i.e. no reality.
N


Which is pretty much standard Sakya spros bral view. But now you use Buddhapalita to support mere non-affirming negation view, which slides back into Gelug emptiness. Tsongkapa only realized emptiness in a dream based on a text by Buddhapalita.

"Indeed when we read Buddhapalita, we can sometimes actually get the feeling that it is one of Jé Rinpoché's works that we have. This is a special feature, something that really distinguishes these works from others."
Speech by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama to the Second Gelug Conference (Dharamsala, 6 December 2000)
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Re: Zen and the dogma of non-duality

Postby Malcolm » Mon Sep 26, 2011 7:56 pm

Karma Dondrup Tashi wrote:
Aren't you being a teenyweeny bit sneaky now Loppon?

...

Which is pretty much standard Sakya spros bral view. But now you use Buddhapalita to support mere non-affirming negation view, which slides back into Gelug emptiness.


No, Buddhapalita corresponds with spros bral. Buddhapalita's view and the statement gnas lugs med pa are completely consistent with one another.

You cannot ascertain Tsongkhapa's view in Buddhapalita. It is impossible.

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Re: Zen and the dogma of non-duality

Postby Acchantika » Mon Sep 26, 2011 8:17 pm

ajax wrote:What are you trying to say? A system of thought is organized thought, hence the word system.


The boundaries of any system are defined arbitrarily. By trying to analyse the conventional as absolute we are taking it to be an attempt to represent reality through concepts. It isn't that, it's a means, not an end.

There are no moral absolutes in Buddhism.

And that being the case doesn't it make the development of moral reasoning all the more important.


If every situation presents unique relative variables, no preparation in moral reasoning is even possible.

Moral reasoning would be unnecessary if everything were static or black and white.


It is taught that our true nature is boundless and embraces everything i.e. compassion. It is taught that it sees no distinction between self and other i.e. love. It is taught that it is completely empty of inherent self-essence i.e. selflessness. Hence, the emphasis on emptiness is not distinct from morality. Compassion, love and selflessness is the activity of our nature when not obstructed by delusion. Remove delusion, morality arises by itself. Any other kind of morality is, by definition, contrived.

Eido Roshi is believed to be realized, yet some of his behavior is morally subpar. How can that be if he is realized and has been, as you put it, freed from the delusion and confusion of self vs other?


I'm a pretty confused fellow, so I can't really judge someone else's level of realisation. However, being a roshi doesn't mean you are a Buddha i.e. one who is completely free of delusion. Maybe his ways are beyond the comprehension of us mere mortals. Maybe he is simply full of shit. Either way, as soon as we pass judgement, he becomes a mirror - which is all a teacher needs to be.

I'm not suggesting that only discernment and moral reasoning be developed. I'm suggesting a fuller expression of Buddhist practice that doesn't over emphasize emptiness and devalue discernment and moral reasoning.


Discernment creates separation, separation creates conflict. Conflict can only ever create more conflict.

What you are suggesting depends on the assumption that there is a discerner, a reasoner who is in control of the thought process. When the process of conceptualisation is observed, this is found not to be the case. As long as there is an individual reasoning there is a distinction between self and other. Every subsequent act therefore will be in terms of self-interest. Even if "I" act morally, it is because "I" feel better and validated by doing so. This is not true morality, but self-affirmation. True morality is spontaneous, in my opinion.
...
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Re: Zen and the dogma of non-duality

Postby alwayson » Mon Sep 26, 2011 8:21 pm

If the Dharmakaya is free from extremes.

Then logically it cannot be separate from me??
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Re: Zen and the dogma of non-duality

Postby deepbluehum » Mon Sep 26, 2011 8:56 pm

alwayson wrote:If the Dharmakaya is free from extremes.

Then logically it cannot be separate from me??


or joined to you
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Re: Zen and the dogma of non-duality

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Mon Sep 26, 2011 9:01 pm

Namdrol wrote:Buddhapalita


Would be nice to have an English translation.
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Re: Zen and the dogma of non-duality

Postby Malcolm » Mon Sep 26, 2011 9:05 pm

alwayson wrote:If the Dharmakaya is free from extremes.

Then logically it cannot be separate from me??



Dharmakāya is not a thing, It is the realization of your own emptiness to the fullest possible degree.
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Re: Zen and the dogma of non-duality

Postby alwayson » Mon Sep 26, 2011 9:10 pm

Namdrol wrote:It is the realization of your own emptiness to the fullest possible degree.


Which is tactile bliss?
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Re: Zen and the dogma of non-duality

Postby Malcolm » Mon Sep 26, 2011 9:17 pm

alwayson wrote:
Namdrol wrote:It is the realization of your own emptiness to the fullest possible degree.


Which is tactile bliss?



Well, that is a side effect.
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