Seeing Your Nature

Re: Seeing Your Nature

Postby Indrajala » Wed Feb 24, 2010 2:25 pm

muni wrote:Regarding the question in first post; your nature free from veils of ignorance = Buddha nature. :buddha1:



So does an Arhat, having rid him or herself of the veils of ignorance and the defilements, have Buddha nature?
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Re: Seeing Your Nature

Postby muni » Wed Feb 24, 2010 4:20 pm

Huseng wrote:
muni wrote:Regarding the question in first post; your nature free from veils of ignorance = Buddha nature. :buddha1:



So does an Arhat, having rid him or herself of the veils of ignorance and the defilements, have Buddha nature?


Arhat is not Buddhahood. Lets' keep it by that.
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Re: Seeing Your Nature

Postby Indrajala » Wed Feb 24, 2010 5:26 pm

muni wrote:
Huseng wrote:
muni wrote:Regarding the question in first post; your nature free from veils of ignorance = Buddha nature. :buddha1:



So does an Arhat, having rid him or herself of the veils of ignorance and the defilements, have Buddha nature?


Arhat is not Buddhahood. Lets' keep it by that.



You said:

your nature free from veils of ignorance = Buddha nature


So were Buddha's disciples who were said to be enlightened not free from ignorance?
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Re: Seeing Your Nature

Postby White Lotus » Wed Feb 24, 2010 6:49 pm

free from veils of ignorance = no thing.
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: Seeing Your Nature

Postby muni » Wed Feb 24, 2010 9:46 pm

Hi Huseng,

It is even worse. Each sentient being has the potential to actualize Ultimate Nature or Buddha Nature. How could the precious teaching be written down and thaught if no disciple understood?

However the perception of Arhat-Bodhisattva can be discussed and thaught, equality of ALL is my view. No focus on these concepts, as what is their value? Life is impermanent, we fill it up with these discussions or remain aware.
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Re: Seeing Your Nature

Postby Huifeng » Thu Feb 25, 2010 3:15 am

Standard answer is that an arhat has only overcome defilement-obstructions, but not knowable-obstructions. They know the common characteristics of phenomena which is sufficient for realization of the four aryan-truths, but not the specific characteristics of phenomena which is required for the gnosis of all modes. Only with the latter is there full realization of "buddha nature", the former is partial.
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Re: Seeing Your Nature

Postby Dexing » Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:11 am

muni wrote:Regarding the question in first post; your nature free from veils of ignorance = Buddha nature. :buddha1:


Hi,

I don't see how that's regarding the question in my original post, but thanks. I wasn't asking what Buddha Nature is, but what it means "to see", or more precisely, why in some schools (such as with Bodhidharma) do they call it "seeing" your nature. I think we have gotten to the bottom of that question.

But anyway, regarding your statement; if one's nature is not free from veils of ignorance is it not Buddha Nature, does one not have Buddha Nature then?

It sounds like the quality of the nature is affected by ignorance in your statement, or that one's nature is transformed into Buddha Nature when it becomes free from the veils of ignorance.

I'm not so sure I follow this interpretation.

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Re: Seeing Your Nature

Postby catmoon » Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:26 am

Dexing wrote:
muni wrote:Regarding the question in first post; your nature free from veils of ignorance = Buddha nature. :buddha1:


Hi,

I don't see how that's regarding the question in my original post, but thanks. I wasn't asking what Buddha Nature is, but what it means "to see", or more precisely, why in some schools (such as with Bodhidharma) do they call it "seeing" your nature. I think we have gotten to the bottom of that question.

But anyway, regarding your statement; if one's nature is not free from veils of ignorance is it not Buddha Nature, does one not have Buddha Nature then?

It sounds like the quality of the nature is affected by ignorance in your statement, or that one's nature is transformed into Buddha Nature when it becomes free from the veils of ignorance.

I'm not so sure I follow this interpretation.

:namaste:


Take a large diamond and place it on your kitchen table. Make up a batch of nice thick pancake batter and pour it on the diamond. The diamond and its nature becomes obscured, you can't see it any more. But if you clean the diamond carefully, its nature is again revealed.

Right?
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Re: Seeing Your Nature

Postby Indrajala » Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:47 am

muni wrote:Hi Huseng,

It is even worse. Each sentient being has the potential to actualize Ultimate Nature or Buddha Nature. How could the precious teaching be written down and thaught if no disciple understood?

However the perception of Arhat-Bodhisattva can be discussed and thaught, equality of ALL is my view. No focus on these concepts, as what is their value? Life is impermanent, we fill it up with these discussions or remain aware.



That doesn't answer my question and your answer appears meaningless.
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Re: Seeing Your Nature

Postby Indrajala » Thu Feb 25, 2010 5:06 am

Huifeng wrote:Standard answer is that an arhat has only overcome defilement-obstructions, but not knowable-obstructions. They know the common characteristics of phenomena which is sufficient for realization of the four aryan-truths, but not the specific characteristics of phenomena which is required for the gnosis of all modes. Only with the latter is there full realization of "buddha nature", the former is partial.


Venerable

Indeed this is the standard answer from a Mahayana position.

One thing that comes to mind is the status of Buddha's own disciples like Sariputra, Ananda and so on, who were said to have become enlightened and were called Arhats, not Bodhisattvas.

If one says that they, disciples who sat at the foot of Shayamuni, were still ignorant then what hope is there for the rest of us who do not have direct access to a Buddha?

Lately I've come to wonder if our delineation of the Arhat vehicle is really appropriate or not. I don't like hearing people from a high horse point fingers and ridicule them as selfish. It is a perfectly valid vehicle that was taught by the Buddha right? So why make such a pejorative out of it (I'm not saying you personally are, but a lot of people both east and west do).

Maybe the gotra theory should be emphasized? Some people are just predisposed towards certain vehicles. Some will be Arhats, some will be Bodhisattvas... I think if we're honest with ourselves it might even bring about a lot of benefit. Not everyone is going to be receptive to the Bodhisattva path (at least in this life anyhow). No sense stuffing somebody into the Bodhisattva station wagon when they want to get into the Arhat van.

The other week I visited a Theravada temple here in Tokyo and made the Bhikkus some lunch and later chatted with them. I don't see any reason to call any of them selfish or to look down on them because they're striving for Arhatship. :buddha2:
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Re: Seeing Your Nature

Postby Huifeng » Thu Feb 25, 2010 5:19 am

Huseng wrote:
Huifeng wrote:Standard answer is that an arhat has only overcome defilement-obstructions, but not knowable-obstructions. They know the common characteristics of phenomena which is sufficient for realization of the four aryan-truths, but not the specific characteristics of phenomena which is required for the gnosis of all modes. Only with the latter is there full realization of "buddha nature", the former is partial.


Venerable

Indeed this is the standard answer from a Mahayana position.

One thing that comes to mind is the status of Buddha's own disciples like Sariputra, Ananda and so on, who were said to have become enlightened and were called Arhats, not Bodhisattvas.

If one says that they, disciples who sat at the foot of Shayamuni, were still ignorant then what hope is there for the rest of us who do not have direct access to a Buddha?


This, as well as Mahadeva's five theses, is why some schools posited to types of ignorance (avidya):
1. That ignorance viz the four aryan-truths, which obstructs liberation.
2. That ignorance viz dharmas in general. It doesn't obstruct liberation, but it may obstruct the ability to direct and guide others in some way or another.

Lately I've come to wonder if our delineation of the Arhat vehicle is really appropriate or not. I don't like hearing people from a high horse point fingers and ridicule them as selfish. It is a perfectly valid vehicle that was taught by the Buddha right? So why make such a pejorative out of it (I'm not saying you personally are, but a lot of people both east and west do).


I'm not sure who the "our" is of "our delineation", but I assume you mean traditional Mahayana exegesis. If so, you can be sure that when compared to the arhat of the Nikayas and Agamas, there are some major problems. Not enough people have good knowledge of both early Buddhism, sectarian Buddhism and the development of Mahayana to appreciate this. Most fall to one of two sides: "Selfish Arahants!" or "Heretical, not taught by the Buddha!" :zzz:

There may be some number of explanations, though my personal opinion is this: Originally, the term "arahant" is not confined to Buddhism, it is pan-religious community, especially in sramana based eastern Magadha area. It can be a standard term for the sramana at times. Now, some time after the Buddha, it is quite possible that many went around with the name "arahant", even if they were not. In other words, "bogus arahants". Some references to these may be the target of Mahayana polemics. (See also my last comments on the Arahants and Bodhisattvas thread.) To then take this as the "real arahants", such as the great disciples, etc. is a big mistake.

Most of the problems in general Buddhist practice, is that people, east and west, don't have a deep enough knowledge of Buddhism. The various traditions have been largely separated for maybe 1000-1500 yrs. They think that the polemics in their texts refer to "the other Buddhists" in the present day, or even at the time of the Buddha.

Maybe the gotra theory should be emphasized? Some people are just predisposed towards certain vehicles. Some will be Arhats, some will be Bodhisattvas... I think if we're honest with ourselves it might even bring about a lot of benefit. Not everyone is going to be receptive to the Bodhisattva path (at least in this life anyhow). No sense stuffing somebody into the Bodhisattva station wagon when they want to get into the Arhat van.


Whose gotra theory? There are several of them.

The Tiantai based schools, and much of East Asian Buddhism, and some Himayalayan Buddhism too, assumes that ultimately the two vehicles gotras are not ultimate, and they have to change at some point. Either sooner or later. Other schools, such as the earlier Indian schools, still thought the two vehicles are valid gotra. But they may disagree on the point at which gotra change is possible, and when it is not.

By the way, check out Karashima Seishi's writings on "jnana" and "yana" in the original Saddharmapundarika sutra. He says that originally they are in Prakrit, and both are spelt "jana". The original "three vehicles" is thus "three gnoses". Only in the Aupamya parivarta do they get confused. But then this later becomes the standard exegesis in the text. Three gnoses --> Three vehicles. So, I think he is saying that originally the teaching is "there are no three gnoses, just one gnosis". Actually, that matches what we see the early Prajnaparamita and other Mahayana sutras, too. Still, other "similes" may cause some distinctions. But I always say, don't take similes as explicit teachings, they are implicit, and only to illustrate the explicit passages elsewhere.

The other week I visited a Theravada temple here in Tokyo and made the Bhikkus some lunch and later chatted with them. I don't see any reason to call any of them selfish or to look down on them because they're striving for Arhatship. :buddha2:


Great.


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Re: Seeing Your Nature

Postby Dexing » Thu Feb 25, 2010 5:40 am

Huseng wrote:One thing that comes to mind is the status of Buddha's own disciples like Sariputra, Ananda and so on, who were said to have become enlightened and were called Arhats, not Bodhisattvas.

If one says that they, disciples who sat at the foot of Shayamuni, were still ignorant then what hope is there for the rest of us who do not have direct access to a Buddha?


Ananda apparently did not attain great awakening while Shakyamuni was alive. However, he later became the 3rd patriarch in the meditation tradition, following Maha Kashyapa.

As for the Arhats being selfish, one could not be the least bit selfish and attain Arhatship, since that means to totally destroy the false view of self. How could such a person be selfish?

This is a view of people to aspire to the Bodhisattva ideal, yet obviously haven't any realization. So they compare the two and make judgments. Ironically, it is precisely this distinction-making mind that is cut by a Bodhisattva. :lol:

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Re: Seeing Your Nature

Postby muni » Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:20 am

"It sounds like the quality of the nature is affected by ignorance in your statement," No.

Oops! Scenarios are easy drawed with only a handful of words all kind of interpretetions and mistakes by others are "created" and recognized. The sky is not tainted, whatever black clouds are passing.

There is the approach that focus on abandon emotional obscurations, freed from them, one attain liberation. Then there is the approach that abandon these as well and the cognetive obscurations, including habitual tendencies which are left behind by emotional obscurations.

No any intent should be derogatory.

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Re: Seeing Your Nature

Postby Dexing » Thu Feb 25, 2010 1:21 pm

Are we talking about liberation, or seeing Buddha Nature now?

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Re: Seeing Your Nature

Postby plwk » Thu Feb 25, 2010 2:05 pm

Does 'Buddha Nature' need 'seeing'? :popcorn:
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Re: Seeing Your Nature

Postby Dexing » Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:43 pm

plwk wrote:Does 'Buddha Nature' need 'seeing'? :popcorn:


According to Bodhidharma, as he always repeated; "I only talk about seeing your Nature". But that doesn't mean Buddha Nature needs anything. It's already perfect as it is. We don't see that, however.

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Re: Seeing Your Nature

Postby muni » Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:45 am

Dexing wrote:Are we talking about liberation, or seeing Buddha Nature now?

:namaste:


I was reflecting about your question. It took me more than a week to know: "I have no idea".

Words are illusions about what is just perfect. Nor discursive thoughts, neither "perfect words" will perfect what is already perfect. Bodhidharma
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Re: Seeing Your Nature

Postby catmoon » Wed Mar 03, 2010 9:51 pm

Dexing wrote:
plwk wrote:Does 'Buddha Nature' need 'seeing'? :popcorn:


According to Bodhidharma, as he always repeated; "I only talk about seeing your Nature". But that doesn't mean Buddha Nature needs anything. It's already perfect as it is. We don't see that, however.

:namaste:



I believe I sometimes see Buddha nature in others. What I see is perfection, wonderful compassion and goodwill, but it is hindered. It is there but it is covered, as a table is covered by a table cloth, and that can make it difficult or impossible to see.

Once at a Dharma talk I had the startling experience of seeing my teacher's face suddenly illuminated by a soft golden glow. She was absolutely radiating compassion and joy. The appearance passed after less than a minute, maybe much less. This was not a retinal fatigue effect, I think. There was a strange mental sort of feeling that went with the appearance.

It was startling for me because I am a hard case skeptic. Prior to encountering Dharma, I sometimes made fun of such claims as a sort of hobby.
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Re: Seeing Your Nature

Postby Dexing » Thu Mar 04, 2010 4:33 am

muni wrote:
Dexing wrote:Are we talking about liberation, or seeing Buddha Nature now?

:namaste:


I was reflecting about your question. It took me more than a week to know: "I have no idea".

Words are illusions about what is just perfect. Nor discursive thoughts, neither "perfect words" will perfect what is already perfect. Bodhidharma


Great, so you found your own huatou, and arrived at what has been called in some traditions the "don't know mind" and in others "beginners mind".

Keep only "don't know" and continue questioning. Question gets bigger, mind opens up. Answer gets bigger, mind closes down.

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Re: Seeing Your Nature

Postby White Lotus » Thu Apr 08, 2010 3:42 pm

:namaste: how can you not see your nature?
how can you not know yourself?
everyone does, regardless of whether or not they experience a self.
I am Tom. You are Dexing. thats it, you dont need words to know yourself.

I know my nature every waking moment, whether or not i understand my own complexities. on the simplest level, every one knows themself and sees their nature. perhaps the problem here is that Bodhidharmas advice is so simple and so utterly mundane that we miss it.

actually you dont even need to see yourself. in prajnaparamita there is not anything to see or realize. it is just as it is. you are just as you are. there is not a single thing to attain, there is no enlightenment to see or feel or experience. not anything at all in enlightenment. no turning around, no sartori, no meditation. no understanding, no knowledge. there is not anything at all. not even nothingness. theres nothing in it. at least thats from the perspective of prajnaparamita.

from the perspective of suchness... everything and everone is utterly and perfectly enlightened already. there is no difference between Shakyamuni and a grain of sand. prajnaparamita says its no-thing. suchness says its every-thing. 'this' is it. since there is nothing to be attained, it stands to reason that everything already is enlightened.having said that theres nothing in it, no effort or approach needed, the ego demands an approach and an effort. the reality of the matter is just too simple and plain for most people to accept... that everyone and everything is already pure perfect enlightenment and already purely and perfectly enlightened.

but isnt the search for what we already naturally have and are half the fun of it.

having said that there is nothing to enlightenment, i would say that this realization has a very profound effect on oneself, simple though it is.

best wishes, White Lotus. x
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