where to go to seek confirmation of attainment?

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Re: where to go to seek confirmation of attainment?

Postby Dexing » Mon Mar 01, 2010 12:01 am

White Lotus wrote:i am suggesting, but only suggesting that perhaps they can be dissolved and interaction with samsara continue without the five skhandas...


The skandhas are the realm of samsara. When you break down the wall of the skandhas, you simultaneously see through samsara. Actually, there is nothing here.

Does not the first sentence of the Heart Sutra state;

"When Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara was practicing the profound Prajna Paramita, he illuminated the Five Skandhas and saw that they are all empty, and he crossed beyond all suffering and difficulty."

In the darkness of ignorance and negative awareness, there is the appearance of skandhas and suffering- the realm of samsara. When the light of Prajnaparamita is shined on them, they are all seen to be vast expanse.

i admit that to claim functioning outside the five skhandas sounds daft, unlikely and illogical, but i am wondering.


The skandhas are basically sentient beings' deluded consciousness. At the level of a Buddha this consciousness is transformed into wisdom. Wisdom as the essence nondually has compassion as its function.

One then truly functions to save all beings from suffering.

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Re: where to go to seek confirmation of attainment?

Postby White Lotus » Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:31 pm

Muni wrote:
I-lessness: absence of independently existing selfness, then maybe streamlike processes composed by impermanent (transitory) instances?


dear Muni, yes abscence of independently existing self, processes continue. i still see the world and things, its just myself thats particulary hard to see, body, mind etc. its almost as if everything is one. the computer is intimate. i seem less substantial than the things around me. what do you mean by streamlike processes? there is no time to flow, no movement, no change. only the appearnce of movement and change. for me there is no prescent moment, let alone a flow of time.

dear Dexing. i see that the five skhandas are all empty, there is no self under any circumstances, but if the five skhandas are still intact there is still seeing or feeling of a self. it seems sensible to say that if there is no longer any feeling of I, me or mine that something has happened to the five skhandas. or that their illusion is dissolved. have they all gone... and if they have, were they ever there in the first place?

i will take another look at the heart sutra when i get home. i already know that all is fundamentally emptiness, but i still dont see things in that way. the seeing of objects feels as if they are there, but as if they are all one, no difference.

love, White Lotus. x :|

finding form, one neednt,
i see it all along. real or false
take your pick. either will do just
fine. i dont attach to views!
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: where to go to seek confirmation of attainment?

Postby Dexing » Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:47 pm

White Lotus wrote:dear Dexing. i see that the five skhandas are all empty, there is no self under any circumstances, but if the five skhandas are still intact there is still seeing or feeling of a self. it seems sensible to say that if there is no longer any feeling of I, me or mine that something has happened to the five skhandas. or that their illusion is dissolved. have they all gone... and if they have, were they ever there in the first place?


Not necessarily so. Arhats have seen through the illusion of a self in relation to the skandhas, but they have not seen through the illusion of the skandhas themselves. Skandhas being empty of personal selfhood is all Arhats are concerned with.

When one becomes an Arhat, seeing through selfhood, nothing has happened to the skandhas. How could something happen to nothing? They simply see that there is no personal selfhood — no I-my-me — within the skandhas.

On the Bodhisattva path when one actualizes emptiness of all phenomena, the illusion of the skandhas evaporates. When one sees through the skandhas and they are said to vanish, in which of the ten directions do they go?

None apply. Nothing happens to the skandhas, because they are originally emptiness. They neither come nor go, are neither produced nor extinguished, actually there's nothing here to be any of that.

So in Mahayana the Skandhas are not empty of a self like a basket is empty of objects, though still existing (as in the Hinayana). They are exactly emptiness itself, and vice versa.

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Re: where to go to seek confirmation of attainment?

Postby Astus » Mon Mar 01, 2010 9:45 pm

White Lotus,

In brief, my point is that outside of appearances there is no such thing as emptiness. The very fact that all are illusions means that they're dependently originated and without any substance.

Jnanamitra's commentary to the Heart Sutra says (The Heart Sutra Explained, tr. by D.S. Lopez, p. 58),

"Form" is a word that conventionally designates the form that is seen and conceived by those with mistaken minds who have not understood the nature of emptiness. Regarding "emptiness", because emptiness is the nature of form, [form] is without characteristic and unobservable in the past and is without characteristic and unobservable in the present and the future. Therefore, since it does not abide anywhere or in anything, [the sutra*] says "emptiness". "Emptiness is form" conventionally designates with words that even emptiness [has] an unobservable nature [like] form. Because it does not abide apart from that [form], emptiness is form. Regarding "Emptiness is not other than form, form is not other than emptiness,'' that very thing which is form is the inexpressible emptiness; [when] form is abandoned, emptiness is not to be found. Therefore, it is said that emptiness is not other than form. That very thing which is the inexpressible emptiness does not exist and is not found apart from that which is conventionally designated with the word "form." Therefore, it is said that form is not other than emptiness.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: where to go to seek confirmation of attainment?

Postby White Lotus » Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:29 pm

Dexin said:
On the Bodhisattva path when one actualizes emptiness of all phenomena, the illusion of the skandhas evaporates. When one sees through the skandhas and they are said to vanish, in which of the ten directions do they go?

what is actualizing emptiness of all phenomena.

Astus said:
In brief, my point is that outside of appearances there is no such thing as emptiness.

yes, even emptiness is an appearance.

Astus quoted:
[when] form is abandoned, emptiness is not to be found.

therefore abandon form/emptiness. wipe it all away.

love, white loutus. xxx :|

ps. Astus, thanks for that beautifully clear commentary on the heart sutra. tc.

forms seen are not forms. they are emptiness.
is there any need to see emptiness of all things?
some say no, some say yes. i have not seen this
emptiness. things just are.
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: where to go to seek confirmation of attainment?

Postby Dexing » Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:57 pm

White Lotus wrote:
Dexin said:
On the Bodhisattva path when one actualizes emptiness of all phenomena, the illusion of the skandhas evaporates. When one sees through the skandhas and they are said to vanish, in which of the ten directions do they go?

what is actualizing emptiness of all phenomena.


Realizing emptiness, as opposed to simply talking about it or having some concept of it.

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Re: where to go to seek confirmation of attainment?

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Tue Mar 02, 2010 6:48 pm

There's an intellectual understanding of emptiness to be had which is pretty easy and can take place in a few minutes if someone is paying attention.

"Seeing" emptiness is quite another story. It implies a different state of awareness which involves a different level of actualized wisdom towards which most of us are still working.

Best,
Laura
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Re: where to go to seek confirmation of attainment?

Postby muni » Tue Mar 02, 2010 7:28 pm

By White Lotus. "what do you mean by streamlike processes?"

I mean friend, how we could express in words the state of mind when we "see" the interdependency and no comments or assertions are created by mind. When we leave it like it is.

Also maybe I add this, I think really great contemplation: Padmasambhava: "When the notion of real-unreal are absent from before the mind, there is no other possibility but to rest in total peace".
Thoughts have no thinker.
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Re: where to go to seek confirmation of attainment?

Postby White Lotus » Wed Mar 03, 2010 3:55 pm

Dexing said:
Realizing emptiness, as opposed to simply talking about it or having some concept of it.

when i still see forms without feeling their emptiness this means that i have not realized emptiness? though as Astus said emptiness/form are one thing. should this formal emptiness be felt, known intuitively. perhaps understanding it is not enough?

Laura, you imply that emptiness is actually seen by the enlighened, that the realizing of emptiness is actually seeing all things as empty, without necessarily understaning this as an intellectual understanding. that would be interesting. i have a friend who is enlightened, he has told me that he sees all as empty.

Muni quoted Padmasambhava: "When the notion of real-unreal are absent from before the mind, there is no other possibility but to rest in total peace."

i have no notion of real nor unreal, this is why i am beginning to question whether all actually needs to be seen as empty. that seeing it as empty is no different from seeing it as real. real/empty... the same. still i question whether the realization of seeing all things as empty is necessary. i dont know. but as for now,it is just as it is. so!

love, White Lotus. x :|

time. a wheel that rhymes.
dharma a wheel that knows no mud.
where is it?
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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