Misunderstanding emptiness

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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Wed Jan 04, 2012 2:55 am

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The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.

krodha
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby krodha » Wed Jan 04, 2012 8:01 am


yadave
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby yadave » Wed Jan 04, 2012 1:07 pm


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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Wed Jan 04, 2012 2:11 pm

Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.

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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Wed Jan 04, 2012 2:47 pm

The physical brain is like a saxophone. You can push different parts of it (lobes) to get different mental "notes". You can map out a brain and see that a certain type of brain activity goes on in one area and another type in another area. Just like on a saxophone, one valve produces a certain note and another valve a different note. But a saxophone doesn't play by itself. It needs a reed, and it needs air forced through the reed to make it vibrate, and it needs a person to blow that air and it needs ears to hear that vibrating air as music.

But thoughts, like sounds, don't take up space. They only last for durations of time (well, from the Buddhist understanding, not even that).

That's why, if you take apart a saxophone you won't find any music and if you dissect a brain you won't find any thoughts.
You might say that the mind plays the brain the way a musician plays a saxophone.

So, what is it that plays the brain like a saxophone?
My understanding is that

um.... wait a minute, somebody is at the door.

I'll be back.
.
.
.
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.

yadave
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby yadave » Wed Jan 04, 2012 5:38 pm


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catmoon
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby catmoon » Wed Jan 04, 2012 8:48 pm

Gee dat Fo Ming monk sure is taking his time at the door. But it's all good, I'm behind on my vippissana so I'll just sit here. Forever, if necessary.

:buddha1:
Sergeant Schultz knew everything there was to know.

krodha
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby krodha » Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:36 pm


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Beatzen
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby Beatzen » Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:43 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwHI-CJWsFk

the part about schizophrenia is what I was thinking about in relation to emptiness. Namdrol said that samadhi is a mental factor, and that we experience it all the time.

Maybe emptiness can't really be understood, ultimately. If it's our true nature. Like the other thread, where we were saying that cognizing self-nature is like trying to jump over your own shadow.

This confusion and the suffering I feel about my own nature I want to use to cultivate more compassion for others' confusion.
"Cause is not before and Effect is not after"
- Eihei Dogen Zenji

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Beatzen
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby Beatzen » Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:50 pm

note about this video link i posted above: Not a "buddhist" teaching, just food for thought. Watch it with an open mind.
"Cause is not before and Effect is not after"
- Eihei Dogen Zenji

krodha
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby krodha » Wed Jan 04, 2012 11:33 pm


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Beatzen
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby Beatzen » Thu Jan 05, 2012 12:14 am

On the one hand, I don't take Alan as an authority on Zen. He's a pioneer for sure, but he was explicitly open about the fact that he was attempting to ameliorate some of the philosophical dead-ends in western philosophy by translating eastern philosophy so it was accessible to westerners. In the end, he's still a philosopher, and not a buddhist.

On the other hand, most people have a hard time understanding where east asian and indo-tibetan buddhism diverge, for, as watts is keen on pointing out, the hindu cosmological model which was the substrate for the buddha's teaching sees the world as a drama. The Chinese cosmological model, of Tao, which seems to underly ch'an/zen view, sees the world more as fluid, or organismic. Indian Philosophy is concerned about the ultimate identity of the actor and the stage upon which she/he plays. Chinese philosophy approaches from an entirely different premise. There is no actors, or stage on which they play. I think it cuts straight to the emptiness. I tend to approach from the Confucian view on Tao, which is more akin to the Buddha's dependant origination. The difference between Confucian and Taoist "tao" is the difference between formal causality "the roof depends on the walls on which it stands" and effective causality, which is sequential. Confucian Tao, being sequential sees emptiness in motion. Taoist tao sees emptiness in terms of relationship, but gives the notion that emptiness if "full of emptiness"
"Cause is not before and Effect is not after"
- Eihei Dogen Zenji

krodha
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby krodha » Thu Jan 05, 2012 1:37 am


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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:09 am

Okay, I'm back.
Nobody at the door. Must have been hearing things.

Anyway, I have heard said that the essence of thoughts is Dharmakaya.
And I have heard Dharmakaya defined as...no, wait...described as simply the ultimate nature of how everything is,
or the truth about everything...the fact of it all.
But the term dharmata also refers to this, but in a different sort of context.

So, it isn't really accurate to say that "The Mind" comes from the brain, or that some thing which is "the Mind" creates thoughts with the brain. It is, as I understand it, more accurate to say that
the arising of thoughts is mind. In other words, name of the action of thought is mind.
(using the previous analogy, it is the same way that what comes from the saxophone is sound. Outside oif the events which come together (and I am thinking John Coltrane here), there is no "sound" waiting to come out, or waiting to be produced. "Sound" is not a separate thing.
Likewise, Mind is not a separate thing.
This is why the concept of rebirth is hard for people to grasp, because they think "mind" is a thing.
And they wonder how mind can hop out of a corpse and into a fetus.

And this is where understanding emptiness comes in.
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.

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Beatzen
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby Beatzen » Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:06 pm

"Cause is not before and Effect is not after"
- Eihei Dogen Zenji

yadave
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby yadave » Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:06 am


yadave
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby yadave » Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:22 am


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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby yadave » Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:07 pm


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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sat Jan 07, 2012 5:44 pm

Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.

yadave
Posts: 116
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:57 pm

Re: Misunderstanding emptiness

Postby yadave » Sat Jan 07, 2012 7:24 pm



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