the matter of life and death

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Re: the matter of life and death

Postby Josef » Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:33 am

padma norbu wrote:Hey, check out Freud's sofa... couple Buddha heads in the background. Looks like a mess to lay on, though. Too much for me.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Freud_Sofa.JPG

Did you fall into a wiki-warp?
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Re: the matter of life and death

Postby padma norbu » Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:05 am

Nangwa wrote:
padma norbu wrote:Hey, check out Freud's sofa... couple Buddha heads in the background. Looks like a mess to lay on, though. Too much for me.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Freud_Sofa.JPG

Did you fall into a wiki-warp?


Nah, that tab was open from my original post when I was looking into the death-wish
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Re: the matter of life and death

Postby In the bone yard » Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:02 pm

Mr Norbu,

Oh I see, you practice Hinayana?
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Re: the matter of life and death

Postby padma norbu » Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:00 am

In the bone yard wrote:Mr Norbu,

Oh I see, you practice Hinayana?


Dear lord... no, I'm a Satanist. Thanks for the discussion.
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Re: the matter of life and death

Postby maybay » Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:21 am

padma norbu wrote:I've come to the conclusion that the only solution to this predicament is 24-7 practice

bye bye now
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Re: the matter of life and death

Postby padma norbu » Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:58 pm

maybay wrote:
padma norbu wrote:I've come to the conclusion that the only solution to this predicament is 24-7 practice

bye bye now


see you later... most likely 'round these parts
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Re: the matter of life and death

Postby dakini_boi » Thu Mar 22, 2012 7:37 pm

padma norbu wrote:Does it matter? Do you care that you're alive? Was the idea that nirvana "snuffs the flame" ever appealing to you because you might have kind of a Freudian death-wish?


padma norbu wrote:If there was a button I could push that simply wiped out all trace of my existence permanently and forever, I would push it without hesitation. The deathless state of the Buddhas is probably not exactly what I'm thinking of, but close enough and the best option given the situation, it seems.


Yes, I know the feeling. Have you ever tried antidepressants? As I'm sure you're aware, this sounds a lot more like depression than like Hinayana-style "renunciation." Anyway, I feel you. :namaste:
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Re: the matter of life and death

Postby dakini_boi » Thu Mar 22, 2012 7:39 pm

Nangwa wrote:
padma norbu wrote:Does it matter? Do you care that you're alive? Was the idea that nirvana "snuffs the flame" ever appealing to you because you might have kind of a Freudian death-wish?


Rigdzin Changchub Dorje.

nuff said.


Nangwa, would you be willing to elaborate please?
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Re: the matter of life and death

Postby padma norbu » Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:34 pm

dakini_boi wrote:
padma norbu wrote:Does it matter? Do you care that you're alive? Was the idea that nirvana "snuffs the flame" ever appealing to you because you might have kind of a Freudian death-wish?


padma norbu wrote:If there was a button I could push that simply wiped out all trace of my existence permanently and forever, I would push it without hesitation. The deathless state of the Buddhas is probably not exactly what I'm thinking of, but close enough and the best option given the situation, it seems.


Yes, I know the feeling. Have you ever tried antidepressants? As I'm sure you're aware, this sounds a lot more like depression than like Hinayana-style "renunciation." Anyway, I feel you. :namaste:


Not really, it's just a logical deduction based on the circumstances.
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Re: the matter of life and death

Postby White Lotus » Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:36 pm

just let go. non attachment.

best wishes, Tom.
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: the matter of life and death

Postby conebeckham » Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:24 pm

padma norbu wrote:Does it matter? Do you care that you're alive? Was the idea that nirvana "snuffs the flame" ever appealing to you because you might have kind of a Freudian death-wish?


What are life and death?

The body is merely inanimate matter, composed of the five elements. It can't die, in a sense, as it's never really been properly "alive." The nature of mind is unborn, and all the aspects of self, personality, etc., are mere transitory constructs and concepts, imagination, with no real existence. What is it that "lives?" What is it that is "born?" What is it that "dies?" And, what, truly, are we?

Those are just some things I've heard, and some questions to ask, that may relate to your question.
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Re: the matter of life and death

Postby padma norbu » Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:04 pm

conebeckham wrote:
padma norbu wrote:Does it matter? Do you care that you're alive? Was the idea that nirvana "snuffs the flame" ever appealing to you because you might have kind of a Freudian death-wish?


What are life and death?

The body is merely inanimate matter, composed of the five elements. It can't die, in a sense, as it's never really been properly "alive." The nature of mind is unborn, and all the aspects of self, personality, etc., are mere transitory constructs and concepts, imagination, with no real existence. What is it that "lives?" What is it that is "born?" What is it that "dies?" And, what, truly, are we?

Those are just some things I've heard, and some questions to ask, that may relate to your question.


Yeah, isn't the paradox that is often repeated "there are no beings, but there will always be beings?" If one has never heard this before, let's pick it apart: we don't inherently exist, but we are under the delusion we do and our experience is real enough, at least to us. According to the teachings, the world systems go in large aeonic cycles of rebirth and destruction. It is taught that everyone will eventually become Buddha, yet it is also taught that there will be no end to beings born into delusion. Furthermore, even the deathless state of the Buddhas eventually comes to an end in the final cycle of destruction and renewal. I asked Namdrol what happens then and his response was something like "what does it matter?" Basically, if you put all this into context, you wind up with an existential crisis. Under the circumstances, achieving Buddhahood to help all beings is the best option for everyone, but ultimately, it is pointless. However, given that there is no other "way out," it's the best option. That's all I'm saying. Pretty simple. Oh, and if there was another way out, as I proposed initially, I would take that in an instant. Not because I don't care about other beings, but because ultimately it doesn't matter either way.
"Use what seems like poison as medicine. We can use our personal suffering as the path to compassion for all beings." Pema Chodron
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Re: the matter of life and death

Postby duckfiasco » Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:03 pm

It's easy to think yourself into to utter abstraction. The fact that such thinking leads you to somewhat nihilistic thoughts says more about the nature of thought and its inability to prove its own existence, than about the object of your thoughts, in my opinion.

People have always said things like, "Well I'm gonna die one day anyway so..." to justify whatever they were doing. Some take annihilation to mean there's no point to anything. Your posts sound very similar, but in a more far-removed way.

I just love to conceptualize myself and at one point was wondering what is goodness since it's all relative. At some point, you have to return to the moment. Someone slaps you in the face. It hurts. You either get angry or don't, depending on many factors. That is what we have to work with as human beings. Leave annihilation to the annihilated. When you catch yourself engrossed in abstraction, turn the tables on the thinker that looks for firm footing, that looks to be alarmed... ask, "So what?"

This may be relevant. I found it interesting at least.
zenguide.com wrote:The Bodhisattva Kannon [Avalokiteshvara] is so called because he attained enlightenment by perceiving that:

At work, at rest, never stop trying to realize who is it that hears. Even though your questioning penetrates the unconscious, you won't find the one who hears, and all your efforts will come to naught.

Yet sounds can be heard, so question yourself to an even profounder level. At last every vestige of self-awareness will disappear and you will feel like a cloudless sky. Within yourself you will find no "I." Nor will you discover anyone who hears.

This Mind is like the void, yet it hasn't a single spot that can be called empty. Do not mistake this state for Self-realization, but continue to ask yourself even more intensely, "Now who is it that hears?" If you bore and bore into this question, oblivious to anything else, even this feeling of voidness will vanish and you won't be aware of anything - total darkness will prevail. Don't stop here, keep asking with all your strength, "What is it that hears?" Only when you have completely exhausted the questioning will the question burst; now you will feel like a man come back from the dead. This is true realization. You will see the Buddhas of all universes face to face and the patriarchs past and present.
Please take the above post with a grain of salt.
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Re: the matter of life and death

Postby padma norbu » Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:51 pm

duckfiasco,

Teachers: These are the reasons for being Buddhist... ::writes 10,000 dharma texts::

Person A (me): well, in the end, it all seems rather pointless, no matter what

Person B (you): stop thinking!

Person A (me): but, the reasons for being Buddhist were based on thoughts in the first place, the thoughts of the teacher/s. All I'm saying is the reasons/thoughts about it all, in the end, ultimately seem rather pointless. However, I don't suggest there is a better solution based on the evidence presented.

???

profit
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Re: the matter of life and death

Postby Huifeng » Sat Mar 24, 2012 3:01 am

Just a note in passing:

The phrase "the matter of life and death" in English largely comes from the phrase "生死大事" in classic Chinese (through Chan and other schools, then through Japanese Zen, etc.). In this phrase, the term "生死" is Chinese for "samsara".

Thought you might be interested to know.

~~ Huifeng
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Re: the matter of life and death

Postby padma norbu » Sat Mar 24, 2012 6:04 am

I was just using the english language, not parroting a phrase I've heard before. I chose these words because they are clinical and not overtly depressing. Whether or not its a phrase that originates from China (I doubt it) seems pretty irrelevant. It is what it is regardless of labels. If my thougts were only about samsara, that would be one thing, but the fact is nirvana (the "deathless" state) is just as important to this conversation, if not more so, imo, anyway... Would be happy to learn something new that would give me a more pleasing perspective, of course.
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Re: the matter of life and death

Postby Josef » Sat Mar 24, 2012 6:24 am

dakini_boi wrote:
Nangwa wrote:
padma norbu wrote:Does it matter? Do you care that you're alive? Was the idea that nirvana "snuffs the flame" ever appealing to you because you might have kind of a Freudian death-wish?


Rigdzin Changchub Dorje.

nuff said.


Nangwa, would you be willing to elaborate please?


Sure.
Changchub Dorje was probably the most long lived person in recorded history.
He used the methods available to him to extend his life and provided future generations with (in my opinion) the most generous lama in the history of this world system other than the 14th Dalai Lama.

The benefit we can provide others by cherishing and using our own lives for their benefit can extend into the future without limitations if we live by their examples.
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Re: the matter of life and death

Postby duckfiasco » Sat Mar 24, 2012 6:37 am

Hi, padma norbu! Thank you for trying to clarify the subject :) These are very tricky things to swap ideas about, but let's try our best :smile: I appreciate everyone's indulgence with my long-windedness.

Person A (me): well, in the end, it all seems rather pointless, no matter what

What do you mean by pointless? From my limited understanding, by practicing we learn to let go of goal-setting, which is another form of hoping things would be other than how they are. It's not our usual mode of operation. If you focus on ideals or anticipatory thought, then of course everything seems pointless. We feel crushed by a phantom future or abstract idea whose nature we've already determined. The problem is thoughts like these are made of the same stuff as thoughts about yesterday's lunch.

That doesn't make them totally trivial. They should be considered if they seem especially pressing, as they can point out aspects of your mind currently hidden :spy: Not realizing our Buddha nature yet, we're still firmly in the realm of thought grasping. However, thoughts are only solid when we dwell on them. Being adults doesn't make us immune to imagination and fantasy.

Person B (you): stop thinking!

The problem isn't thinking per se. The issue to me appears twofold: attachment to thoughts, and attempting to conceptually understand something that isn't conceptual. I mean, let's face it... as human beings with working brains, we're going to have thoughts that come unbidden and go away, like any other perception. But they're such frequent company for us that not paying attention to them seems absurd. We maybe get defensive about what "not thinking" means. The very idea sounds irrelevant.

If you're anything like me, I usually try to understand something through a logical series of steps. I learn idea X, compare it to experience or perception Y, and suggest Z quality about that perception. Can you see the problem already? X, Y, and Z have little to nothing to do with each other. It becomes like a blurry picture of a painting of a landscape. They are representations of something, just not of what we think.

This leads to your other point:
Person A (me): but, the reasons for being Buddhist were based on thoughts in the first place, the thoughts of the teacher/s. All I'm saying is the reasons/thoughts about it all, in the end, ultimately seem rather pointless.

Transmission by a specific skillful means, thought in this case, does not mean that what is transmitted IS the means. Reasons and thoughts are ultimately pointless and limited, like you've already discovered. I feel an affinity for your situation... I get caught up in my head with conceptualizing this, analyzing that. It's maddening.

I posted the earlier quote because for me, it addresses that major cause of suffering: obsessive, conceptual thinking. Every time your mind cooks up a tidy answer to "What is it that hears?" you wave it aside and probe further. A state of quiet, attendant curiosity arises instead. We don't have to always know or listen to the mind's dicta. We can enter the state of not-knowing, of things unfamiliar yet recognized :twothumbsup:

Finally, if something seems repulsive or dumb to you (like zazen is to me! :evil: ), that's a big red flag that you need to look more closely. What in you is resisting and why? What is made pointless by practicing?

I hope this huge meandering novella is of some use to you :) Best of luck in your investigations. :thumbsup: :group:
Please take the above post with a grain of salt.
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Re: the matter of life and death

Postby padma norbu » Sat Mar 24, 2012 2:29 pm

I'm talking about the basic underlying ideas in a cold, clinical manner. Like Spock. Yes, we are talking about dissatisfaction, but let's talk about it in a cold, clinical way, as if we are trying to stop certain chemical agents from crystalizing. Now, if we can stop them from crystalizing at stage 1 in the process where previously we had almost immediate flash-crystallization, we would be happy. But, if by the end of stage 3 crystallization occurs, anyway, near the very end of our 3-stage procedure, then we would say this process is not really working how we want since it only extends the period of time that crystallization doesn't occur.. You're getting into day-to-day happiness, which is irrelevant to me. I am saying something very basic and we don't need to get into day-to-day touchy feeliness about it. I am saying that how it is taught is: 1. there will always be samsaric beings, 2. there is an "end of the universe" period where EVERYTHING is destroyed, including the Buddhas, and it starts all over again. So? What is the point, really? We are just delaying the crystallization process for a while, but infinity is a longass time.
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Re: the matter of life and death

Postby Lhug-Pa » Sat Mar 24, 2012 3:06 pm

As I think was mentioned in your other thread, when everything is destroyed at the end of a Kalpa, Mahamanvantara, etc., the Universe goes into a repose called Mahapralaya ("the Bardo of Samsara and Nirvana"); and from what I understand, at the end of a Mahapralaya when the Universe starts forming again, Buddhas who have attained complete Buddhahood in the previous Kalpa or Mahamanvantara will not fall into Samsara again unless they allow themselves to fall. This is how it's explained in Occultism, so I don't know if there are any Buddhist scriptures that either contradict or agree with this. And we've heard of those who only reach Buddhahood 'that reverts to the cause' and these are the ones who would have a higher chance of falling back into Samsara after the end of a Mahapralaya.
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