This is it - This is what its all about

Re: This is it - This is what its all about

Postby shel » Fri May 14, 2010 2:45 am

I don't know how you could classify Sanbo Kyodan as non-religious.

A nihilistic religion has always sounded like an oxymoron to me. :tongue:
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Re: This is it - This is what its all about

Postby m0rl0ck » Fri May 14, 2010 3:13 am

i think some of you all may have way too high an opinion of your own intelligence to get very much out of buddhism. just my opinion.
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Re: This is it - This is what its all about

Postby m0rl0ck » Fri May 14, 2010 3:19 am

Huseng wrote:
Astus wrote:I say, people don't die. More sharply, people cannot die. Even if you want to, you can't die. Why? Because there is no self who's dying. If there is no self, how you can die? This is the discovery. This is the absolute solution. [?] You cant die. Look into it, nobody there, nothing there. There's no self, then how you can die, when there's nothing there? That is the discovery, that's all. That's all. This is all about Buddhism. [...] but you cannot get this nothing at all, really. You cant see anything at all. You can never die because this nothing at all, nothing-at-all-ness, this is your true self.

(24:38 - 25:46)



This just sounds like nihilism coupled with some meditation experience. In Buddhist cosmology there is the arupa-loka which which includes what in Pali they call akiñcaññayatanupaga-deva (nothingness). However, this is not the ultimate. It is a few steps away from the peak of existence, but it is still on the wheel of birth and death.

It sounds like this teacher experienced this and has declared his experience of nothingness to be the fundamental idea of Buddhism.

Unfortunately if this is so then he is espousing a wrong view and misleading people.


That guy has probably been sitting and leading a sangha as long as you have been alive. Good thing he never ran into you so you could straighten him out. :) Would you like me to try to put you two in touch? It might be a great learning opportunity for him. At the very least i would like to bring this thread to his attention, he may be able to benefit from your wisdom.
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Re: This is it - This is what its all about

Postby catmoon » Fri May 14, 2010 5:51 am

I also found the terminology strongly misleading. The question came to mind, "If there is no self then what eats dinner?"


It really does read like a total denial of the existence of human beings. There is quite a difference between saying the self is empty and saying it does not exist.
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Re: This is it - This is what its all about

Postby m0rl0ck » Fri May 14, 2010 6:17 am

catmoon wrote:I also found the terminology strongly misleading. The question came to mind, "If there is no self then what eats dinner?"


It really does read like a total denial of the existence of human beings. There is quite a difference between saying the self is empty and saying it does not exist.


this is your true self.


Its better listened to than judged by reading one out of context excerpt.

Come to think of it tho i dont really see the practical difference between empty and does not exist. Doesnt empty = void of inherent self existence? Face it, your a figment :)

Anyway i really am swearing off this thread. I found it to be a pretty profound listen for the reasons i mentioned at first. I hope you all can get something out of it too. However judging from the direction this thread has taken so far it looks like i may be disappointed in that regard.
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Re: This is it - This is what its all about

Postby Astus » Fri May 14, 2010 8:28 am

I didn't find his teaching a nihilist one at all. Just because he says nothingness rather than emptiness is not necessarily annihilationist. To say that you find nothing like a self if you search for it is not contrary to the Buddha's teaching.
"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: This is it - This is what its all about

Postby Dae Bi » Fri May 14, 2010 9:54 am

catmoon wrote:I also found the terminology strongly misleading. The question came to mind, "If there is no self then what eats dinner?"


It really does read like a total denial of the existence of human beings. There is quite a difference between saying the self is empty and saying it does not exist.

Look outside the Box, If it's not the self that's eating dinner, then it must be something else! Must be the same thing that answers a Koan, must be the same thing that meditates, must be the same thing that enjoys a cup of tea.
David


First there is a mountain then there is no mountain then there is.
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Re: This is it - This is what its all about

Postby muni » Fri May 14, 2010 10:26 am

m0rl0ck wrote:i think some of you all may have way too high an opinion of your own intelligence to get very much out of buddhism. just my opinion.


Intelligent talk can express wisdom or not. High idea of own intelligence can be very painful. Only contrived ideas.

Wisdom in clear, and humble way explained is very usefull medicine for all.
Falling down into thoughts' stream, identification arises.
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Re: This is it - This is what its all about

Postby Indrajala » Fri May 14, 2010 12:35 pm

There might not be a permanent self, but simply believing in that doesn't eliminate suffering.

Unfortunately no matter how much one denies their existence, they will continue to exist (bhava) as long as the causes for that process are in effect.
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Re: This is it - This is what its all about

Postby Indrajala » Fri May 14, 2010 12:41 pm

m0rl0ck wrote:That guy has probably been sitting and leading a sangha as long as you have been alive.


That doesn't mean anything. Seniority is not reflective of having any understanding. I see this almost daily where I currently am. I know priests who were born and raised in temples but know very little about Buddhism. Just because someone is advanced in years does not mean they are advanced in wisdom. I don't say I personally have great wisdom, but I do have the ability to analyse statements about Buddhism and formulate a judgement about them.

Good thing he never ran into you so you could straighten him out. :) Would you like me to try to put you two in touch? It might be a great learning opportunity for him. At the very least i would like to bring this thread to his attention, he may be able to benefit from your wisdom.


Is this sarcastic attitude really necessary?
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Re: This is it - This is what its all about

Postby Dexing » Fri May 14, 2010 2:21 pm

catmoon wrote:I also found the terminology strongly misleading. The question came to mind, "If there is no self then what eats dinner?"


:popcorn:
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Re: This is it - This is what its all about

Postby White Lotus » Fri May 14, 2010 4:12 pm

:namaste: 'this' is it!

have a cup of tea.
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: This is it - This is what its all about

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Fri May 14, 2010 4:49 pm

catmoon wrote:I also found the terminology strongly misleading. The question came to mind, "If there is no self then what eats dinner?"


It really does read like a total denial of the existence of human beings. There is quite a difference between saying the self is empty and saying it does not exist.


"Lack of existence" is better? It's all upaya emptiness, concept-emptiness, not real emptiness.
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Re: This is it - This is what its all about

Postby catmoon » Fri May 14, 2010 6:34 pm

Karma Dondrup Tashi wrote:
catmoon wrote:I also found the terminology strongly misleading. The question came to mind, "If there is no self then what eats dinner?"


It really does read like a total denial of the existence of human beings. There is quite a difference between saying the self is empty and saying it does not exist.


"Lack of existence" is better? It's all upaya emptiness, concept-emptiness, not real emptiness.


"Lack of existence" is even worse! It makes the same error, while deceptively camouflaging itself in the from of an emptiness statement.

I would say, "Lack of inherent existence" is the most accurate statement of emptiness. There are various types of existence, and inherent existence is the only one negated by emptiness doctrine as it has been taught to me. It is probably important to note the source of my beliefs here, they are mostly drawn from HHDL's books and therefore are sort of Gelug with a pan-Tibetan seasoning.
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Re: This is it - This is what its all about

Postby Astus » Fri May 14, 2010 7:35 pm

catmoon,

I'm not so familiar with HHDL's books but the Gelugpa's Prasangika-Madhyamaka is quite strict to the level of the emptiness of emptiness. Even a relatively real existence of self is denied. There is this concept of self and that's it, nothing beyond that. Just a notion, a false notion. Khedrup Je, the 1st Panchen Lama explains the nature of self in their system,

The fact that if it is searched for in these seven ways (Candrakirti's chariot analysis) no self at all is to be found is what it means for the self to be essenceless. This, however, does not repudiate the fact that, if it is not analyzed, the notion of person is a functional one. It being established by a nominal valid cognition, the person does nominally exist. What is more, when the mind that thinks "I" arises, it does so in dependence on, that is, using as a basis, the five aggregates within one's on continuum [if one is in the form realm or below], and the four, [excluding the form aggregate, if one is a formless being]. Without using [such a basis it would not arise] and that is why it [is said] to be merely labeled in dependence on the aggregates.
(Dose of Emptiness, p. 290)
"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: This is it - This is what its all about

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Fri May 14, 2010 7:39 pm

catmoon wrote:
Karma Dondrup Tashi wrote:
catmoon wrote:I also found the terminology strongly misleading. The question came to mind, "If there is no self then what eats dinner?"


It really does read like a total denial of the existence of human beings. There is quite a difference between saying the self is empty and saying it does not exist.


"Lack of existence" is better? It's all upaya emptiness, concept-emptiness, not real emptiness.


"Lack of existence" is even worse! It makes the same error, while deceptively camouflaging itself in the from of an emptiness statement.

I would say, "Lack of inherent existence" is the most accurate statement of emptiness. There are various types of existence, and inherent existence is the only one negated by emptiness doctrine as it has been taught to me. It is probably important to note the source of my beliefs here, they are mostly drawn from HHDL's books and therefore are sort of Gelug with a pan-Tibetan seasoning.


Which is why I said "lack of existence" since I'm not a Gelug (yet).

Whatever words we use, it's still a non-affirming negation.

Since that's what it is, it's upaya emptiness, not real emptiness.
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Re: This is it - This is what its all about

Postby Astus » Fri May 14, 2010 7:54 pm

Another, more relevant quote from Nitou's "Song of Mind" (Shengyan's explanation and complete poem):

三世無物無心無佛。眾生無心依無心出。

In past, present and future, there is nothing;
No mind, no buddha.
Sentient beings are without mind;
Out of no-mind they manifest.

一切莫顧安心無處。無處安心虛明自露。

Do not concern yourself with anything;
Fix the mind nowhere.
Fixing the mind nowhere,
Limitless brightness shows itself.

From Ven. Shengyan's commentary:

"as a self is present, dharmas cannot be understood." and "We must go beyond one-mind to no-mind. Here the mind truly stops on nothing. Only here can one truly be in accordance with all dharmas."
"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: This is it - This is what its all about

Postby catmoon » Fri May 14, 2010 9:03 pm

Astus wrote:catmoon,

I'm not so familiar with HHDL's books but the Gelugpa's Prasangika-Madhyamaka is quite strict to the level of the emptiness of emptiness. Even a relatively real existence of self is denied. There is this concept of self and that's it, nothing beyond that. Just a notion, a false notion. Khedrup Je, the 1st Panchen Lama explains the nature of self in their system,




Well, one has to be very careful about the sense in which one speaks, when discussing this topic. What I'm saying is that the body does exist as a dependently originated object, sense impressions do occur, emotions do arise, and that this collection of occurances might be termed a self of sorts.
I think the self that is negated is other than these things.

It doesn't matter that they are all empty, because emptiness is different from complete negation. The only complete negation that Dharma teaches (as far as I know which ain't far) is the negation of a self-concept that imputes a possessor of the body, mind and sense impressions.

This self is viewed by some as an object of sorts in it's own right, like a soul. Such a view is among those negated. This kind of self, this possessor, might also be viewed as a process, maybe we should look into that. It's kind of a loose thread.
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Re: This is it - This is what its all about

Postby Dexing » Sat May 15, 2010 2:46 am

catmoon wrote:What I'm saying is that the body does exist as a dependently originated object


That's the basic Hinayana teaching.

However, in Mahayana the Heart Sutra teaches in fact there is no such Dependent Origination.

Why? Because as it says earlier; "All phenomena are empty of appearances. They are neither produced nor extinguished, neither pure nor impure, neither increase nor decrease.

What is meant by Dependent Origination?

Causes & Conditions come together and things are born/produced. Here we have production/increasing. An object then persists for some time. Here we have purity. Then it becomes old or rotten. Here we have impurity. Then the Causes & Conditions cease causing the object to fall away. Here we have extinguishing/decreasing.

So if Mahayana Emptiness means merely "no inherent existence" via Dependent Origination, it is not consistent with the Heart Sutra teaching.

However, what the Heart Sutra is doing is cutting Hinayana teachings step-by-step. From the 5 Aggregates, the 18 Realms, the 12 links of Dependent Origination, to even the 4 Noble Truths.

Suffering, this suffering thing, and all phenomena are created by the mind alone- an illusion. Look and you cannot find this suffering. If suffering is an illusion from the beginning, there can be no 4 Noble Truths. And therefore no so-called "wisdom" and "attainment" ordinary people cling to.

BUT...

This is just the way to break the wrong views of ordinary beings. The second half and the Heart Sutra deals with the true face of reality as experienced by one who has put all this down.

Then finally the Mantra at the end teaches the function of this correct Way and correct Truth, i.e. while all is illusory, nonetheless while we are human beings there is seeing, there is hearing, etc.. So don't make anything. Just see, just hear, just help others.

:namaste:
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Re: This is it - This is what its all about

Postby White Lotus » Sat May 15, 2010 4:17 pm

:namaste: my experience of phases of the self...

1. atman - to be mundane self. impermanent and present as an expression of the five skhandas.
2. samatman - to become brahman self. a universal self that is embodied in all things.
3. sunyatman/anatman - to become 'no' self. absence of any kind of self, embodiment of emptiness.
4. tathatman - to become a 'this' self. the embodiment of 'this', the true nature of emptiness/form.

even in sunyatman, where there is absolutely no experience of personal identity still there is one eating, drinking and sleeping, but it is not good to attach to the state of primordial emptiness, before the creation of the universe.

actually in all of these phases there is awareness of 'this', which is perhaps the ultimate phase of self hood.
tathatman is not an individual self, it is 'this' ness embodied.

in all of the above states, all that is to be realized is 'this', as you are. no special states need be attained. you already have this, you already are aware of the ultimate tathata. there is no need to realize this, everything is this. this is that, that is this. realizing this one skips other states to the state of tathata. thisness.

best wishes, White Lotus.
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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