How is this not Advaita?

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muni
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Re: How is this not Advaita?

Post by muni »

dzogchungpa wrote:
muni wrote:
I would be careful with this quote.
Too late. It has bitten me.
Ouch. :smile:

I had some time to look into the Walsh book and I see that the quote is found in Ari Goldfield's contribution "The Innate Awareness of Buddhist Wisdom", so I consider it to be reliable and I assume the translation is Goldfield's. Here is how he introduces it:
One might imagine that the realization of selflessness would be tantamount to experiencing extinction. In fact, those who claim to have realized this aspect of wisdom describe it as great liberation, because being free from thinking one’s identity is confined to a small body and ego feels wonderful, they say. In the modern Tibetan master Kalu Rinpoche’s (ca.1980) words:
I would like to see the poem actually, if anyone can get a hold of it.
Thank you for the investigation and sharing.
*I do not teach separation.* sz.

Wisdom beings know that we are not separate. This is why they are able to grant blessings."
https://garchen.net/wp-content/uploads/ ... ditate.pdf
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Vasana
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Re: How is this not Advaita?

Post by Vasana »

smcj wrote:
Advaita is an eternalist position and so it can't resemble any kind of Madyamika just as no nihilist position can either.
I assume your teachers are shentongpa smcj? And their's? And their's etc?
The Karma Kagyu school has been formally so since Karmapa III. It could be argued to have been informally so since at least Gompopa, if not earlier.
Well, first and foremost, I would have thought that the view of the Kagyu school would primarily be Mahamudra [in the sense of equipoise as valid cognition of mind's nature], with any Shentong/Rangtong philosophical categorization coming second as a preliminary pedagogy, but I'm no expert on this topic.

Secondly, things weren't so clear cut with the final position of the 8th Karmapa, Mikyo Dorje which naturally implicates everyone from then onwards too. The clearest writer on this topic I've found is Karl Brunnholz. If you haven't read his 'Center of the sunlit sky', smcj, you're in a for a treat as I really feel it puts the whole Rangtong-Shentong debate to bed :) Emphasis in bold is mine.
"In his [Dölpopa] main work, A Mountain Dharma, The Ocean of Definitive Meaning, he himself makes a clear distinction between a “philosophical system” (Skt. siddhanta, Tib. grub mtha’) based on certain explanations and arguments and a “point of view” in the sense of an outlook (Skt. darsana, Tib. lta ba). For him, the latter is understood in the broad sense of including what is directly experienced in meditative equipoise. This is what he calls “Great Madhyamaka” and “other-emptiness,” the outlook of noble beings who see how things really are. As such, it is clearly contrasted with Madhyamaka as a mere philosophical system. Thus, on these two levels, the entire perspective of mind and, consequently, the way of discourse are quite different.

For whatever reasons, many later proponents of other-emptiness and their opponents do not follow this epistemological distinction and often speak of both self-emptiness and other-emptiness as philosophical systems. Dölpopa himself never spoke about proponents of self-emptiness as opposed to proponents of other-emptiness. Rather, he sees self-emptiness as a philosophical system that he accepts himself as far as it goes, which is to say, by definition not applying to the level of direct meditative insight. Thus, a major part of the later controversy is due to the confusion as to whether the Rangtong-Shentong contrast pertains to the level of philosophical systems or the level of the direct insight in meditative equipoise. For Dölpopa, it clearly was the contrast between a philosophical system on the one hand and a direct vision of true reality on the other.
To sum up, it seems that the Rangtong-Shentong issue is only a problem if self- empty and other-empty are regarded as mutually exclusive on the same level of realization and discourse.

In the end, the whole controversy is highly dualistic in itself, since what is talked about—emptiness or ultimate reality—is in fact neither self-empty nor other-empty anyway. As the Eighth Karmapa Mikyö Dorje’s commentary on The Ornament of Clear Realization says:

'This basis—the nature of phenomena—is neither other-empty nor self-empty, because it is not even suitable as a mere emptiness that is not specified as being empty or not empty of itself or something other. The reason for this is that it has the essential character of being the utter peace of all discursiveness of being empty and not being empty. Thus, from the perspective of the [actual] freedom from discursiveness, no characteristics whatsoever of being empty of itself or something other transpire within the basis that is the nature of phenomena.'
and,
[...]However, there is the danger in all broad categorizations, such as the classification of Buddhist teachings as self-empty or other-empty, that they obscure or prevent attempts to look seriously at the more subtle aspects of the issues at hand. In particular, to categorize certain masters as proponents of self-emptiness or other-emptiness may obstruct our view on the often individual and specific presentations of these masters. Moreover, such categorizations do not take into account that many masters comment on scriptures from different systems, such as Yogacara and Madhyamaka, in quite different ways that accord with the backgrounds of these systems.[...]Usually, in Buddhism, philosophical considerations come in response to practical and soteriological issues. In this sense, the question of the actual or ultimate view of a certain master is moot.

[...]As for the soteriological efficacy of the Buddhist teachings, no matter which labels may be attached to them, what counts in the end is whether their practical application leads to freedom from ignorance, afflictions, and suffering. As Maitreya’s Sublime Continuum says, this is the criterion for genuine dharma, no matter who teaches it.
Ending on the 8th Karmapa's line again because it can't be emphasized enough that for the practitioner who has actually directly tasted the view within meditation, all attempts at syllogistic reasoning become somewhat redundant.

'Thus, from the perspective of the [actual] freedom from discursiveness, no characteristics whatsoever of being empty of itself or something other transpire within the basis that is the nature of phenomena.'
ཨོཾ ་ མ ་ ཎི ་ པ ་ དྨེ ་ ཧཱུྃ ། འ ་ ཨ ་ ཧ ་ ཤ ་ ས ་ མ །
Om Mani Peme Hum ། 'A Ah Ha Sha Sa Ma
'When alone, watch your mind,When with others, watch your speech' - Old Kadampa saying
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Vasana
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Re: How is this not Advaita?

Post by Vasana »

Anonymous X wrote: Is their really a raft, and is there really someone on that raft? Where will they arrive?
I'm not sure you understood my context of using the word 'raft'. Conventionally speaking, yes, there is a raft and yes the destination is the 'far shore' of Nirvana. That raft is the Dharma that takes you from the ignorance of samsara to the realization of an arhat, Bodhisattva, Buddha etc. I didn't say that the raft or being on that raft had any ultimate reality.

The Alagaddupama (Water Snake Simile) Sutta of the Sutta-pitaka (Majjhima Nikaya 22):
"In the same way, monks, I have taught the Dhamma [dharma] compared to a raft, for the purpose of crossing over, not for the purpose of holding onto. Understanding the Dhamma as taught compared to a raft, you should let go even of Dhammas, to say nothing of non-Dhammas." [Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation]
Without the direct experience of emptiness, mentation still tries to find a position. The cutting through doesn't happen with analysis. Analysis is not the same as illumination. Analysis is good for intellectual clarity.
I agree.
ཨོཾ ་ མ ་ ཎི ་ པ ་ དྨེ ་ ཧཱུྃ ། འ ་ ཨ ་ ཧ ་ ཤ ་ ས ་ མ །
Om Mani Peme Hum ། 'A Ah Ha Sha Sa Ma
'When alone, watch your mind,When with others, watch your speech' - Old Kadampa saying
Anonymous X
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Re: How is this not Advaita?

Post by Anonymous X »

Vasana wrote:
Anonymous X wrote: Is their really a raft, and is there really someone on that raft? Where will they arrive?
I'm not sure you understood my context of using the word 'raft'. Conventionally speaking, yes, there is a raft and yes the destination is the 'far shore' of Nirvana. That raft is the Dharma that takes you from the ignorance of samsara to the realization of an arhat, Bodhisattva, Buddha etc. I didn't say that the raft or being on that raft had any ultimate reality.
Nagarjuna:
The victors have taught emptiness
To definitely eliminate all views.
Those who have a view of emptiness
Are said to be incurable

This quote also speaks to Dharma, Nirvana, ignorance/samsara, and all the rest of the dualities, non-dualities, realities/truths. If there is anything left over, run. :!:
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Vasana
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Re: How is this not Advaita?

Post by Vasana »

Anonymous X wrote:
Vasana wrote:
Anonymous X wrote: Is their really a raft, and is there really someone on that raft? Where will they arrive?
I'm not sure you understood my context of using the word 'raft'. Conventionally speaking, yes, there is a raft and yes the destination is the 'far shore' of Nirvana. That raft is the Dharma that takes you from the ignorance of samsara to the realization of an arhat, Bodhisattva, Buddha etc. I didn't say that the raft or being on that raft had any ultimate reality.
Nagarjuna:
The victors have taught emptiness
To definitely eliminate all views.
Those who have a view of emptiness
Are said to be incurable

This quote also speaks to Dharma, Nirvana, ignorance/samsara, and all the rest of the dualities, non-dualities, realities/truths. If there is anything left over, run. :!:
Yup. Which is the position I started with 3 posts ago when I said 'a state free from reference points.' That includes the reference point of 'empty' or 'not empty' etc.
ཨོཾ ་ མ ་ ཎི ་ པ ་ དྨེ ་ ཧཱུྃ ། འ ་ ཨ ་ ཧ ་ ཤ ་ ས ་ མ །
Om Mani Peme Hum ། 'A Ah Ha Sha Sa Ma
'When alone, watch your mind,When with others, watch your speech' - Old Kadampa saying
Malcolm
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Re: How is this not Advaita?

Post by Malcolm »

It is always fun to watch the ultimate oneupsmanship game on DW which always ends in the stalemate of ultimate truth.

Such conversations always begin with person A giving a perfectly sensible and rational proposition from the perspective of conventional truth. Person B then seems absolutely compelled to blow up the former's statement by invoking some principle they regard as ultimate such as emptiness, nonduality, freedom from extremes, to show that person A's proposition is invalid. It is really funny and really pathetic at the same time.
"Nonduality is merely a name;
that name does not exist."
—Kotalipa
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Re: How is this not Advaita?

Post by Anonymous X »

Malcolm wrote:It is always fun to watch the ultimate oneupsmanship game on DW which always ends in the stalemate of ultimate truth.

Such conversations always begin with person A giving a perfectly sensible and rational proposition from the perspective of conventional truth. Person B then seems absolutely compelled to blow up the former's statement by invoking some principle they regard as ultimate such as emptiness, nonduality, freedom from extremes, to show that person A's proposition is invalid. It is really funny and really pathetic at the same time.
Perhaps things are not as they seem, including your statements.
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Re: How is this not Advaita?

Post by Astus »

"To say that the mind is rattled and the nature is composed is the view of other ways; to say that the nature is clear and deep and the form shifts and moves is the view of other ways. The study of the mind and study of the nature on the way of the buddha are not like this. The practice of the mind and practice of the nature on the way of the buddha are not equivalent to the other ways. The clarification of the mind and the clarification of the nature on the way of the buddha, the other ways have no share in."
(Dogen: Talking of the Mind, Talking of the Nature)
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"
Schrödinger’s Yidam
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Re: How is this not Advaita?

Post by Schrödinger’s Yidam »

Anonymous X wrote: Nagarjuna:
The victors have taught emptiness
To definitely eliminate all views.
Those who have a view of emptiness
Are said to be incurable

This quote also speaks to Dharma, Nirvana, ignorance/samsara, and all the rest of the dualities, non-dualities, realities/truths. If there is anything left over, run. :!:
Nice post. However I hope everyone following this thread understands that I do not accept Nagarjuna as the final authority on emptiness.
Last edited by Schrödinger’s Yidam on Tue May 16, 2017 3:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)
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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: How is this not Advaita?

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

Malcolm wrote:It is always fun to watch the ultimate oneupsmanship game on DW which always ends in the stalemate of ultimate truth.

Such conversations always begin with person A giving a perfectly sensible and rational proposition from the perspective of conventional truth. Person B then seems absolutely compelled to blow up the former's statement by invoking some principle they regard as ultimate such as emptiness, nonduality, freedom from extremes, to show that person A's proposition is invalid. It is really funny and really pathetic at the same time.
Yep, it's like clockwork.

"You're wrong, because emptiness" If we had a thread of stock DW responses, that one would feature heavily.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low
Malcolm
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Re: How is this not Advaita?

Post by Malcolm »

Astus wrote:"To say that the mind is rattled and the nature is composed is the view of other ways; to say that the nature is clear and deep and the form shifts and moves is the view of other ways. The study of the mind and study of the nature on the way of the buddha are not like this. The practice of the mind and practice of the nature on the way of the buddha are not equivalent to the other ways. The clarification of the mind and the clarification of the nature on the way of the buddha, the other ways have no share in."
(Dogen: Talking of the Mind, Talking of the Nature)

Excellent case in point.
"Nonduality is merely a name;
that name does not exist."
—Kotalipa
Schrödinger’s Yidam
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Re: How is this not Advaita?

Post by Schrödinger’s Yidam »

It is always fun to watch the ultimate oneupsmanship game on DW which always ends in the stalemate of ultimate truth.
I look forward to the time, probably soon, when I can quote that back to you.
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)
Malcolm
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Re: How is this not Advaita?

Post by Malcolm »

smcj wrote:
It is always fun to watch the ultimate oneupsmanship game on DW which always ends in the stalemate of ultimate truth.
I look forward to the time, probably soon, when I can quote that back to you.
Time is empty, so it won't happen, and even if it does happen, it won't be real. And even you do quote it back to me, I will comfortable in the knowledge it is all just your proliferation, far away from the meaning of nonduality, truth, Jesus, the Akashic record, and the advent of Lord Maitreya (who, I am reliably informed, works as a quant for Morgan Stanley).
"Nonduality is merely a name;
that name does not exist."
—Kotalipa
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Re: How is this not Advaita?

Post by Schrödinger’s Yidam »

...so it won't happen.
Promise? :twothumbsup:
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)
Malcolm
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Re: How is this not Advaita?

Post by Malcolm »

smcj wrote:
...so it won't happen.
Promise? :twothumbsup:
SMCJ, you are just so relative. Like, you could not even be in the same place with nonduality at the same time. You are also so totally cognizable, absolutely subject to madhyamaka analysis. Sheesh. What a loser.
"Nonduality is merely a name;
that name does not exist."
—Kotalipa
Malcolm
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Re: How is this not Advaita?

Post by Malcolm »

An addendum, the other oneupmanship play, though more rarely seen, is the "speak from your own experience" play. This play is designed to shut down any all discussion whatsoever, because most people are not so foolish as to say things like, "Yeah man, I am so totally sure my samadhi has destroyed all my afflictions because that is my experience, man."
"Nonduality is merely a name;
that name does not exist."
—Kotalipa
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Re: How is this not Advaita?

Post by Schrödinger’s Yidam »

Malcolm wrote:SMCJ, you are just so relative.
Well yes, and proudly so. 40 years ago I figured out that if on the ultimate level there is nothing to be done then I need not concern myself with it. But since I don't like suffering it was/is important for me to focus my attention on the relative.
Like, you could not even be in the same place with nonduality at the same time.
I've always understood nonduality to be how things actually are. If so, how is it possible to be apart from it again?
What a loser.
I'm 62 and still doing NgonDro. So guilty as charged.
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)
Malcolm
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Re: How is this not Advaita?

Post by Malcolm »

smcj wrote:
Malcolm wrote:SMCJ, you are just so relative.
Well yes, and proudly so. 40 years ago I figured out that if on the ultimate level there is nothing to be done then I need not concern myself with it. But since I don't like suffering it was/is important for me to focus my attention on the relative.
Like, you could not even be in the same place with nonduality at the same time.
I've always understood nonduality to be how things actually are. If so, how is it possible to be apart from it again?
What a loser.
I'm 62 and still doing NgonDro. So guilty as charged.

Well, then there is the "irony is lost on you play."
"Nonduality is merely a name;
that name does not exist."
—Kotalipa
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Re: How is this not Advaita?

Post by Nicholas Weeks »

鐵觀音 wrote:
If I change the phrase "my mind" to Brahman, how is this any different? Please, I'd love clarification on this . :anjali:
Why not change 'my mind' to God or Jesus or Moroni, even more excitement then.
May all seek, find & follow the Path of Buddhas.
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Re: How is this not Advaita?

Post by Schrödinger’s Yidam »

Malcolm wrote:
smcj wrote: I'm 62 and still doing NgonDro. So guilty as charged.
Well, then there is the "irony is lost on you play."
I'm more prone to the humblebrag. Why not? I've got the credentials for it!
:focus:
Last edited by Schrödinger’s Yidam on Tue May 16, 2017 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)
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