Individuality, Nonduality, Anatta, Nirvana

General forum on the teachings of all schools of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. Topics specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
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CedarTree
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Re: Individuality, Nonduality, Anatta, Nirvana

Post by CedarTree »

Queequeg wrote:
CedarTree wrote:
(P.s. Q it's hard to always understand tone on reading, if you took my reply as combative against you just scratch that view point. I love you lol :heart: )
No, and I hope the same. I meant it in the sense, stop teasing us and spit it out, man!
Don't worry I know how hard you try to be kind to everyone here, I never assume badly of you :)

And I am trying lol!

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Re: Individuality, Nonduality, Anatta, Nirvana

Post by CedarTree »

I think a mistake we are all making is focusing so heavily on Anatta.

Like I said earlier imagine all has dropped away. I mean even in our own limited practices we know the body is not self, feelings not self, thoughts not self, etc.

But there is a dynamic of "individualism" or "specificity" it seems.

Another poster from a different forum brought this up and I think it gets at something although we may need you guys to really delve into it.
Awakening is clearly something that happens to a living being, altering their perspective or revealing fundamental truths, however you wish to express it, and, while those fundamental truths might be expressed in ways that involve words like "empty of a self", still, it is the sensations that previously made up both self and other that are revealed in some very vivid, clear, immediate, transformative way.

Thus, when they awaken, from their vantage pointless vantage point, the whole field of their unique experience is awakened, but, as basically everyone who has awakened and asked other people if their awakening suddenly awakened everyone else, the answer is "no".

So, while it can't really quite be called an "individual thing", still, it clearly happens to an individual, or a unique sense field, or however you wish to put it. When the Buddha awakened, for example, he still clearly noticed that his awakening didn't awaken everyone, as everyone else also noticed.

I am curious to know the background to your question and what practical value you hope the discussion will have for yourself as well as others. Thoughts?

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Re: Individuality, Nonduality, Anatta, Nirvana

Post by Caoimhghín »

CedarTree wrote:I think a mistake we are all making is focusing so heavily on Anatta.

Like I said earlier imagine all has dropped away. I mean even in our own limited practices we know the body is not self, feelings not self, thoughts not self, etc.
Well, "knowing" X is not the self is not the same as "knowing" X is not the self, if you catch my drift.

Or is it?

「我於五受陰觀察非我、非我所,而非阿羅漢者,我於我慢、我欲、我使,未斷、未知、未離、未吐。」
I, in these five aggregates of binding, observe and find no self, no self is found, meanwhile I am not an arahant, I with my pride, I desire, I cause, not yet resolute, not yet knowing, not yet having severed, not yet having vomited.

SA 103
Last edited by Caoimhghín on Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:00 am, edited 3 times in total.
Then, the monks sang this gāthā:

These bodies are like foam.
Them being frail, who can rejoice in them?
The Buddha attained the vajra-body.
Still, it becomes inconstant and rots.
The many Buddhas are vajra-entities.
All are also subject to inconstancy.
Quickly ended, like melting snow --
how could things be different?

The Buddha passed into parinirvāṇa afterward.
(T1.27b10 Mahāparinirvāṇasūtra DĀ 2)
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Re: Individuality, Nonduality, Anatta, Nirvana

Post by DNS »

CedarTree wrote: Another poster from a different forum brought this up and I think it gets at something although we may need you guys to really delve into it.
Awakening is clearly something that happens to a living being, altering their perspective or revealing fundamental truths, however you wish to express it, and, while those fundamental truths might be expressed in ways that involve words like "empty of a self", still, it is the sensations that previously made up both self and other that are revealed in some very vivid, clear, immediate, transformative way.

Thus, when they awaken, from their vantage pointless vantage point, the whole field of their unique experience is awakened, but, as basically everyone who has awakened and asked other people if their awakening suddenly awakened everyone else, the answer is "no".

So, while it can't really quite be called an "individual thing", still, it clearly happens to an individual, or a unique sense field, or however you wish to put it. When the Buddha awakened, for example, he still clearly noticed that his awakening didn't awaken everyone, as everyone else also noticed.

I am curious to know the background to your question and what practical value you hope the discussion will have for yourself as well as others. Thoughts?
That's a very good answer you received in another forum. And good topic too. I have been moving more toward that direction in my own thinking. I think too many focus on anatta too soon along the path and then don't make much progress. See my comment in another, similar thread:
https://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f ... 21#p431278

There is clearly no full-blown atman, no soul, but still there is some sense of individuality in terms of who gets enlightened, who accumulates bad kamma, who accumulates merit, who sends metta, who receives metta, who is reborn, etc.
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Re: Individuality, Nonduality, Anatta, Nirvana

Post by CedarTree »

David N. Snyder wrote:
CedarTree wrote: Another poster from a different forum brought this up and I think it gets at something although we may need you guys to really delve into it.
Awakening is clearly something that happens to a living being, altering their perspective or revealing fundamental truths, however you wish to express it, and, while those fundamental truths might be expressed in ways that involve words like "empty of a self", still, it is the sensations that previously made up both self and other that are revealed in some very vivid, clear, immediate, transformative way.

Thus, when they awaken, from their vantage pointless vantage point, the whole field of their unique experience is awakened, but, as basically everyone who has awakened and asked other people if their awakening suddenly awakened everyone else, the answer is "no".

So, while it can't really quite be called an "individual thing", still, it clearly happens to an individual, or a unique sense field, or however you wish to put it. When the Buddha awakened, for example, he still clearly noticed that his awakening didn't awaken everyone, as everyone else also noticed.

I am curious to know the background to your question and what practical value you hope the discussion will have for yourself as well as others. Thoughts?
That's a very good answer you received in another forum. And good topic too. I have been moving more toward that direction in my own thinking. I think too many focus on anatta too soon along the path and then don't make much progress. See my comment in another, similar thread:
https://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f ... 21#p431278

There is clearly no full-blown atman, no soul, but still there is some sense of individuality in terms of who gets enlightened, who accumulates bad kamma, who accumulates merit, who sends metta, who receives metta, who is reborn, etc.
David your the best. Humbled that you would comment on my post :)

And yes, I think you got what I am saying. Sometimes we get tunnel vision and explore certain subjects with incredible investigation, effort, and curiosity and others we just brush over as if they have no value and or teaching to offer.

I think "Individualism" and or "Specificity" is maybe one of the great 84,000 Dharma Doors ;)

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Re: Individuality, Nonduality, Anatta, Nirvana

Post by Matt J »

I don't think we are connecting on what is meant by direct experience. Direct experience is what is happening, right now. It is always certain--- what is uncertain is what we think or say about it. We can focus on some parts versus others, or form concepts about what it means, or argue about its metaphysical properties. I would say that "mistake" itself is a concept, it is not a sensation or experience. From here, we can say that all views are mistaken, but not that all experience is a mistaken view.
Anonymous X wrote: It seems to me there is no avoiding the pitfalls of mistaken views as our whole state IS a mistaken view that the Buddha and other teachers try to point out to us. Even your direct experience is not direct. It is always colored by a view. But this is to be discovered in one's contemplation if one is truly honest with oneself.
"The essence of meditation practice is to let go of all your expectations about meditation. All the qualities of your natural mind -- peace, openness, relaxation, and clarity -- are present in your mind just as it is. You don't have to do anything different. You don't have to shift or change your awareness. All you have to do while observing your mind is to recognize the qualities it already has."
--- Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche
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Re: Individuality, Nonduality, Anatta, Nirvana

Post by Anonymous X »

Matt J wrote:I don't think we are connecting on what is meant by direct experience. Direct experience is what is happening, right now. It is always certain--- what is uncertain is what we think or say about it. We can focus on some parts versus others, or form concepts about what it means, or argue about its metaphysical properties. I would say that "mistake" itself is a concept, it is not a sensation or experience. From here, we can say that all views are mistaken, but not that all experience is a mistaken view.
Anonymous X wrote: It seems to me there is no avoiding the pitfalls of mistaken views as our whole state IS a mistaken view that the Buddha and other teachers try to point out to us. Even your direct experience is not direct. It is always colored by a view. But this is to be discovered in one's contemplation if one is truly honest with oneself.
What is direct experience? Do you mean sensate stimulation before perception discerns name and form and thinking says good or bad? Do you have a direct experience of your blood flowing through your veins or the brain's communication with another part of the body? Where does certainty come into it? Certainty is a cognition. An experience needs an experiencer. How else would you know it is an experience?
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Re: Individuality, Nonduality, Anatta, Nirvana

Post by Matt J »

No, it is not complicated. For example, I can read a book about rain, theorize about the rain, argue about rain, but none of this is direct experience of the rain. For direct experience, I simply need to go outside when it is raining. That is direct experience of rain. And there need be no rain-er for the rain to happen, it just happens. The same goes with thoughts. Thoughts just bubble up--- we don't sit down as a painter does to a canvas and create them bit by bit. I think that the idea of a do-er or agent comes from human manufacturing. We say that potters create pots, for example (although this isn't really true--- the potter shapes the pot using earth, fire, knowledge, relying on food, water, sunlight, etc.) But outside of human manufacturing, this isn't so obvious.

So the same thing goes with Buddhism. We can read a sutra or commentary about how all things are impermanence, we can argue and debate it, but it is only when we look into our direct experience and see it for ourselves time and time again that these thoughts are impermanent, this situation is impermanent, this mental state is impermanent. The same goes with the self or an experiencer. I have not found anything in direct experience that can be called a self. There is a sense of self, but that is not the same thing--- it shifts, changes, and goes away from time to time.

When we are standing in the rain, what we experience is beyond doubt. The cool, wet sensations cannot be denied. What can be denied are the stories we tell--- it is not really raining, we are brains in a vat. Or the rain is simply a hologram produced by the brain. Or it is raining because the thunder god is mad, etc. etc.
Anonymous X wrote: What is direct experience? Do you mean sensate stimulation before perception discerns name and form and thinking says good or bad? Do you have a direct experience of your blood flowing through your veins or the brain's communication with another part of the body? Where does certainty come into it? Certainty is a cognition. An experience needs an experiencer. How else would you know it is an experience?
"The essence of meditation practice is to let go of all your expectations about meditation. All the qualities of your natural mind -- peace, openness, relaxation, and clarity -- are present in your mind just as it is. You don't have to do anything different. You don't have to shift or change your awareness. All you have to do while observing your mind is to recognize the qualities it already has."
--- Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche
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Re: Individuality, Nonduality, Anatta, Nirvana

Post by White Lotus »

I dont need to have a body, spirit or soul to be an individual. I just need to be 1. :anjali:
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: Individuality, Nonduality, Anatta, Nirvana

Post by Queequeg »

CedarTree wrote:
Awakening is clearly something that happens to a living being, altering their perspective or revealing fundamental truths, however you wish to express it, and, while those fundamental truths might be expressed in ways that involve words like "empty of a self", still, it is the sensations that previously made up both self and other that are revealed in some very vivid, clear, immediate, transformative way.

Thus, when they awaken, from their vantage pointless vantage point, the whole field of their unique experience is awakened, but, as basically everyone who has awakened and asked other people if their awakening suddenly awakened everyone else, the answer is "no".

So, while it can't really quite be called an "individual thing", still, it clearly happens to an individual, or a unique sense field, or however you wish to put it. When the Buddha awakened, for example, he still clearly noticed that his awakening didn't awaken everyone, as everyone else also noticed.
I suggested something along these lines above -
Queequeg wrote:On Zhiyi, he also posits a threefold truth - the two truths plus the middle way which he equates with Buddha nature. In the threefold formulation the bias in favor of emptiness over the conditioned you find in some interpretations is rejected and then related to Buddha-nature, but with the three being one and three and both and neither.

I think this relates to your question in the sense that this approach affirms, denies, affirms and denies, and neither affirms nor denies individuality. The way I take it is, our sense of individuality has some basis, but not in a solid and immutable way. The terms I think about it is

I am a particular nexus point in time and space that is dependently originated with the dharmadhatu. This nexus point is unique in the dharmadhatu. It is a unique vantage point. This is the truth of the conditioned.

The dependently originated nature of that nexus reveals it's lack of inherent essence - the truth of emptiness.

And yet, that nexus is indestructible, irreducible, and a particular arrangement of the dharmadhatu. If that nexus is marked by delusion, the dharmadhatu is organized as samsara. If delusion is eradicated, it is 'organized' as Buddhahood.
This is probably a different approach than described in your quote above, but I think provides a straight forward framework that takes the mystery out of anatta and sunyata.

In Madhyamika, dharmas are empty precisely because they are dependently arisen. There really is nothing more to it at this level of the explanation. The confusion, it seems to me, arises with the attempt to directly "experience" emptiness, or alternatively anatta - these are more or less similar insights.

By defining the Individual as a nexus, or alternately, a "vantage point" to describe it in subjective way, I think you can neutralize a lot of the conceptual baggage that gets in the way of defining the "individual", and at the same time, clear the way for continuity of insight to the self (no-self) at subtler levels of realization.

But the question arises, what exactly is the medium of the nexus/vantage point?

Madhyamika as explained in the Karika is silent on this point, I think. I've heard Madhyamika described as setting forth the logic of the full middle - no matter how thoroughly the Madhyamika logic is applied, there is an indescribable remainder. My understanding is that this is where Yogacara picks up.

Zhiyi, strictly speaking, I think was outside the Yogacara lineage - his lineage traced to Nagarjuna through Kumarajiva. It appears he resolved the question of the full middle by positing the Inclusive Middle/Buddha Nature of what he described as the Round/Complete/Perfect Teaching. With the Two Truths of Madhyamika, this made Three Truths.

For a discussion of Zhiyi's Three Truths see Swanson's Tientai Philosophy, Ng's Tientai and Early Madhyamika, and Ziporyn's Emptiness and Omnipresence and/or Evil and/or/as the Good, Hurvitz' biography of Chih-i.

OK, that's the theoretical level -

All of this explaining Zhiyi did was instruction on meditation - the problematic "experience" at the heart of Buddhism. For Zhiyi, I think the "individuality" or nexus, or vantage point is not found in the realization of emptiness or the conditioned, but rather in the Middle Way/Buddhanature. Emptiness describes this Middle Way/Buddhanature, in a way, but not completely (hence Zhiyi's criticism of teachers who emphasized realization of Emptiness as "biased"), but so does the conditioned, in a way, but not completely. Rather, the Middle Way/Buddhanature seems to be the best description of the Budddha's seat of enlightenment, in a way, but not completely. Zhiyi seems to explain in his opus, Mohozhikuan, this seat of enlightenment in terms of the Three Thousand Realms in a Single Moment of Thought.

As best I can tell, this Three Thousand in One describes the Direct Experience that has been mentioned above. Direct Experience seems to me is a description of reality experiencing itself through the particular vantage that is the individual, tempered by the negation of the bias of universal atman, of course.

All this is kind of summed up in a a statement I saw on a sign affixed to the wall around Higashi Honganji, the head temple of Jodo Shinshu -

いま、いのちがあなたを生きている。
Now, life is living you.

I'm sure that I am less than articulate here.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Upaya Chapter

純一実相。実相外。更無別法。法性寂然名止。寂而常渉照名観。
There is only reality; there is nothing separate from reality. The naturally tranquil nature of dharmas is shamatha. The abiding luminosity of tranquility is vipashyana.

-From Guanding's Introduction to Zhiyi's Great Shamatha and Vipashyana
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Re: Individuality, Nonduality, Anatta, Nirvana

Post by CedarTree »

White Lotus wrote:I dont need to have a body, spirit or soul to be an individual. I just need to be 1. :anjali:
I like this.

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Re: Individuality, Nonduality, Anatta, Nirvana

Post by CedarTree »

Queequeg wrote:
CedarTree wrote:
Awakening is clearly something that happens to a living being, altering their perspective or revealing fundamental truths, however you wish to express it, and, while those fundamental truths might be expressed in ways that involve words like "empty of a self", still, it is the sensations that previously made up both self and other that are revealed in some very vivid, clear, immediate, transformative way.

Thus, when they awaken, from their vantage pointless vantage point, the whole field of their unique experience is awakened, but, as basically everyone who has awakened and asked other people if their awakening suddenly awakened everyone else, the answer is "no".

So, while it can't really quite be called an "individual thing", still, it clearly happens to an individual, or a unique sense field, or however you wish to put it. When the Buddha awakened, for example, he still clearly noticed that his awakening didn't awaken everyone, as everyone else also noticed.
I suggested something along these lines above -
Queequeg wrote:On Zhiyi, he also posits a threefold truth - the two truths plus the middle way which he equates with Buddha nature. In the threefold formulation the bias in favor of emptiness over the conditioned you find in some interpretations is rejected and then related to Buddha-nature, but with the three being one and three and both and neither.

I think this relates to your question in the sense that this approach affirms, denies, affirms and denies, and neither affirms nor denies individuality. The way I take it is, our sense of individuality has some basis, but not in a solid and immutable way. The terms I think about it is

I am a particular nexus point in time and space that is dependently originated with the dharmadhatu. This nexus point is unique in the dharmadhatu. It is a unique vantage point. This is the truth of the conditioned.

The dependently originated nature of that nexus reveals it's lack of inherent essence - the truth of emptiness.

And yet, that nexus is indestructible, irreducible, and a particular arrangement of the dharmadhatu. If that nexus is marked by delusion, the dharmadhatu is organized as samsara. If delusion is eradicated, it is 'organized' as Buddhahood.
This is probably a different approach than described in your quote above, but I think provides a straight forward framework that takes the mystery out of anatta and sunyata.

In Madhyamika, dharmas are empty precisely because they are dependently arisen. There really is nothing more to it at this level of the explanation. The confusion, it seems to me, arises with the attempt to directly "experience" emptiness, or alternatively anatta - these are more or less similar insights.

By defining the Individual as a nexus, or alternately, a "vantage point" to describe it in subjective way, I think you can neutralize a lot of the conceptual baggage that gets in the way of defining the "individual", and at the same time, clear the way for continuity of insight to the self (no-self) at subtler levels of realization.

But the question arises, what exactly is the medium of the nexus/vantage point?

Madhyamika as explained in the Karika is silent on this point, I think. I've heard Madhyamika described as setting forth the logic of the full middle - no matter how thoroughly the Madhyamika logic is applied, there is an indescribable remainder. My understanding is that this is where Yogacara picks up.

Zhiyi, strictly speaking, I think was outside the Yogacara lineage - his lineage traced to Nagarjuna through Kumarajiva. It appears he resolved the question of the full middle by positing the Inclusive Middle/Buddha Nature of what he described as the Round/Complete/Perfect Teaching. With the Two Truths of Madhyamika, this made Three Truths.

For a discussion of Zhiyi's Three Truths see Swanson's Tientai Philosophy, Ng's Tientai and Early Madhyamika, and Ziporyn's Emptiness and Omnipresence and/or Evil and/or/as the Good, Hurvitz' biography of Chih-i.

OK, that's the theoretical level -

All of this explaining Zhiyi did was instruction on meditation - the problematic "experience" at the heart of Buddhism. For Zhiyi, I think the "individuality" or nexus, or vantage point is not found in the realization of emptiness or the conditioned, but rather in the Middle Way/Buddhanature. Emptiness describes this Middle Way/Buddhanature, in a way, but not completely (hence Zhiyi's criticism of teachers who emphasized realization of Emptiness as "biased"), but so does the conditioned, in a way, but not completely. Rather, the Middle Way/Buddhanature seems to be the best description of the Budddha's seat of enlightenment, in a way, but not completely. Zhiyi seems to explain in his opus, Mohozhikuan, this seat of enlightenment in terms of the Three Thousand Realms in a Single Moment of Thought.

As best I can tell, this Three Thousand in One describes the Direct Experience that has been mentioned above. Direct Experience seems to me is a description of reality experiencing itself through the particular vantage that is the individual, tempered by the negation of the bias of universal atman, of course.

All this is kind of summed up in a a statement I saw on a sign affixed to the wall around Higashi Honganji, the head temple of Jodo Shinshu -

いま、いのちがあなたを生きている。
Now, life is living you.

I'm sure that I am less than articulate here.
Q you better be a monk. Or I am going to punch you until you become one, great write up :) I think there is still some content we need to draw out about this "vantage point/nexus" but that is definitely on the track of what I was getting at.

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Re: Individuality, Nonduality, Anatta, Nirvana

Post by Wayfarer »

Queequeg wrote:The confusion, it seems to me, arises with the attempt to directly "experience" emptiness, or alternatively anatta - these are more or less similar insights.
'Experience' always implies 'an experiencer'. So you can't 'experience emptiness' - if you have an experience of it, then it's not empty, it contains something, namely 'the experiencer'. That is why in Traleg Kyabgon's book, Luminous Bliss, 'realisation' and 'experience' are differentiated. You can realise what is the case, but that realisation is not an experience as such (even though realisation can give rise to experiences, but teachers always say, whatever experience arises, let it go). The attempt to 'experience' something is always the ego trying to appropriate something ' 'wow, what a great experience I'm going to have', or 'what a terrific experience', and so on. That's why the way is 'not-knowing', un-knowing, 'he that knows it knows it not', and so forth. You kind of have to lean into it through the way of negation, the gateless gate.
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Re: Individuality, Nonduality, Anatta, Nirvana

Post by Malcolm »

Wayfarer wrote:
Queequeg wrote:The confusion, it seems to me, arises with the attempt to directly "experience" emptiness, or alternatively anatta - these are more or less similar insights.
'Experience' always implies 'an experiencer'. So you can't 'experience emptiness' - if you have an experience of it, then it's not empty, it contains something, namely 'the experiencer'.
There is no "experiencer" since there is no agent. There is merely experience, and all experience is empty.
"Nonduality is merely a name;
that name does not exist."
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Re: Individuality, Nonduality, Anatta, Nirvana

Post by Anonymous X »

Matt J wrote:No, it is not complicated. For example, I can read a book about rain, theorize about the rain, argue about rain, but none of this is direct experience of the rain. For direct experience, I simply need to go outside when it is raining. That is direct experience of rain. And there need be no rain-er for the rain to happen, it just happens. The same goes with thoughts. Thoughts just bubble up--- we don't sit down as a painter does to a canvas and create them bit by bit. I think that the idea of a do-er or agent comes from human manufacturing. We say that potters create pots, for example (although this isn't really true--- the potter shapes the pot using earth, fire, knowledge, relying on food, water, sunlight, etc.) But outside of human manufacturing, this isn't so obvious.

So the same thing goes with Buddhism. We can read a sutra or commentary about how all things are impermanence, we can argue and debate it, but it is only when we look into our direct experience and see it for ourselves time and time again that these thoughts are impermanent, this situation is impermanent, this mental state is impermanent. The same goes with the self or an experiencer. I have not found anything in direct experience that can be called a self. There is a sense of self, but that is not the same thing--- it shifts, changes, and goes away from time to time.

When we are standing in the rain, what we experience is beyond doubt. The cool, wet sensations cannot be denied. What can be denied are the stories we tell--- it is not really raining, we are brains in a vat. Or the rain is simply a hologram produced by the brain. Or it is raining because the thunder god is mad, etc. etc.
Anonymous X wrote: What is direct experience? Do you mean sensate stimulation before perception discerns name and form and thinking says good or bad? Do you have a direct experience of your blood flowing through your veins or the brain's communication with another part of the body? Where does certainty come into it? Certainty is a cognition. An experience needs an experiencer. How else would you know it is an experience?
I understand what you are trying to say, but you are still 'experiencing' rain through your perception and discursive mind. There are no cool, wet sensations. Only your thinking interprets rain into cool, wet, sensations. This is the habitual response we have to all experience. This is how we get along in life and communicate with each other. The stories are the extraneous. Your example of direct experience involves an experiencer. The subject-object paradigm is firmly in place. Direct experience doesn't involve your 'mind' and cannot be experienced. It is empty of an experiencer.
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Re: Individuality, Nonduality, Anatta, Nirvana

Post by CedarTree »

Malcolm wrote:
Wayfarer wrote:
Queequeg wrote:The confusion, it seems to me, arises with the attempt to directly "experience" emptiness, or alternatively anatta - these are more or less similar insights.
'Experience' always implies 'an experiencer'. So you can't 'experience emptiness' - if you have an experience of it, then it's not empty, it contains something, namely 'the experiencer'.
There is no "experiencer" since there is no agent. There is merely experience, and all experience is empty.
Yes,

But I am here right now listening to a presentation on youtube. This experience seems isolated around a "sentient" vantage point.

Even without an experiencer and it just being experience and the experience being empty.

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Re: Individuality, Nonduality, Anatta, Nirvana

Post by CedarTree »

There is a great subtlety about what exactly that dynamic is and how it is explained within a dependent origination, non-arising, landscape.

What are these independent worlds of experience that are isolated from other worlds in a system that is suppose to be inter-connected and non-arisen.

And these worlds exist in some dynamic around a sentient vantage point.

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Re: Individuality, Nonduality, Anatta, Nirvana

Post by Anonymous X »

CedarTree wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Wayfarer wrote:
'Experience' always implies 'an experiencer'. So you can't 'experience emptiness' - if you have an experience of it, then it's not empty, it contains something, namely 'the experiencer'.
There is no "experiencer" since there is no agent. There is merely experience, and all experience is empty.
Yes,

But I am here right now listening to a presentation on youtube. This experience seems isolated around a "sentient" vantage point.

Even without an experiencer and it just being experience and the experience being empty.
You are daydreaming..........
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Re: Individuality, Nonduality, Anatta, Nirvana

Post by CedarTree »

Anonymous X wrote:
CedarTree wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
There is no "experiencer" since there is no agent. There is merely experience, and all experience is empty.
Yes,

But I am here right now listening to a presentation on youtube. This experience seems isolated around a "sentient" vantage point.

Even without an experiencer and it just being experience and the experience being empty.
You are daydreaming..........
Words still stand ;)

Practice, Practice, Practice
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Re: Individuality, Nonduality, Anatta, Nirvana

Post by Wayfarer »

Matt J wrote:When we are standing in the rain, what we experience is beyond doubt. The cool, wet sensations cannot be denied.
Imagine you've parked your car and gone to a shop a few hundred meters away. You finish shopping and then head back towards your car, when suddenly there's a cloudburst and it starts pelting down with rain. You break into a sprint and run towards your car - but as you do so, you realise you've left your keys on the shop counter.

'Running through the rain' is an experience. 'Realising you've left your keys' is a realisation.

Experience and realisation are obviously connected but they are not the same thing.

***

My take is that 'realising emptiness' consists of realising that no experience is going to bring satisfaction - even the desire to 'realise emptiness', as that is also a desire (in this case, for some imagined state of 'emptiness').

'Realising emptiness' is more about letting go the desire or need for experience, than it is a particular experience.

I think that's why, in the Prajñāpāramitā Sutras, it is said that the bodhisattva is undaunted or not disappointed. I take this to be the meaning of the introduction to the Prajñāpāramitā Sutras, in which it is said:
No wisdom can we get hold of
No highest perfection
No Bodhisattva, no thought of enlightenment either
When told of this, if not bewildered and in no way anxious
A Bodhisattva courses in the Tathagatha’s wisdom.
...

(Asta Prajñāpāramitā Sutra, trs Conze).

As far as there being 'agents' - clearly there are agents, otherwise, there would be no Dharmawheel, as all the entries are written by people. It's the agent's 'wishing to experience enlightenment' which is the issue. So long as there is the thought of 'something to attain', then that is not realising emptiness.
'Only practice with no gaining idea' ~ Suzuki Roshi
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