Brunnhölzl on Buddha Nature as a radical teaching.

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Astus
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Re: Brunnhölzl on Buddha Nature as a radical teaching.

Post by Astus »

Könchok Chödrak wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 3:16 pmCan we respect constructs as form, then form as Emptiness, then Emptiness as the basis for who we are, without saying we don’t exist just because we are infinite?
Emptiness is not a basis of anything, it rather means baselessness, that there is no ultimate substratum behind phenomena. We are certainly not infinite, but finite and dependent entities.
Isn’t what really doesn’t exist the material aspect of this world, the non-Nirvanic, non-Buddhic dream of craving, but all the while, all the while Love and Compassion are real—?
Neither the material, nor the mental appearances are real in the sense of existing in and of themselves, but real in the sense of conditioned conditions. Emotions like love and compassion are very much temporary composite phenomena.
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"
Malcolm
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Re: Brunnhölzl on Buddha Nature as a radical teaching.

Post by Malcolm »

Astus wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:18 pm but real in the sense of conditioned conditions.
No, not even that.
"Nonduality is merely a name;
that name does not exist."
—Kotalipa
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Astus
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Re: Brunnhölzl on Buddha Nature as a radical teaching.

Post by Astus »

Malcolm wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:22 pmNo, not even that.
No, because there are no appearances, or because they are not dependent, or maybe both?
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"
Malcolm
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Re: Brunnhölzl on Buddha Nature as a radical teaching.

Post by Malcolm »

Astus wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 9:52 pm
Malcolm wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:22 pmNo, not even that.
No, because there are no appearances, or because they are not dependent, or maybe both?
No, because conditions also cannot be found upon analysis, exactly like material and mental appearances, the former are no more real than the latter. They have the same amount of reality, they are unable to bear ultimate analysis.
"Nonduality is merely a name;
that name does not exist."
—Kotalipa
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Astus
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Re: Brunnhölzl on Buddha Nature as a radical teaching.

Post by Astus »

Malcolm wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:15 pmNo, because conditions also cannot be found upon analysis, exactly like material and mental appearances, the former are no more real than the latter. They have the same amount of reality, they are unable to bear ultimate analysis.
Do say that conventionally things exist independently?
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"
Malcolm
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Re: Brunnhölzl on Buddha Nature as a radical teaching.

Post by Malcolm »

Astus wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:30 pm
Malcolm wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:15 pmNo, because conditions also cannot be found upon analysis, exactly like material and mental appearances, the former are no more real than the latter. They have the same amount of reality, they are unable to bear ultimate analysis.
Do say that conventionally things exist independently?
That question is incoherent, it assumes that conditions can bear analysis. They can't. They are just relative appearances upon which designations are made.
"Nonduality is merely a name;
that name does not exist."
—Kotalipa
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Astus
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Re: Brunnhölzl on Buddha Nature as a radical teaching.

Post by Astus »

Malcolm wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:47 pm That question is incoherent, it assumes that conditions can bear analysis. They can't. They are just relative appearances upon which designations are made.
If so, how can any valid statements be made? No difference between ordinary true and false?
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"
Malcolm
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Re: Brunnhölzl on Buddha Nature as a radical teaching.

Post by Malcolm »

Astus wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 6:47 am
Malcolm wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:47 pm That question is incoherent, it assumes that conditions can bear analysis. They can't. They are just relative appearances upon which designations are made.
If so, how can any valid statements be made? No difference between ordinary true and false?
Conventional truths are derived from observing functional appearances. Falsehoods are derived from observing nonfunctional appearances. Example, lake vs. mirage.
"Nonduality is merely a name;
that name does not exist."
—Kotalipa
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Astus
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Re: Brunnhölzl on Buddha Nature as a radical teaching.

Post by Astus »

Malcolm wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 12:33 pmConventional truths are derived from observing functional appearances. Falsehoods are derived from observing nonfunctional appearances. Example, lake vs. mirage.
And by functional do you mean causally effective? If so, what's wrong with saying that phenomena are conditional?
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"
Malcolm
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Re: Brunnhölzl on Buddha Nature as a radical teaching.

Post by Malcolm »

Astus wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 12:40 pm
Malcolm wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 12:33 pmConventional truths are derived from observing functional appearances. Falsehoods are derived from observing nonfunctional appearances. Example, lake vs. mirage.
And by functional do you mean causally effective? If so, what's wrong with saying that phenomena are conditional?
You used the word “real”.
"Nonduality is merely a name;
that name does not exist."
—Kotalipa
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Re: Brunnhölzl on Buddha Nature as a radical teaching.

Post by Astus »

Malcolm wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 12:43 pmYou used the word “real”.
Yes, but "real in the sense of" functional, conditioned, causally relevant, and not as "real in the sense of existing in and of themselves".
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"
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Re: Brunnhölzl on Buddha Nature as a radical teaching.

Post by Malcolm »

Astus wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 1:55 pm
Malcolm wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 12:43 pmYou used the word “real”.
Yes, but "real in the sense of" functional, conditioned, causally relevant, and not as "real in the sense of existing in and of themselves".
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/real

“ 1a : having objective independent existence...”

To say something is real, in English, means to have objective, independent existence. Thus, one cannot say conditions are real.
"Nonduality is merely a name;
that name does not exist."
—Kotalipa
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Re: Brunnhölzl on Buddha Nature as a radical teaching.

Post by Astus »

Malcolm wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 2:21 pmTo say something is real, in English, means to have objective, independent existence. Thus, one cannot say conditions are real.
I see. I try to keep that in mind. Still, if I look at the definition from Lexico as 'Actually existing as a thing or occurring in fact; not imagined or supposed.'; or from Cambridge Dictionary as 'existing in fact and not imaginary', then it doesn't have to have such a connotation, but rather something's factual nature is what makes it real, that it can be perceived as occurring or happening, that it is a factor. Anyhow, do you have perhaps some better words to use then?
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"
Malcolm
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Re: Brunnhölzl on Buddha Nature as a radical teaching.

Post by Malcolm »

Astus wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 3:34 pm
Malcolm wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 2:21 pmTo say something is real, in English, means to have objective, independent existence. Thus, one cannot say conditions are real.
I see. I try to keep that in mind. Still, if I look at the definition from Lexico as 'Actually existing as a thing or occurring in fact; not imagined or supposed.'; or from Cambridge Dictionary as 'existing in fact and not imaginary', then it doesn't have to have such a connotation, but rather something's factual nature is what makes it real, that it can be perceived as occurring or happening, that it is a factor. Anyhow, do you have perhaps some better words to use then?
Merriam Webster is the preferred dictionary of editors in North America. In any case, your two definitions above support Merriam Webster's definition.

It's just better to avoid the world "real" in Buddhist parlance. Anything that cannot bear analysis cannot be construed as real in any meaningful sense. Since not even nirvana or the three kāyas can withstand analysis, in the final analysis, Buddhism finds that everything is dependent on conditions, which are also unreal. Hence, everything is unreal, and not real. This is what it means to say everything is empty. To say something is not empty is to say that it is real; to say that something is empty is to say that it is not real.
"Nonduality is merely a name;
that name does not exist."
—Kotalipa
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Re: Brunnhölzl on Buddha Nature as a radical teaching.

Post by Matt J »

It sounds to me like Astus is following the Gelug view of stating that things exist conventionally.
"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: Brunnhölzl on Buddha Nature as a radical teaching.

Post by Malcolm »

Matt J wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 4:35 pm It sounds to me like Astus is following the Gelug view of stating that things exist conventionally.
Equally bad:

Exist:

!a: to have real being whether material or spiritual

b : to have being in a specified place or with respect to understood limitations or conditions
"Nonduality is merely a name;
that name does not exist."
—Kotalipa
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Re: Brunnhölzl on Buddha Nature as a radical teaching.

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Malcolm wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 4:38 pm
Matt J wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 4:35 pm It sounds to me like Astus is following the Gelug view of stating that things exist conventionally.
Equally bad:

Exist:

!a: to have real being whether material or spiritual

b : to have being in a specified place or with respect to understood limitations or conditions
This is where I think the term occur is more accurate.

The phrase, “exist conventionally”, from a Buddhist standpoint, is actually an oxymoron, because “exist” ultimately refers to self-arising, or having an intrinsic reality that isn’t the result of causes and conditions. But, something cannot ‘exist’ intrinsically and simultaneously only arise within the context of something else. So, the phrase “exists conventionally” cannot be taken at face value.

When Gelugpas say that phenomena “exist conventionally” they mean that just as objects in a dream “exist” within the context of that dream (“conventionally” means with regard to context), objects appear as real within the context of our samsaric experience. If you drop a brick on your toe, whether in a dream or not, there is no denying that the pain occurs as an object of awareness (even if that pain, as some might argue, is merely a mental projection).

Unfortunately, the term “occur conventionally” is not used. There is no dispute that the ‘reality’ each person constantly experiences occurs conventionally.
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Re: Brunnhölzl on Buddha Nature as a radical teaching.

Post by SilenceMonkey »

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 4:55 pm
Malcolm wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 4:38 pm
Matt J wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 4:35 pm It sounds to me like Astus is following the Gelug view of stating that things exist conventionally.
Equally bad:

Exist:

!a: to have real being whether material or spiritual

b : to have being in a specified place or with respect to understood limitations or conditions
This is where I think the term occur is more accurate.

The phrase, “exist conventionally”, from a Buddhist standpoint, is actually an oxymoron, because “exist” ultimately refers to self-arising, or having an intrinsic reality that isn’t the result of causes and conditions. But, something cannot ‘exist’ intrinsically and simultaneously only arise within the context of something else. So, the phrase “exists conventionally” cannot be taken at face value.

When Gelugpas say that phenomena “exist conventionally” they mean that just as objects in a dream “exist” within the context of that dream (“conventionally” means with regard to context), objects appear as real within the context of our samsaric experience. If you drop a brick on your toe, whether in a dream or not, there is no denying that the pain occurs as an object of awareness (even if that pain, as some might argue, is merely a mental projection).

Unfortunately, the term “occur conventionally” is not used. There is no dispute that the ‘reality’ each person constantly experiences occurs conventionally.
Word. The word "existence" itself tends to reify the things we're talking about. I've found that even if one understands the theory of dependent arising, by saying something exists conventionally, most of the time this is just reifying the object because there is a feeling of real existence underneath the word "exist."

And maybe it's a translation issue. Because the Tibetan term ཡོད་པ་ (yoe pa) is quite different than the english word "exist." The english word "exist" means something exists. (Inherency is deeply imbedded.) But the term "yoe pa" to me is more like "something is there." It's either there or it's not there. Same in chinese with 有 and 無 (yo and wu).
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Re: Brunnhölzl on Buddha Nature as a radical teaching.

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Matt J wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 4:35 pm It sounds to me like Astus is following the Gelug view of stating that things exist conventionally.
I'd rather put it as: whatever can be called existent is just a convention, a conceptual fabrication. Not because it is ontologically meaningful, but because taking one's ideas to be real is the root of suffering.

'Since external appearances are confusion, know them to be unreal.
Since the internal mind itself is without a self, know it to be empty.
Since the thoughts in between arise conditionally, know them to be adventitious.'

(Precious Garland by Gampopa, ch 6, p 167-168)
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"
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Re: Brunnhölzl on Buddha Nature as a radical teaching.

Post by Malcolm »

Astus wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 8:14 pm I'd rather put it as: whatever can be called existent is just a convention, a conceptual fabrication.
So which comes first, appearance or convention?
"Nonduality is merely a name;
that name does not exist."
—Kotalipa
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