Inherent Existence? (continued)

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conebeckham
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Re: Inherent Existence? (continued)

Post by conebeckham »

wpwoodjr wrote: Fri Feb 09, 2024 10:53 pm
conebeckham wrote: Fri Feb 09, 2024 5:25 pm
wpwoodjr wrote: Fri Feb 09, 2024 3:59 am

How would one know this empirically? What do you mean by this?
To be a Mind Aware of something, there is that "something" which is the object of that awareness, of mind.
So --no "Mind" or Awareness without the object it depends upon. Anything dependent on something else cannot exist inherently, by definition.
OK... mind experiences everything subjectively. I think we can agree on that. Mind therefor understands that there is no inherent existence, in fact it laughs at the idea of "objective" reality, or inherent existence.

So mind simply understands its experience as being subjective. That doesn't imply that mind is non-existent. Its not even a question that comes up for mind.
Mind, in this case via a conceptual, analytical process, can "understand: there is no "inherent existence" or objective reality. To have an actual experience of this lack of objective reality or inherent existence is actually to experience emptiness, and is the beginning of being An Arya Bodhisattva, as I understand things.

Our habitual patterning "assumes" existence, objectivity, etc.
If you understand your experience as subjective, that is a wonderful thing to understand, but are you understanding it conceptually, or as a direct experience?

Also, this object called "mind"---where is it when there is no object of mind? How, and in what way, can it be said to exist, apart from it's objects?
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
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དེ་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ལ་ནི་ལོ་རྟོག་སེལ།།


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")
natusake
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Re: Inherent Existence? (continued)

Post by natusake »

wpwoodjr wrote: Fri Feb 09, 2024 3:59 am
natusake wrote: Tue Jan 30, 2024 6:17 pm
wpwoodjr wrote: Mon Jan 29, 2024 8:16 pm Mind is aware. No beliefs about its existence or its cause and effect are required in order to discuss the qualities of its experience.
Yes, and a mind that is aware is a mind empty of inherent existence.
How would one know this empirically? What do you mean by this?
By analyzing the mind viz a viz Nagarjuna's example in my previous post.
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Inherent Existence? (continued)

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

wpwoodjr wrote: Fri Feb 09, 2024 10:53 pm So mind simply understands its experience as being subjective. That doesn't imply that mind is non-existent. Its not even a question that comes up for mind.
“exist” in this context means not arising conditionally, from other causes.
If mind does that, then mind “exists”.
If mind arises conditionally then there is no thing you can point to that exists as “mind” .
EMPTIFUL.
An inward outlook produces outward insight.
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Re: Inherent Existence? (continued)

Post by wpwoodjr »

natusake wrote: Sat Feb 10, 2024 1:06 am
wpwoodjr wrote: Fri Feb 09, 2024 3:59 am
natusake wrote: Tue Jan 30, 2024 6:17 pm

Yes, and a mind that is aware is a mind empty of inherent existence.
How would one know this empirically? What do you mean by this?
By analyzing the mind viz a viz Nagarjuna's example in my previous post.
OK, and that's not empirical. Do you find it helpful to think of things in that way?
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Re: Inherent Existence? (continued)

Post by wpwoodjr »

conebeckham wrote: Sat Feb 10, 2024 1:01 am
wpwoodjr wrote: Fri Feb 09, 2024 10:53 pm
conebeckham wrote: Fri Feb 09, 2024 5:25 pm

To be a Mind Aware of something, there is that "something" which is the object of that awareness, of mind.
So --no "Mind" or Awareness without the object it depends upon. Anything dependent on something else cannot exist inherently, by definition.
OK... mind experiences everything subjectively. I think we can agree on that. Mind therefor understands that there is no inherent existence, in fact it laughs at the idea of "objective" reality, or inherent existence.

So mind simply understands its experience as being subjective. That doesn't imply that mind is non-existent. Its not even a question that comes up for mind.
Mind, in this case via a conceptual, analytical process, can "understand: there is no "inherent existence" or objective reality. To have an actual experience of this lack of objective reality or inherent existence is actually to experience emptiness, and is the beginning of being An Arya Bodhisattva, as I understand things.

Our habitual patterning "assumes" existence, objectivity, etc.
If you understand your experience as subjective, that is a wonderful thing to understand, but are you understanding it conceptually, or as a direct experience?

Also, this object called "mind"---where is it when there is no object of mind? How, and in what way, can it be said to exist, apart from it's objects?
When you say "emptiness" I think that is the same as "no inherent existence". In the experience I had, the experience of subjectivity was direct and obvious rather than conceptual.
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Re: Inherent Existence? (continued)

Post by wpwoodjr »

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Sat Feb 10, 2024 1:43 am
wpwoodjr wrote: Fri Feb 09, 2024 10:53 pm So mind simply understands its experience as being subjective. That doesn't imply that mind is non-existent. Its not even a question that comes up for mind.
“exist” in this context means not arising conditionally, from other causes.
If mind does that, then mind “exists”.
If mind arises conditionally then there is no thing you can point to that exists as “mind” .
Mind can only experience subjectively. The mistake is to objectify by projecting inherent existence.
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Re: Inherent Existence? (continued)

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

Subjective, objective, inherent, not inherent are all just ways we use language to talk about relative truths, even when trying to discuss ultimate truth, we can only do it with language, which is by definition provisional. We can only make a really vague, partial facsimile.

None of these distinctions apply from “within” the real nature of an experience, they are all imposed and imputed from outside because the nature of experiences themselves have none of these limitations at all, even experiences based on ignorance.
Meditate upon Bodhicitta when afflicted by disease

Meditate upon Bodhicitta when sad

Meditate upon Bodhicitta when suffering occurs

Meditate upon Bodhicitta when you are scared

-Khunu Lama
wpwoodjr
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Re: Inherent Existence? (continued)

Post by wpwoodjr »

Johnny Dangerous wrote: Tue Feb 13, 2024 9:52 pm Subjective, objective, inherent, not inherent are all just ways we use language to talk about relative truths, even when trying to discuss ultimate truth, we can only do it with language, which is by definition provisional. We can only make a really vague, partial facsimile.

None of these distinctions apply from “within” the real nature of an experience, they are all imposed and imputed from outside because the nature of experiences themselves have none of these limitations at all, even experiences based on ignorance.
Sounds like you're saying that we cannot describe what its like to experience awakening... I would say we can describe it, but folks may not fully understand what is meant, without experiencing it.

For instance, awakened people are happy, right? That's the whole point of the Buddha's teaching. But most people will not understand what its like to be happy like that.
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Re: Inherent Existence? (continued)

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

wpwoodjr wrote: Tue Feb 13, 2024 10:06 pm
Johnny Dangerous wrote: Tue Feb 13, 2024 9:52 pm Subjective, objective, inherent, not inherent are all just ways we use language to talk about relative truths, even when trying to discuss ultimate truth, we can only do it with language, which is by definition provisional. We can only make a really vague, partial facsimile.

None of these distinctions apply from “within” the real nature of an experience, they are all imposed and imputed from outside because the nature of experiences themselves have none of these limitations at all, even experiences based on ignorance.
Sounds like you're saying that we cannot describe what its like to experience awakening... I would say we can describe it, but folks may not fully understand what is meant, without experiencing it.

For instance, awakened people are happy, right? That's the whole point of the Buddha's teaching. But most people will not understand what its like to be happy like that.
Description in language/concepts can only be a pointer.
The nature of experience/mind/phenomena does not need any qualifiers to be as it is, and doesn’t need correction or classification.

This is impossible to accurately describe because description and classification itself involves reification and narrowness, placing limits on what is beyond them, etc. ironically, none of that is a “real” problem either.
Meditate upon Bodhicitta when afflicted by disease

Meditate upon Bodhicitta when sad

Meditate upon Bodhicitta when suffering occurs

Meditate upon Bodhicitta when you are scared

-Khunu Lama
natusake
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Re: Inherent Existence? (continued)

Post by natusake »

wpwoodjr wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 2:45 pm
natusake wrote: Sat Feb 10, 2024 1:06 am
wpwoodjr wrote: Fri Feb 09, 2024 3:59 am

How would one know this empirically? What do you mean by this?
By analyzing the mind viz a viz Nagarjuna's example in my previous post.
OK, and that's not empirical. Do you find it helpful to think of things in that way?
Yes, it is helpful. You can't analyze the mind empirically. The mind is not an empirical phenomena and can't be observed. You're demanding an examination of the mind that cannot be done. The analysis of Nagarjuna is helpful in keeping us from confusion such as a belief that the mind must be empirically examined.
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Re: Inherent Existence? (continued)

Post by wpwoodjr »

natusake wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2024 7:45 pm
wpwoodjr wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 2:45 pm
natusake wrote: Sat Feb 10, 2024 1:06 am

By analyzing the mind viz a viz Nagarjuna's example in my previous post.
OK, and that's not empirical. Do you find it helpful to think of things in that way?
Yes, it is helpful. You can't analyze the mind empirically. The mind is not an empirical phenomena and can't be observed. You're demanding an examination of the mind that cannot be done. The analysis of Nagarjuna is helpful in keeping us from confusion such as a belief that the mind must be empirically examined.
Would you agree that meditation is an empirical (based on, concerned with, or verifiable by observation or experience rather than theory or pure logic) activity? Would you agree that meditation provides insight and clarity into the nature of mind?
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Re: Inherent Existence? (continued)

Post by natusake »

wpwoodjr wrote: Fri Mar 01, 2024 11:45 pm
natusake wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2024 7:45 pm
wpwoodjr wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 2:45 pm
OK, and that's not empirical. Do you find it helpful to think of things in that way?
Yes, it is helpful. You can't analyze the mind empirically. The mind is not an empirical phenomena and can't be observed. You're demanding an examination of the mind that cannot be done. The analysis of Nagarjuna is helpful in keeping us from confusion such as a belief that the mind must be empirically examined.
Would you agree that meditation is an empirical (based on, concerned with, or verifiable by observation or experience rather than theory or pure logic) activity? Would you agree that meditation provides insight and clarity into the nature of mind?
That distinction is an appendage of Western epistemology and has no business or function in abhidharma or yogic practice.
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Re: Inherent Existence? (continued)

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

wpwoodjr wrote: Fri Mar 01, 2024 11:45 pm
natusake wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2024 7:45 pm The mind is not an empirical phenomena and can't be observed. You're demanding an examination of the mind that cannot be done.
Would you agree that meditation is an empirical (based on, concerned with, or verifiable by observation or experience rather than theory or pure logic) activity? Would you agree that meditation provides insight and clarity into the nature of mind?
I would, regarding both.

Even though Buddhists often talk about “observing the mind itself” you can’t technically look at your own mind. And it is sort of like why you can’t look at your own eyes: your mind is what is looking and observing.

You can observe mental peace, or mental restlessness or fear or joy or whatever, and those don’t exist outside of the mind. So when buddhists talk about “looking directly at the mind” they actually mean looking at the behavior of the mind.
But restlessness and so on, anything that is observable, are objects of consciousness. They are things the mind is observing or aware of.
EMPTIFUL.
An inward outlook produces outward insight.
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Re: Inherent Existence? (continued)

Post by wpwoodjr »

natusake wrote: Mon Mar 04, 2024 5:07 pm
wpwoodjr wrote: Fri Mar 01, 2024 11:45 pm
natusake wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2024 7:45 pm

Yes, it is helpful. You can't analyze the mind empirically. The mind is not an empirical phenomena and can't be observed. You're demanding an examination of the mind that cannot be done. The analysis of Nagarjuna is helpful in keeping us from confusion such as a belief that the mind must be empirically examined.
Would you agree that meditation is an empirical (based on, concerned with, or verifiable by observation or experience rather than theory or pure logic) activity? Would you agree that meditation provides insight and clarity into the nature of mind?
That distinction is an appendage of Western epistemology and has no business or function in abhidharma or yogic practice.
Are you saying that meditation as practiced by Westerners is different from that taught in the Abhidharma or yogic practices? If so, how so?
wpwoodjr
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Re: Inherent Existence? (continued)

Post by wpwoodjr »

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Mon Mar 04, 2024 5:48 pm
wpwoodjr wrote: Fri Mar 01, 2024 11:45 pm
natusake wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2024 7:45 pm The mind is not an empirical phenomena and can't be observed. You're demanding an examination of the mind that cannot be done.
Would you agree that meditation is an empirical (based on, concerned with, or verifiable by observation or experience rather than theory or pure logic) activity? Would you agree that meditation provides insight and clarity into the nature of mind?
I would, regarding both.

Even though Buddhists often talk about “observing the mind itself” you can’t technically look at your own mind. And it is sort of like why you can’t look at your own eyes: your mind is what is looking and observing.

You can observe mental peace, or mental restlessness or fear or joy or whatever, and those don’t exist outside of the mind. So when buddhists talk about “looking directly at the mind” they actually mean looking at the behavior of the mind.
But restlessness and so on, anything that is observable, are objects of consciousness. They are things the mind is observing or aware of.
Yes, and I didn't say that mind was observing mind in meditation. Mind is observing fabrications.
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Re: Inherent Existence? (continued)

Post by natusake »

wpwoodjr wrote: Wed Mar 06, 2024 9:33 pm
natusake wrote: Mon Mar 04, 2024 5:07 pm
wpwoodjr wrote: Fri Mar 01, 2024 11:45 pm

Would you agree that meditation is an empirical (based on, concerned with, or verifiable by observation or experience rather than theory or pure logic) activity? Would you agree that meditation provides insight and clarity into the nature of mind?
That distinction is an appendage of Western epistemology and has no business or function in abhidharma or yogic practice.
Are you saying that meditation as practiced by Westerners is different from that taught in the Abhidharma or yogic practices? If so, how so?
No, I'm saying Western epistemology is not fit for analyzing meditation, ergo Western epistemology is not fit for analyzing meditation as practiced by Westerners.
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Re: Inherent Existence? (continued)

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

conebeckham wrote: Sat Feb 10, 2024 1:01 am
wpwoodjr wrote: Fri Feb 09, 2024 10:53 pm So mind simply understands its experience as being subjective. That doesn't imply that mind is non-existent. Its not even a question that comes up for mind.

This is the point that separates the Buddhist view from various other schools of Indian philosophy.

They say that there is something permanent that functions as observer. Buddhism says that functioning only arises when there is an object of observation.

It’s like talking about gusts of wind. Substitute M for W and we can say “gusts of mind” Just as there is no ‘wind’ that is sometimes blowing and sometimes not blowing, likewise ‘mind’ only occurs as the interaction of awareness and objects of awareness. There’s no thing that is “mind” hanging around waiting for thoughts to pop out of it.
EMPTIFUL.
An inward outlook produces outward insight.
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Re: Inherent Existence? (continued)

Post by natusake »

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Sat Mar 09, 2024 10:20 pm
conebeckham wrote: Sat Feb 10, 2024 1:01 am
wpwoodjr wrote: Fri Feb 09, 2024 10:53 pm So mind simply understands its experience as being subjective. That doesn't imply that mind is non-existent. Its not even a question that comes up for mind.

This is the point that separates the Buddhist view from various other schools of Indian philosophy.

They say that there is something permanent that functions as observer. Buddhism says that functioning only arises when there is an object of observation.

It’s like talking about gusts of wind. Substitute M for W and we can say “gusts of mind” Just as there is no ‘wind’ that is sometimes blowing and sometimes not blowing, likewise ‘mind’ only occurs as the interaction of awareness and objects of awareness. There’s no thing that is “mind” hanging around waiting for thoughts to pop out of it.
Mind arises even without an object, but the mind that arises without an object is gnosis (jnana). When the mind arises with an object, then in the present mind, it is vijnana.

From the Akṣayamatinirdeśa Sutra:

Furthermore, the arising of consciousness from observation, the arising of consciousness from mental application, and the arising of consciousness from conceptual thinking are "consciousness.”

That which is without apprehension, without reflection, without observation, without cognition, and without thought is "gnosis.”
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Re: Inherent Existence? (continued)

Post by wpwoodjr »

natusake wrote: Sat Mar 09, 2024 8:32 pm
wpwoodjr wrote: Wed Mar 06, 2024 9:33 pm
natusake wrote: Mon Mar 04, 2024 5:07 pm

That distinction is an appendage of Western epistemology and has no business or function in abhidharma or yogic practice.
Are you saying that meditation as practiced by Westerners is different from that taught in the Abhidharma or yogic practices? If so, how so?
No, I'm saying Western epistemology is not fit for analyzing meditation, ergo Western epistemology is not fit for analyzing meditation as practiced by Westerners.
You seem to have deflected my question. The question is simple enough:
Would you agree that meditation is an empirical (based on, concerned with, or verifiable by observation or experience rather than theory or pure logic) activity? Would you agree that meditation provides insight and clarity into the nature of mind?
natusake
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Re: Inherent Existence? (continued)

Post by natusake »

wpwoodjr wrote: Wed Mar 13, 2024 10:05 pm
natusake wrote: Sat Mar 09, 2024 8:32 pm
wpwoodjr wrote: Wed Mar 06, 2024 9:33 pm

Are you saying that meditation as practiced by Westerners is different from that taught in the Abhidharma or yogic practices? If so, how so?
No, I'm saying Western epistemology is not fit for analyzing meditation, ergo Western epistemology is not fit for analyzing meditation as practiced by Westerners.
You seem to have deflected my question. The question is simple enough:
Would you agree that meditation is an empirical (based on, concerned with, or verifiable by observation or experience rather than theory or pure logic) activity? Would you agree that meditation provides insight and clarity into the nature of mind?
Yes, because the question assumes premises that do not apply to the received tradition of Buddhadharma. The distinction between empiricism and rationalism does not exist in Buddhism. The closest you have is the distinction between direct perception (pratyakṣa) and inference (anumāna), however neither of these fall under the meaning that the terms empirical and rational come to have in Western epistemology. And meditation, for that matter, may involve pratyakṣa or anumāna, or both, or neither, depending on one's method. So the entire question is based on a false premise and is not worthy of an answer.

Although, as to the second question, then yes, practice does lead to insight. That's why we practice.
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