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OfflineMainlyMind
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Registered: 11/27/08
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Last seen: 15 years, 4 months
Re: Bliss [Re: Recondicom]
    #9443624 - 12/16/08 01:00 PM (15 years, 5 months ago)

>>>Doctrines of Buddhism. I’m not trying to define Buddhism and I see that MM does not concur in any of my observations.

I'm not aware of disagreeing with you really, I'm simply putting forward what the Eastern traditions, who defined the word and concept of realisation, say about it. What I'm doing isn't talking about a doctrine particular to one group or religion; whether you're a Buddhist, Taoist, Hindu, Sufi, or Christian, the experience of non-duality is the same. I'm just putting forward what 'we' think, I would hope never to supress someone else's view, this is an open forum.

If you have your own definition with its own criteria then who is to stop you? Explain it here by all means, it will probably be far more interesting than me writing endless pages!:)


>>>But it is the use of the word deity that makes Buddhism a religion and not a philosophy.  So it is religion that have doctrines.

No, sorry, that's not true. We use the term in a different way. You have to rememebr that this is translated from Tibetan, so there are many terms that english really isn't sutied for. In Buddhism, particularly Tibetan Buddhism, there are a lot of Deities, and Daikinis and all kinds of 'beings', but they're just symbolic representations of abstract concepts, like emptiness, or states of mind, nobody believes in them as truly existing.

There are teaching stories where these 'beings' taunt humans or are overcome by enlightened monks, and inside these stories, written with 'veiled intent' are teaching cases on how to approach full understanding. Take the 'deity' Samantabhadra, the voice of a key text 'the Supreme Source', this is representative of Ultimate nature, not a real god that anyone believes in or worships. You see, there is no elements of worship in Buddhism (though southern Buddhism does take veneration a long way). Buddha said not to worship him, because he regarded himself in the same way that we all do, like a normal human being. I thank Buddha, I would never worship him.

>>  Ultimate truth in the two truths doctrine from Buddhism.

The two-truths doctrine is an intermediate teaching from Mahayana, it's superceded in later work.

>>  In Judeo-Christian I find it easier to say being in touch with the absolute truth.

If you are in touch with the absolute truth, of course you should say that. If a Buddhist is in touch with Absolute Truth, should he say the same?

>>  And for enlighten… being rational is just enough. For I learn from anybody rational.

Then you have found your own way, nobody can offer you more. Why should my path be any more gratifying or right than yours? It obviously can not be if you find pleasure and solace in it. I am happy for you:)

MM

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InvisibleRecondicom
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Re: Bliss [Re: MainlyMind]
    #9444770 - 12/16/08 04:18 PM (15 years, 5 months ago)

MM:
>>>Doctrines of Buddhism. I’m not trying to define Buddhism and I see that MM does not concur in any of my observations.

I'm not aware of disagreeing with you really, I'm simply putting forward what the Eastern traditions, who defined the word and concept of realisation, say about it. What I'm doing isn't talking about a doctrine particular to one group or religion; whether you're a Buddhist, Taoist, Hindu, Sufi, or Christian, the experience of non-duality is the same. I'm just putting forward what 'we' think, I would hope never to supress someone else's view, this is an open forum.
  A: You are not aware.

If you have your own definition with its own criteria then who is to stop you? Explain it here by all means, it will probably be far more interesting than me writing endless pages!:)
A: So you said.

MM:
>>>But it is the use of the word deity that makes Buddhism a religion and not a philosophy.  So it is religion that have doctrines.

No, sorry, that's not true. We use the term in a different way. You have to rememebr that this is translated from Tibetan, so there are many terms that english really isn't sutied for. In Buddhism, particularly Tibetan Buddhism, there are a lot of Deities, and Daikinis and all kinds of 'beings', but they're just symbolic representations of abstract concepts, like emptiness, or states of mind, nobody believes in them as truly existing.

A: Not true is too strong when the evidence to the contrary is much more. Perhaps,  I need clarification as to whether you mean the word Deity in the English language or the spirit of the concept you putting forth. Are we discussing then the capability of the English language to convey Buddhism.  Of course Deity is just one of the words I have problems with. Deity is derived from Deus (God)… 


MM: There are teaching stories where these 'beings' taunt humans or are overcome by enlightened monks, and inside these stories, written with 'veiled intent' are teaching cases on how to approach full understanding. Take the 'deity' Samantabhadra, the voice of a key text 'the Supreme Source', this is representative of Ultimate nature, not a real god that anyone believes in or worships. You see, there is no elements of worship in Buddhism (though southern Buddhism does take veneration a long way). Buddha said not to worship him, because he regarded himself in the same way that we all do, like a normal human being. I thank Buddha, I would never worship him.
  A: “beings’?  Angels and demons?

MM:

>>  Ultimate truth in the two truths doctrine from Buddhism.

The two-truths doctrine is an intermediate teaching from Mahayana, it's superceded in later work.

>>  In Judeo-Christian I find it easier to say being in touch with the absolute truth.

If you are in touch with the absolute truth, of course you should say that. If a Buddhist is in touch with Absolute Truth, should he say the same?

>>  And for enlighten… being rational is just enough. For I learn from anybody rational.
 

Then you have found your own way, nobody can offer you more. Why should my path be any more gratifying or right than yours? It obviously can not be if you find pleasure and solace in it. I am happy for you:)
A: And like you said my path is short and sweet…but an open imperfect path.  Peace and good luck to you in your search of Buddhist meaning.. I can offer some English meaning.


--------------------
Wave.
'And for this reason repentance (metanoia) is an elevating means. For he who feels impatience with the circunstances in which he finds himself, devises means of escape.
  Now the chief thing in purification is the will. For then both deeds and words lend a helping hand. But, when the will is absent, the whole purificatory discipline of initiation is...'

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OfflineMainlyMind
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Deities [Re: Recondicom]
    #9459931 - 12/19/08 01:59 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

No, sorry, that's not true. We use the term in a different way. You have to remember that this is translated from Tibetan, so there are many terms that english really isn't suited for. In Buddhism, particularly Tibetan Buddhism, there are a lot of Deities, and Daikinis and all kinds of 'beings', but they're just symbolic representations of abstract concepts, like emptiness, or states of mind, nobody believes in them as truly existing.

A: Not true is too strong when the evidence to the contrary is much more. Perhaps,  I need clarification as to whether you mean the word Deity in the English language or the spirit of the concept you putting forth. Are we discussing then the capability of the English language to convey Buddhism.  Of course Deity is just one of the words I have problems with. Deity is derived from Deus (God)…

'Deity' is an english translation of a Tibetan word, it hasn't got the same meaning as its western use. The same is true for say, the words 'mind' and 'awareness' for example, they have different meanings for us than the European conventions. The word 'deity' means something that is symbolic of an aspect of practice, it's representative of things like sunyata, or the brilliance of ultimate nature, or ultimate nature itself.

I use the word 'beings' in inverted commas to show it's purely a relative term, in the same way as the word 'deity', with the understanding that nobody believes that they exist in the way described, they're simply representations of aspects of practice. These are a couple of good quotes showing how most schools feel about the word:

"....Why call them deities; why not gods?
Although the word deity was originally a synonym for god, experience has shown that some practices such as those performed by Buddhists consist of a type of address in which the intent is rather different from the usual ancient one.  That is, the general intention is not to propitiate; not to flatter, placate or enter into contracts.

There is another important difference between Buddhist deities and mythological gods or goddesses.  The latter are, or were once, considered real --  described as motivated by jealousy, power and other appetites and not very different from physical creatures such as people. The deities of Buddhism are ultimately regarded as manifestations of Emptiness.  Some practitioners eventually abandon deity devotion as a method for attaining an enlightened state when it has outlived its utility.

When deities are depicted in sexual union  (called yab-yum or father-mother) this symbolizes intimate union of another type -- that of skill and compassion, or Means and Method, or Wisdom and Emptiness..."

And:

"...The exact meaning of deity is not similar throughout Tibetan Buddhism, rather they differ in various Tibetan Buddhist Schools and lineage. However, what is common in all is that deities are perceived as means of liberation and enlightenment for one and all. The function of a deity varies from the point of view of practitioners. They are used as an aid for meditation or function as a protector of the dharma and/or of an entire class of being.

It is also important to know that the word deity itself has a very different connotation in Buddhism. In other religions, the term deity is synonymous with either god or goddess who are themselves very similar to the normal human beings living on earth. They are prompted in their actions by elements like jealousy and power. However, deities in Tibetan Buddhism generally denote emptiness..."

I'm happy to provide more quotes, I do understand that it must sound confusing.
MM

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Invisiblepsyka
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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: Icelander]
    #9460536 - 12/19/08 06:22 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

Icelander said:
I just got an official warning. However I'm not sure why?

A pundit is a learned person in the teachings of others. So if someone is a pundit they are not speaking from personal experience but from something they book learned somewhere. It is not a negative. We are all pundits to some degree. I hope I don't get banned for saying that.




To some degree? Hahahaha. We are all pundits 100%

Vision (direct seeing) inevitably follows seeking (accumulation of knowledge), which is wisdom. So its ok to be a pundit. And likewise, it is ridiculous to ask for a consistent non-pundit answer; which is why it is dangerous to claim enlightenment in the first place.


--------------------
As the life of a candle,
my wick will burn out.
But, the fire of my mind
shall beam into infinite.


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InvisiblePoid
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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: psyka]
    #9460561 - 12/19/08 06:32 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

I try my best not to come off as a pundit, but sometimes it's hard....:shrug:

I wasn't part of that conversation, I just wanted to add my $00.02.

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InvisibleRecondicom
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Re: Deities [Re: MainlyMind]
    #9461257 - 12/19/08 09:42 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

MainlyMind said:
No, sorry, that's not true. We use the term in a different way. You have to remember that this is translated from Tibetan, so there are many terms that english really isn't suited for. In Buddhism, particularly Tibetan Buddhism, there are a lot of Deities, and Daikinis and all kinds of 'beings', but they're just symbolic representations of abstract concepts, like emptiness, or states of mind, nobody believes in them as truly existing.

A: Not true is too strong when the evidence to the contrary is much more. Perhaps,  I need clarification as to whether you mean the word Deity in the English language or the spirit of the concept you putting forth. Are we discussing then the capability of the English language to convey Buddhism.  Of course Deity is just one of the words I have problems with. Deity is derived from Deus (God)…

'Deity' is an english translation of a Tibetan word, it hasn't got the same meaning as its western use. The same is true for say, the words 'mind' and 'awareness' for example, they have different meanings for us than the European conventions. The word 'deity' means something that is symbolic of an aspect of practice, it's representative of things like sunyata, or the brilliance of ultimate nature, or ultimate nature itself.

I use the word 'beings' in inverted commas to show it's purely a relative term, in the same way as the word 'deity', with the understanding that nobody believes that they exist in the way described, they're simply representations of aspects of practice. These are a couple of good quotes showing how most schools feel about the word:

"....Why call them deities; why not gods?
Although the word deity was originally a synonym for god, experience has shown that some practices such as those performed by Buddhists consist of a type of address in which the intent is rather different from the usual ancient one.  That is, the general intention is not to propitiate; not to flatter, placate or enter into contracts.

There is another important difference between Buddhist deities and mythological gods or goddesses.  The latter are, or were once, considered real --  described as motivated by jealousy, power and other appetites and not very different from physical creatures such as people. The deities of Buddhism are ultimately regarded as manifestations of Emptiness.  Some practitioners eventually abandon deity devotion as a method for attaining an enlightened state when it has outlived its utility.

When deities are depicted in sexual union  (called yab-yum or father-mother) this symbolizes intimate union of another type -- that of skill and compassion, or Means and Method, or Wisdom and Emptiness..."

And:

"...The exact meaning of deity is not similar throughout Tibetan Buddhism, rather they differ in various Tibetan Buddhist Schools and lineage. However, what is common in all is that deities are perceived as means of liberation and enlightenment for one and all. The function of a deity varies from the point of view of practitioners. They are used as an aid for meditation or function as a protector of the dharma and/or of an entire class of being.

It is also important to know that the word deity itself has a very different connotation in Buddhism. In other religions, the term deity is synonymous with either god or goddess who are themselves very similar to the normal human beings living on earth. They are prompted in their actions by elements like jealousy and power. However, deities in Tibetan Buddhism generally denote emptiness..."

I'm happy to provide more quotes, I do understand that it must sound confusing.
MM





      Just what I said. Truth.  So using the word Deity can only be confusing to a non Buddhist using the English language. Among Buddhist, one has to know the doctrine to know the meaning of Deity.
  I’m wondering what your specific doctrine said about ‘remembering’ past lives. In many doctrines a pre-requisite to attain Buddhahood. Following the line to the beginning to break free… Non-human forms… mostly reptiles… then jelly type organisms… then unicellular… then proteins… chemicals… chemicals…chemicals…A transcription of the guiding wave called: The Creation. One gets lost in the many spellings of sin. Although, knowledge call them species instead. I know my Judeo-Christian book Genesis.

Of interest
    ‘ The fourth chapter, "Retracing an Ancient Debate: How Insight Worsted Meditation in the Pali Canon," makes the case that the emphasis placed on certain key doctrines in the Pāli Canon is the direct result of a convoluted series of debates among those early disciples who preserved the canonical texts. Gombrich applies this approach to explain why current recensions of the Pāli Canon give precedence to insight (paññā) over meditation (samādhi) and faith (saddhā) as the most effective means for achieving religious liberation (nibbāna). The argument is extremely intricate and sometimes difficult to follow, but the general point seems to be that whereas the Buddha himself and the earliest formulations within the canon do not privilege insight, later scholiasts read finer distinctions into the canonical sources to justify their own conclusions.
    While Gombrich's book does not really tell us "how Buddhism began," it does give us valuable insights into early Buddhism and how the early doctrines developed into the institutionalized forms we find in the writings of Theravāda Buddhism. More than this, the book is a call for further scholarship that emulates its sound methods. How Buddhism Began is highly recommended reading for both the expert and novice in the field of Buddhist studies.’


--------------------
Wave.
'And for this reason repentance (metanoia) is an elevating means. For he who feels impatience with the circunstances in which he finds himself, devises means of escape.
  Now the chief thing in purification is the will. For then both deeds and words lend a helping hand. But, when the will is absent, the whole purificatory discipline of initiation is...'

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Invisiblepsyka
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Re: Deities [Re: Recondicom]
    #9461405 - 12/19/08 10:23 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Interesting. Sort of obscure knowledge for a creationist (if that is indeed your label :P).

And I agree. The meditation taught today yields different results than if you follow the instructions of the Pali texts verbatim. To sum up the difference:

Vipassana (Insight) practitioners say that wisdom can only be gained through observing characteristics of phenomena and say that concentration (samadhi) only leads to inflationary states of mind. This conforms with the Visudhimagga (what most Theravadin Buddhist monks practice) and states that you must wait many years or even lifetimes to understand the practice correctly, which is a huge contrast to what the Pali texts say - that correct practice can be understood very quickly and liberation from suffering can be understood within 7 days (very rare, but possible).

When you read and follow the Pali suttas you see that insight and concentration must be practiced together at the same time to produce what the Buddha taught. Insight and concentration are different yet inseparable, like the radiance in dependence of its flame. "Right" concentration occurs very naturally when you stay on your meditation object through relaxation and you gain [insight] wisdom into craving mind (subtle and gross mental habits) by learning not to be distracted. It is a tight rope balancing act. With a balanced mind, everything begins to fall into place and your observation ability becomes very alert to the subtle movements of mind.

The differences between these practices cause very subtle mental barriers and one may go into a meditation state and fool himself that he is fully liberated from craving. Furthermore, this created a division line within the teachings that will never be mended unless people take a genuine interest into authentic Buddhist meditation (and not the Vedic brand of meditation being called Buddhism).

Thanks for the book reference, I'll be sure to check it out.


--------------------
As the life of a candle,
my wick will burn out.
But, the fire of my mind
shall beam into infinite.


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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: Deities [Re: psyka]
    #9464525 - 12/19/08 09:43 PM (15 years, 4 months ago)

i like less strict terms
have seen many different vipassanas and many different samathas
they come together in meditation.
they separate out in conversation, which is not like meditation.

i am still not too convinced that satori is the once and for all that MM suggests either.
a good healthy fall from grace is always round the corner. (shhh)
and an envigorating climb can follow closely.


--------------------
:confused: _ :brainfart:🧠  _ :finger:

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OfflineMainlyMind
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Re: Deities [Re: redgreenvines]
    #9500885 - 12/27/08 03:21 AM (15 years, 4 months ago)

>>  I’m wondering what your specific doctrine said about ‘remembering’ past lives. In many doctrines a pre-requisite to attain Buddhahood.

That's not quite the way it's taught to be honest. Remembering past lives is said to be one of the attributes of arrival at Buddhahood, not a pre-requisite to reach it.

For Tibetan Buddhists, 'past lives' doesn't have a Western meaning, where a 'soul' transmigrates from entity to entity. We believe in re-birth as opposed to Hindu reincarnation. The past lives a Buddha remembers are not him personally incarnating, but simply a part of the empty flow of interdependent events that led to his then current appearance. If Buddha were said to reincarnate, that would imply that he had a continuing form, and attributes of consciousness that could move from person to person, which Buddha himself said were not present.


Of interest
    ‘ The fourth chapter, "Retracing an Ancient Debate: How Insight Worsted Meditation in the Pali Canon," makes the case that the emphasis placed on certain key doctrines in the Pāli Canon is the direct result of a convoluted series of debates among those early disciples who preserved the canonical texts. Gombrich applies this approach to explain why current recensions of the Pāli Canon give precedence to insight (paññā) over meditation (samādhi) and faith (saddhā) as the most effective means for achieving religious liberation (nibbāna). The argument is extremely intricate and sometimes difficult to follow, but the general point seems to be that whereas the Buddha himself and the earliest formulations within the canon do not privilege insight, later scholiasts read finer distinctions into the canonical sources to justify their own conclusions.


I understand what you're saying but I have disagree with the conclusions. To say that Buddha didn't emphasise insight as much as anything else in Mahayana would be a complete misunderstanding of its nature. The key texts within the Pali canon and later works (The Heart Sutra/Diamond Cutter Sutra) are all about insight, not morality, whereas other texts are about morality and not insight. But, ALL texts are for the purpose of moving students closer towards gaiing a final understanding of the nature of reality.

Buddhism is not static and was never meant to be, it's simply guidance that will be added to for years to come. Nothing about what Buddha said about the nature of reality, or his main teachings, will change, just that there will always be those who can add a further method, or a newer approach to what already exists. It's addition, not alteration.

But there's a slight double-catch in the title of the piece "How Insight Worsted Meditation in the Pali Canon", because it hasn't. The balance between insight, morality and meditation is always present, and exactly why Mahayana is called the 'Middle Way'. Meditation in it isn't ousted in favour of insight.

There's no better or worse in Buddhism, just faster or slower, nothing has been 'ousted', every method of practise is 'expedient means', that which is most suite to the student. If someone wants to use traditional meditation because it suits their capacity for learning then why not? If someone else finds that they progress more quickly with insight, that's fine too.

As you move into higher forms above Mahyana/Therevada and the Pali canon, then certainly the emphasis is almost entirely on insight, but this isn't a bad thing, as insight is a faster way of reaching realisation - and those students who do move into insight (beyond Vipassana) will have almost certainly spent years practising traditional methods first before they're in a position to use it; again, it's all about what suits the individual practitioner.

MM

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OfflineMainlyMind
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Re: Deities [Re: MainlyMind]
    #9500917 - 12/27/08 03:32 AM (15 years, 4 months ago)

>>i am still not too convinced that satori is the once and for all that MM suggests either.
a good healthy fall from grace is always round the corner. (shhh)
and an envigorating climb can follow closely.

:smile: Very true. But you can only fall from Kensho, not Satori. Satori is 'immovable and unshakeable' or it isn't Satori, that's its definition; whereas Kensho is purely an experience that may lead somewhere or nowhere. Unless Kensho is nurtured and developed (or it was extremely deep and already bordering on Satori) it will fade eventually, if left alone.

This is from Wiki', but still quite accurate as far as it goes:

"...Satori (悟 Chinesewù ; Korean oh) is a Japanese Buddhist term for enlightenment. The word literally means "understanding". It is sometimes loosely used interchangeably with Kensho, but Kensho refers to the first perception of the Buddha-Nature or True-Nature, sometimes referred to as "awakening". Distinct from kensho, which is not a permanent state of enlightenment but a clear glimpse of the true nature of existence, satori is used to refer to a "deep" or lasting state of enlightenment. It is therefore customary to use the word satori, rather than kensho, when referring to the enlightened states of the Buddha and the Patriarchs.

According to D. T. Suzuki, "Satori is the raison d'être of Zen, without which Zen is no Zen. Therefore every contrivance, disciplinary and doctrinal, is directed towards satori."


MM

Edited by MainlyMind (12/27/08 05:14 AM)

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InvisibleRecondicom
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Re:Satori and Faith. [Re: redgreenvines]
    #9502019 - 12/27/08 12:35 PM (15 years, 4 months ago)

saddha (saddhaa): Conviction, faith. A confidence in the Buddha that gives one the willingness to put his teachings into practice.
 
      Less strict definitions of panna make reference to a whole banquet of virtues or attributes. Panna could mean any of the following:
    Insight; wisdom; common sense, etc, etc.
The whole definition of Satori involves a blind faith that is fixed. So if it breaks it is not Satori… is Kensho.
    What happens when Kensho fades:
  Options:
      Continue swimming down the river stream in darkness… not so much darkness because now you can hear friends voices, and they are going down the stream on boat.
      Join the boat of friends calling you.
      Get off the stream to review your options.
      Go back by land but you don’t know where you are.
      Go back anyhow
      Continue by land.
      Stay there… wait for daylight and look around. Since it is all in your head maybe you can catch-up with the friends on the boat… or enjoy nature… or look around for food or… join the research for a Gog (atheism) gene.


--------------------
Wave.
'And for this reason repentance (metanoia) is an elevating means. For he who feels impatience with the circunstances in which he finds himself, devises means of escape.
  Now the chief thing in purification is the will. For then both deeds and words lend a helping hand. But, when the will is absent, the whole purificatory discipline of initiation is...'

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OfflineMainlyMind
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Re:Satori and Faith. [Re: Recondicom]
    #9516568 - 12/30/08 04:46 AM (15 years, 4 months ago)

The whole definition of Satori involves a blind faith that is fixed.

No, not at all. There is no faith in Buddhism apart from a belief in the teachings that one must only accept after you have found them to be true. We are continually and expressly warned against accepting anything, even the words of the Buddha, at face value. Everything is a 'raft to be left behind at the other shore' - merely things that point the way. To accept blindly is pointless. We aren't a religion with a set of rules and a linear progression of practise that must be believed and followed to the letter.

The Kalama Sutra

"Rely not on the teacher/person, but on the teaching. Rely not on the words of the teaching, but on the spirit of the words. Rely not on theory, but on experience. Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. Do not believe anything because it is spoken and rumoured by many. Do not believe in anything because it is written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and
elders. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and the benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it."
- the Buddha

Those who join any tradition with a closed mind will progress far faster than those who accept every word blindly.


So if it breaks it is not Satori… is Kensho.


Yes, absolutely. Satori can not 'break', and Kensho certainly can. Kensho is simply an experience, which can not help but fade unless you know the right things to do to turn it into Satori. Satori is an ongoing state of knowledge, which gives a particular state of mind that is never lost and can't be forgotten.


    What happens when Kensho fades: Options:
      Continue swimming down the river stream in darkness… not so much darkness because now you can hear friends voices, and they are going down the stream on boat.
      Join the boat of friends calling you.
      Get off the stream to review your options.
      Go back by land but you don’t know where you are.
      Go back anyhow
      Continue by land.
      Stay there… wait for daylight and look around. Since it is all in your head maybe you can catch-up with the friends on the boat… or enjoy nature… or look around for food or… join the research for a Gog (atheism) gene.


All of the above are options, but of course, none are going to help sustain Kensho, because to do any of them misses the point of the understanding that you should have gained in that Kensho. But luckily, these aren't the only options available.

The thing is that, understandably, most people tend to see Buddhism as being encompassed almost entirely by basic Mahayana and Therevada, when in fact these traditions are just expedient means, easier, 'watered down' techniques if you will, which are meant to eventually give you access to higher practises.  Mahayana isn't the central trunk of the tree, with traditions like Atiyoga being its branches and therefore somehow slightly skewed derivatives, it's the opposite way around. Mahayana is Buddhism101, with the Mind-only schools (that Buddha himself was taught) as the original source.

Any Buddhist who has had Kensho would, if it were deep enough, move immediately from Mahayana/Therevada into one of the mind-only schools, usually Mahamudra or Dzogchen where there are tens of methods of increasing the depth of understanding and on-going experience of Kensho until it becomes permanent and Satori.

MM

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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re:Satori and Faith. [Re: MainlyMind]
    #9516831 - 12/30/08 08:00 AM (15 years, 4 months ago)

hi;
since you are using the wiki as your reference for whether satori is unbreakable or not, it would appear that you are actually going on faith, or trust that other persons' statements on the matter are final, as opposed to going on personal experience.

Alas, if that is the case, I have not ever been enlightened one bit (i never claimed so anyway), only some kensho maybe.

In any case, I strongly suggest that enlightenment (satori(?)) is not a (permanent) state, and I impute that from what has been written related to it and from the way meditating monks have dealt with the matter, as well as many direct personal experiences with states, all of which are changeable.

I also draw your attention to Bodhisattvas (again) who eschew nirvana, but regularly achieve enlightenment (as full as can be without nibbana) and will continue to do so until all beings are enlightened.

I don't question your scholarly-ness - the material that has emerged from centuries of writings from "non-meditating" or "ritual" monks has diluted the content of Buddhism - if you immerse in the literature, you will be wading through debris as well as gems.

I think the term we are disputing is "Nirvana" or "nibbana" which is supposedly the end of all suffering and can be selected as a cap to one's enlightenment experience, or not. (a Bodhisatva does not cap their enlightenment with nibbana by choice - he/she chooses to keep working in this corporeal existence.)
otherwise, I think enlightened beings are as fallable and silly as other beings, and really do not abide in any single state whatsoever, while the enlightenment experience, has touched much or all the rest of what they do and who they are, by virtue of their continued effort to "deepen their enlightenment" which is a phrase I do find a lot of in the literature - highly suggestive of this not being a quantum once or never thing.


--------------------
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Offlinethefarside
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Re:Satori and Faith. [Re: redgreenvines]
    #9516881 - 12/30/08 08:30 AM (15 years, 4 months ago)

MainlyMind,

A quick question. Where and with whom did you study these Eastern Traditions that you are talking about? When did your teacher recognize your attainment and ask you share your knowledge with others?



In deepest gasho,

A student of the way.

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Re:Satori and Faith. [Re: thefarside]
    #9520925 - 12/30/08 10:09 PM (15 years, 4 months ago)

MainlyMind,

<A quick question. Where and with whom did you study these Eastern Traditions that you are talking about? When did your teacher recognize your attainment and ask you share your knowledge with others?>


:shocked:















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OfflineMainlyMind
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Re:Satori and Faith. [Re: redgreenvines]
    #9555962 - 01/06/09 04:27 AM (15 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

redgreenvines said:
hi;
since you are using the wiki as your reference for whether satori is unbreakable or not, it would appear that you are actually going on faith, or trust that other persons' statements on the matter are final, as opposed to going on personal experience.




:smile: I used Wiki simply because it's use of the english language is better than mine, and Dr Suzuki is a far more authorative than me of course. I can give the same references actually from Buddhist texts if you'd like? It's a Zen term, but the idea of Kensho as an experience and Satori as an ongoing state is common to all forms.

I know what you're getting at, but for a Buddhist to seek even enlightenment (rather than letting it emerge), let alone have faith in it until he has actually experienced it is pointless. But, do I think there is a Satori from which people do not move? If I believe the Buddha and many others who have experienced it and have written about it as being something you can not descend from, then yes. Is that faith, blind belief, or anything else? Not really, it's just confidence in the word of people like the Buddha, and as I'm not actually seeking anything, what it is and isn't doesn't really matter.


Quote:

redgreenvines said:

Alas, if that is the case, I have not ever been enlightened one bit (i never claimed so anyway), only some kensho maybe.




I wasn't aware that we were debating your experiences? Am I meant to be refuting them? Sorry if that's the case, I've missed that.

Quote:

redgreenvines said:
In any case, I strongly suggest that enlightenment (satori(?)) is not a (permanent) state, and I impute that from what has been written related to it and from the way meditating monks have dealt with the matter, as well as many direct personal experiences with states, all of which are changeable.




I've got to be honest, I've tried to play down my advancing years here, but I've studied, experienced, and written about meditative states for nearly thirty years. I'm also a Buddhist with friends who are monks from 2 traditions, but I don't know of any monk, or even active Buddhist, who does not understand the difference between Satori and Kensho, or think that these states are interchangeable.




I also draw your attention to Bodhisattvas (again) who eschew nirvana, but regularly achieve enlightenment (as full as can be without nibbana) and will continue to do so until all beings are enlightened..




The idea of Bodhisattvas and the ten Buhmis isn't common to all traditions, and again it's simply an intermediate teaching based on cause and effect, so a piece of guidance - which is even refuted as a path by many. However, if any Buddhist feels that they need to go through the Bhumis to 'purify' themselves then that's up to them, and practise, high or low, is valid if you think that you personally need it. It's not something that everyone has to go through by any means.

Quote:

redgreenvines said:
I don't question your scholarly-ness - the material that has emerged from centuries of writings from "non-meditating" or "ritual" monks has diluted the content of Buddhism - if you immerse in the literature, you will be wading through debris as well as gems...




I agree:) The only works I read are from traditional texts, not modern works from the western occultism from people who don't meditate, because as you say, most are worthless. What would be the point of reading outside the traditions when there's so much accurate material within Buddhism, Hindusim and Sufism to go on? Tolle is good, so is Brunton and a handfull of others, but that's pretty much it.

I do get the impression that you feel that I'm just someone who learns about Buddhism and meditation without having done it myself? Or am I getting the wrong idea?

Quote:

redgreenvines said:I think the term we are disputing is "Nirvana" or "nibbana" which is supposedly the end of all suffering and can be selected as a cap to one's enlightenment experience, or not. ..




Not really. What I'm discussing is the difference between Kensho and Satori, and whether the latter is permanent.

Quote:

redgreenvines said:(a Bodhisatva does not cap their enlightenment with nibbana by choice - he/she chooses to keep working in this corporeal existence.)
otherwise, I think enlightened beings are as fallable and silly as other beings, ..




:smile:Again, very true. Being enlightened doesn't turn you into a wise and infallible being who never betrays negative emotions - even Buddha lost his temper with people on ocassion. Knowing the true nature of reality and abiding in permanent perception of it can't make anyone clever who wasn't that way initially. Are we all fallible and silly, at all levels, enlightened or not? Of course:)


Quote:

redgreenvines said:
and really do not abide in any single state whatsoever, while the enlightenment experience, has touched much or all the rest of what they do and who they are, by virtue of their continued effort to "deepen their enlightenment" which is a phrase I do find a lot of in the literature - highly suggestive of this not being a quantum once or never thing.




As I've said, to deepen enlightenment means to turn it from Kensho to Satori, from temporary to permanent. Some traditions see Kensho as meaning enlightenment, but it can't really be when it is impermanent.

What you're saying is that none of the traditional texts, written by people such as the Buddha concerning the nature of enlightenment are true, and that there is no state of full enlightenment or Buddhahood? This is pretty much the point I began from, so I can't knock that belief in any way, but I'm sure you understand that I can't agree with it now, and can bring any number of supporting texts to show that the nature of Satori is well documented as unshakeable within Buddhism. So, what do we do? I'm happy to keep the conversation going as I think it does bring up interesting points - or do we agree to differ?

MM

PS Happy New Year!:)

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Re:Satori and Faith. [Re: thefarside]
    #9556065 - 01/06/09 05:11 AM (15 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

thefarside said:
MainlyMind,

A quick question. Where and with whom did you study these Eastern Traditions that you are talking about?




I think it's a bit pointless talking about length of experience when someone of greater skill can reach realisation in a day and others meditate for a lifetime and get nothing. But, I've been a meditator for about 30 years. I practised Hatha and Raja for a couple of years with a Hindu teacher, for a time in Jodhpur. I enjoyed the work, but eventually felt that it wasn't for me and began studying Buddhism as an 'outer' student, visiting a variety of Sanghas here and in Scandinavia. I eventually became a Buddhist and moved from Mahayana to Dzogchen after a couple of years with Vajrayana. My teachers are the same as most students of Dzogchen, the traditional texts and living teachers such as Norbhu.

When I entered into Vajrayana I was luckily in a position where I was able to stop working for about seven years and devote my time entirely to meditation. Although I work now, it's usually writing or teaching, so I spend most of my time at home.

Most people - who've been with Dzogchen for any length of time -aren't monks living in Sanghas, and don't have teachers in quite the way that you would imagine, where we all visit someone every week and are given instructions. Dzogchen is something that you either get or don't, and we practise alone for the most part. It's a case of, once you've been told where the road is, just buckling down and doing what you know you have to do. Of course we do retreats and all the rest of it, but it's not quite the same as a Hindu or Zen approach with rules and etiquette.


Quote:

thefarside said:
When did your teacher recognize your attainment and ask you share your knowledge with others?






Well, as far as teaching is concerned, we don't have someone telling us what to do and not to do, our teachers are our guidance, not 'rulers'. If someone amongst us is able to teach at a lower or higher level then they do. I've taught meditation (from basic Shamatha on) for 18 years.

I don't have any 'attainment', I was simply lucky enough to experience Kensho a couple of times, the first 13 years ago. Was it validated? Yes. Does it mean I've reached anything special? Not in the slightest:) Aren't we all still boiling rice?

MM

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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: MainlyMind]
    #9556363 - 01/06/09 07:28 AM (15 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

MainlyMind said:
Sorry about the length of this, I hope this might help to clear up at least some ideas about what enlightenment is and isn't. Note that I'm not here to defend the reality of enlightenment - if you don't consider it to be possible then I do understand - this is more for those who are trying to make sense of what they might have felt whilst on entheogens or in meditation, or even in daily life.

  I was going to tag it onto a couple of the existing threads on the subject, but I don't want it to seem as though I'm pointing this at anyone in particular, it's purely for reference. It's not meant as a criticism of those who think they have had such experiences, on the contrary, I hope that it might make their progress forwards easier. Just my background briefly: I'm a Buddhist in a Tibetan tradition (Nyingma) and write/lecture on states of enlightenment.

    Sadly, there are quite a few well known claimants to enlightenment who, it's very obvious from their descriptions of their event, aren't truly enlightened at all, which doesn't help those who are trying to find out about their own experiences.

    I've read some accounts of 'enlightenment' that were based on, say, an experience of having one or more bliss states, or periods of non-conceptuality, or even a dream that contains what the person feels is a meaningful esoteric understanding. Whilst wonderful and a hint of things to come, dreams are dreams, and bliss is just bliss (unless it also contains a direct intuition of the true nature of reality). Bliss is more an indicator that you've entered into a state of mental pliancy, rather than a transcendent experience. It can be triggered in countless ways: some mundane, some not, such as when generating metta; or just by becoming fully mindful. Do not be misled: enlightenment isn't about blissful experiences and feeling the freedom of non-conceptuality, but about an understanding of reality.

  There's a feeling amongst some that there is no concrete definition of what enlightenment is, that the experience is so ineffable that it can mean many different things, and, as such, is open to personal interpretation, but enlightenment has the same meaning in every eastern tradition. In the West we tend to misunderstand what those who defined the term in the East meant by it. We also confuse it with the Western connotations that have been attributed to the word, and now, commonly, it can mean anything from 'quite clever really', to someone who is 'spiritually advanced'. But there is only one real enlightenment, and it has been precisely graded into levels (the 'Five Degrees of Tozan' in Zen for example - or Hinduism's levels of 'Samadhi'), in every tradition for well over 2,000 years, in part at least, to avoid erroneous claims.

For Buddhists, Sufis and Hindus, the core of the experience, and the things which qualify it as first stage enlightenment, or 'Kensho', (literally, 'seeing into one's own nature', in Zen) is that:

a) the state should be based on the direct perception of reality as non-dual 'emptiness'. This is experienced literally from the point of view of the whole of reality itself. 

b) This POV is also experienced as what Tibetan traditions sometimes call 'Infinite Awareness', where all matter and even the mind of the meditator himself are discovered to be just facets of this greater consciousness. But be careful, this is not consciousness in the sense of being a mind that might belong to a person or deity, it is just pure, infinite, lucidity, and the terms I use here to describe the above are generalisations for the purpose of this post.

There are three experiences which can seem very similar to the above:

1) Having an experience where you understand the self as being a part of a single unity, a non-duality.
2) Having an experience where you feel yourself to be actually integrated in this one-ness.
3) Having an experience where you are non-duality in its entirety - the only one of the three which is Kensho.

  However, although just perceiving non-duality in this way is a great step, without also having the experience of self as 'awareness' it's incomplete. Also, as you move towards completion,it's no longer about reaching states of non-duality,  but about gaining various understandings IN these experiences concerning the true nature of reality too, which are sometimes called the 'super-knowledges'. This idea is very important, because enlightenment (realisation) can only be sustained and deepened with this knowledge.

  The journey from Satori to Kensho is usually made by entering into Mahamudra or Dzogchen Buddhist practises, to draw together all experiences of Kensho and understanding, so that the practitioner can remain in permanent awareness of number 3. Dzogchen in particular is termed the 'completion stage' because of this. This 'final' stage can take anywhere from months to many years to traverse, but many have done it successfully over the years.

  There are a lot of misconceptions about the kinds of practises that will allow you to reach enlightenment. What isn't obvious to outsiders looking at Buddhism for instance, is that its teachings are graded into levels of understanding appropriate to the student. So, if you were to look at basic Mahayana Buddhism you might think that it's all about not thinking, stopping desires and focussing strongly on morality. But this level is preparation for the next stage, where traditional focussing meditation is left behind in favour of using gained knowledge of reality as a means to reach deep states of awareness and further understanding. It isn't that Mahayana is wrong: it's like the difference between Newtonian physics and QM, they don't agree on everything, but neither is wrong, it's just 'expedient means' the best teaching for a student at any given level. Sitting in shamatha, year in, year out, may help you reach enlightenment, but it can be very slow. Using 'mind-only' (yogachara) methods instead, and it's something that can be reached in a single lifetime, if you're lucky.

  I know that what might happen at this point is that those who've long considered themselves to be enlightened, but now find that they might not be, can become very defensive. But please, don't shoot the messenger:) If you have any concerns or disagreements concerning the definition above I'm happy to point you to relevant Buddhist/Hindu texts (the source of the original meaning of the term) for confirmation.

  If anyone is hoping to move up a stage from where they are in meditation I would be happy to try to point them in the right direction where I can.

MM





I also am Buddhist of Nyingma tradition having followed a not well known terton from Assam, and hanging locally with a lama.

Enlightenment is finding balance where others fall down.  Liberation is freedom from moral uncertainty. Awakening is finding stillness as the source of thought and yet motion as the basis for all things, thus change is the base, and yet change itself displays permanence.

Thus when one is certain about nothing, able to remain free from mental states altogether, able to maintain bliss enough to function well for others. This is pretty much it. One is not making definitions and trying to make life fit them, this is part of the mind of liberation.

The liberated are very comfortable with uncertainty and all knowingness is very close if not identical to complete ignorance, save for the awareness of the sameness of essence of both states of mind - knowledge and ignorance. They do not fall from any element of existance or nonexistance.  The liberated can't be pointed out. Nobody can see who they are and who they aren't or where they hang out or where they don't.

That dude pissing on your front porch may be very well realized. Stumbling around looking like a dumb ass. 

At the very least a liberated person has seen as much of divinity in shit as in a smile or a sunset. The liberated are liberated because they are not able to be anything else any longer. The mind has found a crux in freedom from mental constructs, which cannot be undone.


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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: eve69]
    #9556391 - 01/06/09 07:41 AM (15 years, 4 months ago)

Uh, finally, I do not lecture on enlightenment as the very idea makes me rather ill. I will discuss it with people such as yourself who are questing as I have done. In some senses all religious traditions are based in fraud and nonrecognition of ones own nature. When once known is not able to be given or taken thus no tradition can own awakening or liberation, only the lonely practitioner can.

What one who quests should look to are records of past liberated who left their cliffnotes. Longchenpa is a jewel.

People in this world are of two sorts really. Those who bullshit others and so cannot see anything but bullshit, and those who desire truth and who rest in it.  It's hard to tell the two apart. So even in spiritual studies having some street smarts is beneficial.


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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: eve69]
    #9556761 - 01/06/09 09:38 AM (15 years, 4 months ago)

MM;
I am happy to differ
my premise remains that there is no permanent enlightenment,
even if other languages, and historical figures are brought into the equation;
but you can develop some pretty good habits using the practices.

separate from this, and from my habit (good or bad) of questioning authorities, I postulate that both the issues of re-incarnation and Nirvana have wended their way into Buddhism from the lineage with Hinduism.
they have wormed their way in to the extent that one often expects an enlightened person to remember past lives clearly, and anyone who cannot demonstrate that type of fluency is of lesser rank.

rank goes with authority, and i have some difficulty with that mystic angle as well as the rest of many mythologies.

are you comfortable with talking about past lives?


--------------------
:confused: _ :brainfart:🧠  _ :finger:

Edited by redgreenvines (01/06/09 09:52 AM)

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