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OfflineMainlyMind
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Last seen: 15 years, 3 months
Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: eve69]
    #9557163 - 01/06/09 11:12 AM (15 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

eve69 said:
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.




Very nice to meet you:) I agree with almost every word of your two excellent posts - though of course I don't find talking, writing, or lecturing about enlightenment to be in any kind of conflict with the Path at all, and those I work with don't either. It's only through discussion that we can propagate the Dharma of any tradition and just as you say above, the truth is being lost, especially in the west.

As for Longchenpa, there are truly no others like him.
Emaho!:)

MM

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OfflineMainlyMind
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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: redgreenvines]
    #9557271 - 01/06/09 11:38 AM (15 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

redgreenvines said:
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.




So we canjust agree to differ? Excellent, no sense in letting a point of difference stop this, this is a good discussion:)

Quote:

redgreenvines said:
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. .




I don't think anyone would disagree, the line between Buddhism and Hinduism is, at times, very thin, simply because Buddhism came out of Hinduism. Tantra fed from India to Tibet and became the essence of Vajrayana, etc. There's no doubting the connections. Another interesting thing is the fact that originally Hinduism was the same as Buddhism, and a non-theistic philosophy, which developed over time into what it is now. In a sense, Buddhism is almost a return to the early simplicity of Hinduism. So yes, you're right.

Things have developed in a lot of basic ideas along the way; Hindu reincarnation is just that, whereas in Buddhism it's re-birth and a different thing altogether - but there's no doubt that the idea of re-birth developed from an attempt to rationalise reincarnation.

In terms of Nirvana, yes, the same again. Buddha didn't claim to have invented the state or have had the world's first access to it, he just gave a new method of reaching it. His teachers will have been Hindu practitioners, describing their 'nirvana' as cosmic consciousness and merging with Brahman (iniitially as an ultimate essence rather than a god). That same idea is pretty much what having a full experience of non-duality (Kensho) is.

Quote:

redgreenvines said:
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.




The ablity to remember past lives is something that a Buddha alone is able to do. I'm not sure of any other ranks where this would be possible.

Quote:

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




I have quite a dislike of the 'mystical' myself, and authority too:) As I've said, I came to Buddhism as a cynic hoping to prove it all nonsense. I think it always pays to stay objective and not swallow anything word for word until you're satisfied that it's the truth.

Quote:

redgreenvines said:are you comfortable with talking about past lives?




Yes, of course, it could be interesting. I don't believe in Hindu reincarnation, just re-birth, but, yes, happy to. What do you have in mind?

MM

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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: MainlyMind]
    #9557361 - 01/06/09 12:02 PM (15 years, 3 months ago)

well,
if only Buddha is considered enlightened (therefore anyone else discussing it is being speculative),
and since he is not here as such,
would you say that nobody really remembers past lives (i.e. that such stories are  all speculative or delusional, or more aptly metaphorically descriptive of some other process, such as the procession of citta in the stream of consciousness (i.e. continuous rebirth))?


--------------------
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OfflineMainlyMind
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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: redgreenvines]
    #9562406 - 01/07/09 03:05 AM (15 years, 3 months ago)

well,
if only Buddha is considered enlightened (therefore anyone else discussing it is being speculative),
and since he is not here as such, would you say that nobody really remembers past lives (i.e. that such stories are  all speculative or delusional, or more aptly metaphorically descriptive of some other process, such as the procession of citta in the stream of consciousness (i.e. continuous rebirth))?


You ask seriously interesting questions:)

To give an answer that would be suitable for all branches of Buddhism would be hard unless I rambled on yet again for pages, but I'll try to explain briefly. I think the best bet is to put 'depending upon which branch we're talking about', before each of my statements:)

Buddha isn't considered to be the only enlightened being, there are those before and after him who have had the same attainments. Nagarjuna for instance was considered to be the second Buddha by many, Hui Neng was fully realised, etc., - tens of people in various traditions have reached 'full' enlightenment. But now the goalposts move slightly, because in say, Tibetan Buddhism, the final attainment is not just full enlightenment, but the gaining of the Rainbow Body as well (I wont go into what that is just now). In other traditions purely reaching Kensho is enlightenment, and in Hinduism the pinnacle is a Kensho-like experience of Cosmic Consciousness, which, although it does fade if you do nothing about it, the residual effect of such an experience can last for years. So we can only define full enlightenment within the context of the tradition we're talking about.

The effects of Buddhahood: some of the attributes of an enlightened person - like deep compassion - will appear on realisation and have risen in many people, other attributes only appear upon attainment of Buddhahood, so yes, certainly talking about former lives is, for we people down the bottom end, very speculative. Do we believe the Buddha when he said that he recalled past lives? As above in the Kalama Sutra, the Buddha asks us to believe nothing until it's proven to us, even his word, so it's a purely personal call. Bearing in mind though that I don't know what definition of re-birth you're using.

For me, even as an arch cynic, I used to think that it was purely metaphorical. But now I can certainly see the mechanism for it being real and I'm about 70% on-board, but it is nothing more than speculation. BTW, on this 'mechanism', as you seem very well read, are you aware of the Buddhist view of the 'basic' essence of reality as being awareness (a very loose term I'm using just for ease of explanation)?

Just as a matter of interest, this is regarding attainments.

"...The Kevatta Sutta (or Kevaddha) is a Buddhist scripture, one of the texts in the Digha Nikaya (long discourses collection)of the Pali Canon. The scripture takes its name from the householder Kevatta, who invites the Buddha to display various miraculous powers in order to show his spiritual superiority. The Buddha responds by expressing his belief that supernatural powers are not a valid measure of spiritual development, because they can be falsified through the use of charms and spells.

He goes on to deliver a discourse on virtue, expressing the belief that it is virtuous conduct, rather than supernatural developments, that display the superiority or spiritual development of a teacher. He also states that such practices will give rise to powers greater than those available to practitioners of traditional magic and austerities.

The scripture is significant to the study of Buddhism because it constitutes one of the clearest statements in the scriptures of the Buddha's opposition to the notion of magical power and supernatural abilities as the best indicator of truth or virtue. In setting out such a belief, the Buddha placed himself in opposition to much of the popular religious traditions derived from the Vedas, which often focused on the acquisition of supernatural powers as an ends unto itself, and as a means of measuring spiritual worthiness...."


Enumerations of special knowledges
In the Pali Canon, the higher knowledges are often enumerated in a group of six or of three types of knowledge.The six types of higher knowledges are:

"Higher powers", such as walking on water and through walls;
"Divine ear", that is, clairaudience;
"Mind-penetrating knowledge", that is, telepathy;
"Remember one's former abodes", that is, recalling ones own past lives;
"Divine eye" (dibba-cakkhu), that is, knowing others' karmic destinations; and, "Extinction of mental intoxicants", upon which arahantship follows

The attainment of these six higher powers is mentioned in a number of discourses, most famously the "Fruits of Contemplative Life Discourse". The first five powers are obtained through meditative concentration while the sixth is obtained through insight. The sixth type is the ultimate goal of Buddhism, which is the end of all suffering and destruction of all ignorance.

Similarly, the three knowledges or wisdoms are:
"Remembering one's former abodes"
"Divine eye"; and,
"Extinction of mental intoxicants"

While such powers are considered to be indicative of spiritual progress, Buddhism cautions against their indulgence or exhibition since such could divert one from the true path of obtaining suffering's release.
Buddha describes the following as siddhi powers.

Multiplying the body into many and into one again
Invisibility
Passing through solid objects as if space
Ability to rise and sink in the ground as if in the water
Walk on water as if land
Levitation
Touching anything at any distance (even the moon or sun)
Traveling to other worlds with or without the body

Parallels in other cultures
The first five types of Abhijna, are similar to the siddhis of yoga, mentioned in the Srimad Baghgavatam and by Pantanjali:

Knowing the past, present and future;
Tolerance of heat, cold and other dualities;
Knowing the minds of others;
Checking the influence of fire, sun, water, poison, and so on;
Remaining unconquered by others.

Sorry, I was determined this wouldn't be too long - but now compare the Buddhist list with the Hindu version:

Vibhuti Pada
Patanjali in the Vibhuti Pada of the Yoga Sutras, mentions many different vibhutis:
Knowledge of the past and future
Understanding the sounds (language) of all beings
Knowledge of previous existences
Knowing the minds of others
Invisibility
Suspending the ability of the body to be heard, touched, tasted, or smelled
Foreknowledge of the time of death
Strength of any attitude (such as friendliness)
Super strength (such as the strength of an elephant)
Knowledge of subtle, hidden, remote things
Knowledge of worlds, realms, universes, etc.
Knowledge of the arrangement of stars, planets, etc.
Knowledge of the movement of stars, planets, etc.
Knowledge of the arrangement of systems in the body
Freedom from hunger and thirst
Attainment of steadiness or immobility
Visions of Siddhas (perfected beings)
Knowledge of anything and everything
Knowledge of the mind
Knowledge of pure consciousness (purusha)
Psychic hearing, touch, vision, taste, and smell
Entering and controlling the bodies of others
Ability to float or walk on water, swamps, thorns, and other such objects
Ability to glow or radiate light around the body
Super hearing (hearing at vast distances)
Ability to fly
Mastery over the elements (earth, water, fire, air, space)
Making the body atomically small, indestructible, perfect
Perfection of the body in beauty, strength, grace, and brilliance
Mastery over the senses
Quickness of the mind, perception with the senses
Supremacy over all states of existence, omnipotence
Higher knowledge
Discriminating knowledge
Absolute freedom (kaivalyam)

MM

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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: MainlyMind]
    #9562628 - 01/07/09 05:27 AM (15 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

MainlyMind said:
....As above in the Kalama Sutra, the Buddha asks us to believe nothing until it's proven to us, even his word, so it's a purely personal call. Bearing in mind though that I don't know what definition of re-birth you're using.

For me, even as an arch cynic, I used to think that it was purely metaphorical. But now I can certainly see the mechanism for it being real and I'm about 70% on-board, but it is nothing more than speculation. ....




this ties back to the comment about belief.

it establishes that even though it has not been proven to you, you are 70% in aggreeance (is this a word yet?) that there may be a mechanism of rebirth that only the Buddhas can tap into. (for consistency, let us say that a Buddha recalled rebirth is the only "kind" of birth under review and that a Buddha is an enlightened (is this still a word?) person).

regardless of the sects of Buddhism, we should consider, as in the thread title, that enlightenment among all sects philosophies and religions is actually the same issue (i still refuse to say STATE) which may be enjoyed by few, and speculated upon differently by many, to the degree that the speculation becomes sectarian (blind leading blind), which extends to the observation that living Buddhas are not core to any of these sects.

However, due to meditation and a kind of ascension (samadhi and integration - kensho?) among each sect are very charismatic individuals who's physical presence supports the "belief in scripture" and satisfies the "need to be led" and "tell me what I should think" aspects of the followers.

is this scenario more speculative than your "mechanism of rebirth"?

anyway you can answer off the cuff, I would encourage it, just exchanging personal ideas here.


--------------------
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Invisiblepsyka
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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: redgreenvines]
    #9569086 - 01/08/09 03:33 AM (15 years, 3 months ago)

RGV,

If at death everyone experiences parinibbana (unbinding), then the practice is pointless entertainment.


--------------------
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: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: psyka]
    #9569309 - 01/08/09 06:30 AM (15 years, 3 months ago)

I find it very hard to accept any theories about after death experience, or rewards.
I strongly recommend turning away from making life decisions that are based upon those kinds of ideas:

for example,
Muslim suicide bombers believe a special martyr's welcome awaits them after their "noble" act.
aside from huge gaps in credibility,
and an unsuitable application of dubious "mystic" knowledge
(written or muttered by well meaning ignoramuses for hundreds of years),
everything else points to immense value in making this existence better.
even if there is an existence beyond this - more or less significant than this one - what we do here is relevant on its own terms and in its own context.
poetry also is of lasting value in this living context.

the practice is not about after death rewards, but about improving the character of events inside and outside of our limited sphere.
the work is here and now.

if you need to enable a meaning to words like perinibbana, I think you would do best to find their poetry in this life.

maybe between the dream states you will find your metaphors, but without simple meditation, you may not have the clarity to see it.


--------------------
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Offlineeve69
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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: psyka]
    #9569333 - 01/08/09 06:52 AM (15 years, 3 months ago)

Thank you MainlyMind for your nice comments on my words. That alone was as rare as jewels.

And such a beautiful subject. I remember reading Patanjali when I was young and especially vibhuti pada wondering if I could do that. 

Reality however set in. I have met loads of spiritual aspirants from every stream and they all have no obvious sidhis.

Now as for special sidhis. You simply cannot know about that.  For instance when I recently discovered the song, "Moonlight Mile" by the Stones I played it a hundred times in a row as I drove around, and then it snowed here in New Orleans. And if you know the lyrics.  So that was quite a weird 'sidhi' if you will.  Maybe some others have sidhis that would blow your mind out of the water like the ability to simply change the trends of history.  And so on....

Uh, my main sidhi is I am able to work really fucked up and put out good food at the same time. But then we chefs strive all our lives for that ability.

So as we say in Vajrayana you go for mahasidhi of jnana primarily as a Buddhist.  We are not attaining sidhis for personal benefit and not for show in yogaolympics.

Since we all are sexual beings you should check to the sexual current of the teacher when you are with them, where it flows, up or down. Yes? This is the basis of shakti too yes? Sexual current can be made to flow to stimulate the mind of oneself and others. Shakti. We all know how it feels physically during sex. Some others have refined sight and see the natural flow of sexual energy which itself, as desire, directs the entire mind. Some of these who see that can open that sexuality up to the ultimate inner levels of perception and begin to represent, even sexually, very advanced spiritual realities. Maybe what I am discussing is particular to Buddhist tantras. At this level one isn't really interested in sidhis any longer. Mahamudra is itself enough. Quite simply.

Right now you mind is like that of a spiritual bachelor. In mahamudra you get hooked up.  May you be fortunate to meet spiritual tantric master who gives you permissions and consort.

Yama and Yami, may they be yummy.


--------------------
...or something






Edited by eve69 (01/08/09 07:05 AM)

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Invisiblepsyka
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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: redgreenvines]
    #9570869 - 01/08/09 01:16 PM (15 years, 3 months ago)

That all depends if you believe that calculation (thought) has form and thus location as its origin.


--------------------
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: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: psyka]
    #9571028 - 01/08/09 01:42 PM (15 years, 3 months ago)

yes thought forms are forms
calculation is a subset of that


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OfflineMainlyMind
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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: redgreenvines]
    #9575405 - 01/09/09 02:48 AM (15 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

redgreenvines said:
Quote:

MainlyMind said:
....As above in the Kalama Sutra, the Buddha asks us to believe nothing until it's proven to us, even his word, so it's a purely personal call. Bearing in mind though that I don't know what definition of re-birth you're using.

For me, even as an arch cynic, I used to think that it was purely metaphorical. But now I can certainly see the mechanism for it being real and I'm about 70% on-board, but it is nothing more than speculation. ....




this ties back to the comment about belief.

it establishes that even though it has not been proven to you, you are 70% in aggreeance (is this a word yet?) that there may be a mechanism of rebirth that only the Buddhas can tap into.


No, we are all a part of the system of re-birth, it's not exclusive to Buddhas. Some would say that a very advanced being has more of himself reborn, in a similar way to reincarnation, but that again is a personal belief based on tradition. Remember that re-birth isn't a person themselves being re-born, or a spirit, returning to the earth in another form. All re-birth means is that the subtle tendencies that someone - or many someones - may 'kick-start' the character of another being after death.

That I've gone from being a non-believer to a 70%-er:) is based purely on things that I've experienced which have surprised me, and the fact that if reality is as we Buddhists believe, in a sense, awareness that transcends time and is everything, then to some extent you can appreciate that someone remembering aspects of former existences would not be that strange. 'Former existences' is really a bad term to use - think of it more that say five people's former propensities have helped create the emergence of a new being. That was a particularly awful explanation, but I hope you'll understand what I mean:) Some Buddhists don't beleive in it at all,some 100% - the point being that all Buddhists have free will and aren't honour bound to believe everything that our texts say until we ourselves are satisfied that it's true.


(for consistency, let us say that a Buddha recalled rebirth is the only "kind" of birth under review and that a Buddha is an enlightened (is this still a word?) person).

regardless of the sects of Buddhism, we should consider, as in the thread title, that enlightenment among all sects philosophies and religions is actually the same issue (i still refuse to say STATE)


Do you know, I think we've actually been arguing from the same side all along? :smile: I must have been putting this all very badly, because you're stance is mine and that of Buddhism too. Sorry for number-listing, it's a short way of replying:

1: Because I'm a Buddhist, I don't think that Buddhism holds sway over what is 'real' re-birth and what isn't. We share the same truth.

2) Sufism, Hinduism, etc., etc., are all talking about the same 'realisation', we are all in agreement that there is no other. Through translation, some Upanishads give the impression that merging with Brahman is merging with a god of some kind and therefore different, but the word 'god' is used in the context of an ultimate, impersonal reality that, by it's constant action (in the way that a field of energy radiates) leads to the apparent formation of our reality.

3) The place that Eastern realistion differs from Western ideas of it is where the problems arise, and the reason for me posting. As many here believe erroneously, Enlightenment is not just reaching a  state of bliss, or having a special dream, or becoming remarkably moral or wise. The East - all traditions - are using different terminology and methods to describe an experience of non-duality (see my next post:), not a level of wisdom.

4) I have little belief in the list of alleged siddhis I posted above either, it was purely for interest and to show the Hindu/Buddhist comparisons.

Overall I think we're both trying to say the same things.

which may be enjoyed by few, and speculated upon differently by many, to the degree that the speculation becomes sectarian (blind leading blind), which extends to the observation that living Buddhas are not core to any of these sects.

Not quite. The only place where it's speculated upon is in the West (there's even a magazine in the US called 'What Is Enlightenment?') - and TBH this will be a constant source of wonder and amusement to many in the East.:) As I said above, we all agree on what realisation is, and what Kensho is, even though say, in Hindusim the words Kensho and Satori don't appear as they're Japanese terms, but are instead labelled levels of Samadhi. Terminology differs for us all, but as we're all (Zen, Tantra, Ati, Raja, etc.)ultimately based on the Vedas, what we're 'looking for' is exactly the same.

Are there any cases of the blind leading the blind? Certainly, far too many, and in all traditions:) 

However, due to meditation and a kind of ascension (samadhi and integration - kensho?) among each sect are very charismatic individuals who's physical presence supports the "belief in scripture" and satisfies the "need to be led" and "tell me what I should think" aspects of the followers.

That attitude is definitely present in some forms of Buddhism, but it's more of a Hindu thing really. I hate to keep pointing a finger at we Westerners, but we encourage the kind of attitude you write about above and are all to eager to be led by the nose by every loon who claims to be able to help one get closer to god. I can think of lists of supposed 'gurus' - many commonly known as 'superior beings' -who have achieved massive fame and fortune over the last 100 years with no attainment whatsoever.

Meditation is unfortunately big business, and of course there are hundreds, of people taking advantage of the mentality of western seekers. It's sad, and the only way to counter it is to do what I'm hoping to do here, and show that anyone who claims to be realised has to have had a particular experience - or if fully enlightened, rest in a particular way. If they haven't, they have nothing.

The whole point of me being here is to try to clarify what 'realisation' is and isn't, so that if anyone should have the misfortune to meet such a Guru, then they will be forearmed to question him or her in the right way to assess their attainment- then run the other way if necessary, money and mentality intact:)

MM

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OfflineMainlyMind
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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: redgreenvines]
    #9575423 - 01/09/09 03:00 AM (15 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

redgreenvines said:
I find it very hard to accept any theories about after death experience, or rewards.
I strongly recommend turning away from making life decisions that are based upon those kinds of ideas:




Again, my feelings exactly, and the reason I moved from Hinduism to Buddhism. Buddhism as about here and now, not some alleged future reward. Nirvana is an intermediate term used to illustrate the two truths, no Buddhist believes in it as a place, but as an understanding of this present reality. Paranirvana at death isn't something we're all happily galloping towards as a goal. This life for us is a great opportunity, and something we're admonished to experience and enjoy, despite its ultimate nature as a relative illusion.

I was brought up in a particularly Christian household, studied Theology (and still do), and even entertained my parents ideas that I should join the cloth for a while. But to base one's life on the vague hope that there is a divine purpose and a happy ending struck me as being ludicrous. Expect nothing, live in this moment, and do your best to make the existence of those around yourself joyous - to speculate beyond this is foolish.

>>the practice is not about after death rewards, but about improving the character of events inside and outside of our limited sphere.
the work is here and now.


if you need to enable a meaning to words like perinibbana, I think you would do best to find their poetry in this life.

maybe between the dream states you will find your metaphors, but without simple meditation, you may not have the clarity to see it.


Sorry, I'm not quite sure if this is intened towards me, as obviously I do meditate?

MM

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OfflineMainlyMind
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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: eve69]
    #9575433 - 01/09/09 03:06 AM (15 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

eve69 said:
Thank you MainlyMind for your nice comments on my words. That alone was as rare as jewels.




But well deserved:)

Quote:

eve69 said:Right now you mind is like that of a spiritual bachelor. In mahamudra you get hooked up.  May you be fortunate to meet spiritual tantric master who gives you permissions and consort.

Yama and Yami, may they be yummy.




LOL! Yes, my time with Vajrayana was most interesting...:)

I passed through Mahamudra as an introduction to Dzogchen, I do wish more people were aware of it as a tradition. It's - and Dzogchen's - secrecy have in some respects led to our current misunderstanding of lower forms as being somehow the sole paths. Anyone with the vaguest ideas of heading towards realisation, I implore you to look at these traditions. I'm happy to help point anyone towards the basic texts.

MM

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OfflineMainlyMind
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Testing Attainment [Re: MainlyMind]
    #9575449 - 01/09/09 03:12 AM (15 years, 3 months ago)

Last post today, I promise:)
The following is useful guidance to help test a student's level of 'attainment', showing the 2 different ways that basic realisation can manifest. Although this is from a Tibetan perspective, the same will be found in Zen, Tantra, Ati, Hinduism, etc., using pretty much the same basis.

"...The Questions of the Contemplative Nyimo Gomchen and the Responses of Sakya Pandita

I reverently bow at the feet of the Holy Guru! The glorious Sakya Pandita wrote the following lines to Nyimo Gomchen, a contemplative filled with faith and spiritual aspiration, applying himself earnestly to his practice: In response to your questions:

In realizing the nature of the mind (Realisation), is there a complete grasp of the meaning of the Three Collections of Teachings and the Four Classes of Tantras?


There are two realizations: Realizing the emptiness of the mind, and realizing the union of apparent reality and the emptiness of mind. In realizing the emptiness of the mind, one does not fully grasp the meaning of the Three Collections of Teachings and the Four Classes of Tantras. With such realization one may fully comprehend the Cessation of a Listener (Shravaka), but since that cessation falls to the extreme of emptiness alone, one would not grasp the meaning of the Mahayana teachings. This is stated in all the Mahayana Sutras and Tantras. In realization of the union [of apparent reality and emptiness], there is no blemish of even the most subtle faults. It therefore holds the basis of morality, and the Collection of Vinaya is complete. Since the Heroic Samadhi and all other states of concentration arise [from such realization], the collection of Sutras is complete. Since it cognizes all knowable things, from form to the Omniscient Mind, the collection of Abhidharma is complete. And due to its comprehension of the special outer and inner dependently-related events, the Four Classes of Tantra are complete.

Are the Three Jewels complete in one's own mind? In the mere emptiness of the mind and the understanding of that emptiness, the Three Jewels are not complete. In the union of the cognition and emptiness of the mind, the seeds of the Three Jewels are complete. If one properly realizes the meaning of that union, the Three Jewels are manifestly complete.

Is a person who realizes the emptiness of the mind a Buddha?

One who has realized emptiness alone is not a Buddha. If one comprehends all knowable things, one is fully enlightened. Furthermore, there are two modes of comprehension, the comprehension that there is no realization of an ultimately (i.e. inherently) existent phenomenon; and the comprehension of all distinct, conventionally existent phenomena.

If one does not ascertain the mind, even though one accumulates merit, doesn't that [just] lead to temporary happiness?

If one does not realize the mode of existence of the mind - the meaning of emptiness - one cannot attain the joy of Liberation by means of one's collection of merit. Although that may act as a cause for the joys up to the Peak of Cyclic Existence, the collection of merit is not perfected, And, on the other hand, if one does not have knowledge of knowable objects but only realization of the emptiness of the mind, how can one be a Buddha? If that were possible, there would be Buddhas in the Nirvana of Listeners, for which there is realization of emptiness alone, and there would also be Buddhas in empty space. But how could there be Buddhas there? Thus the assertion of all the Sutras and Tantras is that Buddhahood occurs through knowledge of all knowable objects and through realization that there is no inherent nature to be realized, i.e. knowing that of which there is nothing to be known,

At what point does one have the certainty of attaining Enlightenment?

Some people realize the emptiness of the mind alone, but have not perfected the qualities of the Method aspect of the training. Some have such qualities, but do not realize the emptiness of the mind. Some have both, but they are not able to guide their practice of the Method with their knowledge. Some have the other qualities, but since they lack the lineage of blessing, they are unable to generate the Clear Appearance. Thus, I fear that Buddhahood is far from them. Since I have a number of these attributes, I hope to attain Enlightenment, but not by the swift means.


This concludes my responses to the questions of the contemplative Nyimo Gomchen.

(This unedited translation was prepared under the guidance of Lama Tashi Namgyal by B. Alan Wallace (Gelong Jhampa Kelsang) at ©Sakya Thubten Kunga Choling in Victoria, B.C., August 1984).

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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: MainlyMind]
    #9575620 - 01/09/09 05:23 AM (15 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

MainlyMind said:
Quote:

redgreenvines said:
I find it very hard to accept any theories about after death experience, or rewards.
I strongly recommend turning away from making life decisions that are based upon those kinds of ideas:




Again, my feelings exactly, and the reason I moved from Hinduism to Buddhism. Buddhism as about here and now, not some alleged future reward. Nirvana is an intermediate term used to illustrate the two truths, no Buddhist believes in it as a place, but as an understanding of this present reality. Paranirvana at death isn't something we're all happily galloping towards as a goal. This life for us is a great opportunity, and something we're admonished to experience and enjoy, despite its ultimate nature as a relative illusion....

Sorry, I'm not quite sure if this is intened towards me, as obviously I do meditate?

MM



no, it was [Re:  psyka] (you can tell to whom the replies are in the small title bar to each comment - sometimes it gets confused)
but you excised my compelling illustration about the suicide bombers, ahh.. me...


Quote:


MainlyMind said:....
Is a person who realizes the emptiness of the mind a Buddha?

One who has realized emptiness alone is not a Buddha. If one comprehends all knowable things, one is fully enlightened. Furthermore, there are two modes of comprehension, the comprehension that there is no realization of an ultimately (i.e. inherently) existent phenomenon; and the comprehension of all distinct, conventionally existent phenomena.
....



In this gem of a summation, the comprehension of all things knowable is added as a qualification to "enlightenment".

Contextually, one would need to impute that all things knowable means all things knowable to the being in question via means available, which means in human living terms:
sustainable awareness or the middle way.
and this is always an open(ing) file.

so enlightenment is not a state,
and since it is not a state thing - but a path thing,
it cannot be attained, but it can be pursued or followed.


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

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Offlinethefarside
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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: MainlyMind]
    #9578120 - 01/09/09 04:56 PM (15 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

MainlyMind said:
Anyone with the vaguest ideas of heading towards realisation, I implore you to look at these traditions. I'm happy to help point anyone towards the basic texts.

MM




I have not heard that anyone with ideas of heading towards realisation should be encouraged. Us Western ¨seekers¨ bring a strong habit energy of materialism to everything we do, and I think it is helpful not to spend any time thinking about Enlightenment as something special or outside ourselves. Just practice with patience, without trying to gain anything at all.

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OfflineMainlyMind
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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: thefarside]
    #9612528 - 01/15/09 01:37 AM (15 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


MainlyMind said:....
Is a person who realizes the emptiness of the mind a Buddha?

One who has realized emptiness alone is not a Buddha. If one comprehends all knowable things, one is fully enlightened. Furthermore, there are two modes of comprehension, the comprehension that there is no realization of an ultimately (i.e. inherently) existent phenomenon; and the comprehension of all distinct, conventionally existent phenomena.
....


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


In this gem of a summation, the comprehension of all things knowable is added as a qualification to "enlightenment".

Contextually, one would need to impute that all things knowable means all things knowable to the being in question via means available, which means in human living terms:
sustainable awareness or the middle way.
and this is always an open(ing) file.

Sorry, I'm not quite getting your meaning here or your conclusion below? Would you mind saying it in another way? Nothing needs to be sustained once realisation is reached, that's the point. Also, I'm not sure about your reference to the Middle Way here? This path is a preliminary, where meditation and cause and effect methods are used. At higher levels there is no cause and effect mediation.

>>so enlightenment is not a state,
and since it is not a state thing - but a path thing,
it cannot be attained, but it can be pursued or followed.

I think I may be seeing where you're coming from, but I don't want to jump to any conclusions.

On one hand there's the state of Kensho, which may lead one to a state of Satori, which is an ongoing understanding of 'self-nature' which does not come or go or need to be propagated, which leads to an actual state of continual self-arising Samahdi. The experience of 'knowledge of all things' may be restricted in some (as the text above says) to arising within that first experience of enlightenment alone; but in others it continues to arise randomly after the state has come and gone. As an experience that certainly comes and goes, but as knowledge, and the ongoing effect that it has on you with no further application, it can't leave.

Yes, there are 'states' that come and go, but the main aspects of enlightenment aren't restricted to happening just within the confines of a single or multiple experience of a state, but are ongoing and unsought, and at this point the practitioner is not actually meditating in the normal sense any more. There is no meditation and some special state to enter, then leave, as you remain in it through the means of 'no more meditation'.

You're right in one way - enlightenment isn't one 'state' (implying something that needs to be enter and thusly can be left or lapse), but all states.

Can you tell me what part of the above you don't agree with? I'm not quite sure anymore, as I think I may have misunderstood you:)

MM

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OfflineMainlyMind
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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: thefarside]
    #9612559 - 01/15/09 01:49 AM (15 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

thefarside said:
Quote:

MainlyMind said:
Anyone with the vaguest ideas of heading towards realisation, I implore you to look at these traditions. I'm happy to help point anyone towards the basic texts.

MM




I have not heard that anyone with ideas of heading towards realisation should be encouraged. Us Western ¨seekers¨ bring a strong habit energy of materialism to everything we do, and I think it is helpful not to spend any time thinking about Enlightenment as something special or outside ourselves. Just practice with patience, without trying to gain anything at all.




I would agree. Practice meditation without hope or fear and solely for the benefits it brings, not permanently seeking a goal of realisation that may or may not come about, thus leading to more of the unhappiness that people are trying to transcend. Enlightenment, beyond 'experiences' is understanding the true nature of self and reality (usually only fully gained within such an experience), and simply living that knowledge, with no need to move from the very spot you occupy right now.

However, what I am saying is that for those interested in what enlightenment is then it will pay to read particular texts and treatises - and I'm very happy to encourage people to do so. No matter how ultimately flawed 'seeking' realisation may be, there are thousands of people trying to do just that, and until they have read the right works regarding what it is they will not know how to progress correctly, or why, ultimately trying to find realisation is flawed. They have to gain that level of understanding themselves, initially through seeking, and it's not our place to say don't do it, don't think about or try for it. They have to be allowed to have the excitement of potential and exploration to give them the impetus to begin practice, and allowed to begin the Path as seekers and make mistakes in an effort to understand what enlightenment is.

Don't 'try' for enlightenment, no, but it will certainly pay to discuss it and understand it:)

MM

Edited by MainlyMind (01/15/09 02:53 AM)

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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: MainlyMind]
    #9612834 - 01/15/09 03:59 AM (15 years, 3 months ago)

understanding mind, one can understand real things that clearly happen in mind
abhidhamma helps
all the parts that go into a mind moment are discussed and the procession of mind moments are also discussed which helps unveil a stream of consciousness.
on the other hand
psychedelics, and dreams as well as neurophysiology teach us what states are, the passing phases that can be experienced:
we can see that states of mind which occur in dreams,  meditative absorptions, and psychedelics are very much the same (the citta - content, and state shift cause are different, but the state (additional vibrancy from slower fading) is the same thing):

the compelling distractions and visions from meditation (mara) are made of the same mind material as those in dreams and psychedelic visions and they are dependent upon the state of mind.

through analysis, state of mind is revealed to be only about how layered mind is:
normally each citta fades within 1/15th of a second, but if encouraged to linger (by emotional experience, meditative absorptions, psychedelic, or dreaming) they can fade more slowly and mind moments stack up over eachother, enriching experience.

the amount of stacking relates to the degree of stonedness, the order and type of visioning, this is the STATE of mind, how stacked it is.


the linkage between citta is association, things that happen together are associated, and things that are similar are associated.
citta can be largely memory based or largely sensory based, and usually a large component of each is involved.
this is the sticky aspect of mind, the degree of attachment that can never be escaped (sangsara in a nutshell), but it can be worked with (the way).

you can have a procession of citta (mind moments) in any state of mind, although in the most layered states the procession is difficult to follow, and the sense of time is obstructed, forms are indistinguishable and a sense of self is obliterated, with memory formation defeated as well - amnesia.

all of that is part of the human condition (many other beings as well including dogs etc.).

you can have an enlightened being who has a stream of consciousness like all the rest of us experiencing states of mind like all the rest of us: emotions, meditative absorptions, intoxication, dreams etc.

I have difficulty listening to either Buddhists, Hindus or drug users declare that enlightenment is a STATE or a state of mind which you can achieve (spiritual materialism or spiritual basketball);
or that it is any one particular thing, not only because I know what a state is,
but because at the next turn they will use the same terms contradictorily to their own satisfaction to mean something else.

changing the rules like that engenders a kind of schizophrenia, and, naturally that in turn will lead to a state of mind with more layering, and it may quickly produce a kind of reward to the forked tongued speaker enriching their experience of the world.

its a little bit nuts.
word meanings that conflict bring up really weird communication problems.

{note: except for the basics about citta etc. I think abhidhamma, which was the best psychological science at the time (500 years back or more), goes flakey, and the parts about stream returning etc. could be called a bit speculative, again this is the part where they talk about buddhas and bodhisattvas}


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

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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: redgreenvines]
    #9613133 - 01/15/09 06:55 AM (15 years, 3 months ago)

Thanks again for kind words. 

Enlightenment is very difficult, also, not very difficult, however it has nothing to stick to so one somehow works with the path. The instantaneous blessing of Buddhism is lack of abstraction to some future time and direct observation of the moment.  Of course this also is difficult, the more so as one gets older and more materialized.

As said, we westerners tend to materialize our energies and I must somehow agree. Thus in sadhanas I chose one with absolutely no purpose but to celebrate life. I figured if karma lends our mind its stability I would stabilize in celebration. Thus some think I am a wastrel. In Nepal I would go over fairly well. But my main point was to maintain absolute clarity I chose a sadhana of perfect clarity with no purpose. 

Thus some would say I have completely dropped out and lost touch, while within I have entirely found the celestial palaces and their tenants and they play harmonies that compete until I have to shut it all out and just get back to living again.  That sounded really pompous and spiritual, and while true it's also false as my spiritual realizations as many as they were were pretty useless as far as this material world goes. I have attained no help, success, or anything else from my sadhana. 

But I remain pure in utter pointlessness and I have time to serve others if I choose. Or just to sit at a fucking bar.  Don't be surprised if when you come to NOLA you meet me and a lama drunk as skunks somewhere. That still sounded really pompous and I am sorry. I wonder if this cup of coffee is raising my blood pressure?  I feel sort of hyper.

Jesus, I watched that Benjamin Buttons movie and I wanted to kill myself. That was the most depressing movie in history.  I'm scared to watch The Wrestler. I have been depressed lately so I am watching movies to death. Just like a mawkish old woman.


--------------------
...or something






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