Advaita and Buddhism

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curious, modified 1 Year ago.

Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 939 Join Date: 7/13/17 Recent Posts
I've noticed on a couple of threads people with an Advaita-type approach are turning up and proposing that there is something wrong with the Buddhadharma. That would seem to be fightin' words for the Dharma Overground.  It would be good to have this discussion explicitly, if it needs to be had. So I have openened this thread in the Dharma Battleground forum to allow any Advaita folks to have their say, if they want, and receive a reply.

To kick it off, I propose that the desire to come to the home of another tradition, and then make subtle criticism, is probably indicative of incomplete awakening. There is a simple psychological explanation - the subconscious realises the incompleteness of the attainment, and looks elsewhere for an answer (e.g. here), while the conscious battles this as a threat to the self/ego associated with the partial attainment.  Net result - coming here, but then telling us we are all wrong.

Now, my opinion of the Advaita approaches is that they can and do lead to complete awakening, but the stated objective of the tradition seems to be one step short. So it is easy to get stuck one step short. It is easy to get stuck in Buddhism too, and many outstanding Buddhist scholars and leaders, including in the present time, remain at anagami - but are perhaps a bit more likely to realise that.  Of course, whether it is realised or not, that one step short is still a marvellous 'attainment' and highly desirable, and much to be admired. Better of course to take the final step and then there is no attainment and nothing to be admired.

This is said with love, but also in the spirit of the DhO. If you want to tell us we are all wrong, be prepared to defend your view. My alternative view would be that if you think we are wrong, you might have just a little more work to do, and the leaders of your own tradition might be able to help you take that final step. Or you can work it through at the DhO!

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Malcolm 


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Chris Marti, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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I'm pulling up my lawn chair and cracking open a bottle of wine  emoticon
shargrol, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Got my popcorn... and whiskey.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Hear hear!
Mike Smirnoff, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Hi Malcolm,

Thanks for your post. I personally have no strong views on this but am curious about this.

But since you have written this, maybe you can tell: what precisely is the one step prior to complete awakening that Advaita stops at? You do mention the word anagami for Buddhist scholars: are you suggesting that Advaita stops at Anagami? If not, what is that other one step short that it stops at? [[I've heard people claim it stops at formless attainments]]. And whatever this one step short is, maybe you can tell us what makes you believe that Advaita stops at this one step short. 

I need to emphasize this: just trying to learn here -- I can be direct sometimes and it can come across as criticism -- that's not the case here. 

Thanks.

Mike.
Mike Smirnoff, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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And let me give two different takes on Advaita:


1. For those who say it's a formless realms experience: they are talking about an experience of pure consciousness, at the end of the day, a samadhi experience -- and they say, that's all where Advaita gets you.

2. This is something I've noted, and I'm unsure if this is correct or not: If one looks at Cula-Sunnata sutta: it talks about getting up the formless realms, then getting into animittam cetosamadhi, then, discerning this state of animittam cetosamadhi as created, thus impermanent, etc.,  and thus ending all cankers (arahatship?) without any mention of fruition. This sounds remarkably close to (or the same as -- here there is the question of what animittam cetosamadhi is and if it is the same as pure consciousness/awareness experience) getting into pure consciousness and noting consciousness as just consciousness which ( I think -- correct me if I'm wrong) I've heard, said in Advaita. 
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curious, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Hi Mike, thanks for asking.  Here are the definitions I am working off for Advaita.

Oxford dictionary: A vedantic doctrine that identifies the individual self (atman) with the ground of reality (brahman).

Wikipedia: People who believe in Advaita believe that their soul is not different from Brahman ... his teaching became popular as the "Advaita" (a = not, dvaita = two), means not two or non dual).  The ways he said this to people was "Atman is Brahman".


To me this describes an absoprtion into non-duality or emptiness, similar to rigpa. There seem to be lots of flavours of non-duality, and this particular one seems to seek to merge a subtle sense of self (Atman) and other (Brahman) within the luminous non-dual field of perceptions. But that sense of self and other is still a fabrication, and still involves a clinging that prevents final liberation. Now, I am not a geshe or rinpoche or sayadaw, so my scholarship is doubtless incomplete.  But from my perspective I see these concepts continually repeated in buddhist thinking.  For example.

1. Form is emptiness
2. Emptiness is form
3. Form is none other than emptiness (this is the level I associate with Anagami and Advaita)
4. Emptiness is none other than form (this is the next step)

1. Manifest intrinsic reality
2. Increasing of experience
3. Rigpa attains its full measure (this is the level I associate with Anagami and Advaita)
4. Exhaustion of phenomena, beyond the mind (this is the next step)

From Uncle Sid in the Satipathana Sutta:  "If anyone would develop these four frames of reference in this way for seven days, one of two fruits can be expected for him: either gnosis right here & now, or — if there be any remnant of clinging-sustenance (alternative translation: if a substratum of aggregates remains)— non-return."  (Having a self of self merged with greater consciousness is pretty obviously a substratum of the aggregates of clinging remaining)

From Uncle Sid in the Jhana Sutta:  "He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'  Staying right there, he reaches the ending of the mental fermentations. Or, if not, then — through this very dhamma-passion, this very dhamma-delight, and from the total wasting away of the first five of the fetters — he is due to be reborn [in the Pure Abodes], there to be totally unbound, never again to return from that world."  (Notice that unbinding requires the resolution of all fabrications, and if instead dharma-delight remains then anagami is achieved rather than Arhatship,)

From Uncle Sid in the Upanisa Sutta "... concentration is the supporting condition for the knowledge and vision of things as they really are, the knowledge and vision of things as they really are is the supporting condition for disenchantment, disenchantment is the supporting condition for dispassion, dispassion is the supporting condition for emancipation, and emancipation is the supporting condition for the knowledge of the destruction (of the cankers)." (There are different definitions of knowledge and vision, but in this context I see it as non-dual perception. Until you become disenchanted and dispassionate about non-dual perception, you will not achieve final emancipation).

So, I will say again I am sure Hindu approaches can lead to full liberation. However, full liberation is not being absorbed in the emptiness of form, or rigpa attaining its full measure, or having a substratum of self in the field of perception, or being passionate for the dharma, or being enchanted with perceptions. Uncle Sid says so, repeatedly. 

These comments are maybe not helpful for people early on the path, as some progress may be required to have the right frame of reference to appreciate what is being said here.  But I am concerned about others saying you can jump straight into some kind of non-dual absorption, delight in that, and you are done. No you aren't. And, I suspect that omitting too much intermediate work will both make that non-dual perception unstable, and prevent the final step. 

Don't settle for that!  As Sayadaw U Pandita says, liberation is possible in this very life.

Just my ravings ... 

Malcolm 

P.S. From my point of view pure consciousness is a furphy. Consciousness in Pali literally means divided knowing. That means subject and object. So pure knowing of subject and object, but without a subject (self)? Doesn't make sense to me. However, I agree with your other point about seeing through signless mindconcentration.  Yes, you must eventually discover that emptiness is none other than form. :-)




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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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curious:
Hi Mike, thanks for asking.  Here are the definitions I am working off for Advaita.

Oxford dictionary: A vedantic doctrine that identifies the individual self (atman) with the ground of reality (brahman).

Wikipedia: People who believe in Advaita believe that their soul is not different from Brahman ... his teaching became popular as the "Advaita" (a = not, dvaita = two), means not two or non dual).  The ways he said this to people was "Atman is Brahman".


To me this describes an absoprtion into non-duality or emptiness, similar to rigpa. There seem to be lots of flavours of non-duality, and this particular one seems to seek to merge a subtle sense of self (Atman) and other (Brahman) within the luminous non-dual field of perceptions. But that sense of self and other is still a fabrication, and still involves a clinging that prevents final liberation. Now, I am not a geshe or rinpoche or sayadaw, so my scholarship is doubtless incomplete.  But from my perspective I see these concepts continually repeated in buddhist thinking.  For example.

1. Form is emptiness
2. Emptiness is form
3. Form is none other than emptiness (this is the level I associate with Anagami and Advaita)
4. Emptiness is none other than form (this is the next step)

1. Manifest intrinsic reality
2. Increasing of experience
3. Rigpa attains its full measure (this is the level I associate with Anagami and Advaita)
4. Exhaustion of phenomena, beyond the mind (this is the next step)

From Uncle Sid in the Satipathana Sutta:  "If anyone would develop these four frames of reference in this way for seven days, one of two fruits can be expected for him: either gnosis right here & now, or — if there be any remnant of clinging-sustenance (alternative translation: if a substratum of aggregates remains)— non-return."  (Having a self of self merged with greater consciousness is pretty obviously a substratum of the aggregates of clinging remaining)

From Uncle Sid in the Jhana Sutta:  "He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'  Staying right there, he reaches the ending of the mental fermentations. Or, if not, then — through this very dhamma-passion, this very dhamma-delight, and from the total wasting away of the first five of the fetters — he is due to be reborn [in the Pure Abodes], there to be totally unbound, never again to return from that world."  (Notice that unbinding requires the resolution of all fabrications, and if instead dharma-delight remains then anagami is achieved rather than Arhatship,)

From Uncle Sid in the Upanisa Sutta "... concentration is the supporting condition for the knowledge and vision of things as they really are, the knowledge and vision of things as they really are is the supporting condition for disenchantment, disenchantment is the supporting condition for dispassion, dispassion is the supporting condition for emancipation, and emancipation is the supporting condition for the knowledge of the destruction (of the cankers)." (There are different definitions of knowledge and vision, but in this context I see it as non-dual perception. Until you become disenchanted and dispassionate about non-dual perception, you will not achieve final emancipation).

So, I will say again I am sure Hindu approaches can lead to full liberation. However, full liberation is not being absorbed in the emptiness of form, or rigpa attaining its full measure, or having a substratum of self in the field of perception, or being passionate for the dharma, or being enchanted with perceptions. Uncle Sid says so, repeatedly. 

These comments are maybe not helpful for people early on the path, as some progress may be required to have the right frame of reference to appreciate what is being said here.  But I am concerned about others saying you can jump straight into some kind of non-dual absorption, delight in that, and you are done. No you aren't. And, I suspect that omitting too much intermediate work will both make that non-dual perception unstable, and prevent the final step. 

Don't settle for that!  As Sayadaw U Pandita says, liberation is possible in this very life.

Just my ravings ... 

Malcolm 

P.S. From my point of view pure consciousness is a furphy. Consciousness in Pali literally means divided knowing. That means subject and object. So pure knowing of subject and object, but without a subject (self)? Doesn't make sense to me. However, I agree with your other point about seeing through signless mindconcentration.  Yes, you must eventually discover that emptiness is none other than form. :-)






   In practice, the advaitist who dwells in nonduality is not analytical. The lover doesn't need much instruction ,it comes pretty naturally. Any tradition will do.

t
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curious, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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terry:
   In practice, the advaitist who dwells in nonduality is not analytical. The lover doesn't need much instruction ,it comes pretty naturally. Any tradition will do.

t [endquote]



Interesting - I guess that is a typo for typical/analytical?  That makes a lot of sense and explains why it can still work.
Mike Smirnoff, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Hi Malcolm,

Thanks for your detailed response. I'll take some time to digest it, but here are some initial thoughts. 

Firstly thanks! This is very rigorous.

I think what you're saying that even if you get to non-dual states, one needs to finally see through it. That makes sense to it. [[Correct me if I'm wrong in my interpretation of what you said]]. And further you're saying Hindu's don't emphasize this final point -- they stop at getting into non-dual states. This also sort of makes sense (though I've to say I've heard vedantists/read vedantists talk about noting consciousness as just consciousness).

And the same holds for emptiness. One needs to see that emptiness is a created state, dependent on body-mind (plus other factors like wanting it, putting effort towards it, and still, there's no guarantee that it will last -- it may depend on other laws of nature) -- and for sure, it seems like it'll end with the end of mind-body -- thus, for sure, anicca and anatta.

When I said pure consciousness, I meant consciousness either observing consciousness or consciousness sitting with things as they are (signless concentration of mind/emptiness).  By use of the word "pure" I meant, there's just observation going on (basically, emptiness) -- let's say, observing things "purely". Yes, my way of putting things was not great, I apologize for that.


Thanks also for pointing out the passages from the Satipatthana Sutta & Jhana Sutta.  I've not yet read the last Sutta reference. 
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curious, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Mike Smirnoff:
Hi Malcolm,

Thanks for your detailed response. I'll take some time to digest it, but here are some initial thoughts. 

Firstly thanks! This is very rigorous.

I think what you're saying that even if you get to non-dual states, one needs to finally see through it. That makes sense to it. [[Correct me if I'm wrong in my interpretation of what you said]]. And further you're saying Hindu's don't emphasize this final point -- they stop at getting into non-dual states. This also sort of makes sense (though I've to say I've heard vedantists/read vedantists talk about noting consciousness as just consciousness).

And the same holds for emptiness. One needs to see that emptiness is a created state, dependent on body-mind (plus other factors like wanting it, putting effort towards it, and still, there's no guarantee that it will last -- it may depend on other laws of nature) -- and for sure, it seems like it'll end with the end of mind-body -- thus, for sure, anicca and anatta.

When I said pure consciousness, I meant consciousness either observing consciousness or consciousness sitting with things as they are (signless concentration of mind/emptiness).  By use of the word "pure" I meant, there's just observation going on (basically, emptiness) -- let's say, observing things "purely". Yes, my way of putting things was not great, I apologize for that.


Thanks also for pointing out the passages from the Satipatthana Sutta & Jhana Sutta.  I've not yet read the last Sutta reference. 

Hi Mike, yes that is just what I am proposing. And interesting to hear what you say about Hindu noting. That explains a fair amount.  I know Hindus are getting there somehow, but the overt approach of Advaita seems to only go partway.

The Jhana sutta is also interesting - see through any jhana completely (even first Jhana) and reach awakening!  This seems much neglected as a practice.

And no need for apology, pure consciousness is a common term. However, as I see it, there are only the six sense consciousnesses, and they are all somewhat equal. When we prefentially dwell in the mind sense, reinforced through excessive verbal formations and built up karmic tendencies, we dwell in an illusion about our true nature. Our goal is to see through that illusion. From my perspective, the idea of an observing consciousness still implies a subtle primacy of the mind sense, and thus a contraction around a subtle sense of self.  Instead, I see our existence as a process overlaid across ALL six sense consciousnesses. Hence the need to purify all the sense doors, dwell in the field of the six sense perceptions, and do so without a sense of a centre. And also without the sense of active deliberation and decision making. This last point is because all that work is really done by the subconcious, and if we put awareness into it we are needlessly contracting around the mind sense. Instead we should dwell in all six sense consciousnesses together, happily.

Malcolm

P.S.  I forgot another example of the progression given in Buddhist thought

Gate
Gate
Paragate
Parasamgate 
Awake, yeah!
Mike Smirnoff, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Got it, I think.

Last question:

Your statement, " Instead we should dwell in all six sense consciousnesses together, happily."

Again, makes sense to me. And would this be what is animittam cetosamadhi?
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curious, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Mike Smirnoff:
Got it, I think.

Last question:

Your statement, " Instead we should dwell in all six sense consciousnesses together, happily."

Again, makes sense to me. And would this be what is animittam cetosamadhi?

Not in my view. Samadhi is part of the raft that helps to cross over to the other shore. You don't need a raft once you're there. I mean, go back for another scoot around the river by all means, that can be fun. But you'd look kind of strange paddling your raft on dry land. 

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Mike Smirnoff, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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So, when you say, dwell in all six sense consciousness happily, you mean, after having completed the job, throwing away the raft, so to speak, this is the state one dwells in? Just trying to understand. Thanks.

Mike
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curious, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Mike Smirnoff:
So, when you say, dwell in all six sense consciousness happily, you mean, after having completed the job, throwing away the raft, so to speak, this is the state one dwells in? Just trying to understand. Thanks.

Mike

To be as precise as possible ... some people choose to stay absorbed in the ground.  Like some people choose to live in Texas.  And strictly speaking it may not be equal balance between all the sense consciousnesses, but the balance is definitely far away from the mind sense. The mind sense is perfectly accessible and useable, but there is no clinging or self-identification with it. 

Ananda wrote a beautfiul poem about missing all the old ones, after they had died and he was left alone from the original generation of arahants. He found solace in mindfulness of the body. That is, absorbing the awareness in the touch sense door in the body, with a little piti, and just dwelling there. So that is like choosing to live in Kentucky rather than Texas.

But the experience remains fundamentally human. The aggregates still exisit, and throw up various things, but the default is happiness and ease, liberation rather than dukkha, and you can clean up whatever arises fairly easily. You still have to deal with the residue remaining, and the more you are engaged in the old life from which that residue was generated, the more it will be salient and lead to arisings. 

Buddhism is full of metaphors about all this. For example, the heavenly realms are great, but ultimately don't lead onwards. Only the human realm allows choices that have karmic consequeces that can lead to liberation. The path is ultimately an endeavour to be even more human, not to be more godlike. But a humanity where you are in charge of the dukkha, instead of it being in charge of you.  Uncle Sid showed this - the suttas are fully of cases of him being just human.

Hard to explain. All these concepts are generated from the mind sense. Try mindfulness of the body for seven days and nights and then relinquish all attainments and attachments and fears, and embrace all the death and loss you can imagine instead of flinching from it.  And then become the deathless.
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Chris Marti, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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The path is ultimately an endeavour to be even more human, not to be more godlike. But a humanity where you are in charge of the dukkha, instead of it being in charge of you.  Uncle Sid showed this - the suttas are fully of cases of him being just human.''

Yes. For me, this has always been the beauty of the dharma. To be human and to know what that entails in the fullest, most exquisite sense.
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Chris Marti:
The path is ultimately an endeavour to be even more human, not to be more godlike. But a humanity where you are in charge of the dukkha, instead of it being in charge of you.  Uncle Sid showed this - the suttas are fully of cases of him being just human.''

Yes. For me, this has always been the beauty of the dharma. To be human and to know what that entails in the fullest, most exquisite sense.



from "the way of chuang tzu" trans merton



THE TRUE MAN

What is meant by a "true man"?
The true men of old were not afraid
When they stood alone in their views.
No great exploits. No plans.
If they failed, no sorrow.
No self-congratulation in success.
They scaled cliffs, never dizzy,
Plunged in water, never wet,
Walked through fire and were not burnt.
Thus their knowledge reached all the way
To Tao.
The true men of old
Slept without dreams,
Woke without worries.
Their food was plain.
They breathed deep.
True men breathe from their heels.
Others breathe with their gullets,
Half-strangled. In dispute
They heave up arguments
Like vomit.
Where the fountains of passion
Lie deep
The heavenly springs
Are soon dry.
The true men of old
Knew no lust for life,
No dread of death.
Their entrance was without gladness,
Their exit, yonder,
Without resistance.
Easy come, easy go.
They did not forget where from,
Nor ask where to,
Nor drive grimly forward
Fighting their way through life.
They took life as it came, gladly;
Took death as it came, without care;
And went away, yonder,
Yonder!
They had no mind to fight Tao.
They did not try, by their own contriving,
To help Tao along.
These are the ones we call true men.
Minds free, thoughts gone
Brows clear, faces serene.
Were they cool? Only cool as autumn.
Were they hot? No hotter than spring.
All that came out of them
Came quiet, like the four seasons.
[vi. I.]
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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curious:
Mike Smirnoff:
Got it, I think.

Last question:

Your statement, " Instead we should dwell in all six sense consciousnesses together, happily."

Again, makes sense to me. And would this be what is animittam cetosamadhi?

Not in my view. Samadhi is part of the raft that helps to cross over to the other shore. You don't need a raft once you're there. I mean, go back for another scoot around the river by all means, that can be fun. But you'd look kind of strange paddling your raft on dry land. 

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   When the old british sailor men got finally paid off, they proverbially would carry an anchor over their shoulder and walk inland until some country fellow asked them, "what's that thing?"

   "Why son, let me tell you about something we call 'the ocean'"....
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Mike Smirnoff:
Hi Malcolm,

Thanks for your detailed response. I'll take some time to digest it, but here are some initial thoughts. 

Firstly thanks! This is very rigorous.

I think what you're saying that even if you get to non-dual states, one needs to finally see through it. That makes sense to it. [[Correct me if I'm wrong in my interpretation of what you said]]. And further you're saying Hindu's don't emphasize this final point -- they stop at getting into non-dual states. This also sort of makes sense (though I've to say I've heard vedantists/read vedantists talk about noting consciousness as just consciousness).

And the same holds for emptiness. One needs to see that emptiness is a created state, dependent on body-mind 


   You can't "finally see through" a "non-dual state." There is no seer, no seen and no finality.

   Emptiness is most emphatically not repeat not "a created state, dependent on body-mind." "Body-mind" is a mental construct, a self-image. Emptiness is empty of all mental constructs, that's why they call it "empty."

   Of course, anyone can use the word in a dualistic sense, as opposed to fullness, for example.

terry
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curious, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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terry:
   You can't "finally see through" a "non-dual state." There is no seer, no seen and no finality.

   Emptiness is most emphatically not repeat not "a created state, dependent on body-mind." "Body-mind" is a mental construct, a self-image. Emptiness is empty of all mental constructs, that's why they call it "empty."

   Of course, anyone can use the word in a dualistic sense, as opposed to fullness, for example.

terry

Well, I both agree and disagree with that comment. And also vice versa.  emoticon 

I would agree to the extent that that many 'non-dual absorptions' are not really fully non dual (Atman/Brahman being a case in point).  And also to the extent that a non-dual state does not prevent a superficial and suface contraction and dualism in daily life. When eating a grilled cheese sandwich, for example.  Or when finely crafting the terminus of a celtic silver torque.  Or when arguing with a friend.

But I think we will get quickly lost in a thicket of views.  Pax?
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Chris Marti, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Question (asking for a friend, of course):

If all perceptions are mental constructs then how can we ever truly perceive the non-dual?
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Ben V., modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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I've always wondered and suspected that cessation(fruition) is non-duality itself. If and when there is only 'One', then there cannot be any perception whatsoever (because it requires a here that perceives a there), hence, cessation.
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Chris Marti, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner!
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Ben V.:
I've always wondered and suspected that cessation(fruition) is non-duality itself. If and when there is only 'One', then there cannot be any perception whatsoever (because it requires a here that perceives a there), hence, cessation.


cessation and non-cessation are not two...

nonduality itself is always present/not present (mind is buddha; no mind is buddha...a dog has/has no buddha nature)


the buddha perceives nibbana as nibbana,
without conceiving of it as such...

there can be perception of non-duality but no conception, no memory, no residue, no impression, no reproduction,
no transference...

only the poetry of longing...

t




from "the rumi collection" ed helminski and helminski:


Can anyone really describe the actions of
the Matchless One?
Anything I can say is only what I’m allowed to.
Sometimes He acts this way,
sometimes in its exact opposite;
The real work of religion is permanent astonishment.
By that I don’t mean in astonishment turning your back on Him—
I mean: blazing in blind ecstasy, drowned in God and drunk on Love.

(translated by Andrew Harvey)

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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Chris Marti:
Question (asking for a friend, of course):

If all perceptions are mental constructs then how can we ever truly perceive the non-dual?

(ooh, ooh)


try mental deconstructs...


t



from "the way of chuang tzu", trans merton:


HOW DEEP IS TAO!

My Master said: Tao, how deep, how still its hiding place!
Tao, how pure! Without this stillness, metal would not ring,
stone when struck would give no answer. The power of
sound is in the metal and Tao in all things. When they clash,
they ring with Tao, and are silent again. Who is there, now,
to tell all things their places? The king of life goes his way free,
inac­tive, unknown. He would blush to be in business. He keeps
his deep roots down in the origin, down in the spring. His
knowledge is enfolded in Spirit and he grows great, great,
opens a great heart, a world's refuge. Without forethought he
comes out, in majesty. Without plan he goes his way and all
things follow him. This is the kingly man, who rides above life.
This one sees in the dark, hears where there is no sound. In
the deep dark he alone sees light. In soundlessness he alone
perceives music. He can go down into the lowest of low places
and find people. He can stand in the highest of high places and
see meaning. He is in contact with all beings. That which is not,
goes his way. That which moves is what he stands on. Great
is small for him, long is short for him, and all his distances are near.

[xii. 3.]
73
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Chris Marti:
Question (asking for a friend, of course):

If all perceptions are mental constructs then how can we ever truly perceive the non-dual?

   More precisely, the conception that perceptions are mental constructs is a mental construct. Perceptions themselves are unconstructed. They just are: the buddha sees the earth as earth, nibbana as nibbana, grilled cheese sandwiches as grilled cheese sandwiches, etc.

   Perceptios just are, just this, being itself, existence. Distinguishing perceptions from the <ground> is mental construction, the beginning of dualism. "As soon as you open your mouth, you are lost." As soon as you begin to think about "it", "it" disappears and you are in the thicket of mental constructions.

   It seems to me I remember that some years ago there was a grilled cheese sandwich with the image of jesus christ miraculously baked in and it was going on ebay for thousands of usd. Our whole economy is based on such mental constructs. Consider gold: we dig it up at vast expense only to bury it again in vaults. Want to give up mental constructs? Start with money as a test of your sincerity.  (crooked smile)

  Arttachment is attachment to mental constructs. Without desire there are no mental constructs. Everything I want is a mental construct. Give me this, give me that. Take this.

   Would you like another grilled cheese sandwich, sir? Another cup of tea?


terry
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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terry:
Chris Marti:
Question (asking for a friend, of course):

If all perceptions are mental constructs then how can we ever truly perceive the non-dual?

   More precisely, the conception that perceptions are mental constructs is a mental construct. Perceptions themselves are unconstructed. They just are: the buddha sees the earth as earth, nibbana as nibbana, grilled cheese sandwiches as grilled cheese sandwiches, etc.

   Perceptios just are, just this, being itself, existence. Distinguishing perceptions from the <ground> is mental construction, the beginning of dualism. "As soon as you open your mouth, you are lost." As soon as you begin to think about "it", "it" disappears and you are in the thicket of mental constructions.

   It seems to me I remember that some years ago there was a grilled cheese sandwich with the image of jesus christ miraculously baked in and it was going on ebay for thousands of usd. Our whole economy is based on such mental constructs. Consider gold: we dig it up at vast expense only to bury it again in vaults. Want to give up mental constructs? Start with money as a test of your sincerity.  (crooked smile)

  Arttachment is attachment to mental constructs. Without desire there are no mental constructs. Everything I want is a mental construct. Give me this, give me that. Take this.

   Would you like another grilled cheese sandwich, sir? Another cup of tea?


terry


from "the rumi collection" ed helminski and helminski:


WINGS OF DESIRE

People are distracted by objects of desire,
and afterward repent of the lust they’ve indulged,
because they have indulged with a phantom
and are left even farther from Reality than before.
Your desire for the illusory could be a wing,
by means of which a seeker might ascend to Reality.
When you have indulged a lust, your wing drops off;
you become lame, abandoned by a fantasy.
Preserve the wing and don’t indulge such lust,
so that the wing of desire may bear you to Paradise.
People fancy they are enjoying themselves
but they are really tearing out their wings
for the sake of an illusion.

MATHNAWI III, 2133–2138
(translated by Kabir Helminski and Camille Helminski)
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Chris Marti, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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It seems to me I remember that some years ago there was a grilled cheese sandwich with the image of jesus christ miraculously baked in and it was going on ebay for thousands of usd.

Indeed. Value is in the eye of the beholder.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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terry:
Chris Marti:
Question (asking for a friend, of course):

If all perceptions are mental constructs then how can we ever truly perceive the non-dual?

   More precisely, the conception that perceptions are mental constructs is a mental construct. Perceptions themselves are unconstructed. They just are: the buddha sees the earth as earth, nibbana as nibbana, grilled cheese sandwiches as grilled cheese sandwiches, etc.

   Perceptios just are, just this, being itself, existence. Distinguishing perceptions from the <ground> is mental construction, the beginning of dualism. "As soon as you open your mouth, you are lost." As soon as you begin to think about "it", "it" disappears and you are in the thicket of mental constructions.

   It seems to me I remember that some years ago there was a grilled cheese sandwich with the image of jesus christ miraculously baked in and it was going on ebay for thousands of usd. Our whole economy is based on such mental constructs. Consider gold: we dig it up at vast expense only to bury it again in vaults. Want to give up mental constructs? Start with money as a test of your sincerity.  (crooked smile)

  Arttachment is attachment to mental constructs. Without desire there are no mental constructs. Everything I want is a mental construct. Give me this, give me that. Take this.

   Would you like another grilled cheese sandwich, sir? Another cup of tea?


terry

Thanks for a great post!

I for one wouldn't at all mind giving up on that kind of economy. It's hard to do it alone, though. Of course, even wanting to stay alive and out of the gutter for the sake of my child is attachment, too, but... 

I get what you are saying about perceptions, that they just are. I both agree and disagree. I think Daniel expresses that very well in MCTB2 (I have no idea where in the text, though, and I can probably not do justice to it either). Even complex mental constructs, or formations, just are. They are there, just as they are, and they are aware (which cannot be distinguished from being perceived), just as they are. Still, the fact that they just are does not mean that the construct is the "correct" categorization of the sensations that they are associated with. It just means that the categorization lives it's own life, so to speak, which is true also for any form of distinction. Distinguishing something as a particular set of sensations necessarily means that some kind of mental construction is at play. That doesn't make it bad (unless you are really anti-samsara to the extent that you consider life itself evil). It just makes it creative and alive. Also, mental constructs can be incredibly useful for mundane purposes, and I think those matter.

Mental constructs can of course also be incredibly unhelpul. The economy is a great example of the latter. When the economy makes people burn their crops because they will lose money if they don't, while at the same time people are starving, that's bizarre. When an outrageous amount of resources are spent on making sure that people don't get more help than some absurd norm considers them worthy of, that's bizarre. When there are things that need to be done for the benefit of basically everyone's wellbeing, and there are people who are willing to do it and there are other resources needed for the tasks, and the economy prohibits taking action, that is bizaree. I totally agree that we need to question that kind of mental construct.

That does however not mean that being a mental construct per se makes it less valid. It just means that it is a mental construct and that other mental constructs, intersecting with the same sensory input from the sense organs, are possible as well. And to the extent that we at all can talk about the Buddha as a perceiver, I think the Buddha would be aware of that.

I remember that Jesus toast from media, by the way. Bizarre! 
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Matthew, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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One "pith instruction" I've arrived at with regards to this just-is-ness of even factually-incorrect fabrications is: "Nothing is about anything."

In other words, the trap of projection that labels things good or bad or desirable or undesirable starts from thinking about things and then confusedly believing those thoughts are properties inside of the thing itself. Remembering that nothing is about anything allows those fabrications to just be as they are without ascribing them to a thing. This avoids that trap but still allows one to embrace their whole uncensored experience, some of which surely includes such fabrication.

This still allows causality though. The rain doesn't think about the plants, but the plants grow regardless.

Just throwing this out there cause I've found it helpful.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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That was a great explanation of what I was trying to say. Thanks! emoticon
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
terry:
Chris Marti:
Question (asking for a friend, of course):

If all perceptions are mental constructs then how can we ever truly perceive the non-dual?

   More precisely, the conception that perceptions are mental constructs is a mental construct. Perceptions themselves are unconstructed. They just are: the buddha sees the earth as earth, nibbana as nibbana, grilled cheese sandwiches as grilled cheese sandwiches, etc.

   Perceptios just are, just this, being itself, existence. Distinguishing perceptions from the <ground> is mental construction, the beginning of dualism. "As soon as you open your mouth, you are lost." As soon as you begin to think about "it", "it" disappears and you are in the thicket of mental constructions.

   It seems to me I remember that some years ago there was a grilled cheese sandwich with the image of jesus christ miraculously baked in and it was going on ebay for thousands of usd. Our whole economy is based on such mental constructs. Consider gold: we dig it up at vast expense only to bury it again in vaults. Want to give up mental constructs? Start with money as a test of your sincerity.  (crooked smile)

  Arttachment is attachment to mental constructs. Without desire there are no mental constructs. Everything I want is a mental construct. Give me this, give me that. Take this.

   Would you like another grilled cheese sandwich, sir? Another cup of tea?


terry

Thanks for a great post!

I for one wouldn't at all mind giving up on that kind of economy. It's hard to do it alone, though. Of course, even wanting to stay alive and out of the gutter for the sake of my child is attachment, too, but... 

I get what you are saying about perceptions, that they just are. I both agree and disagree. I think Daniel expresses that very well in MCTB2 (I have no idea where in the text, though, and I can probably not do justice to it either). Even complex mental constructs, or formations, just are. They are there, just as they are, and they are aware (which cannot be distinguished from being perceived), just as they are. Still, the fact that they just are does not mean that the construct is the "correct" categorization of the sensations that they are associated with. It just means that the categorization lives it's own life, so to speak, which is true also for any form of distinction. Distinguishing something as a particular set of sensations necessarily means that some kind of mental construction is at play. That doesn't make it bad (unless you are really anti-samsara to the extent that you consider life itself evil). It just makes it creative and alive. Also, mental constructs can be incredibly useful for mundane purposes, and I think those matter.

Mental constructs can of course also be incredibly unhelpul. The economy is a great example of the latter. When the economy makes people burn their crops because they will lose money if they don't, while at the same time people are starving, that's bizarre. When an outrageous amount of resources are spent on making sure that people don't get more help than some absurd norm considers them worthy of, that's bizarre. When there are things that need to be done for the benefit of basically everyone's wellbeing, and there are people who are willing to do it and there are other resources needed for the tasks, and the economy prohibits taking action, that is bizaree. I totally agree that we need to question that kind of mental construct.

That does however not mean that being a mental construct per se makes it less valid. It just means that it is a mental construct and that other mental constructs, intersecting with the same sensory input from the sense organs, are possible as well. And to the extent that we at all can talk about the Buddha as a perceiver, I think the Buddha would be aware of that.

I remember that Jesus toast from media, by the way. Bizarre! 


    Using mental constructs as a guide for action is a recipe for failure. That some mental constructs are more valid than others is not in dispute. All contrived solutions are based on ignorance. For example, environmentalists and ecologists are not trying to heal the planet, they just want to make exploitation safer and more efficient for their monocrop: humans.

   Perceptions are unique, whole. Mental constructions proliferate and can only be ended by abandoning the whole mass of suffering.

   No need to navigate, there is only here and nowhere to go. 

   There is a natural world in which all animals live, including us. We have an additional social world in which we exploit everything we can get our hands on, minerals, plants, animals, humans, gods, the universe. When this social world - maya - is seen through and disappears and we collectively join the rest of life, the planet will become a garden, and the lion will literally lay down with the lambs.


terry



from isaiah, 11:




2And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;

3And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:

4But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

5And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.

6The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.

7And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.

8And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den.

9They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.


    
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Do you really think that concepts such as "earth" and "grilled cheese sandwich" and "dharma" are not mental constructs?
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curious, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Do you really think that concepts such as "earth" and "grilled cheese sandwich" and "dharma" are not mental constructs?

Of course, some of my mental constructs are generated from your head, and vice versa.  You can purify yourself, but how do you purify me?  Or terry?   

All that emptiness - it's just form.  
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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curious:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Do you really think that concepts such as "earth" and "grilled cheese sandwich" and "dharma" are not mental constructs?

Of course, some of my mental constructs are generated from your head, and vice versa.  You can purify yourself, but how do you purify me?  Or terry?   

All that emptiness - it's just form.  

All that form - it's just emptiness.

You are already pure, newborn at each instant.

t


from "shinjinmei teisho" brian chishom roshi: 


(sosan wrote the hsinhsinming (shinjinmei)



   Sosan met his master, Eka, in 551, while 42 years old and a layman. Sosan asked Eka if he could practice Zen, saying, “I am riddled with sickness. It is the result of my past evil Karma. Please absolve me of my evil Karma.” Sosan believed that if his sins were purified his sickness would be cured by purification. And the legend is that he was a leper.

   Eka said, “Is that so? That’s truly a shame. Well then, I will purify that evil Karma. Please bring that evil Karma and show it to me and I will purify it for you.” Sosan searched and searched for the evil Karma but no matter how hard he tried he was unable to find it. He then came and said, “I have searched for it but cannot find it.” And Ica said, “Isn’t that all right as it is? You are suffering from something that doesn’t exist. I have purified your evil Karma for you.”

   So in Buddhism the only way to remove sins is to clearly realize that those sins are empty: that they have no substance. This is the principle of salvation in Zen. The way practicing Zazen saves us is we grasp clearly our true nature and realize that the content of that true nature is completely devoid of any substance. It is empty as we say. No matter where we look we cannot find any actual substance. No sin or evil Karma because it is empty.


 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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terry:


You are already pure, newborn at each instant.

 



I had an intense experience of that fairly recently. That was... beyond words, I would say. You seem to have a less ambivalent relationship with words. Maybe language is your language. It surely isn’t mine. I find it very useful, though.
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
terry:


You are already pure, newborn at each instant.

 



I had an intense experience of that fairly recently. That was... beyond words, I would say. You seem to have a less ambivalent relationship with words. Maybe language is your language. It surely isn’t mine. I find it very useful, though.

  I thought you would recognize the idea, I got it from you.

   I never think about words, only ideas. Words are like the water, ideas are like the wave. Surf's up!

   I have to say, I don't find it all that useful. It's pretty much all play. This is my sandbox (thanks for sharing). It's nice to think someone is listening from time to time.

t

from "one bright pearl," shobogenzo, by dogen
trans nishijima and cross:


Just at the moment of the present, whether suspended in space or hanging inside a garment, whether kept under a [dragon’s] chin or kept in a topknot, [the one bright pearl,] in all cases, is one bright pearl throughout the whole universe in ten directions. To hang inside a garment is its situation, so do not say that it will be dangling on the surface. To hang inside a topknot or under a chin is its situation, so do not expect to play with it on the surface of the topknot or on the surface of the chin. When we are intoxicated, there are close friends who give us a pearl; and we should always give a pearl to a close friend. When the pearl is hung upon us we are always intoxicated. That which “already is like this” is the one bright pearl which is the universe in ten directions. So even though it seems to be continually changing the outward appearance of its turning and not turning, it is just the bright pearl. The very recognition that the pearl has been existing like this is just the bright pearl itself. The bright pearl has sounds and forms that can be heard like this. Already “having got the state like this,” those who surmise that “I cannot be the bright pearl,” should not doubt that they are the pearl. Artificial and nonartificial states of surmising and doubting, attaching and rejecting, are just the small view. They are nothing more than trying to make [the bright pearl] match the narrow intellect. How could we not love the bright pearl? Its colors and light, as they are, are endless. Each color and every ray of light at each moment and in every situation is the virtue of the whole universe in ten directions; who would want to plunder it? No one would throw a tile into a street market. Do not worry about falling or not falling into the six states of cause and effect. They are the original state of being right from head to tail, which is never unclear, and
the bright pearl is its features and the bright pearl is its eyes. Still, neither I nor you know what the bright pearl is or what the bright pearl is not. Hundreds of thoughts and hundreds of negations of thought have combined to form a very clear idea. At the same time, by virtue of Gensha’s words of Dharma, we have heard, recognized, and clarified the situation of a body and mind which has already become the bright pearl. Thereafter, the mind is not personal; why should we be worried by attachment to whether it is a bright pearl or is not a bright pearl, as if what arises and passes were some person. Even surmising and worry is not different from the bright pearl. No action nor any thought has ever been caused by anything other than the bright pearl. Therefore, forward steps and backward steps in a demon’s black-mountain cave are just the one bright pearl itself.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Oh.

Cool.

I understand that text now. Not long ago, I wouldn't have. 
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Oh.

Cool.

I understand that text now. Not long ago, I wouldn't have. 

  Every time I post a text I am hoping that happens.


terry



O Solitude!
(john keats)


O Solitude! if I must with thee dwell,    
Let it not be among the jumbled heap    
Of murky buildings; climb with me the steep,—    
Nature’s observatory—whence the dell,    
Its flowery slopes, its river’s crystal swell,    
May seem a span; let me thy vigils keep    
’Mongst boughs pavillion’d, where the deer’s swift leap    
Startles the wild bee from the fox-glove bell.    
But though I’ll gladly trace these scenes with thee,    
Yet the sweet converse of an innocent mind,    
Whose words are images of thoughts refin’d,    
Is my soul’s pleasure; and it sure must be    
Almost the highest bliss of human-kind,    
When to thy haunts two kindred spirits flee.


   
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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emoticon

I used your wave vs water analogy in my log, by the way, but in a different way. 
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
emoticon

I used your wave vs water analogy in my log, by the way, but in a different way. 


whatever floats your boat...

(smile)
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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terry:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
emoticon

I used your wave vs water analogy in my log, by the way, but in a different way. 


whatever floats your boat...

(smile)

   I should mention that the image is dogen's, "a foot of water; a foot of wave" being one of his descriptions of reality.

t
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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terry:
terry:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
emoticon

I used your wave vs water analogy in my log, by the way, but in a different way. 


whatever floats your boat...

(smile)

   I should mention that the image is dogen's, "a foot of water; a foot of wave" being one of his descriptions of reality.

t

Thanks!
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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curious:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Do you really think that concepts such as "earth" and "grilled cheese sandwich" and "dharma" are not mental constructs?

Of course, some of my mental constructs are generated from your head, and vice versa.  You can purify yourself, but how do you purify me?  Or terry?   

All that emptiness - it's just form.  


Agreed. To clarify, I never meant that a mental construct had to be constructed solely in one "separate" mind. I think creation transcends individual brains or wherever the processing actually goes on. 

Yes, the form is emptiness and the emptiness is form. That's beautiful, isn't it?
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
curious:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Do you really think that concepts such as "earth" and "grilled cheese sandwich" and "dharma" are not mental constructs?

Of course, some of my mental constructs are generated from your head, and vice versa.  You can purify yourself, but how do you purify me?  Or terry?   

All that emptiness - it's just form.  


Agreed. To clarify, I never meant that a mental construct had to be constructed solely in one "separate" mind. I think creation transcends individual brains or wherever the processing actually goes on. 

Yes, the form is emptiness and the emptiness is form. That's beautiful, isn't it?


from "naqsh al fusus," ibn 'arabi, trans and commentary by william chittick:

One of the Sufis has said, "If a questioner asks how 'form' can be attributed to God, we will answer that according to the exoteric authorities it is a figurative attribution, not a real one, because for them to apply the word 'form' to sensory beings is true and correct, and to intelligible beings is figurative. But for us, since the world in all of its spiritual, corporeal, substantial and accidental parts is the particularized form of the ontological plane of 'Allah', and the Perfect Man is His summary form, the attribution of form to God is true and correct, and to what is other than He is figurative; for in our eyes nothing other than He possesses existence."
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Do you really think that concepts such as "earth" and "grilled cheese sandwich" and "dharma" are not mental constructs?


   The actual earth, the actual grilled cheese, is a percept, not a concept. Of course they are not mental constructs, no more than the menu is the dinner, or the map the territory.

   The absolute dharma - nibbana - is a percept. All conditioned dharmas - essentially "all dharmas" - are conditioned, that is, conceptual.

t
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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terry:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Do you really think that concepts such as "earth" and "grilled cheese sandwich" and "dharma" are not mental constructs?


   The actual earth, the actual grilled cheese, is a percept, not a concept. Of course they are not mental constructs, no more than the menu is the dinner, or the map the territory.

   The absolute dharma - nibbana - is a percept. All conditioned dharmas - essentially "all dharmas" - are conditioned, that is, conceptual.

t
But how do you perveive "the actual grilled cheese" without the concept and know that it's the the actual grilled cheese you are perceiving? Without any overlay, it's all vibrations, unrecognizable. 


You can't perceive nibbana. 
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
terry:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Do you really think that concepts such as "earth" and "grilled cheese sandwich" and "dharma" are not mental constructs?


   The actual earth, the actual grilled cheese, is a percept, not a concept. Of course they are not mental constructs, no more than the menu is the dinner, or the map the territory.

   The absolute dharma - nibbana - is a percept. All conditioned dharmas - essentially "all dharmas" - are conditioned, that is, conceptual.

t
But how do you perveive "the actual grilled cheese" without the concept and know that it's the the actual grilled cheese you are perceiving? Without any overlay, it's all vibrations, unrecognizable. 


You can't perceive nibbana. 

   It tastes like grilled cheese.

   It tastes like nibbana.

   Once eaten it's gone.

   Where is there a concept? No future, no past, no present. No time. Just this.

t
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

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A concept is there as soon as you distinguish it, separate it. But sure, many conceptual layers can be peeled off, just not all of them while still separating it. 

Edited to add: Being able to dwell in the sensory experiences without the hooks of it is a great gift, even though there are still more subtle concepts there. I think that level is often underestimated in early Buddhism, as I have understood it.
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Chris Marti, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 4066 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Precepts and concepts and everything in between! I'm going to write a limerick about this.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 5896 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Chris Marti:
Precepts and concepts and everything in between! I'm going to write a limerick about this.

Oh, please do, and share! 
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 1746 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
A concept is there as soon as you distinguish it, separate it. But sure, many conceptual layers can be peeled off, just not all of them while still separating it. 

Edited to add: Being able to dwell in the sensory experiences without the hooks of it is a great gift, even though there are still more subtle concepts there. I think that level is often underestimated in early Buddhism, as I have understood it.


aloha linda,

   As a social species, we are not going to stop conceiving and communicating any time soon. Caught up in the social representation of the world, we tend to substitute the symbology for the real thing, like tourists who spend all their time recording their experiences for their "friends" and have no attention for the experience itself.

   It is quite possible to cook and eat a grilled cheese sandwich without once conceiving of it as such. When sharing, though, "this is the best grilled cheese sandwich you ever ate." The sandwich is savored, judged, compared. The ideal grilled cheese is considered.

   The concepts can be shared, but the actual experience is unique. It is such as it is. It is bread and cheese concocted in a unique way at a unique time; there has never been such a concoction like it and there never will be again. It arises and passes away and then something else arises. You can know the unique experience as a onetime bread and cheese concoction, or you can imagine it is one of a long line of "grilled cheese sandwiches."

   At any time, the term "grilled cheese sandwich" may refer to a unique concoction by a convenient label, or it may refer to the notion that all cooked cheese and bread concoctions are somehow alike. Even then, all cheeses are unique, all breads are unique; all experience is unique. We generalize and reduce in order to communicate. Using concepts.

   Thus, since we are "talking," all is concepts. You have to imagine we are not talking to even imagine perceiving.

   Even so, conceptually, this is not difficult to understand. Percept, concept. It is confusing, though, the the term "percept" is a concept.

   When nibbana is a percept, this is totally different than when nibbana is a concept. It is like speaking of the absolute as absolute and encompassing everything and nothing, and speaking of the absolute as one of two views, contrasting it to the relative.

   Thinking is not perceiving, and percepts are not conceptual. I know what you are thinking, that percepts involve recognition, and recognition involves conceiving, as in, "I see the tree" and "tree" is a generic term for many kinds of vegetation. But what we perceive isn't a generic tree, it is a very particular, individual tree, and calling it a "tree" does not alter that. As the tao te ching famously says, "the name that can be named is not the true name."

terry

   
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 5896 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
terry:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
A concept is there as soon as you distinguish it, separate it. But sure, many conceptual layers can be peeled off, just not all of them while still separating it. 

Edited to add: Being able to dwell in the sensory experiences without the hooks of it is a great gift, even though there are still more subtle concepts there. I think that level is often underestimated in early Buddhism, as I have understood it.


aloha linda,

   As a social species, we are not going to stop conceiving and communicating any time soon. Caught up in the social representation of the world, we tend to substitute the symbology for the real thing, like tourists who spend all their time recording their experiences for their "friends" and have no attention for the experience itself.

   It is quite possible to cook and eat a grilled cheese sandwich without once conceiving of it as such. When sharing, though, "this is the best grilled cheese sandwich you ever ate." The sandwich is savored, judged, compared. The ideal grilled cheese is considered.

   The concepts can be shared, but the actual experience is unique. It is such as it is. It is bread and cheese concocted in a unique way at a unique time; there has never been such a concoction like it and there never will be again. It arises and passes away and then something else arises. You can know the unique experience as a onetime bread and cheese concoction, or you can imagine it is one of a long line of "grilled cheese sandwiches."

   At any time, the term "grilled cheese sandwich" may refer to a unique concoction by a convenient label, or it may refer to the notion that all cooked cheese and bread concoctions are somehow alike. Even then, all cheeses are unique, all breads are unique; all experience is unique. We generalize and reduce in order to communicate. Using concepts.

   Thus, since we are "talking," all is concepts. You have to imagine we are not talking to even imagine perceiving.

   Even so, conceptually, this is not difficult to understand. Percept, concept. It is confusing, though, the the term "percept" is a concept.

   When nibbana is a percept, this is totally different than when nibbana is a concept. It is like speaking of the absolute as absolute and encompassing everything and nothing, and speaking of the absolute as one of two views, contrasting it to the relative.

   Thinking is not perceiving, and percepts are not conceptual. I know what you are thinking, that percepts involve recognition, and recognition involves conceiving, as in, "I see the tree" and "tree" is a generic term for many kinds of vegetation. But what we perceive isn't a generic tree, it is a very particular, individual tree, and calling it a "tree" does not alter that. As the tao te ching famously says, "the name that can be named is not the true name."

terry

   

I understand perfectly well what level you are talking about. We just don't agree as to what that level is. I would say tht is a phenomenological level. It's not either concepts or non-duality. There are things in-between that are still constructs. And great constructs. That's the creation. Anything that can be perceived, ever, is a construct. It is created. The ultimate can't be perceived. But the relative is a manifestation of the ultimate. It just has to manifest. It does so by being constructed. 
T, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 279 Join Date: 1/15/19 Recent Posts
Anything that can be perceived, ever, is a construct.

Because the "thing" itself doesn't exist as anything other than your mind, or because your mind's simple receiving of whatever information automatically skews it through its very perception?
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Chris Marti, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 4066 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
T, your first hypothesis has no answer - we don't know because we're stuck inside this boney orb with no direct access to whatever is "out there." Your second hypothesis is closer to my experience of how perception gets processed by mind.
T, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 279 Join Date: 1/15/19 Recent Posts
Thanks, Chris. I agree that the first piece is problematic and not testable to any degree. I read "Brief Peeks Beyond" as suggested elsewhere in the forum here and tend toward the idea that those things we consider as objects that could possibly exist as themselves are simply "mind-at-large" creations and thus the same as that which perceives it from "us." like... say a rock or something. 

As to the latter, my experience so far leads me to believe that our small minds definitely warp "reality" to suit our common experience/bent/education or whatever it is. Sometimes in a very literal sense, in my experience  - "There is no spoon." Ha!

I was actually wondering how Linda/Polly was arriving at that statement, based on her experience and understanding of how things work. We're all the saaaaaaame....in different places. ;) Or are we?!
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 5896 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
I have had the experience of existence being gradually put together after cessations and even after blinking, so I know that what I can perceive is constructed. Just like Chris said, that doesn't tell me whether or not there is actually something "out there" outside of mind (outside the limited mind that "I" am accessing or a collective mindstream). It just tells me that what I can perceive doesn't ultimately exist like that - except for as my construct. The construct exists.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 5896 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
I don't know. Does it really matter? Let's say that all our perceived reality is just the kind of hologram of information that some physicists say that it is. Does it make it any less real? Or let's say that is is all a magickal manifestation, and that our consensual reality is a collective magickal manifestation. Does that make it less real? It's still all we've got, right? In either way, it is constructed. And so what? I don't see the huge problem with that. It's just a big "Duh!" If is is something, it has come to be. It has a beginning and an end. It has coagulated into being. It has manifested. 
T, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 279 Join Date: 1/15/19 Recent Posts
I don't know. Does it really matter?

Now THAT is an answer. Probably an important one to keep in the toolbox!
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 5896 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
T:
I don't know. Does it really matter?

Now THAT is an answer. Probably an important one to keep in the toolbox!


Thanks! I was hoping that you would get it, and that it didn't come off as snarky.
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 1746 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
terry:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
A concept is there as soon as you distinguish it, separate it. But sure, many conceptual layers can be peeled off, just not all of them while still separating it. 

Edited to add: Being able to dwell in the sensory experiences without the hooks of it is a great gift, even though there are still more subtle concepts there. I think that level is often underestimated in early Buddhism, as I have understood it.


aloha linda,

   As a social species, we are not going to stop conceiving and communicating any time soon. Caught up in the social representation of the world, we tend to substitute the symbology for the real thing, like tourists who spend all their time recording their experiences for their "friends" and have no attention for the experience itself.

   It is quite possible to cook and eat a grilled cheese sandwich without once conceiving of it as such. When sharing, though, "this is the best grilled cheese sandwich you ever ate." The sandwich is savored, judged, compared. The ideal grilled cheese is considered.

   The concepts can be shared, but the actual experience is unique. It is such as it is. It is bread and cheese concocted in a unique way at a unique time; there has never been such a concoction like it and there never will be again. It arises and passes away and then something else arises. You can know the unique experience as a onetime bread and cheese concoction, or you can imagine it is one of a long line of "grilled cheese sandwiches."

   At any time, the term "grilled cheese sandwich" may refer to a unique concoction by a convenient label, or it may refer to the notion that all cooked cheese and bread concoctions are somehow alike. Even then, all cheeses are unique, all breads are unique; all experience is unique. We generalize and reduce in order to communicate. Using concepts.

   Thus, since we are "talking," all is concepts. You have to imagine we are not talking to even imagine perceiving.

   Even so, conceptually, this is not difficult to understand. Percept, concept. It is confusing, though, the the term "percept" is a concept.

   When nibbana is a percept, this is totally different than when nibbana is a concept. It is like speaking of the absolute as absolute and encompassing everything and nothing, and speaking of the absolute as one of two views, contrasting it to the relative.

   Thinking is not perceiving, and percepts are not conceptual. I know what you are thinking, that percepts involve recognition, and recognition involves conceiving, as in, "I see the tree" and "tree" is a generic term for many kinds of vegetation. But what we perceive isn't a generic tree, it is a very particular, individual tree, and calling it a "tree" does not alter that. As the tao te ching famously says, "the name that can be named is not the true name."

terry

   

I understand perfectly well what level you are talking about. We just don't agree as to what that level is. I would say tht is a phenomenological level. It's not either concepts or non-duality. There are things in-between that are still constructs. And great constructs. That's the creation. Anything that can be perceived, ever, is a construct. It is created. The ultimate can't be perceived. But the relative is a manifestation of the ultimate. It just has to manifest. It does so by being constructed. 

   I could write a paragraph about each sentence you wrote, disputing it. But there is no point: you know perfectly well what level I am talking about. Contrariwise, I have no idea what you are talking sbout., as it does not hang together.

   By this view (?) love itself is a "construct," a mental formation. 

   You have no heart.

terry
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curious, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 939 Join Date: 7/13/17 Recent Posts
terry, bluntly, perhaps you should ask yourself what is driving this need to insult other people?
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 1746 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
curious:
terry, bluntly, perhaps you should ask yourself what is driving this need to insult other people?

   Be blunter. Who have I insulted? And how?

terry
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curious, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 939 Join Date: 7/13/17 Recent Posts
terry:
curious:
terry, bluntly, perhaps you should ask yourself what is driving this need to insult other people?

   Be blunter. Who have I insulted? And how?

terry

Saying Linda has no heart.  Telling Nicky s/he obviously has never experienced non-duality.  I'm sure neither of them are very worried.  But how about you, my friend.  Are you ok?
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 1746 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
curious:
terry:
curious:
terry, bluntly, perhaps you should ask yourself what is driving this need to insult other people?

   Be blunter. Who have I insulted? And how?

terry

Saying Linda has no heart.  Telling Nicky s/he obviously has never experienced non-duality.  I'm sure neither of them are very worried.  But how about you, my friend.  Are you ok?



from "the divan of hafiz," hafiz, trans bicknell:




X.


I swear—my master's soul bear witness, faith of old times, and promise leal!—
At early morning, my companion, is prayer for thy unceasing weal.

My tears, a more o'erwhelming deluge than was the flood which Noah braved,
Have washed not from my bosom's tablet the image which thy love has graved.

Come deal with me, and strike thy bargain: I have a broken heart to sell,
Which in its ailing state out-values a hundred thousand which are well.

Be lenient, if thou deem me drunken: on the primeval day divine
Love, who possessed my soul as master, bent my whole nature unto wine.

Strive after truth that for thy solace the Sun may in thy spirit rise;
For the false dawn of earlier morning grows dark of face because it lies.

O heart, thy friend's exceeding bounty should free thee from unfounded dread;
This instant, as of love thou vauntest, be ready to devote thy head!

I gained from thee my frantic yearning for mountains and the barren plain,
Yet loath art thou to yield to pity, and loosen at mid-height my chain.

If the ant casts reproach on Asaf, with justice does her tongue upbraid
For when his Highness lost Jem's signet, no effort for the quest he made.

No constancy—yet grieve not, Hafiz—
Expect thou from the faithless fair;
What right have we to blame the garden,
Because the plant has withered there?
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 1746 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
terry:
curious:
terry:
curious:
terry, bluntly, perhaps you should ask yourself what is driving this need to insult other people?

   Be blunter. Who have I insulted? And how?

terry

Saying Linda has no heart.  Telling Nicky s/he obviously has never experienced non-duality.  I'm sure neither of them are very worried.  But how about you, my friend.  Are you ok?



from "the divan of hafiz," hafiz, trans bicknell:




X.


I swear—my master's soul bear witness, faith of old times, and promise leal!—
At early morning, my companion, is prayer for thy unceasing weal.

My tears, a more o'erwhelming deluge than was the flood which Noah braved,
Have washed not from my bosom's tablet the image which thy love has graved.

Come deal with me, and strike thy bargain: I have a broken heart to sell,
Which in its ailing state out-values a hundred thousand which are well.

Be lenient, if thou deem me drunken: on the primeval day divine
Love, who possessed my soul as master, bent my whole nature unto wine.

Strive after truth that for thy solace the Sun may in thy spirit rise;
For the false dawn of earlier morning grows dark of face because it lies.

O heart, thy friend's exceeding bounty should free thee from unfounded dread;
This instant, as of love thou vauntest, be ready to devote thy head!

I gained from thee my frantic yearning for mountains and the barren plain,
Yet loath art thou to yield to pity, and loosen at mid-height my chain.

If the ant casts reproach on Asaf, with justice does her tongue upbraid
For when his Highness lost Jem's signet, no effort for the quest he made.

No constancy—yet grieve not, Hafiz—
Expect thou from the faithless fair;
What right have we to blame the garden,
Because the plant has withered there?


now, ask yourself, brother, does that poem seem to insult you?
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 1746 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
terry:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
terry:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
A concept is there as soon as you distinguish it, separate it. But sure, many conceptual layers can be peeled off, just not all of them while still separating it. 

Edited to add: Being able to dwell in the sensory experiences without the hooks of it is a great gift, even though there are still more subtle concepts there. I think that level is often underestimated in early Buddhism, as I have understood it.


aloha linda,

   As a social species, we are not going to stop conceiving and communicating any time soon. Caught up in the social representation of the world, we tend to substitute the symbology for the real thing, like tourists who spend all their time recording their experiences for their "friends" and have no attention for the experience itself.

   It is quite possible to cook and eat a grilled cheese sandwich without once conceiving of it as such. When sharing, though, "this is the best grilled cheese sandwich you ever ate." The sandwich is savored, judged, compared. The ideal grilled cheese is considered.

   The concepts can be shared, but the actual experience is unique. It is such as it is. It is bread and cheese concocted in a unique way at a unique time; there has never been such a concoction like it and there never will be again. It arises and passes away and then something else arises. You can know the unique experience as a onetime bread and cheese concoction, or you can imagine it is one of a long line of "grilled cheese sandwiches."

   At any time, the term "grilled cheese sandwich" may refer to a unique concoction by a convenient label, or it may refer to the notion that all cooked cheese and bread concoctions are somehow alike. Even then, all cheeses are unique, all breads are unique; all experience is unique. We generalize and reduce in order to communicate. Using concepts.

   Thus, since we are "talking," all is concepts. You have to imagine we are not talking to even imagine perceiving.

   Even so, conceptually, this is not difficult to understand. Percept, concept. It is confusing, though, the the term "percept" is a concept.

   When nibbana is a percept, this is totally different than when nibbana is a concept. It is like speaking of the absolute as absolute and encompassing everything and nothing, and speaking of the absolute as one of two views, contrasting it to the relative.

   Thinking is not perceiving, and percepts are not conceptual. I know what you are thinking, that percepts involve recognition, and recognition involves conceiving, as in, "I see the tree" and "tree" is a generic term for many kinds of vegetation. But what we perceive isn't a generic tree, it is a very particular, individual tree, and calling it a "tree" does not alter that. As the tao te ching famously says, "the name that can be named is not the true name."

terry

   

I understand perfectly well what level you are talking about. We just don't agree as to what that level is. I would say tht is a phenomenological level. It's not either concepts or non-duality. There are things in-between that are still constructs. And great constructs. That's the creation. Anything that can be perceived, ever, is a construct. It is created. The ultimate can't be perceived. But the relative is a manifestation of the ultimate. It just has to manifest. It does so by being constructed. 

   I could write a paragraph about each sentence you wrote, disputing it. But there is no point: you know perfectly well what level I am talking about. Contrariwise, I have no idea what you are talking sbout., as it does not hang together.

   By this view (?) love itself is a "construct," a mental formation. 

   You have no heart.

terry

   Of course, conceptually you have a heart. I am talking perceptually.

   If not a heart, I hope at least you have a sense of humor.

t
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 1746 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
terry:
terry:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
terry:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
A concept is there as soon as you distinguish it, separate it. But sure, many conceptual layers can be peeled off, just not all of them while still separating it. 

Edited to add: Being able to dwell in the sensory experiences without the hooks of it is a great gift, even though there are still more subtle concepts there. I think that level is often underestimated in early Buddhism, as I have understood it.


aloha linda,

   As a social species, we are not going to stop conceiving and communicating any time soon. Caught up in the social representation of the world, we tend to substitute the symbology for the real thing, like tourists who spend all their time recording their experiences for their "friends" and have no attention for the experience itself.

   It is quite possible to cook and eat a grilled cheese sandwich without once conceiving of it as such. When sharing, though, "this is the best grilled cheese sandwich you ever ate." The sandwich is savored, judged, compared. The ideal grilled cheese is considered.

   The concepts can be shared, but the actual experience is unique. It is such as it is. It is bread and cheese concocted in a unique way at a unique time; there has never been such a concoction like it and there never will be again. It arises and passes away and then something else arises. You can know the unique experience as a onetime bread and cheese concoction, or you can imagine it is one of a long line of "grilled cheese sandwiches."

   At any time, the term "grilled cheese sandwich" may refer to a unique concoction by a convenient label, or it may refer to the notion that all cooked cheese and bread concoctions are somehow alike. Even then, all cheeses are unique, all breads are unique; all experience is unique. We generalize and reduce in order to communicate. Using concepts.

   Thus, since we are "talking," all is concepts. You have to imagine we are not talking to even imagine perceiving.

   Even so, conceptually, this is not difficult to understand. Percept, concept. It is confusing, though, the the term "percept" is a concept.

   When nibbana is a percept, this is totally different than when nibbana is a concept. It is like speaking of the absolute as absolute and encompassing everything and nothing, and speaking of the absolute as one of two views, contrasting it to the relative.

   Thinking is not perceiving, and percepts are not conceptual. I know what you are thinking, that percepts involve recognition, and recognition involves conceiving, as in, "I see the tree" and "tree" is a generic term for many kinds of vegetation. But what we perceive isn't a generic tree, it is a very particular, individual tree, and calling it a "tree" does not alter that. As the tao te ching famously says, "the name that can be named is not the true name."

terry

   

I understand perfectly well what level you are talking about. We just don't agree as to what that level is. I would say tht is a phenomenological level. It's not either concepts or non-duality. There are things in-between that are still constructs. And great constructs. That's the creation. Anything that can be perceived, ever, is a construct. It is created. The ultimate can't be perceived. But the relative is a manifestation of the ultimate. It just has to manifest. It does so by being constructed. 

   I could write a paragraph about each sentence you wrote, disputing it. But there is no point: you know perfectly well what level I am talking about. Contrariwise, I have no idea what you are talking sbout., as it does not hang together.

   By this view (?) love itself is a "construct," a mental formation. 

   You have no heart.

terry

   Of course, conceptually you have a heart. I am talking perceptually.

   If not a heart, I hope at least you have a sense of humor.

t


sometimes, I laugh until I cry... 
(but it is still funny)
(sad too)
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 1746 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
terry:
terry:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
terry:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
A concept is there as soon as you distinguish it, separate it. But sure, many conceptual layers can be peeled off, just not all of them while still separating it. 

Edited to add: Being able to dwell in the sensory experiences without the hooks of it is a great gift, even though there are still more subtle concepts there. I think that level is often underestimated in early Buddhism, as I have understood it.


aloha linda,

   As a social species, we are not going to stop conceiving and communicating any time soon. Caught up in the social representation of the world, we tend to substitute the symbology for the real thing, like tourists who spend all their time recording their experiences for their "friends" and have no attention for the experience itself.

   It is quite possible to cook and eat a grilled cheese sandwich without once conceiving of it as such. When sharing, though, "this is the best grilled cheese sandwich you ever ate." The sandwich is savored, judged, compared. The ideal grilled cheese is considered.

   The concepts can be shared, but the actual experience is unique. It is such as it is. It is bread and cheese concocted in a unique way at a unique time; there has never been such a concoction like it and there never will be again. It arises and passes away and then something else arises. You can know the unique experience as a onetime bread and cheese concoction, or you can imagine it is one of a long line of "grilled cheese sandwiches."

   At any time, the term "grilled cheese sandwich" may refer to a unique concoction by a convenient label, or it may refer to the notion that all cooked cheese and bread concoctions are somehow alike. Even then, all cheeses are unique, all breads are unique; all experience is unique. We generalize and reduce in order to communicate. Using concepts.

   Thus, since we are "talking," all is concepts. You have to imagine we are not talking to even imagine perceiving.

   Even so, conceptually, this is not difficult to understand. Percept, concept. It is confusing, though, the the term "percept" is a concept.

   When nibbana is a percept, this is totally different than when nibbana is a concept. It is like speaking of the absolute as absolute and encompassing everything and nothing, and speaking of the absolute as one of two views, contrasting it to the relative.

   Thinking is not perceiving, and percepts are not conceptual. I know what you are thinking, that percepts involve recognition, and recognition involves conceiving, as in, "I see the tree" and "tree" is a generic term for many kinds of vegetation. But what we perceive isn't a generic tree, it is a very particular, individual tree, and calling it a "tree" does not alter that. As the tao te ching famously says, "the name that can be named is not the true name."

terry

   

I understand perfectly well what level you are talking about. We just don't agree as to what that level is. I would say tht is a phenomenological level. It's not either concepts or non-duality. There are things in-between that are still constructs. And great constructs. That's the creation. Anything that can be perceived, ever, is a construct. It is created. The ultimate can't be perceived. But the relative is a manifestation of the ultimate. It just has to manifest. It does so by being constructed. 

   I could write a paragraph about each sentence you wrote, disputing it. But there is no point: you know perfectly well what level I am talking about. Contrariwise, I have no idea what you are talking sbout., as it does not hang together.

   By this view (?) love itself is a "construct," a mental formation. 

   You have no heart.

terry

   Of course, conceptually you have a heart. I am talking perceptually.

   If not a heart, I hope at least you have a sense of humor.

t

the heart knows no boundaries...

the children of love play hide and seek...

the gentle of heart mean no insult, the heart knows...

the heart needs no justification, no validation...


speaking the heart and speaking the mind are at the root of perceptual vs conceptual knowing...
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 5896 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
According to some teachings, love is a manifestation of nirmanakaya. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 5896 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
The way I see it, love is creation in its purest form. That's a view, though. I think there is an innate tendency in emptiness to manifest as something, to come to be, and that tendency is the embryo of feelings like love and joy and curiosity. It's the very drive to be. 

And since there is no doer, there is no difference between creation as a process and creation as a result/manifestation, that is, a construct. I prefer the word creation, though. Construct wasn't my wording. Just pointing out that all it means is that something is a creation. Big deal. 
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curious, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 939 Join Date: 7/13/17 Recent Posts
I'm really enjoying your recent deepening of insights Linda/Polly.  One other thing - now you can see how sankharas, as part of the five aggregates, contribute to our 'being', you can also see something else.  Why should we limit 'sankharas' to those within our brain/body?  Things outside us perform exactly the same function as our internal sankharas. Our environment, our family, our loved ones, all generate constructing impulses that help to fabricate our process of being.  In a very real sense, we are part of each other.

Love the other, for they really are a part of you.

<heart> 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 5896 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
curious:
I'm really enjoying your recent deepening of insights Linda/Polly.  One other thing - now you can see how sankharas, as part of the five aggregates, contribute to our 'being', you can also see something else.  Why should we limit 'sankharas' to those within our brain/body?  Things outside us perform exactly the same function as our internal sankharas. Our environment, our family, our loved ones, all generate constructing impulses that help to fabricate our process of being.  In a very real sense, we are part of each other.

Love the other, for they really are a part of you.

<heart> 
Thankyou! I have you to thank for a lot of that. 

Oh, yes, I'm very well aware of that. Actually, that was my starting point, as I am a researcher within the field of social interaction, among others (what we are doing is interdisciplinary). There is no such things as identity in isolation, and all our action is situated and part of an interplay. That includes cognitive processing. The notion that something should be the product (relatively speaking) of an isolated individual seems absurd to me. I usually don't report about others' parts in triggering stuff in me and vice versa for the sake of their integrity, but I notice it. 

Edited to add: This forum is an excellent example of how we develop in interaction. This is my main source of socialization into the world of dharma, and it has given me more tools for approaching and processing the dharma than I could even begin to count. I see on a daily basis how ideas transcend individual minds like the waves transcend the water and the specific location within the ocean (that reference is an example of that). 

I think it's beautiful how we are all part of each other. Frustrating at times, in phases of contraction, but on a larger scale so beautiful.
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 1746 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
The way I see it, love is creation in its purest form. That's a view, though. I think there is an innate tendency in emptiness to manifest as something, to come to be, and that tendency is the embryo of feelings like love and joy and curiosity. It's the very drive to be. 

And since there is no doer, there is no difference between creation as a process and creation as a result/manifestation, that is, a construct. I prefer the word creation, though. Construct wasn't my wording. Just pointing out that all it means is that something is a creation. Big deal. 


   There is yet another subtle but important distinction that you miss here. Creation as a process is dependent coarising, a true manifestation of existence within the purview of the three marks. Thus it is characterized by impermanence, by constant change as a permanent characteristic. Whereas, the concept of the act of creation as a static construction or "creation" in the form of a "manifestation" or a "result" is something totally different. It is a mere concept or mental construct, as congruent with anything real as "a painted ship upon a painted ocean."

   Dialog that is exclusively based in mental constructs, concepts, or mental (egoic) "creations" is rather like playing cards, more of a pastime and a social experience that a search for truth.

   We can perceive Unity, the whole, the One Pearl, through unity itself. THIS CANNOT BE EXPLAINED IN TERMS OF MENTAL CONSTRUCTS. (Sorry, don't mean to shout.) One can only encourage solitude, non-thinking, and meditation, but these words will be taken as more mental constructs.

   
terry




from "the way of the sufi" by idries shah




HOW THE SEARCH FOR KNOWLEDGE IS FRUSTRATED

It is frustrated by pretence.

There is that which man knows within himself. He does not recognise it for what it is. He pretends that he can, or cannot, understand it. He does not know that he needs a certain preparation.

There is what man thinks that he knows, but does not. He only knows about a part of the things which he knows. This partial knowledge is in some ways worse than no knowledge at all.

There is also what man does not know, and cannot know at any given stage. This, however, he believes that he must know. He seeks it, or something that will seem to him to be this thing. Since he has no real measuring-stick, he starts to pretend.

(Study-theme of the Azamia Dervishes)
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 5896 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
I don't see a problem with love as we know it, as human beings, being a construct. Why would that be a problem? I like things hand-made. 

I'd like to think that there is a greater love embedded within emptiness itself, though, but that is more than I can possibly know. 

Why do you have a problem with constructs? What is wrong with something being created? How do you think something comes into being? 
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 1746 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
I don't see a problem with love as we know it, as human beings, being a construct. Why would that be a problem? I like things hand-made. 

I'd like to think that there is a greater love embedded within emptiness itself, though, but that is more than I can possibly know. 

Why do you have a problem with constructs? What is wrong with something being created? How do you think something comes into being? 


   God says "be," and it is.   
Verily, His command, when He intends a thing, is only that He says to it, “Be!”– and it is!) [Surah Yasin:82)

   The problem with constructs is the conception that divine love cannot be known. The buddha "knew nibbana as nibbana" in the same way that he knew earth as earth, by direct perception.

   Just as a pre-pubescent child does not know the joys of sexual union, not having the necessary equipment as yet, the mind cannot grasp Truth. The mind needs to be set aside, the heart opened. The Truth is too subtle for thinking, too deep for emotion. The buddha once hesitated to teach, "because the truth is subtle and hard to know."

   Of course, your denials are just mental constructs. Gnats in the wind.

terry





from "the way of the sufi" idries shah;


WILD UTTERANCES

We give out strange phrases to ordinary people because our experiences cannot be put in their ordinary phrases. I have known that which cannot be described, through and through, and that which is in it overwhelms all ordinary definition.

Ibn Ata
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 1746 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
terry:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
A concept is there as soon as you distinguish it, separate it. But sure, many conceptual layers can be peeled off, just not all of them while still separating it. 

Edited to add: Being able to dwell in the sensory experiences without the hooks of it is a great gift, even though there are still more subtle concepts there. I think that level is often underestimated in early Buddhism, as I have understood it.


aloha linda,

   As a social species, we are not going to stop conceiving and communicating any time soon. Caught up in the social representation of the world, we tend to substitute the symbology for the real thing, like tourists who spend all their time recording their experiences for their "friends" and have no attention for the experience itself.

   It is quite possible to cook and eat a grilled cheese sandwich without once conceiving of it as such. When sharing, though, "this is the best grilled cheese sandwich you ever ate." The sandwich is savored, judged, compared. The ideal grilled cheese is considered.

   The concepts can be shared, but the actual experience is unique. It is such as it is. It is bread and cheese concocted in a unique way at a unique time; there has never been such a concoction like it and there never will be again. It arises and passes away and then something else arises. You can know the unique experience as a onetime bread and cheese concoction, or you can imagine it is one of a long line of "grilled cheese sandwiches."

   At any time, the term "grilled cheese sandwich" may refer to a unique concoction by a convenient label, or it may refer to the notion that all cooked cheese and bread concoctions are somehow alike. Even then, all cheeses are unique, all breads are unique; all experience is unique. We generalize and reduce in order to communicate. Using concepts.

   Thus, since we are "talking," all is concepts. You have to imagine we are not talking to even imagine perceiving.

   Even so, conceptually, this is not difficult to understand. Percept, concept. It is confusing, though, the the term "percept" is a concept.

   When nibbana is a percept, this is totally different than when nibbana is a concept. It is like speaking of the absolute as absolute and encompassing everything and nothing, and speaking of the absolute as one of two views, contrasting it to the relative.

   Thinking is not perceiving, and percepts are not conceptual. I know what you are thinking, that percepts involve recognition, and recognition involves conceiving, as in, "I see the tree" and "tree" is a generic term for many kinds of vegetation. But what we perceive isn't a generic tree, it is a very particular, individual tree, and calling it a "tree" does not alter that. As the tao te ching famously says, "the name that can be named is not the true name."

terry

   

I understand perfectly well what level you are talking about. We just don't agree as to what that level is. I would say tht is a phenomenological level. It's not either concepts or non-duality. There are things in-between that are still constructs. And great constructs. That's the creation. Anything that can be perceived, ever, is a construct. It is created. The ultimate can't be perceived. But the relative is a manifestation of the ultimate. It just has to manifest. It does so by being constructed. 


   Pardon my absence; I had stuff to do.

   You have repeated several times that "the ultimate can't be perceived." This assertion runs directly counter to buddhism, and besides, it is wrong. Just because you cannot conceive of such a perception, does not mean that a great number of people have not perceived it, including the buddha and all the arhats, and no doubt plenty of people here, other than yourself, nicky, and malcolm.


metta,
terry
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 1746 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
terry:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
terry:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
A concept is there as soon as you distinguish it, separate it. But sure, many conceptual layers can be peeled off, just not all of them while still separating it. 

Edited to add: Being able to dwell in the sensory experiences without the hooks of it is a great gift, even though there are still more subtle concepts there. I think that level is often underestimated in early Buddhism, as I have understood it.


aloha linda,

   As a social species, we are not going to stop conceiving and communicating any time soon. Caught up in the social representation of the world, we tend to substitute the symbology for the real thing, like tourists who spend all their time recording their experiences for their "friends" and have no attention for the experience itself.

   It is quite possible to cook and eat a grilled cheese sandwich without once conceiving of it as such. When sharing, though, "this is the best grilled cheese sandwich you ever ate." The sandwich is savored, judged, compared. The ideal grilled cheese is considered.

   The concepts can be shared, but the actual experience is unique. It is such as it is. It is bread and cheese concocted in a unique way at a unique time; there has never been such a concoction like it and there never will be again. It arises and passes away and then something else arises. You can know the unique experience as a onetime bread and cheese concoction, or you can imagine it is one of a long line of "grilled cheese sandwiches."

   At any time, the term "grilled cheese sandwich" may refer to a unique concoction by a convenient label, or it may refer to the notion that all cooked cheese and bread concoctions are somehow alike. Even then, all cheeses are unique, all breads are unique; all experience is unique. We generalize and reduce in order to communicate. Using concepts.

   Thus, since we are "talking," all is concepts. You have to imagine we are not talking to even imagine perceiving.

   Even so, conceptually, this is not difficult to understand. Percept, concept. It is confusing, though, the the term "percept" is a concept.

   When nibbana is a percept, this is totally different than when nibbana is a concept. It is like speaking of the absolute as absolute and encompassing everything and nothing, and speaking of the absolute as one of two views, contrasting it to the relative.

   Thinking is not perceiving, and percepts are not conceptual. I know what you are thinking, that percepts involve recognition, and recognition involves conceiving, as in, "I see the tree" and "tree" is a generic term for many kinds of vegetation. But what we perceive isn't a generic tree, it is a very particular, individual tree, and calling it a "tree" does not alter that. As the tao te ching famously says, "the name that can be named is not the true name."

terry

   

I understand perfectly well what level you are talking about. We just don't agree as to what that level is. I would say tht is a phenomenological level. It's not either concepts or non-duality. There are things in-between that are still constructs. And great constructs. That's the creation. Anything that can be perceived, ever, is a construct. It is created. The ultimate can't be perceived. But the relative is a manifestation of the ultimate. It just has to manifest. It does so by being constructed. 


   Pardon my absence; I had stuff to do.

   You have repeated several times that "the ultimate can't be perceived." This assertion runs directly counter to buddhism, and besides, it is wrong. Just because you cannot conceive of such a perception, does not mean that a great number of people have not perceived it, including the buddha and all the arhats, and no doubt plenty of people here, other than yourself, nicky, and malcolm.


metta,
terry


Hot Summer Day
(It's a Beautiful Day)

Hot summer day (Hot summer day)
Carry me along
Oh, hot summer day (Hot summer day)
Please carry me along
Hot summer day
Carry me along
To its end
Where I begin
Long summer dream (Long summer dream)
Sliding round my mind
Those long summer dreams (Long summer dream)
Are leaving me behind
Hot summer day
Carry me along
To its end
Where I begin
Circling like a river
Over brightly colored stones
Breaking up my soul
And taking part of me home
Leaving the other half
To tumble all alone
Love, love, where did you go?
Hot summer day (Hot summer day)
Carry me along
To its end where I begin
Those long summer dreams (Long summer dream)
Still spinning round my mind
And they end where they begin
And I want to grab that river
And stop the love that's dying
Because I know that somewhere
Deep inside my soul you're still lying
Waiting to awaken
And shake that river's flow
Love, love, where did you go?
They told me that the sun turned green
I said I didn't know
And they told me that the moon turned blue
I said it didn't show
And they told me that I looked a fool
And I said I'd let that go
But when they told me that our love was dead
I had to turn and go
Oh love
Love
Love
Love
Love
Where did you go?
Hot summer day (Hot summer day)
Carry me along
To its end
Where I begin
Long summer dreams (Long summer dream)
Sliding round my mind
And they end
Where they begin
Circling like a river
Over brightly colored stones
Breaking up my soul
And taking part of me home
Leaving the other half
To tumble all alone
Love, love, where did you go?

Songwriters: David Laflamme / Linda Laflamme
nintheye, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 230 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
terry:

   Thinking is not perceiving, and percepts are not conceptual. I know what you are thinking, that percepts involve recognition, and recognition involves conceiving, as in, "I see the tree" and "tree" is a generic term for many kinds of vegetation. But what we perceive isn't a generic tree, it is a very particular, individual tree, and calling it a "tree" does not alter that. As the tao te ching famously says, "the name that can be named is not the true name."   
But saying 'we perceive' is a concept. Each of the words in that phrase is a concept. And thus to say "we perceive" both of those concepts must be applied and validated.

The 'perceive' of the 'we perceive' relies on the 'we.' Perception requires a perceiver and a percept. The perceiver, the 'we' -- or really the 'I' -- is a thought. That thought, if looked into, turns out to be a misconception.

If no is there 'I,' the statement 'I perceive' falls apart. No one is there to validate the existence of 'I perceive.'
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 1746 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
nintheye:
terry:

   Thinking is not perceiving, and percepts are not conceptual. I know what you are thinking, that percepts involve recognition, and recognition involves conceiving, as in, "I see the tree" and "tree" is a generic term for many kinds of vegetation. But what we perceive isn't a generic tree, it is a very particular, individual tree, and calling it a "tree" does not alter that. As the tao te ching famously says, "the name that can be named is not the true name."   
But saying 'we perceive' is a concept. Each of the words in that phrase is a concept. And thus to say "we perceive" both of those concepts must be applied and validated.

The 'perceive' of the 'we perceive' relies on the 'we.' Perception requires a perceiver and a percept. The perceiver, the 'we' -- or really the 'I' -- is a thought. That thought, if looked into, turns out to be a misconception.

If no is there 'I,' the statement 'I perceive' falls apart. No one is there to validate the existence of 'I perceive.'

   Saying "we perceive" is a concept. Saying "I perceive" is an assertion. Yes, these are language games and any form of dialog can be seen in terms of its superficial mentality, its form as mental constructs. When you meet a person you see their form, their expressins, but you know them as a person, an ongoing and unique maifestation of the Unique.

   Conceived or misconceived, it's all a mystery to me. I know it makes perfect sense but I really don't care. Sufficient that it is.

  What, my friend, is actually communicated? What is it that thus comes?


terry
nintheye, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 230 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
terry:
nintheye:
terry:

   Thinking is not perceiving, and percepts are not conceptual. I know what you are thinking, that percepts involve recognition, and recognition involves conceiving, as in, "I see the tree" and "tree" is a generic term for many kinds of vegetation. But what we perceive isn't a generic tree, it is a very particular, individual tree, and calling it a "tree" does not alter that. As the tao te ching famously says, "the name that can be named is not the true name."   
But saying 'we perceive' is a concept. Each of the words in that phrase is a concept. And thus to say "we perceive" both of those concepts must be applied and validated.

The 'perceive' of the 'we perceive' relies on the 'we.' Perception requires a perceiver and a percept. The perceiver, the 'we' -- or really the 'I' -- is a thought. That thought, if looked into, turns out to be a misconception.

If no is there 'I,' the statement 'I perceive' falls apart. No one is there to validate the existence of 'I perceive.'

   Saying "we perceive" is a concept. Saying "I perceive" is an assertion. Yes, these are language games and any form of dialog can be seen in terms of its superficial mentality, its form as mental constructs. When you meet a person you see their form, their expressins, but you know them as a person, an ongoing and unique maifestation of the Unique.

   Conceived or misconceived, it's all a mystery to me. I know it makes perfect sense but I really don't care. Sufficient that it is.

  What, my friend, is actually communicated? What is it that thus comes?


terry
Lovely sentiments. Yet since, pace Oscar Wilde, I can resist anything but temptation, I'm doomed to ask: When a character in a novel says to his friend, "I know you," does he? Can he? When the first in a line of infinite dominos fails to fall, do any of the rest? 
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 1746 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
nintheye:
terry:
nintheye:
terry:

   Thinking is not perceiving, and percepts are not conceptual. I know what you are thinking, that percepts involve recognition, and recognition involves conceiving, as in, "I see the tree" and "tree" is a generic term for many kinds of vegetation. But what we perceive isn't a generic tree, it is a very particular, individual tree, and calling it a "tree" does not alter that. As the tao te ching famously says, "the name that can be named is not the true name."   
But saying 'we perceive' is a concept. Each of the words in that phrase is a concept. And thus to say "we perceive" both of those concepts must be applied and validated.

The 'perceive' of the 'we perceive' relies on the 'we.' Perception requires a perceiver and a percept. The perceiver, the 'we' -- or really the 'I' -- is a thought. That thought, if looked into, turns out to be a misconception.

If no is there 'I,' the statement 'I perceive' falls apart. No one is there to validate the existence of 'I perceive.'

   Saying "we perceive" is a concept. Saying "I perceive" is an assertion. Yes, these are language games and any form of dialog can be seen in terms of its superficial mentality, its form as mental constructs. When you meet a person you see their form, their expressins, but you know them as a person, an ongoing and unique maifestation of the Unique.

   Conceived or misconceived, it's all a mystery to me. I know it makes perfect sense but I really don't care. Sufficient that it is.

  What, my friend, is actually communicated? What is it that thus comes?


terry
Lovely sentiments. Yet since, pace Oscar Wilde, I can resist anything but temptation, I'm doomed to ask: When a character in a novel says to his friend, "I know you," does he? Can he? When the first in a line of infinite dominos fails to fall, do any of the rest? 


   The character and his friend are not two. He does not know his friend as a mental construct, as another, but as his own self.

   Their atmans are brahman.

t
nintheye, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 230 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
terry:
nintheye:
terry:
nintheye:
terry:

   Thinking is not perceiving, and percepts are not conceptual. I know what you are thinking, that percepts involve recognition, and recognition involves conceiving, as in, "I see the tree" and "tree" is a generic term for many kinds of vegetation. But what we perceive isn't a generic tree, it is a very particular, individual tree, and calling it a "tree" does not alter that. As the tao te ching famously says, "the name that can be named is not the true name."   
But saying 'we perceive' is a concept. Each of the words in that phrase is a concept. And thus to say "we perceive" both of those concepts must be applied and validated.

The 'perceive' of the 'we perceive' relies on the 'we.' Perception requires a perceiver and a percept. The perceiver, the 'we' -- or really the 'I' -- is a thought. That thought, if looked into, turns out to be a misconception.

If no is there 'I,' the statement 'I perceive' falls apart. No one is there to validate the existence of 'I perceive.'

   Saying "we perceive" is a concept. Saying "I perceive" is an assertion. Yes, these are language games and any form of dialog can be seen in terms of its superficial mentality, its form as mental constructs. When you meet a person you see their form, their expressins, but you know them as a person, an ongoing and unique maifestation of the Unique.

   Conceived or misconceived, it's all a mystery to me. I know it makes perfect sense but I really don't care. Sufficient that it is.

  What, my friend, is actually communicated? What is it that thus comes?


terry
Lovely sentiments. Yet since, pace Oscar Wilde, I can resist anything but temptation, I'm doomed to ask: When a character in a novel says to his friend, "I know you," does he? Can he? When the first in a line of infinite dominos fails to fall, do any of the rest? 


   The character and his friend are not two. He does not know his friend as a mental construct, as another, but as his own self.

   Their atmans are brahman.

t
Characters in a novel don't actually exist, though. They're nothing but words on a page. Words on a page can't 'know' anything, neither as mental constructs nor as 'their own selves.'

When I write the sentence, "Jim went to the grocery store," no one went to a grocery store. No one experienced anything like going to a grocery store. No one knew the grocery store, either as a mental construct or in any other way, for there was no grocery store to be known, and no one to have known it.

The 'reality' of the characters in a novel is their non-existence as people and their truth as being a bunch of scribbles on a page, which, interpreted by a reader, become merely the thought OF people. The thought OF someone knowing someone else. The thought OF Jim going to the grocery store.

It is not these thoughts that can know each other in any way; it is only the reader that knows these thoughts. 

Might not brahman, then, at least, be the Great Reader who knows all the thoughts?

Well, here the analogy complicates, because 'knowing' itself is a kind of character in the novel, so that we have only its simulacrum, the thought of knowing. And not even that. For that's a thought too, itself another character. And so we have only the thought of the thought of knowing, the thought of the thought of the thought of...

So that brahman can never actually said to be stained by the 'knowing' of objects in any sense, but is separated from them by more than an infinity of infinities.
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 1746 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
nintheye:
terry:
nintheye:
terry:
nintheye:
terry:

   Thinking is not perceiving, and percepts are not conceptual. I know what you are thinking, that percepts involve recognition, and recognition involves conceiving, as in, "I see the tree" and "tree" is a generic term for many kinds of vegetation. But what we perceive isn't a generic tree, it is a very particular, individual tree, and calling it a "tree" does not alter that. As the tao te ching famously says, "the name that can be named is not the true name."   
But saying 'we perceive' is a concept. Each of the words in that phrase is a concept. And thus to say "we perceive" both of those concepts must be applied and validated.

The 'perceive' of the 'we perceive' relies on the 'we.' Perception requires a perceiver and a percept. The perceiver, the 'we' -- or really the 'I' -- is a thought. That thought, if looked into, turns out to be a misconception.

If no is there 'I,' the statement 'I perceive' falls apart. No one is there to validate the existence of 'I perceive.'

   Saying "we perceive" is a concept. Saying "I perceive" is an assertion. Yes, these are language games and any form of dialog can be seen in terms of its superficial mentality, its form as mental constructs. When you meet a person you see their form, their expressins, but you know them as a person, an ongoing and unique maifestation of the Unique.

   Conceived or misconceived, it's all a mystery to me. I know it makes perfect sense but I really don't care. Sufficient that it is.

  What, my friend, is actually communicated? What is it that thus comes?


terry
Lovely sentiments. Yet since, pace Oscar Wilde, I can resist anything but temptation, I'm doomed to ask: When a character in a novel says to his friend, "I know you," does he? Can he? When the first in a line of infinite dominos fails to fall, do any of the rest? 


   The character and his friend are not two. He does not know his friend as a mental construct, as another, but as his own self.

   Their atmans are brahman.

t
Characters in a novel don't actually exist, though. They're nothing but words on a page. Words on a page can't 'know' anything, neither as mental constructs nor as 'their own selves.'

When I write the sentence, "Jim went to the grocery store," no one went to a grocery store. No one experienced anything like going to a grocery store. No one knew the grocery store, either as a mental construct or in any other way, for there was no grocery store to be known, and no one to have known it.

The 'reality' of the characters in a novel is their non-existence as people and their truth as being a bunch of scribbles on a page, which, interpreted by a reader, become merely the thought OF people. The thought OF someone knowing someone else. The thought OF Jim going to the grocery store.

It is not these thoughts that can know each other in any way; it is only the reader that knows these thoughts. 

Might not brahman, then, at least, be the Great Reader who knows all the thoughts?

Well, here the analogy complicates, because 'knowing' itself is a kind of character in the novel, so that we have only its simulacrum, the thought of knowing. And not even that. For that's a thought too, itself another character. And so we have only the thought of the thought of knowing, the thought of the thought of the thought of...

So that brahman can never actually said to be stained by the 'knowing' of objects in any sense, but is separated from them by more than an infinity of infinities.

    
   Characters in a novel differ from characters in "real life" only in the truth of their stories. Often, the character in the novel is more "true."

   Goodness, brahman as the "Great Reader who knows all the thoughts." I suppose that makes atman the Great Writer, which is in actuality the ego behind all these mental constructs. Reader is writer, equally great. Sounds more like vedanta than advaita. "I am Lord Supreme," like the banana republic dictator, El Supremo.

   If "knowing" is understood as cognizing "objects" with the mind and not perceiving with the heart, then it is a defilement, a "stain." It is characteristic of the ego to contemplate itself, contemplate itself contemplating itself, and then call this sort of thinking profound insight into eternity and infinity, though it is nothing more than a trick of mirrors.

   The way to truly know is to stop thinking entirely. To paraphrase walter benjamin, the heart is a faint text heavily overwritten with a bold script by which it is almost entirely obscured. To know yourself, that is your heart, our heart, you must stop generating the script and pay attetion to the text.


terry



“Every morning brings us news of the globe, and yet we are poor in noteworthy stories. This is because no event comes to us without being already shot through with explanation. In other words, by now almost nothing that happens benefits storytelling; almost everything benefits information. Actually, it is half the art of storytelling to keep a story free from explanation as one reproduces it. . . . The most extraordinary things, marvelous things, are related with the greatest accuracy, but the psychological connection of the event is not forced on the reader. It is left up to him to interpret things the way he understands them, and thus the narrative achieves an amplitude that information lacks.” 

― Walter Benjamin, Illuminations: Essays and Reflections
nintheye, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 230 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
terry:
nintheye:
Characters in a novel don't actually exist, though. They're nothing but words on a page. Words on a page can't 'know' anything, neither as mental constructs nor as 'their own selves.'

When I write the sentence, "Jim went to the grocery store," no one went to a grocery store. No one experienced anything like going to a grocery store. No one knew the grocery store, either as a mental construct or in any other way, for there was no grocery store to be known, and no one to have known it.

The 'reality' of the characters in a novel is their non-existence as people and their truth as being a bunch of scribbles on a page, which, interpreted by a reader, become merely the thought OF people. The thought OF someone knowing someone else. The thought OF Jim going to the grocery store.

It is not these thoughts that can know each other in any way; it is only the reader that knows these thoughts. 

Might not brahman, then, at least, be the Great Reader who knows all the thoughts?

Well, here the analogy complicates, because 'knowing' itself is a kind of character in the novel, so that we have only its simulacrum, the thought of knowing. And not even that. For that's a thought too, itself another character. And so we have only the thought of the thought of knowing, the thought of the thought of the thought of...

So that brahman can never actually said to be stained by the 'knowing' of objects in any sense, but is separated from them by more than an infinity of infinities.

    
   Characters in a novel differ from characters in "real life" only in the truth of their stories. Often, the character in the novel is more "true."

   Goodness, brahman as the "Great Reader who knows all the thoughts." I suppose that makes atman the Great Writer, which is in actuality the ego behind all these mental constructs. Reader is writer, equally great. Sounds more like vedanta than advaita. "I am Lord Supreme," like the banana republic dictator, El Supremo.

Just what I'm saying isn't the case. Clearly we aren't communicating. Ah well.
The way to truly know is to stop thinking entirely.
When thinking stops, no one remains to know anyone else 'with the heart' or otherwise. There is only the Shining Light of Knowledge, one without a second.
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 1746 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
nintheye:
terry:
nintheye:
Characters in a novel don't actually exist, though. They're nothing but words on a page. Words on a page can't 'know' anything, neither as mental constructs nor as 'their own selves.'

When I write the sentence, "Jim went to the grocery store," no one went to a grocery store. No one experienced anything like going to a grocery store. No one knew the grocery store, either as a mental construct or in any other way, for there was no grocery store to be known, and no one to have known it.

The 'reality' of the characters in a novel is their non-existence as people and their truth as being a bunch of scribbles on a page, which, interpreted by a reader, become merely the thought OF people. The thought OF someone knowing someone else. The thought OF Jim going to the grocery store.

It is not these thoughts that can know each other in any way; it is only the reader that knows these thoughts. 

Might not brahman, then, at least, be the Great Reader who knows all the thoughts?

Well, here the analogy complicates, because 'knowing' itself is a kind of character in the novel, so that we have only its simulacrum, the thought of knowing. And not even that. For that's a thought too, itself another character. And so we have only the thought of the thought of knowing, the thought of the thought of the thought of...

So that brahman can never actually said to be stained by the 'knowing' of objects in any sense, but is separated from them by more than an infinity of infinities.

    
   Characters in a novel differ from characters in "real life" only in the truth of their stories. Often, the character in the novel is more "true."

   Goodness, brahman as the "Great Reader who knows all the thoughts." I suppose that makes atman the Great Writer, which is in actuality the ego behind all these mental constructs. Reader is writer, equally great. Sounds more like vedanta than advaita. "I am Lord Supreme," like the banana republic dictator, El Supremo.

Just what I'm saying isn't the case. Clearly we aren't communicating. Ah well.
The way to truly know is to stop thinking entirely.
When thinking stops, no one remains to know anyone else 'with the heart' or otherwise. There is only the Shining Light of Knowledge, one without a second.


And how do you know that? With the Shining Light Of Knowledge? aka el supremo, the conscious mind, the ego? What form does this Knowledge take, in the absence of thought?

As soon as you open your mouth, you are lost.

t
nintheye, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 230 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
terry:
nintheye:
terry:
nintheye:
Characters in a novel don't actually exist, though. They're nothing but words on a page. Words on a page can't 'know' anything, neither as mental constructs nor as 'their own selves.'

When I write the sentence, "Jim went to the grocery store," no one went to a grocery store. No one experienced anything like going to a grocery store. No one knew the grocery store, either as a mental construct or in any other way, for there was no grocery store to be known, and no one to have known it.

The 'reality' of the characters in a novel is their non-existence as people and their truth as being a bunch of scribbles on a page, which, interpreted by a reader, become merely the thought OF people. The thought OF someone knowing someone else. The thought OF Jim going to the grocery store.

It is not these thoughts that can know each other in any way; it is only the reader that knows these thoughts. 

Might not brahman, then, at least, be the Great Reader who knows all the thoughts?

Well, here the analogy complicates, because 'knowing' itself is a kind of character in the novel, so that we have only its simulacrum, the thought of knowing. And not even that. For that's a thought too, itself another character. And so we have only the thought of the thought of knowing, the thought of the thought of the thought of...

So that brahman can never actually said to be stained by the 'knowing' of objects in any sense, but is separated from them by more than an infinity of infinities.

    
   Characters in a novel differ from characters in "real life" only in the truth of their stories. Often, the character in the novel is more "true."

   Goodness, brahman as the "Great Reader who knows all the thoughts." I suppose that makes atman the Great Writer, which is in actuality the ego behind all these mental constructs. Reader is writer, equally great. Sounds more like vedanta than advaita. "I am Lord Supreme," like the banana republic dictator, El Supremo.

Just what I'm saying isn't the case. Clearly we aren't communicating. Ah well.
The way to truly know is to stop thinking entirely.
When thinking stops, no one remains to know anyone else 'with the heart' or otherwise. There is only the Shining Light of Knowledge, one without a second.
And how do you know that? With the Shining Light Of Knowledge? aka el supremo, the conscious mind, the ego? What form does this Knowledge take, in the absence of thought?

As soon as you open your mouth, you are lost.

t
Didn't you just open yours to state that response?
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 1746 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
curious:
terry:
   You can't "finally see through" a "non-dual state." There is no seer, no seen and no finality.

   Emptiness is most emphatically not repeat not "a created state, dependent on body-mind." "Body-mind" is a mental construct, a self-image. Emptiness is empty of all mental constructs, that's why they call it "empty."

   Of course, anyone can use the word in a dualistic sense, as opposed to fullness, for example.

terry

Well, I both agree and disagree with that comment. And also vice versa.  emoticon 

I would agree to the extent that that many 'non-dual absorptions' are not really fully non dual (Atman/Brahman being a case in point).  And also to the extent that a non-dual state does not prevent a superficial and suface contraction and dualism in daily life. When eating a grilled cheese sandwich, for example.  Or when finely crafting the terminus of a celtic silver torque.  Or when arguing with a friend.

But I think we will get quickly lost in a thicket of views.  Pax?


It's your thicket.

Right view means being empty of views.

(Ok, begs the question, how does one empty oneself of views? Answer: don't know.)

t
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curious, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 939 Join Date: 7/13/17 Recent Posts
terry:
curious:
terry:
   You can't "finally see through" a "non-dual state." There is no seer, no seen and no finality.

   Emptiness is most emphatically not repeat not "a created state, dependent on body-mind." "Body-mind" is a mental construct, a self-image. Emptiness is empty of all mental constructs, that's why they call it "empty."

   Of course, anyone can use the word in a dualistic sense, as opposed to fullness, for example.

terry

Well, I both agree and disagree with that comment. And also vice versa.  emoticon 

I would agree to the extent that that many 'non-dual absorptions' are not really fully non dual (Atman/Brahman being a case in point).  And also to the extent that a non-dual state does not prevent a superficial and suface contraction and dualism in daily life. When eating a grilled cheese sandwich, for example.  Or when finely crafting the terminus of a celtic silver torque.  Or when arguing with a friend.

But I think we will get quickly lost in a thicket of views.  Pax?


It's your thicket.

Right view means being empty of views.

(Ok, begs the question, how does one empty oneself of views? Answer: don't know.)

t

Eh, I thought we were not-two?  So they are your views too!  Or at the very least, your views about my views. :-)

But actually, this seems an effective process for emptying oneself of views.  A exhuastion of purifications.
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 1746 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
curious:
terry:
curious:
terry:
   You can't "finally see through" a "non-dual state." There is no seer, no seen and no finality.

   Emptiness is most emphatically not repeat not "a created state, dependent on body-mind." "Body-mind" is a mental construct, a self-image. Emptiness is empty of all mental constructs, that's why they call it "empty."

   Of course, anyone can use the word in a dualistic sense, as opposed to fullness, for example.

terry

Well, I both agree and disagree with that comment. And also vice versa.  emoticon 

I would agree to the extent that that many 'non-dual absorptions' are not really fully non dual (Atman/Brahman being a case in point).  And also to the extent that a non-dual state does not prevent a superficial and suface contraction and dualism in daily life. When eating a grilled cheese sandwich, for example.  Or when finely crafting the terminus of a celtic silver torque.  Or when arguing with a friend.

But I think we will get quickly lost in a thicket of views.  Pax?


It's your thicket.

Right view means being empty of views.

(Ok, begs the question, how does one empty oneself of views? Answer: don't know.)

t

Eh, I thought we were not-two?  So they are your views too!  Or at the very least, your views about my views. :-)

But actually, this seems an effective process for emptying oneself of views.  A exhuastion of purifications.

when all views are "don't know" you have arrived at right view (and exited your thicket)...

t



ttc, trans mitchell


71.

Not-knowing is true knowledge. 
Presuming to know is a disease. 
First realize that you are sick; 
then you can move toward health.
The Master is her own physician. 
She has healed herself of all knowing. 
Thus she is truly whole. 
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Jim Smith, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 1005 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
I have deleted more posts than I have published. I don't intend to change that for the sake of entertaining the vultures.
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 1746 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
Jim Smith:
I have deleted more posts than I have published. I don't intend to change that for the sake of entertaining the vultures.

vultures?
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 1746 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
curious:
I've noticed on a couple of threads people with an Advaita-type approach are turning up and proposing that there is something wrong with the Buddhadharma. That would seem to be fightin' words for the Dharma Overground.  It would be good to have this discussion explicitly, if it needs to be had. So I have openened this thread in the Dharma Battleground forum to allow any Advaita folks to have their say, if they want, and receive a reply.

To kick it off, I propose that the desire to come to the home of another tradition, and then make subtle criticism, is probably indicative of incomplete awakening. There is a simple psychological explanation - the subconscious realises the incompleteness of the attainment, and looks elsewhere for an answer (e.g. here), while the conscious battles this as a threat to the self/ego associated with the partial attainment.  Net result - coming here, but then telling us we are all wrong.

Now, my opinion of the Advaita approaches is that they can and do lead to complete awakening, but the stated objective of the tradition seems to be one step short. So it is easy to get stuck one step short. It is easy to get stuck in Buddhism too, and many outstanding Buddhist scholars and leaders, including in the present time, remain at anagami - but are perhaps a bit more likely to realise that.  Of course, whether it is realised or not, that one step short is still a marvellous 'attainment' and highly desirable, and much to be admired. Better of course to take the final step and then there is no attainment and nothing to be admired.

This is said with love, but also in the spirit of the DhO. If you want to tell us we are all wrong, be prepared to defend your view. My alternative view would be that if you think we are wrong, you might have just a little more work to do, and the leaders of your own tradition might be able to help you take that final step. Or you can work it through at the DhO!

emoticon

Malcolm 


emoticonemoticonemoticonemoticon



my 2 cents: advaita and buddhism are not two...

and have one root...

t
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Ni Nurta, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 767 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
If tradition have specific set of teachings and these are mastered then one is not anagami in that tradition but arhtat.

If we are talking about enlightenment which is completely and always true independent of anything then it must be one with which one can go to Brahman and argue with it over the issue of dukkha and not flinch. Buddha was able to do this with his enlightenment but will arhat be able to do it? No. Not because of actual understanding of what have been his tradition about and mastering it but the context of the whole situation. This will lead to incompleteness as it lack proper validation. It does not mean that arhat is anagami but that arhat is not buddha.

Now why Buddha was buddha?
What kind of issue was he trying to solve? Was his sight set on attaining anything?
So with answers to these questions let's all agree that in no existing tradition without going outside them people can become truly enlightened, ie. buddhas emoticon

edit://
changed wording a little because it was somehow broken
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curious, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 939 Join Date: 7/13/17 Recent Posts
Ni Nurta:
If tradition have specific set of teachings and these are mastered then one is not anagami in that tradition but arhtat.

If we are talking about enlightenment which is completely and always true independent of anything then it must be one with which one can go to Brahman and argue with it over the issue of dukkha and not flinch. Buddha was able to do this with his enlightenment but will arhat be able to do it? No. Not because of actual understanding of what have been his tradition about and mastering it but the context of the whole situation. This will lead to incompleteness as it lack proper validation. It does not mean that arhat is anagami but that arhat is not buddha.

Now why Buddha was buddha?
What kind of issue was he trying to solve? Was his sight set on attaining anything?
So with answers to these questions let's all agree that in no existing tradition without going outside them people can become truly enlightened, ie. buddhas emoticon

edit://
changed wording a little because it was somehow broken

Interesting.  I dont' fully understand your point.  Can you tell me more about going to Brahman and arguing over dukkha and not flinching> Is Brahman an external being, or a manifestation of the sense perceptions, or some aspect of self, in this context?

We seem to have different frames of reference that may be quite hard to bridge to communicate.  But I would like to try.

Malcolm
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Ni Nurta, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 767 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
curious:
Interesting.  I dont' fully understand your point.  Can you tell me more about going to Brahman and arguing over dukkha and not flinching> Is Brahman an external being, or a manifestation of the sense perceptions, or some aspect of self, in this context?

I meant Brahman == God.
Let's look at this way: If you were striving to attain what Gautama Buddha calls enlightenment, which he taught, then after attaining something which seems like IT, then would you need to have talk with Brahman/God about it? Gautama Buddha himself seems like the better being to contact in his case. If you were in the position to talk with God you could as well contact Buddha directly.

To become buddha yourself you need to have some idea which would benefit all sentient beings. Universe is not fixed, it is dynamic and evolving and any good idea could get implemented if it can be proven to be working. Brahman is like us all discovering what can be done and you helping it discover something useful is what makes you a buddha. Then you need to discuss it with Brahman/God directly, nothing is taken at face value.

Dharma need not be about destination but the path taken which in turn always changes destination and these paths are so numerous there is enough for all buddhas to be able to exist at all times.

We seem to have different frames of reference that may be quite hard to bridge to communicate.  But I would like to try.
Difference in frame of reference is all an illusion
We have nearly the same internal makeup, we humans... no, we being, especially from one cultural circle, like one family, one species, one planet, one universe, etc.

We might seem to like different tastes but it is more because of what tastes already exist within us than general preference of beings themselves. Cat for example likes cat stuff because it have specific cat taste which forces it to seek tastes which combined will generate something that is nice. The combined tastes being good is something that is universal for all being. If you could experience cat directly you would feel great when it catches mice or do other cat stuff. Give yourself background cat taste and you will exactly know why cat does what it does.
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curious, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 939 Join Date: 7/13/17 Recent Posts
Ni Nurta:
curious:
Interesting.  I dont' fully understand your point.  Can you tell me more about going to Brahman and arguing over dukkha and not flinching> Is Brahman an external being, or a manifestation of the sense perceptions, or some aspect of self, in this context?

I meant Brahman == God.
Let's look at this way: If you were striving to attain what Gautama Buddha calls enlightenment, which he taught, then after attaining something which seems like IT, then would you need to have talk with Brahman/God about it? Gautama Buddha himself seems like the better being to contact in his case. If you were in the position to talk with God you could as well contact Buddha directly.

To become buddha yourself you need to have some idea which would benefit all sentient beings. Universe is not fixed, it is dynamic and evolving and any good idea could get implemented if it can be proven to be working. Brahman is like us all discovering what can be done and you helping it discover something useful is what makes you a buddha. Then you need to discuss it with Brahman/God directly, nothing is taken at face value.

Dharma need not be about destination but the path taken which in turn always changes destination and these paths are so numerous there is enough for all buddhas to be able to exist at all times.

We seem to have different frames of reference that may be quite hard to bridge to communicate.  But I would like to try.
Difference in frame of reference is all an illusion
We have nearly the same internal makeup, we humans... no, we being, especially from one cultural circle, like one family, one species, one planet, one universe, etc.

We might seem to like different tastes but it is more because of what tastes already exist within us than general preference of beings themselves. Cat for example likes cat stuff because it have specific cat taste which forces it to seek tastes which combined will generate something that is nice. The combined tastes being good is something that is universal for all being. If you could experience cat directly you would feel great when it catches mice or do other cat stuff. Give yourself background cat taste and you will exactly know why cat does what it does.

So, my understanding of the potential common ground between the two disciplines is precisely captured by a 17th Century poet (Johan Scheffer), as follows below.  Does his poem on the relationship between God and Man fairly represent the view you are proposing of Brahman? If so, then I understand what you are saying.  If not, then I need to think again to appreciate your meaning.  I have bolded the last five verses as they are the ones most to the point - the earlier ones are more in the nature of a set up for the final verses.


I know that without me
God can no moment live
Were I to die, then He
No longer could survive.

God cannot without me
A single worm create;
Did I not share with Him
Destruction were its fate.

I am as great as God;
And he is small like me;
He cannot be above, 
Nor I below Him be.

In me is God a fire
And I in Him its Glow
In common is our life
Apart we cannot grow.

God love me more than Self
My love doth give His weight
Whate'er He gives to me
I must reciprocate.

He's God and man to me,
To Him I'm both indeed;
His thirst I satisfy,
He help me in my need

This God, who feels for us
Is to use what we will;
And woe to us, if we
Our part do not fulfill.

God is whate'er He is
I am what I must be;
If you know one, in sooth,
You know both Him and me.

I am not outside God
Nor leave I Him afar;
I am his grace and light
And he my guiding star

I am the vine, which He
Doth plant and cherish most;
The fruit which grows from me
Is God, the Holy Ghost

I am God's child, His son,
And He too is my child
We are the two in one
Both son and father mild

To illuminate my God
The sunshine I must be;
My beams must radiate
His calm and boundless sea. 
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 1746 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
curious:
Ni Nurta:
curious:
Interesting.  I dont' fully understand your point.  Can you tell me more about going to Brahman and arguing over dukkha and not flinching> Is Brahman an external being, or a manifestation of the sense perceptions, or some aspect of self, in this context?

I meant Brahman == God.
Let's look at this way: If you were striving to attain what Gautama Buddha calls enlightenment, which he taught, then after attaining something which seems like IT, then would you need to have talk with Brahman/God about it? Gautama Buddha himself seems like the better being to contact in his case. If you were in the position to talk with God you could as well contact Buddha directly.

To become buddha yourself you need to have some idea which would benefit all sentient beings. Universe is not fixed, it is dynamic and evolving and any good idea could get implemented if it can be proven to be working. Brahman is like us all discovering what can be done and you helping it discover something useful is what makes you a buddha. Then you need to discuss it with Brahman/God directly, nothing is taken at face value.

Dharma need not be about destination but the path taken which in turn always changes destination and these paths are so numerous there is enough for all buddhas to be able to exist at all times.

We seem to have different frames of reference that may be quite hard to bridge to communicate.  But I would like to try.
Difference in frame of reference is all an illusion
We have nearly the same internal makeup, we humans... no, we being, especially from one cultural circle, like one family, one species, one planet, one universe, etc.

We might seem to like different tastes but it is more because of what tastes already exist within us than general preference of beings themselves. Cat for example likes cat stuff because it have specific cat taste which forces it to seek tastes which combined will generate something that is nice. The combined tastes being good is something that is universal for all being. If you could experience cat directly you would feel great when it catches mice or do other cat stuff. Give yourself background cat taste and you will exactly know why cat does what it does.

So, my understanding of the potential common ground between the two disciplines is precisely captured by a 17th Century poet (Johan Scheffer), as follows below.  Does his poem on the relationship between God and Man fairly represent the view you are proposing of Brahman? If so, then I understand what you are saying.  If not, then I need to think again to appreciate your meaning.  I have bolded the last five verses as they are the ones most to the point - the earlier ones are more in the nature of a set up for the final verses.


I know that without me
God can no moment live
Were I to die, then He
No longer could survive.

God cannot without me
A single worm create;
Did I not share with Him
Destruction were its fate.

I am as great as God;
And he is small like me;
He cannot be above, 
Nor I below Him be.

In me is God a fire
And I in Him its Glow
In common is our life
Apart we cannot grow.

God love me more than Self
My love doth give His weight
Whate'er He gives to me
I must reciprocate.

He's God and man to me,
To Him I'm both indeed;
His thirst I satisfy,
He help me in my need

This God, who feels for us
Is to use what we will;
And woe to us, if we
Our part do not fulfill.

God is whate'er He is
I am what I must be;
If you know one, in sooth,
You know both Him and me.

I am not outside God
Nor leave I Him afar;
I am his grace and light
And he my guiding star

I am the vine, which He
Doth plant and cherish most;
The fruit which grows from me
Is God, the Holy Ghost

I am God's child, His son,
And He too is my child
We are the two in one
Both son and father mild

To illuminate my God
The sunshine I must be;
My beams must radiate
His calm and boundless sea. 
meister eckhardt, from sermon two, "complete mystical works of meister eckhardt":


But our bliss lies not in our activity, but in being passive to God. For just as God is more excellent than creatures, by so much is God's work more excellent than mine. It was from His immeasurable love that God set our happiness in suffering, for we undergo more than we act, and receive incomparably more than we give; and each gift that we receive prepares us to receive yet another gift, indeed a greater one, and every divine gift further increases our receptivity and the desire to receive something yet higher and greater. Therefore some teachers say that it is in this respect the soul is commensurate with God. For just as God is boundless in giving, so too the soul is boundless in receiving or conceiving. And just as God is omnipotent to act, so too the soul is no less profound to suffer; and thus she is transformed with God and in God. God must act and the soul must suffer, He must know and love Himself in her; she must know with His knowledge and love with His love, and thus she is far more with what is His than with her own, and so too her bliss is more dependent on His action than on her own.
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Stirling Campbell, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 602 Join Date: 3/13/16 Recent Posts
...more Eckhart:
The eye with which I see God is the same with which God sees me. My eye and God's eye is one eye. - Meister Eckhardt
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Stirling Campbell:
...more Eckhart:
The eye with which I see God is the same with which God sees me. My eye and God's eye is one eye. - Meister Eckhardt



Truth is something so noble that if God could turn aside from it, I could keep the truth and let God go.

~meister eckhart
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 1746 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
terry:
Stirling Campbell:
...more Eckhart:
The eye with which I see God is the same with which God sees me. My eye and God's eye is one eye. - Meister Eckhardt



Truth is something so noble that if God could turn aside from it, I could keep the truth and let God go.

~meister eckhart


The most powerful prayer, one wellnigh omnipotent, and the worthiest work of all is the outcome of a quiet mind. The quieter it is the more powerful, the worthier, the deeper, the more telling and more perfect the prayer is. To the quiet mind all things are possible. What is a quiet mind? A quiet mind is one which nothing weighs on, nothing worries, which, free from ties and from all self-seeking, is wholly merged into the will of God and dead to its own.

~meister eckhart
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WPCK, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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I'm aware that it's goofy for someone who isn't very far progressed in either tradition (me) to comment, but I will say I'm very sympathetic to the distinctions made here (and on the rest of this blog) regarding the differences:
http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2007/03/thusnesss-six-stages-of-experience.html
agnostic, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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curious:
Better of course to take the final step and then there is no attainment and nothing to be admired.

If there is no attainment then there is not even a first step.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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But it will seem like one until the non-attainment comes through.
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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The first step is the final step, seen with increasing clarity, sometimes in the absence of ground, feet, and direction. but most of us here are lazy people focused more on sitting practice anyway. 
T, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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In what ways would you point me to be less lazy and not get stuck in my sitting-only practice? I mean this with genuine interest seeking information. 
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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T:
In what ways would you point me to be less lazy and not get stuck in my sitting-only practice? I mean this with genuine interest seeking information. 


I was joking, truly, and truly feeling like the joke was on me, not anyone else, and it was certainly not meant as any kind of critique or hint at a less lazy way. I think the range of approaches we see among the practitioners here speaks for itself. I was just playing with the "step" metaphor, partly just for the fun of it, partly, as always in dharma humor, to underline its bit of truth simultaneous with its obvious inadequacy when pushed beyond its immediate use in conversation. I bow at the lotus feet of your alertness to staying as unstuck as possible in your practice.
agnostic, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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T:
In what ways would you point me to be less lazy and not get stuck in my sitting-only practice? 

Nibbana is unconditioned so what practice could possibly bring it about? It's right here, only practice causes it to appear to be hidden.
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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agnostic:
T:
In what ways would you point me to be less lazy and not get stuck in my sitting-only practice? 

Nibbana is unconditioned so what practice could possibly bring it about? It's right here, only practice causes it to appear to be hidden.

Are you seriously advocating no practice?
agnostic, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Tim Farrington:

Are you seriously advocating no practice?


Of course not! Saying you should not practice misses the point just as much as saying you should practice. Both falsely assume there is a you who could choose either to practice or not to practice (as well as a me who could tell you what to do). There’s nothing wrong with practicing, it’s just what appears to happen (or not).
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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agnostic:
Tim Farrington:

Are you seriously advocating no practice?


Of course not! Saying you should not practice misses the point just as much as saying you should practice. Both falsely assume there is a you who could choose either to practice or not to practice (as well as a me who could tell you what to do). There’s nothing wrong with practicing, it’s just what appears to happen (or not).
I think this goes the the crux of the dialogue between advaita and buddhism. Buddhism begins with the recognition of dukha, of suffering, and offers a path, and practices and techniques, for suffering beings who would like to be free of that suffering, to stop it from its roots up, for themselves and others. Advaita as I have encountered it begins with the unconditioned that always and already is, and basically calls both suffering and the suffering self illusory. You will probably say that is a caricature, and I am missing the point, or the not-point, or whatever. But we're having this particular exchange because as I see it, you one-upped a guy who was sincerely asking for feedback related to his practice. And what the illusory me says, or at least what appears to happen here, is that is the same old heartless advaita dance: not one, not two, but always one up. 

(Maybe this is why so many people settled in with popcorn when this thread started, knowing somebody like me would eventually go off.)

T, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Thanks, Tim. I roll my eyes at those answers. It's very easy for a person who is "looking backward" to tell someone "moving forward" that it's all an illusion. Clearly, they forgot when they believed Santa Claus was real and religiously baked him cookies and poured a glass of milk to leave behind so that he would have energy for his global journey. 

Being open to trying various practices, I run up against the "you don't exist, so this entire premise is false." Cool - not advocating violence, but if I pop you in the noggin' it probably feels pretty real. Well looking from the average and ordinary point of view - the self feels pretty real whether it is or isn't. 

The path feels like work, whether it is or it isn't. Practice feels like a thing, whether it is or it isn't. Until they don't. 

But what do I know? I don't exist and don't do anything at all on a routine basis, surrounded by nobody. Makes it easy to socially distance. How's that going for those awake Advaitists? Virus ain't real! I'm not real! Those spreading the virus aren't real! Socially distance from whom?

One can see how, from some perspectives, this makes no sense. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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I know that I made a reply like that at one point because I was confused about the focus on discussing other people's attainment in several threads at the time. Sorry for the frustration it may have brought! The frustration is very understandable. At that time, I just genuinely wondered about the point of comparing and pointing out to people that they were wrong, since it's not a competition anyway. Still, I have been the one pointing out stuff like that as well, and I do see a point in being cautious about claiming attainments and also in feedback with reality checks. I guess I find the balance a bit tricky myself, between healthy critical feedback and a competetive jargon that puts people down. 

Just wanted to appologize for being insensitive. 
agnostic, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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The seeker cannot stand the suggestion that there is nothing to find because everything is already here. It is an existential threat which contradicts all beliefs about work, progress, meaning, suffering and redemption.  

Nibbana is totally impersonal, it has nothing to do with being a better person. The seeker finds that idea thoroughly reprehensible as well, hence the theory of spiritual bypassing.

Just to be clear, there is nothing for sale here and no one has attained anything.
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curious, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Ok, so just to try a metaphor ... The ship was always there, moored to the pier. All we needed to do was see it and occupy it. 

And we also needed to clean the barnacles off, chase away the seals in the wheelhouse, bail out the bilges, crack the rust off the rudder pins, polish the spray shields so we could see through them, wait for a high tide, and untie the moorings, raise the sail, and steer according to the wind. But the ship was always there, nothing to be built, nothing new to attain. Only things to remove. emoticon

Also, in Buddhism it is not-self, rather than no-self, although it is easy to make a slip of the pen. So to labour the metaphor, the ship ain't me, but I still like to sail it. The 'me' is a process, an unfolding of causes and conditions within a field of awareness. Me is not form. Me is not feeling. Me is not perceptions. Me is not the sense of self and other. Me is not my conditioned tendencies. 

The aim of the path is to see through to the final wellspring of wrong view. To blow out the illusory flame of self (noun) to instead dwell happpily in the process (verb) of events unfolding across all the sense consciousnsess. 

I am the journey not the ship. I am the wave not the water. I am the pimple not the skin (™ - T).
 

emoticonemoticonemoticonemoticon
T, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Some have an easier time gently pointing the way to the docks than others. 
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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T
[quote=]Some have an easier time gently pointing the way to the docks than others. 

from the majjhima nikaya, 102, "what do you think about me?"



“While you are training in concord, with mutual appreciation, without disputing, some bhikkhu might commit an offence or a transgression.

“Now, bhikkhus, you should not hurry to reprove him; rather, the person should be examined thus: ‘I shall not be troubled and the other person will not be hurt; for the other person is not given to anger and resentment, he is not firmly attached to his view and he relinquishes easily, and I can make that person emerge from the unwholesome and establish him in the wholesome. ’ If such occurs to you, bhikkhus, it is proper to speak.

“Then it may occur to you, bhikkhus: ‘I shall not be troubled, but the other person will be hurt, for the other person is given to anger and resentment. However, he is not firmly attached to his view and he relinquishes easily, and I can make that person emerge from the unwholesome and establish him in the wholesome. It is a mere trifle that the other person will be hurt, but it is a much greater thing that I can make that person emerge from the unwholesome and establish him in the wholesome. ’ If such occurs to you, bhikkhus, it is proper to speak.

“Then it may occur to you, bhikkhus: ‘I shall be troubled, but the other person will not be hurt; for the other person is not given to anger and resentment, though he is firmly attached to his view and he relinquishes with difficulty; yet I can make that person emerge from the unwholesome and establish him in the wholesome. It is a mere trifle that I shall be troubled, but it is a much greater thing that I can make that person emerge from the unwholesome and establish him in the wholesome.’ If such occurs to you, bhikkhus, it is proper to speak.

“Then it may occur to you, bhikkhus: ‘I shall be troubled and the other person will be hurt; for the other person is given to anger and resentment, and he is firmly attached to his view and he relinquishes with difficulty; yet I can make that person emerge from the unwholesome and establish him in the wholesome. It is a mere trifle that I shall be troubled and the other person hurt, but it is a much greater thing that I can make that person emerge from the unwholesome and establish him in the wholesome.’ If such occurs to you, bhikkhus, it is proper to speak.

“Then it may occur to you, bhikkhus: ‘I shall be troubled and the other person will be hurt; for the other person is given to anger and resentment, and he is firmly attached to his view and he relinquishes with difficulty; and I cannot make that person emerge from the unwholesome and establish him in the wholesome.’ One should not underrate equanimity towards such a person.

“While you are training in concord, with mutual appreciation, without disputing, there might arise mutual verbal friction, insolence in views, mental annoyance, bitterness, and dejection. Then whichever bhikkhu you think is the most reasonable of those who side together on the one part should be approached and addressed thus: ‘While we were training in concord, friend, with mutual appreciation, without disputing, there arose mutual verbal friction, insolence in views, mental annoyance, bitterness, and dejection. If the Recluse knew, would he censure that?’ Answering rightly, the bhikkhu would answer thus: ‘While we were training…If the Recluse knew, he would censure that.’ “‘But, friend, without abandoning that thing, can one realise Nibbāna?’ Answering rightly, the bhikkhu would answer thus: ‘Friend, without abandoning that thing, one cannot realise Nibbāna.’

“Then whichever bhikkhu you think is the most reasonable of those who side together on the opposite part should be approached and addressed thus: ‘While we were training in concord, friend, with mutual appreciation, without disputing, there arose mutual verbal friction, insolence in views, mental annoyance, bitterness, and dejection. If the Recluse knew, would he censure that?’ Answering rightly, the bhikkhu would answer thus: ‘While we were training…If the Recluse knew, he would censure that.’

“‘But, friend, without abandoning that thing, can one realise Nibbāna?’ Answering rightly, the bhikkhu would answer thus: ‘Friend, without abandoning that thing, one cannot realise Nibbāna.’

“If others should ask that bhikkhu thus: ‘Was it the venerable one who made those bhikkhus emerge from the unwholesome and established them in the wholesome?’ answering rightly, the bhikkhu would answer thus: ‘Here, friends, I went to the Blessed One. The Blessed One taught me the Dhamma. Having heard that Dhamma, I spoke to those bhikkhus. The bhikkhus heard that Dhamma, and they emerged from the unwholesome and became established in the wholesome.’ Answering thus, the bhikkhu neither exalts himself nor disparages others; he answers in accordance with the Dhamma in such a way that nothing which provides a ground for censure can be legitimately deduced from his assertion.”

That is what the Blessed One said. The bhikkhus were satisfied and delighted in the Blessed One’s words.
agnostic, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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curious:
Ok, so just to try a metaphor ... The ship was always there, moored to the pier. All we needed to do was see it and occupy it. 

And we also needed to clean the barnacles off, chase away the seals in the wheelhouse, bail out the bilges, crack the rust off the rudder pins, polish the spray shields so we could see through them, wait for a high tide, and untie the moorings, raise the sail, and steer according to the wind. But the ship was always there, nothing to be built, nothing new to attain. Only things to remove. emoticon


It’s a nice metaphor. The seeker loves long to-do lists which involve a lot of work. It can’t help itself, that’s what it does to perpetuate its own apparent existence. The path is the longest to-do list of all, continuing for innumerable lifetimes. Imagine that!

Liberation requires nothing to be built AND nothing to be removed. It is unconditional, nothing to do with being seaworthy unfortunately.

One might think that acknowledging there is nothing to do is a cop-out, but actually the seeker finds it threatening and tends to resist it. If there’s nothing to do then the seeker is extraneous. Then what?

Dwelling in the process of events is about as close as it gets, except of course there's no one dwelling there ;-)
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curious, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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agnostic:
curious:
Ok, so just to try a metaphor ... The ship was always there, moored to the pier. All we needed to do was see it and occupy it. 

And we also needed to clean the barnacles off, chase away the seals in the wheelhouse, bail out the bilges, crack the rust off the rudder pins, polish the spray shields so we could see through them, wait for a high tide, and untie the moorings, raise the sail, and steer according to the wind. But the ship was always there, nothing to be built, nothing new to attain. Only things to remove. emoticon


It’s a nice metaphor. The seeker loves long to-do lists which involve a lot of work. It can’t help itself, that’s what it does to perpetuate its own apparent existence. The path is the longest to-do list of all, continuing for innumerable lifetimes. Imagine that!

Liberation requires nothing to be built AND nothing to be removed. It is unconditional, nothing to do with being seaworthy unfortunately.

One might think that acknowledging there is nothing to do is a cop-out, but actually the seeker finds it threatening and tends to resist it. If there’s nothing to do then the seeker is extraneous. Then what?

Dwelling in the process of events is about as close as it gets, except of course there's no one dwelling there ;-)
Dear agnostic, sure it is ultimately about letting go, but you have to get there somehow. And yes actually the barnacles are as fascinating as anything else - did you know you can identify barnacle species by their penises? And that Darwin made his reputation with barnacles before publishing the Origin of the Species? Anything can be as interesting as anything else, including sitting with scorpions instead of sailing on the river. Or looking at the barnacles. But only once you have completed letting go.

But ... let me give you some advice I was fortunate to receive from Shargrol.  Don't you realise you are clinging to non existence?  It's a trap, and the Suttas describe this trap precisely.  Keep going!

With love, Malcolm
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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curious:
agnostic:
curious:
Ok, so just to try a metaphor ... The ship was always there, moored to the pier. All we needed to do was see it and occupy it. 

And we also needed to clean the barnacles off, chase away the seals in the wheelhouse, bail out the bilges, crack the rust off the rudder pins, polish the spray shields so we could see through them, wait for a high tide, and untie the moorings, raise the sail, and steer according to the wind. But the ship was always there, nothing to be built, nothing new to attain. Only things to remove. emoticon


It’s a nice metaphor. The seeker loves long to-do lists which involve a lot of work. It can’t help itself, that’s what it does to perpetuate its own apparent existence. The path is the longest to-do list of all, continuing for innumerable lifetimes. Imagine that!

Liberation requires nothing to be built AND nothing to be removed. It is unconditional, nothing to do with being seaworthy unfortunately.

One might think that acknowledging there is nothing to do is a cop-out, but actually the seeker finds it threatening and tends to resist it. If there’s nothing to do then the seeker is extraneous. Then what?

Dwelling in the process of events is about as close as it gets, except of course there's no one dwelling there ;-)
Dear agnostic, sure it is ultimately about letting go, but you have to get there somehow. And yes actually the barnacles are as fascinating as anything else - did you know you can identify barnacle species by their penises? And that Darwin made his reputation with barnacles before publishing the Origin of the Species? Anything can be as interesting as anything else, including sitting with scorpions instead of sailing on the river. Or looking at the barnacles. But only once you have completed letting go.

But ... let me give you some advice I was fortunate to receive from Shargrol.  Don't you realise you are clinging to non existence?  It's a trap, and the Suttas describe this trap precisely.  Keep going!

With love, Malcolm

agnostic, I really do think we're right on the faultline between advaita and buddhism here, sticking to our theme like very good seminar participants. Of course, the faultline is where the earthquakes happen. But I think everyone here (and those of us who are here without actually needing to be anyone) can handle earthquakes just fine, as one more transient ripple of dukha to a not-self, though having lived in the San Francisco Bay Area in the past, i still recommend the not-selves stand in a doorway during the event, in case the transient house collapses.

I think curious with the ship that is always there metaphor is playing with the question of skillful means. I mean, unless we can't even agree that "awakening" or "dwelling in the process of events without a dweller" or however you want to phrase it for the sake of conversation, if only out of compassion, is something we would like, whether we are seekers who are actually prolonging the misery through our attachment to seeker/seeking shit or what. You are in this conversation--- "You" "are" "in" this "conversation"--- and what I get from you seems to me to be something like a zen master shout, saying, (speaking as the seeker that i am with my inadequate dukha-prolonging vocabulary), "Wake up! Now!" Or maybe (?) "You are already awake, dreamer!" It actually becomes interesting, to try to formulate it. But this is skillful means, and you have nothing to do. Have you ever had anyone wake up, when you shouted? When they woke up, did they start shouting too?
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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I was under the impression that agnostic practices within pragmatic dharma, not advaita? And that he is not a teacher, but a fellow practicioner. 
T, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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I don't believe he meant it literally

Edit to add: Based on agnostic's logs, I don't believe him to have used Advaita techniques. In fact, he was a pretty hardcore, solidiy-identified individual perpetually seeking there for a bit from what I read. That said, it appears from his responses in this thread that he is using some of the common Advaita statements of "It's all here now. There is nothing to be done. You aren't really you," and the stuff you know about. It's a fair appraisal, but not particularly helpful for those still stuck in seeker mode - whether it's a fabrication or otherwise. 
T, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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https://www.wisdomlib.org/buddhism/essay/things-as-they-are/d/doc1197.html

"He left his meditation path...and conversed with me, showing a great deal of kindness and compassion for the incredibly ignorant person who had come to seek him out. "
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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T:
I don't believe he meant it literally

Edit to add: Based on agnostic's logs, I don't believe him to have used Advaita techniques. In fact, he was a pretty hardcore, solidiy-identified individual perpetually seeking there for a bit from what I read. That said, it appears from his responses in this thread that he is using some of the common Advaita statements of "It's all here now. There is nothing to be done. You aren't really you," and the stuff you know about. It's a fair appraisal, but not particularly helpful for those still stuck in seeker mode - whether it's a fabrication or otherwise. 
That is not exclusive for Advaita. It is part of many Buddhist instructions, such as Dzogchen, although they usually include a framing that makes it much more helpful, and still it is inaccessible for a majority. I'd say that it's more an issue of bad pedagogy (which also lacks experiential ground) than tradition in this particular case.
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
T:
I don't believe he meant it literally

Edit to add: Based on agnostic's logs, I don't believe him to have used Advaita techniques. In fact, he was a pretty hardcore, solidiy-identified individual perpetually seeking there for a bit from what I read. That said, it appears from his responses in this thread that he is using some of the common Advaita statements of "It's all here now. There is nothing to be done. You aren't really you," and the stuff you know about. It's a fair appraisal, but not particularly helpful for those still stuck in seeker mode - whether it's a fabrication or otherwise. 
That is not exclusive for Advaita. It is part of many Buddhist instructions, such as Dzogchen, although they usually include a framing that makes it much more helpful, and still it is inaccessible for a majority. I'd say that it's more an issue of bad pedagogy (which also lacks experiential ground) than tradition in this particular case.

   Buddhism speaks to many people on many levels. As the Prophet said, peace be upon him, "Speak to peopke in accordance with their understanding."

   There is nothing wrong with repetition if it is newly meaningful in the moment.

terry
agnostic, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Tim Farrington:

agnostic, I really do think we're right on the faultline between advaita and buddhism here, sticking to our theme like very good seminar participants.

What, we’re not done yet?

An “Advaita-type” straw man was required in order to demonstrate the superiority of Buddhadharma (despite the fact there’s nothing wrong with Buddhadharma).

Responses are coming from nowhere other than that requirement. Despite appearances to the contrary, no one is getting anything from anyone here.

OP’s cage does seem to be a little rattled, what with the mock politeness, allusions to penis size, passive-aggressive advice and appeals to authority. If satisfaction has not been provided then further responses are possible.

Earthquakes happen but liberation has nothing to do with self-preservation. It would probably happen but it might not. Liberation is unconditional so anything can happen. That thought generally unsettles the seeker, who prefers to remain bound by the thought of what should happen.

It is indeed interesting to try to formulate it. If the seeker tries to do that then they may realize the helplessness of their predicament and recognize another possibility ...

No one has ever woken up. Awakening is not something that happens to a person. Awakening is what appears to happen when the person vanishes, although it is also seen that there never was a real person in the first place.

The urge to help the seeker is understandable, but it simply serves to confirm the supposed existence of that which is not real and yet is the apparent cause of suffering.

Liberation has nothing to do with letting go. Who would be letting go of what?

Liberation is closer than close but the seeker cannot see it because it believes itself to be separate from everything that is. Liberation is seeing everything just as it already is, including the dream of seeking. Who could see that? No one. And yet apparently it is seen.

There is nowhere to get to but naturally the seeker wants to keep going. What is really sought is the end of seeking, but that can’t happen for the seeker. It appears to be a terrible dilemma for the seeker, but when it collapses the absurd and cruel humor of it can be appreciated.
T, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Sincere wishes for your well being, agnostic. True metta. 
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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agnostic:
Tim Farrington:

agnostic, I really do think we're right on the faultline between advaita and buddhism here, sticking to our theme like very good seminar participants.

What, we’re not done yet?

An “Advaita-type” straw man was required in order to demonstrate the superiority of Buddhadharma (despite the fact there’s nothing wrong with Buddhadharma).

Responses are coming from nowhere other than that requirement. Despite appearances to the contrary, no one is getting anything from anyone here.

OP’s cage does seem to be a little rattled, what with the mock politeness, allusions to penis size, passive-aggressive advice and appeals to authority. If satisfaction has not been provided then further responses are possible.

Earthquakes happen but liberation has nothing to do with self-preservation. It would probably happen but it might not. Liberation is unconditional so anything can happen. That thought generally unsettles the seeker, who prefers to remain bound by the thought of what should happen.

It is indeed interesting to try to formulate it. If the seeker tries to do that then it may realize the helplessness of its predicament and recognize another possibility ...

No one has ever woken up. Awakening is not something that happens to a person. Awakening is what appears to happen when the person vanishes, although it is also seen that there never was a real person in the first place.

The urge to help the seeker is understandable, but it simply serves to confirm the supposed existence of that which is not real and yet is the apparent cause of suffering.

Liberation has nothing to do with letting go. Who would be letting go of what?

Liberation is closer than close but the seeker cannot see it because it believes itself to be separate from everything that is. Liberation is seeing everything just as it already is, including the dream of seeking. Who could see that? No one. And yet apparently it is seen.

There is nowhere to get to but naturally the seeker wants to keep going. What is really sought is the end of seeking, but that can’t happen for the seeker. It appears to be a terrible dilemma for the seeker, but when it collapses the absurd and cruel humor of it can be appreciated.

agnostic, it seems from your practice log that this liberation vocabulary is fairly new for you; it's a new angle, and I would guess you're feeling your way into an appropriately new way of communicating, with all the old words out of whack with what you're experiencing. Any thing I can say about how you're seeing things (with all due language tweaks) is going to be at best an analogy from my own experience and understanding, but we're all here in this community in part because we have found something of value in the feedback of peers. So this is in the spirit of feedback from a fellow community member, with the same skin we all have in the game, this body here. 

I spent some time in a Siddha Yoga Dham in the early 80s, circa the time Muktananda died. It was a shakti-oriented scene, lots of kundalini openings on display, and during the intensives the guru would go around giving shakipat during the meditations, and the hall would gradually kind of stir, like a tide coming in, people would start going into various kriyas and bodily bopping and sounds, spontaneous stuff, it was sort of pentacostal. And with all that energy, and especially maybe in that cultural environment, people would sometimes be thrown into very high and intense states, and would occasionally lose it and really start worrying people, despite the generally high tolerance the place had for wild energy stuff. I remember one time this guy just stood up and started hollering, "I'm God! I'm God!" Which was actually fine, to a large degree, but he kept hollering. And finally some ashram ushers came to lead him out of the meditation hall, and when they were outside in the lobby, they apparently tried to get him to eat a banana, to ground some of that energy, so you could still hear him hollering, "I'm God! I'm God! . . . I don't want a banana! I'm God!"

I think you might want to have a banana right now, is what I'm saying.

love, tim
agnostic, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 2026 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Thanks for your concern Tim and for sharing your reminiscences. It seems there’s no limit to the kind of mayhem that can ensue when people go looking for something they think somebody else has.

Experience on this end is pretty much the same as it’s always been, absent the annoying sense that it’s happening to a me.

The vocabulary is developing but it’s tricky precisely because there is no angle on liberation. How could there be an angle on everything that already is? If there was an angle on liberation then there would have to a point of projection from outside of everything, which is impossible.

Actually this is the same problem that confronts the individual who believes themself to be separate from everything that already is.

Just to be clear again, I’m not claiming to be liberated or God or have any kind of attainment or special experience. It’s about as ordinary as eating a banana.
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curious, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 939 Join Date: 7/13/17 Recent Posts
"There is nowhere to get to but naturally the seeker wants to keep going. What is really sought is the end of seeking, but that can’t happen for the seeker. It appears to be a terrible dilemma for the seeker, but when it collapses the absurd and cruel humor of it can be appreciated."

So I think this is spot on and very insightful, but perhaps not easily understood or maybe not skilful to consider for those early on the path. Thus leaving the question of how to get to this point.

"No one has ever woken up. Awakening is not something that happens to a person. Awakening is what appears to happen when the person vanishes, although it is also seen that there never was a real person in the first place."

But this goes a little too far for me. To bastaradise The Bard:

Doesn't a meditator have eyes?  Doesn't a meditator have hands, bodily organs, a human shape, six senses, feelings, and passion?  Doesn't a meditator eat the same food, get hurt with the same weapons, get sick with the same diseases, get healed by the same medicine, and warm up in summer and cool off in winter, just like a non-meditator? If you prick up with a pin, don't we bleed?  If you tickle us, don't we laugh?  If you poison us, don't we die?

agnostic, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 2026 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
curious:
"There is nowhere to get to but naturally the seeker wants to keep going. What is really sought is the end of seeking, but that can’t happen for the seeker. It appears to be a terrible dilemma for the seeker, but when it collapses the absurd and cruel humor of it can be appreciated."

So I think this is spot on and very insightful, but perhaps not easily understood or maybe not skilful to consider for those early on the path. Thus leaving the question of how to get to this point.

Better to understand it early on the path than later on the path.

There can’t be a path to liberation because it is unconditioned (without prior condition). Referring to such a path signals to “those early on the path” that there are those further down the path who have something they seek to attain. It’s a very seductive proposition for both the aspirant and those who consider themselves to be further down the path.

There’s nothing wrong with treading a path, it has all kinds of well-advertised personal benefits (goals, attainments, friends, competitors, healing, meaning, purpose, interests, unusual experiences etc.) These are the bread and butter of the seeker’s apparent existence and have kept the fires burning in thousands of monasteries over the centuries. But none of it has any relevance to liberation, which is totally impersonal.

Nothing leads to liberation because it is already right here, hiding in plain sight from the seeker who feels that there is a point to get to over there. Seeking for liberation is the most effective way of avoiding it. Nibbana is too ordinary to catch the seeker's attention.

This is not hard to understand, but the seeker resists it because it represents an apparently existential threat.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 5896 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
I think the seaker "resists" it because the detour is necessary in order to see clearly what is already there. There is no use in knowing that it's there if one can't experience it. The value of the detour should not be underestimated. 
agnostic, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 2026 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
I think the seaker "resists" it because the detour is necessary in order to see clearly what is already there. There is no use in knowing that it's there if one can't experience it. The value of the detour should not be underestimated. 

Hi Linda!

100% the detour has a huge amount of personal value. 100% nibbana has no personal value or use whatsoever since it can’t be experienced or known - it is the absence of the personal perspective on experience, an unknowing if you will.

I understand the desire to find a good vantage point from which to see clearly what is already there, but it doesn’t exist because every apparent vantage point is inside what’s already there. I say apparent vantage point because it is only from the point of view of an apparent observer, one who is not really there but feels real nonetheless. It can be frustrating, but out of that frustration might emerge another possibility ... that vantage point might start to feel a little less stable.

I’m not talking in riddles to try to be clever. When it clicks the thought is “how could I have been so stupid!” It’s hard to explain because words presuppose the existence of certain reference points which aren’t really there.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 5896 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
agnostic:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
I think the seaker "resists" it because the detour is necessary in order to see clearly what is already there. There is no use in knowing that it's there if one can't experience it. The value of the detour should not be underestimated. 

Hi Linda!

100% the detour has a huge amount of personal value. 100% nibbana has no personal value or use whatsoever since it can’t be experienced or known - it is the absence of the personal perspective on experience, an unknowing if you will.

I understand the desire to find a good vantage point from which to see clearly what is already there, but it doesn’t exist because every apparent vantage point is inside what’s already there. I say apparent vantage point because it is only from the point of view of an apparent observer, one who is not really there but feels real nonetheless. It can be frustrating, but out of that frustration might emerge another possibility ... that vantage point might start to feel a little less stable.

I’m not talking in riddles to try to be clever. When it clicks the thought is “how could I have been so stupid!” It’s hard to explain because words presuppose the existence of certain reference points which aren’t really there.

That click is another delusion, I'd say. It will pass, and it will be okay. 

Take care!
agnostic, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:

That click is another delusion, I'd say. It will pass, and it will be okay. 

The click is an attempt to describe something which can’t really be described because it’s not an experience, it’s the absence of an experience. You know how Daniel describes a fruition as a momentary discontinuity. That’s a click, or at least that’s the way I would describe it after reappearing on the other side. This is like a discontinuity which hasn’t stopped yet, no one has reappeared on the other side.

Everything is perfectly ok (despite being in bed with the virus). Who knows, maybe it does pass and it’s not ok again and the seeker reappears ...
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 1746 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
agnostic:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
I think the seaker "resists" it because the detour is necessary in order to see clearly what is already there. There is no use in knowing that it's there if one can't experience it. The value of the detour should not be underestimated. 

Hi Linda!

100% the detour has a huge amount of personal value. 100% nibbana has no personal value or use whatsoever since it can’t be experienced or known - it is the absence of the personal perspective on experience, an unknowing if you will.

I understand the desire to find a good vantage point from which to see clearly what is already there, but it doesn’t exist because every apparent vantage point is inside what’s already there. I say apparent vantage point because it is only from the point of view of an apparent observer, one who is not really there but feels real nonetheless. It can be frustrating, but out of that frustration might emerge another possibility ... that vantage point might start to feel a little less stable.

I’m not talking in riddles to try to be clever. When it clicks the thought is “how could I have been so stupid!” It’s hard to explain because words presuppose the existence of certain reference points which aren’t really there.

That click is another delusion, I'd say. It will pass, and it will be okay. 

Take care!


that  is what nicky said too...

take care...
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 1746 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
agnostic:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
I think the seaker "resists" it because the detour is necessary in order to see clearly what is already there. There is no use in knowing that it's there if one can't experience it. The value of the detour should not be underestimated. 

Hi Linda!

100% the detour has a huge amount of personal value. 100% nibbana has no personal value or use whatsoever since it can’t be experienced or known - it is the absence of the personal perspective on experience, an unknowing if you will.

I understand the desire to find a good vantage point from which to see clearly what is already there, but it doesn’t exist because every apparent vantage point is inside what’s already there. I say apparent vantage point because it is only from the point of view of an apparent observer, one who is not really there but feels real nonetheless. It can be frustrating, but out of that frustration might emerge another possibility ... that vantage point might start to feel a little less stable.

I’m not talking in riddles to try to be clever. When it clicks the thought is “how could I have been so stupid!” It’s hard to explain because words presuppose the existence of certain reference points which aren’t really there.


now you lost me with "nibbana can't be experienced or known," unless knowing and experiencing are regarded as the same thing, which would be redundant...

if something - a dharma - is neither experienced or known it has no referents at all and can't even be discussed, pointed to or indicated in any way...

the paradox of enlightenment is that it can be realized and practiced without defilement, but that no one realizes it or practices it...and that "no one" practices it perfectly...
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 1746 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
I think the seaker "resists" it because the detour is necessary in order to see clearly what is already there. There is no use in knowing that it's there if one can't experience it. The value of the detour should not be underestimated. 


"There is no use in knowing that it's there if one can't experience it." No use at all.

But if one can experience it - as many millions of mystics have ever claimed, with great delicacy, beauty and feeling - then perhaps one might want to turn one's attention that way.

The "detour" is the path. The apparent goal, mystical union, is one of the six realms, a stage of samsara. Of the true goal: one knows it is there but can't experience it; one can experience it, but one cannot know it is there. The paradox of enlightenment.

Being as there is quite literally nowhere to go, you are always on the path to it. If you are on the right path, you know it, and are content. There is no requirement by the path to be moral or just or kind, but those who know the way are so. Sincere, spontaneous, and innocent, knowers of the path go their way with the freedom of god's polo ball. When your captain is noah, what harm can befall you?


terry
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curious, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 939 Join Date: 7/13/17 Recent Posts
agnostic:
curious:
"There is nowhere to get to but naturally the seeker wants to keep going. What is really sought is the end of seeking, but that can’t happen for the seeker. It appears to be a terrible dilemma for the seeker, but when it collapses the absurd and cruel humor of it can be appreciated."

So I think this is spot on and very insightful, but perhaps not easily understood or maybe not skilful to consider for those early on the path. Thus leaving the question of how to get to this point.

Better to understand it early on the path than later on the path.

There can’t be a path to liberation because it is unconditioned (without prior condition). Referring to such a path signals to “those early on the path” that there are those further down the path who have something they seek to attain. It’s a very seductive proposition for both the aspirant and those who consider themselves to be further down the path.

There’s nothing wrong with treading a path, it has all kinds of well-advertised personal benefits (goals, attainments, friends, competitors, healing, meaning, purpose, interests, unusual experiences etc.) These are the bread and butter of the seeker’s apparent existence and have kept the fires burning in thousands of monasteries over the centuries. But none of it has any relevance to liberation, which is totally impersonal.

Nothing leads to liberation because it is already right here, hiding in plain sight from the seeker who feels that there is a point to get to over there. Seeking for liberation is the most effective way of avoiding it. Nibbana is too ordinary to catch the seeker's attention.

This is not hard to understand, but the seeker resists it because it represents an apparently existential threat.

The path is a fabrication, certainly, but it cuts both ways my friend. The non-seeker, no-self resists the path, as it represents the threat of existence.

If you can, I recommend letting go of the views and seeing what arises without them. It's not far to go. Lots of people here are willing you on.  

Malcolm
agnostic, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 2026 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
curious:

The path is a fabrication, certainly, but it cuts both ways my friend. The non-seeker, no-self resists the path, as it represents the threat of existence.

If you can, I recommend letting go of the views and seeing what arises without them. It's not far to go. Lots of people here are willing you on.  

Malcolm

The one who resists the path is just as much a seeker as the one who follows it. When the seeker apparently vanishes it does not leave a non-seeker or any other kind of personal designation.

What arises (and passes) are sights, sounds, smells, tastes, bodily sensations and thoughts (including views). This much is the same as it’s always been. The only difference is that there appears to be no one watching the sights, no one hearing the sounds, no one tasting the tastes, no one smelling the smells (thankfully), no one feeling the sensations, no one thinking the thoughts and no one holding the views. Everything is just happening as it is (and always was, in fact) without any need for a supposed someone to hold it all together. The views, as with everything else, are completely meaningless. They are simply arising as a response to the perceived exigencies of the current situation. There is no view (including this one) which has the slightest bearing on liberation, which is the abscence of the personal viewpoint.

It’s so simple and ordinary it’s hard to describe. It’s like a return to what it was like being a child before there arose the sense of a separate me who needed to grow up and become something in the world. Except that the child was still there even when it thought it had become an adult.

It’s tempting to say this is what I was looking for, except it was always there even when I felt it wasn’t. It is so obvious that it seems ridiculous to think that I was ever looking for it.

Am I liberated? Certainly not.

Is there liberation? Yes.

Could the dream of me restart? Possibly. Liberation is unconditional so anything could happen, including the belief again that it needs to be found.

It’s a heartwarming image, being cheered over the finish line by a throng of well-wishers, reaching the culmination of the path. Without the prospect of its culmination the whole path would collapse ... and then what? Liberation.

That just about brings us full circle I reckon.

I must say this whole interaction has been one trippy mind-fuck, in the best possible way.

Malcolm, you positioned yourself as the keeper of the final step. Did you get what you were looking for?
nintheye, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 230 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
agnostic:
curious:

The path is a fabrication, certainly, but it cuts both ways my friend. The non-seeker, no-self resists the path, as it represents the threat of existence.

If you can, I recommend letting go of the views and seeing what arises without them. It's not far to go. Lots of people here are willing you on.  

Malcolm

The one who resists the path is just as much a seeker as the one who follows it. When the seeker apparently vanishes it does not leave a non-seeker or any other kind of personal designation.

What arises (and passes) are sights, sounds, smells, tastes, bodily sensations and thoughts (including views). This much is the same as it’s always been. The only difference is that there appears to be no one watching the sights, no one hearing the sounds, no one tasting the tastes, no one smelling the smells (thankfully), no one feeling the sensations, no one thinking the thoughts and no one holding the views. Everything is just happening as it is (and always was, in fact) without any need for a supposed someone to hold it all together. The views, as with everything else, are completely meaningless. They are simply arising as a response to the perceived exigencies of the current situation. There is no view (including this one) which has the slightest bearing on liberation, which is the abscence of the personal viewpoint.
If there is no one holding it all together, who is it that says that these things are arising? "Nobody." Yes -- who is it that notes that "nobody" says it? That one, that one is there, holding it all together, now having simply renamed himself no one and nobody...
agnostic, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 2026 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
nintheye:

If there is no one holding it all together, who is it that says that these things are arising? "Nobody." Yes -- who is it that notes that "nobody" says it? That one, that one is there, holding it all together, now having simply renamed himself no one and nobody...

Nope, the saying and the noting are both arising out of nothing.
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curious, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 939 Join Date: 7/13/17 Recent Posts
From the Buddhist point of view, they arise from causes and conditions, rather than out of nothing.  :-)

This is my motivation for the whole thread - to be clear what is and is not the Buddhist approach described in the Suttas. This approach might be old and flawed and framed in a place and time, but it still works.
agnostic, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 2026 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
curious:
From the Buddhist point of view, they arise from causes and conditions, rather than out of nothing.  :-)

From the conditioned point of view they appear to arise from causes and conditions.

In the unconditioned there is something appearing to arise from nothing.

That sounds like a bs riddle so I’ll try to be more precise.

The individual (self/subject/whatever) feels itself to be living in a conditioned world because it appears to have a viewpoint from which one thing causes (conditions) another. This sense of being a separate individual is the cause of suffering (clinging or pulling/pushing things which are perceived to be separate from the individual).

But this viewpoint is an illusion. In reality seeing is happening just fine without there being anyone on the receiving end of it. The individual does not really exist. The thought that there is an individual exists, but thoughts just arise without there being anyone there to think them.

With the individual out of the picture, conditioning ceases (the unconditioned/nibbana/liberation/whatever). Objects, causes, effects and time only exist from the illusory perspective of the individual who imputes thingness, causality and the passage of time onto a world which in reality is completely empty (no things).

Ultimately, since the individual never really existed, neither did any of this troublesome conditionality. Whence such non-sense as  “emptiness is form” or “nirvana is samsara” or “something arising from nothing”.
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curious, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 939 Join Date: 7/13/17 Recent Posts
agnostic:
curious:
From the Buddhist point of view, they arise from causes and conditions, rather than out of nothing.  :-)

From the conditioned point of view they appear to arise from causes and conditions.

In the unconditioned there is something appearing to arise from nothing.

That sounds like a bs riddle so I’ll try to be more precise.

The individual (self/subject/whatever) feels itself to be living in a conditioned world because it appears to have a viewpoint from which one thing causes (conditions) another. This sense of being a separate individual is the cause of suffering (clinging or pulling/pushing things which are perceived to be separate from the individual).

But this viewpoint is an illusion. In reality seeing is happening just fine without there being anyone on the receiving end of it. The individual does not really exist. The thought that there is an individual exists, but thoughts just arise without there being anyone there to think them.

With the individual out of the picture, conditioning ceases (the unconditioned/nibbana/liberation/whatever). Objects, causes, effects and time only exist from the illusory perspective of the individual who imputes thingness, causality and the passage of time onto a world which in reality is completely empty (no things).

Ultimately, since the individual never really existed, neither did any of this troublesome conditionality. Whence such non-sense as  “emptiness is form” or “nirvana is samsara” or “something arising from nothing”.

No I get it. I understand exactly what you are saying. I would characterise this view as form is none other than emptiness.

Let me reply, just in the interests of clear communication. My view is that this is not the final insight. The thing about insights is that some of them make no sense until you have them yourself, and then you go "oh why didn't I see that all along". Thus, if I say emptiness is none other than form, you might think it is nonsense, whereas I think it indispensable. But, rather than argue about that, I'll just outline why I am bothering to put my point of view.

1. Sometimes people get a glimpse of form being none other than emptiness, and then revert, and then they might miss it. But sometimes that state can endure, particularly once you see through the dharmic ghost you fashioned to get this far (as you seem to have done), or I guess if you get there all at once, without having to fashion a homonculous of seeking, it could be pretty stable.

2. But even if you see through the dharmic homonculous to abide in emptiness or atman/brahman or whatever you want to call it, there is still a little bit of unfinished business. That unfinished business may tip you back into another realm, or result in some contraction or outwards extension, like being a theological missionary or forming a crusading army to promote your own version of emptiness. "Admit to emptiness or die!" kind of thing.

3. That unfinished business probably doesn't matter if you are stable and not suffering. From a Pali Mythic point of view, you would be reborn in the Good Place until you were ready to finish up. But then, if there is a change to the state, you could tip back into a realm you don't like, and feel bad about that.

4. So if you can do the last little bit, then you can dwell in any of those realms without worrying.  Sure form is none other than emptiness, but also emptiness is none other than form.  And you can dwell in the luminosity, or in humanity, or be asuric, or suffer starvation, or whatever.  It doesn't matter unless you choose to make it matter.  So while it is good to see through the creation of the perceptual world, as well as of the self, my view is that it is also important to see through the desire to deny their importance.  Of course they are important!  Nihilism completely misses the point of the human experience. Emptiness is none other than form ... We. MADE. It.  We made the emptiness!

5. So, I'm not saying you have to do this, or shouldn't just enjoy what you've got.  If you like it and it is stable, more power to you.  But if it begins to suck at any stage, or the enchantment wears off, don't hesitate to ask for opinions. Meanwhile, I will try to respect your state, which is of course fantastic and much to be admired (as long as it does not involve any suffering).

6. And I'm really sorry you've got the virus!  May you be well.

Sorry if I did wind up arguing. Much love, and happy to chat about this or anything else, or to just to drop it, as you wish. And if I have mischaracterised your views in any way, I apologise without reservation.

Metta

Malcolm
agnostic, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 2026 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
curious:

No I get it. I understand exactly what you are saying. I would characterise this view as form is none other than emptiness.

“Form is none other then emptiness” is not a view, it is a contradiction designed to vaporize the conditioned mindset.

My view is that this is not the final insight.

There is no final insight. Insight is dualistic, requiring both a subject (whatever has the insight) and an object (whatever gets seen into). In reality (nondual) there are no insights. In the dualistic illusion of subjectivity, unending time also appears to exist and there is no final anything. Either way, no final insights.

1. Sometimes people get a glimpse of form being none other than emptiness, and then revert, and then they might miss it. But sometimes that state can endure, particularly once you see through the dharmic ghost you fashioned to get this far (as you seem to have done), or I guess if you get there all at once, without having to fashion a homonculous of seeking, it could be pretty stable.

In reality people don’t exist and there are no subjective viewpoints, no one is getting a glimpse of anything, no one is having an experience of Nibbana. In the dualistic illusion, it might appear that the person reappears and says “what the fuck was that” and starts trying to characterize it as an experience and go looking for it again, hence fruition addiction. Nibbana is the nondual impersonal timeless reality and all experiences/states are temporary dualistic illusions appearing to arise and pass (unstable) within that reality.

This kind of talk about fashioning a temporary dharmic ghost to get closer to the goal sounds really helpful, but it’s the germ of the progressive path which in reality doesn’t lead to anywhere but more suffering. The teacher is up for it and the student is up for it, but that doesn’t make it right. The right thing to do is rebuff the advance and point out the way things really are. I’m too old and you’re too young. No wait, I don’t exist and you don’t exist. But people get offended by this and it feels uncomfortable, resulting in the inevitable ... paths, teachers, students, ambitions, vanities, scandals, jealousies and frustrations. In a nutshell, suffering.

Your kid is sick and you have the medicine but they don’t want to take it. You can stroke them but they still need to take the medicine. The more you stroke them, the more they think they are going to get away without having to take the medicine. At some point you’ve just got to give it to them.

Don’t forget, I haven’t done anything or gotten anywhere in my practice!

2. But even if you see through the dharmic homonculous to abide in emptiness or atman/brahman or whatever you want to call it, there is still a little bit of unfinished business. That unfinished business may tip you back into another realm, or result in some contraction or outwards extension, like being a theological missionary or forming a crusading army to promote your own version of emptiness. "Admit to emptiness or die!" kind of thing.

On the path (dualistic illusion) there is always just one more little bit of unfinished business (no final step). In reality there is no path, no business and no first step. Abiding in emptiness is dualistic, in reality (nondual) there’s no one to abide in anything. If it’s a dualistic state it’s temporary and there’s always a falling back.

If people are conditioned to be missionaries or crusaders then that can happen. Liberation (nibbana) is unconditional so anything can happen. Given an endless supply of time, anything that can happen will eventually happen and apparently does. It’s still just an illusion, but it fucking sucks to appear to be in it.

3. That unfinished business probably doesn't matter if you are stable and not suffering.

You/I are conditioned hence always unstable and suffering, apparently.

From a Pali Mythic point of view, you would be reborn in the Good Place until you were ready to finish up. But then, if there is a change to the state, you could tip back into a realm you don't like, and feel bad about that.

No one really exists so no one is really getting reborn. Rebirth and karma are conditioned not real (unconditioned). Many traditionalists even cater for this when pressed and say well its the karmic tendencies or some other conditioned package that gets reborn. But they definitely don’t want to put that out front in the store because it devalues the value of the karmic currency, which is used to to keep the sangha afloat. It’s tricky to make money when your flagship product (nibbana/liberation/enlightenment) has no value. There’s basically two choices (or some combination of them).

1. Run a Ponzi scheme where the fear/promise of karma funnels in new investments (goods, cash, labor, attention) to pay out those who invested earlier.

2. Run a fraud by packaging your valueless main product with a bunch of personal goodies (everything people love about Buddhism) which do have value. The customer thinks they are paying for the main product (which they don’t actually want and is free) and enjoying the goodies for free.

Both schemes seem to run successfully, sometimes for a long time, with everybody appearing to get what they want. But when the Ponzi scheme collapses or the fraud is uncovered then all hell breaks loose and people’s lives can be ruined.

Disclaimer: I am not an authority on anything and have no special knowledge, I’m just your average small time investor. To avoid the risk of getting burnt, do your own research and use common sense before investing. Always follow the money.

4. So if you can do the last little bit, then you can dwell in any of those realms without worrying.  Sure form is none other than emptiness, but also emptiness is none other than form.  And you can dwell in the luminosity, or in humanity, or be asuric, or suffer starvation, or whatever.  It doesn't matter unless you choose to make it matter.  So while it is good to see through the creation of the perceptual world, as well as of the self, my view is that it is also important to see through the desire to deny their importance.  Of course they are important!  Nihilism completely misses the point of the human experience. Emptiness is none other than form ... We. MADE. It.  We made the emptiness!

Nibbana has nothing to do with the human experience, which is ultimately meaningless. No one has any choice to make it matter. If it has meaning or matters then it is suffering, apparently.

Unconditional love is completely promiscuous, it doesn’t prioritize human experience, monkey experience or any other kind of experience. It loves Adolf Hitler as much as it loves Mother Theresa. It loves the car that kills you just as much as it loves you. It loves whatever will wipe out the human race just as much as it loves humans.

Reality doesn’t sell very well, hence the need to dress it up and make it smell nice. That’s capitalism, Buddhist style.

5. So, I'm not saying you have to do this, or shouldn't just enjoy what you've got.  If you like it and it is stable, more power to you.  But if it begins to suck at any stage, or the enchantment wears off, don't hesitate to ask for opinions. Meanwhile, I will try to respect your state, which is of course fantastic and much to be admired (as long as it does not involve any suffering).

There’s nothing to do, nothing to enjoy, nothing to suck, no should and no shouldn’t. Liberation is not normative, it has nothing to do with being a good person or not being an asshole.

Sound scary living life without any injunctions? That fear is what keeps the individual avoiding liberation. What’s to stop me becoming a complete monster?

Life is just living itself. Conditioning continues to operate from the (illusory) perspective of the individual - tea or coffee, celibate or sybaritic. Nothing has to change so it seems unlikely that there would be any dramatic changes. But there’s no guarantees, anything is possible, otherwise it wouldn’t be liberation. There does seem be less neurosis, which is like an amplifier added on top of conditioning. Anger arises, but if I’m not supposed to be always calm then there’s no need to be angry about getting angry. It’s nice to love and be loved, but if I’m not supposed always to be loved then there’s no need to go lookin’ for love in all the wrong places.

There’s no special state, nothing is fantastic, there’s nothing to be admired or respected ... and nothing is suffering.

Since nothing in particular is fantastic, everything is fantastic. But that’s just the kind of small talk which gets the seeker salivating and thinking there’s something for it to be had.

I could ramble on like this, but it might start to look like I have something to sell.

Here’s the real deal. The individual thinks it wants liberation, but what it actually wants is confirmation of its beliefs about what liberation should be like. True liberation is the end of the individual, so it can’t possibly want this. On some level the individual senses this and so it keeps on treading the path to avoid what it fears would be its annihilation. But it’s not really an annihilation because it’s the end of something which was never real in the first place. When the child discovers that Santa Clause is not real, has Santa Clause been killed? Is it possible to go back to believing in Santa Clause?

And if it’s just another state ... it will wear off and I will see you back on the treadmill, my friend.

6. And I'm really sorry you've got the virus!  May you be well.

Thank you. I’m lucky to have someone looking after me. It must be terrible to go through this alone, even if only apparently. It’s interesting to observe that whole “pain but no suffering” thing play out in real-time. It’s 100x worse for my wife who has to look after me and the kids and try to work at the same time.

Sorry if I did wind up arguing. Much love, and happy to chat about this or anything else, or to just to drop it, as you wish. And if I have mischaracterised your views in any way, I apologise without reservation.

No need to apologize for anything. Fighting talk was called for and fighting talk was provided! This is going to sound crazy again, but these really are not my views, they are simply responses arising out of nothing in response to an apparent request (also arising out of nothing). That having been said, the responses appear to have become sharper, so thanks for that. It’s been a nice diversion from the virus, being the most deluded member of the DhO.
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 1746 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
agnostic:

2. Run a fraud by packaging your valueless main product with a bunch of personal goodies (everything people love about Buddhism) which do have value. The customer thinks they are paying for the main product (which they don’t actually want and is free) and enjoying the goodies for free.

Both schemes seem to run successfully, sometimes for a long time, with everybody appearing to get what they want. But when the Ponzi scheme collapses or the fraud is uncovered then all hell breaks loose and people’s lives can be ruined.

Disclaimer: I am not an authority on anything and have no special knowledge, I’m just your average small time investor. To avoid the risk of getting burnt, do your own research and use common sense before investing. Always follow the money.

snip

Unconditional love is completely promiscuous, it doesn’t prioritize human experience, monkey experience or any other kind of experience. It loves Adolf Hitler as much as it loves Mother Theresa. It loves the car that kills you just as much as it loves you. It loves whatever will wipe out the human race just as much as it loves humans.

Reality doesn’t sell very well, hence the need to dress it up and make it smell nice. That’s capitalism, Buddhist style.


snip


I could ramble on like this, but it might start to look like I have something to sell.

Here’s the real deal. The individual thinks it wants liberation, but what it actually wants is confirmation of its beliefs about what liberation should be like. True liberation is the end of the individual, so it can’t possibly want this. On some level the individual senses this and so it keeps on treading the path to avoid what it fears would be its annihilation. But it’s not really an annihilation because it’s the end of something which was never real in the first place. When the child discovers that Santa Clause is not real, has Santa Clause been killed? Is it possible to go back to believing in Santa Clause?

And if it’s just another state ... it will wear off and I will see you back on the treadmill, my friend.


   One cool thing about the virus, we have lots of spare time, eh? I truly admire your patience and willingness to explain at length, in the absence of much encouragement. Who needs encouragement, right, when we are only responding as automata?

   I wouldn't say mahayana buddhism is a fraud, or maybe it is, but they are open about it. Mumon, author of zen classic "the gateless gate," described the buddha as "A swindler who sold dog's head for mutton." And the key parable of mahayana is "the burning house." The children have locked themselves in a house that is going to burn them up if they can't be convinced to open the door and escape, and the adults outside will willingly tell them anything to get them to come out. They are promised candy, gems, toys, whatever they might find enticing. An end to suffering, to death, to misfortune and unhappiness. The key is that everything the children believe is a fraud anyway, and they are in danger, so only inducements which are analogous to their experience are effective.

   It appears to me that the buddha's emphasis on suffering could as well been an emphasis on delight. Life is full of delights, youth, spouses, children, grandchildren, sex, food and drink. Delight is caused by desire. Delight may be eliminated and ended by ending craving. And there is a path to eliminate delight. When they told the buddha, happiness is having wives, and sons, he replied, it is wives and sons that make a man miserable. It is equally true that the end of craving is the end of suffering. Rather than blindly following the buddhist path, it might be well to consider what is really worth suffering for.

   As for disclaimers, I was waiting for "Past performance is no guarantee of future results."

   As for what reality loves, as the tao te ching says, "The tao is impartial; it stays with the good person all the time." The unclouded mind is compassionate and wants the happiness of all beings. The buddha warns us not to take metaphysics so seriously that it obscures right and wrong.

   The truth can be ignored but not forgotten.

terry
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Chris Marti, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 4066 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Ultimately, since the individual never really existed, neither did any of this troublesome conditionality. Whence such non-sense as  “emptiness is form” or “nirvana is samsara” or “something arising from nothing”.

The illusion of an individual person exists. Without conditional, dependently arising phenomena, a subject and an object, there is no consciousness at all. "Emptiness is form and form is emptiness" is the realization that we continually experience a universe of both dual and non-dual.

Keep going!

agnostic, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 2026 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Chris Marti:

The illusion of an individual person exists


The illusion of an individual person appears to exist, but it doesn’t appear to anyone.

Without conditional, dependently arising phenomena, a subject and an object, there is no consciousness at all.

Yup, consciousness is the ultimate dualistic illusion. Consciousness is the sense that this thing (object) is seen by, known by, or happening to me (subject). Consciousness is predicated upon the existence of a vantage point (subject) separate from a world of supposed objects. When it is recognized (by no one) that such a vantage point does not not exist (nothing, not even a point, can be separate from everything), then the illusion collapses. Right there, that’s the supposed hard problem of consciousness, poof, gone. Without the subject there is just everything as it already is. There’s stuff (matter/energy/whatever) but no objects (which require a subject to designate them).

The truly surprising part is that it is also recognized (by no one) that the whole subject-object illusion is just another thing (now cognized by no one) which appears to arise in everything, hence it has always been this way (even when it appeared not to be recognized). Words can’t do it justice, although it is the most ordinary thing in the world. It can’t be seen or known and yet it is. It’s a mind-fuck and the individual understandably shies away from it.

No subject, no object, no consciousness, no individual, no separation, no suffering. That, my friend, is non-duality. The individual and suffering are the same thing. The individual is the very problem it is trying to solve.

“Emptiness is form and form is emptiness" is the realization that we continually experience a universe of both dual and non-dual.”

“Emptiness is form and form is emptiness" is a contradiction (statement of reality) designed to vaporize the dualistic illusion, not a piece of knowledge to be realized or understood by the individual. Probably why it’s debated so much.

The universe (reality, everything that is) is nondual.

“we continually experience a universe of both dual and non-dual” is a dualistic illusion which appears to be arising within the universe but in reality is not happening.

“Keep going!”

Yes, the individual does keep going, apparently. In reality nothing is going anywhere. Except I’m going back to bed.
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Chris Marti, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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“we continually experience a universe of both dual and non-dual” is a dualistic illusion which appears to be arising within the universe but in reality is not happening.

We're human beings and, like it or not, we're stuck with our human brain and mind. We're not "the universe", which we can't consciously experience directly other than through our humble, frail human perceptions, so we don't get to experience the fully non-dual that the universe might.

Have a good sleep!

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T, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 279 Join Date: 1/15/19 Recent Posts
Sound scary living life without any injunctions? That fear is what keeps the individual avoiding liberation. What’s to stop me becoming a complete monster?

Directed to those who've fallen off the cliff previously - 
Is this what happens to a true pragmatist that skips some of the other trainings? 


You seem manic, Agnostic. I hope you find a more comfortable place within what appears to be a nihilist perspective. 
Robert Gallo, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 5 Join Date: 4/3/20 Recent Posts
Hey everyone, this is my 1st post here! I'm really enjoying this conversation...it's the reason that I joined the site after lurking for a few weeks.  

What got me interested in Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta was a vision/insight that I had while high on LSD about 30 years ago.  I saw the whole world as a cascade of causes and effects going all of the way back to the Big Bang.  I saw in a moment that not a single star, planet, molecule, atom, neuron or neuro-transmitting chemical was out of place.  Everything was the way it was because nothing escapes the laws of physics.

And as I saw this, I saw that there was no place for me or others within this web.  Where could agency exist?  Does it exist in the brain synapses like a traffic cop directing dopamine, serotonin, gaba and endorphins?  Where could this free-will that I feel exist?  The thought that a non-physical agent could exert its will through some kind of magic and make the physical world change direction seemed absurd - well, not absurd - we're either spirits performing magic or I don't exist as an individual.

30 years later, after many fits and starts with meditation, I still need to know what it's all about.  Intellectually I still think that my individuality is impossible, but I can't shake the feeling that I'm real.  When I sit I see thoughts, feel emotions and physical sensations arising from what seems to be nothing and disappearing.  The impulse to get up and drink coffee...is that me or am I just witnessing it? Am I the well of nothingness from which all of this arises and disappears?

I found real inspiration in the writings of Ramana Marharshi and Nisargatta - the self-inquiry into "who am I?", but my favorite in this style of practice is the zen master Bassui. The bad-ass way that he died, described in the book "Mud and Water" blew my mind: "In 1387, on the twentieth day of the second month, Bassui sat erect in zazen posture, turned to his disciples, and said: “Look directly! What is this? Look in this manner and you won’t be fooled.” He repeated this injunction in a loud voice and died."

But even more inspirational for me were his instructions for practice.  From Mud and Water: "When you ask yourself who the master is who this very moment sees with the eyes, hears with the ears, raises the hands, moves the feet, you realize that all these operations are the work of your mind. But you don’t know why it works this way. You may say it doesn’t exist, but it is clear that something is freely functioning. You may say it does exist, but then you can’t see it. Now when this feels insurmountable and you are unable to understand anything, when you have exhausted all ideas and don’t know where to turn, you are proceeding correctly. Don’t let yourself fall back at this time. As you pursue this inquiry more deeply, your piercing doubt will penetrate to the depths, ripping through to the bottom, and you will no longer question the fact that your mind is Buddha. There will be no [world of] life and death to despise and no truth to seek. The world of the great void will be the one mind...Now for the first time you will become one with the buddhas and ancestors. If you have gotten to this point, look at the following: A monk asked Jōshū, “What is the meaning of the ancestor coming to the 
West? Jōshū responded, “The oak tree in the garden.”

This koan almost makes sense to my ignorant mind!  It reminds my of my vision that nothing is out of place - if even one grain of sand on  the bottom of the ocean floor was 1 millimeter to the north of where it is today, than the whole of world history would be different. 

Anyway, my hair is on fire and there's no time  to waste!

Rob
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Chris Marti, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Gob Gallo - welcome to posting on DhO!

While reading your first post I was wondering - are you looking for the answer, or might you be comfortable with never getting one? Either way, best of luck on your journey, and keep posting!
Rob Gallo, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 5 Join Date: 4/3/20 Recent Posts
Chris Marti:
Gob Gallo - welcome to posting on DhO!

While reading your first post I was wondering - are you looking for the answer, or might you be comfortable with never getting one? Either way, best of luck on your journey, and keep posting!

Hi Chris, I'm certainly looking for an answer.  I have faith in the teachings of the Buddha and the sages that true happiness and satisfaction can be known.
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curious, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 939 Join Date: 7/13/17 Recent Posts
Rob Gallo:
Chris Marti:
Gob Gallo - welcome to posting on DhO!

While reading your first post I was wondering - are you looking for the answer, or might you be comfortable with never getting one? Either way, best of luck on your journey, and keep posting!

Hi Chris, I'm certainly looking for an answer.  I have faith in the teachings of the Buddha and the sages that true happiness and satisfaction can be known.

Welcome Rob. Yes the teachings of the Buddha defnitely work, and lead to the end of angst, with some extremely fun sights along the way. And I think this is a nice community here, you should enjoy it.  Have you got a current practice?

Malcolm 
Rob Gallo, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 5 Join Date: 4/3/20 Recent Posts
Hi Malcom, yes I have 3 different practices that I use organically - according to how I feel at the time. I always start my sit with breath following - keeping my attention at either my nostrils or on the rising and falling of my chest/abdomen.  I'll either continue for the duration of my sit like this or I'll move onto...

#2 Staring out into my quiet mind and body and being aware of every thought, emotion, impulse and bodily sensation that arises.  I just stay aware without judgement of like or dislike.  It feels like how I would imagine being on night guard duty at an encampment in a territory known for thieves and bandits - no rustling in the surrounding forest goes unnoticed.  I will either continue my sit in this manner or I will move onto...

#3 Tracing these sensation, impulses, sounds and thoughts back to the knower.  Instead of asking, "who is experiencing this?" I ask "what is experiencing this?"  I'm really trying to drill down to the "I" feeling and hold onto it as long as possible. Rinse and repeat as new sensations et al. arise. 

Thats about it.  Let me know what you think.  It feels right to me but perhaps I'm spreading my practice time too thinly?  Is there danger in trying to develop concentration and insight in parallel or should I just focus on one?  I can tell you one thing...I'm the happiest that I've been for the past year or so.  I've spent 25 years(!) wallowing in the dark night and nihilism and now I'm just at ease with this trip called life. 
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curious, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 939 Join Date: 7/13/17 Recent Posts
Rob Gallo:
Hi Malcom, yes I have 3 different practices that I use organically - according to how I feel at the time. I always start my sit with breath following - keeping my attention at either my nostrils or on the rising and falling of my chest/abdomen.  I'll either continue for the duration of my sit like this or I'll move onto...

#2 Staring out into my quiet mind and body and being aware of every thought, emotion, impulse and bodily sensation that arises.  I just stay aware without judgement of like or dislike.  It feels like how I would imagine being on night guard duty at an encampment in a territory known for thieves and bandits - no rustling in the surrounding forest goes unnoticed.  I will either continue my sit in this manner or I will move onto...

#3 Tracing these sensation, impulses, sounds and thoughts back to the knower.  Instead of asking, "who is experiencing this?" I ask "what is experiencing this?"  I'm really trying to drill down to the "I" feeling and hold onto it as long as possible. Rinse and repeat as new sensations et al. arise. 

Thats about it.  Let me know what you think.  It feels right to me but perhaps I'm spreading my practice time too thinly?  Is there danger in trying to develop concentration and insight in parallel or should I just focus on one?  I can tell you one thing...I'm the happiest that I've been for the past year or so.  I've spent 25 years(!) wallowing in the dark night and nihilism and now I'm just at ease with this trip called life. 

Hi Rob, have you read Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha?  I think it would have some helpful advice for how you could devleop #2 a bit further.

Malcolm
Rob Gallo, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 5 Join Date: 4/3/20 Recent Posts
curious:
Rob Gallo:
Hi Malcom, yes I have 3 different practices that I use organically - according to how I feel at the time. I always start my sit with breath following - keeping my attention at either my nostrils or on the rising and falling of my chest/abdomen.  I'll either continue for the duration of my sit like this or I'll move onto...

#2 Staring out into my quiet mind and body and being aware of every thought, emotion, impulse and bodily sensation that arises.  I just stay aware without judgement of like or dislike.  It feels like how I would imagine being on night guard duty at an encampment in a territory known for thieves and bandits - no rustling in the surrounding forest goes unnoticed.  I will either continue my sit in this manner or I will move onto...

#3 Tracing these sensation, impulses, sounds and thoughts back to the knower.  Instead of asking, "who is experiencing this?" I ask "what is experiencing this?"  I'm really trying to drill down to the "I" feeling and hold onto it as long as possible. Rinse and repeat as new sensations et al. arise. 

Thats about it.  Let me know what you think.  It feels right to me but perhaps I'm spreading my practice time too thinly?  Is there danger in trying to develop concentration and insight in parallel or should I just focus on one?  I can tell you one thing...I'm the happiest that I've been for the past year or so.  I've spent 25 years(!) wallowing in the dark night and nihilism and now I'm just at ease with this trip called life. 

Hi Rob, have you read Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha?  I think it would have some helpful advice for how you could devleop #2 a bit further.

Malcolm

Hey Malcolm, yes I'm reading it now.  I'm about up to pg. 250 and I'm really enjoying it.  It's both readable and dense at the same time.  Concerning #2, are you hinting at a more formal noting practice?

Rob
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curious, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 939 Join Date: 7/13/17 Recent Posts
Rob - yes indeed. It is excellent to deconstruct the mind sense and sense of self, but the other senses are part of the package too.  It is worth noting what goes on in all the other sense doors.  And then, over time, drilling in to see the sense phenomena arise and pass away in real time, as recommended in MCTB.  This will really help your existing project.

What do you think?  

Malcolm
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Chris Marti, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 4066 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Is this what happens to a true pragmatist that skips some of the other trainings? 

The realizations that come with advanced practice can be mind-blowing. Seriously disconcerting. Unbelievably wonderful. They can seem like world-changing, almost apocalyptic manifestations of totally different ways to see, feel, hear, taste, touch, and think. To be mesmerized by them, especially this particular one, is not uncommon. This can also drag a person into a sort of temporary sinkhole, a strange attractor. It's happened here on DhO a number of times. One of the last times it happened the poster got so antagonistic with other posters and a moderator about their newfound truth that we had to ban them. I don't see that happening again.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 5896 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Chris Marti:
Is this what happens to a true pragmatist that skips some of the other trainings? 

The realizations that come with advanced practice can be mind-blowing. Seriously disconcerting. Unbelievably wonderful. They can seem like world-changing, almost apocalyptic manifestations of totally different ways to see, feel, hear, taste, touch, and think. To be mesmerized by them, especially this particular one, is not uncommon. This can also drag a person into a sort of temporary sinkhole, a strange attractor. It's happened here on DhO a number of times. One of the last times it happened the poster got so antagonistic with other posters and a moderator about their newfound truth that we had to ban them. I don't see that happening again.
If that's the case that comes to my mind, he was having a rapidly evolving manic episode at the time - and indeed at the same time pretty much an almost apocalyptic manifestation tangled up with real insight. Great guy. We became friends. 
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Chris Marti, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 4066 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
I suspect that's a different example.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 5896 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Chris Marti:
I suspect that's a different example.


Maybe, but he did antogonize a moderator (and Daniel for that matter, and me as well) and got banned. Still a great guy.
agnostic, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 2026 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Chris Marti:

One of the last times it happened the poster got so antagonistic with other posters and a moderator about their newfound truth that we had to ban them. I don't see that happening again.

Hi Chris!

I acknowledge the backhanded threat of banishment! I will try to appear to be less antagonistic.

That’s a definite problem with nondualism (reality). Since subjects and objects don’t really exist, the most accurate way to talk about nondualism is to avoid the use of personal pronouns, which leads to a declarative style. This makes you appear to be, arrogant, conceited, antagonistic, “forcefully projecting” etc.

The alternative is to use personal pronouns and more conventional phrasing in the interests of appearing to be more modest and reasonable, at the expense of diluting the forcefulness of the nondual message. You also need to add a lot of tiresome qualifiers (“when I say ‘I’, I don’t mean to imply that I actually exist). But you’re the ref so I’ll do what you say. Please excuse the odd slip up.

Nondual talk sounds more acceptable coming out of ancient scriptures, when it is accepted as authority and you don’t ask the question "how would I react if somebody came up to me and actually started talking to me like this?" They would sound pretty antagonistic I’ll bet. But I can’t claim to be an authority on anything.

Please if you will consider my (apparent) perspective on how this whole thread was framed. A boxing ring of sorts (“Dharma Battleground”) was set up and the gauntlet was thrown down to any “incompletely awakened” nondualist who was brave/foolish enough to step into the ring. “fightin’ words” seemed to be encouraged. Lawnchairs were drawn up and beverages were opened to enjoy a bit of harmless fun.

The subject piqued my interest and I noticed that people had politely quoted various things at each other, but no one had actually stepped in to “feed the vultures”. Alright I thought, why the hell not, I’ll be a good sport and play the nondualist sacrificial victim. So I threw my hat in the ring with the shortest post of the lot, “If there is no attainment then there is not even a first step”, which seems to be a pretty mild statement of nondualism.

From that point on the course was set. People started responding and I did my best to respond ad rem, presenting a nondual formulation. Temperatures seemed to rise a little and violence was alluded to (“Cool - not advocating violence, but if I pop you in the noggin' it probably feels pretty real.“) I tried to stay on point. Ok I did get a bit ad hominem on Malcom when he went off about barnacle penises (which was hilarious by the way).

It started out as a bit of harmless fun ... but guess what? The more people pushed back, the more I was forced either to admit defeat (go crawling back to my  “leaders” in shame) or else sharpen up the nondual response (“work it through at the DhO”) And a strange thing was starting to happen, I felt myself growing into this nondual character and appreciating the logic of its arguments. At a certain point it seemed that punches were connecting. I was told to “go have a banana right now” and it was insinuated that I was manic. But I was also being encouraged to “keep going” (for the fun of the spectacle?).

What would you have done in that situation? (probably not been stupid enought to step into the ring I guess)

I kept going until the ref stepped in and threatened to call the fight.

Can you see from my perspective how this fight might appear to have been just a teensie bit rigged?

Anyway, it’s all good, and it’s been good sport (if a little intense). I do have another post in the works because from my deluded perspective some insight seems to have arisen.

Cheers
agnostic

PS Thanks for all the work you do keeping us unruly lot in line :-)
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 5896 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Well, it would have been more interesting to hear the Advaita standpoint from someone who actually has experience from the tradition than from someone who thinks trolling is called for. 

When people say "keep going" they usually refer to your practice, not to cuddling your keyboard. 
agnostic, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 2026 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Well, it would have been more interesting to hear the Advaita standpoint from someone who actually has experience from the tradition than from someone who thinks trolling is called for. 

When people say "keep going" they usually refer to your practice, not to cuddling your keyboard. 

Hi Linda!

It was "Advaita-type" which was called for, which I understood to mean some kind of generic nondualism.

The way I actually got into this business was reading Ramana Maharshi 30 years ago. I've probably spent as much time engaging with nondualism as Buddhism (certainly Theravada).

From my perspective Buddhisms contain a lot of nondualism. I believe it's best to discuss the ideas directly as much as possible rather than arguing about labels, which is why I avoided calling on any Advaita-type sources.

I wasn't (consciously) trolling at all. I gave a lot of myself to engage seriously in this discussion and as I said, it does seem to have generated some insight for me in a kind of weird Tantric way. Formulating the best responses I could under the circumstances actually was my practice this week. I will give more details about this in a following post.

I actually thought the initial post itself was a bit of a troll (looking to get a rise out of someone). Why do you think no one seriously engaged with it for 2 weeks? It seems that publicly identified Advaitans (if indeed there are any on DhO) were reluctant to get involved, which I suspect speaks to the terms of engagement.

Best wishes
agnostic
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 5896 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
agnostic:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Well, it would have been more interesting to hear the Advaita standpoint from someone who actually has experience from the tradition than from someone who thinks trolling is called for. 

When people say "keep going" they usually refer to your practice, not to cuddling your keyboard. 

Hi Linda!

It was "Advaita-type" which was called for, which I understood to mean some kind of generic nondualism.

The way I actually got into this business was reading Ramana Maharshi 30 years ago. I've probably spent as much time engaging with nondualism as Buddhism (certainly Theravada).

From my perspective Buddhisms contain a lot of nondualism. I believe it's best to discuss the ideas directly as much as possible rather than arguing about labels, which is why I avoided calling on any Advaita-type sources.

I wasn't (consciously) trolling at all. I gave a lot of myself to engage seriously in this discussion and as I said, it does seem to have generated some insight for me in a kind of weird Tantric way. Formulating the best responses I could under the circumstances actually was my practice this week. I will give more details about this in a following post.

I actually thought the initial post itself was a bit of a troll (looking to get a rise out of someone). Why do you think no one seriously engaged with it for 2 weeks? It seems that publicly identified Advaitans (if indeed there are any on DhO) were reluctant to get involved, which I suspect speaks to the terms of engagement.

Best wishes
agnostic

Hi! Oh, okay. I agree that nondualism is an inherent part of Buddhism. I'm not so much into labels myself, so then I understand where you are coming from, now that you explain it like that. I was a bit worried that people would get the wrong idea about a tradition that is in a minority here, which would make it harder for them to explain their perspective. I don't know if you noticed it, but one practicioner from the Advaitan tradition was present in the thread, questioning your point of view. That speaks for some common ground inbetween traditions. 

Sometimes I find myself poking on my own views by engaging in discussion, too, so I can relate to that. I'm glad you found it helpful.

 I may be partial when it comes to curious, who has helped me so much on my own journey, but I found all his posts very constructive and sincerely compassionate. I think you may have read something into them that was never intended (for instance I seriously doubt that Malcolm vas implying something about penis size). However, I do understand that for someone coming from the Advaita tradition it may feel challenging to engage in the thread, as they are in minority here, and perhaps especially after the first replies in the thread (one of which was mine; sorry if it gave a hostile impression - I didn't mean it like that). I for one would be very interested in hearing their take on this, though. I have done some meditation within the traditional yoga system, and now I'm learning from the Tibetan Bön tradition which has pre-Buddhism roots, so I don't necessarily think that the Buddha was the only one with good ideas. 

Anyway, I'm glad you are okay. It's all too easy to get the wrong impression on the internet, and you seemed very agitated to me. I hope you will recover from the virus as painlessly as possible. Best wishes.
agnostic, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 2026 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:

Anyway, I'm glad you are okay. It's all too easy to get the wrong impression on the internet, and you seemed very agitated to me. I hope you will recover from the virus as painlessly as possible. Best wishes.

It's all good, thanks Linda.

BTW, I did like that "cuddling your keyboard phrase" :-)
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 1746 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
agnostic:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Well, it would have been more interesting to hear the Advaita standpoint from someone who actually has experience from the tradition than from someone who thinks trolling is called for. 

When people say "keep going" they usually refer to your practice, not to cuddling your keyboard. 

Hi Linda!

It was "Advaita-type" which was called for, which I understood to mean some kind of generic nondualism.

The way I actually got into this business was reading Ramana Maharshi 30 years ago. I've probably spent as much time engaging with nondualism as Buddhism (certainly Theravada).

From my perspective Buddhisms contain a lot of nondualism. I believe it's best to discuss the ideas directly as much as possible rather than arguing about labels, which is why I avoided calling on any Advaita-type sources.

I wasn't (consciously) trolling at all. I gave a lot of myself to engage seriously in this discussion and as I said, it does seem to have generated some insight for me in a kind of weird Tantric way. Formulating the best responses I could under the circumstances actually was my practice this week. I will give more details about this in a following post.

I actually thought the initial post itself was a bit of a troll (looking to get a rise out of someone). Why do you think no one seriously engaged with it for 2 weeks? It seems that publicly identified Advaitans (if indeed there are any on DhO) were reluctant to get involved, which I suspect speaks to the terms of engagement.

Best wishes
agnostic

Hi! Oh, okay. I agree that nondualism is an inherent part of Buddhism. I'm not so much into labels myself, so then I understand where you are coming from, now that you explain it like that. I was a bit worried that people would get the wrong idea about a tradition that is in a minority here, which would make it harder for them to explain their perspective. I don't know if you noticed it, but one practicioner from the Advaitan tradition was present in the thread, questioning your point of view. That speaks for some common ground inbetween traditions. 

Sometimes I find myself poking on my own views by engaging in discussion, too, so I can relate to that. I'm glad you found it helpful.

 I may be partial when it comes to curious, who has helped me so much on my own journey, but I found all his posts very constructive and sincerely compassionate. I think you may have read something into them that was never intended (for instance I seriously doubt that Malcolm vas implying something about penis size). However, I do understand that for someone coming from the Advaita tradition it may feel challenging to engage in the thread, as they are in minority here, and perhaps especially after the first replies in the thread (one of which was mine; sorry if it gave a hostile impression - I didn't mean it like that). I for one would be very interested in hearing their take on this, though. I have done some meditation within the traditional yoga system, and now I'm learning from the Tibetan Bön tradition which has pre-Buddhism roots, so I don't necessarily think that the Buddha was the only one with good ideas. 

Anyway, I'm glad you are okay. It's all too easy to get the wrong impression on the internet, and you seemed very agitated to me. I hope you will recover from the virus as painlessly as possible. Best wishes.


   I have absolutely no idea where the idea that this person has exhibited any sort of mania or agitation has come from. He seems the calmest person in the thread to me. I admire his calm in the face of withering scorn.

terry
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terry, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 1746 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
agnostic:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Well, it would have been more interesting to hear the Advaita standpoint from someone who actually has experience from the tradition than from someone who thinks trolling is called for. 

When people say "keep going" they usually refer to your practice, not to cuddling your keyboard. 

Hi Linda!

It was "Advaita-type" which was called for, which I understood to mean some kind of generic nondualism.

The way I actually got into this business was reading Ramana Maharshi 30 years ago. I've probably spent as much time engaging with nondualism as Buddhism (certainly Theravada).

From my perspective Buddhisms contain a lot of nondualism. I believe it's best to discuss the ideas directly as much as possible rather than arguing about labels, which is why I avoided calling on any Advaita-type sources.

I wasn't (consciously) trolling at all. I gave a lot of myself to engage seriously in this discussion and as I said, it does seem to have generated some insight for me in a kind of weird Tantric way. Formulating the best responses I could under the circumstances actually was my practice this week. I will give more details about this in a following post.

I actually thought the initial post itself was a bit of a troll (looking to get a rise out of someone). Why do you think no one seriously engaged with it for 2 weeks? It seems that publicly identified Advaitans (if indeed there are any on DhO) were reluctant to get involved, which I suspect speaks to the terms of engagement.

Best wishes
agnostic

   I've been called a troll too, though what I might have been trolling for is obscure.

   The very only times anyone has admitted to being enlightened as a result of dialog with me, they laughed when I suggested I deserved credit. 

   I laughed too.

t
nintheye, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 230 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Well, it would have been more interesting to hear the Advaita standpoint from someone who actually has experience from the tradition than from someone who thinks trolling is called for. 

When people say "keep going" they usually refer to your practice, not to cuddling your keyboard. 
I considered responding to the thread, but didn't find I had anything particular to say to the prompt. In my view, Buddhism and Advaita if understood properly point to the same place non-place. 

But if you have any particular questions about the advaita perspective, I'm game to answer.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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I appreciate it. If I find a question, I'll ask. 
T, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 279 Join Date: 1/15/19 Recent Posts
AH!!! But, Linda... you already know the answers. You always have. No question will arise. There's nothing to be done and no question to be answered. 


ummmmzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.......






emoticon
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 5896 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Haha, yeah, let's pretend that instead of acknowledging that I know too little about Advaita to even be able to phrase a question. 
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Stirling Campbell, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 602 Join Date: 3/13/16 Recent Posts
nintheye:

I considered responding to the thread, but didn't find I had anything particular to say to the prompt. In my view, Buddhism and Advaita if understood properly point to the same place non-place. 

But if you have any particular questions about the advaita perspective, I'm game to answer.

Agreed 100%.

My feeling is that these are merely different ways of talking about the same thing. Advaita isn't my tradition, but the direct-pointing isn't far from many of the suggestions and teachings I have had in Dzogchen or Zen. The Buddha wasn't a Buddhist. There aren't multiple non-dual "enlightenments", just different conceptual ideation about how to talk about them, and a limitless set of non-path paths. Of the few who can talk about it that I've met, few describe it the same, but the cues are all there if you know what you are looking for. ALL conceptual ideation about the nature of reality is equally inaccurate, all frameworks and maps just artificial fences in an open unmarked plane.

As "self" winds down, the insight deepens. This happens over illusory "time". At some point the illusion of being a "self" drops away. After that... infinite deepening? The depth of the insight is the only difference I see. Just how it looks now. 
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Chris Marti, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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What if Advaita Vedanta considers the Atman, or soul, to be eternal? Wouldn't that be a pretty big denial of a central tenet of Buddhism? There is no eternal in Buddhism.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 5896 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Chris Marti:
What if Advaita Vedanta considers the Atman, or soul, to be eternal? Wouldn't that be a pretty big denial of a central tenet of Buddhism? There is no eternal in Buddhism.

Well, does it? And if so, what are meant with those words?

And do Buddhists use words that are a red flag for Advaitans in a similar way?

Words... limited stuff...
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Chris Marti, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 4066 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Words... limited stuff...

Please let me know when we can start using direct brain to brain transmission. Until then, words are all we've got, right?  emoticon
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Nah, there are plenty of other ways to communicate. I could give you a whole series of lectures about it, as it happens to be something that I have been teaching at the university. Also, I could give lectures about how the whole idea of a message being created in one separate brain and then transmitted is misleading. I do however agree that we are stuck with limitations and need to play with them as best as we can. Still, it is good to keep in mind that frames of reference are essential and that words alone are of little help. If we wish to have critical discussions inbetween traditions, we need to find a way to establish some common ground for the communication. Otherwise we are bound to misunderstand each other. 
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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I agree with both of you 100%.
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Chris Marti, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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I could give you a whole series of lectures about it, as it happens to be something that I have been teaching at the university.

And your time starts,,,, NOW!
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Chris Marti, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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All kidding aside, I'm all for everyone in the spiritual arena getting along and being able to talk to each other productively. My "nothing eternal in Buddhism" post was a ham-handed attempt at that.

I was hoping nintheye would show up and educate me. I'm really curious about this, not trying to pick a fight.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 5896 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Chris Marti:
All kidding aside, I'm all for everyone in the spiritual arena getting along and being able to talk to each other productively. My "nothing eternal in Buddhism" post was a ham-handed attempt at that.

I was hoping nintheye would show up and educate me. I'm really curious about this, not trying to pick a fight.

I'm curious about it too. That's why I quoted you to ask. I was hoping that nintheye would respond. So to make that clearer, I guess I'll reply to him instead. It was just easier to make the quotes by way of using the "reply with quote" button. 
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 2470 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
Chris Marti:
All kidding aside, I'm all for everyone in the spiritual arena getting along and being able to talk to each other productively. My "nothing eternal in Buddhism" post was a ham-handed attempt at that.

I was hoping nintheye would show up and educate me. I'm really curious about this, not trying to pick a fight.

Agreed, 100%.

I still think nintheye may feel, with rightful cause in my eyes, that this forum is nothing but a tar baby, with nothing but everyone getting dirtier as a result of every touch. But I will say that if anyone can pull an actual educational exchange off, here in this realm where fights get picked, it would begin with the spirit that both Chris and nintheye bring to the table. But my advice to nintheye would still probably be to just say, "Agreed, 100%."
nintheye, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 230 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
Chris Marti:
All kidding aside, I'm all for everyone in the spiritual arena getting along and being able to talk to each other productively. My "nothing eternal in Buddhism" post was a ham-handed attempt at that.

I was hoping nintheye would show up and educate me. I'm really curious about this, not trying to pick a fight.
I hope you saw my response to your question via Linda elsewhere in the thread, but just in case you didn't, I thought I'd re-paste them here:

The atman is not considered eternal, nor is it considered non-eternal. Technically atman is Brahman, and Brahman is considered beyond all qualifiers, beyond all adjectives -- thus beyond eternal and non-eternal, and beyond even being and non-being.

That doesn't mean that the atman sometimes isn't said to be perfect and unchanging, or some such, but those are not to be taken in their conventional senses, but as negations of being non-perfect and changing... they are negations of the conventional way of understanding and those pointers to something more.
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Chris Marti, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Thank you, nintheye. I did see your response on that other thread but I appreciate your follow-up here, too.
agnostic, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 2026 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
nintheye:

The atman is not considered eternal, nor is it considered non-eternal. Technically atman is Brahman, and Brahman is considered beyond all qualifiers, beyond all adjectives -- thus beyond eternal and non-eternal, and beyond even being and non-being.

That doesn't mean that the atman sometimes isn't said to be perfect and unchanging, or some such, but those are not to be taken in their conventional senses, but as negations of being non-perfect and changing... they are negations of the conventional way of understanding and those pointers to something more.

Hi nintheye,

I'm glad that someone who actually knows what they are talking about is presenting Advaita!

The problem I have with Advaita is the presentation, it still sounds dualistic (at least to the uninitiated). You hear "Atman is Brahman" and can't help starting to think: ok so I have a soul/self (Atman) which I have thought of as being separate but in reality my true soul/self is Brahman/God/The One/Everything. Which naturally leads to: what do I need to do in order to have this realization (or get a better realization) of the ultimate identity of Atman and Brahman? The whole framing is dualistic and progressive.

Why not just start with Everything? (You don't even need to assert its existence!) Then it's clear that since nothing is separate from everything, the separate self does not exist at all, merely its appearance. Boom that's it, direct realization (not that there is anyone or anything to realize).

But I'm not very familiar with Advaita. Is there a direct/non-dual approach within Advaita?

Thanks
agnostic
nintheye, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 230 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
agnostic:
nintheye:

The atman is not considered eternal, nor is it considered non-eternal. Technically atman is Brahman, and Brahman is considered beyond all qualifiers, beyond all adjectives -- thus beyond eternal and non-eternal, and beyond even being and non-being.

That doesn't mean that the atman sometimes isn't said to be perfect and unchanging, or some such, but those are not to be taken in their conventional senses, but as negations of being non-perfect and changing... they are negations of the conventional way of understanding and those pointers to something more.

Hi nintheye,

I'm glad that someone who actually knows what they are talking about is presenting Advaita!

The problem I have with Advaita is the presentation, it still sounds dualistic (at least to the uninitiated). You hear "Atman is Brahman" and can't help starting to think: ok so I have a soul/self (Atman) which I have thought of as being separate but in reality my true soul/self is Brahman/God/The One/Everything. Which naturally leads to: what do I need to do in order to have this realization (or get a better realization) of the ultimate identity of Atman and Brahman? The whole framing is dualistic and progressive.

Why not just start with Everything? (You don't even need to assert its existence!) Then it's clear that since nothing is separate from everything, the separate self does not exist at all, merely its appearance. Boom that's it, direct realization (not that there is anyone or anything to realize).

But I'm not very familiar with Advaita. Is there a direct/non-dual approach within Advaita?
A direct/nondual path? Advaita literally means nondual. 

Every system of spiritual realization is dualistic at the outset or superficial layer. That's necessary. Otherwise, who are you talking to? It all starts with the idea of liberation from suffering and unity with truth. That's what's embodied in the four noble truths, that's what's in the Gita, that's what's in the Upanishads, and so on. If there weren't a seeming "someone" who wanted that liberation, there would be no reason to impart the so-called instructions.

As far as starting with "Everything," "Everything" is much more of an abstract concept than the simple notion of the I. Simply concluding that because nothing is separate from everything that there is no separate self would simply be a very hollow and unsatisfying intellectual equation, a far cry from liberation.

Liberation is not merely some intellectual equation -- "atman = brahman" is not an intellectual equation. And anything which is mere intellectual equation is inadequate.

Advaita starts with the I, basically. It's the most immediate experience. And it is an analysis of the I -- look into it. What is it really? At the end, it turns out that it is not the body, not the sense organs, not the emotions, not thinking, and no, not even the individualistic sense of being a separate entity. Well, what then is it? Advaita says -- look deeply within your own experience. What does "I" turn out to be?

It is not, Vedanta asserts, a mere nothing. It is not nothing in the same sense that there is nothing in your open palm. Nor is it nothing in the sense of, as they would say, "the son of a barren woman," or "a rabbit's horns." 

It is no-thing... that is, it is inexpressible, the beyond-words, the beyond-opposites, which is simultaneously liberation and perfection while being beyond these very adjectives. It is that which knows itself by itself without need for intermediary or reflection. 
agnostic, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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nintheye:

Every system of spiritual realization is dualistic at the outset or superficial layer. That's necessary. Otherwise, who are you talking to? It all starts with the idea of liberation from suffering and unity with truth. 

I couldn’t agree more. Systems of spiritual realization are usually designed by people who have something to sell and want to attract customers into a teacher-student relationship. They can’t bring about liberation otherwise the customers are gone.

As far as starting with "Everything," "Everything" is much more of an abstract concept than the simple notion of the I.

I couldn’t disagree more. 'Everything' is easy, there’s literally nothing you can find which is not everything. 'I' is very elusive, you keep looking but you find nothing. My 5 year old gets this.

The problem with Everything is that it is completely impersonal and uninteresting to the seeker, they already get it so you can't sell it.

But I ... people love talking about I, so starting with I is better for business, wouldn't you agree?
nintheye, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 230 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
agnostic:
I couldn’t disagree more. 'Everything' is easy, there’s literally nothing you can find which is not everything. 'I' is very elusive, you keep looking but you find nothing. My 5 year old gets this.

The problem with Everything is that it is completely impersonal and uninteresting to the seeker, they already get it so you can't sell it.


Actually Vedanta has an analysis of everything, too. Everything is analyzed to be nothing other than brahman. "I" is analyzed to be nothing but atman. And then the two are seen to be nothing but one another.
agnostic, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 2026 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
nintheye:

Actually Vedanta has an analysis of everything, too. Everything is analyzed to be nothing other than brahman. "I" is analyzed to be nothing but atman. And then the two are seen to be nothing but one another.

Makes perfect sense thanks. Good luck in your endeavours.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 5896 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
nintheye:


It is that which knows itself by itself without need for intermediary or reflection. 




That is beautifully put.
nintheye, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 230 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
nintheye:


It is that which knows itself by itself without need for intermediary or reflection. 

That is beautifully put.
Salutations to the sages who first put it as such... 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

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Oh man, it would take some time to find all those scratchy notes, but it would definitely involve these components:
- different semiotic resources and application of this to specific cases (small children, acquired brain damage, being non-verbal, multilingual interactions...)
- the notion of semiotic fields and how people relate to them
- different kinds of framings, drawing on Gregory Batesson and Erving Goffman,
including distinctions between symbolic gestures on the one hand and on the other hand directory gestures and uses of movement and posture, and how humans utilize the grey area between those two categories on the one hand and so called creature comfort releases on the other hand to navigate socially and do facework
- participant frameworks
- concepts such as intersubjectivity and common ground
- multimodal conversation analysis
...
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 2470 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Oh man, it would take some time to find all those scratchy notes, but it would definitely involve these components:
- different semiotic resources and application of this to specific cases (small children, acquired brain damage, being non-verbal, multilingual interactions...)
- the notion of semiotic fields and how people relate to them
- different kinds of framings, drawing on Gregory Batesson and Erving Goffman,
including distinctions between symbolic gestures on the one hand and on the other hand directory gestures and uses of movement and posture, and how humans utilize the grey area between those two categories on the one hand and so called creature comfort releases on the other hand to navigate socially and do facework
- participant frameworks
- concepts such as intersubjectivity and common ground
- multimodal conversation analysis
...

also, "experiencing the very meeting between emptiness and awareness and the creation that comes from their lovemaking."
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 5896 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Nah, that's not in my scratchy notes for university lectures. It's no secret to my collegues that I'm embracing weirdness, but there's got to be some limit to it. 
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 2470 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Nah, that's not in my scratchy notes for university lectures. It's no secret to my collegues that I'm embracing weirdness, but there's got to be some limit to it. 

In context, Chris and you were discussing non-verbal communication (of dharma, in this Babel bardo), and you were responding to his "meanwhile, words are all we've got." I think limiting that, here, to only notes you feel would be appropriate to a university lecture setting would be, uh, overly-limiting, in light of the embracingly weird fact that you and the Unconditioned were recently, um, intimate, in non-verbal fashion. That's what I was trying to say, with all due respect for the excellence of the proprieties appropriate to other educational settings than DhO. But this may already come under the dharmic discourse category of "annoying as fuck." If so, please forgive me. 
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Matthew, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 92 Join Date: 10/31/19 Recent Posts
Sometimes I use an analogy to think about these language differences with something less loaded than awakening, liberation, what have you.

There is a balloon filled with air. One day, it pops.

Buddhists say, "the balloon was always temporary, which is why it popped. Wisdom means seeing through the appearance of the balloon to its inevitable cessation."

Advaitins say, "the air inside the balloon was never different from the air outside. Wisdom means seeing the air within and knowing it is the same as the air without."

The Buddhists say, buddy, why are you on about air? How can the air inside and outside be the same if there's no balloon for there to be inside and outside?

The Advaitins say, what? No, look, the air is the same inside and outside, right? So look inside, look outside, you're good.

Then the Buddhists are like, inside what?

And the Advaitins respond, inside the baloon! Look inside the balloon and you realize the whole world of air is just the Balloon, capital-b.

The Buddhists shake their heads at this point and say, look, if there's no balloon the world definitely can't just be another Balloon, that's just silly.

In reality, the event that occurred was something more like: sshhhPOP!

Confused people come on to forums and ask questions like, "so I heard this one person say the whole atmosphere is nothing but the Balloon, and then another person said there is no balloon. Which one is right?"
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 5896 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Matthew:
Sometimes I use an analogy to think about these language differences with something less loaded than awakening, liberation, what have you.

There is a balloon filled with air. One day, it pops.

Buddhists say, "the balloon was always temporary, which is why it popped. Wisdom means seeing through the appearance of the balloon to its inevitable cessation."

Advaitins say, "the air inside the balloon was never different from the air outside. Wisdom means seeing the air within and knowing it is the same as the air without."

The Buddhists say, buddy, why are you on about air? How can the air inside and outside be the same if there's no balloon for there to be inside and outside?

The Advaitins say, what? No, look, the air is the same inside and outside, right? So look inside, look outside, you're good.

Then the Buddhists are like, inside what?

And the Advaitins respond, inside the baloon! Look inside the balloon and you realize the whole world of air is just the Balloon, capital-b.

The Buddhists shake their heads at this point and say, look, if there's no balloon the world definitely can't just be another Balloon, that's just silly.

In reality, the event that occurred was something more like: sshhhPOP!

Confused people come on to forums and ask questions like, "so I heard this one person say the whole atmosphere is nothing but the Balloon, and then another person said there is no balloon. Which one is right?"

I love this! sshhhPOP! emoticon
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 2470 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Matthew:
Sometimes I use an analogy to think about these language differences with something less loaded than awakening, liberation, what have you.

There is a balloon filled with air. One day, it pops.

Buddhists say, "the balloon was always temporary, which is why it popped. Wisdom means seeing through the appearance of the balloon to its inevitable cessation."

Advaitins say, "the air inside the balloon was never different from the air outside. Wisdom means seeing the air within and knowing it is the same as the air without."

The Buddhists say, buddy, why are you on about air? How can the air inside and outside be the same if there's no balloon for there to be inside and outside?

The Advaitins say, what? No, look, the air is the same inside and outside, right? So look inside, look outside, you're good.

Then the Buddhists are like, inside what?

And the Advaitins respond, inside the baloon! Look inside the balloon and you realize the whole world of air is just the Balloon, capital-b.

The Buddhists shake their heads at this point and say, look, if there's no balloon the world definitely can't just be another Balloon, that's just silly.

In reality, the event that occurred was something more like: sshhhPOP!

Confused people come on to forums and ask questions like, "so I heard this one person say the whole atmosphere is nothing but the Balloon, and then another person said there is no balloon. Which one is right?"

I love this! sshhhPOP! emoticon

Matthew est génial, truly awesome. Il a été la première personne qui m'a vraiment engagé, cette fois-ci sur DhO, et il est en quelque sorte magistral. He is a master of balloonology!

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Stirling Campbell, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 602 Join Date: 3/13/16 Recent Posts
Chris Marti:
What if Advaita Vedanta considers the Atman, or soul, to be eternal? Wouldn't that be a pretty big denial of a central tenet of Buddhism? There is no eternal in Buddhism.

Why does it matter what Buddhism says? WHICH Buddhism? Does everything in ALL Buddhism definitely resonate with you or seem equally true? Is Nagarjuna also Buddhism? Ch'an? Which sutras are valid, only earliest ones written 500 years after the Buddhas death? How about the Platform Sutra, written by the 6th Zen Patriarch?

When I first started reading about the Progress Of Insight I was utterly perplexed... I can identify with some of the stages, but did they definitely all happen to me? Not that I am aware of. Does this mean they are always there, but some are too thick to notice? I don't think so. I think they are just illusory divisions we create, just as Buddhism is. I've heard teachers I very much respect in the Dzogchen tradition say that Rigpa is eternal, or perhaps sometimes I have heard them say timeless. How to differentiate? Does Rigpa have ANY qualities? I am convinced that these teachers know what they are talking about in either case. 

“The awakened mind is turned upside down and does not accord even with the Buddha-wisdom.” - Hui Hai (Zen)

I think what Hui Hai says becomes obvious when it is seen. Holding any concept as the "truth" is to reify something that is always ineffable. All attempts a describing what is empty of qualities can only result in "failing well" as a result.

As Martin Mull (most likely) said:

“Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.”

You could easily make it "Writing about enlightenment". So, we do our best, knowing it is folly.

My 2¢. 
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Chris Marti, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 4066 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Why does it matter what Buddhism says? WHICH Buddhism? Does everything in ALL Buddhism definitely resonate with you or seem equally true? Is Nagarjuna also Buddhism? Ch'an? Which sutras are valid, only earliest ones written 50 years after the Buddhas death? How about the Platform Sutra, written by the 6th Zen Patriarch?

Let's say I'm asking my question from the standpoint of my own experience in my own mediation practice (which is not untrue), which tells me that there is nothing eternal. So let's just say that's the Buddhism I'm referring to in my question. Fair?

Still waiting for nintheye...


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Stirling Campbell, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Advaita and Buddhism

Posts: 602 Join Date: 3/13/16 Recent Posts