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stillness flowing?

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stillness flowing?
Answer
1/10/21 6:46 AM
A question has arisen in my mind which I can't seem to resolve with my own level of samadhi and insight. 

I was wondering whether any more advanced practioners would care to step in and give hints or pointers on how I should develop my samadhi and insight deeper so as to resolve this question for myself. 

The question is something like this:

"How is it that the fixed, non-changing element of Nibbana is able to seemingly 'co-exist' and interact with the dynamic nature of the five khandhas/Samsara which are in a state of constant flux and change (with both the process of life and death and the movement of beings awakening, entering the Stream and experiencing 'unbinding' etc.)?"

I know the answer must lie somewhere in the sphere of anatta, but I can't seem to stretch my mind far enough to know where the answer lies.

Is this a question which will answer itself as my samadhi and wisdom deepens? 

I would be interested to have peoples' input as it feels like if I could get my head around this then there would hardly be anything left between myself and truth. 


With gratitude, 

Jeane

RE: stillness flowing?
Answer
1/10/21 6:34 AM as a reply to Jeane.
Excellent question.

What is the difference between stillness and motion ?

Can you find an experiential answer to that ?

Hint : the mystery of a burning fire.

RE: stillness flowing?
Answer
1/10/21 8:25 AM as a reply to Jeane.
"How is it that the fixed, non-changing element of Nibbana is able to seemingly 'co-exist' and interact with the dynamic nature of the five khandhas/Samsara which are in a state of constant flux and change (with both the process of life and death and the movement of beings awakening, entering the Stream and experiencing 'unbinding' etc.)?"

Here's a koan:

Stillness and movement - different or same? Can one exist without the other?

RE: stillness flowing?
Answer
1/10/21 8:34 AM as a reply to Jeane.
There is a book titled 'Stillness Flowing', about the teachings of Achaan Chah. I have not read much of it yet so I don't know if at some point it addressses the question, but I thought you may want to take a look at it.

I would tend to think though that such question may not be understandable through thinking and philosophizing. I don't know the answer but I remember a few experiences where I would walk in the streets and have a mysterious, funny feeling that though my body was moving, there was something that wasn't, or that the movements were just appearances but in reality there was no movement. Maybe something like ''things move in awareness but awareness is unmoving and unmanifestative'', but then that also comes close to philosiphising... 

RE: stillness flowing?
Answer
1/10/21 9:07 AM as a reply to Ben V..
Here's a Zen koan from The Gateless Gate that points to something about this question:


Two monks were arguing about a flag. 

One said: "The flag is moving.
"
The other said: "The wind is moving."
The sixth patriarch happened to be passing by.
He told them: "Not the wind, not the flag; mind is moving."
 

Mumon's comment: The sixth patriarch said: "The wind is not moving, the flag is not moving. Mind is moving." What did he mean? If you understand this intimately, you will see the two monks there trying to buy iron and gaining gold. The sixth patriarch could not bear to see those two dull heads, so he made such a bargain.

Wind, flag, mind moves,
The same understanding.
When the mouth opens
All are wrong
.

RE: stillness flowing?
Answer
1/11/21 4:48 AM as a reply to Jeane.
Jeane, this seems to me like one of those infinitely fruitful conundrums/koans, that just get deeper as you sit with them. It's sort of a blessing, to have a koan of such deep and abiding interest.

For what it's worth, the American country music singer Willie Nelson has a song entitled "Still Is Still Moving To Me."

And T.S. Eliot has some sweet lines that seem in the ballpark here:

At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.
I can only say, there we have been: but I cannot say where.
And I cannot say, how long, for that is to place it in time.

T.S. Eliot, "Burnt Norton"

At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.
I can only say, there we have been: but I cannot say where.
And I cannot say, how long, for that is to place it in time.

At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.
I can only say, there we have been: but I cannot say where.
And I cannot say, how long, for that is to place it in time.

RE: stillness flowing?
Answer
1/11/21 7:35 AM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
(tim, i finally found a copy of four quartets that i will be getting in the next few weeks, been wanting to read the while since i read you quoting it) 

RE: stillness flowing?
Answer
1/11/21 1:27 PM as a reply to Jeane.
Jeane:
A question has arisen in my mind which I can't seem to resolve with my own level of samadhi and insight. 

I was wondering whether any more advanced practioners would care to step in and give hints or pointers on how I should develop my samadhi and insight deeper so as to resolve this question for myself. 

The question is something like this:

"How is it that the fixed, non-changing element of Nibbana is able to seemingly 'co-exist' and interact with the dynamic nature of the five khandhas/Samsara which are in a state of constant flux and change (with both the process of life and death and the movement of beings awakening, entering the Stream and experiencing 'unbinding' etc.)?"

I know the answer must lie somewhere in the sphere of anatta, but I can't seem to stretch my mind far enough to know where the answer lies.

Is this a question which will answer itself as my samadhi and wisdom deepens? 

I would be interested to have peoples' input as it feels like if I could get my head around this then there would hardly be anything left between myself and truth. 


With gratitude, 

Jeane


aloha jeane,

   If us nonadvanced practicioners may chime in...

   Yours is the essential question of buddhist metaphysics, where metaphysics breaks down entirely and buddhism becomes not a philosophy but a soteriology.

   In essence, "All dharmas are conditioned." This includes the dharma labeled, "the unconditioned." Nibbana as a dharma is simply an alternative state to samsara. Yet it is defined as an ultimate state.

   The paradox is similar to the ancient expression by the cretan, "all cretans are liars." If true, it's a lie.

   Language presents us with distinctions, always: something is something because it is distinct from other things. To give a name to a thing distinguishes it from the rest of reality. We name nibbana, we name the void, emptiness, the tao, but these names in no way distinguish the Reality to which they attempt to point. How can you point to the universe, there is nowhere it is not, no where it is in particular. We can speak with apparent knowledgability about "the universe" as though it were an object, but it does not exist in time and space, it includes time and space.

   There is a sufi story about a semi-wise fish, smart enough to ask the wise to resolve her doubts. She says to the wise one, please, sir, where may I find water, I've heard so much about it but never seem to experience it. The wise fish tells her, water is all around you, inside and out. The semi-wise fish, disappointed, swims off thinking, I've heard this before, it means nothing.

   There is a trick to this, and without the trick you cannot resolve your doubts. The trick is very simple and easy and when it occurs to you you will be amazed that you never got it before and you will know what the buddha knew and every sage since.

   I'd tell you the trick, but every time I think of it, I immediately forget. Good luck with it, though.


terry




tao te ching, trans isabella mears, 1916


1

Tao that can be expressed is not Everlasting Tao.
The name that can be named is not the Everlasting Name.
The Name, in its inner aspect, is Life-Spring of Heaven and Earth.
The Name, in its outer aspect, is Mother of all created things.
Therefore:
To perceive the mystery of Life, desire always to reach the innermost.
To perceive the limitations of things, desire always to posses them.
These two aspects of Life are One.
In their out-come they become different in Name but in their depth they are One.
In a depth, still deeper yet, is the Door of many mysteries.

RE: stillness flowing?
Answer
1/11/21 3:33 PM as a reply to terry.
Language presents us with distinctions, always: something is something because it is distinct from other things. To give a name to a thing distinguishes it from the rest of reality. We name nibbana, we name the void, emptiness, the tao, but these names in no way distinguish the Reality to which they attempt to point. How can you point to the universe, there is nowhere it is not, no where it is in particular. We can speak with apparent knowledgability about "the universe" as though it were an object, but it does not exist in time and space, it includes time and space.


Thus:

When the mouth opens
All are wrong

emoticon

RE: stillness flowing?
Answer
1/15/21 2:14 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Language presents us with distinctions, always: something is something because it is distinct from other things. To give a name to a thing distinguishes it from the rest of reality. We name nibbana, we name the void, emptiness, the tao, but these names in no way distinguish the Reality to which they attempt to point. How can you point to the universe, there is nowhere it is not, no where it is in particular. We can speak with apparent knowledgability about "the universe" as though it were an object, but it does not exist in time and space, it includes time and space.


Thus:

When the mouth opens
All are wrong

emoticon


just breathe...

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