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Sentience & Insentience
Answer
9/1/17 4:46 PM
This discussion is open to all Mahayana, Vajrayana, Theravada, Other Religious Frameworks, and Your Own Unique Perspectives.

This is also a topic that has been arising lately in different forms and so I can imagine this will be a great discussion :anjali:

I had an experience a few days ago that I will most likely bring up with Shoryu Bradley (A Zen Teacher I Respect) and possibly some other authorities on the subject.

I was at the lake and if I remember correctly had been doing some Zazen in the forest in between quiet swimming and just enjoying the solitude and peaceful/restful nature of the area.

I am not sure what was going on at the moment but in a flash the need to hold onto "Awareness" & "Life" in any form kind of dropped off.

I came to understand that Sentience & Insentience kind of drop off in Emptiness.

Feel free to share all your views, sutras, tantras, quotes, whatever.

In general I would love to see how this develops.

RE: Sentience & Insentience
Answer
9/3/17 12:46 AM as a reply to Cedar.
Cedar:
...in a flash the need to hold onto "Awareness" & "Life" in any form kind of dropped off.

I came to understand that Sentience & Insentience kind of drop off in Emptiness.


Unfortunately, it only happened for a moment or flash. Try to maintain the letting-go a little longer, such as for a few hours (rather than have a fleeting experience then talk about it). 

As for emptiness, it is unrelated to sentience or insentience but the permanent experience & vision of selflessness. If the mind had actually realised emptiness, it would not be posting on forums referring to "my" experience or "I" came to understand. Dogen Zenji  said realisation is traceless. 

To study the Buddha Way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be actualized by myriad things. When actualized by myriad things, your body and mind as well as the bodies and minds of others drop away. No trace of enlightenment remains and this no-trace continues.

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RE: Sentience & Insentience
Answer
9/3/17 1:13 PM as a reply to Nicky.
Nicky:
If the mind had actually realised emptiness, it would not be posting on forums referring to "my" experience or "I" came to understand.


Gotama:
"This was the third knowledge I attained in the third watch of the night. Ignorance was destroyed; knowledge arose; darkness was destroyed; light arose — as happens in one who is heedful, ardent, & resolute. But the pleasant feeling that arose in this way did not invade my mind or remain."


Note that the Buddha uses the terms "I attained" and "my mind". I'm not sure it's as black and white as you suggest, though it's entirely possible i'm missing the point. This following passage has always struck me as a little odd. With such a great understanding of the human mind, i'll admit that I find it odd the Buddha would have said something like the following, knowing full well the response it probably (and did) would receive.

Gotama:

Upaka the Ajivaka saw me on the road between Gaya and the (place of) Awakening, and on seeing me said to me, 'Clear, my friend, are your faculties. Pure your complexion, and bright.
On whose account have you gone forth? Who is your teacher? In whose Dhamma do you delight?'

"When this was said, I replied to Upaka the Ajivaka in verses:

'All-vanquishing,
all-knowing am I,
with regard to all things,
    unadhering.
All-abandoning,
released in the ending of craving:
having fully known on my own,
to whom should I point as my teacher?

I have no teacher,
and one like me can't be found.
In the world with its devas,
I have no counterpart.

For I am an arahant in the world;
    I, the unexcelled teacher.
    I, alone, am rightly self-awakened.
Cooled am I,               unbound.

To set rolling the wheel of Dhamma
I go to the city of Kasi.
In a world become blind,
I beat the drum of the Deathless.'

"'From your claims, my friend, you must be an infinite conqueror.'

'Conquerors are those like me
who have reached fermentations' end.
I've conquered evil qualities,
and so, Upaka, I'm a conqueror.'

"When this was said, Upaka said, 'May it be so, my friend,' and — shaking his head, taking a side-road — he left.


It just seems so out of character, but you'll find variations of this discourse in many different texts. I'll admit that people going on about perceived attainments (and i've been guilty of it myself) is usually just wankery. However if they can describe the details, it can be more fruitful. Ie- the difference between:

"I am enlightened!"

and

"I suspect I achieved 3rd path because X factor increased until I achieved the state of Y which provided insight into Z."

RE: Sentience & Insentience
Answer
9/3/17 4:41 PM as a reply to Nicky.
Nicky:
Cedar:
...in a flash the need to hold onto "Awareness" & "Life" in any form kind of dropped off.

I came to understand that Sentience & Insentience kind of drop off in Emptiness.


Unfortunately, it only happened for a moment or flash. Try to maintain the letting-go a little longer, such as for a few hours (rather than have a fleeting experience then talk about it). 

As for emptiness, it is unrelated to sentience or insentience but the permanent experience & vision of selflessness. If the mind had actually realised emptiness, it would not be posting on forums referring to "my" experience or "I" came to understand. Dogen Zenji  said realisation is traceless. 

To study the Buddha Way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be actualized by myriad things. When actualized by myriad things, your body and mind as well as the bodies and minds of others drop away. No trace of enlightenment remains and this no-trace continues.

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Hi Nicky emoticon

As Lars mentioned I was speaking from a subjective point and also kind of using "Emptiness" in an open way.

Your on point though "Letting go" is a big thing to remember.