Is Non-duality Amoral?

Is Non-duality Amoral? triple think 7/2/09 6:36 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Joe Dharma 7/2/09 6:54 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? triple think 7/2/09 7:03 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Chris Marti 7/2/09 12:11 PM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Trent S. H. 7/2/09 12:59 PM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? triple think 7/2/09 2:10 PM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Wet Paint 7/2/09 8:35 PM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Wet Paint 7/2/09 8:41 PM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Wet Paint 7/2/09 11:32 PM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Wet Paint 7/2/09 11:50 PM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Wet Paint 7/3/09 1:48 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Wet Paint 7/3/09 2:12 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Jackson Wilshire 7/3/09 4:22 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Chris Marti 7/3/09 5:33 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Wet Paint 7/3/09 9:20 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Jackson Wilshire 7/3/09 9:46 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Chris Marti 7/3/09 10:27 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? triple think 7/3/09 10:30 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? beta wave 7/3/09 10:48 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Wet Paint 7/3/09 10:54 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? triple think 7/3/09 10:55 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Jackson Wilshire 7/3/09 11:32 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Jackson Wilshire 7/3/09 11:44 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? triple think 7/3/09 12:38 PM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? triple think 7/3/09 12:41 PM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? triple think 7/3/09 12:46 PM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Jackson Wilshire 7/3/09 12:52 PM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Chris Marti 7/3/09 1:23 PM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? triple think 7/3/09 3:03 PM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Wet Paint 7/3/09 3:11 PM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Kenneth Folk 7/3/09 5:20 PM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? triple think 7/3/09 7:11 PM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Kenneth Folk 7/4/09 12:32 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Kenneth Folk 7/4/09 12:37 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Kenneth Folk 7/4/09 12:38 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Wet Paint 7/4/09 1:05 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Wet Paint 7/4/09 1:14 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Wet Paint 7/4/09 3:44 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? tarin greco 7/4/09 4:04 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Jackson Wilshire 7/4/09 4:28 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Chris Marti 7/4/09 5:11 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? triple think 7/4/09 5:16 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? triple think 7/4/09 5:22 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Jackson Wilshire 7/4/09 5:30 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? triple think 7/4/09 5:40 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Chris Marti 7/4/09 5:42 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? triple think 7/4/09 5:53 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Chris Marti 7/4/09 6:04 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? triple think 7/4/09 6:46 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Kenneth Folk 7/4/09 8:57 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Kenneth Folk 7/4/09 8:58 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Kenneth Folk 7/4/09 12:03 PM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? tarin greco 7/4/09 12:13 PM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Kenneth Folk 7/4/09 12:17 PM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? triple think 7/4/09 1:58 PM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? triple think 7/4/09 1:59 PM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? triple think 7/4/09 2:00 PM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Wet Paint 7/4/09 5:55 PM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Wet Paint 7/4/09 6:12 PM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Trent S. H. 7/4/09 7:00 PM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Jackson Wilshire 7/4/09 8:05 PM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Wet Paint 7/4/09 10:01 PM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? triple think 7/5/09 12:33 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Wet Paint 7/5/09 2:03 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? triple think 7/5/09 3:30 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Wet Paint 7/5/09 5:22 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Chris Marti 7/5/09 5:38 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Kenneth Folk 7/5/09 6:01 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Kenneth Folk 7/5/09 6:02 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Kenneth Folk 7/5/09 7:30 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Kenneth Folk 7/5/09 8:02 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? triple think 7/5/09 8:15 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Kenneth Folk 7/5/09 8:34 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Kenneth Folk 7/5/09 8:35 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Jackson Wilshire 7/5/09 9:09 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Kenneth Folk 7/5/09 9:23 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Trent S. H. 7/5/09 9:51 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? triple think 7/5/09 10:52 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Wet Paint 7/5/09 1:14 PM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Kenneth Folk 7/5/09 1:16 PM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Chris Marti 7/5/09 1:19 PM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Wet Paint 7/5/09 1:19 PM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Chris Marti 7/5/09 1:24 PM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Kenneth Folk 7/5/09 1:27 PM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Kenneth Folk 7/5/09 1:33 PM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? triple think 7/5/09 2:14 PM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Wet Paint 7/5/09 3:22 PM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Wet Paint 7/5/09 3:56 PM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Wet Paint 7/5/09 4:42 PM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Wet Paint 7/5/09 4:45 PM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Jackson Wilshire 7/5/09 6:02 PM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? triple think 7/5/09 6:31 PM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? triple think 7/5/09 8:00 PM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Wet Paint 7/5/09 9:11 PM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? triple think 7/5/09 10:22 PM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Wet Paint 7/5/09 11:26 PM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Chris Marti 7/6/09 3:29 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Martin Potter 7/6/09 4:04 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Wet Paint 7/6/09 4:13 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Wet Paint 7/6/09 4:39 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Chris Marti 7/6/09 7:01 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Wet Paint 7/6/09 7:53 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Wet Paint 7/6/09 7:19 PM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Wet Paint 7/6/09 7:26 PM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Wet Paint 7/6/09 7:33 PM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Chris Marti 7/7/09 2:44 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? triple think 7/7/09 6:18 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Wet Paint 7/7/09 10:10 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Trent S. H. 7/7/09 3:22 PM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Wet Paint 7/7/09 4:43 PM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Chris Marti 7/8/09 1:47 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? tarin greco 7/8/09 2:23 AM
RE: Is Non-duality Amoral? Kenneth Folk 7/23/09 5:57 PM
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triple think, modified 15 Years ago at 7/2/09 6:36 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/2/09 6:36 AM

Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 362 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Forum: Dharma Overground Discussion Forum

I'm starting this thread to split the discussion Kenneth started about non-duality/rigpa/buddhanature/whatever off from "The Shadow Knows" thread.

To summarize what we have so far from there; I said you could hide a lot of your personal bullshit in non-duality. Kenneth said...some stuff about non-duality, rigpa and buddhanature that sounded to me like rationalizations for not being awake enough to deal with dualistic causalities.

Kenneth would like me to explain why I don't think getting rid of anger is impossible. I would like him to explain why he thinks it is impossible. As it stands, it looks like we are going to have to do this in terms of our, probably, highly contrasting takes on non-duality so since that really diverges from the thrust of "The Shadow Knows" thread I'd rather do it elsewhere and keep the shadow thread more practical. Non-duality is freaky, shadows are scary.

Go ahead and give us your take on non-duality again if you like Kenneth, mine is going to need some quiet time to cook before serving.

Anyone else who wants to jump in on this please feel free, it would take the heat off me a bit.
Joe Dharma, modified 15 Years ago at 7/2/09 6:54 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/2/09 6:54 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 7 Join Date: 9/1/09 Recent Posts
From my vantage point of impregnable ignorance, it would seem to me that mental formations continue to arise and pass away for the enlightened. If so then anger, being one of the formations, also arises and passes away.
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triple think, modified 15 Years ago at 7/2/09 7:03 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/2/09 7:03 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 362 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
It would have been easier to just say, "I don't know." That's the KISS Principle - "Keep it simple stupid". Don't feel like you're the only one, that's about all the comfort I have to offer at the moment.
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Chris Marti, modified 15 Years ago at 7/2/09 12:11 PM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/2/09 12:11 PM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 379 Join Date: 7/7/09 Recent Posts
I've never accepted the idea that enlightenment would relieve me of my humanity. This is why I reject the limited emotional range model. Frankly, I don't expect to be fully enlightened any time soon. As a human being I have to live in duality. I can't imagine a situation or an outcome or a realization that could turn me into something else. Maybe I'm naive. Maybe I'm just not very smart. Maybe I don't care much or maybe I just never actually bought into the "remove all suffering" language we get from some folks. Anyway, I don't want to be anything else but human, so the idea that an arahat feels anger, jealousy, pain, and so on seems very okay to me.

Nathan, it seems you are taken aback by this. Am I correct?

Just for may part, I think the sooner we face the reality of what we're striving for the better off we'll be.
Trent S H, modified 15 Years ago at 7/2/09 12:59 PM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/2/09 12:59 PM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 0 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
The interesting thing about this is that it's a self fulfilling prophecy, just like enlightenment. If you think you can do something, you've already started and won half the battle. Not believing it can be done makes it practically impossible.

Thus, the debate is really quite pointless from a pragmatic perspective, though most of us seem to love pointless debates! Those who believe it's not doable will never do it, and will prove to themselves that it is not doable. Those who believe it's doable can get down to work, and if they don't know how to do that, they can PM me or the other(s) who do. Those few people will do it and prove to themselves that it really was doable.

It is just like starting one's path to enlightenment. In the case of enlightenment, the person has no clue what awaits them or what is really possible. They just have to go for it and find out. You can't tell them "hey dude, the world is completely transitory and time doesn't even exist right now!" Because to them, the world is completely solid and time is so twisted up that they see the continuum quite clearly.

The same goes for the practices that rids oneself of self-emotions (in this case, anger). It sounds like nonsense until you do it. It would just not make sense if I said to you "peace is actually quite irritating and not nearly as peaceful as the sensations imply," because you can't know that if you don't do the work that allows you to see that.

In both cases, the believers and nonbelievers end up "right" in the end, but one smiles while the other gets pissed about it.

Best,
Trent
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triple think, modified 15 Years ago at 7/2/09 2:10 PM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/2/09 2:10 PM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 362 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Well we started with full awakening is a cup half full. Now it's half empty and evaporating fast. That you've transmuted the Buddha into 'some people' does seem like the logical next step. I say we change the name from Dharma Overground to Overground and we're about done, we can declare everyone enlightened and go get really, really drunk. Thank god, my ass is really sore from all that sitting! You're right it really is inhumane.

No dude, I'm not taken aback by it, I've been laughing my ass off at it all week. As for accepting the reality of what I'm striving for, I do that. It just may be that what I'm striving for is not what other people are striving for. But I see no need to fight about striving for different things particularly as we've been using the same language to talk about entirely different things for quite a while already.

I've seen all this 'happy stuff' a million times. If that is what people are willing to settle for, fine, I have no investment in other peoples choices. That's the beauty of the screwed up dualistic universe I live in. If I'm not willing to settle for it, then everyone else is free to either be happy or unhappy about that, as they please.

I do however, fail to see the utility of telling people that we are going to have a practical hands on discussion about meditative practices and experiences and then resorting to saying "and then it dawns on you that everything is just fine, and it is" but it isn't. That is what I call "bullshit". If that's too harsh a term for some people we could call it something else, I'm not attached to that particular term.
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Wet Paint, modified 15 Years ago at 7/2/09 8:35 PM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/2/09 8:35 PM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: Adam_West

Hmm... interesting. Triplethink, compelling post. I wonder if you would like to condense your last post into a few essential thoughts so it is a little clearer to me exactly what you are saying terms of your reflection on recent events and the 'enlightenment project' generally?

As to the proposed questions: Is non-duality amoral? I would suggest in an absolute sense yes; in a conventional sense no. Is it impossible to be permanently free from anger? I have experienced periods of months where I was completely free from 'reactive' emotional responses of a crude self-referential kind like anger often is (but not always), due to existing more or less in a permanent state of immense open spaciousness, ease, bliss and clarity. However, it would seem one can have all the usual human psycho-emotional processes, and conditioning, just like the biological processes, continuing to function and one sees that, but is not identified with it. Awareness is untouched and unconditioned even as emotional energy may rage. For the most part though, the presence of happiness, bliss, clarity, ease, compassion and lack of self-reference precludes much reactive grasping and aversion. Not impossible, but their presence affect the cognitive process and protect against various risk factors which support the developmental pathways leading to anger.

[cont]
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Wet Paint, modified 15 Years ago at 7/2/09 8:41 PM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/2/09 8:41 PM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: Adam_West

The important thing seems to be realization is not contingent or conditioned and thus is present in the mist of thoughts, emotions and behaviour. Our essential nature is that which sees the thoughts, emotions and behaviours but is not dependent on them; their presence or absence. So anger on the conventional level may flow through us as per healthy social conventions but the difference is the mind does not grasp and as the bird flies through the sky and leaves no trace, so does conventional psycho-emotional processes. Much of it would seem to depend on our conditioning. Most of us are not that free from that.

The phenomenon of self-fulfilling prophesy is well documented. Keep in mind, however, that beliefs are changing all the time, with a process of constant compensation for cognitive dissonance and schema re-formation being in effect. Much of the time reality does not conform to our beliefs, and our expectations fail to be met, although the less conscious of us often refuse to see that. More technically speaking there is a constant feedback loop between our belief-set or schema and our experiences of reality. Our experiences, their interpretation, and the meaning we ascribe to them constantly modifies our beliefs, and our beliefs affect our interpretation and experiences of reality. Over a life time the process is quite complex and chaotic and doesn't lend itself well to rigid binary dichotomies, of predictions; but I digress. ;-) It is highly likely we will all see things differently in ten or twenty years than we do at present, which will affect our behaviours and experiences thereof; and indeed the spiritual path we may or may not be on.

In kind regards,

Adam.
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Wet Paint, modified 15 Years ago at 7/2/09 11:32 PM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/2/09 11:32 PM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: garyrh

Hi Adam,

I think if anything were removed it would subtract from what was being said. I have just thought about restating the post but I cannot say it any better. It seems you are missing some of the context or you have something else to say. Therefore it may assist if you could be more explicit. The post's context is in the start of the thread along with being tipped off by cmarti's comment (or was this well known to you).

I cannot conclude what is right or wrong here but I can certainly get the sentiment from both sides.

Gary
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Wet Paint, modified 15 Years ago at 7/2/09 11:50 PM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/2/09 11:50 PM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: garyrh

Maybe this is the shadow side of models.

For those that haven't heard how too train fleas. You put some fleas in a jar with the lid. The fleas will jump up and hit the lid. After a couple of days remove the lid, the fleas still jump up but not out of the jar. They act as though the lid were in place even though the are physically capable of jumping out of the jar.

Gary
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Wet Paint, modified 15 Years ago at 7/3/09 1:48 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/3/09 1:48 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: Adam_West

Hey Gary,

I just like where Triplethink was going with his post - I like the 'keepin it real' kinda dharma talk. I am looking forward to him further developing his ideas and taking them to their logical conclusion; and then what follows from that. That's my idea of exciting stuff!! ;-P

In kind regards,

Adam.
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Wet Paint, modified 15 Years ago at 7/3/09 2:12 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/3/09 2:12 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: msj123

I would highly recommend some familiarization with Madhyamaka philosophy. Confusing the levels of truth leads can lead to this frustration. I have been working on the two-truths theory for a while, and it is starting to make sense.

Is nonduality amoral? Ultimately, I would say yes, in that morality is a relative arising. What is moral or immoral to the sky or empty space?

Is nonduality moral? Conventionally, I would say yes, in that morality precedes the arising and deepening of nondual realization. There is no fruit without planting the seeds and cultivating it properly.

Regarding this last point, Chinul pointed out in his Secrets of Cultivating the Mind states that it is possible to attain realization but then fall back into confusion due to lack of effort. I wonder if this is true, and if so, it would raise the possibility that people who have attained realization may in fact no longer know it.
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Jackson Wilshire, modified 15 Years ago at 7/3/09 4:22 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/3/09 4:22 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 443 Join Date: 5/6/09 Recent Posts
To attempt to answer the question posed by this thread, "Is non-duality amoral?", we need to clarify what we mean by non-duality.

Nathan, it seems as though you equating non-duality with a zoned-out, withdrawn mental state and a fatalistic sense that "all is right in the world" which encourages moral inaction, a lack of engagement in the world of duality, and a denial of the relative experience of being a human being.

The awakened mind, aka Buddha Nature, is a jewel with many facets. Yes, complete and total freedom from suffering in the moment is one facet. Another facet is deep inner peace. Another is true love. Another facet is boundless compassion. Another facet is emptiness proper.

At its essence, the experience of non-duality is a realization of this Buddha Nature; not in a conceptual way, but in such a way as it cuts through the dualistic mind so that one may finally rest in this multi-faceted jewel. One may discover one facet more directly than others, but fail to immediately recognize the other facets -- which is where I think many of us get our mixed-up view of what enlightenment is all about.

So, do I think that non-duality is amoral? No! Perhaps we could say it is trans-moral, or beyond moral, but even then I think we're missing the point. If our truest nature is compassion, peace, love, attentiveness, freedom, and interconnection, how can we dare to say that such a nature is "amoral"? What is amorality aside from being "that which lies outside the sphere to which moral judgments apply"? The definition of amorality is inherently dualistic.

Therefore, it is my understanding that non-duality both transcends and includes morality.

~Jackson

Edit: Much of this view comes from a podcast featuring Jack Kornfield... http://bit.ly/is8WM
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Chris Marti, modified 15 Years ago at 7/3/09 5:33 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/3/09 5:33 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 379 Join Date: 7/7/09 Recent Posts
"I do however, fail to see the utility of telling people that we are going to have a practical hands on discussion about meditative practices and experiences and then resorting to saying "and then it dawns on you that everything is just fine, and it is" but it isn't. That is what I call "bullshit". If that's too harsh a term for some people we could call it something else, I'm not attached to that particular term."

Nathan, I actually like this comment. I do think, as Jackson has already eloquently said, we're kind of talking past each other. IOW, I don't think we're talking about different things but I cannot prove it. I feel at a deep, very intuitive level that everything is "okay" because I have seen something through a tiny knothole a few times. Is this full-on, unhindered, irreversable enlightenment? How the fuck would I know? I truly doubt it. I certainly don't feel like my journey/practice is anywhere near to being complete. It still feels like I'm in the beginning of the beginning, frankly.

In the end we all have to decide to seek what we believe we need to seek, and I agree that arguing about this is a total waste of time. Does this notion that one can see through this knothole something very profound mean that we can't have discussions about practical meditation practices? Absolutely not.

As I said in some other post on some other topic on some other day, there are many roads to the top of the mountain.
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Wet Paint, modified 15 Years ago at 7/3/09 9:20 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/3/09 9:20 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: garyrh

Nice take on the title. So is it possible to have no anger arise?
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Jackson Wilshire, modified 15 Years ago at 7/3/09 9:46 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/3/09 9:46 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 443 Join Date: 5/6/09 Recent Posts
Though I realize this is a bit off topic, I'll attempt to answer your question by giving a breakdown of my view in four propositions...

1.) Enlightenment (whether dwelling in non-dual awareness or completing the developmental circuit of arahatship) gives way to a happiness beyond conditions.

2.) Emotions are phenomena, and are thus based on conditions. When the appropriate conditions arise, the corresponding emotion arises out of them.

3.) Being that the happiness of enlightenment is beyond conditions, it in no way interferes with the cosmic order of dependent origination from which all conditioned phenomena arise and pass away.

4.) Therefore, there is no way to guarantee that negative emotions will stop arising once and for all, regardless of one's level of attainment.
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Chris Marti, modified 15 Years ago at 7/3/09 10:27 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/3/09 10:27 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 379 Join Date: 7/7/09 Recent Posts
Well done, Jackson!
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triple think, modified 15 Years ago at 7/3/09 10:30 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/3/09 10:30 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 362 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
As I have come to see it, after one has cultivated awareness of conditions (and the accurate assessment of conditions has been the primary focus of the DhO thus far) one has yet to examine the "causality" that binds up all of these conditions. That is to say; this and that condition are supports for this and that other conditions, these conditions lead to those conditions, etc., etc..

It's my thinking that this is what distinguishes stream entry from the later forms of sainthood. Thus, the fruit of stream entry comes with the understanding that it is an awareness of all of the conditions involved in one's conditional being and becoming that is of primary concern. The paths of once return, non-return, and arahatta pick up from there with an in depth examination of how these conditions are bound up in a network of mutual supports such that being and becoming is enabled to continue.

This is my take on what has been called here 'a limited emotional model'. I would agree that the model is not primarily concerned with emotions, what emotions arise or do not arise would be a useful gauge for determining which internal conditions have been successfully attenuated. The primary concern of these paths, as I see it, would be the examination of the causality that gives rise to various ongoing conditions and the attenuation of those conditions such that one is successively (again from gross to subtle) released from recurrences, permanently.

My faith is unwaveringly in the hands of the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha, because nowhere else do I find clear instruction regarding the examination and attenuation of causality.
beta wave, modified 15 Years ago at 7/3/09 10:48 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/3/09 10:48 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 5 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
Here's my sense of it. Anger and compassion are essentially the same thing, a correcting-in-the-next-moment energy, except that anger is a reaction flavored by the small sense of me and compassion is flavored by the biggest sense of me. And the rest follows.
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Wet Paint, modified 15 Years ago at 7/3/09 10:54 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/3/09 10:54 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: garyrh

I like the post it is well put. I do not find this off topic, so I'll stay in this thread correct me if I am wrong.

Why is there no way to guarantee that negative emotions will stop arising, after all it is phenomena dependant upon conditions and causes.
Maybe anger is dependent on phenomenial self, no phenomenial self equals no anger, well not at least in the form where there is a self that reacts. Maybe it goes deeper than this, but mind/body is not a machine that responds to stimuli in the same manner everytime, it learns.

Gary

[edit] path attainments are part of the mind / body learning process.
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triple think, modified 15 Years ago at 7/3/09 10:55 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/3/09 10:55 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 362 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
"Nathan, it seems as though you equating non-duality with a zoned-out, withdrawn mental state and a fatalistic sense that "all is right in the world" which encourages moral inaction, a lack of engagement in the world of duality, and a denial of the relative experience of being a human being."
~Jackson

Well, there you would be mistaken.

"...we need to clarify what we mean by non-duality."
~Jackson

I wholeheartedly concur, for the sake of anyone/everyone who looks to this site for a measure of clarity.

I am going to point out, as clearly as possible, without belaboring it, that I am not an advaitist or mahayana practitioner. I practice a very classical Theravada approach. As such there is no resort to anything such as non-duality or Buddha nature. As I see it classical Theravada thinking describes all of this as subtle conceits and self delusion. That said I am intimately familiar with non-duality, have spent years wandering around in that state with absolutely no self concept whatsoever (believe me, you folks have not see the half of it) and I can say with absolute certainty that it is medically/pharmaceutically untreatable. I do however think you can 'get over it' and get on with your life or continue on with the path.
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Jackson Wilshire, modified 15 Years ago at 7/3/09 11:32 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/3/09 11:32 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 443 Join Date: 5/6/09 Recent Posts
Hi Nathan,

I fully respect your approach to Buddhist practice. We obviously see things quite differently, and are communicating through very different conceptual biases.

Forgive me for misrepresenting your position. Though, I'm still unsure of your particular understanding of what the experience of non-duality is. Up to this point, you've only stated that you "spent years wandering around in that state with absolutely no self concept whatsoever." Based on that, I don't know that we writing about the same thing. Realizing primordial awareness is not simply experiencing selflessness. I think there's more to it than that.

To conclude, you may see non-duality as a cop-out. I do not. As Hokai so eloquently stated in response to your Dances with no-wolves thread: "Awakening to primordial awareness seems like a good starting point, and finding out that this awareness was never about staying out of the game is the realization." For me, this realization is the starting point of all other types of development. It is not some autistic, inward looking escape from my dark stuff. If anything, deepening this realization has given me the self confidence to dive head first in to my dark stuff, as I know my essential nature cannot be scathed by the perils of the journey.

~Jackson
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Jackson Wilshire, modified 15 Years ago at 7/3/09 11:44 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/3/09 11:44 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 443 Join Date: 5/6/09 Recent Posts
Hi Gary,

When it comes to causes and conditions, there are things we can do and things we can't. Sure, we can intend and act in a way which produces positive outcomes, and we get to enjoy the corresponding wholesome manifestations.

But we don't cause everything. There's a lot more going on than my intentions and actions. To think that we can systematically (or magically) remove all such conditions by sheer act of will is absurd.

The way I see it, each one of us will continue experience negative emotions as long as we are human beings with a pulse and a functioning brain and nervous system. Much of this is out of our hands. Our goal (in part) is to simply not make it worse.

~Jackson
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triple think, modified 15 Years ago at 7/3/09 12:38 PM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/3/09 12:38 PM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 362 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
I fully respect your approach to Buddhist practice.
~Jackson

Likewise, and with all due respect to Hokai as well, and everyone participating here for that matter.
-n

We obviously see things quite differently, and are communicating through very different conceptual biases.
~Jackson

There's no need for a conceptual bias of any kind. There's a need for discipline. The discipline to simply continue to pay attention and take action in keeping with the Buddha's comprehensive instructions, that's my bias. It could be called conceptual except that in keeping with this particular traditional approach all concepts, all conclusions, anything whatsoever that can be grasped at pushed on or held gets closely scrutinized as to where it came from, where it is going and then it gets thrown away unless you are forced for the purpose of survival and the continuance of the work to hang on to it for the time being. Concepts are pretty crude constructs anyways, made out of constellations of associative thoughts. I think we are talking about forms of awareness that are quite rarified when we talk about things like primordial awareness, non-dual awareness, Buddha Nature, et al.

cont. ->
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triple think, modified 15 Years ago at 7/3/09 12:41 PM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/3/09 12:41 PM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 362 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Yes, you can strip awareness right down to some very fine conditions, even one condition or another and then you can blow it out in every direction as far as Pluto, or further, if you like. But you would be wise to consider that you are still clinging to consciousness and you are still grasping at one or another conditional form of it and concluding that 'this is it, now I am "done".' So from yes 'a very old school POV' you have been suckered again.

As far as I am concerned everyone can just carry on like this, now and for the rest of their lifetimes and for the next million, billion years. It's not up to me and I have no interest in telling anyone else what to do. I will however take issue with it being considered equivalent to arahatta magga in the context of the original transmission. It's not.

There's nothing wrong with it, I know how happy and aware and pleasant and delightful it can be, I'm intimately aware of that. I'm just not into continuing on with it, I want entirely OUT, and that's my choice. If you were in my shoes you wouldn't feel any different about the situation but you aren't so carry on. It's not a problem as far as I can see. If, at the end of the day all we end up with is a billion Bodhisattvas that can't possibly be a bad thing.

cont. ->
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triple think, modified 15 Years ago at 7/3/09 12:46 PM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/3/09 12:46 PM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 362 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Non-duality is, (no matter how you cook it up) as you so eloquently stated, a cop out, from the classical Theravada POV, & (and I really, really tried my best to keep this to myself) from my pov. From the Mayahana POV it is just one more way to be a better dancer, I get it, enjoy, make the world a better place, why would I want to discourage anyone from doing that?

I think it's important to make clear that I am not challenging or questioning the 'attainments' of anyone here at DhO. What people have achieved, what they are, aren't, etc. is none of my business. If someone says they are an Arahat then I'll refer to them as an Arahat, it's not my concern if they are one or not, that is their concern.

I also think that these forms of awareness have utility, I would just like to see that subject treated with clarity and precision. After you survey the length and breadth of your being and then let go of all of it at once it is simply impossible to have a self conception, you know for a fact that there is no such thing. Identification then becomes a matter of choice. To be more precise, a combination of past and present conditioning. Other people may be on autopilot in that regard and they have my deepest sympathy, but it is not my problem.
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Jackson Wilshire, modified 15 Years ago at 7/3/09 12:52 PM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/3/09 12:52 PM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 443 Join Date: 5/6/09 Recent Posts
Well, we're in agreement on this one. I do not believe that realizing primordial awareness is equivalent to having attained arahatship, as arahatship appears to be a developmental attainment. I do not consider myself a arahat, and I don't think anyone else would either.
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Chris Marti, modified 15 Years ago at 7/3/09 1:23 PM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/3/09 1:23 PM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 379 Join Date: 7/7/09 Recent Posts
Hey Nathan, it really would help if you could expand on your description of non-duality. You claim something greater that a "rigpa"-like experience. What is it like?
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triple think, modified 15 Years ago at 7/3/09 3:03 PM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/3/09 3:03 PM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 362 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
I really think it wouldn't help. This is not the 'nathan show', I think it's time for me to take a week or three off from DhO. Just to put the question to rest, what would be bigger than the non-duality of my own body/mind? A non-dual awareness that goes well beyond this mind and body.

When I first read MTCB I found it refreshing. Daniel's was capable and honest voice speaking to the nuts and bolts of direct samathavipassana meditative work and experience. So far as it went, it corroborated, for probably the first time ever, a good portion of that part of my experience and quite a few of my conclusions. So I wrote Daniel an email and he responded saying, basically, "go f__k yourself", which I also thought was a good indication that he was on the right track.

So as far as his book goes and so far as it has been apprehended by those in this forum I've found all of this to be a very beneficial exercise. Still, I think these findings need considerable further testing. Just like drug studies. I think the findings have to be replicated and re-verified by a great many more people before anyone can just take all of this for granted.

I have some points of disagreement and I have considerable direct experience that lies outside of the mandate of this forum, so I've done my best to keep all of that to myself.

With the additions of various mind states termed non-dual, states such as Rigpa and Buddha Nature to the mix I've become increasingly concerned that the clarity and precision that might be applied to the minutia of direct experience regarding samathavipassana is not being applied to to these states of mind. Can it? If it can, then lets do so. If not, then I think we should make that very clear.
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Wet Paint, modified 15 Years ago at 7/3/09 3:11 PM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/3/09 3:11 PM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: garyrh

Hi Jackson,

To clarify, I made no mention of intention or acts of will as valuable as this function maybe. My point was broader, that is I see nothing now about the system that suggests it is hardwired. Do you know for a fact that where there is a pulse, functioning brain and nervous system there must be negative emotions? If there is nothing else to go into the mix, why is there variation between individuals with regards to negative emotions? Maybe the Buddha's moral instruction with meditation have more wisdom than we imagined.

Your goal to simply not make something worse is the outcome of an assumption this part is hardwired. Better to not go with the assumption this is all hardwired and have a goal to fix it, and if in the process we only make it better we have a better outcome.

If you can demonstrate there is nothing we can do fair enough, but lets not put a limitation that may not exist.

Gary
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Kenneth Folk, modified 15 Years ago at 7/3/09 5:20 PM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/3/09 5:20 PM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 439 Join Date: 4/30/09 Recent Posts
"With the additions of various mind states termed non-dual, states such as Rigpa and Buddha Nature to the mix I've become increasingly concerned that the clarity and precision that might be applied to the minutia of direct experience regarding samathavipassana is not being applied to to these states of mind. Can it? If it can, then lets do so. If not, then I think we should make that very clear."-triplethink

No, vipassana cannot be applied to rigpa. This is why an ardent vipassana practitioner can look forever and not recognize buddha-nature. Rigpa is uncompounded. That means that any effort to analyze or to find anything will not reveal it. Rigpa is what happens when you stop doing anything and rest in pure being. This is a crucial point, so I'm glad you brought it up. To re-emphasize the point: vipassana will never lead to rigpa. If you want to re-discover your true nature, you must abandon all attempts to do or to find out. You are already buddha-nature. If you simply rest in what you already are, buddha nature is revealed. This is what is meant by rigpa. Anything added to this is not rigpa.

This can be very frustrating, I know. But that doesn't make it less true. In order to recognize the uncompounded you must stop compounding.

Rigpa is not an imprecise term. It refers to a very specific and unique situation. You will know it when you "see" it, because it is the happiness that is independent of conditions. The ability to see it, or rather to "be" it on a regular basis, colors the experience of your everyday life, so that unconditional happiness becomes your daily reality. There is nothing superior to this. Rigpa is your birthright and your true nature. As one great sage put it, "The only thing standing between you and enlightenment is the thought, "I am not enlightened."

Best,

Kenneth
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triple think, modified 15 Years ago at 7/3/09 7:11 PM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/3/09 7:11 PM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 362 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
hi Kenneth

"Vipassana cannot be applied to Rigpa", and that doesn't make you the least bit suspicious? Does nobody here ever study the Pali Nikayas?

I understand and agree with your description of this 'un-condition' Kenneth. I've also been aware of it for a long time and can advert to it at any time. At the same time I'm also highly suspicious of it and I think there is another way to consider it.

I'm going to put it this way, in the context of an entirely other old school context. In an effort to avoid initiating any sort of a Theravada vs. Mahayana contest or controversy or anything else like that:

Luke Chapter IV Verses 4:1 - 4:13
http://www.awitness.org/biblehtm/lu/lu4.htm

Which is to say, all this and more Mara/Satan/the devil/subtle forms of delusion can provide at no cost whatsoever in exchange for ongoing consent to participate in existence. All free, to enjoy and delight in, particularly if you do not believe in 'superstitious nonsense' like maras/devils, rebirth, hells, heavens and so forth. After all, we are so sophisticated and advanced now that we couldn't possibly be so easily fooled by this sort of thing if it weren't 'genuine enlightenment'.

Thanks for making the distinctions Kenneth. Do you equate non-duality, Rigpa, primordial awareness and Buddha Nature as one and the same or do you make distinctions and if so what would these be?
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Kenneth Folk, modified 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 12:32 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 12:32 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 439 Join Date: 4/30/09 Recent Posts
"Do you equate non-duality, Rigpa, primordial awareness and Buddha Nature as one and the same or do you make distinctions and if so what would these be?"-Nathan

Hi Nathan,

Buddha-nature, in this context, refers to the essential nature of everything. When buddha-nature is recognized, that is rigpa. Our basic nature is prior to the arising of discriminating mind, so we have left rigpa once we create concepts like good and evil. All of this happens from the level of delusion. Whether you have recognized buddha-nature in yourself is not for me to say, but it is worth asking if we are talking about the same phenomenon, so I appreciate that you are seeking to clarify the language.

Rigpa is self-verifying. It isn't possible to be "suspicious" of it in real time, as it is prior to the arising of any judgment. This isn't a debatable point, it's simply built into the definition of rigpa as I am presenting it here. Of course it is possible to be suspicious of anything once it is reduced to a concept, and this very act of reducing reality to a concept is the only Satan worthy of our fear.

I'd like to follow your lead in side-stepping a Theravada/Mahayana debate, but I will briefly mention Buddhism in my next post on the way to making a larger point.
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Kenneth Folk, modified 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 12:37 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 12:37 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 439 Join Date: 4/30/09 Recent Posts
Whatever is true must be true, irrespective of what you or I think. The simplest truth is prior to the arising of dualistic thought. But verbal communication, as we are doing here, is squarely in the realm of dualistic thought. And in the kingdom of dualistic thought, some things are logical fallacies. The idea that something must be true because the Pali scriptures say so is a fallacy of logic. The Mahayana and Vajrayana scriptures, which also claim to be the teachings of the historical Buddha, seem to contradict the Pali scriptures. It should be obvious by now that, even assuming there was an infallible being known as the Buddha, we don’t know exactly what he said. We are cast back upon our own devices.

(continued below)
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Kenneth Folk, modified 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 12:38 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 12:38 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 439 Join Date: 4/30/09 Recent Posts
(continued from post #33)

Luckily, there is some very good advice in the Pali scriptures to address this problem. The Buddha, when asked, “Why should we believe you?” is alleged to have said, “Don’t believe me. Don’t believe anybody. Come and see.” That’s where we find ourselves now; we must see for ourselves. The question of whether “non-duality” is amoral is valuable only as a goad to encourage us to discover what is true in this moment. You could just as reasonable ask “Is intelligence amoral, or vision, or rocks, or trees, or beauty?” These are all nonsense questions. To reduce the basic essence of all things to a concept (“non-duality”) and then operate on it with the dualistic mind is just piling one layer of ignorance upon another. The only way out of this hall of mirrors is to stop grasping at ideas for a moment.

Now would be a very good moment to do this. Whenever we let this moment be as it is, without adding anything extra, there is the possibility of sanity. Basic sanity doesn’t require anything extra from us. It is our basic nature. Ignorance cannot be defeated by piling one misconception on top of another. To imagine that there is some “I” that needs to be perfected or protected, or to insist that there is some “I” that has the capacity to discover the truth through its diligent effort...all this is only compounding the ignorance. The intelligence that knows about this moment is complete. It does not need your help to be as it is. This basic intelligence, which is dharmakaya, or primordial awareness, is unstained, uncompounded, and unchanging. The very intelligence that is looking out of your eyes and listening out of your ears in this moment also gives rise to and is not other than the entire manifest universe. You can’t fix this. You don’t have to. Let it be, and know the happiness that has no opposite.

(edit: spelling & grammar)
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Wet Paint, modified 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 1:05 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 1:05 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: Adam_West

As I understand it, the Tibetans make use of two different types of Vipassana. Shamatha Vipassana (as practiced in the Theravada traditions) and 'pure' or formless clear seeing as in Dzogchen and Mahamudra. Then there is simultaneous Shamatha-Vipassana and nether Shamatha or Vipassana nor not Shamatha or Vipassana which is in a sense an ultimate Vipassana or absolute clear seeing in its natural 'uncontrived' state. The point is Rigpa is not realized with Shamatha style Vipassana where the sense of doing remains; for where there is doing there is a subject that does which obscures realization of the natural state.

In kind regards,

Adam.
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Wet Paint, modified 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 1:14 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 1:14 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: Adam_West

Hi Kenneth!

I just wanted to thank you for the masterful last few posts of yours. They cut to the essence of it and really brought clarity to this discourse.

Wonderful!! :-P

In kind regards,

Adam.
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Wet Paint, modified 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 3:44 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 3:44 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: msj123

I disagree. This may be true of Mahasi or DhO style vipassana. Shinzen's technique is designed to return to the source and students have reported success with his approach. I myself have practiced skandha-based vipassana. By tracing back the arising of phenomenon, one will inevitably reach the unborn.

Based on Kenneth's criticism, when DhO talk of reaching fruition, they are not seeing through to their ultimate nature, and are therefore not cutting through the 3 fetters, and are therefore not actual stream enterers.

One of the reasons I appreciate Zen is that it does not stop at any final answers. I doubt there are final answers.
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tarin greco, modified 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 4:04 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 4:04 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 658 Join Date: 5/14/09 Recent Posts
path-moment is path-moment, and the 3 doors are the 3 doors, achieved by whichever method. if your concentration is high enough when dropping into a fruition, you'd see that that's what happening (seeing through to ultimate nature, auto-cut 3 fetters) *whenever you´re going through one of the 3 doors (which is why it helps to pay extra-careful attention to those moments for attaining the higher paths)*

edit: added last bit when i noticed i was missing a whole sentence section
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Jackson Wilshire, modified 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 4:28 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 4:28 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 443 Join Date: 5/6/09 Recent Posts
Even according to old school, Theravada Buddhism (Pali canon style), no one is completely released from the fruit of residual kamma until after death...

"[O]ne who has attained nibbana with residue continues to possess the five senses and to experience both pleasant and painful sensations...

...The state of sopadisesa nibbana... is nibbana with residue in the sense that subtle kamma still remain. These kamma are not strong enough to propel the arahant into another rebirth, but merely sufficient to maintain the life process. Liberated persons cease to produce further kamma, for the kamma-process (kammabhava) has been eradicated. Thy have eradicated all kamma-results (kammavipaka) that may lead to another life, but must still reap some subtle kamma-results in this life...

Nirupadisesa nibbana, on the other hand, is "nibbana without residue" in the sense that all kamma have been completely eradicated and, consequently, no fuel remains to perpetuate life... The state of nibbana without residue is beyond mind and matter and no different from the state of nibbana that the Buddha attained AT THE MOMENT OF DEATH." (emphasis mine)

The Five Aggregates, by Mathieu Boisvert, http://bit.ly/ybNbt

Negative emotions arise due to causes and conditions, e.g kamma. This comes directly from our oldest recorded teachings of the Buddha and their most venerated commentaries. Therefore, NO ONE can guarantee that negative emotions will no longer arise as long as they have a body -- arahant or otherwise.

~Jackson
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Chris Marti, modified 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 5:11 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 5:11 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 379 Join Date: 7/7/09 Recent Posts
"The Mahayana and Vajrayana scriptures, which also claim to be the teachings of the historical Buddha, seem to contradict the Pali scriptures. It should be obvious by now that, even assuming there was an infallible being known as the Buddha, we don’t know exactly what he said. We are cast back upon our own devices."

I think this is critically important. As I reflect on my own practice I believe that the bedrock of my practice is what I can vouch for from my own experience.
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triple think, modified 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 5:16 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 5:16 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 362 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Here you are conflating sensations and emotions. That is not necessary. Particularly in regards to things such as anger, etc., which are clearly reactions to not examining these distinctions between the sensations, the identifications, and the generation of responses by means of mind and body. All of this can be distinguished in great detail just as everything else we have been discussing in terms of vipassana and samatha practice. Which is why I take issue with just chucking that process in favor of an easy bake enlightenment. But as I say, people can do as they please.
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triple think, modified 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 5:22 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 5:22 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 362 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
I agree, when I practice various forms of abiding in non-duality it is like a never ending acid trip, ok way better, but still, entirely, as Kenneth admits, out of control and can only be subjected to analysis by adverting to it later from some other state.

So when I undertake various Mahayana, etc. practices I get all sorts of highly subjective experiences which I find questionable and yet difficult to properly examine whereas no matter how far I pursue the Theravada practices in keeping with the instructions given in the Tipitaka all I find are verifiable facts. So in the long run Theravada is kicking Mahayana's butt when it comes to being a solid science of the existential condition, but when it comes to having fun, it's no contest, Mahayana all the way.
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Jackson Wilshire, modified 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 5:30 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 5:30 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 443 Join Date: 5/6/09 Recent Posts
Just to clarify once more, I don't think that realizing non-dual awareness is the same thing as attaining arahantship. I don't know anyone who thinks that rigpa is some kind of easy-bake-arahantship. I am of the opinion that practicing non-dual awareness will lead to arahantship, just as samatha-vipassna does. I know that we disagree on this point. Que sera, sera.

It seems as though the long, difficult route is being glamorized for no reason other than the fact that it's long and difficult. I can't imagine anyone giving me props if I, rather than drive my car home from work, hopped on one foot the whole way. Getting home is the point, right?
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triple think, modified 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 5:40 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 5:40 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 362 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Well, for me to comment on anything along the lines of transformations such as those considered equivalent to 'a limited emotional model' would be to run up against the preconceptions of the site, it's founder and his close personal friends and that seems a lot like shooting myself in the face. So why don't I just give you this one.

As an aside, I've driven from the nearest town to the monastery I frequent many times. The other day I decided to walk the 50km and there is absolutely no comparison, the superior quality of taking the ten hours to walk was well beyond the capacities of a 300 char. post limit.
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Chris Marti, modified 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 5:42 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 5:42 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 379 Join Date: 7/7/09 Recent Posts
No one here has said anything about "just chucking" any process. I'm not sure why that keeps coming up because it's not supported by anyone's comments. And, like Jackson, it would appear that difficulty is being deified for difficulty's sake.
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triple think, modified 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 5:53 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 5:53 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 362 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
No one said anything had to be 'difficult' either. As far as I've seen Jackson is the first person who has clearly not equated the attainment of arahatship with these other states. This is why I would like to see some clarity on a great many of these matters. An increasing number of issues are becoming very murky, not in my mind, but in the discussions overall.

We really need some well written pages providing this clarity - from those who have the greatest insight into these matters along with the confidence of the participants - to bring that much needed clarity or we are going to continue to have a lot of rambling dialog that continues to generate various degrees of at least the perception of confusion and conflict.

Personally, I feel just fine and wish everyone well.
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Chris Marti, modified 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 6:04 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 6:04 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 379 Join Date: 7/7/09 Recent Posts
"As far as I've seen Jackson is the first person who has clearly not equated the attainment of arahatship with these other states."

Nathan, several of us have said this. We haven't all used the same words but the meaning was clear to me. I'm sorry it's getting lost here. I'm not very bright about what appears to be an emerging rift on DhO, or at least that's what appears to be emerging, so maybe I should chill for a while and let things be. I wish you well in your practice, Nathan.
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triple think, modified 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 6:46 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 6:46 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 362 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Likewise. I don't know anything about an emerging rift or about any of the supposed interpersonal jazz. I was away for a month or two so maybe I missed something. I didn't expect to be online again for another year or two but things have changed a bit so for the time being here I am.

I like the group at DhO and I like most of what I have read here so any political stuff is stuff I am completely oblivious to and it will stay that way because I don't care about that kind of stuff. In the short time I've returned to reading and posting here I've noted some new issues arising and I've done my best to respond to that in what I hope is a healthy and positive way. But it has taken me beyond the bounds of the mandate, not because I want to go there but because other people are not thinking through their questions and statements with that in mind. So until that mandate is modified in some way I would rather return to completely respecting it. I would rather play by the rules, whatever those may be, like it or not.

I think that perhaps the thread "No one goes unchallenged at DhO" opened the doors to a lot of questioning. That could be a good thing or it could be a bad thing, it depends on the maturity of everyone involved. Like everything else, writing and posting online is a learning curve. It's probably for the best to accept that we all make mistakes until we master a new skill, be charitable and forgiving with each other and move on.
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Kenneth Folk, modified 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 8:57 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 8:57 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 439 Join Date: 4/30/09 Recent Posts
"...the Tibetans make use of two different types of Vipassana."-Adam

"Based on Kenneth's criticism, when DhO talk of reaching fruition, they are not seeing through to their ultimate nature, and are therefore not cutting through the 3 fetters, and are therefore not actual stream enterers."-msj123

Thanks for bringing up these points, Adam and Matt. This is a matter of defining terms, and we'll need some serious disambiguation in order to make sense of all this. Two words in particular are problematic as they are used very differently in different traditions. The two words are fruition and vipassana.

Fruition, as defined by the Burmese Mahasi school, means cessation of the mind/body process. They also call this Nibbana. It is a non-experience, a winking out of consciousness. It is nonetheless, very blissful; upon emerging from this state, you know you were someplace very nice, you just can't say where. It is this cessation that marks the Path moment and permanently changes your experience of the world and your meditation practice, as many here at DhO will attest.

(continued below)
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Kenneth Folk, modified 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 8:58 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 8:58 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 439 Join Date: 4/30/09 Recent Posts
Fruition in the Dzogchen tradition is rigpa. Not at all the same as cessation. Rigpa is the wide-awake recognition, in the moment, of buddha nature within your own mind. Although it is the most highly prized of attainments according to the direct path teachings, it does not represent any developmental milestone and does not complete any of the 4 Paths. Rather, it is the the perfect recognition and expression of what everyone already is--untrammeled, primordial awareness. Direct path teachings consider this to be more significant than any developmental stage or phenomenon, as to recognize rigpa is to know the mind of all the Buddhas. It will be best if we can specify which definition of fruition we mean at any given time.

"Vipassana," as used by the Theravada tradition, is a technique for investigating the three characteristics of suffering, impermanence, and no-self. The same word (often spelled Vipashyana, which is Sanskrit as opposed to Pali), is used in the Dzogchen tradition to mean "letting be in the nature of dharmata" (Shri Singha, "Quintessential Dzogchen," 113, ed.Kunsang & Binder Schmidt). As Adam pointed out, the word "vipashyana" is used in various ways with various qualifiers within the Tibetan system, so it's important to know the context.
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Kenneth Folk, modified 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 12:03 PM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 12:03 PM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

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"When I practice various forms of abiding in non-duality it is like a never ending acid trip, ok way better, but still, entirely, as Kenneth admits, out of control and can only be subjected to analysis by adverting to it later from some other state."-Nathan

It is possible that what you are calling non-duality is not rigpa. If so, it would explain all the difficulty we are having here in agreeing on its value. I wouldn't, for example, say that rigpa is like an acid trip, nor would I say that there are various forms of abiding in it. Rigpa is very simple and unspectacular, but it is so sweet and pure that I can't imagine anyone not falling in love with it once they recognize it for what it is. It isn't a state, or something extra or contrived; it's just our basic nature, without anything added.

As far as rigpa being out of control, I should first point out that I haven't said that. Second, I think you have really nailed something important here by using the "control" word. It is the very attempt to control, analyze, examine, or otherwise manipulate experience that prevents us from seeing our basic nature. All of this manipulation is simply the work of dualistic thought in its never-ending quest to perpetuate itself. In order to see what is prior to the noise of our small minds, we need to cut through the fog and wake up to reality. The reality we wake up to is that there is no one here to protect or perfect. There is no one here who can investigate. This is precisely what this imaginary self does not want to see--hence, the resistance. Because cognizant emptiness is our very nature, we don't have to fear it; it's what we are, whether we notice it or not, so fearing it serves no purpose. Recognizing it, on the other hand, is the key to happiness. Once we see that nothing we can do or not do is going to affect the perfection of this moment, we can take a break from this annoying little self.
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tarin greco, modified 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 12:13 PM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 12:13 PM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

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BUT TAKE A BREAK FROM IT IS NOT THE SAME AS RECOGNISING THE SPECIFIC ROOT OF THIS ANNOYING LITTLE SELF AND WORKING INTELLIGENTLY WITH FULL INVESTIGATIVE FACULTIES TO ELIMINATE IT AND ALL THE ´RESIDUAL KAMMA´ ALONG WITH IT KTHX BAI =) (gotta go back to work)
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Kenneth Folk, modified 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 12:17 PM
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RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

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There is no little self to get rid of. The only one who is obsessed with getting rid of the supposed little self is...hello!...the supposed little self! :-D
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triple think, modified 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 1:58 PM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 1:58 PM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

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Yada yada yada. Yeah, we've dealt with nowhere man. Now stop avoiding his bullshit Kenneth. Earth to Kenneth...
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triple think, modified 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 1:59 PM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 1:59 PM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 362 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Ignorance cannot be defeated by piling one misconception on top of another. To imagine that there is some “I” that needs to be perfected or protected, or to insist that there is some “I” that has the capacity to discover the truth through its diligent effort...all this is only compounding the ignorance.
-K

The initial realization born of exiting the entire existential conditionality - stream entrance - should defeat this I - Me - Mine issue. So that isn't the problem after that. Why the need for three more paths and fruitions then? How could any further issues arise from such a misperception? All that is left to deal with are the byproducts of causality the compounded conditionality of actual biological and conscious existence. Obviously enough the entire existential circumstance never was an issue of selfhood to begin with, so clearly things are not about some mistaken metaphysical non-entities or conceptual abstractions or miscalculations. There are actual compounded, conditional, causal, real world, meat based bloody life form things going on. No amount of saying that it is uncompounded makes it otherwise unless you are saying that the body and mind simply vanish. And you can't say there is no dilemma either. We are still killing any women and children that get between us and the gas for our minivans and young boys are still killing each other in the name of their gods, flags and countries. So it is real, believe it, and causal and conditional until it isn't, and it isn't over until it's over.

So it may be helpful to be very specific about what changes and what doesn't. Clearly we can't change the sensed. Whatever is going to be there to be sensed, we either perceive it or not. It is then a question of how, in the myriads of ways, in particular, that this sensing is perceived (by the body and by consciousness) and the nature of the responses.
-n

cont. ->
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triple think, modified 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 2:00 PM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 2:00 PM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

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The intelligence that knows about this moment is complete. It does not need your help to be as it is. This basic intelligence, which is dharmakaya, or primordial awareness, is unstained, uncompounded, and unchanging. The very intelligence that is looking out of your eyes and listening out of your ears in this moment also gives rise to and is not other than the entire manifest universe. You can’t fix this. You don’t have to. Let it be, and know the happiness that has no opposite.
-K

Complete? Why is it so fucked up then, the universe, if it's so smart?

So just what does this mean? Its a rush? Maybe that's why its tough to do vipassana on it. Maybe this is as simple as cutting down on the sugar intake. The omnipotent understanding of all things right now, ongoing? Ok, so I'm thinking of a number... seriously, what? I read the words and I want to know what you are saying but I have no clue where you draw the lines here. Again, as opposed to the man on the street, what has changed? Perhaps everyone is already in rigpa, know it or not, and only people who give a shit about this at all have a problem with it because they can imagine not being in rigpa?
-n
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Wet Paint, modified 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 5:55 PM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 5:55 PM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: msj123

Kenneth,

I can't help but notice that your two fruitions are in fact mutually exclusive. If there is no consciousness, then there is no rigpa. Accordingly, rigpa is not unborn, for it ceases. On the other hand, if there is rigpa in fruition, then how can consciousness itself wink out?

Matt

Second, bliss is phenomenon. So how can nibbana be blissful?
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Wet Paint, modified 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 6:12 PM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 6:12 PM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

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Author: Adam_West

Hi Matt!

How would you define and describe Nibbana? Particularly now that you've made some progress in meditation.

In kind regards,

Adam.
Trent S H, modified 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 7:00 PM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 7:00 PM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

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I think Tarin is implying that a big self (the root) survives the little self and that the root itself must be cut to end duality. If one were to "hear out of the ears" or "see out of the eyes," then that is the one which must meet its end. Non-duality is the senses themselves; there is no self which can be seen, felt, heard, smelled or tasted.

Peace,
Trent
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Jackson Wilshire, modified 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 8:05 PM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 8:05 PM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

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Hi Matt,

The Sutta Pitaka identifies six modes of consciousness, one for each sense base:

Eye consciousness
Ear consciousness
Nose consciousness
Mouth consciousness
Body consciousness
Mind consciousness describe the consciousness of "ideas"

Other schools of Buddhism identify two or three more levels, to account for a "mindstream" which houses one's karma... but we won't get in to that.

As you will see, none of these modes of consciousness are awareness proper. These are individual modes of consciousness that arise with phenomena at any one of the six sense doors. One may hypothesize that it is these six modes of consciousness that blink out simultaneously during a Mahasi style fruition.

The primordial awareness which reveals these processes and modes of consciousness is what we call rigpa.

Helpful?
~Jackson

Edit: Spelling.
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Wet Paint, modified 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 10:01 PM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/4/09 10:01 PM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: Adam_West

That's a pretty good representation Jackson. However, I would word it for clarity with a slightly different choice of terms. Instead of: "
The primordial awareness which 'reveals' these processes and modes of consciousness is what we call rigpa.", I would simply change 'reveals' to is 'aware' or 'cognizes' or 'sees' these conditioned, impermanent, contingent or dependent processes or modes of consciousness. Awareness is the unborn; these other modes or processes are necessarily temporal, impermanent and dependently arising. They are objects of awareness or objects in awareness or objects seen by awareness; they come and go, awareness does not.

Awareness is self-existent, independent and self-aware even in the absence of an object to be aware of. Awareness is prior ontologically and temporally to any and all 'objects' of awareness. Yet, it is not a thing or ontological essence itself. It is just empty cognizance. Simply awareness without positive attribute, condition or possibility of description. Every'thing' else is its contrary, and is that which is seen by awareness which is 'you' doing the seeing. That is why, on principle, there is nothing to do as an 'ego'. As an ego we do not exist. 'We' are the awareness that sees the ego, that we mistakenly think 'we' are. Realize yourself to be awareness and that is the end of the path. Apparent problem solved.

In kind regards,

Adam.
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triple think, modified 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 12:33 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 12:33 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

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look again

dharma/dhamma does not posit an eternal & constant consciousness element that is an unconditioned element 'of anyone'.

dharma/dhamma posits causally existential phenomenal conditionality incorporating intentionality and inclined towards freedom. In this, wisdom regarding consciousness has it's temporal dynamic.

there are two cessations/nibbanas/nirvanas.

the experiential non-arising of all awareness
complete retreat from every conditional nature of being and becoming

which erodes habituated self conceiving awareness from the outside in and the inside out

and another final disbanding upon the complete breakup of the conditional causality underlying recurrent residual mind & body

within all ongoing potential for experiential hells, heavens or dusty earths

therefore the residual activity of

path divergence

a
to boldly stay
recurrently awake and engaged in resultant co-dependent sequential narratives
for no possible reason but compassion


or b
to temporarily or permanently exit to perfect liberation in unconditional sanctuary
for no possible reason but wisdom
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Wet Paint, modified 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 2:03 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 2:03 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: Adam_West

Hi Nathan! :-)

Would you explain to me 'who or what' stays out of compassion or exits to perfect liberation?

Thanks mate!

In kind regards,

Adam.
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triple think, modified 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 3:30 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 3:30 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 362 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
dependently originated fabrications and or formations
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Wet Paint, modified 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 5:22 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 5:22 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: Adam_West

@ Nathan: "dependently originated fabrications and or formations"

Thanks mate! Ok. So what is the mechanism by which these formations come to be sentient? And how does what you allude to differ from a physical reductionist, secular model of reality? And since these formations are nothing more than empty phenomena, how does your model differ from nihilism?

Thanks for sharing! :-)

In kind regards,

Adam.
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Chris Marti, modified 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 5:38 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 5:38 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

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I keep reading and re-reading the comments here over the last 24 hours. Confusing. We have a kind of model mania going on. I see the Theravada/Hinayana and Daniel's MCTB message and I get that. It's a kind of scientific, almost materialistic (thanks, Adam) process. Then I see the Dzogchen/Zen/Mahayana traditions and I think both, BOTH, are aimed at the same stuff and that simple fact gets confused because they're being translated through the imperfections, thoughts, conceptual-ness of the human minds which subscribe to them. That's my complicated way of saying what Kenneth said earlier: we're left to our own devices. There's nothing to really argue about as I see it, since we all have to choose and execute our own path.
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Kenneth Folk, modified 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 6:01 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 6:01 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

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"I can't help but notice that your two fruitions are in fact mutually exclusive. If there is no consciousness, then there is no rigpa. Accordingly, rigpa is not unborn, for it ceases."-msj123

Great questions, Matt. I'll riff on it a bit, based on my own (non)experience. I don't think there are any definitive answers, although, as Jackson points out, there are textual references that might shed some light. Yes, rigpa and cessation are mutually exclusive. One doesn't happen from the point of view of the other. But, remember, rigpa is the recognition of buddha nature in the moment. During that recognition, in my experience, cessation does not occur. But that does not mean that cessation does not happen within buddha nature; of course it does. It just happens at a time when buddha nature is not being recognized.

You can learn to access either kind of fruition, whenever you want. In the case of rigpa, the access is instantaneous, as soon as you remember to notice it. In the case of cessation, it may take a second or two, or, if you are very distracted, several seconds. Then you can compare rigpa and cessation side by side.

One practical detail is that you can let be in rigpa while you are driving, or eating dinner with the family, or in a meeting at work, whereas, at least for me, cessation usually requires closing my eyes. I usually roll my eyes up into my head, too, and flicker my eyelids, so I have to be discreet so people around me won't think I'm having a seizure. :-)

Back to the theory: you wrote, "rigpa is not unborn, for it ceases." If by ceasing, you mean that we aren't always aware of it, the same would apply to Nibbana/cessation. So, I don't think that proves it ceases. Actually, buddha nature cannot be found to cease; since it is awareness itself, how would we know if it ceased? You can't be aware of not being aware.

(continued below)
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Kenneth Folk, modified 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 6:02 AM
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RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

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(cont from # 67)

"Bliss is phenomenon. So how can nibbana be blissful?"-Matt

The fact that, post-Nibbana, you have the distinct impression of having been somewhere very blissful gives us an important clue to your previous question. There must have been awareness during cessation in order to register the bliss, even though to "me" it seemed like a wink-out. From that POV, it would seem that the non-experience of Nibbana is something added to pure awareness. I remember reading in one of Mahasi's books that in the moment of cessation, the mind "leaps forth" to take Nibbana as object. But what is this mind that is capable of doing this dualistic leaping? And what is it that remains unmoved by the whole wonderful event but knows about it nonetheless? Would that not be pure awareness, or buddha nature? Just an idea.

The best part is that it isn't necessary to choose between the two different kinds of fruition, as both can be enjoyed in this lifetime. It isn't necessary to take a stand on whether the Pali Buddha can beat up the Sanskrit Buddha or vice versa. The practices and understandings that lead to the fruitions are available to anyone with a library card or internet access. And almost anyone can find time to practice the instructions. Over a period of months and years, the direct apprehension of both rigpa and cessation is a very realistic goal.

Thanks for the provocative questions.

Kenneth
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Kenneth Folk, modified 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 7:30 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 7:30 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

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"None of these modes of consciousness are awareness proper. These are individual modes of consciousness that arise with phenomena at any one of the six sense doors. One may hypothesize that it is these six modes of consciousness that blink out simultaneously during a Mahasi style fruition. The primordial awareness which reveals these processes and modes of consciousness is what we call rigpa."-Jackson

This is great, Jackson. I would just tweak it a bit by saying, "The primordial awareness which reveals these processes and modes of consciousness is what we call buddha nature or dharmakaya. The *recognition* of this primordial awareness in this moment is what we call rigpa."

Tulk Urgyen defines rigpa as "knowing" (of our own basic essence, or buddha nature), and contrasts it with "marigpa" or "unknowing."

Kenneth
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Kenneth Folk, modified 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 8:02 AM
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RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

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"Awareness is self-existent, independent and self-aware even in the absence of an object to be aware of. Awareness is prior ontologically and temporally to any and all 'objects' of awareness. Yet, it is not a thing or ontological essence itself. It is just empty cognizance. Simply awareness without positive attribute, condition or possibility of description."-Adam

Beautiful.

"Every'thing' else is its contrary, and is that which is seen by awareness which is 'you' doing the seeing."-Adam

I wouldn't say that every'thing' else is its contrary. I would say that while it is possible to distinguish between primordial awareness and everything else, it is not possible to separate them. Everything else is not other than primordial awareness, and the moment of rigpa reveals this; the entire manifest world is seen to simultaneously arise and disappear into primordial awareness, leaving not a trace.

"That is why, on principle, there is nothing to do as an 'ego'. As an ego we do not exist. 'We' are the awareness that sees the ego, that we mistakenly think 'we' are. Realize yourself to be awareness and that is the end of the path. Apparent problem solved."-Adam

Wonderful. Thank you, Adam. This, to me, is what makes the Dharma Overground come to life. We point, for each other, to what is true.

May you be rigpa now.

Kenneth
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triple think, modified 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 8:15 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 8:15 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

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Kamma/Karma
active & resultant

In Thai Forest Sangha Terms, 'primal awareness' is recognized as primal ignorance or avidya. I equate this one conditional quality with the rarified awareness condition remaining in neither perception nor non-perception. (imho avidya has no push or pull (spin / craving & aversion), only hold [non-dual], 'ignorance' or clinging. For spin, 'activated kamma/karma' a second quality of consciousness must be added, resulting in a cognition, an emergent duality with at minimum primal awareness and an object consciousness or the second most subtle quality of consciousness, the 'negation object' - nothingness.)
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Kenneth Folk, modified 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 8:34 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 8:34 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

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"I think Tarin is implying that a big self (the root) survives the little self and that the root itself must be cut to end duality. If one were to "hear out of the ears" or "see out of the eyes," then that is the one which must meet its end. Non-duality is the senses themselves; there is no self which can be seen, felt, heard, smelled or tasted."-Trent

There is a deeper reality yet to be revealed. Primordial awareness has no beginning and thus no end. It is non-arising, and therefore cannot pass away. This primordial awareness is the nugget or core of all understanding. Primordial awareness, or buddha nature, is not a big self. It isn't anything except aware. That's why Tulku Urgyen calls it "empty and cognizant self-existing wakefulness." He goes on to say that "there are actually two names for the mind. In the case of an ignorant sentient being, the mind is called empty cognizance with a core of ignorance (marigpa). The mind of all the buddhas is called empty cognizance with a core of awareness (rigpa)" (Quintessential Dzogchen, p. 101).

This is an important, topic, Trent...the most important of all. Self-existing cognizant emptiness is our essential nature. Recognizing it is our birthright. The only thing that would prevent us from recognizing it would be to fixate on some idea. If we can stay open to possibilities, determined to find out what is true, irrespective of what we want to be true or what we have already seen, we all have the potential to find out what is truer than our thoughts.

(continued below)
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Kenneth Folk, modified 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 8:35 AM
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RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

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(continued from post # 72)

I've been on both ends of this debate, Trent. For years, I fought and kicked and screamed and insulted those who claimed to know something I could not find through Burmese vipassana investigation. But, it made no sense to me that the Zen and Vajrayana and Advaita masters could all be such deluded idiots. It really upset me. In fact, it tortured me. Then, I tried their techniques and listened to what they were saying. It turns out that they are not idiots. So much for my ideas.

Metta,

Kenneth
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Jackson Wilshire, modified 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 9:09 AM
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RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

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Hey Kenneth,

I agree. Thanks for clarifying terms.

~Jackson
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Kenneth Folk, modified 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 9:23 AM
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RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

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"In Thai Forest Sangha Terms, 'primal awareness' is recognized as primal ignorance or avidya."-triplethink

Hi Nathan,

Can you give us a link or a reference for that interpretation?

Thanks,

Kenneth
Trent S H, modified 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 9:51 AM
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RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

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Kenneth,

I'm not sure I understand your reply-- it doesn't seem to address what I said... I don't want to pull this thread off topic, so I was purposefully being vague, so it's not your fault. I'll shoot you an e-mail, as that seems more appropriate.

Trent
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triple think, modified 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 10:52 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 10:52 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mun_Bhuridatta

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ajahn_Maha_Bua

-with continued appreciation & respect for your part in this dialog Kenneth
metta & upekkha
-nathan

see:
http://www.forestdhammabooks.com/

(Quotations and disambiguation within the tradition will require further research and composition on my part. To summarize, the arahant has abandoned this last 'taint', the anagami has not yet realized the abandonment of primordial avidya but has attenuated all other craving & aversion which obscures this subtlest of 'citta', mind conditions or 'mental qualities)
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Wet Paint, modified 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 1:14 PM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 1:14 PM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: Adam_West

@ Kenneth: "I wouldn't say that every'thing' else is its contrary. I would say that while it is possible to distinguish between primordial awareness and everything else, it is not possible to separate them. Everything else is not other than primordial awareness, and the moment of rigpa reveals this; the entire manifest world is seen to simultaneously arise and disappear into primordial awareness, leaving not a trace."

Yep, that's an important metaphysical point of distinction to make that very much requires clarification! By contrary I make the metaphysical distinction between that which is contingent, dependent and transient - phenomena - and that which is unborn, unconditioned and self-existent - awareness. Ontologically, neither phenomena nor awareness are things or have 'thingness' or some kind of substantial essence; they both are entirely empty fullness, while being essentially inseparable cognizance - not two, not one etc. Phenomena is something like the self-luminous play of awareness that is energetically both movement and stillness and neither, nor not neither - like waves on the ocean or clouds in the sky; while awareness is the sky-like clear luminosity of cognizance that has no shape, center, dimension or location. We are speaking of two different aspects of Dharamkaya here, not two different things.

In kind regards,

Adam.
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Kenneth Folk, modified 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 1:16 PM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 1:16 PM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

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Hi Nathan. Thanks for the links! I scanned the Ajahn Mun article, but wasn't able to find references to primal awareness. The Ajahn Maha Bua article, though, yielded this, which is very much in accord with the Dzogchen and Advaita understandings of primordial awareness:

"Maha Bua sees the essential enduring truth of the sentient being as constituted of the indestructible reality of the citta (heart / mind), which is characterized by the attribute of Awareness or Knowingness. This citta, which is intrinsically bright, clear and Aware, gets superficially tangled up in samsara but ultimately cannot be destroyed by any samsaric phenomenon. Although Maha Bua is often at pains to emphasise the need for meditation upon the non-Self (anatta), he also points out that the citta, while getting caught up in the vortex of conditioned phenomena, is not subject to destruction as are those things which are impermanent, suffering, and non-Self (anicca, dukkha, anatta). The citta is ultimately not beholden to these laws of conditioned existence. The citta is bright, radiant and deathless, and is its own independent reality."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ajahn_Maha_Bua

I don't doubt that there are Theravada monks who advocate the position you cite, but based on this article it seems that Maha Bua is a fan of primordial awareness. His description of the way citta gets "tangled up" in samsara is not the way I would describe it. I would say, rather, that primordial awareness is untouched even as it gives rise to the expression of samsara, and that the two are inseparable. Nonetheless, Maha Bua appears to be what one might call a non-dualist. The "intrinsically bright, clear and Aware" language is identical to the way the Tibetans describe our essential nature. Maybe you and I need not be at odds after all? We could try each others' practices and explore together.

Your friend,

Kenneth
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Chris Marti, modified 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 1:19 PM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 1:19 PM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 379 Join Date: 7/7/09 Recent Posts
" I'll shoot you an e-mail, as that seems more appropriate."

For what it's worth, Trent. I think what you two were discussing is veryy relevant. I'm not sure why you'd want to be purposefully vague but I'd really like to understand your point.. Why not say it here?
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Wet Paint, modified 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 1:19 PM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 1:19 PM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: Adam_West

People might think this stuff is impractical, irrelevant philosophy but it is not. These discussions relate to pointing out instructions that may trigger a realization of your own fundamental nature, in which you may notice awareness in this very mind moment. It is like two men standing in the dark and we are both trying to find my face. I'm wandering about tripping over myself trying to locate my own face waving my arms about and my mate keeps trying to point out to me that my face is right there in front of me and that I don't need to wander around the room touching this and that, exploring, analyzing, 'doing' this and that to find it; it was there all along, an essential part of what I am - nothing to do, just notice what is already there. It is a matter of a realization that one must come to, is all.

In kind regards,

Adam.

Edited for spelling, in case you were wondering ;-)
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Chris Marti, modified 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 1:24 PM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 1:24 PM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 379 Join Date: 7/7/09 Recent Posts
"But, it made no sense to me that the Zen and Vajrayana and Advaita masters could all be such deluded idiots. It really upset me. In fact, it tortured me. Then, I tried their techniques and listened to what they were saying. It turns out that they are not idiots."


:-)

That's the smile of Mahakasyapa on Vutlure's Peak.
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Kenneth Folk, modified 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 1:27 PM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 1:27 PM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 439 Join Date: 4/30/09 Recent Posts
"People might think this stuff is impractical, irrelevant philosophy but it is not. These discussions relate to pointing out instructions that may trigger a realization of your own fundamental nature, in which you may notice awareness in this very mind moment."-Adam

Yes! All of this pointing, repetition, and clarification is very helpful to both those who have already awakened to their essential nature and to those who have not. This kind of discussion, and the reading of it IS a big part of this practice. To those of you who are reading this and wondering what we are on about....keep reading, and don't be surprised if it suddenly makes more sense than anything you've ever heard. Now would be a really lovely time to wake up!

May you be rigpa now,

Kenneth
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Kenneth Folk, modified 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 1:33 PM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 1:33 PM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 439 Join Date: 4/30/09 Recent Posts
"
:-)

That's the smile of Mahakasyapa on Vutlure's Peak."-Chris

Back atcha! :-)

Kenneth
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triple think, modified 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 2:14 PM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 2:14 PM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 362 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Yes, this would be about the only criticism that I or any other Theravada hardcore could level at Ven. Maha Boowa. As such, it would seem there is a universe of far worse things to subject to misrepresentation. There are more than a few Theravada monastics and laity who can see past these issues to the core truths of the Buddha. Typically requires more than a little hair pulling, and a lot of dusting. I'd say we have about the same hairline bud.

To get down to the nitty gritty of all this and provide the correct citations I would have to re-read most all of the books at:
http://www.forestdhammabooks.com/
in addition to a number of other important works.

I'll try to clarify the fine points in all these regards down the road when time permits. Thanks for all of your input so far. I'd say that in the thread overall we may well be beginning to see both the forest & the trees.

metta & upekkha
-n
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Wet Paint, modified 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 3:22 PM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 3:22 PM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: garyrh

How about when you are your own mate? I sense some other knowing coming from somewhere and it does not respond well "normal" thought. It frustrates me I cannot pin it down more and I am interested. Sometimes it is not possible to express things in an in a very practical way, but that does not make it less real, so all this theory on the subject I read intensed interest.

For the contributors on this thread I am here listening.

Gary
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Wet Paint, modified 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 3:56 PM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 3:56 PM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: bboyYen

About the citta thing there is something that might be interpreted like that:

"

"Luminous, monks, is the mind.1 And it is defiled by incoming defilements." {I,v,9}

"Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is freed from incoming defilements." {I,v,10}

"Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is defiled by incoming defilements. The uninstructed run-of-the-mill person doesn't discern that as it actually is present, which is why I tell you that — for the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person — there is no development of the mind." {I,vi,1}

"Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is freed from incoming defilements. The well-instructed disciple of the noble ones discerns that as it actually is present, which is why I tell you that — for the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones — there is development of the mind." {I,vi,2}


"

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an01/an01.049.than.html



"

"The mind is luminous, but it is stained by defilements that come from without. Ordinary folks do not realize this, so they do not cultivate the mind. The mind is luminous, but it can be cleansed of defilements that come from without. This the noble disciples understand, so they cultivate the mind".

"

http://www.4ui.com/eart/180eart1.htm
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Wet Paint, modified 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 4:42 PM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 4:42 PM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: Adam_West

Hey Garry!! :-)

I think I know what you mean. There is that non-conceptual, meta-linguistic 'knowing' that is sensed but not quite realized in a conventional sense. Often, if we are talking about, or if I consider, some area of abstract philosophy concerning the nature of being, I find myself at the end of my conceptual knowledge, memory, deductive and inductive logic, and yet I sense this nebulous knowing just sitting there on the edge of awareness. If I relax the 'doing mind' into still awareness (which takes time to achieve, or on principle may be instant and avolitional, as we all experience from time to time) there can be a flash of realization, part of which I will then find is translatable into pre-existing language, conceptual frameworks and ideas, and yet part of it will be new and a slightly original twist or of greater depth which doesn't quite translate; thus, expanding and transforming those previously existing ideas and 'view'. This is how I recognize authentic practitioners like Dan and Kenneth and others I have met and know around the world, for they have ‘directly’ seen some glimpses for themselves, to a greater or lesser degree, and what they say often reflects slightly new and original takes on old ideas, rather than simply parroting other people's words, which are often only half understood, without depth and containing partial misunderstandings. That is just my take on it, anyhow. :-P

[cont.]
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Wet Paint, modified 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 4:45 PM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 4:45 PM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: Adam_West

The point is, allowing the conventional mind to relax and open up by relaxing the 'striving' faculty and letting go of mental tension allows consciousness to open up to deeper levels of awareness and non-conceptual 'direct seeing'. This then, is part of the process of meditation. The more we let go of our preconceptions, tensions and striving of the conventional self, the more we get out of our own way to directly see that-which-is. So I would only say sit more in this fashion and spend more time just being aware throughout the day allowing the discursive mind to dissipate when not needed outside of functional use.

What I have noticed helps is to develop the habit of effortless, uncontrived expansive openness in both meditation and throughout the day; that is, relax, be naturally aware without effort or doing in trying to achieve this.

In kind regards,

Adam.
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Jackson Wilshire, modified 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 6:02 PM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 6:02 PM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 443 Join Date: 5/6/09 Recent Posts
bboyYen,

Thank you for posting those links :-) They add a great deal to the discussion (at least for me).

~Jackson
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triple think, modified 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 6:31 PM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 6:31 PM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 362 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Yes, thank you bboyYen. It has been said at points that there is no cause for relying upon the texts as we can have no certainties in this regards and so I have not relied upon these. However, without recourse to the authority of the Buddhadhamma and ultimately the historical person of the Buddha, one is left questioning the basis for anyone to then present themselves as an Arahat, for this is the context in which the title derives it's meaning and not anywhere elsewhere.

I would say that we can in fact develop certainties through direct examination, re-examination and in turn deeper investigation.

These utterances by the Buddha of the Tipitika are echoed in the same way by Ajahn Mun in his account describing the examination of 'primordial awareness', as luminous, unbounded, etc.. In my experience I must also concur. It is necessary to examine the qualities of consciousness very closely. Doing so one notes all else that might be added to it, in either a non-dualistic or dualistic sense, is dukkha, anicca and anatta. Examination reveals that this primary condition is the same, raw consciousness itself is no less a temporal, conditional, dependent phenomena without any lasting essence. It is with this in mind that the Arahant rightly abandons even this raw consciousness condition and takes sanctuary in absolute cessation, in nibbana.

This is the 'dogmatic' classical Theravada standpoint on this situation. I don't offer it up here as the ultimate truth. That truth is for each individual to determine if and when they see fit. I do offer it up as the only interpretation that is fully consistent with the vast conceptual and considerable practical instruction available within the Tipitaka for those who are willing to take the time and effort to examine it in depth.
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triple think, modified 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 8:00 PM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 8:00 PM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 362 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
To be honest I am a little bit surprised that any of this needs to be explicated at DhO. Then again, I suppose that is naive on my part which makes sense having lived alone for...well having almost always lived alone. So how would I know what other people understand or not?

I'd like to wrap my part in this up for now and turn it over to others to present other ways of viewing the nature of non-dual consciousness. I also have other perspectives on it but presenting this one has been enough of a chore for now.

In reference to the classical Theravada understanding I've attempted to present above see also:

Miln II.1.8: Characteristics of Attention and Wisdom {Miln 32-33}
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/miln/miln.2x.kell.html#miln-2-1-08

MN 1
Mulapariyaya Sutta: The Root Sequence
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.001.than.html

MN 49
Brahma-nimantanika Sutta: The Brahma Invitation
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.049.than.html

A full list of supporting texts would be quite long, I encourage those who are interested to undertake their own study. I am willing to help anyone interested in any way I can. Please ask such questions by means of pm rather than posting inquiries regarding detailed technical minutia in the open discussions where these could very easily and rapidly become a maze of unmanageable and unnavigable data.
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Wet Paint, modified 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 9:11 PM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 9:11 PM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: Adam_West

Hey guys,

It appears to me, pre-reflectively and outside of any doctrinal debates or religious identification or affiliation, complete cessation, resulting Nibbana seems quite counter-intuitive. It does not seem to present anything like an elegant explanatory model, resulting, for me, in more questions than answers. For those who are so inclined, I invite you to lay out the pathways from empty phenomena, to consciousness, to cessation, to Nibbanna. Secular science also suffers from a similar poverty of explanatory power. There are massive holes in scientific theory on all the important points like how life comes about from a chemical soup, or how consciousness follows from neuro-chemisty etc. Plenty of models, all with insufficient empirical support. Massive holes that are just not talked about in the public domain mostly because they are quite inconvenient and undermine sciences' status and power.

No doubt the said Theravada theory is internally consistent and I am just missing something. :-P Kenneth, you up for it? ;-P

In kind regards,

Adam.

Edited: spelling.
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triple think, modified 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 10:22 PM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 10:22 PM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 362 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
If you're are referring to the Theravada approach, in a word, no, I'm not so inclined. It would be a long and drawn out process of presenting a comprehensive overview of information that is already very well laid out in the Tipitaka as it is. In addition there are many excellent resources available now, online and offline, for anyone to do this homework for themselves.

I don't really see this as the role of the DhO.

The practical work is given detailed treatment under the heading of satipatthana which includes within it's overall context a very comprehensive application of samathavipassana.

It's necessary for individuals seeking comprehensive realizations, knowledge, wisdom and understanding to do the work for themselves. Short of doing it, there is only going to be endless questions.

After actually doing it, there are no further questions. It is as simple as that.

I have no questions and I have no arguments. I am quite clear on what is what. It is satisfying and liberating for me and absolutely useless to others in the same sense. That's simply the way it is.

In your posts you've expressed that you don't like this kind of work; very basic, repetitive, diligent and determined attention to simple and unremarkable physical and mental phenomena and unfortunately, this is how it's done. It begins by destroying the resort to things like boredom and laziness and frustration and so on. After cleaning house for a while it will move on to other things. If one desires the kind of precision in perception that the Theravadans speak about then it involves a relatively stoic discipline compared to approaches like advaita or the choiceless awareness practice referred to in your posts.
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Wet Paint, modified 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 11:26 PM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/5/09 11:26 PM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: Adam_West

Thanks for your contribution Nathan! :-) Any other takers? I'm wondering what 'you' guys think this winking out mechanism is, and how you think that process explains the resultant realization of Nibbana. Trent, you've been there, what do you reckon?

In kind regards,

Adam.
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Chris Marti, modified 15 Years ago at 7/6/09 3:29 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/6/09 3:29 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 379 Join Date: 7/7/09 Recent Posts
Based on Adam's request I went back and re-read Daniel's essay on "no dog," "some dog" and "the simplest thing" -- which if you haven't read yet you should:

http://tiny.cc/vIL0O

That said, I also took some quick notes on my last experience with "no dog" because, well, it just seemed like the thing to do at the time because the experience was so profound, and I had the means (my iPhone is handy). If anyone's interested in those notes I'd be wiling to let go and post them here. Warning - they're much like what others have already said about "no dog," but they come from the immediacy of that very moment.
Martin Potter, modified 15 Years ago at 7/6/09 4:04 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/6/09 4:04 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 86 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Hi cmarti, I'm very interested to read these. Don't worry if it's similar to what others have said about it, it's really useful to have different perspectives.

- Martin
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Wet Paint, modified 15 Years ago at 7/6/09 4:13 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/6/09 4:13 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: Adam_West

Hey guys!

I received a note from a friend and Dzogchen teacher from England tonight, here is an extract where he mentions his admiration for Venerable Ajahn Sumedho’s teachings, a senior monk from the Thai Forest tradition, that many of you may be familiar with whose said relevant teachings follow from direct scriptural references of the Buddha that are consistent with Dzogchen, Mahamudra and Chan as myself, Kenneth and others have alluded to. Please see exert from friend:

“I've recently been looking at a selection of talks by Ajahn Sumedho (Intuitive Awareness, available for download free), which are amazing! He's using terms (from the Pali), like sati-sampajanna, to point directly to the nature of Awareness / Rigpa. This is very direct, and without the overlay of portentiousness that you sometimes get even in dzogchen and mahamudra. This immanent attentiveness (awareness-clear comprehension) or awakeness is the only 'true refuge', anything else being anicca (transitory) and dukkha (unsatisfactory / painful / stressful). I love to see this direct pointing being so beautifully expressed from within the Theravadin tradition. What is it? 'Just this'.”

You guys may find Venerable Ajahn Sumedho’s teachings of interest and relevant to our discussion. Check out his free e-book: Intuitive Awareness. See intro to book for context and rest of text for details. Please see link below:

http://www.amaravati.org/abm/english/documents/intuitive_Awareness.pdf

In kind regards,

Adam. :-)
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Wet Paint, modified 15 Years ago at 7/6/09 4:39 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/6/09 4:39 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: Adam_West

Hey Chris!

I for one would love to hear of your experiences. First person experience is what I most highly value above all else - not just my own, but everyones. You tell me you spoke to the Buddha, I'll be genuinely fascinated and accepting of your experience and believe you when you say that was your experience; while completely respecting your interpretations thereof. To state a truism, we know what we know, regardless of what others believe or some dusty text states. An empiricist epistemology is not always the best way to go in all contexts. Adopting other peoples' beliefs as our own could be the greatest self-betrayal. :-)

Please don't mind what I said early about original insights and statements, there's only so many possible English language words we can use to talk about this stuff, so, given the similarity of the nuances involved, it's all bound to be pretty similar once in written form, which won't do justice to the experience / realization itself.

In kind regards,

Adam.
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Chris Marti, modified 15 Years ago at 7/6/09 7:01 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/6/09 7:01 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 379 Join Date: 7/7/09 Recent Posts
Okay, here it is, completely unedited. I typed this into Notes on my phone as I was in the zone:


Plop (don't know how else to describe what occurred over about a five second period)

All of a sudden experience is clear

Experience stands out so bright and fresh! The world is so damned beautiful! This has been going on *forever* and I missed it!

Real happens and all else is an echo I can track or ignore

Veils have been pulled aside. A wedge has been driven in between experience and the echo of experience

Words cannot express this: it is beyond their ability and beyond concepts

THIS JUST IS

Tears well up. I want to cry for joy

Surge of well being and wanting to help everyone else experience life this way

Won't be the same ever again

Can invoke "memory" of this and it all rushes back to where it is

Recognition that THIS is independent of time and space - it ain't about me but about eternity and vast vast nothingness

Everything about everything has been internalized -- it's no longer intellectual but reflex/real/felt/ experienced

Sent from my iPhone
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Wet Paint, modified 15 Years ago at 7/6/09 7:53 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/6/09 7:53 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: garyrh

Hi Adam,
Thanks for the book link. Below is a quote from it .... (I will not go further off topic)

"Intuitive awareness is frustrating
to an analytical person whose faith is in thought,
reason and logic. Awareness is right now. It’s not a
matter of thinking about it, but being aware of thinking
about it."
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Wet Paint, modified 15 Years ago at 7/6/09 7:19 PM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/6/09 7:19 PM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: Adam_West

Hey guys,

More common ground between the Thai Forrest Tradition and Chan, Dzogchen and Mahamudra. Since most of us are not enlightened it should be easy for us to put aside our preconceptions - as who would be so arrogant as to stubbornly insist upon the truth of beliefs we personally have not verified for ourselves! Naturally, precisely because so few of us are enlightened, we have such difficulty with this very problem! ;-) Such cognitive distortions can only give rise to the very suffering most of us seek to wake up from. Please see link to e-book of Ajahn Amaro's reflections on The Natural Great Perfection:

http://www.kalyanamitta.net/files/books/Amaro/SmallBoatGreatMountain-Ahmaro.pdf

In kind regards,

Adam.

P.S. I am aware that the Burmese Tradition finds the singular premise alluded to in this and previous posts as heretical. I apologize for any offense I may have caused. :-)
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Wet Paint, modified 15 Years ago at 7/6/09 7:26 PM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/6/09 7:26 PM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: Adam_West

Hi Chris!

That's beautiful! Thanks for sharing. This is what I mean by good practice being self-evident and self-perpetuating. Which of course does not preclude the processing of difficulties that have been well documented. But regardless, aside from acute mental illness that does occasionally follow from the practice of meditation, who could give it up once having discovered that-which-is!?!

In kind regards,

Adam.
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Wet Paint, modified 15 Years ago at 7/6/09 7:33 PM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/6/09 7:33 PM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: Adam_West

Hey Gary,

I'm glad you found it useful. I did too. :-p

In kind regards,

Adam.
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Chris Marti, modified 15 Years ago at 7/7/09 2:44 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/7/09 2:44 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 379 Join Date: 7/7/09 Recent Posts
Hey, thanks for the Ajahn Amaro link! Just downloaded and printed it. It looks very interesting. I once heard a recorded session of him speaking alongside a Zen Roshi. It was a fascinating experience. The two of them went deeply into these very topics. If I can find the recording I'll link to it here.

Edited for grammar.
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triple think, modified 15 Years ago at 7/7/09 6:18 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/7/09 6:18 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 362 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
A link to a thread in The Dhamma Wheel forum where the topics are also under current consideration.
My comments begin on page 5...
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=1236&start=80
...with further appreciations of the subjects of non-duality and traditional Theravada Liberation to conclude on page 6.
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=1236&start=100

It would be good to read pointing instruction from Mahayana perspectives on Non-dualty and Rigpa.
I did find this thread
http://www.lioncity.net/buddhism/index.php?showtopic=34089
where Namdrol offers Mahayana thought on Rigpa in very eloquent ways. There is some good discussion of these concerns in various forms online. I think they take on non-duality in a way that Theravada simply sidesteps.

Small Boat Great Mountain is the most progressive book I have read in this area. I really liked it and read it many times.
http://www.kalyanamitta.net/files/books/Amaro/SmallBoatGreatMountain-Ahmaro.pdf

btw my posting name on both these other forums is nathan.

Small Boat spawned all kinds of comment and discussion on Esangha for quite a while in a long thread with many pages of great discussion, q & a and informed perspective in the Philosophy Forum. That forum is gone now so unfortunately that thread isn't listed.
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Wet Paint, modified 15 Years ago at 7/7/09 10:10 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/7/09 10:10 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: garyrh

Popular book, this is the same book Adam has provided a link for earlier.
Trent S H, modified 15 Years ago at 7/7/09 3:22 PM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/7/09 3:22 PM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 0 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Question for you Adam:

Who is this a refuge for, where is the refuge, and from what are they taking shelter?

Best,
Trent
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Wet Paint, modified 15 Years ago at 7/7/09 4:43 PM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/7/09 4:43 PM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: Adam_West

Indeed this is so. You are quite right. No such ego requiring refuge exists, and this is an important point to keep in view if we wish to fully realize our inherent nature, or the nature of things as they are (phrase it as you wish). However, we need be careful not to conflate the universal and the particular. While on an absolute view, and rightly so, all phenomena are empty of independent, substantial existence; however, on the conventional level, subjective experience of the phenomena of suffering is real. It is a fine line to walk the view, without falling into the trap of nihilism. It is also a common sense view, kick your toe, break it, and say there is no me suffering in this instant, as you faint from the pain. ;-) And clearly the Buddha spoke at length on suffering, and those who suffer. So, here we can see two different yet related categories and senses of the terms real, existence and being or personhood.

In kind regards,

Adam.
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Chris Marti, modified 15 Years ago at 7/8/09 1:47 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/8/09 1:47 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 379 Join Date: 7/7/09 Recent Posts
I wouldn't use the term "refuge" to describe this. It's an uncovering, unveiling, drastic simplifying. It's not a hiding, covering up or escaping. Nope, not at all. To elaborate on Adam's point: If we continue to insist on black vs white, yes vs no, never vs always, someone vs no one --- then we'll miss the beauty and nuance of how and what we are. We are mysteriously constructed creatures that are connected to a universe in a mysterious way. This connection is both dual and non-dual. It cannot be pegged, wrapped up in a bow, pinned down, hog tied or otherwise finally and forever put into words.If it could there would be no need for what we call "practice."
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tarin greco, modified 15 Years ago at 7/8/09 2:23 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 7/8/09 2:23 AM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 658 Join Date: 5/14/09 Recent Posts
this thread has gotten broad and off-topic enough. in future, lets try to stay on topic more; either starting new threads for interesting tangents we wish to explore, or using private messages for the more personal conversations that crop up. thanks to all the contributors for the varied perspectives.
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Kenneth Folk, modified 14 Years ago at 7/23/09 5:57 PM
Created 14 Years ago at 7/23/09 5:57 PM

RE: Is Non-duality Amoral?

Posts: 439 Join Date: 4/30/09 Recent Posts
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