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Thread: "contemplating emptiness" video

  1. #11
    Forums Member SeeknShinjin's Avatar
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    And these things — the five clung-to-aggregates —are dependently co-arisen. Any desire, embracing, grasping & holding-on to these five five clung-to-aggregates is the origination of stress.

    MN 28

    So since this, stress, is dependent on causes and conditions, of the five-clung-to-aggregates, in order to arise it is empty(empty of a permanent self) right? If it were not dependent on certain causes and conditions in order to arise it would be permanent and would not depend on anything in order to come into being correct?
    Last edited by SeeknShinjin; 09 Jan 13 at 21:09.

  2. #12
    Forums Member SeeknShinjin's Avatar
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    "Whatever is dependent arising We declared that to be emptiness. That is dependent designation, And is itself the middle way." —Nāgārjuna, Mūlamadhyamakakārikā 24:18

    Say we have a flower seed, soil, a pot, sunlight, water and myself. In order for the flower to come into being it dependant on all these other things coming together. If the designation (flower) were permanent if it were a permanent self, it would not need these things in order to come into being. But that said, just because the flower has not yet come into being it does not mean that it does not exist. The flower is in the seed, but the seed has not grown into the flower correct?
    When the causes and conditions are correct we will have a flower, until then there is no flower.

    So we are not sayin the flower exists (being) and does not exist (non-being). Were are taking a middle approach to this right?

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by londonerabroad
    From the study links here on BWB on Dependent Origination and quoting P. A. Puyuto....
    Its "Payutto" - and would you mind saying which page your quote is from, please, because there are nine chapters . Its also not clear where your quote from Ven Payutto ends.

    I also recommend reading from Chapter 5, the very short section called - "Other Interpretations" which gives an example of Dependent Origination in everyday life:

    http://www.buddhanet.net/cmdsg/coarise5.htm

  4. #14
    Forums Member Element's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by londonerabroad View Post
    From the study links here on BWB on Dependent Origination and quoting P. A. Puyuto:
    Payutto is not the Buddha

    Quote Originally Posted by londonerabroad View Post
    So the Buddha corrected Ananda when he said the principle of dependent origination appeared to him to be simple.
    I would suggest to read the whole sutta, where Buddha replied "this generation of people" do not see it. In other words, Buddha was not refering to his disciples & students. In MN 38 and MN 115, Buddha unambiguously advised his students are to realise Dependent Origination for themselves, thus, obviously, it is not something difficult for the dedicated student.

    Quote Originally Posted by londonerabroad View Post
    Nagarjuna was a Patriach of Zen Buddhism...
    Really? Never heard that before.

    Quote Originally Posted by londonerabroad View Post
    In order to gain some insight into this teaching I think it is necessary to accept that there are two truths - the absolute truth (emptiness of all compounded or impermanent phenomena) and the relative truth (dependent arising. i.e. cause and effect).
    There is no "insight" here. This distinction is non-sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by londonerabroad View Post
    It is the Mahayana belief that only a Buddha can experience both the absolute truth and the relative truth simultaneously - and there you have it - what is the ego? It is empty of inherent (existing from its own side) and at the same time pure by nature, as is nirvana or the absence of ego.
    If you are unable to understand the Pali suttas then obviously emptiness has not been experienced.

    Ego is just a thought formation. The unenlightened mind believes & feels it to be real because the unenlightened mind has emotional clinging creating its ego. Where as when the enlightened mind speaks the word "I", it has no defiled clinging, thus the word "I" is simply a completely detached thought for a Buddha, like a computer speaking.

    Buddha does not experience the absolute truth and the relative truth of ego. There is no relative truth of ego. Relative truth is the truth or logical constructs of unenlightened minds, that allow their ordinary lives to proceed with some sense of order.

    For Buddha, when the words "I" and "mine" must be used in communication, they are not "ego". They are just noises; just sounds.

    This is why Mahayana is wrong in regards to Buddha & why you must write all kinds of complicated theory to try to justify your confused point of view.

    I advised from the beginning the Mahayana view can only cause confusion because it, itself, is confusion.

    In summary, if you are unable to have a conversation with others & speak the word "I" one thousand times in that conversation but not feel once in that conversation that there is an "I", then the mind is not enlightened.

    It is like when your mother, wife or mother-in-law is nagging you & you are completely detached, with the sound coming in one ear & out of the other. This is how a Buddha experiences his own speech when he speaks the word "I" one thousand times in a conversation.

    Buddha taught:

    [Deva:]
    He who's an Arahant, his work achieved,
    Free from taints, in final body clad,
    That monk still might use such words as "I."
    Still perchance might say: "They call this mine."
    ...
    Would such a monk be prone to vain conceits?

    [The Blessed One:]
    Bonds are gone for him without conceits,
    All delusion's chains are cast aside:
    Truly wise, he's gone beyond such thoughts.
    That monk still might use such words as "I,"
    Still perchance might say: "They call this mine."
    Well aware of common worldly speech,
    He would speak conforming to such use.

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipit....025.wlsh.html
    Quote Originally Posted by londonerabroad View Post
    The middle way means not inherently existing (standing alone from its own side) and not non-existing (the nihilistic view). To understand Nagarjuna you must be a follower of the middle way.
    The Middle Way is the Noble Eightfold Path as Buddha taught & unrelated to the philosophy of Nagarjuna.

    The middle way discovered by a Perfect One avoids both these extremes; it gives vision, it gives knowledge, and it leads to peace, to direct acquaintance, to discovery, to nibbana. And what is that middle way? It is simply the noble eightfold path, that is to say, right view, right intention; right speech, right action, right livelihood; right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. That is the middle way discovered by a Perfect One.

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipit....011.nymo.html
    Last edited by Element; 10 Jan 13 at 01:59.

  5. #15
    Forums Member Element's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeeknShinjin View Post
    So since this, stress, is dependent on causes and conditions, of the five-clung-to-aggregates...
    Stress is dependent on clinging to the five aggregates. This is the cause & condition for stress.

    Quote Originally Posted by SeeknShinjin View Post
    ...in order to arise it is empty (empty of a permanent self) right?
    Yes. For anything to arise, it cannot be permanent.

    But this is just theory. It is reviewing reality after the fact rather than when it is actually occuring.

    When actually practising meditation (rather than doing the theoretical thought gymnastics of Najajuna), Buddha 1st saw phenomena were impermanent. In seeing the phenomena were impermanent, then arose the insight they are not-self (anatta), i.e., empty of self (sunnata).

    Buddha did not come to a theory of emptiness & then use that to logically deduce impermanence & conditionality. Instead, it was the opposite.

    Buddha saw conditionality & impermence which resulted in the associated but later insight of emptiness

    Quote Originally Posted by SeeknShinjin View Post
    If it were not dependent on certain causes and conditions in order to arise it would be permanent and would not depend on anything in order to come into being correct?
    Yes. Correct.


  6. #16
    Forums Member Element's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeeknShinjin View Post
    So since this, stress, is dependent on causes and conditions, of the five-clung-to-aggregates, in order to arise it is empty (empty of a permanent self) right?
    As for stress or suffering, it arises due to emotional clinging (anxiety about losing something) & then from loss itself.

    By suffering, Buddha was referring to sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief & despair, which comes when aging-&-death occur to those things we love & cling to.

    I am sure we all have experienced suffering due to loss. This is all Buddha was explaining in DO; suffering due to loss.

    *****

    But that suffering must be free from a permanent self to arise does not make much sense, which is why, imo, Nagajuna is confusing.

    Suffering is an emotion, like crying.

    The crying is not a "self". Crying is water, caused by certain neurological processes.

    Many people beleive they have permanent "self" but also believe their emotions are impermanent.

    One of the major confusions of Nagajuna, imo, is he seemed to impart "selves" upon things like rocks, which do not have any form of self-view, and then logically argued to deny that "self" that he imparted.

    Nagajunians generally believe to call a tree a "tree" is imparting "selfhood" on a tree.


  7. #17
    Forums Member Element's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeeknShinjin View Post
    If the designation (flower) were permanent if it were a permanent self.
    This is what i was referring to as common to Nagajuian logic.

    If a flower were permanent, it would be a permanent flower (rather than a permanent "self").

    "Self" is a human thought construct & idea based on certain emotions. Flowers do not have any thought ideas.

    For example, a plastic flower is quite permanent (it may last 50 years) but just because it lasts 50 years this does not mean it has a longer "self" than a flower than lasts 3 days because there is no idea of 'self' in the plastic flower.

    Also, to refute Nagajuna, Buddha taught Nirvana is something permanent or unchanging. Yet he taught to not cling to Nirvana, otherwise it cannot be real Nirvana.

    The 'selfing' Buddha was encouraging us to avoid is not related to the permanence or impermanence of objects. Instead, it is related to our own mind's clinging.

    Thus, in the Dependent Origination, Buddha was pointing to the mind's clinging; that clinging to impermanent objects causes suffering.

    Plus, clinging to permanent objects, such as Nirvana, also causes suffering, because the mind that experiences Nirvana can be impermanent.


  8. #18
    Forums Member Element's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeeknShinjin View Post
    When the causes and conditions are correct we will have a flower, until then there is no flower.

    So we are not sayin the flower exists (being) and does not exist (non-being). Were are taking a middle approach to this right?
    Yes, in respect to the flower, yes.

    But not in respect to "the self".

    Londonerabroad seemed to be arguing there is a real but impermanent "self", just like there is a real but impermanent flower.

    For Buddha, there is no real but impermanent 'self', anywhere.

    For Buddha, there are real but impermanent flowers but not any real but impermanent "selves".

    Buddha taught the five aggregates are impermanent thus Buddha did not deny the temporary existence of the five aggregates, which include flowers.

    But Buddha thoroughly denied the temporary existence of "self" in relation to the enlightened mind.

    Regarding the enlightened mind, all of the arahants declared: "Self-birth is finished. There is no more becoming".

    Thus Londonerabroad's view about two kinds of truth in relation to the 'self' is not related to Pali doctrine.


  9. #19
    Forums Member Element's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by londonerabroad View Post
    The middle way means not inherently existing (standing alone from its own side) and not non-existing (the nihilistic view). To understand Nagarjuna you must be a follower of the middle way.
    Nagarjuna adopted his version of the middle way from the Kaccayanagotta Sutta

    'Everything exists': That is one extreme. 'Everything doesn't exist': That is a second extreme. Avoiding these two extremes, the Tathagata teaches the Dhamma via the middle:
    But the problem is, in the Kaccayanagotta Sutta, Buddha was referring to the doctines of eternalism & nihilism, which essentially refer to the permanent or temporary existence of "the self".

    By & large, Kaccayana, this world is supported by (takes as its object) a polarity, that of existence & non-existence.
    Eternalism is the view: "I will exist after death". Nihilism is the view: "I will cease to exist after death".

    Both of these views are wrong views, not because of the permanence or nothingness, but because they both include the view of "I".

    Thus Buddha explains in the same sutta:

    By & large, Kaccayana, this world is in bondage to attachments, clingings & biases. But one such as this does not get involved with or cling to these attachments, clingings, fixations of awareness, biases, or obsessions; nor is he resolved on 'my self.' He has no uncertainty or doubt that just stress, when arising, is arising; stress, when passing away, is passing away.
    Thus, when "self-view" arises in the D.O., Buddha is not explaining a temporary 'self' is arising. Instead, Buddha is explaining 'stress' is arising.

    For Buddha, there is no 'self' anywhere because 'self' is simply 'stress'.

    A flower is a flower for Buddha, a rock is a rock for Buddha, but a 'self' is 'stress' for a Buddha.


  10. #20
    Forums Member SeeknShinjin's Avatar
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    Ahh. I see what you mean Element. Thank you.

    A flower or rock would not have a self. It is just a flower or rock.
    It does not think.

    the D.O. teaching is for the mind. Objects such as rocks have no mind to cling,
    I see what you mean when you said:
    Thus, in the Dependent Origination, Buddha was pointing to the mind's clinging; that clinging to impermanent objects causes suffering.

    Gassho,

    SS
    Last edited by SeeknShinjin; 10 Jan 13 at 04:04.

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