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Thread: Karma's place in the early Buddhist view of reality

  1. #21
    Forums Member Element's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trusolo View Post
    I think every thought and action is 'kamma' - I presume it has to be volitional.
    Maybe. However, not all volition has 'self' invested in it. Such selfless volition or kamma cannot reap an adverse result. That is why it does not really count as being 'kamma'. Generally, the word 'kamma' assumes self-view is involved.

    Quote Originally Posted by trusolo View Post
    Most of the stuff that keeps us alive and kicking happen at the unconscious level.
    Possibly but this stuff may still generate suffering when mixed with attachment to it; such as the life force or will to live.

    Quote Originally Posted by trusolo View Post
    One way to interpret that would be to say that there is no 'Self' that does those actions.
    Mmmm... on this level it seems the above is about 'instinct'; such as the survival instinct, life force or will to live.
    Quote Originally Posted by trusolo View Post
    Can this interpretation be applied to 'removing delusion of self'? Can we think of it as: when your conscious thoughts and actions are as effortless and Self-less as breathing and and a million other processes that happen non-consciously, we may view it as having removed the delusion of Self?
    Yes. This is why (naturally - automatically -effortlessly) breathing is the primary object of meditation. When self-thinking is abandoned and the mind becomes silent & clear, it becomes aware how breathing is not-self and how breathing merely exists as a "non-conscious" natural process. Insight into not-self can begin by seeing clearly the body breathes by itself (rather than the self breathes). The body breathes without the volition of the mind or self. It merely simply breathes.

    Kind regards

  2. #22
    Forums Member Element's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avisitor View Post
    It is a technique used by some to find cracks and weakness... And ultimately to win arguments.
    Certainly not, friend. It is a technique showing the giving of full mental attention to a post.

    Quote Originally Posted by Avisitor View Post
    Still, you have a point ....
    The suttas quoted have a point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Avisitor View Post
    Some say the Buddha's special teaching is how to end Karma. Others say it is how to end suffering.
    The two notions above are exactly the same in meaning. The ending of kamma is the ending of suffering, each brought about by the fulfillment of the noble eightfold path. Also, it was the Buddha who defined what his "special teaching" was.

    Kind regards

    And when he knew that Upāli’s mind was ready, pliable, rid of hindrances, joyful and confident he explained the special teaching of the Buddhas: suffering, its origin, its cessation and the path.

    https://suttacentral.net/mn56/en/sujato
    And what, bhikkhus, is the way leading to the cessation of kamma? It is this Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration.

    https://suttacentral.net/sn35.146/en/bodhi

  3. #23
    Forums Member Element's Avatar
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    Very good talk about kamma, here:


  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Element View Post
    Certainly not, friend. It is a technique showing the giving of full mental attention to a post.
    Why argue about this??
    All that was pointed out is that some do use this technique to win arguments.

    One can see what someone's views are by what they pick up upon
    That is another technique to learn the state of mind of another.
    Reminds me of the story of the two monks traveling together.
    They saw a woman stuck by the side of the road which had been flooded.
    She could not cross. So one monk picked up the woman and carried her across.
    Later the other monk asked why he picked up the woman since monks are not to have female contact
    The first monk replied, that he dropped the woman back by the road.
    And asked why the other monk was still carrying her.

    Quote Originally Posted by Element View Post
    The two notions above are exactly the same in meaning. The ending of kamma is the ending of suffering, each brought about by the fulfillment of the noble eightfold path. Also, it was the Buddha who defined what his "special teaching" was.
    Not quite the same. Since Karma was in every religion as you said. The four noble truths do not say ending Karma.
    So others can interpret "ending of Karma" in whatever way that suits their religion. Not quite the same.
    Although in your interpretation, it is the same.

    Whenever looking at what was said or taught by Buddha, one must understand that it was a long time ago.
    And information that is passed along, often gets changed and/or added on to. Much like in the game of telephone.
    And, in an effort to learn more about a subject of interest, one might take in everything without filters
    The Truth that remains the same is one's true nature and can be experienced by some who follow the Dharma.

    Thank you for your reply and the encouragement

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Avisitor
    Why argue about this??
    Hi Avisitor,

    I don't see anything from Element in this thread that I would interpret as an "argument"!

    Quote Originally Posted by A visitor
    All that was pointed out is that some do use this technique to win arguments.

    One can see what someone's views are by what they pick up upon
    That is another technique to learn the state of mind of another.
    I don't see what any of that has got to do with this topic.

    Just as a reminder....BWB is a friendly Buddhist discussion group and our debating about the teachings of the Buddha can be of great benefit to everyone's understanding and practice, as well as to our capabilities of interacting rationally and peacefully with others. It certainly isn't about winning or losing! (Please check Code of Conduct for further info.)

    in #1, please.


    May we all have good health and happiness in these difficult times.


    With metta,

    Aloka

  6. #26
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    I agree with Gombrich’s analysis of ethical Kamma being at the heart of the Buddha’s path, at least the Buddha of the Pali Canon.The Buddha of the Pali Canon was a supremely pragmatic teacher.

    It is really important to understand that in his teaching Kamma means intentional action. It does not mean ‘Fate’ even though you can find this definition in some dictionaries. In the Pali Canon Kamma is intentional action which most often has the potential to give a result, however, this potential result can be modified and even cancelled by further intentional action.

    https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipi....021.nypo.html

    It could not be otherwise or there would be no path to Nibanna.

    The view I currently hold about the Buddha’s path to liberation, is that reality is like an ocean wave of energy, this moment creating the momentum for the next moment, all of that momentum is a small part of the wave, the totality of the wave is all the other momentums giving the wave its energy, we are intrinsically linked to every other part of the wave.

    On that basis, Kamma as intentional action works for me with rebirth, your intentional actions create the impetus for the rebirth into the next moment, the ripening of that impetus is dependant upon the many other factors operating in the wave.

  7. #27
    Forums Member Avisitor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aloka View Post
    I don't see anything from Element in this thread that I would interpret as an "argument"!
    When one makes statement and another contradicts that statement then it is the beginning of an argument.
    So, I asked why argue about this.
    This statement was meant as an end to continuing on that track.


    Quote Originally Posted by Aloka View Post
    I don't see what any of that has got to do with this topic.
    It doesn't. It was part of his reply and I responded to it.
    I would just drop it if one would let it go??

    Quote Originally Posted by Aloka View Post
    Just as a reminder....BWB is a friendly Buddhist discussion group and our debating about the teachings of the Buddha can be of great benefit to everyone's understanding and practice, as well as to our capabilities of interacting rationally and peacefully with others. It certainly isn't about winning or losing! (Please check Code of Conduct for further info.)
    Sorry, if you see my response as not being part of a friendly discussion.
    However, I do not see how I was being irrational or not being peaceful??

    Quote Originally Posted by Aloka View Post
    in #1, please.

    May we all have good health and happiness in these difficult times.

    With metta,

    Aloka
    It seems that I have rubbed some the wrong way.
    I apologize. And will leave this subject alone.

  8. #28
    Forums Member Olderon's Avatar
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    Regarding the presentation of the talk (#23):

    Found it difficult to follow the pace of the speaker, without becoming distracted by other local events as we have two cats and an Australian breed of dog called a Kelpie.

    Also, found the speaker's voice volume, vocal patterns and the air turbulence interference effects on the microphone more than a bit annoying.

    Wish the speaker had gotten much more quickly to point.

    Seems like the topic should have been about "dream interpretation".

    The speaker's assertion that human understanding as to the conscious mind benefiting by meditation is certainly valid based upon my experience and the experiences of many Buddhist practitioners and interested psychologists. However, I doubt that human "consciousness" can be improved through mediation with respect to our unconsciousness. This assertion is at best to me implausible in accordance with the findings of modern sleep science and neurological research. I think the speaker is confusing "dream state" as unconsciousness, whereas in fact it is not.

    Dreams are understood today as the brain's way of reminiscence, which by definition is: " The act or process of recollecting past experiences or events."... such as he/she reports regarding his/her dreams of his/her climbing experiences. As such the brain is in fact conscious while dreaming, not unconscious.

    Neuroscience has just begun to explore these sleeping brain states. Through various forms of nuclear magnetic resonance, neuroscientists are able to observe active (conscious) and inactive (unconscious) brain states, and chart their activity.

    Resources for further study: https://images.search.yahoo.com/yhs/...wWHi5CMMzSqxhF

  9. #29
    Technical Administrator woodscooter's Avatar
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    I listened carefully to the video (#23) "What is Karma". The speaker only mentions 'kamma' twice. The first at 0:10 and the other at 14:44. I have difficulty in understanding the message.

    He used to do free climbing. Then he had vivid dreams of falling. He stopped free climbing.

    Since adopting Buddhism and meditation, he has become more aware of the influence of his unconscious mind on his behaviour and thought-patterns. I think that he's actually talking about the 'subconscious' when he says 'unconscious'. That would make better sense to me.

    Maybe I missed something there. I don't see any connection or explanation with kamma in the talk.

  10. #30
    Here's an article from the Buddhist Door website: "The Meaning of Kamma in Early Buddhism":


    https://www.buddhistdoor.net/feature...early-buddhism


    ....and it concludes:



    While the concept of karma may have originated in ancient Indic beliefs, Buddhism has evolved to reach rather different conclusions. However, it is interesting to note that, with the subsequent development of Buddhism, it is not uncommon for the average people who claim to be Buddhists to mistakenly harbour a view of karma/rebirth in a manner which is closer to Brahmanism than Buddhism.

    It should also be noted that while early Buddhism viewed kamma as an individual responsibility, subsequent development of Buddhism saw the appearance of the concept of transference of kamma--- in particular of good kamma, merit----- even to the wicked. With the reification of kamma into a transferable commodity, some scholars think that the original doctrine of kamma has been stood on its head ( Gombrich, 1996, p 57).


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