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Going beyond dualities

Is that the crux of Buddhism - since we are instructed to dismiss even pleasant feelings like bliss, peace? It appears that the Buddha wanted us to overcome not only pain but also pleasure, and in fact all feelings and sensations. That is why zen masters, especially, ask their students not to dwell on any feeling, however extraordinary.

So I am assuming that the primary goal of Buddhism is to reach a state beyond dualities - no sorrow or happiness, no activity or inaction, no high or low, and so on. Is this correct?

Comments

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    We are not instructed to dismiss them.
    We are advised to transcend them.
    Experience them, but do not attach to them.

    Just have them, when the time comes, then let them go, when the time comes.....
    riverflow
  • It appears that the Buddha wanted us to overcome not only pain but also pleasure, and in fact all feelings and sensations.
    Pleasure is actually suffering in disguise. Think of all the hard work and even criminal activities in the pursuit of pleasure. The primary goal of Buddhism is to transcend suffering by seeing how we create our suffering.

    "And this, monks is the noble truth of the origination of dukkha: the craving that makes for further becoming — accompanied by passion & delight, relishing now here & now there — i.e., craving for sensual pleasure, craving for becoming, craving for non-becoming."
    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dhamma/sacca/sacca2/index.html
    riverflow
  • howhow Veteran
    Zen's use of the word "dwell" only means to not attach to.
    The path to the cessation of suffering is not about what you no longer experience but what you are no longer attached to.
    riverflowkarmablues
  • betaboybetaboy Veteran
    My point is, Buddhism is not about achieving the highest state, call it bliss or whatever else. It is not about experiencing anything - rather, it is about transcending experience (for experience implies subject-object duality).
    pegembara
  • zenmystezenmyste Veteran
    edited May 2013
    If you like this moment, enjoy it as it will soon pass.....

    If you do not like this moment, relax, as it will soon pass....

    We're allowed to have feelings in buddhism, we can feel love, feel happy, excited, scared, angry, you name it.... The secret is to BE whatever u are in THIS very moment... If i am happy , i must be happy , if i am sad , i must accept my discomfort and embrace it!

    Like i said, all feelings will pass. Even our life will pass, so dont sweat, enjoy it whilst we're here! :-)
    Jeffrey
  • GlowGlow Veteran
    edited May 2013
    There are two dialectics going on in Buddhism that are relevant here. The first is the teaching on upekka -- balance or equanimity -- which is about being unswayed in the midst of the ups and downs of worldly existence. This is best emodied by the Lokavipatti Sutta:
    Gain/loss,
    status/disgrace,
    censure/praise,
    pleasure/pain:
    these conditions among human beings
    are inconstant,
    impermanent,
    subject to change.

    Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
    ponders these changing conditions.
    Desirable things don't charm the mind,
    undesirable ones bring no resistance.
    Then there is the fact that the Buddha's teaching is about "the happiness that is beyond happiness." The Buddha was often called "the happy one" and, in fact, bliss and rapture (that are independent from the pushes and pulls of worldly life) are seen as the sole path to nibbana. From the Anapanasati Sutta:
    "[4] In one whose persistence is aroused, a rapture not-of-the-flesh arises. When a rapture not-of-the-flesh arises in one whose persistence is aroused, then rapture as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

    "[5] For one enraptured at heart, the body grows calm and the mind grows calm. When the body & mind of a monk enraptured at heart grow calm, then serenity as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

    "[6] For one who is at ease — his body calmed — the mind becomes concentrated. When the mind of one who is at ease — his body calmed — becomes concentrated, then concentration as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.
    JeffreyCinorjerVastmindkarmablues
  • karmablueskarmablues Veteran
    edited May 2013
    In order to become truly unattached/dispassionate to feelings, the Buddha calls for his disciples to see into the true nature of feelings as being not-self and impermanent:

    From the Khandha Samyutta No. 117:
    A well-taught noble disciple... does not consider feeling as the self nor the self as the owner of the feeling, nor feeling as included within the self, nor the self as included within the feeling.

    Of such a well-taught noble disciple it can be said that he is unfettered by the bondage of feeling, unfettered by bondage inner or outer. He has seen the coast, he has seen the Other Shore, and he is fully freed from suffering — this I say.
    From the Majjhima Nikaya No. 74; Dighanakha:
    Pleasant feeling is impermanent, conditioned, dependently arisen, having the nature of wasting, vanishing, fading and ceasing. The painful feeling and the neutral feeling, too, are impermanent, conditioned, dependently arisen, having the nature of wasting, vanishing, fading and ceasing.

    When a well-taught disciple perceives this, he becomes dispassionate towards pleasant feelings, dispassionate toward painful feelings and dispassionate toward neutral feelings. Being dispassionate, his lust fades away, and with the fading away of lust, he is liberated. When liberated, there comes to him the knowledge that he is liberated. He now knows: 'Birth is exhausted, the holy life has been lived, done is what was to be done, there is no more of this to come.'
    From the Sukha Sutta:
    Be it a pleasant feeling, be it a painful feeling, be it neutral, one's own or others', feelings of all kinds— he knows them all as ill, deceitful, evanescent. Seeing how they impinge again, again, and disappear, he wins detachment from the feelings, passion-free.

    And in order to be able to penetrate the true nature of feelings, the Buddha instructs his disciples to study their feelings through mindfulness and contemplation:

    From the Akasa Sutta:
    So also in this body here, feelings of different kind arise: The pleasant feelings and the painful and the neutral ones. But if a monk is ardent and does not neglect to practice mindfulness and comprehension clear, the nature of all feelings will he understand, And having penetrated them, he will be taint-free in this very life. Mature in knowledge, firm in Dhamma's ways, When once his life-span ends, his body breaks, All measure and concept he has transcended.
    From the Gelañña Sutta:
    If a monk is thus mindful and clearly comprehending, ardent, earnest and resolute, and a pleasant feeling arises in him, he knows: 'Now a pleasant feeling has arisen in me. It is conditioned, not unconditioned. Conditioned by what? Even by this body/sense impressions it is conditioned. And this body/sense impressions, indeed, is impermanent, compounded, dependently arisen. But if this pleasant feeling that has arisen, is conditioned by the body/sense impressions which is impermanent, compounded and dependently arisen; how could such a pleasant feeling be permanent?'

    .....

    If a painful feeling arises in him, he knows: 'Now a painful feeling has arisen in me. It is conditioned, not unconditioned. Conditioned by what? Even by this body/sense impressions it is conditioned. And this body/sense impressions, indeed, is impermanent, compounded, dependently arisen. But if this painful feeling that has arisen is conditioned by the body/sense impressions which is impermanent, compounded and dependently arisen, how could such a painful feeling be permanent?'

    .....

    If a neutral feeling arises in him, he knows: 'Now a neutral feeling has arisen in me. It is conditioned, not unconditioned.... how could such a neutral feeling be permanent?'

    ....

    If he experiences a pleasant feeling, he knows it as impermanent; he knows, it is not clung to; he knows, it is not relished. If he experiences a painful feeling... a neutral feeling, he knows it as impermanent; he knows, it is not clung to; he knows, it is not relished.

    If he experiences a pleasant feeling, he feels it as one unfettered by it. If he experiences a painful feeling, he feels it as one unfettered by it. If he experiences a neutral feeling, he feels it as one unfettered by it.
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited May 2013
    I would say it depends on what your ideas of "duality" and "non-duality" are and whether or not they are the "correct view". If your idea of those things are incorrect, then no, it's not the crux of Buddhism. If your ideas of them are correct, then yes, that is the crux of Buddhism.

    Adyashanti has a good talk on this. :)



  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited May 2013
    Who was the speaker and who the other person? @seeker242?
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    Jeffrey said:

    Who was the speaker and who the other person? @seeker242?

    The speaker is Adyashanti (Steven Gray), a former zen student in the lineage of Taizan Maezumi Roshi but he teaches independently now. Who the other guy is asking questions, don't know. Assume it's some guy interviewing him.
  • TheswingisyellowTheswingisyellow Trying to be open to existence Samsara Veteran
    Taking your life as a whole, not separating it into parts, as if those parts exist in and of themselves. Whatever your conception of things may be know these concepts reside in your mind. Take whatever concept, idea, or thing and know it does not exist in and of itself. It consists of the thing itself and everything it is not. Without the is not part you don't have the thing your referring to. That is the totality of existence, there is no duality except the barriers you create in your thinking.
  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited May 2013
    betaboy said:

    My point is, Buddhism is not about achieving the highest state, call it bliss or whatever else. It is not about experiencing anything - rather, it is about transcending experience (for experience implies subject-object duality).

    It is about transcending the (fabricated) world of sensual, form and formless - ultimately.
    The Blessed One said: "And what is the origination of the world? Dependent on the eye & forms there arises eye-consciousness. The meeting of the three is contact. From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling. From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving. From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance. From clinging/sustenance as a requisite condition comes becoming. From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth. From birth as a requisite condition, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair come into play. This is the origination of the world.
    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.044.than.html
    "Seeing thus, the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones grows disenchanted with form, disenchanted with feeling, disenchanted with perception, disenchanted with fabrications, disenchanted with consciousness. Disenchanted, he becomes dispassionate. Through dispassion, he is fully released. With full release, there is the knowledge, 'Fully released.' He discerns that 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.

    Anatta-lakkhana Sutta
    [8] "And what is the perception of distaste for every world? There is the case where a monk abandoning any attachments, clingings, fixations of awareness, biases, or obsessions with regard to any world, refrains from them and does not get involved. This is called the perception of distaste for every world.

    [9] "And what is the perception of the undesirability of all fabrications? There is the case where a monk feels horrified, humiliated, & disgusted with all fabrications. This is called the perception of the undesirability of all fabrications.
    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an10/an10.060.than.html
    Jeffrey
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