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Perception & non-perception

TiggerTigger Toronto, Canada Veteran

Question

I am reading Old Path White Cloud and came to part where Siddhartha is being taught by Master Uddaka. Here they talk about the state of neither perception nor non-perception where both need to be eliminated. Siddhartha asks "how do we differ from a piece of wood or a rock". Does eliminating perception and non-perception mean that **it just is **and not to perceive it as a rock or not a rock?

Comments

  • JaySonJaySon Everywhere in the Cosmos Veteran

    I believe it means to see the object's suchness, as it truly is, without your mental tags attached to it.

  • TiggerTigger Toronto, Canada Veteran

    does that mean not labelling it as anything but a rock?

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    It is sort of hard to explain, and in the West we have largely been taught since birth to compartmentalize and label everything. But it is possible to learn how to just take it as it is without labels. It takes practice though, first with things like rocks and then you can move on to people as well.

    For me, it means to experience something rather than to always have to label and name it. To just be with it (whatever it is). When you can start to do that with people, that (for me) has been where the real "magic" comes in.

    When we perceive something, and label it, we then continue immediately, and automatically, with our judgement of it. We label in order to determine if it is pleasant or not, a threat or not, etc. Letting go of that helps to reduce the dualistic way we always see the world. It is how we define everything, but when we can step back a bit and stop doing so all the time, then what we see changes.

    JaySonTiggerFosdick
  • JaySonJaySon Everywhere in the Cosmos Veteran

    There was once an enlightened monk who liked to go on walks alone in the morning in order to see the sunrise.

    One day a novice monk wanted to go on a walk with the master, so the master said sure, as long as the novice would keep quiet.

    They walked up a hill together and saw the sunrise coming up over the hill.

    The novice monk said, "wow! What a beautiful sunrise."

    The master never let that novice walk with him again, because once the novice said that it was a beautiful sunrise, it was only a label and not a direct experience of the sunrise.

    Tigger
  • TiggerTigger Toronto, Canada Veteran

    Thank you @JaySon & @karasti I get it now.

    So if I walk by a tree I just recognize it as a tree instead of "wow, that tree is old" or "wow, that tree has beautiful leaves". Just see it and move on.

    Thanks again =)

    JaySon
  • terminalterminal bellingham New

    When you were a baby you saw - no need to move on - it just was

    JaySonTigger
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Perhaps @Tigger you should also look into "Dependant Origination" spend some time contemplating this, and gradually the dots will connect, exposing the pattern....things will become clearer....

    Tigger
  • JaySonJaySon Everywhere in the Cosmos Veteran

    @Tigger said:
    Thank you @JaySon & @karasti I get it now.

    So if I walk by a tree I just recognize it as a tree instead of "wow, that tree is old" or "wow, that tree has beautiful leaves". Just see it and move on.

    Thanks again =)

    You're getting warmer.

    Tigger
  • TiggerTigger Toronto, Canada Veteran

    This is going to be harder than I thought...but worth it!

    JaySonlobster
  • JaySonJaySon Everywhere in the Cosmos Veteran
    edited January 12

    Lol... Do not label the tree as a tree. What is the tree now?

    karasti
  • JaySonJaySon Everywhere in the Cosmos Veteran

    What did your face look like before your mother was born?

  • JaySonJaySon Everywhere in the Cosmos Veteran

    Now look at the tree with that kind of mind.

    Tigger
  • TiggerTigger Toronto, Canada Veteran

    A tad confusing @Jayson but I am getting there. When I got to your 3rd point (now look at the tree with that kind of mind) I got this feeling that ran through my body....fascinating!

    I just read about Dependant Origination on BuddhistNET but I need to read up a little more to get it.

    Shoshinlobster
  • DaozenDaozen Veteran

    @Tigger said:
    Does eliminating perception and non-perception mean that **it just is **and not to perceive it as a rock or not a rock?

    Just rock on Tigger, rock on.

    Tiggerlobster
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited January 13

    @Tigger said:
    Question

    I am reading Old Path White Cloud and came to part where Siddhartha is being taught by Master Uddaka. Here they talk about the state of neither perception nor non-perception where both need to be eliminated. Siddhartha asks "how do we differ from a piece of wood or a rock". Does eliminating perception and non-perception mean that **it just is **and not to perceive it as a rock or not a rock?

    Perception is actually quite useful, and not something to be discarded IMO. For example when crossing a busy road it is very useful to recognise "cars" and "buses".

    So I think it is more to do with seeing "beneath" the label, which means really looking closely. Sometimes I deliberately label stuff which is an interesting experience since the labelling is usually unconscious - it means I really look.

    This song might give a clue:

    Tigger
  • TiggerTigger Toronto, Canada Veteran

    So, I was mindfully walking yesterday and thinking about perception and non-perception and noticed that the very second I looked at something my mind labelled it. It happens unconsiously but it happens none the less. For example, the second I look at a tree, somewhere in my mind there is a very quiet little voice that nudges me and says 'tree". This could be because as @karasti noted, we have been taught to compartmentalize everything.

    What am I to think when I see a tree.....nothing?
    When thinking about cause and effect is the tree the effect of some cause and is that what I am supposed to see?

    Don't worry @SpinyNorman, I will look for cars and busses when crossing the street =)

    Anyway, I am still going to read up on this to understand it better. If anyone has any other examples please share...the more I read, the more I understand it.

    Thanks =)

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    I don't think the goal is to see nothing. The goal is to see without labeling. That isn't the same as nothing :) It takes some training. you'll recognize it when it happens. It's just a brief moment (for me). As I understand, the "goal" is to stop seeing ourselves as always separate from everything else. When we label everything, that is what happens. The tree is the tree, the grass is the grass, and we are ourselves. Apart from the tree and the grass. But when we are about to just experience, it's easier to understand how that whole thing falls apart.

    In my tradition, everything we sense is nothing but an illusion. So what we see, hear, smell etc is all illusion. Thus why the whole story falls apart when you SEE what is in front of you and distinctly label each piece rather. Just being with, or part, or something you don't need your senses to explain the world to you. But of course we need them to function in our every day lives.

    Perception is necessary for a lot of things in life, but when it comes to Buddhist teachings a lot of it falls into that whole Absolute/Ultimate reality versus the world we live in. One can understand what Buddhist teachings mean and the importance of it without losing the ability to cross the street or perceive danger.

    Tigger
  • TiggerTigger Toronto, Canada Veteran

    I have been reading a lot on the fundamentals of Buddhism in BuddhaNET (again, since I feel I may have missed something) and I think I know what you mean @karasti when you say the goal is to see without labelling.

    I was reading about the 4 Noble Truths in more detail and I had a bit of a Eureka moment. It was discussing ignorance regarding self, taking self as real and once we have this idea of self we have an idea of something that is apart from ourselves and once this happens we crave and desire for things. I think I understand it a little better now

  • TiggerTigger Toronto, Canada Veteran

    Soooooo by labelling something that I see as a tree I immediately seperate myself as a seperate entity which cannot be since there is no "I" or "self". There is no "I" or "self" because of dependent origination. My body is just a vessel made up of a bunch of parts that when together create "the body", all parts being dependent on another. Without my heart beating I would seize to exist therefore my existence depends on several factors/parts.

    A tree is dependent on the sun, soil, water and other enviromental factors. Parts of the tree consist of the root and trunk, which if damaged could cause the tree to die. The trunk disperses branches and the branches possibly fruit....all these things put together we conveniently call a tree. Labelling things such a way willl cause clinging and therefore Dhukka. Trees are also impermanent since nothing is forever in this world....next year it could be a shopping mall.

    Have I completely lost my mind here or am I getting closer?!?

  • JaySonJaySon Everywhere in the Cosmos Veteran

    That's Interbeing/Emptiness.

    Tigger
  • TiggerTigger Toronto, Canada Veteran

    Okay, I'm thinking that maybe I over thought this one...or I'm starting to loose my mind reading the 4th article on dependent origination which starts to repeat.

    Let me take one more shot and then I will need to move on and hope that one day I may get it and this time I will use a person.

    If I meet someone new who let's say is Polish....now I am using Polish since I am Polish and therefore won't offend anyone..or shouldn't. Now in my hypothetical situation here I previously knew a Polish person or 2 and had a bad experience with them. If I meet another Polish person I should not attach that past bad experience (or good one for that matter) to this new person and just be with them without any judgement or attachment to what I previously felt with the other people. Don't label them "oh, I should stay away because last time...". They just are, I just am and we just are in the experience.

    lobster
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    Yes, absolutley. This applies to everyone and everything. You're quite right.

    (Except Oompah-Loompahs. Avoid them; If you see them, you KNOW you're in trouble.....)

    JaySonTigger
  • JaySonJaySon Everywhere in the Cosmos Veteran
    edited January 13

    Definitely stay away from the Willy Wanka meditation!

    Tigger
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    ...Language..... :angry:

    Tigger
  • JaySonJaySon Everywhere in the Cosmos Veteran

    ?

  • JaySonJaySon Everywhere in the Cosmos Veteran
  • I believe it refers to a certain level or state of awareness where your mind may penetrate or tap into something that not everyone may experience. Hence it was phrased "neither perception nor non-perception". You may see it, but you know its not there or may be aware that others may not see it.

    lobster
  • TiggerTigger Toronto, Canada Veteran

    YES!

  • TiggerTigger Toronto, Canada Veteran

    Thanks everyone

    I'm still going to read more about

  • @Tigger said:
    I'm still going to read more

    Good plan.
    There are levels of unfolding for eg.

    @namarupa said:
    I believe it refers to a certain level or state of awareness where your mind may penetrate or tap into something that not everyone may experience. Hence it was phrased "neither perception nor non-perception". You may see it, but you know its not there or may be aware that others may not see it.

    That is perhaps a deeper perception because it relies on developing other bases of knowing. The idea that only one perception or one empty realisation is sufficient may be non perception ...

    Every day a beginner? Yep!
    Iz plan.

    Tigger
  • TiggerTigger Toronto, Canada Veteran

    Now, am I correct that looking at it as I have been doing through this tread (a tree or a rock) is just an example to developing higher discipline and therefore end dhukka for oneself? Meaning that seeing a rock and labelling it as such is not necessarily terrible but by developing this discipline of not doing so, you help enlighten yourself on a larger scale.

    I also assume that this is because doing so creates this notion of an "I" which then separates you from all things creating an illusion of a personality separate from all things and also creates consciousness and also ego.

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