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Sentience & Insentience

CedarTreeCedarTree Private Island Explorer

This discussion is open to all Mahayana, Vajrayana, Theravada, Other Religious Frameworks, and Your Own Unique Perspectives.

This is also a topic that has been arising lately in different forms and so I can imagine this will be a great discussion :anjali:

I had an experience a few days ago that I will most likely bring up with Shoryu Bradley (A Zen Teacher I Respect) and possibly some other authorities on the subject.

I was at the lake and if I remember correctly had been doing some Zazen in the forest in between quiet swimming and just enjoying the solitude and peaceful/restful nature of the area.

I am not sure what was going on at the moment but in a flash the need to hold onto "Awareness" & "Life" in any form kind of dropped off.

I came to understand that Sentience & Insentience kind of drop off in Emptiness.

Feel free to share all your views, sutras, tantras, quotes, whatever.

In general I would love to see how this develops.

Comments

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited September 1

    They have swimming authorities in dharma? Do they know about fish? :3

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    I don't see there's any need to share anything, personally, @CedarTree . It was what it was, it is what it is, it's moved on.

    Emptiness means exactly that, right?

    CedarTree
  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran

    @CedarTree said:
    I came to understand that Sentience & Insentience kind of drop off in Emptiness.

    The concept of sentience and insentience? Or some state of non sentient - sentience, whatever that means?

  • This is not a complete sentience ... (think that is rite) o:)

    Here to help B)

  • Is sentient same as conscious?

  • Yeah karasti or you have a song that is so meaningful in a moment and you want to share it with people. But the 'set up' for the song occurred over time for a person and another might not hear the same 'magic' that is so wonderful or profound or what have you.

    lobsterDavidkarastiyagr
  • I came to understand that Sentience & Insentience kind of drop off in Emptiness.

    LOL
    Change your teacher, she clearly is not beating any sense into you. :p

    Talking of real emptiness and whatever @CedarTree is going on about ...

    @karasti said:
    It reminds me of collecting things of nature. I might see a pretty flower, leaf, rock etc and want to keep it. It's so beautiful and full of wonder in that moment, I want to capture it. So I bring it home. And then almost everything that made it beautiful in that moment is gone, because not only is the moment passed, but I have removed it from its natural state in an effort to capture and understand and relive it. What works best for me, is to appreciate it for what it is, and move on. Otherwise you miss the next moment thinking to much about the last.

    I like to collect leaves. I do bring things home and enjoy hazlenuts just on the table for a while. That sort of thing. Today outside a very busy London church, saw from the bus, its resident apple tree was full of lovely red apples. I know many public fruit trees but this was a first sighting almost missed ... How wonderful. <3

    Ate a sweet tiny yew berry today - spit out the pip which is highly toxic. Don't kill yourself or get too zenny ... o:)
    http://www.thepoisongarden.co.uk/atoz/taxus_baccata.htm

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    Good, @lobster, I'm so happy you posted this about yew-berries! They are indeed, sticky-sweet delicious and most importantly, NOT poisonous , but yeah, it's important to spit the pip out, whole and unbroken.
    I used to eat them as a child, but when I did the same at my boarding school, while out in the gardens one day, (I was 13 - so we're talking way back last century!) in spite of my loud protests, I was rushed to hospital and my stomach was pumped out, and I was flushed with charcoal.
    I was so angry, because nobody was listening to my protests.
    It was only when the procedure was finished, that a Nurse entered to room holding a huge book, and obviously referring to the appropriate entry, casually remarked, "Hey everyone, she's right, you know....?!"

    Boy, was my mother mad, too! :D

    Fosdicklobster
  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    this is in the general banter section.perhaps stream of consciousness is allowed?what comes to mind is the topic of emptyness and form or the modern take energy and matter.e equal mc square comes to mind.my limited understanding is that it is interchangeable. in dharma,which can be defined as the way or phenomenon,had the insight emptiness is form and form is emptiness.my thinking is emptiness is potential.and form is realise potential.which leads to host of questions.is emptiness and form sentient?is emptiness and form non self?perhaps your teachers can assist in those explorations.but what has helped me is to apply this aspect of the dharma,the abstract phenomenon to concreate observation. for example bump on the knee....ouch is the response,the sensation is dharma at work,emptiness or energy affect form or matter.this is fun musing .

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    @CedarTree said:
    I am not sure what was going on at the moment but in a flash the need to hold onto "Awareness" & "Life" in any form kind of dropped off.

    Awareness and life, that is quite a large chunk to be rid of. Awareness, mindfulness, is usually the tool which shows you more of your inner and outer life, so for it to drop away seems an interesting development. Has this realisation stayed? Has it made an actual difference to the quality of your awareness?

    I came to understand that Sentience & Insentience kind of drop off in Emptiness.

    I've come across this, that our spiritual selves can be in these different states, without necessarily affecting the rest of our mind severely. Perhaps you have encountered a state of emptiness. Have you also had the accompanying state of mind?

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    @lobster I love to forage, and we do it often. I guess I don't consider that collecting, as we eat them, lol. Mushrooms, lots of berries. This time of year, apples and choke cherries. I do have things, like pretty agates I've collected from Lake Superior, but they lose something sitting in a jar compared to shining in the sun on the wet beach. To me, anyways!

    lobster
  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    just a little bit more musing.the field of space may determine the strength or weakness of energy and matter or emptiness and form.ive heard,that inner space is dynamic in matter.

  • CedarTreeCedarTree Private Island Explorer

    @federica said:
    I don't see there's any need to share anything, personally, @CedarTree . It was what it was, it is what it is, it's moved on.

    Emptiness means exactly that, right?

    Your so wise :)

    @Kerome said:

    @CedarTree said:
    I am not sure what was going on at the moment but in a flash the need to hold onto "Awareness" & "Life" in any form kind of dropped off.

    Awareness and life, that is quite a large chunk to be rid of. Awareness, mindfulness, is usually the tool which shows you more of your inner and outer life, so for it to drop away seems an interesting development. Has this realisation stayed? Has it made an actual difference to the quality of your awareness?

    I came to understand that Sentience & Insentience kind of drop off in Emptiness.

    I've come across this, that our spiritual selves can be in these different states, without necessarily affecting the rest of our mind severely. Perhaps you have encountered a state of emptiness. Have you also had the accompanying state of mind?

    It was deeply impactful, some things have left others have caused new landscapes to open up. :)

    lobster
  • @Jeffrey said:
    Is sentient same as conscious?

    We are still wrestling with that one @Jeffrey ;)

    Being mindful or conscious or 'focussed in emptiness', as opposed to semi-sentient or half awake is the Buddha Way/Plan.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sati_(Buddhism)

  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    I'll give you my definition...not saying it's the definition:

    An animal is sentient if it can express in any way emotion.

    I know...it's as imperfect as all the other definitions.

    lobsterdhammachickDavid
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