Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Welcome home! Please contact lincoln@newbuddhist.com if you have any difficulty logging in or using the site. New registrations must be manually approved which may take up to 48 hours. Can't log in? Try clearing your browser's cookies.

The nature of mind—ordinary versus liberated.

Bobby_LanierBobby_Lanier Veteran
edited December 2006 in Philosophy
Elohim, It seems to this old gaffer that you've deployed the fallacy of equivocation, which overlooks the fact that mind has different meanings while insisting that it has only one meaning, that mind is fickle.

But I dare say, these below refer to no fickled mind.
And what, Bhikkhus, is deliverance (vimokkho) more spiritual (nirâmisa) than the spiritual? When a bhikkhus whose taints are destroyed (khînâsavassa) reviews his mind liberated (cittam vimuttam) from lust (raga), liberated from hatred, liberated from delusion [i.e., the three poisons], there arises deliverance (vimokkho). This is called deliverance more spiritual than the spiritual (nirâmisâ nirâmisataro vimokkho). (Nirâmisa sutta from the Samyutta-Nikaya IV, 237)

On the contrary: “The learned saintly disciple’s mind for a long time inclines to seclusion , leans to seclusion, bends to seclusion, orients to dispassion (Pali nekkhama), and as to the peace and release of nibbana, his mind slopes toward nibbana, it is satisfied to and finished with all thing-events on which the cankers are to stand (vyantibhutam sabbaso asava-tthaniyehi dhammehi).” SA, 1173, 314b24-26, AN, IV, 221 (8, 28)
"Those whose minds are well grounded in the (seven) factors of enlightenment, who without clinging to anything rejoice in freedom from attachment, whose appetites have been conquered, who are light filled, attain nirvana in this world" (Dhammapada 89).

I am sure you intent is honorable for you believe that your understanding of Buddhism is the only possible one since so many are on its bandwagon. But there is much in the extant canon which anattâ doctrine can't explain which may explain why the Abhidhamma was invented.



Love ya'll,


Bobby

Comments

  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited December 2006
    Bobby,

    Could you please clarify what you mean by this, because it sounds like you are saying the mind goes from being impermanent and conditional (fickle) to being permanent and unconditional (released); however, doesn't this contradict the Buddha's statement, "Whatever is subject to origination is all subject to cessation" (SN 56.11).

    Jason
  • Bobby_LanierBobby_Lanier Veteran
    edited December 2006
    Elohim, I thinks this puts some light on it.
    "This mind (citta) is by nature shining, it is defiled-afflicted by adventitious defilements-afflictions; this mind is by nature shining, it is liberated from adventitious defilements-afflictions" AN, I, 10 (1, 5-6)

    The Buddha is never verbose. This says mind is intrinsically pure (citta has two definitions in Pali) but adventitious defilements cover its shinning nature (citta).

    Very much related, the actual confession of Buddhist faith, the Pâtimokkha is described in the Mahapadana Sutta of the Digha-Nikaya. Incidentally, it is not a recital of regula—far from it. It is the summation of Sâsana (injunctions) of Buddhism. The important part of it goes as follows:
    Not to do any evil, but cultivate the good,
    To purify one's mind [sa-citta-pariyodapana.m], this the Buddha's teach.

    Of especial interest, in Zen Buddhsm and Dozogchen mind development is everything. They are not verbose either. In fact, probably the original name of the school of Zen was called Buddha Mind School. In one of the early schools (tsung), named the East Mountain Dharma Gate Realization (tsung), two key practices predominated, viz., nien-fo (invoking the Buddha’s name) and ching-hsin (purifying the mind).


    Love ya'll,


    Bobby
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited December 2006
    Bobby,
    The Buddha is never verbose. This says mind is intrinsically pure (citta has two definitions in Pali) but adventitious defilements cover its shinning nature (citta).

    That still does not answer my question, nor does it explain what you are getting at here in relation to the mind. While it is true that the purpose of the Noble Eightfold Path is to destroy avijja, I do not recall the Buddha stating that the mind itself is stable, permanent, or unconditioned. Quite the contrary, the Buddha states that the mind changes so quickly that it is not easy to give a simile for how quickly it changes—that by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another.

    In addition, the Buddha states that whatever is subject to arising is all subject to cessation—that would include mind. Nevertheless, it seems as if you are suggesting differently. If that is indeed the case, please explain how you are not contradicting the Buddha. Are you suggesting that we have two minds, one stable and one unstable? Are you suggesting that one mind, which is conditioned, changes into the other, which is unconditioned? I am confused. Perhaps you can clarify this.

    Jason
  • edited December 2006
    The mind does not become enlightened. We're already enlightened and realizing that isn't something that happens in the head.
  • SimonthepilgrimSimonthepilgrim Veteran
    edited December 2006
    Sogyal Rinpoche, in The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, has an interesting chapter entitled "The Nature of Mind". Here are some extracts:
    For even though we have the same inner nature as Buddha, we have not recognised it because it is so enclosed and wrapped up in our individual ordinary minds. Imagine an empty vase. The space inside is exactly the same as the space outside. Only the fragile walls of the vase separate one from the other. Our buddha mind is enclosed within the walls of our ordinary mind. But when we become enlightened, it is as if that vase shatters into pieces. The space "inside" merges instantly into the space "outside". They become one. There and then we realise they were never separate or different; they were always the same.
    So where exactly is this buddha nature? It is the sky-like nature of our mind. Utterly open, free, and limitless, it is fundamentally so simple and so natural that it can never be complicated, corrupted, or stained, so pure that it is beyond even the concept of purity and impurity. To talk of the nature of mind as sky-like, of course, is only a metaphor that helps us to begin to imagine its all-embracing boundlessness; for the buddha nature has a quality the sky cannot have, that of the radiant clarity of awareness. As it is said:
    It is simply your flawless, present awareness, cognizant and empty, naked and awake.
    .........

    Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche said:
    Profound and tranquil, free from complexity,
    Uncompounded luminous clarity,
    Beyond the mind of conceptual ideas;
    This is the depth of the mind of the Victorious Ones.
    In this there is not a thing to be removed,
    Nor anything that needs to be added.
    It is merely the immaculate
    Looking naturally at itself.
    I hesitate to tell you even a fraction of the understanding that arose when I first read, and still re-read this passage.
  • Bobby_LanierBobby_Lanier Veteran
    edited December 2006
    The mind does not become enlightened. We're already enlightened and realizing that isn't something that happens in the head.

    This was a big debate in Japan from very early on. To sum it up briefly, is potential enlightenment the same as actual enlightenment? Some believed that trees, for example, being already enlightened, had their own 32 marks making them a Buddha. Others disagreed with this assessment. Shôshin said in fact that "plants and trees" cannot attain Buddhahood. He said there is nothing in the canon which says this. So what is your read on this? Do you consider yourself to be a Buddha—am I?

    Love ya'll,


    Bobby
  • Bobby_LanierBobby_Lanier Veteran
    edited December 2006
    Elohim wrote:
    Bobby,



    That still does not answer my question, nor does it explain what you are getting at here in relation to the mind.

    Jason

    I am guessing from your post (most of it I didn't include above) that the question you asked me was not one from ignorance. It seems that you may have already known the answer beforehand. In other words, your question may have been more of veiled assertion.

    So Jason, in deference to the above, and in pedagogical kindness to me, why don't you lay out your theory of citta, the excellent writer that you are. I would be curious to see what role it plays—maybe I should let my mind wander as it might—is does this already. :)

    Your youthful mind might be much wiser than my old brain; and if you do a go job I may elect to throw in the towel and convert to Abhaidhamma!

    Love ya'll,

    Bobby
  • Bobby_LanierBobby_Lanier Veteran
    edited December 2006
    Simon, I am not quite sure what Abhidhamma makes of 'mind' (Tib., sems; Skt., citta). From what Jason says it is always conditioned and I am guessing, fickled. Mahayana and Vajrayana don't take mind (or sems if you are Tibetan) this way. Mind is more of a transcendent medium. It is also dynamic. At the same time it can arise (utpada) from out of itself becoming a phenomenon. But in so arising it has conditioned itself; it has become 'other' to itself. The goal of the Mahayana/Vajrayana adept, from what I can understand, is to see the pure mind which is increate and non-phenomenal.

    In the text, Self-Liberation through seeing with naked awareness: an introduction to the nature of one's own mind in the Tibetan Dzogchen tradition, translated by John Myrdhim Reynolds the following verses sum it up better than I can.
    It is the singe (nature of) mind which encompasses all of Samsara and Nirvana.
    Even though its inherent nature has existed from the very beginning, you have not recognized it.
    Even though its clarity and presence has been uninterrupted, you have not yet encountered its fact.
    Even though its arising has nowhere been obstructed, still you have not comprehended it.
    Therefore, this (direct introduction) is for the purpose of bringing your to self-recognition.

    And,

    As for this sparkling awareness which is called "mind"
    Even though one says that it exists, it does not actually exist.
    (On the other hand) as a source, it is the origin of the diversity
    of all the bliss of Nirvana and all of the sorrow of Samsara.
    And as for its being something desirable, it is cherished alike in
    the Eleven Vehicles.

    And,

    Within this (intrinsic awareness), the Trikaya are inseparable and fully present as one.
    Since it is empty and not created any where whatsoever, it is the Dharmakaya.
    Since its luminous clarity represent the inherent transparent radiance of emptiness, it is the Sambhogakaya.
    Since its arising is nowhere obstructed or interrupted, it is the Nirmanakaya.
    These three (the Trikaya) being complete and fully present as one, are is very essence.

    Simon, I have taken the liberty of guessing that mind in its highest state is something akin to the 'phos zoe' (light of life) of Christianity which is found in the first part of the Gospel of John. Christ represents the awakening to the higher mind, in other words. And finding this mind which is by naked seeing or the same, incorporeal seeing, we see the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit which make up the the Christian Trikaya. (Please excuse my digressions.)

    One more word, I find some of Buddhism to be like the experience of eating a lot of soda crackers. On the other hand, when it comes to Mahayana/Vajrayana—now there is a succulent meal for the spirit of us.


    Love ya'll,


    Bobby
  • SimonthepilgrimSimonthepilgrim Veteran
    edited December 2006
    ..........................................


    Simon, I have taken the liberty of guessing that mind in its highest state is something akin to the 'phos zoe' (light of life) of Christianity which is found in the first part of the Gospel of John. Christ represents the awakening to the higher mind, in other words. And finding this mind which is by naked seeing or the same, incorporeal seeing, we see the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit which make up the the Christian Trikaya. (Please excuse my digressions.)

    .............................
    Love ya'll,


    Bobby

    We agree.
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited December 2006
    Bobby,

    My question was just a question. You can answer it or not, it makes no difference to me. If you want to hear my thoughts on the matter, you will have to wait for some time as I will be gone until the beginning of January. I am off to attend the year-end meditation retreat at Wat Buddhanusorn. Happy Holidays.

    Jason
  • Bobby_LanierBobby_Lanier Veteran
    edited December 2006
    Elohim, The very best to you my friend. You shall have an epiphany.

    Love ya'll,

    Bobby
  • edited December 2006
    This was a big debate in Japan from very early on. To sum it up briefly, is potential enlightenment the same as actual enlightenment? Some believed that trees, for example, being already enlightened, had their own 32 marks making them a Buddha. Others disagreed with this assessment. Shôshin said in fact that "plants and trees" cannot attain Buddhahood. He said there is nothing in the canon which says this. So what is your read on this? Do you consider yourself to be a Buddha—am I?

    Love ya'll,


    Bobby


    Let em debate. It doesn't change a damn thing. Intrinsic enlightenment is why all can realize their true nature, not something that is solid and fixed, not a thing with marks and signs, nothing to do with what's in what canon or what some dead guy said. And yes, I'm a Buddha. So are you. It has nothing to do with definitions, word games, debates or what we do or do not consider ourselves to be. That there is reality means it can be realized. It's that simple. It belongs to nobody and we never leave it.


    Jesus said to them, "When you make the two into one, and when you make the inner like the outer and the outer like the inner, and the upper like the lower, and when you make male and female into a single one, so that the male will not be male nor the female be female, when you make eyes in place of an eye, a hand in place of a hand, a foot in place of a foot, an image in place of an image, then you will enter [the kingdom]..."

    His disciples said, "Show us the place where you are, for we must seek it."

    He said to them, "Anyone here with two ears had better listen! There is light within a person of light, and it shines on the whole world. If it does not shine, it is dark..."

    They said to him, "Tell us who you are so that we may believe in you."

    He said to them, "You examine the face of heaven and earth, but you have not come to know the one who is in your presence, and you do not know how to examine the present moment..."


    From The Gospel of Thomas - what a dead guy said. :wavey:
  • Bobby_LanierBobby_Lanier Veteran
    edited December 2006
    Butsu Genyru, Well that settles that. On the other hand, what do you make of this passage from the Nirvana Sutra? What about the part where it says "until they achieve the most perfect enlightenment"? And what are we to make of the Buddha-nature being non-existent in sentient beings "because all sentient being do not have the excellences of being eternal...", etc.?
    Thus, we maintain that with respect to sentient beings, that the Buddha-nature is neither existent nor non-existent, or is both existent and non-existent. Why do we say that the Buddha-nature is existent? Because all sentient beings will have it in the future. Since sentient beings will continue to pass from one life to another without interruption like the flame of a lamp until they achieve the most perfect enlightenment, we say that with respect to sentient beings, the Buddha-nature is existent. Why do we say that the Buddha-nature is non-existent? We say that the Buddha-nature with respect to sentient beings is non-existent, because all sentient beings do not have the excellences of being eternal, blissful, personal and pure characteristic of all Buddha dharmas.

    Anyway thank you for that wonderful quote from the Gospel of Thomas.


    Love ya'll,


    Butsu Bobby
  • edited December 2006
    Buddha nature is not some thing that we have.
  • Bobby_LanierBobby_Lanier Veteran
    edited December 2006
    Genyru, Buddhadhatu also means "the character of a Buddha". I agree, humans lack such character. However, it is not the case with my neighbor's pug dog. He is really a cute butsu doggie.

    Love ya'll,

    Bobby
  • edited December 2006
    Yes, absolutely completely perfectly himself. Tathata.
Sign In or Register to comment.