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Question re ONE mind, no mind-

FullCircleFullCircle Explorer
edited August 2012 in Philosophy
Hi everyone,
So this is my question-- I really have total faith that there is no permanent self to be found here among these aggregates that I call 'me'... So if theres nothing thats me or mine-- whos mind is this? Is what I call my mind-is it only my consciousness arising repeatedly?
Is enlightenment/nirvana/full realization-is that when one sees that all there is is ONE mind? But when the zen guys talk about NO mind- is that because there is no individual mind?
(I love Huang Po..hope to clearly know what he means someday;)
THanks all!!

«1

Comments

  • CloudCloud Veteran
    edited August 2012
    It's just emptiness. If you take a part of it, call it a human, it's empty of self. You take the whole of it, it's still empty of self. If you call it "Mind", it's just Mind... not someone's mind. It's not some god/God. It's not the Hindu "Brahman". It's empty. Nothing really belongs to anyone, or is anyone, because it's all interdependently originated and selfless. Only our delusion assigns ownership.

    Nirvana is just the cessation of craving, of suffering, stopping the process of rebirth. It's still just part of the greater Emptiness or Mind, though it stops clinging to itself.

    One Mind and No Mind are just two sides of the coin of duality. It's just "Mind". Self and Not-Self, or Self and No Self, are also just "Mind" (Emptiness). Really there's nothing to pin any kind of label to, because it's empty. That's what's beyond duality.
    leahncFullCircle
  • howhow Veteran Veteran
    @FullCircle

    IMHzenO
    One of the more elusive aspects of practise to remember is that Mind, no mind, no self, not self or even emptiness are not really understandings that can be acquired for what would you hold them with?
    To practise just for practise sake, is to experience them.
    But..
    They are really just more teachings that say "this too must be let go of".
    FullCircle
  • Yep thank you guys- I guess I've been wishing for an experience without noticing I'm caught up again thanks!
  • SabreSabre Veteran
    Mind is just another one of those words we use to give a name to something that doesn't really exist in reality. There is no such thing as 'the mind', beit a small or big mind. What we call mind is experiences linked together, nothing else.

    Just like a car is a collection of wheels, body, engine, etc, but nothing is really a car in and of itself, it's just a label.

    So to ask yourself whose mind it is, is already missing the point. So that's why people say no mind. Indeed there is no individual mind. But also no not-individual mind.

    With metta,
    Sabre
    VastmindVictorious
  • FullCircle:
    So this is my question-- I really have total faith that there is no permanent self to be found here among these aggregates that I call 'me'... So if theres nothing thats me or mine-- whos mind is this? Is what I call my mind-is it only my consciousness arising repeatedly?
    The five aggregates or in Pali, pañca-khandha, are the bad guys. They belong to the Buddhist devil, Mara. In light of this, you're right, no permanent self is to be found in the evil aggregates because the self is fundamentally transcendent (it's the good guy). As long as we are under the spell of the evil five aggregates, we are lost. So we have to purify the self to know the truth that our self is not the aggregates (material shape, feeling, perception, habitual tendencies, and consciousness). This is why the Buddha says:

    “He beholds the self purified (visuddhamattânam) of all these evil unskilled states, he heholds the self freed (vimuttamattânam)” (M. i. 283).
  • FullCircle:
    the zen guys talk about NO mind
    Here is what Zen master Tsung-mi has to say about "no mind":


    “The Nirvana Sutra, which says that “when there is nothing in a jar, the jar is said to be empty—it does not mean that there is no jar.” In the same way, “when there are no discriminating thoughts such as desire or anger in the mind, the mind is said to be empty—it does not mean that there is no mind. ‘No mind’ (wu-hsin) only means that the defilements (fan-nao; klesha) have been eliminated from the mind.”
    Victorious
  • OoooohK I think I have a lil new understanding! So I Can just look at it like there's No mind... Just the aggregates and consciousness of them arising - then at nirvana a total seeing that they're not us- and a disconnect-
    I have a question re the 4th aggregate too I'll post separately... Thanks!!!
  • Sabre:
    Mind is just another one of those words we use to give a name to something that doesn't really exist in reality. There is no such thing as 'the mind', beit a small or big mind. What we call mind is experiences linked together, nothing else.
    Then why did Bodhidharma say this:

    "The Buddha wasn't mistaken. Deluded people don't know who they are. Something so hard to fathom is known by a Buddha and no one else. Only the wise know this mind, this mind called dharma-nature, this mind called liberation. Neither life nor death can restrain this mind. Nothing can. It's also called the Unstoppable Tathagata, the Incomprehensible, the Sacred Self, the Immortal, the Great Sage. Its names vary, but not its essence. Buddhas vary too, but none leaves his own mind" (Red Pine, Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma).

    Everything else but Mind is empty, like an illusion or a mirage. The universe, itself, is but a configuration/projection of Mind. The father of QM, Max Planck, said:

    "We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter (Dieser Geist ist der Urgrund aller Materie).”
  • Songhill said:

    FullCircle:

    So this is my question-- I really have total faith that there is no permanent self to be found here among these aggregates that I call 'me'... So if theres nothing thats me or mine-- whos mind is this? Is what I call my mind-is it only my consciousness arising repeatedly?
    The five aggregates or in Pali, pañca-khandha, are the bad guys. They belong to the Buddhist devil, Mara. In light of this, you're right, no permanent self is to be found in the evil aggregates because the self is fundamentally transcendent (it's the good guy). As long as we are under the spell of the evil five aggregates, we are lost. So we have to purify the self to know the truth that our self is not the aggregates (material shape, feeling, perception, habitual tendencies, and consciousness). This is why the Buddha says:

    “He beholds the self purified (visuddhamattânam) of all these evil unskilled states, he heholds the self freed (vimuttamattânam)” (M. i. 283).


    This is a new one on me. So your tradition teaches that the self is independent and exists outside of the aggregates, and those are somehow defilements of the self? What tradition is that?
  • taiyakitaiyaki Veteran
    edited August 2012
    All there is, is exactly mind.

    But this mind cannot be established or found. Even to call it mind is an error.

    There is no contradiction unless one grasps and fabricates.
  • SabreSabre Veteran
    edited August 2012
    Songhill said:

    Sabre:

    Mind is just another one of those words we use to give a name to something that doesn't really exist in reality. There is no such thing as 'the mind', beit a small or big mind. What we call mind is experiences linked together, nothing else.
    Then why did Bodhidharma say this:

    I don't know, guess we can't ask him what he meant exactly.

    But when in doubt, always go back to the Buddha. The suttas are often quite clear on such matters.

    "But as for what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness,' the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is unable to grow disenchanted with it, unable to grow dispassionate toward it, unable to gain release from it. Why is that? For a long time this has been relished, appropriated, and grasped by the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person as, 'This is me, this is my self, this is what I am.' Thus the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is unable to grow disenchanted with it, unable to grow dispassionate toward it, unable to gain release from it.

    "It would be better for the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person to hold to the body composed of the four great elements, rather than the mind, as the self. Why is that? Because this body composed of the four great elements is seen standing for a year, two years, three, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, a hundred years or more. But what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another.
    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.061.than.html
    So this supports my previous explanation of the mind not being a constant 'thing'.

    With metta!
    Sabre
  • There is one mind just as there is one reality, and the only reality is samsara. Perhaps when mind goes beyond mind, there may be another experience beyond what we know.
  • ZeroZero Veteran
    Songhill said:


    Everything else but Mind is empty, like an illusion or a mirage.

    The universe, itself, is but a configuration/projection of Mind. The father of QM, Max Planck, said:

    "We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter (Dieser Geist ist der Urgrund aller Materie).”

    QM is not certainty - it is a collection of mathematical alignments - thus far some of the key experiments confirm the maths (within the inherent confines of mathematics) - the explanations in language other than maths are simplified facets of the maths.

    The 'father of X' is press spin - he researched energy absorbtion and through this developed the Planck constant - this led to QM advances - there have been many unsung scientists in the field - his imagination and creativity excel him, along with Einstein, to pioneers of physics in the 20th century - this does not necessarily mean that everything he said or thought were either absolutes then or are still absolutes now.

    The quote states "we must assume...."

    Further, the 'mind is a matrix' does not necessarily mean that the universe is a 'projection' of the mind and nor has a link been shown or even suitably hypothesised between 'force' and 'conscious & intelligent mind'... I assume that by 'force' he is either referring to his constant or to Lambda.

    The quote better addresses the quandary 'why are things as they are?' (as in the background there are conflicting logics etc) - the present answer appears to be 'because we are here to observe them as such'...

    This does not mean that our observation projects this reality into existence in any other way than subjectively to a human and from a human point of view - this however is stating the obvious! If humans look at the universe in a human way then reality will be presented in a human way (as we are only able to observe what we are able to observe) - the jump to suggest that the only possible reality is a human one is correct from our observational view point as we only accept connections in the context of the human understanding - in this sense 'reality' itself (as observed by us) only exists in the human mind.... so yes... you're now led to consider that without mind there is no matrix for matter... BUT only correct (as far as I can see and understand from the proposition) for Human-observed-matter or rather matter observed from the human point of view!!

    A fuller version of the quote is:

    As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.

    I would suggest considering the entire published speech in order to really frame the quote in its context plus remember his religious conviction may lead his opinions (if not his mathematics).
  • Cinorjer: It is not a tradition (whatever that means). This is from the Pali canon which most people these days don't bother read (okay, maybe one Sutta, e.g., the Kalama) and certainly don't understand. I can generally back up what I post on this forum. For example. I said the five aggregates are the bad guys, right? Well check this out.

    "When there is form, Radha, there might be Mara, or the killer, or the one who is killed. Therefore, Radha, see form as Mara, see it as the killer, see it as the one who is killed. See it as a disease, as a tumor, as a dart, as misery, as really misery. Those who see it thus see rightly. When there if feeling ... When there is perception ... When there are volitional formations ... When there is consciousness, Radha, there might be Mara, or the killer, or the one who is killed" (S. iii. 189).

    Switching gears, you commented earlier that you have total faith that there is no permanent self. Upon what is your faith based? It can't be based on the bad guys—Mara the killer's boys. When it comes to these evil aggregates, here is what the Buddha says:

    "But monks, an instructed disciple [ariya-savako] of the pure ones...taking count of the true men...well trained in the dhamma of the true men, regards material shape as: ‘This is not mine, this am I not, this is not my self;’ he regards feeling as: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self;’ he regards perception as: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self;’ he regards the habitual tendencies as: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self;’ he regards consciousness as: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’ And also he regards whatever is see, heard, sensed, cognised, reached, looked for, pondered by the mind as: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self’ (M. i. 136).

    The self is transcendent, exceeding the limits of the five aggregates. In the Buddha's own example, logically, he realized the self which is why he knows the self is not anyone of the five aggregates. If there is no self (natthatta) how can one possibly say of each aggregate, ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self’? It boggles common sense to first believe there is no self but then claim to know that one's self is not aggregated. Incidentally, the Buddha also said the self is the refuge, attasaranâ (D. ii. 100). I take it that this self-as-refuge exceeds the limitations of the aggregates and conditionality.
  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran
    edited August 2012
    @songhill...It is my understanding, that this 'self', without any of the
    aggregates, is the buddha-nature. Im not trying to get off topic,
    I was taught, based on these same Pali
    readings that the self-refuge is the Buddha-self. Is'nt that why we each
    can become a Buddha?, bec that's whats there...beyond the aggregates.
    Who is the good guy? :)
    May I continue to learn and practice what is given to me.
  • Sabre:
    So this supports my previous explanation of the mind not being a constant 'thing'.
    So what mind is this?

    “The learned saintly disciple’s mind for a long time inclines to seclusion (Skt. dirgha-ratram viveka-nimnam cittam), leans to seclusion, bends to seclusion, orients to dispassion and as to the peace and release of blowing-out, his mind slopes toward blowing-out (Skt. nirvana-prâg bhâram), it is cooled to and finished with all thing-events on which the cankers (âsava) are to stand (vyantibhutam sabbaso asava-tthaniyehi dhammehi)” (SA, 1173, 314b24-26, A. iv. 224).

    Or this?

    In the first jhâna he dwells. Whatever form there is, including feeling, perception, habitual tendencies, or consciousness, these he sees to be impermanent phenomena, as ill, as a disease, a boil, a viper’s sting, a pain, an affliction, as barbaric, as alien, as empty (suññato), as not the self (anattato). Thus he turns his mind (citta) away from these; he brings his mind (cittaṃ upasaṃharati) towards the deathless (amata) element (dhātu)" (AN IX, IV, 36).
  • SabreSabre Veteran
    edited August 2012
    Songhill said:

    Sabre:

    So this supports my previous explanation of the mind not being a constant 'thing'.
    So what mind is this?


    Well, that's the conceptual mind I talked about earlier. The label, which is not substantial, just a useful teaching tool. We shouldn't try to search anything special behind it just because it has a fancy name called 'mind'. It's like the car simile I gave, the word car is nothing substantial. But perhaps a better analogy is a persons name. A person is not his or her name, it's just a useful label to use. While they grow up they change. They are never the same person, really. Still we give them the same name, even after they died. Or something we call "the earth" is never the same. Well, I could provide 100 examples.

    I could also ask who is the "disciple" that the quotes you provide speak of, or what is the "feeling/perception/consciousness" or what have you? But those questions wouldn't do any good, because all those things are not substantial. They are concepts, in reality always changing and never the same. The word 'mind' is no exception to this, as it "by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another."

    Once we use language, we have to conceptualize things. Language will never really hit the truth, so we will have to use words such as 'the mind'.

    With metta,
    Sabre



    Cloud
  • Sabre:

    We all know that words act as pointers and are nothing in themselves. The word "sabre" for example is just a sound. Still, it is useful in helping me to see the actual sword that my fencing instructor wants me to take off the sword rack next to the epees on the left.

    Bearing this in mine, when I say Buddha-mind, for example, or One Mind, this vocal sound points to something very real and profound that only the wise have attained.

    If you have not attained bodhicitta (the mind that is bodhi), then you cannot possiblly know what your master knows. You could be confusing it with conceptual mind which is the defiled mind. In this case, he would beat you unmercifully after which you would bow to him and thank him for his kindness. :)
  • Songhill said:

    Cinorjer: It is not a tradition (whatever that means). This is from the Pali canon which most people these days don't bother read (okay, maybe one Sutta, e.g., the Kalama) and certainly don't understand. I can generally back up what I post on this forum. For example. I said the five aggregates are the bad guys, right? Well check this out.

    "When there is form, Radha, there might be Mara, or the killer, or the one who is killed. Therefore, Radha, see form as Mara, see it as the killer, see it as the one who is killed. See it as a disease, as a tumor, as a dart, as misery, as really misery. Those who see it thus see rightly. When there if feeling ... When there is perception ... When there are volitional formations ... When there is consciousness, Radha, there might be Mara, or the killer, or the one who is killed" (S. iii. 189).

    Switching gears, you commented earlier that you have total faith that there is no permanent self. Upon what is your faith based? It can't be based on the bad guys—Mara the killer's boys. When it comes to these evil aggregates, here is what the Buddha says:

    "But monks, an instructed disciple [ariya-savako] of the pure ones...taking count of the true men...well trained in the dhamma of the true men, regards material shape as: ‘This is not mine, this am I not, this is not my self;’ he regards feeling as: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self;’ he regards perception as: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self;’ he regards the habitual tendencies as: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self;’ he regards consciousness as: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’ And also he regards whatever is see, heard, sensed, cognised, reached, looked for, pondered by the mind as: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self’ (M. i. 136).

    The self is transcendent, exceeding the limits of the five aggregates. In the Buddha's own example, logically, he realized the self which is why he knows the self is not anyone of the five aggregates. If there is no self (natthatta) how can one possibly say of each aggregate, ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self’? It boggles common sense to first believe there is no self but then claim to know that one's self is not aggregated. Incidentally, the Buddha also said the self is the refuge, attasaranâ (D. ii. 100). I take it that this self-as-refuge exceeds the limitations of the aggregates and conditionality.

    Oh, I see. Well, I don't pretend to be a Pali scholar, although I've probably read most of the English translations at one time or another. I do know and read commentaries of people who really are scholars, though, and I don't recall that particular emphasis or translation of the text given to the skandhas.

    The Theravadan theory can probably best be summed up that it is the clinging to or identifying with the skandhas that leads to suffering. If you confuse who you are with your form, or your beliefs, or thoughts, or emotions, etc, then you suffer. The skandhas are not considered to be evil, generally, but identifying with one or another of them certainly puts one into the realm of suffering, or Mara as is sometimes referred.

    The Mahayana theory goes further and says the skandhas are empty, so identifying with them is being caught in illusion.

    It is a debate that has been going on for a thousand years.
    Cloud
  • Cinorjer:
    The skandhas are not considered to be evil, generally, but identifying with one or another of them certainly puts one into the realm of suffering, or Mara as is sometimes referred.
    Oddly, those who comment on the Pali canon never bring up the specific discourses found in the Radhasamyutta of the Samyutta-Nikaya in which we learn the aggregates and Mara are equivalent. Perhaps the reason for this omission is that we learn the self is not the problem but rather our identification with the "bad boy" aggregates. Learning this changes the direction of Buddhism from a categorical denial of self (a kind of materialism), to self which is beyond the precinct of the five aggregates/Mara.
  • Vastminds:
    It is my understanding, that this 'self', without any of the
    aggregates, is the buddha-nature. Im not trying to get off topic,
    I was taught, based on these same Pali
    readings that the self-refuge is the Buddha-self. Is'nt that why we each
    can become a Buddha?, bec that's whats there...beyond the aggregates.
    Who is the good guy?
    May I continue to learn and practice what is given to me.
    Yep. The good guy is the self/attâ that "knows what is true or false"; the "noble Witness"; the "Master" (A. i. 149).
  • SabreSabre Veteran
    edited August 2012
    Songhill said:

    Sabre:

    We all know that words act as pointers and are nothing in themselves. The word "sabre" for example is just a sound. Still, it is useful in helping me to see the actual sword that my fencing instructor wants me to take off the sword rack next to the epees on the left.

    Bearing this in mine, when I say Buddha-mind, for example, or One Mind, this vocal sound points to something very real and profound that only the wise have attained.

    If you have not attained bodhicitta (the mind that is bodhi), then you cannot possiblly know what your master knows. You could be confusing it with conceptual mind which is the defiled mind. In this case, he would beat you unmercifully after which you would bow to him and thank him for his kindness. :)

    I wouldn't very much care for the opinion from a master who would beat me, anyway. :p

    Also, I can take it, but perhaps refrain from the subtle below the belt stuff in case you hurt somebody. Also, it's no argument really, to infer that somebody just doesn't understand what they are talking about.

    Metta!
    Sabre
  • Songhill said:

    Cinorjer:

    The skandhas are not considered to be evil, generally, but identifying with one or another of them certainly puts one into the realm of suffering, or Mara as is sometimes referred.
    Oddly, those who comment on the Pali canon never bring up the specific discourses found in the Radhasamyutta of the Samyutta-Nikaya in which we learn the aggregates and Mara are equivalent. Perhaps the reason for this omission is that we learn the self is not the problem but rather our identification with the "bad boy" aggregates. Learning this changes the direction of Buddhism from a categorical denial of self (a kind of materialism), to self which is beyond the precinct of the five aggregates/Mara.

    Or perhaps they don't put as much weight on this one discourse. There have certainly been monks who saw the self as a mind separate from the skandhas or as a supermundane thing alongside monks who saw the self as composed of the skandhas and ultimately empty. There are echos of this in the Tibetan teaching of the "subtle consciousness" and such. It' s just not as compelling an argument for some folks. All you're doing is claiming people have souls or atman in some form, only you call it something else. Certainly Buddhism struggled to find its own response to that.
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran
    @Cinorjer
    All you're doing is claiming people have souls or atman in some form, only you call it something else.
    Yes, that's how it seems to me. In the suttas there is anatta, in the sutras there is sunyata, both seem to negate the idea of some kind of essence/atman/soul/true-self.
    And I still haven't seen a sutta where the Buddha clearly states that there is a true self beyond the aggregates.
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran
    @Songhill
    Oddly, those who comment on the Pali canon never bring up the specific discourses found in the Radhasamyutta of the Samyutta-Nikaya in which we learn the aggregates and Mara are equivalent. Perhaps the reason for this omission is that we learn the self is not the problem but rather our identification with the "bad boy" aggregates. Learning this changes the direction of Buddhism from a categorical denial of self (a kind of materialism), to self which is beyond the precinct of the five aggregates/Mara.
    Yes, the suttas explain how grasping at the aggregates is the source of suffering. But how is this an argument for some kind of true self?
  • SabreSabre Veteran
    edited August 2012

    @Cinorjer

    All you're doing is claiming people have souls or atman in some form, only you call it something else.
    Yes, that's how it seems to me. In the suttas there is anatta, in the sutras there is sunyata, both seem to negate the idea of some kind of essence/atman/soul/true-self.
    And I still haven't seen a sutta where the Buddha clearly states that there is a true self beyond the aggregates.
    Even if there were, it would have to be measured against the times where the suttas either explicitly or inexplicitly say such a thing doesn't exist.

    That doesn't determine what is true or not, of course. Buddhism isn't blind faith. But it'll give us a clearer idea of what the Buddha himself taught.
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran
    @Songhill
    In the first jhâna he dwells. Whatever form there is, including feeling, perception, habitual tendencies, or consciousness, these he sees to be impermanent phenomena, as ill, as a disease, a boil, a viper’s sting, a pain, an affliction, as barbaric, as alien, as empty (suññato), as not the self (anattato). Thus he turns his mind (citta) away from these; he brings his mind (cittaṃ upasaṃharati) towards the deathless (amata) element (dhātu)" (AN IX, IV, 36).
    So are you taking the view that the deathless element is a true self?
  • PedanticPorpoise:
    Yes, the suttas explain how grasping at the aggregates is the source of suffering. But how is this an argument for some kind of true self?
    How do you draw the conclusion that the Buddha denied the self when he clearly states his self is not any one of the aggregates? How does the Buddha, for example, know that he is not consciousness? It's common sense that he has to know the self in order to say an aggregate is not his self; to clearly distinguish himself from the fleeting elements of existence. Thus, we learn that there is an ultimate absolute behind the impermanent and suffering aggregates when we totally abandon them.

    Just to say there is no self (natthatta) because one can't perceive it is materialism which the Buddha rejected. Where, in what Sutta does the Buddha side with materialists? He never does. So we have to be careful that we do not take up a materialist's belief.

  • If the skandhas cannot be found, do they not exist?

    If we say they don't then this vivid arising is denied.

    This movement is completely coreless, thus absolutely nothing is arising and falling.

    The Buddha is this movement. He is not the skandhas, yet also not apart from the skandhas.

    No mind is the six streams of consciousness arising and falling due to conditions. The sound, smell, taste, sensation, thought, vision.

    Vivid and appearing unceassingly. Yet completely devoid of essence. Can we call this self, me, or my? Even to call it a mind, isn't true as mind is a designation onto suchness. Suchness has no name. To call this a source is an error. There is no background. There is no essence apart from these arising.

    If you believe there is be an essence, then one is just grasping to the skandhas. If pure consciousness or presence is felt. It is merely another fabrication, perception, sensation. Another arising of consciousness.

    But making that consciousness pure or special in opposition to the skandhas is an error. Everything equally is the pure luminous arising of presence/awareness, but it is completely ungraspable and coreless.
    Cloud
  • CloudCloud Veteran
    edited August 2012
    @Songhill, Referring to anatta as "not the self" implies that something else is the self. You're actually the only person I've ever heard this from; from no others, and no Buddhist learning resources of any kind (including teachers), have I heard anatta translated this way. Anatta is "not-self", meaning that nothing of what we are can be taken as an unchanging or permanent self. It does not mean there's a permanent unchanging self that's hidden to us within the aggregates. In fact even "no self" is not the position of materialists, unless it's taken to the extreme that there is nothing which carries on (no rebirth).
  • Cloud:

    Grammatically, that is the way it is to be translated. Anattâ is a compound (a kammadhyaraya compound but also operates somewhat like a bahubbuhi compound). The noun type thus would be "Cloud is a non-smoker." Bhikkhu Bodhi, for example, uses "nonself" as in "consciousness is nonself" (S.iii.21). However, the kammadhyaraya compound is somewhat adjectival in the example of x is anattâ meaning that x is not the self (attâ is nominative singular).

    Using Bhikkhu Bodhi's trans., when we read:

    "What is suffering is nonself [anattâ]. What is nonself should be seen as it really is with correct wisdom thus: 'This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.' (brackets are mine)

    The model x is anattâ is being used. This passage is in no way suggesting there is no self. In straightforward English it is saying that suffering is not my self (na meso attâ). This further suggests that to see the self (attâ) in what is not the self (anattâ) is a great spiritual error.

    As far as the five khandhas go they are anattâ. Again, this does not mean there is no self. Given that each khandha is equivalent to Mara, rightly, we should not regard any khandha as our self. They are not our self.
  • CloudCloud Veteran
    edited August 2012
    @Songhill, However that is not how it's translated into English for any Buddhist tradition that I'm aware of... and probably for the very reason I stated, that it implies there is a self (if the aggregates are not-self, they're simply not-self... if they're not-the-self, this implies something else is the self, and keeps people chasing after self, perpetuating a form of self-view). Not much else to say about that. ;)
  • SabreSabre Veteran
    edited August 2012
    Sorry to interrupt, but we could make day long discussions about a word. Fact is what I said before, only practice will reveal the truth.

    The vast majority of the people on this earth belief in a form of self in the aggregates. Why? Because they don't practice the path, specifically don't practice meditation, or have not practiced it long enough to see deeply what is or is not there. It's not because they haven't heard about how "anatta" should be translated.

    Of course, it's not wrong to argue about translations, and I think the suttas are the best source of material there is. But if we rely on the translations of others too much, we forget that we can't know what's true if we haven't seen for ourselves. Also, scholar translators of the suttas themselves don't always agree, so can't be trusted blindly. In my view some major translators teach things that are not in line with what the truth as the Buddha taught it.

    And so the Buddha said in the Kalama sutta, do not rely on scripture or 'so and so' is my teacher.

    Just as a general remark. Not taking any position on the discussion here. Just want to say it's very easy to think we are right and others are wrong. But how deep do we really understand? Or is our opinion based on what we read? Something to consider, I think. A good scientist would reproduce the experiments.
  • Cloud:

    The definition:

    Mara is the Buddhist devil or principle of destruction. Sometimes the term Mara is also applied to the whole of worldly existence, of the realm of rebirth, as opposed to Nibbana (cp. R. Davids, Pali-English Dic.).

    There are five Maras: 1) aggregate Mara; 2) klesha/vices Mara; 3) death Mara; 4) abhisankhara/karma Mara; 5) devaputra/son of god Mara.

    Since the khandhas belong to Mara and they (the khandha) are anattâ, Mara, too, by implication, is anattâ, that is, not our self. By affirming the Buddha taught Anattâ, inadvertently, one is proclaiming a doctrine of Mara!



  • CloudCloud Veteran
    edited August 2012
    @Songhill, There is no "belongs to" in any case. We are the very substance of all phenomena, are we not? This means the aggregates are indeed literally what we are, and yet they are without exception Anatta... none of the aggregates can be taken as a self. It is giving up our false perception of a self and all the craving/clinging associated with that perception that brings freedom, not in placing it into some hidden corner (a hidden aggregate). Creating a sixth aggregate is simply dodging the Buddha's teachings... a safe haven to place "self" or "soul" outside of the five aggregates, so that we can still cling to this view of self. It also leads to views of transmigration of this self and so on, all contradicting the Buddha's teachings. It's no different from any other self-view, which a stream-winner would not have.
    taiyakihow
  • Cloud:
    It is giving up our false perception of a self and all the craving/clinging associated with that perception that brings freedom, not in placing it into some hidden corner (a hidden aggregate).
    The problem is to see self in what is not self (A. ii. 52). This is why the Buddha teaches the five aggregates are anattâ, that is, not the self.

    Nowhere does the Buddha teach there are only the five aggregates and no self (natthatta). Rather the Buddha teaches that the five aggregates are not my self (na meso attâ). He also teaches that self is the refuge (attasaranam). He doesn't teach anattâ or the Mara aggregates are the refuge.

  • consciousness freed from objectifying the aggregates, is in fact natural nirvana.

    that natural nirvana leads towards nirvana with remainder.

    as long as you don't make such consciousness into a thing again, then there is no issue. reification of consciousness without feature is in fact atman. releasing consciousness is liberation.

    from there, which isn't even a there...all designations are pointless. free from the objectification, yet the clarity of buddhahood continually manifests.

    such a mind isn't even mind. don't even bother making it into another thing. everything deconstructs by itself.

    you have a very dualistic vision of buddhism. making liberation apart from the aggregates. it is in fact the very essence and nature of the aggregates that bring liberation. recognition of the coreless of suchness is what brings release.

    not reification of suchness as a thing, be is non existent or existent.
    Cloud
  • “This Pure Mind, the people of the world do not awake to it, regarding only that which sees, hears, feels and knows as Mind. Blinded by their own sight, hearing, feeling and knowing, they do not perceive the spiritual brilliance of that truth.”

    “Realize that, though Real Mind is expressed in these perceptions (our normal perceptions), it neither forms part of them nor is separate from them.”

    -Huang Po

    Real mind, Pure mind, No mind are all the same. Union of luminosity and emptiness.
    CloudFullCircleRebeccaS
  • Maybe it was a typo? :p
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran
    @Songhill
    So we have to be careful that we do not take up a materialist's belief.
    OK, but you seem to be taking up an eternalist view by wanting to inject a permanent essence?
    Cloud
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran
    @Songhill
    He also teaches that self is the refuge (attasaranam).
    Could we have a brief sutta quote to support this idea? Thanks.
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran
    @taiyaki
    taiyaki said:

    Anyone who meditates long enough will recognize the the watcher merging into everything. Its a nice place to park your car and in fact in many spiritual traditions thats where they do. This is the Atman meeting Brahman.

    Interesting, but which Buddhist school teaches Atman meeting Brahman? It's not something I've come across.
  • CloudCloud Veteran
    edited August 2012
    @PedanticPorpoise, I don't think he means that's actually what it is, but that this is where such concepts come from, what such people believe (what it seems like to them, if they go no further). Going beyond that is where Nirvana actually lies. At least judging by the entirety of his post. :D
  • taiyaki:

    One of the truly great Mahayana works (a shastra) is the The Awakening of Faith (hereafter AWF), the translation done by Yoshito S. Hakeda. It is where we learn about Mahayana, especially the One Mind (ekacitta).

    Unfortunately, the AWF is put on extinction by Western Buddhists who seem much closer to the materialism the Buddha encountered and rejected (Vedanta had not yet arisen which drew its inspiration from Mahayana).

    By taking this unfortunate path they will never learn about Mind and how to realize it which, incidentally, is not easy (most take the fifth aggregate to be mind which is a huge mistake). In fact, all of Buddhism (Mahayana) rests upon Mind (e.g., Buddha Mind, Bodhi Mind, unborn Mind, pure Mind, One Mind, Mind-only, clear light Mind and so on). If one has not realized Mind, one cannot claim to be an authentic Bodhisattva. There is no path for them. The Bhumis cannot be realized. One is still a prithagjana, a worldling, lost in samsara who will probably never escape from it.

  • To clarify:

    the watcher is dualistic mindfulness. your simple mindfulness that creates subject (awareness) looking at (object).

    when the watcher merges with the object you have substantial non dualism or oneness. this is illuminating everything as clarity or presence/awareness.

    those are primarily the conclusion of hindu practices and many buddhists also traverse these stages.

    this is where the transition from one mind to no mind is key.

    what is not emphasized is emptiness (self/phenomena) and dependent origination.

    so one mind = 1+1=1 (substantial non duality).

    no mind = six streams of distinct arisings of consciousness. smell, sound, taste, sensation, thought, color (shape, form).

    all there is, is the arising and passing of suchness. suchness being the six streams of consciousness. they arise due to conditions and fall away due to extinguishing of conditions. suchness is utterly empty, thus coreless, void, ungraspable.


    Heres how we can break down into no mind:

    ‎|thought| |thought| |thought| |thought| |thought|.

    |smell| |smell| |smell| |smell| |smell|.

    |sensation| |sensation| |sensation| |sensation| |sensation|.

    |sight| |sight| |sight| |sight| |sight|.

    |sound| |sound| |sound| |sound| |sound|.

    |taste| |taste| |taste| |taste| |taste|.

    Disjointed on two levels:

    First each six streams of experience/consciousness is disjointed. Only through thoughts do we create a link between each arising experience. Thoughts do not touch the realm of sounds and sounds do not touch the realm of tastes.

    Second each instant of experience isn't linked with the next experience in the same realm of consciousness. For instance it is always one thought arising then the next. With no true link between the two other than the assumed inference. Thought appears to reference another thought but that previous thought is already gone. Even with the other streams of consciousness we find that it is only one instant then the next with no chain of connection findable.

    In our everyday experience we see an object with our eyes and then we touch that object. What we must realize is that the touch is just one arising instant of sensation chained upon another arising of sensation chained upon the visual form of the object chained upon the conceptual overlay of name and wholeness on the basis of parts.

    The object is just one sensation then gone. One instant of color that is projected as shape on the basis of a projected background color. And we overlap the two and name it. Thus there isn't actually an independently existent "thing" there but in actuality dependently arisen suchness.

    With clinging (attachment or aversion) we assume the "essence" of an appearance of consciousness. We name and then the whole experience is built. With less clinging the essence dissolves and what seemed to be so solid vanishes into thin air.

    So first we see that experience is disjointed. Then we see that always its just one thought, one smell, one sensation, etc.

    Then we must even penetrate this one "appearance of consciousness". Because one is also a designation. We are still operating in perception.

    With body and mind we look for the core of all these arisings. With sincerity and honesty we find an absence of what we assumed. Yet everything appears unceasingly. Everything is a magicians trick or like a rainbow. Vivid and apparent yet coreless and ungraspable. What joy, what freedom!!!
  • Songhill said:

    taiyaki:

    One of the truly great Mahayana works (a shastra) is the The Awakening of Faith (hereafter AWF), the translation done by Yoshito S. Hakeda. It is where we learn about Mahayana, especially the One Mind (ekacitta).

    Unfortunately, the AWF is put on extinction by Western Buddhists who seem much closer to the materialism the Buddha encountered and rejected (Vedanta had not yet arisen which drew its inspiration from Mahayana).

    By taking this unfortunate path they will never learn about Mind and how to realize it which, incidentally, is not easy (most take the fifth aggregate to be mind which is a huge mistake). In fact, all of Buddhism (Mahayana) rests upon Mind (e.g., Buddha Mind, Bodhi Mind, unborn Mind, pure Mind, One Mind, Mind-only, clear light Mind and so on). If one has not realized Mind, one cannot claim to be an authentic Bodhisattva. There is no path for them. The Bhumis cannot be realized. One is still a prithagjana, a worldling, lost in samsara who will probably never escape from it.

    Actually all the aggregates are the unborn buddha mind.

    The buddha mind is the aggregates and absolutely untouched by the aggregates.

    We cannot find anything substantial in the aggregates, thus we must conclude that everything is a construction, perception, assumption. Not finding anything is release.

    You make a distinction between the mirror and its appearances. In actuality there is no mirror without appearances and vice versa. Appearances are all there are.

    Everything is your clarity, appearance-emptiness. Your karmic vision of your mandala. Its utterly empty, unborn, unestablished. Yet it keeps rolling on.

    It isn't grasping at Mind which brings release. It is insight that the mind itself is release, which brings release.

    If you only illuminate the clarity of mind as a thing, then you fail to see the various arising of mind as the same clarity. Thus there is a false duality asserted between mind and everything else.
    Cloud
  • @songhill

    also your whole western buddhist thing is a self fulfilling prophecy. You see what you want to see. Reality is all mind, all a perception.

    None of us are materialist. Yet you set us up as materialist.

    Do you not see your eternalistic point of view?

    The true natural state is beyond any designation.

    May you find peace.
  • taiyakitaiyaki Veteran
    edited August 2012

    @taiyaki

    taiyaki said:

    Anyone who meditates long enough will recognize the the watcher merging into everything. Its a nice place to park your car and in fact in many spiritual traditions thats where they do. This is the Atman meeting Brahman.

    Interesting, but which Buddhist school teaches Atman meeting Brahman? It's not something I've come across.
    Its not necessarily a Buddhist thing, but primarily Hindu. Though many Buddhist traverse the paths and stages of Atman (dualistic mindfulness) and merging with Brahman (oneness, substantial non dualism).

    Sorry about the wordiness, the vocab just works for me. Here's a good article:

    http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2012/07/turiya-vs-dzogchen.html
  • Also not to beat a dead horse (its better to have this information out there):

    A lot of people mistaken buddha nature for "the watcher" or "oneness".

    To those people, I urge you to keep your practice going and to see an authentic teacher who knows what the hell they are teaching.

    Buddha nature is the dynamic activity of this interdependent reality. It is the full conclusion of this very moments arising and then dropping completely away, traceless, traceless, traceless. It isn't a state, thing, or something to grasp onto. One doesn't cultivate it, nor is it established as an existent or non existent entity. Any movement is buddha nature, and as such because it is not a thing, nothing is happening.

    Cheers.
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