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The Wave analogy

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Comments

  • @Sabre, Doubt is where it's all at. Self-doubt best of all.
    Sabre
  • I think they (teachers) could be authoritative in the sense that they know the dharma both in action and in scripture. Yes we scrutinize them but it's paradoxical because if we spend all our life scrutinizing looking for the best 'bottled water' we might miss the 'good enough' of a local spring or well.

    But in general I like your post, @Sabre.
  • @Bunks, Perfect, thank you for sharing that. :)
  • OneLifeForm:
    "Enlightenment, for a wave in the ocean,
    is the moment the wave realises it is water."

    Seems self explanatory to me.

    For when the wave saw that it is water it would be all pervading awarness of it all.

    It wouldn't be a "concrete" wave thinking, "I am made of water!"

    Every molecule in the ocean would be seen and understood then and the ocean would continue to be an ocean.
    The problem with TNK's quote, when it is applied to the actual practice of Buddhism, it doesn't work. The psycho-physical body (the wave phenomena) can't realize anything. It is just an illusory configuration according to the Buddha.

    We are, in essence, the absolute (the water) that has been attached to phenomena (waves), thinking, I am this. This is ignorance. Enlightenment comes when we transcend phenomena (the waves) thus to see our true nature (water) which is unconditioned (this is nirvana). After that we come to realize that all phenomena (waves) are mind-only (only water). They don't really exist (apart from water).

    Vastmind
  • Trungpa Rinpoche said that we are spaciousness. And then for some reason that spaciousness started dancing. Next space thought it was the dance and forgot it's true nature.
  • Songhill:
    The psycho-physical body (the wave phenomena) can't realize anything.
    Yes, and there is nothing to realise.
  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran
    edited September 2012
    @Songhill.... :clap:
    I liked how you broke each thing down.

    Now, if I may say so in a loving manner,
    just try not to sound like everyone, everywhere should
    get what your saying. Like you are right. It's not you
    verses all these 'psydo-people' we keep putting up.
    Or you verses anybody. It's all linkable.
    I think you know that. ;)

    This stuff takes digestion, and especially
    when you are looking at different backgrounds/traditions.
    Different things 'work' for different people.
    I like you, so go easy. :)
    federica
  • PrairieGhostPrairieGhost Veteran
    edited September 2012
    Whatever we think it is, it is less, finer.
  • How does the wave become mistaken into thinking it is separate from the water? Somehow I suspect Melkor.
    tmottesVastmind
  • Melkor of the Silmarilion? I love Tolkien's writing.
    Sile
  • PrairieGhost:
    Yes, and there is nothing to realise.
    We have to awaken, that is, we have to realize that we are not really this psycho-physical body by directly seeing our true nature which is transcendent. In Mahayana Buddhism, this awakening begins with bodhicittotpada, that is, manifesting the mind that is bodhi.
    SileVastmind
  • Songhill said:

    The problem with TNK's quote, when it is applied to the actual practice of Buddhism, it doesn't work. The psycho-physical body (the wave phenomena) can't realize anything. It is just an illusory configuration according to the Buddha.

    We are, in essence, the absolute (the water) that has been attached to phenomena (waves), thinking, I am this. This is ignorance. Enlightenment comes when we transcend phenomena (the waves) thus to see our true nature (water) which is unconditioned (this is nirvana). After that we come to realize that all phenomena (waves) are mind-only (only water). They don't really exist (apart from water).

    When it comes to the actual practice of Buddhism, this quote most definitely works.

    And so we too, are illusory configurations.

    It appears you have typed nothing that the quote doesn't already explain.

    Though you are adding, that the quote is wrong, while agreeing with it at the same time.

    That is the way it appears to me anyways..

  • SabreSabre Veteran
    edited September 2012
    Jeffrey said:

    I think they (teachers) could be authoritative in the sense that they know the dharma both in action and in scripture. Yes we scrutinize them but it's paradoxical because if we spend all our life scrutinizing looking for the best 'bottled water' we might miss the 'good enough' of a local spring or well.

    But in general I like your post, @Sabre.

    Well, it's again a big assumption to say teachers know the dharma. Even amongst monks who are ordained for their entire life, one can find quite huge differences in what they teach. So surely they don't all have the right view. But the spring we are looking for is our own experience, our own dhamma. Of course, teachers can point us in the right direction, but they can also point us in the wrong direction. So if we are also free to reasonably doubt those who are in general agreed upon to be enlightened, that's only for our own good. We can never be 100% sure if the teacher is enlightened. But if we have right view, we can know who is not, if they say or do things that disagree with that.

    So TNH comes up with quote of a wave, that's fine and all good, but everybody is free to doubt it.


  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran
    Bunks said:

    Just as water does not differ from wave, in the wave of life that comes and goes eternally, so human beings are not separate from the universe in which they find themselves, but deeply and intrinsically connected throughout space and time.

    I still don't get this analogy, and it still feels muddled to me. What exactly is the wave supposed to represent?
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran
    So TNH comes up with quote of a wave, that's fine and all good, but everybody is free to doubt it.
    It's not so much that I doubt it, I just don't get it.
  • Don't worry about it, Porpoise. It's just a way of expressing a concept, nothing more.

    This little story may help.
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited September 2012
    @Sabre, the teacher represents the sangha, which should embody the dharma. Also the teacher points out your own mind which is the nature of awareness-awake. So I don't think we disagree, rather we have different comfort zones because I have had a great relationship with my teacher and I wish everyone could feel and learn what I have.

    Yes, absolutely, we rely on ourselves to discern whether the teacher is teaching something good.
  • edited September 2012
    Bunks said:

    "Enlightenment, for a wave in the ocean,
    is the moment the wave realises it is water."

    I've been mulling over this quote by Thich Nhat Hanh for a little while now and trying to determine what it means from the perspective of being a human being i.e. I am the wave.

    Do you think he means that all human consciousness / mind arises from (and returns to) the same place?

    I'd be interested to hear other people's take on it.

    The wave - the human being. The water - humanity. It's not enlightenment, though; just a facet.
  • 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

    It's not so much that I doubt it, I just don't get it.

    Interconnectedness.

  • federica said:

    It's not so much that I doubt it, I just don't get it.

    Interconnectedness.

    If you are that, there's nothing to be connected to, is there? :)

  • PrairieGhostPrairieGhost Veteran
    edited September 2012
    PedanticPorpoise
    It's not so much that I doubt it, I just don't get it.
    No, no that's fine. I don't get it at all, though I can explain it to other people. There's no one here to get it.
  • Not sure the context in which TNH uses the analogy. My first take on it was to realize one's essential nature. Wave = water (aggregates c + o2). Human = 5 aggregates or something to that effect.
    Cloud
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited September 2012
    Lama Shenpen said: (that) Buddha said that the five aggregates are not the self, or rather a confused understanding of tathagata.

    Seeing the five aggregates as impermanent is pretty much the same thing, yet more agreeable than my first paragraph.
  • CloudCloud Veteran
    edited September 2012
    The five aggregates are what you are (you are the water), but they're not self in any sense. To realize your true nature, your Buddha-Nature, the nature of emptiness, you have to see that you're part of the interconnected web of reality and that nothing stands on its own. This is the wave realizing that it's water; it's not really a wave. A human is just emptiness, not really a human, certainly not a truly separate entity.

    A cup clinging to its form would be an exercise in futility. Not only did the cup not always exist as a cup, but it will get worn-down, chipped, and eventually broken! To realize emptiness is to stop clinging at what is not self, not permanent, and not satisfactory. At the very least it's to see no essence, and no true separation between self/other. Everything arises from everything else, is part of the whole, and is in a constant state of transformation.

    Just keep asking yourself where you came from. Nothing comes from nothing. Obviously what you are has always been around in one form or another, and always will be. What are you clinging to? All you're really clinging to is individual identity (being the wave, or being consciousness, being something...). This consciousness is not "self", it's exactly the same as every other consciousness. Take away the individual identity, and there's no one to cling, and "nothing special" to cling to! It has all dependently arisen, it's just water taking new configurations, let it go!
    OneLifeFormPrairieGhost
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited September 2012
    Yeah, my point is.... say the aggregate, form. We don't say 'I am form' unless what we mean by saying 'I am' has something else in mind such as 'form is emptiness'. But if we say 'I am form' as our deep assumption I don't think any intellectual cleverness of the moment digs deep enough to get to the 'I am'. The 'of the moment' points out that intellectual understanding is itself impermanent; we leave the raft when we have direct insight.

    Also because we cannot find any cup, therefore there never was anything, 'it', which turned into a cup. There never is anything graspable so it is hard to say that something is changing into something else.
  • CloudCloud Veteran
    edited September 2012
    @Jeffrey
    It's possible to go too far and say there is nothing, but we can't reify anything either. There's obviously "suchness", but we have to see it as empty of thingness/beingness/self. It's just whatever it is at the moment, but it isn't always that. We have to lose the idea of permanence too. Really we can get too intellectual about it and create a paradox, where it's the intellectualizing that needs to go, the mental constructs that need undone.

    What changes, what transforms, are the "appearances" of emptiness. It's all just the "water" of emptiness taking on different forms, such as snowflakes or ice... but it's really just water. It flows on. Obviously instead of real water we have the four elements in Buddhism. We could break it down even further using science or say that it's really all atoms, but what's the point? The point is that it's all constructs, all of it. That's what appearances are, fleeting constructs that we can not reify. Well, we can reify, but that's ignorance. :D

    The wave realizing it is water is the human realizing it's the four elements, or close enough. It's realizing Emptiness or Dependent Origination, that everything comes from everything else, nothing is a standalone entity whatsoever. It's giving up individual identity, separateness and permanence. There's nothing to cling to that will not change, including that which clings.
    OneLifeForm
  • kowtaaia said:

    federica said:

    It's not so much that I doubt it, I just don't get it.

    Interconnectedness.

    If you are that, there's nothing to be connected to, is there? :)

    Even " I " , ( and I do exist just ask my family ! ) who is not prone to putting my mind to answerable riddles, can see that what is being referred to by the word is all of us ( individuals with our own sets of aggregates ) ... gee !!! lol
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited September 2012
    @Cloud

    Nagarjuna criticized rang (self) tong (empty) by saying that in order to have self emptiness it subtly reifies that there is something empty, when actually there is nothing to grasp. Without a reference point there is no change as there is no 'it' ever ever ever.

    Nagarjuna critized shen (other) tong (empty) by saying that if you cannot establish the conditioned, well how can you establish the unconditioned (i think i got that wrong)..

    Bridging those we have the same experience (aside from intellect) whether we are rang or shen - tongpas. Thus as long as we have equanimity it makes no difference.
  • CloudCloud Veteran
    edited September 2012
    @Jeffrey, It's all trying, but being words it fails to a great extent. :D That's the problem with language, it really has trouble grasping what is contrary to its purpose. Talking about reality without things/beings is like describing the taste of an orange to someone who's never had one. It always comes back to the words, the teachings, being a finger pointing to the moon... we have to see for ourselves, we have to "taste" for ourselves.

  • Yes
    Language cannot pin reality down. Rather reality is an empty AND dynamic reality from which our language vibrates to convey what we feel. ;) :D
    CloudPrairieGhost
  • Jeffrey:
    Language cannot pin reality down.
    That's why there's nothing to realise in realisation. Speaking is fine, but no one gets the last word.
  • Jeffrey:

    Language cannot pin reality down.
    That's why there's nothing to realise in realisation. Speaking is fine, but no one gets the last word.

    I have a feeling somebody is going to get the last word in this thread! hehehehe

    @Cloud and @Jeffrey have described it very well in the most recent posts.
  • 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

    Jeffrey:

    Language cannot pin reality down.
    That's why there's nothing to realise in realisation. Speaking is fine, but no one gets the last word.
    (You wanna bet....? ;) )


    :D
  • OneLifeForm:
    I have a feeling somebody is going to get the last word in this thread! hehehehe

    @Cloud and @Jeffrey have described it very well in the most recent posts.

    I'll make do with the last smiley :)
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran
    sukhita said:

    Not sure the context in which TNH uses the analogy.

    I think that's why I'm struggling with it. At one level it seems to be an illustration of "interbeing", ie interconnectedness, being "one with the universe". At another level it seems to be about impermanence.
  • I think that's why I'm struggling with it. At one level it seems to be an illustration of "interbeing", ie interconnectedness, being "one with the universe". At another level it seems to be about impermanence.

    Where is the separation or difference between interconnectedness and impermanence?

    These things all flow with one another.

    As the wave crashes it's impermanent nature is shown along with its interconnectedness because it is just form taking different form as a result of waves before it.

    You are simply complicating something simple. :D


    There is no wave, where in the wave can "it" be found, is the wave the trillions that came before it?

    No, that can't be it.

    Is the "wave" in one of the drops of water?

    No, how could that be?

    Is the "wave" the salt?

    That can't be it... salt by itself doesn't wave like an ocean or like hello.


    Is the wave what we label that form when it takes that place?

    Yes.



    It is form as is any other form, form is emptiness.



    It is helpful to view each moment as an image.



    I am not saying that the wave never existed or that you never existed, if you can read this then you can see that we both exist.

    The problem you must refute is the subtle added tom foolery in regards to the "wave".



    It is a mental problem, it is the way we are viewing things. We tend to add something more to phenomena than is really there.

    As I typed, it is subtle though.

    Once you see it you will laugh.


    Might be helpful to understand that within a grain of sand is infinite space, one can never get to the smallest point possible. There is no point with a microscope that one can come to where a sign is there saying:

    "Sorry, that is too small, please turn around."

    And so it is with all the space around us, that we see as so "big".. ie: the universe and such.

    There is no point in outer "space" that one will reach where a sign is waiting patiently to tell them that, "You've reached the end, please turn around, this is my limit."




    Ignorance has limits though.


    Truly very limited, walled in with blinders on.


    Ignorance will gladly hold up a sign saying, "Turn the *#*$ around!"


    For we have conditioned ourselves to view things as we do right now.


    We must work with where we are.




    We have limitless potential, infinite expanse within every moment to work with.


    I don't know if this helps Señor Porpoise..

    this might though..

    I read a lot about emptiness/selflessness/etc. whatever word you want to use, when I started learning about Buddhism.

    It was in every book I was reading yet I could not see it.

    It went straight over my head and I could only see what I was able to see at the time.


    The first time really gaining some insight into emptiness was when I went to a teaching given by Geshe Yeshe Thabke on Shantideva's words about that subject.

    After that I exlaimed, "How could I ever see things any other way than this, it is insane!"

    I have laughed many times since then in regards to the way I habitually find my"self" viewing things.


    So we are able to see what we are able to see.



    Fin.

    Cloud
  • I didn't read any of the comments :lol: but that was an awesome quote. Can't explain what it means OP, hopefully someone here did, but I really liked it. :)
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    You are simply complicating something simple. :D

    That's because I'm pedantic.
    :D
    Anyway I live near the sea, so I will go and watch some waves and hopefully it will "sink in" eventually....
    tmottes
  • Hi

    There is no water in a wave
    the wave is empty.


    I you and a friend hold the opposite end of
    a rope a flick it to create waves between each end
    how much rope is in each wave?

    slainte
  • Curl up a rope. Is there really curl-ness? Tangle up some yarn. Is there really tangle-ness there? Make a mud pie. It there really pie-ness there? Look at a whirlpool. Is there whirlpool-ness there? The svabhâva (true nature) is never affected by formation; in fact, the formation is an illusion.
    Not clinging to his form,
    The water man dives
    Into the great ocean.
    His old form has disappeared.
    He is free of all formations.
  • Songhill said:

    Make a mud pie. It there really pie-ness there?

    Depends... Did it have a crust? Without a crust I would argue there is only mud-ness :p
  • Just to put it my 2 cents, I have been following this from the start and have enjoyed reading the responses, again feel that my words would not make much worth so I keep them to myself. The first 20 or so posts are very thought provocative.
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