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Thread: Is This Thinking Askew I Ask You?

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Nameless's Avatar
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    Is This Thinking Askew I Ask You?

    Hey friends!

    So, in the vain act of expressing the inexpressible, I found myself writing this:

    All dharmas are dependent upon their nature. All dharmas are really just their nature. Without their nature... no dharmas. Without the dharmas, there is still the nature. It is from this Buddha-nature, that all conditioned dharmas arise. If there was no bouncing-nature, a ball would never bounce; if there was no color-nature, the ball would be colorless even to eyes equipped to see colors; if there was no spinning-nature, the ball would not turn; if there was no resting nature, the ball would never sit still; if there was no spherical-nature, well... the ball wouldn't even appear to be a ball.

    Do you think this is accurate, or am I just BSing? Co-dependence does influence most things, but through an experience I was able to taste something interesting; that the nature of something does not depend upon the thing itself, whereas the thing does depend on its nature. Flowing with the terms in the example, if I took a rubber ball and threw it in a fire, it would no longer be what we call a ball, but the nature itself that allowed the ball to be still exists independent of the ball, we just are no longer able to experience through something.

    And really, what we call and perceive as the ball was never a static object to begin with. It was always doing, even if it was doing nothing. We perceive things as nouns, but really everything is verbs. Anyway, that's a whole different subject that this line of thought flowed into.

    I figured I'd bring this to the Sangha, since guidance is always appreciated, and if there's one thing I know, it's that I don't know anything haha.

    Gassho, John

  2. #2
    John,

    In answer to your question, I don't know.

    Sometimes it can feel good to express the inexpressible, most times I am just content to leave it as it is - nothing extra. Name and form are slippery things to grasp with words.

    Gelugpa monks are pretty good at this sort of philosophy, though: http://www.lamayeshe.com/index.php?s...d=386&chid=942

    Gassho
    Andy

  3. #3
    Trying to grasp a self-existing principle is an endless exercise, and there is a strong habit to do that. It is like trying to find solid ground. Yet when mental grasping winds down completely, and things are just as they are, the good ground is there all along, you can relax, it has always been ok. Just speaking from experience. Gassho Daizan
    大山

  4. #4
    Senior Member Myosha's Avatar
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    Everything ​is Buddha nature. - Dogen


    Gassho,
    Edward
    Practice with humility, respect all beings, avoid attachments, give rise to praj˝a from your own awareness, put an end to delusions - Hui-neng

  5. #5
    Hi Nameless,

    I think what you wrote is beautiful. Although keep in mind, forms and concepts, are just forms and concepts.

    Never two, only one.

    Gassho,

    Lu

  6. #6
    Hey John, Hey Clark,

    Yes, Buddhist philosophers spent a couple of thousand years arguing about questions on subjects like "dharmas" and "natures" in painful, hair splitting, chicken-or-egg detail (yes, they still do in many corners of the Buddhist world, like during the Tibetan debaters below). Zen folks pretty much stepped away from the debate.

    The most that Zen folks, like all Mahayana folks, will say is that ... dharmas, colors, balls and spinning, all nature and the nature of all things, even Buddha and Buddha nature ... all Empty, a lovely co-originating dance without beginning or end.

    Yet, someone like Dogen might add ... each dharma (meaning here in Buddha-lingo, a thing or event) stands whole and fulfilled in its own nature, each its own beginning and end, alpha and omega. As we will chant tomorrow during our Zazenkai ...


    * All spheres, every sense and field

    intermingle even as they shine alone,

    Interacting even as they merge,

    Yet keeping their places in expressions of their own.

    ...

    Fire is hot, water is wet,

    Wind moves and the earth is dense.

    Eye and form, ear and sound, nose and smell,

    Tongue and taste, the sweet and sour:

    Each independent of the other

    Like leaves that come from the same root.

    And though leaves and root must go back to the Source

    Both root and leaves have their own uses.

    Does a ball have ball nature? Buddha nature? Spinning nature? Does nature come before the ball, vanish with the ball or stand alone? Is a square ball still a ball? Can there be spinning without something to spin? If you take away "b" does "BALL" become "ALL"? If my aunt had balls would she be my uncle? (something my father from the Bronx used to say)

    Go sit, let balls bounce and fires burn. Let the fire burn the ball of bouncing questions away.

    Gassho, J


    Last edited by Jundo; 10-03-2013 at 05:25 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  7. #7
    Senior Member Clark's Avatar
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    Hello

    I am thinking that the object we call ball may have it's own nature. But ball and us are not two. I am thinking that bouncing and us are not two either. Bouncing and non bouncing are both one. Perhaps another mind sees a ball bounce and realizes that it flies. Perhaps a physicist see bouncing as a perplexing issue of gravity. I do wonder how relevant these meanderings are. Perhaps only in that you can see ball/non ball and see that "ball" and "bouncing" is you.

    I am tired

    Gassho
    C

  8. #8
    Senior Member Heion's Avatar
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    In my opinion, answers to questions only lead to more questions. All that will happen once this is answered is that more questions will arise. 'Foolosophy'
    When your questions have ceased then your answers will come. This is wisdom, not just aimless questions (I haven't reached this point yet)

    Gassho, Alex.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Clarinetist! View Post
    In my opinion, answers to questions only lead to more questions. All that will happen once this is answered is that more questions will arise. 'Foolosophy'
    When your questions have ceased then your answers will come. This is wisdom, not just aimless questions (I haven't reached this point yet)

    Gassho, Alex.
    Our clarinetist speaks wisely. Some questions have answers (e.g., "Who won the 1949 world series? What is your favorite color?"). Some questions are worth chewing over (e.g., "Is war sometimes in keeping with the Precept on Preserving Life?) Some questions (e.g., "Is a chocolate elephant still an elephant?" "How many Bodhisattvas can sit Zazen on the head of a pin?" "What is Buddha's middle name?" "What is the Sound of One Hand Clapping?") are seen as unimportant or fully evaporate when we simply drop the question.

    So ... Is a clarinet dependent upon its clarinet or musical nature? Without that nature, would there be no clarinets? Without clarinets, would there is still be clarinet nature? Is it from Buddha-nature that all clarinets and music nature arise?

    Yes, no, maybe, maybe not. But in the end, just play beautiful, harmonious music ...



    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 10-04-2013 at 05:51 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  10. #10
    Senior Member Myosha's Avatar
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    Beautiful.

    Thank you.


    Gassho,
    Edward
    Practice with humility, respect all beings, avoid attachments, give rise to praj˝a from your own awareness, put an end to delusions - Hui-neng

  11. #11
    Senior Member Heion's Avatar
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    I love Alexey. Ive played the piece he recorded called Moto Perpetuo and was recently accepted into the Colburn School because of it.

    On a more on-topic subject, thank you for untangling the tangled.

    Gassho

  12. #12
    This reminds me of an article (which I cannot find now, dammit) about the question of whether or not there is a self. The article quoted a lecture, attributed to Shakyamuni Buddha, where he said something to the effect of "this question may or may not have an answer, but the fact that you have the question in your mind is just muddying things up for you." It went on to discuss a tradition of categorizing questions much as Jundo spoke above. One of the categories was for questions that reveal that the questioner is grasping too much. That really struck me for some reason. Rising above the question-and-answer plane to think on a meta-level about who is asking the question and why. On the other hand, that could be a handy way to promote ignorance and stagnation (e.g. "these questions arent worthwhile, just don't think at all").
    I took an art class once in high school. I just could NOT draw that damn bicycle. Teacher told me, "Stop looking at the page. Look at the damn bicycle."

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by lordbd View Post
    This reminds me of an article (which I cannot find now, dammit) about the question of whether or not there is a self. The article quoted a lecture, attributed to Shakyamuni Buddha, where he said something to the effect of "this question may or may not have an answer, but the fact that you have the question in your mind is just muddying things up for you." It went on to discuss a tradition of categorizing questions much as Jundo spoke above. One of the categories was for questions that reveal that the questioner is grasping too much. That really struck me for some reason. Rising above the question-and-answer plane to think on a meta-level about who is asking the question and why. On the other hand, that could be a handy way to promote ignorance and stagnation (e.g. "these questions arent worthwhile, just don't think at all").
    Hi,

    Oh, I believe we do anything but promote "ignorance and stagnation". Let me give you examples of three kinds of questions:

    1- Things in this world worth discussing and figuring out an answer, with examples ranging from "What is the best economic policy to promote development in Africa?" to "Should I marry that girl and change jobs?"

    2- Questions where the very asking is about something that does not exist or where the question itself makes the problem. An example would be "How do I get rid of the monster boogey-man that lives under my bed" or "Where does the 'fist' go when the hand opens?". When one stops thinking about the "boogey-man" then, poof, he is gone. Buddhism teaches that a lot of our experience of this world, and the accompanying Dukkha Suffering, is based on our various self-created boogey-men.

    3- Questions where the very stopping of the asking --is-- the source of True answer. An example would be "Where do we go after we 'kick the bucket'"? Buddhist Practice might point on to the fact that a very real answer presents when 'the bottom drops out of the bucket' and we drop away our usual ideas of 'go' and 'after'. Then, as the mind opens, "we" go the same place that the hand goes when the fist opens!

    Furthermore, the clarity and simplicity of mind that comes through Zazen might even be helpful in some ways in letting us still the heart, thus to determine that African economic policy or whether to marry that girl!

    I believe that you are referring to a couple of Suttas in which Shakyamuni counsels that some questions are distracting. The Buddha usually side-stepped such questions, or would answer with silence. (You can read a bit more on the Buddha's "14 Unanswered Questions" here, although I am not sure the author of this essay: http://www.vipassanaforum.net/forum/index.php?page=9 ) Sometimes answering is not conducive to the answer of enlightenment and the Buddha's central task of providing a medicine for Dukkha ... like (in a famous story found at that link) asking the physician to describe the materials, color, manufacture and shooter of a poison arrow before he pulls it out of your chest to save your life!

    "It's just as if a man were wounded with an arrow thickly smeared with poison. His friends & companions, kinsmen & relatives would provide him with a surgeon, and the man would say, 'I won't have this arrow removed until I know whether the man who wounded me was a noble warrior, a priest, a merchant, or a worker.' He would say, 'I won't have this arrow removed until I know the given name & clan name of the man who wounded me... until I know whether he was tall, medium, or short... until I know whether he was dark, ruddy-brown, or golden-colored... until I know his home village, town, or city... until I know whether the bow with which I was wounded was a long bow or a crossbow... until I know whether the bowstring with which I was wounded was fiber, bamboo threads, sinew, hemp, or bark... “.
    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 10-05-2013 at 03:52 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  14. #14
    Senior Member Myosha's Avatar
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    Thank you.


    Gassho,
    Edward
    Practice with humility, respect all beings, avoid attachments, give rise to praj˝a from your own awareness, put an end to delusions - Hui-neng

  15. #15
    Senior Member Oheso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post

    Then, as the mind opens, "we" go the same place that the hand goes when the fist opens!


    c-covert-darbyshire-wait-a-minute-we-don-t-have-a-house-in-the-hamptons-new-yorker-cartoon.jpg

    gassho,

    Robt
    Last edited by Oheso; 10-05-2013 at 01:46 PM.
    only saps buy vowels

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Questions where the very stopping of the asking --is-- the source of True answer.
    This has been the case for my deepest questions, the ones connected to existential anxiety and a sense of spiritual exile. The questioning itself was a part of the sense of exile. Gassho Daizan
    大山

  17. #17
    Furthermore, the clarity and simplicity of mind that comes through Zazen might even be helpful in some ways in letting us still the heart


    Clarity and simplicity are simply clear.
    What the mind/heart finds and expresses is . . . complicated . . . usually if not always by us.
    How to unravel?

    Zazen.

    Thanks for sharing guys glad to hear the clarity

  18. #18
    Senior Member Clark's Avatar
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    Thank you all

    These kinds of discussions give me a headache. I want to de-clutter my mind, not fill it up with more clutter about the exact nature of the clutter. I guess I am more a doer so for now, I am happy to take Jundo's advice and just SIT..



  19. #19
    Member glow's Avatar
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    I'm with you, Clark!

    Jundo, that video of the monks arguing made me laugh. It reminded me of some of the "conversations" on Treeleaf. You're the greatest!

    Gassho

  20. #20
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    Thank you Jundo your response in section 3 is blooming marvellous. Gassho.
    Heisoku
    平 息

  21. #21
    Senior Member Nameless's Avatar
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    Wow! So much could be said, but I think I'll just settle with an honest thank you. Thank you all

    Gassho, John

  22. #22
    Great question for us all! thanks Jundo for answering it in such a clear way.
    Deep vows.

    kb

    Gassho
    Dancing between stillness and motion I find peace.

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