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Thread: Buddisht Jeapordy for $500, Alex

  1. #1

    Buddisht Jeapordy for $500, Alex

    "Here the four elements of solidity, fluidity, heat and motion have no place; the notions of length and breadth, the subtle and the gross, good and evil, name and form are altogether destroyed; neither this world or the other, nor coming, going or standing, neither death or birth, nor sense objects are to be found"

  2. #2

    Re: Buddisht Jeapordy for $500, Alex

    Quote Originally Posted by Gregor
    "Here the four elements of solidity, fluidity, heat and motion have no place; the notions of length and breadth, the subtle and the gross, good and evil, name and form are altogether destroyed; neither this world or the other, nor coming, going or standing, neither death or birth, nor sense objects are to be found"
    What is ... 'What'

    That is a very controversial section of the old Pali discourses that partakes of what later came to be called, in a more Mahayana flavor, "emptiness" ... The full passage reads in a more precise translation by John Ireland (Nibbana Sutta, Udana 8:1) ...

    There is, bhikkhus, that base where there is no earth, no water, no fire, no air; no base consisting of the infinity of space, no base consisting of the infinity of consciousness, no base consisting of nothingness, no base consisting of neither-perception-nor-non-perception; neither this world nor another world nor both; neither sun nor moon. Here, bhikkhus, I say there is no coming, no going, no staying, no deceasing, no uprising. Not fixed, not movable, it has no support. Just this is the end of suffering.
    A closely related passage (Udana 8:2) reads ...

    There is, bhikkhus, a not-born, a not-brought-to-being, a not-made, a not-conditioned. If, bhikkhus, there were no not-born, not-brought-to-being, not-made, not-conditioned, no escape would be discerned from what is born, brought-to-being, made, conditioned. But since there is a not-born, a not-brought-to-being, a not-made, a not-conditioned, therefore an escape is discerned from what is born, brought-to-being, made, conditioned.
    Now, here is the controversy ... as described by Paul Williams (in a very neat little textbook called "Buddhist Thought") ... It is very closely related to the contrasting views of "emptiness" that were discussed in our recent reading on "Eight Types of Enlightenment", i.e, ("The Void" as a kind of "The Absolute") vs ("Void" as just the absence and blowing away of all mental stuff that clutters & confuses our little heads, causing division and friction) The latter is more a simple absence of the "crap and division" when we drop the "crap and division" that fills our mind, instead of being some "True Mind" or "Oneness" or "Brahma" or "Big Cosmic Buddha" or the like that is thus discovered.

    "http://www.treeleaf.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1757

    To wit, these passages can be taken to be either pointing to an image of a "Godhead" "The Absolute" ... the "Non-Dual Big Enchilada", "Buddha Nature in the Sky" (i.e., as a noun, a "cosmic spirit like thingy") vs. just what happens when we free the mind of divisive clutter and ideas of "inside/outside" and the like (not a "thingy", but just an absence of all the mental crap, division and clutter, the freedom that results when all is "just dropped" and we "put down the mental baggage" ... the lack of friction and conflict when the division of you/world, self/other is fully tossed in the trashbin).

    You can read a bit more of Paul Williams' description of this "controversy" from the middle of page 49 here to the top of page 52 here. He points to the second interpretation (absence of mental crap & division & friction) as probably right.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=IDgZXl ... t&resnum=3

    Personally, I feel that the "absence of crap in the cabeza" interpretation, all alone, is powerful and effective medicine for human suffering. "Dropping all the judgments and divisions" pointed to in those Udana passages is a sound cure for human suffering. Whether, then, what is left, is some "Godhead" "Cosmic Spirit" "Great Oneness" or the like ... well, I just chop wood and fetch water on that one (leave that question "what" as just a "what")

    Gee, I hope some of the foregoing actually made 'sense' :shock:

    Gassho, Jundo

    Ps - Good to hear from you, Greg.

  3. #3

    Re: Buddisht Jeapordy for $500, Alex

    Hello,

    In dropping all "crap" I have come to find it hardest when differentiating between a desire for success or simply attaining a goal. For example, I want and I am sure we all do want to be good at our job or hobby but when do you cross the line into a desire for success? Should one simply do the best they can short of being sloth like? I don't know if thats off topic or not but it seemed to tie into the thread in my little head. It seems that a desire for success is the strongest I can identify with when meditating or just reflecting. Are we to simply let it go as we do other things and drop it along with the other clutter in our heads.

    Gassho,
    Dave

  4. #4

    Re: Buddisht Jeapordy for $500, Alex

    I believe that you can eventually drop all things and live free of the clutter. Its amazing that once you really start to look at the dharma and the Buddha's teachings it really starts to make sense to you. It has been a little frightening to me as a beginner, mainly because you can't really go back to the ignorance of not knowing the dharma or the wheel of suffering. Its liberating if your really think about it but its kinda like being at the top of the first drop of a roller coaster....your really wondering...is this safe? Did I make the right decision? Can I drop all things and is that what I want. Next thing you know.....your screaming with excitement and can't wait to get on it again


    Gassho,
    Dave

  5. #5

    Re: Buddisht Jeapordy for $500, Alex

    Great discourse started on this little ditty I pulled from the Pali Cannon, thanks Jundo. . . I did not realize that there was controversy about it, silly me

    I wonder if there need be a conflict between the interpretation of Nirvana being nothingness and simply just empty the crap out of our heads.

    Personally my head is full of crap and i've been working at cleaning it out, but I'm also feeling like the idea of the true nature of things being a void/nothingness is not so bad sorta takes the pressure off. This life is a joy and a blessing, yes at times it's a difficult trial --- but realizing it's all pretty petty and insignificant helps to take the pressure off.

    Gassho and wishing you happiness and freedom.

    take care,

    Greg

  6. #6

    Re: Buddisht Jeapordy for $500, Alex

    Quote Originally Posted by dumm
    Hello,

    In dropping all "crap" I have come to find it hardest when differentiating between a desire for success or simply attaining a goal. For example, I want and I am sure we all do want to be good at our job or hobby but when do you cross the line into a desire for success?
    Hi D,

    We touched on this in some recent threads ... how one can have goals yet simultaneously be "goalless" (as if two channels at once, not without the slightest conflict), how one can move forward yet simultaneously be still.

    viewtopic.php?p=24962#p24962

    Yes, it is a kind of Koan ... a very healthy way to live too!

    The result is something like moving forward, step by step, yet ever arriving home.

    Buddha, Bodhidharma, Dogen ... all had "goals". Otherwise, Bodhidharma would have never bothered to "come from the West" to China, and would have stayed put. Most of these folks built Sangha, taught students, wrote books, built monasteries ... they were "go getters"

    The aspect that is special, however, is knowing how to be a "go getter" while also knowing that there is no place in need of "getting" :shock:

    There are a couple of other points that make Buddhist "ambition" and "goals" special too ...

    First, when you do have goals ... do so with a lose grip, non-attachment, patience. Do not let your "self" hang its "self worth" on their achievement. Yet, be diligent in pursuing them if diligence is called for. In other words, learn not to become a prisoner of your ambitions, learn not to get overly wrapped up in them ... do not "need to succeed" to feel your life complete.

    Again, even as we may work toward goals, we simultaneously learn to taste that we are ever perfectly, completely just who we are ... not one hair to add or take away from our little heads. The "success" of who we are right now does not depend on our success or failure in worldly goals.

    Second, learn to live simply ... In other words, come to know which goals are necessary and good for life (allowing a healthful, helping and beneficial life for your family, you and the world ... not three, by the way) and which are just "extras" or "unhealthy" or "consumeristic drugs" (I usually give the example of having a goal of a new BMW in the driveway). Just on this theme, I gave a talk last night on a little daily practice I recommend ... simple, yet powerful and surprisingly something we forget to do ...

    I would like to recommend another small daily practice that can fit into any life ...

    ... voluntarily, each day, doing without something desired.

    http://blog.beliefnet.com/treeleafzen/2 ... thout.html
    Now, learning how to do all this takes practice ... experience. It is a bit like riding a bicycle, in that the balance required in staying up on two wheels sounds tricky when explained in words, but even a child can get the hang of it with a bit of practice. As Padre said, it is subtle ... but you will learn to know "good goalless goals" from "harmful, entrapping goals" and the like, with a bit of practice.

    By the way, did you know that the Buddha was quite the practical advisor, even financial planner, to his lay followers? The following is advice from some of the early Suttas ... and is very much in harmony with what we are discussing ...

    Dighajanu (Vyagghapajja) Sutta: Conditions of Welfare
    translated from the Pali by
    Narada Thera


    Thus have I heard. Once the Exalted One was dwelling amongst the Koliyans, in their market town named Kakkarapatta. Then Dighajanu, a Koliyan, approached the Exalted One, respectfully saluted Him and sat on one side. Thus seated, he addressed the Exalted One as follows:

    "We, Lord, are laymen who enjoy worldly pleasure. We lead a life encumbered by wife and children. We use sandalwood of Kasi. We deck ourselves with garlands, perfume and unguents. We use gold and silver. To those like us, O Lord, let the Exalted One preach the Dhamma, teach those things that lead to weal and happiness in this life and to weal and happiness in future life."

    Conditions of Worldly Progress

    "Four conditions, Vyagghapajja, conduce to a householder's weal and happiness in this very life. Which four?

    "The accomplishment of persistent effort (utthana-sampada), the accomplishment of watchfulness (arakkha-sampada), good friendship (kalyanamittata) and balanced livelihood (sama-jivikata).

    "What is the accomplishment of persistent effort?

    "Herein, Vyagghapajja, by whatsoever activity a householder earns his living, whether by farming, by trading, by rearing cattle, by archery, by service under the king, or by any other kind of craft at that he becomes skillful and is not lazy. He is endowed with the power of discernment as to the proper ways and means; he is able to carry out and allocate (duties). This is called the accomplishment of persistent effort.

    "What is the accomplishment of watchfulness?

    "Herein, Vyagghapajja, whatsoever wealth a householder is in possession of, obtained by dint of effort, collected by strength of arm, by the sweat of his brow, justly acquired by right means such he husbands well by guarding and watching so that kings would not seize it, thieves would not steal it, fire would not burn it, water would not carry it away, nor ill-disposed heirs remove it. This is the accomplishment of watchfulness.

    ...

    "What is balanced livelihood?

    "Herein, Vyagghapajja, a householder knowing his income and expenses leads a balanced life, neither extravagant nor miserly, knowing that thus his income will stand in excess of his expenses, but not his expenses in excess of his income.

    "Just as the goldsmith, or an apprentice of his, knows, on holding up a balance, that by so much it has dipped down, by so much it has tilted up; even so a householder, knowing his income and expenses leads a balanced life, neither extravagant nor miserly, knowing that thus his income will stand in excess of his expenses, but not his expenses in excess of his income.

    "If, Vyagghapajja, a householder with little income were to lead an extravagant life, there would be those who say 'This person enjoys his property like one who eats wood-apple.' If, Vyagghapajja, a householder with a large income were to lead a wretched life, there would be those who say 'This person will die like a starveling.'

    "The wealth thus amassed, Vyagghapajja, has four sources of destruction:

    "(i) Debauchery, (ii) drunkenness, (iii) gambling, (iv) friendship, companionship and intimacy with evil-doers.

    "Just as in the case of a great tank with four inlets and outlets, if a man should close the inlets and open the outlets and there should be no adequate rainfall, decrease of water is to be expected in that tank, and not an increase; even so there are four sources for the destruction of amassed wealth debauchery, drunkenness, gambling, and friendship, companionship and intimacy with evil-doers.

    "There are four sources for the increase of amassed wealth: (i) abstinence from debauchery, (ii) abstinence from drunkenness, (iii) non-indulgence in gambling, (iv) friendship, companionship and intimacy with the good.

    "Just as in the case of a great tank with four inlets and four outlets, if a person were to open the inlets and close the outlets, and there should also be adequate rainfall, an increase in water is certainly to be expected in that tank and not a decrease, even so these four conditions are the sources of increase of amassed wealth.

    "These four conditions, Vyagghapajja, are conducive to a householder's weal and happiness in this very life.

    itaka/an/an08/an08.054.nara.html">http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nara.html
    Both stillness and action ... at once! Balance!

    Gassho, Jundo

  7. #7

    Re: Buddisht Jeapordy for $500, Alex

    Quote Originally Posted by Gregor
    I wonder if there need be a conflict between the interpretation of Nirvana being nothingness and simply just empty the crap out of our heads.
    Hi Greg,

    You mean the so-called conflict between "emptiness" being "The Cosmic Absolute Mind" and emptiness just being a clean and clear head free of all division and friction (and conflict 8) ) ?

    No, there need be no conflict.

    But the most important aspect in either case (i.e., whether there is a "Cosmic Big Enchilada" or not) is to have a head which is clean and clear, free of all division and friction and conflict.

    Attain that, and the "Big Enchilada" will speak (or non-speak) for itself.

    Gassho, J

  8. #8

    Re: Buddisht Jeapordy for $500, Alex

    Hey Jundo,

    No conflicts with that . . .

  9. #9

    Re: Buddisht Jeapordy for $500, Alex

    Jundo,

    Thanks.....makes sense

    Gassho,
    Dave

  10. #10

    Re: Buddisht Jeapordy for $500, Alex

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    The "success" of who we are right now does not depend on our success or failure in worldly goals.

    Second, learn to live simply ... In other words, come to know which goals are necessary and good for life (allowing a healthful, helping and beneficial life for your family, you and the world ... not three, by the way) and which are just "extras"
    Many thanks! _/_

    Eika

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