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Thread: difference?

  1. #1

    difference?

    Hi.

    Is there a difference between buddhism and dharma?
    Here in sweden there is/was a somewhat heated discussion on the subject due to one of Goenka's books being translated into swedish, and he seems to say so..

    Lets look at it.

    At first, this may seem a tough nut to crack.
    But it boils down to a few things.

    1. Buddhism is an -ism, meaning largely "adherence or following an ideology or philosophical world views", dharma is not bound by such as it is more in the line of "the fundamental truths".

    2. Buddhism is something you "follow" or "do" (note the ""), dharma "is" what "is".

    If you come this far, tag along a little further, because now it gets interesting.
    As a buddhist and not a "wordwrangler" you don't have a difference since what you do is what is.
    Meaning, that there is no difference between Buddhism and Dharma.

    "What's in a name? That which we call a rose
    By any other name would smell as sweet."


    - Shakespeare, romeo and juliet

    Or as another master would say:

    "No! No different! Only different in your mind."


    -Yoda
    http://fugenblog.blogspot.com/2009/12/o ... -mind.html

    Just my two cents for you, now what do you think in the matter?

    Mtfbwy
    Fugen

  2. #2
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Re: difference?

    Hi Fugen,

    Nitpicking and byzantine debates are great fun. I kind of like what Goenka has to say, kind of wine and bottle thing. If you want to make a difference between a body of beliefs, rituals and the "real thing", why not? But I don't see a need to say this is Buddhism, this is Dharma. In fact, for Dogen, the ritual is the greatest way to manifest Buddha .

    You are making a good point, Fugen.
    Although...

    Neither rose nor scent, dear William.

    Neither difference nor mind, dear Yoda.


    That's why, with Joshu, we wash our bowls .


    gassho



    Taigu

  3. #3

    Re: difference?

    Hi.

    Joshu's "Wash Your Bowl"

    A monk said to Joshu, "I have just entered this monastery. Please teach me."

    "Have you eaten your rice porridge?" asked Joshu.

    "Yes, I have," replied the monk.

    "Then you had better wash your bowl," said Joshu.

    With this the monk gained insight.
    -The Gateless Gate, 7 "wash your bowl"

    We can also say "when this happens do this, when that happens do that" realizing there is nothing in between.

    Mtfbwy
    Fugen

  4. #4

    Re: difference?

    Hello Taigu,

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu
    Neither difference nor mind, dear Yoda.
    If there is no mind, does that mean that citta-m?tra (mind-only) of the Yog?c?ra, is a false idea? If there is no mind, or rather, the mind is empty (s?nya), how is that different from nihilism?

  5. #5
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Re: difference?

    Welcome Anista.

    Not dwelling is best. Please, investigate Nagarjuna.
    What is the meaning of joshu's words? One wants to talk philosophy, he talks dishes. I suppose, if one would talk dishes, he would talk philosophy :lol: .
    The understanding arises from the heart, which is the doing.
    In zen, we practice first, understand after.
    Mind only is a great idea, still an idea, not totally right, not false. There is a little danger there, something a bit fishy in Mind only, don't you notice? Please investigate further. Your answers (dare I say your refined questions?) are more important than mine and certainly more precious most complicated book on the intricaties of Buddhist philosophy.
    As far as Nihilism is concerned, this is the least of my worries...

    GASSHO

    Taigu

  6. #6

    Re: difference?

    Dear Anista,

    I am in no position to answer for Taigu, but for my own two cents' sake let me just point out briefly, that the Madhyamika tradition (and/or prajna paramita teachings) and Yogacara views complement each other rather beautifully and do not necessarily have to be seen as mutually exclusive. It all depends which medicine you need, are you in danger of forming views about the formless reality that "just is" that border on eternalism, or are you more in danger of negating that which writes and reads these sentences completely?

    Not affirming the existence of some "essence", or "svabhava" etc. does not equal nihilism btw.
    Nihilism is an "ism" that views things in a certain distinct way and generally makes judgments regarding the universe's alleged lack of any kind objective meaning.

    Meaning, versus no meaning....hmmm....how much more dualistic could one get?

    Not so Nagarjuna. He does not take any ultimate position, nor does he judge. Though I am repeating myself, I will say again, within the depths of the prajna paramita lies no nihilism. And yogacara medicine does not necessarily lead one to hold on to something akin to "God", just without the personality and the new name "mind".

    Dropping all views has a lot to do with it. If you drop not just your views,but your emotions,your body and mind...what's left?

    Zen-clichee-Alert (though true): Words do not come near it. (Though some might come closer than others...)


    Gassho, Mongen

  7. #7
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Re: difference?

    Yes you are; Mongen.
    Your post is great. You make clear what I wanted to say.
    The dropping of all view, which I call "not dwelling" is the essence of our tradition. And Yogacara is not just another creating prop.

    gassho to all


    Taigu

  8. #8

    Re: difference?

    Thank you both very much for your answers, Taigu and Mongen!

    Quote Originally Posted by Hans

    Not affirming the existence of some "essence", or "svabhava" etc. does not equal nihilism btw.
    But that is precisely what N?g?rjuna does, indeed - he affirms the tath?gatagarbha, which of course is our buddha-nature. In sanskrit, this is translated to "buddha essence", which can be se as a svabh?va. If you believe in something essential, it is not all in the mind. If dropping all views shows the tath?gatagarbha, then this essence, or state of mind, or state of being, is centered upon. This garbha exists, when there is no more clinging, when there are no more views to drop.

    This is the point on which I always get stuck.

    So it seems that the notion of the tath?gatagarbha negates the position of a M?dhyamika, and vice versa. The citta-m?tra view, on the other hand, already has this notion of an essence (which can be called self or mind or consciousness) and which can include the tath?gatagarbha.

    Now, both only-mind and no-mind are just ideas of course, and they must be dropped as well, if we want to experience praj˝?. Still, it is nice to know the ideas and notions and views in order to throw them away. Otherwise, we are just throwing and dropping for the sake of throwing and dropping. When we understand, we practise. When we practise, we understand.

    Now, I will go and sit. Too much reasoning for one day .

    Thank you.

  9. #9
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Re: difference?

    Anista , very humbly, if i may say...
    In Bussho Shobogenzo Dogen corrects the traditionnal view according to which we have buddha nature, he states: we are Buddha. no need to be stuck anywhere: the tath?gatagarbha of Nagarjuna is nothing but you. You are it (of course, don't let anybody else know about it...) So... no negation of Madhyamika. By now, you realize that this notion of essence is a real problem for it implies a core, a mind and this cannot incluse what cannot be included but includes it all (tath?gatagarbha).

    Don't try to experience prajna!!!
    Forget about prajna...the best way for prajna to remember you!


    and...throwing and dropping for the sake of throwing and dropping is good enough.


    Too much goal orientated taste to your words, don't you think? ( don't worry, i am a very good member of this club, too)

    gassho

    taigu

  10. #10

    Re: difference?

    Dear Anista,

    I have the feeling that we are drifting further and further away from the original topic of this thread...though it is a very interesting "drift" indeed. Let me just say that I personally do not recall Nagarjuna ( and I mean the author of the MMK by that) ever saying...."tetralemma this, tetralemma that....tadaaaa, this all goes to show I really mean that the tathagathagarbha exists in some sense". I just don't read him that way.

    First of all, the Yogacara and the Madhyamika philosophies did not just come into existence with a big bang but developed over quite some time. There are bound to be a lot of philosophical intricacies that cannot ever be turned into one smooth whole on the intellectual side of things. One Nagarjuna does not equal another Nagarjuna, and Chandrakirti is even more different when it comes to little details...and that'S only the tip of the iceberg.

    PERSONALLY I have to say that I read Yogacara and Madyhamika text more like poetry most of the time and let their wisdom play around my ankles like water returning to the ocean on a beach graced with the most different kinds of pebbles under my feet as I walk my walk....I let my practice figure out what it means...the odd philosophical wrestling match can be very rewarding, but IMHO ( and I mean humble) all this leads to from a certain point of intellectual understanding onwards is more headaches and more intricate mind-labyrinths and mind-minefields.

    here some rambling thoughts:
    Jan Westerhoff recently published one of the most comprehensive western scholarly works on Nagarjuna's philosophy, and I am pretty sure that he didn't just disappear into Sukhavati ....I won't be able to ever become his intellectual equal in this lifetime, yet so what...Gorampa and Jay Tsong khapa disagree on the nature of emptiness...and people who have studied this in Sanskrit and Tibetan for fifty years still cannot come to one unanimous conclusion how these things are to be turned into one neat package...Gelugpa will find their arguments more convincing strangely enough, Kagyudpa their own etc......as I said before, these teachings are meant as medicines IMHO, the teachings themselves don't touch reality one bit (other than that they are too a part of it). If you have a headache, take an aspirin, or a paracetamol tablet...yet though certain medicines might be perfectly suitable to combat certain harmful tendencies that keep us from realizing things as they are, it does not follow that combining medicines is possible in a way we combine fruit in a smoothie blender.

    I got Nagao's "Madhyamika and Yogachara" for Christmas...and I haven't read it yet, might I suggest you get yourself a copy (it came highly recommended).


    Might I also suggest you open up another thread? I however have said all I wanted to say. All these books inmy library make me feel like a glutton. My knees are my most interesting teachers these days.

    Gassho, Mongen

  11. #11

    Re: difference?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fugen
    Hi.

    Is there a difference between buddhism and dharma?

    Mtfbwy
    Fugen
    Don't make anything. I've learned two important things from Buddhism - how to meditate and to do what helps others and myself. Most of the philosophy is useless shit unless it helps with those two things.
    /Rich
    too heavy?

  12. #12

    Re: difference?

    Hi.

    Quite so, rich.

    Opening up this thread was merely an attempt to "open up new ways" to reach peoples understanding in the subject, which, to my experience some deem important...

    Also opened up a new thread here
    viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2199

    Mtfbwy
    Fugen

  13. #13
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    Re: difference?

    Buddhism and dharma seem more mutually dependent, or maybe codependently arisen, or maybe mutually complementary, or maybe....

    Are they different? I don't care, as long as I have both.

  14. #14
    disastermouse
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    Re: difference?

    Quote Originally Posted by anista
    Thank you both very much for your answers, Taigu and Mongen!

    Quote Originally Posted by Hans

    Not affirming the existence of some "essence", or "svabhava" etc. does not equal nihilism btw.
    But that is precisely what N?g?rjuna does, indeed - he affirms the tath?gatagarbha, which of course is our buddha-nature. In sanskrit, this is translated to "buddha essence", which can be se as a svabh?va. If you believe in something essential, it is not all in the mind. If dropping all views shows the tath?gatagarbha, then this essence, or state of mind, or state of being, is centered upon. This garbha exists, when there is no more clinging, when there are no more views to drop.

    This is the point on which I always get stuck.

    So it seems that the notion of the tath?gatagarbha negates the position of a M?dhyamika, and vice versa. The citta-m?tra view, on the other hand, already has this notion of an essence (which can be called self or mind or consciousness) and which can include the tath?gatagarbha.

    Now, both only-mind and no-mind are just ideas of course, and they must be dropped as well, if we want to experience praj˝?. Still, it is nice to know the ideas and notions and views in order to throw them away. Otherwise, we are just throwing and dropping for the sake of throwing and dropping. When we understand, we practise. When we practise, we understand.

    Now, I will go and sit. Too much reasoning for one day .

    Thank you.
    Nagarjuna is not using language in the way to which we are accustomed, I think. This isn't sophistry - it's understanding that Nagarjuna was saying 'not this', 'not this', 'not this'. Reading Nagarjuna is one great big refusal....because that's where it's at, in a sense.

    One does not experience prajna - not like you think. It's not an event, IMHO. Seriously, you'd realize it in an instant if you simply stopped insisting 'it can't be THIS'. What the hell else COULD it be? What. Else. Is. There?

    But you can't stop thinking and in a way, identification with thought is 'natural'....I guess you just have to wear it out like a tire.

    Chet

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