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Thread: My Home work question.

  1. #1

    My Home work question.

    Don't worry, I'm not trying to get this Sangha do give me an answer( I already handed in the paper) I just thought the question itself was a good one and wanted to hear your thoughts on it

    If samsara and nirvana are ultimately the same, why should one want to achieve enlightenment? In fact, how is this even possible?
    Have fun with it

  2. #2
    Friends of Treeleaf Dokan's Avatar
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    Re: My Home work question.

    Few questions to your question. How are samsara and nirvana the same? And in what way does enlightenment correspond to them? I ask for two reasons. To clarify your premise and understand your definitions.

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    S

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  3. #3

    Re: My Home work question.

    What class was this for?!

  4. #4

    Re: My Home work question.

    Quote Originally Posted by shards
    Few questions to your question. How are samsara and nirvana the same? And in what way does enlightenment correspond to them? I ask for two reasons. To clarify your premise and understand your definitions.
    In looking at the arrival of Mahayana Buddhism as opposed to the school Theravadan where Samsara was something to be escaped from, the early Mahayana teachers taught that Nirvana is found through Samsara, not by escaping it. Like how the Lotus can only grow in muddy waters, we too become awakening by taking nourishment from the world around us, ie;Samsara itself.

    But I think my Professor is asking from the early Theravadan perspective, of if this is ultimately it, and Nirvana and Samsara are identical, the what's the point of practice?


    What class was this for?!
    My Eastern Philosophy class. My professor decided to just focus it on Buddhism for this Semester.

  5. #5
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Re: My Home work question.

    I think one does not want to achieve enlightenment per se.

    I understand what you say about samsara and nirvana being the same, but at the same time we just sit. Opening our minds, thinking clear with no attachments come only with time and practice.

    Not sure if this is enlightenment but I think we can't pursue it as a goal. Just my two cents.

  6. #6

    Re: My Home work question.

    I'd say that to in order to realize the fact that samsara is nirvana you need the practice. You may have a belief that samsara is nirvana, you can even prove it using some logic and philosophy, but until it's in your "kishkas" (guts) as Jundo said recently, those are just philosophical or religious notions to play with.

  7. #7
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Re: My Home work question.

    Wasn't this the first question in Dogen's play book?

  8. #8

    Re: My Home work question.

    So...what was your answer?

  9. #9
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    Re: My Home work question.

    Aren't samsara, nirvana and enlightenment concepts?
    Hence we practice non-conceptualisation to achieve non-conceptualisation and realise non-conceptual practice.
    Just something that came to mind!?!

  10. #10

    Re: My Home work question.

    My HW question for this week:

    What is the relationship between compassion toward others and realizing the true nature of the self?

  11. #11
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Re: My Home work question.

    The greatest gift we ever receive is the ability to love ourselves and share that with others

  12. #12

    Re: My Home work question.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seiryu
    My HW question for this week:

    What is the relationship between compassion toward others and realizing the true nature of the self?
    The true nature of the self is that there is no difference between "You" and "I". There is in fact, no self that separates "me" from "others", so when I realize the true nature of the "self" I realize compassion for all beings, because "I" and "all beings" are the same.

    Compassion is being able to put yourself in another's shoes and genuinely "feel for them", how much easier is it to put yourself in another's shoes when they are already on your own feet?

  13. #13

    Re: My Home work question.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seiryu
    What is the relationship between compassion toward others and realizing the true nature of the self?
    The leaf that unfurls from the branch when the spring sun melts the snow. (to use poetic language)

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