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Thread: No-Mind Rambling

  1. #1

    No-Mind Rambling

    So, this is a dumb question. But those are usually the kind of questions I ask.

    The First Noble Truth is that suffering is an unavoidable part of life, right?

    But then in the Metta verses we ask that all beings may be free from suffering.

    My dualistic mind senses a conflict of reason. Is it truly possible to exist without suffering?

    If so, then why hasn't anyone, even Buddha (for he did suffer early in life) succeeded?

    If not, then why suppose that wishing someone to be free will ever make them free from something that one can never be free from in the first place?

    Or am I missing the point entirely. Do I need to "take a sit?"

    gassho
    Greg

  2. #2

    Re: No-Mind Rambling

    Quote Originally Posted by ghop

    Or am I missing the point entirely. Do I need to "take a sit?"

    gassho
    Greg
    Yes, you are missing the point entirely! 8)

    Is it truly possible to exist without suffering?

    WELL, YES! Or else this whole Buddhism thing is a crock! :shock:

    The Buddha may have suffered before he became "The Buddha", and after he was "The Buddha" he may still have felt pain from time to time, especially as he grew old and had everything from bad feet to a bad back to tummy troubles (according to the old Suttas).** (See note below) He may even (though many would deny this) felt the normal human pain of ordinary sadness and worry about things. However such "pain" is not "suffering" in a Buddhist sense.

    I think you are holding a basic misunderstanding of the meaning of the "First Noble Truth" and Suffering ("Dukkha") in a Buddhist sense. Please review our "Buddha Basics" Series on that very topic ...

    viewtopic.php?f=21&t=2942

    viewtopic.php?f=21&t=2941

    So, what’s “Dukkha”? …and what does Dukkha do?

    No one English word captures the full depth and range of the Pali term, Dukkha. It is sometimes rendered as “suffering,” as in “life is suffering.” But perhaps it’s better expressed as “dissatisfaction,” “anxiety,” “disappointment,” “unease at perfection,” or “frustration” — terms that wonderfully convey a subtlety of meaning.

    In a nutshell, your “self” wishes this world to be X, yet this world is not X. The mental state that may result to the “self” from this disparity is Dukkha.
    .
    Shakyamuni Buddha gave many examples: sickness (when we do not wish to be sick), old age (when we long for youth), death (if we cling to life), loss of a loved one (as we cannot let go), violated expectations, the failure of happy moments to last (though we wish them to last). Even joyous moments — such as happiness and good news, treasure or pleasant times — can be a source of suffering if we cling to them, if we are attached to those things.

    ...

    In life, there’s sickness, old age, death and loss… other very hard times… But that’s not why ‘Life is Suffering‘. Not at all, said the Buddha.
    .
    Instead …

    ... it’s sickness, but only when we refuse the condition
    …old age, if we long for youth
    … death, because we cling to life
    … loss, when we cannot let go
    ... violated expectations, because we wished otherwise
    Our “dissatisfaction,” “disappointment,”‘ “unease” and “frustration” — Dukkha — arises as a state of mind, as our demands and wishes for how things “should be” or “if only would be for life to be content” differ from”the way things are.” Your “self” wishes this world to be X, yet this world is not X. That wide gap of “self” and “not self” is the source of Dukkha.
    You wrote ...


    My dualistic mind senses a conflict of reason. Is it truly possible to exist without suffering?

    Actually, your dualistic mind -IS- the source of the conflict and suffering! Thus, we sit Zazen ... tossing away the gap between X and Y in the dance of wholeness that is Emptiness. The gap is gone.

    Go sit.

    Gassho, J

    ** One thing is that later Buddhists, as they turned Buddha more and more into a godlike figure, began to assert that the Buddha did not really feel any pain, that he was just pretending in order to teach us. He even did not need to die, but chose to do so to teach us. Hmmm. I like to think that he was just an old (and very wise) man with aches and pains ... maybe even human fears and sadness and complaints ... who also learned a Freedom that sweeps all that in.

  3. #3

    Re: No-Mind Rambling

    While we're on the topic of dumb questions, I've got one that's been bugging me recently. I often hear it said that Buddhists don't proselytize, at least in the missionary or conversion sense of the Judeo-Christian tradition.

    But isn't that what a Bodhisattva does? "...vow to save all sentient beings" -- isn't that proselytizing?

    Or maybe the sources I've read that say Buddhism is not a proselytizing religion have it incorrect?

  4. #4

    Re: No-Mind Rambling

    Quote Originally Posted by ghop
    Is it truly possible to exist without suffering?
    Even if it isn't, existence with much less suffering is still pretty good! :mrgreen:

  5. #5

    Re: No-Mind Rambling

    Quote Originally Posted by Matto
    While we're on the topic of dumb questions, I've got one that's been bugging me recently. I often hear it said that Buddhists don't proselytize, at least in the missionary or conversion sense of the Judeo-Christian tradition.

    But isn't that what a Bodhisattva does? "...vow to save all sentient beings" -- isn't that proselytizing?

    Or maybe the sources I've read that say Buddhism is not a proselytizing religion have it incorrect?
    A Bodhisattva may, through upaya, save sentient beings without proselytizing, without the intent of "winning them over", presenting the way to the Buddha lands on an appropriate level.

  6. #6

    Re: No-Mind Rambling

    Quote Originally Posted by Matto
    While we're on the topic of dumb questions, I've got one that's been bugging me recently. I often hear it said that Buddhists don't proselytize, at least in the missionary or conversion sense of the Judeo-Christian tradition.

    But isn't that what a Bodhisattva does? "...vow to save all sentient beings" -- isn't that proselytizing?

    Or maybe the sources I've read that say Buddhism is not a proselytizing religion have it incorrect?
    proselytizing connotes active conversion, no? I recall reading that the Buddha had a largely pluralistic view of Buddhism and other religions.

  7. #7

    Re: No-Mind Rambling

    Quote Originally Posted by Matto
    While we're on the topic of dumb questions, I've got one that's been bugging me recently. I often hear it said that Buddhists don't proselytize, at least in the missionary or conversion sense of the Judeo-Christian tradition.

    But isn't that what a Bodhisattva does? "...vow to save all sentient beings" -- isn't that proselytizing?

    Or maybe the sources I've read that say Buddhism is not a proselytizing religion have it incorrect?
    My decidedly underinformed take:

    "Save" in a Christian context means something different than "save" in a Buddhist context. To "save" means to convert sinners into Christians, giving them access to forgiveness, heaven, and all that good stuff: it's about conversin. When I chant the vow to "save all sentient beings," I understand "save" to mean a host of other things -- serve, support, treat with compassion, assist, and more -- none of which involve conversion to Buddhism.

    Perhaps another way to put it is: Christians believe that there is One True Way, a path that believers travel and that non-believers do not. To save people, you must convert them to that path. Buddhists believe that we're all on the same path (along with other sentient beings like ants and sticks and grizzly bears), but we need to be awakened to it. No conversion required.

    I think, anyway.

    ETA -- sorry -- didn't refresh my screen to see mcurtiss's and anista's good posts.

  8. #8

    Re: No-Mind Rambling

    My turn for a dumb question: Regarding impermanence...We are taught that nothing is permanent, and change is a fact of live, inherent in all of life and living. BUT... that means that 'change' is a 'constant' and therefore 'unchanging state of being'...so in that case there is something we call change that doesn't change, so there really is something that is permanent adn unchanging after all. Now my head is dizzy (and no, that's not a usual state of being for me either!) :P Spinning circles... I'm confused... ops:

    Thanks for this thread!! gassho, ann

  9. #9

    Re: No-Mind Rambling

    I think you only get into that mindspin if you think of change as a word or concept. Which is most decidedly is not!

    I used to give students learning how to do assessment a "simple" assignment: go to a cafeteria, mall, wherever, and spend just five minutes reporting back on what they observed. They'd always come back flummoxed: there's too much going on! I don't see everything! As soon as I started writing something down, it would shift!

    Change? It's sort of like that.

    I think that Steve Hagen's books, especially Buddhism Is Not What You Think, are great on change and flux, if you've got a library card handy.

  10. #10

    Re: No-Mind Rambling

    Quote Originally Posted by Matto
    While we're on the topic of dumb questions, I've got one that's been bugging me recently. I often hear it said that Buddhists don't proselytize, at least in the missionary or conversion sense of the Judeo-Christian tradition.

    But isn't that what a Bodhisattva does? "...vow to save all sentient beings" -- isn't that proselytizing?

    Or maybe the sources I've read that say Buddhism is not a proselytizing religion have it incorrect?
    Well, the notion of "save all sentient beings" is rather strange because it entails helping sentient beings encounter the truth (via Practice of the Teachings) that there are ultimately no sentient beings, no birth and death, no 'suffering', and thus no one and nothing in need of saving :shock: ! That's how we save 'em (in the Mahayana anyway) ... by showing the way to the experience that, from the view of Emptiness, there is nobody and nothing lacking or in excess, nothing to repair from the first! Sure, the Buddha and his disciples wanted to spread the "Good News" about that, but they were not hard and fervent proselytizers for the most part ... simply teaching to those who were interested, leaving the rest to their own ways.

    Now, that is basically the Mahayana/Zen perspective on saving beings.

    Other flavors of the Mahayana can have a more "prostelytizing" attitude, such as some flavors of Pure Land or Lotus Sutra Buddhism (such as Soka Gakkai SGI in current times) that emphasize that we need to believe and have faith in/chant the name of Amida Buddha, or the Sutra, to be saved, and have at times over the centuries been very 'evangelical' in their ways. Even Chan/Zen has had its more evangelical moments and teachers over its long history (the Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch is seen by some historians as having a somewhat evangelical flavor, part of a popular movement to spread Chan to the masses).

    Chris said ...

    Buddhists believe that we're all on the same path (along with other sentient beings like ants and sticks and grizzly bears)

    That is generally true, but some Buddhists at various times have had (and have) an "our way or the highway" attitude. Depends who the Buddhist is.

    Another thing to note is that the traditional belief "there is no one ultimately in need of saving" often led Asian Buddhists to be passive and overlook social injustice, inequalities and "this world" suffering ... since this world and life were just dreamlike anyway! The "Engaged Buddhist" movement in the West has gone far to repair that lack, noting that ... even if this world is something like a passing 'dream' ... people still need to eat and have medical care in this 'dream'. So, the 'Engaged Buddhists' are more interested in building hospitals, schools, orphanages etc. This is closer to the meaning that Chris mentioned of "save" as "serve, support, treat with compassion, assist." There may be some teaching of Buddhist doctrine and traditions that goes on at the same time via the schools etc., but I do think the emphasis is generally more on "helping" than "converting" anyone.

    In this Treeleaf Sangha, by the way, we do not "prostelytize" to the degree we can avoid it. We make resources available, and we may let interested persons know in various ways that the resources are available (for example, I put a small notice in the local Japanese newspaper in Tsukuba sometimes that we hold a Saturday Zazenkai). However, we neither chase people in the door ... nor run after anyone who finds it not right for them and wishes to leave.

    Quote Originally Posted by chessie
    My turn for a dumb question: Regarding impermanence.
    I will have something to say on that a little later today. Have to go run errands now.

    Gassho, J

  11. #11
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Re: No-Mind Rambling

    This is all good stuff, Thanks Jundo (and Ghop) for bringing us back to basics;
    and for the eloquence with which you did it.
    In the words of Vince Lombardi;
    "This is a football"
    " hold on coach, your going too fast!" :lol:

    Forty years ago I attended a Decision Making Course Which gave the definition of a problem as being " when a difference between 'what is' and 'what should be' exists" hence, Dukka is the problem.
    Tune in next week when we discuss the Eight-Fold Path, impermanence or incontinence; whichever comes first. :shock:

    Seriously folks, this IS good stuff

  12. #12

    Re: No-Mind Rambling

    Quote Originally Posted by chessie
    My turn for a dumb question: Regarding impermanence...We are taught that nothing is permanent, and change is a fact of live, inherent in all of life and living. BUT... that means that 'change' is a 'constant' and therefore 'unchanging state of being'...so in that case there is something we call change that doesn't change, so there really is something that is permanent adn unchanging after all. Now my head is dizzy (and no, that's not a usual state of being for me either!) :P Spinning circles... I'm confused... ops:

    Thanks for this thread!! gassho, ann
    Hi,

    Okay, just give up the mental circle spinning of a question like "if change is constant, so is change unchanging?" ...

    ... and better just go with the flow, be the flowing of life's changing.

    And when we sit ... dropping all thought of "change vs. unchanging", of the clock ticking and change changing or remaining the same ... there remains just the ongoing flowing flowing.

    Does that help?

    Some questions are a bit like asking "what time is it when the clock stops?"

    Gassho, J

  13. #13

    Re: No-Mind Rambling

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Some questions are a bit like asking "what time is it when the clock stops?"
    That's a keeper!!! Gassho!

  14. #14

    Re: No-Mind Rambling

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    "what time is it when the clock stops?"
    time for a new clock

    or alternately...


    hammertime!

  15. #15

    Re: No-Mind Rambling

    Can't touch that.

  16. #16

    Re: No-Mind Rambling

    Suffering is what makes us human too. I mean it's part of the human condition. So from one perspective, "there is no death, old age" blah blah. But that is bs if we just stay there; we're ignoring our lives aren't we? When my dog died, I was crushed. If someone I love dies I will suffer. If I didn't I'd be some robot.

  17. #17
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Re: No-Mind Rambling

    But, suffering without worrying about old age, sickness and death is a lot easier to do

  18. #18

    Re: No-Mind Rambling

    If I may...


    Pain is part of the experience of life as much as joy is. Suffering on the other hand is optional. The loss of a beloved family member (regardless of species) causes us great pain but to suffer is to crave a time of painlessness. The same holds true for the happier moments in our lives. "Suffering" is not that which makes us happy it's thirsting for the happiness to last.

    To phrase it closer to what Jundo said earlier, Wanting the world to be X and resisting when we find out it is Y.

  19. #19

    Re: No-Mind Rambling

    Quote Originally Posted by Risho
    Suffering is what makes us human too. I mean it's part of the human condition. So from one perspective, "there is no death, old age" blah blah. But that is bs if we just stay there; we're ignoring our lives aren't we? When my dog died, I was crushed. If someone I love dies I will suffer. If I didn't I'd be some robot.
    Suffering is not just part of the human condition, it's part of the condition of all sentient beings. Buddha taught us a way to extinguish suffering. That doesn't mean becoming a robot, it means a profound understanding of the way things are (= the law of karma-vipaka, action and consequence). We suffer because we don't fully understand or acknowledge karma-vipaka. We hold on to things even when there is nothing to hold on to. We fail to see the consequences, and we blind-fold ourselves to reality. Be wary not to embrace suffering, thinking it's a part of you you will never get away from, defining yourself through the suffering. If that were the case, no buddhist practice would be necessary.

  20. #20
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Re: No-Mind Rambling

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisA
    "Save" in a Christian context means something different than "save" in a Buddhist context. To "save" means to convert sinners into Christians, giving them access to forgiveness, heaven, and all that good stuff: it's about conversin. When I chant the vow to "save all sentient beings," I understand "save" to mean a host of other things -- serve, support, treat with compassion, assist, and more -- none of which involve conversion to Buddhism.
    Indeed. To me, saving all sentient beings means to be wise and proactive enough to be compassionate and just help people to live a good life away from suffering and missery.

    Proselytizing, on the other hand, means to make a "marketing campaign" in order to gain adepts to your cause.

  21. #21

    Re: No-Mind Rambling

    Quote Originally Posted by anista
    Suffering is not just part of the human condition, it's part of the condition of all sentient beings. Buddha taught us a way to extinguish suffering. That doesn't mean becoming a robot, it means a profound understanding of the way things are (= the law of karma-vipaka, action and consequence). We suffer because we don't fully understand or acknowledge karma-vipaka. We hold on to things even when there is nothing to hold on to. We fail to see the consequences, and we blind-fold ourselves to reality. Be wary not to embrace suffering, thinking it's a part of you you will never get away from, defining yourself through the suffering. If that were the case, no buddhist practice would be necessary.
    Hi Anista,

    This strikes me as one interpretation, with perhaps a very "Theravadan" feel. Nothing wrong with that, but a little different from the perspective of the Perfection of Wisdom Literature and much of the Zen schools.

    We do not "extinguish" suffering, so much as pass through and encounter liberation from suffering (Dukkha) via encountering and pouring our self into Emptiness. This is a kind of "extinguishing", but in a more subtle way in which we very much remain in this life and world. The Lotus does not break free of the mud, but grows right through it ... the mud of Samsara bringing the Lotus of Enlightenment to life, as the Lotus brings new meaning to the mud and muck. This is our "profound understanding of the way things are".

    Karma becomes a side issue, because one instantaneously and immediately breaks free of Karma in this moment. Free of greed, anger and ignorance ... even amid of world of beauty and sometime ugliness, future lives become a non-issue. We embrace suffering, and are totally free of suffering, at once, here and now.

    Something like that.

    Gassho, J

  22. #22

    Re: No-Mind Rambling

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Quote Originally Posted by anista
    Suffering is not just part of the human condition, it's part of the condition of all sentient beings. Buddha taught us a way to extinguish suffering. That doesn't mean becoming a robot, it means a profound understanding of the way things are (= the law of karma-vipaka, action and consequence). We suffer because we don't fully understand or acknowledge karma-vipaka. We hold on to things even when there is nothing to hold on to. We fail to see the consequences, and we blind-fold ourselves to reality. Be wary not to embrace suffering, thinking it's a part of you you will never get away from, defining yourself through the suffering. If that were the case, no buddhist practice would be necessary.
    Hi Anista,

    This strikes me as one interpretation, with perhaps a very "Theravadan" feel. Nothing wrong with that, but a little different from the perspective of the Perfection of Wisdom Literature and much of the Zen schools.

    We do not "extinguish" suffering, so much as pass through and encounter liberation from suffering (Dukkha) via encountering and pouring our self into Emptiness. This is a kind of "extinguishing", but in a more subtle way in which we very much remain in this life and world. The Lotus does not break free of the mud, but grows right through it ... the mud of Samsara bringing the Lotus of Enlightenment to life, as the Lotus brings new meaning to the mud and muck. This is our "profound understanding of the way things are".

    Karma becomes a side issue, because one instantaneously and immediately breaks free of Karma in this moment. Free of greed, anger and ignorance ... even amid of world of beauty and sometime ugliness, future lives become a non-issue. We embrace suffering, and are totally free of suffering, at once, here and now.

    Something like that.

    Gassho, J
    Rev. Jundo,

    Thank you for your response. I appreciate that.

    I do feel, though, that essentially we are saying the same thing. My definition of extinguishing the suffering was " a profound understanding of the way things are (= the law of karma-vipaka, action and consequence)." Yours was "We do not "extinguish" suffering, so much as pass through and encounter liberation from suffering (Dukkha) via encountering and pouring our self into Emptiness. This is a kind of "extinguishing", but in a more subtle way in which we very much remain in this life and world This is our "profound understanding of the way things are"." I do not see how these two definitions are contradictory?

    The 'extinguishing' part is not just prevalent in Theravada, it's prevalent in Mahayana as well (including Zen). Nirvana means "to blow out, extinguish", and the word has had that meaning from the beginning. Even if in Mahayana Nirvana has come to mean waking up to our true nature, that itself entails the freedom from suffering. That's why, I believe, Mahaparinirvana sutra speaks thusly:

    "Today I shall go into Nirvana,
    Crossing over to that other shore
    And leaving behind all of the suffering."

    Or, the Lanka:

    "According to my teaching, Mahamati, the getting rid of the discriminating Manovijnana—this is said to be Nirvana."

    Getting rid of our discriminating mental consciousness is to blow out or extinguish the dualism which is inherent in our minds. This in turn leading to no future births. Or, if we take this one life as example, to be like a lotus in the mud, like you said.

    Or, from my signature, "The Mind without perceptions is Nirvana", also from a Mahayana sutra. Without perceptions means without the discriminating mind. The discriminating mind is what leads us to suffering.

    I strongly believe we are on the same page, although the phrasing may be different, and in my case, less elegant.

    Thank you for listening!

  23. #23

    Re: No-Mind Rambling

    Hellos to all posting here!

    I don't know so much that things get ('blown out') extinguished as much as things get ('do not add more wood to this fire') extinguished...

  24. #24

    Re: No-Mind Rambling

    Quote Originally Posted by Keishin

    I don't know so much that things get ('blown out') extinguished as much as things get ('do not add more wood to this fire') extinguished...
    There is the danger of just playing with words here [in this discussion on this thread], one of the great perils of this Zenny way ...

    ... but I like to say that there is found (though here all along) that which cannot be burned all around and through us, even as life's fires burn all around and through us. I am reminded of some parables of the Lotus Sutra ...

    The first is the Parable of the Burning House ... in which a father tries to lure his children out of a burning house ...

    One day, while the man was out, fires broke out simultaneously on all sides of the house, and it began to burn. Inside the house, the children were so preoccupied with their games that they never noticed the fires and did not try to get out. The rich man came home, saw what was happening, and thought, "The children will die if they remain inside. I have to get them out quickly by any means, even by force if necessary." He shouted to them, "Come out right away!" ...

    Shakyamuni continued, "It is just as you say. Like the rich man, I am the father of the world. I eliminate fear, grief, ignorance, and darkness. ... I see that all living beings are burned by the fires of birth, old age, disease, and death. They undergo all sorts of sufferings because of their cravings to enhance their lives. ...
    ... but then there is the Parable of the Poor Son, in which a father tries to lure his wandering, lost son back into the house ...

    Once upon a time, there lived a poor man who wandered about the country looking for work. He had long ago forgotten the happy home of his childhood which he had left many years before. ... His father, meanwhile, had grown very rich and now lived in a magnificent villa, from which he directed his many employees and business affairs. However, he never forgot his son who had left home so many years before, and someday he hoped to find him again. ... Then in front of everyone, he revealed his son's true identity and announced that he was the true heir to all his estates and businesses. The son was astonished to hear this. "I never dreamed that I was the rightful heir to all this," he said.
    ... and the Parable of the Hidden Gem, in which man holds a jewel all along ...

    There once lived a poor man who used to drink too much. On one occasion, he visited a wealthy friend, who offered him cup after cup of wine. He enjoyed himself and drank so much that finally he fell sound asleep. His friend had to leave on business. He knew that his poor companion generally lost his wits when drinking, but he felt sorry for him and wanted to help him in some way. So before leaving, he fastened a priceless gem to the garment of the poor man as a gift. Then he departed, certain that his poor friend would be delighted when he awoke and discovered his new wealth.

    But things did not work out as the rich friend had planned. The drunken man finally awoke, but he did not notice the gem which was sewn into his garment. He got bleary-eyed and went out, believing he possessed no more than a headache. He had no home nor steady work to go to, so he wandered about from one place to another for many years, living a miserable existence.

    One day he ran into his old friend. The friend was shocked by his wretched appearance. "What's wrong with you?" he asked. "I left a priceless gem sewn in your garment that last evening we were together. I expected you to sell it, invest the money in some business, and get on your feet at last. Why didn't you do so?"

    The poor man was bewildered. "Gem?" he asked. "What gem?" He felt along the lining of his garment, and was astonished to find a precious stone attached to it. He had been a wealthy man all this time without realizing it.
    The moral of these stories for me?

    Neither be trapped in the burning house, nor wander aimlessly searching for one's true home. Know the jewel that is with us all along right in the heart of home and businesses.

    In the early "Fire Sermon" (Adittapariyaya Sutta), the Buddha proclaimed ...

    All is aflame. What All is aflame? The eye is aflame. Forms are aflame. Consciousness at the eye is aflame. Contact at the eye is aflame. And whatever there is that arises in dependence on contact at the eye — experienced as pleasure, pain or neither-pleasure-nor-pain — that too is aflame. Aflame with what? Aflame with the fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion. Aflame, I tell you, with birth, aging & death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs. ... "Seeing thus, the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones grows disenchanted with the eye, disenchanted with forms, disenchanted with consciousness at the eye, disenchanted with contact at the eye [same for ear, nose, tongue, body, mind] ... Disenchanted, he becomes dispassionate. Through dispassion, he is fully released. With full release, there is the knowledge, 'Fully released.' He discerns that 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.
    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
    And it is so, we are free of this world. Yet, in the Aggi Vacchagotta Sutta (To Vacchagotta on Fire), the Buddha reminds us that "burning" is not so simple ... and where one "goes" from this world upon enlightenment is not a matter of positions or limited by directions ...


    I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying in Savatthi, at Jeta's Grove ,,,

    [Master Gotama said] "A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origin, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origin, such its disappearance; such is perception ... such are mental fabrications... such is consciousness, such its origin, such its disappearance.' ... I say, a Tathagata — with the ending, fading out, cessation, renunciation, & relinquishment of all construings ... all I-making & mine-making ... — is, through lack of clinging, released."

    [Vaccha asked] "But, Master Gotama, the monk whose mind is thus released: Where does he reappear?"

    "'Reappear,' Vaccha, doesn't apply."

    "In that case, Master Gotama, he does not reappear."

    "'Does not reappear,' Vaccha, doesn't apply."

    "...Both does and does not reappear."

    "...Doesn’t apply."

    "...Neither does nor does not reappear."

    "...Doesn’t apply."

    "How is it, Master Gotama, when Master Gotama is asked if the monk reappears... does not reappear... both does and does not reappear... neither does nor does not reappear, he says, '...doesn't apply' in each case. At this point, Master Gotama, I am befuddled ...

    "Of course you're befuddled, Vaccha. Of course you're confused. Deep, Vaccha, is this phenomenon, hard to see, hard to realize, tranquil, refined, beyond the scope of conjecture, subtle, to-be-experienced by the wise. ... How do you construe this, Vaccha: If a fire were burning in front of you, would you know that, 'This fire is burning in front of me'?"

    "...yes..."

    ...

    "And suppose someone were to ask you, 'this fire that has gone out in front of you, in which direction from here has it gone? East? West? North? Or south?' Thus asked, how would you reply?"

    "That doesn't apply, Master Gotama. Any fire burning dependent on a sustenance of grass and timber, being unnourished -- from having consumed that sustenance and not being offered any other -- is classified simply as 'out' (unbound)."

    "Even so, Vaccha, any physical form by which one describing the Tathágata would describe him: That the Tathágata has abandoned, its root destroyed, like an uprooted palm tree, deprived of the conditions of existence, not destined for future arising. Freed from the classification of form, Vaccha, the Tathágata is deep, boundless, hard to fathom, like the sea. 'Reappears' doesn't apply. 'Does not reappear' doesn't apply. 'Both does and does not reappear' doesn't apply. 'Neither reappears nor does not reappear' doesn't apply.
    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
    The Buddha moved along the dusty roads of India to Savatthi, at Jeta's Grove ... Bodhidharma crossed mountains to China ... Dogen sailed to Japan etc. etc. ... never wandering lost, and always At Home ... travelling and living East West North or South, teaching how to live unbounded by East West North or South.

    Gassho, J

  25. #25

    Re: No-Mind Rambling

    Hellos to Jundo and to all others posting here!

    I’ve been visting and posting to various threads on the forum for 3 years or so now.
    I’ve been coming here less frequently and I am moved to post less.
    I am sorry you felt the need to rebuke me and call my post ‘just playing with words, one of the great perils of this zenny world’
    At times I am playful, but I am not ‘playin’’ My contributions are based on my own personal experience of this practice (three decades).

    My post was not intended in any way to serve as the ‘definitive’ answer (I leave that to the teachers here). My meager little post, from my own experience had to do specifically with my own arising thoughts (my personal source of suffering), and that in my own experience, it isn’t so much a question of my needing to exert effort in ‘blowing out’ as much rather as my expending less energy: just not feed thoughts by adding energy to them.

    While I was being playful in my parsimonious use of words (I like to use the fewer the better), the point I was making by my contribution was based on my own experience.

    If you feel my contribution was out of line or frivolous, perhaps this explanation helps?



    (and now, after posting, the laundry! Sunday is my Monday and I've no clean clothes!)

  26. #26

    Re: No-Mind Rambling

    Quote Originally Posted by Keishin
    I am sorry you felt the need to rebuke me and call my post ‘just playing with words, one of the great perils of this zenny world’
    Hi Keishin,

    No rebuke was intended at all! I meant it about me too. I liked what you wrote, for what it is worth. I changed my comment to say ...

    There is the danger of just playing with words here [in this discussion on this thread], one of the great perils of this Zenny way ...
    We are --each-- at risk of these perils! Heck, some of my long posts cannot help but fall into tangles of words!

    Gassho, Jundo

  27. #27

    Re: No-Mind Rambling

    Quote Originally Posted by chessie
    My turn for a dumb question: Regarding impermanence...We are taught that nothing is permanent, and change is a fact of live, inherent in all of life and living. BUT... that means that 'change' is a 'constant' and therefore 'unchanging state of being'...so in that case there is something we call change that doesn't change, so there really is something that is permanent adn unchanging after all. Now my head is dizzy (and no, that's not a usual state of being for me either!) :P Spinning circles... I'm confused... ops:

    Thanks for this thread!! gassho, ann
    Hi . chessie I know what I think to be the answer to this nice natural Koan . But, my answer would be no use to you. I am not a teacher but I would suggest you wait for the answer to arrive. I hope you sit, as otherwise you may be waiting for a long time.
    Cheers
    M

  28. #28

    Re: No-Mind Rambling

    Quote Originally Posted by michaeljc
    I am not a teacher but I would suggest you wait for the answer to arrive. I hope you sit, as otherwise you may be waiting for a long time.
    Cheers
    M
    I think this more on the money than what the 'teachers' wrote! Simple, Direct, Lovely! Thank you Michael!

    Gassho, J

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