Author Topic: The Goal of Buddhism  (Read 1587 times)

Offline Peppermint

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Re: The Goal of Buddhism
« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2018, 06:05:49 pm »
Past and future are just ideas with no real existence.
Past and future are mental constructions interpreting the perception of the fruits of karma (volitional action).  Past and future are not necessarily what we think they are, just as we might be frightened by a garden hose, thinking it is a snake.

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They’re “conventions” used to describe changes occurring right here in this present moment.
The present moment is a mental construction.

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If the future really existed it would always be yet to come and could never actually occur. Likewise the present moment is not some thing that really exists somewhere.

So while it is essential to cultivate the “way-seeking-mind” one should not conceive of enlightenment (or nirvana) as somewhere out there, in a non-existent future. It’s always present in each moment.
Yet wisdom also allows for the recognition of greed, hatred, and/or delusion when any of these presents itself.  Their extinction (nirvana) occurs when they no longer present themselves.

"Awakening" and "enlightenment" are terms which may confuse.  Nirvana is the extinction of greed, hatred and delusion.

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That doesn’t mean that one can awaken to it without some training and practice of meditation. But it can only be realized right now in this present moment.
The "present moment" is a mental construction.  "Now" is a mental construction.  To the extent we perceive "now" as a temporal place between "past" and "future," this is all a mental construction.  "Awaking" and "enlightenment" are terms which may confuse.  Nirvana is the extinction of greed, hatred and delusion.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2018, 07:35:41 pm by Peppermint, Reason: fix typo »

Offline zafrogzen

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Re: The Goal of Buddhism
« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2018, 08:32:41 pm »
Nirvana is the extinction of greed, hatred and delusion.

You keep saying that. It looks to me like extinction of greed, hatred and delusion is a side effect of Nirvana (enlightenment). Is that what you mean -- that extinction of the three poisons is a result of realization of Nirvana? Or is Nirvana a result of getting rid of the three poisons and if so how do you eliminate them?
My first formal meditation training was with Shunryu Suzuki in the 60's and later with Kobun, Robert Aitken and many other teachers (mainly zen). However, I've spent the most time practicing on my own, which is all I do now. I'm living in a rather isolated area so I miss connecting with other practitioners. Despite my interest in zen I've made an effort to remain secular. You can visit my website at http://www.frogzen.com

Offline paracelsus

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Re: The Goal of Buddhism
« Reply #17 on: November 13, 2018, 07:11:43 pm »

In the ultimate analysis: There is no extinction of greed or hatred or lust or any of the other characteristics of samsara.

No present, past, or future moments. No Buddha, no enlightenment samadhi, no self, and no nirvana. All these are distraction.

That is all. Everything is exactly according to its nature.

Hui-neng the 6th patriarch is said to have said:

“If your nature is deluded
 Buddha-hood is Ordinary being.
If your nature is enlightened
 Ordinary being is Buddha-hood.”


Offline paracelsus

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Re: The Goal of Buddhism
« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2018, 07:56:22 pm »
My last post was trying to be economical with words and was pretentiously referring to "ultimate analysis" which is perhaps ahead of what is useful and is just another string of words ...

I wrote an essay a few years ago to try to explain in plain terms to my engineer father what Buddhism was about. (easy!) This is a small part of it:

"Buddhism is not an uncritical adoption of beliefs but an investigation into what it really is that constitutes our sense of personal being and its universe:
-It looks directly into the characteristics of our being,
-the cause of those characteristics,
-the variety of the outcomes of our activities,
-and offers the wisdom to positively influence the characteristics of these outcomes.

It is the practical antidote to the reality of The Four Noble Truths.

 -The ethical structure intends; openness, honesty,  generosity, kindness and compassion, and thereby harmony and peace.
 
 -The practice develops; insight and mindfulness, energy with flexibility, and rids us of; laziness, dogmatism, selfish insularity and impetuosity.

 -The religious form illuminates the spiritual unknown in which the individual, while in ignorance, might find themselves alone and in fear and dread.

Suffering comes into being dependent upon conditions. The conditions are transitory and determinable. The elimination of suffering is therefore possible ...."   

I hope this is useful.

Metta.                               

Offline Dairy Lama

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Re: The Goal of Buddhism
« Reply #19 on: November 14, 2018, 04:24:46 am »
I mean that disenchantment from the world is disillusionment.

In Theravada disenchantment is a stage in "transcendental dependent arising".

"Disenchantment, monks, also has a supporting condition, I say, it does not lack a supporting condition. And what is the supporting condition for disenchantment? 'The knowledge and vision of things as they really are' should be the reply."
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/bodhi/wheel277.html#sut
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Offline Dairy Lama

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Re: The Goal of Buddhism
« Reply #20 on: November 14, 2018, 04:26:53 am »
It looks to me like extinction of greed, hatred and delusion is a side effect of Nirvana (enlightenment).

That's how it looks to me.   Not so much a definition as a partial description.
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Offline Dairy Lama

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Re: The Goal of Buddhism
« Reply #21 on: November 14, 2018, 04:32:46 am »
“If your nature is deluded
 Buddha-hood is Ordinary being.
If your nature is enlightened
 Ordinary being is Buddha-hood.”

So what causes the change from deluded to enlightened, given that the "default" seems to be deluded?
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Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: The Goal of Buddhism
« Reply #22 on: November 14, 2018, 05:47:44 am »
“If your nature is deluded
 Buddha-hood is Ordinary being.
If your nature is enlightened
 Ordinary being is Buddha-hood.”

So what causes the change from deluded to enlightened, given that the "default" seems to be deluded?
I think you have an interesting point here. What if the "default" is only deluded because of the socialization and misunderstandings that impinge on our development from the moment we are born? This would mean that the actual default would be enlightenment, and that the objective then becomes unlearning to reach a stage which is natural to our existence. The change is sloughing off all the stuff that is holding us back.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Offline Chaz

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Re: The Goal of Buddhism
« Reply #23 on: November 14, 2018, 07:06:29 am »
I mean that disenchantment from the world is disillusionment.

In Theravada disenchantment is a stage in "transcendental dependent arising".

Is Mahayana different?

Offline zafrogzen

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Re: The Goal of Buddhism
« Reply #24 on: November 14, 2018, 10:59:15 am »
I agree with stillpoint that
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...the actual default would be enlightenment

and I think that’s what the verse from paracelsus also expresses.
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If your nature is enlightened
 Ordinary being is Buddha-hood.”

If you'll excuse me for quoting myself again, here’s two lines from my recent post on
http://www.frogzen.com/uncategorized/you-can-think-whatever-you-like/

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It can take considerable time in meditation before thinking finally runs down and the mind returns to its natural default position of clear open awareness. When that first happens, even if only momentarily, it’s likely to be intense and blissful, even earthshaking.

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...simply let go and return to our ever-present, clear awareness. Although it’s nothing, it turns out to be the source or essence of everything, past, present and future — while still remaining transcendent and undefiled.

And finally a comment on my post by Aloka
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Regarding thoughts, I like this verse by Tilopa the legendary siddha of Tibetan Vajrayana :

“Like the morning mist that dissolves into thin air,
Going nowhere but ceasing to be,
Waves of conceptualization, all the mind’s creation, dissolve,
When you behold your mind’s true nature.”

Or as DL noted
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The knowledge and vision of things as they really are...
'
« Last Edit: November 14, 2018, 11:09:54 am by zafrogzen »
My first formal meditation training was with Shunryu Suzuki in the 60's and later with Kobun, Robert Aitken and many other teachers (mainly zen). However, I've spent the most time practicing on my own, which is all I do now. I'm living in a rather isolated area so I miss connecting with other practitioners. Despite my interest in zen I've made an effort to remain secular. You can visit my website at http://www.frogzen.com

Offline paracelsus

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Re: The Goal of Buddhism
« Reply #25 on: November 14, 2018, 02:31:46 pm »




 I think the point made by Stillpointdancer is close to the mark in that it is all that is not enlightenment that is the “problem”, i.e. all that we take on board during our lives which obscures or masks the "original face". (If that is what you meant)

I took “Paracelsus” from a poem  of the same name by the mystic British poet Robert Browning which has a charm of language I enjoy and which touches on the theme of this discussion in this verse below. Although I don’t entirely agree with the ideas of; within and without, and “inmost centres”, which are too “geographically” specific, preferring to think in terms of the condition of our nature, or ways of being, I think he expresses something interesting:

"There is an inmost centre in us all,   
Where truth abides in fullness; and around,   
Wall upon wall, the gross flesh hems it in,          
This perfect, clear perception—which is truth.   
A baffling and perverting carnal mesh   
Binds it, and makes all error: and, to KNOW,   
Rather consists in opening out a way   
Whence the imprisoned splendour may escape,          
Than in effecting entry for a light   
Supposed to be without."   

Well, I like it anyway.

Metta

Offline Zen44

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Re: The Goal of Buddhism
« Reply #26 on: January 13, 2019, 08:06:05 am »
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Offline BlackLooter

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Re: The Goal of Buddhism
« Reply #27 on: January 15, 2019, 01:07:24 am »
The goal of Buddhism is to reveal the truth of existence...and how to exist in a way that is unified and satisfactory for a persons well being..
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Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: The Goal of Buddhism
« Reply #28 on: January 15, 2019, 04:21:05 am »

 I think the point made by Stillpointdancer is close to the mark in that it is all that is not enlightenment that is the “problem”, i.e. all that we take on board during our lives which obscures or masks the "original face". (If that is what you meant)

Yes, that's it. The Browning poem says it well. Didn't know he was such a mystic. We get back to what we could have been if not for all the stuff heaped upon us as we grow. Although I didn't mean that there was one 'original face' we all get to, but rather we all have our own unique original face if we could bring it to the fore, so to speak. I often imagine life before the 'experts' in human society interpreted for us what happened when we just sat still and did no thing whatsoever. When we were free to come to terms with what happened to us during insight experiences and were free to go where that led us afterwards.

In this way we got to interpret the 'truth' revealed to us without any interference. Unfortunately successful societies held together with shared understandings of such things, and we all had to sing from the same hymn sheet- quite literally at times. Lucky for us that the Buddha came along with a strategy to help us escape from such assumptions, although many following Buddhism in the past have tried desperately to reinstate many of them.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Offline paracelsus

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Re: The Goal of Buddhism
« Reply #29 on: January 15, 2019, 08:42:24 pm »

 I think the point made by Stillpointdancer is close to the mark in that it is all that is not enlightenment that is the “problem”, i.e. all that we take on board during our lives which obscures or masks the "original face". (If that is what you meant)

Yes, that's it. The Browning poem says it well. Didn't know he was such a mystic. We get back to what we could have been if not for all the stuff heaped upon us as we grow. Although I didn't mean that there was one 'original face' we all get to, but rather we all have our own unique original face if we could bring it to the fore, so to speak. I often imagine life before the 'experts' in human society interpreted for us what happened when we just sat still and did no thing whatsoever. When we were free to come to terms with what happened to us during insight experiences and were free to go where that led us afterwards.

In this way we got to interpret the 'truth' revealed to us without any interference. Unfortunately successful societies held together with shared understandings of such things, and we all had to sing from the same hymn sheet- quite literally at times. Lucky for us that the Buddha came along with a strategy to help us escape from such assumptions, although many following Buddhism in the past have tried desperately to reinstate many of them.

No, I didn't mean one original face either, I mean't the " What was your original face before you were born?" original face. Thanks for the chance to clarify.



 


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