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A Mosaic of Traditions - One Virtual Sangha => Buddha Basics - Beginner Zone => Topic started by: VisuddhiRaptor on November 05, 2018, 07:21:16 pm

Title: The Goal of Buddhism
Post by: VisuddhiRaptor on November 05, 2018, 07:21:16 pm
To think unsatisfactoriness...dukkha...
Means the world is not full of joy and beauty

Correct. Buddhism is not for everyone.  The goal of Buddhism is disenchantment towards all of the world. :namaste:
Title: Re: The Goal of Buddhism
Post by: Arkena on November 05, 2018, 11:34:57 pm
Isn't the goal of Buddhism to see the world as it is? To see reality? Disenchantment and enchantment both fail to see reality don't they?
Title: Re: The Goal of Buddhism
Post by: stillpointdancer on November 06, 2018, 04:45:43 am
Isn't the goal of Buddhism to see the world as it is? To see reality? Disenchantment and enchantment both fail to see reality don't they?

Yes, when we see the world through Buddhist eyes we see through both the disenchantment and enchantment. Much of the practice not geared towards this is geared towards keeping us safe and sane when we do.
Title: Re: The Goal of Buddhism
Post by: Arkena on November 06, 2018, 11:06:59 am
Isn't the goal, happiness, joy and bliss with a spiritual type of desenchantment a sign post along the way? Like no food can bring true bliss, etc
Title: Re: The Goal of Buddhism
Post by: Chaz on November 06, 2018, 05:36:39 pm
Isn't the goal, happiness, joy and bliss with a spiritual type of desenchantment a sign post along the way? Like no food can bring true bliss, etc

Well, to muddy the waters further, there is no goal other than the path as Trungpa put it so elegantly.

To approach Buddhism as if there was something to be gained in the end, is to miss the point. The path to Buddhahood, takes so long, that to think in terms of goals is entirely pointless.

Or something like that  :dharma:
Title: Re: The Goal of Buddhism
Post by: Anemephistus on November 06, 2018, 10:59:33 pm
To think unsatisfactoriness...dukkha...
Means the world is not full of joy and beauty

Correct. Buddhism is not for everyone.  The goal of Buddhism is disenchantment towards all of the world. :namaste:

I know you are good with root terms...Is that not Disillusionment?
Title: Re: The Goal of Buddhism
Post by: Chaz on November 07, 2018, 08:23:32 am
To think unsatisfactoriness...dukkha...
Means the world is not full of joy and beauty

Correct. Buddhism is not for everyone.  The goal of Buddhism is disenchantment towards all of the world. :namaste:

I know you are good with root terms...Is that not Disillusionment?

No.  Disillusionment might be what leads you to the Dharma in the first place.  Detachment, or disattachment might be the word you're looking for, but none of that's a goal of Buddhism either.  Equanimity is what you may be thinking about - the state of having neither attraction or revulsion towards a phenomena.  But that isn't even a goal.  Just another step on the Path.
Title: Re: The Goal of Buddhism
Post by: Anemephistus on November 07, 2018, 02:40:42 pm
I mean that disenchantment from the world is disillusionment. Both have a listless sort of negative connotation that don't look like compassion generating states of mind from which a proper view could be formed. disenchantment and disillusionment as the root words: to be not enchanted or removed from illusions...sure,  but in English these words don't seem to represent any kind of goal. By definition they look more depressed than enlightened.


 
Title: Re: The Goal of Buddhism
Post by: Chaz on November 07, 2018, 02:49:44 pm
I mean that disenchantment from the world is disillusionment.

Well, not exactly.

I believe correct usage would disenchantment/disillusion with the world.

Both words describe disappointment, so why not use that?  Just the same, neither is the goal of Buddhism.

But I suppose you're wondering just what I think the goal of Buddhism is, if not those things.

Well,
 it depends.

If you practice within the teaching of the First Turning of the Wheel of Dharma (also referred to, by some, as Hinayana.  Basically the teaching in Theravada), then the goal is Enlightenment and Nirvana.

If you are a Mahayanist, the goal is Buddhahood

Title: Re: The Goal of Buddhism
Post by: Anemephistus on November 08, 2018, 10:20:09 am
I think that the goal of Buddhism is to recognize the four nobles truths and to follow the eight-fold path. The schools seem to have different thoughts on how to do this, and their teachings and methods are geared to different possible outcomes, but the likelihood of attaining the final product in any given lifetime is small so actually traveling the path seems more the point than the possibility of attaining the final outcome.
Title: Re: The Goal of Buddhism
Post by: zafrogzen on November 08, 2018, 11:53:59 am
I think that the goal of Buddhism is to recognize the four nobles truths and to follow the eight-fold path. The schools seem to have different thoughts on how to do this, and their teachings and methods are geared to different possible outcomes, but the likelihood of attaining the final product in any given lifetime is small so actually traveling the path seems more the point than the possibility of attaining the final outcome.

That might be true for you and for most people who don’t have the time or inclination to devote themselves to meditation and practice at the level necessary to make real progress on the path, but it's not true for many dedicated Zen Buddhists.

If there’s a goal it would be complete enlightenment in this lifetime. In zen that starts with Kensho or seeing one’s true nature, which is often thought of as “enlightenment.” That can happen quickly or after decades of hard practice, it can be deep or shallow, but it is rarely finished in one experience and it is never “complete” in the sense that one instantly becomes a perfect person with no flaws or conditioning. Seeing one’s true nature, the true nature of the self, is essential, but it is only the beginning of real practice.

All the schools of Buddhism, but especially zen, have the necessary tools. At certain junctures an accomplished teacher can definitively speed things up, but it is possible for some individuals to do it on their own.

Whatever, don’t waste time!

Title: Re: The Goal of Buddhism
Post by: Gibbon on November 09, 2018, 11:52:17 am
I think that the goal of Buddhism is to recognize the four nobles truths and to follow the eight-fold path. The schools seem to have different thoughts on how to do this, and their teachings and methods are geared to different possible outcomes, but the likelihood of attaining the final product in any given lifetime is small so actually traveling the path seems more the point than the possibility of attaining the final outcome.

Yes, the ultimate goal is total and complete liberation.  Why settle for anything less?  Now, is it even possible or is it just a tall tale?  Yes, there are people living now who have achieved liberation, including quite a few Westerners.

That said, one needs to be strategic about how to accomplish that goal.  We all have massive amounts of negative karma and obscurations acquired in endless previous lives, and that trash takes time and effort to clear.  The awakening is hard won.  So, maintain a balance -- always strive enthusiastically for complete liberation but also recognize the everyday struggles as steps that need to be taken before you get there.  Frustration does not help anything.

If you work really hard, at the very least you make significant progress at purifying all that past stuff, then next time it will go much smoother, and soon -- hey, presto, you are there!  Om gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha.
Title: Re: The Goal of Buddhism
Post by: paracelsus on November 09, 2018, 09:04:14 pm
Perhaps there is no goal as such.

Any "goal" is a counterpoint to that which isn't the goal, so having an aim to one's practice is already separating "this from that".

I understand that in the ultimate analysis there is only "What Is", Suchness, and our problem (dukkha) derives from wishing that "what is" was otherwise.

I want more of this, I want less of this, I like it or I don't like it and so on.

Meditation practice, at least in part, is to be undisturbed by whatever the brain (or mind) cooks up to distract us, the "hordes of Mara" who assail us on our cushion. If we sit unimpressed before their antics, they will eventually tire of the game and settle down. Fighting them off only tires us out. Just stop and wait. Patience.

As you do, the observer, the one who waits, might be realised to be of no substance whatsoever. Every distraction and disturbance, every mental activity is not the observer, and no matter how hard we look the observer can be found to have no characteristics at all. Anything we perceive in the way of a characteristic is simply that, a perception, not a thing in itself.

Every internal and external experience, "self" and "world" are object. Subject, perception, seems to have no characteristics.

 "I" don't exist as anything more than a perception of characteristics related to this body and mind stream and its interaction with its environment.

So, this then demonstrates the importance of how we manage our own thought processes, our body, speech and mind, because these are what Mara is created from,  the natural product of our karma, harmful and beneficial.

Perhaps, just thoughts,

Metta
Title: Re: The Goal of Buddhism
Post by: Peppermint on November 10, 2018, 06:12:45 pm
The goal of Buddhism is disenchantment towards all of the world.
I thought it went like this: 1) There is suffering.  2) Suffering has a beginning.  3) Suffering has an end.  4) There is a way leading to the end of suffering.

Traditionally, I thought the goal was put forward as the elimination of greed, hatred, and delusion.  No?
Title: Re: The Goal of Buddhism
Post by: zafrogzen on November 10, 2018, 08:07:14 pm
To put forward the notion that the goal of Buddhist meditation is somewhere off in the future is to cut yourself off from your potential for enlightenment.

Past and future are just ideas with no real existence. They’re “conventions” used to describe changes occurring right here in this present moment. 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.

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.
Title: Re: The Goal of Buddhism
Post by: Peppermint 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.

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

Quote
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.

Quote
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.
Title: Re: The Goal of Buddhism
Post by: zafrogzen 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?
Title: Re: The Goal of Buddhism
Post by: paracelsus 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.”

Title: Re: The Goal of Buddhism
Post by: paracelsus 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.                               
Title: Re: The Goal of Buddhism
Post by: Dairy Lama 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 (https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/bodhi/wheel277.html#sut)
Title: Re: The Goal of Buddhism
Post by: Dairy Lama 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.
Title: Re: The Goal of Buddhism
Post by: Dairy Lama 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?
Title: Re: The Goal of Buddhism
Post by: stillpointdancer 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.
Title: Re: The Goal of Buddhism
Post by: Chaz 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?
Title: Re: The Goal of Buddhism
Post by: zafrogzen on November 14, 2018, 10:59:15 am
I agree with stillpoint that
Quote
...the actual default would be enlightenment

and I think that’s what the verse from paracelsus also expresses.
Quote
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/ (http://www.frogzen.com/uncategorized/you-can-think-whatever-you-like/)

Quote
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.

Quote
...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
Quote
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
Quote
The knowledge and vision of things as they really are...
'
Title: Re: The Goal of Buddhism
Post by: paracelsus 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
Title: Re: The Goal of Buddhism
Post by: Zen44 on January 13, 2019, 08:06:05 am
The basics of Meditation 101
Title: Re: The Goal of Buddhism
Post by: BlackLooter 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..
Title: Re: The Goal of Buddhism
Post by: stillpointdancer 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.
Title: Re: The Goal of Buddhism
Post by: paracelsus 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.


Title: Re: The Goal of Buddhism
Post by: paracelsus on January 15, 2019, 08:59:34 pm
“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?

Samsara is the default for samsaric beings which are born of delusion so there's no choice once here. The change happens when through right effort we rid ourselves of delusion. Without right effort we just carry on, on karmic autopilot.
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