FreeSangha - Buddhist Forum

A Mosaic of Traditions - One Virtual Sangha => Buddha Basics - Beginner Zone => Topic started by: bahman on April 23, 2017, 12:27:03 pm

Title: Wanting and self
Post by: bahman on April 23, 2017, 12:27:03 pm
 How could we want something if there is no self?
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: popsthebuilder on April 23, 2017, 12:32:16 pm
How could we want something if there is no self?
Self isn't an illusion so much as an obsession.

Breaking free from the wants of the self empties ones vessel allowing for the filling by the Self that is not of your own wants.

Learn to spot your wants and seek out the motives for them. Go from there.

peace

Sent from my Alcatel_6055U using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: popsthebuilder on April 23, 2017, 12:33:29 pm
Please forgive my intrusion.

I did not realize I was in this forum before I posted.

I meant no disrespect whatsoever towards the precepts of Buddhism.

peace

Sent from my Alcatel_6055U using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: Chaz on April 23, 2017, 05:15:04 pm
How could we want something if there is no self?

There is a concept called the "Two Truths" - relative and ultimate.  Ultimate Truth is emptiness.  Relative truth is everything else.

When you experience desire (wanting something) this is an example of the relative. Relatively speaking, it is real.  The ultimate truth is that the desire and the object of desire is emptty of inherent existence.
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: BlackLooter on April 24, 2017, 03:23:16 am
So the no self..

Which is a part of something or not?

In existence there are various things..

So we can therefore say that there is a no self..and a self...

its up to you to seek either of these things..

But when you don't seek specifically non self..the non self therefore exists..
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: bahman on April 24, 2017, 11:04:59 am
How could we want something if there is no self?

There is a concept called the "Two Truths" - relative and ultimate.  Ultimate Truth is emptiness.  Relative truth is everything else.

When you experience desire (wanting something) this is an example of the relative. Relatively speaking, it is real.  The ultimate truth is that the desire and the object of desire is emptty of inherent existence.

 I was not talking about desire. I was talking about a situation that you could do this or that and choose one because you want it.
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: Chaz on April 25, 2017, 08:35:13 am
How could we want something if there is no self?

There is a concept called the "Two Truths" - relative and ultimate.  Ultimate Truth is emptiness.  Relative truth is everything else.

When you experience desire (wanting something) this is an example of the relative. Relatively speaking, it is real.  The ultimate truth is that the desire and the object of desire is emptty of inherent existence.


 I was not talking about desire. I was talking about a situation that you could do this or that and choose one because you want it.

If you "wants" something, you "desire" it.  Right?
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: bahman on April 25, 2017, 08:39:06 am
How could we want something if there is no self?

There is a concept called the "Two Truths" - relative and ultimate.  Ultimate Truth is emptiness.  Relative truth is everything else.

When you experience desire (wanting something) this is an example of the relative. Relatively speaking, it is real.  The ultimate truth is that the desire and the object of desire is emptty of inherent existence.


 I was not talking about desire. I was talking about a situation that you could do this or that and choose one because you want it.

If you "wants" something, you "desire" it.  Right?

 No, you could want something you don't desire.
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: Chaz on April 25, 2017, 08:41:10 am
So the no self..

Which is a part of something or not?

If there there is no self, then there can be no other.  There is no thing that a "no self" can be a part of

Quote
In existence there are various things..

So we can therefore say that there is a no self..and a self...

its up to you to seek either of these things..

But when you don't seek specifically non self..the non self therefore exists..

I think you're putting way too much thought into this.  Seriously.

Try reading Khenpo Rinpoche's Progressive Stages of Meditation on Emptiness
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: Chaz on April 25, 2017, 08:42:06 am

 No, you could want something you don't desire.
Example?

definitions:
Want: a desire for something
Desire: strongly wish for or want


you can look that up for yourself.

want & desire are the same thing.
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: bahman on April 25, 2017, 10:04:28 am

 No, you could want something you don't desire.
Example?

definitions:
Want: a desire for something
Desire: strongly wish for or want


you can look that up for yourself.

want & desire are the same thing.

I define want as following: ability to choose something independent of internal (desire) or external (social force) bias.

 I desire for X and not Y. Do you want to see that I can choose Y? Of course I can want Y.
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: Chaz on April 25, 2017, 10:35:58 am
I define want as following: ability to choose something independent of internal (desire) or external (social force) bias.


Ok.

If you're going to redefine words in common use to something not in line with accepted definition, you should state that right off the bat.  Otherwise, nobody will know what you're talking about.  :brick:
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: VincentRJ on April 25, 2017, 05:55:13 pm
I define want as following: ability to choose something independent of internal (desire) or external (social force) bias.

I desire for X and not Y. Do you want to see that I can choose Y? Of course I can want Y.

This is an example of the lack of precision in the meaning of common words. It can cause confusion and contradictions.

'Desire' can be a stronger word than 'want' depending on the context. Desire is associated with 'sexual wants'. Sex is fundamentally important to human existence. No sex, no propagation of life.

Desire is more directly associated with pleasure of the senses. For example, if I were to say that I desire to achieve a state of Nirvana, that would be a complete contradiction because the state of Nirvana is a state of cessation of all desires.

However, if I were to say that I want to achieve a state of Nirvana, that implies more of a motivation than a desire.

From a deep Freudian perspective, perhaps it is true that all desires, wants and motivations are fundamentally based upon the sexual drive, which I presume the state of Nirvana transcends, so there is still a contradiction whichever of the two words one uses.
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: francis on April 26, 2017, 01:26:52 am
I’m pretty sure that desire, from a Buddhist perspective, would mean craving (taṇha), (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ta%E1%B9%87h%C4%81) thirst, desire or wish.

This is very important because as human beings we have only three feelings (vedana) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vedan%C4%81).  They are pleasant feelings, unpleasant feelings, or neutral feelings that are neither pleasant nor unpleasant.

As human beings we crave things that make us feel good, however it doesn’t matter how much stuff we have, our craving only leads to more cravings. 

If we look at the 12 links of the Nidana chain, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twelve_Nid%C4%81nas) the link between vedana (feelings) and tanha (thirst or craving) is especially important because it is one of the links that can be broken and lead us away from cyclic existence.
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: VincentRJ on April 26, 2017, 05:10:33 am
This is very important because as human beings we have only three feelings (vedana)[/url].  They are pleasant feelings, unpleasant feelings, or neutral feelings that are neither pleasant nor unpleasant.

Francis,
This is not logical or reasonable. It's like describing temperatures in three categories of cold, warm, and hot.
Degrees of pleasantness, joy or sufering are like degrees on a thermometer. They vary by gradual amounts.
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: francis on April 26, 2017, 06:28:57 am
This is very important because as human beings we have only three feelings (vedana)[/url].  They are pleasant feelings, unpleasant feelings, or neutral feelings that are neither pleasant nor unpleasant.

Francis,
This is not logical or reasonable. It's like describing temperatures in three categories of cold, warm, and hot.
Degrees of pleasantness, joy or sufering are like degrees on a thermometer. They vary by gradual amounts.

Hi Vincent,

Ok, then there are variations based on the internal and external sense organs, for example see attributes. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vedan%C4%81#Attributes)

But, the bottom line is there are really only three basic feelings.

1. Pleasant
2. Unpleasant
3. Neither pleasant nor unpleasant (neutral)

Think about it, it does make sense. We thirst for pleasant feelings, avoid unpleasant feelings and sometime we can’t make up our mind.



Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: VincentRJ on April 26, 2017, 07:20:53 am
This is very important because as human beings we have only three feelings (vedana)[/url].  They are pleasant feelings, unpleasant feelings, or neutral feelings that are neither pleasant nor unpleasant.

Francis,
This is not logical or reasonable. It's like describing temperatures in three categories of cold, warm, and hot.
Degrees of pleasantness, joy or sufering are like degrees on a thermometer. They vary by gradual amounts.

Hi Vincent,

Ok, then there are variations based on the internal and external sense organs, for example see attributes. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vedan%C4%81#Attributes)

But, the bottom line is there are really only three basic feelings.

1. Pleasant
2. Unpleasant
3. Neither pleasant nor unpleasant (neutral)

Think about it, it does make sense. We thirst for pleasant feelings, avoid unpleasant feelings and sometime we can’t make up our mind.

C'mon now Francis, I can list many variations of feelings.
(1) Very euphoric, like a sexual orgasm.
(2) Very uplifting and ego-boosting, like the acquisition of a Mercedes Benz or Rolls Royce.
(3) Very comforting like the purchase of a new house.
(4) Very pleasing like the purchase of the latest DSLR camera.
(5) Very seductive and pleasurable like a temporary relationship with a female who is not one's wife.
(6) Very gratifying because one has successfully got a promotion in one's work place.

The list can go on and on, and then downwards with increasingly less satisfaction till we get to degrees of depression and despondence and dissatisfaction.

Each of these feelings could be categorized on a scale of 1 to a hundred, or at least 1 to 20, depending one one's sensitivity.
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: Chaz on April 26, 2017, 07:45:45 am
This is very important because as human beings we have only three feelings (vedana)[/url].  They are pleasant feelings, unpleasant feelings, or neutral feelings that are neither pleasant nor unpleasant.

Francis,
This is not logical or reasonable. It's like describing temperatures in three categories of cold, warm, and hot.
Degrees of pleasantness, joy or sufering are like degrees on a thermometer. They vary by gradual amounts.

Hi Vincent,

Ok, then there are variations based on the internal and external sense organs, for example see attributes. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vedan%C4%81#Attributes)

But, the bottom line is there are really only three basic feelings.

1. Pleasant
2. Unpleasant
3. Neither pleasant nor unpleasant (neutral)

Think about it, it does make sense. We thirst for pleasant feelings, avoid unpleasant feelings and sometime we can’t make up our mind.

C'mon now Francis, I can list many variations of feelings.
(1) Very euphoric, like a sexual orgasm.
(2) Very uplifting and ego-boosting, like the acquisition of a Mercedes Benz or Rolls Royce.
(3) Very comforting like the purchase of a new house.
(4) Very pleasing like the purchase of the latest DSLR camera.
(5) Very seductive and pleasurable like a temporary relationship with a female who is not one's wife.
(6) Very gratifying because one has successfully got a promotion in one's work place.

The list can go on and on, and then downwards with increasingly less satisfaction till we get to degrees of depression and despondence and dissatisfaction.

Each of these feelings could be categorized on a scale of 1 to a hundred, or at least 1 to 20, depending one one's sensitivity.

True, but you could still categorize all of those as either pleasant, unpleasant or neither pleasant or unpleasant.
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: VincentRJ on April 26, 2017, 08:11:01 am
True, but you could still categorize all of those as either pleasant, unpleasant or neither pleasant or unpleasant.

Sure you could, just as you could categorize all temperatures as cold, warm and hot. But how enlightening is that?

There's a huge difference between a hot day, boiling water, and the temperature of the sun's surface, just as there's a huge difference between a cool day, a freezing day and subzero temperatures at the arctic.

What sort of thermometer would give  you just 3 readings? How useful would that be?
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: Chaz on April 26, 2017, 08:20:27 am
True, but you could still categorize all of those as either pleasant, unpleasant or neither pleasant or unpleasant.

Sure you could, just as you could categorize all temperatures as cold, warm and hot. But how enlightening is that?

There's a huge difference between a hot day, boiling water, and the temperature of the sun's surface, just as there's a huge difference between a cool day, a freezing day and subzero temperatures at the arctic.

What sort of thermometer would give  you just 3 readings? How useful would that be?

You could further simplify by saying they are just feelings and nothing more than that.  You could go on from there to say that all feelings are dependantly arisen and therefore have no inherent existence and are illusory.  As such they aren't worth the intellectual gymnastics.  Acknowledge them and let them go.
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: VincentRJ on April 26, 2017, 09:12:14 am
You could further simplify by saying they are just feelings and nothing more than that.  You could go on from there to say that all feelings are dependantly arisen and therefore have no inherent existence and are illusory.  As such they aren't worth the intellectual gymnastics.  Acknowledge them and let them go.

Sure you could. That's the big question. How do we survive with no feelings? How do we survive with no possessions or income support? Is Buddhism nihilistic?
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: Chaz on April 26, 2017, 09:54:29 am
You could further simplify by saying they are just feelings and nothing more than that.  You could go on from there to say that all feelings are dependantly arisen and therefore have no inherent existence and are illusory.  As such they aren't worth the intellectual gymnastics.  Acknowledge them and let them go.

Sure you could. That's the big question. How do we survive with no feelings? How do we survive with no possessions or income support? Is Buddhism nihilistic?

Of course Buddhism isn't Nihilistic.  Also feelings have nothing to do with material possessions in themselves.  Noone's saying there are no feelings.  Feelings have no inherent existence.  They do not exist in and of themselves.  They arise from various causes and conditions.  They are not independant of cause. 

For example... you can hit your thumb with a hammer.  It hurts.  A lot.  That's pretty real.  However the pain wasn't there before you hit your thumb and given the right amount of time and dscipline, the pain goes away, like it was never there. The pain did not arise by itself.  There was no inherent pain.  If there was, you would be in pain all the time, from birth to death.

How do we survive without that.  Well, an enlightened being can exist without all that.

Reach enlightenment and tell us what it's like. It would be bliss.
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: sharon_kaur on April 29, 2017, 11:32:07 pm
I keep thinking about wanting a relationship. However I prefer to be celibate. Not sure I want kids. It's difficult finding someone who understands me and is asexual. I want to start meditation but want to have control over my mind before I start. I still have bad habits that haven't gone away.

Sent from my K011 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: Chaz on April 30, 2017, 07:51:16 am
I keep thinking about wanting a relationship. However I prefer to be celibate. Not sure I want kids. It's difficult finding someone who understands me and is asexual. I want to start meditation but want to have control over my mind before I start. I still have bad habits that haven't gone away.

Sent from my K011 using Tapatalk

Then do all those things.  There's nothing "wrong" with want.

Start meditation.  It's  not about "controling" your mind.  Meditation will allow your mind to settle and rest.
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: VincentRJ on May 02, 2017, 06:38:43 am
You could further simplify by saying they are just feelings and nothing more than that.  You could go on from there to say that all feelings are dependantly arisen and therefore have no inherent existence and are illusory.  As such they aren't worth the intellectual gymnastics.  Acknowledge them and let them go.

Sure you could. That's the big question. How do we survive with no feelings? How do we survive with no possessions or income support? Is Buddhism nihilistic?

Of course Buddhism isn't Nihilistic.  Also feelings have nothing to do with material possessions in themselves.  Noone's saying there are no feelings.  Feelings have no inherent existence.  They do not exist in and of themselves.  They arise from various causes and conditions.  They are not independant of cause. 

For example... you can hit your thumb with a hammer.  It hurts.  A lot.  That's pretty real.  However the pain wasn't there before you hit your thumb and given the right amount of time and dscipline, the pain goes away, like it was never there. The pain did not arise by itself.  There was no inherent pain.  If there was, you would be in pain all the time, from birth to death.

How do we survive without that.  Well, an enlightened being can exist without all that.

Reach enlightenment and tell us what it's like. It would be bliss.

I thought one of the major principles of Buddhism is that everything is connected, yet you say that feelings have nothing to do with material possessions. Surely material possessions arise from feelings of desire and want.
Surely in order to exist we need feelings. When we feel hungry, we eat. Are you claiming that an enlightened person doesn't eat because he feels hungry, but simply eats because he understands it's necessary in order to stay alive?

Of course, it's obvious that feelings of pain and suffering and joy do not arise by themselves without a cause, just as I, as I write this, do not exist without a cause, and my computer, desk and chair did not arise without a cause.
However, it seems a bit extreme to claim that all these things 'therefore have no inherent existence and are illusory.  As such they aren't worth the intellectual gymnastics.  Acknowledge them and let them go.'

I could probably do that if I were to live naked in a cave like an early species of hominid and eat berries and fruit from the bushes outside the cave. It would have to be a warm climate though. I'd need the possession of warm clothing if it were a cave in the Himalayas.  :)
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: Rahul on June 12, 2017, 04:33:49 am
How could we want something if there is no self?
Do you imply here that self = you? I presume you find a contradiction here because you think it is the 'self' that 'wants'. And if no self, there is no want? Is that what you mean?
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on June 12, 2017, 06:21:14 am
Hi, bahman.

Before discussing wants, let's consider basic biological "needs".

Here is a list of things off the top of my head we as living beings, having evolved the way we have over billions of years, need in order to live, find nutrition in order to live, find mates in order to reproduce our kind, and which motivate and allows us to defend and preserve what we need in order to live.

Here is my basic list.  I am sure there are more, which I have missed.  Perhaps you or someone else on the board will think of them and add them to the conversation:

1.  To live, but only after we are alive.
2.  Consume nutrients in order to live
3.   Protect and preserve  our state of living.
4.  Reproduce in order for our progeny and our species to continue to live after we die.
5.  Provide nutrients, protect, and preserve our progeny so that they too can live and reproduce their progeny, thereby continuing our species.

You and I and many others on this board know that once we attain life, and without satisfying these basic needs we will die.

So, consider that without these basic needs to begin with we will never even live.  We will never attain life.    And, if we never attain life, we can never die.

Next, consider what we need in order to be alive:

What cosmological physicists have learned is that there are certain basic elements and environmental conditions, which facillitate and support the arising of life:

1.  Water
2.  Temperatures, pressures & densities which will allow the bio-chemistry of life to condense and react in a manner which promotes, allows and supports life.
3.  Energy source, which allows the elements to form, achieve what chemists call the activation energy complex and be able to react to form life forming molecules, or what biochemists chall "bio-chemicals", then more complex biochemicals, then proteins, then organs, then living creatures.
4.  Time sufficient for all of this to occur and result in living creatures.

***Note:  I am trying to keep this really simple and am skippin alot.

So, assuming all of this comes together and we achieve life, ask yourself what we need in order to be aware that we exist in the first place.

Could it be some biological organ which  will allow awareness of exterior events and existences?
Could it be some biological organ, which allows awareness of intertior events and various states of existence?
Could it be some organ, which allows us to feel needs?
Could it be some organ, which can allow us to rememeber our mistakes, which perhaps almost cost us our very lives?

So, now we have a being that is aware of what is going on out-there, and in-here, know our needs, and remember our potentially lethal mistakes.

And a bigger creature comes along and eats us (Gulp!), simply because it just wants to.  The bigger creature lives on the nutrients of the smaller and continues to live, and the smaller creature is dismembered, dies, having been chewed-up and dissolved by the digestive chemicals in the gut of the larger creature.

Is there a "self" in any of these simple life forms if they don't even have the  organ giving them the ability to ask the questions:  "Where is my self?"  "What is my self?"  :hmmm:

What is different about us as adult humans that allows us to even conceive of these questions about self? :fu:

(http://[url=http://fuotuoke.edu.ng/sites/default/files/images/microbiology.jpg]http://fuotuoke.edu.ng/sites/default/files/images/microbiology.jpg[/url])
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: Dairy Lama on June 13, 2017, 01:46:51 am
If we look at the 12 links of the Nidana chain, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twelve_Nid%C4%81nas) the link between vedana (feelings) and tanha (thirst or craving) is especially important because it is one of the links that can be broken and lead us away from cyclic existence.

I don't see this idea of breaking links between nidanas in the suttas.   The suttas talk about progressive cessation, and it all depends on overcoming ignorance, the first nidana and also the root cause of suffering.
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: Dairy Lama on June 13, 2017, 02:02:19 am
Sure you could, just as you could categorize all temperatures as cold, warm and hot. But how enlightening is that?

There's a huge difference between a hot day, boiling water, and the temperature of the sun's surface, just as there's a huge difference between a cool day, a freezing day and subzero temperatures at the arctic.

What sort of thermometer would give  you just 3 readings? How useful would that be?

I see what you mean, it's a question of degree ( pun intended ).   The 3-fold model of vedana is a little crude.  The aggregates as a whole are rather crude IMO, it's an attempt to classify and model the way we experience stuff.
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: BlackLooter on January 21, 2018, 09:45:18 pm
I’m pretty sure that desire, from a Buddhist perspective, would mean craving (taṇha), ([url]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ta%E1%B9%87h%C4%81[/url]) thirst, desire or wish.

This is very important because as human beings we have only three feelings (vedana) ([url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vedan%C4%81[/url]).  They are pleasant feelings, unpleasant feelings, or neutral feelings that are neither pleasant nor unpleasant.

As human beings we crave things that make us feel good, however it doesn’t matter how much stuff we have, our craving only leads to more cravings. 

If we look at the 12 links of the Nidana chain, ([url]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twelve_Nid%C4%81nas[/url]) the link between vedana (feelings) and tanha (thirst or craving) is especially important because it is one of the links that can be broken and lead us away from cyclic existence.


So I just thought of this..

Don't we have cravings because we need the said craving item to survive?

Like food and sex for example?

Also the idea of craving or desiring a nice house so that you can live better..

Or craving a car so that we can drive to work..

And then when we have those cravings satisfied we branch off to even more craving.. like being cool.. and wearing nice fashion..?
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: Shogun on January 21, 2018, 11:45:17 pm
True, there is no self.  However, our delusions convince us that there is a self and thats where cravings come from.
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: Anemephistus on January 23, 2018, 08:29:49 pm
In the first story, the Zen master asked the novice monk:
“Tell me about your understanding of the Heart sutra.”

Quote
The novice monk joined his palms and replied:
“I have understood that the five skandhas are empty. There are no eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body or mind; there are no forms, sounds, smells, tastes, feelings, or objects of mind; the six consciousnesses do not exist, the eighteen realms of phenomena do not exist, the twelve links of dependent arising do not exist, and even wisdom and attainment do not exist.”
“Do you believe what it says?”
“Yes, I truly believe what it says.”

“Come closer to me,” the Zen master instructed the novice monk. When the novice monk drew near, the Zen master immediately used his thumb and index finger to pinch and twist the novice’s nose.
In great agony, the novice cried out “Teacher! You’re hurting me!” The Zen master looked at the novice. “Just now you said that the nose doesn’t exist. But if the nose doesn’t exist then what’s hurting?”

Source:

https://plumvillage.org/news/thich-nhat-hanh-new-heart-sutra-translation/

I am pretty sure that the nose does not arise from delusion. Interdependent nature may create the nose and it is in fact empty of a separate self as are we all, but there is still also a nose. 
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: Dairy Lama on January 24, 2018, 02:48:14 am
In the first story, the Zen master asked the novice monk:
“Tell me about your understanding of the Heart sutra.”

Quote
The novice monk joined his palms and replied:
“I have understood that the five skandhas are empty. There are no eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body or mind; there are no forms, sounds, smells, tastes, feelings, or objects of mind; the six consciousnesses do not exist, the eighteen realms of phenomena do not exist, the twelve links of dependent arising do not exist, and even wisdom and attainment do not exist.”
“Do you believe what it says?”
“Yes, I truly believe what it says.”

“Come closer to me,” the Zen master instructed the novice monk. When the novice monk drew near, the Zen master immediately used his thumb and index finger to pinch and twist the novice’s nose.
In great agony, the novice cried out “Teacher! You’re hurting me!” The Zen master looked at the novice. “Just now you said that the nose doesn’t exist. But if the nose doesn’t exist then what’s hurting?”

Source:

https://plumvillage.org/news/thich-nhat-hanh-new-heart-sutra-translation/

I am pretty sure that the nose does not arise from delusion. Interdependent nature may create the nose and it is in fact empty of a separate self as are we all, but there is still also a nose.

"Nose" is really a perception, and that is one way in which it is dependently arisen.
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: Anemephistus on January 24, 2018, 11:49:35 am
In the first story, the Zen master asked the novice monk:
“Tell me about your understanding of the Heart sutra.”

Quote
The novice monk joined his palms and replied:
“I have understood that the five skandhas are empty. There are no eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body or mind; there are no forms, sounds, smells, tastes, feelings, or objects of mind; the six consciousnesses do not exist, the eighteen realms of phenomena do not exist, the twelve links of dependent arising do not exist, and even wisdom and attainment do not exist.”
“Do you believe what it says?”
“Yes, I truly believe what it says.”

“Come closer to me,” the Zen master instructed the novice monk. When the novice monk drew near, the Zen master immediately used his thumb and index finger to pinch and twist the novice’s nose.
In great agony, the novice cried out “Teacher! You’re hurting me!” The Zen master looked at the novice. “Just now you said that the nose doesn’t exist. But if the nose doesn’t exist then what’s hurting?”

Source:

https://plumvillage.org/news/thich-nhat-hanh-new-heart-sutra-translation/

I am pretty sure that the nose does not arise from delusion. Interdependent nature may create the nose and it is in fact empty of a separate self as are we all, but there is still also a nose.

"Nose" is really a perception, and that is one way in which it is dependently arisen.

I completely agree but the novices nose hurts too. 
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: Chaz on January 24, 2018, 01:14:01 pm
In the first story, the Zen master asked the novice monk:
“Tell me about your understanding of the Heart sutra.”

Quote
The novice monk joined his palms and replied:
“I have understood that the five skandhas are empty. There are no eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body or mind; there are no forms, sounds, smells, tastes, feelings, or objects of mind; the six consciousnesses do not exist, the eighteen realms of phenomena do not exist, the twelve links of dependent arising do not exist, and even wisdom and attainment do not exist.”
“Do you believe what it says?”
“Yes, I truly believe what it says.”

“Come closer to me,” the Zen master instructed the novice monk. When the novice monk drew near, the Zen master immediately used his thumb and index finger to pinch and twist the novice’s nose.
In great agony, the novice cried out “Teacher! You’re hurting me!” The Zen master looked at the novice. “Just now you said that the nose doesn’t exist. But if the nose doesn’t exist then what’s hurting?”

Source:

https://plumvillage.org/news/thich-nhat-hanh-new-heart-sutra-translation/

I am pretty sure that the nose does not arise from delusion. Interdependent nature may create the nose and it is in fact empty of a separate self as are we all, but there is still also a nose.

You're dancing with the difference between absolute and relative truth.  In the absolute there is only emptiness and in emptiness there is no nose.  In relative thruth there is a nose, which is why when someone punches you in the nose, it hurts.

This is why, in the kagyu lineage there is a precept in the Bodhisattva Vows to not teach emptiness to a person who isn't ready for it.
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: Anemephistus on January 24, 2018, 01:36:21 pm
In the first story, the Zen master asked the novice monk:
“Tell me about your understanding of the Heart sutra.”

Quote
The novice monk joined his palms and replied:
“I have understood that the five skandhas are empty. There are no eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body or mind; there are no forms, sounds, smells, tastes, feelings, or objects of mind; the six consciousnesses do not exist, the eighteen realms of phenomena do not exist, the twelve links of dependent arising do not exist, and even wisdom and attainment do not exist.”
“Do you believe what it says?”
“Yes, I truly believe what it says.”

“Come closer to me,” the Zen master instructed the novice monk. When the novice monk drew near, the Zen master immediately used his thumb and index finger to pinch and twist the novice’s nose.
In great agony, the novice cried out “Teacher! You’re hurting me!” The Zen master looked at the novice. “Just now you said that the nose doesn’t exist. But if the nose doesn’t exist then what’s hurting?”

Source:

https://plumvillage.org/news/thich-nhat-hanh-new-heart-sutra-translation/

I am pretty sure that the nose does not arise from delusion. Interdependent nature may create the nose and it is in fact empty of a separate self as are we all, but there is still also a nose.

You're dancing with the difference between absolute and relative truth.  In the absolute there is only emptiness and in emptiness there is no nose.  In relative thruth there is a nose, which is why when someone punches you in the nose, it hurts.

This is why, in the kagyu lineage there is a precept in the Bodhisattva Vows to not teach emptiness to a person who isn't ready for it.

The two are not exactly separate though either. My understanding is that there is not one truth, then another, or both separately,  but I am also not arguing the use of the language you have used there because it is as good of a way as any to put it. I agree that it can be damaging if not viewed correctly for a person. I think that Being empty of an independent nature makes one with everything, but it does not make everything nothing. 
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: Dairy Lama on January 25, 2018, 02:09:38 am
In the first story, the Zen master asked the novice monk:
“Tell me about your understanding of the Heart sutra.”

Quote
The novice monk joined his palms and replied:
“I have understood that the five skandhas are empty. There are no eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body or mind; there are no forms, sounds, smells, tastes, feelings, or objects of mind; the six consciousnesses do not exist, the eighteen realms of phenomena do not exist, the twelve links of dependent arising do not exist, and even wisdom and attainment do not exist.”
“Do you believe what it says?”
“Yes, I truly believe what it says.”

“Come closer to me,” the Zen master instructed the novice monk. When the novice monk drew near, the Zen master immediately used his thumb and index finger to pinch and twist the novice’s nose.
In great agony, the novice cried out “Teacher! You’re hurting me!” The Zen master looked at the novice. “Just now you said that the nose doesn’t exist. But if the nose doesn’t exist then what’s hurting?”

Source:

https://plumvillage.org/news/thich-nhat-hanh-new-heart-sutra-translation/

I am pretty sure that the nose does not arise from delusion. Interdependent nature may create the nose and it is in fact empty of a separate self as are we all, but there is still also a nose.

"Nose" is really a perception, and that is one way in which it is dependently arisen.

I completely agree but the novices nose hurts too.

"Pain" is also a perception, and also dependently arising.
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: Dairy Lama on January 25, 2018, 02:13:00 am
I think that Being empty of an independent nature makes one with everything, but it does not make everything nothing.

Where did you get the being "one with everything" idea?  And how does that relate to what the Heart Sutra describes, which is the emptiness of the five  skandhas?

"Avalokiteshvara
while practicing deeply with
the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore,
suddenly discovered that
all of the five skandhas are equally empty,
and with this realisation
he overcame all Ill-being."
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: Chaz on January 25, 2018, 07:03:10 am
I think that Being empty of an independent nature makes one with everything, but it does not make everything nothing.

Where did you get the being "one with everything" idea?  And how does that relate to what the Heart Sutra describes, which is the emptiness of the five  skandhas?

"Avalokiteshvara
while practicing deeply with
the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore,
suddenly discovered that
all of the five skandhas are equally empty,
and with this realisation
he overcame all Ill-being."

It seems to me that a lot of people coming to Buddhism get this "one with the universe"  thing going.  TNH's term "interbeing" doesn't help.

It's easy to go there.  If no self is to be found in emptiness there will be now other.  What's left, then?  Many people just fall back to the new age / old hippy-on-acid idea about oneness with the universe.

However the answer can't be found in intellectual excercise because mind is as much a part or the whole self/other paradigm asanything else.  What's needed is a real, face-to-face experience of emptiness.  When that is realized, then you'll realize what exisits if self/other doesn't.
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: Dairy Lama on January 25, 2018, 07:32:46 am
It seems to me that a lot of people coming to Buddhism get this "one with the universe"  thing going.  TNH's term "interbeing" doesn't help.
It's easy to go there.  If no self is to be found in emptiness there will be now other.  What's left, then?  Many people just fall back to the new age / old hippy-on-acid idea about oneness with the universe.

Yes, and the idea of being one with the universe just means there is more to grasp at!  I admire TNH and was in an Interbeing sangha for many years, but I was always puzzled by his "interbeing" idea, it seems an odd way to interpret sunyata and the Heart Sutra. 
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: Chaz on January 25, 2018, 10:51:18 am
It seems to me that a lot of people coming to Buddhism get this "one with the universe"  thing going.  TNH's term "interbeing" doesn't help.
It's easy to go there.  If no self is to be found in emptiness there will be now other.  What's left, then?  Many people just fall back to the new age / old hippy-on-acid idea about oneness with the universe.

Yes, and the idea of being one with the universe just means there is more to grasp at! 

Yes, one more conceptualiztion.


I admire TNH and was in an Interbeing sangha for many years, but I was always puzzled by his "interbeing" idea, it seems an odd way to interpret sunyata and the Heart Sutra.
[/quote]

It's hard to not like Thich Naht Hahn,  but the whole interbeing thing leaves me scratching my head too.  It goes against a lot of what I've been taught.
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: Anemephistus on January 25, 2018, 12:58:38 pm
I think that Being empty of an independent nature makes one with everything, but it does not make everything nothing.

Where did you get the being "one with everything" idea?  And how does that relate to what the Heart Sutra describes, which is the emptiness of the five  skandhas?

"Avalokiteshvara
while practicing deeply with
the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore,
suddenly discovered that
all of the five skandhas are equally empty,
and with this realisation
he overcame all Ill-being."

The first of these is most relevant to where I come by this type of thinking.

I offer this article from Master Thich Nhat Hanh:

https://www.lionsroar.com/the-fullness-of-emptiness/ (https://www.lionsroar.com/the-fullness-of-emptiness/)

This is a bit of a discourse on the Heart Suttra and it explains the interpretation which I am referencing, it is not the only source of this type of thinking, but it was the easiest to find. It is not always how I have understood it, but after considering it my thoughts on this subject were changed. In my life whenever I have tested changes or logic suggested by Thich Nhat Hanh my life has improved, and my understanding has deepened, in some ways, very drastically. This has been my experience but you have many years of considering these things and may have many other insights which are different, still, you may find it interesting at least.

It was Master Thich Nhat Hanh's opinion from reading the following link that the history of the Heart sutra and the skill of the common English translation was insufficient to fully convey it's meaning. While I am certain that this is a contentious point It underlines the difference in where I am coming from.

https://plumvillage.org/news/thich-nhat-hanh-new-heart-sutra-translation/ (https://plumvillage.org/news/thich-nhat-hanh-new-heart-sutra-translation/)

To IdleChater: As far as the "hippy" feel good thing, I invite you, read the first link, evaluate the logic of it. I have often described my experiences, I know it may not be the same as you see it, and I agree that there is a knowledge that must be understood within the void-ness which is present, but void of what? Empty of what? As I understand this it is empty of "self", empty in truth of independent nature, also empty of all of the aggregates and foundations which are reliant on self, because in truth there is no "self" in a relative way. It cannot be empty of nothing, the description of empty does not fit that logic. I agree with Master Thich Nhat Hanh that this is because it is full of everything. I think this is as an absolute, inclusive without bounds. I can see this, but I cannot attain and hold awareness of it very well because I have attachments.

I spent five hours trying to write down what I came to from this temporary awareness and permanent insight, I tried very hard to find language which would convey it. It's very personal and I felt it would come across as presumptuous that anyone would believe it and since I am still working on the faults in my own life, and I am no master or monk or wise person, for the time being I will simply say that I feel there is something here very difficult for me to express.

I would add this, I have thought  lot on interbeing if we want to go over it.
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: Chaz on January 25, 2018, 05:38:28 pm

To IdleChater: As far as the "hippy" feel good thing, I invite you, read the first link, evaluate the logic of it.

OK, I read it ...... or at least tried to.  I've never been a big fan of TNH's writing style.  Florid styles of writing like his, that go to extreme and complicated lengths to make a point are really difficult.  I'm a developer/engineer of web-based applications and information systems.  I've learned that most people online don't really read what's on the screen.  They scan it.  I'm a scanner and if I can't pick up a writers logic, or at least enough to get me to go back, slow down, and read again, I won't get it.

What I read in the article was excessively florid and the logic embedded in endless ramblings of example that didn't seem to support the conclusions he makes.


 
Quote
I have often described my experiences, I know it may not be the same as you see it, and I agree that there is a knowledge that must be understood within the void-ness which is present, but void of what? Empty of what?

Emptiness of inherent existence - existence in and of itself.

Quote
As I understand this it is empty of "self", empty in truth of independent nature, also empty of all of the aggregates and foundations which are reliant on self, because in truth there is no "self" in a relative way.

Empty of a self that exists inherently.  Relatively speaking, the self is very real.  Let's say a parent dies.  You are devastated.  You may not sleep for days, because of the unbearable grief you are experience.  This is a part of our perception of self.  When my father died my grief was so great that I went without sleep - no sleep - for 4 days.  I'm here to tell you, that that experience of self is very, VERY real.  Even though, in an ultimate sense, there is no self to be found, that relative experience was enough to nearly cause a psychotic break.

 
Quote
It cannot be empty of nothing, the description of empty does not fit that logic. I agree with Master Thich Nhat Hanh that this is because it is full of everything.


This is a part of TNH's florid style.  Full of EVERYTHING!!!  Full of POTENTIAL!!!!  Insiring words used to drive home a point that from my read, simply wasn't supported.

Read the Heart Sutra carefully.  Look at other translations (they are not all the same).  Read commentaries.  The Dali Lama has a good one and Heart Attack Sutra by Karl Brunnholzl (one of my Guru's senior students),  and  related books on emptiness like Progressive Stages of Meditation on Emptiness by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche  (My Guru's Guru)


Quote
I think this is as an absolute, inclusive without bounds.

I'm not sure I agree with you on that ....



Quote
I can see this, but I cannot attain and hold awareness of it very well because I have attachments.

I say it's that way because you don't have a particularly strong practice.  Attachments have nothing to do with it.

Quote
I spent five hours trying to write down what I came to from this temporary awareness and permanent insight, I tried very hard to find language which would convey it. It's very personal and I felt it would come across as presumptuous that anyone would believe it and since I am still working on the faults in my own life, and I am no master or monk or wise person, for the time being I will simply say that I feel there is something here very difficult for me to express. [/quote

You keep talking about how you're not wise, not a monk, or a master.  I think we all got that a while back.  I think it's safe to say we all believe you are none of those things, so you can move on and quit apologizing for something that, in the context of this forum, really isn't very important.
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: Anemephistus on January 25, 2018, 07:45:29 pm
Thank you for taking the time to read it.

 I don't want to be contentious and honestly without any reservation, you have my sympathy for your suffering with you fathers death, losing a parent is traumatic, more so for some and I am glad that you have a way of seeing things which has brought you an understanding that is effective at coping with this. I am not implying any judgment on this point, if you are at greater peace from this suffering because of your understanding of the Dharma, that is good and more important than the scope of this discussion.

Much peace and loving kindness to you
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: Dairy Lama on January 26, 2018, 02:14:55 am
Empty of what? As I understand this it is empty of "self", empty in truth of independent nature, also empty of all of the aggregates and foundations which are reliant on self, because in truth there is no "self" in a relative way. It cannot be empty of nothing, the description of empty does not fit that logic. I agree with Master Thich Nhat Hanh that this is because it is full of everything. I think this is as an absolute, inclusive without bounds.

The Heart Sutra basically says that the aggregates are empty ( of independent existence ).  So the aggregates are conditional, dependent arising.  And the aggregates are a model of personal experience, which means that our experience is conditional and dependent arising.  So the Heart Sutra is about liberation from suffering via a direct realisation of the nature of our experience. 

Sunyata deals with phenomena ( dhammas ), and phenomena are what we experience.  Sunyata is the nature of phenomena, not a ground of being or Tao or whatever.  Check out "emptiness of emptiness" - sunyata is also empty!
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: Chaz on January 26, 2018, 03:50:51 am
Thank you for taking the time to read it.

 I don't want to be contentious and honestly without any reservation, you have my sympathy for your suffering with you fathers death, losing a parent is traumatic, more so for some and I am glad that you have a way of seeing things which has brought you an understanding that is effective at coping with this. I am not implying any judgment on this point, if you are at greater peace from this suffering because of your understanding of the Dharma, that is good and more important than the scope of this discussion.

Much peace and loving kindness to you

Thanks, but you miss the point.

There is no need for condolence.  I don't care about that.  My point was meant to illustrate the utter pointlessness of using language like "there is no self".

Did you miss that?
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: Anemephistus on January 26, 2018, 05:03:18 pm
Empty of what? As I understand this it is empty of "self", empty in truth of independent nature, also empty of all of the aggregates and foundations which are reliant on self, because in truth there is no "self" in a relative way. It cannot be empty of nothing, the description of empty does not fit that logic. I agree with Master Thich Nhat Hanh that this is because it is full of everything. I think this is as an absolute, inclusive without bounds.


The Heart Sutra basically says that the aggregates are empty ( of independent existence ).  So the aggregates are conditional, dependent arising.  And the aggregates are a model of personal experience, which means that our experience is conditional and dependent arising.  So the Heart Sutra is about liberation from suffering via a direct realisation of the nature of our experience. 

Sunyata deals with phenomena ( dhammas ), and phenomena are what we experience.  Sunyata is the nature of phenomena, not a ground of being or Tao or whatever.  Check out "emptiness of emptiness" - sunyata is also empty!


Indeed, Sunyata, this is where we are having a disagreement I think.

Quote
Emptiness teaches the lack of substantiality or independence of things, and stresses the idea of no independent origination, that the present state of all things is the result of a previous state.   Emptiness includes the teaching of impermanence; everything is always in a state of change.   In other words, everything, including every sentient being, is an ever-changing process.


It goes on to say:

Quote
All knowable phenomena without exception are contextually defined composites.


From what I am seeing we have a difference of sect on this, I appear to be much closer to the Zen thinking in this regard:

http://thezenuniverse.org/sunyata/ (http://thezenuniverse.org/sunyata/)

Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: BlackLooter on January 26, 2018, 06:26:30 pm
In the first story, the Zen master asked the novice monk:
“Tell me about your understanding of the Heart sutra.”

Quote
The novice monk joined his palms and replied:
“I have understood that the five skandhas are empty. There are no eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body or mind; there are no forms, sounds, smells, tastes, feelings, or objects of mind; the six consciousnesses do not exist, the eighteen realms of phenomena do not exist, the twelve links of dependent arising do not exist, and even wisdom and attainment do not exist.”
“Do you believe what it says?”
“Yes, I truly believe what it says.”

“Come closer to me,” the Zen master instructed the novice monk. When the novice monk drew near, the Zen master immediately used his thumb and index finger to pinch and twist the novice’s nose.
In great agony, the novice cried out “Teacher! You’re hurting me!” The Zen master looked at the novice. “Just now you said that the nose doesn’t exist. But if the nose doesn’t exist then what’s hurting?”

Source:

https://plumvillage.org/news/thich-nhat-hanh-new-heart-sutra-translation/

I am pretty sure that the nose does not arise from delusion. Interdependent nature may create the nose and it is in fact empty of a separate self as are we all, but there is still also a nose.

You're dancing with the difference between absolute and relative truth.  In the absolute there is only emptiness and in emptiness there is no nose.  In relative thruth there is a nose, which is why when someone punches you in the nose, it hurts.

This is why, in the kagyu lineage there is a precept in the Bodhisattva Vows to not teach emptiness to a person who isn't ready for it.

The two are not exactly separate though either. My understanding is that there is not one truth, then another, or both separately,  but I am also not arguing the use of the language you have used there because it is as good of a way as any to put it. I agree that it can be damaging if not viewed correctly for a person. I think that Being empty of an independent nature makes one with everything, but it does not make everything nothing.

So the idea of being honest.. isnt that the truth? As in tell the truth?

If that isnt the only truth, hence being honest.. than what other truth is there?
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: Anemephistus on January 26, 2018, 11:12:08 pm
"truth" in this case is not in the sense that any of us are lying to each other, or attempting to. We have understandings which we are comparing which we may find benifit us, that  we may not agree with, or that we may be intrigued by and choose to contemplate.

In any case, any number of  people can be entirely honest about their perception and none of them may be in possession of the truth .As an example it might be the case with say, a good stage magician. Everyone swears he was flying, the truth was that he used wires to look like he was flying and no one saw them.

  Relatively, the people are telling the truth about what they saw, absolutely, they are not correct, the truth is he had wires,  but everyone was honest and truthful. Then they all talk and wonder "how did he do that" and they might debate. They all saw it, but to each of them the method he used looked like it might have been different, perhaps mirrors, perhaps, a lift behind a curtain, perhaps wires.

For my part at least,  The integrity of the posters is not in question in this, nor is it a question of wisdom or intelligence, we seem to see a difference which comes from our underlying experience with how we have gained our insight. There can be several types of truth in a situation which are real and valid. This is just a thought about one of them
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: BlackLooter on January 26, 2018, 11:25:40 pm
So then what is the real truth..?

Just insight into nature?
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: Dairy Lama on January 27, 2018, 02:32:50 am
From what I am seeing we have a difference of sect on this, I appear to be much closer to the Zen thinking in this regard:
[url]http://thezenuniverse.org/sunyata/[/url] ([url]http://thezenuniverse.org/sunyata/[/url])


I had a look at the article, but didn't see any real support there for TNH's "interbeing" idea.  "Interbeing" looks to me like a sort of sunyata-lite, for those who find the void a little scary.  :wink1:
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: Chaz on January 27, 2018, 10:06:56 am
"Interbeing" looks to me like a sort of sunyata-lite, for those who find the void a little scary.  :wink1:

Perhaps, but I can't be even that generous.
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: Anemephistus on January 27, 2018, 06:58:29 pm
From what I am seeing we have a difference of sect on this, I appear to be much closer to the Zen thinking in this regard:
[url]http://thezenuniverse.org/sunyata/[/url] ([url]http://thezenuniverse.org/sunyata/[/url])


I had a look at the article, but didn't see any real support there for TNH's "interbeing" idea.  "Interbeing" looks to me like a sort of sunyata-lite, for those who find the void a little scary.  :wink1:



TNH has said himself that the delivery method of the inter being teaching he offers is made to reach a wide western audience while maintaining authentic understanding.

From Tricycle:

Quote
Tricycle: Is this idea of genetic lineage compatible with reincarnation?

Thich Nhat Hanh: I can only smile. Reincarnation means that there is something to enter into the body. That something might be called the “soul,” or “consciousness,” whatever name you might like to use. Re means again—reincarnationmeans “into the body again.” The understanding is that the “soul” can go out and “you” can be gone into. Maybe it’s not the best word, not a very Buddhist word. In Buddhism there is the word rebirth or reborn, and then the basic teaching of the Buddha is “no-self.” Everything manifests itself because of conditions. If there is no body, our perceptions, our feelings, and our consciousness cannot be manifested.

Tricycle: Not born, but manifested?

Thich Nhat Hanh: Yes. So, body is one condition. There are many other conditions. There are at least two kinds of Buddhism; popular Buddhism and deep Buddhism. Which kind of Buddhism you’re talking about is very important. It requires learning and practice, because anything you say in the second may be misunderstood and can create damage. The true teaching is the kind of teaching that conforms to two things: First, it is consistent with the Buddhist insight. And secondly, it is appropriate for the person who is receiving it. It’s like medicine. It has to be true medicine, and it must fit the person who is receiving it. Sometimes you can give someone a very expensive treatment, but they still die. That is why when the Buddha meets someone and offers the teaching, he has to know that person in order to be able to offer the appropriate teaching. Even if the teaching is very valuable, if you don’t make it appropriate to the person, it is not Buddhist teaching. To some other people, it is excellent teaching. But, to this person, it’s not Buddhist teaching because it does damage, does more damage than good. If you offer the things that are not appropriate, you destroy people.



Again thank you for taking the time since you have already expressed this idea is not something you ever interpreted this way and found it strange. The article I felt brought the root of the point out in this sentiment:

Quote
It also declares that this emptiness is the same as form (which connotes fullness)—i.e., that this is an emptiness which is at the same time not different from the kind of reality which we normally ascribe to events; it is not a nihilistic emptiness that undermines our world, but a “positive” emptiness which defines it.
 

As far as what has validated the concept of inter-being, as much as I can say is that the material world is all dependent, that when we see a wooden table it's history, the sunshine which fell on the trees, the rain that helped them grow, the logger, the carpenter, his thoughts which made the table, the experience of his teacher which gave him skill. All of it is present in the table. If you see the table but only see a table then you the whole picture isn't there. Perhaps this is a matter of why this matters to the subject?

The there is the inheritance of beings, along sociopolitical lines, geographic locations, genetics and foundations of thinking which come from these things. As children we are all taught things, those ideas come down from systems of reference similar to that of the table. In an ancient time perhaps we were tribes, we killed each other for hunting grounds, we fought and died over our own survival and the survival of our loved ones. We made ideas that could accept this because after all we must live with what we do.

Then the concepts stayed and were handed down. Eventually we find ourselves in a time where the weapons of global destruction exist because our thoughts have lived for so long through so many minds and changed so much as we grew in understanding that invention of this type of device seemed reasonable. We make false divisions which steal our compassion for others because we use inherited ideologies to define them as people, see Liberal, conservative, Marxist, though in truth they have nothing to do with who the people we focus them on are, just what they think as an ideology which while it makes sense to them, they may have been surrounded by it their whole lives. It has become a constituent element of their mental formation but it is not anymore their being than our thoughts are our being.

We know our thoughts are not exactly us because we have so many internal elements, well defined at this point in the conversation, but others, what they think, what they believe, there we often see only what we don't agree with. We fail to see their inheritance and the momentum of it from the full breadth of the circumstances which brought them into being, because we see a table not non-table elements which are the truth of their inter being with their environment. The emptiness which comes from the full reality around them, void in the nature we are encountering before us, but part of everything else same as us in the way we can interact.     

As a thought experiment, if we took a child from four hundred years ago and handed them a cellphone they would have no idea what it was, but if we raised them in our modern time, the would share all the traits we might expect save the ones which came from the disposition of their Karmic legacy and genetics. They are not inherently different in principle. The have no inherent knowledge that "this is a phone"  How many hours of human energy and thought went into the phone, how much school, how many meals to fuel those minds, sentient thought is constituent and as the link eloquently said in my opinion
Quote
knowable phenomena without exception are contextually defined composites.
 

 

   
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: BlackLooter on January 27, 2018, 07:15:40 pm
From what I am seeing we have a difference of sect on this, I appear to be much closer to the Zen thinking in this regard:
[url]http://thezenuniverse.org/sunyata/[/url] ([url]http://thezenuniverse.org/sunyata/[/url])


I had a look at the article, but didn't see any real support there for TNH's "interbeing" idea.  "Interbeing" looks to me like a sort of sunyata-lite, for those who find the void a little scary.  :wink1:


What is "the void"?

Does it relate to Buddhism.. or do you mean the void of outerspace?

Or do you mean the void inbetween nature and the universe from Gnosticism?
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: Dairy Lama on January 28, 2018, 03:56:27 am
I had a look at the article, but didn't see any real support there for TNH's "interbeing" idea.  "Interbeing" looks to me like a sort of sunyata-lite, for those who find the void a little scary.  :wink1:


TNH has said himself that the delivery method of the inter being teaching he offers is made to reach a wide western audience while maintaining authentic understanding.

I'm not sure he has been successful in that.   In my view "interbeing" strays too far from the essential point of the teachings on sunyata.  The essential point is realising that skandhas and dharmas are transient, conditional and dependent arising.   Not to be grasped at.
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: Chaz on January 28, 2018, 06:52:28 am
I'm not sure he has been successful in that.   In my view "interbeing" strays too far from the essential point of the teachings on sunyata.  The essential point is realising that skandhas and dharmas are transient, conditional and dependent arising.   Not to be grasped at.

I'm with DL on this.  TNH's purpose in his interbeing teachings may be as he says - to reach a wider western audience, but I question whether or not he's retaining "traditional understanding".   

What DL offered by way of describing an essential point is a traditional teaching, straight out of the Heart Sutra.  The skadhas are empty.

If a student is taught in that way, they may not "get it".  Emptiness is a difficult proposition, almost impossible for a novice to really understand, but the seed is planted for future understanding.  Dressing up the teaching, by saying it's being one with everything, serves no useful purpose and probably will confuse more than enlighten.

It is so very simple.  The skandas are emptiness.  In that emptiness there is no eye, ear, nose, sight, sound, smell, etc.    I don't see how you get from that to what TNH teaches.
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: Dairy Lama on January 28, 2018, 07:47:09 am
It is so very simple.  The skandas are emptiness.  In that emptiness there is no eye, ear, nose, sight, sound, smell, etc.    I don't see how you get from that to what TNH teaches.

Me neither!
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: Anemephistus on January 28, 2018, 04:02:32 pm
TNH is not teaching the end point of the understanding, he just opens the window with this.

With an overview it may be difficult to see how this might work, but as a person who used the teachings he offered in his writings to see first the truth of my suffering then the possibility that it could end, then a path in the direction that leads to it's end, to be able to envision this end, it's a bit different for me. I spent just over a year with one book of about 300 pages, each time I hit a concept I had trouble with I lived more and looked for it and tested it in my life. I questioned a lot. I spent a lot of time sitting around thinking on this and adopted meditation as a practice.

To be clear, I got clean from a long drug habit, formed working (functional) and lasting relationships, found a job that could function at that time with my life (still working on that to see if it still can), lessened the grip of the attachments to suffering and wrong thinking which had driven me to drugs and suffering in the first place...I changed so much about myself, really the teaching touched my mind, and I was compelled out of pain to understand.  There are a few people who have known me long enough to be aware of the degree to which this change took effect, it was transformative. The insight from practicing this way lead me to see a world which is deeply connected and dependent but I was not where I am now yet with that understanding.

I read the Heart Sutra. The first thing I grasped from it was External emptiness. As you have said "Form is Emptiness" but because of the interconnected dependent nature of things that I saw from my understanding gained through study of Thich Nhat Hanh's work I see this as very accurately described in the link I shared to Zen Universe. 

I also see Internal emptiness when I look. This was not described by Thich Naht Hahn in his work, I am guessing because when one understands this is can be confusing and possibly harmful to them and I have reservation about posting it. It isa lso very eloquently described in the link I shared, My understanding with this was effected by my practice with Thich Naht Hahn's work as well because I already grasped that everything is basically nothing like what we perceive it to be, being due to it's interconnected nature. I learned from the heart sutra that this was also due to the dependence of the senses and the mind, which I knew already is also dependent on causes, all of it is defined with a frame of reference and so it is empty, but it is also everything because if you remove the reference, it is still there. That's why I say there is a nose, there is no other way to say it, if I try to say it in terms of the truth we all see, there is nothing to say. 

I do not see Absolute emptiness which is described as well in the link I shared. I simply do not have the insight for this and have no description of it past that of a stone skipping across a pond. But I think this is what we touch on here:
Quote

“Whatever can be conceptualized is, therefore, relative, and whatever is relative is Sunya, empty. Since absolute inconceivable truth is also Sunya, Sunyata or the void is shared by both Samsara and Nirvana. Ultimately, Nirvana truly realized is Samsara properly understood.”
-Nagarjuna

Since you say that you don't see how one gets from TNH's teachings to Sunyata, perhaps my path is going the right way, maybe not, but it is the only answer I can provide that might have any insight as to the answer. Without the books written by thich nhat hanh, I would never have even looked, this may be or become the case for many, and the disposition I chose from his input was relevant to my understanding of this topic and still will be because I am not anywhere near done. 
 
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: Dairy Lama on January 29, 2018, 02:59:23 am
I read the Heart Sutra. The first thing I grasped from it was External emptiness.

There is nothing in the Heart Sutra about "external emptiness".  The Heart Sutra just describes the emptiness of skandhas and dharmas ( phenomena ), in other words, the emptiness of what we experience.  It's not intended as a basis for metaphysical speculation.  Trying to distinguishing between "internal" and "external" in this context is an unnecessary complication, and completely missing the point.

Since you say that you don't see how one gets from TNH's teachings to Sunyata, perhaps my path is going the right way, maybe not, but it is the only answer I can provide that might have any insight as to the answer. Without the books written by thich nhat hanh, I would never have even looked, this may be or become the case for many, and the disposition I chose from his input was relevant to my understanding of this topic and still will be because I am not anywhere near done.

Clearly you have gained a lot of benefit from TNH's teachings ( I did too ), and that is a good thing.  Just be aware that there are many other teachers and approaches, and there is always more to learn.  It's a journey.
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: Chaz on January 29, 2018, 10:51:16 am
I read the Heart Sutra. The first thing I grasped from it was External emptiness.

There is nothing in the Heart Sutra about "external emptiness".  The Heart Sutra just describes the emptiness of skandhas and dharmas ( phenomena ), in other words, the emptiness of what we experience.  It's not intended as a basis for metaphysical speculation.  Trying to distinguishing between "internal" and "external" in this context is an unnecessary complication, and completely missing the point.

Could "External Emptiness" be the same thing as "Empty of Other"  as promoted in the Shentong school?  I hope not - that's a can of worms if ever there was one.

I agree that drawing a line between emptiness of self and other is unneccessary in this discussion.
Title: Re: Wanting and self
Post by: Anemephistus on January 29, 2018, 04:24:48 pm
I read the Heart Sutra. The first thing I grasped from it was External emptiness.

There is nothing in the Heart Sutra about "external emptiness".  The Heart Sutra just describes the emptiness of skandhas and dharmas ( phenomena ), in other words, the emptiness of what we experience.  It's not intended as a basis for metaphysical speculation.  Trying to distinguishing between "internal" and "external" in this context is an unnecessary complication, and completely missing the point.

Could "External Emptiness" be the same thing as "Empty of Other"  as promoted in the Shentong school?  I hope not - that's a can of worms if ever there was one.

I agree that drawing a line between emptiness of self and other is unneccessary in this discussion.

I had to look up Shentong: "Empty of Other". You have a predisposition to this idea, I am not saying these things are the same or different, but I am curious as to what the can of worms you see looks like? I have not encountered this before.

Quote
Clearly you have gained a lot of benefit from TNH's teachings ( I did too ), and that is a good thing.  Just be aware that there are many other teachers and approaches, and there is always more to learn.  It's a journey.

You are definitely correct, it's a journey and thank you :)
 
SimplePortal 2.3.3 © 2008-2010, SimplePortal