Author Topic: Ying, Yang & The Big Bang: Why Are We Here?  (Read 367 times)

Offline Dharma Flower

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Re: Ying, Yang & The Big Bang: Why Are We Here?
« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2017, 08:45:27 pm »
Sunyata is lack of inherent existence or own-being. 

Thank you for your response. If all things are empty of inherent existence, then they are all ultimately one or non-dual. This is at least how Zen has traditionally explained these things. Enlightenment is the moment our false sense of separation between ourselves and all things drops away.

No, it really doesn't, and this sounds much more like Hinduism than Buddhism, like the union of Atman and Brahman.  The difficulty is that Buddhism teaching doesn't include Atman and Brahman, or the Tao for that matter... that muddling them up in a sort of new-age fudge is not helpful to understanding.

According to traditional Zen teaching, rather than new age fudge, the Dharmakaya is described as the True Self, which is identical to our true nature when the false ego is peeled away.

I wouldn't be sharing these things unless I had some sort of idea, beyond Wikipedia articles, of what I am talking about. People are welcome to disagree with me (hopefully politely), but I am only trying to present what I've read in books the best way I can.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2017, 08:48:06 pm by Dharma Flower »

Offline Dharma Flower

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Re: Ying, Yang & The Big Bang: Why Are We Here?
« Reply #16 on: November 06, 2017, 08:50:27 pm »
The second aspect of the Tao is relative, much more comprehensible for the Western mind. It is the visible existence with its uncountable multitude of mortal life forms spontaneously and mysteriously brought forth out of the emptiness.

"Spontaneously and mysteriously"?  Hasn't the author heard of evolution or studied basic biology?

Science hasn't been able to explain how life began in the first place.

Even if there were a scientific explanation of what happened for life to first form, the reason behind it happening, the reason why life came into existence, would be the natural unfolding of the Tao or the vital energy of Existence itself. It's not the same as belief in a creator god.

While a scientist might look at evolution as nothing more than natural selection acting on random mutation, a Taoist would look at the same evolutionary history as the natural unfolding of the Tao. Either way, the enfolding of natural history outwardly appears the same.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2017, 08:55:12 pm by Dharma Flower »

Offline Dharma Flower

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Re: Ying, Yang & The Big Bang: Why Are We Here?
« Reply #17 on: November 06, 2017, 09:02:01 pm »
(to speak of Zen means to speak of Tao).

How so?  Japanese "Zen" is derived from Chinese "Chan" which in turn is derived from Indian dhyana, ie meditation.

Actually Taoism seems to have more in common with Hinduism than Buddhism.

Can you please explain why Taoism has more in common with Hinduism than with Buddhism? Please read the following, which is, to the best of my knowledge, historically accurate:

Buddhism and Taoism are unique among the world’s religions. They aren’t centered in the worship of a divine being who promises a flowery afterlife for those who do the right deeds and say the right prayers.

This is not to say that Buddhism and Taoism have nothing to say about life after death. It’s just not their primary concern, since their original intent and purpose is to find inner peace here and now, in this very lifetime.

The Buddha described his experience of Nirvana as the realization of non-self, and the afterlife of one who’s attained Nirvana as beyond existence and non-existence, which a Taoist might describe as returning to the Tao:

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As a living being you are equivalent to a wave, a separate entity that is moving swiftly to the shore. Eventually, however, the wave will crash into the beach and the water that was “you” returns back to the ocean. You always were water and you simply return to it, never to be formed again in that manner.

All of Tao is about impermanence and returning. The same will happen to you. This entity that is “you” is impermanent, temporary, even fleeting. And eventually you will be returned to the Tao, the energy that comprises and flows within everything.
https://laughingtaoist.com/2016/08/26/what-happens-to-a-taoist-after-death/

Buddhism and Taoism teach that our sense of a separate self is a delusion of the ego. Whatever vital energy which continues after death, whatever that might be, will not consciously experience reality the same way that we do.

And how is that such a bad thing? In the words of Chuang Tzu, ”How do I know that loving life is not a delusion? How do I know that in hating death I am not like a man who, having left home in his youth, has forgotten the way back?”

The word Tao means “path,” not just as the path that one follows in life, but also as the natural flow of the universe:
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/tao

So when Mahayana Buddhists speak of the path to Buddhahood, that’s actually the “Tao” to Buddhahood, in the original Chinese commentaries and translations of Buddhist scriptures which spread throughout East Asia.

When Buddhism first came to China, its teachings were explained in Taoism terms, due to the similarities between these two religions. Many Chinese Buddhists studied and wrote commentaries on the Tao Te Ching, and Ch'an (Zen) was born due to the influence of both Taoism and Buddhism.

This article is helpful to further understanding the similarities and shared history between Taoism and East Asian Buddhism:

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Buddhism and Taoism are two very unique and interesting religions which developed independently of one another around the same time in two neighboring ancient civilizations. They did not come into contact until centuries after their establishment…

The Tao is in no way incongruent with the Dharmakaya, emptiness, Buddha-nature, suchness, or any of the other myriad Buddhist terms for the Absolute as relating to different situations or approaches.

The interaction of these two religions was within a society where religious plurality is already an accepted norm, as expressed by the old Chinese saying:
“Every Chinese wears a Confucian cap, a Taoist robe and Buddhist sandals.”
https://ignoranceandwisdom.wordpress.com/2012/05/19/buddhism-and-taoism/

Offline ground

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Re: Ying, Yang & The Big Bang: Why Are We Here?
« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2017, 11:16:43 pm »
The world blind men are discussing about is in fact the world of blind men.  :fu:

Offline Dharma Flower

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Re: Ying, Yang & The Big Bang: Why Are We Here?
« Reply #19 on: November 07, 2017, 08:50:16 pm »
I have nothing further to say that wasn't already said in this article:

Quote
When Buddhism entered China in the early part of the first millennium CE, it easily blended with the native Taoism. There are great similarities, such as their views on non-attachment, their philosophies of the ultimate nature of reality, most of their ethics, and many of their meditation practices. The differences are mostly superficial, lying in cultural differences—things like ritual or symbols—and in positions regarding metaphysics. Thus, despite these minor dissimilarities, Buddhist philosophy is in the end categorically and fundamentally congruent with the Tao.

Buddhism and Taoism are two very unique and interesting religions which developed independently of one another around the same time in two neighboring ancient civilizations. They did not come into contact until centuries after their establishment, and their most important figures never had any knowledge or interaction with one another. Taoism began most officially with the writing of the Tao Te Ching, which provides the philosophical and textual basis of Taoism. It is from the Tao Te Ching that over the milliennia Taoist philosophers, mystics, sages, and priests constructed their rituals, symbolism, social organization, and a more easily digestible metaphysics for the common man. By contrast, Buddhism was founded upon a man and his ideas, with nothing being written down until long after his death. The Buddha himself established the monastic organization and most of the metaphysics (allegedly). The Taoist polytheism and ancestor worship are both incongruent with Buddhist metaphysics, which holds that there are no eternal beings—all beings die and are reborn—thus ancestor worship and the belief in immortal gods is seen as wrong view. There are also differences in ritual which result from these differences in metaphysical perspectives.

Despite their independent creation in two very unique cultures, Buddhism and Taoism have a great number of deeper similarities. The range of different meditation practices are quite similar. Both have practices involving the quieting of the mind, examining the mind and senses of the body, contemplating the nature of reality, and entering into unity with the Absolute. The ethical beliefs of the two religions are also quite similar. There are certain virtues such as non-attachment and honesty, which one should master in order to be considered enlightened or “a sage.” Perhaps the most significant similarity between the two religions is their core idea of moderation, or walking the middle-ground between excess and self-denial. Buddhism calls it the Middle Way, while Taoism calls it the Tao, meaning “the Way.” Both “Ways” see the extremes of seeking more than one’s basic needs and denying oneself of their needs to be the source of basically all human suffering and strife.

It’s quite a testament to the human condition to consider that these two traditions arrived at so many similarities, despite the different environments in which they arose. And not only the human condition, but also the ultimate nature of reality—the highest, most transcendent, most immanent, most mysterious reality, called the Absolute, which both traditions came to describe in remarkable depth using almost the exact same descriptors. The Tao is in no way incongruent with the Dharmakaya, emptiness, Buddha-nature, suchness, or any of the other myriad Buddhist terms for the Absolute as relating to different situations or approaches. The interaction of these two religions was within a society where religious plurality is already an accepted norm, as expressed by the old Chinese saying: “Every Chinese wears a Confucian cap, a Taoist robe and Buddhist sandals.” In China it was never uncommon for people to incorporate aspects from all faiths into their spiritual lives. No rigid walls ever existed between the faiths or the people of faith, because religion was not approached in such a manner as it is in the Occident. So between such visceral similarities at the philosophical, mystical, and ethical dimensions of the two faiths, and the relations taking place in such a pluralistic society, it is no surprise that Buddhism finally became acceptable to the ancient thinking of the Tao.
https://ignoranceandwisdom.wordpress.com/2012/05/19/buddhism-and-taoism/

May all beings be happy.

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Ying, Yang & The Big Bang: Why Are We Here?
« Reply #20 on: November 09, 2017, 02:22:29 am »
Just as the name Amida means infinite light and infinite life, the Tao is the vital energy which sustains all life and gives it meaning. .

So what is this "vital energy" exactly?  It sounds a bit new-agey.

Offline Dharma Flower

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Re: Ying, Yang & The Big Bang: Why Are We Here?
« Reply #21 on: November 09, 2017, 09:21:57 pm »
Just as the name Amida means infinite light and infinite life, the Tao is the vital energy which sustains all life and gives it meaning. .

So what is this "vital energy" exactly?  It sounds a bit new-agey.

The new age movement is just a hodgepodge of various concepts, some copied from Asian philosophies like Taoism:
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qi

The Tiantai and Ch'an belief in the Buddha-nature within all things, including inanimate objects, was influenced by or is at least similar to the Taoist belief in the Tao within all things.

Something tells me that you are responding to posts without researching what you are talking about first. Please go back and read the posts I've made in this thread, which touch on the influence of Taoism on East Asian Buddhism, especially on Zen. Thank you.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2017, 09:24:43 pm by Dharma Flower »

Offline ground

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Re: Ying, Yang & The Big Bang: Why Are We Here?
« Reply #22 on: November 10, 2017, 01:43:34 am »
Just as the name Amida means infinite light and infinite life, the Tao is the vital energy which sustains all life and gives it meaning. .

So what is this "vital energy" exactly?  It sounds a bit new-agey.

Even the Thervadins have the concept of "vital energy". It is called jīvitindriya in both Pali and Sanskrit and is one of the seven factors of consciousness.  :fu:

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Ying, Yang & The Big Bang: Why Are We Here?
« Reply #23 on: November 10, 2017, 05:44:23 am »
The Tiantai and Ch'an belief in the Buddha-nature within all things, including inanimate objects, was influenced by or is at least similar to the Taoist belief in the Tao within all things.

But in Chan and Zen this is still viewed as non-substantial, it is sunyata.

Something tells me that you are responding to posts without researching what you are talking about first.

It's a discussion forum, and we are discussing.  If you only want to proselytize, then start a blog.

 


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