Author Topic: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?  (Read 9231 times)

Offline gregkavarnos

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Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
« Reply #30 on: August 13, 2010, 05:58:35 am »
It originates from the first turning of the wheel, but this is a very "shallow" interpretation.

Let's look at the first type of suffering (dukha-dukha):  the suffering of illness, old age, and death.

Did the Buddha experience these circumstances?  Yes!  He got old, got sick on four occasions (in the pali canon i think they say four if i remember correctly) and he dfinitely died.  Did he suffer as a consequence of these circumstances (suffering (as opposed to pain) is defined as a negative mind state generated by an object or circumstance)?  NO!

Lets look at the suffering of change (viparinama-dukha).  Is it necessary that one will suffer when a positive circumstance or object changes into a negative or neutral one?  No, not if they are not attached to the feelings generated by the circumstance or the object.  If they maintain an equanimous attitude and understand that the nature of all things that arise is their passing away.

And the final type of suffering [sankhara-dukha], the suffering of conditioned existence.  This arises as a consequence of identifying the skhanda as a self and then clinging and grasping to that notion instead of just realising that there is no me, just a set of causes and conditions.  So if one realises this truth, that all existence, including my own, is merely the consequence of a chain of causes and conditions then, BINGO, no more sankhara dukha.  

Anyway we must not forget that in the turning the mind from samsara teaching the full in the abovementioned section states:  
Quote
Fourthly, all places, friends, enjoyments, wealth and so on continuously causes the torment of the three sufferings, instead of celebrating as the hangman leads you to your death cut through attachments and diligently strive for enlightenment

Each section of the teaching outlines the sickeness and gives you the cure!
 :namaste:
« Last Edit: August 13, 2010, 06:00:17 am by gregkavarnos »
"A genius is a person who, on a beach full of nudists, can remember peoples faces!"  Arka

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
« Reply #31 on: August 13, 2010, 06:38:22 am »
The greater point is that destruction such as man-made conflict, physical and natural events such as earth quakes, storms, volcanic eruptions, solar flares, and super-novas  are not avoidable in samsaric existence, but suffering, stress, and dissatisfaction, being functions of mind are.
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline swampflower

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Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
« Reply #32 on: August 13, 2010, 12:31:39 pm »
Rather than a shallow interpretation of the First Noble Truth, it is a very subtle interpretation that change causes suffering.
Om Tare Tutare Svaha

"All that we are is the result of what we have thought.  The mind is everything.  What we think we become." Buddha Sakyamuni

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Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
« Reply #33 on: August 13, 2010, 12:58:55 pm »
Rather than a shallow interpretation of the First Noble Truth, it is a very subtle interpretation that change causes suffering.

I think I know what you mean but the problem with brevity is that it can mislead.

Change is inevitable for all beings. Kala - time.

Does all change cause suffering?  Not quite.

Attaining or discovering enlightenment is change and causes no suffering.

I'd stretch that to include the Buddhist path itself - embarking on the Buddhist path and making progress is change which may be seen as reducing suffering. ;)

Offline J. McKenna

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Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
« Reply #34 on: August 13, 2010, 04:27:35 pm »
Is everything perfect "just as it is"?

Yes, but being incapable of understanding the meaning of the term and incapable of undistorted perception its meaning is irrelevant to humans. Like trying to define "tastes good" when every taster tastes through their own filters.
...i found there was no "i" anywhere.....

Offline swampflower

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Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
« Reply #35 on: August 13, 2010, 06:01:53 pm »
It may even be said that happiness causes suffering.
Now I am happy, but I begin to think "Maybe this happiness will not last", so I begin to feel a bit less happy.
Now with this change I realize "Hey my happiness is declining" and so I start to get really bummed out...and so on.
Others have relayed this much more competently and completely than I.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama gave this teaching in Dharamsala, 7 October 1981. It was translated by Alexander Berzin, clarified by Lama Zopa Rinpoche, edited by Nicholas Ribush and first published in the souvenir booklet for Tushita Mahayana Meditation Centre's Second Dharma Celebration, November 5-8 1982, New Delhi, India.

Published in 2005 in the LYWA publication Teachings From Tibet.

When the great universal teacher Shakyamuni Buddha first spoke about the Dharma in the noble land of India, he taught the four noble truths: the truths of suffering, the cause of suffering, the cessation of suffering and the path to the cessation of suffering. Since many books contain discussions of the four noble truths in English, they (as well as the eightfold path) are very well known.1 These four are all-encompassing, including many things within them.
Considering the four noble truths in general and the fact that none of us wants suffering and we all desire happiness, we can speak of an effect and a cause on both the disturbing side and the liberating side. True sufferings and true causes are the effect and cause on the side of things that we do not want; true cessation and true paths are the effect and cause on the side of things that we desire.
The truth of suffering
We experience many different types of suffering. All are included in three categories: the suffering of suffering, the suffering of change and all-pervasive suffering.
Suffering of suffering refers to things such as headaches and so forth. Even animals recognize this kind of suffering and, like us, want to be free from it. Because beings have fear of and experience discomfort from these kinds of suffering, they engage in various activities to eliminate them.
Suffering of change refers to situations where, for example, we are sitting very comfortably relaxed and at first, everything seems all right, but after a while we lose that feeling and get restless and uncomfortable.
In certain countries we see a great deal of poverty and disease: these are sufferings of the first category. Everybody realizes that these are suffering conditions to be eliminated and improved upon. In many Western countries, poverty may not be that much of a problem, but where there is a high degree of material development there are different kinds of problems. At first we may be happy having overcome the problems that our predecessors faced, but as soon as we have solved certain problems, new ones arise. We have plenty of money, plenty of food and nice housing, but by exaggerating the value of these things we render them ultimately
worthless. This sort of experience is the suffering of change.
A very poor, underprivileged person might think that it would be wonderful to have a car or a television set and, should he acquire them, would at first feel very happy and satisfied. Now, if such happiness were permanent, as long as he had the car and the TV set he would remain happy. But he does not; his happiness goes away. After a few months he wants another kind of car; if he has the money, he will buy a better television set. The old things, the same objects that once gave him much satisfaction, now cause dissatisfaction. That is the nature of change; that is the problem of the suffering of change.
All-pervasive suffering is the third type of suffering. It is called all-pervasive [Tib: kyab-pa du-che kyi dug-ngäl—literally, the suffering of pervasive compounding] because it acts as the basis of the first two.
There may be those who, even in developed countries, want to be liberated from the second suffering, the suffering of change. Bored with the defiled feelings of happiness, they seek the feeling of equanimity, which can lead to rebirth in the formlessness realm that has only that feeling.
Now, desiring liberation from the first two categories of suffering is not the principal motivation for seeking liberation [from cyclic existence]; the Buddha taught that the root of the three sufferings is the third: all-pervasive suffering. Some people commit suicide; they seem to think that there is suffering simply because there is human life and that by ending their life there will be nothing. This third, all-pervasive, suffering is under the control of karma and the disturbing mind. We can see, without having to think very deeply, that this is under the control of the karma and disturbing mind of previous lives: anger and attachment arise simply because we have these present aggregates.2 The aggregate of compounding phenomena is like an enabler for us to generate karma and these disturbing minds; this is called nä-ngän len [literally, taking a bad place]. Because that which forms is related to taking the bad place of disturbing minds and is under their control, it supports our generating disturbing minds and keeps us from virtue. All our suffering can be traced back to these aggregates of attachment and clinging.
Perhaps, when you realize that your aggregates are the cause of all your suffering, you might think that suicide is the way out. Well, if there were no continuity of mind, no future life, all right—if you had the courage you could finish yourself off. But, according to the Buddhist viewpoint, that’s not the case; your consciousness will continue. Even if you take your own life, this life, you will have to take another body that will again be the basis of suffering. If you really want to get rid of all your suffering, all the difficulties you experience in your life, you have to get rid of the fundamental cause that gives rise to the aggregates that are the basis of all suffering. Killing yourself isn’t going to solve your problems.
Because this is the case, we must now investigate the cause of suffering: is there a cause or not? If there is, what kind of cause is it: a natural cause, which cannot be eliminated, or a cause that depends on its own cause and therefore can be? If it is a cause that can be overcome, is it possible for us to overcome it? Thus we come to the second noble truth, the truth of the cause of suffering.
Om Tare Tutare Svaha

"All that we are is the result of what we have thought.  The mind is everything.  What we think we become." Buddha Sakyamuni

Offline gregkavarnos

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Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
« Reply #36 on: August 13, 2010, 10:57:11 pm »
It may even be said that happiness causes suffering.
Happiness does not cause suffering, it is incorrect to say this.  It is due to the fact that some Buddhists go out making statements like this that non-Budhists consider us sour faced grumpy gits!  :D

The transient nature of happiness in combination with our clinging to the feeling in a mistaken attempt to make permanent something that is impermanent causes suffering.  The suffering that arises from this attitude can be applied to any feeling and falls under the category of viparinama-dukha.
 :namaste:
"A genius is a person who, on a beach full of nudists, can remember peoples faces!"  Arka

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
« Reply #37 on: August 14, 2010, 01:28:15 am »
I disagree, your statement invalidates the actions of Bodhisattvas and Buddhas who are constantly struggling to bring an end to suffering.

I was generalising.  There are a few wholesome desires, like wishing others to be free from suffering, but most of our everyday desires aren't like this and have the potential for attachment and therefore suffering.

Spiny

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
« Reply #38 on: August 14, 2010, 01:41:56 am »
Does all change cause suffering?  Not quite.
Attaining or discovering enlightenment is change and causes no suffering.
I'd stretch that to include the Buddhist path itself - embarking on the Buddhist path and making progress is change which may be seen as reducing suffering. ;)

In the context of Buddhist practice we can experience the suffering of change when we get attached to wholesome states of mind or pleasant experiences in meditation. 

Spiny

Offline gregkavarnos

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Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
« Reply #39 on: August 14, 2010, 01:57:34 am »
Quote
In the context of Buddhist practice we can experience the suffering of change when we get attached to wholesome states of mind or pleasant experiences in meditation.
This is very true but the key to this statement (again) is the central role of attachment and not the states of mind or pleasant meditational experiences themselves.
 :namaste: 

"A genius is a person who, on a beach full of nudists, can remember peoples faces!"  Arka

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
« Reply #40 on: August 14, 2010, 02:00:54 am »
Quote
In the context of Buddhist practice we can experience the suffering of change when we get attached to wholesome states of mind or pleasant experiences in meditation.
This is very true but the key to this statement (again) is the central role of attachment and not the states of mind or pleasant meditational experiences themselves.
 :namaste: 



Agreed.  I have become quite attached to reflecting on attachment because it's so central... :)

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
« Reply #41 on: August 14, 2010, 04:42:48 am »
Ditto, Greg and Spiny.

This appears to be a precious and power-laden moment of bodhisattva-like clarity of mind, whereupon I could hear a thunder-clap as what dhamma greg cited flashed through the universe striking the hearts and minds of all sentient beings as being Truth with a capital "T".





Quote
In the context of Buddhist practice we can experience the suffering of change when we get attached to wholesome states of mind or pleasant experiences in meditation.
This is very true but the key to this statement (again) is the central role of attachment and not the states of mind or pleasant meditational experiences themselves.
 :namaste: 




Agreed.  I have become quite attached to reflecting on attachment because it's so central... :)
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline gregkavarnos

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Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
« Reply #42 on: August 14, 2010, 04:51:37 am »
Ditto, Greg and Spiny.

This appears to be a precious and power-laden moment of bodhisattva-like clarity of mind, whereupon I could hear a thunder-clap as what dhamma greg cited flashed through the universe striking the hearts and minds of all sentient beings as being Truth with a capital "T".
How many times have I told you to check the use by dates on the pills you are taking?  But noooo... Ron never listens, Ron is always right!  :D
 :namaste:
"A genius is a person who, on a beach full of nudists, can remember peoples faces!"  Arka

Offline santamonicacj

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Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
« Reply #43 on: August 18, 2010, 07:00:52 pm »
I have massive difficulty with this view also santa especially recently. It just seems unfair that ignorance is the thing that causes nature to inflict such unbelievable, massive suffering. Children are ignorant, but they are innocently so, and have parents to tell them not to stick forks in sockets. That's the way nature is supposed to work. It seems to me sometimes that in the Eastern views nature is this giant apersonal force which blankly refuses to instruct its children, and which views their ignorance as completely their own fault and responsibility.
If I may use this analogy, the Buddha is the parent and the Dharma is what tells us to not stick forks into electrical outlets.

As for the universe, its method of 'instruction' is the pain signal. When I do something the wrong way I get a painful result, like not managing my money correctly. That is life sending me a message. And ultimately all that pain is telling us that we need to become enlightened, or so I'm told. That is why we must beseech the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas not to pass into nirvana. They see that everything is working to guide sentient beings to enlightenment, and it is just ignorance and time that stands in the way. We are the ones that need help and must ask for it.

At least that's the way I understand that issue.
Quote
The endless aeons spent hanging around hell realms and desire realms until finally the turtle puts his head through the yoke in the middle of the ocean has become an extremely depressing view to me.
Or it could be an occasion for rejoicing. The poverty of our entire culture that says, "there is no ultimate meaning to life except what we arbitrarily choose to decide is meaningful to us individually" is removed. There is an ultimate purpose and meaning, and it is available to us while still in the here and now. If that is true it is revolutionary, at least to us in the West.

But don't get me wrong. I have trouble with the "everything is perfect just as it is" view also.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2010, 07:03:17 pm by santamonicacj »
Warning: I'm enough of a fundamentalist Tibet style Buddhist to believe that for the last 1,000 years Tibet has produced a handful of enlightened masters in every generation. I do not ask that YOU believe it, but it will greatly simplify conversations if you understand that about me. Thanks.

Offline Bodhicandra

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Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
« Reply #44 on: August 18, 2010, 10:48:21 pm »
[quote author=Karma Dondrup Tashi link=topic=1713.msg26610#msg26610 date=128154

But don't get me wrong. I have trouble with the "everything is perfect just as it is" view also.

Aaal rrrriiiiiight! (my attempt at a slow drawl)

Looks like just about everyone other then myself has a problem with this phrase. Remember, this forum invites you to 'Connect with the Dzogchen teachings'. I'm just trying to suggest, from a Dzogchen viewpoint, how "Everything is perfect, just as it is" could be given a meaning which a refugee could appreciate (and learn from?).

First, I invite you to understand the Dzogchen 'style', what it is all about, how it works. It's very practical, very immediate, very personal.

Dzogchen is all about you. It's a path of personal experience, about working with and learning from your emotions. There's not much theory, although there is a very precise vocabulary, in which words have meanings, significances, nuances which are often not present or not obvious in other Yanas.

In this forum we've got to move away from the style of discussion of bulk quoting of sutras, of endless nit-picking about the meaning-in-translation of individual words and try to get the feel, the sentiment behind the teachings.

So we could regard a phrase such as this as an instructional aid for an individual, not an assertion about some global philosophical 'truth'.

Try looking at the phrase this way...



There have been some great discussions on other threads in the last week on dukkha, suffering. It was my sense that there was a strong majority in tune with the attitude that suffering is not caused by external objects events and people, its one's own mental attitude of grasping or rejection which causes that suffering.

Now stop thinking about the generality of 'other people'. In Dzogchen style, make these considerations very personal, very experiential, very you.

On the Path of Dharma you are coming to understand that the suffering you experience is caused by your own hopes and fears, by your own expectations, by your own judgements and comparisons with prior situations.

So you are coming to realize that you can't 'blame' external things, people, events - the causes of your suffering are all yours.

So, to help train in that thought, you keep reminding yourself that your problems, your sources of emotional disturbance  are inside, with you, not 'out there'. There's no point in wishing that external situations were different - they are not the problem.

So you adopt the view that 'Every thing (out there) is perfect, just as it is'.

Can you appreciate how such a view could help a practitioner at an appropriate stage of development?
"Your first task on the path is to learn to stop being a nuisance to the world"
adapted from Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche

 


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