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Schools of Buddhism => Vajrayana => Dzogchen => Topic started by: santamonicacj on August 06, 2010, 01:30:23 pm

Title: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: santamonicacj on August 06, 2010, 01:30:23 pm
On another thread I said that the Dzogchen view was that "everything was perfect just as it is". Now to me that is a little hard to take, especially when you are looking at horror and suffering. However I am of the impression that this is the Dzogchen view. Is that so?
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: Karma Dondrup Tashi on August 06, 2010, 01:35:12 pm
Sorry. Replied on other thread.
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: swampflower on August 06, 2010, 02:02:13 pm
Everything is perfect (or purrfect as we cat lovers say) within a view realizing the true nature of reality.
However that does not mean there are no horrors in the world of conventional existence.
One must try to view all things with equanimity and to realize there is no (in my humble opinion) true evil.  There are mere obscurations veiling the true clear light of all existence.
As with all things, there is no inherent existence, only the mirror reflection of emptiness shown through manifestations of dependent origination.
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: Caz on August 06, 2010, 02:55:40 pm
Everything is perfect (or purrfect as we cat lovers say) within a view realizing the true nature of reality.
However that does not mean there are no horrors in the world of conventional existence.
One must try to view all things with equanimity and to realize there is no (in my humble opinion) true evil.  There are mere obscurations veiling the true clear light of all existence.
As with all things, there is no inherent existence, only the mirror reflection of emptiness shown through manifestations of dependent origination.

Good i like that.  :D

 :pray:
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: santamonicacj on August 06, 2010, 03:28:10 pm
Everything is perfect (or purrfect as we cat lovers say) within a view realizing the true nature of reality.
However that does not mean there are no horrors in the world of conventional existence.
One must try to view all things with equanimity and to realize there is no (in my humble opinion) true evil.  There are mere obscurations veiling the true clear light of all existence.
As with all things, there is no inherent existence, only the mirror reflection of emptiness shown through manifestations of dependent origination.
Good i like that.
My own personal take on it is that enlightenment is retroactive. Once you see the perfection of all things you see that they always were perfect, but that until then there is the need for practice, etc.

But the issue here is not my perspective, but elucidating what is the formal Dzogchen view. Any Dzogchenpas out there?
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: Karma Dondrup Tashi on August 06, 2010, 03:31:12 pm
Dzogchen view is that emptiness and clarity are inseparable. New Age writers say everything is perfect. Those seem to be different views.

Additionally even in samsara, which is imperfect, the base is still the base and so needs to be revealed. Even in dzogchen the view just means form is what you choose to make it.

Just because atiyoya is'highest' teaching in some schools doesn't mean it isn't still just upaya since upaya is inseparable from absolute truth.

Without bodhichitta dzogchen view is pointless. A kid dying of famine doesn't need to hear about rigpa.
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: gregkavarnos on August 07, 2010, 12:29:12 am
What it be correct to say that everything is perfect at the ultimate level but that everything is crap (suffering) at the relative level BUT that at the end of the day nothing is either/neither perfect or crap, or anything for that matter?  :lmfao:
 :namaste:
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: swampflower on August 07, 2010, 11:58:36 am
What it be correct to say that everything is perfect at the ultimate level but that everything is crap (suffering) at the relative level BUT that at the end of the day nothing is either/neither perfect or crap, or anything for that matter?  :lmfao:
 :namaste:

THE HEART SUTRA
Om Homage to the Perfection of Wisdom the Lovely, the Holy !

Avalokita, the Holy Lord and Bodhisattva, was moving in the deep course of the Wisdom which has gone beyond.

He looked down from on high, He beheld but five heaps, and He saw that in their own-being they were empty.

Here, O Sariputra,

form is emptiness and the very emptiness is form ;

emptiness does not differ from form, form does not differ from emptiness, whatever is emptiness, that is form,

the same is true of feelings, perceptions, impulses, and consciousness.

Here, O Sariputra,

all dharmas are marked with emptiness ;

they are not produced or stopped, not defiled or immaculate, not deficient or complete.

Therefore, O Sariputra,

in emptiness there is no form nor feeling, nor perception, nor impulse, nor consciousness ;

No eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind ; No forms, sounds, smells, tastes, touchables or objects of mind ; No sight-organ element, and so forth, until we come to :

No mind-consciousness element ; There is no ignorance, no extinction of ignorance, and so forth, until we come to : There is no decay and death, no extinction of decay and death. There is no suffering, no origination, no stopping, no path.

There is no cognition, no attainment and no non-attainment.

Therefore, O Sariputra,

it is because of his non-attainmentness that a Bodhisattva, through having relied on the Perfection of Wisdom, dwells without thought-coverings. In the absence of thought-coverings he has not been made to tremble,

he has overcome what can upset, and in the end he attains to Nirvana.

All those who appear as Buddhas in the three periods of time fully awake to the utmost, right and perfect Enlightenment because they have relied on the Perfection of Wisdom.

Therefore one should know the prajnaparamita as the great spell, the spell of great knowledge, the utmost spell, the unequalled spell, allayer of all suffering, in truth -- for what could go wrong ? By the prajnaparamita has this spell been delivered. It runs like this :

gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha.

( Gone, gone, gone beyond, gone altogether beyond, O what an awakening, all-hail ! -- )

This completes the Heart of perfect Wisdom.

(Translated by E. Conze)
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: Bodhicandra on August 09, 2010, 03:17:01 pm
On another thread I said that the Dzogchen view was that "everything was perfect just as it is". Now to me that is a little hard to take, especially when you are looking at horror and suffering. However I am of the impression that this is the Dzogchen view. Is that so?
There have been some good responses to this in the posts above, but may I offer a slightly different approach, which might help some people?

Dzogchen is normally translated as 'Great Perfection'. However, an alternative meaning is 'Complete or ultimate transcendence'.

So the view you quote of 'everything was  [is?] perfect just as it is' could be thought of as 'every thing is transcended'.

In other words, one is not talking about a strange set of value judgements, but moving to a different level of awareness, one in which no value judgements (good or bad) are involved.

Dzogchen is rooted firmly in a path of experience, rather than philosophical standpoints. As I understand the Dzogchen process (I'm only a beginner) the training leads one to experience the 'natural liberation' of all your thoughts and of all your experiences of worldly phenomena.  From your state of awareness you can just watch them appear from nowhere, leave (hopefully) no impression on you and dissolve (self-liberate) back into nothingness. This is an experience of emptiness.

So at that stage in one's development, there are really no concepts such as good or evil, no horror, no suffering, nothing is good or bad, harmful or attractive, because your own relationship with these phenomena is one of equanimity. There's nothing that could do you any harm, because there isn't really any 'you'.

Actually, this brings up an interesting point of detail about the translation of the Heart Sutra. The translation quoted by swampflower (above) says, at the climax of the logic of the sutra: '- for what could go wrong?'. The translation we use has at this point '- because there is no fear.'. The key point to ponder is why there is no fear. What ingredients - needed for fear to be present, have been demonstrated (by the sutra) not to exist?

For you, the appearances of all (externally-apparent) phenomena have been liberated. So, at this stage one could say that, from your standpoint, the appearances of all phenomena have been transcended, have been perfected.

Trying to understand the phrase 'everything is perfect' before emptiness and natural liberation are understood / experienced may just lead one to get a rather strange idea of the views / ethics of Dzogchen practitioners!

Hope this helps.
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: Bodhicandra on August 10, 2010, 12:09:33 am
On another thread I said that the Dzogchen view was that ... . Now to me that is a little hard to take ... However I am of the impression that this is the Dzogchen view. Is that so?

I'd now like to offer a separate point about the word 'view'.

The Dzogchen process, as I've experienced it so far, is made up of a progression of stages of development. In the Longchen Foundation the 'Lion's Roar' meditation course (minimum of 3 years) comprises nine gates or stages.

Each gate has its own triplet of "view - meditation - action". The 'view' describes the approach you take at that stage in your development, the 'meditation' leads you in to gaining some experience of the reality of that view and the 'action' section shows how to embody the results of those meditational experiences into everyday life, thus actualizing the 'view'.

So, given this progression of views, linked to one's individual level of maturation, it's a bit problematic to speak of a Dzogchen view as something universally applicable.

This also explains something of the need for secrecy in higher-level teachings. This tends to be a contentious point in the West, where many feel that everything should be open to everyone.  However, if one gets exposed to views requiring a level of meditative experience which one has not yet attained, one can get very confused, annoyed, puzzled (the sort of emotions santamonicacj is expressing in the quote above). In the extreme this can do harm to the reader, because s/he is put off entering the path because of a negative reaction to concepts / views one is not yet ready for.

I'm not saying that this specific 'everything is perfect' viewpoint should be secret, but, hopefully, with this and my previous post the reader can begin to see / feel that here one is on the verge of accessing views which, at an everyday level of understanding, could seem very odd, very disturbing.
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: zen-zen on August 10, 2010, 03:55:24 am
Bodhicandra, your two previous posts were well written and it was a pleasure reading them.

Everything indeed is purrfect just as it is.
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: Karma Dondrup Tashi on August 10, 2010, 06:33:38 am
Purrfect.

(http://www.rawa.org/images/nato_victim2.jpg)
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: santamonicacj on August 10, 2010, 12:46:37 pm
Purrfect.
My point exactly, hence the thread and the discussion.
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: Karma Dondrup Tashi on August 10, 2010, 01:18:29 pm
Bodhichitta is the foundation for all views including Dzogchen and so is included in those views. No compassion, no view. If bodhichitta isn't included in dzogchen view so much for dzogchen but I don't think you'll find a dzogchen teacher ever saying that.
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: swampflower on August 10, 2010, 01:23:13 pm
Purrfect.

([url]http://www.rawa.org/images/nato_victim2.jpg[/url])


Wow, what a way to make a point.
So what is your "point"?
It is a purrfect point indeed.

One must accept that there is suffering.
One must also examine why there is suffering.
One must also seek for the cessation of suffering.
This is a process that may be seen as infinite in duration.
One must also have the guts to face horrors with compassion, both for the victim and for the perpetrator.
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: swampflower on August 10, 2010, 02:06:26 pm
If anyone wishes to see more pictures of horror, a vivid hell on earth, see photos of HIROSHIMA AND NAGASAKI after U.S atomic bombs were dropped.
The anniversary of the bombings were on August 6 and August 9, 1945.
May the Earth never again witness such events.
The U.S.A. and Japan are close allies now despite the awful War and the mutual horrors inflicted.
The only way to end conflict is to have compassion and equanimity.
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: Bodhicandra on August 10, 2010, 03:38:08 pm
Bodhichitta is the foundation for all views including Dzogchen and so is included in those views. No compassion, no view. If bodhichitta isn't included in dzogchen view so much for dzogchen but I don't think you'll find a dzogchen teacher ever saying that.

Agreed!

But what's at the heart of this issue is how (as I understand it) a Bodhisattva can simultaneously exhibit Equanimity and yet suffer heart-rending compassion for those beings (such as the one you illustrate) who are experiencing suffering, as well as for those for those who perpetrate it.

I believe it's something to do with understanding both the nature of Reality (big R), in which everything is 'perfect' - as discussed in my post above -  and the reality (small R) of the suffering of those whose confusion continues to bind them to existence in a Desire realm.

So please don't anyone get the impression that Dzogchen practitioners are indifferent to suffering, or in denial about it. I think we are talking here about developing two, parallel, simultaneous levels of understanding.
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: santamonicacj on August 10, 2010, 04:16:45 pm
Bodhichitta is the foundation for all views including Dzogchen and so is included in those views. No compassion, no view. If bodhichitta isn't included in dzogchen view so much for dzogchen but I don't think you'll find a dzogchen teacher ever saying that.

Agreed!

But what's at the heart of this issue is how (as I understand it) a Bodhisattva can simultaneously exhibit Equanimity and yet suffer heart-rending compassion for those beings (such as the one you illustrate) who are experiencing suffering, as well as for those for those who perpetrate it.

I believe it's something to do with understanding both the nature of Reality (big R), in which everything is 'perfect' - as discussed in my post above -  and the reality (small R) of the suffering of those whose confusion continues to bind them to existence in a Desire realm.

So please don't anyone get the impression that Dzogchen practitioners are indifferent to suffering, or in denial about it. I think we are talking here about developing two, parallel, simultaneous levels of understanding.
Although I started this thread I want to make it clear that I'm not an advocate of this view. However I think Bodhicandra is in the ballpark with his understanding of it.

I think in the case of grotesque suffering, as in the various versions of hell both on the Earth and not, that the suffering is a perfect reflection, if you will, of the mistaken actions and mindset of the individuals involved. It is perfect in the sense that it is perfectly their karma. The compassion comes in by seeing that the fundamental mistake is one of misunderstanding, of ignorance. Nobody wants to experience the effects of fully ripened negative karma, but the suffering that ensues is a perfect description of the 'wrongness' of the act that caused it.

This view is definitely counter-intuitive. I mean after all, what did Anne Frank do to deserve the horrors of death in a concentration camp? I still am appalled by the memory of a guy that was choking at a Dharma event and a couple of the monks (westerners) ran over to him and started doing mantras over him. He didn't need mantras, he needed the Heimlich maneuver!

At least that's my description of what it is to grasp the elephant's tail. I could be totally off base in my understanding.
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: catmoon on August 10, 2010, 09:49:35 pm
I always believed that the idea was not so much that everything is peachy keen, but more like everything is perfectly exactly what it is, no more and no less. But I might have it all wrong, I'm not an HYT practioner or anything like that.
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: santamonicacj on August 10, 2010, 10:22:37 pm
I always believed that the idea was not so much that everything is peachy keen, but more like everything is perfectly exactly what it is, no more and no less. But I might have it all wrong, I'm not an HYT practioner or anything like that.
I don't know either--hence the question mark in the title of the thread. I'd like to hear other people's interpretations as well.

Actually I don't even know if what you just said and what I said even differ, or for that matter what Bodhicandra said either. Could all be different parts of the elephant!
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: Bodhicandra on August 11, 2010, 01:53:10 am
I always believed that the idea was not so much that everything is peachy keen, but more like everything is perfectly exactly what it is, no more and no less. But I might have it all wrong, I'm not an HYT practioner or anything like that.
I don't know either--hence the question mark in the title of the thread. I'd like to hear other people's interpretations as well.

Actually I don't even know if what you just said and what I said even differ, or for that matter what Bodhicandra said either. Could all be different parts of the elephant!

By pure coincidence (or should I say: 'Due to causes and conditions...') yesterday afternoon I discovered in a Hereford bookshop a new book on Chinese Religions (Fowler, J&M, Sussex Academic Press 2008 - so far an excellent book). In it (p.144)  is the following description of a new school of Taoism which emerged in the final stages of the Song dynasty (960 -1297):

Complete (or Perfect) Reality (or Realization, Perfection) Taoism

Looks like the same struggle for adequate words to describe this tricky viewpoint!

Curiously, the date of the emergence of this school of Taoism roughly coincides with the life of my Tibetan Dzogchen hero, Longchen Rabjam (probably 1308 – 1364), who did a wonderful job of codifying and documenting the philosophy and practice of Dzogchen.


Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: santamonicacj on August 11, 2010, 03:38:55 am
I always believed that the idea was not so much that everything is peachy keen, but more like everything is perfectly exactly what it is, no more and no less. But I might have it all wrong, I'm not an HYT practioner or anything like that.
I don't know either--hence the question mark in the title of the thread. I'd like to hear other people's interpretations as well.

Actually I don't even know if what you just said and what I said even differ, or for that matter what Bodhicandra said either. Could all be different parts of the elephant!

By pure coincidence (or should I say: 'Due to causes and conditions...') yesterday afternoon I discovered in a Hereford bookshop a new book on Chinese Religions (Fowler, J&M, Sussex Academic Press 2008 - so far an excellent book). In it (p.144)  is the following description of a new school of Taoism which emerged in the final stages of the Song dynasty (960 -1297):

Complete (or Perfect) Reality (or Realization, Perfection) Taoism

Looks like the same struggle for adequate words to describe this tricky viewpoint!

Curiously, the date of the emergence of this school of Taoism roughly coincides with the life of my Tibetan Dzogchen hero, Longchen Rabjam (probably 1308 – 1364), who did a wonderful job of codifying and documenting the philosophy and practice of Dzogchen.
Any of the eastern traditions that touch on the 'non-dual' concept get tricky linguistically. The idea that samsara and nirvana are the same only experienced differently immediately runs against common sense. Yet it is found in the East repeatedly.

Weird.
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: Karma Dondrup Tashi on August 11, 2010, 08:51:19 am
Bodhichitta is the foundation for all views including Dzogchen and so is included in those views. No compassion, no view. If bodhichitta isn't included in dzogchen view so much for dzogchen but I don't think you'll find a dzogchen teacher ever saying that.

Agreed!

But what's at the heart of this issue is how (as I understand it) a Bodhisattva can simultaneously exhibit Equanimity and yet suffer heart-rending compassion for those beings (such as the one you illustrate) who are experiencing suffering, as well as for those for those who perpetrate it.

I believe it's something to do with understanding both the nature of Reality (big R), in which everything is 'perfect' - as discussed in my post above -  and the reality (small R) of the suffering of those whose confusion continues to bind them to existence in a Desire realm.

So please don't anyone get the impression that Dzogchen practitioners are indifferent to suffering, or in denial about it. I think we are talking here about developing two, parallel, simultaneous levels of understanding.
Although I started this thread I want to make it clear that I'm not an advocate of this view. However I think Bodhicandra is in the ballpark with his understanding of it.

I think in the case of grotesque suffering, as in the various versions of hell both on the Earth and not, that the suffering is a perfect reflection, if you will, of the mistaken actions and mindset of the individuals involved. It is perfect in the sense that it is perfectly their karma. The compassion comes in by seeing that the fundamental mistake is one of misunderstanding, of ignorance. Nobody wants to experience the effects of fully ripened negative karma, but the suffering that ensues is a perfect description of the 'wrongness' of the act that caused it.

This view is definitely counter-intuitive. I mean after all, what did Anne Frank do to deserve the horrors of death in a concentration camp? I still am appalled by the memory of a guy that was choking at a Dharma event and a couple of the monks (westerners) ran over to him and started doing mantras over him. He didn't need mantras, he needed the Heimlich maneuver!

At least that's my description of what it is to grasp the elephant's tail. I could be totally off base in my understanding.

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. 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.
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: Bodhicandra on August 11, 2010, 09:58:58 am
I have massive difficulty with this view ...
... has become an extremely depressing view to me.
Well, at least now you have (re-)connected with Mahayana you know how to do something about it.
 ;D :dharma:
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: TashiNyima on August 11, 2010, 11:51:28 am
Dear Friends

om svasti

Perhaps we are projecting a meaning on the term 'perfection' that it does not have.

The etymology is thus: from L. perfectus "completed," pp. of perficere "accomplish, finish, complete," from per- "completely" + facere "to perform."

Perfect does not mean good, or desirable, or even acceptable. It means 'complete', 'lacking nothing.' It is in this sense that we can say "All is perfect, just as it is." Conventional reality is fullness of experience: the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, the joyous and the terrible.

Buddhas and Mahasattva-Bodhisattvas possess the Two Non-dual Pristine Wisdoms simultaneously: seeing Ultimate Reality as it is, and seeing the variety of phenomenal manifestation (conventional reality) as others see it -- but without being affected by disturbing emotions. Their spontaneous compassion manifests without suffering.

Someone posted earlier that Buddhahood "is retroactive", and that is a wonderful insight. Because time is a conceptual elaboration, it is not present in Non-dual Wisdom. Upon separation from the emotional and cognitive obscurations that veil our Buddha Nature, all our suffering ceases. It is not only that (future) suffering will never arise again, but that all our suffering of yesterday and today has also ceased --and never was.

None of the above should be construed as condoning lack of compassion, as it is precisely through indiscriminate, all embracing compassion that we purify the cognitive and emotional obscurations that bind us to conventional reality. Knowing that we can help to bring to an end the suffering of others, past, present, and future, is the basis of Bodhichitta.

mangalam
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: swampflower on August 12, 2010, 11:12:17 am
Dear Friends

om svasti

Perhaps we are projecting a meaning on the term 'perfection' that it does not have.

The etymology is thus: from L. perfectus "completed," pp. of perficere "accomplish, finish, complete," from per- "completely" + facere "to perform."

Perfect does not mean good, or desirable, or even acceptable. It means 'complete', 'lacking nothing.' It is in this sense that we can say "All is perfect, just as it is." Conventional reality is fullness of experience: the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, the joyous and the terrible.

Buddhas and Mahasattva-Bodhisattvas possess the Two Non-dual Pristine Wisdoms simultaneously: seeing Ultimate Reality as it is, and seeing the variety of phenomenal manifestation (conventional reality) as others see it -- but without being affected by disturbing emotions. Their spontaneous compassion manifests without suffering.

Someone posted earlier that Buddhahood "is retroactive", and that is a wonderful insight. Because time is a conceptual elaboration, it is not present in Non-dual Wisdom. Upon separation from the emotional and cognitive obscurations that veil our Buddha Nature, all our suffering ceases. It is not only that (future) suffering will never arise again, but that all our suffering of yesterday and today has also ceased --and never was.

None of the above should be construed as condoning lack of compassion, as it is precisely through indiscriminate, all embracing compassion that we purify the cognitive and emotional obscurations that bind us to conventional reality. Knowing that we can help to bring to an end the suffering of others, past, present, and future, is the basis of Bodhichitta.

mangalam

 :jinsyx: :jinsyx: :jinsyx:

It just is what it is, man.
And that is perfect, or all crap, or both, or neither.
Or all of the above.
Depends on the View.
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: gregkavarnos on August 13, 2010, 12:39:38 am
Venerable Tashi Nyima hits his head on the nail yet again!  ;D
 :namaste:
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: Spiny Norman on August 13, 2010, 02:43:47 am
On another thread I said that the Dzogchen view was that "everything was perfect just as it is"

Things are as they are.  Suffering arises when we want things to be different.

Spiny
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: gregkavarnos on August 13, 2010, 03:05:40 am
I disagree, your statement invalidates the actions of Bodhisattvas and Buddhas who are constantly struggling to bring an end to suffering.

Clinging and attachment to a mistaken belief as to what/how things are brings suffering, change per se does not bring suffering.
 :namaste:
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: santamonicacj on August 13, 2010, 03:20:22 am
change per se does not bring suffering.
I think this is from the "Defects of samsara" portion of the teachings on turning the mind from samsara:

There is the suffering of suffering.
There is the suffering of change.
And there is the suffering of conditioned existence.

Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: gregkavarnos 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:
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: Ron-the-Elder 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.
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: swampflower 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.
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: Yeshe Zopa 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. ;)
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: J. McKenna 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.
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: swampflower 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.
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: gregkavarnos 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:
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: Spiny Norman 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
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: Spiny Norman 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
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: gregkavarnos 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: 

Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: Spiny Norman 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... :)
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: Ron-the-Elder 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".

(http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:Ujbm71uyD1bhPM:http://img114.imageshack.us/img114/8116/bardo58b14co.jpg&t=1)



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... :)
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: gregkavarnos 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:
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: santamonicacj 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.
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: Bodhicandra 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?
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: zerwe on August 19, 2010, 05:12:32 am
Quote
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?

 :focus:

Yes, it appears that the plot had been lost a number of posts ago.  :teehee:
Shaun :namaste:
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: Spiny Norman on August 19, 2010, 05:42:02 am
...."everything was perfect just as it is".

It probably is for a Buddha.  For us everything is just dukkha. :wacky:

Spiny
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: santamonicacj on August 19, 2010, 01:07:30 pm
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?
The key phrase here is "at an appropriate stage of development".

It is not for us to either dismiss the suffering of an abused child or senior, or to pontificate to them that their circumstances do not need to be addressed. The linchpin for suffering is as you say. However it is a luxury to have the objective circumstances for suffering be something that can be ignored or dismissed. Every Tibetan teacher that made it to India had to run like hell to escape the Chinese. True some did passively stay behind, but most of those were killed.

In order for this to be a coherent view, that is the linchpin to suffering are mental defilements, then objective suffering has to be attributed to misdeeds and their resulting karma as an extension of those mental defilements. Hence the relevance to the teaching on the Precious Human Rebirth. We should be grateful and use the opportunity to end our involvement with the entire system that produces such sufferings.
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: swampflower on August 19, 2010, 02:56:25 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


Oh yes, but I was not speaking against happiness, ha ha.
Did not the Budddha smile?
But my wish is to obtain blissful joy within my Dharma practice and to rise above simply mundane happiness.
I did not mean to imply that happiness is THE cause of suffering, only one of 80,000 ways to experience suffering, again through the subtle suffering of change.
Since everything is impermanent we see change and try to cling to things as they just were.  That same impermanence however is emptiness and dependent origination in action.  I think this is a little bit of the Samsara and Nirvana are one sort of thing.
By recognizing impermanence and accepting impermanence it is potentially doable to see everything as perfect just as it is.  This relies on being in the now and not looking back with clinging or looking forward with craving. 
Just in the now-just as it is.
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: santamonicacj on August 19, 2010, 07:07:13 pm
I did not mean to imply that happiness is THE cause of suffering, only one of 80,000 ways to experience suffering, again through the subtle suffering of change...
...and also the suffering of compounded experience. Hence the hopelessly unsatisfactory nature of samsara.
Quote
Since everything is impermanent we see change and try to cling to things as they just were.  That same impermanence however is emptiness and dependent origination in action.
Good point.
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: gregkavarnos on August 20, 2010, 12:02:17 am
Quote
"If you fear you are running after the objects of the six senses, hold yourself with the hook:"

'Employ the watchman that is mindfulness.'

Someone who has been captured with a hook has no option but to go wherever he is led. In the same way, if we catch hold of our mind--which risks being distracted by the objects of the six senses--with the hook of mindfulness, and with vigilance and carefulness, this will be of enormous benefit. We should use this watchman to constantly check how many positive or negative thoughts and actions we produce during the day. When we are able to control our minds through mindfulness, everything that appears in samsara and nirvana becomes an aid in our practice and serves to confirm the meaning of the teachings. All appearances are understood as being dharmakaya. We perceive everything in its natural purity, and there is nothing we can call impure.

--from Zurchungpa's Testament: A Commentary on Zurchung Sherab Trakpa's 'Eighty Chapters of Personal Advice' by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, based on Shechen Gyaltsap's Annotated Edition, translated by the Padmakara Translation Group, published by Snow Lion Publications
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: Ngawang Drolma on August 20, 2010, 12:37:47 am
Dzogchen view is that emptiness and clarity are inseparable. New Age writers say everything is perfect. Those seem to be different views.

Additionally even in samsara, which is imperfect, the base is still the base and so needs to be revealed. Even in dzogchen the view just means form is what you choose to make it.

Just because atiyoya is'highest' teaching in some schools doesn't mean it isn't still just upaya since upaya is inseparable from absolute truth.

Without bodhichitta dzogchen view is pointless. A kid dying of famine doesn't need to hear about rigpa.

 :jinsyx:
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: Bodhicandra on August 20, 2010, 02:02:56 am
... one is not talking about a strange set of value judgements, but moving to a different level of awareness, one in which no value judgements (good or bad) are involved.

So at that stage in one's development, there are really no concepts such as good or evil, no horror, no suffering, nothing is good or bad, harmful or attractive, because your own relationship with these phenomena is one of equanimity. There's nothing that could do you any harm, because there isn't really any '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?


Quote
When we are able to control our minds through mindfulness, everything that appears in samsara and nirvana becomes an aid in our practice and serves to confirm the meaning of the teachings. All appearances are understood as being dharmakaya. We perceive everything in its natural purity, and there is nothing we can call impure.

--from Zurchungpa's Testament: A Commentary on Zurchung Sherab Trakpa's 'Eighty Chapters of Personal Advice' by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, based on Shechen Gyaltsap's Annotated Edition, translated by the Padmakara Translation Group, published by Snow Lion Publications

Excellent quote! Illustrates my point exactly - perhaps because it's author - HH Dilgo Khyentse  Rinpoche - was the co-founder of our Longchen Foundation and my teacher's Dzogchen teacher.

I've quoted my previous posts above, not to feed my ego (as I have too much of it) but because seeing the same point made in three slightly different ways (plus HH's additional point about understanding all appearances as dharmakaya, which I only dared hint at) might help more people connect with this challenging Dzogchen viewpoint.

 Thanks, Greg.
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: gregkavarnos on August 20, 2010, 03:31:40 am
In Mahamudra we utilise the same approach
Quote
Like the centre of the cloudless sky,
The self luminous mind is impossible to express. 
It is the wisdom of non-thought beyond analogy,
Naked ordinary mind.  Not keeping to dogmatism or arrogance,
It is clearly seen as Dharmakaya. 

The appearance of the six sense objects, like the moon in water,
Shines in the state of wisdom. 
Whatever arises is the nature of Mahamudra. 
The phenomenal world is Dharmakaya great bliss.
From The Vajra Song of the First Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche, Lodro Thaye
 :namaste:
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on August 20, 2010, 07:48:44 am
When we no longer find it necessary to debate views, then everything will be perfect, because that will be the last attachment of which we let go.   :namaste:
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: gregkavarnos on August 20, 2010, 09:23:04 am
When we no longer find it necessary to debate views, then everything will be perfect,
Is this your informed opinion shining through yet again Ron?  Sorry to be the one to tell you this Ron, but understanding is reached through discussion and debate, if you have all the answers then please share them with us so we can reach perfection too.  Until then we will just have to make do with our petty views!
Quote
...because that will be the last attachment of which we let go.
Fat chance!  I've got a bucket load more attachments to deal with after this one!  You want/need some?
 :namaste:
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: swampflower on August 20, 2010, 10:35:22 am
  I've got a bucket load more attachments to deal with after this one!  You want/need some?
 :namaste:

Ha ha, yes Greg please give me your attachments.
I can hardly imagine the amount of merit I will accumulate by doing so. :D
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: catmoon on August 20, 2010, 11:06:59 pm
  I've got a bucket load more attachments to deal with after this one!  You want/need some?
 :namaste:

Ha ha, yes Greg please give me your attachments.
I can hardly imagine the amount of merit I will accumulate by doing so. :D

Dear Swampie:

While I greatly admire your altruism in accepting Greg's attachments, I must insist that you take measures for your own safety before you do so, if only for the selfish reason that I wish to continue to benefit from your posts.

Please be sure to have an emergency locator beacon on your person. That way, after the attachments land on you, we can send search parties directly to the site of your burial. I would also recommend a firefighter's oxygen mask and backpack to ensure you last long enough to be found. Food will not be a problem, I'm quite sure there will lots of souvlaki and baklava and such in the heap. But stay way from the retsina!
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: gregkavarnos on August 20, 2010, 11:15:00 pm
Food will not be a problem, I'm quite sure there will lots of souvlaki and baklava and such in the heap. But stay way from the retsina!
Actually given that I have taken the precept not to indulge in intoxicants, am a vegetarian for even I don't know how long and don't particularly like sweets you'll find none of the three above-listed delicacies in my pile of attachments!  You'll have to make do with green tea, cheese pies and maybe, if you are lucky, a freshly baked chocolate croissant.
 :namaste:
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: humanitas on August 21, 2010, 10:08:24 am
Quote from: Bodhicandra
Looks like just about everyone other then myself has a problem with this phrase.

I completely agree with the phrase personally.  Everything IS perfect as it is, it is complete, it is not lacking in any way except for the right or wrong moral meaning which add as our own connotations.  Perfect does NOT mean good or bad or favorable/unfavorable, wholesome/unwholesome.  It is simply a state of completely as it is, it could be no other way than it is.  

Dependent origination in itself would show how any consequence is a perfect sequitur to its cause and conditions.  It's not like reality lacks something we have to add to it.  Therefore everything IS perfect, just not always suitable to our tastes/preferences/ego, and therefore there IS suffering because WE suffer.  And if the perfect completeness of tragedy is too painful, we can always work to shift the direction of natural perfection by changing the conditions that will generate more causes.  I think we Buddhists call it practice.

Everything is not happy as it is there is so much suffering.  But it is perfect. Including Greg's attachments.   Perfectly samsara.  Complete in its dichotomy reflecting our exact collective level of development as a human race.

Perfectly Samsara.  Sounds like a good band name.  

So to throw in my 2 cents, everything is both perfect and excellent.  Not always pleasant but that is a matter of resolving with practice.  It is all mud for the lotus.

:headbow:
Ogyen.
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: swampflower on August 21, 2010, 11:19:39 am
Quote from: Bodhicandra
Looks like just about everyone other then myself has a problem with this phrase.

Dependent origination in itself would show how any consequence is a perfect sequitur to its cause and conditions.  It's not like reality lacks something we have to add to it.  ...
... we can always work to shift the direction of natural perfection by changing the conditions that will generate more causes.  I think we Buddhists call it practice.


It is all mud for the lotus.

:headbow:
Ogyen.

Most excellent!  Om
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: catmoon on August 21, 2010, 12:18:28 pm
Food will not be a problem, I'm quite sure there will lots of souvlaki and baklava and such in the heap. But stay way from the retsina!
Actually given that I have taken the precept not to indulge in intoxicants, am a vegetarian for even I don't know how long and don't particularly like sweets you'll find none of the three above-listed delicacies in my pile of attachments!  You'll have to make do with green tea, cheese pies and maybe, if you are lucky, a freshly baked chocolate croissant.
 :namaste:


Ah the perils of guesswork. All the same, the menu sounds quite tolerable and should sustain life for a considerable period of time. come to think of it I rather like cheese pies and such. Gee.... ( rummage rummage rummage) there's some pretty cool stuff in here! Hmmm... maybe I should accept some of these attachments myself. I wonder if there's any feta in here.....
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: Spiny Norman on August 23, 2010, 03:29:57 am
Everything IS perfect as it is, it is complete, it is not lacking in any way except for the right or wrong moral meaning which add as our own connotations.  Perfect does NOT mean good or bad or favorable/unfavorable, wholesome/unwholesome.  It is simply a state of completely as it is, it could be no other way than it is.  

Yes, I can see it makes sense with this rather technical application of the word "perfect".   But why not just say "things are as they are"?

Spiny
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: gregkavarnos on August 23, 2010, 03:50:23 am
Yes, I can see it makes sense with this rather technical application of the word "perfect".   But why not just say "things are as they are"?
Probably coz we wouldn't be able to agree to what "are" is.  How things "are" for you may not be how things "are" for me.  Maybe it would be better to say things are complete but even that would cause a fray cause I may sense a lack of something.  I imagine in its entirety existence is complete and perfect, but when we focus on a detail it seems incomplete and imperfect.  Like looking at a single pixel of a whole picture.
 :namaste:
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: Pema Rigdzin on September 23, 2010, 01:31:25 am
On another thread I said that the Dzogchen view was that "everything was perfect just as it is". Now to me that is a little hard to take, especially when you are looking at horror and suffering. However I am of the impression that this is the Dzogchen view. Is that so?

Everything IS perfect, "just as it is." But, without direct knowledge of our true nature - from which our confused mind and our experience of all phenomena arise - we don't experience things "just as they are," we experience samsara. When Dzogchen says "everything is perfect just as it is," it is not disregarding the fact that samsara seems damn real to ordinary sentient beings - all too often unimaginably horribly real. Dzogchen is definitely not saying that an ordinary being's point of view and experience - samsara - is in any way perfect. But you must remember that samsara is not permanent and truly, objectively existing. No level of Buddhist teaching says samsara inherently exists. If samsara objectively existed and were inherently real, then samsaric beings could only ever experience samsara, never liberation. For such beings in such a reality, nothing could ever, ever bridge the gap between samsara and nirvana. However, samsara is not inherently, objectively existent. It is only a view and experience based upon not knowing how things truly are. Samsara is unawareness and nirvana is wisdom awareness. Neither is a truly existing, objective reality. Both are just modes of experience. Saying they are "just" modes of existence does not minimize them, it sends a liberating message that we are not doomed to suffer samsara forever. Therefore, it is said that the difference between samsara and nirvana is the state of one's own mind. Good or bad, high or low, all is within the state of emptiness. But with realization of this comes the painful realization that although this is the case, incalculable beings are unaware of this and even firmly convinced they and the world around them are objectively real, so they experience experience all kinds of suffering. Bodhicitta comes in the picture here, driving one to endeavor to fully realize the nature as it is in order to uncover and actualize the capacity to help all other beings realize it too so they can escape, or better yet transcend, suffering once and for all. This is what the Middle Way says, what Mahamudra says, and what Dzogchen says.



Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: humanitas on September 23, 2010, 07:34:21 pm
 :Approval:

You have no idea how happy I am to see you.


Gosh it just hit me how much I've missed you.
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: Pema Rigdzin on September 23, 2010, 07:35:26 pm
:Approval:

You have no idea how happy I am to see you.


Gosh it just hit me how much I've missed you.


Hahaha awww... good to see you too, my friend! :)
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: MikeL on January 05, 2013, 11:17:11 am
Sure, everything is perfect.  How can it be any other way?

The universe exists, and it is obviously functioning. There are no problems with the universe.  Hence, the universe is perfect; it must be. How could it be anything other than that?  Is there something in the universe that's out of place or that doesn't work?  If not, then all objects in the universe (you, me, Uncle Bob, The Taliban) are all perfect, too.  They must be.  They are part of the universe (reality), and no part of reality is broken or not working.   

"But, but, but . . . what about all the suffering in the world?"  Well, that Must Be Perfect also. It's all a "part" of an evolving universe / reality that right now right here is absolute perfection.  Suffering is a part of the perfection.  It's just a part (one of the multitudes of displays) of the "lila" that's playing out in front of us. 

Suffering is counter-intuitive initially.  It implies there are things that are wrong or bad.  Look closely at anything, and you'll see that everything contains the openness or possibility of both positive and negative elements or outcomes in it.  You cannot have day without night, bad without good, right without wrong . . . and that might lead one to see every object as a polarity.  So if Everything holds opposites, then maybe those opposites (evaluations) are really just abstractions, constructions, or the results of selective perceptions.  Maybe they are not inherent in things.  Maybe evaluations (so-called "non-perfections") are simply the result of attachments and aversions. 

"But pain is real!"  Ok, about as much as anything else.  What's is the problem with pain, after all?  Pain can be very good. It can tell you that you're hand is on a hot stove, that you have problematical behaviors, or that something is threatening your well-being.  Isn't that good?  (You can apply this to everything from childhood learning experiences to health care programs in the U.S.)  This is how we develop, and the mind-body organism has millions of years of experience and development doing exactly that.  We are consciousness becoming aware of itself (an allegory).  This is how it goes.  Don't you think it's infinitely intelligent?

I'm also going to sidestep the idea that there are any objects in reality in this post.  (There aren't.)

So maybe that's one way to look at the statement.  Yeah, everything is perfect.  IT must be.  How could IT not be perfect? 

The other part of the question is even more interesting, I think:  "just as it is."  Natural Perfection = just as it is. 

There appear to be a number of core notions that teachers use that can lead to awakening, if understood and taken to the end of the line.  Natural perfection is one of them.  Emptiness is another. So are:  The Unborn; I Am; letting go; who is speaking / asking / talking?; pristine awareness, etc. 

Be well.
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: dennis on October 29, 2013, 10:32:35 am
I remember reading you shouldn't worry so much about making choices about the direction of your path.  It said instead to contemplate snowflakes, and how each falls in it's own perfect place.

And I read of the Buddha's first words after his enlightenment:  "What is this wonder I see?  Everyone and everything is already perfect."

I understand, later, sutras were written to clarify what was actually meant, but I think I know.

My poem in honor:

"I have seen truth.
And the truth is love.
And this is why everyone and everything is perfect."
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: Lobster on October 29, 2013, 01:13:41 pm
"I have seen truth.
And the truth is love.
And this is why everyone and everything is perfect."

 :hug:
When we begin it is difficult to comprehend what seems flawed, imperfect, ignorant, evil.
It is why we take refuge in the positive examples, the easily knowable and comprehensible. In effect the good. The good grows.  :namaste:

Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on October 29, 2013, 08:17:14 pm
Hi, greg.  So happy to see your words on FS again. :hug: 

As for opinions, they come pretty cheap  by the dozen on most forums. :-P  What I truly value is experience, which leads to learning that helps us to survive under all foreseeable circumstances. I prefer these to both read and share. 

In any event, thanks for keeping me on the straight path as always. :)

_/\_Ron
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: dennis on November 01, 2013, 09:33:08 am
"I have seen truth.
And the truth is love.
And this is why everyone and everything is perfect."

 :hug:
When we begin it is difficult to comprehend what seems flawed, imperfect, ignorant, evil.
It is why we take refuge in the positive examples, the easily knowable and comprehensible. In effect the good. The good grows.  :namaste:

Thanks, Friend Lobster.  :hug:

"When we begin....."  I must find myself especially blessed because I recently find the "flawed, imperfect, ignorant, evil" to be easily observable (terribly observable), within me, in a way I've never before experienced. (And there I was, all perfect and everything.) :wink1:

This leads me to my eternal internal question of  practicing  Buddhism without being a Buddhist.  Still having problems with the Sangha/Asperger thing, which is kind of why you see me popping up here in Dzogchen.

And yet, as you say:  The good grows.  I believe Compassion bears me forward.  As I'm certain it does yourself.

 :namaste: Friend
may flowers line your path,
denny
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: NepalianBuddhist on November 01, 2013, 12:31:29 pm
Could be.
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: Martin Voggenberger on February 10, 2014, 05:00:09 am
 :dharma:
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on February 10, 2014, 07:54:24 am
I am not sure, because I have yet to become aware of everything. :eek:  I am a little concerned about what is going on beyond the great barrier beyond the edge of our galaxy. :-P

The Great Barrier:  http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2007/08/great-galactic-.html (http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2007/08/great-galactic-.html)
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: Cheylah on June 22, 2017, 11:26:44 am
In other words, one is not talking about a strange set of value judgements, but moving to a different level of awareness, one in which no value judgements (good or bad) are involved.


That is very clear.  "Perfect" transcends mind's decisions of good or bad. What is - relatively - is expression of what is - ultimately - and is changing and permanent accordingly, but exact and precise.
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: ground on June 22, 2017, 08:05:01 pm
In other words, one is not talking about a strange set of value judgements, but moving to a different level of awareness, one in which no value judgements (good or bad) are involved.
There is no ' moving to' because that awareness is spontaneously present. That is the crucial point and implies that there actually cannot be a dzogchen practice in the common sense of 'practice'. Therefore one speaks of 'direct introduction'.
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: Rahul on June 22, 2017, 08:35:03 pm
Accidentally, I hit a cup of coffee on my desk. It spilled all over the desk and on to my clothes...

Everything is just perfect! The gravity is working as it should be, that's why the coffee spilled over. The laws of physics about force, inertia, momentum are working as it they should be. That's why the cup tipped over. My pants absorbed the coffee, the table caught stains of coffee... all substances are working perfectly, obeying their natural properties perfectly...

Things won't be perfect if the cup didn't tip over when my hand hit it hard, if the coffee didn't flow out of the cup when it tipped over...

Yes, everything is just perfect.
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: ground on June 22, 2017, 08:54:45 pm
Accidentally, I hit a cup of coffee on my desk. It spilled all over the desk and on to my clothes...

Everything is just perfect! The gravity is working as it should be, that's why the coffee spilled over. The laws of physics about force, inertia, momentum are working as it they should be. That's why the cup tipped over. My pants absorbed the coffee, the table caught stains of coffee... all substances are working perfectly, obeying their natural properties perfectly...

Things won't be perfect if the cup didn't tip over when my hand hit it hard, if the coffee didn't flow out of the cup when it tipped over...

Yes, everything is just perfect.

The crucial point is everything is just perfect just as it is. So how is it?
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: Rahul on June 22, 2017, 11:46:51 pm
Accidentally, I hit a cup of coffee on my desk. It spilled all over the desk and on to my clothes...

Everything is just perfect! The gravity is working as it should be, that's why the coffee spilled over. The laws of physics about force, inertia, momentum are working as it they should be. That's why the cup tipped over. My pants absorbed the coffee, the table caught stains of coffee... all substances are working perfectly, obeying their natural properties perfectly...

Things won't be perfect if the cup didn't tip over when my hand hit it hard, if the coffee didn't flow out of the cup when it tipped over...

Yes, everything is just perfect.

The crucial point is everything is just perfect just as it is. So how is it?
'Perfection' is about likeness of given situation/phenomena to your picture of how it should be. You develop ideals, or a model, or a picture of how things should be. And then you compare that ideal or model with given situation/object/phenomena. The more the deviations from the ideal, the less perfect it is. The less deviations from the ideal, the more perfect it is.

Suffering can't exist without joy. Ah yes it's true: there is both suffering and joy in this world! Perrrrrfect.
Everyone must have freedom of actions. Ah yes this exists: there are people waging wars and people spreading message of peace, too! Perrrrrfect!
Each action will result in certain consequences. Ah yes, this is visible: people wage wars and as a result nations and people are destroyed, people work towards development and their nation is prospering. Perrrrrfect!
...

Everything is perfect the way it is because every law of cosmos is being obeyed just like it should be. Each law of cosmos is obeyed precisely and there is nothing happening against cosmic laws. In this way, the world is perfect as it is.

'Perfection' requires having an ideal in mind. If you evaluate the same thing against model 1, it is imperfect. But if you evaluate the same thing against model 2, it maybe just perfect.
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: Samana Johann on June 23, 2017, 12:19:21 am
What a fart! (http://sangham.net/index.php/topic,892.msg4348.html#msg4348) That's how this is like.
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: ground on June 23, 2017, 12:31:50 am
Accidentally, I hit a cup of coffee on my desk. It spilled all over the desk and on to my clothes...

Everything is just perfect! The gravity is working as it should be, that's why the coffee spilled over. The laws of physics about force, inertia, momentum are working as it they should be. That's why the cup tipped over. My pants absorbed the coffee, the table caught stains of coffee... all substances are working perfectly, obeying their natural properties perfectly...

Things won't be perfect if the cup didn't tip over when my hand hit it hard, if the coffee didn't flow out of the cup when it tipped over...

Yes, everything is just perfect.

The crucial point is everything is just perfect just as it is. So how is it?
'Perfection' is about likeness of given situation/phenomena to your picture of how it should be. You develop ideals, or a model, or a picture of how things should be. And then you compare that ideal or model with given situation/object/phenomena. The more the deviations from the ideal, the less perfect it is. The less deviations from the ideal, the more perfect it is.
That is one understanding of perfection. However there is a fault since applying this understanding there isn't 'more or less perfect' because either something is perfect or not.

However in the context here 'everything is perfect' means 'there is nothing to improve' just because all comparison with ideals and all wishing and hoping as well as fearing ceases. Everything is already perfect from the outset.
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: Rahul on June 23, 2017, 01:50:09 am

However in the context here 'everything is perfect' means 'there is nothing to improve' just because all comparison with ideals and all wishing and hoping as well as fearing ceases. Everything is already perfect from the outset.


'Evaluating scope of improving' is just another way of 'evaluating perfection', these two concepts are one and the same. But it seems that you already have an answer to the question why 'everything is perfect the way it is'.
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: Samana Johann on June 23, 2017, 01:51:20 am
Only so one will survive... will he/she (https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1F81S50xL8I)
Title: Re: Is everything perfect "just as it is"?
Post by: ground on June 23, 2017, 04:48:31 am

However in the context here 'everything is perfect' means 'there is nothing to improve' just because all comparison with ideals and all wishing and hoping as well as fearing ceases. Everything is already perfect from the outset.


'Evaluating scope of improving' is just another way of 'evaluating perfection', these two concepts are one and the same. But it seems that you already have an answer to the question why 'everything is perfect the way it is'.

I understand what you are trying to get at. The issue we are facing is that the linguistic expressions 'Everything is already perfect from the outset.' or 'there is nothing to improve' arise in a mode of consciousness that is not one with that to which it is intended to refer and - as is the nature of language - these expressions do necessarily appeal to a mode of consciousness that necessarily isn't the mode referred to either but which is conceptual and discursive (therefore your analysis).

The mode of consciousness referred to with these expressions actually is naturally nonconceptual and empty of conceptual recollection and empty of any dualities. So in this mode 'perfect vs imperfect' does actually not exist. However since this mode of consciousness is the source of all other modes of consciousness all conceptual modes of consciousnesses necessarily are its own manifestations and when these conceptual modes emerge then there is a similtude of recollection of the source base mode  concomitant with knowing itself to be its self-manifestation. Since linguistic/conceptual capacities are again present in this emerged conceptual mode this similitude of a recollection of the base mode can be verbalized, but the verbalization is not 'it' since 'it' is empty of verbalization, dualities and naturally nonconceptual.

So 'Everything is already perfect from the outset.' or 'there is nothing to improve' are expressions of similitudes of recollections but do not authentically describe the mode of consciousness which is directly introduced in the context of dzogchen because in this basic mode there is neither anything nor nothing. However when conceptual modes and modes of perception do set in again after direct introduction has happened there is self-knowing awareness even in these conceptual and perceiving modes of being its own base mode's manifestation. Thus all phenomena then do appear as manifestations of the base and thus empty of inherent existence and therefore neither aversions nor attractions do arise. Boundless equalness.
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