Author Topic: Dependent Origination  (Read 29130 times)

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Dependent Origination
« Reply #60 on: July 23, 2010, 01:22:39 am »
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Suffering is traditionally both physical and mental, so I'm not sure that helps us very much with this question.
 

Traditionally as in that's how most people see it, but it seems the Buddha taught otherwise. Physical pain can even be interpreted as sensory pleasure for some, in certain situations, so clearly physical pain is not in and of itself suffering. Suffering is mental no matter which way you cut it. And just as we do not need to become mentally entangled in sensory pleasures, the same is true of sensory displeasure. Has absolutely all sensory pain you've experienced been what you'd call suffering? Is a buddha not free of suffering until he dies? If he cannot be free of sensory pain in the here-and-now, why can he be free of sensory pleasure in the here-and-now? It's all the same to a buddha.

I don't think a Buddha stops feeling pain, and a Buddha is clearly still subject to the effects of ageing, disease, etc.  It seems to me that what ceases for a Buddha is mental "pain".  I think I'm agreeing with you.  Though I've forgotten the relevance of this to our discussion. :)
 
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Offline Valtiel

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Re: Dependent Origination
« Reply #61 on: July 23, 2010, 07:26:33 am »
I never said a buddha stops feeling pain. I said pain is not suffering unless one interprets it as such. Pain is just sensation. The Buddha taught, and is described as having done himself, the Sallatha Sutta: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn36/sn36.006.nypo.html

Physical pain is not suffering to a buddha. It is only suffering to us when we attach to it and become entangled in it.

The relevance- you suggested that suffering is physical, which would imply that one cannot be free from suffering in this lifetime. This has everything to do with how DO is interpreted.

Offline humanitas

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Re: Dependent Origination
« Reply #62 on: July 23, 2010, 08:23:17 pm »
I think that, unlike pain, suffering is the prolonged continuum of being in pain due to ignorance.  Pain itself is a neutral phenomenon, as in not negative/positive.  Sometimes they talk of healing pain, in which case it's not the same as "healing suffering" as I don't think there is any such thing.  Therefore pain and suffering are not mutually exclusive.  I seem to recall someone famous like the Dalai Lama or Mahatma Gandhi said  "Pain is inevitable. Suffering is a choice" or something much to that effect.

Good food for thought! 
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Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Dependent Origination
« Reply #63 on: July 24, 2010, 02:50:41 am »
Physical pain is not suffering to a buddha. It is only suffering to us when we attach to it and become entangled in it.

The relevance- you suggested that suffering is physical, which would imply that one cannot be free from suffering in this lifetime. This has everything to do with how DO is interpreted.

I'm inclined to agree on your first point ( that dukkha is mental rather than physical pain ) because the Noble Truths describe dukkha as arising in dependence on attachment etc.
I'm not sure I see the relevance to DO interpretation though.

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Offline Valtiel

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Re: Dependent Origination
« Reply #64 on: July 24, 2010, 11:14:25 pm »
Because the final nidana is the "arising of the entire mass of suffering." The entire purpose of DO is to illustrate how suffering arises (and thus how it can cease). People who view physical pain as inherent suffering do not see liberation as possible within this life and thus believe Samsara is the physical cycle of rebirth and that it must be escaped... thus DO is interpreted in 3 lives. People who do not view physical pain as inherent suffering (or physical aging, sickness, death) see liberation from suffering within this life as possible and interpret DO psychologically.

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because the Noble Truths describe dukkha as arising in dependence on attachment etc.

So then attachment/clinging happens in this life but the suffering from that clinging only happens in the next life, and that suffering is all physical birth/aging/sickness/death (as per the Three Lives Model)?   :eek:

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Dependent Origination
« Reply #65 on: July 28, 2010, 01:29:17 am »
People who do not view physical pain as inherent suffering (or physical aging, sickness, death) see liberation from suffering within this life as possible and interpret DO psychologically.

I see what you  mean.  The problem is that sutta descriptions of dukkha include ageing and death.

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Offline Bodhicandra

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Re: Dependent Origination
« Reply #66 on: July 28, 2010, 02:37:28 am »
Is it OK if I introduce some Mahayana-based thoughts into this thread?

For me, the Prajnaparamita (Perfection of Wisdom) teachings give some clues as to how to approach the understanding of DO. The Heart Sutra, in particular, gives one plenty to ponder over /struggle with.

"Form is emptiness, emptiness is form, form is no other than emptiness, emptiness is no other than form" and so on.

I find it impossible to grapple with this intellectually, it simply points to the need for some deeper study, practice, insight, following which some understanding might emerge.

On the specific point of suffering, the teaching within the Mahayana Maha Ati tradition is that suffering, in all its forms and degrees, is entirely and simply the result of ignorance of our true natures. So long as that ignorance remains, suffering is necessarily present, in all states and conditions, in and between all lifetimes. Buddha, awakening, is the dissolving of this ignorance.

The central point (as I understand it) of the Mahayana path is that, as understanding of one's true nature starts to grow, one becomes more and more aware of the interconnectedness of all sentient beings. In particular one begins to feel, in a very real way, the suffering of all.

It is not a detached concept from an observer, thinking something like 'I feel OK right now, but you poor lot seem to be in pain - I feel sorry for you', but an actual tenderness, soreness experienced in your heart area, which is that shared pain of suffering. From this experience of tenderness arises the Heart of Compassion, which is the motivation to start the 'career' of a Bodhisattva, one who vows never to leave samasara until the suffering of all sentient beings has been ended.

This seems like an impossible task - but Mahayana teachings, in particular (returning to the theme of this thread) ones related to DO, give one hope and inspiration that the situation is actually 'workable'.
"Your first task on the path is to learn to stop being a nuisance to the world"
adapted from Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Dependent Origination
« Reply #67 on: July 28, 2010, 10:50:53 am »
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Bodhicandra wrote:  "Form is emptiness, emptiness is form, form is no other than emptiness, emptiness is no other than form" and so on.

I find it impossible to grapple with this intellectually, it simply points to the need for some deeper study, practice, insight, following which some understanding might emerge.

The concept is straight forward as it relates to DO.  All things dependently arisen, and their causes are impermanent.  Attachment to "anything" impermanent will cause dukkha (suffering, stress, and dissatisfaction) simply because it is impermanent.  When attached to pleasurable things they don't last and the loss of the pleasure causes dukkhua.  That which is not pleasurable, which causes pain, suffering, stress, or dissatisfaction, causes dukkha directly.  For example if you were attached to putting concentrated nitric acid into your eye, this would cause dukkha directly.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2010, 10:54:15 am by Bodhisatta2010 »
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Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Dependent Origination
« Reply #68 on: August 13, 2010, 02:42:31 am »
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All things dependently arisen, and their causes are impermanent.  Attachment to "anything" impermanent will cause dukkha (suffering, stress, and dissatisfaction) simply because it is impermanent.  When attached to pleasurable things they don't last and the loss of the pleasure causes dukkhua.  

Ron, I think everyone would agree about the principle of specific conditionality that underlies DO and indeed the Noble Truths.  What people disagree on is the correct interpretation of the 12 links, some favouring the "3-lives" interpretation, some favouring what has been referred to as the "psychological" interpretation.  This disagreement seems to be symptomatic of the wider disagreement about the significance of post-mortem rebirth in relation to Buddhist practice.  It's possible that both interpretations are correct, it's possible that both interpretations are wrong.  It's possible that the arguments about this are little more than a distraction to the important work of developing insight into the second Noble Truth.

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Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Dependent Origination
« Reply #69 on: August 13, 2010, 02:49:59 am »
So long as that ignorance remains, suffering is necessarily present, in all states and conditions, in and between all lifetimes. Buddha, awakening, is the dissolving of this ignorance.

You seem to be saying that a Buddha isn't subject to suffering.  But traditional descriptions of dukkha include sickness, ageing and death, to which a Buddha is still subject.  How do you account for this apparent inconsistency?

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Offline Bodhicandra

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Re: Dependent Origination
« Reply #70 on: August 13, 2010, 01:30:13 pm »
So long as that ignorance remains, suffering is necessarily present, in all states and conditions, in and between all lifetimes. Buddha, awakening, is the dissolving of this ignorance.

You seem to be saying that a Buddha isn't subject to suffering.  But traditional descriptions of dukkha include sickness, ageing and death, to which a Buddha is still subject.  How do you account for this apparent inconsistency?

Spiny

I believe it is said that Buddhas and Bodhisattvas exhibit old age, suffering and death as a teaching aid for us; they themselves do not really suffer.

I'm not sure how widespread this view is. I believe it's part of the Tibetan Guru 'system', and I think it may be inferred / deduced from the Lotus Sutra - but I've no authority for that.
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Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Dependent Origination
« Reply #71 on: August 14, 2010, 01:37:56 am »
So long as that ignorance remains, suffering is necessarily present, in all states and conditions, in and between all lifetimes. Buddha, awakening, is the dissolving of this ignorance.

You seem to be saying that a Buddha isn't subject to suffering.  But traditional descriptions of dukkha include sickness, ageing and death, to which a Buddha is still subject.  How do you account for this apparent inconsistency?

Spiny

I believe it is said that Buddhas and Bodhisattvas exhibit old age, suffering and death as a teaching aid for us; they themselves do not really suffer.


That's broadly how I understand it.  In which case disease, old age and death that are not themselves dukkha but rather the suffering is caused by our aversion to these events.  This interpretation seems to be supported by the second Noble Truth and DO, in that suffering arises in dependence on craving and clinging.  And one category of clinging is that to eternal existence. 
The alternative view would be that disease, old age and death are inherently dukkha, in which case a Buddha would not be free from dukkha post-enlightenment...which doesn't appear to make sense.

Spiny

Offline Caz

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Re: Dependent Origination
« Reply #72 on: August 14, 2010, 01:40:49 am »
So long as that ignorance remains, suffering is necessarily present, in all states and conditions, in and between all lifetimes. Buddha, awakening, is the dissolving of this ignorance.

You seem to be saying that a Buddha isn't subject to suffering.  But traditional descriptions of dukkha include sickness, ageing and death, to which a Buddha is still subject.  How do you account for this apparent inconsistency?

Spiny

Suffering comes from the mind, A body may detiriotate but an enlightened mind will never degenerate from a state of bliss. Buddha's body is still subject to Samsaric effects as his phyical body was a by product of Samsaric causes.  :pray:
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This eBook Modern Buddhism – The Path of Compassion and Wisdom, in three volumes, is being distributed freely at the request of the author Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. The author says: "Through reading and practicing the instructions given in this book, people can solve their daily problems and maintain a happy mind all the time." So that these benefits can pervade the whole world, Geshe Kelsang wishes to give this eBook freely to everyone.

We would like to request you to please respect this precious Dharma book, which functions to free living beings from suffering permanently. If you continually read and practice the advice in this book, eventually your problems caused by anger, attachment and ignorance will cease.

Please enjoy this special gift from Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, who dedicates: "May everyone who reads this book experience deep peace of mind, and accomplish the real meaning of human life."

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Dependent Origination
« Reply #73 on: August 14, 2010, 01:46:44 am »
Suffering comes from the mind, A body may detiriotate but an enlightened mind will never degenerate from a state of bliss. Buddha's body is still subject to Samsaric effects as his phyical body was a by product of Samsaric causes.  :pray:

I'm not sure I follow this Caz.  Do you mean a Buddha's mind is "exempt" from dukkha, but his body isn't?  I'm not sure how that would work.

Spiny

Offline Caz

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Re: Dependent Origination
« Reply #74 on: August 14, 2010, 02:22:46 am »
Suffering comes from the mind, A body may detiriotate but an enlightened mind will never degenerate from a state of bliss. Buddha's body is still subject to Samsaric effects as his phyical body was a by product of Samsaric causes.  :pray:

I'm not sure I follow this Caz.  Do you mean a Buddha's mind is "exempt" from dukkha, but his body isn't?  I'm not sure how that would work.

Spiny

Suffering is a state of mind.  :pray:
http://emodernbuddhism.com/

This eBook Modern Buddhism – The Path of Compassion and Wisdom, in three volumes, is being distributed freely at the request of the author Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. The author says: "Through reading and practicing the instructions given in this book, people can solve their daily problems and maintain a happy mind all the time." So that these benefits can pervade the whole world, Geshe Kelsang wishes to give this eBook freely to everyone.

We would like to request you to please respect this precious Dharma book, which functions to free living beings from suffering permanently. If you continually read and practice the advice in this book, eventually your problems caused by anger, attachment and ignorance will cease.

Please enjoy this special gift from Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, who dedicates: "May everyone who reads this book experience deep peace of mind, and accomplish the real meaning of human life."

 


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