Author Topic: dependent arising  (Read 5325 times)

Offline Chaz

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Re: dependent arising
« Reply #105 on: July 31, 2018, 12:11:56 pm »
....there is no separation between stillness (or emptiness) and the forms that arise in the mind and senses.

I'm not so sure that the "stillness" associated with Shamatha practice is the same this as emptiness.  To me "stillness" means no movement of mind.

Offline zafrogzen

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Re: dependent arising
« Reply #106 on: July 31, 2018, 12:44:00 pm »
I'm not so sure that the "stillness" associated with Shamatha practice is the same this (thing) as emptiness.  To me "stillness" means no movement of mind.

I was responding to Dairy Lama's comment below regarding samatha, where stillness and movement of mind appear to be occurring simultaneously.

- like a stillness "beneath" the movement of mind and senses.
I know what you’re saying in terms of practice, but going a little deeper there is no separation between stillness (or emptiness) and the forms that arise in the mind and senses. Those forms ARE the stillness and visa versa. That’s dependent arising. “The coin that is lost in the river is found in the river.”

 The intellect wants to chop everything up into bitesize chunks.

« Last Edit: July 31, 2018, 12:48:32 pm by zafrogzen »
My first formal meditation training was with Shunryu Suzuki in the 60's and later with Kobun, Robert Aitken and many other teachers (mainly zen). However, I've spent the most time practicing on my own, which is all I do now. I'm living in a rather isolated area so I miss connecting with other practitioners. Despite my interest in zen I've made an effort to remain secular. You can visit my website at http://www.frogzen.com

Offline Chaz

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Re: dependent arising
« Reply #107 on: July 31, 2018, 01:45:31 pm »
I'm not so sure that the "stillness" associated with Shamatha practice is the same this (thing) as emptiness.  To me "stillness" means no movement of mind.

I was responding to Dairy Lama's comment below regarding samatha, where stillness and movement of mind appear to be occurring simultaneously.

Oh, I got that.  I'm just not so sure that stillness and emptiness are the same thing.  Ultimately, everything is emptiness and effortless stillness of mind will aid in the realization of emptiness, I still think in the context of DL's statement we're talking two different things.

Besides, I don't think you can have stillness and movement of mind in the same moment.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2018, 01:47:58 pm by IdleChater »

Offline zafrogzen

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Re: dependent arising
« Reply #108 on: July 31, 2018, 03:16:16 pm »
Just ignore that (emptiness), it's a whole other discussion.  My point in response to what DL posted was that there's no separation between the stillness "beneath" what arises and whatever arises. Both are the same mind.

I wasn't the one who implied "you can have stillness and movement of mind in the same moment." You'll have to take that up with him. My point was that they're the same thing, just like Nirvana and Samsara are said to be the same in Mahayana, but usually not so in Theravada.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2018, 03:37:42 pm by zafrogzen »
My first formal meditation training was with Shunryu Suzuki in the 60's and later with Kobun, Robert Aitken and many other teachers (mainly zen). However, I've spent the most time practicing on my own, which is all I do now. I'm living in a rather isolated area so I miss connecting with other practitioners. Despite my interest in zen I've made an effort to remain secular. You can visit my website at http://www.frogzen.com

Offline Dairy Lama

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Re: dependent arising
« Reply #109 on: August 02, 2018, 01:31:45 am »
- like a stillness "beneath" the movement of mind and senses.
I know what you’re saying in terms of practice, but going a little deeper there is no separation between stillness (or emptiness) and the forms that arise in the mind and senses. Those forms ARE the stillness and visa versa. That’s dependent arising. “The coin that is lost in the river is found in the river.”

You mean stillness like a "ground of being", from which movement and activity arise? 
« Last Edit: August 02, 2018, 01:37:40 am by Dairy Lama »
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Offline Dairy Lama

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Re: dependent arising
« Reply #110 on: August 02, 2018, 01:35:17 am »
....there is no separation between stillness (or emptiness) and the forms that arise in the mind and senses.

I'm not so sure that the "stillness" associated with Shamatha practice is the same this as emptiness.  To me "stillness" means no movement of mind.

Yes, I see what you mean, though I think there is always movement of some sort going on, it could just be subtle changes in mood or mind-state.  I was trying to describe something more like a point of stillness, like the eye at the centre of the storm.  Or perhaps the awareness associated with it.
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Offline zafrogzen

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Re: dependent arising
« Reply #111 on: August 02, 2018, 10:19:52 am »
You mean stillness like a "ground of being", from which movement and activity arise? 
No, a mind-ground is more like your "- stillness "beneath" the movement of mind and senses." I meant that there is no separation between the movement of the mind and the mind (or "stillness") itself. That conceptual separation is where the concept of a separate self comes from. The intellect habitually cuts everything up into parts like that and then projects it onto what is actually a much more subtle seamless groundless whole.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2018, 10:57:48 am by zafrogzen »
My first formal meditation training was with Shunryu Suzuki in the 60's and later with Kobun, Robert Aitken and many other teachers (mainly zen). However, I've spent the most time practicing on my own, which is all I do now. I'm living in a rather isolated area so I miss connecting with other practitioners. Despite my interest in zen I've made an effort to remain secular. You can visit my website at http://www.frogzen.com

Offline Dairy Lama

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Re: dependent arising
« Reply #112 on: August 03, 2018, 01:37:25 am »
You mean stillness like a "ground of being", from which movement and activity arise? 

No, a mind-ground is more like your "- stillness "beneath" the movement of mind and senses." I meant that there is no separation between the movement of the mind and the mind (or "stillness") itself. That conceptual separation is where the concept of a separate self comes from. The intellect habitually cuts everything up into parts like that and then projects it onto what is actually a much more subtle seamless groundless whole.


There seem to be different ideas about this.  For example this is from Ajahn Chah.  He was nominally Theravada but he sounds more Zen to me!

"The point is that really this mind of ours is naturally peaceful. It's still and calm like a leaf that is not being blown about by the wind. But if the wind blows then it flutters. It does that because of the wind. And so with the mind it's because of these moods - getting caught up with thoughts. If the mind didn't get lost in these moods it wouldn't flutter about. If it understood the nature of thoughts it would just stay still. This is called the natural state of the mind. And why we have come to practice now is to see the mind in this original state."
 http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Training_this_Mind1.php

I have heard this referred to as experiencing the "weather" of the mind, eg moods passing like clouds through the sky ( possibly resonating with the Tibetan idea of the "sky-like nature of mind" ). 
But yes, I can see the downside of this view, the assumption that the mind is a self experiencing stuff - though actually the mind feels more like an empty space when experienced in this way, not really like a self.
Actually I think it's best to keep an open mind on this stuff - IMO the point is to keep looking, to keep noticing - to keep discovering.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2018, 01:43:42 am by Dairy Lama »
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Offline zafrogzen

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Re: dependent arising
« Reply #113 on: August 03, 2018, 12:42:40 pm »
From Ajahn Chah
Quote
And why we have come to practice now is to see the mind in this original state.

That's true. And it does sound a lot like zen. I was trying to emphasize that that "original state" doesn't somehow exist separately, "beneath" whatever arises. It cannot be said to exist or not exist. Sometimes it's said that everything arises "within" that stillness, or that the Mind "becomes" whatever arises, but conceptualizations like that only create more confusion and make it look like a "place" or a "thing."

Still, when one lets go completely, there it is.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2018, 12:54:47 pm by zafrogzen »
My first formal meditation training was with Shunryu Suzuki in the 60's and later with Kobun, Robert Aitken and many other teachers (mainly zen). However, I've spent the most time practicing on my own, which is all I do now. I'm living in a rather isolated area so I miss connecting with other practitioners. Despite my interest in zen I've made an effort to remain secular. You can visit my website at http://www.frogzen.com

Offline Dairy Lama

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Re: dependent arising
« Reply #114 on: August 04, 2018, 01:36:56 am »
From Ajahn Chah
Quote
And why we have come to practice now is to see the mind in this original state.

That's true. And it does sound a lot like zen. I was trying to emphasize that that "original state" doesn't somehow exist separately, "beneath" whatever arises. It cannot be said to exist or not exist. Sometimes it's said that everything arises "within" that stillness, or that the Mind "becomes" whatever arises, but conceptualizations like that only create more confusion and make it look like a "place" or a "thing."

Perhaps, but it's difficult to discuss or describe these experiences without some conceptualisation.   I agree it's not productive to think of Mind as a "thing", though perhaps "place" is a little nearer.  I started with a sense of mind being located "in my head", I guess because that's where the sense organs are mostly placed - but of course that isn't really accurate.  For me the idea of the mind as a "space" is more productive.   
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Offline zafrogzen

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Re: dependent arising
« Reply #115 on: August 04, 2018, 12:25:39 pm »
Yes, just by being clear and open like empty space, with no inside or outside, mind and whatever arises are seen to be one equal, interdependent reality. In the words of the third Zen Ancestor in China --

“All in One and One in All – if only that is realized, no more worry about not being perfect! This is where words fail; for it is not of the past, present and future.”

« Last Edit: August 05, 2018, 08:47:37 am by zafrogzen »
My first formal meditation training was with Shunryu Suzuki in the 60's and later with Kobun, Robert Aitken and many other teachers (mainly zen). However, I've spent the most time practicing on my own, which is all I do now. I'm living in a rather isolated area so I miss connecting with other practitioners. Despite my interest in zen I've made an effort to remain secular. You can visit my website at http://www.frogzen.com

 


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