Author Topic: Please can the method behing Madhyamaka be explained in simple terms.  (Read 16830 times)

Offline ground

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Re: Please can the method behing Madhyamaka be explained in simple terms.
« Reply #135 on: July 02, 2011, 04:42:07 am »
I know exactly what your views are on the Mahayana and Vajrayana ...
At least you believe to know. Whether you know certainly may be doubted.

... you frequently post to support your preferred speculation, which is fine, but it is not so fine when you denigrate the path of others as 'ungrounded speculation',.   Ah well, if it makes you feel happy and feeds a need.
I don't know what you are referring to with "your preferred speculation" but I happily concede that each and every syllable which is not the Buddha's is mere speculation whereas the Buddha's teachings in the sutta pitaka are unsurpassable truth.

Kind regards

Yeshe

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Re: Please can the method behing Madhyamaka be explained in simple terms.
« Reply #136 on: July 02, 2011, 06:12:51 am »
I know exactly what your views are on the Mahayana and Vajrayana ...
At least you believe to know. Whether you know certainly may be doubted.

... you frequently post to support your preferred speculation, which is fine, but it is not so fine when you denigrate the path of others as 'ungrounded speculation',.   Ah well, if it makes you feel happy and feeds a need.
I don't know what you are referring to with "your preferred speculation" but I happily concede that each and every syllable which is not the Buddha's is mere speculation whereas the Buddha's teachings in the sutta pitaka are unsurpassable truth.

Kind regards

You assume that the words you choose are not mere speculation? 
It is your personal choice of delusion, your 'truth' and that's fine.

What I don't understand is why you haver spent many months peddling these attacks on the Vajrayana, especially on DW.  I hope you soon find enough peace to eliminate this need. Sadly, it seems to escalate until you get warned or banned.

Please stop repeatedly disparaging the beliefs and practices of Mahayana and Vajrayana as 'ungrounded speculation' on threads discussing them.   I note that you post little on Dhammawheel so you must find some special attraction in the Mahayana and Vajrayana teachings - yet there is a palpable sneer in remarks such as 'ungrounded speculation'.   

Well, you're luck is in, I responded to your off-topic  troll.  Now can we get back to the topic, which is not 'I'm a Theravadan, I'm right,  and you are all chasing fairy tales'.   
« Last Edit: July 02, 2011, 06:30:42 am by Yeshe »

Offline Dairy Lama

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Re: Please can the method behing Madhyamaka be explained in simple terms.
« Reply #137 on: July 02, 2011, 07:23:50 am »
If the chair had inherited existence, then that existence could be found when we pulled the chair apart. However, when we pull the chair apart we find that the chair is just made from pieces of wood, that were assembled together to make what we call a chair.


I remember having a "chair" discussion at an NKT class years ago, and the teacher said: "What do we get if we take the legs off a chair?" and I said: "A legless chair."
I know I shouldn't say these things, but sometimes I get a bit mischevious... :teehee:

Spiny
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Offline ground

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Re: Please can the method behing Madhyamaka be explained in simple terms.
« Reply #138 on: July 02, 2011, 08:14:50 am »
I know exactly what your views are on the Mahayana and Vajrayana ...
At least you believe to know. Whether you know certainly may be doubted.

... you frequently post to support your preferred speculation, which is fine, but it is not so fine when you denigrate the path of others as 'ungrounded speculation',.   Ah well, if it makes you feel happy and feeds a need.
I don't know what you are referring to with "your preferred speculation" but I happily concede that each and every syllable which is not the Buddha's is mere speculation whereas the Buddha's teachings in the sutta pitaka are unsurpassable truth.

Kind regards

You assume that the words you choose are not mere speculation? 
It is your personal choice of delusion, your 'truth' and that's fine.
Please read carefully what I have written: All words I do apply that are not the Buddha's are speculation. This is what I have written.


What I don't understand is why you haver spent many months peddling these attacks on the Vajrayana, especially on DW.  I hope you soon find enough peace to eliminate this need. Sadly, it seems to escalate until you get warned or banned.
I did not attack vajrayana at all.


Please stop repeatedly disparaging the beliefs and practices of Mahayana and Vajrayana as 'ungrounded speculation' on threads discussing them.   I note that you post little on Dhammawheel so you must find some special attraction in the Mahayana and Vajrayana teachings - yet there is a palpable sneer in remarks such as 'ungrounded speculation'.   
Actually I like the Mahayana and the Vajrayana. However philosophies I find speculation.

Well, you're luck is in, I responded to your off-topic  troll.  Now can we get back to the topic, which is not 'I'm a Theravadan, I'm right,  and you are all chasing fairy tales'.
I am not a Theravadin.

Kind regards

Offline Sunya

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Re: Please can the method behing Madhyamaka be explained in simple terms.
« Reply #139 on: July 02, 2011, 09:41:27 am »
"To him, possessing compassion, who taught the real dharma
For the destruction of all views—to him, Gautama, I humbly offer reverence"
(Nagarjuna, MMK 27.30)

http://www.orientalia.org/article492.html

Offline White Lotus

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Re: Please can the method behing Madhyamaka be explained in simple terms.
« Reply #140 on: July 03, 2011, 08:37:58 am »
For the destruction of all views—to him, Gautama, I humbly offer reverence

Thank you for this quote Sunya, it very well clarifies the argument at this stage without beating around the bush. i would however say that from a mahayana perspective that there are no views to destroy, since all are inherently empty and no view has a self to be destroyed. when all views are seen as empty, where is the view? there is only the appearance of a view. just as there is only the appearance of a view, there is only the appearance of a chair, a table and a computer. these are illusory appearances of emptiness in emptiness. there never was anything and yet... i am typing at this computer. paradox.

to attach to the appearance of emptiness, by remaining silent or by expressing no concepts or opinions is fine, however this does not respect the true nature of all things. which are not. to avoid views is to avoid emptiness, which cannot be avoided whatsoever, since all is empty.

if i say that compassion is important, this is a view. if i say that there is no self, this is a view. these views are grounded in experience and reality. they are however dreams, within a dream. we need right action and right view to progress where there is no path.

to be averse to any view that was not expressed by Noble Siddharta, is to fail to realize that buddhism is an appreciation of the way things are, and the way things could be. cessation of suffering. emptiness.

before i say any more i must say that i have appreciated your posts T Ming Yur posts and your tenacity. yes, humility is important and when we have a great realization the ego can be insensitive in the way we express ourselves. i have found that in my own experience, and need to respect that truth can be dangerous.

best wishes, Tom.



Offline White Lotus

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Re: Please can the method behing Madhyamaka be explained in simple terms.
« Reply #141 on: July 03, 2011, 08:49:37 am »
For the destruction of all views—to him, Gautama, I humbly offer reverence.

it is not surprising that Nagarjuna said this since the Middle Way/Madhyamaka makes no positive assertions whatsoever. if it says there is no being, nor non being; it makes no assertion. emptiness of view is expressed, but using words.

if there is right view, this must be so on many levels... practical and philosophical, and infact emptiness flies in the face of the philosophers. all of nagarjunas teaching is grounded in the fundamental view/or seeing of emptiness.

best wishes, Tom.

Yeshe

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Re: Please can the method behing Madhyamaka be explained in simple terms.
« Reply #142 on: July 03, 2011, 10:14:17 am »
For the destruction of all views—to him, Gautama, I humbly offer reverence.

it is not surprising that Nagarjuna said this since the Middle Way/Madhyamaka makes no positive assertions whatsoever. if it says there is no being, nor non being; it makes no assertion. emptiness of view is expressed, but using words.

if there is right view, this must be so on many levels... practical and philosophical, and infact emptiness flies in the face of the philosophers. all of nagarjunas teaching is grounded in the fundamental view/or seeing of emptiness.

best wishes, Tom.

Well, isn't 'middle way' an assertion?

We must define the extremes before we can assert a middle position.   For example, just how extreme does asceticism have to be to be the 'most' extreme?  How extreme does a belief in the absence of inherent existence have to be to be the most extreme or in the middle?  Surely a position that even the mind is empty of inherent existence is further from the middle than asserting that mind only exists inherently?

maitri

Yeshe
« Last Edit: July 03, 2011, 11:34:26 am by Yeshe »

Offline White Lotus

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Re: Please can the method behing Madhyamaka be explained in simple terms.
« Reply #143 on: July 05, 2011, 09:09:44 am »
Well, isn't 'middle way' an assertion?

if the middle way points towards 'neither', 'nor' in all cases. it always points towards emptiness in a clear manner. however to assert either or, or both is to point towards being. you can say neither being nor nothingness, either being or nothingness, or both... in my opinion all these approaches are emptiness. assertions and denials. why be attached to the denials or negations of 'neither' and 'nor', though this is a more obvious pointing towards emptiness... which can be seen as beyond being and nothingness and yet as being and nothingness at the same time. all is empty.

the teaching of Madhyamaka seems to be an assertion that there is nothing to assert! only emptiness, since emptiness is not a thing, it can be said not to be an assertion. but since emptiness is all things it can be said to be an assertion at the same time.

We must define the extremes before we can assert a middle position.  
the extremes are being and nothingness, the two opposite dualities that are used by philosophers to talk of existence. but actually emptiness is beyond either of these and is without duality. it is just emptiness. whatever can be said about it is only a pointing to the substance or sensation of this normal awareness we have in our every day lives. the taste of mind or emptiness.

For example, just how extreme does asceticism have to be to be the 'most' extreme?
this is to confuse the Middle Way with the Golden Mean. or to confuse what is focused on emptiness with what is focused on balance. not that balance isnt an important element of daily living.

How extreme does a belief in the absence of inherent existence have to be to be the most extreme or in the middle?  Surely a position that even the mind is empty of inherent existence is further from the middle than asserting that mind only exists inherently?
if we apply the golden mean to inherent existence we say that that existence of the True nature is balanced between existing and non existing. This is not the Middle way of Madhyamaka. the Madhyamikans would assert that there is neither existing nor non existing of an inherent nature... thus they say nothing, except that they do point directly towards emptiness.

The True nature is emptiness. I am emptiness and i know it. i see it and i taste it. if i have a nature, that nature is emptiness and is empty of all things and yet shows itself in the appearance of all things.

best wishes, Tom.



Offline White Lotus

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Re: Please can the method behing Madhyamaka be explained in simple terms.
« Reply #144 on: July 05, 2011, 09:24:42 am »
is emptiness extreme?
if we say that emptiness is nothingness... then that is extreme. likewise, if we say that emptiness is being that is extreme, but infact emptiness is neither being nor nothingness in a clear sense, but beyond and at the root of both of these. if you were able to shed or drop all things including nothingness you would then see the essence of emptiness. this essence is empty and results in the normal awareness that we have in our daily lives.

this normal awareness is always with us, but is it enlightenment?... I dont know, because i am not enlightened. i am still ignorant of certain things. perhaps i am an arhat. my outlflows have almost ceased. suffering has diminished, but is still present in my life. i am not a buddha. i strive towards enlightenment.

some will say that taking an extreme view of emptiness is not helpful, but i say that all things are emptiness, no nose, no ears no eyes, and yet i smell, listen and see, though as in a dream. one cant help what one sees.

this brings me back to talk of vivid awareness... is that true awakening. is awakening to awaken 'to' the mind or the awakening 'of' the mind. either of these could be true. im sure some of the people here will have experienced moments of vivid clarity.

best wishes, Tom.

Yeshe

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Re: Please can the method behing Madhyamaka be explained in simple terms.
« Reply #145 on: July 05, 2011, 10:20:58 am »
Well, isn't 'middle way' an assertion?

if the middle way points towards 'neither', 'nor' in all cases. it always points towards emptiness in a clear manner. however to assert either or, or both is to point towards being. you can say neither being nor nothingness, either being or nothingness, or both... in my opinion all these approaches are emptiness. assertions and denials. why be attached to the denials or negations of 'neither' and 'nor', though this is a more obvious pointing towards emptiness... which can be seen as beyond being and nothingness and yet as being and nothingness at the same time. all is empty.

the teaching of Madhyamaka seems to be an assertion that there is nothing to assert! only emptiness, since emptiness is not a thing, it can be said not to be an assertion. but since emptiness is all things it can be said to be an assertion at the same time.

We must define the extremes before we can assert a middle position.  
the extremes are being and nothingness, the two opposite dualities that are used by philosophers to talk of existence. but actually emptiness is beyond either of these and is without duality. it is just emptiness. whatever can be said about it is only a pointing to the substance or sensation of this normal awareness we have in our every day lives. the taste of mind or emptiness.

For example, just how extreme does asceticism have to be to be the 'most' extreme?
this is to confuse the Middle Way with the Golden Mean. or to confuse what is focused on emptiness with what is focused on balance. not that balance isnt an important element of daily living.

How extreme does a belief in the absence of inherent existence have to be to be the most extreme or in the middle?  Surely a position that even the mind is empty of inherent existence is further from the middle than asserting that mind only exists inherently?
if we apply the golden mean to inherent existence we say that that existence of the True nature is balanced between existing and non existing. This is not the Middle way of Madhyamaka. the Madhyamikans would assert that there is neither existing nor non existing of an inherent nature... thus they say nothing, except that they do point directly towards emptiness.

The True nature is emptiness. I am emptiness and i know it. i see it and i taste it. if i have a nature, that nature is emptiness and is empty of all things and yet shows itself in the appearance of all things.

best wishes, Tom.

Thanks for those answers. :)

The trap is there for us all to fall into  - believing that we can establish a middle way for anyone else to follow when we know nothing of their minds.

There are many middles which do not seem workable to me - not the least being the extremes of 'mind' or 'no mind'.  That's like trying to define the mid-point of  'is' and 'isn't' by introducing 'maybe' as a valueless alternative.

Whilst we can define a mid-point between theories other beings expound, there is no' middle' in a continuum which has no start or end points, so I find the term expendable when applied to inherent existence, mind or consciousness.   

Offline heybai

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Re: Please can the method behing Madhyamaka be explained in simple terms.
« Reply #146 on: July 05, 2011, 09:06:38 pm »
I am waiting for Tashi-la to return from his retreat.  I suspect he'd have something to add about here.

I think White Lotus is saying that the middle way of is/is not does not lie on a continuum but can be expressed by a tetralemma: not "is", not "is not"; both "is" and "is not", neither "is" nor "is not" -- if that makes sense.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2011, 09:12:51 pm by Su Dongpo, Reason: fixed the nots :-; »

Offline heybai

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Re: Please can the method behing Madhyamaka be explained in simple terms.
« Reply #147 on: July 05, 2011, 09:08:38 pm »
This is what I had in mind --

Dear Friends

om svasti

Not this. Not that.
Not both. Not neither.

All fixed views are necessarily incomplete (including this one!). They express a narrowing of awareness that we call consciousness.

And then there's Great Madhyamaka (dbUma chenpo)...

mangalam
Tashi Nyima

Yeshe

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Re: Please can the method behing Madhyamaka be explained in simple terms.
« Reply #148 on: July 06, 2011, 02:37:46 am »
This is what I had in mind --

Dear Friends

om svasti

Not this. Not that.
Not both. Not neither.

All fixed views are necessarily incomplete (including this one!). They express a narrowing of awareness that we call consciousness.

And then there's Great Madhyamaka (dbUma chenpo)...

mangalam
Tashi Nyima

Yes, I am more persuaded by Tashi's description of  Great Madhyamaka as a reasonable proposition.
My objection wasn't philosophical but based on what I see as faulty logic in describing these positions as being the 'middle' of something immeasurable.

Offline heybai

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Re: Please can the method behing Madhyamaka be explained in simple terms.
« Reply #149 on: July 06, 2011, 03:25:30 am »
The fourfold tetralemma is used as a logical solution to finding the "middle" of an immeasurable.   It redefines  the "middle" by re-visioning conceptual parameters.

 


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