Author Topic: Please can the method behing Madhyamaka be explained in simple terms.  (Read 16831 times)

Yeshe

  • Guest
Re: Please can the method behing Madhyamaka be explained in simple terms.
« Reply #150 on: July 06, 2011, 11:28:34 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.

That defines logical possibilities, but does not establish a midpoint, just alternative extremes, as with 'on' and 'off'.

Offline santamonicacj

  • Member
  • Posts: 2268
    • View Profile
Re: Please can the method behing Madhyamaka be explained in simple terms.
« Reply #151 on: July 06, 2011, 03:08:20 pm »
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.
That defines logical possibilities, but does not establish a midpoint, just alternative extremes, as with 'on' and 'off'.
Since the tetralemna is a refutation of all the logical possibilities I've always reverted to the assumption that the answer was illogical.

With my apologies to Mr. Spock... :lol:
Warning: I'm enough of a fundamentalist Tibet style Buddhist to believe that for the last 1,000 years Tibet has produced a handful of enlightened masters in every generation. I do not ask that YOU believe it, but it will greatly simplify conversations if you understand that about me. Thanks.

Offline heybai

  • Member
  • Posts: 2146
    • View Profile
Re: Please can the method behing Madhyamaka be explained in simple terms.
« Reply #152 on: July 06, 2011, 05:20:51 pm »
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.

Note I put "middle"  in quotation marks to show how the tetralemma "redefines" the middle.  It isn't a midway on a continuum but avoids all conceptualization and therefore any extreme.  This a kind of middle. 


That defines logical possibilities, but does not establish a midpoint, just alternative extremes, as with 'on' and 'off'.

Offline White Lotus

  • Member
  • Posts: 103
    • View Profile
Re: Please can the method behing Madhyamaka be explained in simple terms.
« Reply #153 on: July 07, 2011, 07:31:41 am »
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.
thank you Su Dong Pu.

not this, not that,
not both, not neither.

is a clear pointing towards experience of emptiness in its naked form... however what the refutation of the tetralemma misses is that - this, that, both and neither are all fundamentally empty, and it seems that some madhyamikans have not seen this.

you can strive after emptiness by the negation of all affirmations and miss the point that all affirmations are emptiness. that form is emptiness.

i say that the middle way is emptiness, it can be called a continuum, or it can be seen as a point. hard to pin down, elusive and beautiful in its simple normality and supreme understanding/wisdom at the same time. beautiful in its revealed glory. it can be called a point since this full stop: .... is emptiness. by trying to negate reality we fail to see that reality is emptiness. utterly. as a continuum, emptiness is one flavour. all things have this taste. it is not awareness. it is emptiness, and yet awareness is a form of emptiness.

but, it must be said that for some, refutation and non affirmation are an important step in appreciating emptiness. but true appreciation doesnt begin until all is seen as dreamlike, and the intellect agrees with experience. logic and reason correspond with seeing and sensation.

you know... im lucky because i never seriously doubted the Buddhas words. if i had it would have been much harder for me to be where im at now. not perfection. not the finish line, but nonetheless still a much better place to be that that at wich i was in the past. i see that the mahayana scriptures speak the truth.

best wishes, Tom.

Offline White Lotus

  • Member
  • Posts: 103
    • View Profile
Re: Please can the method behing Madhyamaka be explained in simple terms.
« Reply #154 on: July 07, 2011, 07:51:44 am »
Yeshe, talk of mind and no mind can seem extreme. in that it is like forming a duality of existence and non existence. emptiness however is not a duality. anything can be said about reality. whatever you want basically. what you look for is what you find. to say that there is no mind is simply to say that all is empty. emptiness is fullness. no mind is mind.

i call this seeing of emptiness the Grand Emptiness. it is not just a matter of emptiness of self, but emptiness of all reality. utterly everything is emptiness. there is talk of tathata in Zen and Chan. tathata is simply this... emptiness. 'this' is emptiness. there is existence and that existence is no existence. i am emptiness. i am not awakened, i am emptiness. now is emptiness, everything has the same taste. it is a continuum in the most basic sense.

one way of understanding tathata is to say that things are 'thus' 'so'. that they are beyond any kind of definition or description as to their nature. i cant agree with this on a fundamental level any longer. i have to say that things are merely apperances and that they are none other than 'emptiness'.

best wishes, Tom.

Yeshe

  • Guest
Re: Please can the method behing Madhyamaka be explained in simple terms.
« Reply #155 on: July 07, 2011, 12:38:35 pm »
Yeshe, talk of mind and no mind can seem extreme. in that it is like forming a duality of existence and non existence. emptiness however is not a duality. anything can be said about reality. whatever you want basically. what you look for is what you find. to say that there is no mind is simply to say that all is empty. emptiness is fullness. no mind is mind.

i call this seeing of emptiness the Grand Emptiness. it is not just a matter of emptiness of self, but emptiness of all reality. utterly everything is emptiness. there is talk of tathata in Zen and Chan. tathata is simply this... emptiness. 'this' is emptiness. there is existence and that existence is no existence. i am emptiness. i am not awakened, i am emptiness. now is emptiness, everything has the same taste. it is a continuum in the most basic sense.

one way of understanding tathata is to say that things are 'thus' 'so'. that they are beyond any kind of definition or description as to their nature. i cant agree with this on a fundamental level any longer. i have to say that things are merely apperances and that they are none other than 'emptiness'.

best wishes, Tom.

Sure.  I follow.  I refuted the label 'middle', nothing more. ;)

If a thing (or 'phenomenon') is merely an appearance, what is it that manifests that appearance, to what is it appearing, and what imputes this assertion of 'appearance' of something termed 'emptiness'?

I no longer have to say anything either, as there is nothing to be said by no self. LOL :)
« Last Edit: July 07, 2011, 12:44:07 pm by Yeshe »

Offline White Lotus

  • Member
  • Posts: 103
    • View Profile
Re: Please can the method behing Madhyamaka be explained in simple terms.
« Reply #156 on: July 09, 2011, 08:45:22 am »
Yeshe,

If a thing (or 'phenomenon') is merely an appearance, what is it that manifests that appearance, to what is it appearing, and what imputes this assertion of 'appearance' of something termed 'emptiness'?

emptiness is profound, everything and every potential it is.

this is the head banger.  a phenomenon does not appear and yet we see it clearly, though in a dream like way. some would say that it is mind that manifests that appearance. i say it is emptiness appearing to emptiness. emptiness imputes this empty assertion of an empty appearance.

not a thing appears yet we see this not a thing. its like watching a film in a way. in the Lankavatara sutra, the eighth stage bodhisattva is said to be in the World of No form. this is hard to explain... not a thing is seen even, and yet it is.

I no longer have to say anything either, as there is nothing to be said by no self. LOL :)
these words are the fundamental, why say nothing, or why not say something when this is only emptiness. no hang ups about speech or silence.

since beginning this thread... i have not uttered a single word! :)

best wishes, Tom.

Offline White Lotus

  • Member
  • Posts: 103
    • View Profile
Re: Please can the method behing Madhyamaka be explained in simple terms.
« Reply #157 on: July 09, 2011, 09:01:14 am »
The Four Propositions, The Tetralemma:

not this, not that,
not both, not neither.

it is convenient in life to use the four proposions, though under analysis they dont hold up, even when talking about seeing a flower.

this is a flower, this is not a flower, this is and isnt a flower, this neither is nor isnt a flower. any of these postions can be held philosophically when introducing a flower, but for purposes of practicality and simplicity we stick to... this is a flower.

when discussing emptiness, it is said to be beyond the four propositions and that the four propositions in themselves are emptiness. i would say that the propositions are helpful in discussion but ultimately empty. why avoid their use in daily life, or even in discussion of the fundamental... which is emptiness. to say ''this is a flower is utterly empty.'' to remain silent is utterly empty. you cant get away from emptiness. Mind is emptiness. the four propositions whether we use them or not are all empty.

using speech one always reverts to the four propositions. this use is emptiness. No use.

best wishes, Tom.

ps earlier in this thread someone wondered whether the Alaya Vijnana, or Universal Mind/Store House Conciousness is a Self of sorts. it can be said to be No Self. ordinary self too can be said to be No Self. both of these positions are emptiness.
it can be said that there is, isnt, is neither, nor, or both (any of these postions) a self and that this self is No Self. to say it is so is emptiness, to say it is not so is emptiness. whatever arises in the Mind is No Mind and No fabrication. Emptiness. Be free.

Yeshe

  • Guest
Re: Please can the method behing Madhyamaka be explained in simple terms.
« Reply #158 on: July 09, 2011, 09:23:40 am »
See what happens when there is attachment to beliefs! LOL :)

Offline White Lotus

  • Member
  • Posts: 103
    • View Profile
Re: Please can the method behing Madhyamaka be explained in simple terms.
« Reply #159 on: July 11, 2011, 08:25:39 am »
do you see emptiness? or do you conject about it. either will do just fine.

what is wrong with beliefs, i see no attachment to them. also, when there are beliefs, there is emptiness, when there arnt beliefs there is emptiness. you cant get away from it nor can you stain it. i only see this... emptiness. at least thats my opinion. i cant see it any other way.

but if you wish to to see emptiness in its pure essence it may help to see into nothingness first. tan chien wu.

i hope it is not egotistical of me in examining my own experience and trying to understand its significance. ultimately even though i know that all is emptiness... still i dont know about enlightenment.

in the Lankavatara Sutra is written: "the Transcendental Intelligence attained intuitively by the Tathagatas, by their self realization of Noble Wisdom, is a realization of their own self nature."

i have realized my own/original self nature (Kensho)  and gone beyond that. however, still... i just dont know. the only thing i do know is emptiness. actually thats all i know and knowing this emptiness i cant say that i am awake (like the Buddha). i can only say that i am empty and emptiness. im not sure about anything except emptiness.

perhaps i will never know that i am enlightened, even if i am. this is since my mind cannot not abide in any one state, not even in emptiness (in which there is no abiding, nor anything to abide anyway). this is a function of emptiness. for me there is no enlightenment, only emptiness. i cant get any more basic  than that.

so... please be patient with me. i hope i have not wasted the time of people reading this thread. i do have beliefs, or speculations one could call them, but recognise that this is the natural arising of the mind, and it is natural to have thoughts. these are all emptiness.

best wishes, Tom.

Offline White Lotus

  • Member
  • Posts: 103
    • View Profile
Re: Please can the method behing Madhyamaka be explained in simple terms.
« Reply #160 on: July 12, 2011, 09:26:48 am »
See what happens when there is attachment to beliefs! LOL :)

is this a belief? i expect there isnt any attachment to it!

i would argue that to attach to either beliefs, or non beliefs would be equally distracting if one seeks to see emptiness.
some people are averse to conceptualising, or makeing any statement about the truth whatsoever. they just say that all is suchness. just as it is. words fail it. why be attached to this position. likewise there are those who insist on using speech. just flow. speaking speech, silent silence. am i attached to any one position Yeshe? i try to keep an open mind.

emptiness can and cannot be called a position. that is as a seeing it can be called a position or as a source of conjecture. however, since it does not exist and yet is all things it can also be a non position.

what i realise from this thread and reading Ashvaghosa's Faith in the Mahayana is that the terms enlightenment and delusion are both relatives. relative to each other. that is they are still merely dualities and therefore not the fundamental. emptiness however is an absolute, since it has no opposite. i conclude that there is no enlightenment, only emptiness.

unable to abide in any position or view, owing to the nature of my mind, it seems that i will never know enlightenment, except as the rising and falling of waves on the Mind. if all truly is empty, and thats the way i see things then there will never be enlightenment. nor infact anything. only emptiness.

emptiness is not a relative. it is the only absolute. at least thats the way i see things.

who is seeking enlightenment? they will never find it (i speculate), they will however find that there is no enlightenment and that this no enlightenment is perhaps true enlightenment. seeing emptiness may indeed be enlightenment. in which case, anyone who sees emptiness is enlighened, whether or not they know it.

the ironic thing is that everyone sees emptiness, they are just unaware of the fact. when emptiness is seen there is nothing new. nothing is attained, nor realised except that this was the way things have always been seen.

best wishes, Tom.

simply spoken,
red leaves drift across the sky.
autumn has come.
not far from the end now.
perhaps?!

the spiral has shrunk.
yes no yes no shrinking, from
years, months and days to hours.
will it ever stop its winding path,
of ever shrinking growing, up and
down. north, east, south and west.

can one hold to the circle?

Offline White Lotus

  • Member
  • Posts: 103
    • View Profile
Re: Please can the method behing Madhyamaka be explained in simple terms.
« Reply #161 on: July 12, 2011, 09:35:01 am »
Santamonicaj,
Since the tetralemna is a refutation of all the logical possibilities I've always reverted to the assumption that the answer was illogical.

i wonder Santamonicaj, whether the tetralemma could also be an acceptance of all logical possibilities, as well as  a refutation (paradox... at the same time). why attach to acceptance or refutation. be free to use either.

best wishes, Tom.

a leaf blown in the wind,
up, down, around, it spirals in
and out.

can we ever reside in the circle...
emptiness. where is the residing.
i dont see it.

Offline TashiNyima

  • Member
  • Posts: 182
  • namo kalyanamitraya
    • View Profile
Re: Please can the method behing Madhyamaka be explained in simple terms.
« Reply #162 on: July 12, 2011, 09:34:32 pm »
Dear Friends

om svasti

Our Master Arya Asanga did not postulate a 'middle between extremes', but rather a 'middle BEYOND extremes'.

There is no middle point between non-existents, between the fabricated and the dependent natures. The truly established nature is beyond both.

The tetralemma refers to these two natures (fabricated and dependent). Not the one; not the other; not both; not neither. Why? They do not exist from their own side, and yet they appear.

But these are just words. We know enough philosophy, and perhaps more than enough. Let us accept a practice that makes sense to us, and dedicate ourselves to it. If we have chosen rightly, wonderful. If not, there is ample time for correction.

Abandon non-virtue: this in fulfilment of pratimoksha vows.
Cultivate goodness: this in fulfilment of bodhisattva vows .
Purify the mind: this in fulfilment of samaya vows.
This is the teaching of all the Buddhas.

mangalam
Tashi Nyima

Yeshe

  • Guest
Re: Please can the method behing Madhyamaka be explained in simple terms.
« Reply #163 on: July 13, 2011, 01:01:18 pm »
Dear Friends

om svasti

Our Master Arya Asanga did not postulate a 'middle between extremes', but rather a 'middle BEYOND extremes'.

There is no middle point between non-existents, between the fabricated and the dependent natures. The truly established nature is beyond both.

The tetralemma refers to these two natures (fabricated and dependent). Not the one; not the other; not both; not neither. Why? They do not exist from their own side, and yet they appear.

But these are just words. We know enough philosophy, and perhaps more than enough. Let us accept a practice that makes sense to us, and dedicate ourselves to it. If we have chosen rightly, wonderful. If not, there is ample time for correction.

Abandon non-virtue: this in fulfilment of pratimoksha vows.
Cultivate goodness: this in fulfilment of bodhisattva vows .
Purify the mind: this in fulfilment of samaya vows.
This is the teaching of all the Buddhas.

mangalam
Tashi Nyima

Tashi-la

So good to have you posting again. :)

As always, an answer which is succinct and complete.  Thank you.  _/\_


Offline francis

  • Member
  • Posts: 1454
    • View Profile
Re: Please can the method behing Madhyamaka be explained in simple terms.
« Reply #164 on: July 15, 2011, 10:45:19 pm »
Dear Friends

om svasti

Our Master Arya Asanga did not postulate a 'middle between extremes', but rather a 'middle BEYOND extremes'.

There is no middle point between non-existents, between the fabricated and the dependent natures. The truly established nature is beyond both.

The tetralemma refers to these two natures (fabricated and dependent). Not the one; not the other; not both; not neither. Why? They do not exist from their own side, and yet they appear.

But these are just words. We know enough philosophy, and perhaps more than enough. Let us accept a practice that makes sense to us, and dedicate ourselves to it. If we have chosen rightly, wonderful. If not, there is ample time for correction.

Abandon non-virtue: this in fulfilment of pratimoksha vows.
Cultivate goodness: this in fulfilment of bodhisattva vows .
Purify the mind: this in fulfilment of samaya vows.
This is the teaching of all the Buddhas.

mangalam
Tashi Nyima



Hi Tashi Nyima, nice to see you back again, excellent words. 

Nice to see you quote the very famous Verse 183 from Chapter 14 of the Dhammapada, The Buddha's Path of Wisdom.

β€œTo avoid all evil,
To cultivate good,
To cleanse one's mind β€”
This is the teaching of the Buddhas.”

 :)

« Last Edit: July 15, 2011, 10:55:50 pm by francis »
"Enlightenment, for a wave in the ocean, is the moment the wave realises it is water." - Thich Nhat Hanh

 


SimplePortal 2.3.3 © 2008-2010, SimplePortal