Recent Posts

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Buddha Basics - Beginner Zone / Re: The Goal of Buddhism
« Last post by paracelsus on Today at 08:59:34 pm »
“If your nature is deluded
 Buddha-hood is Ordinary being.
If your nature is enlightened
 Ordinary being is Buddha-hood.”

So what causes the change from deluded to enlightened, given that the "default" seems to be deluded?

Samsara is the default for samsaric beings which are born of delusion so there's no choice once here. The change happens when through right effort we rid ourselves of delusion. Without right effort we just carry on, on karmic autopilot.
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Buddha Basics - Beginner Zone / Re: The Goal of Buddhism
« Last post by paracelsus on Today at 08:42:24 pm »

 I think the point made by Stillpointdancer is close to the mark in that it is all that is not enlightenment that is the “problem”, i.e. all that we take on board during our lives which obscures or masks the "original face". (If that is what you meant)

Yes, that's it. The Browning poem says it well. Didn't know he was such a mystic. We get back to what we could have been if not for all the stuff heaped upon us as we grow. Although I didn't mean that there was one 'original face' we all get to, but rather we all have our own unique original face if we could bring it to the fore, so to speak. I often imagine life before the 'experts' in human society interpreted for us what happened when we just sat still and did no thing whatsoever. When we were free to come to terms with what happened to us during insight experiences and were free to go where that led us afterwards.

In this way we got to interpret the 'truth' revealed to us without any interference. Unfortunately successful societies held together with shared understandings of such things, and we all had to sing from the same hymn sheet- quite literally at times. Lucky for us that the Buddha came along with a strategy to help us escape from such assumptions, although many following Buddhism in the past have tried desperately to reinstate many of them.

No, I didn't mean one original face either, I mean't the " What was your original face before you were born?" original face. Thanks for the chance to clarify.


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Buddha Basics - Beginner Zone / Re: Learning and seeing
« Last post by Keneijia on Today at 08:35:28 pm »
   It's the information I'm looking for as well.
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Tech Shop / Re: Cookies and such
« Last post by Keneijia on Today at 08:35:20 pm »
It's the information I'm looking for as well.
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The Dharma Express / Re: What’s in a Word? Emptiness
« Last post by paracelsus on Today at 08:32:20 pm »
Emptiness is a form of nihilism...which means that we disregard all images..and thoughts as relating to anything and put them into one kind of stew..called nothingness..

Which is all around everything..between the fabric of time and material..the eternal thought itself..is full..until it passes into nothingness..which is emptiness..

The notion of emptiness is within all the bounds and limits of existence...with physics we might conclude that string theory..as a posit..is a thing..but emptiness itself..cannot be scientifically discovered..because it doesn't exist..and does exist at the same time..we could never test nothingness...except with our virtue...with math..and intuition..

Considering Emptiness on the samsaric level (where I am) and its usefulness:
I think the term "emptiness" doesn’t refer to the physical aspect of an object but to our perception of it.
I’d suggest that "emptiness" is not emptiness in the sense of vacuity or being void of substance or lacking all characteristics, eg: the idea that a substantial object is not in fact of substance.
I don't believe it is correct to imply with the use of the word emptiness that all (Samsara) is without substance, i.e. without materiality, or that materiality is dependent upon the existence or observation of humans or other sentient beings.

 I suggest that the term "emptiness" is mostly relevant to our sentience and its interaction with its environment (inner and outer, self and other). Apart from recognising that all existence is movement and change without pause, and that all arising is dependent on cause and condition, to describe that as “emptiness” seems to confuse the matter and distract from the usefulness of the term. "Devoid of..." (some specific attribute) could be an alternative. As in:
- devoid of difference between perceiver and perceived,
- devoid of self-arising, (i.e. coming into existence independent of the realm into which an object becomes or forms),
- devoid of existence apart from causes and conditions,
- devoid of permanence,
- a state of quietude devoid of conceptual formation,
- etc...

Emptiness is therefore not nihilism but simply the term for the delusional aspects of our existence, i.e. the bits we take to be real but which are not.

Theo Stcherbatski wrote in his "Buddhist Logic. Vol 1":
"The aim of Buddhist logic is an investigation into the sources of our knowledge with a view to finding out, in the cognised world, its elements of ultimate reality and of separating them out from the elements of imagination, which in the process of cognition, have been added to them."

I have a feeling that the word has become over mystified and tries to establish emptiness as a metaphysical state or intrinsic property of existence but I would suggest that it is a word used in the attempt to point out our delusions and help encourage us to banish our clinging to ideas of permanence and stability.

To quote Seigen Ishin:
“Before studying Zen, mountains are mountains and waters are waters but after some practice it is realised that mountains are not mountains and waters are not waters. But now after achieving the abode of rest, the mountains are once again as mountains and the waters are again waters.”

The usefulness of the term lies in its implication that we are not as we think we are (independent selves), but are as we think (made up of our thoughts), and that our thoughts and perceptions are merely ephemeral approximations, produced through the interaction of the skandhas.

Possibly.

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Buddha Basics - Beginner Zone / Re: My problem...
« Last post by PlaidBear on Today at 04:54:51 pm »
     I have OCD, which is best summarized as constant, involuntary thoughts and ideas that persist throughout the day. So I understand where you're coming from, I hope.

But what I've found is that the more you consider yourself separate from the woes of the material world, the less pressure you'll feel on those things.

Consider in the wider scope whether or not those things hold any significance. And then assign significance where you see fit.
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The shape and existence of the World is formed from Nothing.
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Buddha Basics - Beginner Zone / Re: My problem...
« Last post by Zen44 on Today at 09:33:59 am »
maybe
 

I'm looking at the Mind/body problem of the 20th century philosophers.

Are you responding to a particular post here?

Everything in general.
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Buddha Basics - Beginner Zone / Re: The Goal of Buddhism
« Last post by stillpointdancer on Today at 04:21:05 am »

 I think the point made by Stillpointdancer is close to the mark in that it is all that is not enlightenment that is the “problem”, i.e. all that we take on board during our lives which obscures or masks the "original face". (If that is what you meant)

Yes, that's it. The Browning poem says it well. Didn't know he was such a mystic. We get back to what we could have been if not for all the stuff heaped upon us as we grow. Although I didn't mean that there was one 'original face' we all get to, but rather we all have our own unique original face if we could bring it to the fore, so to speak. I often imagine life before the 'experts' in human society interpreted for us what happened when we just sat still and did no thing whatsoever. When we were free to come to terms with what happened to us during insight experiences and were free to go where that led us afterwards.

In this way we got to interpret the 'truth' revealed to us without any interference. Unfortunately successful societies held together with shared understandings of such things, and we all had to sing from the same hymn sheet- quite literally at times. Lucky for us that the Buddha came along with a strategy to help us escape from such assumptions, although many following Buddhism in the past have tried desperately to reinstate many of them.
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The Dharma Express / Re: What’s in a Word? Emptiness
« Last post by stillpointdancer on Today at 04:06:44 am »
Emptiness is a form of nihilism...which means that we disregard all images..and thoughts as relating to anything and put them into one kind of stew..called nothingness..

Which is all around everything..between the fabric of time and material..the eternal thought itself..is full..until it passes into nothingness..which is emptiness..

The notion of emptiness is within all the bounds and limits of existence...with physics we might conclude that string theory..as a posit..is a thing..but emptiness itself..cannot be scientifically discovered..because it doesn't exist..and does exist at the same time..we could never test nothingness...except with our virtue...with math..and intuition..
Physical 'emptiness' is interesting. I often use science as part of my insight meditation programme, and was intrigued by the idea of things coming into and popping out of existence in so-called emptiness. Of course the emptiness of the Buddha has nothing to do with physical emptiness in that sense, but a philosophical emptiness where things have no inherent existence apart from their physical presence. The meanings we attach to things have no real existence yet they are the factor enabling the kind of suffering the Buddha talked about. Let go of the attached meanings and there is no more suffering of that kind.
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