claptrap

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.
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Ngawang Drolma.
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Re: claptrap

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Fri Jan 16, 2009 6:02 pm

In my humble opinion, the meanings we assign to words and concepts matter. Of course our understandings and priorities change, but we need to keep rebuilding these little rafts as we go because samsara is a wild ride! Just like love is best defined as an action rather than a feeling, so are wisdom, clarity, and other nouns of this sort.

:heart:

thecap
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Re: claptrap

Postby thecap » Fri Jan 16, 2009 8:16 pm

genkaku wrote:Dear thecap -- Apologies. Nothing wrong with encouragement at all. We all need it. But for my money, we all need to be aware as well of the limitations that encouragements can invite if they are taken too literally ... or as if those encouragements were actual answers to our deepest prayers.

Here, as a printed-word encouragement, is a small poem or sutra by Dai O Kokushi. To my mind, it wouldn't matter if Joe the Plumber had written the words or whether the author ascribed to Mahayana, Therevada or any other sort of Buddhism. What matters is whether those words are true AND the willingness of any particular reader to investigate/actualize/realize whatever truth they point to:

ON ZEN

There is a reality even prior to heaven and earth;
It has no form, much less a name;
Eyes fail to see it; it has no voice for ears to detect;
To call it Mind or Buddha violates its nature,
For it then becomes like a visionary flower in the air;
It is not Mind, nor Buddha;
Absolutely quiet, and yet illuminating in a mysterious way,
It allows itself to be perceived only by the clear-eyed.
It is Dharma truly beyond form and soud;
It is Tao, having nothing to do with words.
Wishing to entice the blind,
The Buddha has playfully let words escape his golden mouth;
Heaven and earth are ever since filled with entangling briars.

O my good worthy friends gathered here,
If you desire to listen to the thunderous voice of the Dharma,
Exhaust your words, empty your thoughts,
For then you may come to recognize this One Essence.


Thank you for your reply, genkaku.

Sure, we need to be aware of the limitations of encouragements.

And don't we also need to be aware of the limitations of the romanticism and speculation hidden in spongy terms like "illuminating", "mysterious" "One Essence"?

You haven't answered my other question. Again, what is your true intention behind this?

Do you have the willingness to realize your own motivation or are you only pulling Shikantaza and "Oneness" on us stubborn text-obsessed 'vadins? ;)

Hope you're well, friend.

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Re: claptrap

Postby genkaku » Sat Jan 17, 2009 12:29 am

Calling the Buddha-Dhamma "imagined" is disrespectful and does not agree with what you said earlier ("No disrespect intended"), so what is your true intention?


Dear thecap -- I trust that this is the question you were referring to and apologize for my sloppiness in not responding more promptly.

I think what is referred to as "the Dharma" can rightly be described as imagined when the Dharma referred to is the one that inspires us from the page or rings true from some speaker's mouth. It is not disparaging to say this. It is -- or anyway I intended -- a descriptive word ... one that calls attention to the difference between our dreams and prayers (and very good dreams or prayers they may be) and the reality of what might be called a dream that comes true.

Of course this may be splitting hairs from your point of view, so if you prefer I will defer to you and to Peter and hope you will be content.

Best wishes.

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Ben
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Re: claptrap

Postby Ben » Sat Jan 17, 2009 4:33 am

Hi all

One of the most profound experiences I had in recent years occurred while I was sitting on a 20-day silent vipassana retreat in New Zealand two years ago. This was a full-on retreat for 'serious old students' where I spent approximately 15 hours of my 16 waking hours on the cushion and attempted to maintain awareness during sleep. Most of my time I spent in a meditation cell.

About half-way into the retreat I had done six days of samadhi and several of vipassana. My teacher uses a simile and describes the mind sharpened by way of samadhi and then cutting through the defilements in vipassana. Its spot on with my experience. Vipassana has been a formidable weapon in rooting out, facing down and eradicating some of my darkest demons. What I did not expect at around 10 days in, was that the cool all-seeing equanimous gaze that I had developed, would turn in and scrutinize whether what I was doing was of any benefit, whether my teacher was genuine and whether the Dhamma was just a distraction. I could see it all, all my fears my dreams, my hopes, my veneration for my teacher and the Buddha, nothing appeared opaque or resisted my gaze. It was an excoriating experience. Some of the conclusions I came to was that if it benefited me now and inthe past, then I should continue until it ceased to be of benefit. And secondly I felt that my experience, in a way, validated the efficacy of the Dhamma. I felt relieved that the method I used to investigate my reality investigated the efficacy of my practice, rather than leave me tunnel-visioned about the Dhamma.

So I don't think Genkaku is being disrespectful, dispariaging or disingenious. I've known Adam a number of years and I know no one more sincere in their practice. What I believe Adam is doing is reminding us that words themselves only point to the reality that they are employed to represent. Be forever heedful of what is actually there and what are merely fabrications.
Metta

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
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e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com

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Re: claptrap

Postby genkaku » Sat Jan 17, 2009 1:45 pm

Ben -- Twenty days and much of it in a cell -- wow! You've got more nerve than I have! Good on yer, mate!

And just to keep things in a little perspective, Ben ... I'm just one more liar among many. No joke. Liars are a dime a dozen. Sometimes they are our greatest blessing, sometimes our greatest curse, but either way, they are liars. Let's go find the one who tells the truth. :)

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Ngawang Drolma.
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Re: claptrap

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Tue Jan 20, 2009 1:08 am

If a liar says he's a liar, is he a truth-teller? Or a liar? :heart:

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Re: claptrap

Postby shoey » Thu Jan 22, 2009 12:21 am

genkaku wrote:Good.
Excellent.
Superior.
Authentic.
Blissful.
Enlightened.
Compassionate.
Clear-eyed.
Profound.
Wise.
True....

When it comes to such things, let others do the talking.

You and I have work to do.

Claptrap never got the job done.

Just noodling.


entangling briars indeed.

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Re: claptrap

Postby pink_trike » Thu Jan 22, 2009 2:58 am

Yes.

genkaku wrote:Good.
Excellent.
Superior.
Authentic.
Blissful.
Enlightened.
Compassionate.
Clear-eyed.
Profound.
Wise.
True....

When it comes to such things, let others do the talking.

You and I have work to do.

Claptrap never got the job done.

Just noodling.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

teacup_bo
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Re: claptrap

Postby teacup_bo » Sun Feb 01, 2009 2:57 am

Peter wrote:
genkaku wrote:to take some imagined goodness as a refuge is a recipe for more suffering, I'd say.

So refuge in the Triple Gem is a recipe for more suffering?
First you disparage the Dhamma, now the rest of the Triple Gem as well?


I think it's impossible to know if anyone is disparaging what until the matter of the Triple Gem is clarified for oneself. For example, one might ask, what is the Triple Gem? In which case the book answer would come back - Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha. And then one might ask, well what is Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha. And the intellectual mind replays what it has learnt - for example, well Buddha is the founder of our religion, Dhamma is the body of teachings left by Lord Buddha, or maybe Buddha is the Buddha inherent in ever being, Dhamma is everpresent reality(depending on the persuasion of your learning) etc. And then we might continue, (assuming the answer is the first and simplifying it to Buddha), OK well who was Shakyamuni then? To which one might respond, he lived ages ago and was a Prince once! To which we might then ask 'Is that the meaning of Buddha really?' etc etc (and each of these can make up months of discussions for those still interested at this level so it's no joke)

And if we are lucky, one day we might get to the stage where we realise, we really aren't that sure, despite all our intellectual accumulations. And that whilst our definitions and learnings have been very useful, they haven't yet answered our gut level uncertainties. (What some Buddhists call "dukkha). And so it comes to a recognition that whilst we love(d) our pointers, and remember them, and use them even for some guidance, and are grateful beyond measure - there is still this everwinding road we are now standing on. We might call this life, me, an inner yearning, or just plain old dukkha.

A life we find brooks no simple definition no matter how we try. And even if we do, at some level, we may know the definition of laughter can never replace its true echo when living it. So what now? We've read the pointers and now ...

Well here it's sometimes called "where the rubber hits the road" a time where practice comes in handy - and maybe, if we are lucky, to life. Here, the teachings are like friendly road signs we once may have looked at, but it's ourself that will take the steps encouraged - for example, meditation, for example slowly recognising and relinquishing our very real selfishnesses - for example, paying attention to this "I", this "me" that we have up to now lived as, and served endlessly. Here, life is vivid and no book can replace your very own knowing.

None of this is a criticism by the way, just sharing some perspectives as is the intended purpose of a forum. :hello:


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