How did Buddha live without thinking I, me and myself?

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How did Buddha live without thinking I, me and myself?

Postby SarathW » Tue Jul 09, 2013 11:35 pm

We all know that Buddha did not have the personality vies or the thought of “I”.
However he also lived like a normal person.
He wore cloths to protect his body and cover his private parts
He consumed foods
He lived in a house (temple)
He had a private attendant.
He planned for the day’s activities.
He had compassion for sick and his enemies.

Q:How does a person live a normal life if he does not have the thought I, me and myself?

----------------------------
Please compare above with some ascetics who did not ware cloths (naked ascetics) or ate inappropriate food (human wastes) to prove their virtues.
Please also compare the demands from Devadatta which Budda refuse to accept.
– (1) that they should live only in the forest, (2) that they never accept invitations to eat at devotees’ homes but live only by alms gathering, (3) that they wear only rag robes, (4) that they live in the open not in a monastery, and (5) that vegetarianism be compulsory - See more at:
http://www.buddhisma2z.com/content.php? ... kWa3L.dpuf
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Re: How did Buddha live without thinking I, me and myself?

Postby clw_uk » Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:01 am

SarathW wrote:We all know that Buddha did not have the personality vies or the thought of “I”.
However he also lived like a normal person.
He wore cloths to protect his body and cover his private parts
He consumed foods
He lived in a house (temple)
He had a private attendant.
He planned for the day’s activities.
He had compassion for sick and his enemies.

Q:How does a person live a normal life if he does not have the thought I, me and myself?

----------------------------
Please compare above with some ascetics who did not ware cloths (naked ascetics) or ate inappropriate food (human wastes) to prove their virtues.
Please also compare the demands from Devadatta which Budda refuse to accept.
– (1) that they should live only in the forest, (2) that they never accept invitations to eat at devotees’ homes but live only by alms gathering, (3) that they wear only rag robes, (4) that they live in the open not in a monastery, and (5) that vegetarianism be compulsory - See more at:
http://www.buddhisma2z.com/content.php? ... kWa3L.dpuf




You wont get a satisfactory answer because all we are used to is thinking in terms of "me and mine"

So the idea of operating without this seems completely alien to us, which just shows how ignorant we are and how used we are to being attached to things (since "I am" springs from attachment)
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: How did Buddha live without thinking I, me and myself?

Postby lyndon taylor » Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:42 am

The buddha simply replaced the term "I" with "the Tathagata", since I am a luthier I could start simply refering to myself as "the Luthier" instead of I, in either case there is still an I, otherwise there would be no luthier or Tathagata.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: How did Buddha live without thinking I, me and myself?

Postby Will » Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:03 am

Buddha made clear that his use or anyone's use of the words 'I, me or mine' in the conventional sense is just fine. Just as we say 'It is sunrise', while knowing full well that is not actually a fact that the the sun is rising, but the earth is revolving - so also the use of words in an ordinary fashion are not significant.

What he understood those terms to mean is what we need to also understand.
This noble eightfold path is the ancient path traveled by all the Buddhas of eons past. Nagara Sutta
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Re: How did Buddha live without thinking I, me and myself?

Postby SarathW » Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:05 am

I see what you are saying. For example Michael Jackson refer to himself as “The Artist”
But I think there is something more to it when Buddha say it.
:)
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Re: How did Buddha live without thinking I, me and myself?

Postby arijitmitter » Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:16 am

SarathW wrote:
Please compare above with some ascetics who did not ware cloths (naked ascetics) or ate inappropriate food (human wastes) to prove their virtues.


That is from Hinduism and Jainism. Some Jain monks do not wear clothes. They also cover their mouth with cloth so that no insect is accidentally killed while breathing or sneezing.

Hindu Naga Sanyasis do not wear clothes because they do not believe in possessions. Hindu Aghoris will eat anything from a pastry to rotting human flesh or excreta because to them all that is made by God is equal. Nothing can be rejected as good or bad if it is made with same materials that God created. Humans cannot impose this is good food, that is bad food attribute on it.

It is very hard to compare one religious tradition with another. It is like comparing apples and oranges. Both are fruit but similarity ends there. Buddhism has no God so comparison with Hinduism or any of it's parts is a non starter.

and BTW Naga Sanyasis have fierce temper. They may not have a loin cloth but many carry a trident like Shiva. You are likely to get jabbed if you get very close. You have to approach them very slowly and gauge their mood. They may if in a good mood say, I have not eaten for 2 months can you buy me a fruit [ that is why there are lot of people who want to meet them; it is considered very fortunate to be asked; almost akin to being asked by Shiva himself ]. But if he has not been able to figure something out in meditation and is having a bad day at office you are likely to get a burning hot piece of coal thrown at you too. And if he is in very good mood he will ask you to share some of his marijuana which you dare not refuse !!

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Re: How did Buddha live without thinking I, me and myself?

Postby reflection » Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:28 am

I wouldn't say the Buddha lived a normal live. Quite the opposite. He didn't want to know anything about sense pleasures, had barely any possessions, lead a life of renunciation. So I guess what you mean with "living a normal live" is he kept functioning as a human.

Remember a time you were doing something without any self interest, like selflessly helping anyone, especially when done spontaneously. At those times you don't think in terms of "I" either and still you do what you do. Extrapolate this to your entire life, and I think that will give an idea of what it's like to be enlightened.

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Re: How did Buddha live without thinking I, me and myself?

Postby arijitmitter » Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:43 am

reflection wrote:
Remember a time you were doing something without any self interest, like selflessly helping anyone, especially when done spontaneously. At those times you don't think in terms of "I" either and still you do what you do. Extrapolate this to your entire life, and I think that will give an idea of what it's like to be enlightened.


I will like to speak of an incident in my life since I consider all of you my Sangha brothers and sisters. By recounting this experience I do not in any way imply I am something others are not. I have suffered enough with my share of temptations of flesh and been quite wild in my day.

12 years back [ I was 30 and I was hot blooded 400 push ups a day macho guy then ] I had been out on some work. I took a bus back to my home. As I alighted at the bus stop I saw an old beggar woman crying. Her head had a small gash in it where someone had hit her. Somehow I [ a rather selfish person ] was overcome. I hugged her and called her mother and caressed her head where she was hurt. She cried holding to me and said someone had beaten her and taken her money.

As I hugged her I felt a sensation I cannot describe. It was like I was there but that the dimension had changed [ I have no words for it to be frank ]. My whole body was suffused by a sense of deep " Karuna " [ sympathy or empathy I do not know which ]. It was an overwhelming spiritual experience.

Then I got up gave her some money and asked her to get some good wholesome food that night. The feeling lasted about a couple of hours but then ordinary life took over and it went away.

It was just awesome. No other word for it.

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Re: How did Buddha live without thinking I, me and myself?

Postby SarathW » Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:54 am

Reflection:
Yes I meant he lived like a good human with commonsense.
But, If someone invites him for a meal (Dana) he has to think that I am going to Dana on such and such day to such and such person’s house.
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Re: How did Buddha live without thinking I, me and myself?

Postby Dan74 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:55 am

I think there are times when we function very well without thinking in terms of "I", "me" and "myself". When there is an emergency, like you see your child in danger, when one has a passion, like a sport or art and one is immersed completely in the doing, when waking up sometimes before the usual mental habits have "loaded" and sometimes after serious practice for a while when the sense of "me" and "mine" recedes to a large extent.

I am not saying that the above describes how the Buddha functioned, but I think we can see that living without thinking "I", "me", "mine" etc is possible and in fact more effective.
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Re: How did Buddha live without thinking I, me and myself?

Postby arijitmitter » Wed Jul 10, 2013 3:17 am

Let me try and put it in layman's words [ as far as I understand it ].

After a certain amount of meditation and a certain level of enlightenment the " I " fades. There are several accounts of holy men saying " Deha [ body ] wants water, deha wants a little milk, deha is tired " never I want water, milk etc.

These people have found a calm center even when they are not meditating. Their physical body may walk to home of a disciple but the mind is their own. The mind is not completely present. Or rather they have been somehow able to split their mind. A small part of it drinking water, having a little milk or fruit and the larger part of their mind in a state of passive meditation even when they are not sitting in meditation.

That calm center they have developed is untouchable. It is free from " I " and " Mine ". And their eyes have a slightly vacant look or rather an all encompassing look even when they are attentive. It is as if they are looking at you and also through you into all things.

The best lay language is that they are in a constant low intensity trance. If an EEG of such individuals can be done I have no doubt it will show even in normal activity their brain waves [ cycles ] are considerably lower than ours. But such people are rare and they certainly will not agree to an EEG.

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Re: How did Buddha live without thinking I, me and myself?

Postby SarathW » Wed Jul 10, 2013 3:22 am

I agree but there is a being with five aggregate.
So empirically there is a person but not in absolute sense.
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Re: How did Buddha live without thinking I, me and myself?

Postby pegembara » Wed Jul 10, 2013 5:15 am

Q:How does a person live a normal life if he does not have the thought I, me and myself?

When hungry just eat, when thirsty drink, when dirty wash, when sick medicate, when crossing the road watch for vehicles. No need to store up wealth, status etc for the future. No regrets over the past or worries over the future. According to this sutta the I thought does arise but it is also inconstant, stressful, & subject to change.

"Now, gain arises for a well-instructed disciple of the noble ones. He reflects, 'Gain has arisen for me. It is inconstant, stressful, & subject to change.' He discerns it as it actually is.
"Loss arises... Status arises... Disgrace arises... Censure arises... Praise arises... Pleasure arises...
"Pain arises. He reflects, 'Pain has arisen for me. It is inconstant, stressful, & subject to change.' He discerns it as it actually is.
"His mind does not remain consumed with the gain. His mind does not remain consumed with the loss... with the status... the disgrace... the censure... the praise... the pleasure. His mind does not remain consumed with the pain.
"He does not welcome the arisen gain, or rebel against the arisen loss. He does not welcome the arisen status, or rebel against the arisen disgrace. He does not welcome the arisen praise, or rebel against the arisen censure. He does not welcome the arisen pleasure, or rebel against the arisen pain. As he thus abandons welcoming & rebelling, he is released from birth, aging, & death; from sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs. He is released, I tell you, from suffering & stress.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


How about these words spoken in many places in the discourses.

"Enough, brahmans. Put this question aside. I will teach you the Dhamma. Listen and pay close attention. I will speak."
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.
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Re: How did Buddha live without thinking I, me and myself?

Postby SarathW » Wed Jul 10, 2013 5:48 am

Hi Pegembra
I agree that there is a five aggregate subject to impermanence, stress (Dukka) and without an abiding soul. It is just like a driverless car I suppose.
The question is who is extending the loving kindness? Who possess the seven factors of awakening?
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Re: How did Buddha live without thinking I, me and myself?

Postby Aloof » Wed Jul 10, 2013 6:26 am

SarathW wrote:Hi Pegembra
I agree that there is a five aggregate subject to impermanence, stress (Dukka) and without an abiding soul. It is just like a driverless car I suppose.
The question is who is extending the loving kindness? Who possess the seven factors of awakening?


I wish to comment

Buddhas in making (Bhoddisattvas) as well as Buddha in ruling extend Loving kindness and seven factors etc.

AND NIRVANA GUIDES
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Re: How did Buddha live without thinking I, me and myself?

Postby Anders » Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:11 am

I like the way I heard Ajahn Succito describe it in regards to a sense of identity and functioning in the world:

It's not the case that arahants have no sense of 'I'. It is just that they have no sense of "I am."
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Re: How did Buddha live without thinking I, me and myself?

Postby reflection » Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:29 am

SarathW wrote:Reflection:
Yes I meant he lived like a good human with commonsense.
But, If someone invites him for a meal (Dana) he has to think that I am going to Dana on such and such day to such and such person’s house.

Hi,

Of course I can't look in the Buddha's mind, or in yours, but I think you are giving verbal thought more importance than it deserves. The thought is often just a reflection or commentary on what is already known without words. Before thinking "I am going to this-and-that", the decision or intention already arose and it is already known; you could say the 'thought' behind the thought.

This one can know if the mind is really peaceful. If my mind is silent in meditation, I can often take that silence along outside of meditation as well. Then I can do many things without thinking, and especially without thinking "I have to do this" or "I need this". And if thoughts penetrate -let's say when I need a shower- then it'll be like 'shower', instead of 'I think I need a shower'. So I'd say if the Buddha verbally thought anything about the dana at all, it would be "dana, King this-and-that". No need for the "I" here or an entire story around it. Because basically the "I" is also a story we create around things.

:anjali:
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Re: How did Buddha live without thinking I, me and myself?

Postby chownah » Wed Jul 10, 2013 9:22 am

Many people think that in eliminating the sense of self there is a diminishing of knowledge when the opposite is actually the case.
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Re: How did Buddha live without thinking I, me and myself?

Postby SarathW » Thu Jul 11, 2013 2:55 am

Anders wrote:I like the way I heard Ajahn Succito describe it in regards to a sense of identity and functioning in the world:

It's not the case that arahants have no sense of 'I'. It is just that they have no sense of "I am."


Hi Anders
I like to see more details about what he said. I check the following link but could no find any.

http://ajahnsucitto.org/articles/is-there-an-end/
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Re: How did Buddha live without thinking I, me and myself?

Postby SarathW » Thu Jul 11, 2013 3:04 am

reflection wrote:
SarathW wrote:Reflection:
Yes I meant he lived like a good human with commonsense.
But, If someone invites him for a meal (Dana) he has to think that I am going to Dana on such and such day to such and such person’s house.

Hi,

Of course I can't look in the Buddha's mind, or in yours, but I think you are giving verbal thought more importance than it deserves. The thought is often just a reflection or commentary on what is already known without words. Before thinking "I am going to this-and-that", the decision or intention already arose and it is already known; you could say the 'thought' behind the thought.

This one can know if the mind is really peaceful. If my mind is silent in meditation, I can often take that silence along outside of meditation as well. Then I can do many things without thinking, and especially without thinking "I have to do this" or "I need this". And if thoughts penetrate -let's say when I need a shower- then it'll be like 'shower', instead of 'I think I need a shower'. So I'd say if the Buddha verbally thought anything about the dana at all, it would be "dana, King this-and-that". No need for the "I" here or an entire story around it. Because basically the "I" is also a story we create around things.
============================
Hi Reflection
I am sure you know that even the highest level of meditation will not eliminate the “I” thought!
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