A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Postby Crosswind » Mon May 10, 2010 3:25 pm

Hello – My name is Ron. I have an interest in Buddhist concepts so I have joined this group in search of some answers to a few questions. Thank you in advance. Here is my question today: What is a shadow? As I walked in the park I became aware of shadows. When I try to understand “shadow” as an element I can find attributes from all the elements within the shadows ( I can elaborate on this, but not now). My concept of the meanings of earth, water, fire, wind, consciousness and space are, I believe, not inconsistent with generally held Buddhist notions of them. Fascinating stuff. Peace.

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Re: Shadows

Postby Zom » Mon May 10, 2010 7:34 pm

Shadow is the absence of light.. :juggling: :tongue:

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Re: Shadows

Postby Kenshou » Mon May 10, 2010 8:24 pm

Buddhism is in general more concerned with how we experience things than their objective reality. Trying to fit all Buddhist concepts into an ontology produces awkward results.

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Re: Shadows

Postby Goofaholix » Mon May 10, 2010 9:17 pm

If a tree blocks the sunlight into the forest and there is noone there to see it does it cast a shadow?
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah

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Re: Shadows

Postby retrofuturist » Mon May 10, 2010 11:13 pm

Greetings Ron,

Welcome to Dhamma Wheel.


Kenshou wrote:Buddhism is in general more concerned with how we experience things than their objective reality. Trying to fit all Buddhist concepts into an ontology produces awkward results.

This is a very good point and cannot be over-emphasised. So, what is the 'experience' of a shadow?

The variations in light can be observed, but it must first be determined (sankhata) as a shadow before it can be known as "a shadow". (This may or may not be what Goofaholix was getting at with his Zen-like koan).

The variations in heat can be felt. If it's a sunny day and you step under a tree, the diminishing of the fire element can be observed.

Remember that the Dhamma is about suffering and its cessation - it's not about chin-scratching and pontification. If what you're thinking about has no connection to suffering and its cessation, chances are you're not thinking in line with the Dhamma.

Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)

Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7

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