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?
"Right effort is effort with wisdom. Because where there is wisdom, there is interest. The desire to know something is wisdom at work. Being mindful is not difficult. But it’s difficult to be continuously aware. For that you need right effort. But it does not require a great deal of energy. It’s relaxed perseverance in reminding yourself to be aware. When you are aware, wisdom unfolds naturally, and there is still more interest." - Sayadaw U Tejaniya

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Re: Shadows

Postby Paul Davy » 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. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

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