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Dhamma Wheel • View topic - Joseph Goldstein: Achieved is the End of Craving

Joseph Goldstein: Achieved is the End of Craving

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom

Re: Joseph Goldstein: Achieved is the End of Craving

Postby meindzai » Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:24 pm

seanpdx wrote:
But I also disagree with the idea that the "root problem is our sense of a solid self".


Is that different from what the Buddha says? After describing all the types of suffering (birth, death, old age, etc.) he sums it up with "In short, the five clinging-aggregates are stressful." - Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta
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Re: Joseph Goldstein: Achieved is the End of Craving

Postby seanpdx » Fri Jan 15, 2010 8:43 pm

meindzai wrote:
seanpdx wrote:
But I also disagree with the idea that the "root problem is our sense of a solid self".


Is that different from what the Buddha says? After describing all the types of suffering (birth, death, old age, etc.) he sums it up with "In short, the five clinging-aggregates are stressful." - Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta


But his summary says nothing about whether we have or don't have a sense of a solid self. Clinging is dukkha, whether we have a sense of a solid self or not.
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Re: Joseph Goldstein: Achieved is the End of Craving

Postby meindzai » Fri Jan 15, 2010 10:05 pm

seanpdx wrote:
meindzai wrote:
seanpdx wrote:
But I also disagree with the idea that the "root problem is our sense of a solid self".


Is that different from what the Buddha says? After describing all the types of suffering (birth, death, old age, etc.) he sums it up with "In short, the five clinging-aggregates are stressful." - Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta


But his summary says nothing about whether we have or don't have a sense of a solid self. Clinging is dukkha, whether we have a sense of a solid self or not.


But don't we cling to a self precisely becuase we see it as a solid thing?

-M
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Re: Joseph Goldstein: Achieved is the End of Craving

Postby Sanghamitta » Fri Jan 15, 2010 10:11 pm

If ever I come across someone without a sold sense of self, I will ask them about it. I never have. Even psychotic people have a solid sense of self, its just that their sense of self is some distance from consensual reality. And Dukkha arises when we identify any aspect of the kandhas as self or as permanent. And that is conventional reality for all who are not Enlightened. We weave our clinging into a fabrication of self. If and when we dont Dukkha does not arise. Dukkha is precisely our investment in a changing set of attributes and identifying with them.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.
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Re: Joseph Goldstein: Achieved is the End of Craving

Postby seanpdx » Fri Jan 15, 2010 11:14 pm

meindzai wrote:
seanpdx wrote:
meindzai wrote:Is that different from what the Buddha says? After describing all the types of suffering (birth, death, old age, etc.) he sums it up with "In short, the five clinging-aggregates are stressful." - Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta


But his summary says nothing about whether we have or don't have a sense of a solid self. Clinging is dukkha, whether we have a sense of a solid self or not.


But don't we cling to a self precisely becuase we see it as a solid thing?


I don't believe we cling to a self because we see it as a solid thing. We can just as easily cling to things that are not "solid things" (i.e., cling to processes that have no inherent "thing-ness" even in a "mundane" sense). We cling (upadana) because we crave (tanha). It revolves around delight (nandi).

One does not cling to the flavour of ice cream because one sees the flavour of ice cream as a "solid thing". One clings to it because one takes delight in it (or wants to).
Likewise, one does not cling to a self because one sees the self as a "solid thing". One clings to it because one takes delight in it (or wants to).

I think the whole self/not-self/no-self/etc thing has been blown waaaay out of proportion.
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Re: Joseph Goldstein: Achieved is the End of Craving

Postby seanpdx » Fri Jan 15, 2010 11:18 pm

Sanghamitta wrote:If ever I come across someone without a sold sense of self, I will ask them about it. I never have. Even psychotic people have a solid sense of self, its just that their sense of self is some distance from consensual reality. And Dukkha arises when we identify any aspect of the kandhas as self or as permanent. And that is conventional reality for all who are not Enlightened. We weave our clinging into a fabrication of self. If and when we dont Dukkha does not arise. Dukkha is precisely our investment in a changing set of attributes and identifying with them.


"sense of solid self", not "solid sense of self". Dukkha arises when we cling.
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Re: Joseph Goldstein: Achieved is the End of Craving

Postby christopher::: » Sat Jan 16, 2010 2:47 am

seanpdx wrote:Clinging is dukkha, whether we have a sense of a solid self or not.

Sanghamitta wrote:Dukkha is precisely our investment in a changing set of attributes and identifying with them.

seanpdx wrote:"sense of solid self", not "solid sense of self". Dukkha arises when we cling.


Seems like these statements all point to the same process, insight into the clinging and identification with "fill-in-the-blank" that creates dukkha, creates suffering...

:anjali:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: Joseph Goldstein: Achieved is the End of Craving

Postby meindzai » Sat Jan 16, 2010 3:07 am

seanpdx wrote:I don't believe we cling to a self because we see it as a solid thing. We can just as easily cling to things that are not "solid things" (i.e., cling to processes that have no inherent "thing-ness" even in a "mundane" sense). We cling (upadana) because we crave (tanha). It revolves around delight (nandi).



Well, you started to go down the chain of events in D.O., so let's keep going. We cling, because we crave, because we feel, etc. on down to ignorance (which loops with the tains). Ignorance means ignorance of the four noble truths. It means not seeing things as they are - that is, as transient, as notself, as unsatisfactory.

One does not cling to the flavour of ice cream because one sees the flavour of ice cream as a "solid thing". One clings to it because one takes delight in it (or wants to).



I'd argue that there's still some ignorance of the transient nature of that pleasure there. It's as if on some level we don't realize that the ice cream doesn't bring lasting happiness. The Dharma is pointing to finding a lasting happiness that doesn't depend on transient things. It seems that in order to cling to anything we have to have some perception of solidity.

Likewise, one does not cling to a self because one sees the self as a "solid thing". One clings to it because one takes delight in it (or wants to).


The conclusion from this would be that one who sees the self as it really is - anicca, anatta, dukkha, would still cling to it. Is that possible?


I think the whole self/not-self/no-self/etc thing has been blown waaaay out of proportion.


I disagree, seeing as it's right there in the first noble truth. However I might say that a) I think it often degrades into a discussion of ontology and b) it may be more important to focus on things like kamma, sila, etc. before one really can have a chance of grasping the antta teaching.

-M
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Re: Joseph Goldstein: Achieved is the End of Craving

Postby christopher::: » Sat Jan 16, 2010 5:39 am

I was listening to another of Goldstein's talks this week, that relates to this discussion, concerning the importance of cultivating tranquility in our practice. He talked of how essential it is-- especially in regards to these issues of craving, clinging and desire.

"In one discourse the Buddha said, these two have a shared and clear knowing. Which two? Tranquility and insight. When tranquility is developed, desire is abandoned. When insight is developed, ignorance is abandoned."

Satipatthana Sutta - part 32 - Factors Of Awakening: Tranquility (2008-04-11)


As we become calmer over time we let go of desires more easily, settle back into a more tranquil state "that is free from wanting." This tranquility works in tandem with insight into anatta, understanding that the self doesn't exist, the two approaches work together, all the factors work together...

So, from this perspective, it's not any single insight or aspect of practice that is crucial, but rather the cultivation of several factors together, that leads to our awakening...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_Fact ... ightenment

:anjali:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: Joseph Goldstein: Achieved is the End of Craving

Postby seanpdx » Sat Jan 16, 2010 7:44 am

christopher::: wrote:
seanpdx wrote:Clinging is dukkha, whether we have a sense of a solid self or not.

Sanghamitta wrote:Dukkha is precisely our investment in a changing set of attributes and identifying with them.

seanpdx wrote:"sense of solid self", not "solid sense of self". Dukkha arises when we cling.


Seems like these statements all point to the same process, insight into the clinging and identification with "fill-in-the-blank" that creates dukkha, creates suffering...

:anjali:


Not quite. I don't believe that identification with "fill-in-the-blank" is a part of it. I don't believe that clinging necessitates identification with anything. Although I could, perhaps, be misunderstanding others' understanding. It's happened before. =D
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Re: Joseph Goldstein: Achieved is the End of Craving

Postby seanpdx » Sat Jan 16, 2010 8:20 am

meindzai wrote:
seanpdx wrote:I don't believe we cling to a self because we see it as a solid thing. We can just as easily cling to things that are not "solid things" (i.e., cling to processes that have no inherent "thing-ness" even in a "mundane" sense). We cling (upadana) because we crave (tanha). It revolves around delight (nandi).

Well, you started to go down the chain of events in D.O., so let's keep going. We cling, because we crave, because we feel, etc. on down to ignorance (which loops with the tains). Ignorance means ignorance of the four noble truths. It means not seeing things as they are - that is, as transient, as notself, as unsatisfactory.


Actually, I wasn't going down the chain of DO! Although in hindsight, I can see the connection. Woops. =) Actually, I had three specific things in mind: The first noble truth (referencing upadana), the second noble truth (referencing tanha), and a couple suttas from the suttanipata (referencing nandi). I'm not really prepared for an in-depth discussion of DO, though. It's on my long list of things to investigate much more deeply (not from an orthodox perspective -- I already know the orthodox perspective). But it's not near the top of that list. ;)

One does not cling to the flavour of ice cream because one sees the flavour of ice cream as a "solid thing". One clings to it because one takes delight in it (or wants to).

I'd argue that there's still some ignorance of the transient nature of that pleasure there. It's as if on some level we don't realize that the ice cream doesn't bring lasting happiness. The Dharma is pointing to finding a lasting happiness that doesn't depend on transient things. It seems that in order to cling to anything we have to have some perception of solidity.


Oh, no question about the ignorance of the transient nature. I think part of the problem is not seeing that things are, in fact, transient, and yet at the same time part of the problem with clinging is that, perhaps subconsciously, we know that things are transient and yet WANT so badly for them to not be transient (ie, maybe if we can just cling HARD enough... they'll stop being transient!). Ahh, we're such silly humans. =D

But I don't think that the perception of solidity must necessarily be based on a perception of a solid "self". To be sure, much suffering is caused by not accepting the transient nature of the components of our selves (e.g., those who suffer because their body -- form -- ages, against their desire to stay youthful). I simply don't believe that _all_ of our suffering is contingent upon the perception of a solid "self".

Likewise, one does not cling to a self because one sees the self as a "solid thing". One clings to it because one takes delight in it (or wants to).

The conclusion from this would be that one who sees the self as it really is - anicca, anatta, dukkha, would still cling to it. Is that possible?


I think it may very well be possible. I think that, perhaps, if one truly sees the self as dukkha, it may be less possible (if not impossible?) to cling to the self. But even then, I'm not entirely certain.

This is, sort of, the underlying foundation of my spiritual turmoil. Knowing full well that what I want (I'll leave it as an unknown object at this point) is not permanent, will not bring lasting happiness, and will in fact cause moments of suffering... do I abandon its pursuit? The only thing I've ever truly wanted in life? In order to fully renounce the world and put an end to my suffering once and for all?

Of course, in this particular case, it's not quite a "self" to which I cling, but the example still holds true for clinging to a self.

I think the whole self/not-self/no-self/etc thing has been blown waaaay out of proportion.

I disagree, seeing as it's right there in the first noble truth. However I might say that a) I think it often degrades into a discussion of ontology and b) it may be more important to focus on things like kamma, sila, etc. before one really can have a chance of grasping the antta teaching.


Ummm... This is the first noble truth, from the dhammacakkappavattana sutta. No mention of attā or anattā.

"Idaṃ kho pana, bhikkhave, dukkhaṃ ariyasaccaṃ – jātipi dukkhā, jarāpi dukkhā, byādhipi dukkho, maraṇampi dukkhaṃ, appiyehi sampayogo dukkho, piyehi vippayogo dukkho, yampicchaṃ na labhati tampi dukkhaṃ – saṃkhittena pañcupādānakkhandhā dukkhā"

I definitely agree that it often degrades into meaningless ontological discussions, though. Ugh. That, actually, is one of the reasons why I think it's been blown way out of proportion. =D
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Re: Joseph Goldstein: Achieved is the End of Craving

Postby PeterB » Sat Jan 16, 2010 4:46 pm

It seems to me that one poster is using the word "identification " in a particular sense, and that another poster is using the word "clinging" in a particular sense and that actually there is no difference in the intended meaning.
The idea that anatta, which is a simple, though difficult to realise view, has been inflated into a whole philosophy of non self and " emptiness " appears to me to be an idea which would bear more exploration.
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Re: Joseph Goldstein: Achieved is the End of Craving

Postby seanpdx » Sat Jan 16, 2010 5:30 pm

PeterB wrote:It seems to me that one poster is using the word "identification " in a particular sense, and that another poster is using the word "clinging" in a particular sense and that actually there is no difference in the intended meaning.
The idea that anatta, which is a simple, though difficult to realise view, has been inflated into a whole philosophy of non self and " emptiness " appears to me to be an idea which would bear more exploration.


New thread?
Is there a sticky somewhere yet for "The great anatta debate"? *grin*
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Re: Joseph Goldstein: Achieved is the End of Craving

Postby meindzai » Mon Jan 18, 2010 1:49 pm

seanpdx wrote:Ummm... This is the first noble truth, from the dhammacakkappavattana sutta. No mention of attā or anattā.

"Idaṃ kho pana, bhikkhave, dukkhaṃ ariyasaccaṃ – jātipi dukkhā, jarāpi dukkhā, byādhipi dukkho, maraṇampi dukkhaṃ, appiyehi sampayogo dukkho, piyehi vippayogo dukkho, yampicchaṃ na labhati tampi dukkhaṃ – saṃkhittena pañcupādānakkhandhā dukkhā"



The five aggregates of clinging are mentioned. (pañcupādānakkhandhā) He says that in short, it's clinging to the aggregates that are suffering. Birth, death, aging, etc. can all be summed up in terms of the aggregates. That's why I say it's right there in the first noble truth. Understanding of the aggregates goes right in line with anatta.

-M
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Re: Joseph Goldstein: Achieved is the End of Craving

Postby christopher::: » Thu Feb 25, 2010 3:19 pm

meindzai wrote:
The five aggregates of clinging are mentioned. (pañcupādānakkhandhā) He says that in short, it's clinging to the aggregates that are suffering. Birth, death, aging, etc. can all be summed up in terms of the aggregates. That's why I say it's right there in the first noble truth. Understanding of the aggregates goes right in line with anatta.

-M


:anjali:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: Joseph Goldstein: Achieved is the End of Craving

Postby RayfieldNeel » Fri Feb 26, 2010 2:21 pm

My thanks for the great link!
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Re: Joseph Goldstein: Achieved is the End of Craving

Postby christopher::: » Sat Jan 08, 2011 10:00 pm

You are most very welcome.

:anjali:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: Joseph Goldstein: Achieved is the End of Craving

Postby grasshopper » Sun Jan 09, 2011 8:22 am

During the first 6 months of 2010, I went through the darkest patch of my life due to certain planned events not coming to fruition and consequently, great mental and financial misery came my way. But to my great fortune, during this Period, I stumbled across the site Dharmaseed http://dharmaseed.org/ and Mr.Joseph Goldstein's talks in it. His talks were the mental ambrosia on which I fed on, for which I am ever so grateful.

The more suffering one has had in one's life, the more soothing and meaningful his talks become. Goldstein's talks are just gold!
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Re: Joseph Goldstein: Achieved is the End of Craving

Postby christopher::: » Mon Jan 10, 2011 2:11 am

grasshopper wrote:
The more suffering one has had in one's life, the more soothing and meaningful his talks become. Goldstein's talks are just gold!


I agree.

:anjali:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: Joseph Goldstein: Achieved is the End of Craving

Postby christopher::: » Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:41 am

I put together this video yesterday, with what I felt was one of the most insightful sections of Goldstein's Dhamma talk...



:smile:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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