The mind by Ajahn Chah

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Re: The mind by Ajahn Chah

Postby danieLion » Sat Jun 16, 2012 9:55 pm

bodom wrote:Hi danieLion

Other candidates?


Within the Thai tradition Buddadasa Bhikkhu often mentions Zen in his writings

Larry Rosenberg and Gil Fronsdal come to mind as well, both vipassana teachers with extensive backgrounds in the Zen tradition and have a Zen flavor to their teachings.

Larry Rosenberg
http://www.cimc.info/teachers.html

Gil Fronsdal
http://www.insightmeditationcenter.org/teachers/

If we trust the source (and I do), we should no be surprised at similarities. Right?


All the varied traditions of Buddhism have non clinging and liberation as the final goal. Whether one takes the Theravadin or Zen path matters not as they all have the same destination.

:anjali:

Can't believe I forgot GIl.
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Re: The mind by Ajahn Chah

Postby ground » Sun Jun 17, 2012 3:32 am

All this mind talk is just reification of an idea and it provides conceptual support for those inclined to soul/mind theories and/or permanence. Being aware that all this thinking that entails those utterances is just consciousness and that consciousness arises and ceases and that its arising depends on the living body and that consciousness (3rd link) arises from not-knowing (1st link) mediated by formations (2nd link) may be helpful in this context.

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Re: The mind by Ajahn Chah

Postby gavesako » Sun Jun 17, 2012 8:17 pm

DarwidHalim wrote:Thanks Bhante for the alternative.

By the way, what is the main issue or disagreement between the translation in the magazine and the one that you provide. Basically, I can't see the difference.

What is the complain or issue about this labeling "Original Mind"?



The problem that I see is the Western translators (who were probably not that well grounded in Theravada tradition themselves) tend to take things out of context in order to make certain teachings more palatable to an eclectic Western audience. Such concepts as "primordial purity" or "Original Mind" have their own place and history in other traditions, and I am sure Ajahn Chah was not familiar with all that, he would have used them within the context of standard Theravada teachings and related them to his own experience.

It is better to read more of his talks and put it into that context, for example here talking about the mind:

Contemplate this: whoever it is who knows is the one who has to take responsibility for your sīla. Bring that awareness to watch over your actions and speech. That knowing, that awareness is what you use to watch over your practice. To keep sīla, you use that part of the mind which directs your actions and which leads you to do good and bad. You catch the villain and transform him into a sheriff or a mayor. Take hold of the wayward mind and bring it to serve and take responsibility for all your actions and speech. Look at this and contemplate it. The Buddha taught us to take care with our actions. Who is it who does the taking care? The body doesn't know anything; it just stands, walks around and so on. The hands are the same; they don't know anything. Before they touch or take hold of anything, there has to be someone who gives them orders. As they pick things up and put them down there has to be someone telling them what to do. The hands themselves aren't aware of anything; there has to be someone giving them orders. The mouth is the same - whatever it says, whether it tells the truth or lies, is rude or divisive, there must be someone telling it what to say.
The practice involves establishing sati, mindfulness, within this 'one who knows.' The 'one who knows' is that intention of mind, which previously motivated us to kill living beings, steal other people's property, indulge in illicit sex, lie, slander, say foolish and frivolous things and engage in all the kinds of unrestrained behaviour. The 'one who knows' led us to speak. It exists within the mind. Focus your mindfulness or sati - that constant recollectedness - on this 'one who knows.' Let the knowing look after your practice.

http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Path_Peace.php

In another talk he says that we can't really trust this mind or the 'one who knows' because it knows wrongly, so it requires quite a lot of training to make it know things correctly. It is not just a matter of "dropping into primordial purity of our Buddha Nature".
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Re: The mind by Ajahn Chah

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Jun 18, 2012 3:32 am

Greetings,

ground wrote:All this mind talk is just reification of an idea and it provides conceptual support for those inclined to soul/mind theories and/or permanence. Being aware that all this thinking that entails those utterances is just consciousness and that consciousness arises and ceases and that its arising depends on the living body and that consciousness (3rd link) arises from not-knowing (1st link) mediated by formations (2nd link) may be helpful in this context.

:goodpost:

:clap:

Bang on the mark.

Metta,
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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Re: The mind by Ajahn Chah

Postby DarwidHalim » Mon Jun 18, 2012 5:03 am

gavesako wrote:Such concepts as "primordial purity" or "Original Mind" have their own place and history in other traditions, and I am sure Ajahn Chah was not familiar with all that, he would have used them within the context of standard Theravada teachings and related them to his own experience.


COmparing these 2 translations:
Magazine (3rd sentence):
[This mind] is intrinsically pure.

Other translation:
[This mind] is naturally peaceful.

I have a question here:
Can something naturally peaceful not intrinsically pure?
Can something intrinsically pure not naturally peaceful?
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!
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Re: The mind by Ajahn Chah

Postby gavesako » Mon Jun 18, 2012 7:15 am

See http://mettarefuge.wordpress.com/2010/0 ... ha-nature/

Concluding this week’s theme of iconoclasm and “outside the Buddha-box” insight, I offer this essay by one of my favorite dharma teachers, Thanissaro Bhikkhu. The provocative title says it all: Freedom from Buddha Nature.

What? A Buddhist teacher who says that there is no innate, inherent Buddha nature? Isn’t that a cornerstone of Buddhist teaching? No, actually, this concept of a Buddha nature is not universal in Buddhism. The term is not even found in the Pali canon, the earliest teachings attributed to the Buddha. Nor is the idea of an inherent Buddha nature part of the Theravadan understanding of what the Buddha taught as the way to Awakening.

From the Theravadan viewpoint, there are problems with the metaphysical assumption of a Buddha nature:

If you assume a Buddha nature, you not only risk complacency but you also entangle yourself in metaphysical thorn patches: If something with an awakened nature can suffer, what good is it? How could something innately awakened become defiled? If your original Buddha nature became deluded, what’s to prevent it from becoming deluded after it’s re-awakened?
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Re: The mind by Ajahn Chah

Postby DarwidHalim » Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:33 am

gavesako wrote:
If you assume a Buddha nature, you not only risk complacency but you also entangle yourself in metaphysical thorn patches: If something with an awakened nature can suffer, what good is it? How could something innately awakened become defiled? If your original Buddha nature became deluded, what’s to prevent it from becoming deluded after it’s re-awakened?


If that view is maintained, then this sentence ("THe mind is naturally peaceful") also has a problem.

Because if mind is naturally peaceful, how can it also become disturb and not peaceful?
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!
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Re: The mind by Ajahn Chah

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:05 am

Hi Darwid,
DarwidHalim wrote:If that view is maintained, then this sentence ("THe mind is naturally peaceful") also has a problem.

Who said the mind is naturally peaceful?

Are you thinking of this sutta? http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is defiled by incoming defilements."
"Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is freed from incoming defilements."


:anjali:
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Re: The mind by Ajahn Chah

Postby Mr Man » Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:19 am

gavesako wrote:

The problem that I see is the Western translators (who were probably not that well grounded in Theravada tradition themselves) tend to take things out of context in order to make certain teachings more palatable to an eclectic Western audience. Such concepts as "primordial purity" or "Original Mind" have their own place and history in other traditions, and I am sure Ajahn Chah was not familiar with all that, he would have used them within the context of standard Theravada teachings and related them to his own experience.




With respect Bhante, In my opinion the original translators (of "A taste of Freedom") had a good grasp of the context of Ajahn Chah's teaching. They were there and lived with him. What was the context of Ajahn Chah's teaching? Was he teaching for prosperity or to be comply with Theravada orthodoxy? Or was it for the immediate? To some extent I'm sure we are all guilty of trying to re-write Ajahn Chah into what we would like him to be. Unfortunately he is no lomger here to pop the bubbles.
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Re: The mind by Ajahn Chah

Postby gavesako » Mon Jun 18, 2012 7:16 pm

DarwidHalim wrote:
gavesako wrote:
If you assume a Buddha nature, you not only risk complacency but you also entangle yourself in metaphysical thorn patches: If something with an awakened nature can suffer, what good is it? How could something innately awakened become defiled? If your original Buddha nature became deluded, what’s to prevent it from becoming deluded after it’s re-awakened?


If that view is maintained, then this sentence ("THe mind is naturally peaceful") also has a problem.

Because if mind is naturally peaceful, how can it also become disturb and not peaceful?



There is no problem in the Ajahn Chah quote because he is not referring to some supposed metaphysical "original purity" that got defiled at a later stage. Instead, he is just reflecting on the present moment and how, when there is ignorance in the mind, mental fabrications are created which lead (following the sequence of dependent arising) to craving and grasping -- and how this whole structure can be disbanded when there is clear seeing and mindfulness watching over our consciousness.
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Re: The mind by Ajahn Chah

Postby bodom » Mon Jun 18, 2012 7:22 pm

There is no problem in the Ajahn Chah quote because he is not referring to some supposed metaphysical "original purity" that got defiled at a later stage. Instead, he is just reflecting on the present moment and how, when there is ignorance in the mind, mental fabrications are created which lead (following the sequence of dependent arising) to craving and grasping -- and how this whole structure can be disbanded when there is clear seeing and mindfulness watching over our consciousness.


:goodpost:

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: The mind by Ajahn Chah

Postby gavesako » Mon Jun 18, 2012 7:40 pm

Mr Man wrote:
gavesako wrote:

The problem that I see is the Western translators (who were probably not that well grounded in Theravada tradition themselves) tend to take things out of context in order to make certain teachings more palatable to an eclectic Western audience. Such concepts as "primordial purity" or "Original Mind" have their own place and history in other traditions, and I am sure Ajahn Chah was not familiar with all that, he would have used them within the context of standard Theravada teachings and related them to his own experience.




With respect Bhante, In my opinion the original translators (of "A taste of Freedom") had a good grasp of the context of Ajahn Chah's teaching. They were there and lived with him. What was the context of Ajahn Chah's teaching? Was he teaching for prosperity or to be comply with Theravada orthodoxy? Or was it for the immediate? To some extent I'm sure we are all guilty of trying to re-write Ajahn Chah into what we would like him to be. Unfortunately he is no lomger here to pop the bubbles.
:anjali:



If you read the memoirs of the early generation of Ajahn Chah's disciples (especially Paul Breiter's) it will become obvious that most of the young men who ended up ordaining and living with Ajahn Chah in those days knew quite a lot about "Drugs, Sex and Rock'n'Roll" and merely happened to stumble upon his monastery and were drawn by his charisma more than anything else. Often they had only very vague idea about this whole thing called "Theravada Buddhism" and English translations of the Pali Canon were hard to find in Wat Pah Pong or Wat Pah Nanachat. The underground classic was "I AM THAT" and another American book on Zen apparently. It was necessary to learn the Vinaya rules so they focused on that, but as for really learning about the whole culture and history of Theravada Buddhism, I am afraid that they neglected this aspect. As soon as they set up their own Western monastery they were no longer required to learn very much Thai and could function in their own English-speaking world. The Thai forest tradition is somewhat anti-intellectual and anti-scholastic so they main focus was the monastic routine and meditation practice. But what happened when these monks went back to the West to establish new branch monasteries was that -- after they lost their charismatic teacher Ajahn Chah -- they started to get involved in all kinds of other spiritual stuff which finally took them away from Theravada and the monastic life and they ended up disrobing. Those who stayed did gradually study more of the classic Theravada teachings and become quite well grounded in them, so that they can continue the process of transplanting the Sasana in the West.
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Re: The mind by Ajahn Chah

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:37 pm

gavesako wrote:
If you read the memoirs of the early generation of Ajahn Chah's disciples (especially Paul Breiter's) it will become obvious that most of the young men who ended up ordaining and living with Ajahn Chah in those days knew quite a lot about "Drugs, Sex and Rock'n'Roll" and merely happened to stumble upon his monastery and were drawn by his charisma more than anything else. Often they had only very vague idea about this whole thing called "Theravada Buddhism" and English translations of the Pali Canon were hard to find in Wat Pah Pong or Wat Pah Nanachat. The underground classic was "I AM THAT" and another American book on Zen apparently. It was necessary to learn the Vinaya rules so they focused on that, but as for really learning about the whole culture and history of Theravada Buddhism, I am afraid that they neglected this aspect. As soon as they set up their own Western monastery they were no longer required to learn very much Thai and could function in their own English-speaking world. The Thai forest tradition is somewhat anti-intellectual and anti-scholastic so they main focus was the monastic routine and meditation practice. But what happened when these monks went back to the West to establish new branch monasteries was that -- after they lost their charismatic teacher Ajahn Chah -- they started to get involved in all kinds of other spiritual stuff which finally took them away from Theravada and the monastic life and they ended up disrobing. Those who stayed did gradually study more of the classic Theravada teachings and become quite well grounded in them, so that they can continue the process of transplanting the Sasana in the West.

:goodpost:
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: The mind by Ajahn Chah

Postby Mr Man » Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:15 pm

gavesako wrote:
If you read the memoirs of the early generation of Ajahn Chah's disciples (especially Paul Breiter's) it will become obvious that most of the young men who ended up ordaining and living with Ajahn Chah in those days knew quite a lot about "Drugs, Sex and Rock'n'Roll" and merely happened to stumble upon his monastery and were drawn by his charisma more than anything else. Often they had only very vague idea about this whole thing called "Theravada Buddhism" and English translations of the Pali Canon were hard to find in Wat Pah Pong or Wat Pah Nanachat. The underground classic was "I AM THAT" and another American book on Zen apparently. It was necessary to learn the Vinaya rules so they focused on that, but as for really learning about the whole culture and history of Theravada Buddhism, I am afraid that they neglected this aspect. As soon as they set up their own Western monastery they were no longer required to learn very much Thai and could function in their own English-speaking world. The Thai forest tradition is somewhat anti-intellectual and anti-scholastic so they main focus was the monastic routine and meditation practice. But what happened when these monks went back to the West to establish new branch monasteries was that -- after they lost their charismatic teacher Ajahn Chah -- they started to get involved in all kinds of other spiritual stuff which finally took them away from Theravada and the monastic life and they ended up disrobing. Those who stayed did gradually study more of the classic Theravada teachings and become quite well grounded in them, so that they can continue the process of transplanting the Sasana in the West.



Bhante, in my opinion you have painted a very inaccurate picture of the early generation; many are still in robes and many of those who disrobed were certainly earnest and sincere. The emphasis of the training and the way that monks practiced was guided by Ajahn Chah. There was great love from the students for the teacher and from the teacher towards students like Paul Breiter. Translations like the translations found in "A Taste of Freedom" are what really helped to introduce the teachings of Ajahn Chah to the west and I personally feel a great sense of gratitude to those who first made these teachings available in English.

It seems like there has been a rise of interest in "Classic Theravada" over the last few years but I personally wouldn't see this as Ajahn Chah's legacy.

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Re: The mind by Ajahn Chah

Postby gavesako » Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:42 pm

Of course they were the pioneers and had their role to play which we have to acknowledge. Also the early translations, although they can be improved upon (such as in the newly revised Collected Teachings of Ajahn Chah), were very helpful to lots of people. On the other hand, there has been a somewhat "incomplete transmission" of Theravada Buddhism to the West through this particular tradition which is something that we are still reaping the results of today. Ajahn Chah and the other forest monks were able to live simply and focus mainly on meditation practice because they were doing so within the context of an established traditional Buddhist society with its values that they had been brought up with from a young age, so there were many things that were simply assumed and did not need to be explained. With the Westerners, however, there was a huge cultural gap and a great opportunity for misunderstandings and incomprehension of many traditional values -- even with the close contact with a genius teacher such as Ajahn Chah, this could not be avoided. So I am merely pointing this out because it becomes obvious when one learns about supposedly the same "Thai forest tradition" from two different sources and in two different languages, Thai and English. Until one does that, one can assume many things which do not really match the actual situation on the ground. (I am speaking from within this tradition itself.)
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Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Re: The mind by Ajahn Chah

Postby DarwidHalim » Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:27 am

gavesako wrote:There is no problem in the Ajahn Chah quote because he is not referring to some supposed metaphysical "original purity" that got defiled at a later stage. Instead, he is just reflecting on the present moment and how, when there is ignorance in the mind, mental fabrications are created which lead (following the sequence of dependent arising) to craving and grasping -- and how this whole structure can be disbanded when there is clear seeing and mindfulness watching over our consciousness.


There is a problem Bhante.

If we cannot accept the original mind, which is by nature pure, we also cannot accept another translation, which say this mind is naturally Peaceful.

We are back to the square. One issue is this mind is naturally pure, another one is naturally peaceful.

Different language, but same meaning. There is something which is naturally peaceful.

I can understand why some people do not accept something original pure. The reason is because they fail to differentiate unstained and defile. To them, these two terms are same.

If we see a mirror, we put the photo of bandit, the reflection of bandit appear.
If we replace that photo of bandit with photo of Buddha, the reflection of Buddha appear.

The mirror can be defiled by the appearance of bandit and Buddha. But, there is no way the photo of bandit can stain the mirror.

If the photo of bandit can stain the mirror, when you replace the photo of bandit with photo of Buddha, what will appear is photo of bandit. In this case, the mirror is stained by defilement of bandit. But reality is not like that. In reality, photo of bandit can defile the mirror, but there is no way photo of bandit can stain the mirror. Same thing photo of Buddha also cannot stain the photo I bandit.

Another example is the sky.
Today the sky can have white cloud, tomorrow dark cloud. The sky can be defiled by the appearance of white and dark cloud, but white and dark cloud cannot stain the sky.

If white cloud can stain the sky, after the appearance of white cloud, the dark white will never have a chance to appear. Similarly, if the dark cloud can stain the sky, after the appearance of dark cloud, white cannot appear anymore, because the sky has been damaged by the dark cloud. It has been stained.

Reality is not like that, the sky can be covered by cloud, but the sky can never be stained by cloud.

Another example is lotus.

Lotus grow in the mud. The mud can defiled the lotus, but it can never ever stain the lotus. Lotus is defileable by mud, but lotus is unstainable by mud.

Now if we go to the mind. If my mind can be stained by ignoranced, I will have no hope to become a Buddha anymore. This mind can be covered by thoughts, but this mind cannot be stained by thoughts. My previous thought cannot damage the luminosity of my mind. It also cannot improve the luminosity of my mind.

If we see the blue mountain, the appearance of blue mountain will appear in this mind.
But, even we become a Buddha, it is exactly same blue mountain will appear.

There is no way, this luminosity of mind can improve, so when we see the blue mountain, now blue getting more
Sparkling.

The luminosity of mind is unstainable. Bad thought cannot stain this mind. Good thought cannot stand this mind. It can defile the mind, but it cannot stain the mind.

The nature of the sky is unstainable, but defileable. Similarly, the nature of mind is unstainable, but defileable.

If something is not naturally pure, no matter how hard we remove the defilement, it has no use.
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!
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Re: The mind by Ajahn Chah

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:40 am

Hi Darwid,
DarwidHalim wrote:We are back to the square. One issue is this mind is naturally pure, another one is naturally peaceful.

Do you have a sutta reference for the mind being "naturally peaceful"?

As I pointed out above, there is a sutta that talks about "radiant is the mind...",
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=12817&start=20#p193996
but reading that as "the mind is naturally peaceful" may be an over-interpretation. Or were there other suttas?

:anjali:
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Re: The mind by Ajahn Chah

Postby DarwidHalim » Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:57 am

Miken,

This is from Ajahn chah.
According to one translation, his speech is translated as this mind is intrinsically (naturally) pure. This is rejected, with another translation "this mind is naturally peaceful".

So, we only have two choices: accepting mind is naturally pure or accepting mind is naturally peaceful.

There is no different in accepting one of them, because basically the are same.

We only have one option left, which is saying Ajahn chah is wrong.

Please note, there is no Sutta saying this mind is not naturally pure.

So we are in 50 50 situation.

Buddhism is not a teaching that everything has been defined in the book. Not like Christian. Everything outside bible is wrong.

However, in this 50 50 situation, the conclusion can be taken by reasoning and experience.

I don't to find in the Sutta saying the person can have a green eye. Because I see a person with green eyes, even the Sutta never say that, I know there is such thing. Not everything need Sutta.

And not everything can be found in the Sutta.
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!
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Re: The mind by Ajahn Chah

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:10 am

Well maybe Ajahn Chah is on about the neutrality of sensations in and of themselves, and it is due to a lack of equanimity and clearly seeing reality as it is that the mind appears disturbed in certain mind states more than others there.
the commentaries to MN (see one of Bhodhis foot notes to MN somewhere around 36 if I remember correctly) at least, seam to support this idea being present at least 1000 years ago and probably more.
just a thought, without reading the full talk the full context isn't being considered.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: The mind by Ajahn Chah

Postby Nyana » Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:38 pm

gavesako wrote:There is no problem in the Ajahn Chah quote because he is not referring to some supposed metaphysical "original purity" that got defiled at a later stage. Instead, he is just reflecting on the present moment and how, when there is ignorance in the mind, mental fabrications are created which lead (following the sequence of dependent arising) to craving and grasping -- and how this whole structure can be disbanded when there is clear seeing and mindfulness watching over our consciousness.

Indeed. It's all too easy for identification and naming to lead to metaphysical views or one sort or another. Whenever we identify with anything, that identity becomes fabricated and conditioned by that very act of selective recognition, identification, and naming. Thus, the meditative composure of the noble path makes use of letting go as the object (vossaggārammaṇa). Ajahn Chah, What Is Contemplation:

    Question: Is this mind you are talking about called the ‘Original Mind’?

    Ajahn Chah’s Answer: What do you mean?

    Question: It seems as if you are saying there is something else outside of the conventional body-mind (the five khandhas). Is there something else? What do you call it?

    Answer: There isn’t anything and we don’t call it anything – that’s all there is to it! Be finished with all of it. Even the knowing doesn’t belong to anybody, so be finished with that, too! Consciousness is not an individual, not a being, not a self, not an other, so finish with that – finish with everything! There is nothing worth wanting! It’s all just a load of trouble. When you see clearly like this then everything is finished.

    Question: Could we not call it the ‘Original Mind’?

    Answer: You can call it that if you insist. You can call it whatever you like, for the sake of conventional reality. But you must understand this point properly. This is very important. If we didn’t make use of conventional reality we wouldn’t have any words or concepts with which to consider actual reality – Dhamma. This is very important to understand.
Nyana
 
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