"Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Postby seanpdx » Tue Dec 29, 2009 11:26 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
seanpdx wrote:
Cafael Dust wrote:I have an unusual perspective in that I was much further along the Jhanas for a long period previously, then slipped back into ignorance after drinking alcohol, which I have since given up, and I'm making the journey again. It's an unusual perspective because I have direct knowledge of levels of attainment that I am not wise or skillful enough to really be talking about. Apologies for that.

So, no, not enlightened but worth listening to or at least not dismissing all the same, with the usual critical eye applied to any speakers' words.


Can't speak for anyone else, but I prefer listening to people who've made it to the top of the mountain. Just cause you bought a map don't mean you can find yer way.

There is always the garden path.


But I don't like veggies. Can it be a fruit garden? That'd be awesome.
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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Postby Cafael Dust » Tue Dec 29, 2009 11:27 pm

I say that enlightenment is easy, because after I learned to meditate, it became a self-sustaining process.

i.e. i am following my breath now, practicing mindfulness. I have no choice in the matter, I couldn't stop if I wanted to (I've tried, not because I want to, but to experiment. I can't stop because I never started. There is no me in here, no ghost in the machine. No machine either, come to that :tongue: ).

So this is why when I lean towards zen as a foundation emphasising the simplicity of zazen and use the Pali Sutras for guidance.

When I sit zazen, another thing I never plan but which my body chooses, my back goes very straight and I adopt the classic posture, but without having learnt to. Sometimes I go into yoga poses. These things are determined by conditions, energy flow, what you will. The body chooses them for its own reasons; because of this experience I am dubious about yoga classes, learning the forms which should really just be observed, just more experience not to be clung to.
Last edited by Cafael Dust on Tue Dec 29, 2009 11:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Postby Cafael Dust » Tue Dec 29, 2009 11:36 pm

Tilt:

I am the path. It is almost all of me and grows every day. I do mush concepts but I am the real deal.

I am not afraid of being made a fool of or getting things wrong because it's important to me to give people hope if nothing else, to be a living witness to the truth of the Dharma. I am a flawed witness and not without conceit, and lack of rigor in study. I shall try in the days that come to remedy this. The energies which move me, the wisdom which seeks to be born through me, have an imperfect vehicle and I have to suffer at times for the wisdom to grow through me.

If I may step outside myself for a moment, it can be said that 'he' is not without compensations, he is good with words and love, agape, has always been deeply important to him. So please be patient as the chrisalis pulsates :smile: . This isn't easy in one sense, in the sense of it always being a smooth ride.
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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Dec 29, 2009 11:56 pm

Cafael Dust wrote:Tilt:

I am the path. It is almost all of me and grows every day. I do mush concepts but I am the real deal.

I am not afraid of being made a fool of or getting things wrong because it's important to me to give people hope if nothing else, to be a living witness to the truth of the Dharma.
Which is all very nice; however, it is kind of important not to distort the Dhamma with wishful thinking.

I am a flawed witness and not without conceit, and lack of rigor in study. I shall try in the days that come to remedy this.
That would be a good thing. One thing for sure is that you do not quite have a grasp of emptiness yet. Probably the best thing is to not assume that you have the answers you assume that you have.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Postby Cafael Dust » Wed Dec 30, 2009 3:49 am

Emptiness: empty of essence or self-nature. All compounded things are impermanent and conditioned, only nibbana is unconditioned and permanent - hence I said love is the ground of being, because nibbana is love. Remove the conditioned and you have the unconditioned.

The Buddha states: "In this very one-fathom long body along with perceptions and thoughts, do I proclaim the world, the origin of the world, the end of the world and the path leading to the end of the world."

(wasn't me who asked for it to be opened, for the record. Possibly it was someone itching to and about to give me a rhetorical bloody nose, but hey)
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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Dec 30, 2009 3:51 am

Cafael Dust wrote:Emptiness: empty of essence or self-nature. All compounded things are impermanent and conditioned, only nibbana is unconditioned and permanent - hence I said love is the ground of being, because nibbana is love. Remove the conditioned and you have the unconditioned.

The Buddha states: "In this very one-fathom long body along with perceptions and thoughts, do I proclaim the world, the origin of the world, the end of the world and the path leading to the end of the world."

Nibbana is not a "ground of being."
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Postby Ben » Wed Dec 30, 2009 4:42 am

Hi Cafael,
Cafael Dust wrote:Emptiness: empty of essence or self-nature. All compounded things are impermanent and conditioned, only nibbana is unconditioned and permanent - hence I said love is the ground of being, because nibbana is love. Remove the conditioned and you have the unconditioned.


That's an interesting statement. I have never read anywhere in the Tipitaka that Nibbana is love. Nor have I read anywhere that love is an unconditioned dhamma. But i am interested in this view of yours and I would appreciate it if you could tell me how you came to this conclusion and what support you have for your contention from the Pali Canon and or the commentarial literature.
Many thanks

Ben
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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Dec 30, 2009 9:35 am

Hi Ben,
In mindfulness and mental health by Chris Mace, chapter 5 page 133/134 arizona program, he has noted that Jon Kabat-Zinn had identified 7 foundations of mindfulness, and Shapiro and colleagues had added another 5 to this list, one being Loving Kindness.

7 foundations of Kabat-Zinn wrote:1 - non-judging (not evaluating or categorising)
2 - patience (letting things unfold in their own time)
3 - beginners mind (being willing to see anything afresh)
4 - trust (of oneself, of one's experience and of life)
5 - non-striving (not trying to get to a goal or outcome)
6 - acceptance (seeing things as they actually are in the present)
7 - letting go (allowing thoughts, feelings, etc., to pass away).

additional 5 Shapiro & colleagues wrote:1 - gentleness (being soft, considerate and tender)
2 - generosity (giving without thought of return)
3 - empathy (feeling for and understanding others in the present)
4 - gratitude (reverence and appreciation for what is present)
5 - loving kindness (unconditional benevolence and love)


many of these seam either out of place with the canon, or something to be referenced by within the canon considering satipaṭṭhānas is

The foundations of mindfulness (sati-patthanā) are;
1. Ardent;
2. Alert;
3. Mindful;
4. Putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world.
The references of mindfulness (sati-upaṭṭhāna) are;
1. Body;
2. Feeling;
3. Mind;
4. Mental Qualities.


although the second list is not exhaustive and their are aspects of each which boost the references of mindfulness up it does seam strange to associate any aspect of the references (metta being part of mental qualities) with the final goal, more than as a reflective tool, or aspect of the practice which is present at any given time, when fully developed.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
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: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Postby Cafael Dust » Wed Dec 30, 2009 11:08 am

Without suffering, without craving, there is only unconditional love. Love is not a 'compounded thing', it is what is left when the mind is still. You may not like me using the word 'love'; I'm happy to carry on using nibbana.

The mind drags us this way and that, fuelled by the fires of passion, wanting, always saying 'I will settle when... I will free you when...' But there is always another task that seems to be new, however tasks and intentions as a whole are sisyphean in nature.

Love is what manifests when the mind lets go of us; hence I say it is the ground of being, not a thing but thingness itself, the unconditioned, requiring no relative formula of conditions for its existence. It is the truth behind form; just as white can be divided into a spectrum of colours, love is through ignorance divided into our world as we see it. When I say 'our world', I mean 'our perception', or 'our experience'.

Everything in samsara is in flux, nothing permanent or unmoving. It is our mind's movement that constitutes our ignorance and blinds us to nibbana. It is as if someone is telling you you are loved but before they can get a word out you interrupt and cut them off, and have been doing so since beginningless time.
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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Dec 30, 2009 11:12 am

Cafael Dust wrote:. . . hence I say it is the ground of being. . . .
Nibbana is not a "ground of being."
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Postby Cafael Dust » Wed Dec 30, 2009 11:19 am

It is in zen.

Ok, no, the above is a way of describing things. Really there's no ground of being, just this, that, the other. There certaintly seems to be a ground of being, because I've experienced this stripping away and love remaining. But really we can't even be said to be moving in time, so no that or the other. I am only aware of one instant at a time, so how can I have the sense of time passing?

What about the rest of the post, do you disagree with all of it?
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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Dec 30, 2009 11:27 am

Cafael Dust wrote:It is in zen.
That is debatable, but Zen is not Theravada and it carries no weight in terms of what nibbana is.

What about the rest of the post, do you disagree with all of it?
I find that you pretty much skip over things that you disagree with. Where does the Buddha state that love is unconditioned. And I'll repeat what I asked before: Compassion and love are not empty?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Postby Dan74 » Wed Dec 30, 2009 11:44 am

Cafael Dust wrote:It is in zen.

Ok, no, the above is a way of describing things. Really there's no ground of being, just this, that, the other. There certaintly seems to be a ground of being, because I've experienced this stripping away and love remaining. But really we can't even be said to be moving in time, so no that or the other. I am only aware of one instant at a time, so how can I have the sense of time passing?

What about the rest of the post, do you disagree with all of it?


It's very hard to describe these things and being a beginner myself, I certainly don't claim to speak for Zen, but when you say "I've experienced this..." it doesn't sound like ground of being, which in Zen is just another expression for the Original Mind, True Nature, nirvana, etc. The Original Mind is without an observer and it cannot be observed or experienced. Otherwise it wouldn't be a non-dual state. Some aspect of emptiness can be experienced, and this can certainly feel like stripping away.

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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Postby Cafael Dust » Wed Dec 30, 2009 12:14 pm

Dan: But there is no observer at any time. I think you confuse 'realisation' with 'state of mind'. That everything is love isn't a state, it's more a realisation of the way things are at all times. But words are inadequate here.

Tilt: I can talk about Zen here can't I, since this is the free-for-all?

I said to you before, compassion and love with a small l are empty, they are experiences, but nibbana is not a compounded, conditioned thing, it is the way things are. I suppose it might help to think of two kinds of love, love in a situation e.g. I love her, I love the view, I love humanity etc and love as more like gravity, an inexorable force with no components since it is made up of every other compounded thing, but can also be obscured by them. That kind of love is what I'd call nibbana.
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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Dec 30, 2009 12:25 pm

Cafael Dust wrote:
Tilt: I can talk about Zen here can't I, since this is the free-for-all?
You can talk about Zen, but you can't meaningfully make claims about what the Buddha in the Pali suttas teach based upon Zen.

I said to you before, compassion and love with a small l are empty, they are experiences, but nibbana is not a compounded, conditioned thing, it is the way things are.
Nibbana is not a ground being, but is it empty, from your perspective?

You still avoid questions put to you.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Postby Cafael Dust » Wed Dec 30, 2009 12:40 pm

I don't understand - I answered the question you asked me.

Is nibbana empty? No, nibbana is emptiness.
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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Postby Dan74 » Wed Dec 30, 2009 12:45 pm

Cafael Dust wrote:Dan: But there is no observer at any time. I think you confuse 'realisation' with 'state of mind'. That everything is love isn't a state, it's more a realisation of the way things are at all times. But words are inadequate here.


If you are serious, you'd better seek out a master to check your realization. This is the Zen way.

There is a great deal of danger with a "false" or undercooked realization, which can both become fodder for a very subtle form of self. A true master would be able to see.

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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Postby Cafael Dust » Wed Dec 30, 2009 12:52 pm

Yes, I'm moving to Japan in a couple of months to find a zen master.

And yes, 'serious' doesn't cover it. I am more of a leaf falling than anything autonomous; we all are, the difference is realisation, though of course my realisation has a long way to go.

About SATORI, in a similar, yet somehow somewhat different approach, Suzuki goes on to write in ZEN BUDDHISM: Selected Writings of D.T, Suzuki, (New York: Anchor Books, 1956), pp. 103-108

1. Irrationality. "By this I mean that Satori is not a conclusion to be reached by reasoning, and defies all intellectual determination. Those who have experienced it are always at a loss to explain it coherently or logically."

2. Intuitive Insight. "That there is noetic quality in mystic experiences has been pointed out by (William) James...Another name for Satori is Kensho (chien-hsing in Chinese) meaning "to see essence or nature," which apparently proves that there is "seeing" or "perceiving" in Satori...Without this noetic quality Satori will lose all its pungency, for it is really the reason of Satori itself. "

3. Authoritativeness. "By this I mean that the knowledge realized by Satori is final, that no amount of logical argument can refute it. Being direct and personal it is sufficient unto itself. All that logic can do here is to explain it, to interpret it in connection to other kinds of knowledge with which our minds are filled. Satori is thus a form of perception, an inner perception, which takes place in the most interior part of consciousness.


http://sped2work.tripod.com/satori.html
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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:05 pm

Hi All,
I believe in a theravadin context ground of being is referring to the Dhammapada verses 1 & 2.
dhammapada for contemplation wrote:1
All states of being are determined by mind.
It is mind that leads the way.
Just as the wheel of the oxcart follows
the hoof print of the animal that draws it,
so suffering will surely follow
when we speak or act impulsively
from an impure state of mind.
2
All states of being are determined by mind.
It is mind that leads the way.
As surely as our shadow never leaves us,
so well-being will follow
when we speak or act
with a pure state of mind.


but these verses do not mean that ground of being is anything other than where we live, experience the world through,

maha-satipatthana sutta wrote:Contemplation of the Mind
And how, monks, does a monk dwell contemplating (the nature of) the mind in the mind?
Here, monks, a monk when a mind has passion knows the mind has passion,
or when a mind is without passion he knows the mind is without passion;
or when a mind has hate he knows the mind has hate,
or when a mind is without hate he knows the mind is without hate;
or when a mind has delusion he knows the mind has delusion,
or when a mind is without delusion he knows the mind is without delusion;
or when a mind is collected he knows the mind is collected,
or when a mind is scattered he knows the mind is scattered,
or when a mind has become very great he knows the mind has become very great,
or when a mind has not become very great he knows the mind has not become very great;
or when a mind is surpassable he knows the mind is surpassable,
or when a mind is unsurpassable he knows the mind is unsurpassable;
or when a mind is concentrated he knows the mind is concentrated,
or when a mind is not concentrated he knows the mind is not concentrated;
or when a mind is liberated he knows the mind is liberated,
or when a mind is not liberated he knows the mind is not liberated.
* * *
Thus he dwells contemplating (the nature of) the mind in the mind in regard to himself,
or he dwells contemplating (the nature of) the mind in the mind in regard to others,
or he dwells contemplating (the nature of) the mind in the mind in regard to himself and in regard to others,
or he dwells contemplating the nature of origination in the mind,
or he dwells contemplating the nature of dissolution in the mind,
or he dwells contemplating the nature of origination and dissolution in the mind,
or else mindfulness that ßthere is a mind is established in him
just as far as (is necessary for) a full measure of knowledge and a full measure of mindfulness,
In this way, monks, a monk dwells contemplating the (the nature of) the mind in the mind.


not Nibbana, or buddha nature which is also associated with this term, so although the term could be understood in a theravadan context it is not going to mean the same thing as it does in zen, or in its christian usage as meaning god or a metaphysical absolute (which the Buddha rejects.)
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
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: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Postby Dan74 » Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:15 pm

Great!

You may actually find someone where you are with the advantage of speaking the same language. In Japan, you do have to know where to go. For Japan Rev Eijo of ESangha fame, may be a good reference point seeing that he's lived there for many years and knows people from various schools (he is a Shingon priest, but did train in Zen for some time, I believe).

It's important to seek out teachers.

Good luck!!!

_/|\_

PS This may or may not be Rev Eijo's current email address: padma@cypress.ne.jp
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