Dhamma Reinvented: Big Mind, Buddha Nature, etc..

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Dhamma Reinvented: Big Mind, Buddha Nature, etc..

Postby christopher::: » Sat Mar 20, 2010 7:16 am

We've been talking about Big Mind, Buddha Nature, Advaita style Zen, Genpo Roshi, Ken Wilbur and other related topics over in the Discovering Theravada section, but keep stepping out of that subforum's bounds, so i thought i'd start a new discussion here, for anyone interested.

Pros, Cons, Possibilities, Problems?



"I'm so big, but there is no one there to know. No subject/object division. No one there to say, oh, I am this. There's no here, no listener, no seer. I am All, I am the whole, I am the infinite, I am the Eternal. That's Big Mind. What we could call the absolute, what we could call God."

:juggling:

P.S. Tilt, PeterB and all, you'll be happy to know i'm finally starting to grasp where the problems can lie with this approach, thanks to...

Thanissaro Bhikkhu: Freedom from Buddha Nature

: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: Dhamma Reinvented: Big Mind, Buddha Nature, etc..

Postby PeterB » Sat Mar 20, 2010 7:55 am

Is that what we have been talking about Chris ?
Its news to me... :smile:
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Re: Dhamma Reinvented: Big Mind, Buddha Nature, etc..

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Mar 20, 2010 8:39 am

Hi Christopher,
Thanks for the link.
I have only scanned through so far, and this caught my eye. I am not sure whether or not this is completely on topic for your thread, if not let me know and I'll delete or edit it blank.

From the Theravadan viewpoint: 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?
Emphasis added

For me the Buddha Didn't teach Metaphysics, or Ontology, although these are certainly present at times within the teachings, they are more for use as a tool for understanding, (contextualising??) aspects of right view . . . .
The danger in this is that these can be used to develop notions which are not part of the Buddha's teachings, whether they are true or not is a side note, if it is not useful to the full fruit of the path, takes us off the path, or causes us to stop half way, then even what is true is useless to the path. the path is called noble, this to me means that it is reflective and true, useful to reaching the goal, not because it is true alone.

Just because it is Dhamma (phenomena that arises in the mind) does not mean it is Dhamma (truth.)
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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: Dhamma Reinvented: Big Mind, Buddha Nature, etc..

Postby Prasadachitta » Sat Mar 20, 2010 10:09 am

christopher::: wrote:
[i]"I'm so big, but there is no one there to know. No subject/object division. No one there to say, oh, I am this. There's no here, no listener, no seer. I am All, I am the whole, I am the infinite, I am the Eternal. That's Big Mind. What we could call the absolute, what we could call God."


Hi Cristopher,

I have felt a sense of deep wholeness in Dhamma practice which I feel resonates with this kind of talk. It is wonderful. I find this kind of talk vaguely appealing. That being said I dont find this kind of communication helps to reduce stress and angst. I think it is good for delighting in achievement and nothing more. I think it often accompanies teachings which are efficacious but does nothing to advance or enhance that efficacy. It is my opinion that the Buddhas teaching of specific conditionality carries a kind of perfect and progressive message which goes beyond the concept of non duality. For me it goes beyond it not objectively but subjectively. I mean to say that my subjective experience so far has proven for me that the only concept which is continually helpful is specific conditionality. Beyond that there are plenty of logical gymnastics which can undermine even the vaguely appealing aspects of this kind of talk. I may momentarily have an amazing experience of wholeness but the only concept which supports and sustains the potential for progressively developing it comes from the Buddha.

Metta

Gabe
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332
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Re: Dhamma Reinvented: Big Mind, Buddha Nature, etc..

Postby ground » Sat Mar 20, 2010 10:18 am

This discussion appears to be a discussion about the different skilfulness of different metaphors. If party A utters what they perceive to be a metaphor party B may infer party A's affirmation of a "reality" which they (party B) themselves believe to be a mere fabrication. However to infer affirmation of "reality" from utterance of a metaphor is not valid because the nature of metaphors is indefinite.

Kind regards
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Re: Dhamma Reinvented: Big Mind, Buddha Nature, etc..

Postby rowyourboat » Sat Mar 20, 2010 10:36 am

I am All, I am the whole, I am the infinite, I am the Eternal

Nowhere does he categorically say that there is no self. Infact he has gone on to identify another mental fabrication ('big mind') as the self. What escape in samsara is there to this man or his followers?
With Metta

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Mudita
& Upekkha
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Re: Dhamma Reinvented: Big Mind, Buddha Nature, etc..

Postby appicchato » Sat Mar 20, 2010 10:46 am

Just because it is Dhamma (phenomena that arises in the mind)...


That would be dhamma, not Dhamma.
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Re: Dhamma Reinvented: Big Mind, Buddha Nature, etc..

Postby meindzai » Sat Mar 20, 2010 1:24 pm

"I'm so big, but there is no one there to know. No subject/object division. No one there to say, oh, I am this. There's no here, no listener, no seer. I am All, I am the whole, I am the infinite, I am the Eternal. That's Big Mind. What we could call the absolute, what we could call God."


"To what extent, Ananda, does one delineate when delineating a self? Either delineating a self possessed of form and finite, one delineates that 'My self is possessed of form and finite.' Or, delineating a self possessed of form and infinite, one delineates that 'My self is possessed of form and infinite.' Or, delineating a self formless and finite, one delineates that 'My self is formless and finite.' Or, delineating a self formless and infinite, one delineates that 'My self is formless and infinite.'"


Maha-nidana Sutta

A self is a self is a self, no matter how grand or noble.

-M
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Re: Dhamma Reinvented: Big Mind, Buddha Nature, etc..

Postby jcsuperstar » Sat Mar 20, 2010 1:36 pm

when ever i see that big mind stuff i'm reminded of my zen teacher, who was in L.A. around the same time as Gempo's teacher and knew of him. we showed him a flyer for the big mind stuff and he too one look at gempo and said "he is the deluded among the deluded". this stuff doesnt just smell funny to theravada noses
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: Dhamma Reinvented: Big Mind, Buddha Nature, etc..

Postby meindzai » Sat Mar 20, 2010 1:51 pm

Most definately. While the view is more likely to show up in Mahayana/Zen circles, there are plenty of responsible teachers who know better.
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Re: Dhamma Reinvented: Big Mind, Buddha Nature, etc..

Postby christopher::: » Sat Mar 20, 2010 2:53 pm

Indeed, there seem to a number of Zen & Mahayana teachers who privately feel uncomfortable with the Big Mind teachings, yet hesitate to be critical publicly. Same for teachings such as in Dzogchen, where one is given empowerments or "introduced" to the "true" nature of one's mind...



When grounded in the essentials of the Dhamma, teachings/methods such as these may have positive results for people, so i don't want to judge them as "bad." But Thanissaro Bikkhu raised many important points. When we construct a new "spiritual self" concept it can distract us from the essential work we all need to do with unwholesome mind states and actions, our hindrances and fetters...

Why make a great effort or bother with the hard stuff when you've been promised that your buddha is hidden within, your enlightenment inevitable, your "true self" one with the entire Universe?



:juggling:
"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: Dhamma Reinvented: Big Mind, Buddha Nature, etc..

Postby BlackBird » Sat Mar 20, 2010 8:49 pm

I am always a little suspicious of people who put their face on the front cover:

Image
Image

Ken's a typical example of Religious-Smörgåsbordism. I can't be certain, but I don't think he's any closer to enlightenment than you or I, the only difference is he's laughing all the way to the bank ;)

metta
Jack
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'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: Dhamma Reinvented: Big Mind, Buddha Nature, etc..

Postby Kenshou » Sat Mar 20, 2010 9:04 pm

At the time when I was first becoming interested in eastern philosophy but hadn't actually gotten much into Buddhism, I had a phase of interest in this sort of pseudo-advaita transcendentalist new-age tattvamasi mumbo-jumbo. I eventually came to the conclusion that it wasn't much more than mental masturbation wearing a mask of profundity. However, it was the bridge that eventually lead me to look into and find something actually worthwhile in Buddhism.

A bridge made of clowns and candy and bubbles with a toolbox at the end of it.
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Re: Dhamma Reinvented: Big Mind, Buddha Nature, etc..

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Mar 20, 2010 10:00 pm

appicchato wrote:
Just because it is Dhamma (phenomena that arises in the mind)...


That would be dhamma, not Dhamma.

simple typo, must be to used to the shift key when typing Dhamma there,
dhamma dhamma dhamma dhamma dhamma dhamma dhamma dhamma dhamma
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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: Dhamma Reinvented: Big Mind, Buddha Nature, etc..

Postby christopher::: » Sat Mar 20, 2010 10:11 pm

BlackBird wrote:I am always a little suspicious of people who put their face on the front cover:



Fame, praise, adulation and attention can work like fertilizer on conceptions of the self.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissism

Kenshou wrote:At the time when I was first becoming interested in eastern philosophy but hadn't actually gotten much into Buddhism, I had a phase of interest in this sort of pseudo-advaita transcendentalist new-age tattvamasi mumbo-jumbo. I eventually came to the conclusion that it wasn't much more than mental masturbation wearing a mask of profundity. However, it was the bridge that eventually lead me to look into and find something actually worthwhile in Buddhism.

A bridge made of clowns and candy and bubbles with a toolbox at the end of it.


Reminds me of:

"Sometimes we teach best what we most need to learn"

:tongue:
"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: Dhamma Reinvented: Big Mind, Buddha Nature, etc..

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Mar 20, 2010 10:16 pm

jcsuperstar wrote:when ever i see that big mind stuff i'm reminded of my zen teacher, who was in L.A. around the same time as Gempo's teacher and knew of him. we showed him a flyer for the big mind stuff and he too one look at gempo and said "he is the deluded among the deluded". this stuff doesnt just smell funny to theravada noses

I am rewatching the vid and, well smell is . . . . . . . . . .
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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: Dhamma Reinvented: Big Mind, Buddha Nature, etc..

Postby meindzai » Sat Mar 20, 2010 10:31 pm

Kenshou wrote:At the time when I was first becoming interested in eastern philosophy but hadn't actually gotten much into Buddhism, I had a phase of interest in this sort of pseudo-advaita transcendentalist new-age tattvamasi mumbo-jumbo. I eventually came to the conclusion that it wasn't much more than mental masturbation wearing a mask of profundity. However, it was the bridge that eventually lead me to look into and find something actually worthwhile in Buddhism.


I hear ya. I think mine went something like:

(Born into) Xtianity --> Hostile Atheism --> Self help --> Agnostocism --> Western Philosophy --> Near Nervous breakdown from studying Western Philosophy --> Zen Mind Beginners Mind/Everything is Zen period --> Alan Watts --> Marathon Meditator --> Joseph Campbell/Mythology/Inter-religious "All religions are the same and we are all one" thing --> Thich Nhat Hahn --> Sutta discovery (in the Back of a Thich Nhat Hah book, actually) --> Theravada Buddhism.

Sort of.

A bridge made of clowns and candy and bubbles with a toolbox at the end of it.


LOL!

-M
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Re: Dhamma Reinvented: Big Mind, Buddha Nature, etc..

Postby christopher::: » Sun Mar 21, 2010 12:23 am

meindzai wrote:
I hear ya. I think mine went something like:

(Born into) Xtianity --> Hostile Atheism --> Self help --> Agnostocism --> Western Philosophy --> Near Nervous breakdown from studying Western Philosophy --> Zen Mind Beginners Mind/Everything is Zen period --> Alan Watts --> Marathon Meditator --> Joseph Campbell/Mythology/Inter-religious "All religions are the same and we are all one" thing --> Thich Nhat Hahn --> Sutta discovery (in the Back of a Thich Nhat Hah book, actually) --> Theravada Buddhism.

Sort of.





:tongue:
"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: Dhamma Reinvented: Big Mind, Buddha Nature, etc..

Postby mudra » Mon Apr 05, 2010 12:06 am

Chris::: - coming in very late in the thread - Buddha Dharma is in fact an ongoing tradition. Contributions to the tradition could be commentaries, as we find in traditions such as Theravada or Mahayana, or they can be simply realizations attained by those who practice and thereby attain results. Ideally these two are linked - those who attain true realisations help others by giving a new perspective. Interestingly, this is not reinvention but insights into what the Buddha taught.

If one were to reinvent, the implication would be that one had attained the realizations equivalent of to those of a Buddha. Good luck with little minds pretending to be big minds.... :alien:
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Re: Dhamma Reinvented: Big Mind, Buddha Nature, etc..

Postby christopher::: » Fri Apr 30, 2010 12:07 pm

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, mudra.

: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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