“True nature” approach to liberation?

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“True nature” approach to liberation?

Postby starter » Fri Feb 25, 2011 5:27 pm

Hello Teachers/Friends,

Since I was little, somehow the “debate” between Master Shenxiu (the founder of the Northen Chan school) and Master Huineng (the founder of the Southern Chan school) about which way of Buddhist practice can lead to enlightenment (this story is well known to Chinese) has been kept in my memory. Since I started Dhamma practice several months ago, such memory has occasionally floated up. This morning the two gathas made by Shenxiu and Huineng came to my mind and I think I truly understand them now:

Master Shenxiu’s gatha:

身是菩提樹, The body is a Bodhi tree,
心如明鏡臺。 The mind like a standing mirror bright.
時時勤拂拭, At all times polish it diligently,
勿使惹塵埃。 And let no dust alight.

Note: Master Shenxiu still regarded this body and this (defiled) mind as “self”, therefore he was not yet enlightened, and was not chosen to be the Sixth Patriarch of Chán Buddhism.


Master Huineng’s gatha:
菩提本無樹, Bodhi (the body) is ultimately not a tree;
明鏡亦非臺。 The bright mirror (the mind) is also not a stand.
本來無一物, The original is not a single thing [neither this body nor this mind] (and/or: Fundamentally there is no a single thing)
何處惹塵埃。 Where could it be touched by any “dust”?

Note: Master Huineng regarded neither this body nor this mind as “self”, and the original mind is not a “thing” (conditioned existence). He further pointed out that both “Bodhi” and “bright mirror” are ultimately empty of “labeled self”. He asked: “ how can the original mind (which is unconditioned) be actually touched by any “dusts” (which are conditioned) at all?
This gatha made him the Sixth and Last Patriarch of Chán Buddhism.

Mater Huineng advocated an “immediate and direct approach to Buddhist practice and enlightenment -- Sudden Enlightenment” by realizing the original mind is originally pure, unborn and undying, and inherently complete. I suppose his approach to liberation is relinquishing the delusions and cravings by penetrating that all conditioned phenomena are empty [of “self”] through knowing and contemplating the original nature, instead of through knowing and contemplating anicca/dukkha/anatta of the five aggregates and six sense bases. By using this approach, he didn’t teach his disciples the gradual path taught by the Buddha. His teachings have influenced the Chinese Buddhist practice very significantly.

Now my question is:

Can the original mind [“the luminous pure mind”] be essentially defiled by the “dusts” (assavas/defilements), or the "dusts" are only "guests" to the "host"? Is Master Huineng’s “direct approach to liberation” alright for those with sharp faculties, who have realized the Dhamma? Can the “true nature” (“the pure mind” or “the deathless”) approach really lead to nibbana?

The Buddha taught in Sn 5.15:
“View the world, … as empty [of “self”] — always mindful to have removed any view about self [regarding the conditioned worlds?]. This way one is above & beyond death. This is how one views the world so as not to be seen by Death's king.”

But he also taught:

"Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is defiled by incoming defilements. The uninstructed run-of-the-mill person doesn't discern that as it actually is present, which is why I tell you that — for the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person — there is no development of the mind."

"Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is freed from incoming defilements. The well-instructed disciple of the noble ones discerns that as it actually is present, which is why I tell you that — for the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones — there is development of the mind." [AN 1]

Considering the importance of the topic, I hope to get your valuable input.

Metta,

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Last edited by starter on Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: “True self” approach to liberation?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Feb 25, 2011 7:32 pm

starter wrote:. . .
Deathless is a term for nibbana and nibbana is not a self, true or otherwise. Original mind/true self? Why attach yourself to these problematic concepts?


"Luminous, monks, is the mind [citta]. And it is defiled by incoming defilements. The uninstructed run-of-the-mill person doesn't discern that as it actually is present, which is why I tell you that — for the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person — there is no development of the mind."

"Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is freed from incoming defilements. The well-instructed disciple of the noble ones discerns that as it actually is present, which is why I tell you that — for the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones — there is development of the mind." [AN 1]
What else does the Buddha say about mind/citta? You can entangle yourself in these Mahayana concepts or you can keep it simple and easy with the Buddha's teachings.
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: “True self” approach to liberation?

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:01 pm

Greetings,

I agree wholeheartedly with Tilt, here.

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: “True self” approach to liberation?

Postby starter » Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:42 pm

"What else does the Buddha say about mind/citta? You can entangle yourself in these Mahayana concepts or you can keep it simple and easy with the Buddha's teachings."
-- To my understanding, the Thai Forest tradition and some other Theravada traditions also have such citta concept. But thanks for the advice. Metta!
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Re: “True self” approach to liberation?

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:58 pm

Greetings Starter,

I think you may have misread what Tilt wrote.

I believe he is suggesting it would be better to understand concepts like "citta" and "mano", rather than importing loaded concepts like "true self", or any other self-view for that matter.

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: “True self” approach to liberation?

Postby kirk5a » Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:50 am

Ajahn Maha Boowa has some penetrating things to say about "true self." Reading his description, I can see how a certain meditative experience can be very compelling suggestion of "true self." Coming at it from the Buddhist perspective, of course he saw the delusion there.

"Both the very refined satisfaction and dissatisfaction that arise exclusively
within the mind, and the truly amazing radiance that emanates from
it, have their origin in delusion. But since we have never before encountered
them, we are deluded into grasping at them when we first investigate this point.
We are lulled sound asleep by delusion, which causes us to believe that the
subtle feelings of satisfaction and the amazing bright radiance are our true essence
beyond name and form. Oblivious to our mistake, we take this majestic
mind complete with delusion to be our one true self."
"Samana" p. 172

It's right at this point, I suspect, where "true self" contemplatives, and true Buddhist contemplatives, diverge. His description shows us just why all paths don't lead to "the same thing." If we were to follow a teaching urging us to find our "true self" we would stop right there and think we've found it.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: “True self” approach to liberation?

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:51 am

Greetings,

If we regard any thing as self, we're on the wrong track.

All dhammas (things) are not self.

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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: “True self” approach to liberation?

Postby starter » Sat Feb 26, 2011 1:39 am

"Ajahn Maha Boowa has some penetrating things to say about "true self." Reading his description, I can see how a certain meditative experience can be very compelling suggestion of "true self." Coming at it from the Buddhist perspective, of course he saw the delusion there.

"Both the very refined satisfaction and dissatisfaction that arise exclusively
within the mind, and the truly amazing radiance that emanates from
it, have their origin in delusion. But since we have never before encountered
them, we are deluded into grasping at them when we first investigate this point.
We are lulled sound asleep by delusion, which causes us to believe that the
subtle feelings of satisfaction and the amazing bright radiance are our true essence
beyond name and form. Oblivious to our mistake, we take this majestic
mind complete with delusion to be our one true self."
"Samana" p. 172"

-- Hi thanks for the kind help. As I remember from reading one of his talks, Ajahn Maha Boowa seems to have used "the Buddha nature" to describe the pure mind, which seems to be the same as used in the Mahayana school [?]. As I understand, the "true self" refers to "the Buddha nature" or "the arahant nature" -- whatever you name it (the name doesn't really matter to me), which is unconditioned, "originally pure, unborn and undying, and inherently complete".

I certainly wouldn't take "the subtle feelings of satisfaction and the amazing bright radiance" as "our true essence beyond name and form", which is certainly still within name and form. I just wonder if the undefiled [and unconditioned] pure mind the Buddha mentioned in AN1 is actually the so called "true self" or "the Buddha nature". Of course, I understand by the time of liberation the terms like "self" and "non-self" wouldn't apply anymore to the enlightened one. But before one's enlightenment, it seems not a bad strategy for emptying the trainer's mind from delusions and cravings about this world since he'll see all the conditioned phenomena as Not-self/No-self, in a kind of similar way to our anatta of five aggregates.

To my understanding, the Buddha only taught "Not-self/No-self" in the conditioned dimension (in the formations), not in the unconditioned dimension; he
actually classified the view of "no self" as a wrong view.

Metta,

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Re: “True self” approach to liberation?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Feb 26, 2011 2:25 am

starter wrote:"Ajahn Maha Boowa has some penetrating things to say about "true self." Reading his description, I can see how a certain meditative experience can be very compelling suggestion of "true self." Coming at it from the Buddhist perspective, of course he saw the delusion there.

"Both the very refined satisfaction and dissatisfaction that arise exclusively
within the mind, and the truly amazing radiance that emanates from
it, have their origin in delusion. But since we have never before encountered
them, we are deluded into grasping at them when we first investigate this point.
We are lulled sound asleep by delusion, which causes us to believe that the
subtle feelings of satisfaction and the amazing bright radiance are our true essence
beyond name and form. Oblivious to our mistake, we take this majestic
mind complete with delusion to be our one true self."
"Samana" p. 172"

-- Hi thanks for the kind help. As I remember from reading one of his talks, Ajahn Maha Boowa seems to have used "the Buddha nature" to describe the pure mind, which seems to be the same as used in the Mahayana school [?]. As I understand, the "true self" refers to "the Buddha nature" or "the arahant nature" -- whatever you name it (the name doesn't really matter to me), which is unconditioned, "originally pure, unborn and undying, and inherently complete".

I certainly wouldn't take "the subtle feelings of satisfaction and the amazing bright radiance" as "our true essence beyond name and form", which is certainly still within name and form. I just wonder if the undefiled [and unconditioned] pure mind the Buddha mentioned in AN1 is actually the so called "true self" or "the Buddha nature". Of course, I understand by the time of liberation the terms like "self" and "non-self" wouldn't apply anymore to the enlightened one. But before one's enlightenment, it seems not a bad strategy for emptying the trainer's mind from delusions and cravings about this world since he'll see all the conditioned phenomena as Not-self/No-self, in a kind of similar way to our anatta of five aggregates.

To my understanding, the Buddha only taught "Not-self/No-self" in the conditioned dimension (in the formations), not in the unconditioned dimension; he
actually classified the view of "no self" as a wrong view.

Metta,

Starter
There is no "unconditioned dimension." Maha Boowa represents a highly idiosyncratic point of view that is not supported by theBuddha's teachings.
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: “True self” approach to liberation?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Feb 26, 2011 2:28 am

starter wrote:"What else does the Buddha say about mind/citta? You can entangle yourself in these Mahayana concepts or you can keep it simple and easy with the Buddha's teachings."
-- To my understanding, the Thai Forest tradition and some other Theravada traditions also have such citta concept. But thanks for the advice. Metta!


It would be better, bhikkhus, for the uninstructed worlding to take as self this body… rather than the mind. For what reason? The body … is seen standing for one year, for two years, for three, four, five, or ten years, for twenty, thirty, forty, or fify, for a hundred years, or even longer. But that which is called 'mind [citta],' 'mentality [mano],' or 'consciousness [vi~n~naana]' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another. Just as a monkey roaming through a forest grabs hold of one branch, lets that go and grabs another, then lets that go and grans still another, so too that which is called 'mind [citta],' 'mentality [mano],' or 'consciousness [vi~n~naana]' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another. Therein, bhikkhus, the instructed noble disciple attends closely and carefully to dependent origination itself thus: ‘When this exists, that comes to be; with the arising of this that arises….
SN II 94-5
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: “True self” approach to liberation?

Postby m0rl0ck » Sat Feb 26, 2011 3:02 am

starter wrote:
Can the original mind [“the luminous pure mind”] be essentially defiled by the “dusts” (assavas/defilements), or the "dusts" are only "guests" to the "host"? Is Master Huineng’s “direct approach to liberation” alright for those with sharp faculties, who have realized the Dhamma? Can the “true self” (“the pure mind” or “the deathless”) approach really lead to nibbana?

The Buddha taught in Sn 5.15:
“View the world, … as empty [of “self”] — always mindful to have removed any view about self [regarding the conditioned worlds?]. This way one is above & beyond death. This is how one views the world so as not to be seen by Death's king.”

But he also taught:

"Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is defiled by incoming defilements. The uninstructed run-of-the-mill person doesn't discern that as it actually is present, which is why I tell you that — for the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person — there is no development of the mind."

"Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is freed from incoming defilements. The well-instructed disciple of the noble ones discerns that as it actually is present, which is why I tell you that — for the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones — there is development of the mind." [AN 1]

Considering the importance of the topic, I hope to get your valuable input.

Metta,

Starter


My impression from your last couple of posts is that you might do well to talk to a chan/zen teacher. If you want some reading i can highly recommend "The Zen Teachings of Huang Po". What invariably happens here in this kind of thread is that a bunch of theravadans start explaining ideas that they dont understand, or are antagonistic to. Or exaggerate and extrapolate those concepts and ideas beyond all sense or proportion, so that they make bigger easier targets.

If you want to remain with theravadan sources check the forest tradition ajahns, great reading imo, they remind me much of the early chan patriarchs. You might also want to take a look at the greater and lesser emptiness suttas.

Ajahn Dune, great stuff: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html

The greater and lesser emptiness suttas, two of my personal favorites (go figure :) )
Maha-Sunnata Sutta: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
Cula-Sunnata Sutta: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"When you meditate, don't send your mind outside. Don't fasten onto any knowledge at all. Whatever knowledge you've gained from books or teachers, don't bring it in to complicate things. Cut away all preoccupations, and then as you meditate let all your knowledge come from what's going on in the mind. When the mind is quiet, you'll know it for yourself. But you have to keep meditating a lot. When the time comes for things to develop, they'll develop on their own. Whatever you know, have it come from your own mind.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
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Re: “True self” approach to liberation?

Postby ground » Sat Feb 26, 2011 4:37 am

starter wrote:To my understanding, the Buddha only taught "Not-self/No-self" in the conditioned dimension (in the formations), not in the unconditioned dimension; he
actually classified the view of "no self" as a wrong view.


Why this talk about "conditioned dimension" and "unconditioned dimension"?
It is just conditioned talk.

There is no "self", no "I" no "mine" findable. Just this. No need to cling to "no self", "no-I" and "no-mine" on the basis of this non-finding. But the non-clinging to "no self" does not necessitate confirmation of some "true self".

Kind regards
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Re: “True self” approach to liberation?

Postby Akuma » Sat Feb 26, 2011 8:31 am

starter wrote:Mater Huineng advocated an “immediate and direct approach to Buddhist practice and enlightenment -- Sudden Enlightenment” by realizing the original mind is originally pure, unborn and undying, and inherently complete. I suppose his approach to liberation is relinquishing the delusions and cravings by penetrating that all conditioned phenomena are empty [of “self”] through knowing and contemplating the original mind (which is regarded as “true self”), instead of through knowing and contemplating anicca/dukkha/anatta of the five aggregates and six sense bases. By using this approach, he didn’t teach his disciples the gradual path taught by the Buddha. His teachings have influenced the Chinese Buddhist practice very significantly.


I have never so much understood the idea of "immediate approach". All the sudden-entry schools that I've seen so far are crowded with people who stare at walls all day, stare at their mind all day or try very hard not to try at all. All this just-sitting doesnt strike me as very immediate tho but as rather gradual :tongue:
Now the difference presented in the story with the two Gathas looks for me as the typical difference between the Pre- and Postprajnaparamita philosophy. As Chan students studied Yogacara sutras there is a clear distinction between the way of realisation of the Shravaka and the Bodhisattva (Samdhinirmocanasutra f.e.). Funnily tho there is two quite opposite explanations there which should apply at the same time. First of all the Bodhisattva realizes emptiness in a "more profound way" as he does away with the Abhidhamma idea of real existing entities and so is seen as "superior" to the Shravaka. This is btw in my view a very important definition because nowadays it wouldnt necessarily span over all Theravada teachers / practicioners (not to speak of that the usual Mahayana/Theravada opposition is nonsense anyways as Mahayana is no school)
On the other hand side the texts make it clear tho that the path of the Shravaka is the correct one and that the path of the Bohisattva is in fact an intentionally incomplete one (Abhidharmasamuccaya). I think this is something to be investigating if one tries to figure out the meaning behind those differences.

Now my question is:

Can the original mind [“the luminous pure mind”] be essentially defiled by the “dusts” (assavas/defilements), or the "dusts" are only "guests" to the "host"? Is Master Huineng’s “direct approach to liberation” alright for those with sharp faculties, who have realized the Dhamma? Can the “true self” (“the pure mind” or “the deathless”) approach really lead to nibbana?


As I see it the whole "true self" idea like in Mahayanaparinirvanasutra, Ratnagotravibhanga and so forth is what they call Upaya / Expedient means. If you look again at aforementioned ADhS or for example look at the study by Jamie Hubbard about "Tathagathagarbha, Emptiness and Monism" you can see that the positive explanations are encrypted. So they look very tasty for the Putthujana and might lure him into becoming interested but they need clear explanation. Drawback of this is obviously that even scholars have had their problems with interpreting that correctly and many students of Mahayana paths are nowadays having the same problem I think.
If you turn to the definition of true nature / tathatha in ADhS or the Pajnaparamitasutras you see that its merely the way things are - empty. The "dust" is then the asavas; so the emptiness of all dharmas is not perceived because there is dust. But there is no "true self" behind it, its just called "true nature" because the emptiness of dharmas is an unchanging fact.
The mirror in our story would be citta then which is momentary so its definitely anicca. You could theoretically call it clear tho because the citta itself is not defiled, it is merely accompanied by (karmic) objects and factors. Now of course since all objects are faulty objects there would be no sense in attaching onself to a stream of cittas.

But he also taught:

"Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is defiled by incoming defilements. The uninstructed run-of-the-mill person doesn't discern that as it actually is present, which is why I tell you that — for the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person — there is no development of the mind."

"Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is freed from incoming defilements. The well-instructed disciple of the noble ones discerns that as it actually is present, which is why I tell you that — for the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones — there is development of the mind." [AN 1]

Considering the importance of the topic, I hope to get your valuable input.

Metta,

Starter


This is in Theravada usually explained as that its
"luminous" being full of the kusala dharmas, free from the poisons etc.
"all-around" the arhat is enlightened to the emptiness of everything.

Or so I remember.
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Re: “True self” approach to liberation?

Postby Dan74 » Sat Feb 26, 2011 9:12 am

It's kind of strange to discuss a Mahayana-sounding approach at a Theravada forum. More appropriate I think to post such questions at Dharma Wheel or Zen Forum International.

The whole take of "True Self" or Original Nature, as I understand it, is to encourage a practitioner and develop faith that Nibbana/Nirvana is not something out there but already here, just obscured by defilements.

I guess most of us wonder if it is too lofty an aim and whether we have what it takes. This teaching unequivocally says "yes" to both of those questions, and furthermore that defilements themselves are not real or substantial but simply depend on the delusion and habitual proliferations to support them.

In that sense it is a very helpful teaching IMO because it provides a massive amount of encouragement (but hopefully not hubris). Of course to imaging Nibbana as an "it" of some sort is fraught with problems, because one immediately separates oneself from "it". Whereas it is neither an "it" nor separable in any sense from anything or anyone. Hence all the non-dual teachings in Mahayana.
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Re: “True self” approach to liberation?

Postby A_Martin » Sat Feb 26, 2011 4:05 pm

food for thought
does anatta know it is anatta, does anicca know its anicca, does dukkha know it is dukkha?
So who (the hell) then is it who knows that the five aggregates are anicca anatta and dukkha???
Who is the one that wants to get up in the morning or wants to sleep a bit more?
So do we take the approach of a mathematician, who hears the teaching of the Lord Buddha and then defines there is no self. (provocative: this seems to be the western approach to Buddhism) and suddenly there is no Self anymore, then there is only intention that creates kamma and there is action and there is speech. No one responsible any more (sometimes reading through the threads I have the feeling that people want to define their way out of samsara)?
Than Acharn Maha Bua hardly talks about self, only when he talks to monks he uses I did this, I practiced in this way, when he talks to laypeople, he uses We did this or that, or just refers to him as Luangta Maha Bua or even somtimes as youg lad Bua.
Sometimes he says, whatever we think we are, are the kilesas, whatever the kilesas are, we think we are. Once we get rid of the kilesas, we get rid of all the problems.
When he talks about the higher stages of practice, he uses the pure citta and the citta with kilesas. If we translate citta as mind, we are certainly in troubles
The pure citta, he translates as pure knowingness, and the citta with kilesas as the one who knows. Because the kilesas are the fangs of avijja, he also talks about avijja as the one who knows. Once it is gone, no more problems.
In Thai forest tradition it is always the kilesas who are the troublemakers, no matter how refined the kilesas are.
If you want to hear them talking you into things, then just sit in meditation concentrate on the breath or Buddho, they will come and convince you this is sound, this is this or that, you have to do it in this way, no better in this way, 24 hours of KBC (Kilesas Broadcast Company) They even make you believe that you had insights into this or that.
End of food and metta to all of you.
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Re: “True self” approach to liberation?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Feb 26, 2011 6:08 pm

A_Martin wrote:The pure citta, he translates as pure knowingness, and the citta with kilesas as the one who knows. .
And the Buddha said this where?
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: “True self” approach to liberation?

Postby beeblebrox » Sat Feb 26, 2011 6:16 pm

A_Martin wrote:food for thought
does anatta know it is anatta, does anicca know its anicca, does dukkha know it is dukkha?
So who (the hell) then is it who knows that the five aggregates are anicca anatta and dukkha???


Are you basically trying to condition the "true self" as that which notices the anicca? Shouldn't it be unconditioned? And if it should be unconditioned, then isn't that a condition in itself? These are basically the reasons why trying to cling to the idea of a "true self" would be a source of dukkha, big time.

Let's look at what a Mahayanist had to say about it...

Dōgen wrote:To study the self, is to forget the self. To forget the self, is to be enlightened by all things.


All things = anicca, dukkha, and anatta... including the "true self."

Also... keep in mind that the people who tried to translate Dōgen, they did so through their own lens. They didn't have the Dhamma Eye. How does one get that? By really listening, to the Buddha's teachings especially.

:anjali:
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Re: “True self” approach to liberation?

Postby starter » Sat Feb 26, 2011 8:39 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
starter wrote:"What else does the Buddha say about mind/citta? You can entangle yourself in these Mahayana concepts or you can keep it simple and easy with the Buddha's teachings."
-- To my understanding, the Thai Forest tradition and some other Theravada traditions also have such citta concept. But thanks for the advice. Metta!


It would be better, bhikkhus, for the uninstructed worlding to take as self this body… rather than the mind. For what reason? The body … is seen standing for one year, for two years, for three, four, five, or ten years, for twenty, thirty, forty, or fify, for a hundred years, or even longer. But that which is called 'mind [citta],' 'mentality [mano],' or 'consciousness [vi~n~naana]' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another. Just as a monkey roaming through a forest grabs hold of one branch, lets that go and grabs another, then lets that go and grans still another, so too that which is called 'mind [citta],' 'mentality [mano],' or 'consciousness [vi~n~naana]' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another. Therein, bhikkhus, the instructed noble disciple attends closely and carefully to dependent origination itself thus: ‘When this exists, that comes to be; with the arising of this that arises….
SN II 94-5


Hello tiltbillings,

I take "the mind" mentioned in the above sutta as "the defiled mind", which is conditioned, not the luminous pure mind the Buddha mentioned in AN1. In addition to AN1, he also used many other similes like the stained cloth, the blinded man, the diseased man ... to explain the relation between the defiled mind and the pure mind (to my understanding).

I just heard a Dhamma talk where Ajahn Chah answered a question (if the enlightened one has no more kilesas) like this: the kilesas and the (enlightened) mind coexist but the (enlightened) mind is not affected by the kilesas. So the kilesas are only "guests" to the pure mind. The enlightened one didn't really remove them from the mind, but only got detached from them (to my understanding).

Metta to all,

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Re: “True self” approach to liberation?

Postby A_Martin » Sun Feb 27, 2011 5:57 am

Sorry
I think I posted the above in the wrong forum. If one practices meditation as taught by the Lord Buddha, correctly, then one would understand what I was talking about.
I was not talking about True Self. For there is no True Self. There is nibbana, whatever nibbana means
And let us remember, that the Words of The Lord Buddha itself are not the Truth, but point to the truth, or point the way to the truth, whoever has found the truth, can rename the pointers in anyway he sees fit. (In programming language A= 3000, means A only points to the value, so somebody looks up the value, by following the pointer, then realizing this is his monthly income redefines the pointer A = monthly_income. The value does not change. Same as we take nibbana as pointing to nibbana, whoever goes there could redefine the pointer. We can compare ourselves to be at the foot of a mountain, what do we know what somebody who has finished his work, climbing up to the top of the mountain sees? Three people climb the mountain, whenever they tell us what they saw, it will differ to us, but if the three meet, they will know they have seen the same thing.
Good luck to all of you who cling to much to the words and try to define or think your way out of samsara.
Metta Martin
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Re: “True self” approach to liberation?

Postby A_Martin » Sun Feb 27, 2011 6:03 am

starter wrote:
I just heard a Dhamma talk where Ajahn Chah answered a question (if the enlightened one has no more kilesas) like this: the kilesas and the (enlightened) mind coexist but the (enlightened) mind is not affected by the kilesas. So the kilesas are only "guests" to the pure mind. The enlightened one didn't really remove them from the mind, but only got detached from them (to my understanding).

Metta to all,

Starter


To starter,
can you give me a link to this talk, if it is in Thai it would be even more helpful. Because what Ajahn Chah said is completely contradictory of Than Acharn Maha Bua and other Acharns disciples of Acharn Mun.
Thanks Martin
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