greggorious wrote:I'm still fairly ignorant abotu Theravada. I'm more familiar with Mahayana (Being a zen practitioner for many years). Though since discovering Vipassana meditation I don't wanna look back.
What I wanted to know is that so far I don't see any writings on the interconectedness of all beings and the universe. The mahayana schools see this as very important, as well as the fact that science, or to be more specific, quantum physics has now proved this, at least on a mechanical level. Is this one of the reasons that the Bodhisattva exists in mahayana and not theravada?
greggorious wrote:Is there anything at all in the pali canon that suggestions the oneness of the universe?
greggorious wrote:If not are theravada Buddhists now accepting this?
Ben wrote:I think you'll find that many Theravadins acknowledge interconnectivity but I believe it is based on observation rather than support from the ancient texts.
A sense of interconnectedness leads to the realization that all our activities can be undertaken as service to the world around us. Following the path brings us face-to-face with selflessness and nonseparation as surely as our inner meditation does.
Students new to the Buddhist tradition always seem to eventually ask the question, If all is emptiness, why is there compassion? How is it that this ethical quality is somehow built into the fabric of the universe?
For a few reasons, I think; and maybe this also can be seen on a couple of different levels.
One might come out of an investigation of what the root of greed or fear or hatred in the mind really is. Even looking at the matter conceptually, but then more experientially from a meditative awareness, these afflicted states seem to me very clearly rooted in a sense of self. Someone is greedy for something, or someone is angry, or fearful, or whatever—in each case it is the notion of the self that actually feeds those unwholesome states. And so, in the absence of that sense of self, in emptiness, from where would greed arise? From where would hatred or anger arise?
This perspective is expressed in the traditional teachings when they speak of the effects of seeing through the illusion of self. Even though the other defilements, out of habit, may still arise, the root has been cut. And from that point forward those defilements will wither away, because they are no longer nourished by the sense of self. This is one way of looking at it.
From another perspective, we can see compassion arising out of an experience of non-separation. As long as there remains a sense of self, the very notion of self predicates other. With the self, there’s other than self. And other than self is everyone else and everything else! And so the very notion of self carries within it, implicitly, the notion of separation. From the perspective of absence of self, there’s no one there to be separate. So then it’s just the interplay, the dance of elements, experience, phenomena; there’s just the dance of all this—interconnected, interrelated—with a real sense of non-separation. And non-separation, I think, is another word for love. Again, it is not a matter of someone loving someone else, but goes beyond this to a simple manifestation of love.
Khalil Bodhi wrote:I hope yuo don't mind but one of my favorite Dhamma talks by Ven. Thanissaro is specifically on this topic: http://www.dhammatalks.org/Archive/Writings/CrossIndexed/Uncollected/ePublished%20Dhamma%20Talks/030907%20Interconnectedness.pdf
May it be of benefit. Mettaya!
mikenz66 wrote:I think this is quite a complex issue. My impression is that such Mahayana teaching are easily misunderstood (by me) due to lack of knowledge. To a certain extent the interconnectedness teachings are the outward-looking version of the anatta (not-self) teachings - another way to see through the delusion of self-making.
"'Everything exists' is the senior form of cosmology, brahman."
"Then, Master Gotama, does everything not exist?"
"'Everything does not exist' is the second form of cosmology, brahman."
"Then is everything a Oneness?"
"'Everything is a Oneness' is the third form of cosmology, brahman."
"Then is everything a Manyness?"
"'Everything is a Manyness' is the fourth form of cosmology, brahman. Avoiding these two extremes, the Tathagata teaches the Dhamma via the middle: From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications. From fabrications as a requisite condition comes consciousness. From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form.etc etc
Lokayatika Sutta: The Cosmologist
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