retrofuturist wrote:Greetings David,
There's a nice little study guide containing sutta extracts to be found at Access To Insight.
Nibbana Study Guide (A2I)
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dham ... bbana.html
I'd recommend starting there... then move on to...
Where Is The Buddha? by Ven. K. Sri Dhammananda
http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books ... Buddha.pdf
David_2010 wrote:This is only my second post, other than my introduction, but, I've recently started to investigate Buddhism and really like a lot of the practices and ideas within it, but, I'm a bit confused by something, what is Nirvana?, like, I know it's freedom from suffering, but, is it just freedom in this life, then you die, and that's it, nothing survives, or, do you (in some sense) survive outside of time and space, which I think I've seen stated about Nirvana.
On another forum I'm on, there was someone who's from a Tibetan background who explained it to me this way, and I'm just paraphrasing here, so, I may explain it wrong, but, she said, you're, basically, still you, but, you're free of all your hangups, like you've been slowed down that you don't care about whether you're you or not (I'm probably explaining it wrong), and you're free of all suffering, is that it?. Like would the historical Buddha (the one that, basically, founded Buddhism), still exist in some form somewhere?, I know there's the concept of No Self, and it's different to the Hindu, Christian and other religious views of eternal soul, but, I'd like any help understanding it a bit more.
Jason wrote:I used to lean towards the classical position that all consciousness ceases at death, but now I tend to lean more towards the view that there is a type of consciousness that lies outside of space and time. I think the imagery of consciousness that "does not land or increase" mentioned in SN 12.64 does support such a possibility, as does various other passages throughout the Canon. My position on this may change again, but for now I simply find the latter to be more interesting, as well as motivating as far as my practice is concerned.
As for which view is right, however, I can't say. Perhaps consciousness is purely a conditional phenomenon with nothing else underlying it. Perhaps consciousness is something that is fundamental to the basic structure of the universe. Perhaps there is a separate type of consciousness that doesn't partake of any of the six senses or their objects. Who knows, perhaps none of them are right. For me, the jury is still out on this one, especially since I can see how both views — i.e., the cessation of consciousness vs. an awareness untouched by death — seem to fall into the extremes of annihilationism and eternalism. Nevertheless, both have support in the suttas, as well as sophisticated arguments as to why their view don't fall into either extreme.
"If one were to pull away one of those sheaves of reeds, the other would fall; if one were to pull away the other, the first one would fall. In the same way, from the cessation of name-&-form comes the cessation of consciousness, from the cessation of consciousness comes the cessation of name-&-form. From the cessation of name-&-form comes the cessation of the six sense media. From the cessation of the six sense media comes the cessation of contact. From the cessation of contact comes the cessation of feeling. From the cessation of feeling comes the cessation of craving. From the cessation of craving comes the cessation of clinging/sustenance. From the cessation of clinging/sustenance comes the cessation of becoming. From the cessation of becoming comes the cessation of birth. From the cessation of birth, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair all cease. Such is the cessation of this entire mass of suffering & stress."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"And then, monks, the Bodhisattva thought, "With what being present, does aging and death occur? What conditions aging and death?" And then, monks, as a result of wisdom born of profound consideration the realization dawned on him, "Birth being present, aging and death occurs, birth conditions aging and death."
"Then he thought, "What conditions birth?" And the realization dawned on him, "Becoming conditions birth"… "What conditions becoming?"… "Clinging conditions becoming."… "Craving Conditions clinging"… "Feeling conditions craving."… "Contact conditions feeling"… "The Six sense Bases condition contact"… "Mind and body condition the six sense bases"… "Consciousness conditions mind and body"… And then the Bodhisattva Vipassi thought, "With what being present does consciousness occur? What conditions consciousness?" And then, as a result of the wisdom born profound consideration, the realization dawned on him, "Mind and body conditions consciousness’."
"Then, monks, the Bodhisattva Vipassi thought, "This consciousness turns back at mind and body, it does not go any further. To this extent there is birth and decay, there is death and falling into other states and being reborn, namely mind - and- body conditions consciousness and consciousness conditions mind - and - body, mind - and - body conditions the six sense bases, the six sense bases conditions contact, contact conditions feeling, feeling conditions craving, craving conditions clinging, clinging conditions becoming, becoming conditions birth, birth conditions aging and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and distress. And thus this whole mass of sufferings takes its origin". And at the thought, "Origin, origin," there arose in the Bodhisattva Vipassi, with insight into things never realized before, knowledge, wisdom, awareness, and light.
That is why we have pointed out that the concepts of birth, decay-and-death are of
the nature of fading away. That is also why decay-and-death have been described as
impermanent, made up, dependently arisen, of a nature to wither away, pass away,
fade away and cease: Aniccam sankhatam pañiccasamuppannam khayadhammam
vayadhammam virāgadhammam nirodhadhammam.
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