What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Postby Reductor » Sun May 22, 2011 11:50 pm

beeblebrox wrote:When the idea of "self" becomes irrelevant (i.e., when you stop trying to use the idea of a "self" to view things)... what reason could there possibly be to continue with the use of "anatta"? Other than that there is still the idea of a "self" lingering? That, is why one shouldn't try to make up a self... just for the sake of using "anatta."

:anjali:


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The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Postby ground » Mon May 23, 2011 4:38 am

beeblebrox wrote:
ancientbuddhism wrote:By this reasoning why not take taṇhā and the entire pathway to dukkha out of the equation? …since this is interrupting your meditation.

Even better still, why don't we just reduce anatta to a strategy and just talk ourselves out of dukkha.


I think you (and TMingyur) missed this... "apart from the conventional usage."

Try to think of it in this way:

Person #1 keeps on saying this for each of the aggregates, "This is not god. This is not god. This is not god... this is not god... this also is not god." (Like a broken record.)

Person #2 replies, "OK... now that we figured that out... why not just dump 'god,' so that we might study these aggregates for what they really are?"

Person #1 says, "No way! Saying that these are 'not god' is a crucial part of the practice..."


The only problem is... "god" is the delusion here. As long as this person #1 continues his "not god" thing, this idea of "god" will continue, forever. We can't do away with "god" or else we won't be able to say, "not god." The person #1 is basically insisting on viewing this practice through the lens of a delusion, and doesn't seem to know it.

This "atheist" can't seem to shake off the "god" thing... why not? It's like a bad comedy, with super-glue...

The point of this practice is that when you finally see something as a delusion, you let that fall away... and you do not pick it up again, ever... after this, "god" becomes an irrelevant part of the practice. There's a complete ending of that very delusion... and therefore, you don't have to be bothered with it, again.

Okay. Now I feel I understand what you wanted to hint at.

You wanted to say that the reification of "no self" is what is wrong.

Well yes but this holds true for any term, e.g. also for "nibbana", "noble truth" etc.

And if you say "apart from the conventional usage." then I reply "But what else is the application of terms and terminology other than "conventional usage of terms and terminology"?

And how to explain to others the phenomena "I" and "mine" in the context of buddhism other than to negate the conventional truth of "I" and "mine" via applying the expression "no self"?

beeblebrox wrote:When the idea of "self" becomes irrelevant (i.e., when you stop trying to use the idea of a "self" to view things)... what reason could there possibly be to continue with the use of "anatta"?

The reason could be the instruction of others.

beeblebrox wrote:Other than that there is still the idea of a "self" lingering? That, is why one shouldn't try to make up a self... just for the sake of using "anatta."

But if I use the term "horn of a hare" as a simile I still have to refer to the idea of "I" and "mine" or "self" in order to be able to communicate the meaning intended.


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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Postby ancientbuddhism » Mon May 23, 2011 5:26 pm

beeblebrox wrote:
ancientbuddhism wrote:By this reasoning why not take taṇhā and the entire pathway to dukkha out of the equation? …since this is interrupting your meditation.

Even better still, why don't we just reduce anatta to a strategy and just talk ourselves out of dukkha.


I think you (and TMingyur) missed this... "apart from the conventional usage."

Try to think of it in this way:

Person #1 keeps on saying this for each of the aggregates, "This is not god. This is not god. This is not god... this is not god... this also is not god." (Like a broken record.)

Person #2 replies, "OK... now that we figured that out... why not just dump 'god,' so that we might study these aggregates for what they really are?"

Person #1 says, "No way! Saying that these are 'not god' is a crucial part of the practice..."


The only problem is... "god" is the delusion here. As long as this person #1 continues his "not god" thing, this idea of "god" will continue, forever. We can't do away with "god" or else we won't be able to say, "not god." The person #1 is basically insisting on viewing this practice through the lens of a delusion, and doesn't seem to know it....:


But this is specious reasoning, and again a misunderstanding of the aim of the Buddha’s teaching on anatta. If you wish to argue with the Buddha about the use of this/that is not self in his interrogatory discourses, that is your business.

Yes, ‘Self’ is the delusion here, but the Buddha has not succumbed to delusion by discussing it. He presents an analysis of anatta– and analysis of sakkāya-diṭṭhi & paṭiccasamuppāda – because it is critical to contemplative work. The aim of the challenge ‘This is mine, I am this, this is my ‘self’?’ (etaṁ mama, esohamasmi, eso me attā’ti?) with the sakkāya & the khandhas, is pointing to the actual underlying tendency (anusaya) to reify the khandhas and all within their sensate reach as substantial, as property of a possessor, which results in all of the angst that unrealized expectations will bring.

This should be real-time investigated in practice, not mere conventional usage. If it is, the making of the false from the real – which is what the whole presumption of atta and ahaṃkāramamaṃkā is about – will be known and released.
Anuvicca papañca nāmarūpaṃ
ajjhattaṃ bahiddhā ca rogamūlaṃ,
sabbarogamūlabandhanā pamutto
anuvidito tādi pavuccate tathattā
.

“Having known the naming of objects,
With its proliferation, its root in illness – within and without;
One is released from bondage to the root of all illness.
And thus is called the Knowing One – the Such.

– Sn. 3.6 (Sabhiyasuttaṃ)

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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Postby beeblebrox » Tue May 24, 2011 1:01 am

Anatta is only used to bring a practice to the point where it becomes useful (i.e., aligned with the Dhamma... where the Buddha's teaching is maximized), but "anatta" is still not the point... sakkaya ditthi is only the first fetter.

I don't think that the Buddha ever said "anatta" straight out. (I could be wrong)... Just this: "This is impermanent, which is suffering, and therefore anatta (i.e., these shouldn't be viewed as a self)." This is only a preparation...

When one's understood the point of this practice... his doubt would be gone for good, the second fetter... and the rites are completely seen through, the third fetter... the concept of "anatta" becomes empty, the first fetter.

This person then doesn't waste his time with the idea of a "self" anymore. He's focused on paying attention, letting things go, and then not picking them up again... which means that he's seen Nibbāna.

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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Postby Kenshou » Tue May 24, 2011 1:20 am

beeblebrox wrote:, but "anatta" is still not the point... sakkaya ditthi is only the first fetter.
I don't think anyone has tried to claim that anatta is the point. The point is the end of dukkha and anatta is part of the treatment. And the thing is that the underlying tendency towards "I/me/mine" lasts until arahantship is reached, so the concept of anatta is useful all the way to the end.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

"A monk who has attained stream-entry/once-returning/non-returning/an arahant should attend in an appropriate way to these five clinging-aggregates as inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a dissolution, an emptiness, not-self."
Last edited by Kenshou on Tue May 24, 2011 1:29 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Postby kirk5a » Tue May 24, 2011 1:29 am

beeblebrox wrote:Anatta is only used to bring a practice to the point where it becomes useful (i.e., aligned with the Dhamma... where the Buddha's teaching is maximized), but "anatta" is still not the point... sakkaya ditthi is only the first fetter.

There isn't the gross "idea of a self" anymore, however, there is still the "lingering I am conceit" which is only removed at arahantship. See the Khemaka Sutta on that. So it's really a matter of the depth to which the anatta teachings are applying. They apply to the most obvious level, but also go much deeper.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"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: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Postby ground » Tue May 24, 2011 4:41 am

beeblebrox wrote:I don't think that the Buddha ever said "anatta" straight out.

So you don't like to name explicitly what can be expressed implicitly?

Well if that's the point ... people have different likes and dislikes.

"anatta" is of dialectically explicit nature and e.g. the insight teachings of the Satipatthana Sutta as to "the five clinging-aggregates" and "the sixfold internal & external sense media" are of some sort of "intuitive" implicit nature.

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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Postby ancientbuddhism » Tue May 24, 2011 1:07 pm

by beeblebrox: Tue May 24, 2011 1:01 am
Anatta is only used to bring a practice to the point where it becomes useful (i.e., aligned with the Dhamma... where the Buddha's teaching is maximized), but "anatta" is still not the point... sakkaya ditthi is only the first fetter.

I don't think that the Buddha ever said "anatta" straight out. (I could be wrong)... Just this: "This is impermanent, which is suffering, and therefore anatta (i.e., these shouldn't be viewed as a self)." This is only a preparation...

When one's understood the point of this practice... his doubt would be gone for good, the second fetter... and the rites are completely seen through, the third fetter... the concept of "anatta" becomes empty, the first fetter.

This person then doesn't waste his time with the idea of a "self" anymore. He's focused on paying attention, letting things go, and then not picking them up again... which means that he's seen Nibbāna.


Your back-peddle only is more confused.

“…Perception of impermanence should be developed for the removal of the notion ‘I am’. Because of perception of impermanence, Meghiya, one is established in perception of non-self, with perception of non-self one comes to the removal of the notion ‘I am’ and knows the state of Nibbāna.”

“…aniccasaññā bhāvetabbā asmimānasamugghātāya. aniccasaññino hi, meghiya, anattasaññā saṇṭhāti, anattasaññī asmimānasamugghātaṃ pāpuṇāti diṭṭheva dhamme nibbāna”nti.

– Ud. 4.1 Meghiya Sutta

by kirk5a: Tue May 24, 2011 1:29 am
beeblebrox wrote:Anatta is only used to bring a practice to the point where it becomes useful (i.e., aligned with the Dhamma... where the Buddha's teaching is maximized), but "anatta" is still not the point... sakkaya ditthi is only the first fetter.

There isn't the gross "idea of a self" anymore, however, there is still the "lingering I am conceit" which is only removed at arahantship. See the Khemaka Sutta on that. So it's really a matter of the depth to which the anatta teachings are applying. They apply to the most obvious level, but also go much deeper.


In the case of Ven. Khemaka, yes. It is fascinating how he understood exactly where he was stuck, and worked through it in his own explanation.
Anuvicca papañca nāmarūpaṃ
ajjhattaṃ bahiddhā ca rogamūlaṃ,
sabbarogamūlabandhanā pamutto
anuvidito tādi pavuccate tathattā
.

“Having known the naming of objects,
With its proliferation, its root in illness – within and without;
One is released from bondage to the root of all illness.
And thus is called the Knowing One – the Such.

– Sn. 3.6 (Sabhiyasuttaṃ)

Secure your own mask before assisting others. – NORTHWEST AIRLINES (Pre-Flight Instruction)

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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Postby beeblebrox » Tue May 24, 2011 3:19 pm

kirk5a wrote:
beeblebrox wrote:Anatta is only used to bring a practice to the point where it becomes useful (i.e., aligned with the Dhamma... where the Buddha's teaching is maximized), but "anatta" is still not the point... sakkaya ditthi is only the first fetter.

There isn't the gross "idea of a self" anymore, however, there is still the "lingering I am conceit" which is only removed at arahantship. See the Khemaka Sutta on that. So it's really a matter of the depth to which the anatta teachings are applying. They apply to the most obvious level, but also go much deeper.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


Thanks for that Sutta, Kirk5a... I think it's a good one. So... the "self" is not necessarily completely eradicated till the very end, but even with that sutta, the point still stands.

By the way, I read over what I said... when I said that there's the point where a practice becomes "useful," I really meant "optimal"... where the practice is not "confused" anymore (or deluded). Of course, before that point, there are still other things that one can always do that are useful, like kamma.

ancientbuddhism wrote:Your back-peddle only is more confused.


There was no back-peddling in any of my posts. Sorry if it appears confused... but it's really not, to me. I'm only trying to explain this the best I can... maybe it'll be clearer if I bring in the basics:

Nibbāna is the end of greed (desire, lust or passion), hatred (anger, ill-will, aversion, or even boredom), and delusion (ignorance, confusion... and the wasting of time.)

When a person is free of those (i.e., he is unbound), he is then free to do all of the good things which needs to be done. Really. (Another reason why it's not nihilism to let these things go.) He's no longer wrapped up with anything of these that are fruitless.

As for this so-called "Buddha Nature" (to keep it on-topic)... I only view that as something that is free of greed, hatred and delusion. I don't care what some Mahayanists (or even an army of them) or some Theravadins have to say about it. If they view a "self" in it... then that's their fetter. My practice have nothing to do with that.

I'll agree though, that the Theravada doctrines are absolutely fine without using this so-called idea of the "Buddha Nature." Their system is 100% complete... but probably in ways that some people don't realize.

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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Postby kirk5a » Tue May 24, 2011 3:47 pm

beeblebrox wrote:As for this so-called "Buddha Nature" (to keep it on-topic)... I only view that as something that is free of greed, hatred and delusion.

Free of that because of "awake" (budh)
"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: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Postby ancientbuddhism » Tue May 24, 2011 4:42 pm

Post by beeblebrox: Tue May 24, 2011 3:19 pm : Nibbāna is the end of greed (desire, lust or passion), hatred (anger, ill-will, aversion, or even boredom), and delusion (ignorance, confusion... and the wasting of time.)


That is all well and good, but how do you think one gets there? BTW Right-view is not a waste of time.

The habit to prop up the false from the real is the entire point of anatta; one cannot arbitrarily remove it from the processes of contemplative work and gain the result of freedom. This is the reason I have responded as I have on this point.

Post by beeblebrox: When a person is free of those (i.e., he is unbound), he is then free to do all of the good things which needs to be done. Really. (Another reason why it's not nihilism to let these things go.) He's no longer wrapped up with anything of these that are fruitless.


Sure, when the task is done, one does not hold to the illusion mistakenly grasped onto with habits of 'I-making, mine-making...' etc.

Post by beeblebrox: As for this so-called "Buddha Nature" (to keep it on-topic)... I only view that as something that is free of greed, hatred and delusion. I don't care what some Mahayanists (or even an army of them) or some Theravadins have to say about it.


And as to the topic, you can view it any way you like. But this is the reason buddha-nature as a concept has been accused of the danger of making this same mistaken error; that it implies (only for Theravāda, if you rather), of an intrinsic, unchanging quality of awakening (or nibbāna,buddha, arahant – whatever) potential. Self-view (or sakkāya, ‘I am’ or whatever you prefer since atta bothers you so much) is the core habit which makes the pathway to dukkha, as we know its behavior embarking on this path as taṇhā, maññati, anuparivatti or whatever - with conditions.

by beeblebrox: If they (Theravāda et al) view a "self" in it... then that's their fetter. My practice have nothing to do with that.


Fetter? For Theravāda to have nothing to do with it at all is my position.
Anuvicca papañca nāmarūpaṃ
ajjhattaṃ bahiddhā ca rogamūlaṃ,
sabbarogamūlabandhanā pamutto
anuvidito tādi pavuccate tathattā
.

“Having known the naming of objects,
With its proliferation, its root in illness – within and without;
One is released from bondage to the root of all illness.
And thus is called the Knowing One – the Such.

– Sn. 3.6 (Sabhiyasuttaṃ)

Secure your own mask before assisting others. – NORTHWEST AIRLINES (Pre-Flight Instruction)

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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Postby beeblebrox » Wed May 25, 2011 2:58 pm

I basically agree with what you say above... sorry for the confusion.

Of course, I never wanted to imply that anatta was non-essential... just that when it's done its purpose, then that's the time to move on with the practice. It's only the beginning. Paticca samuppada, for example, has nothing to do with "self," "no self," nor even "not self." It's a map pointing the way out of suffering.

The first link, ignorance, I think strictly has to do with the four noble truths. (Though it can seem more than that, that's really papañca, or a diffusion.) The 4NT has nothing to do with "self" either. "Self" might be a part of that ignorance (a sankhara), but it's only one part. I think it's really the easy part to get rid of, at a gross level... but of course there's still something that seems tenacious, but that shouldn't be viewed as a "self" in my opinion.

Sometimes I get the impression some people misunderstand (or are complacent) about what "anatta" is for, or what that implies. They seem to use it as a crutch. Some seem to use it in a nihilistic way, or their practices seem to be annihilationistic. (I.e., "I can make this 'self' go away with the jhanas! [sic]." Which is a bit silly, since it isn't to be viewed as a 'self' in the first place.) I thought I would shake that up a bit... I'm done with it for now.

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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Postby Kenshou » Wed May 25, 2011 8:06 pm

beeblebrox wrote:Of course, I never wanted to imply that anatta was non-essential... just that when it's done its purpose, then that's the time to move on with the practice.
But, once anatta has totally fulfilled it's purpose as an aspect of the training, there isn't anything more to be done.

Ud 4.1: "the perception of impermanence should be cultivated for the removal of the conceit 'I am.' For when one perceives impermanence, Meghiya, the perception of not-self is established. When one perceives not-self one reaches the removal of the conceit 'I am,' which is called Nibbana here and now."

Not trying to be obnoxious about it, if you're done then okie dokie.
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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Postby beeblebrox » Wed May 25, 2011 9:00 pm

Kenshou wrote:
beeblebrox wrote:Of course, I never wanted to imply that anatta was non-essential... just that when it's done its purpose, then that's the time to move on with the practice.
But, once anatta has totally fulfilled it's purpose as an aspect of the training, there isn't anything more to be done.

Ud 4.1: "the perception of impermanence should be cultivated for the removal of the conceit 'I am.' For when one perceives impermanence, Meghiya, the perception of not-self is established. When one perceives not-self one reaches the removal of the conceit 'I am,' which is called Nibbana here and now."

Not trying to be obnoxious about it, if you're done then okie dokie.


A sotapanna's seen Nibbana (three fetters cut), so that his practice's become inclined towards it... Right View, only the first of the eight-fold path. I'm done only with trying to shake things up.

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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Postby Kenshou » Thu May 26, 2011 12:45 am

I suppose my point is that since the notion of "I am" persists until the very end (though it's falsity is comprehended before that), anatta remains a worthwhile concept before stream entry as well as beyond, not merely until the first fetter is broken.
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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Postby beeblebrox » Thu May 26, 2011 1:02 am

I think it's like playing baseball... the "bat" is the "self" concept. If you want to hit a ball, you'll likely have a hard time if you keep on thinking about the "bat"... or even trying to think about "not thinking about the bat" (anatta). Once you get it, you forget about the "bat."

After this, you're 100% focused on hitting the "ball" (nibbana). You might still strike out every now and then, but you're definitely a part of the team now. The "bat" becomes irrelevant... it's all about focusing on the "ball" right now. This doesn't mean that the player would go into a game without the "bat"... that would be just silly. I apologize if some of you got this impression.

The Right View is only one fold. Once it's folded, it remains folded. You can unfold it, so that you can try to improve the fold (like I tried to do with some of my posts)... but once it's folded again... it stays folded. No need to meddle with it anymore... unless you see a better way to fold.

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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Postby Kenshou » Thu May 26, 2011 1:17 am

I guess I just don't get where you're coming from on this, but whatever works for you. I suspect that we have some underlying differences in view about what exactly constitutes nibbana, but that's okay.
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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Postby beeblebrox » Thu May 26, 2011 1:27 am

Kenshou wrote:I guess I just don't get where you're coming from on this, but whatever works for you. I suspect that we have some underlying differences in view about what exactly constitutes nibbana, but that's okay.


The nibbana is the end of greed, hatred and delusion. That's all. The significance of this is much more than what some people on here seem to realize... it encompasses all of the suffering, while you're remaining awake.

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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Postby Kenshou » Thu May 26, 2011 1:35 am

Well, I agree with you on the first sentence. Beyond that I don't know what you're implying.
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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Postby beeblebrox » Thu May 26, 2011 1:44 am

Kenshou wrote:Well, I agree with you on the first sentence. Beyond that I don't know what you're implying.


If you're having some problems, where is that coming from? When this is figured out, let that go. (I apologize if that was unwanted... it's not my intention to make it difficult for anyone.)

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