What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Postby daverupa » Thu May 26, 2011 1:46 am

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. It's only the beginning.


When the Dhamma has done its purpose, as you say, that is nibbana. Discarding Dhamma rafts such as anatta happens then, not before.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Postby Kenshou » Thu May 26, 2011 1:49 am

beeblebrox wrote:If you're having some problems, where is that coming from? When this is figured out, let that go.
I don't have a problem with that as a general idea. You just were sounding a wee bit cryptic.
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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Postby beeblebrox » Thu May 26, 2011 1:51 am

Kenshou wrote:I don't have a problem with that as a general idea. You just were sounding a wee bit cryptic.


I don't understand how I'm being cryptic... I guess I need to come up with more metaphors. :tongue: (Unless you're trying to see something that isn't just there.)

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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Postby Kenshou » Thu May 26, 2011 1:53 am

beeblebrox wrote:I don't understand how I'm being cryptic...

It was mostly this:

The significance of this is much more than what some people on here seem to realize...
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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Postby beeblebrox » Thu May 26, 2011 1:54 am

daverupa wrote:When the Dhamma has done its purpose, as you say, that is nibbana. Discarding Dhamma rafts such as anatta happens then, not before.


Again... I'm not saying that you discard it. It just becomes a second habit... like the batter with his "bat." If you're fixating on the bat all the time (or you're worrying that you've forgotten your bat), the practice will suffer.

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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Postby beeblebrox » Thu May 26, 2011 1:57 am

Kenshou wrote:
beeblebrox wrote:I don't understand how I'm being cryptic...

It was mostly this:

The significance of this is much more than what some people on here seem to realize...


There is no meaning to it beyond that. It's true that some people on here try to view nibbana as something that it's not. Sorry if you saw something in it... that wasn't my intention.
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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Postby daverupa » Thu May 26, 2011 2:01 am

beeblebrox wrote:
daverupa wrote:When the Dhamma has done its purpose, as you say, that is nibbana. Discarding Dhamma rafts such as anatta happens then, not before.


Again... I'm not saying that you discard it. It just becomes a second habit... like the batter with his "bat." If you're fixating on the bat all the time (or you're worrying that you've forgotten your bat), the practice will suffer.

:anjali:


The Buddha describes bhavana in terms of seeing the world as anatta, anicca, dukkha. So, the practice is contemplating anatta. That metaphor of the bat is basically saying that swinging a bat gets in the way of swinging a bat. It's ridiculous - anatta is not a-la-carte.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Postby beeblebrox » Thu May 26, 2011 2:07 am

daverupa wrote:The Buddha describes bhavana in terms of seeing the world as anatta, anicca, dukkha. So, the practice is contemplating anatta. That metaphor of the bat is basically saying that swinging a bat gets in the way of swinging a bat. It's ridiculous - anatta is not a-la-carte.


That's not what I said with my metaphor. If you think about the bat, when you're supposed to focus on the ball, you'll be clumsy for sure. When it becomes a second habit, the bat is still there, along with the way you hold it, but you don't think about it... you're focused on the ball. This probably only makes sense if you've played baseball. Sorry if the metaphor seemed inappropriate.

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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Postby daverupa » Thu May 26, 2011 2:16 am

Yet you fundamentally claimed that by focusing on anatta,

beeblebrox wrote:...the practice will suffer.


However, the Buddha describes bhavana in terms of seeing the world as anatta, anicca, dukkha. So seeing anatta for oneself is not in the way of the practice, it is part of the practice.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Postby beeblebrox » Thu May 26, 2011 2:18 am

daverupa wrote:Yet you fundamentally claimed that by focusing on anatta,

beeblebrox wrote:...the practice will suffer.



Focusing on thinking about the anatta. That will get you nowhere. Try to focus on the craving, or clinging, or anything else in the paticca-samuppada instead.

Pay attention to how they play out, without bringing in any idea about the "self."

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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Postby Kenshou » Thu May 26, 2011 2:26 am

Focusing on (developing insight into) anatta, as well as the other characteristics is as relevant to realizing nibbana as contemplating craving, clinging and paticcasamuppada.
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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Postby beeblebrox » Thu May 26, 2011 2:31 am

Kenshou wrote:Focusing on (developing insight into) anatta, as well as the other characteristics is as relevant to realizing nibbana as contemplating craving, clinging and paticcasamuppada.


I was never arguing that.

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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Postby Kenshou » Thu May 26, 2011 2:39 am

Oh, well it sounded like it.

Is it that you're arguing against merely thinking about these things as opposed to developing more experiential insight? I wouldn't disagree with that. Though coarser contemplation is probably going to be a natural prerequisite. But of course, isn't sufficient.
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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Postby beeblebrox » Thu May 26, 2011 2:43 am

Something more appropriate for this thread... a quote by Dōgen:

To study the Way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be enlightened by all things... [a few lines pointing out the anicca, dukkha, and not in the very least, anatta].

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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Postby alan » Thu May 26, 2011 3:56 am

Why is that appropriate?
How can Dogen ever be relevant in a Therevada discussion?
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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Postby ground » Thu May 26, 2011 4:06 am

alan wrote:Why is that appropriate?
How can Dogen ever be relevant in a Therevada discussion?


It all boils down to likes and dislikes.

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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Postby Reductor » Thu May 26, 2011 4:24 am

If I may interject.

In the sutta references, by beeblebrox, ancientbuddhism and kenshou, above anatta comes after contemplation of anicca. To paraphrase one: "the aggregates are anicca, what is anicca is dukkha and what is anicca and dukha is anatta".

And:

"attending to the perception of inconstantcy the perception of anatta will be established"

In the above case the perception of anatta is seen to be born from the proper contemplation of the other characteristics. This is of course fine and proper, and the perception of anatta that results this way is the fruit of insight and dispassion toward the aggregates.

However, the contemplation of anatta directly seems to be taking the stick from the wrong end. Doing such it might seem unclear just WHY something is not self. And if the proper answer, anicca, has not been well penetrated before hand then this contemplation of anatta amounts to an assertion of fact in absence of actual knowledge. Instead it becomes an view that denies such and such to be true, itself being unproven. And this kind of specious view making is not conducive to release, so far as I can tell.

So is the intentional labeling "Not self", "Not self", "Not self" a good practice in itself? I don't think it is, as such a label may be an unintentional reinforcement of a ontological position unproven by the persons experience. Whereas the contemplation of anicca and dukkha in the aggregates naturally leads to dispassion for all views of self: one no longer feels compelled by craving to identify with any of them as a self.

So, dispassion toward the aggregates leading to non identification with them as 'self' vs. an unfounded assertion that 'there is no self'.

I hope the distinction is not to subtle.

EDIT: made sure I said what I meant. Lol.
Michael

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

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Postby alan » Thu May 26, 2011 4:35 am

I have no idea what you are talking about.
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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Postby Kenshou » Thu May 26, 2011 4:41 am

thereductor wrote:However, the contemplation of anatta directly seems to be taking the stick from the wrong end. Doing such it might seem unclear just WHY something is not self.
I agree with ya here, but I was reluctant to get into that kind of thing as to not make the conversation more complicated... unless that was somehow related to beeblebrox's point, in which case, silly me.
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Re: What is Wrong with Buddha Nature

Postby ground » Thu May 26, 2011 4:49 am

thereductor wrote:However, the contemplation of anatta directly seems to be taking the stick from the wrong end.


That an absence be directly contemplated, such is impossible. What is however possible is "to get lost" in one's own fantasy/idea.

Contemplating the aggregates is just this, namely contemplating the heuristic categories of experience. This entails the cognition of "I" and "mine" (or "self") as mere ideas because there is nothing that can be found except these categories of experience and their continuous arising and cessation.
In this sense the Buddha's teachings about the aggregates is a affirming negation of "self". "self" is implicitly negated and the aggregates are "put in its place" (metaphorically), i.e. affirmed. Implicit "anatta" teachings.

Now ... in this context ... affirming (in addition to the aggregates) "buddha nature" IMO necessarily re-establishes what has been implicitly negated before.

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