bahiya sutta in relation to taoism mind mirror

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bahiya sutta in relation to taoism mind mirror

Postby alan... » Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:52 am

obviously it's already in my signature but i'll repost it here:

"Do not hanker for fame. Do not make plans. Do not try to do things. Do not try to master knowledge. Hold what is but do not hold it to be anything. Work with all that comes from heaven, but do not seek to hold it. Just be empty. The perfect man's heart is like a mirror. It does not search after things. It does not look for things. It does not seek knowledge, just responds. As a result he can handle everything and is not harmed by anything." -Chuang Tzu

so this is a taoist quote. the idea is found in zen and probably other traditions as well. does it fit in theravada or not? does the advice to bahiya sound like this?:

"Then, Bāhiya, you should train yourself thus: In reference to the seen, there will be only the seen. In reference to the heard, only the heard. In reference to the sensed, only the sensed. In reference to the cognized, only the cognized. That is how you should train yourself. When for you there will be only the seen in reference to the seen, only the heard in reference to the heard, only the sensed in reference to the sensed, only the cognized in reference to the cognized, then, Bāhiya, there is no you in connection with that. When there is no you in connection with that, there is no you there. When there is no you there, you are neither here nor yonder nor between the two. This, just this, is the end of stress."

-Ud 1.10

"Bāhiya Sutta: Bāhiya" (Ud 1.10), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight, 3 September 2012, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/ud/ud.1.10.than.html. Retrieved on 28 January 2013.

that leads to an even more intriguing question: was lao tzu a paccekabuddha ? i have found other quotes that could fall right in with the pali canon in the chuang tzu. i'll post them tonight.
Last edited by alan... on Thu Jan 31, 2013 6:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: bahiya sutta in relation to other traditions

Postby alan... » Thu Jan 31, 2013 6:27 pm

"...they view life as a grotesque tumour, a swelling they inhabit. they view death as the removal of this growth. since they see life like this, they simply do not consider whether death or birth comes first..."

"one who does not exist in self sees others as they really are."

"having no self, he does not see himself having belongings!"

-chuang tzu

kind of interesting. overall taoism is different from buddhism, just thought it was interesting how close the two are at moments.
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Re: bahiya sutta in relation to taoism mind mirror

Postby Zom » Thu Jan 31, 2013 6:32 pm

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Re: bahiya sutta in relation to taoism mind mirror

Postby alan... » Thu Jan 31, 2013 6:42 pm

Zom wrote:http://www.buddhanet.net/budsas/ebud/ebmed094.htm


i love ajahn brahm!
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Re: bahiya sutta in relation to taoism mind mirror

Postby xabir » Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:24 pm

alan... wrote:obviously it's already in my signature but i'll repost it here:

"Do not hanker for fame. Do not make plans. Do not try to do things. Do not try to master knowledge. Hold what is but do not hold it to be anything. Work with all that comes from heaven, but do not seek to hold it. Just be empty. The perfect man's heart is like a mirror. It does not search after things. It does not look for things. It does not seek knowledge, just responds. As a result he can handle everything and is not harmed by anything." -Chuang Tzu

so this is a taoist quote. the idea is found in zen and probably other traditions as well. does it fit in theravada or not? does the advice to bahiya sound like this?:

"Then, Bāhiya, you should train yourself thus: In reference to the seen, there will be only the seen. In reference to the heard, only the heard. In reference to the sensed, only the sensed. In reference to the cognized, only the cognized. That is how you should train yourself. When for you there will be only the seen in reference to the seen, only the heard in reference to the heard, only the sensed in reference to the sensed, only the cognized in reference to the cognized, then, Bāhiya, there is no you in connection with that. When there is no you in connection with that, there is no you there. When there is no you there, you are neither here nor yonder nor between the two. This, just this, is the end of stress."

-Ud 1.10

"Bāhiya Sutta: Bāhiya" (Ud 1.10), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight, 3 September 2012, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/ud/ud.1.10.than.html. Retrieved on 28 January 2013.

that leads to an even more intriguing question: was lao tzu a paccekabuddha ? i have found other quotes that could fall right in with the pali canon in the chuang tzu. i'll post them tonight.
First of all... Chuang Tzu is not Lao Tzu...

If there is a mirror that is reflecting, then there would be a reflector/seer/feeler behind the seen, felt, etc. That would defeat the purpose of Bahiya Sutta, which deconstructs the very sense of a subjective perceiver or self behind perception. In the seen JUST the seen... in the heard JUST the heard... and then you'll see there is no 'you' in terms of 'that'. Then we begin to penetrate into anatman.

Here's what Ch'an Master Sheng Yen said:

http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.sg/2 ... -chan.html

When we speak about reflection in water and in a mirror, note that a mirror that is perfectly clean will reflect better than water that is stable and unmoving. However, the Sixth Patriarch was opposed to using the analogy of the mirror. He pointed out that if there were a mirror, there would be a mind, and this would not be Ch'an. Nonetheless, we will use the mirror to a make a point. Later, we will throw out the mirror.

What is reflected by a mirror is outside the mirror. If a person is in a mirror-like state, everything that is reflected is on the outside. For such a person, there is no self involved. What he sees and feels is only the existence of phenomena -- when there is no self, there is no experience of discrimination, of liking or disliking.

This is not the ultimate state, because if you have nothing but awareness of the environment and there is no self apparent, there must still be a self to be aware of the environment. Someone who is in this state is certainly in a unified state, because there seems to be no self and only the environment seems to exist. This is called the state of "one mind," but still it is not Ch'an. There must be "no mind' if it is to be Ch'an.

A true Ch'an state should not be compared to an all-reflecting mirror. All things exists without the mirror. In this state everything is seen very clearly, but there is no concept of outside or inside, existing or not existing, having or not having.
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Re: bahiya sutta in relation to taoism mind mirror

Postby alan... » Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:49 pm

xabir wrote:First of all... Chuang Tzu is not Lao Tzu...




i know chuang tzu is not lao tzu. lao tzu supposedly wrote the tao te ching, chuang tzu supposedly wrote the chuang tzu. lao tzu lived c. 600 BC, chuang tzu c. 400 BC. i have both books and have read them through as well as each of their life stories and so on and so on. i never said they were the same guy. i said perhaps lao tzu was a paccekabuddha, i was implying that he was a private buddha and so his teachings were only recorded in a hurried note on his way to permanent seclusion, so this lead to buddhist ideas that were hashed out by chuang tzu and others but not in a complete and proper dhamma fashion because they came from a paccekabuddha who did not deliberately and completely teach the dhamma. i said this playfully as well. so please no strong response about how he was not or how that's not supported by the suttas or whatever. i didn't go into the detail i just did for exactly that reason. it's not meant to be serious. i was assuming some knowledge of the idea that lao tzu was the founder of the tradition and therefore chuang tzu was his successor.

imagine i was talking about buddhaghosa teaching things similar to hinduism and then said "perhaps the buddha was an avatar of vishnu?". you would not assume i thought buddhaghosa and the buddha were the same person, right? see what i'm saying? i mentioned the founder of the tradition assuming people would understand that that is a reference to the teaching passing from him to later teachers.

further if you really believed i thought chuang tzu is lao tzu what reason would there be to try to tell me that at all? someone who has read so much and is quoting all these things and thinks they are the same person would have some seriously fundamental flaws that could not be rectified simply by you saying "First of all... Chuang Tzu is not Lao Tzu..." this would imply that i had literacy issues that are not easily resolved or other problems. i wrote both of their names, if i thought they were the same person then i have bigger problems than just this thread.
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Re: bahiya sutta in relation to other traditions

Postby daverupa » Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:50 pm

alan... wrote:just thought it was interesting how close the two are at moments.


The trouble is that one can only pull out the good stuff when one already knows it as 'good' via the Dhamma; overall, talk which seems in accord with the Dhamma is diluted within the vastly more copious talk which is not, such as: Immortals, alchemy designed to produce immortality, the holy state is what one returns to rather than what one develops, human beings are a microcosm of the universe, samsara is in perfect harmony in its natural state, the whole corpus of Taoist sexual manuals and practices... one can go on and on.
    "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: bahiya sutta in relation to other traditions

Postby alan... » Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:55 pm

daverupa wrote:
alan... wrote:just thought it was interesting how close the two are at moments.


The trouble is that one can only pull out the good stuff when one already knows it as 'good' via the Dhamma; overall, talk which seems in accord with the Dhamma is diluted within the vastly more copious talk which is not, such as: Immortals, alchemy designed to produce immortality, the holy state is what one returns to rather than what one develops, human beings are a microcosm of the universe, samsara is in perfect harmony in its natural state, the whole corpus of Taoist sexual manuals and practices... one can go on and on.


you left this out:
alan... wrote:overall taoism is different from buddhism,
that preceding the quote you made for me above clearly implies that i already know that i've simply pulled a few things out of an overall different conceptual framework and indeed a completely different tradition.

alan... wrote:overall taoism is different from buddhism, just thought it was interesting how close the two are at moments.


so the implication of the complete quote is a condensed, non-detailed summary of what you detailed in your post. i clearly said it is overall different and that it is similar at moments, meaning small increments. being overall different agrees completely with what you've written and being similar only in moments does as well. so to summarize: i agreed with you from the start.
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Re: bahiya sutta in relation to taoism mind mirror

Postby daverupa » Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:18 pm

Well, okay - but even though you agree, you still asked

does it fit in theravada or not?


and my detailed response was addressing this. If you already agreed, you'd already have had an answer to this question, in which case I would be confused why it was asked...

:group:
    "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: bahiya sutta in relation to taoism mind mirror

Postby alan... » Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:32 pm

daverupa wrote:Well, okay - but even though you agree, you still asked

does it fit in theravada or not?


and my detailed response was addressing this. If you already agreed, you'd already have had an answer to this question, in which case I would be confused why it was asked...

:group:



again you left out most of the quote so it makes it confusing. the entire thing is:

alan... wrote:bahiya sutta in relation to taoism mind mirror


"Do not hanker for fame. Do not make plans. Do not try to do things. Do not try to master knowledge. Hold what is but do not hold it to be anything. Work with all that comes from heaven, but do not seek to hold it. Just be empty. The perfect man's heart is like a mirror. It does not search after things. It does not look for things. It does not seek knowledge, just responds. As a result he can handle everything and is not harmed by anything." -Chuang Tzu

so this is a taoist quote. the idea is found in zen and probably other traditions as well. does it fit in theravada or not? does the advice to bahiya sound like this?:


so clearly i wasn't asking if taoism fit in with theravada or not. i was asking if one very specific taoist concept fits in with theravada or not.

i meant that one single concept of mind mirror. not taoism as a whole. the quotes in the post after that were ended with the statement of knowing taoism and buddhism are different overall to differentiate them from the OP which was asking whether or not that single concept fit in with theravada.

so the OP was asking if the taoist mind mirror is compatible with the bahiya sutta, the second post is just a few quotes that are similar to buddhism in general.

you didn't even discuss the mind mirror concept in relation to the bahiya sutta, it sounds like you only read the second post or something as none of what you wrote talks about the title and content of the OP, so no need to be confused why it was asked...
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Re: bahiya sutta in relation to taoism mind mirror

Postby Dan74 » Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:25 pm

I think daverupa points to the fact that Tao Te Ching and Taoism are quite different things. At least popular Taoism is full of all sorts of things that seem entirely foreign not just to Buddhadhamma but to Tao Te Ching itself, which is a classic and well worth studying, IMO.

As for whether it is compatible with Theravada, I think rather than asking it might be better to investigate for oneself what it is really saying - some of it is far from obvious. xabir's comment is really good and shows that a fair bit of research and exploration may be needed to tease out the true meaning of these teachings.
Last edited by Dan74 on Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: bahiya sutta in relation to taoism mind mirror

Postby alan... » Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:29 pm

Dan74 wrote:I think daverupa points to the fact that Tao Te Ching and Taoism are quite different things. At least popular Taoism is full of all sorts of things that seem entirely foreign not just to Buddhadhamma but to Tao Te Ching itself, which is a classic and well worth studying, IMO.


yes you are correct. some even call the tao te ching and chuang tzu early taoism type area "philosophical taoism" and the later stuff "religious taoism". i agree with this division. my discussion with dave was simply to clarify that i was not confused or misinformed as the misquotes made it seem. also i don't see anywhere in dave's posts that mention any comparison of the tao te chings contents and popular taoism. as far as i can tell he was trying to inform me that taoism and buddhism are mostly different and share only small things, my response was to include my entire quote that already agrees with this statement.
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Re: bahiya sutta in relation to taoism mind mirror

Postby alan... » Sat Feb 02, 2013 6:02 pm

alan... wrote:
daverupa wrote:Well, okay - but even though you agree, you still asked

does it fit in theravada or not?


and my detailed response was addressing this. If you already agreed, you'd already have had an answer to this question, in which case I would be confused why it was asked...

:group:



again you left out most of the quote so it makes it confusing. the entire thing is:

alan... wrote:bahiya sutta in relation to taoism mind mirror


"Do not hanker for fame. Do not make plans. Do not try to do things. Do not try to master knowledge. Hold what is but do not hold it to be anything. Work with all that comes from heaven, but do not seek to hold it. Just be empty. The perfect man's heart is like a mirror. It does not search after things. It does not look for things. It does not seek knowledge, just responds. As a result he can handle everything and is not harmed by anything." -Chuang Tzu

so this is a taoist quote. the idea is found in zen and probably other traditions as well. does it fit in theravada or not? does the advice to bahiya sound like this?:


so clearly i wasn't asking if taoism fit in with theravada or not. i was asking if one very specific taoist concept fits in with theravada or not.

i meant that one single concept of mind mirror. not taoism as a whole. the quotes in the post after that were ended with the statement of knowing taoism and buddhism are different overall to differentiate them from the OP which was asking whether or not that single concept fit in with theravada.

so the OP was asking if the taoist mind mirror is compatible with the bahiya sutta, the second post is just a few quotes that are similar to buddhism in general.

you didn't even discuss the mind mirror concept in relation to the bahiya sutta, it sounds like you only read the second post or something as none of what you wrote talks about the title and content of the OP, so no need to be confused why it was asked...


dave sorry if i was being a bit ridiculous with all of this. i appreciate all your great answers to my threads!
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