LonesomeYogurt wrote: beeblebrox wrote:
It seems like there is some misunderstanding, and you've been letting it run.
Do you actually think that when someone works with a koan, that he would end up seeing things in the way that you said?
I'm not sure what you're referring to when you say "the way that I said." Please clarify, and I apologize if I've misunderstood something.
Also refer to this essay by Bhikkhu Bodhi: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... ay_27.html
The Mahayana schools, despite their great differences, concur in upholding a thesis that, from the Theravada point of view, borders on the outrageous. This is the claim that there is no ultimate difference between samsara and Nirvana, defilement and purity, ignorance and enlightenment. For the Mahayana, the enlightenment which the Buddhist path is designed to awaken consists precisely in the realization of this non-dualistic perspective. The validity of conventional dualities is denied because the ultimate nature of all phenomena is emptiness, the lack of any substantial or intrinsic reality, and hence in their emptiness all the diverse, apparently opposed phenomena posited by mainstream Buddhist doctrine finally coincide: "All dharmas have one nature, which is no-nature."
The teaching of the Buddha as found in the Pali canon does not endorse a philosophy of non-dualism of any variety, nor, I would add, can a non-dualistic perspective be found lying implicit within the Buddha's discourses. At the same time, however, I would not maintain that the Pali Suttas propose dualism, the positing of duality as a metaphysical hypothesis aimed at intellectual assent. I would characterize the Buddha's intent in the Canon as primarily pragmatic rather than speculative, though I would also qualify this by saying that this pragmatism does not operate in a philosophical void but finds its grounding in the nature of actuality as the Buddha penetrated it in his enlightenment. In contrast to the non-dualistic systems, the Buddha's approach does not aim at the discovery of a unifying principle behind or beneath our experience of the world. Instead it takes the concrete fact of living experience, with all its buzzing confusion of contrasts and tensions, as its starting point and framework, within which it attempts to diagnose the central problem at the core of human existence and to offer a way to its solution. Hence the polestar of the Buddhist path is not a final unity but the extinction of suffering, which brings the resolution of the existential dilemma at its most fundamental level.
if i had to guess i would say that the zen schools usually mean from an ultimate, after entering nirvana standpoint that there is no difference between samsara and nirvana. for the random person who is not enlightened there is a huge difference, but since there is no ultimate difference (as in a separate realm that cannot be entered from this reality or something) one can enter it from this moment, in this life. as in there is no physical barrier, it's all mental. and theravada agrees with this, one can remain in exactly the same spot in space and time and enter nibbana, consciousness changes, nothing else. so it's perspective. a person who thinks they have an ultimate self is suffering, a buddha would look at them and see that they have no reason to suffer, then that same person could see things differently and realize they have no self and stop suffering. same person, same life, same reality, different mind set.
so there is no difference between the two in that sense. it's not a place you go
(at least not until after death, but that's not really hashed out one way or the other), it's a place you experience as a shift in thinking. after death is another story, not really defined in either schools.
some teachers likely teach otherwise. and many surely have used this idea to justify violence and other bad behaviors. but i've read many teachers that mean roughly what i've written above when they talk about it.
but who knows? i'm just giving my view on it really with some vague memories of books from years past influencing it.