non-dualism

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non-dualism

Postby cherrytigerbarb » Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:29 pm

Hi, I've been very interested in non-dualism of late, and after reading up on it and thinking about it, I've come to one or two conclusions which I'd like to offer up for opinion and discussion.
My thinking goes along these lines: Our thoughts, feelings, emotions, ideas, language, labels and indeed anything relating to the world that originates in the mind are not really the world itself, but rather artificial representations of it. In order to experience the world (reality) directly, we have to abandon all our conceptualisations and learn to just 'be'. When we do this, we begin to realise that the way we seperate one thing from another is our mental conceptualising & labelling and that in truth, nothing is really seperate from anything else. In fact, when you dig deep, you can see that everything is made from subatomic particles including ourselves and that because of this, we are not seperate from the world either, but are intrinsic to it. So, because of this, when I do something, such as bow to a statue of Buddha, I realise that rather than bowing to Buddha, I am bowing to the sum total of reality, and by extension, myself and indeed all of you. It is the world bowing to itelf. This being so, any action taken in this world can be likened to sand moving amongst sand. You could argue that nothing really happens at all, because the sand looks just the same as it did prior to the movement. But then there is the question of what constitutes the motive force that drives the movement of sand within sand? (What causes my body to perform a bow, make a cup of tea, or do anything)? And then I realise that this is simply the interplay of energy and matter in a cause and effect relationship, where the driving energy behind it all all originates from the big bang, so that every movement that takes place is simply the universe cooling down (entropy) with localised pockets of order.
Now, I know this is quite a rapid train of thought jumping from conclusion to conclusion, but what do you think? Am I completely off the mark?
"The foolish reject what they see, not what they think. The wise reject what they think, not what they see." - Huang Po.
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Re: non-dualism

Postby Dan74 » Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:35 pm

These are all interesting thoughts, but how do these "realizations" manifest in you day-to-day life?

I think this is more important than cosmologies or views about reality and ourselves.
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Re: non-dualism

Postby cherrytigerbarb » Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:41 pm

Dan74 wrote:These are all interesting thoughts, but how do these "realizations" manifest in you day-to-day life?

I think this is more important than cosmologies or views about reality and ourselves.


Well, I think that realising these things (if correct), help me to concentrate on my breath when I meditate to the degree where my conceptualisations begin to drop away, so that hopefully in time I'll be able to directly realise reality instead of just intellectualising about it. I am aware however that I shouldn't strive to do anything when I meditate because that reinforces the dualistic illusion. Instead, this knowlege inspires me to just relax and simply try to 'be' without any particular goal in mind. As for day-to-day life, that would be in the form my mindfullness practice, which these thoughts also help to inspire.
"The foolish reject what they see, not what they think. The wise reject what they think, not what they see." - Huang Po.
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Re: non-dualism

Postby kirk5a » Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:15 pm

cherrytigerbarb wrote:My thinking goes along these lines: Our thoughts, feelings, emotions, ideas, language, labels and indeed anything relating to the world that originates in the mind are not really the world itself, but rather artificial representations of it.

I was reminded of this by Ajahn Mun
"What runs quickly is viññana,
movements walking in a row,
one after another. Not doubting that saññas are right,
the heart gets caught up in the running back & forth.
Saññas grab hold of things outside
and pull them in to fool the mind,
Making it think in confusion & go out searching,
wandering astray.
They fool it with various dhammas,
like a mirage."

Component parts of sensory perception: rupa (physical phenomena); vedana (feelings of pleasure, pain, or indifference); sañña (concepts, labels, allusions); sankhara (mental fashionings, formations, processes); and viññana (sensory consciousness).

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai/mun/ballad.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: non-dualism

Postby ground » Tue Mar 19, 2013 4:49 am

cherrytigerbarb wrote:Now, I know this is quite a rapid train of thought jumping from conclusion to conclusion, but what do you think? Am I completely off the mark?

I think that potentially there are many ideas which upon cultivation may cause a sense that counters the ordinary sense of confined self. A variety of names may be imputed to the resulting experiences. :sage:
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Re: non-dualism

Postby polarbuddha101 » Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:20 am

Do people actually experience subatomic particles or is that just an idea, a concept? Is the big bang, for you (i.e. in your experience) anything more than a concept and a view? Isn't it just another action of the mind to equate yourself, the buddha statue, and other people as the same oneness of the universe as it is to make the distinction in the first place? Isn't non dualism just another concept? How do you go beyond even these views, concepts, mental concoctions?

Staying at Savatthi. Then a brahman cosmologist [1] went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, exchanged courteous greetings with him. After an exchange of friendly greetings & courtesies, he sat to one side. As he was sitting there, he said to the Blessed One, "Now, then, Master Gotama, does everything [2] exist?"

"'Everything exists' is the senior form of cosmology, brahman."

"Then, Master Gotama, does everything not exist?"

"'Everything does not exist' is the second form of cosmology, brahman."

"Then is everything a Oneness?"

"'Everything is a Oneness' is the third form of cosmology, brahman."

"Then is everything a Manyness?"

"'Everything is a Manyness' is the fourth form of cosmology, brahman. Avoiding these two extremes, the Tathagata teaches the Dhamma via the middle: From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications. From fabrications as a requisite condition comes consciousness. From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form. From name-&-form as a requisite condition come the six sense media. From the six sense media as a requisite condition comes contact. From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling. From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving. From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance. From clinging/sustenance as a requisite condition comes becoming. From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth. From birth as a requisite condition, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair come into play. Such is the origination of this entire mass of stress & suffering.

"Now from the remainderless fading & cessation of that very ignorance comes the cessation of fabrications. From the cessation of fabrications 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 stress & suffering."

"Magnificent, Master Gotama! Magnificent! Just as if he were to place upright what was overturned, to reveal what was hidden, to show the way to one who was lost, or to carry a lamp into the dark so that those with eyes could see forms, in the same way has Master Gotama — through many lines of reasoning — made the Dhamma clear. I go to Master Gotama for refuge, to the Dhamma, and to the Sangha of monks. May Master Gotama remember me as a lay follower who has gone to him for refuge, from this day forward, for life."

Notes

1.
The cosmologist (lokayata) schools of thought reasoned from what they saw as the basic principles of the physical cosmos in formulating their teachings on how life should be lived. In modern times, they would correspond to those who base their philosophies on principles drawn from the physical sciences, such as evolutionary biology or quantum physics. Although the cosmologists of India in the Buddha's time differed on first principles, they tended to be more unanimous in using their first principles — whatever they were — to argue for hedonism as the best approach to life.
2.
"Everything" may also be translated as "the All." Concerning this term, SN 35.23 says, "What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This is termed the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his assertion, would be unable to explain, and furthermore would be put to grief. Why is that? Because it lies beyond range." For more on this topic, see The Mind Like Fire Unbound, Chapter 1.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."
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Re: non-dualism

Postby convivium » Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:32 am

you don't need theories to experience suchness or emptiness; see the suchness or emptiness of the theories. that necessarily doesn't mean step away from them. it's important to step into them to understand their limitations.
Just keep breathing in and out like this. Don't be interested in anything else. It doesn't matter even if someone is standing on their head with their ass in the air. Don't pay it any attention. Just stay with the in-breath and the out-breath. Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it. http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Just_Do_It_1_2.php
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Re: non-dualism

Postby Aloka » Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:15 am

.

Ajahn Sumedo had something to say about non dualism in "The Way It Is"



NON-DUALISM

The significant offering of the Buddhist teaching lies in what we call non-dualism. Its the 'neither-nor' approach to philosophical questions. Monistic religion tends to talk about the One, the One God, or the Whole or the Buddha Nature, or the One Mind, and that's very inspiring. We turn to monistic doctrines for inspiration. But inspiration is only one level of religious experience, and you have to outgrow it. You have to let go of the desire for inspiration, or the belief in God or in the Oneness or in the One Mind or the all embracing benevolence or in the universal fairness.

I am not asking you to not disbelieve in those things either. But the non-dualistic practice is a way of letting go of all that, of seeing attachment to the views and opinions and perceptions, because the perception of one's mind is a perception, isn't it? The perception of a universal benevolence is perception which we can attach to. The Buddha-Nature is a perception. Buddha is a perception. The one God and everything as being one universal system, global village, all is one and one is all and everything is fair and everything is kind, God loves us: these are perceptions which might be very nice, but still they are perceptions which arise and cease. Perceptions of monistic doctrines arise and cease.

Now what does that do, as a practical experience, when you let things go and they cease? What's left, what's the remainder? This is what the Buddha is pointing to in teaching about the arising and cessation of conditions.

When the perception of self ceases and all the doctrines, all the inspired teaching, all the wise sayings cease, there is still the knower of the cessation. More views. And that leaves us with a blank mind. What is there to grasp? So the desire to know, to have something to grasp, comes up.

Continued here:

http://www.amaravati.org/documents/the_way_it_is/18nod.html



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