Sanghamitta wrote:I am rather inclined to the view which says that the development of the Buddha -dhatu doctrine represents a reversion within Buddhism to the Upanashadic philosophy that the Buddha rejected.
Sanghamitta wrote:You are quite right. I should have said that Buddha-dhatu seems to me to be a reversion to the Indian philosophical tradition later to evolve into what is commonly known as " Hinduism " which was current at the time of The Buddha, and which he rejected. I dont see how it differs fron Atta doctrine.
Individual wrote:Sanghamitta wrote:You are quite right. I should have said that Buddha-dhatu seems to me to be a reversion to the Indian philosophical tradition later to evolve into what is commonly known as " Hinduism " which was current at the time of The Buddha, and which he rejected. I dont see how it differs fron Atta doctrine.
Brahmanism didn't really have anything that could be called a philosophical tradition. They only developed one in reaction to criticism by sramanas, such as the Buddha.
Buddha-nature is distinct from atta, because it doesn't claim that there is an individual Buddha-nature, like a soul, as in, "That's YOUR Buddha-nature. This is MY Buddha-nature." It's really not too different from Humanism in western philosophy: the presumption that people are fundamentally good.
Peter wrote:The answer is that arahantship is not becoming anything. It is the ceasing of all becoming. It is the destruction of the taints, the cutting of the fetters, the removal of the defilements. It is a problem with using language like "becoming arahant" or "gaining enlightenment". These phrases can mislead a person into thinking there is something acquired or someone to do the acquiring.
It is like saying "the glass has become empty". Does this mean emptiness was always present even when the glass was full? Does this mean the glass magically transformed into something else? What it means is the stuff in the glass has been removed. "Empty" is a description of the state of the glass when it's contents has been removed, just as "arahant" is how we describe the state of one who has eradicated the defilements.
Sanghamitta wrote:My point is that having examined the concept of Buddha-dhatu fairly thoroughly I concluded that it had nothing to offer me as a practitioner.
Pannapetar wrote: It is a challenge to go even beyond the initial spiritual achievements which may have secured calm and peace of mind. This is the sort of situation, where tathāgatagarbha becomes meaningful. So, it should probably be considered by people enjoying good karmic fruits and intermediate practitioners.
meindzai,Oct 28 2008, 09:04 AM wrote:passenger1980,Oct 27 2008, 04:08 PM wrote:So what's keeping you from practising the fundamentals? I'm not saying that you should do the same as me. But meditation and living by the 8FP is all we need in my opinion. Practise as much as you can, and that's it, the rest is just wasting time if you see it from a spiritual point of view.
I was trying to avoid getting too specific here so that I don't open up a big can of worms, but here goes. Pandoras box follows: (sorry for mixing metaphors)
Meditation in zen vs. theravada, as an example, are based on two entirely different premises. In Zen it's based on the idea of Buddha nature, and requires a lot of faith in the process, letting go of thoughts as they come. It's sometimes called a goalless process, effortless effort. The more the practitioner "messes" with it the less productive it becomes. It is akin to "wu-wei" in daoism. It's a very organic and natural unfolding, again - totally based on the idea that Buddha nature will reveal itself through the practice.
However, the Buddha (of all people!) did not talk about buddha nature. There's no such teaching in Theravada. Meditation is very specific and goal oriented. One overcomes the 5 hindrances (there are specific practices for each) and develops samadhi by balancing certain factors, piti, sukkha, one pointedness, etc. You have a choice to develop the jhanas or do a dry vipassana practice. Right concentration is defined as the four Jhanas. Meditation is tied directly into the suttas by way of overcoming taints, defilements, etc. The suttas explain what those are, in detail, and how to overcome them.
Also in Theravada, meditation is tied directly into the teachings on morality. This relationship is much more apparent then in zen, which emphasizes meditation.
According to Bodhidharma:Buddhas don't recite sutras." Buddhas don't keep precepts." And Buddhas don't break precepts. Buddhas don't keep or break anything. Buddhas don't do good or evil.
To find a Buddha, you have to see your nature.
The idea of course being that we're already Buddha's so our job is to see our own nature. Not to keep precepts, not to overcome hindrances, not to purge the defilements, etc.
It's not that Bodhidharma's teaching is wrong within the scope of zen and mahayana. But you cannot hold this viewpoint, and, simultaneously, engage in a practice of overcoming hindrances and purging defilements.
In that sense there's nothing "basic" about meditation. The paradigm is entirely different. Meditation is part of a larger picture. Each system depends on it's own paradigm for meditation to have any clear purpose.
You also mention the eightfold path. The heart sutra, chanted Daily by Zen practitioners, teaches "no suffering, no path," etc. etc. This of course doesn't mean you shouldn't practice the eightfold path, but it points to the idea that the teachings themselves have the property of sunyata - emptiness.
Again, ok in context, but no such teaching in Theravada. As the simile of the raft illustrates, you let go of the raft when you reach the other side. But until then, HOLD ON.
I'm going to keep saying this so it's clear - I am not criticizing either teaching. When one is fully immersed in one or the other, they function as a complete system that will get one to the other side. But you cannot practice them simultaneously. Even the "basics" are different once you go just a little bit beneath the surface.
-- The tathagatagarbha [buddha-nature] is not just any emptiness,
however. Rather it is specifically emptiness of inherent existence when
applied to a sentient being's mind, his (her) mental continuum. ... When
the mind is defiled in the unenlightened state this emptiness is called
tathagatagarbha. When the mind has become pure through following the
path and attaining Buddhahood so emptiness is referred to in the dGe
lugs tradition as the Buddha's Essence Body (_svabhavikakaya_). The
Buddha's pure mind in that state is his Gnosis or Wisdom Body
(_jnanakaya_), while the two taken together, the Buddha's mind as a
flow empty of inherent existence, is what the tradition calls the
_dharmakaya._ ... This also means that the tathagatagarbha itself is
strictly the fundamental cause of Buddhahood, and is no way identical
with the result, _dharmakaya_ or Essence Body as the case may be,
except in the sense that both defiled mind and Buddha's mind are empty
of inherent existence. ...which is to say that even the _dharmakaya_,
and, of course, emptiness itself, are all empty of inherent existence.
They are not 'truly established', there is no Absolute in the sense of an
ultimate really existing entity. --- Paul Williams MAHAYANA
BUDDHISM, pub by Routledge. Pg 106-7.
mikenz66 wrote:Are you implying that Theravada is for "beginners" and Mahayana for the "more developed" practitioners?
Pannapetar wrote:mikenz66 wrote:Are you implying that Theravada is for "beginners" and Mahayana for the "more developed" practitioners?
That's your interpretation, not mine...
"Being a Theravadin" or "being a Mahayana practitioner" is just one more useless ego identification, in my view. Who cares?
mikenz66 wrote:Pannapetar wrote: It is a challenge to go even beyond the initial spiritual achievements which may have secured calm and peace of mind. This is the sort of situation, where tathāgatagarbha becomes meaningful. So, it should probably be considered by people enjoying good karmic fruits and intermediate practitioners.
Are you implying that Theravada is for "beginners" and Mahayana for the "more developed" practitioners?